Mystery Child by Someone
Summary: The Maynards have found a girl in distress. But who is Bonnie and what was she doing in the Sonnalpe Sanatorium at 2 am?

In memory of Bonnie. (See Story Notes)
Categories: Ste Therese's House Characters: Cecil Maynard, Jack Maynard, Jo (Bettany) Maynard, OC, Phil Maynard, Reg Entwistle, Ruey Richardson
School Period: Future
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Mystery
Challenges:
Series: Maynard Madness
Chapters: 6 Completed: No Word count: 3338 Read: 9237 Published: 05 Feb 2014 Updated: 07 Mar 2014
Story Notes:
OK, here's a quick tip for a half-developed plot bunny: shroud the whole jig in mystery and it'll give you some time to plan out the backstory before the Big Reveal.

I named Bonnie after a girl at school in the year below me who died of Cystic Fybrosis last year, aged twelve. So you could say that this drabble is in memory of her. Yes, that's what I'll put in the summary. She did, however, bear no resemblance to the character of Bonnie Lloyd, in neither looks nor personality and I don't think her full name was Bonita, I think she was just plain Bonnie. (In case you're interested, she had a tree and a statue of a dog erected at school in her memory. They are 'Bonnie's Tree' and 'Bonnie the Dog'.)

1. After Hours by Someone

2. The Maynards by Someone

3. Josephine M. Bettany by Someone

4. Taking Stock by Someone

5. "Nanny" by Someone

6. The Puppy by Someone

After Hours by Someone
In the dark of the Sonnalpe Sanatorium, the little dark girl made no impression. At only ten, she was too small.

Bonita Lloyd checked her watch. Two am. She was memorable in appearance, with a clear face with pink roses in her cheeks. Her round, almost square blue eyes literally sparkled and the look was set off with a mass of large black ringlets down to her mid-thighs. She was able to sit on it. She put up one hand and brushed her square fringe out of her eyes.

She was obviously rich. Her blue polo-neck had black pinstripes and puffed sleeves. Her skirt was pink silk with two white stripes close to the hem. She had a pink waistcoat and a white frilly apron to protect the whole ensemble. All she wore for outerwear was a light, filmy blue jacket fastened by a pink bow, although it was the dead of winter. Her crisp white knee socks had a wide frill round the top and her pink satin slippers made no noise on the tiles as she walked. She had long wite gloves and when she removed her blue hat, which was one of those little ones that people wear to posh parties, tilted to one side of the head, with a string of pearls round the crown and a pink fabric flower, one could see that she had a cream bow clip in her hair, with a blue fabric rose where the knot was. She had a small greyish-purple bag slung across one shoulder on a thin strap and any keen observer would have deduced that the contents were important, as she gripped the bag tightly with one white-gloved hand. She was the very picture of the immaculate angel-child.

Yet she patrolled the corridors of the Sonnalpe Sanatorium, checking her watch, for all the world as though she ought to be there.

There had been an important operation, and doctors that were usually fast asleep in bed at this hour were now at the San., among them, young Dr. Entwistle. He and his friends had been released to go home and they stopped short as they saw the slight figure pacing. They were alarmed to see a hooded silouhette shootva dart at her then vanish.

All at once, there was instant confusion. The doctors dashed forwards and Reg caught Bonnie as she fell. She could hear yelling, but her brain felt too fuzzy to think. She could hear a man being summoned, but no-one was telling her anything.

"Dr. Maynard?"

"Dr. Maynard!"

"Dr. Maynard, we need you!"

And the doctor holding her erupting into a much louder cry, the forbidden:

"JACK!"

Then she blacked out.
The Maynards by Someone
Author's Notes:
Well, who else would it be in one of my drabbles?
She could hear the blood pounding in her ears as she awoke. All around, there were voices.

"She's waking up."

"Who is she?"

"She looks important."

"She must be, why else would someone shoot a sleepy dart at her?"

"She must be a princess."

"Don't be silly, Ivy, she can't be a princess. Where's her tiara, then? For I know she hasn't one."

"Aunt Veta doesn't wear her tiara always, even after they went back."

"She would have had an escort if she had been a princess."

"I think she's a film star."

"But she's not a grown up."

"Idiot! Who played Pollyanna? Who played Honey and Cherry in that film we saw last week? Who plays all the kids in films? Not grown ups, I can tell you!"

"She'd have had a bodyguard if she had been a film star."

"Not if she wasn't a rich and famous one."

"If she wasn't a rich and famous one, she wouldn't have been dressed so smartly."

"Maybe her family's rich."

"Maybe that's why she got darted. So she could be kidnapped and held to ransom."

"Then why did the darter run off rather than nab her?"

"'Cos he knew he had been seen?"

Bonnie's quick ears detected that each contribution came from a different speaker. There were different accents, different positions in the room, all sorts. But most voices carried that note of sameness that merked them out as siblings. Now a woman's voice spoke, and Bonnie relaxed into the sound of it.

"Be quiet now, you lot, it's not nice to talk about other people as though they can't hear you. Jack" her voice was now filled with concern "will she be alright? I mean..."

Jack! She had heard that name before! Now, where? Oh, yes! Memory was rapidly returning for Bonnie and she knew enough to remember her last moments of consciousness. So this must be Jack, she was quick enough to link Dr. Maynard and Jack. So this must be him! She patted herself on the back, metaphorically, of course.

"Don't you worry, my darling." said Dr. Jack Maynard soothingly, presumably to the woman who had spoken. "Thee were no toxins in it, just an anaesthetic. She's alright now, at least she will be once she's woken properly."

Bonnie opened her eyes and saw a crowd of people, mostly children of varying ages. A black-haired man, presumably Dr. Maynard, waved a hand at them.

"Out!" he cried, and they sulkily obliged. However, Jack collared a big, blonde man with the instruction to have some medicinial-sounding stuff ready for when she woke up, to avoid a reaction to the drug in the dart.

"OK!" said the man, who had been adressed as "Reg", cheerfully, then left.

Bonnie sat up and took her first proper look at the scene. She was in a room she did not recognise, a room decorated in soft yellow, with furniture in a wood she recognised to be ebony. It was quite simply furnished, with a bed, in which she was lying, and the blankets matched the walls, carpet and curtains, a dressing table, complete with mirror, a wardrobe, a bedside cabinet, on which was a lamp - yellow, of course - and a book, which, she saw with a little metaphorical jump of joy, was by Josephine M. Bettany, her favourite author, and what was more, she had never read it. It was Gypsy Jocelyn. Lastly, there was a chest of drawers.

Seated in the dressing table chair was a slim woman with jet black hair, done up in earphones and eyes of the same colour, which twinkled with a cheery light which reflected the smile on her red lips. She had a holly-berry-red dress with shoes to match and looked every inch as, if not more, rich than Bonnie. Also, there was the dark haired man, Jack, she presumed. Was she his sister? They looked similar enough.

Bonnie felt her eyes drawn to the woman as she rose and went to stand next to Jack, pressing herself against him and putting her arms round his neck. That behavior was wrong. Not his sister, then, his wife. The children could be theirs. But then, how could there be so many? But that could just be a figment of her imagination; she was seeing double, triple even, due to the drug. She was quite sure that she had seen the same girl seven times, each time with a different coloured ribbon in her hair and on her dress. Jack just jerked his head towards the door.

"That includes you too, you know, Jo."

"Oh, but Jack!" protested Jo "Can't I stay with her?" She looked up at him imploringly. He gave a resigned sigh and nodded.

"Now, then." Jo, triumphant, disentangled herself from Jack and smiled at the little girl in the bed. "Who has Reg brought us?"

Bonnie hesitated. She understood the question, yet she lingered over her answer. Should she reveal all? No, surely not! They would definitely come for her then!

"My name is Bonita Lloyd."
Josephine M. Bettany by Someone
Jack left the room and a large, blonde woman came in his place, bearing a tray on which was a bowl of broth for Bonnie.

Jo grimaced. "Broth's never nice, is it?"

"Depends on the broth." said Bonnie, who had eaten a lot of the stuff, then hastily clapped a hand to her mouth. "I mean...yes. Horrible. Not that I've...ever...eaten...any." She tailed off under Jo's curious stare. Instead, she ate her broth in silence and then picked up Gypsy Jocelyn.

"For my Jack." she read aloud. Dedications in books had always interested her. Now it was her turn to give Jo a curious stare.

"It's you, isn't it? Josephine M. Bettany?"

Jo nodded. "I know itvseems remarkably like blowing my own trumpet, but it's the first thing that came to hand. It's just a spare copy. How did you know? That was very quick thinking."

"It is dedicated to Jack, there was a man in the room called Jack, you are evidently close to him, and you are Jo. I am guessing that you write under your maiden name. Will you sign it for me? Let me keep it? I am such a fan of yours!"

Jo was flummoxed. "Yes. You may have it. Not many children your age would have worked it out in that space of time from just seeing a dedication!"

Bonnie went red. "Well, it's tiny compared to what I solve the rest of the time." Then, she clapped her hand to her mouth again. "I mean...I like doing problem solving..."

Jo smiled. "Well, you'll fit in well here, our children just live that sort of thing." But it was easy to see the faraway look in her eyes.

Bonnie pinched herself. That had been dangerous. If that's what effect sleepingdarts had on her, she would have to play dumb for the next few weeks. And if she said something major...well, she could easily find her bag.
Taking Stock by Someone
Bonnie was silent as a cat as she levered herself out of bed and shrugged off her new nightdress - a cast-off from a Maynard slightly younger than her, Rosetta, but the Maynards were tall and Bonnie was very slight - and quietly dressed.

She softly padded downstairs and then, as her childish instincts took over and her stomach made a queer noise, she crept into the kitchen and there, resplendant in all its glory, was a slab of the chocolate cake that had formed their afternoon tea. She grabbed a bag and shoved the cake into it, wrapping it neatly in her unused handkerchief and shoving it in. She poked around in the kitchen, discovering many items likely to appeal to the appetite of a ten-year-old girl. Some of Anna's famous lemon biscuits joined the cake, as did a tin of Heinz spaghetti hoops and a spoon. She also found some sausages, of which she took two, and then, begrudgingly, began to look about her for some fruit. On finding some cherries, she was reconciled. She was not fond of having no sandwich, or indeed any form of carbohydrates, but she was satisfied that she certainly had enough to eat, and it was appetising, too.

She swiftly found the key to the front door and, after letting herself out and locking the door behind her, pocketed it.

She checked her watch. Midnight. She had approximately five hours or so before Jo, who was reputed to be the family early bird, woke and discovered her gone.

Cheerfully spooning spaghetti hoops into her mouth as she walked, Bonnie allowed herself to be taken in by the tranquil feeling in the air. She had almost forgotten...

Shaking herself back to the present, Bonnie ate her way through her sausages and the rest of her strange breakfast, she explored the area thoroughly. Thank God the Maynards were chatty! The Robin's cave, the Tiernsee, which was frozen now, a most appealing sight, even the little hamlets around it, she had to know them all intimately. In the morning, she would beg a walk to take some photos, the moon was bright, but it just wasn't enough.

Then, as dawn broke, she turned tail and ran back up the Sonnenscheinspitze and back into Die Blumen, before hurriedly changing back into her nightdress and tumbling back into bed to sleep the sleep of a girl who has achieved her goal.
"Nanny" by Someone
The following night, Bonnie woke early again and went out to the Maynards' special hollow. Tonight, however, she dare not steal food.

A grey-haired woman in a simple black dress waited for her. She tutted as Bonnie arrived.

"You're late. How much time do you have?"

"About four to five hours." replied Bonnie smartly.

The woman sniffed. "Do you have the snaps?"

"N-no." stammered Bonnie. The woman gave her a wicked pinch.

"Ow!" cried her young victim as tears of pain sprang to her eyes. "Yes!"

"Did you get them discreetly, imbecile?"

"Y-yes! I said I wanted to see the area, so they took me on a walk and we made a day of it. We had a picnic by the-" Her voice caught in a way that would make the hardest of hearts melt. "by the lake and I said that everything was beautiful and I took lots and lots of photos."

"Hm! Give them to me!" rapped the woman. "And stop snivelling, child!"

"Y-yes..." Bonnie checked over her shoulder to see if they were being watched. They weren't, but better safe than sorry. "Nanny."

"Good girl." The beginnings of a dry, cruel smile played round Nanny's lips as Bonnie pulled a collection of photos out of her bag and handed them over.

One corner caught her eye, however. She saw, amongst the pile, a foot. She felt panic rise in her as she considered the possible consequences. She thought she had left all the ones with people in them at Die Blumen!

It was a picture of her sitting with the First Quads, Marie, Frieda, Simone and Lise, the girls closest to her exact age. She had made firm friends with them. If only it were to last...

She extracted it from the pile and handed the rest over.

"What was that?" demanded Nanny sharply.

Bonnie clasped the photo to her chest, hiding it.

"Just a blurry photo." she lied "All you can see is green."

"Let me see."

"No!" Bonnie was beginning to panic now.

"Your kitten is safe." Nanny told her in an ominous, threatening tone.

Bonnie gulped. Trembling from head to foot, she handed over the photo.

"The family you have put up with?" asked Nanny dismissively. Bonnie nodded wordlessly.

"Hm. Useful evidence, Bonita. Your parents will be proud. You are dismissed."

Bonnie ran for the thick curtain of leaves.

"And remember." said Nanny threateningly. Bonnie turned round slowly, her blood freezing in her veins. She knew that tone. "Your kitten is safe. How is your kitten?"

"Safe." whispered Bonnie hoarsely.

Then she ran, but on reaching Die Blumen - she dared not call it "Home" - and getting into bed, she did not fall asleep, instead, she lay awake, tossing and turning.

Who knew what kind of danger the Maynards were in now? And as for- but that did not bear thinking about...
The Puppy by Someone
Author's Notes:
Tomorrow, it will be precisely a year since the original Bonnie died. I thought I would honour the day with an update. She loved dogs, so I put one in.
The holidays went on their merry way. At last, it was Christmas Eve, and time for celebration.

Bonnie had begged, after giving Nanny the photos, to share a room. Consequently, she had been moved to a dark, but cosy little room at the top of a little staircase off the main landing. It was also occupied by a further two adoptees of the Maynards: Connie el Garzia and Ruey Richardson. They were a rowdy crowd, Connie being the exception, and Bonnie quickly found herself at home with them.

She would have been happy, but for Nanny's parting words: they terrified her and crept, unbidden, into her mind whenever she was not thinking about anything else that worried her.

The Mob, as she discovered the children were called, were playing quietly in the nursery when Lise announced her intention of going for a walk. The rest of the First Quads, Trice, Gwen and Geli, and Bonnie, agreed to join her.

The eight were trusted to go alone, and the seven Maynard girls ran up the beautiful, snow-encrusted mountainsides, but Bonnie lagged behind, taking it all in.

She was on her way up the Mondscheinspitze when she heard cries and shouts. Running to catch up with them, she soon deduced the problem.

"Bonnie!" called Trice. "Hurry! Hurry up!"

Bonnie clambered up onto the ledge where they were all balanced, scrabbling at a snowdrift. All at once, the snow slid, and slid, and slid, until there was a mini avalanche and the snowdrift was deposited on the path.

That was when Bonnie saw it. A little brown tail. That must be what all the fuss was about!

"Fetch Mamma!" cried Marie, taken by the moment.

Bonnie nodded, and ran as fast as her short little legs could carry her, all the way back to Die Blumen, and, without taking her boots off, she ran up the stairs to Jo's study, and hammered on the door.

"What is it, Bonnie?" asked Jo, in a slightly irritated tone. "Is it important?"

"Yes, yes, Jo!" cried Bonnie. "It's a little dog, stuck in a snowdrift!"

Jo's whole aspect changed at once. "Come on, then!" she cried. "What are we waiting for?"

The two ran, Jo with coat, hat, scarf and gloves, to the snowdrift. Joey dug her hands in and pulled and pulled so that great chunks of snow came away, her daughters and Bonnie scrabbling away at the snow, but then,she held up a hand for them all to stop digging, and told them that they must go slowly now, to avoid hurting the puppy through the thin layer of snow that remained. Gently scraping off the snow, Joey smiled as she pulled out the traumatised creature, and cuddled it in her arms.

"Aren't you a sweet little thing?" she said to it, as the eight little girls crowded round to look. It was a little Labrador puppy, with chocolate brown fur and mournful dark eyes. One look and that was it. The nine were in love, enthralled at the sweetness and vulnerability of the creature in Jo's arms. Then, Jo snapped out of it, an action brought on by a sad little whimper from the puppy, and said:

"Right. We ought to take this thing to the police station, but it's too far away, and the poor thing might have frozen to death by the time we've got there. We'll take it home, give it a bath and a feed and a nap, and then we'll photograph it and make some posters."

"Posters?" demanded Gwen.

"Yes, my sweetheart, posters. Who knows, it might belong to somebody." Joey ruffled her daughter's hair.

They had begun to walk as Jo had been speaking, and as they trotted along, the puppy suddenly wriggled free of Jo's grasp. Squatting on the ground, the little dog then saw to business of extreme importance to dogs: relieving itself. Its nine rescuers watched it with a mixture of curiosity and disgust.

"Female." said Jo firmly as she scooped the puppy back up again. "Males cock a hind leg." She smiled down at the little dog, who did not seem the slightest bit abashed at having committed such an unladylike act. "I'm glad we know, anyhow. It did seem awfully rude to keep calling her "it"."

The girls nodded, but then Bonnie felt suddenly as though she were being watched, and looked sharply around. There was no-one in sight, and no footprints aside from the ones made by their party. She clung suddenly to Jo's skirt, and that lady looked down at her in surprise.

"Are you alright, Bonnie?" she frowned.

"Yes - everything's rosy." replied the little girl, but Jo noted the quiver in her voice, and the slight trembling of the fist that held a bunch of her coat in such a tight grip. However, she decided that now, with some of the nosier specimens of the family close at hand, was not the time. But Bonnie continued to look feverishly around, feeling the horrible, creeping sensation of hostile eyes trained on her.
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