"I have some more things to say. I must get you, Bridget, before you leave this room, to make a promise.""Yes, my love, or she would not be returning."
CHAPTER I. CURIOSITY.
Janet turned at the sound of her name, and came quickly up to her mistress. She looked slight, pale, and almost insignificant beside the full, blooming, luxuriously made girl, who, resting one hand in a [Pg 15]nonchalant manner on the back of her chair, was looking full at her with laughing bright eyes."Now, my dear child, will you come into the house with me? I ought to be in the schoolroom now."Mrs. Freeman went over and drew back the curtains.
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Bridget felt a wild desire to rush after Miss Patience, and defying all punishment and all commands, appear as usual in the dining room."No, I can't do that; we have to obey rules at school, and one of our strictest rules is that no girl is to leave her own bedroom without special permission.""Don't do that, Bridget," said Miss Patience; "you are disturbing me."
Bridget turned and looked at her companion in slow wonder. Janet's remark had the effect of absolutely silencing her; she ate her bacon, munched her toast, and drank off a cup of hot coffee in an amazingly short time, then she jumped up, and shook the crumbs of her meal on to the floor."She was interceding for Bridget," said Dorothy.
"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."
She stood wavering with her own conscience. Caspar was nervous, but he was not vicious.
"I want us to utilize our opportunities," said Janet. "We have a few minutes all to ourselves to discuss the[Pg 7] Fancy Fair, and we fritter it away on that tiresome new girl."