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The Secret Garden

16.
"I Won't!" Said Mary
They found a great deal to do that morning and Mary was late in returning to the house
and was also in such a hurry to get back to her work that she quite forgot Colin until the
last moment.
"Tell Colin that I can't come and see him yet," she said to Martha. "I'm very busy in the
garden."
Martha looked rather frightened.
"Eh! Miss Mary," she said, "it may put him all out of humor when I tell him that."
But Mary was not as afraid of him as other people were and she was not a self-sacrificing
person.
"I can't stay," she answered. "Dickon's waiting for me;" and she ran away.
The afternoon was even lovelier and busier than the morning had been. Already nearly all
the weeds were cleared out of the garden and most of the roses and trees had been pruned
or dug about. Dickon had brought a spade of his own and he had taught Mary to use all
her tools, so that by this time it was plain that though the lovely wild place was not likely
to become a "gardener's garden" it would be a wilderness of growing things before the
springtime was over.
"There'll be apple blossoms an' cherry blossoms overhead," Dickon said, working away
with all his might. "An' there'll be peach an' plum trees in bloom against th' walls, an' th'
grass'll be a carpet o' flowers."
The little fox and the rook were as happy and busy as they were, and the robin and his
mate flew backward and forward like tiny streaks of lightning. Sometimes the rook
flapped his black wings and soared away over the tree-tops in the park. Each time he
came back and perched near Dickon and cawed several times as if he were relating his
adventures, and Dickon talked to him just as he had talked to the robin. Once when
Dickon was so busy that he did not answer him at first, Soot flew on to his shoulders and
gently tweaked his ear with his large beak. When Mary wanted to rest a little Dickon sat
down with her under a tree and once he took his pipe out of his pocket and played the soft
strange little notes and two squirrels appeared on the wall and looked and listened.
"Tha's a good bit stronger than tha' was," Dickon said, looking at her as she was digging.
"Tha's beginning to look different, for sure."
Mary was glowing with exercise and good spirits.
"I'm getting fatter and fatter every day," she said quite exultantly. "Mrs. Medlock will
have to get me some bigger dresses. Martha says my hair is growing thicker. It isn't so
flat and stringy."
 
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