Bridget's excitable eager words were broken by sobs; tears poured out of her lovely eyes, her hands clasped Dorothy's with fervor.But plain as Evelyn undoubtedly was, no one who knew her long ever remarked about her appearance, or gave a second thought to the fact that she could lay small claim to physical beauty.She was in every sense of the word an untamed creature; she was like a wild bird who had just been caught and put into a cage.
"So it is, Bridget. But you will permit me, an old woman compared to you, to point out a fact—the self-denying people are the happy ones, the selfish are the miserable. Take your own way now in your youth, sip each pleasure as it comes, turn from the disagreeables, trample on those who happen to be in your way, as you did on that rosebud just now, and you will lay up misery for yourself in the future. You will be a very wretched woman when you reach my age."
A loud booming sound filled the air."Do try not to make such a fool of yourself," repeated Janet, angrily, in her ear.Mrs. Freeman breathed a sigh of relief.
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Ruth and Olive slept in the back part of the room. They had a cubicle each, of course, but they had not Dorothy's taste, and their little bedrooms had a dowdy effect beside hers."My name is Ruth," replied the girl so addressed, "and I can't guess ages. Come, Olive, let us find our French lessons and go."
It is not an easy matter to break in a wild colt, and this was the process which had now to take place with regard to the new girl, whose eccentricities and daring, whose curious mixture of ignorance and knowledge, of affectionate sympathy and careless levity, made her at once the adored and detested of her companions."Don't you hear the clock?" exclaimed Dorothy, unconscious relief coming into her tones.
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.
"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?"