All that could possibly happen would be a little fright for Evelyn, and a larger measure of disgrace for Bridget. And why should Janet interfere? Why should she tell tales of her schoolfellows? Her story would be misinterpreted by that faction of the girls who already had made Bridget their idol.
"Now, my dear, you are not going to plead for her. I must manage her my own way. I will leave you now, Evelyn. Rest all you can, dear, and if you are very good you may perhaps be allowed to join us at supper."
Janet was forced to comply, and Dorothy exclaimed eagerly:Janet turned at the sound of her name, and came quickly up to her mistress. She looked slight, pale, and almost insignificant beside the full, blooming, luxuriously made girl, who, resting one hand in a [Pg 15]nonchalant manner on the back of her chair, was looking full at her with laughing bright eyes.What a fuss everyone was making about that stupid Evelyn Percival. Here was the head mistress even quite in a fume because she was a minute or two late in putting in an appearance.
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She looked at the merry group on the lawn, and a desire to join them, even though of course she knew she was in no sense one of them, came over her.
"After all, what does the Fancy Fair signify—I[Pg 5] mean—oh, don't be shocked, girls—I mean, what does it signify compared to a real living present interest? While we are discussing what is to take place in six weeks' time, Mrs. Freeman and Miss Patience are driving up the avenue with somebody else. Girls, the new inmate of Mulberry Court has begun to put in an appearance on the scene.""Go on; tell us quickly what you did with the candle, Biddy!" cried little Violet, pulling her new friend by the arm.
Bridget O'Hara's clear blue eyes were opened a little, wider apart."I won't eat any dinner in this horrid room," she said; "I think I have been treated shamefully. If my dinner is sent to me I won't eat it."
"No, I can't do that; we have to obey rules at school, and one of our strictest rules is that no girl is to leave her own bedroom without special permission."
Miss Percival's accident, and Bridget O'Hara's share in it, were the subjects of conversation not only that night, but the next morning.