~V~ WOULD you believe that the man that sold me the castor-oil plant was back the day to get me to take another? And him let on, the last time he called, that ninepence would get him into a grand seetiation! He said that it was a kind of a conspiracy that kept him out of it, and, if I would take anither plant he would rejooce it to eightpence as he saw that I was a real leddy - the auld haveral! So I pinted out to him that there was a worm in the pot. "Aweel," says he, "there was a serpent in the gairden o' Eden, so what could ye expeck? And how do ye ken that there was a worm in the pot?" says he. So I told him that we brought it out with a drink of mustard and water, and the young lady carried it to the back-green. With that he flew into a tirrivee, and he said that the worm was he's property, and it should have been returned to him, and he threped down my throat that it was a pet worm that he had kept for years, and that it knew him fine, and aye gave him a bit smile when he came home in the gloamin' - did ever ye hear sic a leear? But he'll no' get me to buy any more castor-oil plants from him - no likely! We'll soon have a grand gairden of our own down the water. Miss Jean has been orderin' the roses, and the lilies, and all the like of that, and Miss Celandine brought the catalogue ben to me to settle about the vegetables needed for the faimly! My word! I never saw as many picturs of vegetables in my life afore. What cauliflowers for size - three in a row! Very near all flower and no cauly. Miss Celandine was disappointed because I didna recognise the tatties either by the portraits or the names, so we settled to take the sort they ca'ed "Beauty of Hebron," because the book said it was a "heavy cropper." No sooner was it written down than Miss Celandine discovers anither kind ca'ed "magnificent cropper," so she thought it would be more economical-like to get them. Would you believe that when we turned over the page to see about the peas, here anither kind of a tatty that they said was a "phenomenally heavy cropper!" Miss Celandine was mad; she said she didna believe a word of it, so she tore up the paper and put down the names she liked best, namely, "Great Scot," and "Beauty of Bute," and "Jeanie Deans." They're bonny names, anyway. There was a pictur of the peas, life size-mebbe more. One pod was burst open to show that there was no deception. There was ten peas in it, very near the size of bools, lyin' side by side, and the middle ones heids and thraws, to make more room. Fine big peas, I will say that. And the queer thing was that they were ca'ed "dwarf peas"; I dinna ken what like the giants would be. There was no such a thing as sybies mentioned from beginnin' to end of the book-rideeclous! But we set down onions, neeps, cabbages, etc., etc. There was a neat pictur of a pansy, three inches square, ca'ed "Masterpiece"; we're to get a packet of them. I doubt they'll take up the ground, though. Miss Celandine said she was sure the Eccremocarpusses would be bonny wee flowers by the name, and we put down Dimorphotheca because the catalogue said they were of a "neat, bushy habit." But I dinna mind all the things in the list; it will be a weel-stocked gairden, if we're spared. Near the end there was a bit about "Retarded Bulbs and Roots." They needna fash theirsels. The weather down the West Coast will retard them fine, I'll warrant. There's one thing I've fand out-you can get a whole packet of castor-oil seeds for sixpence-figure that! and me paid ninepence for one bush at the door! Yon man is a fair extortioner. It seems that we'll need gairden implements, and horticultural manures, and tallies and spiral carnation stakes, and a Alpha spraying machine, and I dinna ken all what. I'm sure Mr Samuel Tosh, senior, never had mair nor a spade, and a rake, and an old watering-pot that let out at the handle, and he's gairden looked fine. And "Insecticides" quire a needcessity appearinly. Miss C. says she'll require a Mealy Bug Destroyer (in jars, 1s.), for if she was meetin' a bug walkin' in the gairden-anyway a mealy one-she would likely take a fit. No' her; she's no' that kind. The Slugicide's in a box, price 1s. 6d.; and we're to get a 42-oz. bottle of Beetle-destroyer; and there's antidotes for Red spiders, Mildew, Thrips, Grubs, and Parasites highly recommended. I see fine the gairden's goin' to be an awfu' fight; but I'm thankfu' to say they've got a wasp destroyer-" thoroughly effectual, and very simple in application, per bottle 1s. 6d." It doesna say how we're to apply it, though. We'll need to wait till the wasp sits down, I would think, and then pour a wee droppie of the stuff on it; unconsciousness will likely sooperveen shortly. I hope it'll no' slaister the windy-sole; but there's aye a something. Tatty's an awfu' cat for flies; we dinna need a flydecide wi' her in the house. Many a time have I seen her eatin' a bluebottle in full song; they go buzzin' down her throat, so they do, poor wee craturs, no, half chewed. I would think they would promote the indigesting; but, when I check Tatty for it, she just glowers into the fire and never lets on she hears me. There was a man used to sell an antiflier in London, yon time we were in the boardin'-house, on the road home from Rome. I mind fine what a fright I got the first time he came round the Square roarin' like murder, "Ketch 'em aloive; troublesome floies; ketch 'em aloive, all aloive!" It was fearsome; my very blood ran cold.