[Pg 27]"Don't you hear the clock?" exclaimed Dorothy, unconscious relief coming into her tones.
She stood wavering with her own conscience. Caspar was nervous, but he was not vicious.
There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress.
[Pg 54]If Dorothy chose to take the new girl's part, she supposed there was something in her, and would continue to suppose so until she had a conversation with Janet, or anyone else, who happened to have diametrically opposite opinions to Dorothy Collingwood.
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"Oh, if you take it up in that way," said Olive; but her words had a faint sound about them—she was a girl who was easily impressed either for good or evil."Much I cared for that when I had a chance of seeing her," remarked Violet. "I did get a splendid peep. She's awfully tall, and she was splendidly dressed; and O Dolly! O Ruthie! O Janey! she's just lovely!"[Pg 9]
Other new girls had arrived, and only the faintest rumors had got out about them beforehand."I'm afraid I have some unpleasant things to talk about, Miss O'Hara," she said. "But, before I begin, I must distinctly request you to remember that you are a young girl in the presence of the lady who has been appointed by your father to guide, direct, and command you."
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.
A slight additional color came into Miss Percival's cheeks.
"Did you want me, Mrs. Freeman?" she said, in her lazy, rich, somewhat impertinent voice.
Bridget opened her eyes wide, and started at the transformation scene which had taken place during the brief moment she had remained in darkness. The room was painted a pale, cool green. The walls were divided into several panels. One of these had now absolutely disappeared, and in its place was a deep recess, which went far enough back into the wall to contain shelves, and had even space sufficient for a chair or two, a sewing machine, and one or two other sacred possessions.