"Here, Miss O'Hara," she said good-naturedly, "here's a lovely slice of lamb; and I saved some peas for you. Them young ladies always do make a rush on the peas, but I secured some in time. I'll bring you some cherry tart presently, miss, and some whipped cream. You eat a good dinner, miss, and forget your[Pg 67] troubles; oh, dear! I don't like to see young ladies in punishment—and that I don't!""Now, Biddy, go on, Biddy!" exclaimed the children. "We love ghost stories, so do tell us more about the candle."She ran lightly down the grassy slope, and touched Dorothy on her arm.
"Am I ever hard to my pupils, my love?"
"I don't believe you'll ever drive her," said Miss Delicia. "I know that sort of character. It's only hardened when it's driven."
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Bridget's excitable eager words were broken by sobs; tears poured out of her lovely eyes, her hands clasped Dorothy's with fervor."This is my panel," said Dorothy, "and these are my own special pet things. I bring out my favorite chair when I want to use it, or to offer it to a guest; I put it back when I have done with it. See these shelves, they hold my afternoon tea set, my books, my paint box, my workbasket, my photographic album—in short, all my dearest treasures."The girls were leaving the dining room while these thoughts were flashing through Marshall's mind. Dorothy and Janet May were walking side by side.
"Bridget, do look," said Mrs. Freeman; "you have trodden on that lovely bud!"Mrs. Freeman went over and drew back the curtains."Poor young lady!" said Marshall. "Anyone can see, Miss O'Hara, as you aint accustomed to mean ways; you has your spirit, and I doubt me if anyone can break it. You aint the sort for school—ef I may make bold to say as much, you aint never been brought under. That's the first thing they does at school; under you must go, whether you likes it or not. Oh, dear, there's that bell, and it's for me—I must fly, miss—but I do, humble as I am, sympathize with you most sincere. You try and eat a bit of dinner, miss, do now—and I'll see if I can't get some asparagus for you by and by, and, at any rate, you shall have the tart and the whipped cream."
"Yes, certainly. Let me introduce you to someone in particular. Janet May, come here, my dear."
"Can't you, Bridget? I'm afraid I must make you understand that the fact of Evelyn being uninjured does not alter your conduct."
"Oh, but I hate self-denial, and that dreadful motto—'No cross, no crown.' I'm like a butterfly—I can't live without sunshine. Papa agrees with me that sunshine is necessary for life."