The Secret Garden
After another week of rain the high arch of blue sky appeared again and the sun which
poured down was quite hot. Though there had been no chance to see either the secret
garden or Dickon, Mistress Mary had enjoyed herself very much. The week had not
seemed long. She had spent hours of every day with Colin in his room, talking about
Rajahs or gardens or Dickon and the cottage on the moor. They had looked at the
splendid books and pictures and sometimes Mary had read things to Colin, and
sometimes he had read a little to her. When he was amused and interested she thought he
scarcely looked like an invalid at all, except that his face was so colorless and he was
always on the sofa.
"You are a sly young one to listen and get out of your bed to go following things up like
you did that night," Mrs. Medlock said once. "But there's no saying it's not been a sort of
blessing to the lot of us. He's not had a tantrum or a whining fit since you made friends.
The nurse was just going to give up the case because she was so sick of him, but she says
she doesn't mind staying now you've gone on duty with her," laughing a little.
In her talks with Colin, Mary had tried to be very cautious about the secret garden. There
were certain things she wanted to find out from him, but she felt that she must find them
out without asking him direct questions. In the first place, as she began to like to be with
him, she wanted to discover whether he was the kind of boy you could tell a secret to. He
was not in the least like Dickon, but he was evidently so pleased with the idea of a garden
no one knew anything about that she thought perhaps he could be trusted. But she had not
known him long enough to be sure. The second thing she wanted to find out was this: If
he could be trusted--if he really could--wouldn't it be possible to take him to the garden
without having any one find it out? The grand doctor had said that he must have fresh air
and Colin had said that he would not mind fresh air in a secret garden. Perhaps if he had a
great deal of fresh air and knew Dickon and the robin and saw things growing he might
not think so much about dying. Mary had seen herself in the glass sometimes lately when
she had realized that she looked quite a different creature from the child she had seen
when she arrived from India. This child looked nicer. Even Martha had seen a change in
"Th' air from th' moor has done thee good already," she had said. "Tha'rt not nigh so
yeller and tha'rt not nigh so scrawny. Even tha' hair doesn't slamp down on tha' head so
flat. It's got some life in it so as it sticks out a bit."
"It's like me," said Mary. "It's growing stronger and fatter. I'm sure there's more of it."
"It looks it, for sure," said Martha, ruffling it up a little round her face. "Tha'rt not half so
ugly when it's that way an' there's a bit o' red in tha' cheeks."
If gardens and fresh air had been good for her perhaps they would be good for Colin. But
then, if he hated people to look at him, perhaps he would not like to see Dickon.
"Why does it make you angry when you are looked at?" she inquired one day.