[Pg 54]"Hadn't they got leave to come to meet me?"
She was a tall, slight girl, fairly good-looking, and not too strong-minded."Well, dear, well! half a mile is a figure of speech. That's a way we have in Ireland—we figure of speech everything; it's much more graphic. Now, to go on. I was running up the stairs with my candle, and the wind rushing after me like mad, and the Castle rocking as if it were in an agony, when—— What do you think happened?"It would have been impossible for a much colder heart than Dorothy Collingwood's to resist her.
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"I don't think I shall like school," she said, "but I'll do anything you wish me to do, dearest Dorothy.""My dears," said Mrs. Freeman, answering the looks on all faces, "your young companion's extraordinary conduct can only be explained by the fact that she has never been at school before. I am going out to the garden to speak to her. You girls will now go as usual to your separate schoolrooms and commence study."Bridget felt a wild desire to rush after Miss Patience, and defying all punishment and all commands, appear as usual in the dining room.
"That's as bad as the other expression, Bridget."
She went downstairs and entered her own private sitting room. It was now half-past eleven o'clock, and morning school was over. The weather was too hot for regular walks, and the girls were disporting themselves according to their own will and pleasure on the lawns and in the beautiful grounds which surrounded the school.
"No, Bridget, you cannot. You have been sent here to be under my care, and you must remain with me at least until the end of the term."