Such as it was, however, supper was a much-prized institution of Mulberry Court; only the fifth-form and sixth-form girls were allowed to partake of it. To sit up to supper, therefore, was a distinction intensely envied by the lower school. The plain fare sounded to them like honey and ambrosia. They were never tired of speculating as to what went on in the dining room on these occasions, and the idea of sitting up to supper was with some of the girls a more stimulating reason for being promoted to the fifth form than any other which could be offered.[Pg 9]
"I expect I shan't be allowed to talk at all."
"Now, what shall I eat?" she said. "By the way, I hope there's a nice breakfast, I'm awfully hungry. Oh, eggs! I like eggs when they're very fresh. Mrs. Freeman, are these new laid? do you keep your own fowls? Father and I wouldn't touch eggs at the Castle unless we were quite sure that they were laid by Sally, Sukey, or dear old Heneypeney."
"Well, Mrs. Freeman, you know how fond the children are of me, and I of them. They came to meet me, several of the little ones, and one tall, beautiful girl, whom I do not know. Perhaps they were all over-excited. They shouted a good deal, and waved branches of trees. Poor Caspar evidently could not stand it; but they really did nothing that anyone could blame them about."[Pg 18]
"You know perfectly well what I mean," she answered; "you know who the enemy is—at least you know who is your enemy.""Oh, but I hate self-denial, and that dreadful motto—'No cross, no crown.' I'm like a butterfly—I can't live without sunshine. Papa agrees with me that sunshine is necessary for life."
"Oh, papa'll pay that! Don't you fret about that, Mrs. Freeman; the dear old dad will settle it. He quite loves writing checks!"