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The next day saw Anne and Margia walk to the Chalet School with Laura and Sophie skipping on ahead. 

“They’re just so excited they can’t sit still, said Anne shaking her head.  “I hope they settle down soon.”

“They’ll soon get over it,” said Margia comfortingly.  “What time are we meeting your Mother?”

“Soon,” said Anne with a sigh.  “She said she would buy the last few things they need and take them out for afternoon tea as a treat.  I only hope mum can wear them out.”

Margia chuckled she wasn’t sure who was more nervous about going to the Chalet School, Anne or her daughters!  Margia on her part was thrilled to be catching up with so many old friends.

“Grandma’s here Mum, see you later,” and the two girls waved good-bye and then had to wait impatiently for Grandma to chat with Miss Stevens.  Didn’t grownups do anything but talk!

“I better go Anne,” said Mrs Seymour with a smile, “before your daughter’s die of impatience.  Good-bye Margia, it was lovely to see you again.”

“You too Mrs Seymour, I’m sure we’ll catch up again,” said Margia cheerfully.

 

The two girls hurried along, and arrived at the school. 

“Welcome,” said Dollie, “Cook has sent up some buns and tea and coffee, whichever you prefer.” 

The girls moved over to the table to sit down after collecting their drinks when a tall graceful dark haired girl entered the room just as Margia looked up.  She gave a half squawk, half gasp and leapt out of her chair and nearly strangled the girl. 

“Maria Marani, by all that is wonderful,” she said with a half laugh, half sob, “I never expected to see you here.” 

Maria returned Margia’s hug.  “Madame said the Chalet school needed another language mistress and asked if I would be interested.  She persuaded Mamma that it was a good idea and Gisela thought it would be too.” 

Maria smile through her tears of joy, “it’s so lovely to see you again, Margia,” she said. 

“I know I’m really in the clover,” bubbled Margia, “I just can’t believe you never told me,” she added swinging around to her Headmistress.

“I have to have some surprises,” twinkled Dollie. 

Margia made a face at her and pulled Maria over to where she and Anne were sitting.

“What have you been up to all these years?” asked Margia still excited. 

“I’ve been living with Gisela and Mamma,” answered Maria quietly.

“Mamma was so upset after Papa died that, she’s living with Gisela and then Gisela lost baby Florian.  I stayed to help with Mamma and the babies.”

“I heard about your father,” said Margia quietly touching Maria’s arm.  “Corney wrote to me.  I was so sorry to hear about it.”

“Thank you,” said Maria, her face grave, “I received you card, it was lovely of you.”  She gave a small shrug.  “Gisela thought I should do something more as much as…”

“Much as she likes having you around,” supplied Margia with a smile.

Maria’s face lightened, “yes as much as that,” she agreed.  “I didn’t want to be so far away from them and this is perfect.  I’ll be teaching German and some Latin and a Miss Carey will be teaching French and the rest of Latin.”

“Well I’m glad you’re here,” said Margia warmly.

“So am I,” added Anne, “and you must meet my girls Laura and Sophie.  Margia has them enthralled with all her old school stories.  I have visions of what they’re going to get up to here.”

“Well that will give them a lot of scope,” smiled Maria.

“I wouldn’t start if I were you,” said Margia mock seriously, “I remember a certain group of girls who dressed as Red Indians in Oberammergau.” 

Maria collapsed.  “I can’t believe you would bring that up now,” she complained, “its one of the few times I was actually naughty when you weren’t,” and the three girls giggled.

“I lost half my paintbox,” said Anne feelingly, “and I got asked why I didn’t take it with me, like I should have guess what you lot were going to do.”

Maria blushed at her words, and Anne just laughed and shook her head. 

“Its all water under the bridge,” she said kindly, “and Margia dear, is determined to remind us of those days.”

The three chatted and reminisced about their schooldays while the rest of the mistresses drifted in the room. 




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