"O Dolly," they exclaimed, running up to their favorite, "she has come—we have seen her! She is very tall, and—and——"She sat down presently on the nearest chair and covered her face with her hands. She could only resolve on one thing—she would certainly not yield to Mrs. Freeman's request—nothing would induce her to promise to obey the rules of the school.[Pg 28]
Although the booming sound of the great gong filled the air, the supper to which the head girls of the school were now going was a very simple affair. It consisted of milk placed in great jugs at intervals down the long table, of fruit both cooked and uncooked, and large plates of bread and butter.
"But we are not allowed to cut the boughs, Bridget," said Katie.
"Nothing in the world could be stupider than French poetry," she muttered. "How am I to get this into my head? What a nuisance Olive is with her stories—she[Pg 46] has disturbed my train of thoughts. Certainly, it's no affair of mine what that detestable wild Irish girl does. I shall always hate her, and whatever happens I can never get myself to tolerate Evelyn. Now, to get back to my poetry. I have determined to win this prize. I won't think of Evelyn and Bridget any more."Bridget moved restlessly. She looked out of the window. The sun was shining brilliantly, and the grass under the big shady trees looked particularly inviting."I hope not, Bridget."
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"The precious love, how nicely she talks, and how I love her gentle, refined words. But, darling, I'm not going to bed, for I'm not tired."
As she cut the blossoms off, she flung them into her white skirt, which she had raised in front for the purpose. Now, as she ran to meet Mrs. Freeman, the skirt tumbled down, and the roses—red, white, and crimson—fell on the ground at her feet."Did you speak?" asked Miss May in her coldest tones."You can please yourself about that," said Miss Patience, in her calmest voice. She left the room, closing the door behind her.
"Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman.
"When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
The Irish girl looked certainly pretty enough to win any number of susceptible small hearts at that moment. Her pale blue dress set off her graceful figure and fair complexion to the best advantage. Her mirthful, lovely eyes were raised to follow Dorothy as she disappeared into the house. Her lips were parted in a mischievous smile. She raised one hand to push back the rebellious locks of chestnut curls from her forehead.
"I shall look to you to help me with this wild Irish girl," she said with a smile. "Now, go to your lessons, my dear."