[Pg 61]Bridget wore a white muslin dress with a long train. Her silver girdle was clasped round her waist. She went deliberately up to a rose tree in full flower, and, picking two or three half-opened buds, put them in her girdle."Don't say 'good gracious,' Bridget; it's a very ugly way of expressing yourself. You have learnt something, haven't you?"
"And what's the darling's name?" asked Bridget.
"No, it was that wild Irish girl's doing. I really don't know what to do with her."Dorothy Collingwood ran after Mrs. Freeman.
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"Not for over a month?""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.""But your father cannot pay for your disobedience—for the bad example you have set the little children, for the pain and anxiety you have given me."
"It is more than a pity, Bridget," said her governess in a severe tone. "I am sorry to have to open your eyes, my dear child; but in picking any of my roses you have taken an unwarrantable liberty."Steps—several steps—were heard clattering up the stone stairs of the little tower, and two or three girls of the middle school, with roughly tossed heads and excited faces, burst upon the seclusion of the four sixth-form girls.The girls entered the wide, long dining hall and immediately took their places at the table.
"Don't do that, Bridget," said Miss Patience; "you are disturbing me."
"O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."