"Oh, papa'll pay that! Don't you fret about that, Mrs. Freeman; the dear old dad will settle it. He quite loves writing checks!""Of course it is, Violet," replied Miss Collingwood in her good-natured way. "But what a naughty imp you were to hide under the laurel arch. The wonder[Pg 8] is you did not get right in the way of the horses' hoofs."
If Dorothy chose to take the new girl's part, she supposed there was something in her, and would continue to suppose so until she had a conversation with Janet, or anyone else, who happened to have diametrically opposite opinions to Dorothy Collingwood.
"Well, let's settle to business now," said Ruth; "I'm sure I'm more than willing. Who has got a pencil and paper?""Pretty," interrupted Janet, scorn curling her lip.
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"Yes, Bridget, very nice—go and take your place, my dear. There, beside Janet May. Another morning I hope you will be in time for prayers. Of course, we make all allowances the first day. Take your place directly, breakfast is half over."
"It's a distinct insult," began Dolly. "I disapprove—I disapprove."By this time the preparations for the Fancy Fair were in active progress. Janet May had obtained her own wish with regard to the Committee, each member of which was allowed to choose a band of workers under herself, to make articles for the coming sale.
"But your father cannot pay for your disobedience—for the bad example you have set the little children, for the pain and anxiety you have given me."She was coming at mid-term, which in itself was rather exceptional.
Steps—several steps—were heard clattering up the stone stairs of the little tower, and two or three girls of the middle school, with roughly tossed heads and excited faces, burst upon the seclusion of the four sixth-form girls.
It is not an easy matter to break in a wild colt, and this was the process which had now to take place with regard to the new girl, whose eccentricities and daring, whose curious mixture of ignorance and knowledge, of affectionate sympathy and careless levity, made her at once the adored and detested of her companions.
"Thanks!" said Janet calmly.
"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."