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It had to be middles as someone said.  Whenever things happened, the middles always started it.  But Matey deserved it almost everyone agreed and there were a few private chuckles amongst the staff and prefects at Matey’s plight, despite the ice blue eyes of the Head daring them to laugh at Matey’s misfortune.  But the main question was on everyone’s lips was who were the perpetrators and for once no one owned up to it or admitted to dosing Matey with the very same doses she had given the school! 

Matey appeared sleepy and not quite her usual bustling wiry self at breakfast for quite a few days in a row and her usually spotless domain in the school san was not quite spotless and tidy.  Joey Maynard wailed long and loud in the staffroom about the fate fallen on Matey and voiced her displeasure in no uncertain terms. 

“I wish she would give it a rest,” muttered Peggy Burnett to her usual cohorts of Kathie, Sharlie and Nancy. 

“I’ve got lessons to plan and quite frankly, I think it is about time someone dosed her and gave her a taste of her own medicine.” 

Kathie and Sharlie giggled. 

“Well, I’m just glad her spotless domain isn’t so spotless,” proclaimed Nancy quietly.  “I’m sick of having girls pulled out of my classes just to tidy their drawers because Matey decided they had to be done right now and can’t wait until the girls free time.  I wonder who did it; I’d almost give them a medal.” 

“What was that Nancy?” interrupted Joey. 

“I was just wondering who the perpetrators were,” answered Nancy sweetly. 

“I want to know that too,” said Joey, eyes flashing, “Hilda what are you doing to find out?” 

“Joey,” said Hilda, looking long suffering at the onslaught of Joey’s distress, “I am doing all I can to find out.  We’ve asked the girls but no one has admitted to it and we are keeping a close eye on Matey’s quarters but so far no one is going out of bounds.”  “Why don’t you have Matey to stay, Joey?” suggested Peggy, thinking anything to get rid of them both.  “I’m sure Matey could do with a rest after all this nastiness.” 

“That is a wonderful idea,” said Hilda, with relief, and Matey was bundled off for a few days rest at Hilda’s insistence. 

“And Hilda,” said Joey before she left with Matey, “you had better put Mary Lou onto the job.  I know she’s at St Millie’s but she’ll soon rout it out of them.” 

“I’ll do nothing of the sort,” replied Hilda firmly, “that would be tantamount to saying I don’t trust Josette as Head Girl or the rest of the prefects or my staff to handle this.  Really Jo you should have more faith in your niece at least.” 

Joey had the grace to look ashamed and soon left red faced.

Hilda sighed after she left.  It was a mystery and the girls had always been so trustworthy, always admitting to any sins they had committed straight away and now this nastiness left a bad taste in her mouth.

The sinner laughed quietly at everyone’s perplexity.  She had decided to do it on her own so that no one else would get the blame nor be tempted to confess.  It was only justice for Matey to get a taste of her own medicine.  It was a simple enough matter to swap the bottle Matey always used to dose them with for the artificial sweeteners Matey had such a fondness for and place the sedative Matey always gave them in her sweetener bottle.  Matey never took more than one in any cup of coffee so she wouldn’t have too many a day especially as she only ever made one for herself at night in her own room.  She also added a few sweeteners to the mix so that Matey would only end up with a few doses.  It also meant that once the bottles were swapped she would not need to go into Matey’s room again. 

The new untidiness of Matey was simply a result of the confusion she seemed to be suffering as a result of all her patent doses.  The sinner chuckled to herself.  She knew no one would suspect her, quiet and dreamy she tended to stay in the background and she had never been in trouble for mischief.  But she had been dosed so many times by Matey and hated hot milk with a passion that Matey insisted she have that to help her sleep.  Hilda and Matey searched her quarters and discovered the medications in Matey’s sweetener bottle but no clues were left as to whom the perpetrator was.

It was forever and would be a mystery at the Chalet School




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