The Interrupted Tale (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place)
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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. A latest entry in the award-nominated series that includes The Mysterious Howling finds a heartbroken Miss Penelope Lumley assuaging the disappointments of her 16th birthday by accepting an invitation to speak at her former school, which will be closed if she cannot prove the academic progress of her incorrigible charges.
and large spoon that Mrs. Clarke had threatened. If the children did not already know that castor oil was the most vile-tasting substance ever invented, they would find out soon enough.) Finally alone, she collapsed into her usual armchair and stared at the clock. Eleven o’clock in the morning! The whole long, partyless, presentless, friendless, cardless birthday loomed before her. Was it possible that time had actually stopped? She knew the Latin phrase “tempus fugit,” which means “time flies,”
she looked at him blankly, he added, “That means you win.” “But Lord Fredrick would never believe me without proof. And I have none,” she had protested. “That just means you’re bluffing, too,” he’d answered. “Now you know why people find card games interesting!” Miss Mortimer looked uneasy. “Certainty is not proof, Penelope,” she cautioned. “Yet I am certain.” Penelope leaned forward. “Quinzy is Edward Ashton, and your theory about the haystack was correct. His true purpose has nothing to do
exclaimed. At once she felt guilty. “Dear Mrs. Apple, I apologize for not coming to tell you myself. By now you have heard about the change in the speaking schedule, I hope?” Mrs. Apple merely pointed to her throat and shook her head. “No voice,” she mouthed. Not even a squeak came out. “Mrs. Apple makes very good rabbit noise,” Alexander said, impressed (those of you who are expert at animal sounds already know that rabbit calls are inaudible, and therefore quite difficult to learn). Miss
dwell upon it.” A yelp of dismay came from near where Mrs. Apple was sitting, but as the dear history teacher had lost her voice, the sound obviously did not originate with her. “And then there is this business of the school motto. ‘No hopeless case is truly without hope.’ Ridiculous! Some cases simply are hopeless, and it is no use pretending otherwise. I propose something more realistic. For example, ‘Keep quiet and know your place.’” A shocked silence settled over the hall. Baroness Hoover’s
asking me when she gets her ‘surprise’?” he added as he was leaving. “I suppose I ought to find out when her birthday is. Blast! I hope I didn’t write it in the almanac. It’s a slippery book, that almanac, always wandering off. . . .” WITH PERMISSION, OF COURSE, CASSIOPEIA had borrowed her Swanburne uniform on what Miss Mortimer called an “open-ended loan.” This meant that there was no due date, as there would be with a library book. Rather, the kind headmistress had assured her that in no