[Pg 18]"Oh, papa'll pay that! Don't you fret about that, Mrs. Freeman; the dear old dad will settle it. He quite loves writing checks!"Mrs. Freeman could see them as she sat in her sitting room.
"Yes, Marshall," said Dorothy; she stopped. Janet stopped also, and gave Marshall a freezing glance.
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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.[Pg 66]"Well, well," interrupted Janet impatiently, "have your own way, Olive. Make that tiresome, disagreeable girl a female Hercules if you fancy, only cease to talk about her. That is all I have to beg."
"Dear Janey, you always were the soul of sense," remarked Dorothy, in a somewhat languid voice. "For my part I pity those poor little mites, Violet and the rest of them. I know they are just as curious with regard to the issue of events as we are, and yet I can see them at this moment, with my mental vision, being driven like sheep into the fold. They'll be in bed, poor mites, when we are satisfying our curiosity.""But why will you dislike our dear Evelyn?"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.
Mrs. Freeman spoke calmly, but there was a look about her face which gave Janet a very queer sensation. The schoolmistress took Alice's hand, and walked as quickly as she could to the scene of the accident.
"Oh, lor, miss, you're too good, but there's that bell again; I must run this minute."
Ruth and Olive slept in the back part of the room. They had a cubicle each, of course, but they had not Dorothy's taste, and their little bedrooms had a dowdy effect beside hers.