The governess took it without a word, and opening it applied it to Evelyn's nostrils."I suppose I may go," she said, "if that's all you have got to say?""I want us to utilize our opportunities," said Janet. "We have a few minutes all to ourselves to discuss the[Pg 7] Fancy Fair, and we fritter it away on that tiresome new girl."
Miss Patience asked for a blessing on the meal just partaken of in a clear, emphatic voice, and the group of girls began to file out of the room.
Ruth Bury was short and dark, but Janet May, her companion, was extremely slim and fair. She would have been a pretty girl but for the somewhat disagreeable expression of her face.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! Long may she stay there! Now, do let us drop this tiresome subject. We have only ten minutes to ourselves before the rest of the committee arrive, and that point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be arranged. Come, Dorothy, let us race each other to the Lookout!"All the other girls in the school tried to be good when Evelyn was by, not because she would reproach them, but because she had a certain way about her which made goodness so attractive that they were forced to follow it.
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"You know perfectly well what I mean," she answered; "you know who the enemy is—at least you know who is your enemy."
Other new girls had arrived, and only the faintest rumors had got out about them beforehand.
"What does Janet mean?" Bridget would whisper to her nearest companion. "Is she saying something awfully clever? I'm sorry that I'm stupid—I don't quite catch her meaning.""And so do I"—"And I"—cried both Ruth and Olive.
"Well, I'm here," she said; "what is it?" She still used that half-mocking, indifferent voice.
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.