A YOUNG RAJAH 183
"How do you know?" said Mary unsympa-thetically. She didn't like the way he had of talking about dying. She did not feel very sympathetic. She felt rather as if he almost boasted about it.
u Oh, I've heard it ever since I remember," he answered crossly. " They are always whispering about it and thinking I don't notice. They wish I would, too."
Mistress Mary felt quite contrary. She pinched her lips together.
" If they wished I would," she said, " I wouldn't. Who wishes you would? "
"The servants — and of course Dr. Craven because he would get Misselthwaite and be rich instead of poor. He daren't say so, but he always looks cheerful when I am worse. When I had typhoid fever his face got quite fat. I think my father wishes it, too."
" I don't believe he does," said Mary quite obstinately.
That made Colin turn and look at her again.
" Don't you? " he said.
And then he lay back on his cushion and was still, as if he were thinking. And there was quite a long silence. Perhaps they were both of them thinking strange things children do not usually think of.