"Now, what shall I eat?" she said. "By the way, I hope there's a nice breakfast, I'm awfully hungry. Oh, eggs! I like eggs when they're very fresh. Mrs. Freeman, are these new laid? do you keep your own fowls? Father and I wouldn't touch eggs at the Castle unless we were quite sure that they were laid by Sally, Sukey, or dear old Heneypeney."Mrs. Freeman and Miss Patience had driven away in a very smart carriage with a pair of horses to meet her."Well, my dear, you must play it for me some evening, but we don't allow strumming at the Court."
"Yes, darling, I did. Shall we go into the common room now? I'm dying to see it."
Oh, yes, she ought to tell; and yet—and yet——
"I wish you'd say what you think about Bridget. Isn't she past enduring, getting all the little ones to disobey like this? Why, she might be expelled! Yes, Janet; yes, I'm going. You needn't look at me as if you'd like to eat me!"Her first impulse was to open the door of her prison and go boldly out.
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But this new girl was not following out any of the old precedents.
Janet was the heart and soul of everything. She was a girl with a great deal of independence of character; she was not destitute of ambition—she was remarkable for common sense—she was sharp in her manner, downright in her words, and capable, painstaking, and energetic in all she did."Janet, I wish you would not speak in that bitter way."
By and by doubtless the poor bird would be taught to develop his notes into something richer and rarer than nature had made them, but the process would be painful. Bridget was like the bird, and she was beating her poor little wings now against her cage.
"We have lost her," said Olive, with a sigh.
"Nothing in the world could be stupider than French poetry," she muttered. "How am I to get this into my head? What a nuisance Olive is with her stories—she[Pg 46] has disturbed my train of thoughts. Certainly, it's no affair of mine what that detestable wild Irish girl does. I shall always hate her, and whatever happens I can never get myself to tolerate Evelyn. Now, to get back to my poetry. I have determined to win this prize. I won't think of Evelyn and Bridget any more."
Bridget was a fortnight at the school, and had more or less shaken down into her place, when the evening arrived on which Miss Percival was to return.
The girls were leaving the dining room while these thoughts were flashing through Marshall's mind. Dorothy and Janet May were walking side by side.