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After breakfast next morning, it was time for prayers. The school had always been mainly Catholic, and only about a third of pupils and staff were Protestant.
All prefects except Joanna, Tessa, and Sophie were Catholic. Jennifer was Protestant, as were Tamzin and Emma. Miss Eacott hoped to build two chapels eventually, but
currently prayers were held in the hall. The Catholics had the first hour, taken by Mr Bach, the school's chaplain who taught religious education. Then the Protestants had
a service with the local vicar.

When both had finished and they'd had lunch, the middles offenders decided to go to the library. The roles of all different kinds of prefects had become extremely blurred, even dorm prees could sometimes be required to do anything else. So it was Jennifer
who visited to check up on them. She was pleased to find Tamzin and Emma reading Angela Brazil books, while Polly and Hannah were reading one by Jo Maynard.
Lydia was a less prominent prefect, who usually preferred things like running the hobbies clubs to anything punitive. The weather was good that afternoon, so she and Lottie ran up the hill to where Lavender's
accident had happened. Not far beyond that there was a summit with a cairn, from where it was possible to see all the offshore islands.
Imogen and Joanna went to catch up on long English essays, only Jo and Olivia had their own studies. Olivia, Tessa, Harriet, and Sophie paddled in the sea, walked along the coast, and went to the cafe again. Tessa supervised tea later, and no incidents happened.
Games were compulsory for health and fitness reasons, unlike lessons. On Monday, Tamzin and her friends had double chemistry, then maths. They decided to skip both and sit in their hideout, especially because they were worried about
their impending visit to the head.

Most of Tanswick's now small sixth form, including Tessa, were worried about their A-Levels and had no free periods that morning. After a special Greek lesson with Herr Weber, Lydia though had two free periods until break and decided to talk to Miss Eacott herself. She knocked cautiously on the door until the head let her in. She was busy with general school administration.

"What can I do for you then?"

"I just wondered if you'd like to have a discussion with the middles, given all the trouble they've caused recently.
You should have seen what they did to Imogen"

"Oh dear, what?"

Lydia explained.

"Well yes Lydia, like I said before, that kind of thing is a clear abuse of our philosophy even though we don't care about nonsense like slang. Send them to me"

"Ok" said Lydia, performing a now rare curtsy before leaving the room.

At the same time, the middles were sitting on the dryer grass, now sucking aniseed balls and thinking a bit about
their O-Levels.

"Should we somehow try and avoid speaking to the head?" said Tamzin.

Polly did guides in the holidays and was wearing her guide badge as she occasionally did.

"Absolutely not, too dishonourable Tam" said she with the others.

"Well then" said Tamzin with a grimace.

"Can you help me with my geography essay though?" said Hannah.

"Of course, scree slopes, glaciers, etc?" said Tamzin.

The prees had always wondered where this group hid, and Lydia now really
desired to find the place.
It was difficult because there was a lot of dense shrubbery all over the school grounds.
Some of it was blackberries or similar with thorns, but most was'nt.
After walking almost everywhere, she happened to hear whispering. The middles' thicket was at the northern end of the
playing fields, not far from the tall cedar tree. Lydia ran through, trampling the rhododendrons.
The others were aghast.

"What are you doing here?" said Emma angrily, throwing one of her textbooks that
grazed Lydia on the cheek. The others looked aghast at the senior pupil.

"You're disgusting, all of you, come with me" said she, with unusual authority.

She talked to the other prefects, and at break, the wrongdoers were put in front of Miss Eacott.




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