She was not a specially clever girl, nevertheless she was now, in virtue of her seniority, and a certain painstaking determination, which made her capable of mastering her studies, at the head of the school.After two or three applications the injured girl stirred faintly, a shade of color came into her cheeks, and she opened her eyes.Dorothy was beginning to whisper to her companion that all their excitement was safe to end in smoke, when the door at the farther end of the dining hall was softly pushed open, and a head of luxuriant nut-brown curling hair was popped in. Two roguish dark blue eyes looked down the long room—they greeted with an eager sort of delighted welcome each fresh girl face, and then the entire person of a tall, showily dressed girl entered.
"Evelyn Percival. Doesn't it sound pretty?"
"What about Evelyn?" inquired Dorothy.
"I don't agree with you," answered Olive. "Strength shows itself in many forms. Miss O'Hara is pretty.""When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
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"Janet May. This is the schoolroom where the[Pg 16] sixth form girls do their lessons. We have a desk each, of course. That room inside there is for the fifth form. I wonder which you will belong to? How old are you?"
Dorothy Collingwood ran after Mrs. Freeman.
From where they stood they obtained a very distinct although somewhat bird's-eye view of the winding avenue and quickly approaching carriage. Mrs. Freeman's tall and familiar figure was too well known to be worthy, in that supreme moment, of even a passing comment. Miss Patience looked as angular and as like herself as ever; but a girl, who sat facing the two ladies—a girl who wore a large shady hat, and whose light dress and gay ribbons fluttered in the summer breeze—upon this girl the eyes of the four watchers in the "Lookout" tower were fixed with devouring curiosity.Bridget's face turned very white. She looked wildly toward the door, then at the window.
Janet bent her fair face again over the open page; a faint flush had risen in each of her cheeks.
"And there's such a fuss made about her, too," interrupted Olive. "A carriage and pair sent to meet her, forsooth, and a separate room for the darling to sleep in. It was good-natured of you to stay with her, Dolly;[Pg 25] I assure you Ruth, and Janet, and I could not have borne another moment of her society."
"What?" said Bridget, coloring high. "Do you mean seriously to tell me that I—I am not to pick flowers? I think I must have heard you wrong! Please say it again!"