"Evelyn Percival. Doesn't it sound pretty?"
"You are not to pick flowers, Miss O'Hara; it is against the rules of the school."
Janet was forced to comply, and Dorothy exclaimed eagerly:Bridget's changeful face was now all glowing with excitement, eagerness, and hope. Her defiant attitude had vanished. As she looked full at Mrs. Freeman, her governess noticed for the first time that her eyelids were red, as if she had been crying. That, and a certain pathos in her voice, made the head mistress regard her in a new light.
"Only the head girl of the school," remarked Dolly in a soft tone. "But of course a person of not the smallest consequence. Well, Janet, what next?"
"I'm almost certain, Dolly, that she's to sleep in a room by herself, for I saw the Blue Room being got ready. I peeped in as we were going down to dinner, and I noticed such jolly new furniture—pale blue, and all to match. Oh, what is it, Olive? Now you've pinched my arm."She leant back, therefore, in her chair and reflected with a sad sort of pleasure on the sorrow which her father would feel when he learnt that she had almost died of hunger and exhaustion at this cruel school.
For the first time there was a faint hesitation in her manner.
"No, my dear," replied the head mistress, in a rather icy voice, "I have never had the pleasure of visiting Ireland."
"No, no—do forgive me!"
She went downstairs and entered her own private sitting room. It was now half-past eleven o'clock, and morning school was over. The weather was too hot for regular walks, and the girls were disporting themselves according to their own will and pleasure on the lawns and in the beautiful grounds which surrounded the school.