She went downstairs and entered her own private sitting room. It was now half-past eleven o'clock, and morning school was over. The weather was too hot for regular walks, and the girls were disporting themselves according to their own will and pleasure on the lawns and in the beautiful grounds which surrounded the school.Marshall departed, and Bridget lifted the cover from her plate and looked at the nice hot lamb and green peas."Yes, Olive; I'm very busy. Do you want anything?""She's not so bad at all," began Dorothy.
The summer sounds came in to her, for the window of her dull room was open, the birds were twittering in the trees, innumerable doves were cooing; there was the gentle, soft whisper of the breeze, the cackling of motherly hens, the lowing of cows, and, far away beyond and over them, the insistent, ceaseless whisper of the gentle waves on the shore.
Miss Delicia was fussing in and out of the house, and picking fresh strawberries, and nodding to the girls she happened to meet with a kind of suppressed delight."What?" said Bridget, coloring high. "Do you mean seriously to tell me that I—I am not to pick flowers? I think I must have heard you wrong! Please say it again!""Shall I really—how unfortunate; but she doesn't look a bad-tempered woman, and what is there in wishing for fresh eggs? Stale eggs aren't wholesome."
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Miss Collingwood was turning away, when her mistress stretched out her hand and drew her back.
"No, not very. The younger girls were fond of me, and Dorothy Collingwood was nice."
Dorothy suppressed a faint sigh, took her companion's plump hand, and continued the tour of investigation.
"And so do I"—"And I"—cried both Ruth and Olive.