She looked at her friend with a cool, critical eye.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."Yes, my love, or she would not be returning."
"Don't do that, Bridget," said Miss Patience; "you are disturbing me."
The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story.
"My name is Ruth," replied the girl so addressed, "and I can't guess ages. Come, Olive, let us find our French lessons and go.""I don't know how I can, Mrs. Freeman. I said at once, when I came to school and saw what kind of place it was, that I wouldn't obey the rules. They were so tiresome and silly; I didn't see the use of them."The room was something like a drawing room, with many easy-chairs and tables. Plenty of light streamed in from the lofty windows, and fell upon knickknacks and brackets, on flowers in pots—in short, on the many little possessions which each individual girl had brought to decorate her favorite room.
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"I'd punish her very severely," said Miss Patience. "I am sure punishment is what she wants. She ought to be broken in.""Very well, if it must be so, but I shall be very miserable, and misery soon makes me ill."
"I don't mind your kissing me, Bridget, only does not it seem a little soon—I have not known you many minutes yet?"
The Irish girl looked certainly pretty enough to win any number of susceptible small hearts at that moment. Her pale blue dress set off her graceful figure and fair complexion to the best advantage. Her mirthful, lovely eyes were raised to follow Dorothy as she disappeared into the house. Her lips were parted in a mischievous smile. She raised one hand to push back the rebellious locks of chestnut curls from her forehead.
"No, no—do forgive me!"
If Dorothy chose to take the new girl's part, she supposed there was something in her, and would continue to suppose so until she had a conversation with Janet, or anyone else, who happened to have diametrically opposite opinions to Dorothy Collingwood.
"I don't think I ought to listen to you, Bridget."