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Author's Chapter Notes:
Written by Finn

Royal Holloway College,

6th January 192*

Dear all,

Hello folks! You poor things - I've dallened so long over writing you all letters (dallen is one of the Holloway verbs Kay has taught me - it means to dawdle but for goodness sake don't tell Madame I'm using wicked slang!) that it's got to Christmas and I've still not written to half the people I meant to, so here is a letter for all of you, with my heartfelt apologies. I hadn't realised how much time college would eat up!

Holloway is rather gorgeous – the college, I mean, not the prison - I haven't ended up there yet! - and all the folk are very jolly. Of course it was sickening to have to go away from home, but I've made quite a few friends, mostly fourth years, (which is funny, as they don't usually have much to do with lowly freshers like me, but Kay took a shine to me and the others came with her). As this is the first letter I've sent round since coming to London, I thought I'd send you all a picture, so you can see what it's like. That's Kay and me outside college - you can see both of our rooms from there (mine is the one halfway up on the far left, and Kay has a much grander set on the bottom floor, just next to where we're standing). Kay's brother took the photo so we'd have something to remember our glorious first term by - well, I should say my glorious first term, as Kay is a fourth year, but it was our first term up together at Holloway, so I reckon that counts, don't you?

I've missed all you people at school - especially Joey and Madame and the Robin. But London has made up for it in lots of ways. I'm doing quite well in my maths - I think it was all the extra coaching Miss Maynard put me through - and Kay says that Miss Pick (Pick is one of the Mathematics people here - she is big and red-headed and terrifying, but a splendid teacher!) told her that I'm quite advanced of where I should be. That's probably a good thing, as I've spent a lot of this latter half of term messing about with Kay and not working as well as I might! Kay is my particular friend. She is kind, and very sweet, and she makes me think of all of you back at home – or school, I should say! Kay is also simply tremendous fun. We have a tradition here of "ventilating," which means climbing through the transom windows above our study doors - it sounds odd but it's terribly funny really. Well, one night, Kay got very lively and insisted that I should do it, and as I was halfway through who should come along but 'Chief'? (Chief is Miss Higgins, who is our principal at the College!) Anyway, she was looking at me like she was about to bite, when Kay piped up with, "But it's traditional, Miss Higgins!" whereupon Chief sniffed and said, "In my day we used to do it feet first," and walked off! Kay's awfully clever, and I shall miss her when she graduates, but I'm not thinking of that now. We've the whole rest of the year left to get up to mischief, so for now I'm happy. Hope you all are too, everyone, and see some of you in the summer!

All my love,


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