"Command me?" said Bridget, her nostrils dilating.
"Did you want me, Mrs. Freeman?" she said, in her lazy, rich, somewhat impertinent voice.
She had to own to herself that Bridget had proved a very irritating companion. She would take her part, of course; but she felt quite certain at the same time that she was going to be a trial to her. As she stood by her window now, however, a little picture of the scene which the Irish girl had described so vividly presented itself with great distinctness before Dorothy's eyes.
Olive left the room with slow, unwilling footsteps, and Janet bent her head over the copy of Molière she was studying.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."Oh, she's telling a story," whispered Olive under her breath. She settled herself contentedly to listen.
"If she had any strength, she'd be ashamed of her ignorance," retorted Janet.
"Hadn't they got leave to come to meet me?""Please wait one moment, Mrs. Freeman."
"I'm very sorry, Marshall," said Dorothy, "but Miss O'Hara has really been very naughty. You have heard, of course, of the carriage accident, and how nearly Miss Percival was hurt. It's kind of you to plead for Miss O'Hara, but she really does deserve rather severe punishment, and Mrs. Freeman is most kind, as well as just. I don't really see how I can interfere."
Dorothy could not restrain her laughter.
Olive had no inclination to join them. They had taken no notice of her, and she was not sufficiently fascinated by Bridget to run any risk for her sake. She knew that her present proceedings were wrong, but she was not at all brave enough to raise her voice in protest. She walked slowly back to the house, wondering whether she should go and tell Janet, or sink down lazily on a cozy seat and go on with a story book which was sticking out of her pocket.
"Oh, good gra——! I mean, mercy Moses!"