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|The Secret Garden||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
"MIGHT I HAVE A BIT OF EARTH"
|Page 1 of 5||
Mary ran so fast that she was rather out of breath when she reached her room. Her hair was ruffled on her forehead and her cheeks were bright pink. Her dinner was waiting on the table, and Martha was waiting near it.
"Tha's a bit late," she said. "Where has tha' been?"
"I've seen Dickon!" said Mary. "I've seen Dickon!"
"I knew he'd come," said Martha exultantly. "How does tha' like him?"
"I think--I think he's beautiful!" said Mary in a determined voice.
Martha looked rather taken aback but she looked pleased, too.
"Well," she said, "he's th' best lad as ever was born, but us never thought he was handsome. His nose turns up too much."
"I like it to turn up," said Mary.
"An' his eyes is so round," said Martha, a trifle doubtful. "Though they're a nice color." "I like them round," said Mary. "And they are exactly the color of the sky over the moor."
Martha beamed with satisfaction.
"Mother says he made 'em that color with always lookin' up at th' birds an' th' clouds. But he has got a big mouth, hasn't he, now?"
"I love his big mouth," said Mary obstinately. "I wish mine were just like it."
Martha chuckled delightedly.
"It'd look rare an' funny in thy bit of a face," she said. "But I knowed it would be that way when tha' saw him. How did tha' like th' seeds an' th' garden tools?"
"How did you know he brought them?" asked Mary.
"Eh! I never thought of him not bringin' 'em. He'd be sure to bring 'em if they was in Yorkshire. He's such a trusty lad."
Mary was afraid that she might begin to ask difficult questions, but she did not. She was very much interested in the seeds and gardening tools, and there was only one moment when Mary was frightened. This was when she began to ask where the flowers were to be planted.
"Who did tha' ask about it?" she inquired.
"I haven't asked anybody yet," said Mary, hesitating. "Well, I wouldn't ask th' head gardener. He's too grand, Mr. Roach is."
"I've never seen him," said Mary. "I've only seen undergardeners and Ben Weatherstaff."
"If I was you, I'd ask Ben Weatherstaff," advised Martha. "He's not half as bad as he looks, for all he's so crabbed. Mr. Craven lets him do what he likes because he was here when Mrs. Craven was alive, an' he used to make her laugh. She liked him. Perhaps he'd find you a corner somewhere out o' the way."
"If it was out of the way and no one wanted it, no one could mind my having it, could they?" Mary said anxiously.
"There wouldn't be no reason," answered Martha. "You wouldn't do no harm."
Mary ate her dinner as quickly as she could and when she rose from the table she was going to run to her room to put on her hat again, but Martha stopped her.
"I've got somethin' to tell you," she said. "I thought I'd let you eat your dinner first. Mr. Craven came back this mornin' and I think he wants to see you."
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|The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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