Sex education Chalet-style.
New Update 30/08/2011 and 01/09/2011
St Scholastika's House Characters:
Con Maynard, Hilda Annersley, Jo (Bettany) Maynard, Kathie Ferrars, Nancy Wilmot, Nell Wilson
02 Jun 2011 Updated:
02 Sep 2011
So, this started off as a one-off but then it...er...grew a bit, with a little bit of help from some inspiring comments. And Beecharmer wrote a bit too. It started out as a Ste Therese drabble, but given it gets quite silly quite quickly, I think it probably belongs in St. Scholastika's.
And the title's a nod to a song from the '90s by Salt-n-Pepa.
1. Trying to talk about...you know... by jayj
2. Spreading the knowledge by jayj
3. Nancy gives a lesson by jayj
4. Nancy gives some more lessons by jayj
5. Broken furniture by jayj
6. Chapter 6 - A parent complains by Beecharmer
7. Incriminating documents by Beecharmer
Trying to talk about...you know... by jayj
In the staffroom one evening towards the end of term, Ruth and Nancy were sitting with Kathie and Peggy, and were trying to come to terms with a task that had just, very delicately and with no little euphemism, been handed to them by Miss Annersley.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Ruth said. “I’ve been slipping bits of discussion about this into my classes for years, so this just makes it a bit more official."
“I do agree it’s a good idea,” Nancy replied, with a slightly awkward look upon her face. “But I don’t think I’m the best person to be doing this. I’ve no experience...”
Kathie smirked. “I wouldn’t say that...”
“Yes, but that’s different. I don’t think I’m going to be allowed to talk about...well...that...do you?”
“I honestly don’t see why not, though,” Kathie turned to the others. “If you’re going to be talking to them about sex, why shouldn’t you talk about what two women might do?”
Nancy sighed and tried not to blush. “Because we’re not doing this to open their minds, are we? All we’re trying to do is explain to the VIth why Biddy’s not coming back to work next term. And Hilda’s made it very clear that all talk of this is strongly framed by the insistence that it’s allowed, when, and only when, you’re married. So that counts…well, you know….out...But I still don’t see why me. I’m not experienced...”
“To be fair, Nance, even if it’s not been directly relevant to making babies, you’ve probably had a lot more – and more recent - experience...than a lot of people round here,” Peggy chuckled.
“And whose fault is that?” Nancy, turning ever more steadily red, looked accusingly at the person sat next to her, while that person tried her hardest to look demure, though she couldn’t help remembering with a secret smile why she and Nancy had been so late down for breakfast that morning.
“And besides,” Nancy continued. “What I was actually going to say is that I’m a maths teacher. I don’t have any experience of ever teaching anything like this. And as a maths teacher, what am I going to say when some bright spark points out that Biddy's dates don’t quite add up?” She sighed. “Shouldn’t they get...I don’t know, Gwyneth to talk to them? Isn’t dealing with personal issues part of her job?”
“I don’t think I’d want Gwyneth talking to me about sex,” Peggy said, suppressing a shudder.
“Or what about the science teachers...Davida or Bill...”
“No! Not Davida – can you imagine what shade of pink she’d turn? And I can’t see Bill wanting to do it,” Kathie mused.
“I wonder if Bill’d even know what to do...do you think she’s ever done it?” Ruth said with a grin.
Biting back the indiscreet answer that almost slipped out, Nancy waved away the question. “Ruth! Don’t be so....anyway, just because I’m their form tutor, I don’t see why it should be me who does this. It’s science, or, at a push, it’s art and literature. Can’t we get hold of some bootleg copies of Lady Chatterley for them to read and be done with it?”
“I don’t really think that’s what Hilda had in mind,” Ruth laughed. “And I think we’d be in astonishing trouble if they started quoting some of the choicer phrases of that book!”
“You’ve actually read it?” Peggy was rather incredulous.
Ruth nodded. “Of course I’ve got a copy. You know, professional interest and all that…”
“Really Ruth – and what profession’s that?” Nancy smirked.
Ruth glared back at her.
“Well," Peggy appealed, "I do think you ought to share it. Amongst friends, at least….”
“I don’t know that I ought…I don’t want to damage your innocence,” Ruth replied with a grin.
“Well, in all honesty,” Nancy said, trying to return the conversation to the original topic. “The VIth would get a better idea about being with a man from a book then they would from me. I just can’t see the attraction in any shape or form.” She looked at Kathie. “It’s just...no...the...mechanics of it all...it just makes me...queasy. I just can’t see why anyone would want to do that. No.”
“Maybe that’s why Hilda’s asked you to do it – you’re going to make it seem so unappealing that no-one’s going to even try experimenting,” Peggy chuckled.
“And anyway, even if Kathie and I weren’t...well...surely, as a bunch of unmarried teachers, we’re all too innocent and naive to be even considered for talking about this.”
“I’m not altogether sure that one’ll stand up in court, Nance,” Ruth replied, as the others laughed slightly guiltily.
“Oh, perhaps not,” Nancy conceded. ”But shouldn’t it be Biddy who does it? She’s the one who’s started all this in the first place by getting pregnant...or Joey...I’m sure she’d know what she was talking about.”
Ruth pulled a face. “Yes, though one of the things I’m going to talk about is not getting pregnant – I think that’s something that Jo might need a bit of education on herself.”
“Well, I think it’s sweet that Joey and Jack are still going at it so enthusiastically after so long,” Peggy said. “But do you think you ought to be teaching them about – well – about protection?”
“I don’t see why not. Jo might be thrilled to have so many children, but that’s not really a lifestyle choice I’d recommend for everyone. And, you know, we send dozens of girls a year out into the world, and not all of them are going to turn out like you two,” Ruth directed an affectionate glance at Kathie and Nancy, “and so they’ll get to college and meet some boy...and they need to be informed about what their choices are.”
With a pained and slightly squeamish look on her face, Nancy said, “I think you’re going to have to inform me of what those choices are too, otherwise I’m really going to have no idea what to talk about at all.” Kathie patted her on the arm sympathetically.
Ruth shook her head and laughed. “You two!....have you never even been tempted?”
Nancy shook her head rather violently, and Kathie shuddered. “We’re perfectly happy as we are, thank you very much!” she said, reaching out for Nancy’s hand.
“Hmm. Yes, I think I might've heard some of your happiness this morning,” Peggy looked at them rather oddly. “In the bathroom! Honestly, have the pair of you no self-restraint?”
Spreading the knowledge by jayj
"I've just received the strangest note," Nancy declared with a frown as she came into Kathie's room and shut the door firmly behind her.
"What's that my love?" Kathie, cosily ensconced in her armchair, looked up from the novel she was reading.
"This," Nancy replied, brandishing a piece of paper. She handed it to Kathie, and then proceeded to pace the room anxiously.
Kathie read the note, and burst out laughing. "Oh my," she said. "Oh my oh my."
"It's not funny!" Nancy said, rather crossly.
"Oh, it is my love," Kathie replied. "So, are you going to accept their invitation and go up to the old herdsman's hut and talk to them? It sounds like there might be quite a sizeable audience you could educate with your, um, considerable expertise."
"No I am not! And don't say it like that - that sounds like I'd be seducing them." And then, catching sight of a gleam in Kathie's eye, she said sternly, "And you're not to go either."
"Of course I won't," Kathie said, chuckling still. "It would just be too, too weird." But with a grin, she read through the note once more. Catching sight of the initials at the bottom of the page, she gasped a little. "'C.M.'?" she said. "Please tell me that's not who I think it is...."
It was a Sunday evening following a typically eventful weekend at the Chalet School, and in a quiet corner of the staffroom, two women were chatting companionably. One of them was busy explaining to the other just exactly how, earlier that afternoon, she'd unfortunately ended up in the middle of a snowball war organized by two rival factions of Middles, when suddenly she froze. There, at the corner of her eye, was the sight she'd been dreading all week. Despite all her better instincts, she couldn't help her gaze being dragged ever more firmly towards what appeared to be the embodiment of all her worst nightmares.
"What is it, Nance?" Kathie asked, seeing the peculiarly stricken look upon her partner's face.
Nancy didn't reply.
With no reply forthcoming, Kathie followed the line of Nancy's gaze. And then gave vent to a rather uproarious chuckle.
There, standing menacingly, and brandishing a banana and a variety of small but interesting looking pieces of rubber, was Ruth Derwent.
"Ready for your lesson, Nancy?" Ruth said, with a wicked glint in her eye.
White as a sheet, and clutching on to the arms of her chair fiercely, Nancy shook her head. "Er...I've been thinking...maybe another time?...you know, I'm not sure that maths teachers and bananas mix..." She finished with a hopeful, but nervous smile.
"Oh no, Nancy Wilmot, we're going through with this, whether you like it or not."
"She did what?" Hilda exclaimed, putting the coffee pot she'd been about to pour from down on the table rather heavily. It was the morning after a rather illuminating 'demonstration' in the staffroom.
Nell Wilson leaned closer to her co-head and whispered in her ear.
"With her mouth?" The exclamation was laced with incredulity, and not a little awe.
Grinning, Nell nodded.
Looking down the breakfast table to where Ruth Derwent was sitting, Miss Annersley regarded her Head of English with a new-found respect.
Late one night, a group of girls were gathered in a dormitory, sharing sweets and talking about things they really shouldn't. Luckily for them, Matey was suffering from indigestion and therefore wasn't patrolling the corridors as assiduously as usual. But had she been around to hear, there is little doubt that she would have been perturbed by the direction conversation had taken.
"But, " one of the girls was informing her rapt audience, "Mamma says that toothpaste doesn't really work..."
Though jokes tend to be stop being funny if you have to explain them, some notes are perhaps in order.
1. If you're not sure who 'C.M' is, why she might be asking Nancy in particular for advice, or why the old herdsman's hut is important, most of these questions can be answered by reading Beecharmer's All Change.
2. This was inspired by Yvette's comment (observation?) that "Maths teachers and bananas do not mix."
3. In response to Bryony's story: "In a former life I did once give a sexual health talk for university students, which was quite tongue in cheek. On that occasion my fellow speaker demonstrated the art of putting a condom on a cucumber using only his mouth. Quite a party trick, although whether it made any impact on rates of STI infection amongst the students is debatable. I wouldn't advise it for the CS anyway..."
4. Because, in the process of 'researching' this drabble, I found out, courtesy of wikipedia that "toothpaste cannot be used as an effective contraceptive."
Nancy gives a lesson by jayj
This chapter's by Beecharmer.
Va were sitting quietly, waiting for Miss Wilmot to arrive. Ted was sitting on the window sill flicking idly through her Maths textbook. She found what she was looking for and broke into a wicked grin.
Looking innocent as she was capable of, she went to the blackboard, giving a nod to Ricky to watch out for the mistresses approach. She picked up the chalk and began to draw.
Nancy Wilmot, feeling slightly green and clammy at the prospect of the upcoming lesson, entered the suspiciously quiet classroom. She put her books down on the table before turning to the board. What she saw there made her colour furiously, and contemplate simply turning and making a run for it.
On the board was a diagram of a banana, aligned with a diagonal straight line at an acute angle, with arrows indicating horizontal and vertical measurements making up the two other sides of a right angle triangle. This was labelled Fig. A.
Beside this, was a picture labelled Fig B. Nancy initially took this to be a graph of a normal population, before realising it was a diagram of one of the rubber objects she had clasped nervously in her hand, along with her a bunch of bananas. This again had various arrows marking dimensions of the shape.
Below this, a carefully disguised hand had written.
Q: Calculate the length of banana in the following conditions.
a) At rest (angle 80 degrees below the horizontal)
b) Prior to application of Fig B ( angle 15 degrees above the horizontal.
c) After application of Fig B ( angle 45 above the horizontal.)
For bonus points, also calculate after
d) Application of Fig B. using oral method. (angle 75 degrees above the horizontal.)
Nancy, who would normally have found this hilarious, and would have exacted her revenge by making the class do the calculations, was for once completely unable to access her sense of humour. She was dreading this talk so much that this indication that Ruth Derwent's talk to the VIth had been passed down to the younger girls was almost too much for her to bear.
She grabbed the board eraser and wiped away the diagrams, then turned, and tried to speak. Her voice came out as a croak.
"Today girls I am going to be talking to you about...er... situations that ... er... must only occur within marriage, but that Miss Annersley wants to know about..." she began, then quickly corrected herself. "I mean she wants you to...know about it that is...not do it...not without being married...to a man...right... well."
She split the class into small groups and gave each group a banana and some of the rubber objects. With difficulty she showed them what to do, and how to apply it. With many giggles, the girls each took a turn. Suddenly there was an outburst of laughter from one group.
"Please Miss Wilmot," said Francie, " what do you do if it splits when it goes on?"
Nancy searched her brain for the biology lecture she had had the night before from some of the science staff.
"Er...that's fine Francie, so long as most of it is covered, I don't think...er it ...er it isn't an issue."
Finally the ordeal was over. As she packed up to leave, she saw a very frightened looking Odette being comforted by Con in a corner. She sighed and went to see if she could help.
"What is wrong Odette?" she asked, trying not to be irritated by the girl's tendency to weeping at the least provocation.
"Please Miss Wilmot" said Con for Odette. "Odette is worried she might be pregnant. You see she was low in...er potassium I think, so the doctor told her to eat a lot of bananas last holiday and she didn't use any covering before she had them..."
Nancy was speechless. She kept herself together long enough to tell Odette that eating bananas was not a problem, and told her to report herself to Miss Derwent for a more detailed explanation, then escaped from the room and went for a lie down, vowing she would NEVER do that talk again.
Nancy gives some more lessons by jayj
“There you are! I’ve been looking for you for ages. What have you been doing?” Kathie said cheerfully as – after an hour or more of searching - she finally spotted Nancy in the corridor. She followed Nancy into her room.
Nancy turned to her with an awkward look on her face. “I’ve been with Jack Maynard.”
“For the last hour and a half?”
Nancy nodded, looking oddly traumatized.
Kathie was immediately concerned. “Nance – you’re not – there’s nothing wrong, is there?” The previous Sunday, after the pair of them had enjoyed a tasty Sunday lunch at Adlers Nest, Nancy had been summoned for a lengthy - and private – discussion with Phil Graves in his study, and when Kathie had asked her what it was about, Nancy had been reluctant to say. A whitehot shot of icy fear ran through Kathie. Why was she spending so much time with doctors? There could only be one answer. “You’re not – you’re not ill?”
“No! No, don’t be silly, my love.” Nancy was quick to reassure her, and Kathie could tell that she wasn’t lying.
“Well then – what’s going on?”
“Jack wanted…Jack wanted some advice.”
“Advice? What on earth is Herr Doktor Maynard, chief in charge of Switzerland’s finest sanatorium, doing coming to seek advice from you, a lowly teacher – nay, a lowly teacher-woman?”
Nancy stuck her tongue out at her. “There are some things that…that I know more about than he does.” Nancy flushed but her reluctance to say what, precisely, it was that she knew more about than Jack Maynard was betrayed by her eyes, which flickered from Kathie to the bed and back again.
“Oh…!” Kathie sat down next to her, with a slightly shocked expression. “And Phil?”
Nancy nodded, sadly.
“Oh, my poor love.” Kathie gave her a consoling cuddle. Then she chuckled. “Well, I expect we’ll be seeing Hilary and Jo walking round with an extra spring in their step for the foreseeable future.”
“Biddy too, I expect.”
“You spoke to Eugen as well?”
Kathie laughed. “Well, they couldn’t have a better teacher. I’ve never had anything to complain about.”
“There was that one time you complained.” Nancy grinned at her.
“When was that? Oh,” she said, with a slightly pained expression as recognition dawned. “That time when you’d been making chilli con carne…yes…that wasn’t – that wasn’t your finest hour…I do hope you’ve warned them about the importance of wearing gloves and washing your hands thoroughly when chopping chillis…”
“I didn’t mention it, actually – I thought I should spare your blushes. But they’ll be fine. Can you imagine any of those three men ever doing any cooking?”
Rosalie spotted her prey in the corner of the staff room, playing cards with Kathie, Peggy and Sharlie.
“Nancy - there’s a phone call for you.”
“Me? But I’ve got a winning hand here…all right, I’m coming…” Nancy said, putting down her cards and standing up. “Who is it?”
Rosalie looked at her oddly. “It’s Jack Maynard.”
“Jack?” Nancy replied, her eyes widening momentarily, before a small grin settled on her face. “Well, well.” And without saying a word more, she followed Rosalie out of the room and to the phone.
Rosalie was doing her best to finish off typing up the minutes of that afternoon’s staff meeting but she couldn’t help but be distracted by the rather cryptic conversation she could partially hear through the open door between her office and the Head’s.
“Jack,” she’d heard Nancy say (a little warily, Rosalie thought), as she picked up the phone which was lying on Miss Annersley’s desk. “How did it go?”
There was a pause of a few seconds, and then Nancy said, “Good boy! Well done!”
Rosalie’s eyebrows shot up at that. Doctor Maynard was hardly the kind of man that you referred to as ‘boy’, but here was Nancy talking to him as if he was her pupil and she was his teacher.
“Of course she did,” Nancy was saying now. “I told you – works every time.”
There was a pause, and then, “Yes, that’s what’s meant to happen.” Now, Rosalie thought, Nancy sounded as if she was talking to a slightly stupid child. Her next outburst was rather more indignant. “Of course I’m sure! I do actually know what I’m talking about here!”
There was a pause of another minute or two, and then Nancy said, “And did you do the other thing? The one we talked about...No? Well, try that next. Trust me – that one’s a good one…”
Another pause, and then “Well, you better get back to her. Well done, my boy, well done!”
When Nancy re-emerged into the secretary’s office a moment later, Rosalie couldn’t help thinking she looked enormously pleased with herself.
“Everything OK?” she asked.
“Really Rosalie, just don’t ask. Don’t ask.” And with that, Nancy headed off down the corridor, chuckling to herself in a slightly hysterical way.
"Well?" Kathie asked, dreading the answer slightly. It really was rather peculiar to think about what other people got up to.
"All seems to have gone rather well, from his report."
"Well done my love. You can go to bed happy knowing that you've proved your pedagogical worth once more."
Nancy grinned happily. "I told him about the, you know..." and she pulled Kathie close to her and whispered in her ear.
Kathie pulled away from her, shocked. "You plagiarist! You stole that one from me!"
"I know. But only because I know that it works. Every time."
Mollified, ever so slightly, Kathie allowed herself to be cuddled. "Nance, really though, you ought not to give away all our best secrets."
"Don't worry...I didn't tell him about the..." Nancy pulled her close and whispered in her ear once more.
Kathie's eyes opened wide in delight. "Ooh, can we?"
Kathie nodded, grinning excitedly.
Nancy checked her watch. "Yeah, why not?"
"Of all the cheek! Of all the absolute cheek!"
Kathie was slightly drunk and extremely cross, and, the short stroll between Freudesheim and the school being adequate neither to sober her up nor to calm her down, Nancy (herself a little tipsy) judged that a walk around the school fields might be in order. In her present condition Kathie was in no fit state to be allowed into the buildings where most of their colleagues and the school's pupils were currently sleeping, for she was ranting rather angrily about a conversation that had taken place over dinner that evening.
"Kath, you're going to have to calm down..." Nancy said, trailing in her wake as Kathie stormed furiously ahead.
"For them to be offering us advice! Hilary, Biddy, and Joey! Of all the cheek! And when Joey started on about - "
Nancy cut her off. "Yes, that was rather embarrassing."
"As if we didn't know! Good God! What does the woman think we actually do!"
"She probably doesn't think about it at all, my love. I still don't think she really understands us."
"Harrumph," was Kathie's only answer to that.
"And, anyway, it's not like we know everything there is to know..."
"I suppose," Kathie said, slowing her pace and catching hold of Nancy's hand. "That thing Biddy said about the chair did sound interesting."
"It did," Nancy agreed. The pair stopped and shared a conspiratorial grin. "Shall we - er - head back, then?"
"I think we probably should," Kathie agreed, slipping an arm around Nancy's waist, as Nancy curled her am around Kathie's shoulders.
They'd almost made it back to the school when Kathie suddenly stopped. "Nance, though - you could have phrased that better," she said with a laugh.
"When you said, 'Actually, I think you'll find I taught your husband everything he knows.'"
"Well, I did teach him - if not everything, then quite a lot."
"Yes, but I think we can all do without the insinuation that you've...you know...with all the doctors at the San."
"Oh." Nancy suddenly turned pale. "Oh. They wouldn't interpret it like that, would they?"
"Let's hope not, my love. Let's hope not."
"Hello!" Nell said, bouncing into Hilda's office. Hilda shook herself. Was bounce the right word? She looked at her friend carefully. Yes, bounce did seem to be the right word. Since when did Nell bounce anywhere?
"Did you have a good half-term?" Nell asked cheerfully as she took a seat in a comfortable armchair. Hilda had been away for the week at an alumni event in London. "Did we make a profit?"
While the event had been, in theory, about keeping in touch with the extensive network of old girls, in practice its main purpose was to try to encourage some of those girls - particularly those with rich husbands - to donate to their alma mater. Nell, who couldn't really be trusted not to let slip this mercenary motivation (especially after a glass or two of wine - and these events were normally fuelled by alcohol), had been left at home to mind the shop, while all the pupils and the rest of the teachers were away from the Platz on various excusrions.
With a grin that was quickly smothered into a business-woman-like expression, Hilda nodded and passed her co-head a sheaf of papers. Nell flicked through them quickly. "Well done, my dear, well done."
"How about you? Good half-term?" Hilda asked.
"Oh, quiet, you know," Nell said, but to Hilda's eagle eye, that peculiar bounciness was still in evidence, and Nell seemed to be having trouble stiffling a smirk.
"I was worried you'd get bored up here on your own," Hilda said, to which Nell just shrugged. "Oh, but Jo said you had a visitor."
"Wha-uh? How did she -er.....No. No, it was just me. Me. On my own. Alone." Hilda could have sworn a guilty look crossed Nell's face.
"How odd. I'm sure Jo said she was passing St Mildred's and saw someone there..."
Nell shook her head, rather fiercely. "No. No, there was no-one there. Only me."
"Is that so?" Hilda crossed her arms and regarded her friend cynically. Sometimes Nell really was a terrible liar.
Since no more information appeared to be forthcoming on the subject of Nell's mystery visitor, Hilda let the subject drop and the pair of them settled into a companionable silence, sorting through the various bits of paperwork associated with running the school. After an hour or so, Nell checked her watch, and decided it was time she ought to be heading back to St. Mildreds.
"I'll pop over tomorrow, if I get the chance," she said as she was putting on her coat. "Oh - er - before I forget, you couldn't lend me Gaudenz, could you? I've got a bit of...carpentry that needs doing."
"Sure, I'll send him over. Wait - what do you mean, carpentry?"
Looking decidedly shifty, Nell said, "Just a bit of...furniture repair? Some furniture's - broken."
Hilda sighed deeply. The last term had seen an outbreak of girls rocking back on their chairs and weakening the frames, and Gaudenz had been kept rather busy fixing them. "Oh, really - now they're at St Mildred's you'd've thought they'd stop rocking back on their chairs. It's not as if we haven't told them again and again about how dangerous that is."
"No - it's not a chair." Nell's sense of honesty and fair play meant that she couldn't allow her girls to take the blame.
"What is it then?"
Nell turned redder than Hilda had ever seen her. "It's a...Hilda, you don't want to know."
The look on Hilda's face told Nell that Hilda really did want to know.
"Oh, alright then. It's a bed. It's my bed. My bed - broke. Happy now?"
Chapter 6 - A parent complains by Beecharmer
Inspired by Eleanore's comment on my Triplets Go to Rydell Drabble about Margot / Joey / Jack having words with Nancy after Margot took her advice as correct in her "encounter"
Hilda looked at the letter in front of her. She looked at Nancy Wilmot. She looked back at the letter. This was going to be a little...awkward.
"Nancy" she began, then seemed to get her words stuck in her throat. "Er... We... You...There has..."
Nancy was petrified. She had never seen Hilda lost for words. Something truely terrible must have happened.
Hilda stopped for a moment, cleared her throat and then looked at a point just past Nancy's ear.
"We have had a complaint from a parent about your..." she began. She paused, and rushed through the next part, saying the offending word so quietly that Nancy almost didn't catch it. "... Sex education lesson.."
Nancy went bright red. Complaint ? It was bad enough to have had to suffer through the event itself, now she had the first parent complaint of her career for it.
She brought her attention back to Hilda. The words barely registered, such was her embarrasment.
"The girl apparently was quite convinced that it was still... that if the ... Banana... Was mostly covered, a split did not matter ..."
Hilda was thoroughly disliking this talk herself. She had been most reluctant to get involved with having this discussion with Nancy. However the parent, themselves a GP, had been determined that the matter be addressed.
"Of course I told him that his daughter must not have been paying attention." Hilda continued. "He was very insistent however, since apparently she said that several of the girls had discussed the issue later, and all of them had the wrong impression. "
Hilda gave Nancy a gap now to give the expected denial of having said any such thing, and to bemoan the inattention of the girls. As she sat there however, her heart sank as she realised that Nancy was just looking embarrassed and puzzled.
Hilda decided to try a more direct route. "Did you have any comment to make about it all, Nancy? I would appreciate your input so that I am able to draft my reply properly."
Nancy struggled to work out her best course of action. She really wasn't sure that she had understood the complaint, however she was afraid that her embarrassment had stopped her from listening properly. She decided there was nothing for it but to come clean.
"Hilda, I am so sorry, but I am afraid that with the shock of my first, and I hope only, parent complaint, I don't think I fully heard you. I ... I don't quite understand what they were complaining about?"
Hilda herself was really not keen to repeat the whole thing, this was not at all a subject that she was herself comfortable with discussing.
"The girl claimed that you had said that a split in the ...the... protection apparatus ... was not important as long as the ... well... you know... was mostly covered.."
Hilda was about to add "Which is of course nonsense" when Nancy's continued frown brought the full truth home to her.
"Oh!!" she exclaimed "Nancy! You didn't really say that ... Did you?"
Nancy was now almost squirming with embarrasment. A small nod was all she could manage. In an even tiner voice she said "I thought... I mean...I ... Obviously that isn't the case then?"
Hilda was again lost for words. She had truely thought that this was merely a matter of a teacher not holding their student's attention. However it appeared that Nancy really had no clue why this would make the protection next to useless.
She desperately fished for a way to continue.
" Well, if you think about it... Surely you can see why? After all the ... items ... Will get through ..."
Nancy continued to look puzzled. Hilda gave up trying to verbally explain, and drew Nancy some diagrams. Nancy followed along the pictures then exclaimed
"You mean they come OUT of the... Of the banana in a liquid ??" looking totally horrified by the whole thing.
All Hilda could do by now was nod. She then dismissed Nancy to go and process this new-found information.
As Nancy left the room, Hilda said.
" Surely I remember you having some discussion with someone about this before you did the class? Ruth, wasn't it? "
Nancy stopped and went red.
"I'm afraid I must not have understood as much as I thought. She did ask if I knew "The basics" but I just thought she meant, well the mechanics of it. And then she started demonstrating with the ... well you remember, she .. with her mouth, and I'm afraid I lost track of things rather. Honestly Hilda, it won't happen again"
Hilda let her leave.
No, she thought. It won't happen again.
She made a mental note to tell Rosalie never to schedule Nancy to do this talk. She thought about it, a moment longer and decided to be safe, she would suggest that Kathie Ferrars be excused as well.
A spate of unwanted pregancies just after leaving school that could be tracked back to the school's teachings would NOT be good for business.
Incriminating documents by Beecharmer
A little more :-)
Nell Wilson knocked briefly on the door to the Salon and then opened the door. Hilda looked up and smiled.
"I will only be a moment, Nell" she said, shuffling some timetables together to take out to Rosalie. As she did so, some other scraps of paper from the desk drifted down to the floor.
While Hilda went out to Rosalie's office, Nell picked up the pieces of paper to put them on the desk. She glanced unintentionally at them as she did so, then gripped them a little tighter and looked a bit closer.
When Hilda returned, Nell was resting back in a chair, with a huge grin on her face. Hilda looked at her strangely.
"Why are you looking so cheeky?" she asked, as she put her last bits of paperwork away.
"Oh no reason" said Nell, grinning even more broadly. "Just thinking."
Her friend regarded her suspiciously. But since Nell did not seem about to explain, she finished her tidying and they began to walk over to St Mildred's for their nightly game of scrabble and chat about the day.
Hilda had completely forgotten about the conversation with Nancy, so when Nell asked with exaggerated casualness whether she had done anything interesting that day, she replied in the negative.
They made some coffee and settled down to the scrabble board. However for once Nell seemed to be far less focused and competitive than normal.
Hilda couldn't work out what was wrong with her friend, she seemed to spend far longer thinking of words, and the words she was choosing ... Well they would certainly have made Hilda blush if there were anyone else playing the game with them.
Finally, as Nell gave up some obvious high point scoring words in order to make yet another word that was not used in polite conversation, Hilda realized what was going on.
"Have you been looking at some papers on my desk, by any chance, Helena Wilson? " she said sternly.
"No? Why?" said Nell with a totally unconvincing innocent look.
"Oh, no reason." replied Hilda, who was perfectly capable of keeping her own poker face, as generations of mistresses had found out at late night penny games.
Nell tried to keep it up, but finally she had to admit defeat when repeated letter changing refused to bring forth a P To head the ENIL that she wanted to join to the middle E in ERECT already on the board.
"I give in!" she said "Why on EARTH were you drawing those pictures? I recognized your handwriting my dear, so don't try to pretend it wasn't you!"
"I had no intention of doing any such thing" replied Hilda calmly, even as she added B E and R to the end of the word RUB on the board. "If you had asked, I would have told you everything. However it would not have produced such an entertaining selection of words." she continued, surveying the board.
She explained the situation with Nancy, and Nell roared with laughter at Hilda's description of Nancy's face as she understood all of the details.
As Hilda collected her coat to return to her own abode, Nell couldn't help adding a last comment.
"I have to say however, I was most impressed and surprised with the level of detail in your diagrams. The little happy faces on the er... Items were a nice touch, I thought."
Nell was gratified to finally get a blush from Hilda, and said a cheery goodnight as her co head went back over to the school cursing her habit of unconsciously doodling as she thought.
A short while later, Nell answered the phone call to a rather stressed sounding Hilda.
"Where did you put them?" demanded Hilda without wasting time in greetings.
"What DO you mean?" said Nell in a puzzled tone. "I put them back on the desk, on top of that green folder? Are they not there?"
There was a pained silence. "The folder with the staff half term timetables, the ones that Rosalie was due to give out tonight, you mean?" said Hilda, her voice rather hoarse.
"Ah" said Nell. "Yes"
The phone was put down very suddenly, and Nell bent over in hysterical laughter. She went to her coat pocket and brought out the offending articles.
She would ring Hilda and put her out of her misery, of course she would.
About half an hour should do it. Plenty of time for her to have ransacked Rosalie's office, maybe even even done a quick panic run to the staff room to be sure that they hadn't been delivered to some staff member's cubby hole.
Yes, thought Nell, about half an hour should do it. Maybe 40 minutes.
She grinned to herself as she tidied up the scrabble board.
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