"Command me?" said Bridget, her nostrils dilating."Go on; tell us quickly what you did with the candle, Biddy!" cried little Violet, pulling her new friend by the arm.
"Will you have some fruit?" she said coldly, laying[Pg 14] a restraining hand as she spoke on the girl's beflowered and embroidered dress.
"I hope not, Bridget.""Well, she's in trouble now," said Dorothy, with a sigh. "I think you are very much mistaken in her, Janet; she's a very original, clever, amusing girl. I find her tiresome at times, and I admit that she's dreadfully naughty, but it's the sort of naughtiness which comes from simply not knowing. The accident last night might have been a dreadful one, and Bridget certainly deserves the punishment she has got; all the same;—I'm very sorry for her."Dorothy went into her own little cubicle, drew her white dimity walls tight, and, standing before the window, looked out at the summer landscape."We won't discuss the whys nor the wherefores; the fact remains that I do dislike her."
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"Why, Dorothy Collingwood; she has gone over to the ranks of the enemy."
When she said this a quick change flitted over Janet's face. She bit her lips, and, after a very brief pause, said in a voice of would-be indifference:
"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."
"How can I possibly tell you, Miss O'Hara?" she replied. "You are a tall girl. Perhaps you are seventeen, although you look more."
"Poor old dear! But wanting Biddy O'Hara to do a thing, and making her do it, are two very different matters. I'll go to bed when I'm tired—papa never expected me to go earlier at home. I declare I feel quite cheerful again now that I have got to know you, Dorothy. Janet is not at all to my taste, but you are. What a pretty name you have, and you have an awfully sweet expression—such a dear, loving kind of look in your eyes. Would you mind very much if I gave you a hug?"