A BIT OF EARTH 149
" Do you — care about gardens so much," he said slowly.
" I didn't know about them in India," said Mary. " I was always ill and tired and it was too hot. I sometimes made little beds in the sand and stuck flowers in them. But here it is different."
Mr. Craven got up and began to walk slowly across the room.
" A bit of earth," he said to himself, and Mary thought that somehow she must have reminded him of something. When he stopped and spoke to her his dark eyes looked almost soft and kind.
" You can have as much earth as you want," he said. " You remind me of some one else who loved the earth and things that grow. When you see a bit of earth you want," with something like a smile, " take it, child, and make it come alive."
"May I take it from anywhere — if it's not wanted? "
"Anywhere," he answered. "There! You must go now, I am tired." He touched the bell to call Mrs. Medlock. " Good-by. I shall be away all summer."
Mrs. Medlock came so quickly that Mary thought she must have been waiting in the corridor.
" Mrs. Medlock," Mr. Craven said to her,;