"Yes; you have got to earn it first, however," replied Miss Collingwood, slipping back the pale green panel with a dexterous movement."Don't say 'good gracious,' Bridget; it's a very ugly way of expressing yourself. You have learnt something, haven't you?"Bridget raised her brows the tenth of an inch. The faintest shadow of surprise crossed her sweet, happy face. Then she walked down the long room, nodding and smiling to the girls.
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"How can I possibly tell you, Miss O'Hara?" she replied. "You are a tall girl. Perhaps you are seventeen, although you look more."
"Good gracious me!" exclaimed Bridget O'Hara, "am I to be dumb during breakfast, dinner, and tea? I don't know a word of German. Why, I'll die if I can't chatter. It's a way we have in Ireland. We must talk.""Well, and our humble school clock ought to make your heart quail if you don't obey it, Bridget. Seriously speaking, it is my duty to counsel you, as a new girl, to go to bed at once."
Janet ran out of the room. Her heart was beating hard and fast. Should she tell Mrs. Freeman what Olive had just confided to her, that Bridget and a number of the smaller children of the school had rushed down the road to meet Evelyn, carrying boughs in their hands, and doubtless shouting loudly in their glee?With each fresh study Bridget showed the queer[Pg 36] vagaries of a really clever mind run more or less to seed. She did everything in a dramatic, excitable style—she was all on wires, scarcely ever still, laughing one moment, weeping the next; the school had never known such a time as it underwent during the first week of her residence among them.
Bridget uttered a faint sigh.
A flash of self-pity filled her eyes, but there was some consolation in reflecting on the fact that no one could force her to eat against her will.