"Oh, oh, oh! if you're going to take her part, that is the last straw."The Irish girl looked certainly pretty enough to win any number of susceptible small hearts at that moment. Her pale blue dress set off her graceful figure and fair complexion to the best advantage. Her mirthful, lovely eyes were raised to follow Dorothy as she disappeared into the house. Her lips were parted in a mischievous smile. She raised one hand to push back the rebellious locks of chestnut curls from her forehead.
"Yes, Marshall," said Dorothy; she stopped. Janet stopped also, and gave Marshall a freezing glance.She was not a specially clever girl, nevertheless she was now, in virtue of her seniority, and a certain painstaking determination, which made her capable of mastering her studies, at the head of the school.
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There are times in life when all one's preconceived ideas are completely upset and altered. We looked at the world from a certain point of view. From that special angle of our own it showed in gold and rose color and blue. A day came when we were forced to change our vantage ground, and on that day we for the first time perceived the grays and the blacks of that same old world—it ceased to smile on us, it ceased to pet us—it ceased to say to us, "I was made to render your life beautiful, I was made to minister to every selfish desire of yours; I am your slave, you are my mistress; do with me what you will."
After a little pause, during which neither mistress nor pupil spoke, the pupil raised her head."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."
With each fresh study Bridget showed the queer[Pg 36] vagaries of a really clever mind run more or less to seed. She did everything in a dramatic, excitable style—she was all on wires, scarcely ever still, laughing one moment, weeping the next; the school had never known such a time as it underwent during the first week of her residence among them.
"Oh, but I hate self-denial, and that dreadful motto—'No cross, no crown.' I'm like a butterfly—I can't live without sunshine. Papa agrees with me that sunshine is necessary for life."
"But Mrs. Freeman wants you to go to bed early to-night."
"Come into the schoolroom with me," said Mrs. Freeman. She was wondering how it would be possible for her to keep Bridget O'Hara in her school.
"Pardon me for disturbing you," she said; "I did not know anyone was in the schoolroom at present."