"It is more than a pity, Bridget," said her governess in a severe tone. "I am sorry to have to open your eyes, my dear child; but in picking any of my roses you have taken an unwarrantable liberty."
"Hate her?" said Janet; "there must be a certain strength about a girl to make you hate her. I've a contempt for Bridget, but I don't rouse myself to the exertion of hating."
"She's not at all impertinent," said Dorothy. "After all, Janet, servants are flesh and blood, like the rest of us, and this poor Marshall, although she's not the wisest of the wise, is a good-natured creature. What do you think she wanted?""Please wait one moment, Mrs. Freeman."
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She was a tall, slight girl, fairly good-looking, and not too strong-minded.Janet turned away, and a moment later reached the door of the schoolroom, where she was joined by Olive and Ruth. "Come," she said to them, and the three girls disappeared, only too glad to vent their feelings in the passage outside the schoolroom. Dorothy Collingwood lingered behind her companions. "Never mind," she said to Biddy, "it is rude of Janet to leave you, but she is sometimes a little erratic in her movements. It is a way our Janey has, and of course no one is silly enough to mind her."With each fresh study Bridget showed the queer[Pg 36] vagaries of a really clever mind run more or less to seed. She did everything in a dramatic, excitable style—she was all on wires, scarcely ever still, laughing one moment, weeping the next; the school had never known such a time as it underwent during the first week of her residence among them.
There was a sound, a commotion. Several steps were heard; eager voices were raised in expostulation and distress."Well, let's settle to business now," said Ruth; "I'm sure I'm more than willing. Who has got a pencil and paper?"
"Did you speak?" asked Miss May in her coldest tones.
"No, Bridget, you cannot. You have been sent here to be under my care, and you must remain with me at least until the end of the term."
"Thanks!" she repeated again. "If I want your help I'll ask for it, Olive. I'm going into the house now, for I really must get on with my preparation."