"Oh, my!" exclaimed Miss O'Hara, "that's nothing. Goodness gracious me! what would you think of thirty or forty miles on an Irish jaunting car, all in one day, Mrs. Freeman? That's the sort of thing to make the back ache. Bump, bump, you go. You catch on to the sides of the car for bare life, and as likely as not you're pitched out into a bog two or three times before you get home. Papa and I have often taken our thirty to forty miles' jaunt a day. I can tell you, I have been stiff after those rides. Did you ever ride on a jaunting car, Mrs. Freeman?""Couldn't you write to father, Mrs. Freeman, and tell him that I am not happy? Say, 'Biddy is not happy, and she wants to go back to you and the dogs.' If you say that, he'll let me come home fast enough. You might write by the next post, and father, he'd jump on the jaunting-car and drive into Ballyshannon, and send you a wire. If papa wires to you, Mrs. Freeman, the very moment he gets your letter, I may perhaps be home on Sunday."She had not passed a pleasant morning, however, and this plan scarcely commended itself to her."And if she happens to fancy Bridget she won't mind[Pg 40] a word we say against her. She never does mind what anyone says. You know that, Janet."
"But, my dear child, our hearts are not cold. I assure you, Bridget, I am most anxious to win your love, and so also is Dorothy Collingwood.""My attainments! Good gracious, I haven't any!"Janet was never known to lose her temper, but she had a sarcastic tongue, and people did not like to lay themselves open to the cutting remarks which often and unsparingly fell from her lips.
"Come into the schoolroom with me," said Mrs. Freeman. She was wondering how it would be possible for her to keep Bridget O'Hara in her school.
"I've had enough," she said, nodding to Mrs. Freeman in her bright way. "I'm going out into the garden now, to pick some roses."
"Good gracious me!" exclaimed Bridget O'Hara, "am I to be dumb during breakfast, dinner, and tea? I don't know a word of German. Why, I'll die if I can't chatter. It's a way we have in Ireland. We must talk."
A loud booming sound filled the air.
"I want us to utilize our opportunities," said Janet. "We have a few minutes all to ourselves to discuss the[Pg 7] Fancy Fair, and we fritter it away on that tiresome new girl."