"Pardon me for disturbing you," she said; "I did not know anyone was in the schoolroom at present.""How do you do, all of you?" she said. "Well, Janet, good-morning"; she tapped Janet's indignant back with her firm, cool hand, and dropped into her place.
Mrs. Freeman sighed as she said these words.
An audible titter was heard down the table, and Mrs. Freeman turned somewhat red.Ruth clapped her hands.
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"Yes, Bridget, very nice—go and take your place, my dear. There, beside Janet May. Another morning I hope you will be in time for prayers. Of course, we make all allowances the first day. Take your place directly, breakfast is half over."The girls entered the wide, long dining hall and immediately took their places at the table.
In about ten minutes' time Bridget came into the room without knocking. Her hat was still swinging on her arm; there was a wild-rose color on her cheeks; her eyes had a certain excited, untamed gleam in them."When will that be?""Oh, let me look; do let me look!" cried Ruth, while Olive and Janet both pressed eagerly forward.
"He'll be sorry he sent me; he'll be sorry he listened to Aunt Kathleen," she said to herself.
"I did not feel tired, Mrs. Freeman," replied the newcomer in an eager, irrepressible sort of voice. "You put me into my room and told me to go to bed, but I didn't want to go to bed. I have had my supper, thank you, so I don't want any more, but I have been dying with curiosity to see the girls. Are these they? Are these my schoolfellows? I never saw a schoolfellow before. They all look pretty much like other[Pg 13] people. How do you do, each and all of you? I'm Bridget O'Hara. May I sit near you, Mrs. Freeman?"
She did not attempt to rise to her feet, however, and Mrs. Freeman was far too much absorbed to take any further notice of her.