THE STRANGE HOUSE
when I tell her what th' skippin'-rope's done for thee."
In the course of her digging with her pointed stick Mistress Mary had found herself digging up a sort of white root rather like an onion. She had put it back in its place and patted the earth carefully down on it and just now she wondered if Martha could tell her what it was.
" Martha," she said, " what are those white roots that look like onions? "
" They're bulbs," answered Martha. " Lots o' spring flowers grow from 'em. Th' very little ones are snowdrops an' crocuses an' th' big ones are narcissusis an' jonquils an' daffydowndillys. Th' biggest of all is lilies an' purple flags. Eh! they are nice. Dickon's got a whole lot of 'em planted in our bit o' garden."
" Does Dickon know all about them? " asked Mary, a new idea taking possession of her.
" Our Dickon can make a flower grow out of a brick walk. Mother says he just whispers things out o' th' ground."
" Do bulbs live a long time? Would they live years and years if no one helped them? " inquired Mary anxiously.
" They're things as helps themselves," said Martha. " That's why poor folk can afford to have 'em. If you don't trouble 'em, most of 'em'll