She scrutinized Olive's face now, a slightly satirical expression hovering round her somewhat thin lips."I know we've all been awfully naughty, but we didn't think Caspar would mind the boughs. He turned sharp round and something happened to the wheels of the carriage—and—and—oh, Mrs. Freeman, do come. I think Evelyn must be dead, she's lying so still."She was not present, however, and did not, indeed, put in an appearance in the breakfast room until the meal was half over.She saw the wild landscape, the steep gravel path[Pg 26] which overhung the lake, the old squire with his white hair, and tall but slightly bent figure, pacing up and down, smoking his pipe and surrounded by his dogs. Dorothy fancied how, on most summer evenings, Bridget, impetuous, eager, and beautiful, walked by his side. She wondered how he had brought himself to part with her. She gave a little sigh as she shut the picture away from her mind, and as she laid her head on her pillow, she resolved to be very kind to the new girl.
"Bridget, you are talking a great deal of nonsense," said Dorothy, "and I for one am not going to listen to you. We are much too sensible to believe in ghost stories here, and there is no use in your trying to frighten us. Good-by, all of you; I am off to the house!"
"Thanks!" said Janet calmly.The summer sounds came in to her, for the window of her dull room was open, the birds were twittering in the trees, innumerable doves were cooing; there was the gentle, soft whisper of the breeze, the cackling of motherly hens, the lowing of cows, and, far away beyond and over them, the insistent, ceaseless whisper of the gentle waves on the shore."O Bridget!" exclaimed the little girls, starting back in affright.
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"If I had only some smelling salts," she began.
When the servant answered her summons, she desired her to ask Miss O'Hara to come to her immediately.On her way downstairs Mrs. Freeman stepped for a moment into Bridget's room. Her pupil's large traveling trunks had been removed to the box room, but many showy dresses and much finery of various sorts lay scattered about.
"He will expect you to stay until the end of the term."
"Can't you, Bridget? I'm afraid I must make you understand that the fact of Evelyn being uninjured does not alter your conduct."
Mrs. Freeman could be austere as well as kind, and Mrs. Freeman was ten times more loved than Miss Delicia.
Olive looked at her steadily.