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tight shut under the fluffy gray hair, an intense expression on her face.

“Why not say a minister of state, madame?” laughed Lemois.

“No—no—don’t you dare run away like that. Stand to your guns, monsieur. If he were a head gardener, then what?”

Lemois rose from his chair, laid his hand on his shirt-front, and bowed impressively. He was evidently determined to humor her passing whim.

“If he were a head gardener I would not have the slightest objection, madame.”

She sprang to her feet and began clapping her plump hands, her laughter filling the room.

“Oh!—I am so happy! You heard what he said—all of you. You, Monsieur Herbert—and you—and you”—pointing to each member of our group. “If he were a head gardener! Oh, was there ever such luck! And do you listen too, you magnificent Lemois! Gaston is a head gardener; has been a head gardener for days; every one of the plants you bought for me to-day he will put into the ground with his own hands. His mother will have the stall I bought in the fish market, and he and Mignon are to live in the new garage, and he is to have