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21.11.2014
Chapter IIMISTRESS MARY QUITE CONTRARYMary had liked to look at her mother from a distance and she had thought her very pretty, but as she knew very little of her she could scarcely have been expected to love her or to miss her very much when she was gone. Chapter IVMARTHAWhen she opened her eyes in the morning it was because a young housemaid had come into her room to light the fire and was kneeling on the hearth-rug raking out the cinders noisily.
She did not miss her at all, in fact, and as she was a self-absorbed child she gave her entire thought to herself, as she had always done. Medlock had bought a lunchbasket at one of the stations and they had some chicken and cold beef and bread and butter and some hot tea.
If she had been older she would no doubt have been very anxious at being left alone in the world, but she was very young, and as she had always been taken care of, she supposed she always would be. The rain seemed to be streaming down more heavily than ever and everybody in the station wore wet and glistening waterproofs.
What she thought was that she would like to know if she was going to nice people, who would be polite to her and give her her own way as her Ayah and the other native servants had done.She knew that she was not going to stay at the English clergyman's house where she was taken at first. 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.
There were fantastically dressed people under the trees and in the distance there was a glimpse of the turrets of a castle. 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. The English clergyman was poor and he had five children nearly all the same age and they wore shabby clothes and were always quarreling and snatching toys from each other.
She ate a great deal and afterward fell asleep herself, and Mary sat and stared at her and watched her fine bonnet slip on one side until she herself fell asleep once more in the corner of the carriage, lulled by the splashing of the rain against the windows. 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. Mary hated their untidy bungalow and was so disagreeable to them that after the first day or two nobody would play with her. 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.
By the second day they had given her a nickname which made her furious.It was Basil who thought of it first.
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. She was playing by herself under a tree, just as she had been playing the day the cholera broke out. She was making heaps of earth and paths for a garden and Basil came and stood near to watch her. The little girl did not offer to help her, because in India native servants always picked up or carried things and it seemed quite proper that other people should wait on one.The station was a small one and nobody but themselves seemed to be getting out of the train. 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. 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."Pig!
He danced round and round her and made faces and sang and laughed."Mistress Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? Medlock, speaking with a Yorkshire accent herself and jerking her head over her shoulder toward Mary. It smells o' honey an' there's such a lot o' fresh air--an' th' sky looks so high an' th' bees an' skylarks makes such a nice noise hummin' an' singin'.
His long waterproof coat and the waterproof covering of his hat were shining and dripping with rain as everything was, the burly station-master included.When he shut the door, mounted the box with the coachman, and they drove off, the little girl found herself seated in a comfortably cushioned corner, but she was not inclined to go to sleep again.
She sat and looked out of the window, curious to see something of the road over which she was being driven to the queer place Mrs. They were obsequious and servile and did not presume to talk to their masters as if they were their equals. She always did this when she had a chance to see her, because the Mem Sahib--Mary used to call her that oftener than anything else--was such a tall, slim, pretty person and wore such lovely clothes. Her hair was like curly silk and she had a delicate little nose which seemed to be disdaining things, and she had large laughing eyes. They were large and scared and lifted imploringly to the fair boy officer's face."Is it so very bad? The carriage lamps cast rays of light a little distance ahead of them and she caught glimpses of the things they passed.
After they had left the station they had driven through a tiny village and she had seen whitewashed cottages and the lights of a public house. Then they had passed a church and a vicarage and a little shop-window or so in a cottage with toys and sweets and odd things set our for sale. After that there seemed nothing different for a long time--or at least it seemed a long time to her.At last the horses began to go more slowly, as if they were climbing up-hill, and presently there seemed to be no more hedges and no more trees. What a fool I was!"At that very moment such a loud sound of wailing broke out from the servants' quarters that she clutched the young man's arm, and Mary stood shivering from head to foot.
Crawford told her that night that she was going to sail away to England in a few days and go to her uncle, Mr. She leaned forward and pressed her face against the window just as the carriage gave a big jolt."Eh!


Archibald Craven, who lived at Misselthwaite Manor, she looked so stony and stubbornly uninterested that they did not know what to think about her. Medlock.The carriage lamps shed a yellow light on a rough-looking road which seemed to be cut through bushes and low-growing things which ended in the great expanse of dark apparently spread out before and around them. She had a very pretty manner, too, and Mary has the most unattractive ways I ever saw in a child. The Ayah had been taken ill in the night, and it was because she had just died that the servants had wailed in the huts. The road went up and down, and several times the carriage passed over a little bridge beneath which water rushed very fast with a great deal of noise. There was panic on every side, and dying people in all the bungalows.During the confusion and bewilderment of the second day Mary hid herself in the nursery and was forgotten by everyone. Nobody thought of her, nobody wanted her, and strange things happened of which she knew nothing. Once she crept into the dining-room and found it empty, though a partly finished meal was on the table and chairs and plates looked as if they had been hastily pushed back when the diners rose suddenly for some reason. She was very much absorbed in her own little boy and girl, and was rather glad to hand the child over to the woman Mr. The child ate some fruit and biscuits, and being thirsty she drank a glass of wine which stood nearly filled.
At first Mary thought that there were no lights at all in the windows, but as she got out of the carriage she saw that one room in a corner upstairs showed a dull glow.The entrance door was a huge one made of massive, curiously shaped panels of oak studded with big iron nails and bound with great iron bars. Very soon it made her intensely drowsy, and she went back to her nursery and shut herself in again, frightened by cries she heard in the huts and by the hurrying sound of feet.
It opened into an enormous hall, which was so dimly lighted that the faces in the portraits on the walls and the figures in the suits of armor made Mary feel that she did not want to look at them. She wore a very purple dress, a black silk mantle with jet fringe on it and a black bonnet with purple velvet flowers which stuck up and trembled when she moved her head. Mary did not like her at all, but as she very seldom liked people there was nothing remarkable in that; besides which it was very evident Mrs. She heard neither voices nor footsteps, and wondered if everybody had got well of the cholera and all the trouble was over. The noise and hurrying about and wailing over the cholera had frightened her, and she had been angry because no one seemed to remember that she was alive. Don't you forget that!"It was in this way Mistress Mary arrived at Misselthwaite Manor and she had perhaps never felt quite so contrary in all her life.
She was watching the passing buses and cabs and people, but she heard quite well and was made very curious about her uncle and the place he lived in. But if everyone had got well again, surely some one would remember and come to look for her.But no one came, and as she lay waiting the house seemed to grow more and more silent. She heard something rustling on the matting and when she looked down she saw a little snake gliding along and watching her with eyes like jewels. She was not frightened, because he was a harmless little thing who would not hurt her and he seemed in a hurry to get out of the room. Perhaps there were none in India.Since she had been living in other people's houses and had had no Ayah, she had begun to feel lonely and to think queer thoughts which were new to her.
She had begun to wonder why she had never seemed to belong to anyone even when her father and mother had been alive. Other children seemed to belong to their fathers and mothers, but she had never seemed to really be anyone's little girl.
When I come in to light your fire this mornin' I crep' up to your bed an' pulled th' cover back careful to look at you. She did not know that this was because she was a disagreeable child; but then, of course, she did not know she was disagreeable.
She often thought that other people were, but she did not know that she was so herself.She thought Mrs.
Medlock the most disagreeable person she had ever seen, with her common, highly colored face and her common fine bonnet. When the next day they set out on their journey to Yorkshire, she walked through the station to the railway carriage with her head up and trying to keep as far away from her as she could, because she did not want to seem to belong to her.
She looked an ugly, cross little thing and was frowning because she was beginning to be hungry and feel disgracefully neglected. You know nothing about anything!"She was in such a rage and felt so helpless before the girl's simple stare, and somehow she suddenly felt so horribly lonely and far away from everything she understood and which understood her, that she threw herself face downward on the pillows and burst into passionate sobbing. She sobbed so unrestrainedly that good-natured Yorkshire Martha was a little frightened and quite sorry for her.
She had not wanted to go to London just when her sister Maria's daughter was going to be married, but she had a comfortable, well paid place as housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor and the only way in which she could keep it was to do at once what Mr.
She had nothing to read or to look at, and she had folded her thin little black-gloved hands in her lap.
It was true that there was no one in the bungalow but herself and the little rustling snake.
She frowned because she remembered that her father and mother had never talked to her about anything in particular. The house is six hundred years old and it's on the edge of the moor, and there's near a hundred rooms in it, though most of them's shut up and locked.
If Martha had been a well-trained fine young lady's maid she would have been more subservient and respectful and would have known that it was her business to brush hair, and button boots, and pick things up and lay them away. She was, however, only an untrained Yorkshire rustic who had been brought up in a moorland cottage with a swarm of little brothers and sisters who had never dreamed of doing anything but waiting on themselves and on the younger ones who were either babies in arms or just learning to totter about and tumble over things.If Mary Lennox had been a child who was ready to be amused she would perhaps have laughed at Martha's readiness to talk, but Mary only listened to her coldly and wondered at her freedom of manner.


At first she was not at all interested, but gradually, as the girl rattled on in her good-tempered, homely way, Mary began to notice what she was saying."Eh! What you're to be kept at Misselthwaite Manor for I don't know, unless because it's the easiest way.
They tumble about on th' moor an' play there all day an' mother says th' air of th' moor fattens 'em. So she began to feel a slight interest in Dickon, and as she had never before been interested in any one but herself, it was the dawning of a healthy sentiment. When she went into the room which had been made into a nursery for her, she found that it was rather like the one she had slept in. It was not a child's room, but a grown-up person's room, with gloomy old pictures on the walls and heavy old oak chairs. Nobody thought she'd marry him, but she did, and people said she married him for his money. Most of the time he goes away, and when he is at Misselthwaite he shuts himself up in the West Wing and won't let any one but Pitcher see him. A house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked--a house on the edge of a moor--whatsoever a moor was--sounded dreary.
She stared out of the window with her lips pinched together, and it seemed quite natural that the rain should have begun to pour down in gray slanting lines and splash and stream down the window-panes. There were gardens and paths and big trees, but everything looked dull and wintry."Out?
Archibald Craven she began to cease to be sorry and to think he was unpleasant enough to deserve all that had happened to him.And she turned her face toward the streaming panes of the window of the railway carriage and gazed out at the gray rain-storm which looked as if it would go on forever and ever. She watched it so long and steadily that the grayness grew heavier and heavier before her eyes and she fell asleep.
When she had passed through the shrubbery gate she found herself in great gardens, with wide lawns and winding walks with clipped borders. There were trees, and flower-beds, and evergreens clipped into strange shapes, and a large pool with an old gray fountain in its midst.
You could always walk into a garden.She was just thinking this when she saw that, at the end of the path she was following, there seemed to be a long wall, with ivy growing over it. She was not familiar enough with England to know that she was coming upon the kitchen-gardens where the vegetables and fruit were growing. She went toward the wall and found that there was a green door in the ivy, and that it stood open. This was not the closed garden, evidently, and she could go into it.She went through the door and found that it was a garden with walls all round it and that it was only one of several walled gardens which seemed to open into one another.
She saw another open green door, revealing bushes and pathways between beds containing winter vegetables. Fruit-trees were trained flat against the wall, and over some of the beds there were glass frames. It might be nicer in summer when things were green, but there was nothing pretty about it now.Presently an old man with a spade over his shoulder walked through the door leading from the second garden. There, she found more walls and winter vegetables and glass frames, but in the second wall there was another green door and it was not open. As she was not at all a timid child and always did what she wanted to do, Mary went to the green door and turned the handle. She hoped the door would not open because she wanted to be sure she had found the mysterious garden--but it did open quite easily and she walked through it and found herself in an orchard. There were walls all round it also and trees trained against them, and there were bare fruit-trees growing in the winter-browned grass--but there was no green door to be seen anywhere. Mary looked for it, and yet when she had entered the upper end of the garden she had noticed that the wall did not seem to end with the orchard but to extend beyond it as if it enclosed a place at the other side. She could see the tops of trees above the wall, and when she stood still she saw a bird with a bright red breast sitting on the topmost branch of one of them, and suddenly he burst into his winter song--almost as if he had caught sight of her and was calling to her.She stopped and listened to him and somehow his cheerful, friendly little whistle gave her a pleased feeling--even a disagreeable little girl may be lonely, and the big closed house and big bare moor and big bare gardens had made this one feel as if there was no one left in the world but herself.
He was not like an Indian bird and she liked him and wondered if she should ever see him again. Perhaps he lived in the mysterious garden and knew all about it.Perhaps it was because she had nothing whatever to do that she thought so much of the deserted garden. She had not thought of it before.He turned about to the orchard side of his garden and began to whistle--a low soft whistle. It actually gave Mary a queer feeling in her heart, because he was so pretty and cheerful and seemed so like a person. He come out of th' nest in th' other garden an' when first he flew over th' wall he was too weak to fly back for a few days an' we got friendly.
The old ones turn 'em out o' their nest an' make 'em fly an' they're scattered before you know it. She had never thought much about her looks, but she wondered if she was as unattractive as Ben Weatherstaff and she also wondered if she looked as sour as he had looked before the robin came.
She was standing a few feet from a young apple-tree and the robin had flown on to one of its branches and had burst out into a scrap of a song. But just that moment the robin, who had ended his song, gave a little shake of his wings, spread them and flew away.




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