[Pg 58][Pg 59]On this special night in the mid-term the girls who were ignominiously obliged to retire to their bedrooms felt a sorer sense of being left out than ever.
"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."
Olive Moore belonged to the toadying faction in the school. Toadies, however, can be useful, and Janet was by no means above making use of Olive in case of need.
"That you will obey me.""Yes, but at what?"
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Mrs. Freeman got up, and sounded an electric bell in the wall.[Pg 41]"But I'm all right to-day," said Evelyn, in her bright voice. "I don't feel any bad effects whatever from my accident. I can't think why I was so stupid as to faint, and give you a fright. I ought really to have more control over my nerves.""Do try not to make such a fool of yourself," repeated Janet, angrily, in her ear.
The summer sounds came in to her, for the window of her dull room was open, the birds were twittering in the trees, innumerable doves were cooing; there was the gentle, soft whisper of the breeze, the cackling of motherly hens, the lowing of cows, and, far away beyond and over them, the insistent, ceaseless whisper of the gentle waves on the shore."I adore music; I play by ear all the old Irish jigs and the melodies. Oh, doesn't father cry when I play 'The Harp that once through Tara's Halls,' and 'She is far from the Land,' and 'The Minstrel Boy.' And oh, Mrs. Freeman, even you, though you are a bit old and stiff, could not help dancing if I strummed 'Garry Owen' for you."
"Then go and ask, darling. Find Mrs. Freeman, and ask her; it's so easily done."
"Do try not to make such a fool of yourself," repeated Janet, angrily, in her ear.
The common room to which she conducted Miss O'Hara was entirely for the use of the elder girls; the girls of the middle and the lower school had other[Pg 20] rooms to amuse themselves in. But this large, luxuriously furnished apartment was entirely given up to the sixth and fifth-form schoolgirls.