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Such at least is the conclusion of one who, studying certain families of plants, which indulge in the most fantastic varieties of shape and size, and yet through all their vagaries retain as do the Palms, the Orchids, the Euphorbiaceae one organ, or form of organs, peculiar and highly specialized, yet constant throughout the whole of each family, has been driven to the belief that each of these three families, at least, has "sported off" from one common ancestor one archetypal Palm, one archetypal Orchid, one archetypal Euphorbia, simple, it may be, in itself, but endowed with infinite possibilities of new and complex beauty, to be developed, not in it, but in its descendants.

As for the effect upon the girl of Julien Tenny's brilliant and unsettling personality, I could judge only as I saw them occasionally together, she lustrous and exotic as a budding orchid, he in the non-descript motley of his studio garb, serenely unconscious of any incongruity.

A reader may form a notion of the difference when I state that a small plant of exceptional merit sold for thirty guineas a short time ago it was C. insigne, but glorified. This ranks among the fascinations of orchid culture.

I have no very distinct notion of the means by which she accomplished this feat, remembering only hazily that we all ambled over to the conservatory, where a particular variety of orchid seemed to interest the girl. And there we were, I explaining and she listening, the others off somewhere near the entrance to the gymnasium, where I heard Lloyd's voice in bored monotone.

Burbidge has suggested that "some one" who takes an interest in orchids should establish a farm, a plantation, here and there about the world, where such plants grow naturally, and devote himself to careful hybridization on the spot. "One might make as much," he writes, "by breeding orchids as by breeding cattle, and of the two, in the long run, I should prefer the orchid farm."

She was not then, after all, I exultantly reflected, the hot-house orchid; a mere whisper and fragrance on waxy petals. She was the splendid flower I had conceived, fit for God's good open skies. And that thought sent a rich bugle note of triumph ringing through the chaos of my misery. Of a surety it was no place for me. In what was to be said behind that door I had no part.

The boughs of some are stretched forth at no great height over one's head, and are seen to be loaded with epiphytes; one orchid I noticed particularly, on account of its bright yellow flowers growing at the end of flower-stems several feet long.

Gates then showed another bit of generalship that called anew for Monsieur's nods of approval. Since our own helmsman would be as much exposed as the man on the Orchid whom we intended to "shoot until he ran downstairs" the mate brought up some line, bent it several times around the wheel drum, passed it through newly fastened blocks, and let it run into the cockpit.

"Perhaps, after all," not the least perturbed by my insolence, "it were best to state on paper what I have to say. I can readily appreciate that the encounter is disagreeable. To meet one who has made a thing impossible to you sets the nerves on edge." He caught up his opera hat, his cane and gloves. He raised the lapel of his coat and sniffed at the orchid in the buttonhole.

Our host seems to be a universal genius a member of the house of peers, an authority on education, an orchid fancier, a painter and I don't know what. There were over twenty at table, and our health was drunk in champagne with a little speech, and two members of the cabinet were there. The Countess is the mother of eight children, and looks about thirty and very pretty for thirty.