One day Mary saw a boy sitting under a tree. He seemed about twelve
years old. He played on a pipe. Two rabbits and a squirrel were near him.
They seemed to listen to the tune he played.
The boy got up carefully because he didn't want to frighten the animals.
He had blue eyes and a round, pink face. 'I'm Dickson,' he said to Mary. 'I've
brought the garden tools and some flower seeds.'
Dickson had a kind and gentle smile and Mary felt that she knew him quite
well. She felt that if the wild animals could trust him, then she could trust
'Do you know about the secret garden?' asked Mary.
'I've heard about it,' Dickson answered. 'But I don't know where it is.'
'Come with me,' Mary said.
Mary was careful that no one saw them, and then she took Dickson
through the door in the wall. Dickson was very surprised. 'This is a strange,
pretty place,' he said. 'It's like being in a dream.'
Dickson looked around at all the plants and trees which Mary thought
were dead. 'All of these will grow,' he said. 'There'll be flowers and roses
everywhere in a few weeks.'
Dickson and Mary worked together to clear away the weeds and dead
wood. Mary felt that she had never known anyone like Dickson. She tried to
speak in a warm, friendly voice, like Dickson's and Martha's.
'Do you like me?' she asked.
'Yes, I do,' he laughed. 'The robin likes you, too.'
That evening, after dinner, Mrs Medlock took Mary to see Mr Craven.
'He's going abroad tomorrow, and he wants to see you first,' she said.
Mary felt a little afraid. She felt sure that she would not like Mr Craven
and that he would not like her. But she found that Mr Craven wasn't really
frightening, and that his back wasn't really crooked. His face was
handsome, but he looked sad and worried. He asked Mary if there was
anything that she would like. Mary asked for a piece of garden in which to
grow her own flowers.
'Of course,' said her uncle. 'You may take any bit that is not used.' Mary
was delighted. Now she could have the secret garden for herself!
That same night, Mary was awakened by the wind roaring around the
house. She couldn't sleep, and as she lay in bed, she heard the crying noise
'That's not the wind,' she thought. 'I'm going to find out where that noise
is coming from.'
Mary took a candle to light her way along the dark corridors.
Suddenly, she noticed a light from under one of the doors. The crying
sound came from behind the door, and Mary knew that it was a child. She
gently opened the door, and saw that a young boy lay on the bed, crying.
When the boy saw Mary, he stopped crying at once. 'Are you a ghost?' he
asked. He looked very frightened.
'No, I'm Mary Lennox,' she answered. 'Who are you?'