n8 THE SECRET GARDEN
" Look along th' twigs an' branches an' if tha' sees a bit of a brown lump swelling here an' there, watch it after th' warm rain an' see what happens." He stopped suddenly and looked curiously at her eager face. " .Why does tha' care so much about roses an' such, all of a sudden?" he demanded.
Mistress Mary felt her face grow red. She was almost afraid to answer.
"I —r I want to play that — that I have a garden of my own," she stammered. "I — there is nothing for me to do. I have nothing — and no one."
" Well," said Ben Weatherstaff slowly, as he watched her, " that's true. Tha' hasn't."
He said it in such an odd way that Mary wondered if he was actually a little sorry for her. She had never felt sorry for herself; she had only felt tired and cross, because she disliked people and things so much. But now the world seemed to be changing and getting nicer. If no one found out about the secret garden, she should enjoy herself always.
She stayed with him for ten or fifteen minutes longer and asked him as many questions as she dared. He answered every one of them in his queer grunting way and he did not seem really cross and did not pick up his spade and leave her.