Such as it was, however, supper was a much-prized institution of Mulberry Court; only the fifth-form and sixth-form girls were allowed to partake of it. To sit up to supper, therefore, was a distinction intensely envied by the lower school. The plain fare sounded to them like honey and ambrosia. They were never tired of speculating as to what went on in the dining room on these occasions, and the idea of sitting up to supper was with some of the girls a more stimulating reason for being promoted to the fifth form than any other which could be offered."Well," said Janet, "what did that impertinent servant want? I hope you showed her her place, Dorothy? The idea of her presuming to stop us when we were so busy!"In consequence she was popular, with that mild sort of popularity which is bestowed upon the people who are all patience and have no faculty for inspiring fear.
She entered the room, then, in a long white embroidered dress, looped up here, there, and everywhere with sky-blue ribbons. It was a charming toilet, and most becoming to its wearer, but absolutely unsuitable for schoolroom work.
When Mrs. Freeman told Bridget to go away and leave her, the Irish girl stopped playing with the tendrils of hair on Evelyn's forehead, and looked at her governess with a blank expression stealing over her face.
She looked at the merry group on the lawn, and a desire to join them, even though of course she knew she was in no sense one of them, came over her.Mrs. Freeman could see them as she sat in her sitting room.
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"I do, my love. But your truest happiness is not secured by giving you your own way in everything.""But why will you dislike our dear Evelyn?"
"I don't think I ever felt my temper more irritated," murmured the good lady under her breath. "Why did I undertake an Irish girl, and one who had never been from home before? Well, the deed is done now, and I must not show impatience, however I may feel it. Bridget, my dear! Bridget O'Hara! Do you hear me?"
"How can I possibly guess?"