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John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein   By: (1834-1902)

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John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein

[Illustration: "Are you going to ask me to marry your husband if you should happen to die?"]

John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein By Frank R. Stockton


Charles Scribner's Sons

New York 1902

Copyright, 1902, by Charles Scribner's Sons

Published November, 1902




John Gayther's Garden 3

I What I Found in the Sea 9 Told by John Gayther

II The Bushwhacker Nurse 39 Told by the Daughter of the House

III The Lady in the Box 71 Told by John Gayther

IV The Cot and the Rill 109 Told by the Mistress of the House

V The Gilded Idol and the King Conch shell 155 Told by the Master of the House

VI My Balloon Hunt 201 Told by the Frenchman

VII The Foreign Prince and the Hermit's Daughter 223 Told by Pomona and Jonas

VIII The Conscious Amanda 249 Told by the Daughter of the House

IX My Translatophone 279 Told by the Old Professor

X The Vice consort 307 Told by the Next Neighbor

XI Blackgum ag'in' Thunder 341 Told by John Gayther


"Are you going to ask me to marry your husband if you should happen to die?" Frontispiece


The gardener began promptly 74

"I made him dig up whole beds of things" 148

The great beast was drawing up his hind legs and was climbing into the car 214

Miss Amanda listened with the most eager and overpowering attention 258

And dreamed waking dreams of blessedness 294

"Do you mean," I cried, "that you would make him a better wife than I do?" 336

"Abner, did you ever hear about the eggs of the great auk?" 356



The garden did not belong to John Gayther; he merely had charge of it. At certain busy seasons he had some men to help him in his work, but for the greater part of the year he preferred doing everything himself.

It was a very fine garden over which John Gayther had charge. It extended this way and that for long distances. It was difficult to see how far it did extend, there were so many old fashioned box hedges; so many paths overshadowed by venerable grape arbors; and so many far stretching rows of peach, plum, and pear trees. Fruit, bushes, and vines there were of which the roll need not be called; and flowers grew everywhere. It was one of the fancies of the Mistress of the House and she inherited it from her mother to have flowers in great abundance, so that wherever she might walk through the garden she would always find them.

Often when she found them massed too thickly she would go in among them and thin them out with apparent recklessness, pulling them up by the roots and throwing them on the path, where John Gayther would come and find them and take them away. This heroic action on the part of the Mistress of the House pleased John very much. He respected the fearless spirit which did not hesitate to make sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how many beautiful blossoms she scattered on the garden path... Continue reading book >>

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