"Oh, my!" exclaimed Miss O'Hara, "that's nothing. Goodness gracious me! what would you think of thirty or forty miles on an Irish jaunting car, all in one day, Mrs. Freeman? That's the sort of thing to make the back ache. Bump, bump, you go. You catch on to the sides of the car for bare life, and as likely as not you're pitched out into a bog two or three times before you get home. Papa and I have often taken our thirty to forty miles' jaunt a day. I can tell you, I have been stiff after those rides. Did you ever ride on a jaunting car, Mrs. Freeman?"
"I don't know how I can, Mrs. Freeman. I said at once, when I came to school and saw what kind of place it was, that I wouldn't obey the rules. They were so tiresome and silly; I didn't see the use of them."
She stepped out of the open window, and walked rapidly across the wide gravel sweep."I don't think I ought to listen to you, Bridget."[Pg 43]
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"I don't agree with you," answered Olive. "Strength shows itself in many forms. Miss O'Hara is pretty."Mrs. Freeman left her pupil's room, and went downstairs."When she can," replied Bridget. Her hands dropped to her sides. She lowered her eyes; her proud lips were firmly shut.
The child's words were almost incoherent. Alice, who was not quite so excitable, began to pour out a queer story."I've had enough," she said, nodding to Mrs. Freeman in her bright way. "I'm going out into the garden now, to pick some roses.""Don't you hear the clock?" exclaimed Dorothy, unconscious relief coming into her tones.
"There is nothing whatever for it," murmured Mrs. Freeman; "I must punish the poor child in a way she will really feel. If this fails, and I cannot break her in[Pg 57] before the end of the term, I must ask her father to remove her."
"We have lost her," said Olive, with a sigh.
A loud booming sound filled the air.