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Author's Chapter Notes:
written by Abi

14th December 194-

Our dear friends,

I must first make my apologies, for I have never written such a letter before, although I have, of course, corresponded with various people over the years. However, these days it is more often (indeed, I may say almost always) my dear Sarah who writes to all of you. But two days ago poor Sarah tripped over the front door step and sprained her wrist as she fell. And so the task of composing this missive falls to me.

Aside from the unfortunate accident, Sarah has been well. She continues to teach languages at the Chalet School and seems to enjoy it. In the summer she wrote a letter to The Times on the subject of teaching languages in schools, and it was published, to her great surprise and delight.

As for myself, I too have been teaching at the School and, in what free time that leaves me, attending to my own compositions, which are doing well in a small way. However, one of the most amusing incidents in which I have been concerned occurred within the School.

It involved one of the newest and smallest of the young ladies who, when it came to singing a beautiful Bach carol (‘O Jesulein süss, O Jesulein mild’), remained silent, even when I directly commanded her to sing it. It transpired that she did not approve of speaking or singing in German. I, of course, endeavoured to reason with her, but she remained obstinate. I called her out to the front of the class - and oh! how I wished I could give way to my mirth at that point, for her tininess compared with her great stubbornness seemed to me most humorous. But still she refused to sing, even when, most reprehensibly, I lost my temper, and the end of it was that she was forbidden to sing in the concert at all. I must admit that at that point I began to wish that I had not drawn attention to her behaviour, for she has a remarkably good voice, one which, with good training, might become brilliant, and I missed it in the other carols. But all ended happily, for she was finally persuaded that her attitude was incorrect and the concert went off extremely well.

Now I must close, for Sarah is calling to me to come and tie her shoelaces. For the last two days she has been confined to the house, but she is of too energetic a personality to wish to stay indoors for long, and since she cannot tie her laces herself, being bereft of a hand, I must do it for her.

Farewell, dear friends, and may you all have the merriest of Christmases.

Tristan Denny



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