"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.""You remain here, Bridget," she repeated, "until you have promised to obey the rules of the school. No longer and no shorter will be your term of punishment. It remains altogether with yourself how soon you are liberated.""I can't share your sorrow," replied Janet. "If her punishment, whatever it is, deprives us of her charming society for a few days, it will be a boon to the entire school. I noticed that she was absent from dinner, and I will own I have not had a pleasanter meal for some time."
"But we are not allowed to cut the boughs, Bridget," said Katie."Bridget O'Hara!" exclaimed Janet, "that incorrigible, unpleasant girl? Why did you waste your time listening to her?""But you look queer. Are you frightened about anything?"
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They were both undressing when she entered the room this evening, but the moment she appeared they rushed to her and began an eager torrent of words.After that period she found her place to a certain extent, made some violent friends and some active enemies, was adored by the little girls, on whom she showered lollipops, kisses, and secrets, and was disliked more or less by every girl in the sixth and fifth form, Dorothy Collingwood excepted."When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
After a little pause, during which neither mistress nor pupil spoke, the pupil raised her head.
"No, miss, that it can't," said Marshall, who felt as she expressed it afterward, "that royled by Miss May's 'aughty ways." "I won't keep Miss Collingwood any time, miss, ef you'll be pleased to walk on."
"He will expect you to stay until the end of the term."