Mrs. Freeman spoke calmly, but there was a look about her face which gave Janet a very queer sensation. The schoolmistress took Alice's hand, and walked as quickly as she could to the scene of the accident."Are you going to be cross when you find I don't know your sort of things?""Janet," said Mrs. Freeman, "will you oblige me by showing Miss O'Hara the schoolrooms and common rooms, and introducing her to one or two of her companions? Go, my dear," she continued, "but remember, Bridget, whether you are tired or not, I shall expect you to go to bed to-night at nine o'clock. It is half-past eight now, so you have half an hour to get acquainted with your schoolfellows.""Learnt something? I should rather think I have. You question me on dogs, their different breeds, and their complaints! Do you know, Mrs. Freeman, what's the best thing to do for a dog if he shows signs of distemper?"
"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."
She looked at her friend with a cool, critical eye.
[Pg 43]There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart."How do you do, all of you?" she said. "Well, Janet, good-morning"; she tapped Janet's indignant back with her firm, cool hand, and dropped into her place.
dragon tiger hacker
"The precious love, how nicely she talks, and how I love her gentle, refined words. But, darling, I'm not going to bed, for I'm not tired."
CHAPTER IV. THE QUEEN OF THE SCHOOL.Bridget stood and watched her. Olive kept a little apart, and the smaller girls clustered close together, watching their new friend's face with interest and admiration.Miss Patience had a thin voice, and her words fell like tiny drops of ice on the girl's excited hearts. They followed their teachers with a certain sense of flatness, and with very little desire to attend to French verbs and German exercises.
"Yes, Marshall," said Dorothy; she stopped. Janet stopped also, and gave Marshall a freezing glance.Dorothy Collingwood ran after Mrs. Freeman."You know perfectly well what I mean," she answered; "you know who the enemy is—at least you know who is your enemy."
"I know," echoed Janet, a queer angry light filling her eyes for a minute. "Oh, dear! oh, dear! What with our examinations and the Fancy Fair, and all this worry about the new girl, life scarcely seems worth living—it really doesn't."
"I think you must mean Dorothy Collingwood," said Janet in her clear, cold English voice. "May I ask if you have ever been at school before, Miss O'Hara?"
"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."
Bridget dropped back into her seat with a profound sigh. Presently the dinner gong sounded, and Miss Patience put away her papers and accounts, and shutting up her desk, prepared to leave the room. Bridget got up too. "I am glad that is dinner," she said; "I'm awfully hungry. May I go up to my room to tidy myself, Miss Patience?"