THE SECRET GARDEN
and as she was a talkative woman she continued with more interest. This was one way of passing some of the time, at any rate.
" She was a sweet, pretty thing and he'd have walked the world over to get her a blade o' grass she wanted. Nobody.thought she'd marry him, but she did, and people said she married him for his money. But she didn't — she didn't," positively. "When she died — "
Mary gave a little involuntary jump.
" Oh! did she die! " she exclaimed, quite without meaning to. She had just remembered a French fairy story she had once read called " Ri-quet a la Houppe." It had been about a poor hunchback and a beautiful princess and it had made her suddenly sorry for Mr. Archibald Craven.
"Yes, she died," Mrs. Medlock answered. " And it made him queerer than ever. He cares about nobody. He won't see people. Most of the time he goes away, and when he is at Missel-thwaite he shuts himself up in the West Wing and won't let any one but Pitcher see him. Pitcher's an old fellow, but he took care of him when he was a child and he knows his ways."
It sounded like something in a book and it did not make Mary feel cheerful. A house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked — a house on the edge of a