80 THE SECRET GARDEN
" Springtime's comin'," he said. " Cannot tha' smell it?"
Mary sniffed and thought she could.
11 I smell something nice and fresh and damp," she said.
" That's th' good rich earth," he answered, digging away. " It's in a good humor makin' ready to grow things. It's glad when plantin' time comes. It's dull in th' winter when it's got nowt to do. In th' flower gardens out there things will be stirrin' down below in th' dark. Th' sun's warmin' 'em. You'll see bits o' green spikes stickin' out o' th' black earth after a bit."
"What will they be?" asked Mary.
" Crocuses an' snowdrops an' daffydowndillys. Has tha' never seen them? "
" No. Everything is hot, and wet, and green after the rains in India," said Mary. " And I think things grow up in a night."
" These won't grow up in a night," said Weath-erstaff. " Tha'll have to wait for 'em. They'll poke up a bit higher here, an' push out a spike more there, an' uncurl a leaf this day an' another that. You watch 'em."
" I am going to," answered Mary.
Very soon she heard the soft rustling flight of wings again and she knew at once that the robin had come again. He was very pert and lively,