This story tells of brave Dickie Harding, the engaging little lame boy who lived at New Cross and spent a year with a tramp, besides having many other wonderful adventures. It tells, too, how Dickie nearly was made to be a burglar, of his great moon-flower, and the magic of its seeds, and how he slipped back in history five hundred years and became Master Richard Arden, who was not lame and poor, and how and why he came back again; of the Mouldiwarp, the Mouldierwarp, and the great Mouldiestwarp and what they did; of the buried treasure and how Dick and his friends found it, and so on to the end of the book.
der whether the Artistic Bird Seeds had come up parrot-colored. He had been a very long time in the hospital, and it was August now. And the nurses had assured him that the seeds must be up long ago--he would find everything flowering, you see if he didn't.
And now he went out to look. There was a tangle of green growth at the end of the garden, and the next garden was full of weeds. For the Man Next Door had gone off to look for work down Ashford way, where the hop-gardens are, and the house was to let.
A few poor little pink and yellow flowers showed stunted among the green where he had sowed the Artistic Bird Seed. And, towering high above everything else--oh, three times as high as Dickie himself--there was a flower--a great flower like a sunflower, only white.
"Why," said Dickie, "it's as big as a dinner-plate."
It stood up, beautiful and stately, and turned its cream-white face towards the sun.
"The stalk's like a little tree," said Dickie; and so it was
A rather charming tale, as Nesbit's generally are. Goes along well most of the way until the author feels the need to "explain" the magic, which might have better been left a mystery.
[I ignore stars]
A marvelous time-travel fantasy! Lame young Dickie Harding leads a pathetic life with his unpleasant aunt until he's lured away by a seemingly kind tramp into adventures that prove criminal. While trying to do the right thing, Dickie mixes into magic. Ultimately, he meets Edred and Elfrida of "The House of Arden" for whom he performs deeds of selflessness.
This novel is less complex than "Arden," but in some ways better for being more straightforward. I highly recommend both books.
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