[Pg 45][Pg 61]
"But your father cannot pay for your disobedience—for the bad example you have set the little children, for the pain and anxiety you have given me."
[Pg 28]Bridget felt a wild desire to rush after Miss Patience, and defying all punishment and all commands, appear as usual in the dining room.Mrs. Freeman could be austere as well as kind, and Mrs. Freeman was ten times more loved than Miss Delicia.
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"Why did you speak so sharply to her, Olive?" exclaimed Dorothy. "After all, her curiosity is but natural—I must even own that I share it myself."
"People will like you here too," she said. "I am certain you are very good-natured; come and let me[Pg 19] show you some of our snug little arrangements in the common room, and then I think it will be time for bed.""Don't say 'good gracious,' Bridget; it's a very ugly way of expressing yourself. You have learnt something, haven't you?""I don't believe she's a new schoolgirl at all," cried Ruth; "she's just a visitor come to stay for a day or two with Mrs. Freeman. No schoolgirl that ever[Pg 6] breathed would dare to present such a young lady, grown-up appearance. There, girls, don't let's waste any more time over her; let's turn our attention to the much more important matter of the Fancy Fair."
At the dear old wild Castle in Ireland she had been idolized by everyone, the servants had done her bidding, however extravagant and fanciful that bidding had been. She led her old father where she wished with silken reins. The dogs, the horses, even the cows and the calves, followed Bridget like so many faithful shadows. In short, this wild little girl was the beloved queen of the Castle. To cut her, or show her the smallest incivility, would have been nothing short of high treason.
Mrs. Freeman took her unwilling hand, led her into Miss Patience's dull little sitting room, which only[Pg 63] looked out upon the back yard, and, shutting the door behind her, left her to her own meditations.
"Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman.