The Secret Garden, complete online version

First edition illustrated Children's Book By Frances Hodgson Burnett

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The skipping-rope was a wonderful thing. She counted and skipped, and skipped and counted, until her cheeks were quite red, and she was more interested than she had ever been since she was born. The sun was shining and a little wind was blowing — not a rough wind, but one which came in delightful little gusts and brought a fresh scent of newly turned earth with it. She skipped round the fountain garden, and up one walk and down another. She skipped at last into the kitchen-gar­den and saw Ben Weatherstaff digging and talking to his robin, which was hopping about him. She skipped down the walk toward him and he lifted his head and looked at her with a curious expres­sion. She had wondered if he would notice her. She really wanted him to see her skip.
"Well!" he exclaimed. "Upon my word! P'raps tha' art a young 'un, after all, an' p'raps tha's got child's blood in thy veins instead of sour buttermilk. Tha's skipped red into thy cheeks as sure as my name's Ben Weatherstaff. I wouldn't have believed tha' could do it."
" I never skipped before," Mary said. " I'm just beginning. I can only go up to twenty."
" Tha' keep on," said Ben. " Tha' shapes well enough at it for a young 'un that's lived with heathen. Just see how he's watchin' thee," jerk­ing his head toward the robin. " He followed