THE SECRET GARDEN ***
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[Illustration: "IT SEEMED SCARCELY BEARABLE TO LEAVE SUCH DELIGHTFULNESS"--_Page 231_]
THE SECRET GARDEN
BY FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT
"_The Shuttle_," "_The Making of a Marchioness_," "_The Methods of Lady Walderhurst_," "_That Lass o' Lowries_," "_Through One Administration_," "_Little Lord Fauntleroy_" "_A Lady of Quality_," etc.
NEW YORK FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY PUBLISHERS
_Copyright, 1911, by_ FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT
_Copyright, 1910, 1911, by_ THE PHILLIPS PUBLISHING CO.
_All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian._
CHAPTER PAGE I THERE IS NO ONE LEFT 1 II MISTRESS MARY QUITE CONTRARY 10 III ACROSS THE MOOR 23 IV MARTHA 30 V THE CRY IN THE CORRIDOR 55 VI "THERE WAS SOME ONE CRYING--THERE WAS!" 65 VII THE KEY OF THE GARDEN 75 VIII THE ROBIN WHO SHOWED THE WAY 85 IX THE STRANGEST HOUSE ANY ONE EVER LIVED IN 97 X DICKON 111 XI THE NEST OF THE MISSEL THRUSH 128 XII "MIGHT I HAVE A BIT OF EARTH?" 140 XIII "I AM COLIN" 153 XIV A YOUNG RAJAH 172 XV NEST BUILDING 189 XVI "I WON'T!" SAID MARY 207 XVII A TANTRUM 218 XVIII "THA' MUNNOT WASTE NO TIME" 229 XIX "IT HAS COME!" 239 XX "I SHALL LIVE FOREVER--AND EVER--AND EVER!" 255 XXI BEN WEATHERSTAFF 268 XXII WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN 284 XXIII MAGIC 292 XXIV "LET THEM LAUGH" 310 XXV THE CURTAIN 328 XXVI "IT'S MOTHER!" 339 XXVII IN THE GARDEN 353
THE SECRET GARDEN
THERE IS NO ONE LEFT
When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible. So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also. She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived. The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never have learned her letters at all.
One frightfully hot morning, when she was about nine years old, she awakened feeling very cross, and she became crosser still when she saw that the servant who stood by her bedside was not her Ayah.
"Why did you come?" she said to the strange woman. "I will not let you stay. Send my Ayah to me."
The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.
There was something mysterious in the air that morning. Nothing was done in its regular order and several of the native servants seemed missing, while those whom Mary saw slunk or hurried about with ashy and scared faces. But no one would tell her anything and her Ayah did not come. She was actually left alone as the morning went on, and at last she wandered out into the garden and began to play by herself under a tree near the veranda. She pretended that she was making a flower-bed, and she stuck big scarlet hibiscus blossoms into little heaps of earth, all the time growing more and more angry and muttering to herself the things she would say and the names she would call Saidie when she returned.