"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?"
"I've had enough," she said, nodding to Mrs. Freeman in her bright way. "I'm going out into the garden now, to pick some roses."
"What is it, my dear?" The head mistress drew herself slightly up, and looked in some surprise at her pupil.
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"Yes, Janet, she's pretty and she's rich, and she's destitute of fear. She is quite certain to have her own party in the school. I repeat," continued Olive, "that there is no weakness in Bridget. I grant that she is about the most irritating creature I know, but weak she is not."
"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."
"Now, how old am I?" she asked, stamping her arched foot. "Don't be shy, any of you. Begin at the[Pg 17] eldest, and guess right away. Now then, Miss Collingwood—you see, I know your name—the age of your humble servant, if you please.""Bridget, you are incorrigible. If kindness won't make you see that you are bound in honor to obey me, I must try punishment. Wretched child, I don't wish to be hard to you, but do what I say, you must!"
"As to disliking Miss O'Hara, it's more a case of despising; she's beneath my dislike."
"Look, dear," said the governess. "What is that distant speck? I am so terribly near-sighted that I cannot make out whether it is a carriage or cart of some sort."
"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."