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.What a fuss everyone was making about that stupid Evelyn Percival. Here was the head mistress even quite in a fume because she was a minute or two late in putting in an appearance.
"But Mrs. Freeman wants you to go to bed early to-night."
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The smaller girls chatted volubly about the matter, and little Violet Temple, aged ten, and of course one of the small girls, so far forgot herself as to run up to[Pg 3] Dorothy Collingwood, clasp her hand affectionately round the tall girl's arm, and whisper in her impetuous, eager way:
"I want us to utilize our opportunities," said Janet. "We have a few minutes all to ourselves to discuss the[Pg 7] Fancy Fair, and we fritter it away on that tiresome new girl.""Oh, I am sorry!"
Her eyes were of that peculiar, very dark, very deep blue, which seems to be an Irish girl's special gift. Her eyelashes were thick and black, her complexion a fresh white and pink, her chestnut hair grew in thick, curly abundance all over her well-shaped head. Her beautifully cut lips wore a petulant but charming expression. There was a provocative, almost teasing, self-confidence about her, which to certain minds only added to her queer fascination."Sit down, Dorothy," cried Ruth, "we have kept your favorite armchair vacant for you. Now, then, to discuss the Fancy Fair in all its bearings. Is it not kind of Mrs. Freeman to consent to our having it? She says it is quite an unusual thing for girls like us to do, but in the cause of that poor little baby, and because we wish the Fancy Fair to be our break-up treat, she consents. The only stipulation she makes is that we arrange the whole programme without troubling her."
"I'm here, Dolly," she said, in her rather wistful manner.
She ran lightly down the grassy slope, and touched Dorothy on her arm.
"When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.