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.