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The Naughtiest Girl in the School

Enid Blyton

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Chapter 1: The Naughty Spoilt Girl

  Chapter 2: Elizabeth Goes to School

  Chapter 3: Elizabeth Makes a Bad Beginning

  Chapter 4: Elizabeth Gets Into Trouble

  Chapter 5: Elizabeth Is Naughty

  Chapter 6: Elizabeth Joins Her Class

  Chapter 7: The First School Meeting

  Chapter 8: The First Week at School

  Chapter 9: Rita Has a Job for Elizabeth

  Chapter 10: Joan's Secret

  Chapter 11: The Meeting Punishes Elizabeth

  Chapter 12: Elizabeth Has a Bad Time

  Chapter 13: The Third Meeting

  Chapter 14: A Lovely Week

  Chapter 15: Two Tricks – and a Quarrel

  Chapter 16: An Apology – and Another Meeting

  Chapter 17: Elizabeth has a Secret

  Chapter 18: Joan's Wonderful Birthday

  Chapter 19: Joan Gets a Shock

  Chapter 20: More Trouble!

  Chapter 21: Joan's Mother Arrives

  Chapter 22: Rita Talks to Elizabeth

  Chapter 23: Elizabeth Fights With Herself

  Chapter 24: A Surprise for the School

  Enid Blyton

  The Naughtiest Girl in the School

  Chapter 1: The Naughty Spoilt Girl

  «You'll have to go to school, Elizabeth!» said Mrs. Allen. «I think your governess is quite right. You are spoilt and naughty, and although Daddy and I were going to leave you here with Miss Scott, when we went away, I think it would be better for you to go to school.»

  Elizabeth stared at her mother in dismay. What, leave her home? And her pony and her dog? Go and be with a lot of children she would hate! Oh no, she wouldn't go! «I'll be good with Miss Scott», she said.

  «You've said that before», said her mother. «Miss Scott says she can't stay with you any longer. Elizabeth, is it true that you put earwigs in her bed last night?»

  Elizabeth giggled. «Yes», she said. «Miss Scott is so frightened of them! It's silly to be afraid of earwigs, isn't it?»

  «It is much sillier to put them into somebody's bed», said Mrs. Allen sternly. «You have been spoilt, and you think you can do what you like! You are an only child, and we love you so much, Daddy and I, that I think we have given you too many lovely things, and allowed you too much freedom.»

  «Mummy, if you send me to school, I shall be so naughty there that they'll send me back home again», said Elizabeth, shaking her curls back.

  She was a pretty girl with laughing blue eyes and dark brown curls. All her life she had done as she liked. Six governesses had come and gone, but not one of them had been able to make Elizabeth obedient or good mannered! «You can be such a nice little girl!» they had all said to her, «but all you think of is getting into mischief and being rude about it!» And now when she said that she would be so naughty at school that they would have to send her home, her mother looked at her in despair. She loved Elizabeth very much, and wanted her to be happy – but how could she be happy if she did not learn to be as other children were?

  «You have been alone too much, Elizabeth», she said. «You should have had other children to play with and to work with.»

  «I don't like other children!» said Elizabeth sulkily. It was quite true – she didn't like boys and girls at all! They were shocked at her mischief and rude ways, and when they said they wouldn't join in her naughtiness, she laughed at them and said they were babies. Then they told her what they thought of her, and Elizabeth didn't like it.

  So now the thought of going away to school and living with other boys and girls made Elizabeth feel dreadful! «Please don't send me», she begged. «I really will be good at home.»

  «No, Elizabeth», said her mother. «Daddy and I must go away for a whole year, and as Miss Scott won't stay, and we could not expect to find another governess quickly before we go. It is best you should go to school. You have a good brain and you should be able to do your work well and get to the top of the form. Then we shall be proud of you.»

  «I shan't work at all», said Elizabeth, pouting. «I won't work a bit, and they'll think I'm so stupid they won't keep me!»

  «Well, Elizabeth, if you want to make things difficult for yourself, you'll have to», said Mother, getting up. «We have written to Miss Belle and Miss Best, who run Whyteleafe School, and they are willing to take you next week, when the new term begins. Miss Scott will get all your things ready. Please help her all you can.»

  Elizabeth was very angry and upset. She didn't want to go to school. She hated everybody, especially silly children! Miss Scott was horrid to say she wouldn't stay. Suddenly Elizabeth wondered if she would stay, if she asked her very, very nicely! She ran to find her governess. Miss Scott was busy sewing Elizabeth's name on to a pile of brown stockings.

  «Are these new stockings?» asked Elizabeth, in surprise. «I don't wear stockings! I wear socks!»

  «You have to wear stockings at Whyteleafe School», said Miss Scott. Elizabeth stared at the pile, and then she suddenly put her arms round Miss Scott's neck.

  «Miss Scott!» she said. «Stay with me! I know I'm sometimes naughty, but I don't want you to go.»

  «What you really mean is that you don't want to go to school», said Miss Scott. «I suppose Mother's been telling you?»

  «Yes, she has», said Elizabeth. «Miss Scott, I won't go to school!»

  «Well, of course, if you're such a baby as to be afraid of doing what all other children do, then I've nothing more to say», said Miss Scott, beginning to sew another name on a brown stocking.

  Elizabeth stood up at once and stamped her foot. «Afraid!» she shouted. «I'm not afraid! Was I afraid when I fell off my pony? Was I afraid when our car crashed into the bank? Was I afraid when... when... when...»

  «Don't shout at me, please, Elizabeth», said Miss Scott. «I think you are afraid to go to school and mix with obedient, well-mannered, hard-working children who are not spoilt as you are. You know quite well that you wouldn't get your own way, that you would have to share everything, instead of having things to yourself as you do now, and that you would have to be punctual, polite, and obedient. And you are afraid to go!»

  «I'm not, I'm not, I'm not!» shouted Elizabeth. «I shall go! But I shall be so naughty and lazy that they won't keep me, and then I'll come back home! And you'll have to look after me again, so there!»

  «My dear Elizabeth, I shan't be here», said Miss Scott, taking another stocking. «I am going to another family, where I shall have two little boys to teach. I am going the day you go to school, so you can't come back home because I shan't be here, your father and mother will be away, and the house will be shut up!»

  Elizabeth burst into tears. She sobbed so loudly that Miss Scott, who was really fond of the spoilt, naughty girl, put her arms round her and comforted her. «Now don't be silly», she said. «Most children simply love school. It's great fun. You play games, you go for walks, all together, you have the most lovely lessons, and you will make such a lot of friends. You have no friends now, and it is a dreadful thing not to have a single friend. You are very lucky.»

  «I'm not», wept Elizabeth. «Nobody loves me. I'm very unhappy.»

  «The trouble is that people have loved you too much», said Miss Scott. «You are pretty, and merry, and rich, so you have been spoilt. People like the way you look, the way you smile, and your pretty clothes, so they fuss you, and pet you, and spoil you, instead of treating you like an ordinary child. But it isn't enough to have a pretty face and a merry smile – you must have a good heart too.»

  Nobody had spoken to Elizabeth like this before, and the little girl was ast
onished. «I have got a good heart», she said, tossing her curls back again.

  «Well, you don't show it much!» said Miss Scott. «Now run away, please, because I've got to count all these stockings, and then mark your new vests and bodices.»

  Elizabeth looked at the pile of stockings. She hated them. Nasty brown things! She wouldn't wear them! She'd take her socks to school and wear those if she wanted to! Miss Scott turned to a chest-of-drawers and began to take out some vests. Elizabeth picked up two brown stockings and pinned them toe to toe. Then she tiptoed to Miss Scott and neatly and quietly pinned them to her skirt! She skipped out of the room, giggling. Miss Scott carried the vests to the table. She began to count the stockings. There should be six pairs.

  «One – two – three – four – five», she counted. «Five. Dear me – where's the sixth?» She looked on the floor. She looked on the chair. She was really vexed. She counted the pile again. Then she went to the door and looked for Elizabeth. The little girl was pulling something out of a cupboard on the landing.

  «Elizabeth!» called Miss Scott sharply. «Have you got a pair of your brown stockings?»

  «No, Miss Scott», said Elizabeth, making her eyes look round and surprised. «Why?»

  «Because a pair is missing», said Miss Scott. «Did you take them out of this room?»

  «No, really, Miss Scott», said Elizabeth truthfully, trying not to laugh as she caught sight of the stockings swinging at Miss Scott's back. «I'm sure all the stockings are in the room, Miss Scott, really!»

  «Then perhaps your mother has a pair», said Miss Scott. «I'll go and ask her.» Off marched the governess down the landing, the pinned brown stockings trailing behind her like a tail. Elizabeth put her head into the cupboard and squealed with laughter. Miss Scott went into her mother's room. «Excuse me, Mrs. Allen», she said, «but have you one of Elizabeth's new pairs of stockings? I've only five pairs.»

  «No, I gave you them all», said Mrs. Allen, surprised. «They must be together. Perhaps you have dropped them somewhere.» Miss Scott turned to go, and Mrs. Allen caught sight of the brown stockings following Miss Scott. She looked at them in astonishment.

  «Wait, Miss Scott», she said. «What's this!» She went to Miss Scott, and unpinned the stockings.

  The governess looked at Mrs. Allen. «Elizabeth, of course!» she said.

  «Yes, Elizabeth!» said Mrs. Allen. «Always in mischief. I really never knew such a child in my life. It is high time she went to school. Don't you agree, Miss Scott?»

  «I do», said Miss Scott heartily. «You will see a different and much nicer child when you come back home again, Mrs. Allen!»

  Elizabeth was passing by, and heard what her mother and her governess were saying. She hit the door with the book she was carrying and shouted angrily. «You won't see me any different, Mother, you won't, you won't! I'll be worse!»

  «You couldn't be!» said Mrs. Allen in despair. «You really couldn't be worse!»

  Chapter 2: Elizabeth Goes to School

  For the rest of her time at home Elizabeth was very naughty and also very good.

  “I'll try being very, very good and obedient and polite and sweet, and see if Mother changes her mind” she thought. So, to the surprise of everyone, she became thoughtful, sweet-tongued, good-mannered, and most obedient.

  But it had quite the wrong effect, because, instead of saying that she would keep her at home now, her mother said something quite different! «Well, Elizabeth, now that I know what a really nice girl you can be, I'm not so afraid of sending you to school as I was», she said. «I thought you would get into such trouble and be so unhappy – but now that I see how well you really can behave, I am sure you will get on nicely at school. I am very pleased with your behaviour!»

  And you can guess what happened after that. Elizabeth at once became naughtier than she had ever been before! “If being good makes Mother feel like that, I'll see what being naughty does!” she thought.

  So she emptied the ink-bottle over the cushions in the drawing-room. She tore a hole in one of the nicest curtains. She put three black beetles into poor Miss Scott's toothbrush mug, and she squeezed the seccotine into the ends of both Miss Scott's brown shoes, so that her toes would stick there!

  «Well, all this makes it quite certain that Elizabeth needs to go to school!» said Miss Scott angrily, as she tried to get her feet out of her sticky shoes. «I'm glad to leave her! Naughty little girl! And yet she can be so sweet and nice when she likes.»

  Elizabeth's things were packed and ready. She had a neat brown trunk, with “E. Allen” painted on it in black. She had a tuck-box too, with a big currant cake inside, a box of chocolate, a tin of toffee, a jam sandwich, and a tin of shortbread.

  «You will have to share these things with the others», said Miss Scott, as she packed the things neatly inside.

  «Well, I shan't, then», said Elizabeth.

  «Very well, don't!» said Miss Scott. «If you want to show everyone what a selfish child you are, just take the chance!»

  Elizabeth put on the outdoor uniform of Whyteleafe School. It was very neat, and she looked nice in it. But then Elizabeth looked nice in anything! The outdoor uniform was a dark blue coat with a yellow edge to the collar and cuffs, a dark blue hat with a yellow ribbon round it, and the school badge at the front. Her stockings were long and brown, and her lace shoes were brown too.

  «My goodness, you do look a real schoolgirl!» said her mother, quite proudly.

  Elizabeth wouldn't smile. She stood there, sulky and angry. «I shan't stay at school long», she said. «They'll soon send me back!»

  «Don't be silly, Elizabeth», said her mother. She kissed the little girl good-bye and hugged her. «I will come and see you at half-term», she said.

  «No, Mother, you won't», said Elizabeth. «I shall be home long before that!»

  «Don't make me sad, Elizabeth!» said Mrs. Allen.

  But Elizabeth wouldn't smile or say she was sorry. She got into the car that was to take her to the station, and sat there, very cross and straight. She had said goodbye to her pony. She had said good-bye to Timmy, her dog. She had said good-bye to her canary. And to each of them she had whispered the same thing: «I'll soon be back! You'll see – they won't keep the naughtiest girl in the school for long!»

  Miss Scott took her to the station and then up to London in the train. She went with Elizabeth to a big station where trains whistled and chuffed, and people ran about in a hurry.

  «Now we must find the right platform», said Miss Scott, hurrying too. «We have to meet the teacher there, who is in charge of the girls going by this train.» They came to the right platform and went through to where a big group of girls stood with a teacher. They were all dressed in dark blue coats and hats, with yellow hat-bands like Elizabeth. The girls were of all ages, some big, some small, and most of them were chattering hard.

  Two or three stood apart, looking shy. They were the new ones, like Elizabeth. The teacher spoke to them now and again, and they smiled gratefully at her.

  Miss Scott bustled up to the teacher. «Good morning», she said. «Is this Miss Thomas? This is Elizabeth Allen. I'm glad we are in good time!»

  «Good morning», said Miss Thomas, smiling. She held out her hand to Elizabeth. «Well, dear», she said, «so you are going to join the happy crowd at Whyteleafe School!» Elizabeth put her hand behind her back and would not shake hands with Miss Thomas. The teacher looked surprised. The other children stared.

  Miss Scott blushed red, and spoke sharply to Elizabeth. «Elizabeth! Shake hands at once!» Elizabeth turned her back and looked at a train puffing nearby. «I'm so sorry she's behaving so rudely», said Miss Scott, really upset. She spoke in a low voice to Miss Thomas. «She's an only child – very, very spoilt – rich, pretty – and she doesn't want to come away to school. Just leave her alone for a bit and I expect she'll be all right.» Miss Thomas nodded. She was a merry-looking young woman, and the girls liked her.

  She was just going to say
something when a man came hurrying up with four boys. «Good morning, Miss Thomas», he said. «Here is my batch! Sorry I can't stop, I've a train to catch! Good-bye, boys!»

  «Good-bye, sir», said the four boys.

  «How many boys have you at Whyteleafe this term?» asked Miss Scott. «As many as girls?»

  «Not quite», said Miss Thomas. «There are some more boys over there, look, in charge of Mr. Johns.»

  Miss Scott liked the look of the boys, all in dark blue overcoats and blue caps with yellow badge in front. «Such a good idea», she said, «to educate boys and girls together. For a child like Elizabeth, who has no brothers, and not even a sister, it is like joining a large family of brothers and sisters and cousins, to go to a school like Whyteleafe!»

  «Oh, they'll soon knock the corners off your Elizabeth», smiled Miss Thomas. «Look – here comes our train. We have our carriages reserved for us, so I must find them. The boys have two carriages and the girls have three. Come along, girls, here's our train!» Elizabeth was swept along with the others. She was pushed into a carriage with a big label on it, “Reserved for Whyteleafe School”.

  «Good-bye, Elizabeth; good-bye, dear!» cried Miss Scott. «Do your best!»

  «Good-bye», said Elizabeth, suddenly feeling very small and lost, «I'll soon be back!» she shouted.

  «Gracious!» said a tubby little girl next to her, «a term's a long time, you know! Fancy saying you'll soon be back!»

  «Well, I shall», said Elizabeth. She was squashed in a heap by the tubby little girl and another girl on the other side, who was rather bony. She didn't like it.

  Elizabeth felt sure she would never, never learn who all the different girls were. She felt a little afraid of the big ones, and she was horrified to think there were boys at her school! Boys! Nasty, rough creatures – well. She'd show them that a girl could be rough too! The little girl sat silently as the train rattled on and on. The others chattered and talked and offered sweets round the carriage. Elizabeth shook her head when the sweets were offered to her.