"Change my dress! Now I really don't understand you. Am I to come down in my dressing-gown?"She was a dependable girl—clever up to a certain point, nice to those with whom she agreed, [Pg 37]affectionate to the people who did not specially prize her affection."Oh, well; it's all right for you to be here, I suppose," said Dorothy. "What were you saying, Bridget? I didn't catch that last sentence of yours."
"Evelyn Percival. Doesn't it sound pretty?"
"You can please yourself about that," said Miss Patience, in her calmest voice. She left the room, closing the door behind her.
"Yes, darling, I did. Shall we go into the common room now? I'm dying to see it.""So do I, Dorothy, if it comes to that, but Violet must be made to know her place. She is one of those little encroachers without respect of persons, who can become absolute nuisances if they are encouraged. But there, we have said enough about her. Ruth and Janet are going to sit in 'The Lookout' for a little; they want to discuss the subject of the Fancy Fair. Shall we come and join them?"
She saw the wild landscape, the steep gravel path[Pg 26] which overhung the lake, the old squire with his white hair, and tall but slightly bent figure, pacing up and down, smoking his pipe and surrounded by his dogs. Dorothy fancied how, on most summer evenings, Bridget, impetuous, eager, and beautiful, walked by his side. She wondered how he had brought himself to part with her. She gave a little sigh as she shut the picture away from her mind, and as she laid her head on her pillow, she resolved to be very kind to the new girl.
"After all, what does the Fancy Fair signify—I[Pg 5] mean—oh, don't be shocked, girls—I mean, what does it signify compared to a real living present interest? While we are discussing what is to take place in six weeks' time, Mrs. Freeman and Miss Patience are driving up the avenue with somebody else. Girls, the new inmate of Mulberry Court has begun to put in an appearance on the scene."
"If I had only some smelling salts," she began.
"I don't think I ought to listen to you, Bridget."
"I could not help myself," replied Dorothy. "You know, of course, Janet, what Bridget did last night?"
"My conduct? What have I done?"