"Janet!"On this particular day the world ceases to speak in those gentle and submissive tones. With all its grays and its blacks turned full in view, it says: "You are only an atom; there are millions of other human beings to share my good things as well as my evil. After all, I am not your slave, but your mistress; I have made laws, and you have got to obey them. Up to the present I have treated you as a baby, but now I am going to show you what life really means.""I loathe ladylike ways."
While Marshall was speaking she looked down at the pretty and rebellious young prisoner with marked interest.
"No, my dear," replied the head mistress, in a rather icy voice, "I have never had the pleasure of visiting Ireland.""Don't say 'good gracious,' Bridget; it's a very ugly way of expressing yourself. You have learnt something, haven't you?"[Pg 72]
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Although the booming sound of the great gong filled the air, the supper to which the head girls of the school were now going was a very simple affair. It consisted of milk placed in great jugs at intervals down the long table, of fruit both cooked and uncooked, and large plates of bread and butter.On her way downstairs Mrs. Freeman stepped for a moment into Bridget's room. Her pupil's large traveling trunks had been removed to the box room, but many showy dresses and much finery of various sorts lay scattered about."You have a perfect mania for those children, Dorothy," exclaimed Olive. "I call it an impertinence on their parts to worry themselves about sixth-form girls. What's the matter, Janet? Why that contraction of your angel brow?"
"I think I understand you, Dorothy," said Mrs. Freeman. "Kiss me!""But we are not allowed to cut the boughs, Bridget," said Katie.
She was not a specially clever girl, nevertheless she was now, in virtue of her seniority, and a certain painstaking determination, which made her capable of mastering her studies, at the head of the school.
"Oh, well; it's all right for you to be here, I suppose," said Dorothy. "What were you saying, Bridget? I didn't catch that last sentence of yours."