She was beginning to collect her somewhat scattered thoughts, when the door was opened suddenly, and, to her surprise, Mrs. Freeman came into the room.
"There, thank Heaven, I haven't killed her!" exclaimed Bridget.Janet ran out of the room. Her heart was beating hard and fast. Should she tell Mrs. Freeman what Olive had just confided to her, that Bridget and a number of the smaller children of the school had rushed down the road to meet Evelyn, carrying boughs in their hands, and doubtless shouting loudly in their glee?"Dear Janey, you always were the soul of sense," remarked Dorothy, in a somewhat languid voice. "For my part I pity those poor little mites, Violet and the rest of them. I know they are just as curious with regard to the issue of events as we are, and yet I can see them at this moment, with my mental vision, being driven like sheep into the fold. They'll be in bed, poor mites, when we are satisfying our curiosity."
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"Yes, what a loud, metallic sound! We have such a dear old eight-day clock at the Castle; it's said to be quite a hundred years old, and I'm certain it's haunted. My dear Dolly, to hear that clock boom forth the hour at midnight would make the stoutest heart quail."
Bridget slipped her hand into her pocket, and pulled out an exquisitely embossed vinaigrette.
"When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
"Can't you, Bridget? I'm afraid I must make you understand that the fact of Evelyn being uninjured does not alter your conduct."
Janet was never known to lose her temper, but she had a sarcastic tongue, and people did not like to lay themselves open to the cutting remarks which often and unsparingly fell from her lips.
"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."
"And isn't she nice to-day?"