IN THE GARDEN 371
" Who — What ? Who! " he stammered.
This was not what Colin had expected — this was not what he had planned. He had never thought of such a meeting. And yet to come dashing out — winning a race — perhaps it was even better. He drew himself up to his very tallest. Mary, who had been running with him and had dashed through the door too, believed that he managed to make himself look taller than he had ever looked before — inches taller.
" Father," he said, " I'm Colin. You can't believe it. I scarcely can myself. I'm Colin."
Like Mrs. Medlock, he did not understand what his father meant when he said hurriedly:
"In the garden! In the garden!"
" Yes," hurried on Colin. " It was the garden that did it — and Mary and Dickon and the creatures — and the Magic. No one knows. We kept it to tell you when you came. I'm well, I can beat Mary in a race. I'm going to be an athlete."
He said it all so like a healthy boy — his face flushed, his words tumbling over each other in his eagerness — that Mr. Craven's soul shook with unbelieving joy.
Colin put out his hand and laid it on his father's arm.
"Aren't you glad, Father?" he ended.