The girls took their places at the table—grace was said, and the meal began."Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman."I'm sick of the new girl," said Janet; "if you are going to talk about her I shall go into the house; I want to look over my French preparation. M. le Comte is coming to-morrow morning, and he is so frightfully over-particular that I own I'm a little afraid of him."
"Well, well," interrupted Janet impatiently, "have your own way, Olive. Make that tiresome, disagreeable girl a female Hercules if you fancy, only cease to talk about her. That is all I have to beg."
She sat down presently on the nearest chair and covered her face with her hands. She could only resolve on one thing—she would certainly not yield to Mrs. Freeman's request—nothing would induce her to promise to obey the rules of the school.
"I know," echoed Janet, a queer angry light filling her eyes for a minute. "Oh, dear! oh, dear! What with our examinations and the Fancy Fair, and all this worry about the new girl, life scarcely seems worth living—it really doesn't.""She's not at all impertinent," said Dorothy. "After all, Janet, servants are flesh and blood, like the rest of us, and this poor Marshall, although she's not the wisest of the wise, is a good-natured creature. What do you think she wanted?"
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"I could not help myself," replied Dorothy. "You know, of course, Janet, what Bridget did last night?"Olive looked at her steadily.
Bridget uttered a faint sigh.
Dorothy pulled an envelope out of her pocket. Olive searched into the recesses of hers to hunt up a lead pencil, and Janet continued to speak in her tranquil, round tones.
"Well," said Janet, "if you insist on spoiling everything, girls, you must. You know what Evelyn is."
"I must have a cupboard like that," said Biddy. "Why, it's perfectly delicious!"
"My dear," she said, "I cannot grant your request. You have been sent to me by your father. He wishes you to stay here as long as you are well in body. You are quite well, Bridget; you must therefore make up your mind, whether you like school or whether you hate it, to remain here until the end of the term."