[Pg 54]"I don't know how I can, Mrs. Freeman. I said at once, when I came to school and saw what kind of place it was, that I wouldn't obey the rules. They were so tiresome and silly; I didn't see the use of them."The girls took their places at the table—grace was said, and the meal began."Don't do that, Bridget," said Miss Patience; "you are disturbing me."
It really was too absurd. Janet could not help fidgeting almost audibly.
"No, Bridget, you cannot. You have been sent here to be under my care, and you must remain with me at least until the end of the term."The room was something like a drawing room, with many easy-chairs and tables. Plenty of light streamed in from the lofty windows, and fell upon knickknacks and brackets, on flowers in pots—in short, on the many little possessions which each individual girl had brought to decorate her favorite room.They were both undressing when she entered the room this evening, but the moment she appeared they rushed to her and began an eager torrent of words.
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CHAPTER VI. CAPTIVITY.
"I don't think I ought to listen to you, Bridget.""Are you there, Janet?" said Mrs. Freeman. "Go into the house, and ask Miss Patience to follow me down the road. And see that someone goes for Dr. Hart. Alice, you can come back with me. The rest of the little girls are to go into the playroom, and to stay there until I come to them.""We are not by ourselves when we are together," replied Bridget. "Come along, girls, don't be such little despicable cowards! I'll square it with Mrs.[Pg 44] Freeman. You trust me. Mrs. Freeman will forgive us everything when the queen is coming back. Now, do let's be quick, we haven't a minute to lose!"
Miss Percival's accident, and Bridget O'Hara's share in it, were the subjects of conversation not only that night, but the next morning."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?"
"Bridget, my dear, before you come into the schoolroom I must request that you go upstairs and change your dress."
"Well," said Janet, "what did that impertinent servant want? I hope you showed her her place, Dorothy? The idea of her presuming to stop us when we were so busy!"
"Poor young lady!" said Marshall. "Anyone can see, Miss O'Hara, as you aint accustomed to mean ways; you has your spirit, and I doubt me if anyone can break it. You aint the sort for school—ef I may make bold to say as much, you aint never been brought under. That's the first thing they does at school; under you must go, whether you likes it or not. Oh, dear, there's that bell, and it's for me—I must fly, miss—but I do, humble as I am, sympathize with you most sincere. You try and eat a bit of dinner, miss, do now—and I'll see if I can't get some asparagus for you by and by, and, at any rate, you shall have the tart and the whipped cream."