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|The Secret Garden||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
THE NEST OF THE MISSEL THRUSH
|Page 4 of 5||
"Are there any flowers that look like bells?" she inquired.
"Lilies o' th' valley does," he answered, digging away with the trowel, "an' there's Canterbury bells, an' campanulas."
"Let's plant some," said Mary. "There's lilies o' th, valley here already; I saw 'em. They'll have growed too close an' we'll have to separate 'em, but there's plenty. Th' other ones takes two years to bloom from seed, but I can bring you some bits o' plants from our cottage garden. Why does tha' want 'em?"
Then Mary told him about Basil and his brothers and sisters in India and of how she had hated them and of their calling her "Mistress Mary Quite Contrary."
"They used to dance round and sing at me. They sang--
`Mistress Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And marigolds all in a row.'
I just remembered it and it made me wonder if there were really flowers like silver bells."
She frowned a little and gave her trowel a rather spiteful dig into the earth.
"I wasn't as contrary as they were."
But Dickon laughed.
"Eh!" he said, and as he crumbled the rich black soil she saw he was sniffing up the scent of it. "There doesn't seem to be no need for no one to be contrary when there's flowers an' such like, an' such lots o' friendly wild things runnin' about makin' homes for themselves, or buildin' nests an' singin' an' whistlin', does there?"
Mary, kneeling by him holding the seeds, looked at him and stopped frowning.
"Dickon," she said, "you are as nice as Martha said you were. I like you, and you make the fifth person. I never thought I should like five people."
Dickon sat up on his heels as Martha did when she was polishing the grate. He did look funny and delightful, Mary thought, with his round blue eyes and red cheeks and happy looking turned-up nose.
"Only five folk as tha' likes?" he said. "Who is th' other four?"
"Your mother and Martha," Mary checked them off on her fingers, "and the robin and Ben Weatherstaff."
Dickon laughed so that he was obliged to stifle the sound by putting his arm over his mouth.
"I know tha' thinks I'm a queer lad," he said, "but I think tha' art th' queerest little lass I ever saw."
Then Mary did a strange thing. She leaned forward and asked him a question she had never dreamed of asking any one before. And she tried to ask it in Yorkshire because that was his lan- guage, and in India a native was always pleased if you knew his speech.
"Does tha' like me?" she said.
"Eh!" he answered heartily, "that I does. I likes thee wonderful, an' so does th' robin, I do believe!"
"That's two, then," said Mary. "That's two for me."
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|The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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