"And if she happens to fancy Bridget she won't mind[Pg 40] a word we say against her. She never does mind what anyone says. You know that, Janet."There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress.
"I hate school," she said. "I want to go back to the Castle. Can I go to-day?"
"Oh, she's telling a story," whispered Olive under her breath. She settled herself contentedly to listen."But you look queer. Are you frightened about anything?"
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[Pg 43]"Then go and ask, darling. Find Mrs. Freeman, and ask her; it's so easily done."
"Nonsense, Evelyn. They disobeyed my most stringent orders. Are they not to be blamed for that?""Earn it—how? Do you mean pay extra for it? Oh, that can be easily managed—I'll write to papa at once. He has heaps of money, even though he is Irish, and he can deny me nothing. He's paying lots more for me than most of the girls' fathers pay for them. That's why I have a room to myself, and why I am to have riding lessons, and a whole heap of things. But I mean to share all my little comforts with you, you darling. Oh, if the cupboard is to be bought, I'll soon have one. Now let us sit in this cosy, deep seat in the window, and put our arms round one another and talk." The great clock in the stable struck nine.It is not an easy matter to break in a wild colt, and this was the process which had now to take place with regard to the new girl, whose eccentricities and daring, whose curious mixture of ignorance and knowledge, of affectionate sympathy and careless levity, made her at once the adored and detested of her companions.
"But Mrs. Freeman said——"
Marshall reappeared with the asparagus and cherry tart.
Dorothy, Bridget, and a number of the girls of the lower school were walking up and down a broad road which led to the shore. They were talking and laughing. The smaller girls were dancing and running about in their eagerness. Some very funny proposal had undoubtedly been made, and much explosive mirth was the result.