"But you look queer. Are you frightened about anything?""And so do I"—"And I"—cried both Ruth and Olive.On this special night in the mid-term the girls who were ignominiously obliged to retire to their bedrooms felt a sorer sense of being left out than ever.
"Yes, I am sure she has a good deal of physical courage, but that does not alter the fact of her having defied my authority and led the children into mischief."
"No, no—do forgive me!"She was not present, however, and did not, indeed, put in an appearance in the breakfast room until the meal was half over."Oh, never mind about bed—I'm not the least sleepy."
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"No, Bridget, you are to stay here; your dinner will be brought to you." Bridget flushed crimson.
"Come, my dears," said Miss Patience to the girls[Pg 29] near her, "let us lose no more valuable time. Please don't scrape your chair in that atrocious way, Alice. Rose, what a poke! Susie, hold back your shoulders. Now, young ladies, come to the schoolroom quietly; quietly, if you please."Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration.
"Why did you speak so sharply to her, Olive?" exclaimed Dorothy. "After all, her curiosity is but natural—I must even own that I share it myself.""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?"
"Pain and anxiety! I like that! You are just angry with me—that's about all!"
"That you will obey me."
Janet turned away, and Olive was obliged to look out for a fresh companion to attach herself to.