George’s face reddened. He was stirred by mixed emotions: relief, gratitude, and a feeling of confusion he could not analyze.
“Grant must have sent the whole carload!” he broke out.
“As a matter of fact, he sent most of it. Grierson and I hauled it in; and a tough job we had of it.”
“And you took it all, without protesting or sending me word?”
“Yes,” said Edgar coolly; “that’s precisely what I did. You need the stuff; Grant meant you to have it, and I didn’t want to offend him.”
“I suppose you have some idea what that seed is worth?”
“I dare say I could guess. Our people at home once experimented with some American seed potatoes at three shillings each. But aren’t you putting the matter on a rather low plane?”
George sat down and felt for his pipe.
“I feel that you have played a trick on me. If you had only let me know, I could have objected.”
“Just so; that’s why I kept quiet,” Edgar laughed. “The seed’s here and you ought to be thankful. Anyway, Grant won’t take it back.”
“What have I done that I should get this favor?” George said half aloud.
“That’s so characteristic!” Edgar exclaimed. “Why must you always be doing things? Do you imagine that whatever one receives is the result of so much exertion?”
“I don’t feel the least interest in such quibbles.”
“I can’t believe it,” Edgar rejoined. “You’re more at home when you have a fence to put up, or a strip of new land to break.” Then he dropped his bantering tone. “There’s nothing to be distressed about. Grant has been pretty generous, and I think he and Flora need thanking.”
“That’s true; they’ve made me feel half ashamed. I never expected this.”
“In my opinion, the sensation’s quite unnecessary. You have given a few people a lift in your time, and I’ve an optimistic notion that actions of the kind recoil on one, even though it’s a different person who makes you some return.”
“I wish you would stop talking!” George exclaimed impatiently.
Edgar mentally compared Flora Grant with Sylvia, in whom he disbelieved, and found it hard to restrain himself. It was, he felt, a great misfortune that George could not be made to see.
“Oh, well!” he acquiesced. “I could say a good deal more, if I thought it would do any good, but as that doesn’t seem likely I’ll dry up.”
“That’s a comfort,” George said shortly.
He left the granary in a thoughtful mood, and on the following evening drove over to the Grant homestead. Its owner was busy somewhere outside when he reached it, but Flora received him and he sat down with satisfaction to talk to her. It had become a pleasure to visit the Grants; he felt at home in their house. The absence of all ceremony, the simple Canadian life, had a growing attraction for him. One could get to know these people, which was a different thing