364 THE SECRET GARDEN
horribly unlike the happy eyes he had adored, he could not bear the sight of them and turned away pale as death. After that he scarcely ever saw him except when he was asleep, and all he knew of him was that he was a confirmed invalid, with a vicious, hysterical, half-insane temper. He could only be kept from furies dangerous to himself by being given his own way in every detail.
All this was not an uplifting thing to recall, but as the train whirled him through mountain passes and golden plains the man who was " coming alive " began to think in a new way and he thought long and steadily and deeply.
" Perhaps I have been all wrong for ten years," he said to himself. " Ten years is a long time. It may be too late to do anything — quite too late. What have I been thinking of! "
Of course this was the wrong Magic—to begin by saying " too late." Even Colin could have told him that. But he knew nothing of Magic — either black or white. This he had yet to learn. He wondered if Susan Sowerby had taken courage and written to him only because the motherly creature had realized that the boy was much worse — was fatally ill. If he had not been under the spell of the curious calmness which had taken possession of him he would have been more wretched than ever. But the calm had brought a sort of courage and hope with it. Instead of giving way