Dorothy, Bridget, and a number of the girls of the lower school were walking up and down a broad road which led to the shore. They were talking and laughing. The smaller girls were dancing and running about in their eagerness. Some very funny proposal had undoubtedly been made, and much explosive mirth was the result.There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress."Dear Janey, you always were the soul of sense," remarked Dorothy, in a somewhat languid voice. "For my part I pity those poor little mites, Violet and the rest of them. I know they are just as curious with regard to the issue of events as we are, and yet I can see them at this moment, with my mental vision, being driven like sheep into the fold. They'll be in bed, poor mites, when we are satisfying our curiosity."
"Poor girl!" said Evelyn, a wistful expression coming into her eyes.
"O Bridget!" exclaimed the little girls, starting back in affright."I did not specially mention the flowers, my dear. There are many rules in full force at Mulberry Court, and the pupils are expected to obey them all.""Well, let's settle to business now," said Ruth; "I'm sure I'm more than willing. Who has got a pencil and paper?"
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The girls were leaving the dining room while these thoughts were flashing through Marshall's mind. Dorothy and Janet May were walking side by side."Oh, well; it's all the same," said Olive. "You won't admit the feeling that animates your breast, but I know that it is there, chérie. Now I have got something to confess on my own account—I don't like her either.""Never mind, it is the correct thing to do. In a matter of this kind we are nothing if we are not businesslike. Now, who is coming to interrupt us?"
Bridget's arms were flung impulsively round her governess's neck, and then one hand was tucked within the good lady's arm."Do try not to make such a fool of yourself," repeated Janet, angrily, in her ear.
Dorothy shared the same bedroom as Ruth and Olive. Each girl, however, had a compartment to herself, railed in by white dimity curtains, which she could draw or not as she pleased. Dorothy's compartment was the best in the room; it contained a large window looking out over the flower garden, and commanding a good view of the sea. She was very particular about her pretty cubicle, and kept it fresh with flowers, which stood in brackets against the walls.
The eyes of every girl in the room were fixed eagerly on their mistress; they were all round with wonder, lips were slightly parted. The girls felt that a volcano had got into their midst, an explosion was imminent. This feeling of electricity in the air was very exciting; it stirred the somewhat languid pulses of the schoolgirls. Surely such an impulsive, such a daring, such an impertinent, and yet such a bewitching girl had never been heard of before. How sweet she looked in her white dress, how radiant was her smile. Those pearly white teeth of hers, those gleaming, glancing eyes, that soft voice that could utter such saucy words; oh! no wonder the school felt interested, and raised out of itself.