"Pardon me for disturbing you," she said; "I did not know anyone was in the schoolroom at present."Dorothy, Ruth, and Olive had now come into the schoolroom, and had taken their places by Janet's side. She gave them a quick look, in which considerable aversion to the newcomer was plainly visible, then turned her head and gazed languidly out of the window."What is it, my dear?" The head mistress drew herself slightly up, and looked in some surprise at her pupil.
"Oh, well; it's all the same," said Olive. "You won't admit the feeling that animates your breast, but I know that it is there, chérie. Now I have got something to confess on my own account—I don't like her either."Other new girls had arrived, and only the faintest rumors had got out about them beforehand.Janet turned away, and Olive was obliged to look out for a fresh companion to attach herself to.The room was something like a drawing room, with many easy-chairs and tables. Plenty of light streamed in from the lofty windows, and fell upon knickknacks and brackets, on flowers in pots—in short, on the many little possessions which each individual girl had brought to decorate her favorite room.
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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.
"Am I ever hard to my pupils, my love?""I shall do nothing to-night," said Mrs. Freeman. "But to-morrow, after morning school, I must speak to Bridget. Her conduct during that interview will more or less decide what steps I must take."Ruth clapped her hands.
"O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
Bridget opened her eyes wide, and started at the transformation scene which had taken place during the brief moment she had remained in darkness. The room was painted a pale, cool green. The walls were divided into several panels. One of these had now absolutely disappeared, and in its place was a deep recess, which went far enough back into the wall to contain shelves, and had even space sufficient for a chair or two, a sewing machine, and one or two other sacred possessions.
"No, I can't do that; we have to obey rules at school, and one of our strictest rules is that no girl is to leave her own bedroom without special permission."
"I don't mean that sort of learning, Bridget. I mean what you acquire from books—grammar, French, music."
"Thank God for that, my darling," said Mrs. Freeman. She put her arm round the young girl, kissed her tenderly, and drew her away from Bridget.