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"How many suggestions have we got?" asked Elsie.

"Five," said Ellie. "Lessons - Shakespeare - food - countries - auction,"

"Not countries," Elsie said. "We did them last year. Food sounds impossible, and lessons wouldn't be unique, the other branch has done that too many times,"

"It's Shakespeare or Auction," said Ellie. "There's not much point in suggesting Shakespeare, a lot of the form find it boring. Only a quarter like it. We'll have to put auction on, then,"

Ellie was nervous in the meeting, but withheld that information as it was her turn to suggest the idea, then sat down quickly.

Hobbies prefect Lola Andrews discussed with the sixth-formers about it, then stood up quickly.

"We want to be unique, yes?" Lola said.

There was a general murmur of agreement.

"We thought we'd do something not done before in the Chalet School," continued Lola. "We're going for a plain Sale. We're going to ask if we can do it plain every year, because we seem to be repetitive on ideas. And all of the stuff left over will be auctioned off, like Ellie's idea,"

Ellie blushed and wished she could turn invisible. "It wasn't my idea," she said.

"Still, we're adopting it,"

***

Elsie, though starting to be more bearable, still held a grudge against Scar, even though Scar wasn't bothered. Yet.

Prep wasn't the best of times to concentrate in that form, with all the rustling and movement. Scar concentrated on her maths first, but had trouble as it was a recap on the stuff done last term, containing the delightful surds and the wonderful standard form. She set it aside to do later, as she could spend more time on it.

She then did her History, Geography, and English, and was about to go back to her maths when - Craassshhh!

Half the class had knocked the books off their desks. At the back of the classroom, books were all over the floor.

"What is the problem?" asked the prefect.

She made enquiries and then made the whole form stand up for the rest of prep.

She forgot to add on the time lost to after supper where the girls complained miserably about work half or not done. The people guilty for the pandemonium were ignored by the innocents that evening, and they were very subdued about it.

***

Miss Parker was not pleased with the lack of work from half the maths group, and another quarter who had done some but not all of it. She ranted on and on and on and on and on and etc. etc.

She set loads of extra work on the three-quarters who hadn't done all the work, and another eighth of the class who hadn't done well enough. So seven eighths of the class had to do loads of work. One eighth didn't have to do most of the work.

"It wasn't like you to hold your silence about prep being cut short," Mary said.

"Yeah, remember when Miss Edgar made us three and Jade scrape under the desks with our hands just because Mary there decided to challenge John to a race in Geog, who could finish a packet of Trebor Softmints first without attracting the teachers attention? Miss Edgar didn't know we weren't in it, but when you told her about it she accepted it," Ellie said, although she was in the eighth that didn't have to do all of that prep.

"So you haven't told them?" asked Amber.

"Oh, no. I actually called Miss Parker Sir on that occasion," said Scar. "I don't think she was pleased,"

And she told them exactly what happened.

***

The girls slogged through the maths prep. Scar had gone to talk to the prefect in prep, and that same prefect told Miss Parker about the incident.
"No, I will not do your request. In my day, you were expected to finish all of your prep in an hour. These days, the girls spend too much time flicking small bits of paper at each other and messing around."
"The prefect thought to just last night when she and her friends had resorted to communicate with sign language, because during prep time, the prefects were expected to be silent.



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