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
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.