294 THE SECRET GARDEN
thinking the thing out quite without prejudice. " Nobody ever dared to do anything you didn't like — because you were going to die and things like that. You were such a poor thing."
" But," announced Colin stubbornly, " I am not going to be a poor thing. I won't let people think I'm one. I stood on my feet this afternoon."
" It is always having your own way that has made you so queer," Mary went on, thinking aloud.
Colin turned his head, frowning.
"Am I queer?" he demanded.
" Yes," answered Mary, " very. But you needn't be cross," she added impartially, " because so am I queer — and so is Ben Weatherstaff. But I am not as queer as I was before I began to like people and before I found the garden."
" I don't want to be queer," said Colin. " I am not going to be," and he frowned again with determination.
He was a very proud boy. He lay thinking for a while and then Mary saw his beautiful smile begin and gradually change his whole face.
" I shall stop being queer," he said, "if I go every day to the garden. There is Magic in there •—good Magic, you know, Mary. I am sure there is."