"Only the head girl of the school," remarked Dolly in a soft tone. "But of course a person of not the smallest consequence. Well, Janet, what next?"
"No fruit, thank you. Oh, what a lovely ring you have on! It's a ruby, isn't it? My poor mother—she died when I was only three—had some splendid rubies—they are to be mine when I am grown up. Papa is keeping them for me in the County Bank. You always keep your valuables in the Bank in Ireland, you know—that's on account of the Land Leaguers.""Yes, I will love you," she replied; "but please go to bed now, dear. You really will get into trouble if you don't, and it seems such a pity that you should begin your school life in disgrace."She used this tongue most frequently on Bridget O'Hara, but for the first time she was met by a wondering, puzzled, good-humored, and non-comprehending gaze.
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"What?" said Bridget, coloring high. "Do you mean seriously to tell me that I—I am not to pick flowers? I think I must have heard you wrong! Please say it again!""Do try not to make such a fool of yourself," repeated Janet, angrily, in her ear.With each fresh study Bridget showed the queer[Pg 36] vagaries of a really clever mind run more or less to seed. She did everything in a dramatic, excitable style—she was all on wires, scarcely ever still, laughing one moment, weeping the next; the school had never known such a time as it underwent during the first week of her residence among them.
Marshall departed, and Bridget lifted the cover from her plate and looked at the nice hot lamb and green peas.
Miss Delicia hurried on, intent on some housewifely mission, and Olive entering the house went down a long stone passage which led to the sixth form schoolroom.
"No, no; what nonsense you talk! What is there to be frightened about? Do go; I can't learn this difficult French poetry while you keep staring at me!"
"Oh, foolish do you call it?" A passing cloud swept over Bridget O'Hara's face. It quickly vanished, however; she jumped up with a little sigh.