"Why, Dorothy Collingwood; she has gone over to the ranks of the enemy."She stepped out of the open window, and walked rapidly across the wide gravel sweep."She's not at all impertinent," said Dorothy. "After all, Janet, servants are flesh and blood, like the rest of us, and this poor Marshall, although she's not the wisest of the wise, is a good-natured creature. What do you think she wanted?"
There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart.Ruth clapped her hands.
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"But Mrs. Freeman said——"The smaller girls chatted volubly about the matter, and little Violet Temple, aged ten, and of course one of the small girls, so far forgot herself as to run up to[Pg 3] Dorothy Collingwood, clasp her hand affectionately round the tall girl's arm, and whisper in her impetuous, eager way:"O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
But this new girl was not following out any of the old precedents.She never came into a room without exercising in a silent, unobtrusive, very gentle way, a marked effect for good.
"Thanks!" said Janet calmly.
"Are you going to be cross when you find I don't know your sort of things?"
"Poor young lady!" said Marshall. "Anyone can see, Miss O'Hara, as you aint accustomed to mean ways; you has your spirit, and I doubt me if anyone can break it. You aint the sort for school—ef I may make bold to say as much, you aint never been brought under. That's the first thing they does at school; under you must go, whether you likes it or not. Oh, dear, there's that bell, and it's for me—I must fly, miss—but I do, humble as I am, sympathize with you most sincere. You try and eat a bit of dinner, miss, do now—and I'll see if I can't get some asparagus for you by and by, and, at any rate, you shall have the tart and the whipped cream."