"I don't think I shall like school," she said, "but I'll do anything you wish me to do, dearest Dorothy."On this special night in the mid-term the girls who were ignominiously obliged to retire to their bedrooms felt a sorer sense of being left out than ever.
"Well, dear, you are not to blame. I shall take you to Eastcliff this afternoon, and order some plain dresses to be made up for you."Bridget stood by the window, but she heard none of these soothing sounds. Her spoilt, childish heart was in the most open state of rebellion and revolt.
Dorothy went into her own little cubicle, drew her white dimity walls tight, and, standing before the window, looked out at the summer landscape.Breakfast was at eight o'clock at Mulberry Court. The girls always assembled a quarter of an hour before breakfast in the little chapel for prayers. They were all especially punctual this morning, for they wanted to get a good peep at Miss O'Hara.In consequence she was popular, with that mild sort of popularity which is bestowed upon the people who are all patience and have no faculty for inspiring fear.
A titter ran down the table at these remarks; Mrs. Freeman bent to pick up her pocket handkerchief, and Miss Delicia, rushing to Bridget's side, began to whisper vigorously in her ear."Oh, miss, it's that poor dear young lady."
"Now, how old would you think? Just you give a guess. Let me stand in front of you, so that you can take a squint at me. Now, then—oh, I say, stop a minute, I see some more girls coming in. Come along, girls, and help Miss May to guess my age. Now, then, now then, I wonder who'll be right? How you do all stare! I feel uncommonly as if I'd like to dance the Irish jig!"
Janet turned at the sound of her name, and came quickly up to her mistress. She looked slight, pale, and almost insignificant beside the full, blooming, luxuriously made girl, who, resting one hand in a [Pg 15]nonchalant manner on the back of her chair, was looking full at her with laughing bright eyes.
"Yes," continued Janet, "she met me half an hour ago, and told me to let you know, Dorothy, and you, Olive, and any other girls who happen to be specially interested, that we are to form our programme, and then ask her to give us an audience. She will look herself into all our plans, and tell us which can and cannot be carried into effect. The only other thing she stipulates is that we do not neglect our studies, and that we leave room in the happy day's proceedings for the distribution of the prizes."