They strolled thus to the rear of the house, where thick clumps of fragrant pinks lined both sides of the path. She picked some of these for him, and gave him more names with which to label the considerable number of other plants he saw about him.
“I had no idea we were so well provided as all this,” he commented at last. “Those Van Sizers must have been tremendous hands for flowers. You were lucky in following such people.”
“Van Sizers!” echoed Alice, with contempt. “All they left was old tomato cans and clamshells. Why, I’ve put in every blessed one of these myself, all except those peonies, there, and one brier on the side wall.”
“Good for you!” exclaimed Theron, approvingly. Then it occurred to him to ask, “But where did you get them all? Around among our friends?”
“Some few,” responded Alice, with a note of hesitation in her voice. “Sister Bult gave me the verbenas, there, and the white pinks were a present from Miss Stevens. But most of them Levi Gorringe was good enough to send me—from his garden.”
“I didn’t know that Gorringe had a garden,” said Theron. “I thought he lived over his law-office, in the brick block, there.”
“Well, I don’t know that it’s exactly his,” explained Alice; “but it’s a big garden somewhere outside, where he can have anything he likes.” She went on with a little laugh: “I didn’t like to question him too closely, for fear he’d think I was looking a gift horse in the mouth—or else hinting for more. It was quite his own offer, you know. He picked them all out for me, and brought them here, and lent me a book telling me just what to do with each one. And in a few days, now, I am to have another big batch of plants—dahlias and zinnias and asters and so on; I’m almost ashamed to take them. But it’s such a change to find some one in this Octavius who isn’t all self!”
“Yes, Gorringe is a good fellow,” said Theron. “I wish he was a professing member.” Then some new thought struck him. “Alice,” he exclaimed, “I believe I’ll go and see him this very afternoon. I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me before: he’s just the man whose advice I need most. He knows these people here; he can tell me what to do.”
“Aren’t you too tired now?” suggested Alice, as Theron put on his hat.
“No, the sooner the better,” he replied, moving now toward the gate.
“Well,” she began, “if I were you, I wouldn’t say too much about—that is, I—but never mind.”
“What is it?” asked her husband.
“Nothing whatever,” replied Alice, positively. “It was only some nonsense of mine;” and Theron, placidly accepting the feminine whim, went off down the street again.
The Rev. Mr. Ware found Levi Gorringe’s law-office readily enough, but its owner was not in. He probably would be back again, though, in a quarter of an hour or so, the boy said, and the minister at once decided to wait.