"Yes, in one minute, Janet! I don't know what I'm to do, Marshall," continued Dorothy. "I should not venture to speak to Mrs. Freeman on the subject; she would be very, very angry.""No!" said Bridget. "She says they aren't good for you, so you shan't have them. Let's think of some more fun. Who's that new girl, who, you say, is going to arrive to-night?""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."
Caspar was a sensitive horse; even Janet, who had[Pg 48] no physical fear about her, disliked the way he started, and shied sometimes at his own shadow. It was scarcely likely that he would bear the shock which all those excited children would give him.
It is not an easy matter to break in a wild colt, and this was the process which had now to take place with regard to the new girl, whose eccentricities and daring, whose curious mixture of ignorance and knowledge, of affectionate sympathy and careless levity, made her at once the adored and detested of her companions.
"Very well, if it must be so, but I shall be very miserable, and misery soon makes me ill.""Oh, well; it's all right for you to be here, I suppose," said Dorothy. "What were you saying, Bridget? I didn't catch that last sentence of yours.""I hope not, Bridget."
Referral and earn.
"Will you have some fruit?" she said coldly, laying[Pg 14] a restraining hand as she spoke on the girl's beflowered and embroidered dress."Nonsense, Evelyn. They disobeyed my most stringent orders. Are they not to be blamed for that?"Breakfast was at eight o'clock at Mulberry Court. The girls always assembled a quarter of an hour before breakfast in the little chapel for prayers. They were all especially punctual this morning, for they wanted to get a good peep at Miss O'Hara.
Her attempts were extremely good, but when it came to laboriously struggling through her written score, all was hopeless confusion, tears, and despair."Oh, my dear, ought you not to be asleep?" exclaimed Miss Patience in thin, anxious tones from the other end of the board, while Miss Delicia ran up to the girl and took one of her dimpled white hands in hers.
Mrs. Freeman could scarcely restrain her impatience.
"Now, do let us be sensible," said Janet, turning to her companions. "We have seen all that there is to be seen. However hard we guess we cannot solve the mystery. Either a new companion is coming among us, who, I have no doubt, will be as commonplace as commonplace can be, or Mrs. Freeman is receiving a young lady visitor. Supper will decide the point, and as that is not half an hour away I suppose we can exist for the present without worrying our brains any further."
A loud booming sound filled the air.