She was a dependable girl—clever up to a certain point, nice to those with whom she agreed, [Pg 37]affectionate to the people who did not specially prize her affection.
By and by doubtless the poor bird would be taught to develop his notes into something richer and rarer than nature had made them, but the process would be painful. Bridget was like the bird, and she was beating her poor little wings now against her cage."I can't share your sorrow," replied Janet. "If her punishment, whatever it is, deprives us of her charming society for a few days, it will be a boon to the entire school. I noticed that she was absent from dinner, and I will own I have not had a pleasanter meal for some time.""I don't think I shall like school," she said, "but I'll do anything you wish me to do, dearest Dorothy."
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"Run back to your companions this minute, miss," said Olive Moore. "You're getting to be a perfect tittle-tattle, Violet. There, I'm not angry, child, but you must learn not to talk about everything you see."[Pg 12]"Oh, I declare, the little dear is huffed about something! Well, then, I'll tell. I'll be fifteen in exactly a month from now! What do you say to that? I'm well grown, am I not, Janet?"A slight additional color came into Miss Percival's cheeks.
Miss Percival's accident, and Bridget O'Hara's share in it, were the subjects of conversation not only that night, but the next morning.
"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."
"What is it, my dear?" The head mistress drew herself slightly up, and looked in some surprise at her pupil.
There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress.
The common room to which she conducted Miss O'Hara was entirely for the use of the elder girls; the girls of the middle and the lower school had other[Pg 20] rooms to amuse themselves in. But this large, luxuriously furnished apartment was entirely given up to the sixth and fifth-form schoolgirls.
"Cross-patch!" murmured Violet, turning her back on Janet. "Come, Marion; come, Pauline, we won't tell her any more. We'll tell you, Dolly, of course, but we won't tell Janet. Come, Marion, let's go."