"No, I can't do that; we have to obey rules at school, and one of our strictest rules is that no girl is to leave her own bedroom without special permission."There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress."May I go with the others?" asked Miss O'Hara.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! Long may she stay there! Now, do let us drop this tiresome subject. We have only ten minutes to ourselves before the rest of the committee arrive, and that point with regard to Evelyn Percival must be arranged. Come, Dorothy, let us race each other to the Lookout!"
As Dorothy and her companions walked through the wide, cool entrance hall, and turned down the stone passage which led to the supper room, they were quite conscious of the fact that some of the naughtiest and most adventurous imps of the lower[Pg 11] school were hovering round, hanging over banisters or hiding behind doors. A suppressed giggle of laughter proceeded so plainly from the back of one of the doors, that Dorothy could not resist stretching back her hand as she passed, and giving a playful tap on the panels with her knuckles. The suppressed laughter became dangerously audible when she did this, so in mercy she was forced to take no further notice.
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Dorothy suppressed a faint sigh, took her companion's plump hand, and continued the tour of investigation.If Dorothy chose to take the new girl's part, she supposed there was something in her, and would continue to suppose so until she had a conversation with Janet, or anyone else, who happened to have diametrically opposite opinions to Dorothy Collingwood.
"Well, Dolly, have you got rid of that horrible incubus of a girl at last? What a trial she will be in the school! She's the most ill-bred creature I ever met in my life. What can Mrs. Freeman mean by taking her in? Of course, she cannot even pretend to be a lady."She was not present, however, and did not, indeed, put in an appearance in the breakfast room until the meal was half over.
She was not a specially clever girl, nevertheless she was now, in virtue of her seniority, and a certain painstaking determination, which made her capable of mastering her studies, at the head of the school.
When Mrs. Freeman told Bridget to go away and leave her, the Irish girl stopped playing with the tendrils of hair on Evelyn's forehead, and looked at her governess with a blank expression stealing over her face.