THE STRANGE HOUSE
bands playing, and my Ayah told me stones. There is no one to talk to here except you and Ben Weatherstaff. And you have to do your work and Ben Weatherstaff won't speak to me often. I thought if I had a little spade I could dig somewhere as he does, and I might make a little garden if he would give me some seeds."
Martha's face quite lighted up.
" There now! " she exclaimed, " if that wasn't one of th' things mother said. She says, ' There's such a lot o' room in that big place, why don't they give her a bit for herself, even if she doesn't plant nothin' but parsley an' radishes? She'd dig an' rake away an' be right down happy over it.' Them was the very words she said."
"Were they?" said Mary. "How many things she knows, doesn't she? "
"Eh!" said Martha. "It's like she says: * A woman as brings up twelve children learns something besides her ABC. Children's as good as 'rithmetic to set you findin' out things.' '
" How much would a spade cost — a little one? " Mary asked.
" Well," was Martha's reflective answer, " at Thwaite village there's a shop or so an' I saw little garden sets with a spade an' a rake an' a fork all tied together for two shillings. An' they was stout enough to work with, too."
" I've got more than that in my purse," said