"I AM COLIN" 159
over either. The servants are not allowed to speak about me. If I live I may be a hunchback, but I shan't live. My father hates to think I may be like him."
" Oh, what a queer house this is! " Mary said. " What a queer house! Everything is a kind of secret. Rooms are locked up and gardens are locked up — and you! Have you been locked up?"
" No. I stay in this room because I don't want to be moved out of it. It tires me too much."
" Does your father come and see you? " Mary ventured.
11 Sometimes. Generally when I am asleep. He doesn't want to see me."
"Why?" Mary could not help asking again.
A sort of angry shadow passed over the boy's face.
" My mother died when I was born and it makes him wretched to look at me. He thinks I don't know, but I've heard people talking. He almost hates me."
" He hates the garden, because she died," said Mary half speaking to herself.
" What garden? " the boy asked.
"Oh! just — just a garden she used to like," Mary stammered. " Have you been here always? "