Mrs. Freeman could be austere as well as kind, and Mrs. Freeman was ten times more loved than Miss Delicia."Let's run down the road, then, and give her a welcome," said Bridget. "In Ireland we'd take the horses off the carriage, and draw her home ourselves. Of course, we can't do that, but we might go to meet her, waving branches of trees, and we might raise a hearty shout when we saw her coming. Come along, girls—what a lark! I'll show you how we do this sort of thing in old Ireland! Come! we'll cut down boughs as we go along. Come! be quick, be quick!""I've had enough," she said, nodding to Mrs. Freeman in her bright way. "I'm going out into the garden now, to pick some roses."
"Lost whom?" answered Janet in her tart voice.Oh, yes, she ought to tell; and yet—and yet——"You have too good taste to like her, Olive, but do let us talk about something more interesting. How are you getting on with that table cover for the fair?"
"Poor old dear! But wanting Biddy O'Hara to do a thing, and making her do it, are two very different matters. I'll go to bed when I'm tired—papa never expected me to go earlier at home. I declare I feel quite cheerful again now that I have got to know you, Dorothy. Janet is not at all to my taste, but you are. What a pretty name you have, and you have an awfully sweet expression—such a dear, loving kind of look in your eyes. Would you mind very much if I gave you a hug?"
"Yes, I am sure she has a good deal of physical courage, but that does not alter the fact of her having defied my authority and led the children into mischief.""Now, let's go on," said Janet, in her calm tones. "Let us try and settle something before the supper bell rings. We must have a committee, that goes without saying. Suppose we four girls form it.""O Bridget!" exclaimed the little girls, starting back in affright.Bridget slipped her hand into her pocket, and pulled out an exquisitely embossed vinaigrette.
There was a movement of chairs, and a general rising.
Mrs. Freeman could scarcely restrain her impatience.
"Did you want me, Mrs. Freeman?" she said, in her lazy, rich, somewhat impertinent voice.