The Secret Garden/Boy Version

Author's Note: I decided to have a little fun and twist a story around that I have read a lot when I was little. I've kept some stuff the same but change other stuff around. Hope you enjoy it.

0Likes
0Comments
2788Views
AA

1. There Is No One Left

When Toby Drake was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with his aunt everybody said he was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. He had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin dark hair and a sour expression. His hair was limp and greasy looking, and his face was pale because he had been born in Antarctica and had always been ill in one way or another.

His mother had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill herself, and his father had been the most handsomest man alive who cared only to go to parties and amuse himself with gay people. He and his wife had not wanted a little boy at all, and when Toby was born they handed him over to the care of an male nurse, who was made to understand that if he wished to please the Master and Mistress he must keep the child out of sight as much as possible.

So when he was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby he was kept out of the way, and when he became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing he was kept out of the way also. He never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of his nurse and the other servants, and as they always obeyed him and gave him his own way in everything, because the Master and Mistress would be angry if they was disturbed by his crying, by the time he was six years old he was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived.

The young English teacher who came to teach him to read and write disliked him so much that he gave up his place in three months, and when other teachers came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Toby had not chosen to really want to know how to read books he would never have learned his letters at all.

One frightfully cold morning, when he was about nine years old, he awakened feeling very cross, and he became crosser still when he saw that the servant who stood by his bedside was not his nurse.

"Why did you come?" he said to the strange man. "I will not let you stay. Send my nurse to me."

The man looked frightened, but he only stammered that the nurse could not come and when Toby threw himself into a passion and beat and kicked him, he looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the nurse to come to Little Master.

There was something mysterious in the air that morning. Nothing was done in its regular order and several of the servants seemed missing, while those whom Toby saw slunk or hurried about with ashy and scared faces. But no one would tell him anything and his nurse did not come. He was actually left alone as the morning went on, and at last he wandered out into the snowy garden and began to play by himself under an old dead tree near the veranda.

He pretended that he was making a garden, and he stuck big green smooth sticks that he had painted himself into little heaps of snow, all the time growing more and more angry and muttering to himself the things he would say and the names he would call Sam when he returned.

"Jerk! How dare he not come when I call!" he said.

He was grinding his teeth and saying this over and over again when he heard his father come out on the veranda with someone. He was with a fair young woman and they stood talking together in a low strange voice. Toby knew the fair young woman who looked like a girl.

He had heard that she was a very young officer who had just come from England. The child stared at her, but he stared most at his father. He always did this when he had a chance to see him, because the Master-Toby used to call him that oftener than anything else- was such a tall, slim, handsome person and wore such elegant clothes.

He had dark curly hair, and he had large dark laughing eyes. All his clothes were very grand and elegant looking, and Toby said they were

"Fit for Royalty."

They looked fit for Royalty more than ever this morning, but his eyes were not laughing at all. They were large and scared and looked down imploringly at the fair woman officer's face.

"Are you sure it's that bad? It just can't be?" Toby heard him say.

"Awfully," the young woman answered in a trembling voice. "Awfully, Mr.Drake. You ought to have gone to the hills two weeks ago."

The Master wrung his hands.

"I know I should have!" he cried. "I only stayed to go to that silly dinner party. What a fool I was!"

At that very moment such a load sound of wailing broke out from the servants' quarters that he turned pale and wrung his hands again. And Toby stood shivering from head to foot. The wailing grew wilder and wilder.

"What's wrong!? What's wrong!?" Mr. Drake gasped.

"Someone has died," answered the girl officer. "You did not say it had broken out among your servants."

"I did not know!" the Master cried. "Come with me! Come with me! and he turned and ran into the house.

After that appalling things happened, and the mysteriousness of the morning was explained to Toby. A deadly flu and broken out in its most fatal form and people were dying like flies. The nurse had been taken ill in the night, and it was because he had just died that the servants had wailed in the servant's quarters.

Before the next day three other servants were dead and others had run away in terror, There was panic on every side, and dying people in all the houses. During the confusion and bewilderment of the second day Toby hid himself in the nursery and was forgotten by every one. Nobody thought of him, nobody wanted him, and strange things happen of which he knew nothing.

Toby alternately cried and slept through the hours. He only knew that people were ill and that he heard mysterious and frightening sounds. Once he 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.

The child ate some fruit and biscuits, and begin thirsty he drank a glass of wine which stood nearly filled. It was sweet, and he did not know how strong it was. Very soon it made him intensely drowsy, and he went back to his nursery and shut himself in again, frightened by cries he heard in the houses and by the hurrying sound of feet.

The wine made him so sleepy that he could scarcely keep his eyes open and he lay down on his bed and know nothing more for a long time.

Many things happen during the hours in which he slept so heavily, but he was not disturbed by the wails and the sound of things begin carried in and out of the house. When he awakened he lay and stared at the wall. The house was perfectly still. He had never known it to be so silent before.

He heard neither voices nor footsteps, and wondered if everybody had got well of the flu and all the trouble was over. He wondered also who would take care of him now his nurse is dead. There would be a new nurse, and perhaps he would know some new stories. Toby had been rather tired of the old ones.

He did not cry because his nurse had died. He was not an affectionate child and had never cared much for anyone. The noise and hurrying about and wailing over the flu had frightened him, and he had been angry because no one seemed to remember that he was alive. Everyone was too panic-stricken to think of a little boy no one was fond of.

When people had the deadly flu it seemed that they remembered nothing but themselves. But if every one had got well again, surely some one would remember and come to look for him. But no one came, and as he lay waiting the house seemed to grow more and more silent. He heard something rustling in the snow outside his window, he looked down and saw a white rabbit with eyes that sparkled like jewels.

He wasn't frightened, because he knew that rabbits are harmless creatures. He seemed to be in a hurry and hop away quickly.

"How queer and quiet it is." he said. "It sounds as if there was no one in the house but em and the rabbit outside."

Almost the next minute he heard footsteps in the compound, and then on the veranda. They were women's footsteps, and the women entered the house and talked in low voices. No one went to meet or speak to them and they seemed to open doors and look into rooms.

"What desolation!" he heard one voice say. "That handsome man! I suppose the child, too. I heard there was a child, though no one ever saw him."

Toby was standing in the middle of the nursery when they opened the door a few minutes later. He looked an ugly, cross little thing and was frowning because he was beginning to be hungry and feel disgracefully neglected. The first woman who came in was a large office he had once seen talking to the his father. She looked tired and troubled, but when she saw him she was so startled that she almost jumped back.

"Betty!" she cried out. "There is a child here! A child alone! In a place like this! Mercy on us, who is he!"

"I am Toby Drake," the little boy said, drawing himself up stiffly. He thought the woman very rude to call his mother's house "A place like this!" "I fell asleep when everyone had the flu and I have only just wakened up. Why does nobody come?"

"It is the child no one ever saw!" exclaimed the woman, turning to her companions. "He has actually been forgotten!"

"Why was i forgotten?" Toby said, stamping his foot. "Why does nobody come?"

The young woman whose name was Betty looked at him very sadly. Toby even thought he saw her wink her eyes as if to wink tears away.

"Poor little kid!" she said. "There is nobody left to come."

It was in that strange and sudden way that Toby found out that he had neither father nor mother left; that they had died and been carried away in the night, and that the few servants who had not died also had left the house as quickly as they could get out of it. It was true that there was no on in the house but himself and the little white rabbit who had hop away.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...