5o THE SECRET GARDEN
" Where did the rest of the brood fly to? " she asked.
" There's no knowin'. The old ones turn 'em out o' their nest an' make 'em fly an' they're scattered before you know it. This one was a knowin' one an' he knew he was lonely."
Mistress Mary went a step nearer to the robin and looked at him very hard. " I'm lonely," she said.
She had not known before that this was one of the things which made her feel sour and cross. She seemed to find it out when the robin looked at her and she looked at the robin.
The old gardener pushed his cap back on his bald head and stared at her a minute.
"Art tha' th' little wench from India?" he asked.
" Then no wonder tha'rt lonely. Tha'lt be lonelier before tha's done," he said.
He began to dig again, driving his spade deep into the rich black garden soil while the robin hopped about very busily employed.
" What is your name? " Mary inquired. He stood up to answer her. " Ben Weatherstaff," he answered, and then he added with a surly chuckle, "I'm lonely mysel'