"Now, let's go on," said Janet, in her calm tones. "Let us try and settle something before the supper bell rings. We must have a committee, that goes without saying. Suppose we four girls form it.""Bridget, do look," said Mrs. Freeman; "you have trodden on that lovely bud!"She ran lightly down the grassy slope, and touched Dorothy on her arm."I suppose I may go," she said, "if that's all you have got to say?"
"Oh, my dear, ought you not to be asleep?" exclaimed Miss Patience in thin, anxious tones from the other end of the board, while Miss Delicia ran up to the girl and took one of her dimpled white hands in hers.
"I could not help myself," replied Dorothy. "You know, of course, Janet, what Bridget did last night?"
"Command me?" said Bridget, her nostrils dilating.Bridget O'Hara bestowed upon the four girls who stood before her a lightning glance of quizzical inquiry. She was a tall, fully developed girl, and no one could doubt her claim to beauty who looked at her even for a moment.
They were both undressing when she entered the room this evening, but the moment she appeared they rushed to her and began an eager torrent of words.
"And if she happens to fancy Bridget she won't mind[Pg 40] a word we say against her. She never does mind what anyone says. You know that, Janet."She was a dependable girl—clever up to a certain point, nice to those with whom she agreed, [Pg 37]affectionate to the people who did not specially prize her affection.
Dorothy was beginning to whisper to her companion that all their excitement was safe to end in smoke, when the door at the farther end of the dining hall was softly pushed open, and a head of luxuriant nut-brown curling hair was popped in. Two roguish dark blue eyes looked down the long room—they greeted with an eager sort of delighted welcome each fresh girl face, and then the entire person of a tall, showily dressed girl entered."Oh, I am sorry!"
Olive left the room with slow, unwilling footsteps, and Janet bent her head over the copy of Molière she was studying.
"Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman.
"I must say one thing," replied Olive, "and then I will turn to a more congenial theme. I hope Evelyn Percival won't take Miss O'Hara's part. You know, Janet, what strong prejudices Evelyn has."