"Don't you hear the clock?" exclaimed Dorothy, unconscious relief coming into her tones."My name is Ruth," replied the girl so addressed, "and I can't guess ages. Come, Olive, let us find our French lessons and go.""Poor darling!" said Olive, in a sympathetic tone. "I thought I'd tell you, Janet, that whatever happened I'd take your part."
"This is my panel," said Dorothy, "and these are my own special pet things. I bring out my favorite chair when I want to use it, or to offer it to a guest; I put it back when I have done with it. See these shelves, they hold my afternoon tea set, my books, my paint box, my workbasket, my photographic album—in short, all my dearest treasures."
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All this time Miss Percival, the head girl of the school, was absent. She had been ill, and had gone home for a short change. She did not return until Bridget had been at the Court a fortnight."I can't eat anything, Marshall," said Bridget, shaking her head. "You are kind; I see by your face that you are very kind. When I'm let out of this horrid prison I'll give you some blue ribbon that I have upstairs, and a string of Venetian beads. I dare say you're fond of finery."
"You are not to pick flowers, Miss O'Hara; it is against the rules of the school."But plain as Evelyn undoubtedly was, no one who knew her long ever remarked about her appearance, or gave a second thought to the fact that she could lay small claim to physical beauty.
At the dear old wild Castle in Ireland she had been idolized by everyone, the servants had done her bidding, however extravagant and fanciful that bidding had been. She led her old father where she wished with silken reins. The dogs, the horses, even the cows and the calves, followed Bridget like so many faithful shadows. In short, this wild little girl was the beloved queen of the Castle. To cut her, or show her the smallest incivility, would have been nothing short of high treason.
"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."
"I believe I am more frightened than hurt," said Miss Percival, struggling to sit up, and smiling at Mrs. Freeman, "I'm so awfully sorry that I've lost my[Pg 51] nerve. Where am I? what has happened? I only remember Caspar turning right round and looking at me, and some people shouting, and then the carriage went over, and I cannot recall anything more. But I don't think—no—I am sure I am not seriously hurt."