"Look, dear," said the governess. "What is that distant speck? I am so terribly near-sighted that I cannot make out whether it is a carriage or cart of some sort.""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!"
"Of course it is, Violet," replied Miss Collingwood in her good-natured way. "But what a naughty imp you were to hide under the laurel arch. The wonder[Pg 8] is you did not get right in the way of the horses' hoofs."
"What is that?"
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"You deny that she's weak," repeated Janet. "I wonder what your idea of strength is, Olive.""There, thank Heaven, I haven't killed her!" exclaimed Bridget."Oh! hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! What will my dear dad say when I tell him that? Biddy O'Hara seventeen! Don't I wish I were! Oh, the lovely balls I'd be going to if those were my years! Now, another guess. It's your turn now—you, little brown one there—I haven't caught your name, darling. Is it Anne or Mary? Most girls are called either Anne or Mary."Mrs. Freeman breathed a sigh of relief.
For the first time there was a faint hesitation in her manner.It would have been impossible for a much colder heart than Dorothy Collingwood's to resist her.
In consequence she was popular, with that mild sort of popularity which is bestowed upon the people who are all patience and have no faculty for inspiring fear.
"No, my dear," replied the head mistress, in a rather icy voice, "I have never had the pleasure of visiting Ireland."
Bridget's arms were flung impulsively round her governess's neck, and then one hand was tucked within the good lady's arm.