It was week after our holiday at Horden Castle. Guy, the leader of our clan, had had to go to London with his father to meet some futile aunt, leaving the rest of us, myself, my twin brother Peter, Esme Harris and Toby Martin to await his return. We were playing tennis at the Harris's as it was too hot to ride the ponies, apart from Marjorie, who was also visiting some relatives.
"I wonder when Guy will get back," said Peter as he attempted to balance a tennis ball on the edge of his racket.
"Sometime today I think," replied Toby as he watched Esme disappear under a bush, "What are you doing?"
Esme re-appeared, a large smear of soil across one cheek, "I heard a noise," she said vaguely, "I though maybe a rabbit..."
"A rabbit!" scoffed Peter, "As if there would be a rabbit here, we're making too much noise."
"Tantivy! Tantivy! Tally ho!" Marjorie never arrived decently, she either erupted, exploded or bounced. She was on horseback, despite the heat and charged towards the tennis net. She gave Dulcie a cut with her switch and cleared the net in style. She reached us and pulled up so hard, that Dulcie practically sat on her haunches. "Guess what!" she cried.
"Guy's back?" cried Esme, sitting up eagerly.
"Like I care about that!" retorted Marjorie, tickling Dulcie with her whip causing her to buck.
"Really?" said a voice above our heads.
"Guy!" we all shrieked, apart from Marjorie,
"What are you doing up there?" I asked as Guy jumped down, looking as bronzed and lithe as an American Indian.
"Watching the tennis," he replied laconically, "And by the way Peter, that last ball was out, so Pan and Toby should have won the game." Peter went red.
"So Guy is here, so what!" cried Marjorie making Dulcie buck some more, "Don't you want to hear my news?"
"Go on Marjorie, tell us," replied Guy, "Before you fall off that horse."
"Sez you," responded Marjorie, "Anyway, Pan, Esme, school has shut down!"
"What?" we gasped.
"Yes! The headmistress has been left a fortune, she has shut the school and is going to live in the Bahamas!"
"Marjorie! You're making this up!"
"I am not!"
"Then where will we go to school?"
"I am going to a finishing school in Switzerland!" said Marjorie, "So are you Esme. I heard my mother and your mother talking about it on the telephone."
"What about me?" I demanded.
"I don't know," said Marjorie, spinning Dulcie around.
I felt a great sadness suddenly, I knew there was no way my parents could afford to send me to school in Switzerland. I saw Guy look at me in concern and so hurriedly asked "Where in Switzerland?"
"I don't know," said Marjorie again, "The Grunniting Platz or something,"
"You mean the Görnetz Platz, in the Oberland?" asked Guy in surprise.
"That's the one!" said Marjorie, giving Dulcie a cut with her whip, "Dulcie is so fresh!" And showing no regard for the Harris's smooth tennis court, she charged across it, leapt the hedge and vanished from sight.
"That's odd," said Guy thoughtfully.
"What is," said Toby, as he attempted to restore the tennis court to its original smooth state.
"Well, there is a finishing school on the Görnetz Platz, but it doesn't take pupils of Marj's age, it takes older girls,"
"Then Marjorie has got it wrong?" I asked.
"Not exactly," said Guy, "But I think she may be going to go the Chalet School,"
"The Chalet School?" asked Esme.
"Yes replied Guy thoughtfully once more, "It is run by a cousin of my father's. We visited her there a few years ago."
"What's it like?" I asked, trying to show an interest.
"I think Marjorie will have an interesting time," grinned Guy.