326 THE SECRET GARDEN
thing," he said. "That will not do. You will lose all you have gained — and you have gained amazingly. You ate so well a short time ago."
" I told you it was an unnatural appetite," answered Colin.
Mary was sitting on her stool nearby and she suddenly made a very queer sound which she tried so violently to repress that she ended by almost choking.
" What is the matter? " said Dr. Craven, turning to look at her.
Mary became quite severe in her manner.
" It was something between a sneeze and a cough," she replied with reproachful dignity, " and it got into my throat."
" But " she said afterward to Colin, " I couldn't stop myself. It just burst out because all at once I couldn't help remembering that last big potato you ate and the way your mouth stretched when you bit through that thick lovely crust with jam and clotted cream on it."
" Is there any way in which those children can get food secretly? " Dr. Craven inquired of Mrs. Medlock.
' There's no way unless they dig it out of the earth or pick it off the trees," Mrs. Medlock answered. " They stay out in the grounds all day and see no one but each other. And if they want