"But Mrs. Freeman said——"
"Come now, Janet," she said, "confession is good for the soul—own—now do own that you cordially hate the new girl, Bridget O'Hara."
Dorothy turned with her companion; they walked along the wide gravel sweep, then entered a narrow path which wound gradually up-hill. They soon reached a rural tower, which was called by the girls "The Lookout," mounted some steep steps, and found[Pg 4] themselves standing on a little platform, where two other girls were waiting to receive them.Janet turned away, and Olive was obliged to look out for a fresh companion to attach herself to.
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"I must have a cupboard like that," said Biddy. "Why, it's perfectly delicious!"
"Earn it—how? Do you mean pay extra for it? Oh, that can be easily managed—I'll write to papa at once. He has heaps of money, even though he is Irish, and he can deny me nothing. He's paying lots more for me than most of the girls' fathers pay for them. That's why I have a room to myself, and why I am to have riding lessons, and a whole heap of things. But I mean to share all my little comforts with you, you darling. Oh, if the cupboard is to be bought, I'll soon have one. Now let us sit in this cosy, deep seat in the window, and put our arms round one another and talk." The great clock in the stable struck nine.[Pg 45]
"Am I ever hard to my pupils, my love?"Olive left the room with slow, unwilling footsteps, and Janet bent her head over the copy of Molière she was studying.
At the dear old wild Castle in Ireland she had been idolized by everyone, the servants had done her bidding, however extravagant and fanciful that bidding had been. She led her old father where she wished with silken reins. The dogs, the horses, even the cows and the calves, followed Bridget like so many faithful shadows. In short, this wild little girl was the beloved queen of the Castle. To cut her, or show her the smallest incivility, would have been nothing short of high treason.
"Bridget, my dear, before you come into the schoolroom I must request that you go upstairs and change your dress."
Small girls are easily influenced, and Bridget and her tribe rushed down the avenue, shouting and whooping as they went.
She had not passed a pleasant morning, however, and this plan scarcely commended itself to her.