"Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman.Mrs. Freeman took her unwilling hand, led her into Miss Patience's dull little sitting room, which only[Pg 63] looked out upon the back yard, and, shutting the door behind her, left her to her own meditations.
"What does Janet mean?" Bridget would whisper to her nearest companion. "Is she saying something awfully clever? I'm sorry that I'm stupid—I don't quite catch her meaning."
"You don't suppose I mind her?" exclaimed Bridget. "Rudeness always shows ill-breeding, but it is still more ill-bred to notice it—at least, that's what papa says. She spoke rather as if she did not like me, which is quite incomprehensible, for everybody loves me at home."Dorothy turned with her companion; they walked along the wide gravel sweep, then entered a narrow path which wound gradually up-hill. They soon reached a rural tower, which was called by the girls "The Lookout," mounted some steep steps, and found[Pg 4] themselves standing on a little platform, where two other girls were waiting to receive them."Are you there, Janet?" said Mrs. Freeman. "Go into the house, and ask Miss Patience to follow me down the road. And see that someone goes for Dr. Hart. Alice, you can come back with me. The rest of the little girls are to go into the playroom, and to stay there until I come to them."
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Mrs. Freeman and Miss Patience had driven away in a very smart carriage with a pair of horses to meet her.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! Long may she stay there! Now, do let us drop this tiresome subject. We have only ten minutes to ourselves before the rest of the committee arrive, and that point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be arranged. Come, Dorothy, let us race each other to the Lookout!"She was a tall, slight girl, fairly good-looking, and not too strong-minded.Ruth Bury was short and dark, but Janet May, her companion, was extremely slim and fair. She would have been a pretty girl but for the somewhat disagreeable expression of her face.
"I loathe ladylike ways."
"Is she? I love her—she is a sweet darling! And you really want me to love you, Mrs. Freeman? Well, then, I will. Take a hug now—there, that's comfortable."
She was a dependable girl—clever up to a certain point, nice to those with whom she agreed, [Pg 37]affectionate to the people who did not specially prize her affection.