RAINY DAYS


The next morning, Mary told Martha about the crying and how she had found Colin. Poor Martha was very upset. She thought she might lose her job for allowing Mary to find the young master of the house.
'You needn't worry,' Mary told her. 'Colin was pleased, and he wants to see me every day.'
Tha must have bewitched him!' Martha cried.
'What's the matter with him?' Mary asked.

Martha told her that since he was born, Colin had not been allowed to walk. His father thought his back was weak. A famous doctor had been to see him, and had said he would get strong if less fuss was made of him. But still he was spoiled and given his own way.
'Colin thinks he will die,' said Mary. 'Do you think so?'
'Mother says there's no reason for a child to live if he can't get out in the fresh air,' Martha replied.

'It's done me good to be outside,' said Mary. 'Do you think it would help Colin?'
'Eh! I don't know,' Martha said. 'He had a bad tantrum when he was taken into the garden. He got angry because he thought one of the gardeners was looking at him. He cried so much he was ill all night.'
'Well,' said Mary, 'if he ever gets angry with me, I shan't go to see him again.'
On her next visit to Colin, Mary told him about Dickon. 'He's not like anyone else,' she said. 'He can charm the animals on the moor. When he plays his pipe, they come to listen.'

The moor sounds a wonderful place,' said Colin, 'but I'll never see it. I'm going to die.'
'How do you know?' Mary asked, feeling a little cross. Colin talked about dying almost as though it pleased him.
'Everyone says I will,' Colin replied. 'I think my father will be glad when I'm not here.'
'I don't believe that,' said Mary. 'That famous doctor was right. They should make less fuss of you, and they should let you go out. If you could only see Dickon, you'd want to get well!' And she told him all about Dickon's family, who were so well and happy even though they were so poor.

It rained for a week, so Mary could not visit the garden. Instead, she spent her days with Colin. They read and talked and, for the first time, Colin started to laugh. He often spoke of the garden and what might be in it. Mary longed to share her secret with him, but felt that she could not yet trust him.


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