It was in some such fashion that the world spoke to Bridget O'Hara on this special summer's morning."We'll all be delighted to have her again, of course," said Olive. "And is she really quite well, Miss Delicia?""I won't eat any dinner in this horrid room," she said; "I think I have been treated shamefully. If my dinner is sent to me I won't eat it."Bridget dropped back into her seat with a profound sigh. Presently the dinner gong sounded, and Miss Patience put away her papers and accounts, and shutting up her desk, prepared to leave the room. Bridget got up too. "I am glad that is dinner," she said; "I'm awfully hungry. May I go up to my room to tidy myself, Miss Patience?"
Biddy turned, arrested in her gay flight from rosebush to rosebush.
"I hate school," she said. "I want to go back to the Castle. Can I go to-day?"
"But your father cannot pay for your disobedience—for the bad example you have set the little children, for the pain and anxiety you have given me.""Good gracious me!" exclaimed Bridget O'Hara, "am I to be dumb during breakfast, dinner, and tea? I don't know a word of German. Why, I'll die if I can't chatter. It's a way we have in Ireland. We must talk."
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They were both undressing when she entered the room this evening, but the moment she appeared they rushed to her and began an eager torrent of words.
"Miss Collingwood," said Marshall, in a timid whisper, "might I say a word to you, miss?""As to disliking Miss O'Hara, it's more a case of despising; she's beneath my dislike."Notwithstanding these various criticisms, the carriage with its occupants calmly pursued its way, and was presently lost to view in the courtyard at the side of the house.
Mrs. Freeman left her pupil's room, and went downstairs.Miss Patience asked for a blessing on the meal just partaken of in a clear, emphatic voice, and the group of girls began to file out of the room.
"Oh, let me look; do let me look!" cried Ruth, while Olive and Janet both pressed eagerly forward.
"Hate her?" said Janet; "there must be a certain strength about a girl to make you hate her. I've a contempt for Bridget, but I don't rouse myself to the exertion of hating."