"That I was to take you round and introduce you to a few companions," continued Janet hastily. "Miss Collingwood, Miss O'Hara—Miss Moore, Miss O'Hara—Miss Bury, Miss O'Hara. Now I have done my duty. If you like to see the common room for yourself, you can go straight through this folding door, turn to your left, see a large room directly facing you; go into it, and you will find yourself in the common room. Now, good-night.""This is the very plainest dress I possess, Mrs. Freeman; I pulled a lot out of my trunk this morning to look at them. There was a sky-blue delaine with coffee lace, and a pink surah, and——"She was beginning to collect her somewhat scattered thoughts, when the door was opened suddenly, and, to her surprise, Mrs. Freeman came into the room."Yes, but at what?"
"I did not specially mention the flowers, my dear. There are many rules in full force at Mulberry Court, and the pupils are expected to obey them all."
"Can't you, Bridget? I'm afraid I must make you understand that the fact of Evelyn being uninjured does not alter your conduct."Uncharitable talk about others ceased when Evelyn drew near. Selfishness slunk away ashamed."Very well, if it must be so, but I shall be very miserable, and misery soon makes me ill."
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"Evelyn Percival. Doesn't it sound pretty?"
Mrs. Freeman could see them as she sat in her sitting room."Oh, my!" exclaimed Miss O'Hara, "that's nothing. Goodness gracious me! what would you think of thirty or forty miles on an Irish jaunting car, all in one day, Mrs. Freeman? That's the sort of thing to make the back ache. Bump, bump, you go. You catch on to the sides of the car for bare life, and as likely as not you're pitched out into a bog two or three times before you get home. Papa and I have often taken our thirty to forty miles' jaunt a day. I can tell you, I have been stiff after those rides. Did you ever ride on a jaunting car, Mrs. Freeman?"
"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.""I certainly want you, Bridget. I am not in the habit of sending for my pupils if I don't wish to speak to them."
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.
"Oh, well; it's all right for you to be here, I suppose," said Dorothy. "What were you saying, Bridget? I didn't catch that last sentence of yours."
The door was closed then, and Bridget O'Hara found herself alone.