Dorothy went into her own little cubicle, drew her white dimity walls tight, and, standing before the window, looked out at the summer landscape.She burst into sudden frantic weeping."And there's such a fuss made about her, too," interrupted Olive. "A carriage and pair sent to meet her, forsooth, and a separate room for the darling to sleep in. It was good-natured of you to stay with her, Dolly;[Pg 25] I assure you Ruth, and Janet, and I could not have borne another moment of her society."
Mrs. Freeman left her pupil's room, and went downstairs.
"Yes, Olive; I'm very busy. Do you want anything?"
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The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story.For the first time there was a faint hesitation in her manner."No, Bridget, you are to stay here; your dinner will be brought to you." Bridget flushed crimson."And what's the darling's name?" asked Bridget.
"I'm very sorry, Marshall," said Dorothy, "but Miss O'Hara has really been very naughty. You have heard, of course, of the carriage accident, and how nearly Miss Percival was hurt. It's kind of you to plead for Miss O'Hara, but she really does deserve rather severe punishment, and Mrs. Freeman is most kind, as well as just. I don't really see how I can interfere.""Oh, well; it's all the same," said Olive. "You won't admit the feeling that animates your breast, but I know that it is there, chérie. Now I have got something to confess on my own account—I don't like her either."
There was little use, therefore, in rushing out of her prison to join her companions in their playground or on the shore.
It really was too absurd. Janet could not help fidgeting almost audibly.
What a fuss everyone was making about that stupid Evelyn Percival. Here was the head mistress even quite in a fume because she was a minute or two late in putting in an appearance.
"I did not feel tired, Mrs. Freeman," replied the newcomer in an eager, irrepressible sort of voice. "You put me into my room and told me to go to bed, but I didn't want to go to bed. I have had my supper, thank you, so I don't want any more, but I have been dying with curiosity to see the girls. Are these they? Are these my schoolfellows? I never saw a schoolfellow before. They all look pretty much like other[Pg 13] people. How do you do, each and all of you? I'm Bridget O'Hara. May I sit near you, Mrs. Freeman?"