Into the classroom she swept, bringing with her the warm smell of sandalwood and a rustle of petticoats. She removed her glasses, placed them next to the ink-well on her desk and surveyed her pupils.
‘Good afternoon, girls.’ Her clear voice rang to the back of the class.
A clatter of chairs replaced the chatter of fourth formers, as we rose to our feet and saluted our English teacher.
‘Good afternoon, Miss Henry.’
We sat, looked into her young, unlined face and waited.
‘What’s the weather like out?’
On hot summer days she would sometimes ask this, as though having removed her spectacles, she was prevented from seeing for herself.
‘Oh, please Miss Henry, can we?’ came a voice from the back.
‘Quiet, Sally Price! Do not beseech. It is vulgar.’ And then turning to Brenda Blewitt, best at Latin and stealing other people’s rubbers, ‘You tell me, Brenda?’
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