"When will that be?""There is nothing whatever for it," murmured Mrs. Freeman; "I must punish the poor child in a way she will really feel. If this fails, and I cannot break her in[Pg 57] before the end of the term, I must ask her father to remove her."
[Pg 66]Bridget's excitable eager words were broken by sobs; tears poured out of her lovely eyes, her hands clasped Dorothy's with fervor.The door was closed then, and Bridget O'Hara found herself alone.
"Command me?" said Bridget, her nostrils dilating.
"I believe I am more frightened than hurt," said Miss Percival, struggling to sit up, and smiling at Mrs. Freeman, "I'm so awfully sorry that I've lost my[Pg 51] nerve. Where am I? what has happened? I only remember Caspar turning right round and looking at me, and some people shouting, and then the carriage went over, and I cannot recall anything more. But I don't think—no—I am sure I am not seriously hurt."Mrs. Freeman always presided at the head of the board, Miss Patience invariably sat at the foot, Miss Delicia wandered about restlessly, helping the girls to milk and fruit, patting her favorites on their backs, bending down to inquire tenderly how this girl's headache was, and if another had come off conqueror in her tennis match. No girl in the school minded or feared Miss Delicia in the least. Unlike her two sisters, who were tall and thin, she was a little body with a round face, rosy cheeks, hair very much crimped, and eyes a good deal creased with constant laughter. No one had ever seen Miss Delicia the least bit cross or the least bit annoyed with anyone. She was invariably known to weep with the sorrowful, and laugh with the gay—she was a great coddler and physicker—thought petting far better than punishment, and play much more necessary for young girls than lessons.
The Fair was the great event to which the girls looked forward, and in the first excitement of such an unusual proceeding each of them worked with a will."Well, let's settle to business now," said Ruth; "I'm sure I'm more than willing. Who has got a pencil and paper?"
"I cannot go, Bridget. Mrs. Freeman would not give me leave, and she would be only annoyed at my making such a foolish proposition."