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.She was coming at mid-term, which in itself was rather exceptional."Yes, darling, I did. Shall we go into the common room now? I'm dying to see it."
"Oh, good gra——! I mean, mercy Moses!"
"Just play the piece over to me," she said to her master. "I'll do it if you play it over. Yes, that's it—tum, tum, tummy, tum, tum. Oughtn't you to crash the air out a bit there? I think you ought. Yes, that's it—isn't it lovely? Now let me try.""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.
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"And we are not allowed to go out of the grounds by ourselves," cried several other voices.
"No, I can't do that; we have to obey rules at school, and one of our strictest rules is that no girl is to leave her own bedroom without special permission."
"We are each of us allowed a certain freedom here," said Dorothy. "You see these panels? It is a great promotion to possess a panel. All the girls who are allowed to have the use of this room cannot have one, but the best of us can. Now behold! Open sesame! Shut your eyes for a minute—you can open them again when I tell you. Now—you may look now."
What a fuss everyone was making about that stupid Evelyn Percival. Here was the head mistress even quite in a fume because she was a minute or two late in putting in an appearance.
"You can watch the sea from your bed, my dear," she said, "and I will send Dorothy to sit with you after[Pg 55] morning school. Now I want to ask you if you can give any idea of how the accident occurred?"