IN THE GARDEN 359
not know that it could be kept. By the next night he had opened the doors wide to his dark thoughts and they had come trooping and rushing back. He left the valley and went on his wandering way again. But, strange as it seemed to him, there were minutes sometimes half-hours when, without his knowing why, the black burden seemed to lift itself again and he knew he was a living man and not a dead one. Slowly slowly for no reason that he knew of he was " coming alive " with the garden.
As the golden summer changed into the deeper golden autumn he went to the Lake of Como. There he found the loveliness of a dream. He spent his days upon the crystal blueness of the lake or he walked back into the soft thick verdure of the hills and tramped until he was tired so that he might sleep. But by this time he had begun to sleep better, he knew, and his dreams had ceased to be a terror to him.
" Perhaps," he thought, " my body is growing stronger."
It was growing stronger but because of the rare peaceful hours when his thoughts were changed his soul was slowly growing stronger, too. He began to think of Misselthwaite and wonder if he should not go home. Now and then he wondered vaguely about his boy and asked