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.
"I don't agree with you," answered Olive. "Strength shows itself in many forms. Miss O'Hara is pretty."
These remarks usually turned the tables against Janet May, but they also had another effect. She began to be sparing of her sharp, unkind words in Bridget's hearing. This, however, did not prevent her hating the new girl with the most cordial hatred she had ever yet bestowed upon anyone.
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An audible titter was heard down the table, and Mrs. Freeman turned somewhat red.
"Now, how old would you think? Just you give a guess. Let me stand in front of you, so that you can take a squint at me. Now, then—oh, I say, stop a minute, I see some more girls coming in. Come along, girls, and help Miss May to guess my age. Now, then, now then, I wonder who'll be right? How you do all stare! I feel uncommonly as if I'd like to dance the Irish jig!""I can't eat, Marshall," she said. "I'm treated shamefully, and the very nicest dinner wouldn't tempt me. You can take it away, for I can't possibly touch a morsel. Oh, dear! oh, dear! how I do wish I were at home again! What a horrid, horrid sort of place school is!""No. You are to take off that unsuitable afternoon costume you are now wearing, and put on a neat print dress for your morning work."
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.
"I suppose I may go," she said, "if that's all you have got to say?"
"Do, my love, and call to me if you do. I would not have that dear girl frightened for the world. I am more vexed than I can say with Hickman."
The governess took it without a word, and opening it applied it to Evelyn's nostrils.
Small girls are easily influenced, and Bridget and her tribe rushed down the avenue, shouting and whooping as they went.