She had to own to herself that Bridget had proved a very irritating companion. She would take her part, of course; but she felt quite certain at the same time that she was going to be a trial to her. As she stood by her window now, however, a little picture of the scene which the Irish girl had described so vividly presented itself with great distinctness before Dorothy's eyes."How do you do, all of you?" she said. "Well, Janet, good-morning"; she tapped Janet's indignant back with her firm, cool hand, and dropped into her place.
"And what's the darling's name?" asked Bridget.
"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!""I don't mind your kissing me, Bridget, only does not it seem a little soon—I have not known you many minutes yet?"
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Mrs. Freeman went over and drew back the curtains.
"Well, Mrs. Freeman, you know how fond the children are of me, and I of them. They came to meet me, several of the little ones, and one tall, beautiful girl, whom I do not know. Perhaps they were all over-excited. They shouted a good deal, and waved branches of trees. Poor Caspar evidently could not stand it; but they really did nothing that anyone could blame them about."Janet bent her fair face again over the open page; a faint flush had risen in each of her cheeks."Well, my dear, you must play it for me some evening, but we don't allow strumming at the Court."
"How solemnly you speak," said Bridget, tears [Pg 32]coming slowly up and filling her eyes. "Is that a sermon? It makes me feel as if someone were walking over my grave. Why do you say things of that sort? I'm superstitious, you know. I'm very easily impressed. You oughtn't to do it—you oughtn't to frighten a stranger when she has just come over to your hard, cold sort of country."There was little use, therefore, in rushing out of her prison to join her companions in their playground or on the shore.