"No, my dear," replied the head mistress, in a rather icy voice, "I have never had the pleasure of visiting Ireland."
"Well, Mrs. Freeman, you know how fond the children are of me, and I of them. They came to meet me, several of the little ones, and one tall, beautiful girl, whom I do not know. Perhaps they were all over-excited. They shouted a good deal, and waved branches of trees. Poor Caspar evidently could not stand it; but they really did nothing that anyone could blame them about."
"She was interceding for Bridget," said Dorothy."Pardon me for disturbing you," she said; "I did not know anyone was in the schoolroom at present."
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"I don't suppose that Evelyn Percival is to rule the school. She is away at present, and we can't wait on her will and pleasure. Let's form our committee, and do without her."
"Will you have some fruit?" she said coldly, laying[Pg 14] a restraining hand as she spoke on the girl's beflowered and embroidered dress.
"I'm almost certain, Dolly, that she's to sleep in a room by herself, for I saw the Blue Room being got ready. I peeped in as we were going down to dinner, and I noticed such jolly new furniture—pale blue, and all to match. Oh, what is it, Olive? Now you've pinched my arm."
There was a spirit that shone out of those gray eyes, and lent sweetness to that mouth, which was in itself so beautiful that it radiated all over Evelyn, and gave her that strong fascination which those who are striving heavenward ever possess.
"My name is Ruth," replied the girl so addressed, "and I can't guess ages. Come, Olive, let us find our French lessons and go."
"Well, Marshall is unhappy about her," replied Dorothy. "She said that Bridget would not touch her dinner. I don't exactly know what Mrs. Freeman means to do about her, but the poor girl is a prisoner in Miss Patience's dull little sitting room for the present."