[Pg 56]"Poor girl!" said Evelyn, a wistful expression coming into her eyes.
"I don't mean that sort of learning, Bridget. I mean what you acquire from books—grammar, French, music."
At the dear old wild Castle in Ireland she had been idolized by everyone, the servants had done her bidding, however extravagant and fanciful that bidding had been. She led her old father where she wished with silken reins. The dogs, the horses, even the cows and the calves, followed Bridget like so many faithful shadows. In short, this wild little girl was the beloved queen of the Castle. To cut her, or show her the smallest incivility, would have been nothing short of high treason.
"Dolly, I will clap my hands over your rosebud lips[Pg 22] if you utter another word. Come, and let us sit in this deep window-seat and be happy. Would you like to know what papa is doing at the Castle now?""Hurrah! Hurrah! Long may she stay there! Now, do let us drop this tiresome subject. We have only ten minutes to ourselves before the rest of the committee arrive, and that point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be arranged. Come, Dorothy, let us race each other to the Lookout!"Should she run away altogether? Should she walk to Eastcliff and take the next train to London, and then, trusting to chance, and to the kindness of strangers, endeavor to find her way back to the dear and loving shores of the old country, and so back again to the beloved home?
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What a fuss everyone was making about that stupid Evelyn Percival. Here was the head mistress even quite in a fume because she was a minute or two late in putting in an appearance.
Bridget's face turned very white. She looked wildly toward the door, then at the window.
"I'm very busy, Olive; I wish you'd go away!"
"How disagreeable! I can't live without flowers. I suppose papa will not expect me to stay if I don't like the place?"
Bridget raised her brows the tenth of an inch. The faintest shadow of surprise crossed her sweet, happy face. Then she walked down the long room, nodding and smiling to the girls.
"I wish you'd go away, child!" said Janet in a decidedly cross tone. "What are all you small girls doing out and about at this hour? Surely it's time for you to be in bed. What can Miss Marshall be about not to have fetched you before now?"