A BIT OF EARTH 151
found Martha waiting there. Martha had, in fact, hurried back after she had removed the dinner service.
" I can have my garden! " cried Mary. " I may have it where I like! I am not going to have a governess for a long time! Your mother is coming to see me and I may go to your cottage! He says a little girl like me could not do any harm and I may do what I like — anywhere ! "
"Eh!" said Martha delightedly, "that was nice of him wasn't it? "
" Martha," said Mary solemnly, " he is really a nice man, only his face is so miserable and his forehead is all drawn together."
She ran as quickly as she could to the garden. She had been away so much longer than she had thought she should and she knew Dickon would have to set out early on his five-mile walk. When she slipped through the door under the ivy, she saw he was not working where she had left him. The gardening tools were laid together under a tree. She ran to them, looking all round the place, but there was no Dickon to be seen. He had gone away and the secret garden was empty — except for the robin who had just flown across the wall and sat on a standard rose-bush watching her.