Janet was never known to lose her temper, but she had a sarcastic tongue, and people did not like to lay themselves open to the cutting remarks which often and unsparingly fell from her lips.
While Janet was speaking, Dorothy, who had refused to seat herself in the armchair assigned to her, and whose clear, bright blue eyes were roving eagerly all over the beautiful summer landscape, exclaimed in an eager voice:
An audible titter was heard down the table, and Mrs. Freeman turned somewhat red."But I'm all right to-day," said Evelyn, in her bright voice. "I don't feel any bad effects whatever from my accident. I can't think why I was so stupid as to faint, and give you a fright. I ought really to have more control over my nerves."
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A sense of disappointment was over them all, for the new girl upon whom their present thoughts were centered had not put in an appearance—nothing was said about her—Mrs. Freeman looked as tranquil as usual, Miss Patience as white and anxious, Miss Delicia as good-natured and downy."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 O'Hara's clear blue eyes were opened a little, wider apart."Thanks!" she repeated again. "If I want your help I'll ask for it, Olive. I'm going into the house now, for I really must get on with my preparation."
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she thought of this plan; but, in the first place, she had no idea how to manage it, and, what was a far more serious obstacle, her little sealskin purse, her father's last present, was empty.
"My dears," said Mrs. Freeman, answering the looks on all faces, "your young companion's extraordinary conduct can only be explained by the fact that she has never been at school before. I am going out to the garden to speak to her. You girls will now go as usual to your separate schoolrooms and commence study."
"We have lost her," said Olive, with a sigh.