But the gradually dawning suspicion that she might, after all, have only herself to blame for the spoiling of her evening’s fun, and that she had acted in rather a silly fashion, didn’t soften Dolly particularly. Very few people are able to recover a lost temper just because they find out, at the height of their anger, that they are themselves to blame for what made them angry, and Dolly was not yet one of them.
“I suppose you’ll tell all the other girls about this,” she said. She wasn’t crying any more, but her voice was as hard as ever. “I think you’re horrid—and I thought I was going to like you so much. I think I’ll ask Miss Eleanor to let me share a room with someone else.”
Bessie didn’t answer, though Dolly waited while the wagon drove on for quite a hundred yards. Bessie was thinking hard. She liked Dolly; she was sure that this was only a show of Dolly’s temper, which, despite the restrictions that surrounded her in her home, and had a good deal to do with her mischievous ways, had never been properly curbed.
But, though Bessie was not angry in her turn, she understood thoroughly that if she and Dolly were to continue the friendship that had begun so promisingly, this trouble between them must be settled, and settled in the proper fashion. If Dolly were allowed to sleep on her anger, it would be infinitely harder to restore their relations to a friendly basis.
“I suppose you don’t care!” said Dolly, finally, when she decided that Bessie was not going to answer her.
And now Bessie decided on a change of tactics. She had tried arguing with Dolly, and it had seemed to do no good at all. It was time to see if a little ridicule would not be more useful.
“I didn’t say so, Dolly,” she answered, very quietly. And she smiled at her friend. “What’s the use of my saying anything? I told you the truth about what happened this evening, and you didn’t believe me. So there’s not much use talking, is there?”
“You know I’m right, or you’d have plenty to talk about,” said Dolly, unhappily. “Oh, I wish we’d never seen Will Burns!”
“I wish we hadn’t seen him until to-night, Dolly,” said Bessie, gravely. “You know, that trip in the automobile with Mr. Holmes the other day wasn’t very nice for me, Dolly. If they had caught me, as Mr. Holmes had planned to do, I’d have been taken back to Hedgeville, and bound over to Farmer Weeks—and he’s a miser, who hates me, and would have been as mean to me as he could possibly be. That’s how we met Will Burns, you know—because you insisted on going with Mr. Holmes in his car to get an ice-cream soda.”
“That’s just what I said—you pretended to forgive me for that, and you haven’t at all—you’re still angry, and you humiliated me before all those people just to get even! I didn’t think you were like that, Bessie—I thought you were nicer than I. But—”
“Dolly, stop talking a little, and just think it over. You say you didn’t have a good time, and you mean that you didn’t have a boy waiting around to do what you told him all evening. Isn’t that so?”