There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart.Olive looked at her steadily."I wish you'd go away, child!" said Janet in a decidedly cross tone. "What are all you small girls doing out and about at this hour? Surely it's time for you to be in bed. What can Miss Marshall be about not to have fetched you before now?"In consequence she was popular, with that mild sort of popularity which is bestowed upon the people who are all patience and have no faculty for inspiring fear.
The children disappeared in as frantic haste to be off as they were a few minutes ago to arrive.
"Evelyn Percival. Doesn't it sound pretty?""I don't think I ought to listen to you, Bridget."
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"This is my panel," said Dorothy, "and these are my own special pet things. I bring out my favorite chair when I want to use it, or to offer it to a guest; I put it back when I have done with it. See these shelves, they hold my afternoon tea set, my books, my paint box, my workbasket, my photographic album—in short, all my dearest treasures."
There was little use, therefore, in rushing out of her prison to join her companions in their playground or on the shore.
Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration.She had read for nearly an hour when the door of the room opened, and Miss Patience came in. Miss Patience was an excellent woman, but she took severe views of life; she emphatically believed in the young being trained; she thought well of punishments, and pined for the good old days when children were taught to make way for their elders, and not—as in the present degenerate times—to expect their elders to make way for them. Miss Patience just nodded toward Bridget, and, sitting beside a high desk, took out an account book and opened it. Miss O'Hara felt more uncomfortable than ever when Miss Patience came into the room; her book ceased to entertain her, and the walls of her prison seemed to get narrower. She fidgeted on her chair, and jumped up several times to look out of the window. There was nothing of the least interest, however, going on in the yard at that moment. Presently she beat an impatient tattoo on the glass with her fingers.
"What about Evelyn?" inquired Dorothy.
"Oh, how very funny—how—how unpleasant. Did you tell papa about that when he arranged to send me here?"
"Never mind, it is the correct thing to do. In a matter of this kind we are nothing if we are not businesslike. Now, who is coming to interrupt us?"