i66 THE SECRET GARDEN
together and shut it behind us, and no one knew any one was inside and we called it our garden and pretended that — that we were missel thrushes and it was our nest, and if we played there almost every day and dug and planted seeds and made it all come alive —"
" Is it dead? " he interrupted her.
" It soon will be if no one cares for it," she went on. " The bulbs will live but the roses —"
He stopped her again as excited as she was herself.
" What are bulbs? " he put in quickly.
" They are daffodils and lilies and snowdrops. They are working in the earth now — pushing up pale green points because the spring is coming."
" Is the spring coming? " he said. " What is it like? You don't see it in rooms if you are ill."
" It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth," said Mary. " If the garden was a secret and we could get into it we could watch the things grow bigger every day, and see how many roses are alive. Don't you see? Oh, don't you see how much nicer it would be if it was a secret? "
He dropped back on his pillow and lay there with an odd expression on his face.
" I never had a secret," he said, " except that