"No, not very. The younger girls were fond of me, and Dorothy Collingwood was nice.""I'm very sorry, Marshall," said Dorothy, "but Miss O'Hara has really been very naughty. You have heard, of course, of the carriage accident, and how nearly Miss Percival was hurt. It's kind of you to plead for Miss O'Hara, but she really does deserve rather severe punishment, and Mrs. Freeman is most kind, as well as just. I don't really see how I can interfere."
After two or three applications the injured girl stirred faintly, a shade of color came into her cheeks, and she opened her eyes.
"I think I understand you, Dorothy," said Mrs. Freeman. "Kiss me!""What?" said Bridget, coloring high. "Do you mean seriously to tell me that I—I am not to pick flowers? I think I must have heard you wrong! Please say it again!"
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"How disagreeable! I can't live without flowers. I suppose papa will not expect me to stay if I don't like the place?""And we are not allowed to go out of the grounds by ourselves," cried several other voices.
"I don't think I ought to listen to you, Bridget.""And there's such a fuss made about her, too," interrupted Olive. "A carriage and pair sent to meet her, forsooth, and a separate room for the darling to sleep in. It was good-natured of you to stay with her, Dolly;[Pg 25] I assure you Ruth, and Janet, and I could not have borne another moment of her society."
"No, Bridget, you are to stay here; your dinner will be brought to you." Bridget flushed crimson.
"And now," she said, turning to her two sisters, "the question of questions is this: what is to be done with Bridget O'Hara? Is she to continue at Mulberry Court after such a daring act of disobedience? Must the safety of the other scholars be sacrificed to her?"
Her first impulse was to open the door of her prison and go boldly out.
She did not attempt to rise to her feet, however, and Mrs. Freeman was far too much absorbed to take any further notice of her.