"The wind dropped as if it were dead. After screeching as if it had the tongues of hundreds of Furies, it was mummer than the timidest mouse that ever crept. The Castle ceased to rock; it was the suddenest and [Pg 42]deadest calm you could possibly imagine. It was miles more frightful than the storm. Just then there came a little puff of a breeze out of the solid stone wall, and out went my candle."Evelyn gave a very faint sigh, and turning her head looked out of the window.
"Well, let's settle to business now," said Ruth; "I'm sure I'm more than willing. Who has got a pencil and paper?"
"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!"Janet and Olive Moore were returning slowly to the house after a vigorous game of tennis. They stopped to look down at the group who surrounded Dorothy.In all her life Bridget had never been cut before.Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration.
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She saw the wild landscape, the steep gravel path[Pg 26] which overhung the lake, the old squire with his white hair, and tall but slightly bent figure, pacing up and down, smoking his pipe and surrounded by his dogs. Dorothy fancied how, on most summer evenings, Bridget, impetuous, eager, and beautiful, walked by his side. She wondered how he had brought himself to part with her. She gave a little sigh as she shut the picture away from her mind, and as she laid her head on her pillow, she resolved to be very kind to the new girl."I loathe ladylike ways."There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart.
She had to own to herself that Bridget had proved a very irritating companion. She would take her part, of course; but she felt quite certain at the same time that she was going to be a trial to her. As she stood by her window now, however, a little picture of the scene which the Irish girl had described so vividly presented itself with great distinctness before Dorothy's eyes.Mrs. Freeman could scarcely restrain her impatience.
"Now, Marshall, what is it? How fussy and important you look!"
A slight additional color came into Miss Percival's cheeks.