282 THE SECRET GARDEN
" Look at me! " he flung up at Ben Weather-staff. "Just look at me — you! Just look at me!"
" He's as straight as I am I " cried Dickon. " He's as straight as any lad i' Yorkshire! "
What Ben Weatherstaff did Mary thought queer beyond measure. He choked and gulped and suddenly tears ran down his weather-wrinkled cheeks as he struck his old hands together.
"Eh!" he burst forth, " tti lies folk tells! Tha'rt as thin as a lath an' as white as a wraith, but there's not a knob on thee. Tha'lt make a mon yet. God bless thee!"
Dickon held Colin's arm strongly but the boy had not begun to falter. He stood straighter and straighter and looked Ben Weatherstaff in the face.
" I'm your master," he said, " when my father is away. And you are to obey me. This is my garden. Don't dare to sayj a word about it! You get down from that ladder and go out to the Long Walk and Miss Mary will meet you and bring you here. I want to talk to you. We did not want you, but now you will have to be in the secret. Be quick! "
Ben WeatherstafPs crabbed old face was still wet with that one queer rush of tears. It seemed as if he could not take his eyes from thin straight