"I'm afraid I have no more time to show you any of the house this evening," answered Janet. "The common room is very much the shape of this one, only without the desks. I have some of my studies to look over, so I must wish you good-evening.""No, my dear," replied the head mistress, in a rather icy voice, "I have never had the pleasure of visiting Ireland."
This morning Bridget had been practically "sent to Coventry." Even Dorothy was cold in her manner to her. The small children who had hung upon her words and followed her with delight the evening before, were now too frightened at the consequences of their own daring to come near her. Janet, Ruth, and Olive had shown their disapproval by marked avoidance and covert sneers. Bridget had done a very naughty act, and the school thought it well to show its displeasure.
"Oh, miss, it's that poor dear young lady."
"But you look queer. Are you frightened about anything?"After a little pause, during which neither mistress nor pupil spoke, the pupil raised her head.
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"Miss Collingwood," said Marshall, in a timid whisper, "might I say a word to you, miss?"
While Marshall was speaking she looked down at the pretty and rebellious young prisoner with marked interest.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.
For the first time there was a faint hesitation in her manner.