THE SECRET IS TOLD


After the rain, Mary awoke early one morning to find the sun streaming through the blinds. When she ran down to the Secret Garden, she found that Dickon was already there.
'I couldn't stay in bed on a morning like this,' he cried. 'Look at th' garden!' The rain and the warmth had made all the new shoots push up through the earth. There were clumps of orange and purple crocuses. Mary was breathless with happiness.

The robin was building a nest. 'We mustn't watch too close,' warned Dickon. 'He's too busy now for visitin' an' gossipin'.'
A whole week had passed since Mary had last seen Dickon. She told him about finding Colin.
'If we could get him out here,' said Dickon, 'he'd forget about lumps growing on his back. We'd be just two lads and a little lass lookin' on at th' springtime. It'd do him more good than doctor's stuff.'
When Mary went in at the end of the day, Martha told her that Colin was angry because she had not been to see him.

'I won't let that boy come if you stay with him instead of me!' Colin raged when Mary went to see him. 'You're selfish for not coming!'
'What are you?' snapped Mary. 'You're the most selfish person I know!'
'Well, I'm going to die!' wailed Colin.
'I don't believe it,' said Mary sourly. 'You only want people to be sorry for you. But they're not! You're too nasty!' She marched to the door and called back, 'I was going to tell you about Dickon and his fox and crow, but I shan't now.' And she shut the door firmly behind her.

Later, as she thought of Colin's lonely day, her anger faded and she felt sorry for him. 'If he wants to see me tomorrow,' she thought, 'I'll go and sit with him.'
In the night, Mary was awakened by noises in the corridor, and she could hear sobbing and screaming. 'It's Colin having a tantrum,' she thought. She covered her ears, but she couldn't shut out the dreadful sounds.
She jumped out of bed and stamped her foot angrily. 'Somebody must stop him,' she cried. 'He deserves a beating for being so selfish! He's upsetting everyone in the house!' She ran into Colin's room and shouted, 'Stop! I hate you! You'll scream yourself to death in a minute, and I wish you would!'

Colin looked dreadful. His face was swollen and he was gasping and choking, but Mary was too angry to care. 'If you scream again, I shall scream louder!' she stormed.
'I can't stop,' sobbed Colin. 'I've felt a lump coming on my back!'
Turn over and let me look,' Mary ordered. She looked carefully at the poor, thin back. There's not a lump as big as a pin,' she announced. 'Don't you ever talk about it again!'
Colin's sobbing slowly died, and Mary sat by his bed quietly comforting him until he fell asleep.
In the morning Mary found Dickon in the garden with his squirrels, and she told him of Colin's sobbing in the night.
'Eh! We mun get him out here, poor lad,' said Dickon.
'Aye, that we mun,' said Mary, using the same Yorkshire words.
Dickon laughed. Tha mun talk a bit o' Yorkshire to Colin,' he said. 'It'll make him laugh, and Mother says laughing's good for ill folk.'

When Mary went to see Colin, she told him about Dickon and his squirrels, Nut and Shell. They laughed and talked for a long time. Then Colin said, 'I'm sorry that I said I'd send Dickon away. I didn't mean it. He sounds like a wonderful boy.'
'I'm glad you said that,' said Mary, 'because he's coming to see you, and he's bringing his animals.'

Colin cheered up. He looked so happy that Mary suddenly decided to take a chance.
That's not all,' she said. There's something better. I've found the door to the garden!'
Colin was overjoyed. Then shall we go in and find out what's inside?' he asked.
Mary paused - and then boldly told the truth. 'I've already been in it. That's why I could tell you so much about it. I didn't dare tell you my secret until I was sure I could trust you.'


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