"Nothing in the world could be stupider than French poetry," she muttered. "How am I to get this into my head? What a nuisance Olive is with her stories—she[Pg 46] has disturbed my train of thoughts. Certainly, it's no affair of mine what that detestable wild Irish girl does. I shall always hate her, and whatever happens I can never get myself to tolerate Evelyn. Now, to get back to my poetry. I have determined to win this prize. I won't think of Evelyn and Bridget any more."
Should she run away altogether? Should she walk to Eastcliff and take the next train to London, and then, trusting to chance, and to the kindness of strangers, endeavor to find her way back to the dear and loving shores of the old country, and so back again to the beloved home?
"Pardon me for disturbing you," she said; "I did not know anyone was in the schoolroom at present.""Yes, I will love you," she replied; "but please go to bed now, dear. You really will get into trouble if you don't, and it seems such a pity that you should begin your school life in disgrace."
She was coming at mid-term, which in itself was rather exceptional.
"Do let me speak, Marion," exclaimed little Violet Temple, coloring all over her round face in her excitement and interest. "You know I got the first glimpse of her. I did, you know I did. I was hiding under the laurel arch, and I saw her quite close. It's awfully unfair of anyone else to tell, isn't it, Dolly?""Well, I'm here," she said; "what is it?" She still used that half-mocking, indifferent voice.
"No, no—do forgive me!"The ages of these fifty girls ranged from seventeen to five, but from seventeen down to five on this special hot summer's evening one topic of conversation might have been heard on every tongue.
She never came into a room without exercising in a silent, unobtrusive, very gentle way, a marked effect for good.
On this special night in the mid-term the girls who were ignominiously obliged to retire to their bedrooms felt a sorer sense of being left out than ever.