15o THE SECRET GARDEN
" now I have seen the child I understand what Mrs. Sowerby meant. She must be less delicate before she begins lessons. Give her simple, healthy food. Let her run wild in the garden. Don't look after her too much. She needs liberty and fresh air and romping about. Mrs. Sowerby is to come and see her now and then and she may sometimes go to the cottage."
Mrs. Medlock looked pleased. She was relieved to hear that she need not " look after " Mary too much. She had felt her a tiresome charge and had indeed seen as little of her as she dared. In addition to this she was fond of Martha's mother.
" Thank you, sir," she said. " Susan Sowerby and me went to school together and she's as sensible and good-hearted a woman as you'd find in a day's walk. I never had any children myself and she's had twelve, and there never was healthier or better ones. Miss Mary can get no harm from them. I'd always take Susan Sowerby's advice about children myself. She's what you might call healthy-minded — if you understand me."
" I understand," Mr. Craven answered. ' Take Miss Mary away now and send Pitcher to me."
When Mrs. Medlock left her at the end of her own corridor Mary flew back to her room. She