"O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
"I don't think I shall like school," she said, "but I'll do anything you wish me to do, dearest Dorothy."
"Sit there, Miss O'Hara, please," said Mrs. Freeman. She tried to suppress a smile, which was difficult. "Girls," she said, addressing the fifth and sixth forms, "girls, this young lady is your new schoolfellow—her name is Bridget O'Hara. I meant to introduce her to you formally to-morrow, but she has taken the matter into her own hands. I am glad you are not tired, Miss O'Hara, for you have had a very long journey."
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Dorothy, Ruth, and Olive had now come into the schoolroom, and had taken their places by Janet's side. She gave them a quick look, in which considerable aversion to the newcomer was plainly visible, then turned her head and gazed languidly out of the window."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.""My! what a minute!" said Miss Bridget, tossing back her abundant hair, and slipping one firm, dimpled hand inside Janet's arm. "Well, come on, darling," she continued, giving that young lady an affectionate squeeze. "Let's make the most of our precious time. I'm dying to know you all—I think you look so sweet. Who's that love of a girl in gray, who sat next you at supper? She had golden hair, and blue eyes—not like mine, of course, but well enough for English eyes. What's her name, dear?"
Other new girls had arrived, and only the faintest rumors had got out about them beforehand.
"And you also dislike poor Bridget? I can't imagine why you take such strong prejudices."
Mrs. Freeman breathed a sigh of relief.