"But we are not allowed to cut the boughs, Bridget," said Katie."Yes, yes, I know," replied Janet, with a sneer; "she did something which shook the nerves of our beloved favorite. Had anyone else given Miss Percival her little fright, I could have forgiven her!""The dogs?" asked Dorothy, interested in spite of herself.
"Janet," said Mrs. Freeman, "come here for a [Pg 47]moment. I want you to use your young eyes. Do you see any carriage coming down the hill?"
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As she cut the blossoms off, she flung them into her white skirt, which she had raised in front for the purpose. Now, as she ran to meet Mrs. Freeman, the skirt tumbled down, and the roses—red, white, and crimson—fell on the ground at her feet.
"I'm afraid I have some unpleasant things to talk about, Miss O'Hara," she said. "But, before I begin, I must distinctly request you to remember that you are a young girl in the presence of the lady who has been appointed by your father to guide, direct, and command you."Dorothy Collingwood ran after Mrs. Freeman."And so do I"—"And I"—cried both Ruth and Olive."When will that be?"
"There, thank Heaven, I haven't killed her!" exclaimed Bridget.A flash of self-pity filled her eyes, but there was some consolation in reflecting on the fact that no one could force her to eat against her will.
"I think, my dear, we won't talk quite so much," said Mrs. Freeman. "At most of our meals German is the only language spoken. Supper, of course, is an exception. Why, what is the matter. Miss O'Hara?"
A sense of disappointment was over them all, for the new girl upon whom their present thoughts were centered had not put in an appearance—nothing was said about her—Mrs. Freeman looked as tranquil as usual, Miss Patience as white and anxious, Miss Delicia as good-natured and downy.