The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1)
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Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
since she had no grandparents of her own, at least that she knew of. On the rare occasions that she had asked about her somewhat mysterious past, Miss Charlotte Mortimer had always encouraged her to concentrate on her studies and not trouble herself about questions that simply couldn’t be answered—at least not yet. Penelope nearly always found it best to follow Miss Mortimer’s advice. Although, watching the children scamper about, Penelope could not help feeling curious about to whom they might
would indicate. She was a Swanburne girl, through and through. ONE OF AGATHA SWANBURNE’S SAYINGS, which Penelope had often heard (you may think of her as Penelope from this point forward, for now you have made her acquaintance), was this: “All books are judged by their covers until they are read.” She had never understood the true meaning of this expression until now. Imagine: A studious-looking girl of fifteen, primly dressed, perched on a large, battered trunk and reading a well-thumbed
thing that, say, Edith-Anne Pevington would have thought of, and in fact, she had thought of it in the plot of Too Many Rainbows. That was the tale in which Edith-Anne had dusted a whole herd of ponies with cornstarch so that gray-dappled Rainbow could go unnoticed among them and thus escape the clutches of Barnabus Bailey, a wicked circus owner who longed to steal the talented pony for his own greedy purposes. Penelope knew it was unlikely that any squirrel would possess even a fraction of
daren’t turn your back on him for a minute, or you’d end up with a ‘kick me’ sign pinned to your back. We’re not so easily fooled now, though, eh?” “Not now, no, har har!” Penelope scrunched her eyes shut. All her attention was focused on what she could hear. Laughter, the slapping of backs. The snakelike hiss of cold metal being rubbed with a polishing cloth. The grind and thunk of guns being loaded. Without thinking, Penelope hurled herself into the study. She stood there, breathing hard and
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