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a web of many textures

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Page 60


“So you take an interest in the science of the soil?”
said the neighbor, leaning over the gate, as he saw Mrs.
Partington with a bran-new garden-trowel, she had
bought of Curtis, hovering over some plants that she
was endeavoring to “set.” She arose from the dust of
the earth, as though so great a question should be
answered perpendicularly, and, wiping her hands on her
apron, said, smilingly as an open dandelion-blossom,
“Some.” — “You have many fine varieties, I see,” continued
the neighbor; “they display excellent taste.” —
“They smell better than they taste,” replied she.
“Some helly-o-tripes, over there, are very odious.” —
“Many fuchsias?” asked the neighbor. — “Some confusion,”
replied she; “but as soon as the borders are
deranged I think it will be very ambiguous. I do love
to see things growing! I think that is the beauty of a
garden, don't you?” The neighbor assured her that
he thought very much as she did, and deemed a garden
that had nothing growing in it must be a very dreary
place. “A perfect desert of Sarah,” said the dame,
breaking in like a sunbeam on a fog. — “Are your plants
not too near together?” the neighbor asked. — “O,
no,” she replied; “they are more sociable when they
are near together, and there 's no room wasted. It is
very pleasant to have grounds of one's own to cultivate;
and, if the cats don 't tear it up, my garden will
bloom by and by like a Paradox.” She struck the
trowel in an upright position, like a note of admiration,
as she concluded, and the neighbor went along. The
cats trouble the old lady's gardening operations, though
Ike has bought more than four quarts of torpedoes to
throw out at them.