Who has been stealing Nell's gin and why?
This is one of the earliest stories I wrote when I first joined the CBB.
St Clare's House Characters:
Hilda Annersley, Jack Maynard, Jem Russell, Jo (Bettany) Maynard, Mary-Lou Trelawney, Matron Lloyd, Nell Wilson
04 Jul 2011 Updated:
04 Jul 2011
1. Chapter 1 by Elle
2. Chapter 2 by Elle
3. Chapter 3 by Elle
4. Chapter 4 by Elle
5. Chapter 5 by Elle
6. Chapter 6 by Elle
7. Chapter 7 by Elle
Miss Wilson crept stealthily through the corridors of the Chalet School. She was on a mission. Tonight would be the night. The mystery would be solved. Where had those naughty middles hidden her Gin? Locker inspections had revealed nothing, but Miss Wilson knew it was them. Who else could it be? The Middles were responsible for all the naughtiness in the school. It had to be them. A loud clunk echoed through the darkness. Miss Wilson looked down; her foot had connected with an empty Gin bottle. A clue! As Miss Wilson bent down to pick it up, someone jumped on her back. Before she knew it, she was trussed up, gagged and blindfolded. Footsteps hurried past her. Her nose twitched. She could smell the missing Gin. If only she could smell the thieves. How long she lay there Miss Wilson didn't know, but when she came to she was back in her own bed, the empty Gin bottle clasped in her hand and a very disapproving Miss Annersley looking down at her.
"Really Nell, I know we all need to indulge ourselves once in a while, with this job who wouldn't? But I really would prefer that you didn't wander around the school displaying your dipsomania to the world."
"But, but..." spluttered Nell.
"I really do resent having to put you to bed, as well as clean up the mess you have made in the Middles Common Room. Its just to bad of you."
And with that Miss Annersley stalked out of the room leaving Nell speechless with shock and a brain going into overdrive. The finger was most definitely pointing at the Middles, all she had to do was catch them and with her lethal sarcastic tongue get them to reveal where that had hidden the Gin. Although, by the sounds of things, there probably wouldn't be much left...
So, once again at midnight Miss. Wilson found herself creeping stealthily along the corridors of the school. She had been woken by what sounded like feet shuffling past her doorway. This time she would capture the thief! Hugging the wall Nell moved quietly along, keeping her eyes firmly fixed on the hunched, shuffling figure creeping before her. She was gaining slowly.
Mindful of the way she had been captured last time, Nell decided to try the same trick. With a wild yell she leapt upon the figure. There was an almighty scream. Wrestling the figure to the ground and securing her with her dressing gown tie, Nell dived for the lights. There before her was the trussed up figure of none other then Matey.
"Give me the Gin!" shrieked Nell.
"What?" responded Matron.
"My Gin! I know you have stolen it and I have caught you at last!"
"I haven’t stolen your Gin," said Matron in horror," but I would like to know who has stolen my err... I mean the medicinal brandy."
The two staff members stared at each other in shock.
"Then who...?" they said together....
There was a soft clunk behind the two stunned women. They spun round, there on the floor were an empty brandy bottle and an empty Gin bottle. They picked them up.
"Where did they come from?" asked Matey.
But before Nell could reply there came the sound of approaching footsteps, and Miss Annersley appeared around the corner.
"Well really," she exclaimed, "First of all I find Nell passed out drunk in the corridor and now it seems the two of you are indulging in alcoholic parties together." She glared at the empty bottles in their hands.
"But, but we...." spluttered Miss Wilson and Matey.
"I don't want to hear any excuses," snapped Miss Annersley, her blue eyes looking grey with annoyance. "Tomorrow night you are going to be sleeping in my room, on camp beds, and before that you can spend the evening hemming sheets. Now go to bed, both of you."
As the upset pair slunk off Miss Wilson muttered to Matey, "Do you know how to hem sheets? I don't."
"Neither do I," replied Matey, "That’s why I always get the girls to do it as a punishment."
"Same here." said Nell.
Miss Wilson was finding it hard to sleep. Not only was she suffering from acute Gin withdrawal, but her fingers hurt from all that sewing and the camp bed was uncomfortable too.
A voice hissed from the darkness, "Nell, would you please stop wriggling, if you go on at this rate you will wake Hilda, and she is angry enough with us as it is."
Nell sat up, "Its no use, "she said, "I just can't get comfortable, its ok for Hilda, she has her own bed to sleep in," and she glanced across to Hilda's large, luxurious four poster bed, and gave a gasp of astonishment, it was empty!
"What now?" snarled Matey, who was missing the sophoric effects of a couple of medicinal brandy's on the stomach before bedtime.
"Gone? What do you mean gone?"
"I mean, she is not in her bed, she has vanished, disappeared, gone!"
Matey sat up in surprise, and in doing so she upset the camp bed and it tipped her out onto the floor. As she lay sprawled there Matey realised that she had a clear view of the contents of the underside of Hilda's bed. It was Matey's turn to gasp in astonishment.
"Nell," she hissed, "come and look at this."
Miss. Wilson lumbered off her camp bed and crouched down next to Matron who was still sprawled inelegantly on the floor, she peered under the bed, her eyes straining to see what Matey had spotted. Just then the moon appeared from behind a cloud and its light allowed Nell to see more clearly. She could just make out the shape under the bed. It was a person, and they were bound and gagged.
"Mary-Lou!" she exclaimed, "What ever are you doing there?"
Mary-Lou, glared at Miss Wilson, how was she supposed to answer with a gag in her mouth? "Honestly," thought Mary-Lou, "All the gin has really addled her brains."
"Don't be daft Nell," snapped Matron, "How do you expect Mary-Lou to answer when she has a socking great gag in her mouth?"
"Sorry," said Nell, "All that Gin must have addled my brains.”
Mary-Lou raised her eyebrows in disbelief. She had rather hoped that one of them would have the sense to undo her, but obviously it was not to be as the two staff members continued to bicker for several minutes.
After some more time spent bickering Nell and Matron were brought back to their senses by the sound of Mary-Lou banging her head against the floor in a desperate attempt to get their attention.
"Oh yes," said Nell vaguely, "Do you think we should untie her?"
"I don't know," mused Matey, "Hilda obviously has her here for a reason. Maybe to muffle those clarion tones of hers."
"Yes, they can get a bit harsh on the ears."
"Still, she may know something about the medicinal Brandy and Gin, and we can always re-gag her if it all gets too much."
"Good point! Un-gag her!" exclaimed Nell, in somewhat clarion tones herself.
Matron shuddered a little, "Why should I do it? And don't talk like that, you sound like Mary-Lou."
Mary-Lou and Miss. Wilson both glared at Matey.
"Why shouldn't you do it? You are more used to physically dealing with the girls than me, and also I have the most dreadful shakes." said Nell.
"Fine, but next time we find a girl tied up and gagged under Hilda's bed, you can be the one to deal with it."
"Fine. Now Mary-Lou, listen carefully, we are going to un-gag you, but you must keep your voice low. Do you understand?"
Heartily sick at being talked about as if she wasn't there, Mary-Lou nodded, and Matron reached under the bed and tried to yank the gag out. Unfortunately it was tied at the back, and after a few more attempts they were forced to remove Mary-Lou from under the bed in order to remove the gag.
"Right, " said Miss Wilson, "What are you doing here?"
Mary-Lou opened her mouth.
"Quietly," hissed Miss Wilson and Matey.
"Miss Annersley!" said Mary-Lou.
"Miss Annersley?" echoed Miss Wilson and Matey in shock.
"Yes, Miss Annersley" replied Mary-Lou
"You mean, Miss Annersley did this to you?"
"What? Miss Annersley the headmistress of the Chalet school?"
"Yes. Miss Annersley, Head of the Chalet School."
"No, you can't mean that Hilda..."
"Yes! I do mean that Hilda Annersley, Headmistress of the Chalet School did do this to me. Please try to understand this fact," said poor Mary-Lou.
"Well I never..." said Matron.
"Indeed," said Nell.
"But why?" they chorused.
"If you could actually be quiet and engage your brains instead of your vocal chords I might actually be able to tell you." said the exasperated Mary-Lou.
Miss Wilson glared at her. "How dare you speak to a member of staff in the way.." she began, luckily though, Matron having slightly more sense, hit her on the back of the head, "OW!"
"Will you shut up!" snapped Matron.
"Thank you," said our one and only, "Now if I might explain, the prefects have constructed a still for brewing moonshine further up the platz, its where we nip off to when ever we go for a ramble. One day, just before the moonshine was ready we discovered that it had vanished. So we brewed up a fresh batch, and this vanished also, as did the next, so we decided to set a guard. Well nobody who wasn't supposed to came near the still, until two days ago, when I was on watch, I saw a figure approaching, they seemed to be coming from the San, but before I could get a clear view I hear a sound behind me, and as I turned I saw Miss Annersley standing behind me with a raised bottle of Gin in her hand. The next thing I know, I'm tied up under here."
"No..." chorused Matron and Nell, "you aren’t suggesting that Miss Annersley, headmistress of the Chalet school..."
"Here we go again," thought Mary-Lou,” yes!" she yelled in her most clarion tones, "IT WAS MISS ANNERSLEY. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION IT WAS MISS ANNERSLEY!"
"Thank you Mary-Lou, but we are not quite deaf yet," sniffed Matron as she and Nell re-gagged Mary-Lou and shoved her back under the bed.
"Right," said Matron, as she and Nell ambled out of Hilda's room leaving Mary-Lou once more gagged and trussed up underneath the bed, "Lets assess the facts. First of all your gin goes missing and you suspect the middles"
"Gin, gin, gin," muttered Miss Wilson.
"When you attempted to apprehend the culprits you found yourself knocked unconscious, and only came to in your own room and Hilda was there waiting..."
"Gin, gin, gin," muttered Miss Wilson.
"Then, when I was searching for the Brandy you accosted me, and we were both caught by Miss Annersley."
"Gin, gin, gin," muttered Miss Wilson.
"Following an inhumane punishment by Hilda we discovered Mary-Lou tied up under Hilda's bed following an assault by Hilda and an unknown person from the San and the destruction of the prefects still."
"Gin, gin, gin," said Miss Wilson.
"Nell, will you shut up! I am trying to work out what is going on!"
"Oh, sorry," and Miss Wilson’s mutterings subsided.
"Based on all the evidence I suspect that Hilda may have a hand in this," concluded Matron.
"What on earth gives you that idea?" asked Nell in surprise.
Matron glared at her gin-addled colleague. She began to think that they had done the wrong thing in leaving Mary-Lou tied up under Hilda's bed. She wished now she had swapped Mary-Lou for Nell. However it was too late. Pushing Nell onto a nearby handy chair, she explained slowly and carefully (once again) her reasons for suspecting Hilda as the alcohol thief.
"What I don't understand is why Hilda is taking our alcohol, and who is helping her? Who was that figure approaching the prefect's still from the san?" said Matron.
"We could go an ask Mary-Lou a few more questions," suggested Nell who was finally returning to normality.
"No," shuddered Matron, "I doubt there is anything else she can tell us."
Miss. Wilson leant back on the chair, absent mindedly fiddling with a large ornate candlestick on the table next to her. Suddenly she gave a loud shriek, as her tilting chair slipped, she grabbed the candlestick, and with a creak, the wall behind her opened to reveal a dark passage. Nell slowly toppled from view. The last Matey heard of her was a cry of "Gin...!"
Matron stepped into the passage, she kicked Nell's prone body, "Get up, you're not hurt."
"Am," muttered Miss Wilson. She gazed sulkily at the floor, and in the dim light she could just make out an empty bottle of Gin next to her feet.
Dragging the reluctant Miss Wilson behind her, Matron stalked down the shadowy passage. Reaching out for a flaming torch, she realised it was made from an empty brandy bottle. Giving a sigh she reached out and flicked the nearest light switch. She examined the brandy bottle carefully, taking care to avoid the flames. With a sigh of relief she realised it wasn't one of hers, it was a cheaper brand, probably belonging to Karen Matron thought, she threw the still flaming bottle over her shoulder, and continued to stride up the passage. Behind her Nell gave a shriek of dismay. Spinning round Matron hurriedly extinguished Miss Wilson.
"Honestly Nell, and you were supposed to be the Guide Captain. I would have thought you knew how to put out a flame."
"Not when the flame was on me," snapped Nell, and she pushed past Matron, determined not to be on the receiving end of anything else. Unfortunately the passage had come to an end, and Nell walked slap, bang into a very solid, wooden door.
Behind her, Matron sniggered.
Nell stepped back and shook her head, "Who put that door there?" she complained, she glared round at Matron, "It was you wasn't it! And I bet you took my Gin too!" and uttering a wild shriek she leapt upon Matron and began to pummel her violently.
Matron however was more than a match for Miss Wilson, she grabbed the out of control mistresses arm and pulled her into a half nelson. Not for the last time she wished that she had swapped Mary-Lou and Nell over, but the time for that had passed. Holding onto Nell with one strong arm, she turned the key and pushed open the door...
Matron stepped through the open door into a cool, dark room. She looked round and realised that it she let Miss Wilson see the contents then all would be lost. The rows upon rows of empty gin bottles would break her heart, and possibly her sanity too. With a swift tightening of pressure Nell fell unconscious to the floor-leaving Matron free to explore. Apart from the Gin bottles, the only thing of interest was lime green scarf, which was half concealed under one of the numerous bottles. Matron picked it up and frowned at it. Who did she know who wore lime green? There was a groan from where she had left Nell. Still holding the scarf Matron stepped out of the room and locked the door. She set about reviving Nell.
"What happened? My head hurts, how much did I drink last night?" quavered Nell.
"You fainted," lied Matron.
"Really? Oh yes, we were going to explore that room, what was in there? Did you look?"
"There was nothing in there," lied Matron again, "Except this." And she held out the scarf to Nell who took it wonderingly.
"Who on earth wears something this colour? It’s vile, although if it were a darker green it would be quite nice. A darker green and see through, with a clear liquid inside, a clear but highly flavoured liquid, gin in fact!" And Nell attempted to drink the scarf.
Seizing the scarf Matron gave Nell a resounding slap, thus returning her to normality. "Will you remain focused! We are trying to remember who wears this colour scarf, it may be a vital clue to the wear abouts of the alcohol."
"But if you found it in an empty room it can't be that important can it?" asked Nell grumpily, he head still hurt from Matron's slap. "After all, all we have really discovered is a disused passage to an empty room."
Matron blushed, the sharp eyed Miss Wilson noticed.
"What are you hiding from me?" she demanded.
"Hiding?" said Matron guiltily, "I'm not hiding anything."
"Why are you blushing?"
"Because I have just remembered who wears lime green"
"Oh yeah, who?" demanded Miss. Wilson with a psychotic glint in her eye.
"Jack Maynard!" came the startling reply.
Miss. Wilson was dumbstruck. When she finally regained the powers of speech she said, "Jack doesn't wear lime green! It doesn't suit him. Its more Joey's colour."
"Jack does wear it. I've seen him."
"I was out for a little walk one evening, to clear my head you understand, and I happened to walk past Freudsheim, the curtains were open and I glanced in, and there was Jack, dressed from head to foot in lime green, his shirt, his skirt, his shoes and his scarf. All lime green."
"Are you sure you didn't see pink elephants on this walk too?" enquired Miss Wilson sweetly.
Suddenly the smile dropped from Miss Wilson's face. "Jack Maynard in a skirt?" she said, "are you sure it wasn't Joey? She does like the colour lime green."
Matron shook her head, "No, it was definitely Jack, unless Joey's earphones are removable."
"Was there anyone else there?"
"Now you come to mention it, there was, but I only caught a glimpse of them as they turned round, I saw a flash of steely grey eye as they turned towards the drinks tray but that was all."
"Could it have been Joey?"
"No, because Joey was stood in the corner in her old Chalet School uniform. It’s getting a bit tight for her if the truth be told."
Matron and Miss Wilson looked at each other. "This has gone beyond my missing gin," said Miss. Wilson, "There is something dodgy going on. I think we need reinforcements."
"Well, there is only one person who springs to mind."
"You don't mean..." gasped Matron.
"Indeed," said Nell, the psychotic glint returning to her eye.
"Not, oh please tell me not..."
"Yes!" cried Miss Wilson.
Matron went white, "But do you think she will help us? After all we did leave her tied up under Hilda's bed, she might not be very happy with us."
"Do you still have a supply of castor oil?"
"The she will help us, or drink it all! Mwahahahahahaah" laughed Miss Wilson, both eyes now appearing to glow red, and seizing Matron by the arm she hurried her off to find Mary-Lou.
Nell stormed down the corridors of the Chalet school, a terrified Matron trailing in her wake. The door to Hilda's bedroom burst open in response to a violent kick from Nell’s foot. She hurtled towards the four-poster bed, and bending down she hauled out the gagged and bound figure of Mary-Lou. She reached for the gag.
Summoning up her remaining courage Matron ventured to ask "Are you sure you're doing the right thing?"
The fierce glare she received (made all the worse by the fact it was reflected in Mary-Lou's face also) removed the rest of her courage. "Very well Nell, you know best."
Miss Wilson removed the gag and untied Mary-Lou.
"THANK YOU." the clarion tones rang out. Even Miss Wilson winced, and her eyes seemed to glow less redly.
"Please" murmured Matron.
"Now listen to me Mary-Lou," sad Miss Wilson fiercely, "There is something weird going on here besides my missing gin, and Matron and I have realised that we need your help." She was interrupted by a soft cough. "Very well, I decided that we need your help. Matron! Bring Mary-Lou up to date on what we know so far."
By the time Matron had brought Mary-Lou up to date on the developments in the search for the missing alcohol, Mary-Lou's eyes were wide with shock. At one point she even turned a little green (when Matron was telling her about Joey in her old school uniform). But being Mary-Lou she seized the initiative at once.
"Right. To sum up then, Miss Annersley, Auntie Joey and Uncle Jack are all in this together, it was obviously Uncle Jack who was approaching the still from the San when Miss Annersley hit me over the head."
"Smart move," muttered Matron, who received a double glare from Miss Wilson and Mary-Lou.
"So, in order to get to the bottom of this we must proceed with caution. I suggest that one of us infiltrates Freudeshiem in order to listen to what they are planning."
"We? We? We?" muttered Matron sulkily until she became aware of the duplicate gaze upon her once again. "What?" Even the smiles were in duplicate.
A hour later Matron found herself dressed as a huge St. Bernard dog, and was being shoved reluctantly in the direction of Freudeshiem by the grinning Miss Wilson and Mary-Lou.
"They will never fall for it," she growled.
"Of course they will," said Nell, "You know how bats Joey is about dogs."
"And if they have been drinking all our missing alcohol then they will be unable to tell you from the real thing." added Mary-Lou.
"But what about Bruno?"
"He'll be fine, he likes you doesn't he?" and Nell reached over and rang the doorbell and followed by Mary-Lou she dived behind a nearby rose bush.
As planned Joey opened the door and was moved to tears at the sight of the poor frozen St Bernard Matron.
“Hello boy,” she hiccupped, “You are a boy aren’t you?” and reaching out she seized Matrons hind leg and lifted it up to look underneath, “No? A girl? Oh well, Bruno will be pleased, he’s been humping the furniture all week.” And seizing Matron by the scruff of her neck she led her into the chalet.
Behind the rose bush Nell and Mary-Lou congratulated each other on the way that their plan had worked. There was only one thing which seemed to be bothering Mary-Lou, “What did Auntie Joey mean by ‘humping’?”
“No idea,” lied Nell blithely, whist thinking that she wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall when Matron and Bruno met up. That would serve Matron right for hitting her!
Inside Freudeshiem Matron was facing up to her first meal of Pedigree Chum.
Jack Maynard shot into the kitchen, hurriedly shutting the door behind him. He lent on it panting heavily. Joey looked up in surprise and ceased patting the new St. Bernard dog who was tucking into the pedigree chum with every evidence of enjoyment.
"Jack? What on earth is the matter?" she asked in astonishment.
"Its that damn dog of yours, we need to get him seen to, have you ever been humped by a dog of his size? Hilda is meant to be coming over tonight and we can't subject her to this!" suddenly his eyes fell on the new dog, "Where did he spring from?"
"Not a he," said Joey cheerfully, "A she! Our Bruno problem is solved!"
Matron’s ears pricked up in fear, what were they talking about? And why was Hilda coming over later? Unfortunately she missed the next bit of the conversation, and when she started listen again she heard:
"Oh ok, I'll go an get him, but I warn you Jo, any puppies are your business."
"After 11 babies I think I could cope with a few puppies Jack."
Jack Maynard opened the door and was knocked sidewise by Bruno who came galloping in like a small pony. Immediately he spotted Matron, and recognising her by he smell he realised she was a friend and jumped onto her, knocking her over.
"Look," said Joey, "they are friends already."
"Better leave them alone to get to know each other smirked Jack, as he and Jo left Matey to the eager friendship of Bruno.
Once outside the room Joey and Jack looked at each other. "I think I had better ring Hilda. Nell and Matey must be on to us, that is the only explanation for Matey to be in out kitchen dressed as a St Bernard. They know your fondness for that breed."
"You're right, but how they thought I wouldn't recognise my old Rufus rug I don't know."
"Nell has drunk so much gin, its addled her brain." said Jack.
On hearing the door close Matron desperately fought off the amorous attentions of Bruno, a swift kick delivered in his nether regions seemed to do the trick and Bruno fled howling into a corner. Removing the now somewhat battered remains of the Rufus rug Matron looked round for something which could give her relief. To her joy she spied, hiding behind a plate of lemon biscuits, a half empty bottle of cooking sherry. She reached over, pulled out the cork and prepared to take a swig.
"STOP RIGHT THERE!"
Matron jumped, slopping sherry everywhere, she spun round, there behind her, emerging from a cupboard was Anna.
"So," she said, "At last I have caught you, you thief. Of all the people, I never suspected that you were the one, coming in here and stealing my sher...err the cooking sherry. And dressing up as Rufus too! You are a sad, sick woman Matron and you are going to get what is coming to you!" Anna seized another plate of lemon biscuits and advanced towards Matron in a very threatening manner.
"No!" cried Matron, "You don't understand, I can explain everything."
"The time for explanations is over, you should have realised that you had stolen my sherry for the very last time."
"No!" howled Matron as Anna raised the plate of lemon biscuits.
Matron ducked as Anna attempted a vicious undercut with a lemon biscuit, she dived sideways as Anna then tried to force the biscuit up her nose.
"Will you listen to me you mad cake and sherry obsessed woman."
"Nein!" yelled Anna, who seemed beyond reason, "You will never take my sherry again!"
Matron had had enough. She stood still and fixed Anna with a fierce glare. Anna wilted briefly, but quickly returned to the attack, her wilting had however given Matron the opportunity she needed. She seized the sherry bottle, which luckily still had some sherry in it.
"STOP! Or the sherry gets it!"
Anna froze, biscuit in hand. "You wouldn’t dare." she said, but her voice held an element of uncertainty.
"Would you like to try me and see?"
Anna paused, "You wouldn't dare," she said again, sounding even less certain now.
Matron moved towards the sink "Do you want to bet on that?" and she began to tilt the bottle, sloshing the liquid into the neck.
"No!" cried Anna.
"Put down the biscuits and back away then."
Anna did as she was told.
"Now, let me explain," said Matron helping herself to one of the few remaining whole lemon biscuits, "But don't make any sudden movements Anna, if you do the sherry goes straight down the sink."
"I will not move," promised Anna, her eyes flicking from Matron to the bottle.
"Ok. First Miss Wilson's gin goes missing, then my brandy vanishes also, when we were searching for them we were both caught and punished by Hilda, during that punishment we found Mary-Lou tied up and gagged under Hilda's bed."
"Best place for her," interjected Anna.
"My sentiments exactly," said Matron, "But to continue, having discovered the the prefects still had been destroyed by Hilda, we then found a secret passage and a lime green scarf."
"That would be Jack's," said Anna, "He lost it last week."
"Then I remembered seeing Joey, Jack and Hilda dressed up and drinking, so against my will Nell released Mary-Lou and they dressed me as a St. Bernard and sent me in here as a spy, and then Bruno tired to hump me and you tried to assassinate me with a lemon biscuit."
"Well that plan was doomed from the start, did you think Joey wouldn't recognise her Rufus rug? Anyway, this whole thing seems far-fetched, are you sure you were not dreaming? Or having a group hallucination?"
Matron leant over and pinched Anna hard. Anna yelled. Matron sat back and smiled, "Dreaming are we?"
"Alright, its not a dream. Now, that party of Joey's you mentioned, it must of happened on one of my rare evenings off otherwise I would have known all about it. I think we should join forces."
Suddenly the twin faces of Nell and Mary-Lou appeared at the window. When Nell clocked Matron sat on her chair eating biscuit and not being humped by a huge St. Bernard her face fell. Grabbing Mary-Lou she sauntered though the door. Sadly for Nell Bruno had recovered from Matron's treatment, and recognising Nell as another friend, he proceeded to greet her enthusiastically. Mary-Lou's eyes opened wide, "So that's what she meant by humping."
"Well?" she demanded in her clarion tones, "What have you found out?" and she reached out and helped herself to a biscuit. Anna glared at her.
"Anna has just suggested we join forces," said Matron also glaring at her.
"Excellent plan," clarioned OOAO and the three of them began to discuss what they should do next. So deep in discussion were they, that they never looked through the window and so missed the sight of two figures, one in lime green and one in brown, slipping through the garden and heading towards the Chalet School. Nell was in no fit state to notice anything when she finally managed to extract herself from Bruno and made it to the table.
On reaching the safety of the Chalet School Jo and Jack shook the snow from their shoes, and regarded each other carefully. If they were going to see Miss Annersley, the must look neat and tidy. Reaching up Joey adjusted her removable earphones, which were now nestling on either side of Jack's face. She looked at him and said worriedly, "Are you sure this was such a good idea?"
"Of course," replied Jack, hurt that Joey was questioning his judgement, "Seen from a distance any girl will assume that I am you, and the figure in the uniform next to me is one of the girls."
"Yes, but the uniform is blue now."
"We could have just come over as ourselves," said Joey eyeing her lime green blouse, which was stretched across Jack's bulkier frame. She looked down at her brown uniform, "I'm not sure this suits me anymore."
"Nonsense," replied Jack, not looking at her as they reached Miss Annersley's study. He knocked.
"Enter," the cool, clear tones rang out. Jack and Joey entered. There was nobody there, they could see Miss Annersley’s desk, and the back of her chair, but no Hilda.
"Where is she?" asked Joey.
Suddenly the chair began to spin round slowly, revealing Hilda Annersley, with Minette the fifteenth sat purring on her lap, as Hilda herself sipped delicately from a glass of single malt.
"Joey. Jack." she said, whilst eyeing the up and down. "What can I do for you?"
"We bring bad news Hilda," gasped Jack, "Matey and Nell are on to us!"
"I know," replied the cool voice of Hilda Annersley.
"You know? How?"
"I know everything there is to know."
"But we risked our lives to come here and warn you,"
"I see.." replied Miss Annersley, eyeing Jack's hairy knees which protruded from beneath his skirt, her eyes flicked to Joey's stomach which was straining the seams of her uniform, "I hope you didn't attract unwanted attention."
"You mean Mary-Lou? How could we, she's tied up under your bed."
"No, she is not. Currently she is sat in your kitchen, with Matron, Nell and Anna, and they are making plans to retrieve their missing alcohol."
"How do you know this?"
"I told you, I know everything, oh, and incidentally Jack, it was very careless of you to leave your scarf in the gin room, Matron found it, so yours and Joey's great disguises are useless."
Miss Annersley leant back and pulled a leaver, a hidden door swung open, "I think you had better leave this way, you will attract less attention."
"What shall we do?"
"Await orders." said Hilda, sitting back and taking another sip of single malt, Minute’s purrs sounded very loud in the now quiet room. Reluctantly Joey and Jack stepped through the door and closed it behind them. Miss Annersley smiled, as she leant forwards and pressed a button on her desk. She sat back with a satisfied smile. From the secret tunnel came the muffled sound of screams. After a while they stopped.
Reaching forwards, Miss Annersley pressed another button, a section of panelling slid back, revealing a wall of monitors, she focused on the one showing the scene of Fredeshiem kitchen. Her eyes widened with shock. The kitchen was empty.
In the hall at Freudesheim a quarrel was developing between Mary-Lou and the others. Matron, Anna and Nell wanted to phone Miss Annersley and reveal that they knew about her plot, and hopefully shock her into telling them more. Mary-Lou was against this plan.
"Look here Mary-Lou," yelled Nell, "I'm in charge. I say what we shall do."
"It's a stupid plan," clarioned Mary-Lou, "Miss Annersley will see right through it at once."
"You're in charge?" asked Matron, "Who put you in charge? I certainly didn't. What makes you think you are in charge?"
"I want to phone Hilda! And who on earth did you think was in charge?"
"It's a stupid plan!"
"Well I certainly didn't think you were in charge. And even if you were you deserve to be sacked, dressing me up as a St. Bernard, what kind of a plan was that?"
"Err... I'll phone Miss Annersley shall I?" asked Anna.
"No! Its a stupid plan!"
"No! If anyone is going to phone Hilda, it will be because I am in charge."
"You are not in charge!"
"It's a stupid plan!"
"No stupider than dressing me as a St. Bernard and sending me into spy on Joey and Jack."
"That was also Miss Wilson's idea, and this plan is just as stupid."
"Where have Jack and Joey got to?" asked Anna.
"Mary-Lou, if you don't shut up, its back under the bed with you!"
"Hello?" said Anna, "Is anyone actually listening to me? Joey and Jack have vanished, but there are tracks heading over to the school."
"You can't do that! And anyway I am entitled to my opinion," shrieked Mary-Lou.
"Not when it disagrees with my opinion," snarled Nell.
"I still want to know who put you in charge" demanded Matron.
"WILL YOU SHUT UP!" Yelled Anna, but it was no use, the argument continued unabated.
Over at the school, Miss Annersley took another sip of her single malt and watched the argument on one of her monitors. There was a discreet tap at the secret door, it opened and Gaudenz walked in, a dirty shovel over his shoulder.
"Did you clean up Jack and Joey?" asked Hilda.
"Thank you, although obviously I will thank you properly later." Said Hilda handing him a new gardening set as a reward.
"Now, there is just one more little thing I need you to do for me. Listen carefully." and Miss Annersley outlined the plan.
"With pleasure," was Gaudenz reply, as he clutched his new gardening set to his chest.
Back at Freudesheim the argument was still raging. Anna had given up trying to reason with the others, and was instead sat on a chair, smelling her empty sherry bottle. Mary-Lou and Miss Wilson were nose to nose, screaming at each other, whilst Matron occasionally added her voice to the debate. Suddenly, they were interrupted by the sound of a mighty fist hammering upon the door. Hiding the sherry bottle, Anna got up to answer it, and the others, for a wonder, ceased their arguing.
"Gaudenz!" exclaimed Anna, "What can I do for you?"
"I am searching for my schnapps," the brooding figure replied.
"Gosh," said Miss Wilson, "I have lost my gin, Matron her brandy, Anna her sherry and Mary-Lou her marbles. OW! Ok, her moonshine. Come in, tell us what you know."
Gaudenz stepped into the hall and looked around him. Before he could speak however, Mary-Lou butted in:
"Look here, I think before we start to share all out secrets, we four ought to have a little chat. Gaudenz can wait in the kitchen," and she waggled her eyebrows frenziedly at the others.
"Why?" demanded Miss Wilson.
"Because," said Mary-Lou, accompanied by more eyebrow waggling.
"Why are you... OW!" cried Miss Wilson as OOAL stamped hard on her foot, at the same time as Anna poked her in the ribs and Matron hit her on the shoulder. "Oh, all right, Gaudenz, go and wait in the kitchen. Hang on.... isn't Br...", stamp, poke, hit, "fine, I'll shut up then."
"Good." clarioned all three at once, Gaudenz winced, and headed into the kitchen.
"What was all that in aid of?" said Miss Wilson.
"You were about to give all our info away, and to Gaudenz, of all people!" cried Mary-Lou.
"What’s wrong with Gaudenz?"
"He's hand in glove with Miss Annersley!"
"Of course he is, haven’t you noticed that she is always taking him somewhere to 'thank him properly' and then presenting him new gardening equipment?"
"But what about his schnapps?"
"I just don't think we should trust him right away."
"Well, what you think doesn't matter, because you are not in charge, I am." snapped Miss Wilson, and the argument started up again.
Finally, after a further 20 minutes of arguing Anna lost her temper. Seizing Miss Wilson and Mary-Lou she banged their heads together, whilst at the same time administering a sharp kick to Matron's shin.
"Enough!" yelled Anna. "From now on I am in charge!"
"But..." Miss Wilson tried to argue.
"NO! You will listen to me and you will do what I say. Anyone who wishes to argue with me will find themselves in serious trouble."
"I say..." tried Miss Wilson again. It was a big mistake. The others watched in awe, as Anna grabbed Miss Wilson, delivered a double blow to her face, a swift knee cap in the stomach, and as Miss Wilson bent over in shock, delivered another swift knee cap to her face, and then pushed her gasping to the floor.
"Anybody else wish to question my leadership qualities?" Anna's question was met with silence. "Good. Now, we are going to the kitchen to question Gaudenz, if there is anything left of him after being alone with Bruno for so long."
"What shall we do with Nell?" asked Matron.
Anna regarded Miss Wilson thoughtfully, "We had better bring her with us but..." she glared at Nell, "If you speak out of turn I will shut you up in a dark room with Mary-Lou." Mary-Lou opened her mouth to protest, and then thought better of it. Anna grinned. She was in charge now.
Still grinning, Anna led the way into the kitchen. Opening the door carefully she peered round the door, trying to see what was left of Gaudenz. To her surprise he was sat at the kitchen table drinking a cup of tea. Anna and the others walked in. Gaudnez looked at Mary-Lou who blushed.
"That wasn't a nice thing to do." he rumbled, looking over at Bruno, who once again was in the corner with his eyes crossed.
"Um.. sorry about that," said Mary-Lou, "but it was an.... um.... initiation test!"
"What?" said everybody else.
"We have them for the gang, if you pass them you can join."
"What do you have to do?" asked Matron curiously.
"Survive a disaster on a mountain, fall out with another girl who wants to be a member of the gang, and one I don't quite understand."
"Talk to me for an hour..."
Matron and Anna sniggered.
Suddenly the grin snapped off Anna's face. She seized Gaudenz by the shirt and hauled him out of the chair.
"Now listen here garden boy, we know you're Hilda Annersley's pet, does she think we are stupid?"
Involuntarily, Gaudenz's eyes slid towards Nell.
"Point taken," said Anna, "Why is Hilda stealing our booze? What has happened to Joey and Jack? Talk you piece of manure!"
"I don't know anything," pleaded Gaudenz.
Gaudenz felt Anna's grip tighten around his neck, he could see spots appearing before his eyes, he realised that if he didn't tell Anna what she wanted to know he would never dig another vegetable patch in his life.
"Anna, I think he's trying to tell us something," said Matron, who was beginning to look worried as Gaudenz turned a fetching shade of purple.
In Gaudenz's head the battle raged. Should he confess all to Anna, or should he continue to follow Miss Annersley's orders? He thought of all her kind gifts over the years, all the gardening sets, new paintbrushes, but he was finding it harder and harder to breathe. He could hear voices speaking, but they were getting fainter and fainter, his vision blurred, everything went black, the voices stopped.
"Gaudenz!" clarrioned a voice, bringing him back to consciousness with a shudder.
"There, I told you that would work," said Matron, "her voice could raise the dead! Sorry about that Gaudenz, Anna got a bit over enthusiastic."
"Yes," said Anna, " And I will get over enthusiastic again unless you tell us what is going on."
Gaudenz gazed weakly up at Anna, Matron and Mary-Lou, they reminded him of the three witches from Macbeth, he could see Nell slumped on the floor, a defeated look about her. How could he betray Miss Annersley? If that is they treated their own, what would they do with him when they discovered the truth? Rubbing his throat he began to recite the words Hilda had told him to say.
Gaudenz' mouth was open and he prepared to speak. He had never had so many women waiting to hear him speak. He reached up and lifted off the top of his head. He pressed the red button concealed there.
"Initiate self destruct." he said.
To the horror of the watching women smoke started to pour out of his ears. Sparks shot out of his nose, and with a final puff of smoke, Gaudenz's entire head exploded.
"Gosh," said Mary-Lou, "Does that happen to all men?"
"No, its just the effect you have on them." snapped Matron.
Anna stepped forwards and examined the remains of the robot Gaudenz, she fished out a few remaining components, and stamped on them angrily.
Nell blinked. She looked at Mary-Lou thoughtfully.
Looking up Mary-Lou saw the expression on Nell's face. Discreetly she took a step back. To her horror Miss. Wilson shuffled forwards. Mary-Lou took another step back, Miss. Wilson shuffled.
"Hang on!" Anna's voice echoed in the silent room. Seizing the robot Gaudenz she turned him over and pulled his shirt up. Matron looked horrified, Mary-Lou exited, and Nell seized the opportunity to shuffle a bit closer to Mary-Lou.
"Anna, what do you think your doing?" demanded Matron, naked robots were not her stock in trade.
"When I looked down the neck I saw something, now, if I could only get into the torso..."
"Would this help?" asked Mary-Lou proffering a large kitchen knife.
"Thanks." Anna seized the knife and plunged it into Gaudenz's back. Nell went white. She had always had a secret crush on Gaudenz, and even though he had turned out to be a robot, Nell's crush continued. Blinking rapidly she took another step nearer the fascinated Mary-Lou.
"Ah ha!" cried Anna as a large section of the torso came away, she reached into the body and began to tug.
Anna's yell of triumph as she pulled what she had discovered from robot Gaudenz's torso was drowned by an equally wild yell from Miss. Wilson, who, taking advantage of the fact that Mary-Lou was distracted by her first sighting of, admittedly a robotic, naked male torso, had flung herself upon the aforementioned damsel. Mary-Lou tried to scream, but Nell had taken the precaution of covering her mouth with her hand. With her other hand Nell seized the top of Mary-Lou's head and began tugging.
"What are you doing?" cried Matron, who actually looked like she might want to join in.
"She's a robot! She's a robot!" screeched Nell wildly.
"Really?" Matron joined in the attack.
"Destroy the robot!"
In desperation Mary-Lou sank her teeth into Nell's hand, causing Nell to remove it from her mouth.
"I AM NOT A ROBOT!" she clarioned as loud as she possibly could.
Far above, on the snowy peaks of the Alps several avalanches began to rumble their way down towards the Platz.
At the school Miss Annersley was looking at her computer screen in some concern. She had noticed that the little red light representing the functioning robot Gaudenz had gone out. This was not good news. Rising, Miss Annersley walked towards the wall, she pressed a section of wooden panel and a door opened. Walking down the passage she pondered her next move. It was annoying that Anna had got involved with Matron and Nell. Of all the people on the Platz Anna was only one bright enough to figure out the plan. Anna was the only one that Hilda feared.
The passage opened into a bright, well lit cave. Chained to the wall on the left were various people from the Platz and school, Joey, Jack (both very battered and bruised and covered with red welts), as well as the real Gaudenz, Joan Bertram and Phil Graves. On the right wall, all by themselves was chained Hilda's prize catches, including Bruno and...
Up in the Alps the avalanche began to gather force.
However Miss Annersley turned away from her prize catches, they did not interest her at the moment. Instead her grey eyes focused on the chained form of the real Gaudenz. Her eyes narrowed.
"I have no need of you anymore. Your robot has been discovered and destroyed." Reaching up Miss Annersley unchained Gaudenz and pushed him towards a door at the back of the cave.
"You mean I can go?" asked Gaudenz in surprise.
"Yes," replied Miss Annersley, "just so long as you go far away and never return. Leave Switzerland and never return."
Miss Annersley opened the door and ushered Gaudenz through. She shut the door firmly behind him, and locked it. She waited. Soon enough it came. A faint scream. Miss Annersley smiled.
At Freudeshiem Anna had finally restored order. Nell and Matron had apologised to Mary-Lou for suspecting her of being a robot, and after a while Mary-Lou had accepted their apologies. They then turned their attention to what it was that Anna had pulled out of the robot Gaudenz. To their surprise, and Nell's joy, it was a bottle of gin.
Nell dived crazily for the Gin, a grin of almost terrifying intensity on her face. To her dismay Anna held the bottle out of reach.
"Hold her back someone!" cried Anna, "We can't have Nell drinking the evidence."
Matron grabbed Nell round the waist.
"Why was the gin in the robot anyway?" asked Mary-Lou.
"It's simple," replied Anna, ignoring the struggling Matey and Nell, "The gin is what powers the robot."
"Gosh. But why does Miss Annersley want gin powered robots?" said Mary-Lou.
"I don't know" answered Anna, "But I intend to find out. Lets head to the School and confront Miss Annersley."
"Great. The we can find out what happened to the moonshine."
"And my brandy," said Matron dropping the struggling Nell.
Nell dived for the bottle, caught of guard Anna let it go. As if in slow motion the bottle fell towards the floor.
"NNNNnnnnooooooooo......." cried Nell trying desperately to catch the falling bottle, but she was not fast enough, the bottle smashed into millions of pieces, the precious gin spilling into the rugs and onto the floor. Nell, all appearance of sanity gone, curled herself into a tight ball and began to sob hysterically.
"My gin, my lovely gin,"
The others gathered round and tried to comfort her, Anna offered her the sherry bottle to smell, Matron offered a tiny dose and Mary-Lou offered to be quiet, but it was no good, Nell would not be consoled. Matron stood up.
"This has gone far enough. Nobody should be put through what Nell has been put through. The time for games is over. This means war."
Anna and Mary-Lou nodded in agreement.
"Lets go to the Chalet School."
Back in her study at the school Miss Annersley noted the declaration of war. She allowed herself a sinister giggle. Did the fools really think they could defeat her? Soon all Switzerland would be in her grasp and following that, the world. No more would people use 'can' instead of 'may', there would be order, not chaos, everyone would have a hanky, and she, Hilda Annersley would rule the world! Giving up completely Hilda lapsed into an evil tyrannical burst of laughter.
That over with, she looked once more at her button filled desk, reflecting that her staff were singularly stupid in not noticing the buttons. She chose one, and pressed it.
At Freudesheim Mary-Lou blinked.
Mary-Lou frowned. Was it her imagination or had Matron started to stand more stiffly? Why had Nell Wilson stopped wriggling so much? Did Bruno's barking sound more mechanical than usual? What was that strange scar just below Anna's hairline? And where on earth was the real Gaudenz? Mary-Lou took a careful step back away from the other women. She started hard at Matron. Was that smoke coming out of her mouth?
Matron looked round, "Where has Mary-Lou got to?" she rasped.
Anna frowned. She too had spotted the smoke coming out of Matron’s mouth.
“Matron? Are you smoking?” she asked in shock.
“No.” replied Matron, trying to speak with her mouth shut.
“Yes, you are!” cried Anna.
“Well, it has been a difficult day.”
“Its coming out of your ears!”
“No its not.”
“Yes it is!”
“No it is not.”
“Look!” cried Mary-Lou pointing out of the window. Anna seized her opportunity and grabbed Matron by the head. She seized her hair and pulled frenziedly. Nothing happened. Anna pulled some more, and with a sudden ripping sound the top of Matron’s head came off, revealing that she too was a robot! Anna disabled the robot Matron rapidly.
“That’s odd,” she said, “I could have sworn it was the real Matron I accosted in the kitchen. When did she get turned into a robot?”
“Look!” cried Mary-Lou again.
“I’ll tell you,” said a clear voice, and there, standing before them was none other than Miss Annersley.
Nell sat up. “Hilda! How on earth did you escape?”
“Look! Avalanche!” cried Mary-Lou.
The women turned as one and stared out of the window.
“She’s right, damn her pesky clarion tones!” cried Nell, who seemed to be returning to normal.
“What’s it got to do with my clarion tones?” demanded Mary-Lou.
“They have triggered off an avalanche!”
“What shall we do?” said Anna.
“Mary-Lou, get outside and clarion as loud as you have ever clarioned, that might break up the avalanche. The rest off us, we need to find a plumeaux and bury our heads in them,” ordered Hilda.
“Why is she giving me orders?” snapped Mary-Lou.
“Just do it,” snarled Nell, “I will explain once the avalanche has been averted. Now go!”
Rushing outside Mary-Lou opened her mouth. Inside Freudeshiem the others buried their heads beneath the plumeaux and waited to see what would happen.
“AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” The clarion call rang out, birds took flight, goats fled, windows cracked, and the avalanche shattered, raining down as the lightest of snow.
Mary-Lou rushed back in “I did it! I did it! I saved the day yet again! All hail Mary-Lou! I am the best! The greatest! Bow down and worship me!”
“Thank you Mary-Lou,” said Anna firmly, “but before we all worship at your feet, I think we deserve an explanation.” She glared at Nell and Hilda, “Also, where is the real Matron?”
“It’s a long story,” said Nell, “And I’m not sure we have enough time, especially as we need to rescue Matron.”
“But they need to understand,” said Hilda.
“Of course we need to understand!” spat Anna, “Why are you here? Why is Nell acting like you are not the enemy and where is Matron?”
“Matron was switched with a robot in those few seconds that she was alone in the kitchen when we came into the hall to phone Miss Annersley,” said Nell.
“Who you now seem to be in league with!” cried Anna, searching desperately for something to use as a weapon.
“No!” said Nell, “I am not in league with Miss Annersley at the Chalet School, but I am in league with this Miss Annersley.”
“They are one and the same!” yelled Mary-Lou.
“They are not.” Replied Nell calmly. “The Miss Annersley at the Chalet School is not the real Miss Annersley. The real Miss Annersley stands before you and has been a prisoner of the fake Miss Annersley for some months now.”
“So who is the fake Miss Annersley?” asked Anna in shock.
“It’s a long story,” sighed the real Miss Annersley, and she swayed slightly on her feet.
“Hilda, sit down, I’ll tell it,” said the now totally normal Miss Wilson.
“I am feeling a little weak, that would be a good idea.”
“It all began back in England,” said Miss Wilson, “When we were on the Island. Hilda and I were approached by MI5, who were concerned that alcohol supplies in the area were disappearing. The centre of activity appeared to be the Chalet School. Of course both Hilda and I were shocked, but we agreed to help find the thieves. MI5 explained that I would have to assume a new persona in order to lull the gang into a false sense of security, and Hilda was asked to infiltrate them.”
“That’s why Nell was forced to assume the identity of gin addled moron,” said Miss Annersley.
“You mean you were never drunk?” asked Mary-Lou in surprise.
“Well, sometimes I had to be, just to keep people convinced, but I didn’t enjoy it, honest.” Insisted Miss Wilson, slightly too vehemently.
Anna raised her eyebrows.
“Anyway,” continued Nell, “When the school moved out to the Platz MI5 notified us that the gang had followed, we were liaising with the Swiss government, when Hilda suddenly vanished, and was replaced by the fake Miss Annersley. At that point my job became far more dangerous, I did not know if the fake Hilda knew my drunkenness was an act or not. Hilda and I had discovered that the fake Miss Annersley was planning on taking over the world, using alcohol powered robots, but we did not know who was helping her.”
“What about Matron?” demanded Anna, “And who is the fake Miss Annersley? Is she a robot?”
“Matron is alive and well, and in a cave with the other people who were recreated as robots. As for the fake Miss Annersley, she is not a robot, she is real person!”
“Well who is it?” demanded Mary-Lou.
“I suggest we go and confront her,” said the real Hilda, “And then all will be revealed.”
“About time,” muttered Anna.
So the intrepid crew set off for the final show down with the fake Miss Annersley. In case she sent out any robots to stop then they armed themselves with a variety of weapons in order to defend themselves. Anna took a plate of lemon biscuits, Mary-Lou took several hardback copies of the latest Josephine M Bettany, although she also planned to use her voice if necessary, Nell took an empty bottle of gin, Hilda took nothing, but the look in her steely grey eyes was weapon enough.
Sure enough, the fake Miss Annersley, using her secret cameras, knew they were coming, and sent out her best robots in defence. They were no match for them. Anna decapitated the robot Phil Graves with a biscuit, Mary-Lou took out the robot Joan Bertram, and Hilda and Nell seemed to take unnecessary pleasure in dispatching the robots Joey and Jack.
Arm in arm they marched towards Hilda’s study. Opening the door the saw the fake Miss Annersley stood behind the desk, looking worried. As the entered the room the fake Miss Annersley raised a gun and shot Miss Wilson in the chest. Miss Wilson collapsed onto the study floor, still, grey and to all appearances dead.
“NO!” cried the real Miss Annersley, as she knelt beside Nell’s body.
“Yes!” cried the fake Miss Annersley, “You thought you could defeat me! You fools! How wrong you were! And now you will suffer the ultimate punishment! Attack my robots! Attack!”
To the horror of Miss Annersley, both Anna and Mary-Lou snapped to attention, their faces assuming a robotic expression, they turned as one to face her. The two robots marched towards Hilda and the corpse like Nell. The robot Anna reached towards Hilda, her expression blank. Then she winked. Swinging round Anna and Mary-Lou seized the fake Miss Annersley.
“What are you doing? Obey me! Obey me! I am the Master! I am in charge!”
“Not this argument again,” groaned Mary-Lou, as she and Anna tied up the fake Miss Annersley. They heard a noise behind them, turning they saw to their surprise Nell, sitting up and apparently unhurt.
“How on earth did you survive that shot?” asked Mary-Lou in surprise.
Nell reached into her blouse and pulled out a hipflask. It was badly dented. Angrily she turned to Hilda and said, “I think it is time we unmasked the fake Miss Annersley.”
Hilda marched over to the trussed up fake, she seized the top of their head and began to pull. Anna and Mary-Lou watched in awe as the top of the fakes head began to stretch. With a loud pop, the rubber mask came off, revealing the true identity of the megalomaniac beneath.
It was Sir James Russell.
The four women stared in shock.
“Why? Sir James? Why?” gasped Miss Annersley.
“I wanted a world full of order, not chaos,” replied Sir James, “I wanted people to be instantly obedient, I wanted hankies available on demand, I wanted to rule the world, but all in all I wanted to be a Chalet girl. Do you not realise what hell it was watching those shiny, smiley faces, going off having adventures, but all doing as they were told. I wanted it too, and I would have got it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids.”
“Well you have failed!” cried Nell in triumph, “MI5 are on their way to arrest you and take you away to somewhere where there are no chalet girls.”
Sir James sagged in horror, as the four women, once more arm in arm skipped out of the study.
“So Anna,” said Hilda, “How did you know that there was a robot made in you image?”
“I found it,” replied Anna, “I was a little intoxicated at the time and assumed it was a gift from Jack to help me with my work, but after it tried to assassinate me I had to reprogram it. Half the work at Freudesheim is now done by the robot, whilst I go shopping with the wages.”
“What about you Mary-Lou?” asked Nell, “How did you know about the robot you?”
“I didn’t,” smirked Mary-Lou, “I just assumed that somebody as important in the school as me would naturally have had a robot clone made. And I was right.”
“You should have left her under the bed,” hissed Miss Annersley.
“We could always put her back?” suggested Nell.
The triumphant four walked down the corridor into the sunset, “Anyone fancy a gin and tonic?” asked Nell.
Back in the study Sir James used his nose to press a red button on his desk. Sitting back, an evil grin on his face he waited…
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.