Bridget, her hat hanging on her arm, defiance very marked on her brow, came suddenly into view. She was alone, and Mrs. Freeman noticed that Janet and her two companions stopped to look at her as if they rather enjoyed the spectacle. They paused for a moment, stared rudely, then turned their backs on Miss O'Hara.
The carriage lay smashed a couple of hundred yards from the gates of the avenue.
"But your father cannot pay for your disobedience—for the bad example you have set the little children, for the pain and anxiety you have given me."
She called Bridget's name, but the wind, which was rather high this morning, carried her voice away from the young girl, who was gayly flitting from one rosebush [Pg 30]to another, ruthlessly pulling the large, full-blown flowers with buds attached.[Pg 70]
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"I'm here, Dolly," she said, in her rather wistful manner."Now, my dear, you are not going to plead for her. I must manage her my own way. I will leave you now, Evelyn. Rest all you can, dear, and if you are very good you may perhaps be allowed to join us at supper."
"How disagreeable! I can't live without flowers. I suppose papa will not expect me to stay if I don't like the place?""But Mrs. Freeman said——"
"Oh, I am sorry!"
Mrs. Freeman spoke calmly, but there was a look about her face which gave Janet a very queer sensation. The schoolmistress took Alice's hand, and walked as quickly as she could to the scene of the accident.
"Here you are," exclaimed the two pairs of lips eagerly.
She sat down presently on the nearest chair and covered her face with her hands. She could only resolve on one thing—she would certainly not yield to Mrs. Freeman's request—nothing would induce her to promise to obey the rules of the school.