Spring rides into Canada upon the warm Japan Current. He lands quietly, without public greeting or knowledge, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, one night in early March; or he may take a notion to come bursting in suddenly at the end of February, in raincoat and galoshes, but wearing violets and daffodils and primroses in his hat. With a wild shout down the western wind, he goes to work.
There are cones to be hung like Christmas candles on the great fir trees of the coast woods, and giant, shaggy sword ferns to be uncurled, and the tender, coiled stalks of maidenhair, like the tight fists of newborn babies. There is the first white lily to be thrust up in a spinster's garden at Cadboro Bay and carried to town in triumph for display in the dingy windows of the Victoria Daily Colonist. All the rock gardens require a fast, rough job of painting in quick daubs of purple and yellow. A thousand retired and tweeded British Colonels must be knocked up one morning early and warned that the trout are running in the Cowichan. The sea serpent of these parts, genial and obliging Cadborosaurus, must be awakened and reintroduced to the front pages of the local press. Old men must be hustled forth into Stanley Park to shiver a little as they begin their immemorial campaign of outdoor checkers on a board twenty feet square.
Then, with a sigh and a sniff at the first rose, Spring is off for the interior country, following the gold-rush road to Cariboo. At Ashcroft he stops overnight to warn Joe Wong, the Chinaman, that he had better set out his tomato plants in the warming Dry Belt soil, each with a little paper tent over it.