"Sit there, Miss O'Hara, please," said Mrs. Freeman. She tried to suppress a smile, which was difficult. "Girls," she said, addressing the fifth and sixth forms, "girls, this young lady is your new schoolfellow—her name is Bridget O'Hara. I meant to introduce her to you formally to-morrow, but she has taken the matter into her own hands. I am glad you are not tired, Miss O'Hara, for you have had a very long journey."There was a spirit that shone out of those gray eyes, and lent sweetness to that mouth, which was in itself so beautiful that it radiated all over Evelyn, and gave her that strong fascination which those who are striving heavenward ever possess.
"The precious love, how nicely she talks, and how I love her gentle, refined words. But, darling, I'm not going to bed, for I'm not tired."
A loud booming sound filled the air."Yes, my dear, what is it?"With each fresh study Bridget showed the queer[Pg 36] vagaries of a really clever mind run more or less to seed. She did everything in a dramatic, excitable style—she was all on wires, scarcely ever still, laughing one moment, weeping the next; the school had never known such a time as it underwent during the first week of her residence among them."I don't think I shall like school," she said, "but I'll do anything you wish me to do, dearest Dorothy."
The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story.
"Good gracious, why, that's weeks off! I can't live without flowers for weeks! Look here, Mrs. Freeman; is there not to be an exception made for me? Papa said, when I was coming here, that my happiness was to be the first thing considered. Don't you agree with him? Don't you wish me to be very, very happy?"
"Oh, good gra——! I mean, mercy Moses!"
"I can't help it, my dear; I'm honest, whatever I am."