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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about The Kentons.
lawn-mowered and as sedulously garden-hosed as if Kenton himself had been there to look after its welfare, or had tended the shrubbery as he used to do in earlier days with his own hand.  The oaks which he had planted shook out their glossy green in the morning gale, and in the tulip-trees, which had snowed their petals on the ground in wide circles defined by the reach of their branches, he heard the squirrels barking; a red-bird from the woody depths behind the house mocked the cat-birds in the quince-trees.  The June rose was red along the trellis of the veranda, where Lottie ought to be sitting to receive the morning calls of the young men who were sometimes quite as early as Kenton’s present visit in their devotions, and the sound of Ellen’s piano, played fitfully and absently in her fashion, ought to be coming out irrespective of the hour.  It seemed to him that his wife must open the door as his steps and his son’s made themselves heard on the walk between the box borders in their upper orchard, and he faltered a little.

“Look here, father,” said his son, detecting his hesitation.  “Why don’t you let Mary come in with you, and help you find those things?”

“No, no,” said Kenton, sinking into one of the wooden seats that flanked the door-way.  “I promised your mother that I would get them myself.  You know women don’t like to have other women going through their houses.”

“Yes, but Mary!” his son urged.

“Ah!  It’s just Mary, with her perfect housekeeping, that your mother wouldn’t like to have see the way she left things,” said Kenton, and he smiled at the notion of any one being housekeeper enough to find a flaw in his wife’s.  “My, but this is pleasant!” he added.  He took off his hat and let the breeze play through the lank, thin hair which was still black on his fine, high forehead.  He was a very handsome old man, with a delicate aquiline profile, of the perfect Roman type which is perhaps oftener found in America than ever it was in Rome.  “You’ve kept it very nice, Dick,” he said, with a generalizing wave of his hat.

“Well, I couldn’t tell whether you would be coming back or not, and I thought I had better be ready for you.”

“I wish we were,” said the old man, “and we shall be, in the fall, or the latter part of the summer.  But it’s better now that we should go—­on Ellen’s account.”

“Oh, you’ll enjoy it,” his son evaded him.

“You haven’t seen anything of him lately?” Kenton suggested.

“He wasn’t likely to let me see anything of him,” returned the son.

“No,” said the father.  “Well!” He rose to put the key into the door, and his son stepped down from the little porch to the brick walk.

“Mary will have dinner early, father; and when you’ve got through here, you’d better come over and lie down a while beforehand.”

Kenton had been dropped at eight o’clock from a sleeper on the Great Three, and had refused breakfast at his son’s house, upon the plea that the porter had given him a Southern cantaloupe and a cup of coffee on the train, and he was no longer hungry.

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