She was a dependable girl—clever up to a certain point, nice to those with whom she agreed, [Pg 37]affectionate to the people who did not specially prize her affection."I can't help it, my dear; I'm honest, whatever I am."
Miss Collingwood was turning away, when her mistress stretched out her hand and drew her back.
"Yes, you ought. I'm going to give you a lovely description. Papa has had his dinner, and he's pacing up and down on the walk which hangs over the lake. He is smoking a meerschaum pipe, and the dogs are with him."She looked at the merry group on the lawn, and a desire to join them, even though of course she knew she was in no sense one of them, came over her.The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story.
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"What poor dear young lady?"
"Yes; you have got to earn it first, however," replied Miss Collingwood, slipping back the pale green panel with a dexterous movement."Janet!"
Bridget O'Hara bestowed upon the four girls who stood before her a lightning glance of quizzical inquiry. She was a tall, fully developed girl, and no one could doubt her claim to beauty who looked at her even for a moment.
"O Bridget!" exclaimed the little girls, starting back in affright.