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Story Notes:

I'd read A Reunion first, otherwise this won't make much sense!

From Miss Hilda Annersley to Miss Helena Wilson:

… As for this year, I must say I’m not looking forward to it in the least! I do hate it when we have such a wholesale clear out of the sixth – do you remember how it was when we made Peggy Bettany head girl? and Loveday? The girls remaining just don’t have the experience, though they’ve made a good enough go at it up till now. I’m worried for this year’s sixth, though. Almost all of them have come up from the fifth, and I must say there don’t seem to be any clear leaders amongst them. The upcoming fifth are all right – with Jack and Jane Carew, and Copper Ansell, and all that little crowd, none of whom are lacking in character – but we still haven’t settled in a head girl. Games is all right, thank Heaven! Fortunately, Bedford was full up this year, so Joey and Jack have agreed that Ruey will have an extra year with us. She’s ideal for Games, and will do it well. Luckily she has some experience with being a prefect, though she’s the only one!…

From Mrs Charles Anstruther to Mrs Nicholas Hope:

Dear Liz,
Horror of horrors! Charlie’s been posted to Malaysia! We’re cursing around here, I can tell you! It’s upset all our plans, especially for Mary, who’s eleven this year and was to start at Chawston House. It’s strictly day girls only, though, so there goes that idea! Tom and Livvy are too young to matter, and we’ve got Bill settled at Rugby, but Mary really is a bother – in terms of education, I mean! She’s rather a poppet, if I say it myself. Takes after Charlie, I’m glad to say, so there’s nothing of the firebrand in her! We’re to let the house, anyway, and we’re shockingly lacking in relatives here in England, so it will be a case of either finding a good boarding school (and how we’re supposed to do that with about four weeks’ notice, heaven alone knows!) or take her with us, and hope that we can find a good governess for her and the other two….

From Mrs Nicholas Hope to Mrs Charles Anstruther:

…Betty, you are an absolute goop! I don’t know what you do for brains. Send Mary to the Chalet School. I’ll send you their current address if you like. Miss Annersley is still the head, of course….

From Mrs Charles Anstruther to Mrs Nicholas Hope:

…Goop yourself! How an earth can I send my daughter to a school from which I was expelled? I do wish you’d use your much vaunted intelligence from time to time, Liz, my sweet! I do admit it would be ideal, but…

From Mrs Nicholas Hope to Mrs Jack Maynard:

…So you see the problem, Joey? Mary really is the dearest thing, not at all like Betty and me in the bad old days, and wouldn’t be any more trouble than any other junior, but Betty feels she can’t ask under the circumstances. She’s pretty casual about the whole thing, but she hates the idea of folk finding out – at the school, I mean – and taking it out on Mary. She doesn’t want to drag the poor kid all over the place, either, with only governesses and Olivia and Tom (who are only kids, when all’s said and done) for company. Oh, Jo, please have a word with Miss Annersley and ‘sound her out’ about it all. I know Betty won’t write, but if I can tell her that Miss Annersley’s OK on it anyway, she might….

From Miss Hilda Annersley to Miss Helena Wilson:

…Jo’s had the rummiest letter (and never mind my English!) from Elizabeth Arnett – Elizabeth Hope now, I should say. Apparently Betty Anstruther (née Wynne-Davies) is in rather a bind. Her husband’s been posted abroad and her daughter (who’s eleven) can’t go to the school she planned. Elizabeth thinks we would be perfect, but Betty doesn’t want to send Mary here in case of any unpleasantness over what happened back in ’42. I can quite see her point, of course, though there isn’t anyone here who was around then – though I suppose we have an unusual amount of girls with parents and sisters and cousins etc who were here, so maybe Betty’s right after all…

From Miss Helena Wilson to Miss Hilda Annersley:

My dear Hilda,
What a mess your English seems to have got into! Are things really such a bother this year? Well, I’ll be back in Switzerland on the 8th, so we can have a real confab then. As for Betty’s child, I’d say you’re pretty safe. I’ve spoken once or twice to Liz Hope about this and that, and according to her Betty reformed with a vengeance after she left us, and has been bringing up her children in the best way possible. Give the staff a word to the wise so that they can be quick to squash anything the girls might say, and let it be known that you’ll take the kid…

From Mrs Nicholas Hope to Mrs Charles Anstruther:

…Look here, Betty, old thing. I’ve had a letter from Hilda Annersley. I wrote to Joey Maynard about the whole affair, and she passed it on to Miss Annersley, who wrote to me. They’d be glad to have Mary and will firmly sit on anyone who says anything untoward. I know you still feel terribly ashamed about what happened when we were kids, but you can’t keep worrying about it. You know the Chalet School as well as I do – it’s the last place on earth where they hold that sort of thing against you. You know it’s sensible, Betty…

From Mrs Charles Anstruther to Miss Hilda Annersley:

Dear Miss Annersley,
My husband has been posted abroad with the Army, and I must go with him. I would be grateful if you would consider accepting my daughter, Mary (aged eleven), as a pupil in September…

From Miss Ruey Richardson to Miss Margot Maynard:

…I suppose you know they’ve made me Games Prefect. It’s a fearful honour and all that – and I shall look forward to seeing to the games side, of course – though I’m a bit nervous about the responsibility side of it all. I was only a sub last term. I don’t know who they’re making head girl. I rather think they don’t know either! Miss Annersley has been having heaps of private powwows with Auntie Jo. It can’t be easy – such crowds of you left in the summer. Fun won’t begin to describe it when we get back! Apparently the daughter of a girl who was expelled will be starting. Auntie Jo’s given me the strictest instructions to keep an eye on her, and make sure no one says anything. The girl (I don’t know who it was) feels awful about whatever she did (Auntie Jo wouldn’t tell me that, either). It was ages ago, but you know what the school’s like – practically everyone’s got mothers and aunts and so forth who tell them all the school stories – so someone’s bound to find out. They’ll get pretty short shrift, though, if anyone tries anything. We don’t go in for that sort of thing here!




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