"I did not specially mention the flowers, my dear. There are many rules in full force at Mulberry Court, and the pupils are expected to obey them all.""I want us to utilize our opportunities," said Janet. "We have a few minutes all to ourselves to discuss the[Pg 7] Fancy Fair, and we fritter it away on that tiresome new girl."
"Well, Marshall, I'll see what I can do. I must join Miss May now, for we have something important to decide, but I won't forget your words."
Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration.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."Yes, you ought. I'm going to give you a lovely description. Papa has had his dinner, and he's pacing up and down on the walk which hangs over the lake. He is smoking a meerschaum pipe, and the dogs are with him."
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"Caspar shied at something," she said.
"Then go and ask, darling. Find Mrs. Freeman, and ask her; it's so easily done.""Oh, lor, miss, you're too good, but there's that bell again; I must run this minute."Uncharitable talk about others ceased when Evelyn drew near. Selfishness slunk away ashamed.She was coming at mid-term, which in itself was rather exceptional.
She was beginning to collect her somewhat scattered thoughts, when the door was opened suddenly, and, to her surprise, Mrs. Freeman came into the room.Janet and Olive Moore were returning slowly to the house after a vigorous game of tennis. They stopped to look down at the group who surrounded Dorothy.
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.
The room was something like a drawing room, with many easy-chairs and tables. Plenty of light streamed in from the lofty windows, and fell upon knickknacks and brackets, on flowers in pots—in short, on the many little possessions which each individual girl had brought to decorate her favorite room.
Bridget uttered a faint sigh.
"My! what a minute!" said Miss Bridget, tossing back her abundant hair, and slipping one firm, dimpled hand inside Janet's arm. "Well, come on, darling," she continued, giving that young lady an affectionate squeeze. "Let's make the most of our precious time. I'm dying to know you all—I think you look so sweet. Who's that love of a girl in gray, who sat next you at supper? She had golden hair, and blue eyes—not like mine, of course, but well enough for English eyes. What's her name, dear?"