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|The Secret Garden||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
THE STRANGEST HOUSE ANY ONE EVER LIVED IN
|Page 5 of 6||
This comes hoping to find you well as it leaves me at present. Miss Mary has plenty of money and will you go to Thwaite and buy her some flower seeds and a set of garden tools to make a flower-bed. Pick the prettiest ones and easy to grow because she has never done it before and lived in India which is different. Give my love to mother and every one of you. Miss Mary is going to tell me a lot more so that on my next day out you can hear about elephants and camels and gentlemen going hunting lions and tigers.
"Your loving sister, Martha Phoebe Sowerby."
"We'll put the money in th' envelope an' I'll get th' butcher boy to take it in his cart. He's a great friend o' Dickon's," said Martha.
"How shall I get the things when Dickon buys them?"
"He'll bring 'em to you himself. He'll like to walk over this way."
"Oh!" exclaimed Mary, "then I shall see him! I never thought I should see Dickon."
"Does tha' want to see him?" asked Martha suddenly, for Mary had looked so pleased.
"Yes, I do. I never saw a boy foxes and crows loved. I want to see him very much."
Martha gave a little start, as if she remembered something. "Now to think," she broke out, "to think o' me forgettin' that there; an' I thought I was goin' to tell you first thing this mornin'. I asked mother--and she said she'd ask Mrs. Medlock her own self."
"Do you mean--" Mary began.
"What I said Tuesday. Ask her if you might be driven over to our cottage some day and have a bit o' mother's hot oat cake, an' butter, an' a glass o' milk."
It seemed as if all the interesting things were happening in one day. To think of going over the moor in the daylight and when the sky was blue! To think of going into the cottage which held twelve children!
"Does she think Mrs. Medlock would let me go?" she asked, quite anxiously.
"Aye, she thinks she would. She knows what a tidy woman mother is and how clean she keeps the cottage."
"If I went I should see your mother as well as Dickon," said Mary, thinking it over and liking the idea very much. "She doesn't seem to be like the mothers in India."
Her work in the garden and the excitement of the afternoon ended by making her feel quiet and thoughtful. Martha stayed with her until tea-time, but they sat in comfortable quiet and talked very little. But just before Martha went downstairs for the tea-tray, Mary asked a question.
"Martha," she said, "has the scullery-maid had the toothache again today?"
Martha certainly started slightly.
"What makes thee ask that?" she said.
"Because when I waited so long for you to come back I opened the door and walked down the corridor to see if you were coming. And I heard that far-off crying again, just as we heard it the other night. There isn't a wind today, so you see it couldn't have been the wind."
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|The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
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