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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."

"A doctor!"

"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.

"Yes, hello."

"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.




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