Colin looked terrible. His face was swollen from crying, but Mary was
too angry to care. 'If you scream again, then I will scream louder,' she told
'I can't stop,' Colin sobbed. 'There's something wrong with my back. I
will have a crooked back, and then I will die!'
'Turn over and let me look at your back,' Mary said. She looked at the poor,
thin back for a long time. 'There's nothing wrong with it. Your back is as
straight as mine,' she told him.
Colin stopped crying, and Mary sat by his bed, talking to him quietly until
he fell asleep.
The next morning, Mary met Dickson in the garden, and she told him
about Colin crying in the night.
'We must get him out here, poor boy,' said Dickson kindly.
'Yes, we must,' said Mary, using the same, kind Yorkshire voice.
Dickson laughed. 'Talk in your Yorkshire voice to Colin,' he said. 'It'll
make him laugh, and Mother says laughing is good for people when they're
Mary went to see Colin later that day. She told him about Dickson and his
squirrels who were called Nut and Shell. Then Colin said, 'I'm sorry I said
that I would send Dickson away. He seems a wonderful boy.'
'I'm glad you said that,' said Mary, 'because he's coming to see you, and
he's bringing his animals.'
Colin suddenly looked cheerful. He looked so happy, that Mary thought
that she would tell him her great secret.
'That's not all,' she said. 'There's something even better. I've found the door
to the garden.'
Colin was very pleased. 'Then we can go in and find out what's inside,' he
Mary waited for a moment, and then she told him the truth.
'I've been inside. That's why I could tell you so much about it. I couldn't
tell you my secret until I was sure that I could trust you.'
At breakfast, Colin told his nurse, 'A boy and his animals are coming to
see me. Bring them straight up when they arrive.'
Soon afterwards, Mary heard a bleating. 'That's Dickson's lamb,' she said.
Dickson came in. He was smiling. He carried a lamb and his little fox
followed behind him. The squirrel sat on one shoulder and the crow on the
other. The other squirrel was in his pocket.
Colin stared in surprise. Dickson gave the lamb to Colin and handed him a
bottle to feed it. The little boy was busy and happy.
After a while, Colin cried, 'I must see it all. I must see the secret garden!'
'Yes, of course you must,' said Mary, 'And you must lose no time about it.'
They put Colin in his wheelchair, and Dickson pushed it along the garden
paths. Mary told Colin all about the places they passed on their way to the
door that led to the secret garden.
'Here's where I met Ben Weatherstaff,' she said, 'and this is where I saw
the robin.' Then she said quietly to him, 'This is the secret garden.'
Mary looked around to make sure that no one was watching, and then
Dickson pushed the chair quickly inside.
Colin looked at the trees and flowers. He listened to the sweet sound of the
birds singing, and he felt the warm sun on his face.
His pale skin started to become pink as he breathed in the good, fresh
air. Then he cried out, 'I will be well. I will live forever and ever!' That day,
the world changed for Colin. 'It's been a wonderful day,' said Dickson.
'It certainly has,' replied Mary.
'Do you think,' said Colin, 'that it was made like this just for me?' 'You
sound almost as Yorkshire as Dickson now,' laughed Mary. 'I don't want
this day to finish, but I will come back every day,' Colin said.