Miss Patience asked for a blessing on the meal just partaken of in a clear, emphatic voice, and the group of girls began to file out of the room."The first thing to do is to appoint a committee," she began.
"I shall do nothing to-night," said Mrs. Freeman. "But to-morrow, after morning school, I must speak to Bridget. Her conduct during that interview will more or less decide what steps I must take."
"Am I ever hard to my pupils, my love?"
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"Janet, I wish you would not speak in that bitter way."
Marshall reappeared with the asparagus and cherry tart."Look, dear," said the governess. "What is that distant speck? I am so terribly near-sighted that I cannot make out whether it is a carriage or cart of some sort."The door was opened, and a neatly dressed servant of the name of Marshall entered, bearing a dinner tray.
"We haven't a moment to lose, Dorothy," she said, "I want to speak to you alone before the rest of the committee arrive. That point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be settled. Perhaps your communication can keep, Marshall."After a little pause, during which neither mistress nor pupil spoke, the pupil raised her head.
"Then go and ask, darling. Find Mrs. Freeman, and ask her; it's so easily done."
"Yes, what a loud, metallic sound! We have such a dear old eight-day clock at the Castle; it's said to be quite a hundred years old, and I'm certain it's haunted. My dear Dolly, to hear that clock boom forth the hour at midnight would make the stoutest heart quail."