"Dolly, I will clap my hands over your rosebud lips[Pg 22] if you utter another word. Come, and let us sit in this deep window-seat and be happy. Would you like to know what papa is doing at the Castle now?"Bridget stood by the window, but she heard none of these soothing sounds. Her spoilt, childish heart was in the most open state of rebellion and revolt.
"Do, my love, and call to me if you do. I would not have that dear girl frightened for the world. I am more vexed than I can say with Hickman."
"Am I ever hard to my pupils, my love?"
When the servant answered her summons, she desired her to ask Miss O'Hara to come to her immediately.All that could possibly happen would be a little fright for Evelyn, and a larger measure of disgrace for Bridget. And why should Janet interfere? Why should she tell tales of her schoolfellows? Her story would be misinterpreted by that faction of the girls who already had made Bridget their idol.
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"Here you are," exclaimed the two pairs of lips eagerly.
Small girls are easily influenced, and Bridget and her tribe rushed down the avenue, shouting and whooping as they went."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."
Mrs. Freeman breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yes, yes, I know," replied Janet, with a sneer; "she did something which shook the nerves of our beloved favorite. Had anyone else given Miss Percival her little fright, I could have forgiven her!"
The next morning, after breakfast, Mrs. Freeman went upstairs to sit with her favorite Evelyn.
"And you also dislike poor Bridget? I can't imagine why you take such strong prejudices."