"Please wait one moment, Mrs. Freeman.""Yes, yes, I know," replied Janet, with a sneer; "she did something which shook the nerves of our beloved favorite. Had anyone else given Miss Percival her little fright, I could have forgiven her!""I'm almost certain, Dolly, that she's to sleep in a room by herself, for I saw the Blue Room being got ready. I peeped in as we were going down to dinner, and I noticed such jolly new furniture—pale blue, and all to match. Oh, what is it, Olive? Now you've pinched my arm."
"How can I possibly tell you, Miss O'Hara?" she replied. "You are a tall girl. Perhaps you are seventeen, although you look more."
Bridget was sitting in the middle of the dusty road with a girl's head on her lap. The girl's figure was stretched out flat and motionless; her hat was off, and Bridget was pushing back some waves of fair hair from her temples.
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These remarks usually turned the tables against Janet May, but they also had another effect. She began to be sparing of her sharp, unkind words in Bridget's hearing. This, however, did not prevent her hating the new girl with the most cordial hatred she had ever yet bestowed upon anyone.
Oh, yes, she ought to tell; and yet—and yet——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.The girls were leaving the dining room while these thoughts were flashing through Marshall's mind. Dorothy and Janet May were walking side by side.The school stood on the side of a hill, which faced downward to the sea. Its aspect was south, and it was sheltered from the east and west winds by a thick plantation of young trees, which looked green and fresh in the spring, and were beginning already to afford a delightful shade in hot weather.
"I suppose I may go," she said, "if that's all you have got to say?""No, Bridget, you cannot. You have been sent here to be under my care, and you must remain with me at least until the end of the term."
Miss Percival's accident, and Bridget O'Hara's share in it, were the subjects of conversation not only that night, but the next morning.
"That I was to take you round and introduce you to a few companions," continued Janet hastily. "Miss Collingwood, Miss O'Hara—Miss Moore, Miss O'Hara—Miss Bury, Miss O'Hara. Now I have done my duty. If you like to see the common room for yourself, you can go straight through this folding door, turn to your left, see a large room directly facing you; go into it, and you will find yourself in the common room. Now, good-night."