A flash of self-pity filled her eyes, but there was some consolation in reflecting on the fact that no one could force her to eat against her will.Bridget O'Hara bestowed upon the four girls who stood before her a lightning glance of quizzical inquiry. She was a tall, fully developed girl, and no one could doubt her claim to beauty who looked at her even for a moment.
"Poor old dear! But wanting Biddy O'Hara to do a thing, and making her do it, are two very different matters. I'll go to bed when I'm tired—papa never expected me to go earlier at home. I declare I feel quite cheerful again now that I have got to know you, Dorothy. Janet is not at all to my taste, but you are. What a pretty name you have, and you have an awfully sweet expression—such a dear, loving kind of look in your eyes. Would you mind very much if I gave you a hug?"
"Thanks!" said Janet calmly."O Dolly," they exclaimed, running up to their favorite, "she has come—we have seen her! She is very tall, and—and——""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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"It wasn't father, it was Aunt Kathleen. She chose my outfit in Paris. Oh, I do think it's lovely. I do feel that it's hard to be crushed on every point."
Other new girls had arrived, and only the faintest rumors had got out about them beforehand."Now, how old am I?" she asked, stamping her arched foot. "Don't be shy, any of you. Begin at the[Pg 17] eldest, and guess right away. Now then, Miss Collingwood—you see, I know your name—the age of your humble servant, if you please."
"What do you mean, Olive?" Olive turned and looked at Janet.
"The precious love, how nicely she talks, and how I love her gentle, refined words. But, darling, I'm not going to bed, for I'm not tired."