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Margia Alvintzi was sitting at her large, black, grand piano with a small frown of concentration on her pretty face. She replayed a passage of Johan Strauss’s ‘Tales from the Vienna Woods.’ She continued to play and the frown was replaced by a dreamy contented expression as the beautiful, clear notes sounded out from beneath her delicate fingers.

A knock on the music room door interrupted her mid-passage and she glanced up to see Gilda, the local girl she had employed to help with her daughter following Jonathan Alvintzi’s death a year previously, standing under the door frame.

‘Excuse me Madame, but this letter has just arrived for you.’ Gilda entered the room holding a white envelope out in front of her.

‘Thank you,” Margia stepped away from the piano and took the envelope with a smile. She then sat back down on the stool. Having comfortably positioned herself, she attempted to decipher the untidy scrawl she recognised as her friend Elsie Carr’s writing. She smiled as she remembered some of the fun times spent at the Chalet School with Elsie. Then her expression changed to one of astonishment, for this letter contained a surprising plea for help.

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