THE MISSEL THRUSH 137
about makin' homes for themselves, or buildin' nests an' singin' an' whistlin', does there?"
Mary, kneeling by him holding the seeds, looked at him and stopped frowning.
" Dickon," she said. " You are as nice as Martha said you were. I like you, and you make the fifth person. I never thought I should like five people."
Dickon sat up on his heels as Martha did when she was polishing the grate. He did look funny and delightful, Mary thought, with his round blue eyes and red cheeks and happy looking turned-up nose.
" Only five folk as tha' likes ? " he said. " Who is th' other four? "
" Your mother and Martha," Mary checked them off on her fingers, " and the robin and Ben Weatherstaff."
Dickon laughed so that he was obliged to stifle the sound by putting his arm over his mouth.
" I know tha' thinks I'm a queer lad," he said, " but I think tha' art th' queerest little lass I ever saw."
Then Mary did a strange thing. She leaned forward and asked him a question she had never dreamed of asking any one before. And she tried to ask it in Yorkshire because that was his Ian-