168 THE SECRET GARDEN
the many birds which might have built their nests there because it was so safe. And then she told him about the robin and Ben Weatherstaff, and there was so much to tell about the robin and it was so easy and safe to talk about it that she ceased to feel afraid. The robin pleased him so much that he smiled until he looked almost beautiful, and at first Mary had thought that he was even plainer than herself, with his big eyes and heavy locks of hair.
" I did not know birds could be like that," he said. " But if you stay in a room you never see things. What a lot of things you know. I feel as if you had been inside that garden."
She did not know what to say, so she did not say anything. He evidently did not expect an answer and the next moment he gave her a surprise.
" I am going to let you look at something," he said. " Do you see that rose-colored silk curtain hanging on the wall over the mantel-piece? "
Mary had not noticed it before, but she looked up and saw it. It was a curtain of soft silk hanging over what seemed to be some picture.
" Yes," she answered.
" There is a cord hanging from it," said Colin. " Go and pull it."
Mary got up, much mystified, and found the cord. When she pulled it the silk curtain ran back