Janet was forced to comply, and Dorothy exclaimed eagerly:"And isn't she nice to-day?"
The girls entered the wide, long dining hall and immediately took their places at the table.
"I don't know how I can, Mrs. Freeman. I said at once, when I came to school and saw what kind of place it was, that I wouldn't obey the rules. They were so tiresome and silly; I didn't see the use of them."Marshall departed, and Bridget lifted the cover from her plate and looked at the nice hot lamb and green peas.
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"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."
A fashionable watering-place called Eastcliff was situated about a mile from Mulberry Court, the old-fashioned house, with the old-world gardens, where the schoolgirls lived. There were about fifty of them in all, and they had to confess that although Mulberry Court was undoubtedly school, yet those who lived in the house and played in the gardens, and had merry games and races on the seashore, enjoyed a specially good time which they would be glad to think of by and by."How do you do, all of you?" she said. "Well, Janet, good-morning"; she tapped Janet's indignant back with her firm, cool hand, and dropped into her place.
Janet bent her fair face again over the open page; a faint flush had risen in each of her cheeks."Lost whom?" answered Janet in her tart voice.
These remarks usually turned the tables against Janet May, but they also had another effect. She began to be sparing of her sharp, unkind words in Bridget's hearing. This, however, did not prevent her hating the new girl with the most cordial hatred she had ever yet bestowed upon anyone.
After two or three applications the injured girl stirred faintly, a shade of color came into her cheeks, and she opened her eyes.
The period at which this story begins was the middle of the summer term. There were no half-term holidays at the Court, but somehow the influence of holiday time had already got into the air. The young girls had tired themselves out with play, and the older ones lay about in hammocks, or strolled in twos or[Pg 2] threes up and down the wide gravel walk which separated the house from the gardens.