"I have some more things to say. I must get you, Bridget, before you leave this room, to make a promise."Evelyn gave a very faint sigh, and turning her head looked out of the window."No fruit, thank you. Oh, what a lovely ring you have on! It's a ruby, isn't it? My poor mother—she died when I was only three—had some splendid rubies—they are to be mine when I am grown up. Papa is keeping them for me in the County Bank. You always keep your valuables in the Bank in Ireland, you know—that's on account of the Land Leaguers."
"No, I can't do that; we have to obey rules at school, and one of our strictest rules is that no girl is to leave her own bedroom without special permission.""How solemnly you speak," said Bridget, tears [Pg 32]coming slowly up and filling her eyes. "Is that a sermon? It makes me feel as if someone were walking over my grave. Why do you say things of that sort? I'm superstitious, you know. I'm very easily impressed. You oughtn't to do it—you oughtn't to frighten a stranger when she has just come over to your hard, cold sort of country."
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"I wish you'd say what you think about Bridget. Isn't she past enduring, getting all the little ones to disobey like this? Why, she might be expelled! Yes, Janet; yes, I'm going. You needn't look at me as if you'd like to eat me!"
"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.""My attainments! Good gracious, I haven't any!"It would have been impossible for a much colder heart than Dorothy Collingwood's to resist her.
Miss Patience had a thin voice, and her words fell like tiny drops of ice on the girl's excited hearts. They followed their teachers with a certain sense of flatness, and with very little desire to attend to French verbs and German exercises.
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.