Fifty-two steps past the red doors of the Cannery, DuPierre would find himself at the gate of Miss Eloise's place. And there at the gate he would find leaning against the picket fence, a lavender bike with its pretty white basket that was decorated with daisies. This was the bicycle that the quaint Miss Eloise would ride each day to deliver her cut flowers to the market and in exchange bring back her bread, eggs and occasionally orange marmalade.
Andre DuPierre always took the time on his walk to peek into the bountiful garden of Miss Eloise's cottage. It was truly a jungle, but an organized jungle, each plant thoughtfully placed, each plant lovingly trimmed. Pinks and yellows, periwinkles and lilacs, as if a careless watercolorist had splattered his paints all through the garden. DuPierre would peek into this elegant little Eden to enjoy the art of it all, to be sure, but more so to catch a glimpse of Miss Eloise.
Miss Eloise was a miniature woman, petite in every way. Her grey hair was beautifully grey; her features were as if a china doll. Even when he could not catch sight of her, he loved to her lyrical voice singing country songs as she tended her realm. A glimpse of Miss Eloise would cause DuPierre to smile, something seldom done in his very private life.
DuPierre had never thought to open her gate and visit. That was something quite beyond him.