Read Books Online, for Free
|The Secret Garden||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
THE NEST OF THE MISSEL THRUSH
|Page 1 of 5||
For two or three minutes he stood looking round him, while Mary watched him, and then he began to walk about softly, even more lightly than Mary had walked the first time she had found herself inside the four walls. His eyes seemed to be taking in everything--the gray trees with the gray creepers climbing over them and hanging from their branches, the tangle on the walls and among the grass, the evergreen alcoves with the stone seats and tall flower urns standing in them.
"I never thought I'd see this place," he said at last, in a whisper.
"Did you know about it?" asked Mary.
She had spoken aloud and he made a sign to her.
"We must talk low," he said, "or some one'll hear us an' wonder what's to do in here."
"Oh! I forgot!" said Mary, feeling frightened and putting her hand quickly against her mouth. "Did you know about the garden?" she asked again when she had recovered herself. Dickon nodded.
"Martha told me there was one as no one ever went inside," he answered. "Us used to wonder what it was like."
He stopped and looked round at the lovely gray tangle about him, and his round eyes looked queerly happy.
"Eh! the nests as'll be here come springtime," he said. "It'd be th' safest nestin' place in England. No one never comin' near an' tangles o' trees an' roses to build in. I wonder all th' birds on th' moor don't build here."
Mistress Mary put her hand on his arm again without knowing it.
"Will there be roses?" she whispered. "Can you tell? I thought perhaps they were all dead."
"Eh! No! Not them--not all of 'em!" he answered. "Look here!"
He stepped over to the nearest tree--an old, old one with gray lichen all over its bark, but upholding a curtain of tangled sprays and branches. He took a thick knife out of his Pocket and opened one of its blades.
"There's lots o' dead wood as ought to be cut out," he said. "An' there's a lot o' old wood, but it made some new last year. This here's a new bit," and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray. Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.
"That one?" she said. "Is that one quite alive quite?"
Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.
"It's as wick as you or me," he said; and Mary remembered that Martha had told her that "wick" meant "alive" or "lively."
"I'm glad it's wick!" she cried out in her whisper. "I want them all to be wick. Let us go round the garden and count how many wick ones there are."
She quite panted with eagerness, and Dickon was as eager as she was. They went from tree to tree and from bush to bush. Dickon carried his knife in his hand and showed her things which she thought wonderful.
"They've run wild," he said, "but th' strongest ones has fair thrived on it. The delicatest ones has died out, but th' others has growed an' growed, an' spread an' spread, till they's a wonder. See here!" and he pulled down a thick gray, dry-looking branch. "A body might think this was dead wood, but I don't believe it is--down to th' root. I'll cut it low down an' see."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004