Mary wakes up excited to start another day of gardening—only to find that it's the middle of the night, and the rain is so loud that it woke her up.
Mary sulks. How dare the weather turn bad when she finally has something to look forward to?
But obviously, if you're living in a house with over a hundred rooms, there is probably something to look at.
She hears that quiet crying sound again, and she decides to go find it, even though it's late at night.
She turns down a number of passages and finds a big room with a low fire and expensive furniture.
There is a boy lying in bed, looking tired and annoyed. His name is Colin.
There's a lot of confusion between Colin and Mary: Are they both sure that the other isn't a ghost? How is it possible that they can both be real? Two unknown, lonely children in the same house? What's going on here?
It turns out that Colin is Mr. Craven's son.
Colin was born when Mrs. Craven died, and Mr. Craven can't stand to look at him because he reminds Mr. Craven too much of his beloved dead wife.
Mr. Craven is also worried that Colin is doomed to be "a hunchback" (13.42) since Mr. Craven's shoulders are crooked, and that Colin is too sickly to live to adulthood.
So Colin spends most (or all, in fact) of his time inside his giant mansion being fussed over.
All of the servants have to do exactly what he tells them, or he'll throw the most over-the-top tantrums. (This sounds a lot like pre-garden Mistress Mary Quite Contrary…)
But he doesn't really enjoy any of his hissy fits—in fact, he doesn't enjoy anything.
Colin admits that some great doctor said he would be fine if he got out more in the fresh air and was less spoiled.
But Colin hates going outside, so that's the end of that.
Mary tells Colin about the Secret Garden (which she pretends is just a story—Mary is about as secretive as they come) and Colin seems interested at last. Colin decides that he would be willing to give fresh air a try if it's in the Secret Garden.
Colin shows Mary a portrait hanging behind a curtain.
It's of a beautiful woman who looks a lot like Colin. In fact, it's Colin's mother.
Colin had the portrait covered because he's mad at her for dying and leaving him alone.
Mary promises to come back to talk to Colin, and to tell him if she finds the Secret Garden
Colin asks Mary to stay while he falls asleep, and she sings him a lullaby her Ayah used to sing to her.