Dorothy, Bridget, and a number of the girls of the lower school were walking up and down a broad road which led to the shore. They were talking and laughing. The smaller girls were dancing and running about in their eagerness. Some very funny proposal had undoubtedly been made, and much explosive mirth was the result."Oh, how very funny—how—how unpleasant. Did you tell papa about that when he arranged to send me here?"
From where they stood they obtained a very distinct although somewhat bird's-eye view of the winding avenue and quickly approaching carriage. Mrs. Freeman's tall and familiar figure was too well known to be worthy, in that supreme moment, of even a passing comment. Miss Patience looked as angular and as like herself as ever; but a girl, who sat facing the two ladies—a girl who wore a large shady hat, and whose light dress and gay ribbons fluttered in the summer breeze—upon this girl the eyes of the four watchers in the "Lookout" tower were fixed with devouring curiosity.
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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.
"Yes, I am sure she has a good deal of physical courage, but that does not alter the fact of her having defied my authority and led the children into mischief."
"And what's the darling's name?" asked Bridget.
Janet was never known to lose her temper, but she had a sarcastic tongue, and people did not like to lay themselves open to the cutting remarks which often and unsparingly fell from her lips.
The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story.