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mornings, with the gentle breeze
wafting in the odor of the blossoms
of the apple tree just under it Why,
Mr. Lane, you planted that tree for
us four years ago. Don't you remem
ber?" "Why, yes I think I do," stam
mered Richard, his sensitive hiind
fluttering at the allusion.
"She will miss that tree dreadful
ly," went on Mrs. Gordon. "I had not
the heart, to tell her that the great
ice storm had broken it down just
"And she mentioned 'tfie tree?" al
most unconsciously murmured Rich
ard in an audible tone.
"Yes, and spoke of your planting it
but she never writes without ask
ing about ydu."
Richard Lane's heart throbbed with
a new inspiration of hope as he left
the lady. The emotion shadowed lat
er, as he reflected that little, after
her bright city experienceywould re
gard him as duller and more com
monplace than ever. And then, too,
as he thought of Levi Barnes and his
sprightly talented ways, he felt that
he had a dangerous rival.
"But I'll do it!" he said to himself
resolutely. "She may not love me, but
she will love the tree. That is some
thing" decided the poor, unselfish fel
low. What Richard was thinking of do
ing, was to remove the stump at the
old tree and plant a new one. In the
garden of the house his father had
left him there were a dozen healthy
apple trees just coming into blossom
There was only one way of trans
planting such at this advanced season
of vegetation. The dirt about 'them
must be disturbed as little as possible.
"Why, Lane," spoke Mr. Gordon
coming Upon Richard in his yard the
next day, "what in the world are you
Richard blushed like a shy school
boy caught at mischief as he explain
ed. He had two men helping, and a
horse and flat wagon. He worked the
hardest of them all. The transplant-,
ing was a success. Then for two days
he was almost a constant visitor at
the Gordon home, watching and wat
ering the new apple -tree.
Nettie came home at night. On the
train she and Constance had met
some frieitfls. Incidentally the great
ice storm was referred to. She learn-
ed of the destruction of her favorite
tree. Those referring to the incident
had not learned of the replacement.
Nettie was weak and nervous. She
was in that unstrung mood where the
slightest incident distressed her, and
she shed tears of disappointment. -
Nettie was enough of an invalid to
spend the next morning in bed. The
home nursing, the Tdndly mother
care, however, began to revive the
worn spirits later in the day. As she
got ready to go down stairs she
chanced to glance from the window.
A cry of delight brpke frpm her lips,
bringing her mother into the xoom.
"Oh, mother!" exclaimed Nettie
with sparkling eyes, "some one has
told an untruth about the apple tree
being destroyed in a storm. Oh, the
sweNit, sweet blossoms, just coming
out.and their exquisite perfume I
could kiss them, every one!"
"It is a new tree,. Nettle," said her
mother, and Mrs. Gordon went on to
explain. She noted that Nettle's face
Kglowed with pleasure and, gratitude.
The mother liked Richard Lane, and
smiled as she remarked:
"I suppose Mr. Lane would give his
whole orchard, for.one o those kisses
you speak about, Nellie," and her
daughter turned her happy, blushing
face away so she could not read her
It was the following day that Rich
ard strolled timorously in the direc
tion of the Gordon home. He met Levi
Barnes Just leaving the gateway, flus
tered and excited.
"Speak a good word for me, will
you, Dick.-like the royal friend you
are?" he shot out at Richard, on the
"What about?" was the puzzled
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