"O Dolly," they exclaimed, running up to their favorite, "she has come—we have seen her! She is very tall, and—and——""I shall look to you to help me with this wild Irish girl," she said with a smile. "Now, go to your lessons, my dear.""She has been ill, Biddy," said Violet. "Evelyn has been ill, but she is better now; she's coming back to-night. We are all glad, for we all love her."
Dorothy Collingwood ran after Mrs. Freeman.
"Please remember——" she began.
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There was little use, therefore, in rushing out of her prison to join her companions in their playground or on the shore.
CHAPTER III. RIBBONS AND ROSES.Olive looked at her steadily."Now, how old am I?" she asked, stamping her arched foot. "Don't be shy, any of you. Begin at the[Pg 17] eldest, and guess right away. Now then, Miss Collingwood—you see, I know your name—the age of your humble servant, if you please."
"Oh, but I hate self-denial, and that dreadful motto—'No cross, no crown.' I'm like a butterfly—I can't live without sunshine. Papa agrees with me that sunshine is necessary for life."In every sense of the word Bridget was unexpected. She had an extraordinary aptitude for arithmetic, and took a high place in the school on account of her mathematics. The word mathematics, however, she had never even heard before. She could gabble French as fluently as a native, but did not know a word of the grammar. She had a perfect ear for music, could sing like a bird, and play any air she once heard, but she could scarcely read music at all, and was refractory and troublesome when asked to learn notes.
Bridget moved restlessly. She looked out of the window. The sun was shining brilliantly, and the grass under the big shady trees looked particularly inviting.
As she was approaching the house she was met by Miss Delicia, who stopped to speak kindly to her.
"Yes; you have got to earn it first, however," replied Miss Collingwood, slipping back the pale green panel with a dexterous movement.