WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN 291
had begun to be excited, too. He knelt down by the hole and broke the pot from the mould.
" Here, lad," he said, handing the plant to Colin. " Set it in the earth thysel' same as th' king does when he goes to a new place."
The thin white hands shook a little and Colin's flush grew deeper as he set the rose in the mould and held it while old Ben made firm the earth. It was filled in and pressed down and made steady. Mary was leaning forward on her hands and knees. Soot had flown down and marched forward to see what was being done. Nut and Shell chattered about it from a cherry-tree.
" It's planted! " said Colin at last. " And the sun is only slipping over the edge. Help me up, Dickon. I want to be standing when it goes. That's part of the Magic."
And Dickon helped him, and the Magic — or whatever it was — so gave him strength that when the sun did slip over the edge and end the strange lovely afternoon for them there he actually stood on his two feet — laughing.