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Return To Misselthwaite Manor
By Lady By The Lake55
Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Return To Missethwaite Manor is a Historical Novel and Sequel to The Secret Garden
Chapters 1-4

 Lily’s Garden
A Sequel to the Secret Garden
Based on the Characters written by Frances Hodgson-Burnett
Written By Karissa Elizabeth Ann Lowell


Chapter One:
The Death of Lord Archibald Craven

Mary had been born in India while it was under the rule of the British government under the sovereignty of Queen Victoria who died in January of 1901 and her late Prince Consort, Albert of Saxe-Coburg who died of Tuberculosis in December of 1861. One year later, Her Royal Majesty, Queen Victoria passed away in January of 1901 at the age of 82 years old. The late Queen was succeeded by her oldest son, Albert Edward, who was 60 years old when he ascended to the English throne and died nine years later at the age of 69 years old and only being King of England for a mere nine years. Many changes had come about at the British house because the cholera epidemic claimed almost every life in spring of 1911 while one King of England passed away and another ascended to the British throne as King George the Fifth of England and Emperor of India at the age of 45 years old.

Mary was raised by Ayahs &governesses who oversaw her care while Colonel Albert Lennox, and his beautiful wife, Rose attended government affairs for the British government.

It was early in the year of 1911, when India had an outbreak of cholera, which claimed nearly every official in the British house where all the dignitaries lived with their families and Indian servants.

A handful of children escaped the epidemic of cholera and Mary Lennox was one of the children who escaped the epidemic. All the children who were survivors of the cholera epidemic were processed and sent back to England to live with relatives.

The British officials had found an old Last Will and Testament written by Mary’s mother, Rose Lennox, that if anything ever happened to her husband, Colonel Albert Lennox, herself, or both, that Mary’s appointed legal guardian was Lord Archibald Craven and his wife, her twin sister, Lily, who lived in Yorkshire, England.

Mary was sent back to England to live with her Uncle Archibald and had no idea that her Aunt Lily had passed away ten years before giving birth to her cousin, Collin.
She was picked up by Mrs. Murdock, the housekeeper under the employment of her Uncle Archibald Craven at Misselthwaite Manor.

Mrs. Murdock picked up Mary at the dock in London under the direction of her Uncle Archibald. Mary was sitting there all by herself as all the other children that had came with her on the ship that transported her from India to England had been claimed by family members. She was alone when Mrs. Murdock asked if she was Mary Lennox.

“Is that Mary Lennox?” Mrs. Murdock asked the man at the dock.
“Yes Mary Lennox.” The man said.
“I am Mrs. Murdock, housekeeper of Misselthwaite Manor; I work for Lord Archibald Craven, her uncle and guardian.” Mrs. Murdock said.

Mary looked at the stern housekeeper, picked up her things, and followed Mrs. Murdock to the coach that was waiting to take them back to Misselthwaite Manor, which was over two hundred miles away in Yorkshire, England.

Mary looked out the window and Mrs. Murdock said, “It is too bad you had no other relatives to take you. Your uncle will not bother you. He hasn’t bothered with anyone since your Aunt passed away ten years ago.”

Mary looked at her and Mrs. Murdock said, “What your mother didn’t tell you that her own twin sister passed away ten years ago?”

“My mother had time for no one especially me.” Mary said bitterly, “She had no time to tell me any stories at all.”

Mrs. Murdock just looked at Mary and said nothing as they traveled north to Yorkshire, England.
Mary continued to look out the window and saw nothing but open land and was told it was the Moors.

Mrs. Murdock and Mary finally arrived back at Misselthwaite Manor in the wee hours of the morning when they pulled up in front of the manor.
John another servant came out to greet them was told to take Mary’s luggage up to her rooms, which were especially prepared for her.

Misselthwaite Manor was a dark, gloomy manor way up on the Moorish hills in Yorkshire, England. There had been no life there until Mary came to live at Misselthwaite Manor. She restored life back to her Uncle Archibald and Cousin Collin Craven with the help of a sister and brother, Martha and Dickon Sowerby and an old gardener, Ben, who helped to restore her late Aunt Lily’s garden to life.

It was as if Lily had sent Mary to help bring her beloved husband, Archibald and their son, Collin back to life. It was as if Lily was looking over both of them, so she sent Mary to them.

Archibald Craven started to live again, he was able to laugh, smile once again. Collin who was thought to be born sickly and weakly found new life in his late beloved mother’s garden with the help of Mary, Martha, and Dickon.
Collin was restored to health by visiting his late beloved mother’s garden.

That was over 13 years ago when Mary first came to live at Misselthwaite Manor. She was now nearly twenty years old. She had changed quite a lot. Many people compared her likeness to her late mother and aunt, Rose and Lily. She had grown into quite the young lady of nobility.

Mary had been sent to the finest Swiss Finishing School for young women of nobility. It was at Swiss Finishing School Mary learned the entire social graces that young women learned.
Mary was taught to dance, sing, embroider and learn to be a proper young woman of noble means.
Mary had been called to return back to Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire from the Swiss Finishing School she was attending in the year of 1923.She had received a letter from Mrs. Murdock asking Mary to return back home after being away for ten years.
A coach had been sent to pick up Mary at the Swiss Finishing School to bring her back home to Yorkshire, England. She had no idea why she was being called back to Misselthwaite Manor.

The Headmistress, Madame Dubois called Mary into her office and said, “Mademoiselle Mary, you are being called home to Misselthwaite Manor.”

Mary looks at Madame Dubois and asks, “Is there a reason Ma’am?”
“I received a telegram from Mrs. Murdock asking that you return to Misselthwaite Manor that is all the telegram says.” Madame Dubois tells Mary.

“I will go pack my belongings. Who is to come and pick me up?” Mary asks.
“A coach is being sent to pick you up and to take you back to England.” Madame Dubois tells Mary.

“Merci Madame Dubois I will miss La Francais very much.” Mary says
“We will miss you Mademoiselle Mary. You have a safe journey back home to England.” Madame Dubois says to Mary.

“You may go now Mademoiselle Mary.” Madame Dubois tells Mary. Mary curtseys and leaves the room. She heads up to her room begins to pack her belongings up to take back to England with her.

While Mary is up in her room, she hears the door ring, and the voice of a young man say, “I am here to pick up Mademoiselle Mary Lennox.” The voice is familiar to Mary, but she can’t really place a face to the voice until she comes down the stairs of the Finishing School.

Mary is dressed in her riding clothes, carrying her luggage down the stairs, and she stops to see whom the voice belongs too. She gets down to the last step, looks up and realizes who the voice belongs too, “Collin, is that you dear cousin?” She asks.
“Yes it is me Mary, Collin.” Collin tells Mary and gives her a kiss on the cheek.
“Collin, why am I being called back to Misselthwaite Manor?” Mary asks Collin.
“I don’t know, I was away at Oxford and called back. I was asked to stop by, pick you up on my way to Misselthwaite Manor.” Collin tells Mary.

“Who wrote to you Collin?” Mary asks him.
“Mrs. Murdock sent the Dean of Oxford a telegram asking that I come home at once.” Collin says to Mary.

“I received a similar telegraph.” Mary says worried.

Madame Dubois comes out and asks, “Mademoiselle Mary, will you not introduce me to this gentleman?”

“Forgive me Madame Dubois; this is my cousin, Collin Craven.” Mary says.
Madame Dubois says, “Enchanté Monsieur Craven.”
“It is nice to meet you to Madame Dubois.” Collin says taking her hand, kissing it like the well-bred English Lord he was raised to be.
Mary looks at Collin and say, “Collin why are we being called back home?”
“I don’t know Mary. We will find out when we get home.” Collin says, “Are you ready to travel home.”
“Yes, I am ready Collin.” Mary says, Collin helps Mary pick up her luggage, carry it to the coach that is waiting to take them back to Misselthwaite Manor.

Madame Dubois walks Mary and Collin out and says, “Have a safe journey home Mademoiselle Mary and Monsieur Collin.” The coachman closes the door and the coach starts on its long way back to Yorkshire, England.

Collin looks at Mary and says, “You look more and more like our mothers.”
Mary smiles and says, “I know that would please our mothers had they both lived.”
“Mary I have been thinking of our mothers a lot recently.” Collin tells Mary.
“Collin it is tragic that both of us lost our mothers, although my mother lived until I was ten years old, I have no actual memories of her. She had no time for me nor did my father.” Mary tells Collin.
“I have no memories of my mother at all. She died after I was born and up until the time you came, I had no actual memories of my father. It is all because of you that we started to live again.” Collin tells Mary.

“Mary I can hardly wait to get back to Misselthwaite Manor. I long to see our garden again, I have missed it.” Collin tells Mary.

“I have had dreams about our garden.” Mary says, “I miss the fountain of roses that bloom in the summer time.”

“We have both changed so much Mary. We are both grown up now.” Collin says.
“This is true Collin, one thing for sure, we are still cousins.” Mary tells Collin.

“Tell me Collin how was Oxford?” Mary asks Collin.
“Oxford is just another university. I thought it was terribly boring.” Collin says.
“Tell me about La Francais Mary.” Collin asks Mary.

“What is there to tell it is just another Swiss Finishing School for Young Women of Noble Blood.” Mary says, “We learn to dance, sew, carry ourselves, curtsey, and conduct ourselves as young women of nobility.”

“I am still Votre Mary.” Mary tells Collin, “I remember you saying we would never be separated but we were.”

“Yes we were separated because Father wanted to make sure we got the best possible education for persons like us.” Collin says.

“La Francais was very strict. We were not allowed out unless we had a chaperone with us.” Mary said, “We were not allowed to talk to any young men.”

“Oh Lord, I had it easier. Oxford wasn’t that bad. It was strict but not that strict.” Collin said as they were riding back to Misselthwaite Manor.

“I will be glad when we get back home to Misselthwaite.” Mary says, “I wonder if Martha is still employed there.”
“What about Dickon and Ben Weatherstaff?” Collin says.
“We won’t know until we get home.” Collin says.

Mary and Collin rode quietly back to Misselthwaite Manor only every now and then talking to each other. Neither of them knew why they were being summons back to Misselthwaite Manor in the spring of 1923.

It took three days and two nights to get from Switzerland to Yorkshire, England to where Misselthwaite Manor was located.
The coach finally pulls up in front of the Manor and an elderly woman comes out to greet them and says, “Mistress Mary and Master Collin, how good to see you all again. Oh you both have grown up since the last time I saw you.”

“Thank you Mrs. Murdock why were we called back from our prospective schools?” Collin asks.
“Master Collin and Mistress Mary, Lord Craven is very sick and his doctor doesn’t expect him to live much longer. Lord Craven asked me to call you two back from where you were going to school.” Mrs. Murdock replied.
Collin looked at Mary, Mary looked at Collin, and they said together, “Take us to our father.”
“Follow me Master Collin and Mistress Mary, Lord Craven is waiting to see you both together.” Mrs. Murdock says.
Collin and Mary follow Mrs. Murdock up a flight of stairs and into a large, dimly lighted bedroom. There lying on the bed laid an elderly gentleman with graying hair.
Collin and Mary walk up to the bed and together they say, “Father, it is Collin and Mary.”

Lord Craven looks up at them both, smiles at them, holds out his hand to them.
“My children I see you have received Mrs. Murdock message to come home.”
“Yes dear father. Mary and I came at once.” Collin replies.
“My dear children I am very sick. My doctors give me grim prognosis and don’t expect me to live much longer. I am old; I have lived a good life thanks to Mary coming to live with us ten years ago. Mary had you not come to live with us and restored us back to life. I don’t know what would have happened to us.” Lord Craven said.
“Dear Uncle, get better what ever shall we do without you.” Mary cries.
“My dear Mary, don’t cry. Thank you dear child for restoring Collin and me back to life after my beloved late wife, Lily, passed away.” Lord Craven said.
“Collin you will become Lord Craven, our family lands pass on to you.” Lord Craven tells Collin.
“Father I will never let anything happen to our family land.” Collin promises.
“Mary, go over to the chest drawer and you will find a silver jewelry box it once belonged to your Aunt Lily. I want you to have it. I want you to open it up inside of the jewelry box is a strand of pearls I gave to your Aunt Lily on our wedding day.” Lord Craven told Mary.
Mary walks over to the wooden chest drawer picks up the silver jewelry box; she opens up the jewelry box and inside is a strand of pearls and some other jewelry.
“What a beautiful strand of pearls. They once belonged to My Aunt Lily.” Mary said.
“Yes Your Aunt Lily would want you to have them.” Lord Craven said.
“Uncle, may I have the ivory craved elephant that my mother sent to my Aunt Lily?” Mary asks Lord Craven.
“Yes Mary my dear you may have the ivory elephant.” Lord Craven tells Mary.
“I bought with me the twin elephant that was on my late mother’s vanity table in India.” Mary tells Lord Craven.

“Collin, you will find a gold framed picture of your mother and me taken on our wedding day. I want you to have it.” Lord Craven said.
“Mary I want you to have the picture of your mother and Aunt Lily that is in her bedroom.” Lord Craven said.
“Thank you Uncle. I will cherish the picture of my late Aunt Lily and mother together.” Mary says.
“You look a lot like both of them.” Lord Craven said with fondness in his voice.
“Thank you Uncle.” Mary said.
“It should be me thanking you Mary Lennox. You restored us back to life when I thought no one could ever do that.” Lord Craven says.
“Collin, Mary, after I pass away I want to be buried by my beloved Lily.” Lord Craven says.
“It will be as you wish Father.” Collin and Mary say together.
“Collin, Mary, take care of the family property. Promise me you will never let it out of the family.” Lord Craven said.
“We promise dear Father.” Collin says.
“Collin it will be your responsibility to find Lady Mary here a proper husband.” Lord Craven tells his son Collin.
“Father I want to marry Mary.” Collin says.
“Collin, British law will not allow you to marry first cousins.” Lord Craven tells his son Collin.
“Collin you will find a proper young woman to marry. It will be your duty to carry on the family name of Craven.” Lord Archibald tells Collin.
“Lady Mary, I have set up a dowry for you. When a proper husband is found for you he will be given the dowry for you.” Lord Archibald tells Mary.
“It will as you wish dear father.” Collin says.
“I am proud of you both my dear children. You have grown up to be quite the lady and gentleman I expected you to be.” Lord Archibald tells both Collin and Mary.
“Collin, Ben Weatherstaff will take care of the garden. I want it to be kept up in your late mother’s memory. My Lily loved that garden and Mary I give it to you in loving memory of your Aunt Lily.” Archibald says romantically.
“Dear Uncle I will love that garden forever. I will never give it away.” Mary cries.
“Mary dear Mary, don’t cry. I am old and my time is nearly over. I will go to be with my dear Lily.” Archibald says smiling.
“Thank you Dear Uncle for taking care of me all these years. I hope I wasn’t too much trouble when I first came to stay with Collin and you at Misselthwaite Manor.” Mary said.
“Mary, it should be Collin and I thanking you for coming to Misselthwaite Manor when you did thank you my dearest niece.” Archibald Craven says to Mary.
“You are welcome with all my heart.” Mary cries.
Collin takes Mary in his arms and she cries controllably.

Mrs. Murdock enters the room and says, “Children, let your father rest now.”
“We will return later to visit with you dear father.” Collin says.
Lord Craven smiles at Collin and Mary as they leave the room. It will be the last time both Collin and Mary see Lord Archibald Craven alive. A few minutes later Lord Archibald Craven passes into eternity to join his beloved late wife, Lily.

Dr. Craven, a distant cousin of Lord Craven comes out and gently tells Collin and Mary that Lord Archibald Craven passed away peacefully at the age of 60. He is now in the company of his dear late wife, Lily.
Dr Craven says, “Lord Collin and Lady Mary, Lord Archibald has passed away.”
Mary looks at Dr. Craven and breaks down crying, “Oh Collin, we are orphans. I have been orphan once already. I am now an orphan a second time around.”
“Mary, Mary, don’t cry. We have each other.” Collin holds Mary in his arms and comforts her.
“Cousin, where did my dear father wanted to be buried?” Collin asks Dr. Craven.
“Lord Archibald wants to be buried in the little church cemetery in the valley next to your late mother, Lady Lily Craven.” Dr. Craven said.
“Lord Collin, I will see to Lord Craver’s funeral arrangements.” Dr. Craven says.
“Please Cousin; make sure my father is laid to rest next to my dear late mother.” Collin says.
“I will see to the arrangements.” Dr. Craven answers
“What about the servants Master Collin and Mistress Mary?” Dr. Craven says.
“John, Martha, and Mrs. Murdock will continue to remain at Misselthwaite Manor. The rest will be dismissed with severance pay.” Collin states.
“I will give each a good recommendation.” Collin states.
Mary stares at Collin and says, “I will miss Uncle Archibald very much.”
“I will take care of you now Lady Mary, just as my late father did for you when he was alive.” Collin says affectionately.
“Collin, promise me you and I will never be parted.” Mary asks Collin.
“I promise Mary. You and I will never be parted again. Some how and someway we will marry.” Collin promises Mary.
“Collin we are first cousins.” Mary says.
“There must be away around it. There must be someone we can appeal our wishes to marry each other.” Collin says.
“The government will never allow it. Promise me you will not marry me off to just anyone.” Mary asks Collin.
“I will not marry you to anyone even if we can’t be married. We can live together and be happy.” Collin said.
“Collin it is your duty to marry. The Craven name must continue as you must continue.” Mary tells Collin.
“Collin we can’t marry and have children. It is first degree incest.” Mary tells Collin.
“This is true My Mary.” Collin says sadly.
“Yes Collin I will forever be Your Mary.” Mary says sadly.
“We can live together like we use to do as children.” Collin tells Mary.
“We can escape into our secret garden. My mother’s garden and we can be happy once again.” Collin says.
“Yes, we can find Dickon; invite Martha and Ben into the garden.” Mary says.
“Collin, we need to go unpack, bathe, and later we can go take a walk in the garden.” Mary says.
“Yes I will see you later. I have to arrange visitation period for Father’s body.” Collin says sadly.
“Collin if you need my help. Please call for me.” Mary asks Collin.
“I will Mary. You will be expected to greet visitors that come to pay their last respects to father.” Collin says.
“Collin, I never thought I would have to wear black again. I wore it so much after my parents died in the cholera epidemic in India and then upon my arrival here in England all I wore for the longest time was black dresses. I was so glad when I was able to wear bright colors again.” Mary says.
“Lady Mary you must wear black it is the proper mourning color for a man like Lord Archibald Craven.” Collin tells Mary.
“I know Collin, I have an appropriate black dress which is simple and in good taste.” Mary tells Collin.
“I have a simple black suit to wear to father’s visitation and funeral service.” Collin says.
“What about the servants?” Mary asks
“I will see they are given mourning clothes.” Collin says.
Mary says, “Oncle Archibald a parti a’ est avec Tante Lily.”
“Adieu Ma Oncle Archibald étais joyeux tantôt que vous sont avec ma Tante Lily.” Mary says.
“Lady Mary, you have picked up quite a bit of French while you were at the Swiss Finishing School, did you not?” Mrs. Murdock asked Mary.
“Yes Ma’am I did.” Mary replied.
“Lady Mary, you look very much now look like your late Aunt Lily and your late mother, Rose Lennox.” Mrs. Murdock says.
“I have no happy memories of my parents Mrs. Murdock.” Mary says.
“You have happy memories of your Uncle Archibald and Cousin Collin though.” Mrs. Murdock states.
“Yes I do. I am thankful for those good, happy memories which take away all the bad ones I lived for the first ten years of my life.” Mary says.
“Lady Lily was looking over her beloved husband, Archibald, and her son, Collin, when she sent you to them Lady Mary. She knew you were what they needed. You could bring them back to life and you did.” Mrs. Murdock tells Mary.
Mary smiles at Mrs. Murdock but her heart heavy with grief over losing her dear Uncle, Archibald Craven, who had been like a second father to her since she was ten years old.

Chapter Two:
Where Do We Go From Here, Collin?

It was a spring day in 1923, that Lord Collin Craven and his cousin, Lady Mary Lennox buried Lord Archibald Craven in Thwaite Village, in Yorkshire, England.
Lord Archibald Craven had been buried by his late beloved wife, Lady Lily Craven, in the Village of Thwaite, near where they had met each other in the little church near the garden she once took care before they met, married, and lived together for a brief period at Misselthwaite Manor.

Lord Archibald knew that his beloved Lily loved gardens. He gave her the garden that her niece, Lady Mary Lennox now owes in her possession.
It was the only thing she ever asked for from Archibald Craven was a garden.
Mary walks outside to the manor yard and towards the garden. She carefully unlocks the garden door, goes into it, and closes it.
It is as if she can hear her late Aunt Lily say to beloved Archibald, “Tout Je avoir toujours demander de vous est pour donner me une jardin.”
Lady Lily was a very beautiful young woman when she met Lord Archibald Craven; they fell in love, married, and before their happiness begun. Their happiness was cut short due to Lily dying shortly after childbirth.
The child was born premature and Dr. Craven, Lord Craven’s cousin did everything in his power to save both mother and child. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Lily passed away shortly after delivering their son, Collin.

No one saw Collin and Lord Craven was afraid to grow attached to the son he wasn’t sure who would live to see adulthood. All that changed when Mary came to live with them in 1910.
Mary, Martha and Dickon Sowerby got Collin out into the fresh air, took him into his late mother’s garden and with the help of Mary and Dickon, Collin began to walk, regain his strength and health.
Collin accredits his mother’s garden to restoring him back to health.

The minister from the Anglican Church that married Lord Archibald Craven to his beloved Lily presided over the funeral services of The Late Archibald Craven and the cemetery workers slowly lowered Lord Craver’s casket down into the earth and next to his late beloved wife, Lily Craven.

Lord Collin, Lady Mary, Martha, Dickon, Ben Weatherstaff, and Mrs. Murdock stood at the burial site as Lord Craven’s casket was lowered into the earth. There was not a dry eye among them.

Collin came over, put his arm around Lady Mary’s waist, and said, “Come Mary, let us return to Misselthwaite Manor. Father is now at peace and with mother.”
“Collin did I ever tell you I saw my mother and father dead in India after they died of the chorea.” Mary said.
“No you never told me that. It must have been hard on a ten year old girl at the time.” Collin stated.
“I walked into their bedroom I told Momma my ayah was dead and there was no one to clothe or feed me my breakfast. She just looked at me and sighed.” Mary told Collin.
“The British officers were surprised to find a handful of children still alive and unaffected from and by the cholera.” Mary said, “We were all processed and packed up and sent back to England to live with kin folks.”
“The only kin folk I had and I did not know until Mrs. Murdock told me that my mother’s twin sister, your mother, My Aunt Lily, had died ten years before.” Mary said.
“All I had was my Uncle Archibald, your dear father. He took me in and gave me some kind of life.” Mary said.
“Mary Lennox you are a blessing to us all.” Collin tells Mary.
“Collin Craven you are a bigger blessing to us all especially to me.” Mary says.

“I knew our lives would change once we got older. My father sent me to Oxford and he sent you to La Francais Pour Jeune Dames.” Collin said.
“I didn’t even know who you were when you came down the stairs when I came to pick you up.” Collin said.
“I knew who you were Collin. You are still the most handsome cousin I have.” Mary says.
“I am the only cousin you have.” Collin says laughing
“This is true . All we have is each other.” Mary says.
“We are all we will ever need. I would take a wife just to have children.” Collin says.
“I would marry if you could find me a suitable gentleman.” Mary says.
“I don’t believe in arranged marriage Lady Mary.” Collin says.
“You will leave it to me to marry or not.” Mary asks Collin
“You must find your own mate Mary.” Collin says.
“I will do my best to find my mate.” Collin sighs
“Collin I would marry you if the Law permitted for first cousins to marry.” Mary says.
“We must be content just to have each other.” Collin tells Mary.

Mary says, “Collin, let us go into the garden.”
“Yes let’s go into the garden.” Collin says to Mary.
Mary and Collin walk across the lawn of Misselthwaite Manor, walk down a path and come to what Collin and Mary have renamed “Lily’s Garden.” It was no longer a secret garden. They renamed the garden in the Late Lady Lily Craven’s memory.

The garden was redecorated in Victorian décor because Lily had loved Victorian décor and this was a way to keep her memory alive.
Ben Weatherstaff kept the garden up very well. The yard was beautiful and the roses were gorgeous.

Collin would walk the gardens sometimes and he could hear his mother’s voice coming from the garden named in her memory it was is if she was talking to her son, “Collin, I am proud of you.”
“Dearest Mother, how much I miss father and you.” Collin cried in the garden.
“Collin, I never wanted to leave your father or you.” Lily’s voice told him quietly.
“I know Mother, thank you for giving me life.” Collin said
“You are welcome my son. I love you.” Lily tells Collin quietly in the garden.
Collin hears someone coming into the garden and it is Mary.

“I thought I would find you here Collin.” Mary said.
“Yes I needed to come to the garden.” Collin said, “Look at the rose I planted so long ago it is a splendid pink.”
“Yes it is beautiful Collin.” Mary said to Collin.
“Mary when you lived in India did the Indians speak to spirits.” Collin asks Mary.
“Yes the Indians believed they could communicate with their love ones.” Mary said.
“Mary if I tell you something, you will not think I am insane will you?” Collin asks her.
“No Collin I will not think you are insane.” Mary says.
“While I was walking here in the garden I could hear my dear late mother talk to me and she told me she was proud of me.” Collin said.
“Collin dear Collin your mother is not dead as long as you keep her alive in your heart.” Mary says.
“Keep your mother’s memory alive in your heart. She will forever be alive.” Mary tells Collin.
“I will cherish Dear Uncle Archibald’s memory. He is not dead to me he is still very much alive.” Mary says.
“Collin you are lucky. I don’t want to have any memories of my parents. They did not want me. They passed me on to Ayahs and Governesses to take care of me.
My mother only cared to go to parties, galas, dances, and other gaieties.” Mary said.

“One time I was dressed up, I wanted to meet the Mata Raja and I was denied it.” Mary said.
“I am sorry Mary. Our mothers were sisters but they were so different.” Collin said.
“Yes your mother was a saint and my mother doesn’t qualify for that honor.” Mary says.
“My father had no time for me. He had his military duties to perform.” Mary said.
“I can understand why Uncle Archie mourned your dear mother for so long. My mother and your mother were as different as day and night.” Mary said.

“Mary dear Mary, we have each other for the rest of our lives.” Collin says.
“One day Dear Collin we will marry but we will live close by so we can visit Lily’s Garden every day.” Mary says.

“Collin, sometimes when I walk through the garden I can hear a beautiful voice singing a song about the garden.” Mary tells Collin.

“It is my dear late mother singing in the garden.” Collin says.
“I believe it is your mother singing to us to bring us comfort.” Mary says.
“I hear her sing, “Ma enfants venir a’ ma jardin.” Mary says.
“Yes I hear her sing, “Collin ma fils je amour vous.” Collin says
“I hear her sing, “Venir a’ ma jardin Je Suis attente pour vous ma enfants.” Mary says.
“This garden is a tribute to your dear late mother and my Aunt.” Mary says.
“Where do we go from here Collin, tell me where do we go from here?” Mary asks Collin.
“This I don’t know Mary. We are alone in the world now. All we have is each other.” Collin says, “Promise me you will never leave my side.”
“Collin, I am your cousin, confidante, and best friend, I have no place to go but here at Misselthwaite Manor.” Mary says.
“All we need is each other Mary. All we had is each other when we were young.” Collin says, “Think back Mary think back.”
“Oh Collin, I know all we have is each other.” Mary cries.
“Collin you must marry, you must have a son.” Mary tells Collin.
“Father said I must have a child, not necessary a son to pass on the Craven legacy.” Collin said.
“You must marry Collin. This doesn’t mean we can’t be close like we use too.” Mary said, “I will become good friends with the Grand Mistress at Misselthwaite Manor.”
“Mary I know, we can go to France, marry and come back to England as husband and wife.” Collin says.
“We marry in France only French law will recognize us a’ mariée and marié.” Mary tells Collin.
“I know I will call up our barrister and ask him what we can do.” Collin says.
Mary says nothing, Collin asks Mrs. Murdock to bring him the phone.
“Mrs. Murdock do you know the telephone number of my late father’s barrister?” Collin asks Mrs. Murdock.
“Lord Collin, I have no idea what your late father’s barrister’s telephone is?” Mrs. Murdock says.
“I know Mary; we will go into my late father’s den and find it ourselves.” Collin says.
Collin and Mary walk down the corridor and into the Late Archibald’s den and see a desk, go over to it, they look through mounds of paper work. They come across some pictures that were taken of Collin’s mother while she was pregnant with Collin out in the garden.
Mary says, “Collin, look what I found?”
“What did you find Mary?” Collin asks
“I found some photos of your late mother, my Aunt Lily with Uncle Archie.” Mary says.
“She was beautiful was she not Mary?” Collin asks
“Yes very beautiful just like my late mother. The only difference is that your late mother loved you and my late mother loved no one but herself.” Mary said.
“You look so much like them both.” Collin said, “Tell me Mary, did you not have any suitors while you attended Finishing School in Switzerland.” Collin asks Mary.

“Collin, we were never let out of the Finishing School without a chaperone. We had to go in groups of eight or more just to go shopping into the village.” Mary tells Collin.
“I hated the dresses they made us wear. They were all so frilly.” Mary says.
“You know why Father sent you there so you would make a fine catch as some noble man’s wife.” Collin said.

“When I was away at Oxford, we had so many rules to follow. We had to go to dances with young ladies from a woman’s college not far from Oxford.” Collin said.
“You were much luckier than we were at La Francais.” Mary said.
“We are now grown up.” Mary tells Collin

“Mary Lennox, I will marry you.” Collin states.
“How Collin Craven we are cousins.” Mary tells Collin.
“I will find a way for us to be together.” Collin says.
“Collin the only way we can ever be married is if we find an ancient law that allows first cousins to marry each other.” Mary says.

“We will never be parted again Mary. I promise you this. All those years we were separated from each other were too much for me to handle. I counted the days before we would see each other again.” Collin said.

“Collin Craven you are incurable romantic.” Mary tells Collin.
“I was afraid when we were young I would lose you to Dickon. I am glad to see that you and I are still close as ever.” Collin says.

“Collin Craven, Dickon, and I are only friends.” Mary says laughing
“There were times before I could walk I thought Dickon and you would get close.” Collin said, “Then I started to learn to walk and I had to set my mind to win you.”

“Collin Craven, I am your cousin forever.” Mary says, “I am your Mary forever.”
“I see you still wear the locket I gave you a long time ago around your neck.” Collin says.
“Yes I never take it off my neck only to clean it.” Mary says.
“You are the only one whoever thought about giving me a present.” Mary says.
“Lady Mary, you deserve so much more, you deserve the finest Brussels’s lace, the finest porcelain and silverware money can buy.” Collin says.

“Collin, I do not care for such things. You could give me one thing.” Mary says.
“What might that be Lady Mary Lennox?” Collin asks Mary.
Mary says, “Collin tout Je avoir besoin de est une jardin.”
“I would give you all the gardens at Misselthwaite Manor.” Collin says.
“Collin tout Je demander pour est simplement une jardin.” Mary says.
“Mary Lennox I would give you the world if you wanted it.” Collin says.
“Collin Craven, donner me une chose seul et que est une jardin pour me.” Mary says
“Mary Lennox, tell me something do you love me?” Collin asks Mary
“Collin Craven Je avoir amour vous pour une de longue date.” Mary replies.
“Tell me some Collin Crave how long have you loved me?” Mary asks Collin
“I have loved you since we were children. I was jealous of Dickon.” Collin said.
“You have no reason to be jealous of anyone.” Mary tells Collin.
Mary says, “Collin Je t’ aime.”
“Yes Mary Lennox, I love you too.” Collin says.
Mary and Collin walk hand in hand in Lily’s Garden because it is no longer known by the name that they named it as children, The Secret Garden.

Chapter Three: Mary We Can Marry

Summer time came to Misselthwaite Manner. The Yorkshire moors were full of heather blossoms and the air smelled sweet with heather.

All the gardens at Misselthwaite Manor were in full bloom. Each garden had different kind of flowers in bloom. The lawn at Misselthwaite Manor was soft and green like a plush green carpet.

Collin Craven sat at the desk that was once used by his late father, Lord Archibald Craven, when the phone rang and he picked up the phone and it was his late father’s barrister, Mr. Cates, and he said, “Is this Master Collin Craven of Misselthwaite Manor?”
“Yes this is Lord Collin Craven, may I help you?” Collin replied.
“Yes, Lord Craven, this is your late father’s barrister and I found a law that will allow you to marry your first cousin, Mary Lennox if you still want to.” Barrister Cates replied.
“Yes, I want to marry Lady Mary Lennox.” Collin said
“Whenever you are ready I will give you the law that states you may marry your cousin.” Barrister Cates said.
“Thank you for the good news. I want to share it with Lady Mary.” Collin says.

Mary is walking down the stairs, and Collin calls out to Mary, “Mary, I have good news for us.”
Mary walks into the den that was once used by her Uncle Archibald, “What is this good news Collin you wish to share with me.” Mary asks Collin.

“Barrister Cates has found a law which will allow us to marry.” Collin said excitingly.
“What a law that says we may marry to each other?” Mary says.
“Yes is this not good news.” Collin says.
“Yes Collin, I am glad to hear that British law permits this.” Mary says.

Collin gets down on one knee and asks, “Lady Mary Lennox will you do the greatest honour of becoming my wife and Grand Lady of Misselthwaite Manor?” Collin asks Mary.

“Collin I don’t know what to say?” Mary says
“Lady Mary Lennox, all you need to say is yes.” Collin says.
“Collin I need to think about this will you give me time to think about it.” Mary asks Collin.
“Yes, don’t take too much time.” Collin says.
“I will have an answer for you in a few days.” Mary says.

Mary reaches for her spring coat walks out the front door of Misselthwaite Manor towards the garden. She comes to Lily’s Garden, walk into the garden, sits down on a granite bench.
Mary says, “Ma Tante Lily, dire me que pour faire avec votre fils Collin.”
Lily’s sweet voice comes from the beyond “Ma niece Mary, ceci est votre Tante Lily Suivre votre coeur Mary.”
“Tante Lily Je amour votre fils et ma cousin très que Suis Je pour faire.” Mary asks Lily’s Spirit.
“Ma nièce Mary épouse ma fils Collin vous volonté le une bien femme.” Lily tells Mary.
Mary says, “Je suis ne pas mériter être Collin’s mariée.”
Lily says in her quiet voice in the garden, “Mary ma nièce vous sont mériter être Collin’s mariée.”
Lily says to Mary while she sits in the garden, “Ma nièce Mary Je vouloir vous pour marié Collin Je savoir vous volonté faire le joyeux.”
“Aunt Lily I will marry Collin. I promise to make him a happy.” Mary says.
The gentle and quiet spirit of Lily disappears from the garden named after her memory.

Collin comes out of the manor and calls, “Mary where are you?”
“I am in the garden Collin.” Mary calls out
“I will be there in a few minutes to join and be with you.” Collin calls back.
“I will be waiting here in the garden for you Collin.” Mary returns the call.

A few minutes later, Collin walks into Lily’s Garden, he sees Mary sitting on a granite bench, and Mary says, “I have an answer for you now Collin.”
Collin looks at Mary and say, “Yes what is it?”
“Collin Craven, I will be honored to be your wife and Grand Mistress of Misselthwaite Manor.” Mary says.
“You have made me a very happy man, Mary Lennox.” Collin says slipping the engagement ring that his father gave his mother when they became engaged.

“Collin I want one thing and one thing only.” Mary asks
“What is it Mary Lennox?” Collin asks his fiancée Mary.
“I want to be married right here in Lily’s Garden.” Mary said.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Collin says, “I want my late beloved mother and father to see us marry in the garden we named in her memory.” Collin says.

“We will marry before the summer is over.” Collin says.
“Yes we will marry before autumn arrives.” Mary says to Collin.
“Mary Lennox, promise me one thing. You will never leave me.” Collin asks Mary.
“Collin Craven as long as I am alive, I will stay by your side, be a good wife to you, a good mother to our children, and the only time I will leave you is when I die.” Mary tells Collin.

“I will call the vicar and ask him to marry us in our garden.” Collin says.
“Yes call the Vicar of the little church where your late mother and father is buried, ask him to marry us.” Mary said.
“What will you wear on the day we marry, Mary Lennox?” Collin asks
“I found the very same dress that your late Mother, My late Aunt wore when she married your late father. I will wear this very same wedding dress.” Mary says.

“I know if my late mother looked beautiful in that wedding dress so will you.” Collin says.
“Collin Craven I promise to make you a good wife, to keep you happy, and never to leave you unless my time comes before yours does.” Mary says.

The wedding dress that Mary’s Aunt Lily wore on her wedding day to her Uncle Archibald was made out of the finest Brussels’s lace and white satin. It had been carefully preserved and placed into a wooden box.
Mary carefully took the dress out of the box and said, “Tante Lily, ceci est le plus belle gown Je avoir toujours voir.”
Lily’s sweet voice reappears and says “Mary vous volonté regarder belle dans ma mariée gown.”
Mary says, “Tante Lily Je désirer vous étais ici pour voir nous se faire marié.”
“Collin et vous volonté est joyeux pour se.” Lily’s voice says sweetly to Mary.

Someone interrupts Mary’s conversation with her Aunt Lily’s spirit, which is guiding her.
“Mademoiselle Mary, are you up there in Milady Lily’s room.” Mrs. Murdock calls up from the stairs.
“Yes I am here in my late Aunt Lily’s room.” Mary calls back.
“Lady Mary, Master Collin is looking for you.” Mrs. Murdock calls out
“I will be down in a minute.” Mary replies and puts the beautiful wedding dress away in the wooden box wear she found it.

Mary walks down the stairs coming from her late Aunt Lily’s room. Collin is standing at the bottom of the stairs and says, “There you are Mary.”
“I was up in my late Aunt’s room I was trying on her wedding dress that I will wear when I marry you Collin Craven.” Mary says.
“You will surely be the most beautiful bride in all of Yorkshire.” Collin says.
“Have you seen your late mother’s wedding dress Collin?” Mary asks Collin.
“No, when my mother died my father wouldn’t allow anyone to go near anything that belonged to her.” Collin says.
“When I first came to Misselthwaite Manor, I started to explore it. I found a path that lead up to your late mother’s room. It was decorated just like my late mother’s room in India.” Mary tells Collin.
“I am not surprised my mother and your mother were identical twins.” Collin says.
“They may have been identical but they were very much different from each other. Your mother was a sweet loving woman who sacrificed her life to bring you into the world. It was not her choice to leave your dear father and you when she did. My mother on the other hand was a very vain woman.” Mary said.
“I want to be more like my Aunt Lily rather than my own thoughtless mother.” Mary said to Collin.

“Mary Lennox you need to be like yourself and not like anyone else.” Collin said.
“I wanted to be pretty because my mother only liked pretty things.” Mary said.
“Mary Lennox, you are pretty. Your mother although she was my aunt was wrong.” Collin said.
“When we are married I will give you everything you ever wanted.” Collin said.
“Collin Craven I wouldn’t ask for much. You know the only thing I need is what I told you.” Mary tells Collin.

“Collin the only thing I would ask of you is that you give me just one garden out of all the gardens surrounding Misselthwaite Manor.” Mary says.
“Take any garden you want and make it into your own private garden.” Collin said.

“There are so many gardens here at Misselthwaite Manor, I don’t know what one to take and make as my own.” Mary says to Collin.
“I know why you don’t ask Ben Weatherstaff and Dickon to help you pick out your garden.” Collin asks Mary.
“What a wonderful idea, I will do that Collin?” Mary says to Collin.
“Collin have you seen Dickon or Ben Weatherstaff lately around the manor?” Mary asked Collin.
“Ben must be in the garden somewhere. I haven’t seen Dickon since we got back. Maybe his sister, Martha knows where he is?” Collin says.
“I will go find Martha and ask her where Dickon may be.” Mary says.
Mary walks out of the door of her late Uncle’s den, and walks down where the kitchen is and asks the cook, “Have you seen Martha?”
“No Mistress, I haven’t seen Martha. It may be her day off.” The cook says.
“Have you see Dickon lately?” Mary asks the Cook.
“No Ma’am, I haven’t seen Master Dickon for a while now.” The cook says, “I am sure Mrs. Murdock will know where Master Dickon is or his sister Mistress Martha is right now?”
“When you see Mrs. Murdock again, will you please let her know that Lady Mary wishes to see her immediately?” Mary asks the cook.
“Yes Ma’am I will let her know you are looking for her.” The cook says.
The male servant by the name of John, enters the room, hands Master Collin the morning mail, “here Master Collin is the mail for today.”
“Thank you John.” Collin said, taking the mail from John, and dismissing him.
Collin shifts through the mail and says, “What is this letter from abroad.”
“Mary come here I have received a letter from abroad.” Collin calls for Mary.

Mary walks into her late Uncle’s den which is now occupied by Collin, she walks over to his side and says, “a letter from who Collin?”
“It is from America.” Collin tells Mary.
“Collin do you have any distant relatives there in America?” Mary asks Collin
“I don’t know Mary. Father never told me much about his side of the family.” Collin tells Mary.
“The letter comes from Brooklyn, New York USA.” Mary says.
Mary and Collin together look at the letter, which took over two months to come to England from America.
“Why don’t you open up the letter and see who it is from?” Mary tells Collin.
Collin takes the letter opener in his hand opens up the letter from America.
The letter starts like this:
Dear Cousin Craven:
My name is Katherine Carter. My mother is a distant cousin of Lord Craven of Misselthwaite Manor, in Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom. I live in Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
I am looking to come to England and I am hoping that you dear cousin will be able to offer me your hospitality. I will be arriving in England in autumn of 1923.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely your distant cousin,
Katherine Carter.

Collin looks at Mary and says, “Perhaps she is a distant cousin through my late father’s cousin, Doctor Craven. I have never heard of this Katherine Carter.” Collin tells Mary.
“It is apparent that Miss. Carter doesn’t realize that dear Uncle Archibald has passed away.” Mary says sadly.” Miss Carter would not receive our response to her letter for two months. By that time, she will be on her way over here. The least we can offer her is our hospitality Collin.” Mary says.
“You must remember Collin, it is possible that your late father, our dear Uncle may have had other siblings and just didn’t get along with them.” Mary said.
“This is true Mary. The only other relative I have met is my late father’s cousin, Dr. Craven.” Collin says.
“It may be that our late Uncle may have had cousins he never saw or even heard of and from in a long time.” Mary said.
“This is true Mary. We know that our mother’s were related because they were identical twins. We don’t know if our late father had any brothers, sisters, or cousins living outside of England.” Collin said.
“Collin, I don’t know much about our mother’s side of the family. We know they were twin sisters. We don’t know if our mother’s had any more living family living elsewhere.” Mary told Collin.
“My father was in the British Military in that is why I was born in India. I don’t know how my late father and mother met or where they met. It must have been here in Thwaite Village.” Mary said.
“All I know is that we were both born in 1900.” Mary said, “I don’t know how old our mother’s were or when they were born.”
“I saw a document when our late father was born sometime in 1860.” Collin said.
“Uncle Archibald was born in 1860. He must have been 40 years old when you were born. I know our mother’s were not that old when they had us.” Mary said.
“I saw The Last Will and Testament of Lady Rose Lennox and it states she was born in 1880. Our mother’s were 20 years old when they gave birth to us. Aunt Lily was only 20 years old when she died shortly after giving birth to you. My own mother died at 30 years old and my late father, Colonel Albert Lennox was close to 35 years old.” Mary said.
“So much has changed Collin over the years.” Mary tells Collin.
“Yes so much has changed. We have seen two kings crowned, and one Great War ended.” Mary said to Collin.
“The most tragic event was that the Royal Family of Czar Nicholas II of Russia was executed by The Bolsheviks in 1918 when we were only eighteen years old.” Mary said.
“Yes that was sad.” Collin said.
“No wonder why Uncle Archibald sent me to Switzerland to attend Finishing School. It was considered a neutral country.” Mary said.
“I am lucky to have come out alive and am glad that An Armistice was signed between the Allie Powers and offensive powers.” Collin says.
“We have seen so much change here in England. One King has been replaced with another King and his Queen Consort. I read that His Royal Highness, King George the Fifth, and wife, Queen Mary of Teck locked away their youngest son, Prince John in the country because he was a crippled. He died at the age of 14 in 1914.” Mary said sadly
“Yes poor little Prince. It makes me wonder what would have happened to me if I had been born a cripple.” Collin said, “My dear late Father had an infirmary and Mrs. Murdock said everyone was surprised when my dear late mother married my father because society considered him a cripple.” Collin said.
“There was nothing wrong with Uncle Archibald just as there was nothing wrong with you.” Mary said.
“I grew up to live Mary, all because of you.” Collin said.
“You grew up because you wanted to and you never gave up on learning how to walk.” Mary told Collin.
“I would have never made it if it hadn’t been for my late mother’s garden, Dickon, Martha, and you believing in me.” Collin said.
“Dickon told me you had to believe in yourself.” Mary said.
“I do believe in me and I believe in you Cousin Mary.” Collin says.
“I believe in Lily’s Garden because I believe in the magic within the garden.” Mary says.

“Lady Mary, where are you?” A voice called out from the corridor
“I am here in the den with Cousin Collin.” Mary calls out
“Lady Mary, tis I Martha.” Martha calls out to Mary
“Martha! I can’t believe it is you after all these years.” Mary says hugging the chambermaid.
“Lady Mary, you have changed so. You have become so pretty.” Martha tells Mary.
“Martha, where is Dickon?” Mary asks Martha
“Dickon is out in the garden waiting for Master Collin and you.” Martha said.
Collin, get your coat on. Let’s go into the garden, see Dickon.” Mary asks Collin
“Alright Mary, we will go to the garden.” Collin says, he gets up, walks over to wear his coat is hanging up and puts it on. Mary already has her coat, gloves, and hat on.
Collin and Mary walk out the front door of the manor into the yard, which takes them into Lily’s Garden where Dickon is waiting for them.
“Dickon where are you?” Mary calls out.
“Mistress Mary I am over here in the garden.” Dickon calls out
Mary and Collin walk into the garden. There standing in the garden is a tall, good-looking Yorkshire lad. He has the bluest eyes, fairest skin, and blonde hair.
“Is that really you Dickon?” Mary asks.
“Aye it is really me Mistress Mary. Oh my-look at you. You have become quite the lady haven’t you?” Dickon asks Mary.
“Yes Dickon, I have grown up. I learned so much at the Swiss Finishing School, but you were never from my thoughts and in my heart.” Mary says to Dickon.
“Master Collin, is that really you?” Dickon asks Collin.
“Yes Dickon it is really me. I have grown up and my late father sent me to attend Oxford University.” Collin told Dickon.
“It is so good to be all together again here in our garden. We have renamed our garden in the memory of Collin’s late beloved mother, My Aunt Lily.” Mary says.
Dickon says, “We have renamed the garden Lily’s Garden.”
“It is quite fitting that you name the garden in your late beloved mother’s memory.” Dickon says.
“I am sorry to hear about Lord Craven’s passing away Master Collin.” Dickon says.
“Thank you Dickon We will miss him.” Collin says.
“Master Collin tell me all about Oxford University.” Dickon asks
“There is nothing really to tell. It is just another university.” Collin says.
“What kind of things did they teach you there?” Dickon asks Collin
“We were taught a lot of things nothing really important.” Collin said.
“What did you do while Lady Mary and I were away all of these years?” Collin asks Dickon.
“I enlisted in His Majesty’s military and performed military duties in defense of our great country England.” Dickon said.
“Yes I enlisted as well much to my late father’s disapproval.” Collin said.
“I did volunteer work for The British/Swiss Red Cross.” Mary tells Dickon.
“Master Collin, Lady Mary, Your late father and uncle would be proud of you both.” Dickon said.
“I miss Uncle Archibald. He is laid to rest next to Aunt Lily in the Anglican Church where they were married in 1899.” Mary said to Dickon.
“He is at peace now.” Dickon said to Collin and Mary.
“Yes he is at peace. Collin did you tell Dickon about the letter you received from a distant cousin who lives in America.” Mary asks Collin.
“No, I haven’t. Dickon I received a letter from a distant cousin who lives in America.” Collin said.
“You have relatives in America.” Dickon asks
“Yes her name is Katherine Carter and she lives in Brooklyn, New York.” Collin says.
“How very strange, did your late father never tell you about any cousins you had.” Dickon asks Collin.
“No, the only cousin my father use to associate with is my cousin, Dr. Craven.” Collin said.
“Have you talked to your late father’s cousin, Dr. Craven about this letter?” Dickon asks Collin.
“No, I haven’t seen Cousin Craven lately.” Dickon said.
“Katherine Carter is planning to come from America to England. She has asked if we would extend our hospitality to her while she is in England.” Mary said.
“Master Collin will you extend your hospitality to Miss. Carter?” Dickon ask Collin.
“I can’t see turning away a distant cousin.” Collin tells Dickon.
“It’s strange that my late father never mentioned these distant cousins.” Collin says.
“Just think about it Collin. We have an American Cousin.” Mary says excitingly.
“Yes we have an American Cousin.” Collin says.
“I wonder what she is like.” Mary asks Collin
“I have no idea Lady Mary, this is the first time I have ever heard about Miss. Carter.” Collin says.
“We will be able to learn about America from this American Cousin.” Mary said.
Collin says nothing but smiles at Mary’s excitement.
“Have you forgotten to share some news with Dickon Mary?” Collin reminds her.
“Dickon I have wonderful news for you. I hope you will be happy for Collin and me.” Mary says.
“What tis this news you wish to share with me Lady Mary?” Dickon asks Mary.
“Collin has asked me to marry me. I have accepted his proposal of marriage.” Mary said.
Dickon looks at Mary, then Collin and says, “My hearty congratulations to both of you Master Collin and Mistress Mary.”
“Oh thank you Dickon. We are to be married in Aunt Lily’s Garden.” Mary says.
“Ye will make a beautiful bride.” Dickon says.
“I will be wearing the same beautiful wedding dress that my late Aunt Lily wore on the day she was married to my late Uncle Archibald.” Mary says.
“I have seen photos of thee Aunt Lily. She was a beautiful woman.” Dickon said.
“Uncle Archibald gave me a silver framed photo of my late Aunt Lily with my late mother, Rose Lennox.” Mary tells Dickon, “Collin and I have found many pictures that Uncle Archibald took while my Aunt Lily was alive and expecting Collin in the garden.” Mary said.
“My late mother was beautiful.” Collin said, “It was as if my late mother sent Mary to my late father and me so we could start to live again.”
“I can almost hear my late mother tell me “My son I want you to be happy.”
“At times I answer her back in this very garden, “Dearest Mother, I miss you so. Father has now joined you. It is just Mary and me.”
Collin says, “I can hear my late mother say,” You need no one else but Mary and the garden for your happiness.”
Dickon looks at Collin and Mary and says, “There is magic here in this garden.”
“Master Collin as long as you keep your late father and mother’s memory alive in your heart they will never die and they will live on forever.” Dickon tells Collin.
“I believe that Dickon.” Collin says.
“That is well Master Collin always believe that there is magic in your late mother’s garden.” Dickon said.
Collin looks around and says, “Mary it is getting late. We need to go back to the manor.”
“Very well Collin. Dickon will we see you tomorrow.” Mary asks Dickon.
“Aye I will be here in the garden with Ben Weatherstaff.” Dickon replies.
“We will see you tomorrow Dickon, until then adieu.” Mary says and Collin and Mary walk out of the garden and back towards Misselthwaite Manor.
The skies turn into a hazy purple in the evening over Misselthwaite Manor.
Mary stands outside of the door, looks into the evening sky, and says, “It is good to be home Collin. There is nothing like Misselthwaite Manor in the summer time.”
Collin just stares at Mary and says, “Let’s go in Lady Mary.”
Collin opens the door to the manor, they walk into together, and Collin closes the door.
“There you are Master Collin.” Mrs. Murdock says.
“What is Murdock?” Collin asks
“Will Lady Mary and you be having dinner in the dining room this evening?” Mrs. Murdock asks Collin.
“Yes we will be dining in the dining room this evening.” Collin replies.
“I will let cook know that Mistress Mary and you will be dining in the dining room rather than in pantry this evening.” Mrs. Murdock says.
John, the gentlemen’s man comes up and says, “I have the evening paper for you Sir.”
“Thank you John.” Collin says thank you as he puts out his hand to receive the newspaper.
Collin scans the newspaper and says, “There is not much happening in the world so far.”

“We know at least the world is at peace. The war is coming to an end for good.” Mary said.
“Yes, I see HRH King George the V is doing well as is HRH Queen Mary of Teck.” Collin says.
“What news on the other side of the world Collin?” Mary asks Collin.
“There is not much going on any other countries.” Collin replies.
“What news from America?” Mary asks
“There is nothing much going on in America.” Collin says.
“One day Collin, I will visit America, I will want to revisit India.” Mary tells Collin.
“What is not Misselthwaite Manor not good enough for you Lady Mary?” Collin asks Mary.
“Collin Craven, there is a whole big world out there waiting for us to explore it. The world is a big garden just waiting for us to come to it.” Mary says.
“How can you be content to stay right here in England and at Misselthwaite Manor when you know the world is just waiting for us to explore it?” Mary asks Collin.
“I am content to stay right here in Yorkshire and at Misselthwaite Manor. This is my world.” Collin says.
Mary looks at Collin and says, “The world is a garden Collin. It is waiting for us to come and explore that which we may never be able to see when we get older.” Mary tells Collin.
“Uncle Archibald use to visit Paris, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain all the time.” Mary reminds Collin.
“I remember that it was when he was trying to escape my late mother’s memory.” Collin said, “It was before and even after you came to live with us ten years ago.”
“Yes that much is true Collin. Later both of you learned to live again.” Mary said.
“Yes you bought us back to life Mary.” Collin tells her.
“Don’t give me the credit. Give all the credit to your late mother’s garden. It restored you both back to life. I can see my Aunt Lily smiling down at us right now next to her is my dear Uncle Archibald.” Mary says.
“Dinner is ready Master Collin.” John informs Collin and Mary.
“Thank you John coming Mary.” Collin says offering her his arm.
They walk into the dining room, Collin pulls out her chair, and Mary sits down.
Collin walks over to his chair, pulls it out, sit down and cook brings out their dinner. They began to eat.
Mary says, “It is good to be home at Misselthwaite Manor.”
Collin smiles at Mary across the table and they eat their dinner quietly together.

 Chapter Four: The Wedding in Lily’s Garden

It was in late summer of 1923, when Lord Collin Craven and Lady Mary Lennox finally married in the garden they name in memory of Lord Collin Craven’s late beloved mother, Lady Lily Craven.

It was a beautiful sunny day, when the garden was in its most splendid form when Lady Mary walked down the runner, which led into the garden where Collin and she played in ten years before.
Mary had blossomed into a beautiful young woman. She wasn’t the same dull, little girl she once was. She resembled both her late mother, Rose and her Aunt Lily.
It was as if Lily and Rose were both present at their children’s wedding on that June day in 1923.
Mary chose to wear the same wedding dress that her Aunt Lily wore when she married Collin’s father some twenty year’s before. It was still in perfect condition.
It is as if the wedding dress was to be worn by Mary on her wedding day.
Mary stood in front of the full-length mirror in her bedroom, smiled at Martha helped her prepare for her wedding day to Lord Collin Craven.
“You look absolutely beautiful Lady Mary in your Aunt Lily’s wedding dress.” Martha tells her.
“It is beautiful I can understand why my late Uncle Archibald loved my late Aunt Lily so much even after she died shortly after giving birth to Cousin Collin.” Mary said.
“I did not know the Grand Mistress of Misselthwaite Manor, but Mrs. Murdock did. She said that Lady Lily was quite a charming lady.” Martha replied to Mary.
“I wish I had known my Aunt Lily.” Mary told Martha
“You resemble the Grand Mistress of Misselthwaite Manor.” Martha tells Mary.
“Thank you Martha.” Mary replies putting the finishing touches on her wedding dress.
“How do I look Martha?” Mary asks
“You look beautiful Lady Mary. You look very much like Lady Lily when she married Lord Archibald.” Martha tells Mary.
“I wish my Uncle Archibald and Aunt Lily where here to see Collin and I be married.” Mary said.
“Aye Lady Mary, but I know they are watching over you two today as you married each other looking down from heaven.” Martha said.
Mary smiles at her reflection in the mirror in her room.

“Mother, I wish Father and you were alive to see this day come true for Collin and me.” Mary says, “They say I look like Aunt Lily and you now.”
Mary was in her bedroom, she heard a sweet voice say to her, “Ma Cheri nièce Mary, Je vouloir vous a être joyeux.”

“Ma Cheri Tante Lily, Je vouloir a être joyeux dans ceci jour Collin et Je sont pour marié pour se.” Mary says to her Aunt’s spirit.
“Ma Cheri nièce Mary vous regarder très belle dans ceci jour.” Lily says
Martha returns to help Lady Mary and she says, “You look very beautiful Lady Mary. I know you will be happy as Master Collin’s Mistress.” Martha tells her.
“I know I will be. Collin and I have been inseparable for nearly ever. All those years we were separated.” Mary says.
“Martha, sometimes I can hear my Aunt Lily talk to me. It as if she is still very much alive and present here at Misselthwaite Manor.” Mary tells Martha.
“Ah Lady Mary, Lady Lily’s spirit is present here today. She wouldn’t miss the wedding between her dear son, Collin and her nièce, Lady Mary Lennox.” Martha tells her.
“Where is my veil I need to get it on now, I know people are waiting to see the bride out in the garden.” Mary says.
“Lady Mary, Master Collin looks so handsome.” Martha says, “Wait until you see him in his suit.” Martha says.
“Martha, is Dickon out in the garden?” Mary asks Martha
“Yes Lady Mary Dickon is out in the garden with everyone else.” Martha says.
“How many people are out in the garden?” Mary asks Martha
“Only those people Collin has invited to the wedding Ma’am.” Martha says.
“I can’t believe ten years later Collin and I are getting married to each other.” Mary says.
“I was kind of hoping that Dickon and you would be married.” Martha said.
“Martha, I can’t marry just anyone. I have to marry a man of noble means.” Mary says.
“I want you to be happy Lady Mary.” Martha says.
“I will try to be happy I wish Uncle Archibald had lived to see this day.” Mary said.
“He is Ma’am.” Martha said, “Your Aunt Lily and Uncle Archibald are watching Collin and you this very day.” Martha says.

“Ma’am it is time. They are playing the music.” Martha says.
“My bouquet, where is my bouquet?” Mary asks Martha.
“Here Lady Mary, here is your bouquet which is made of our fresh flowers from the garden.” Martha says handing Mary her wedding bouquet.

Mary walks down the staircase; the runner goes runs from the front door of the Manor all the way into the garden and up to the altar where Collin and she will be married in the garden they named in memory of Collin’s mother, Lily’s Garden.

The music is playing Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night Dream. Mary makes her way slowly up the aisle to where Collin is waiting for her.

Mary finally reaches the altar and Collin joins her in the center of the garden.
The Vicar joins them and says, “We have gathered on this day to see the marriage of Lord Collin Craven to Lady Mary Lennox.”
“Does anyone here have just cause why these two may not be joined in Holy Matrimony speak now or forever hold your peace?” The Vicar says.
The guests are quiet and The Vicar begins the wedding ceremony.

Collin and Mary exchange their wedding vows and finally the Vicar says,
“For as much as Collin and Mary have exchanged vows and rings, I pronounce Lord Collin Craven and Lady Mary Lennox, now husband and wife according to the rites of the Holy Anglican Church and laws of Great Britain. God save The King.”
“Lord Collin you may kiss your bride.” The vicar says.
Collin lifts Mary’s veil and they kiss.
Everyone applauds and Collin and Mary walk down the aisle as Lord and Lady Collin Craven of Misselthwaite Manor.

Everyone invited to the wedding comes up, congratulates Collin and Mary on their marriage.
“Mary, My love, you looked exceptionally beautiful today.” Collin tells her.
“Thank you Collin my dear. It is my Aunt Lily’s wedding dress that makes me feel beautiful.” Mary says smiling at Collin.

Collin looks handsome in his suit, which is dark black tuxedo and on his lapel, he wears a pink rose that he picked out of his late mother’s garden. The rose on his lapel complimented the pink and white roses that Mary carried in her wedding bouquet roses that came out of Lily’s Garden.

“Collin I must tell you something. While I was preparing for the wedding earlier I hear the sweetest voice speak to me in my bedroom. I hear your mother, My Late Aunt Lily talk to me just as if she was present in my bedroom with me.” Mary tells Collin.
“What did my late mother-your aunt say to you my dearest Mary?” Collin asks Mary.
“My late Aunt Lily said to me, “I want Collin and you to be happy.”
“What did you say or rather how did you answer my dear late mother?” Collin asks Mary.
Mary says, “I told her you and I would be very happy.”
“What happened after that Mary?” Collin asks her
“My Aunt Lily disappeared.” Mary said I felt terribly empty.”
“I think my late mother is watching over us just as I am sure my late father is too.” Collin assures Mary.
“I know they are Collin Ma Marié.” Mary replies.
“You are now The Grand Mistress of Misselthwaite Manor, Mary. What are your plans for Misselthwaite Manor now?” Collin asks Mary.
“I don’t know what plans I have for Misselthwaite Manor. I know one thing I will never allow anyone to work in the garden but Ben Weatherstaff and Dickon.” Mary says.
“The gardens are yours and I know you love them as much as my late mother did.” Collin said.
“Oh yes Collin, I love the gardens all of them.” Mary says.
“I know one thing my husband; I want to turn Misselthwaite Manor in a happy place like it once was. No more dark, gloomy colors.” Mary says.
“I know what you are referring to Mary. Black is a gloomy miserable color.” Collin says.
“Let us decorate Misselthwaite Manor into bright spring colors.” Mary asks Collin.
“You are the Grand Mistress of Misselthwaite Manor, do as you wish with it.” Collin says.
“I tell you one thing Collin. I will never wear Black again not until the time comes again to wear it.” Mary tells Collin.
“Collin have you heard from Katherine Carter since the first time she has written us.” Mary asks Collin.
“No, I received that one letter from Cousin Katherine and only one time.” Collin said.
“I look forward to meeting this distant cousin of yours husband.” Mary says.
“She is a mystery to me. I never knew I had distant cousins living in America.” Collin tells Mary.
“This is a great opportunity for us to learn about what is happening in America when she comes to stay with us.” Mary says.
“They don’t a monarch as England does. They have a President that oversees the many states with America.” Mary says.
“Yes I heard that- what is his name?” Collin asks Mary
“I hear the American President’s name is Woodrow Wilson.” Collin says.
“I wonder if the American President is good friends with HRH, King George the V and Queen Mary of Teck.” Mary asks Collin.
“I understand America was our Allie in the World against Germany.” Collin says.
“Yes I heard that too.” Mary replies.
“What must this American President think of HRH King George V and Queen Mary of Teck locking away their youngest son, Prince John in the English countryside?” Mary says to Collin.
“I hope the Americans don’t look at us all as uncaring people.” Collin says.
“Did you hear about the HHR Titanic tragedy, it was on its maiden voyage from England to America, and it struck an ice berg? All the people accept a handful escape death in the icy waters in 1912.” Mary says.
“I read about it while I was attending Oxford University.” Collin replies.
“It was a great tragedy.” Mary says, “The owner of the HHR Titanic somehow, found a place on one of the life boats he made his way back to New York and then ended his own life.”
“The man was a coward.” Collin says distastefully.
“All those people died needlessly.” Mary said.
“The good news is that the American President allows American Women to vote in their elections now.” Mary says proudly.
“Women voting whatever for if they have a husband?” Collin says.
“Collin Craven, women are people too. I am glad to hear that the American President sees women as valuable citizens of their country.” Mary says.
“I admit women are citizens of their countries that they live in. We have had some great Queens of England like Elizabeth the First and late HRH, Queen Victoria of a blessed memory.” Collin says.
“Yes, what of other countries those have women monarchs?” Mary asks.
“I know like The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia.” Collin states.
. Collin tells Mary.

Collin was silent as he listened to Mary talk about world events that had changed the world.
Collin looked at Mary and said, “They taught you a lot more than just the social graces at La Francais in Switzerland didn’t they. They also taught you about world events.” Collin said.
“Yes we did have other studies. They taught us ignorance is no excuse for women.”
Mary said.
“One thing Madame Mary, you are far from ignorant.” Collin said proudly.
“Thank you Monsieur Collin, coming from you that is a great compliment.” Mary said.

“Mary, My Wife, this is the happiness day of my life. I hope it is the happiness day of your life as well.” Collin asks Mary.
“Oh yes Collin my love, it is one of the happiness days of my life. I will never forget this day we said, “I love you and I do.” Mary said.
Martha watched as two of her favorite people walked hand in hand in the garden that Collin and Mary renamed Lily’s Garden. She smiled at them, and then started to walk about towards the Manor.

Mary says, “Tante Lily Je espérance et prier que vous pouvoir écouter me Collin et Je être maried aujourd'hui.”
“Je écouter vous ma nièce Mary vous avoir faire me joyeux promettre me vous volonté prendre garde de ma fils pour me.” Lily asks Mary.
“Je promettre vous Tante Lily Je volonté prendre garde de ma marié Collin pour vous.” Mary promises Lily’s spirit.
“Ma nièce ceci volonté être le dernier temps vous volonté écouter de me Je pouvoir reste en paix encore.” Lily tells Mary.
“Adieu Tante Lily.” Mary says to her.
“Adieu Ma Nièce, Je amour vous.” Lily tells her and disappears.
Collin walks into their bedroom and says, “What is it Mary?”
“Collin, your dear late mother asked me to relay a message to you from her “she loves you and now can rest at peace. She knows we have each other.”
Collin smiles and says, “I am glad that both my parents are finally at peace.”
“Yes, both are at peace and together in eternity.” Mary says.
“We have each other Mary and that is all that matters.” Collin tells Mary.
“We will always have each other until death do we part.” Mary says.
“I love You Mary Craven.” Collin tells her
“I love you Collin Craven and always will.” Mary says.

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