34 THE SECRET GARDEN
nurses an' bein' washed an' dressed an' took out to walk as if they was puppies! "
" It is different in India, said Mistress Mary disdainfully. She could scarcely stand this.
But Martha was not at all crushed.
"Eh! I can see it's different," she answered almost sympathetically. " I dare say it's because there's such a lot o' blacks there instead o' respectable white people. When I heard you was comin' from India I thought you was a black too."
Mary sat up in bed furious.
" What! " she said. " What! You thought I was a native. You — you daughter of a pig! "
Martha stared and looked hot.
"Who are you callin' names?" she said. " You needn't be so vexed. That's not th' way for a young lady to talk. I've nothin' against th' blacks. When you read about 'em in tracts they're always very religious. You always read as a black's a man an' a brother. I've never seen a black an' I was fair pleased to think I was goin' to see one close. When I come in to light your fire this mornin' I crep' up to your bed an' pulled th' cover back careful to look at you. An' there you was," disappointedly, " no more black than me — for all you're so yeller."
Mary did not even try to control her rage and humiliation.