"I can't help it, my dear; I'm honest, whatever I am.""My dears," said Mrs. Freeman, answering the looks on all faces, "your young companion's extraordinary conduct can only be explained by the fact that she has never been at school before. I am going out to the garden to speak to her. You girls will now go as usual to your separate schoolrooms and commence study.""Yes; does not a mistress always command her pupils?"Janet was the heart and soul of everything. She was a girl with a great deal of independence of character; she was not destitute of ambition—she was remarkable for common sense—she was sharp in her manner, downright in her words, and capable, painstaking, and energetic in all she did.
Something, however, she could not tell what, restrained her from doing this. She sank back again in her chair; angry tears rose to her bright eyes, and burning spots appeared in her round cheeks.
She was beginning to collect her somewhat scattered thoughts, when the door was opened suddenly, and, to her surprise, Mrs. Freeman came into the room.
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Ruth Bury was short and dark, but Janet May, her companion, was extremely slim and fair. She would have been a pretty girl but for the somewhat disagreeable expression of her face."Oh, what a wicked girl you are," said Mrs. Freeman, roused out of her customary gentle manner by the sight of Evelyn's motionless form. "I can't speak to you at this moment, Bridget O'Hara; go away, leave Evelyn to me. Evelyn, my darling, look at me, speak to me—say you are not hurt!"
Janet was forced to comply, and Dorothy exclaimed eagerly:
"Yes, Marshall," said Dorothy; she stopped. Janet stopped also, and gave Marshall a freezing glance.
Bridget's movements were so fleet that the head mistress had no time to intercept her; there was a flash of a white dress disappearing through the open window, and that was all.