Caspar was a sensitive horse; even Janet, who had[Pg 48] no physical fear about her, disliked the way he started, and shied sometimes at his own shadow. It was scarcely likely that he would bear the shock which all those excited children would give him.
Janet, accompanied by Olive and Ruth, was pacing slowly backward and forward under some shady trees. Her satellites were devoted to her, and Janet's slender figure was very erect, and her manner somewhat dictatorial. Dorothy Collingwood was not to be seen, she had evidently gone to join Evelyn upstairs. The girls of the middle school were preparing to exert themselves over more than one tennis match. The smaller children were going down to the shore.Bridget's changeful face was now all glowing with excitement, eagerness, and hope. Her defiant attitude had vanished. As she looked full at Mrs. Freeman, her governess noticed for the first time that her eyelids were red, as if she had been crying. That, and a certain pathos in her voice, made the head mistress regard her in a new light.
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"And you also dislike poor Bridget? I can't imagine why you take such strong prejudices.""No. You are to take off that unsuitable afternoon costume you are now wearing, and put on a neat print dress for your morning work.""She has been ill, Biddy," said Violet. "Evelyn has been ill, but she is better now; she's coming back to-night. We are all glad, for we all love her."
"I never knew before that I had an enemy," said Janet, in her guarded voice."Oh, well; it's all right for you to be here, I suppose," said Dorothy. "What were you saying, Bridget? I didn't catch that last sentence of yours."
"I cannot go, Bridget. Mrs. Freeman would not give me leave, and she would be only annoyed at my making such a foolish proposition."
Marshall reappeared with the asparagus and cherry tart.