The Secret Garden HTML version

A Tantrum
She had got up very early in the morning and had worked hard in the garden and she was
tired and sleepy, so as soon as Martha had brought her supper and she had eaten it, she
was glad to go to bed. As she laid her head on the pillow she murmured to herself:
"I'll go out before breakfast and work with Dickon and then afterward--I believe--I'll go
to see him."
She thought it was the middle of the night when she was awakened by such dreadful
sounds that she jumped out of bed in an instant. What was it--what was it? The next
minute she felt quite sure she knew. Doors were opened and shut and there were hurrying
feet in the corridors and some one was crying and screaming at the same time, screaming
and crying in a horrible way.
"It's Colin," she said. "He's having one of those tantrums the nurse called hysterics. How
awful it sounds."
As she listened to the sobbing screams she did not wonder that people were so frightened
that they gave him his own way in everything rather than hear them. She put her hands
over her ears and felt sick and shivering.
"I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do," she kept saying. "I can't bear it."
Once she wondered if he would stop if she dared go to him and then she remembered
how he had driven her out of the room and thought that perhaps the sight of her might
make him worse. Even when she pressed her hands more tightly over her ears she could
not keep the awful sounds out. She hated them so and was so terrified by them that
suddenly they began to make her angry and she felt as if she should like to fly into a
tantrum herself and frighten him as he was frightening her. She was not used to any one's
tempers but her own. She took her hands from her ears and sprang up and stamped her
"He ought to be stopped! Somebody ought to make him stop! Somebody ought to beat
him!" she cried out.
Just then she heard feet almost running down the corridor and her door opened and the
nurse came in. She was not laughing now by any means. She even looked rather pale.
"He's worked himself into hysterics," she said in a great hurry. "He'll do himself harm.
No one can do anything with him. You come and try, like a good child. He likes you."
"He turned me out of the room this morning," said Mary, stamping her foot with
The stamp rather pleased the nurse. The truth was that she had been afraid she might find
Mary crying and hiding her head under the bed-clothes.