288 THE SECRET GARDEN
shall come here every day," announced Colin. "But it is to be a secret. My orders are that no one is to know that we come here. Dickon and my cousin have worked and made it come alive. I shall send for you sometimes to help —• but you must come when no one can see you."
Ben Weatherstaff's face twisted itself in a dry old smile.
" I've come here before when no one saw me," he said.
"What!" exclaimed Colin. "When?"
" Th' last time I was here," rubbing his chin and looking round, " was about two year' ago."
"But no one has been in it for ten years!" cried Colin. "There wa's no door!"
" I'm no one," said old Ben dryly. " An' I didn't come through th' door. I come over th' wall. Th' rheumatics held me back th' last two year'."
" Tha' come an' did a bit o' prunin'! " cried Dickon. " I couldn't make out how it had been done."
" She was so fond of it — she was! " said Ben Weatherstaff slowly. " An' she was such a pretty young thing. She says to me once, ' Ben,' says she laughin', ' if ever I'm ill or if I go away you must take care of my roses.' When she did go away th' orders was no one was ever to come nigh.