"I think I understand you, Dorothy," said Mrs. Freeman. "Kiss me!"At the dear old wild Castle in Ireland she had been idolized by everyone, the servants had done her bidding, however extravagant and fanciful that bidding had been. She led her old father where she wished with silken reins. The dogs, the horses, even the cows and the calves, followed Bridget like so many faithful shadows. In short, this wild little girl was the beloved queen of the Castle. To cut her, or show her the smallest incivility, would have been nothing short of high treason."Pain and anxiety! I like that! You are just angry with me—that's about all!"
"Janet May. This is the schoolroom where the[Pg 16] sixth form girls do their lessons. We have a desk each, of course. That room inside there is for the fifth form. I wonder which you will belong to? How old are you?"
"How disagreeable! I can't live without flowers. I suppose papa will not expect me to stay if I don't like the place?"
"I know," echoed Janet, a queer angry light filling her eyes for a minute. "Oh, dear! oh, dear! What with our examinations and the Fancy Fair, and all this worry about the new girl, life scarcely seems worth living—it really doesn't."There was a movement of chairs, and a general rising."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."
She was coming at mid-term, which in itself was rather exceptional.
"Caspar shied at something," she said."Patience," said Mrs. Freeman, from her end of the supper table, "I think we have all finished. Will you say grace?"Bridget's face turned very white. She looked wildly toward the door, then at the window.
Bridget could certainly not return home without money.
Notwithstanding her vehement words, some decided pangs of hunger seized her as she saw the tempting food, She remembered, however, that in the old novels heroines in distress had never any appetite, and she resolved to die rather than touch food while she was treated in so disgraceful a manner.
As she was approaching the house she was met by Miss Delicia, who stopped to speak kindly to her.
The ages of these fifty girls ranged from seventeen to five, but from seventeen down to five on this special hot summer's evening one topic of conversation might have been heard on every tongue.