"Only the head girl of the school," remarked Dolly in a soft tone. "But of course a person of not the smallest consequence. Well, Janet, what next?"
The next morning, after breakfast, Mrs. Freeman went upstairs to sit with her favorite Evelyn.She was a tall, slight girl, fairly good-looking, and not too strong-minded.
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"After all, what does the Fancy Fair signify—I[Pg 5] mean—oh, don't be shocked, girls—I mean, what does it signify compared to a real living present interest? While we are discussing what is to take place in six weeks' time, Mrs. Freeman and Miss Patience are driving up the avenue with somebody else. Girls, the new inmate of Mulberry Court has begun to put in an appearance on the scene.""Oh, papa'll pay that! Don't you fret about that, Mrs. Freeman; the dear old dad will settle it. He quite loves writing checks!""Well, I never!" exclaimed Dorothy, after a pause. "I don't suppose Mrs. Freeman will allow that style of wardrobe long. See, girls, do see, how her long blue ribbons stream in the breeze; and her hat! it is absolutely covered with roses—I'm convinced they are roses. Oh, what would I not give for an opera glass to enable me to take a nearer view. Whoever that young person is, she intends to take the shine out of us. Why, she is dressed as if she had just come from a garden party."Janet did not say any more. She bent forward, ostensibly to renew her studies, in reality to hide a jealous feeling which surged up in her heart.
"We haven't a moment to lose, Dorothy," she said, "I want to speak to you alone before the rest of the committee arrive. That point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be settled. Perhaps your communication can keep, Marshall.""Well, dear, well! half a mile is a figure of speech. That's a way we have in Ireland—we figure of speech everything; it's much more graphic. Now, to go on. I was running up the stairs with my candle, and the wind rushing after me like mad, and the Castle rocking as if it were in an agony, when—— What do you think happened?"The girls were leaving the dining room while these thoughts were flashing through Marshall's mind. Dorothy and Janet May were walking side by side.
"How disagreeable! I can't live without flowers. I suppose papa will not expect me to stay if I don't like the place?"
"Miss Collingwood," said Marshall, in a timid whisper, "might I say a word to you, miss?"
There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress.