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."Can't you, Bridget? I'm afraid I must make you understand that the fact of Evelyn being uninjured does not alter your conduct."
"Oh, what a wicked girl you are," said Mrs. Freeman, roused out of her customary gentle manner by the sight of Evelyn's motionless form. "I can't speak to you at this moment, Bridget O'Hara; go away, leave Evelyn to me. Evelyn, my darling, look at me, speak to me—say you are not hurt!"
[Pg 31]"Run back to your companions this minute, miss," said Olive Moore. "You're getting to be a perfect tittle-tattle, Violet. There, I'm not angry, child, but you must learn not to talk about everything you see."
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The school stood on the side of a hill, which faced downward to the sea. Its aspect was south, and it was sheltered from the east and west winds by a thick plantation of young trees, which looked green and fresh in the spring, and were beginning already to afford a delightful shade in hot weather."I don't hear any sound whatever, Mrs. Freeman," she said, "but please don't be alarmed; Evelyn's train may have been late."
"Poor darling!" said Olive, in a sympathetic tone. "I thought I'd tell you, Janet, that whatever happened I'd take your part."Mrs. Freeman and Miss Patience had driven away in a very smart carriage with a pair of horses to meet her.
"I expect I shan't be allowed to talk at all."
"Much I cared for that when I had a chance of seeing her," remarked Violet. "I did get a splendid peep. She's awfully tall, and she was splendidly dressed; and O Dolly! O Ruthie! O Janey! she's just lovely!"
If Dorothy chose to take the new girl's part, she supposed there was something in her, and would continue to suppose so until she had a conversation with Janet, or anyone else, who happened to have diametrically opposite opinions to Dorothy Collingwood.
Ruth Bury was short and dark, but Janet May, her companion, was extremely slim and fair. She would have been a pretty girl but for the somewhat disagreeable expression of her face.