"You have disobeyed me. One of my strictest rules forbids the girls to leave the grounds without permission. You not only left the grounds contrary to my express order, but you took several of the little children of the school with you. It is against my orders to have the trees destroyed by breaking off branches. Knowing this, you willfully disobeyed me again, and you and your companions rushed down the road shouting wildly. What was the result? Evelyn Percival mercifully escaped serious injury, but my carriage was broken and my horse damaged. The mere money loss you have occasioned me, Bridget——"
"Oh, oh, oh! if you're going to take her part, that is the last straw."
It would have been impossible for a much colder heart than Dorothy Collingwood's to resist her.
Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration."Oh, lor, miss, you're too good, but there's that bell again; I must run this minute.""Hurrah! Hurrah! Long may she stay there! Now, do let us drop this tiresome subject. We have only ten minutes to ourselves before the rest of the committee arrive, and that point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be arranged. Come, Dorothy, let us race each other to the Lookout!"
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"People will like you here too," she said. "I am certain you are very good-natured; come and let me[Pg 19] show you some of our snug little arrangements in the common room, and then I think it will be time for bed."
"Yes, in one minute, Janet! I don't know what I'm to do, Marshall," continued Dorothy. "I should not venture to speak to Mrs. Freeman on the subject; she would be very, very angry."She had to own to herself that Bridget had proved a very irritating companion. She would take her part, of course; but she felt quite certain at the same time that she was going to be a trial to her. As she stood by her window now, however, a little picture of the scene which the Irish girl had described so vividly presented itself with great distinctness before Dorothy's eyes.
"I don't agree with you," answered Olive. "Strength shows itself in many forms. Miss O'Hara is pretty."
"Well," said Janet, "if you insist on spoiling everything, girls, you must. You know what Evelyn is."
"But Mrs. Freeman said——" she began.