1056 THE GARDENER AND THE FAMILY
The gardener was called Larsen, but that is of no further importance.
* Have you, little Larsen, not enough room for working— the whole of the flower garden, the greenhouses, the fruit and kitchen gardens ? '
These he had, and nursed them, loved them, and cared for them with earnestness and capability, and the family knew that, but they did not hide from him that when visiting they often ate fruit and saw flowers which excelled what they had in their own garden, and that distressed the gardener, for he wished to do his best and he did his best. He was good of heart, and good in his work.
One day the master called him and said in all mildness and dignity that the day before, when with distinguished friends, they had got a variety of apples and pears, so juicy and so well flavoured that all the guests had exclaimed in admiration. The fruit was certainly not native, but it ought to be brought in and made at home here if the climate allowed it. One knew that it had been bought in town at the principal fruiterer's : the gardener should ride in and get to know where these apples and pears came from and order cuttings.
The gardener knew the fruiterer very well, for it was to him that he sold, on the proprietor's account, the surplus of the fruit which was grown in the gardens of the estate.
And the gardener went to town and asked the fruiterer where he got these highly prized apples and pears.
■ They are from your own garden !' said the fruiterer, and showed him both apples and pears, which he knew again.
How delighted the gardener was ! He hurried home and told the family that both the apples and pears were from their own garden.
The family could not believe that. ' That is impossible, Larsen! Can you get a written assurance from the fruiterer ? '
And that he could, and so he brought a written assurance.
1 That is extraordinary !' said the master.
Every day now great dishes of these lovely apples and pears from their own garden were brought to the table, baskets and barrels of these fruits were sent to friends in the town and country and even to other countries. It was a great joy ! It must be said, however, that these had been