"Hark! Stop talking!" said Mrs. Freeman.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."But your castle isn't half a mile big," said Katie, another small girl. "And you did say your father lived there with you, and, of course, there must have been some servants."
"I can't eat, Marshall," she said. "I'm treated shamefully, and the very nicest dinner wouldn't tempt me. You can take it away, for I can't possibly touch a morsel. Oh, dear! oh, dear! how I do wish I were at home again! What a horrid, horrid sort of place school is!"
Mrs. Freeman went over and drew back the curtains.There was a plaintive note in the girl's voice, a wistful expression in her eyes, which went straight to Dorothy's kind heart."How solemnly you speak," said Bridget, tears [Pg 32]coming slowly up and filling her eyes. "Is that a sermon? It makes me feel as if someone were walking over my grave. Why do you say things of that sort? I'm superstitious, you know. I'm very easily impressed. You oughtn't to do it—you oughtn't to frighten a stranger when she has just come over to your hard, cold sort of country."
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"Nothing," replied Janet. "I—I—shall I run out to the front, Mrs. Freeman, and listen if I can hear the carriage? You can hear it a very long way off from the brow of the hill."
"Can't you, Bridget? I'm afraid I must make you understand that the fact of Evelyn being uninjured does not alter your conduct."
While Marshall was speaking she looked down at the pretty and rebellious young prisoner with marked interest.
"My dear, you have been ill, which accounts for your nervousness. But in any case a person with the stoutest nerves may be pardoned for fainting if she is flung out of a carriage. I cannot imagine how you escaped as you have done."
"And we are not allowed to go out of the grounds by ourselves," cried several other voices.
"You have a perfect mania for those children, Dorothy," exclaimed Olive. "I call it an impertinence on their parts to worry themselves about sixth-form girls. What's the matter, Janet? Why that contraction of your angel brow?"
"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?"