"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?""Well, she's in trouble now," said Dorothy, with a sigh. "I think you are very much mistaken in her, Janet; she's a very original, clever, amusing girl. I find her tiresome at times, and I admit that she's dreadfully naughty, but it's the sort of naughtiness which comes from simply not knowing. The accident last night might have been a dreadful one, and Bridget certainly deserves the punishment she has got; all the same;—I'm very sorry for her.""Yes, you will. You'll soon learn to control your tongue and to speak in a ladylike way."
"That you will obey me."
"When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.She stood for a minute or two, then walked slowly back to the window, out of which her schoolmistress leaned."Well, my dear child," she said, "I suppose you, like all the rest of us, are on tenter hooks for our dear Evelyn's return. From the accounts we received this morning, she seems to be quite well and strong again, and it will be such a comfort to have her back. I don't know how it is, but the school is quite a different place when she is there."
"No, not very. The younger girls were fond of me, and Dorothy Collingwood was nice."What could it all mean? It really was most exciting."Yes," continued Janet, "she met me half an hour ago, and told me to let you know, Dorothy, and you, Olive, and any other girls who happen to be specially interested, that we are to form our programme, and then ask her to give us an audience. She will look herself into all our plans, and tell us which can and cannot be carried into effect. The only other thing she stipulates is that we do not neglect our studies, and that we leave room in the happy day's proceedings for the distribution of the prizes."
"And so do I"—"And I"—cried both Ruth and Olive."What do you mean, Olive?" Olive turned and looked at Janet.Her eyes were of that peculiar, very dark, very deep blue, which seems to be an Irish girl's special gift. Her eyelashes were thick and black, her complexion a fresh white and pink, her chestnut hair grew in thick, curly abundance all over her well-shaped head. Her beautifully cut lips wore a petulant but charming expression. There was a provocative, almost teasing, self-confidence about her, which to certain minds only added to her queer fascination.
Dorothy could not restrain her laughter.
The governess took it without a word, and opening it applied it to Evelyn's nostrils.
"No, Bridget, you are to stay here; your dinner will be brought to you." Bridget flushed crimson.