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, I am sorry!"
Olive Moore belonged to the toadying faction in the school. Toadies, however, can be useful, and Janet was by no means above making use of Olive in case of need."Dolly, I will clap my hands over your rosebud lips[Pg 22] if you utter another word. Come, and let us sit in this deep window-seat and be happy. Would you like to know what papa is doing at the Castle now?"
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"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."
"That's as bad as the other expression, Bridget.""I feel quite well," replied Evelyn, "quite well, and disinclined to stay in bed. I want to get up and see all my friends. You don't know how I have been looking forward to this."
"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."Bridget was a fortnight at the school, and had more or less shaken down into her place, when the evening arrived on which Miss Percival was to return.
Bridget raised her brows the tenth of an inch. The faintest shadow of surprise crossed her sweet, happy face. Then she walked down the long room, nodding and smiling to the girls.
"Come into the schoolroom with me," said Mrs. Freeman. She was wondering how it would be possible for her to keep Bridget O'Hara in her school.
"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."