"But we are not allowed to cut the boughs, Bridget," said Katie.
"How do you do, all of you?" she said. "Well, Janet, good-morning"; she tapped Janet's indignant back with her firm, cool hand, and dropped into her place.
"Thank God for that, my darling," said Mrs. Freeman. She put her arm round the young girl, kissed her tenderly, and drew her away from Bridget.
"Come into the schoolroom with me," said Mrs. Freeman. She was wondering how it would be possible for her to keep Bridget O'Hara in her school.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."She's not learned, I admit," replied Olive, "but weak! no, she's not weak; no weak character could be so audacious, so fearless, so indifferent to her own ignorance.""And there's such a fuss made about her, too," interrupted Olive. "A carriage and pair sent to meet her, forsooth, and a separate room for the darling to sleep in. It was good-natured of you to stay with her, Dolly;[Pg 25] I assure you Ruth, and Janet, and I could not have borne another moment of her society."
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"I have some more things to say. I must get you, Bridget, before you leave this room, to make a promise."
"If I had only some smelling salts," she began.Janet ran out of the room. Her heart was beating hard and fast. Should she tell Mrs. Freeman what Olive had just confided to her, that Bridget and a number of the smaller children of the school had rushed down the road to meet Evelyn, carrying boughs in their hands, and doubtless shouting loudly in their glee?Bridget O'Hara's clear blue eyes were opened a little, wider apart.
"Janet!""I don't think I ever felt my temper more irritated," murmured the good lady under her breath. "Why did I undertake an Irish girl, and one who had never been from home before? Well, the deed is done now, and I must not show impatience, however I may feel it. Bridget, my dear! Bridget O'Hara! Do you hear me?"
The girls took their places at the table—grace was said, and the meal began.
"I know we've all been awfully naughty, but we didn't think Caspar would mind the boughs. He turned sharp round and something happened to the wheels of the carriage—and—and—oh, Mrs. Freeman, do come. I think Evelyn must be dead, she's lying so still."
"She was interceding for Bridget," said Dorothy.