The House That Jack Bought by abbeybufo
Summary: A CS take on an old rhyme ...
Categories: St Agnes' House Characters: Anna Pfeiffen, Cecil Maynard, Charles Maynard, Con Maynard, Felicity Maynard, Felix Maynard, Geoff Maynard, Jack Maynard, Jo (Bettany) Maynard, Len Maynard, Margot Maynard, Mike Maynard, OC, Phil Maynard, Roger Richardson, Ruey Richardson, Stephen Maynard
School Period: Armishire, Guernsey, St Briavel's, Switzerland, Tyrol
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Domestic, Seasonal
Challenges:
Series: Christmas Stories
Chapters: 15 Completed: Yes Word count: 2996 Read: 27366 Published: 01 Jan 2012 Updated: 01 Jan 2012
Story Notes:
A Secret Santa Drabble for Chattie, December 2011.

1. Chapter 1 - verse 1 by abbeybufo

2. Chapter 2 - verse 2 by abbeybufo

3. Chapter 3 - verse 3 by abbeybufo

4. Chapter 4 - verse 4 by abbeybufo

5. Chapter 5 - verse 5 by abbeybufo

6. Chapter 6 - verse 6 by abbeybufo

7. Chapter 7 - verse 7 by abbeybufo

8. Chapter 8 - verse 8 by abbeybufo

9. Chapter 9 - verse 9 by abbeybufo

10. Chapter 10 - verse 10 by abbeybufo

11. Chapter 11 - verse 11 by abbeybufo

12. Chapter 12 - verse 12 by abbeybufo

13. Chapter 13 - verse 13 by abbeybufo

14. Chapter 14 - verse 14 by abbeybufo

15. Chapter 15 - verse 15 by abbeybufo

Chapter 1 - verse 1 by abbeybufo
This is the house that Jack bought.

“...Our new home! Stand still a minute while I have a good look.”

Jo stopped short in the middle of the broad path and stood gazing. She saw a very big, four-storeyed house with plastered walls, frescoed and banded by three balconies reaching from the ground floor to the third floor. The wooden posts were carved and the close-set railings were high enough to prevent and accidents with heedless youngsters. The deep-pitched roof was weighted with heavy stones, roped on in the usual fashion of the Alps, and there were four dormer windows set in it. Beneath it came six small ones of the lattice type. The main bedroom floor had French windows opening on to the balcony, and on the ground floor there were three windows on each side of the door. The house stood on a little eminence and the front door was reached by half a dozen steps build sidewise to the house.
Chapter 2 - verse 2 by abbeybufo
This is the famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


Joey Maynard, sister of Lady Russell who had started the school on the shores of the Tiernsee – the most beautiful of Tirol’s many beautiful lakes – more than twenty-five years before, and whose husband, Dr Jack Maynard, was head of the great Görnetz Sanatorium, laid proud claim to being the first of the school’s pupils. She was also the mother, not only of the Maynard triplets, but of three singleton boys, to quote herself; the twins, Felix and Felicity, her one singleton daughter, and the second batch of twins, Geoffrey and Philippa. In spite of all this she contrived to remain very much a girl both in character and looks and she always insisted that even if she lived to be a great-grandmother, she would be a Chalet Girl to the end.
Chapter 3 - verse 3 by abbeybufo
This is the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


Anna watched them with an equally broad beam. She loved every member of the Maynard family, from the busy Doctor and his equally busy wife, down to big Bruno and Pompey, the budgerigar, who lived in a huge cage in the playroom to keep him safe from Nox, the black cat, who ruled in the kitchen. He was Anna’s own possession but when the fit seized him, he took possession of any chair or sofa that he chose and the gate at the head of the top flight of stairs was always kept securely latched as much on Pompey’s account as the babies’. But of them all, Len was secretly Anna’s special darling and had been from baby days. Not that this meant that the eldest Miss Maynard got much in the way of privileges as a result. Anna was a stern moralist and because Len was her favourite, she had always been stricter with her than with any of the others.
Chapter 4 - verse 4 by abbeybufo
These are the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


Those people who knew the triplets well were wont to say that their mother’s chief characteristics had been well and truly split up amongst them. Len had all her mother’s gift for getting into the skin of other folk. Con had her imagination and powers of expression. Margot had her mischief and adventurous spirit. In addition, the youngest triplet had a hair-trigger temper, though of late years she had got it fairly well under control.
Chapter 5 - verse 5 by abbeybufo
This is the brother Stephen (not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


...The next morning, the telephone rang just after breakfast, and when the Head come to Prayers, it was with a beaming face. After Prayers, she announced to the school that Joey Maynard had had a son at six o’clock that morning – a fine, big baby, who was to be baptized Stephen; and Doctor Jack insisted that, as a second name, he must be called ‘Green’!
Chapter 6 - verse 6 by abbeybufo
This is Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


Charles, though so much a baby, was the one who wielded most influence in the nursery. He had a way of fixing his great grey eyes on any offender which made that person feel oddly ashamed. He was already exerting a far greater check on Margot's fits of unbridled rage than anyone else. When untidy Len left things lying about, the sight of her small brother carefully picking them up and putting them away sent her to do it herself. And Con, caught spooning sugar into her mouth from the nursery bowl, stopped short and said, 'It was only one, Charles, I'll tell Mamma; and I won't do it again.' And stuck to her word. And yet he was no prig, but the jolliest little boy imaginable, though he had periods when he liked to be alone.
Chapter 7 - verse 7 by abbeybufo
This is the mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


He was not a bad boy, but he kept everyone wondering what he would do next, for he was brimful of mischief. Joey was looking forward hopefully to the day when he would go to Dartmouth where she trusted naval discipline and training would tone him down as even school had not done.
Chapter 8 - verse 8 by abbeybufo
These are Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


“Then there are the twins— they’re just babies. Perfect ducks, both of them and as wicked as they come, especially Felix. Felicity has only spasms of being bad, but Felix is a demon all the time.”

‘Felix Nicholas and Felicity Josephine - I insisted on that this time! - Jo chose the first. She was so thrilled at having twins at last that she declares that only Felix and Felicity can express her joy.’
Chapter 9 - verse 9 by abbeybufo
This is the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


“The coadjutor. That’s what Nell Wilson said when she told me that she’d persuade the young sister of one of their maids at Welsen to come to you. ‘I’ve got a coadjutor for Anna, you can tell Jo,’ she said. The girls were there and heard her and took an immediate fancy to the title. They’ve called that unfortunate kid nothing else ever since ...”

“... How old is the girl, by the way?”

“Nell didn’t say. Sixteen or seventeen, I suppose. She’s a younger sister and she looks about that. Nell brought her up to introduce her to Anna. Luckily, they seemed to take to each other on the spot.”

“That’s something to be thankful for! If Anna hadn’t liked her that would have been the end of her.”
Chapter 10 - verse 10 by abbeybufo
This is the dark-haired singleton, Cecil,
That woke the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


Cecil was a lovely child - the pick of the basket for looks, her father was wont to declare. It was natural for anyone who was not blind to admire her. How often did you see such beautiful black curls, such great dark eyes and such a delicate pink-and-white colouring? As for her mouth, Anna thought it and her dainty nose the last word in mouths and noses!
Chapter 11 - verse 11 by abbeybufo
This is the big St Bernard, Bruno
That sniffed at the dark-haired singleton, Cecil,
That woke the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


... “Bruno decided he’d like a stroll, so he came too.”
Adrienne smiled at Len, but she kept a wary eye on the dog. She was not accustomed to dogs and last night Bruno had been shut in the doctor’s den. Joey had felt there would be noise and excitement enough without a huge dog to complicate matters, so Adrienne had not met him yet. He came up to her, his great tail going like a flail, his mouth open in a doggish grin.
Len noticed how the visitor flinched a little as he came to push his head against her, and laid a strong hand on his ruff. “Keep down, old man! Adrienne, this is Bruno, who is a very important member of our family. The school presented him to Mother years ago when he was only a pup. He’s very friendly. Bruno, give Adrienne a paw!”
Bruno solemnly presented a paw and, not without some inward qualms, the French girl shook it. She was relieved to find that when the little ceremony was over, Bruno shot ahead of them, racing madly over the lawn.
Chapter 12 - verse 12 by abbeybufo
These are the second twins, Geoffrey and Phil
That patted the big St Bernard, Bruno
That sniffed at the dark-haired singleton, Cecil
That woke the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


[Geoff was] a sturdy small boy whose straight hair was bright red and whose square-jawed face wore a liberal sprinkling of freckles...

[Phil] was very thin and her little pointed face was pale under the chestnut fringe which crossed her brows.
Chapter 13 - verse 13 by abbeybufo
These are the Richardsons, all three are Rs,
That gazed at the second twins, Geoffrey and Phil
That patted the big St Bernard, Bruno
That sniffed at the dark-haired singleton, Cecil
That woke the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


Ruey and the boys were becoming accustomed to the fact that after all, they did have relations apart from their father. Roddy, to be truthful, took it all in his stride. He was a philosophic youth, taking life very much as it came. Once he really understood the state of affairs, he set it aside and returned to his ordinary ploys.
Roger said little, but he thought the more. Secretly, he felt thankful to know that even if their father persisted in his madness and set off on the first space-flight known to man, there would be other older people with the right to look after the younger ones and help him make decisions. He had felt that when he learned that the Maynards were their legal guardians. It was an even greater relief to have relations as well to turn to in case of need.
As for Ruey, sensitive and highly-strung under all her insouciant ways, she was the one to whom, perhaps, it meant most. She loved Joey and Jack with all the strength of her heart, but she knew that even their goodness was not quite the same as the goodness of her own family could be to her. There was no blood-tie between them and though she could never have explained it to anyone, not even herself, she felt the difference. Ruey was clannish by nature.
Chapter 14 - verse 14 by abbeybufo
This is the baby found on the train
That looked up to the Richardsons, all three are Rs,
That gazed at the second twins, Geoffrey and Phil
That patted the big St Bernard, Bruno
That sniffed at the dark-haired singleton, Cecil
That woke the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


“...I had it all planned. Rösli was to bring Claire in to the salon about half-an-hour after the de la Roches arrived – unless I rang for her earlier. We dressed her as prettily as we could-luckily I’ve heaps of baby frocks, even now – and she really looked a picture. She’s friendly enough as a rule, too, but today she flatly refused to have anything to do with any stranger, least of all her lovely relatives. Rösli gave her to me and departed and I tried to introduce the young lady to them. Claire wasn’t having any. She hid her face on my shoulder and when I tried to give her to Mme de la Roche, she went dark crimson and howled – long and loudly! In the end, I had to ring for Rösli to come and take her. We couldn’t hear ourselves speak. And then, you know, I realised all in a moment that from our point of view it was the best thing she could have done.”
Her auditors looked startled and the Head asked, “How do you mean?”
“We don’t want to lose her, do we? If she’d been friendly as she usually is the chances are they would have been captivated by her, for she’s a lovely little creature to look at and normally she has delightful little ways. But you can’t be captivated by something that goes red in the face, screws up its eyes to mere slits and opens a mouth like the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky to emit yells of the loudest horror and fury. I saw Mme de la Roche glance at her husband in the most significant way. Oh, nothing’s definite yet. It’s far too early for that. But my guess is that when they’ve allowed a decent time to elapse they’ll start in on the school idea. That is where Jack and I will step in and I rather think they’ll agree to hand the baby over to us.”
Chapter 15 - verse 15 by abbeybufo
This is the Maynard family – and wards! –
That adopted the baby found on the train
That looked up to the Richardsons, all three are Rs,
That gazed at the second twins, Geoffrey and Phil
That patted the big St Bernard, Bruno
That sniffed at the dark-haired singleton, Cecil
That woke the Coadjutor, Rösli
That nannied Felix and Flixy, the twins,
Who were blonder than mischief-maker, Mike
That turned black with Charles, the next to be born
That admired his brother Stephen (
not Green)
That followed the Triplets, Len Con and Margot
Brought up by the handmaid that adored
The famous author, mother and wife
That lived in the house that Jack bought.


“...One of my sisters is ‘Constance’ and I’m ‘Helena’, and we all three are ‘Mary’. Not,” she added, “that Con and I get our whole names. She’s ‘Con’ and I’m ‘Len’. It’s only Margot, the third member of our triplet, who is not shortened.”
“Triplet! Are you a triplet?” Althea exclaimed. “Oh, how marvellous! I’ve always wanted to meet a triplet, but I’ve never even met twins till now.”
“Then prepare yourself for a shock. You’ll meet us three and at home we have two lots of twins – Felix and Felicity, who are nearly nine, and our babies, who are three – Geoff and Phil.”
“Goodness! What a huge family!”
“Oh, you can add on three more – the boys who came after us three, oh, and Cecil, our fifth girl, who is just starting school properly this term.”
“It’s like a Charlotte Yonge family,” Althea said. “I’ve heard people say to Mummy that our family is large and there are just five of us – me and the boys. But eleven!”
Len laughed. “And Mamma and Papa are guardians to quite a number more,” she said. “There are the three Richardsons, and Erica Standish who is about your age, and last year we adopted a baby – Marie-Claire de Mabillon. You get Erica to tell you the story of how that came about. It’s her affair, actually. Marie-Claire is two-and-a-half now and a pet.
End Notes:
THE END
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