How Chalet School Mistresses qualify to marry the doctor of their dreams.
This is another of my early drabbles, what amuses me about it is that all the characters are named after students I used to teach - although I have mixed and matched first and surnames, but I can picture the kids as I read it.
St Clare's House Characters:
Biddy O'Ryan, Hilda Annersley, Jack Maynard, Jo (Bettany) Maynard, Nell Wilson, Rosalie Dene
05 Jul 2011 Updated:
05 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 May Nelson sat thoughtfully sipping a cup of tea as she skimmed through the latest edition of the medical magazine on the table. An open envelope lay next to the teapot. Every now and again she glanced at it, giving a slight frown.
There was a knock at the door, which was followed by the arrival of May's closest friend, Mrs Marshall.
"Any joy?" demanded Mrs Marshall spying the medical magazine and the envelope.
"Come in Louise," cried Miss Nelson, "As to your enquiry though, I'm afraid there were no responses."
"You did put the advert in like I said?" asked Mrs Marshall.
"Yes. Word for word, here it is. Read it if you don't believe me!"
Mrs Marshall took the proffered magazine and read "'Respectable teacher, likes fresh air, exercise and adventures, seeks handsome doctor for friendship and maybe more.' Well, it seems fine to me. That’s how I got my doctor. Although that was 20 years ago, and things have changed since them, but I would have thought you had got a couple of replies at least." and Mrs Marshall's eyes slid to the envelope on the table.
Miss Nelson reached out and picked up the envelope, "I did get this," she said slowly, "but it wasn't exactly the answer I was looking for." She handed the envelope to her friend who took it eagerly and once more read aloud, "'If the teacher who placed the advert is determined upon a doctor, please could you send your most recent teaching references and apply for the post of Junior Mistress, The Chalet School, Gornetz Platz, Switzerland. Full customer satisfaction guaranteed.' Well I never," exclaimed Mrs Marshall.
"What are you going to do?"
"I thought maybe wait a week, and if there were no other offers, then write and ask what on earth they mean."
"Why wait? It will take long enough for a letter to reach Switzerland, and then they will have to reply," said the ever-practical Mrs Marshall. "Lets get that letter written at once."
So the two friends settled down to compose the letter.
Having posted off the letter, they waited eagerly for a reply. A week later it arrived. As before it was not quite what had been expected.
Miss Nelson read it aloud to her friend, "Dear Miss Nelson, please attend and interview for the post of Junior Mistress. This interview will take place on July 7th at the Chalet School, the Gornetz Platz, Switzerland. We would be delighted if you could also attend the enclosed invitation also. Yours sincerely H Annersley."
"Well?" demanded Mrs Marshall, "What’s the invitation for?"
"Its a wedding."
"A wedding? Whose?"
"Somebody called Biddy O'Ryan, she's marrying a Doctor Courvoisier."
"Yes, and they have included a list of wedding guests, here, take a look."
"Gosh!" exclaimed Mrs Marshall, "Over half the guests appear to be married to Doctors. I think you should go for this."
"So do I!" agreed Miss Nelson.
Stepping off the plane Miss Nelson took her first breath of the fresh, pure, Swiss air. She looked round the clean white airport and a figure waving a sign caught her eye. The sign read "Chalet School interviewees".
"Hmm." said Miss Nelson to herself, "Interviewees? There must be more than one of us. I hope they have enough Doctors to go round." Picking up her bags she headed over.
"Hello. Miss Nelson?" said the attractive lady holding the sign.
"Welcome to Switzerland, I hope you had a pleasant journey. I'm Rosalie Dene, Miss Annersley's secretary. You're the last, the other interviewees are in the cafe across the road, having a coffee. Shall we go and join them?"
"That would be pleasant," replied Miss Nelson whilst secretly wondering what the others would be like.
On entering the cafe Miss. Nelson was led to a table containing no fewer than six other women, all drinking coffee with featherbeds of whipped cream on the top.
"Hello again everyone," smiled Rosalie, "This is Miss May Nelson, the last of us, she just has time for a cup of coffee before we have to set off, why don't you introduce yourselves whilst I get the bill?" and off she went leaving Miss. Nelson and the others gazing at each other with some suspicion.
"Well, I had better say something," though Miss Nelson, "We can't just stare ate ach other in suspicious silence for the next ten minutes." her eyes ranged over the other candidates and fixed on a small mousy looking woman with bad skin. Around her mouth was a cream moustache from her coffee. May reached for her own coffee and took a delicate sip, careful to avoid the same affect. A movement by the till caught her eye. Rosalie Dene was also looking at the mousy woman, she was frowning and writing something in a little notebook.
If Miss Nelson could have seen what was being written into Rosalie's note book she would have been very surprised.
"Confidential first impressions:
Candidate 1 Miss Jessica Ryman - good peaches and cream complexion, copes well with featherbeds of cream.
Candidate 2 Miss Elizabeth Buck - satisfactory complexion, although inclined to get flushed, small cream moustache.
Candidate 3 Miss Roberta Adams - perfect skin, needs to diet (bigger than Nancy!), coped well with the coffee.
Candidate 4 Miss Selina King - good skin, has mentioned that she cannot ski, small cream moustache.
Candidate 5 Miss Ermentrude Smith - poor skin and a total inability to drink her coffee - face covered in cream. Have arranged for her to be on the next flight back to England.
Candidate 6 Miss Nicolle Seymour - seems perfect in every way
Candidate 7 Miss May Nelson - also seems perfect in everyway."
Rosalie moved back to the table, "Everyone finished?" she asked, "Miss Smith, I think you need a hankie, do you have one to hand?"
"Err.... No..." replied Miss Smith in some confusion.
"Does anyone?" asked Rosalie, reaching for her notebook.
"I'm afraid not," said Miss King, Miss Adams, Miss Buck and Miss Ryman.
Rosalie made a swift note.
"I do, here you go" said Miss Nelson and Miss Seymour together. Their eyes met, and Miss Seymour frowned slightly.
Rosalie made another note.
"Follow me," said Rosalie crisply as she led the way out of the cafe. The sky, which had been clear was now beginning to show wisps of cloud.
"It looks like it’s going to snow," said Miss Seymour.
"Yes," agreed May, "I thought that too."
"How can you tell?" asked Miss Ryman.
May and Nicolle explained, whist Rosalie made another surreptitious note in her book.
On arrival at the Chalet School the women were introduce to the Heads, Miss Hilda Annersley and Miss Helena Wilson. They were both very attractive, despite encroaching middle age.
"I wonder why they haven’t married doctors," said Miss King, slightly too audibly.
Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson looked at each other, then at Rosalie, who made yet another note in her little book.
"Can we sit down?" asked Miss Buck indicating the chairs.
"You certainly can," replied Miss Annersley, "Whether you may is another matter."
"Pardon?" said Elizabeth in surprise, "Can we or not?"
"May we sit down," smiled Miss Seymour.
"Of course," replied Miss Wilson, also smiling.
"Now," said Miss Annersley, "I'm sure you are waiting for us to explain how working at the Chalet School will get you a doctor. Oh! Where are my manners? Before I begin, who would like a chocolate éclair?"
Eagerly the seven women reached for a chocolate éclair, watched carefully by Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson the women prepared to bite. Four jets of cream shot across the study. Miss Buck, Miss Smith, Miss King and Miss Ryman watched in horror as one of their jets of cream managed to hit Minette III, who let out a yowl of shock, and leapt upon Miss Adams, who let out her own yowl of shock and spat half eaten éclair all over the floor.
Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson raised their eyebrows in disbelief, as did Miss Nelson and Miss Seymour, both who had managed to dispatch their éclair with elegance and grace.
“Now,” said Miss Annersley, “I’m sure you are all wondering how teaching here will enable you to meet the doctor of your dreams.”
“Too right.” muttered Miss King, again too audibly.
Miss Annersley took no notice of this interruption, although Miss Wilson caught Rosalie’s eye, and yet another note was made in her ever present notebook.
“The school is run in conjunction with the Sanatorium. Many of our students have relatives there, hence their attendance at the Chalet School. Obviously there are very close links, and some intermingling. As a result we have a high staff turn over, as many of them marry the doctors they meet.”
Miss Wilson took over, “We realised that we were losing far too much money due to this high staff turn over, so we decided to put it to our advantage. Along with educating the girls, we now offer a discreet service for the staff. In return for three years work at a low wage, and some carefully selected initiation tests, we will arrange for you to meet and marry a doctor.”
“Three years at low wages?” snapped Miss Adams, “What do you think we are? Desperate?”
“Obviously,” replied Miss Annersley, “Or you wouldn’t be here. If our terms are not acceptable, you have a return ticket to England, I suggest you use it.”
Another note was made in Rosalie’s book.
Once again Miss Wilson took up the narrative, “You have already faced some tests, tonight you will face the first of the important events, the wedding of a beloved member of staff. I am sure you have studied the wedding list and you will have noticed our high doctor/ staff success rate. Now, Rosalie will show you to your rooms and you can wash and change in preparation.”
“Will there be hot water?” asked Miss Buck.
“If you wish, it can be arranged,” said Hilda.
“May I have cold?” asked Miss Nelson, “I find cold baths very reviving, especially after long journeys.”
“And I prefer chill off,” said Miss Seymour.
“That will be fine,” replied Miss Wilson.
In the quiet as the women filed out the only sound that could be heard was the scratch of Rosalie’s pen.
Forewarned that the wedding was to be a test the remaining women took their preparations very seriously. Miss Seymour and Miss Nelson both had pretty summer frocks to wear, as did Miss King and Miss Ryman. Miss Adams and Miss Buck on the other hand were wearing the most garish looking outfits, and both had liberally plastered the faces with make up. A sharp eyed person would have noticed that Miss King was also wearing makeup, but hers, at least, was more subtle. The eyebrows of the Headmistresses raised almost to their hair lines. Rosalie made another note.
As the evening progress Miss Ryman gave into her nerves and drank several glasses of champagne, and followed this up with a couple of gins and tonic. Her eyes lit on Dr. Jack Maynard, as the most attractive man in the room. Unaware he was married to the talkative woman with the bad hair Miss Ryman decided to make a pitch.
“Hello,” she slurred.
“Hello,” replied Jack politely.
“You’re a doctor!” she exclaimed.
“Yes,” replied Jack, “I am.”
“Thought sho. I could tell by your manly expresshion. Whatsh your bedshide manner like?” Miss Ryman swayed alarmingly as she attempted to nudge Jack in the ribs.
Looking desperately round for help Jack saw Rosalie making the inevitable note.
“OY!” slurred Miss Ryman, taking another slug of gin, “I’m talking to you.”
“I’m married,” said Jack hurriedly, whilst thinking “Damn Nell and Hilda, why can’t they vet the candidates properly.”
“Oh. Who too? She can’t be that great, letting a man like you out on his own.”
“I’m not alone, she’s over there,” said Jack pointing at Joey.
“Her?” snorted Miss Ryman, “You’re married to her? Blimey. Good looking bloke like you married to her? When did she last visit a hairdresser?”
“Don’t insult my wife,” said Jack coldly, at the same time thinking, “Actually a new haircut might suit her.”
However Miss Ryman didn’t hear him.
“OY!” she yelled at Joey, “Bun head!”
Joey looked round, surely that woman wasn’t talking to her? And was she drunk? As Joey stared Miss Ryman turned a delicate shade of green, and lurched from the room. Rosalie whipped out her notebook and followed.
The following day the women gathered for breakfast.
“Where is Miss Ryman?” asked Miss Buck, who did not appear to be the brightest of people.
Miss Nelson and Miss Seymour delicately sipped their coffee and avoided what was certainly an awkward question.
“Miss Ryman has chosen to go home. She realised that she did not meet our standards and decided to drop out,” came the cool voice of Miss Annersley.
“I hope you are enjoying your breakfasts,” added Miss Wilson.
“Actually I’m not,” snapped Miss Buck, who had not liked the tone in the headmistresses voices.
“Really?” said Miss Annersley, “What is the matter with it?”
“Coffee, instead of tea, and where is the bacon and eggs? I can’t believe you expect us to eat bread twists for breakfast. What’s for lunch? Is it going to be more mucked about foreign rubbish?”
Miss. Annersley appeared to ignore Miss Buck’s rude comment, although a sharp eyed individual would have noticed Rosalie nipping out of the room with her notebook.
“This afternoon the girls are going on a ramble. We thought you might like to join them, so you can see some of the surrounding countryside. I hope you packed some stout boots.”
“Of course,” said Miss Nelson, “they were on the list of suggested clothing. I do enjoy walking, and when I saw that I really did hope we would be able to explore.”
“Yes,” agreed Miss Seymour, “I am an Alpenist.”
“As am I!” replied Miss Nelson.
Miss Wilson and Miss Annersley looked at each other.
“What are you talking about?” snapped Miss Buck.
“Miss Dene sent a list of suggested clothing, which you might wish to bring, it was in with the invitation to the wedding.”
“Oh, I must have missed that. You should have made it more clear”
At that moment Rosalie slipped back into the room. She caught Miss Annersley’s eye, and quickly summed up the situation.
“Miss Buck. Would you like to follow me?” said Rosalie as she led the way out of the room.
That evening Miss Nelson decided to write to her friend Louise to let her know how everything was going.
“My Dear Louise,
Well! You can’t imagine what it’s like here! The air is marvellous, the scenery beautiful, and the girls and staff are delightful, and between you and me I hope I have a good chance of the job here. Even if there wasn’t the chance of meeting a handsome Doctor I would still want to take this job!
Today we were sent on a ‘ramble’. Now I bet that you are thinking, like I was, that this was just a different name for a ‘croc’. How wrong you are. When they say ‘ramble’ here they mean just that. We rambled up one of the mountains, and the view was amazing, the Alps stretching out as far as I could see.
We stopped at a Gausthause for “kaffee und kuchen”, the coffee was like nectar! Nothing like the sour brew we drink at home.
After that we continued out ‘ramble’ and I was joined by a delightful child called Mary-Lou. She has been walking with one of the other candidates, a Miss King, but Miss King had taken offence at this young ladies ‘hail fellow, well met’ manner, but I found it amusing. On the way down the mountain one of the pupils fell and twisted her ankle, luckily, as you know, I never travel without my first aid kit, and I was able to patch her up. I did hope this might lead to a meeting with a doctor, but not this time, although it does happen.
The formal interviews take place tomorrow, and I really feel that it is between me and one other candidate, a Miss Seymour. She seems pleasant enough, however, as we are competing for the same thing I cannot find myself really liking her!
Anyway, I must leave you now, but I will send you a postcard letting you know how things go tomorrow.
Miss Annersley smiled as Rosalie expertly re-sealed the letter, “Whose letter is next?” she asked.
“Miss Seymour’s,” replied Rosalie, handing it over.
Miss Annersley thanked her, and unfolded the letter.
Well, this is an interesting place. Wonderful scenery, lovely staff and delightful pupils. If I was seriously looking for a job, rather than a Doctor I would adore to work here!
Yesterday we went for a ‘ramble’…”
Miss Annersley put down the letter, “I really think it will be difficult to choose between Miss Seymour and Miss Nelson. Both are perfect Chalet teachers, and real Doctors wives material.”
“I know,” replied Rosalie, “It is going to be difficult. However, here is one I think we can safely say will not be making the final interview. I have booked her ticket home for tomorrow, and Rosalie handed over Miss King’s letter home.
Good God! You would not believe what it is like here! Completely mad! The food! Bread for every meal, coffee, no tea! And do they give you a Gin and Tonic at the end of the day? As if! Its yet more of the blasted coffee, this time made by the French teacher, who is apparently famed for it. Tastes like sewage in my opinion.
And the girls! We went on what they call a ‘ramble’ yesterday. Well it was chaos. No crocing, just girls wandering all over the place, no order. And the girls! One of them, called Mary-Jo or something similar, so bumptious. She bounced over to me and addressed me as an equal! I couldn’t believe it, so I spoke sharply to her, pointing out the need to show respect, and would you believe it, when I mentioned the incident to another member of staff she just laughed and said “Oh, it’s just Mary-Anne” or whatever her name was, as if this was completely acceptable.
If it wasn’t for the fact I want to meet a rich doctor I would be on the first plane out of here.
Lots of love,
“Well,” said Miss Annersley handing the letter back to Rosalie, “She certainly won’t do.”
"Right," said Miss Annersley, "The formal interviews, first I think Miss Seymour, and then Miss Nelson. Do you agree Nell?"
"Indeed." said Miss Wilson
"When will you see Miss Adams?" asked Rosalie
"Who?" asked the Headmistresses in unison.
"Miss Adams," repeated Rosalie, "Good skin, well what you can see under her makeup, bigger than Nancy Wilmot, can't eat éclairs and wore that terrible dress to Biddy's wedding."
"Gosh," exclaimed Miss Annersley, "I forgot all about her."
"So did I," Miss Wilson said looking guilty.
"Where is she?"
"She definitely came on the ramble." muttered Miss Wilson, "But I don't remember her coming back"
Clinging to a precipice high up the mountain side Miss Adams felt her fingers finally give way. She uttered a high pitched scream as she fell, followed by boulders, snow. However, instead of hitting solid ground and dying a horrid death Miss Adams felt herself land into a pair of solid arms. She looked up into dark brown eyes, she smiled with relief. A doctor! But then her eyes moved over the rest of his hairy face, she looked at his hairy arms and feet and fainted. Instead of bagging a doctor Miss Adams had got herself a yeti.
“To return to the matter in hand,” said Miss Annersley, casually dismissing the loss of Miss Adams, “The formal interviews will take place tomorrow afternoon, it’s the only time that can be spared.”
“True,” agreed Miss Wilson, also dismissing Miss Adams.
“Um… don’t you think we should send out search parties?” asked Rosalie, “There are… things out there if you remember.”
“You mean the Yeti rumour?” said Miss Wilson.
“Oh Rosalie, don’t be silly, you know yetis only exist in the Himalayas,” added Miss Annersley.
Up the mountain Miss Adams struggled uselessly as the yeti carried her off to its lair. She screamed loudly, but this only served to make the yeti run faster. She was bundled into a dark, smelly cave, where upon she fainted and knew no more for sometime.
Miss Nelson and Miss Seymour had spent all morning preparing for their interviews. Although they had both asked, they were unsure as to whether the interview would be about teaching or about Doctors. They had sensibly prepared for both.
There was a knock at the door, the two women paled, as the door opened revealing Rosalie’s smiling face.
“Miss Nelson, we are ready for you now,” she said.
Miss Nelson rose to her feet, checked her appearance in the mirror, straightened her shoulders and followed Rosalie out of the room. Miss Seymour’s eyes narrowed slightly.
“Don’t worry about the interview,” smiled Rosalie, “It’s relatively painless.” She reached out her hand and knocked on a door.”
“Ready!” called out a melodious voice.
Rosalie opened the door and ushered Miss Nelson in and then left, shutting the door behind her quickly, then bent down and began to listen at the keyhole.
As she entered the room Miss Nelson caught a glimpse of one of the women who had been at the wedding, but before she could take in anymore a huge St Bernard dog leapt eagerly at her. Miss Nelson braced herself against the door, as she was submitted to an enthusiastic, wet, doggy greeting.
“I’m so sorry!” said the woman, “Down Bruno! He’s only a young dog, and can be a bit over enthusiastic. My name is Joey Maynard, although you may have heard of me as Josephine M Bettany, the author.”
Miss Nelson removed a hanky from her pocket and wiped of the Bruno slobber, “Josephine M Bettany? The author of ‘Nancy meets a Nazi’?”
“The very same,” grinned Joey.
“Why that is my ultimate favourite book!” cried Miss Nelson in delight, “if only I had brought it with me, I would have asked you to autograph it for me!”
“Not to worry,” replied Joey, “I have several spare copies, I’ll sign one and send it over if you like, or you could come to ‘English Tea’ tomorrow, and I will give a copy to you then.”
“I would love to!” said Miss Nelson happily.
“Now, I think we had better get on with the interview don’t you?”
Outside the door Rosalie grinned also, another test passed with flying colours. She pulled up a chair so she could listen more comfortably, fished out her notebook, and settled down to make the inevitable notes.
In the Yeti’s cave, high up the mountainside Miss Adams gradually came to her senses. She was aware of a horrible smell, and loud grunting noises. Cautiously she raised her head, across the entrance of the cave lay the yeti, it was asleep. She looked around, trying to see if there was anything she could use as a weapon, but there were only a few dirty rags and what looked like a selection of dried herbs. Slowly Miss Adams stood up, she began to inch her way towards the yeti and the cave entrance. The yeti gave a loud snort and turned over, Miss Adams froze, the yeti’s eyes remained shut. She took another step forwards and carefully stepped over the sleeping yeti, and then, to her delight she heard voices!
“Thank god, a rescue party! Maybe it’s led by a doctor!” she exclaimed.
But Miss Adams was not the only one to hear the voices. Behind her the yeti stopped snoring.
Miss Nelson returned from her interview with the charming Joey Maynard. She had been slightly puzzled as Joey had not actually asked her any specific questions, about the post or about doctors. However they had had a delightful chat about the origins of the Chalet school and Mrs Maynard’s current role. On leaving the interview room Miss Nelson had almost fallen over a chair which was unaccountably in the middle of the corridor, however she had quickly sidestepped it and hurried back to the room where Miss Seymour had been left. Before she reached it Rosalie hurried past with Miss Seymour. For some reason, as Miss Seymour walked by Miss Nelson she let out a huge sneeze.
Once more Rosalie knocked on the door, once more Joey called “Ready!” in her melodious voice. The door opened, Miss Seymour stepped in, the door shut behind her, and Rosalie bent over to listen.
AS with Miss Nelson, Miss Seymour caught a glimpse of the woman who had been at the wedding, before she was flattened by an over exited Bruno. As she struggled to push him off she head the other woman’s irritating laugh ring out.
“Oh I am sorry about Bruno!” she said when she had finished laughing, “He’s only a young dog, and he does get a little exited when he meets new people.”
Miss Seymour took no notice as she struggled to push 7 stone of young St Bernard off her.
“Do you need a hand?” continued the voice.
“Yes I do!” snapped the struggling Miss Seymour, and after a few minutes the St Bernard was removed. Miss Seymour pulled out her handkerchief and proceeded to sneeze violently into it several times.
“Are you all right?” asked the irritating woman sympathetically.
“No I am not,” replied Miss Seymour between sneezes, “I have an allergic reaction to dogs if I get too close, and thanks to the fact that your dog has obviously not been trained I am now going to be sneezing for the next 24 hours.”
“How dare you pass judgement on my dog!” snapped the woman. “I am a published author, Josephine M Bettany you know, I have to write, I don’t have time to make sure that poor Bruno only sits still.”
“You write that trash?” replied Miss Seymour, who was feeling quite angry, “Out dated, immature rubbish. They were banned at my last school. The language is far too simple, your plot lines are repeated time and again, you obviously have no original ideas.”
On the other side of the door Rosalie was scribbling furiously in her notebook.
Miss Adams registered the fact that the yeti had stopped snoring. For a moment she stood frozen in shock, and then she acted, she ran. Behind her the yeti let out an angry bellow and gave chase.
Unfortunately for Miss Adams the thin mountain air had deceived her. The group of Doctors who were out mountaineering were further away than she had thought, and they were heading away from the yeti’s cave. She opened her mouth to give a cry for help, but a smelly, hairy hand clamped over it. Her legs shot from under her, and she fell to the ground, her arm breaking. Just before she fainted again, she saw the soft brown eyes looking at her out of the yeti’s face. It seemed to be staring at her broken arm, but as it bent towards her, she mercifully fainted once more. The yeti bent down and gently picked her up, then it turned and carried her back to the lair.
Higher up the mountain Doctor Dominic Buon turned round to gaze at the view. All of a sudden a movement caught his eye, he frowned, what was it he just saw? He was about to mention it to his fellow doctors when a herd of mountain goats appeared just where he had been looking. He shrugged his shoulders and turned back to his friends, one of whom was pointed out a chalet and explaining that this was the Chalet school, and that the interviews for potential wives were currently taking place. Dr. Buon smiled; he was next in line for a Chalet school wife.
Joey took a deep breath. “Miss Seymour,” she said with dignity, “We seem to have got off on the wrong foot. I will pass over your comments about my books and my ability to train my dog, and we will get on with the next part of the interview.”
“That would be a good idea,” replied Miss Seymour coldly.
“Now, the Chalet School was started by my sister Madge, now Lady Russell, so I was its first pupil. The girls call me one of the ‘foundation stones’ as I was here in the ‘dark ages’”.
Miss Seymour shifted slightly in her seat. Where was this going?
“We started out in the Tirol, in Austria, have you ever been there? It’s a wonderful place, we have a holiday home there you know,” continued Joey without pause.
Miss Seymour shifted again. This was all in the prospectus, why was this silly woman reciting it all to her? When would they get to the questions? Joey continued to talk. “Then the Nazis took over and we were forced to flee Austria for our lives, although I was able to write ‘Nancy meets a Nazi’ as a result, have you read it?”
Miss Seymour shook her head wearily. Would this woman ever stop talking?
“Then we reached Guernsey, and I was able to marry my doctor, and then I gave birth to my triplet daughters. Sorry, is your chair uncomfortable?” asked Joey, realising she could not ignore the shifting and sighing of Miss Seymour anymore.
Miss Seymour stood up. “Miss Bettany, or what ever your name is, when are you actually going to interview me for the post of either teacher or doctor’s wife? Because as far as I can see this conversation is completely pointless.”
Joey opened her mouth in disbelief, and for once no words came out, just incoherent spluttering.
“Well?” asked Miss Seymour. “It has been a very long day and I really would like to get to the point of this interview.”
Joey continued to splutter in shock. Miss Seymour headed towards the door, “I think this interview is over, don’t you? Oh, and by the way, have you never considered a different haircut? You can’t imagine how silly you look with those two Danish pastries clamped to your head.” And on that note Miss Seymour flung open the door, and walked straight into Rosalie who had not had time to move away from the door. Miss Seymour raised her eyebrows in disbelief. “Do I really want a doctor this much?” she muttered as she stalked back to the room where Miss Nelson was waiting
At the sanatorium another interview was about to take place. Gazing at his reflection in the mirror Dr Buon, flicked his hair into place, he used a wet comb to make sure it stayed there. He looked at his reflection once more. “How will they resist me?” he said to his reflection, “I’m tall, dark haired, with lovely dark eyes. I’m fit, healthy, I earn a good wage. Those teachers should be paying me to just be seen with them. Thank god for that nose job” Dr Buon smirked at his reflection and then left the room to go to his interview with the two headmistresses of the Chalet School. As he entered the room where the interviews were to take place he did not notice Dr Graves settling down outside the door, with a note book at the ready.
“Ladies,” said Dr Buon, in his most suave manner, “what a pleasure to meet you.” And leaning over he kissed their hands, in what he considered to be a very charming fashion. He sat down in the comfortable arm chair, and glanced pointedly at the tea tray.
“Would you like a cup of tea,” simpered Miss Wilson.
“Milk, no sugar,” replied Dr Buon.
“How would you like a cake to go with it?” asked Miss Annersley sweetly.
Miss Wilson glanced at Miss Annersley. Miss Annersley rolled her eyes at Miss Wilson. Miss Wilson leant forwards with the cup of tea, it rocked unsteadily in the saucer, the cup began to slip, it looked like it was going to land in Dr Buon’s lap.
Miss Adams opened her eyes. Realisation hit her, she was still in the cave of the yeti, she had not escaped. Miss Adams moved, but her arm appeared to be strapped across her chest. She frowned, trying to remember. Oh yes, the escape attempt, the fall, her arm breaking. But who had bandaged it up? Surely it wasn’t the yeti? Struggling, Miss Adams sat up, and found herself gazing into the face of the yeti. It opened its mouth and revealed its teeth, was it going to eat her? After a moment Miss Adams realised that the Yeti was smiling at her. “Err...hello?” she ventured.
“Hello,” replied the Yeti.
“Did you fix my arm?” she said in surprise.
“Yes,” said the Yeti.
“Um… are you actually a yeti?” she asked.
“No,” replied the Yeti sheepishly, “I’m actually a doctor.”
“Then why are you living in a cave in the mountains dressed as a yeti?”
“It’s a long story,” replied the Doctor Yeti.
All eyes were on the cup of tea as it slid slowly towards the Doctors lap. Then, when it seemed that Dr Buon was about to get a hot tea bath, he shot out his hand and grabbed the cup.
“Sorry,” smirked Miss Wilson.
“Good reactions,” said Miss Annersley glancing at Miss Wilson. Dr Buon glared at them both. Without his ‘charming’ smile his features were actually quite weak looking, and the quick movement to save the tea had disordered his hair.
“Try to be more careful in future,” he said irritably, “I hope you train the wives better than that.”
“Our Mistresses are competent in everything they do,” replied Miss Annersley lightly, although a careful observer would have noticed that her eyes had flashed a steely grey.
“Now I think we should move onto the interview don’t you?” suggested Miss Wilson.
Miss Seymour strode down the hallowed corridors of the Chalet School, her fury building up the further she walked. What a ridiculous place this was. Why couldn’t they have normal interviews instead of these asinine tests? Well, she had had it. She booted open the door of the room she had been staying in, packed her things hurriedly, but neatly, and gathering up her case stormed down to the office. She delivered a lecture to Rosalie, which she never bettered and then demanded her ticket home. Rosalie complied, smiling cunningly. Once Miss Seymour had vanished Rosalie picked up her phone and made a call.
“Dr Buon, you are faced with a storm, a mistress with a broken ankle, and 40 girls in a hut. What do you do?” demanded Miss Wilson suddenly.
“Dr Buon, you are treating a case of smallpox when you realise that three chalet school girls are talking to one of the children of the infected people. What do you do?” asked Miss Annersley sharply.
“Umm… Well… err…What were they doing out without a teacher?” offered Dr Buon optimistically.
“Wrong answer,” snapped Nell.
“What type of car do you drive?”
“A small sports car,” replied Dr Buon in some confusion.
“How many girls with their cases could you fit into it?” responded Miss Annersley promptly.
“Wrong answer,” said Hilda.
“How many brothers or sisters do you have?”
“Answer the question.”
“None. I am an only child.”
“So is there any history of multiple births in your family?”
“Oh dear. What about family feuds? Has your family had any of those, resulting in one branch of the family leaving the country and losing all contact?”
“No! We are a very close family. Look here, can I ask what the point of these questions is?”
“No,” said Miss Wilson.
“How much did your nose job cost you?” asked Miss Annersley.
“£200…Hang on! I haven’t had a nose job!”
“Really? The please explain this photo of your younger self and this medical bill,” smiled Miss Wilson proffering them to him. Dr. Buon seized them and threw them into the fire. He grinned at Hilda and Nell.
“We have copies,” said Hilda. Dr. Buon went white.
“Interview over,” said Nell. She and Hilda got up and walked out of the room, winking at Dr Graves as they walked by. Dr Graves walked into the room, opening the cupboard he revealed Jack Maynard. Together they faced Dr. Buon.
“Sorry old chap, but you failed the interview. Here is your ticket home,” said Jack.
“What do you mean? I paid a lot of money for this!”
“Your nose?” asked Dr Graves, “Well I think you were ripped off.”
“Not my nose! The trip out here.”
“Too bad,” replied Jack handing over the ticket.
“You are going to regret this!” yelled Dr Buon as he stormed out of the room. Suddenly his head appeared round the door, “And by the way Dr Maynard, your wife needs a haircut, she looks like she has two Danish pastries clamped to her head.”
Jack turned to Phil, “I think you need to make a phone call.”
Phil ginned, “I agree,” and off he went to phone the same number that Rosalie had phoned about Miss Seymour.
Dr Yeti removed his hairy goatskin jacket and wrapped it tenderly around Miss Adam’s shoulders. Then he began to tell his story.
“I applied for a job at the San. I had been a practicing doctor for 10 years, but I had never found time to marry. The job at the San came with a wife.”
“Yes, I applied to the Chalet School for the same reason,” said Miss Adams.
Dr Yeti smiled and then continued, “As soon as I arrived I knew I had made a mistake, I just wasn’t patronising enough. Some of the Doctors were a little too patronising, but I wasn’t patronising enough. They asked me what I felt about wives working, and I said if she wanted to I was happy for her to do so. I was fine with her wearing makeup too. I didn’t want a whip thin wife who was obsessed with having babies.”
Miss Adams smiled, the brief conversation she had had with Joey Maynard at the wedding had been decidedly baby focused.
“After a while,” continued the Yeti, “I asked if I could drop out of the wife interviews and simply work as a doctor. It was as if I had suggested euthanasia for TB patients. They chased me out of the San. It was horrific, all these doctors, armed with bedpans.” The Yeti Doctor gave a shiver, Miss Adams patted him on the hand. “I ran, I found this cave and hid in it, I was forced to forage for food, I use the skins of the mountain goats as clothes.” Miss Adams’ eyes filled with sympathetic tears. She took the Yeti Doctors hand in hers. They smiled at each other. Despite trials and tribulations Miss Adams had really just bagged herself a Doctor. Together they made plans to escape and marry. They lived happily ever after (although Dr. Yeti was never quite comfortable with people carrying bedpans).
Miss Seymour stood in her check in line at the airport still fuming. What a place that was! She had been taken in at first, but she realised now that no Doctor was worth spending three years pretending to be interested in Joey Maynard and her boring tales about the early years of the Chalet School. Finally Miss Seymour reached the front of the queue and handed over her ticket.
“Oh,” said the young lady at the desk, “I am afraid this is the wrong queue for your destination, you need that one over there.” Miss Seymour looked and saw a shorter queue, headed by a good looking young man, with a rather nice nose. Picking up her case Miss Seymour changed queues. Apart from the good looking young man, everyone else in the queue looked very dour, with some hideous clothes. Miss Seymour checked in and climbed aboard the plane, failing to notice the hammer and sickle flag painted on the tail. To her delight she was sat next to the handsome young man. They spent the first few hours of the journey in animated conversation, Miss Seymour was delighted to discover that the charming young man was a doctor.
“I say,” said Dr Buon looking out of the window, “It looks like there has been a lot of snow in England.”
“That is odd, considering it is the middle of July,” replied Miss Seymour. The plane landed. Miss Seymour and Dr Buon descended into a barren, alien looking landscape, the signs were not in English, but in a different form of script entirely. Reaching out Miss Seymour nervously clasped Dr Buons hand. A man in a military uniform approached. He smiled at them, but not in a nice way.
“Miss Nicolle Seymour? Dr Dominic Buon?” he asked in precise, but accented English.
“Yes” replied Dr Buon worriedly. “You are under arrest for crimes against the USSR. You are both to be sent to a gulag in Siberia for the next 40 years.” He clicked his fingers and half a dozen brawny Russian soldiers appeared as if from nowhere. Miss Seymour and Dr Buon were seized and bundled into an army truck.
“Don’t worry Miss Seymour!” cried Dr Buon, “ I will protect you!” Which he did for the next 40 years, and Miss Seymour (later Mrs Doctor Buon) was happy with her doctor, despite the ruination of his nose which happened when a particularly sadistic guard punched him on the way to the gulag
Miss Nelson sat and waited for the result of her interview. She wondered what was keeping Miss Seymour so long. The door opened and Rosalie walked in.
“Miss Nelson, if you would like to follow me.” Miss Nelson rose and followed Rosalie out of the room. They headed down the corridor to Miss Annersley’s office. Rosalie knocked at the door. Miss Annersley called for them to enter.
“Hello Miss Nelson, do sit down,” said Nell.
“Well done!” said Miss Annersley, “You have successfully passed all the tests in order to qualify for our ‘Bagging a Doctor’ scheme.”
“We were particularly impressed by your ability to eat éclairs,” added Miss Wilson. “In three years time we are sure we will have found you a doctor and will be seeing you safely married to him.”
“Excellent! Thank you,” said Miss Nelson happily.
The three years passed quickly, Miss Nelson proved herself to be popular with the girls, although she was also a stern disciplinarian and she quickly gained the respect of the other Mistresses. One day, when leading an expedition up a mountain Miss Nelson and the girls found themselves trapped in a small mountain hut, whist an angry storm raged above them. Miss Nelson had unfortunately wrenched her ankle in the dash to the hut. However on reaching the hut they discovered it was already occupied, by one Dr Matthew Roberts. He bandaged up Miss Nelsons foot, calmed the fears of the girls, and the next day set off to alert their rescue party. He was tall, dark and handsome. Dr Matt was very taken with the pretty Miss Nelson and six months later they married, and nine months after that Miss Nelson produced her first of several sets of twins. Another success for the Chalet School! The end
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.