“If these are virtues, they’re strictly negative ones,” Flora pointed out.
“I’m clearing the ground,” said Edgar. “Where we shine is in making the most of material things, turning, for example, these wilds into wheatfields, holding on through your Arctic cold and blazing summer heat. We begin with a tent and an ox-team, and end, in spite of countless obstacles, with a big brick homestead and a railroad or an automobile. Men of the Lansing type follow the same course consistently, even when their interests are not concerned. Once get an idea into their minds, convince them that it’s right, and they’ll transform it into determined action. If they haven’t tools, they’ll make them or find something that will serve; effort counts for nothing; the purpose will be carried out.”
Flora noticed the enthusiastic appreciation of his comrade which his somewhat humorous speech revealed, and she thought it justified.
“One would imagine Mr. Lansing to be resolute,” she said. “I dare say it’s fortunate; he had a heavy loss to face last year.”
“Yes,” returned Edgar. “As you see, he’s going on; though he never expected anything for himself.”
“He never expected anything?” Flora repeated incredulously. “What are you saying?”
Edgar realized that he had been injudicious. Flora did not know that Sylvia Marston was still the owner of the farm and he hesitated to enlighten her.
“Well,” he said, “George isn’t greedy; it isn’t in his nature.”
“Do you mean that he’s a rich man and is merely farming for amusement?”
“Oh, no,” said Edgar; “far from it!” He indicated the miry wagons and the torn-up trails. “You wouldn’t expect a man to do this kind of thing, if it wasn’t needful. The fact is, I don’t always express myself very happily; and George has told me that I talk too much.”
Flora smiled and drove away shortly afterward, considering what he had said. She had noticed a trace of confusion in his manner and it struck her as significant.
When the buggy had grown small in the distance, Edgar called to Grierson and they went on again.
GEORGE FEELS GRATEFUL
When George returned from Winnipeg, Edgar took him to the granary.
“You may as well look at the seed Grant sent you, and then you’ll be able to thank him for it,” he said. “It’s in here; I turned out the common northern stuff you bought to make room.”
“Why didn’t you put it into the empty place in the barn?” George asked.
“I wasn’t sure it would go in; there’s rather a lot of it,” Edgar explained, with a smile.
George entered the granary and stopped, astonished, when he saw the great pile of bags.
“Is all of that the new seed?” he asked incredulously.
“Every bag,” said Edgar, watching him.