There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress.Her eyes were of that peculiar, very dark, very deep blue, which seems to be an Irish girl's special gift. Her eyelashes were thick and black, her complexion a fresh white and pink, her chestnut hair grew in thick, curly abundance all over her well-shaped head. Her beautifully cut lips wore a petulant but charming expression. There was a provocative, almost teasing, self-confidence about her, which to certain minds only added to her queer fascination.
"Hate her?" said Janet; "there must be a certain strength about a girl to make you hate her. I've a contempt for Bridget, but I don't rouse myself to the exertion of hating."
She never came into a room without exercising in a silent, unobtrusive, very gentle way, a marked effect for good.Marshall had to be comforted with this rather dubious speech, and Dorothy ran on to join Janet.Bridget dropped back into her seat with a profound sigh. Presently the dinner gong sounded, and Miss Patience put away her papers and accounts, and shutting up her desk, prepared to leave the room. Bridget got up too. "I am glad that is dinner," she said; "I'm awfully hungry. May I go up to my room to tidy myself, Miss Patience?"
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Notwithstanding these various criticisms, the carriage with its occupants calmly pursued its way, and was presently lost to view in the courtyard at the side of the house."Well, I'm here," she said; "what is it?" She still used that half-mocking, indifferent voice.
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.
"I ought not to speak," said Dorothy, turning very red, "but if you are going to be hard on Bridget——"
Miss Delicia was fussing in and out of the house, and picking fresh strawberries, and nodding to the girls she happened to meet with a kind of suppressed delight.