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Chapter 19 "It has come!"

  • Of course Dr. Craven had been sent for the morning after Colin had had hi_antrum. He was always sent for at once when such a thing occurred and h_lways found, when he arrived, a white shaken boy lying on his bed, sulky an_till so hysterical that he was ready to break into fresh sobbing at the leas_ord. In fact, Dr. Craven dreaded and detested the difficulties of thes_isits. On this occasion he was away from Misselthwaite Manor until afternoon.
  • "How is he?" he asked Mrs. Medlock rather irritably when he arrived. "He wil_reak a blood-vessel in one of those fits some day. The boy is half insan_ith hysteria and self-indulgence."
  • "Well, sir," answered Mrs. Medlock, "you'll scarcely believe your eyes whe_ou see him. That plain sour-faced child that's almost as bad as himself ha_ust bewitched him. How she's done it there's no telling. The Lord knows she'_othing to look at and you scarcely ever hear her speak, but she did what non_f us dare do. She just flew at him like a little cat last night, and stampe_er feet and ordered him to stop screaming, and somehow she startled him s_hat he actually did stop, and this afternoon—well just come up and see, sir.
  • It's past crediting."
  • The scene which Dr. Craven beheld when he entered his patient's room wa_ndeed rather astonishing to him. As Mrs. Medlock opened the door he hear_aughing and chattering. Colin was on his sofa in his dressing-gown and he wa_itting up quite straight looking at a picture in one of the garden books an_alking to the plain child who at that moment could scarcely be called plai_t all because her face was so glowing with enjoyment.
  • "Those long spires of blue ones—we'll have a lot of those," Colin wa_nnouncing. "They're called Del-phin-iums."
  • "Dickon says they're larkspurs made big and grand," cried Mistress Mary.
  • "There are clumps there already."
  • Then they saw Dr. Craven and stopped. Mary became quite still and Colin looke_retful.
  • "I am sorry to hear you were ill last night, my boy," Dr. Craven said a trifl_ervously. He was rather a nervous man.
  • "I'm better now—much better," Colin answered, rather like a Rajah. "I'm goin_ut in my chair in a day or two if it is fine. I want some fresh air."
  • Dr. Craven sat down by him and felt his pulse and looked at him curiously.
  • "It must be a very fine day," he said, "and you must be very careful not t_ire yourself."
  • "Fresh air won't tire me," said the young Rajah.
  • As there had been occasions when this same young gentleman had shrieked alou_ith rage and had insisted that fresh air would give him cold and kill him, i_s not to be wondered at that his doctor felt somewhat startled.
  • "I thought you did not like fresh air," he said.
  • "I don't when I am by myself," replied the Rajah; "but my cousin is going ou_ith me."
  • "And the nurse, of course?" suggested Dr. Craven.
  • "No, I will not have the nurse," so magnificently that Mary could not hel_emembering how the young native Prince had looked with his diamonds an_meralds and pearls stuck all over him and the great rubies on the small dar_and he had waved to command his servants to approach with salaams and receiv_is orders.
  • "My cousin knows how to take care of me. I am always better when she is wit_e. She made me better last night. A very strong boy I know will push m_arriage."
  • Dr. Craven felt rather alarmed. If this tiresome hysterical boy should chanc_o get well he himself would lose all chance of inheriting Misselthwaite; bu_e was not an unscrupulous man, though he was a weak one, and he did no_ntend to let him run into actual danger.
  • "He must be a strong boy and a steady boy," he said. "And I must kno_omething about him. Who is he? What is his name?"
  • "It's Dickon," Mary spoke up suddenly. She felt somehow that everybody wh_new the moor must know Dickon. And she was right, too. She saw that in _oment Dr. Craven's serious face relaxed into a relieved smile.
  • "Oh, Dickon," he said. "If it is Dickon you will be safe enough. He's a_trong as a moor pony, is Dickon."
  • "And he's trusty," said Mary. "He's th' trustiest lad i' Yorkshire." She ha_een talking Yorkshire to Colin and she forgot herself.
  • "Did Dickon teach you that?" asked Dr. Craven, laughing outright.
  • "I'm learning it as if it was French," said Mary rather coldly. "It's like _ative dialect in India. Very clever people try to learn them. I like it an_o does Colin." "Well, well," he said. "If it amuses you perhaps it won't d_ou any harm. Did you take your bromide last night, Colin?"
  • "No," Colin answered. "I wouldn't take it at first and after Mary made m_uiet she talked me to sleep—in a low voice—about the spring creeping into _arden."
  • "That sounds soothing," said Dr. Craven, more perplexed than ever and glancin_ideways at Mistress Mary sitting on her stool and looking down silently a_he carpet. "You are evidently better, but you must remember—"
  • "I don't want to remember," interrupted the Rajah, appearing again. "When _ie by myself and remember I begin to have pains everywhere and I think o_hings that make me begin to scream because I hate them so. If there was _octor anywhere who could make you forget you were ill instead of rememberin_t I would have him brought here." And he waved a thin hand which ought reall_o have been covered with royal signet rings made of rubies. "It is because m_ousin makes me forget that she makes me better."
  • Dr. Craven had never made such a short stay after a "tantrum"; usually he wa_bliged to remain a very long time and do a great many things. This afternoo_e did not give any medicine or leave any new orders and he was spared an_isagreeable scenes. When he went downstairs he looked very thoughtful an_hen he talked to Mrs. Medlock in the library she felt that he was a muc_uzzled man.
  • "Well, sir," she ventured, "could you have believed it?"
  • "It is certainly a new state of affairs," said the doctor. "And there's n_enying it is better than the old one."
  • "I believe Susan Sowerby's right—I do that," said Mrs. Medlock. "I stopped i_er cottage on my way to Thwaite yesterday and had a bit of talk with her. An_he says to me, 'Well, Sarah Ann, she mayn't be a good child, an' she mayn'_e a pretty one, but she's a child, an' children needs children.' We went t_chool together, Susan Sowerby and me."
  • "She's the best sick nurse I know," said Dr. Craven. "When I find her in _ottage I know the chances are that I shall save my patient."
  • Mrs. Medlock smiled. She was fond of Susan Sowerby.
  • "She's got a way with her, has Susan," she went on quite volubly. "I've bee_hinking all morning of one thing she said yesterday. She says, 'Once when _as givin' th' children a bit of a preach after they'd been fightin' I ses to
  • 'em all, "When I was at school my jography told as th' world was shaped like _range an' I found out before I was ten that th' whole orange doesn't belon_o nobody. No one owns more than his bit of a quarter an' there's times i_eems like there's not enow quarters to go round. But don't you—none o'
  • you—think as you own th' whole orange or you'll find out you're mistaken, an'
  • you won't find it out without hard knocks." 'What children learns fro_hildren,' she says, 'is that there's no sense in grabbin' at th' whol_range—peel an' all. If you do you'll likely not get even th' pips, an' them'_oo bitter to eat.'"
  • "She's a shrewd woman," said Dr. Craven, putting on his coat.
  • "Well, she's got a way of saying things," ended Mrs. Medlock, much pleased.
  • "Sometimes I've said to her, 'Eh! Susan, if you was a different woman an'
  • didn't talk such broad Yorkshire I've seen the times when I should have sai_ou was clever.'"
  • That night Colin slept without once awakening and when he opened his eyes i_he morning he lay still and smiled without knowing it—smiled because he fel_o curiously comfortable. It was actually nice to be awake, and he turned ove_nd stretched his limbs luxuriously. He felt as if tight strings which ha_eld him had loosened themselves and let him go. He did not know that Dr.
  • Craven would have said that his nerves had relaxed and rested themselves.
  • Instead of lying and staring at the wall and wishing he had not awakened, hi_ind was full of the plans he and Mary had made yesterday, of pictures of th_arden and of Dickon and his wild creatures. It was so nice to have things t_hink about. And he had not been awake more than ten minutes when he hear_eet running along the corridor and Mary was at the door. The next minute sh_as in the room and had run across to his bed, bringing with her a waft o_resh air full of the scent of the morning.
  • "You've been out! You've been out! There's that nice smell of leaves!" h_ried.
  • She had been running and her hair was loose and blown and she was bright wit_he air and pink-cheeked, though he could not see it.
  • "It's so beautiful!" she said, a little breathless with her speed. "You neve_aw anything so beautiful! It has come! I thought it had come that othe_orning, but it was only coming. It is here now! It has come, the Spring!
  • Dickon says so!"
  • "Has it?" cried Colin, and though he really knew nothing about it he felt hi_eart beat. He actually sat up in bed.
  • "Open the window!" he added, laughing half with joyful excitement and half a_is own fancy. "Perhaps we may hear golden trumpets!"
  • And though he laughed, Mary was at the window in a moment and in a moment mor_t was opened wide and freshness and softness and scents and birds' songs wer_ouring through.
  • "That's fresh air," she said. "Lie on your back and draw in long breaths o_t. That's what Dickon does when he's lying on the moor. He says he feels i_n his veins and it makes him strong and he feels as if he could live foreve_nd ever. Breathe it and breathe it."
  • She was only repeating what Dickon had told her, but she caught Colin's fancy.
  • "'Forever and ever'! Does it make him feel like that?" he said, and he did a_he told him, drawing in long deep breaths over and over again until he fel_hat something quite new and delightful was happening to him.
  • Mary was at his bedside again.
  • "Things are crowding up out of the earth," she ran on in a hurry. "And ther_re flowers uncurling and buds on everything and the green veil has covere_early all the gray and the birds are in such a hurry about their nests fo_ear they may be too late that some of them are even fighting for places i_he secret garden. And the rose-bushes look as wick as wick can be, and ther_re primroses in the lanes and woods, and the seeds we planted are up, an_ickon has brought the fox and the crow and the squirrels and a new-bor_amb."
  • And then she paused for breath. The new-born lamb Dickon had found three day_efore lying by its dead mother among the gorse bushes on the moor. It was no_he first motherless lamb he had found and he knew what to do with it. He ha_aken it to the cottage wrapped in his jacket and he had let it lie near th_ire and had fed it with warm milk. It was a soft thing with a darling sill_aby face and legs rather long for its body. Dickon had carried it over th_oor in his arms and its feeding bottle was in his pocket with a squirrel, an_hen Mary had sat under a tree with its limp warmness huddled on her lap sh_ad felt as if she were too full of strange joy to speak. A lamb—a lamb! _iving lamb who lay on your lap like a baby!
  • She was describing it with great joy and Colin was listening and drawing i_ong breaths of air when the nurse entered. She started a little at the sigh_f the open window. She had sat stifling in the room many a warm day becaus_er patient was sure that open windows gave people cold.
  • "Are you sure you are not chilly, Master Colin?" she inquired.
  • "No," was the answer. "I am breathing long breaths of fresh air. It makes yo_trong. I am going to get up to the sofa for breakfast. My cousin will hav_reakfast with me."
  • The nurse went away, concealing a smile, to give the order for two breakfasts.
  • She found the servants' hall a more amusing place than the invalid's chambe_nd just now everybody wanted to hear the news from upstairs. There was _reat deal of joking about the unpopular young recluse who, as the cook said,
  • "had found his master, and good for him." The servants' hall had been ver_ired of the tantrums, and the butler, who was a man with a family, had mor_han once expressed his opinion that the invalid would be all the better "fo_ good hiding."
  • When Colin was on his sofa and the breakfast for two was put upon the table h_ade an announcement to the nurse in his most Rajah-like manner.
  • "A boy, and a fox, and a crow, and two squirrels, and a new-born lamb, ar_oming to see me this morning. I want them brought upstairs as soon as the_ome," he said. "You are not to begin playing with the animals in th_ervants' hall and keep them there. I want them here." The nurse gave a sligh_asp and tried to conceal it with a cough.
  • "Yes, sir," she answered.
  • "I'll tell you what you can do," added Colin, waving his hand. "You can tel_artha to bring them here. The boy is Martha's brother. His name is Dickon an_e is an animal charmer."
  • "I hope the animals won't bite, Master Colin," said the nurse.
  • "I told you he was a charmer," said Colin austerely. "Charmers' animals neve_ite."
  • "There are snake-charmers in India," said Mary. "And they can put thei_nakes' heads in their mouths."
  • "Goodness!" shuddered the nurse.
  • They ate their breakfast with the morning air pouring in upon them. Colin'_reakfast was a very good one and Mary watched him with serious interest.
  • "You will begin to get fatter just as I did," she said. "I never wanted m_reakfast when I was in India and now I always want it."
  • "I wanted mine this morning," said Colin. "Perhaps it was the fresh air. Whe_o you think Dickon will come?"
  • He was not long in coming. In about ten minutes Mary held up her hand.
  • "Listen!" she said. "Did you hear a caw?"
  • Colin listened and heard it, the oddest sound in the world to hear inside _ouse, a hoarse "caw-caw."
  • "Yes," he answered.
  • "That's Soot," said Mary. "Listen again. Do you hear a bleat—a tiny one?"
  • "Oh, yes!" cried Colin, quite flushing.
  • "That's the new-born lamb," said Mary. "He's coming."
  • Dickon's moorland boots were thick and clumsy and though he tried to wal_uietly they made a clumping sound as he walked through the long corridors.
  • Mary and Colin heard him marching—marching, until he passed through th_apestry door on to the soft carpet of Colin's own passage.
  • "If you please, sir," announced Martha, opening the door, "if you please, sir, here's Dickon an' his creatures."
  • Dickon came in smiling his nicest wide smile. The new-born lamb was in hi_rms and the little red fox trotted by his side. Nut sat on his left shoulde_nd Soot on his right and Shell's head and paws peeped out of his coat pocket.
  • Colin slowly sat up and stared and stared—as he had stared when he first sa_ary; but this was a stare of wonder and delight. The truth was that in spit_f all he had heard he had not in the least understood what this boy would b_ike and that his fox and his crow and his squirrels and his lamb were so nea_o him and his friendliness that they seemed almost to be part of himself.
  • Colin had never talked to a boy in his life and he was so overwhelmed by hi_wn pleasure and curiosity that he did not even think of speaking.
  • But Dickon did not feel the least shy or awkward. He had not felt embarrasse_ecause the crow had not known his language and had only stared and had no_poken to him the first time they met. Creatures were always like that unti_hey found out about you. He walked over to Colin's sofa and put the new-bor_amb quietly on his lap, and immediately the little creature turned to th_arm velvet dressing-gown and began to nuzzle and nuzzle into its folds an_utt its tight-curled head with soft impatience against his side. Of course n_oy could have helped speaking then.
  • "What is it doing?" cried Colin. "What does it want?"
  • "It wants its mother," said Dickon, smiling more and more. "I brought it t_hee a bit hungry because I knowed tha'd like to see it feed."
  • He knelt down by the sofa and took a feeding-bottle from his pocket.
  • "Come on, little 'un," he said, turning the small woolly white head with _entle brown hand. "This is what tha's after. Tha'll get more out o' this tha_ha' will out o' silk velvet coats. There now," and he pushed the rubber ti_f the bottle into the nuzzling mouth and the lamb began to suck it wit_avenous ecstasy.
  • After that there was no wondering what to say. By the time the lamb fel_sleep questions poured forth and Dickon answered them all. He told them ho_e had found the lamb just as the sun was rising three mornings ago. He ha_een standing on the moor listening to a skylark and watching him swing highe_nd higher into the sky until he was only a speck in the heights of blue.
  • "I'd almost lost him but for his song an' I was wonderin' how a chap coul_ear it when it seemed as if he'd get out o' th' world in a minute—an' jus_hen I heard somethin' else far off among th' gorse bushes. It was a wea_leatin' an' I knowed it was a new lamb as was hungry an' I knowed it wouldn'_e hungry if it hadn't lost its mother somehow, so I set off searchin'. Eh! _id have a look for it. I went in an' out among th' gorse bushes an' round an'
  • round an' I always seemed to take th' wrong turnin'. But at last I seed a bi_' white by a rock on top o' th' moor an' I climbed up an' found th' little
  • 'un half dead wi' cold an' clemmin'." While he talked, Soot flew solemnly i_nd out of the open window and cawed remarks about the scenery while Nut an_hell made excursions into the big trees outside and ran up and down trunk_nd explored branches. Captain curled up near Dickon, who sat on the hearth- rug from preference.
  • They looked at the pictures in the gardening books and Dickon knew all th_lowers by their country names and knew exactly which ones were alread_rowing in the secret garden.
  • "I couldna' say that there name," he said, pointing to one under which wa_ritten "Aquilegia," "but us calls that a columbine, an' that there one it's _napdragon and they both grow wild in hedges, but these is garden ones an'
  • they're bigger an' grander. There's some big clumps o' columbine in th'
  • garden. They'll look like a bed o' blue an' white butterflies flutterin' whe_hey're out."
  • "I'm going to see them," cried Colin. "I am going to see them!"
  • "Aye, that tha' mun," said Mary quite seriously. "An' tha' munnot lose no tim_bout it."