“That sounds like something I would rather not hear.”

“I know. It just has to be endured. Some of the math and French and English teachers are real bores. They have no idea how to make their subject interesting, and they just go through the lessons in a monotone. One of the history teachers is known for requiring the memorization of dozens of dates on the grounds that it trains the mind.”

“Not our housemistress, I hope.”

“No, it’s one of the men, Mr. Fossby.”

“Can one change classes?”

“Nope. Where you are on Monday morning is where you will be in May.”

There was a knock at the door. Betty Preston entered and said, “All of the old girls have arrived. We are getting together in the last room to get to know each other, just like yesterday.”

“Is Ruth Larkin there?” asked Penny.

“Yes, she’s my roommate.”

“Good luck to you,” said Penny glumly.

“Thanks Betty, but we won’t be coming,” said Marianne. “By the way, this is my roommate, Penny Scott. She and Ruth Larkin have an unpleasant history.”

“That is putting it diplomatically. I’ll leave it at that.”

“OK. You know where we are if you change your mind,” said Betty.

“Too late for that,” said Penny. After Betty left, Penny continued,” Thank you for being my friend and staying here. This school can be a very lonely place.”

“I understand. I’ll be your friend whatever happens.”

“Thank you. I believe you.”

When lunch time neared, Felicity joined Marianne and Penny and the three girls walked to Post House and the dining hall behind it. Inside they saw a group of Marsh House girls standing at a table. Penny quietly said, “Ruth is there; let’s keep going.” A large fireplace in the middle of the hall separated the huge room into two sections. “Let’s get beyond the fireplace so she can’t see us.” The two new girls obediently followed Penny. Near the far end of the hall, before the left turn to the addition that was recently built for the enlarged student body was a table with eight boys and a master.

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