"Is she? I love her—she is a sweet darling! And you really want me to love you, Mrs. Freeman? Well, then, I will. Take a hug now—there, that's comfortable."When the servant answered her summons, she desired her to ask Miss O'Hara to come to her immediately."As to disliking Miss O'Hara, it's more a case of despising; she's beneath my dislike."
This morning Bridget had been practically "sent to Coventry." Even Dorothy was cold in her manner to her. The small children who had hung upon her words and followed her with delight the evening before, were now too frightened at the consequences of their own daring to come near her. Janet, Ruth, and Olive had shown their disapproval by marked avoidance and covert sneers. Bridget had done a very naughty act, and the school thought it well to show its displeasure.
"I shall do nothing to-night," said Mrs. Freeman. "But to-morrow, after morning school, I must speak to Bridget. Her conduct during that interview will more or less decide what steps I must take.""She's not learned, I admit," replied Olive, "but weak! no, she's not weak; no weak character could be so audacious, so fearless, so indifferent to her own ignorance.""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."
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"Look, dear," said the governess. "What is that distant speck? I am so terribly near-sighted that I cannot make out whether it is a carriage or cart of some sort."
Bridget slipped her hand into her pocket, and pulled out an exquisitely embossed vinaigrette.
All this time Miss Percival, the head girl of the school, was absent. She had been ill, and had gone home for a short change. She did not return until Bridget had been at the Court a fortnight.