"What?" said Katie, her eyes growing big with fascination and alarm."It is delightful to have you back again," said Mrs. Freeman, bending over her pupil and kissing her. "And really, Evelyn, you look almost well. Oh, my dear child, what a fright I got about you last night.""Oh! hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! What will my dear dad say when I tell him that? Biddy O'Hara seventeen! Don't I wish I were! Oh, the lovely balls I'd be going to if those were my years! Now, another guess. It's your turn now—you, little brown one there—I haven't caught your name, darling. Is it Anne or Mary? Most girls are called either Anne or Mary."
"Only the head girl of the school," remarked Dolly in a soft tone. "But of course a person of not the smallest consequence. Well, Janet, what next?"
"She was interceding for Bridget," said Dorothy.Olive left the room with slow, unwilling footsteps, and Janet bent her head over the copy of Molière she was studying.Bridget felt a wild desire to rush after Miss Patience, and defying all punishment and all commands, appear as usual in the dining room.
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"O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
"Thank God for that, my darling," said Mrs. Freeman. She put her arm round the young girl, kissed her tenderly, and drew her away from Bridget.
"Hadn't they got leave to come to meet me?"
"What is it, my dear?" The head mistress drew herself slightly up, and looked in some surprise at her pupil.
Olive looked at her steadily.