She went downstairs and entered her own private sitting room. It was now half-past eleven o'clock, and morning school was over. The weather was too hot for regular walks, and the girls were disporting themselves according to their own will and pleasure on the lawns and in the beautiful grounds which surrounded the school.Mrs. Freeman could not help uttering a faint, inward sigh.Biddy turned, arrested in her gay flight from rosebush to rosebush.
There was little use, therefore, in rushing out of her prison to join her companions in their playground or on the shore.
"Oh, foolish do you call it?" A passing cloud swept over Bridget O'Hara's face. It quickly vanished, however; she jumped up with a little sigh."Change my dress! Now I really don't understand you. Am I to come down in my dressing-gown?"Such as it was, however, supper was a much-prized institution of Mulberry Court; only the fifth-form and sixth-form girls were allowed to partake of it. To sit up to supper, therefore, was a distinction intensely envied by the lower school. The plain fare sounded to them like honey and ambrosia. They were never tired of speculating as to what went on in the dining room on these occasions, and the idea of sitting up to supper was with some of the girls a more stimulating reason for being promoted to the fifth form than any other which could be offered.
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[Pg 41][Pg 12]"I must have a cupboard like that," said Biddy. "Why, it's perfectly delicious!"
"I must have a cupboard like that," said Biddy. "Why, it's perfectly delicious!""I have some more things to say. I must get you, Bridget, before you leave this room, to make a promise."
The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story.
"Yes, you ought. I'm going to give you a lovely description. Papa has had his dinner, and he's pacing up and down on the walk which hangs over the lake. He is smoking a meerschaum pipe, and the dogs are with him."
"Nothing," replied Janet. "I—I—shall I run out to the front, Mrs. Freeman, and listen if I can hear the carriage? You can hear it a very long way off from the brow of the hill."