"Hadn't they got leave to come to meet me?"Bridget O'Hara's clear blue eyes were opened a little, wider apart.
"Please remember——" she began.
"You are not to pick flowers, Miss O'Hara; it is against the rules of the school.""How can I possibly guess?"Bridget stood by the window, but she heard none of these soothing sounds. Her spoilt, childish heart was in the most open state of rebellion and revolt.
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"And what's the darling's name?" asked Bridget.
"Bridget, do look," said Mrs. Freeman; "you have trodden on that lovely bud!""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!"As she cut the blossoms off, she flung them into her white skirt, which she had raised in front for the purpose. Now, as she ran to meet Mrs. Freeman, the skirt tumbled down, and the roses—red, white, and crimson—fell on the ground at her feet.
"Very well, if it must be so, but I shall be very miserable, and misery soon makes me ill."Bridget's excitable eager words were broken by sobs; tears poured out of her lovely eyes, her hands clasped Dorothy's with fervor."New girl!" exclaimed Katie, "why, she's about the very oldest girl in the school—the oldest and the nicest. She's the head of the school. We call her our queen. She's not like you, Biddy, of course; but she's very nice—awfully nice!"
Mrs. Freeman spoke calmly, but there was a look about her face which gave Janet a very queer sensation. The schoolmistress took Alice's hand, and walked as quickly as she could to the scene of the accident.
"But Mrs. Freeman wants you to go to bed early to-night."
Bridget's movements were so fleet that the head mistress had no time to intercept her; there was a flash of a white dress disappearing through the open window, and that was all.