272 THE SECRET GARDEN
Dickon looked across the grass at the tree and Mary looked and there was a brief moment of stillness.
" Yes," answered Dickon, after it, and his low voice had a very gentle sound.
Mary gazed at the tree and thought.
" The branches are quite gray and there's not a single leaf anywhere," Colin went on. " It's quite dead, isn't it? "
" Aye," admitted Dickon. " But them roses as has climbed all over it will near hide every bit o' th' dead wood when they're full o' leaves an' flowers. It won't look dead then. It'll be th' prettiest of all."
Mary still gazed at the tree and thought.
" It looks as if a big branch had been broken off," said Colin. " I wonder how it was done."
" It's been done many a year," answered Dickon. " Eh! " with a sudden relieved start and laying his hand on Colin. " Look at that robin! There he is! He's been foragin' for his mate."
Colin was almost too late but he just caught sight of him, the flash of red-breasted bird with something in his beak. He darted through the greenness and into the close-grown corner and was out of sight. Colin leaned back on his cushion again, laughing a little.