" I AM COLIN " 169
on rings and when it ran back it uncovered a picture. It was the picture of a girl with a laughing face. She had bright hair tied up with a blue ribbon and her gay, lovely eyes were exactly like Colin's unhappy ones, agate gray and looking twice as big as they really were because of the black lashes all round them.
" She is my mother," said Colin complainingly. " I don't see why she died. Sometimes I hate her for doing it."
" How queer! " said Mary.
" If she had lived I believe I should not have been ill always," he grumbled. " I dare say I should have lived, too. And my father would not have hated to look at me. I dare say I should have had a strong back. Draw the curtain again."
Mary did as she was told and returned to her footstool.
" She is much prettier than you," she said, " but her eyes are just like yours — at least they are the same shape and color. Why is the curtain drawn over her? "
He moved uncomfortably.
" I made them do it," he said. " Sometimes I don't like to see her looking at me. She smiles too much when I am ill and miserable. Besides, she is mine and I don't want every one to see her."