The Irish girl looked certainly pretty enough to win any number of susceptible small hearts at that moment. Her pale blue dress set off her graceful figure and fair complexion to the best advantage. Her mirthful, lovely eyes were raised to follow Dorothy as she disappeared into the house. Her lips were parted in a mischievous smile. She raised one hand to push back the rebellious locks of chestnut curls from her forehead.Bridget's changeful face was now all glowing with excitement, eagerness, and hope. Her defiant attitude had vanished. As she looked full at Mrs. Freeman, her governess noticed for the first time that her eyelids were red, as if she had been crying. That, and a certain pathos in her voice, made the head mistress regard her in a new light.
Janet turned away, and Olive was obliged to look out for a fresh companion to attach herself to."O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal.""You can watch the sea from your bed, my dear," she said, "and I will send Dorothy to sit with you after[Pg 55] morning school. Now I want to ask you if you can give any idea of how the accident occurred?"
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"Now, Marshall, what is it? How fussy and important you look!"
"You have a perfect mania for those children, Dorothy," exclaimed Olive. "I call it an impertinence on their parts to worry themselves about sixth-form girls. What's the matter, Janet? Why that contraction of your angel brow?"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.Marshall departed, and Bridget lifted the cover from her plate and looked at the nice hot lamb and green peas.
Dorothy pulled an envelope out of her pocket. Olive searched into the recesses of hers to hunt up a lead pencil, and Janet continued to speak in her tranquil, round tones.
"Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman.
There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart.
"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."
"I'm very busy, Olive; I wish you'd go away!"