Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  9 (1884–85), 53–71.

Nature's Serial Story Ch. 13  [13/13]

E P Roe


Novel, Serial


Natural History, Botany, Taxonomy, Agriculture, Theory

    After Gertrude Hargrove accepts his proposal of marriage, Burt Clifford tells his brother Webb that he has achieved 'a happiness of which all your science can never give you, you old delver, even an idea' (53). In a discussion of the upcoming nuptials, Webb observes that he 'could develop acres of four-leaved clover. Some plants have this peculiarity. I have counted twenty odd on one root. If seed from such a plant was sown, and then seed selected again from the new plants most characterized by this "sport", I believe the trait would become fixed, and we could have a field of four-leaved clover. New varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers are often thus developed from chance "sports" or abnormal specimens', to which Amy Winfield replies disparagingly that he would 'turn this ancient symbol of fortune into a marketable commodity' (54). Amy later remarks 'I wish I were a scientific problem, a crop that required great skill to develop, a rare rose that all those rose-maniacs were after, a new theory that required a great deal of consideration and investigation, and accompanied with experiments that needed much observations, and any number of other t-i-o-n shuns. Then I shouldn't be left alone evenings by the great inquiring mind of the family' (55). Her comments are correctly interpreted by Webb, and he and Amy are married at the conclusion of the story.


Roe 1885

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