Summary of 'the Gardener'

When Helen Turrell became pregnant she was ashamed because she was not married. She left her home in England to have the baby in the south of France.

When she returned to England, she pretended that the baby was really her brother’s child. The brother, George, lived in India but he had died falling off his horse. This meant that Helen had to look after the child.

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Helen told other lies. She said that she had to go to the south of France because she was ill.She said the child had been born in India, but had been brought to the south of France by a nurse who had been dismissed when the child became ill, and she also said that she had given the child’s mother some money. The child was called Michael.

Helen didn’t tell him that she was his real mother. She said that she was his aunt, and that he was her nephew. Michael was sent to a private school.

At school, he was told that he was born outside mirage /illusion/ vision.When the First World War began, Michael joined the army. He did not have to do much fighting, but he was killed by an exploding shell that completely buried his body. After the war, Michael was reburied in a huge cemetery in Belgium.

After that, Helen decided to visit the grave of Michael. On her way to cemetery, she met a woman named Mrs Scarsworth, who said that she visited graves for her friends who could not come herself. She took photographs of the graves.

Late at night, Mrs Scarsworth came into Helen’s hotel room.She said that she was telling lies. Her real reason for visiting the cemetery was to visit the grave of someone special to her (probably a secret lover). On the next morning, Helen visited the cemetery. It was huge; there were thousands of black crosses that all looked the same. Helen did not know how she would find her son’s grave. A gardener approached her.

Helen said that she was looking for her nephew’s grave. The gardener said he would show her the grave of her son.