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|The Secret Garden||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
A YOUNG RAJAH
|Page 1 of 7||
The moor was hidden in mist when the morning came, and the rain had not stopped pouring down. There could be no going out of doors. Martha was so busy that Mary had no opportunity of talking to her, but in the afternoon she asked her to come and sit with her in the nursery. She came bringing the stocking she was always knitting when she was doing nothing else.
"What's the matter with thee?" she asked as soon as they sat down. "Tha' looks as if tha'd somethin' to say."
"I have. I have found out what the crying was," said Mary.
Martha let her knitting drop on her knee and gazed at her with startled eyes.
"Tha' hasn't!" she exclaimed. "Never!"
"I heard it in the night," Mary went on. "And I got up and went to see where it came from. It was Colin. I found him."
Martha's face became red with fright.
"Eh! Miss Mary!" she said half crying. "Tha' shouldn't have done it--tha' shouldn't! Tha'll get me in trouble. I never told thee nothin' about him--but tha'll get me in trouble. I shall lose my place and what'll mother do!"
"You won't lose your place," said Mary. "He was glad I came. We talked and talked and he said he was glad I came."
"Was he?" cried Martha. "Art tha' sure? Tha' doesn't know what he's like when anything vexes him. He's a big lad to cry like a baby, but when he's in a passion he'll fair scream just to frighten us. He knows us daren't call our souls our own."
"He wasn't vexed," said Mary. "I asked him if I should go away and he made me stay. He asked me questions and I sat on a big footstool and talked to him about India and about the robin and gardens. He wouldn't let me go. He let me see his mother's picture. Before I left him I sang him to sleep."
Martha fairly gasped with amazement.
"I can scarcely believe thee!" she protested. "It's as if tha'd walked straight into a lion's den. If he'd been like he is most times he'd have throwed himself into one of his tantrums and roused th' house. He won't let strangers look at him."
"He let me look at him. I looked at him all the time and he looked at me. We stared!" said Mary.
"I don't know what to do!" cried agitated Martha. "If Mrs. Medlock finds out, she'll think I broke orders and told thee and I shall be packed back to mother."
"He is not going to tell Mrs. Medlock anything about it yet. It's to be a sort of secret just at first," said Mary firmly. "And he says everybody is obliged to do as he pleases."
"Aye, that's true enough--th' bad lad!" sighed Martha, wiping her forehead with her apron.
"He says Mrs. Medlock must. And he wants me to come and talk to him every day. And you are to tell me when he wants me."
"Me!" said Martha; "I shall lose my place--I shall for sure!"
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|The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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