The Chalet School felt like it was holding its breath, pupils and staff alike. It was now two weeks into the new term and it hadn’t happened yet.
They were scared to mention it, to voice it, because if they mentioned it, it might happen. The prefects stopped flinching as much if footsteps approached their door. The staff stopped pausing at the door to scan the staff room in case they needed to have “forgotten something”.
Rosalie stopped holding her breath if the office door opened without anyone knocking. She was answering the telephone less cautiously, not needing to have excuses ready thought of.
In their study Nell and Hilda were quietly pleased with the results of their actions over the summer holidays. The idea had been simple, the implementing of the idea had proved difficult, but they had expected that.
There had been times when they thought it wasn’t going to work, that the whole thing was impossible, too difficult. But, encouraged by others, they had persevered, dealing with each problem as it arose, remaining focussed on the goal for the good of many. Eventually, after many battles, they had won.
Now was a worrying stage of the plan, they were not sure it would work, but so far it had.
Everyone was strangely silent, no thanks had been said, but the Heads recognised the schools almost breathless need to stay silent, just in case. They knew others were grateful. Little things showed them. A bottle of wine on the desk in the morning, bunches of flowers appearing, cakes of all kinds were common. Rosalie brought coffee without being asked. Prefects rushed to open doors or carry things for them. Oh yes, they knew others had seen and appreciated what they had done, and they were satisfied.
They knew their actions could go down in the legends of the school. They weren’t looking for praise or kudos, it had been for their own good as well, something they should have done years ago.
Finally they had stopped the butting in with new girls, interfering with staff, with prefects, with the sale, even with the nativity play.
Finally they had stopped Joey visiting the school to interfere whenever she liked, or insisting on writing the nativity play, or opening the sale.
Finally they were free. But they didn’t say it too loudly, not yet—just in case.