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¡¡¡¡"You gave her up to-night when you refused to sleep in the room with her. She is in my room now, trembling all over, terrified, grieved, amazed. Oh, Aggie, why did you do it?"
"But would youâ€”would you," said Miss Frost, who was trembling all over with delight at the thought of having her beloved little sister all to herself for a whole afternoonâ€”"wouldn't you like to keep Agnes? I would buy the things for her."
"That is because I offered to stay in her room to-night. It did seem such a pity that dear Mrs. Merriman should be tired out."
This was the beginning of July. Towards the end the school would break up and the holidays would begin. The young Singletons were going to the seaside, and every one was about to have a merry-making of one sort or another.
"Here are some forget-me-nots," said Rosamund. "I am going to make a wreath to put round your hair. Take your hat off."
"We shall be in time for tea, shall we not? But tell me, how is your father, dear? I see you are in trouble of some sort. Is he worse?"
"But you will have so many friends!" interrupted Jane.
Lucy Merriman had a great admiration for Laura Everett: in the first place, because her mother, Lady Everett, was Mrs. Merriman's old friend; and in the next place, because she possessed, as Lucy expressed it, the invaluable gift of common-sense. She had rather taken Laura under her own wing, had intended to make her her special friend, had meant to trot her round and to show her to other friends; in short, as much as possible to divide her from Rosamund, whom she considered a most dangerous and pernicious influence.