"I'm very busy, Olive; I wish you'd go away!""Please wait one moment, Mrs. Freeman."
"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?"
"When will that be?"
"What poor dear young lady?""Oh, goodness—no, I mustn't—mercy! nor that either; oh, I—I say, Mrs. Freeman, don't let the new dresses be frumpy, or I'll break my heart. I do so adore looking at myself in a lovely dress."Janet turned away, and Olive was obliged to look out for a fresh companion to attach herself to.Bridget's arms were flung impulsively round her governess's neck, and then one hand was tucked within the good lady's arm.
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"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."
"What?" said Bridget, coloring high. "Do you mean seriously to tell me that I—I am not to pick flowers? I think I must have heard you wrong! Please say it again!"
Dorothy ran away at once, and Mrs. Freeman walked down the garden in the direction where she had just seen a white dress disappearing."Now, do let us be sensible," said Janet, turning to her companions. "We have seen all that there is to be seen. However hard we guess we cannot solve the mystery. Either a new companion is coming among us, who, I have no doubt, will be as commonplace as commonplace can be, or Mrs. Freeman is receiving a young lady visitor. Supper will decide the point, and as that is not half an hour away I suppose we can exist for the present without worrying our brains any further."
"Bridget O'Hara!" exclaimed Janet, "that incorrigible, unpleasant girl? Why did you waste your time listening to her?"
"Janet," said Mrs. Freeman, "will you oblige me by showing Miss O'Hara the schoolrooms and common rooms, and introducing her to one or two of her companions? Go, my dear," she continued, "but remember, Bridget, whether you are tired or not, I shall expect you to go to bed to-night at nine o'clock. It is half-past eight now, so you have half an hour to get acquainted with your schoolfellows."
"I can't eat anything, Marshall," said Bridget, shaking her head. "You are kind; I see by your face that you are very kind. When I'm let out of this horrid prison I'll give you some blue ribbon that I have upstairs, and a string of Venetian beads. I dare say you're fond of finery."