"Come now, Janet," she said, "confession is good for the soul—own—now do own that you cordially hate the new girl, Bridget O'Hara."
Olive looked at her steadily.
"You remain here, Bridget," she repeated, "until you have promised to obey the rules of the school. No longer and no shorter will be your term of punishment. It remains altogether with yourself how soon you are liberated."There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart."I hope not, Bridget."
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"I suppose I may go," she said, "if that's all you have got to say?"
"You shall see the girls one at a time in your room, darling, for whether you feel well or not, the doctor wishes you to remain quiet to-day.""What?" said Bridget, coloring high. "Do you mean seriously to tell me that I—I am not to pick flowers? I think I must have heard you wrong! Please say it again!"Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration.
She had read for nearly an hour when the door of the room opened, and Miss Patience came in. Miss Patience was an excellent woman, but she took severe views of life; she emphatically believed in the young being trained; she thought well of punishments, and pined for the good old days when children were taught to make way for their elders, and not—as in the present degenerate times—to expect their elders to make way for them. Miss Patience just nodded toward Bridget, and, sitting beside a high desk, took out an account book and opened it. Miss O'Hara felt more uncomfortable than ever when Miss Patience came into the room; her book ceased to entertain her, and the walls of her prison seemed to get narrower. She fidgeted on her chair, and jumped up several times to look out of the window. There was nothing of the least interest, however, going on in the yard at that moment. Presently she beat an impatient tattoo on the glass with her fingers.
Notwithstanding her vehement words, some decided pangs of hunger seized her as she saw the tempting food, She remembered, however, that in the old novels heroines in distress had never any appetite, and she resolved to die rather than touch food while she was treated in so disgraceful a manner.
A titter ran down the table at these remarks; Mrs. Freeman bent to pick up her pocket handkerchief, and Miss Delicia, rushing to Bridget's side, began to whisper vigorously in her ear.
Janet was forced to comply, and Dorothy exclaimed eagerly: