|When it was all over, Hilda – relaxing in the privacy of her study with a hot coffee in her hand and a cold cloth on her forehead – swore that the Chalet School would never again take part in an exchange programme. She still wasn’t sure how the principal of McKinley High had managed to talk her into it. Still, it was over now, and once the repairs were done, they could forget it had ever happened...|
They heard the coach before they saw it. Len Maynard, in her capacity as Head Girl, was at the front door to welcome the new arrivals. It wasn’t the rumble of wheels that announced it, but a heavy thumping beat on the radio, and voices lifted in a harmony totally different from anything the Chalet School had heard before. Len wondered at it, but the sound was shut off as the coach stopped and the door swung open. Before anyone disembarked, a mechanism lowered a boy in a wheelchair to the ground.
Boys! Len hadn’t been told anything about this. Where on earth were they going to sleep, and how was this boy going to navigate the stairs of the School?
She had little time to consider it further, as the coach disgorged the remainder of its passengers: eleven more teenagers (boys and girls) and one teacher.
“Welcome to the Chalet School,” began Len. “I’m Len Maynard, the Head Girl. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay with us.”
“Yeah, whatever,” was the reply she got from one hulking and mostly bald boy.
Her mouth hung open as the luggage compartment opened and a couple of the girls withdrew perfectly matching suitcases bearing designer logos.
The teacher turned from harrying the grumbling students, and shook Len’s hand. “Sorry about that. Very nice to meet you, I’m Will Schuester, and this is the exchange group. Maybe you can show us where to go?”
Len found her voice. “...Of course, this way,” she said faintly. She led the way to the office. Miss Annersley would know what to do. The group trailed behind her, dragging luggage (did those girls realise they were only going to be here for a couple of weeks?) and complaining. Such parts of their conversation as Len could understand involved the total drag of a coach trip from the airport, how they needed to find a Starbucks, like now, and how the uniform Len was wearing was so last century. She felt slightly indignant on this last point, it having been considerably less than a century since the uniform had been changed.
She left them in the charge of Miss Dene, and retreated rather thankfully to attend to her other duties.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I'm copying this over at last, and may actually finish it this time...