"I am looking over my French lesson, madam," answered Janet, in her respectful tones. "It's a little more difficult than usual, and I thought I'd have a quiet half hour here, trying to master it.""What is it, my dear?" The head mistress drew herself slightly up, and looked in some surprise at her pupil."I'm afraid I have some unpleasant things to talk about, Miss O'Hara," she said. "But, before I begin, I must distinctly request you to remember that you are a young girl in the presence of the lady who has been appointed by your father to guide, direct, and command you."She was not present, however, and did not, indeed, put in an appearance in the breakfast room until the meal was half over.
"Am I ever hard to my pupils, my love?"
"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."From where they stood they obtained a very distinct although somewhat bird's-eye view of the winding avenue and quickly approaching carriage. Mrs. Freeman's tall and familiar figure was too well known to be worthy, in that supreme moment, of even a passing comment. Miss Patience looked as angular and as like herself as ever; but a girl, who sat facing the two ladies—a girl who wore a large shady hat, and whose light dress and gay ribbons fluttered in the summer breeze—upon this girl the eyes of the four watchers in the "Lookout" tower were fixed with devouring curiosity."Oh, come at once!" said Violet, "there has been an accident, and Evelyn is hurt. Bridget is with her. Come, come at once!"
Janet did not say any more. She bent forward, ostensibly to renew her studies, in reality to hide a jealous feeling which surged up in her heart.
"She has been ill, Biddy," said Violet. "Evelyn has been ill, but she is better now; she's coming back to-night. We are all glad, for we all love her."