Bridget O'Hara's clear blue eyes were opened a little, wider apart.Oh, yes, she ought to tell; and yet—and yet——"But you look queer. Are you frightened about anything?"
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.
"Oh, my!" exclaimed Miss O'Hara, "that's nothing. Goodness gracious me! what would you think of thirty or forty miles on an Irish jaunting car, all in one day, Mrs. Freeman? That's the sort of thing to make the back ache. Bump, bump, you go. You catch on to the sides of the car for bare life, and as likely as not you're pitched out into a bog two or three times before you get home. Papa and I have often taken our thirty to forty miles' jaunt a day. I can tell you, I have been stiff after those rides. Did you ever ride on a jaunting car, Mrs. Freeman?"
"How disagreeable! I can't live without flowers. I suppose papa will not expect me to stay if I don't like the place?"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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"You shall see the girls one at a time in your room, darling, for whether you feel well or not, the doctor wishes you to remain quiet to-day."
[Pg 31]"People will like you here too," she said. "I am certain you are very good-natured; come and let me[Pg 19] show you some of our snug little arrangements in the common room, and then I think it will be time for bed.""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."
No, there was nothing to be alarmed about. Evelyn was too silly, with her nerves and her fads. Janet stood by the bend of the hill. Her thoughts were so busy that she scarcely troubled herself to listen for the approaching carriage.
When she said this a quick change flitted over Janet's face. She bit her lips, and, after a very brief pause, said in a voice of would-be indifference:
"Sit down, Dorothy," cried Ruth, "we have kept your favorite armchair vacant for you. Now, then, to discuss the Fancy Fair in all its bearings. Is it not kind of Mrs. Freeman to consent to our having it? She says it is quite an unusual thing for girls like us to do, but in the cause of that poor little baby, and because we wish the Fancy Fair to be our break-up treat, she consents. The only stipulation she makes is that we arrange the whole programme without troubling her."
"Evelyn Percival. Doesn't it sound pretty?"