"You shall see the girls one at a time in your room, darling, for whether you feel well or not, the doctor wishes you to remain quiet to-day.""I don't hear any sound whatever, Mrs. Freeman," she said, "but please don't be alarmed; Evelyn's train may have been late."
"I think, my dear, we won't talk quite so much," said Mrs. Freeman. "At most of our meals German is the only language spoken. Supper, of course, is an exception. Why, what is the matter. Miss O'Hara?"
"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.""But I'm all right to-day," said Evelyn, in her bright voice. "I don't feel any bad effects whatever from my accident. I can't think why I was so stupid as to faint, and give you a fright. I ought really to have more control over my nerves."
It would have been impossible for a much colder heart than Dorothy Collingwood's to resist her.
She called Bridget's name, but the wind, which was rather high this morning, carried her voice away from the young girl, who was gayly flitting from one rosebush [Pg 30]to another, ruthlessly pulling the large, full-blown flowers with buds attached.
Bridget could certainly not return home without money.Dorothy shared the same bedroom as Ruth and Olive. Each girl, however, had a compartment to herself, railed in by white dimity curtains, which she could draw or not as she pleased. Dorothy's compartment was the best in the room; it contained a large window looking out over the flower garden, and commanding a good view of the sea. She was very particular about her pretty cubicle, and kept it fresh with flowers, which stood in brackets against the walls.
"Dolly, I will clap my hands over your rosebud lips[Pg 22] if you utter another word. Come, and let us sit in this deep window-seat and be happy. Would you like to know what papa is doing at the Castle now?"
"But, my dear child, our hearts are not cold. I assure you, Bridget, I am most anxious to win your love, and so also is Dorothy Collingwood."
Alice, Violet, and several more of the little girls were running and tumbling up the grassy slope.[Pg 49] The moment they saw Mrs. Freeman they ran to her.
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.