Third Year at Malory Towers

BOOK: Third Year at Malory Towers
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Third Year at Malory Towers

By

Enid Blyton

 

First published 1948

This version based on 2006 edition

Contents

A new girl for Malory Towers

Back at school again

The first evening

Zerelda goes into the fourth

The arrival of Wilhelmina

Bill And Thunder

In the third form common-room

A bad time for Zerelda

On the lacrosse field

Bill and Miss Peters

Alicia has a parcel

The days go by

Zerelda's unfortunate rehearsal

Bill is caught!

Mavis has an idea

Where is Mavis?

A midnight ride

Next morning

At the rehearsal

The trick!

Mavis and Zerelda

Things get straightened out

A lovely end to the term!

Original Illustrations

Charles Stewart Art Work

A new girl for Malory Towers

DARRELL was busy helping her mother to pack her clothes to take back to boarding school. Her little sister Felicity was watching, wishing that she too was going with Darrell.

“Cheer up, Felicity!” said Darrell. “You'll be coming back with me in September, won't she, Mother?”

“I hope so,” said her mother. “Miss Grayling said she thought she would have room for her then. Oh, Darrell, surely you don't want all those books! They make your trunk so heavy.”

“Mother, I do!” said Darrell. “And do let me take back my roller-skates. We're allowed to skate round the courtyard now. It's such fun.”

“All right,” said Mrs. Rivers. “But it means unpacking half the trunk, because they must go at the bottom. Oh dear—did we mark your new bedroom slippers?”

“No!” groaned Darrell. “Felicity, be a darling and mark them for me. Matron absolutely goes off the deep end if she finds anything not marked.”

Felicity darted off to get a pen. She was eleven and Darrell was fourteen. How she longed to go to Malory Towers too! According to Darrell it was the finest school in the kingdom!

“I wish we hadn't got to call for that new girl,” said Darrell, bent over her trunk. “What's her name now, Mother? I keep forgetting it.”

“Zerelda,” said her mother. “Zerelda Brass.”

“Golly!” said Darrell. “Zerelda! Whatever will she be like?”

“Oh, all right, I expect,” said Mrs. Rivers. “She's American, you know. But her English grandmother has asked her over here for a year, and she's to go to Malory Towers. It's a marvel they were able to take her at short notice like that.”

“What's she like?” asked Darrell. “Have you seen her?”

“No. Only a photograph,” said Mrs. Rivers. “She looked about twenty there! But she's only fifteen, I think.”

“Fifteen! Then she won't be in my form,” said Darrell. “She'll be in one higher up. Mother, isn't it a shame Sally's in quarantine for mumps? She'll be late coming back.”

Sally Hope was Darrell's best friend at school. Usually they arrived together at Malory Towers, for either Darrell's father or Sally's drove them down together in their cars. But this time Sally would be late because of the mumps quarantine.

“You'll have to write and tell her everything,” said Mrs. Rivers. “Oh, thank you, Felicity—you've marked the slippers beautifully. Have you put in your bed-jacket, Darrell? Oh yes, there it is. Well, now we're really getting on. Where's the list? I'll just run down it and see if we have left anything out.”

“If Sally hadn't been in quarantine we wouldn't have had to call for Zerelda,” said Darrell. “There wouldn't have been room. Mother, I have a feeling she will be awful. Whatever shall we talk about to her all the way down to Cornwall?”

“Good gracious—can't you talk about Malory Towers?” said her mother. “You seem to be able to talk about it for hours on end at home.”

At last the packing was all done. Then there was the usual hunt for the key of the trunk, which always disappeared regularly each holiday.

“Have you signed my health certificate, Mother?” asked Darrell. “Where is it? In my night-case? Right. I wonder if Irene will have got hers safely this term?”

Felicity giggled. She loved hearing about the harum-scarum Irene who always started off safely with her health certificate, and could never find it when she arrived.

Darrell's father was driving her mother and Darrell down to Malory Towers the next day. They had to start early, so all the packing was done the day before. All that Darrell had to do the next day was to go round the house and garden with Felicity and say good-bye to everything, even the hens!

“I shan't have to say good-bye to you in September, Felicity,” said Darrell. “Well, good-bye, now, and just see you get on well in games this term, so that I can be proud of you when you come to Malory Towers!”

They were off at last, purring away down the road to the West Country. It was a lovely day in January, cold and sunny. Darrell pulled the rug round her. She was sitting alone at the back of the car. Her mother was in front. Soon they would come to Zerelda's house and then Darrell would have her at the back with her.

Zerelda lived in a big house about fifty miles along the way. Her grandmother had been a great friend of Mrs. Rivers” mother, and it was really Darrell's Gran that had asked Mrs. Rivers if she could fetch Zerelda and take her down to the school with Darrell.

“I think it would be so nice if she and Darrell could have a good long talk about the school,” said Darrell's Granny. “Zerelda is sure to feel a bit queer, going to a school in a different country.”

But Darrell didn't feel very pleased about it. She was disappointed that they couldn't fetch Sally, her friend, and somehow she didn't like the sound of Zerelda. Was it the unusual name? Or was it that she felt her mother didn't altogether like the sound of Zerelda either? Anyway, they would soon see!

“Here's Notting,” said Mr. Rivers, seeing the name on a signpost. “This is where we call for the American, isn't it?”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Rivers, looking at a card in her hand. “Turn to the right by the church. Go up the hill. Turn to the right again at the top and you will see a big white house.

That's where Zerelda is living.”

They soon drew up at a big white house, almost a mansion. A butler opened the door. Then a smart, little old lady came running out, the friend of Darrell's Granny.

“This is kind of you!” she said. “Zerelda! Are you ready? Here they are.”

No Zerelda appeared. Mrs. Rivers said they wouldn't come in and have coffee, as they wanted to be at the school before dark.

“If Zerelda is ready, we'll set off straight away,” said Mr. Rivers. He felt a little annoyed. Where was this Zerelda? She ought to have been ready and waiting! He went to the back of the car and got ready a strap for the luggage.

“Zerelda! Come at once!” called her grandmother. She turned to the butler. “Do you know where Miss Zerelda is? Oh dear, where can she be?”

It was some minutes before Zerelda appeared. And when she did arrive Darrell couldn't think that it was Zerelda! She suddenly saw a tall, willowy person come down the stairs, with glinting hair the colour of brass, arranged in a big roll on the top of her head, with curls cascading over her shoulders.

Darrell stared. Who was this? She looked like somebody out of the films. And, good gracious, she had lipstick on surely?

It couldn't be Zerelda. This girl looked about twenty. She came forward with a lazy smile.

“Oh! Zerelda! Where were you?” said her grandmother. “You've kept us waiting.”

“Sorry,” drawled Zerelda. Her grandmother introduced her to the Rivers family. Mr. Rivers looked impatient. He hated to be kept waiting—and he didn't like the look of this Zerelda much!

Neither did Darrell. In fact, she felt quite alarmed. Zerelda must be seventeen or eighteen at least! Whatever would they talk about in the car?

“You'd better put on your school hat,” said her grandmother, handing it to Zerelda.

“What! Wear that terrible thing!” said Zerelda. “Gee, Gran'ma, I never shall!”

Darrell didn't dare to say that she would certainly have to. She was quite tongue-tied. Zerelda seemed really grown-up to her. It wasn't only her looks, and the way she did her hair—it was her self-confident manner, and her grown-up way of talking.

She slid gracefully into the seat by Darrell. “Now, Zerelda, you remember you're going to an English school, to learn a few English ways,” said her grandmother, at the window of the car. “Oh dear, wipe that lipstick off your mouth. I've told you again and again it won't do here. You seem to think you're eighteen, but you're only a schoolgirl. Now mind you...”

Mr. Rivers, feeling that talk between Zerelda and her grandmother would probably go on for some time, put in his clutch and revved up the car. “Good-bye!” said Mrs. Rivers, feeling that they might stay there forever if she didn't firmly say good-bye.

The car moved off. Zerelda's grandmother was left still talking at top speed in the drive. Mr. Rivers heaved a sigh of relief, and looked at his wife out of the corner of his eye. She looked back. Darrell caught the look and felt a little comforted. Daddy and Mother thought the same about Zerelda as she did!

“Have you got enough rug?” Darrell asked politely.

“Yes, thanks,” said Zerelda. There was a silence. Darrell racked her brains to think what to say.

“Would you like me to tell you something about Malory Towers?” she asked Zerelda at last.

“Go ahead, honey,” said Zerelda, rather sleepily. “Spill the beans. What's our class-teacher like?”

“Well—you won't be in my class, because you're fifteen, aren't you?” said Darrell.

BOOK: Third Year at Malory Towers
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