"Oh, but I hate self-denial, and that dreadful motto—'No cross, no crown.' I'm like a butterfly—I can't live without sunshine. Papa agrees with me that sunshine is necessary for life."Mrs. Freeman could be austere as well as kind, and Mrs. Freeman was ten times more loved than Miss Delicia."Don't do that, Bridget," said Miss Patience; "you are disturbing me."
"I adore music; I play by ear all the old Irish jigs and the melodies. Oh, doesn't father cry when I play 'The Harp that once through Tara's Halls,' and 'She is far from the Land,' and 'The Minstrel Boy.' And oh, Mrs. Freeman, even you, though you are a bit old and stiff, could not help dancing if I strummed 'Garry Owen' for you."
"There, thank Heaven, I haven't killed her!" exclaimed Bridget."I was going up the staircase," continued Bridget. "I held a lighted candle in my hand. It was an awful night—you should have heard the wind howling. We keep some special windbags of our own at the Castle, and when we open the strings of one, why—well, there is a hurricane, that's all.""Thanks!" said Janet calmly.
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She burst into sudden frantic weeping.
"I ought not to speak," said Dorothy, turning very red, "but if you are going to be hard on Bridget——""Now, let's go on," said Janet, in her calm tones. "Let us try and settle something before the supper bell rings. We must have a committee, that goes without saying. Suppose we four girls form it."She was not a specially clever girl, nevertheless she was now, in virtue of her seniority, and a certain painstaking determination, which made her capable of mastering her studies, at the head of the school.
Bridget O'Hara bestowed upon the four girls who stood before her a lightning glance of quizzical inquiry. She was a tall, fully developed girl, and no one could doubt her claim to beauty who looked at her even for a moment."Bridget, my dear, before you come into the schoolroom I must request that you go upstairs and change your dress."While Marshall was speaking she looked down at the pretty and rebellious young prisoner with marked interest.
"How do you do, all of you?" she said. "Well, Janet, good-morning"; she tapped Janet's indignant back with her firm, cool hand, and dropped into her place.
"I don't agree with you," answered Olive. "Strength shows itself in many forms. Miss O'Hara is pretty."
"Now, my dear, you are not going to plead for her. I must manage her my own way. I will leave you now, Evelyn. Rest all you can, dear, and if you are very good you may perhaps be allowed to join us at supper."