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¡¡¡¡Maud's frank blue eyes looked into Rosamund's dark ones, and over Maud's face there came a softened gleam.
Poor Rosamund! a great wave of longing to help this queer child swept over her heart; but there was her word of honor. She was a passionate, head-strong, naughty girl; but she could not give that up. Besides, she could not do anything with Irene in the future if she did not conquer her now.
Irene flew fleet as the wind from Rosamund's side. Notwithstanding her exceedingly ugly red dress, its shortness, its uncouth make, she ran as gracefully as a young fawn. Soon she had disappeared round the corner, and as soon as she had done so Lady Jane was seen tripping across the grass. She motioned Rosamund to her side.
When the girls entered there was a moment of silence, then a start of surprise, for Irene in white, and wearing her pretty shady hat, looked a totally different Irene from the untidy little creature who usually rushed about in her red frock at all hours and seasons. Rosamund gave Lady Jane a warning glance to take no notice of Irene, who flung herself, very much in her old manner, into a chair exactly opposite Miss Frost.
"Get some breakfast immediately for Miss Cunliffe. Tell cook to send in anything nice and appetizing that she possesses. Not a word to Miss Irene on the subject whatsoever."
"You had better call me Lucy," said the girl after a pause. "We are all girls together. You are at school and I am at school."
"I am not at all so good. Ask the people at Sunnyside what they think of me. There is my dearest friend lying at death's doorâ€”that is not my fault, of course; but when I can smile at all when I remember her, you must see for yourself that there is a great deal that is very far from good in me. But there, now, I want to talk about Miss Frost."