"Well, dear, you are not to blame. I shall take you to Eastcliff this afternoon, and order some plain dresses to be made up for you.""Yes, yes, I know," replied Janet, with a sneer; "she did something which shook the nerves of our beloved favorite. Had anyone else given Miss Percival her little fright, I could have forgiven her!"She did not attempt to rise to her feet, however, and Mrs. Freeman was far too much absorbed to take any further notice of her.
Dorothy Collingwood ran after Mrs. Freeman.
She looked at the merry group on the lawn, and a desire to join them, even though of course she knew she was in no sense one of them, came over her.Dorothy was beginning to whisper to her companion that all their excitement was safe to end in smoke, when the door at the farther end of the dining hall was softly pushed open, and a head of luxuriant nut-brown curling hair was popped in. Two roguish dark blue eyes looked down the long room—they greeted with an eager sort of delighted welcome each fresh girl face, and then the entire person of a tall, showily dressed girl entered."Now, Marshall, what is it? How fussy and important you look!"
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"When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
"Well, well," interrupted Janet impatiently, "have your own way, Olive. Make that tiresome, disagreeable girl a female Hercules if you fancy, only cease to talk about her. That is all I have to beg."Ruth clapped her hands.
"I won't eat any dinner in this horrid room," she said; "I think I have been treated shamefully. If my dinner is sent to me I won't eat it."Mrs. Freeman breathed a sigh of relief.
"Oh, papa'll pay that! Don't you fret about that, Mrs. Freeman; the dear old dad will settle it. He quite loves writing checks!"
"I don't know how I can, Mrs. Freeman. I said at once, when I came to school and saw what kind of place it was, that I wouldn't obey the rules. They were so tiresome and silly; I didn't see the use of them."