"Thanks!" she repeated again. "If I want your help I'll ask for it, Olive. I'm going into the house now, for I really must get on with my preparation."Janet was there, busily preparing her French lesson for M. le Comte. She was a very ambitious girl, and was determined to carry off as many prizes as possible at the coming midsummer examinations. She scarcely raised her eyes when Olive appeared.
"Yes; does not a mistress always command her pupils?"
She scrutinized Olive's face now, a slightly satirical expression hovering round her somewhat thin lips.Mrs. Freeman could scarcely restrain her impatience.
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She burst into sudden frantic weeping.
"It is a covered wagon," said Janet. "I see it quite plainly. There is no carriage at all in view, Mrs. Freeman."By and by doubtless the poor bird would be taught to develop his notes into something richer and rarer than nature had made them, but the process would be painful. Bridget was like the bird, and she was beating her poor little wings now against her cage.
"I don't believe she's a new schoolgirl at all," cried Ruth; "she's just a visitor come to stay for a day or two with Mrs. Freeman. No schoolgirl that ever[Pg 6] breathed would dare to present such a young lady, grown-up appearance. There, girls, don't let's waste any more time over her; let's turn our attention to the much more important matter of the Fancy Fair."
Mrs. Freeman got up, and sounded an electric bell in the wall.
The room was something like a drawing room, with many easy-chairs and tables. Plenty of light streamed in from the lofty windows, and fell upon knickknacks and brackets, on flowers in pots—in short, on the many little possessions which each individual girl had brought to decorate her favorite room.