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¡¡¡¡"No¡ªnot exactly. She has a sort of fascination for us. Whenever we want dear Carter to make us thoroughly happy, or to give us a great treat, we get her to tell us about this wild, this formidable little Irene. She could not do it at first, poor thing! for, you know¡ªbut I can't speak of that to-day. Oh! here she is, coming down the path. Ah, Miss Carter," called Maud, "this is Rosamund"¡ª¡ª
"I mean to have a great try," said Lucy, with a laugh; and Rosamund gave her an unpleasant glance.
"Will you get in?" she said. "There is a little breeze on the water; there is none on the land. What are you looking so solemn about?"
"I wonder if it will ever go away?" she said. "If it were gone I'd be much like other girls; but as long as it is there I can't be like any girl¡ªI can't."
When the doctor came that evening little Agnes was still sleeping, and Irene was still holding her hands. The fever was going down moment by moment. The doctor came in and said "Hush!" and whispered to Irene that she must on no account stir. She must be close to little Agnes, when she woke, and he himself would stay in the room, for the child would be very weak; but doubtless the fever would have left her. He was much puzzled to account for the change; but Rosamund was the one to enlighten him. She just told him that some very mischievous girls had played a trick, but she mentioned no names. For Lucy seemed really broken-hearted; and as to Phyllis Flower, she had cried so hard that her eyes were scarcely visible.
"You can scarcely call this homely, pleasant house, school."
"Almost quite well, I am glad to say. She will be able to return to her lessons in the middle of September. I have something to say to you, Rosamund, and as we have met here in the avenue, I need not go up to the house."