"Are you coming, Dorothy?" called Janet May from the end of the passage."Come, my dears," said Miss Patience to the girls[Pg 29] near her, "let us lose no more valuable time. Please don't scrape your chair in that atrocious way, Alice. Rose, what a poke! Susie, hold back your shoulders. Now, young ladies, come to the schoolroom quietly; quietly, if you please."After a little pause, during which neither mistress nor pupil spoke, the pupil raised her head.
There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress.
"My dear, I must tell you that I am a little anxious. Hickman took that shying horse, Caspar, to bring Evelyn home. I intended Miss Molly to have been sent for her. Dear Evelyn is still so nervous after her bad illness that I would not for the world have her startled in any way. And really, Caspar gets worse and worse. What is the matter, Janet? You have started now."Small girls are easily influenced, and Bridget and her tribe rushed down the avenue, shouting and whooping as they went.
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Janet and Olive Moore were returning slowly to the house after a vigorous game of tennis. They stopped to look down at the group who surrounded Dorothy.
"Janet," said Mrs. Freeman, "come here for a [Pg 47]moment. I want you to use your young eyes. Do you see any carriage coming down the hill?"[Pg 18]
"When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
"How solemnly you speak," said Bridget, tears [Pg 32]coming slowly up and filling her eyes. "Is that a sermon? It makes me feel as if someone were walking over my grave. Why do you say things of that sort? I'm superstitious, you know. I'm very easily impressed. You oughtn't to do it—you oughtn't to frighten a stranger when she has just come over to your hard, cold sort of country."
Bridget's face turned very white. She looked wildly toward the door, then at the window.
"Well, Marshall, I'll see what I can do. I must join Miss May now, for we have something important to decide, but I won't forget your words."