"As I was saying," began Janet——"I don't agree with you," answered Olive. "Strength shows itself in many forms. Miss O'Hara is pretty."Dorothy, Ruth, and Olive had now come into the schoolroom, and had taken their places by Janet's side. She gave them a quick look, in which considerable aversion to the newcomer was plainly visible, then turned her head and gazed languidly out of the window.
There was little use, therefore, in rushing out of her prison to join her companions in their playground or on the shore.
"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!"Dorothy detached herself from Bridget's clinging arm, and ran quickly up the sloping lawn."I have some more things to say. I must get you, Bridget, before you leave this room, to make a promise."
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There was a spirit that shone out of those gray eyes, and lent sweetness to that mouth, which was in itself so beautiful that it radiated all over Evelyn, and gave her that strong fascination which those who are striving heavenward ever possess.The Fair was the great event to which the girls looked forward, and in the first excitement of such an unusual proceeding each of them worked with a will."Not for over a month?"
"Oh, never mind about bed—I'm not the least sleepy."Her first impulse was to open the door of her prison and go boldly out.
"Sit down, Dorothy," cried Ruth, "we have kept your favorite armchair vacant for you. Now, then, to discuss the Fancy Fair in all its bearings. Is it not kind of Mrs. Freeman to consent to our having it? She says it is quite an unusual thing for girls like us to do, but in the cause of that poor little baby, and because we wish the Fancy Fair to be our break-up treat, she consents. The only stipulation she makes is that we arrange the whole programme without troubling her."
A slight additional color came into Miss Percival's cheeks.
As she cut the blossoms off, she flung them into her white skirt, which she had raised in front for the purpose. Now, as she ran to meet Mrs. Freeman, the skirt tumbled down, and the roses—red, white, and crimson—fell on the ground at her feet.