Dorothy shared the same bedroom as Ruth and Olive. Each girl, however, had a compartment to herself, railed in by white dimity curtains, which she could draw or not as she pleased. Dorothy's compartment was the best in the room; it contained a large window looking out over the flower garden, and commanding a good view of the sea. She was very particular about her pretty cubicle, and kept it fresh with flowers, which stood in brackets against the walls.
Mrs. Freeman could not help uttering a faint, inward sigh.
"May I go with the others?" asked Miss O'Hara."Well," said Janet, "what did that impertinent servant want? I hope you showed her her place, Dorothy? The idea of her presuming to stop us when we were so busy!""But Mrs. Freeman wants you to go to bed early to-night."
She entered the room, then, in a long white embroidered dress, looped up here, there, and everywhere with sky-blue ribbons. It was a charming toilet, and most becoming to its wearer, but absolutely unsuitable for schoolroom work."Nonsense, Janet, you know you're one of the best French scholars in the school. You won't get out of answering my question by that flimsy excuse. Don't you hate Miss O'Hara?"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.
"You were not miserable yesterday."She stood for a minute or two, then walked slowly back to the window, out of which her schoolmistress leaned.
"We are each of us allowed a certain freedom here," said Dorothy. "You see these panels? It is a great promotion to possess a panel. All the girls who are allowed to have the use of this room cannot have one, but the best of us can. Now behold! Open sesame! Shut your eyes for a minute—you can open them again when I tell you. Now—you may look now."
Bridget moved restlessly. She looked out of the window. The sun was shining brilliantly, and the grass under the big shady trees looked particularly inviting.
"Oh, never mind about bed—I'm not the least sleepy."
Mrs. Freeman sighed as she said these words.