The Naughtiest Girl AgainEnid Blyton
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Back at Whyteleafe
Chapter 2: Settling Down
Chapter 3: Elizabeth Makes an Enemy
Chapter 4: What Happened at the Meeting
Chapter 5: Elizabeth Is Very Cross
Chapter 6: Jenny's White Mice
Chapter 7: Kathleen in Trouble
Chapter 8: Another School Meeting
Chapter 9: Kathleen Plays Some Tricks
Chapter 10: Excitement in Class!
Chapter 11: More Trouble
Chapter 12: A Very Serious Meeting
Chapter 13: Robert Gets a Chance
Chapter 14: The Day of the Match
Chapter 15: Kathleen Owns Up
Chapter 16: Kathleen Runs Away
Chapter 17: Clearing Up a Few Troubles
Chapter 18: Things Are Better!
Chapter 19: A Peaceful Week
Chapter 20: The Great Lacrosse Match
Chapter 21: The End of the Match
Chapter 22: Elizabeth in Trouble Again
Chapter 23: A Thrill for Joan
Chapter 24: A Horrid Adventure
Chapter 25: Elizabeth Is Very Tiresome
Chapter 26: A Marvellous Surprise!
The Naughtiest Girl Again
Chapter 1: Back at Whyteleafe
Elizabeth was excited. The long summer holidays were almost over, and it was time to think of going back to school. Her mother, Mrs. Allen, was busy getting all her things ready, and Elizabeth was helping her to pack the big trunk.
«Oh, Mummy, it's fun to think I'll see all my friends again soon!» said Elizabeth. «It's lovely to be going back to Whyteleafe School once more. The winter term ought to be great fun.»
Her mother looked at Elizabeth and laughed. «Elizabeth», she said, «do you remember what a fuss you made about going away to school for the first time last term? Do you remember how you said you would be so naughty and disobedient that you would soon be sent back home again? I'm glad to see you so happy this term – looking forward to going back.»
«Oh, Mummy, I was stupid and silly», said Elizabeth, going red as she remembered herself a few months back. «Goodness, when I remember the things I said and did! Do you know, I wouldn't even share the cakes and things I took back? And I was so awfully rude and naughty in class – and I just wouldn't go to bed at the right time or do anything I was told. I was quite, quite determined to be sent back home!»
«And after all you weren't sent back, because you found you wanted to stay», said Mrs. Allen, with a smile. «Well, well – I hope you won't be the naughtiest girl in the school this term.»
«I don't expect I shall», said Elizabeth. «I shan't be the best either – because I do fly into tempers, you know, and I don't think before I speak. I'm sure to get into trouble of some sort! But never mind, I'll get out of it again, and I'll really do my best this term.»
«Good girl», said her mother, shutting down the lid of the trunk. «Now look, Elizabeth – this is your tuck-box. I've put a tin of toffees in, a big chocolate cake, a tin of shortbread, and a large pot of black-currant jam. That's all I can get in. But I think it's enough, don't you?»
«Oh, yes, thank you, Mummy», said Elizabeth joyfully. «The others will love all those. I wonder if Joan's mother will give her a tuck-box this term.»
Joan was Elizabeth's friend. She had been to stay with Elizabeth in the summer holidays and the two had had a lovely time together. Then Joan had gone back home again for a week or two before school began. Elizabeth was looking forward to seeing her friend again – what fun to sleep in the same dormitory together, to sit in the same form, and to play the same games! Elizabeth had told her mother all about Whyteleafe School. It was a school for boys and girls together, and the children ruled themselves, and were seldom punished by the masters or mistresses. Every week a big School Meeting was held, and all the children had to attend. The Head Boy and Girl were the Judges, and twelve monitors, chosen by the children themselves, were the Jury. Any grumbles or complaints had to be brought to the Meeting, and if any child had behaved wrongly, the children themselves thought out a suitable punishment.
Poor Elizabeth had suffered badly at the weekly Meetings, for she had been so naughty and disobedient, and had broken every rule in the school. But now she had come to see that good behaviour was best not only for herself but for the whole school too, and she was very much looking forward to everything. Perhaps this term she could show just how good she could be, instead of just how naughty! She was to leave the next day. Everything was packed up. She had a new lacrosse stick and a new hockey stick, for both games were played at Whyteleafe. Elizabeth was very proud of these. She had never played either game before, but she meant to be very good indeed at them. How she would run! What a lot of goals she would shoot! Her mother took her up to London to catch the train that was ready to take her and the other girls to the school. Elizabeth danced on to the London platform, and cried out in delight to see all her friends waiting there.
«Joan! You're here first! Oh, how do you do, Mrs. Townsend! Have you come to see Joan off?»
«Yes», said Mrs. Townsend. «How do you do, Mrs. Allen? I'm glad to see the naughtiest girl in the school looking so delighted to be going back to Whyteleafe again!»
«Oh, don't tease me», said Elizabeth. «I'm not the naughtiest girl any more! Oh, look – there's Nora! Nora, Nora! Did you have good holidays?»
Nora, tall and dark, turned and waved to Elizabeth. «Hallo, kid!», she said. «So you're coming back again, are you? Dear, dear, we shall have to make a whole set of new rules for you, I expect.»
Mrs. Townsend laughed. «There you are, Elizabeth!», she said. «Everybody will tease you. They will find it hard to forget how naughty you were in your first term at Whyteleafe!»
«Look! There's Harry!» cried Joan. «Harry! You know those rabbits you gave Elizabeth and me last term? Well, they're grown up now, and they've got babies of their own. I've got two of them with me to take back to school for my own pets.»
«Good!» said Harry. «Hallo, Elizabeth! How brown you are! Hi, John – here's Elizabeth! You'd better start planning your winter gardening with her.»
John Terry came up. He was a tall, strong boy, about twelve years old, so fond of gardening that he was head of the school garden, under Mr. Johns, a master. He and Elizabeth had planned all kinds of things for the winter term.
«Hallo, Elizabeth!», he said. «Have you brought that gardening book you promised? Good! We'll have some fun this term, digging, and burning up rubbish!» The two of them talked eagerly for a minute or two, and then another boy came up, dark-haired and serious-faced. He took Elizabeth's arm.
«Hallo, Richard!» said Elizabeth. «You are a mean thing – you said you'd write to me and you didn't! I bet you haven't practised once during the holidays!» Richard smiled. He was a splendid musician for his age and could play both piano and violin beautifully. He and Elizabeth shared a great love for music, and the two of them had been twice encored when they had played duets at the school concert.
«I went to stay with my grandfather», he said. «He has a really marvellous violin, and he let me use it. I just didn't think of anything but music all the time I was on holiday. Thanks for your card. The writing was so bad that I could only read your name at the end – but still, thanks all the same!»
«Oh!» began Elizabeth indignantly, and then she saw the twinkle in Richard's eye, and laughed. «Oh, Richard, I hope Mr. Lewis lets us learn duets again this term!»
«Say good-bye to your people now», said Miss Ranger, coming up to the little group. «The train is just going. Find places as quickly as you can.» Miss Ranger w
as Elizabeth's form-mistress. She was strict, very just, and quite a jolly person. Elizabeth and Joan were delighted to see her again. She smiled at them and went on to the next group.
«Do you remember how Miss Ranger sent you out of the room last term for flipping your rubber at people!» said Joan, with a giggle, as the two of them jumped into a carriage. Elizabeth laughed. She turned to her mother.
«Good-bye, Mummy darling!», she said. «You needn't worry about me this term! I'll do my best, not my worst!»
The engine whistled loudly. Every boy and girl was now safely in the train. The mothers, fathers, uncles, and aunts waved good-bye. The train pulled out of the station and London was soon left behind.
«Now we're really off!» said Elizabeth. She looked round the carriage. Belinda was there, and Nora. Harry had got in, and John Terry too. John was already pulling out a bag of sweets. He offered them round. Everybody took one, and soon chatter and laughter filled the carriage, as the children told about their holidays.
«Is there anybody new this term, I wonder!» said Joan.
«I haven't seen anyone yet.»
«Yes – there are two or three newcomers», said John. «I saw a boy down the other end of the train, and a couple of girls. I should think they'd be in your form. I didn't like the look of the boy much – sulky-looking creature!»
«What are the girls like?» asked Joan. But John hadn't noticed. «Anyway, we shall soon see what they're like when we arrive», said Joan. «I say, Elizabeth, what have you got in your tuck-box? My mother has given me a huge box of chocolates, a ginger-cake, a tin of golden syrup, and a jam sponge sandwich»
«Sounds good!» said Elizabeth. The children began to talk about their tuck-boxes, and the time flew past as the train roared on its way.
At last the long journey was over and the train came to a stop at a little country platform. The boys and girls jumped down from their carriages and ran to take their places in two coaches.
«Let's look out for the first glimpse of Whyteleafe School!» said Elizabeth, as the coaches rumbled off. «Oh, look – there it is! Isn't it lovely!» The children stared up the hill on the top of which was their school. All of them were glad to see it again. Here and there the creeper up the walls was beginning to turn red, and the windows shone in the autumn sun.
Through an enormous archway rumbled the coaches, and up to the front door. Elizabeth remembered the first time she had arrived there, five months before, at the beginning of the summer term. How she had hated it! Now she was glad to jump down the coach-steps with the other children and race into the school.
She looked round for the new girls and boy. She saw them standing rather forlornly together, wondering where to go. Elizabeth took Joan's arm. «Let's go and look after the new ones», she said. «They're looking a bit lost.»
«Right!» said Joan, and they went up to the three children. They were all about eleven or twelve years old, though the boy was big for his age.
«Come with us and we'll show you where to wash, and where to go for dinner», said Elizabeth. They all looked at her gratefully. Rita, the Head Girl, came by just then, and beamed at Elizabeth.
«So you've taken the new-comers under your wing», she said. «I was just coming to see about them. Good! Thanks, Elizabeth and Joan!»
«That's the Head Girl», said Elizabeth to the boy and two girls. «And look – that's William, our Head Boy. They're both fine. Come on, I'll show you the cloakrooms and we can all wash.»
Off they all went, and were soon washing and drying themselves in the big cloakroom downstairs. Then into the dining-hall they went, hungry as hunters. How glad they were to smell a good stew, and see the carrots and onions floating in it!
«It's grand to be back again!» said Elizabeth, looking happily round, and smiling at all the faces she knew. «I wonder what adventures we'll have this term.»
«Perhaps we shan't have any», said Joan.
But she was wrong. Plenty of things were going to happen that term!
Chapter 2: Settling Down
Everything soon settled down. Except for a few new children, the girls and boys were the same as the term before.
Some had gone up into a higher form, and felt rather grand for the first few days. The new boy and two new girls were all in Elizabeth's form. Miss Ranger took down their names: “Jennifer Harris, Kathleen Peters, Robert Jones”.
Jennifer was a jolly-looking girl, with straight hair cut short, and a thick fringe. Her brown eyes twinkled, and the other girls felt that she would be good fun.
Kathleen Peters was a pasty-faced girl, very plain and spotty. Her hair was greasy-looking, and she had a very unpleasant expression, almost a scowl. Nobody liked her at all, those first few days.
Robert Jones was a big boy for his age, with a rather sullen face, though when he smiled he was quite different.
«I don't like Robert's mouth, do you!» said Joan to Elizabeth. «His lips are so thin and pursed up. He doesn't look very kind.»
«Oh well, we can't help our mouths!» said Elizabeth.
«I think you're wrong there», said Joan. «I think people make their own faces, as they grow.»
Elizabeth laughed. «Well, it's a pity poor Kathleen Peters didn't make a better face for herself», she said.
«Sh!» said Joan. «She'll hear!»
The first week went by slowly. New books were given out, and lovely new pencils and pens. The children were given their places in class, and Joan and Elizabeth sat next to one another, much to their delight. They were by the window and could see out into the flowery garden.
Any child who wanted to could help in the garden. John Terry was willing to give anyone a patch, providing they would promise to keep it properly. These little patches, backing on to an old sunny wall, were interesting little spots. Some children liked to grow salads, some grew flowers, and one child, who loved roses better than anything, had six beautiful rose-trees and nothing else.
Elizabeth didn't want a patch. She wanted to help John in the much bigger garden of which he was in charge. She was longing to make plans with him about it. She had all kinds of ideas about gardens, and had read her gardening book from end to end twice during the holidays.
The children were allowed to have their own pets, though not dogs or cats, as these were too difficult to deal with, and could not be kept in cages. Some children had rabbits, some had guinea-pigs, a few had fantail pigeons that lived in a big pigeon-house on a pole, and one or two had canaries or goldfish. It was fun having pets. Not all the children kept them – only those who were fond of animals or birds. The pets were kept in a big airy shed not far from the stables where the horses were kept that the children were allowed to ride.
Hens and ducks were kept, of course, and although these belonged to the school, any child who wished, could help to care for them and feed them. There were three beautiful Jersey cows in the meadow, too, and one girl and boy milked these every day. They had to be up early in the morning, but they didn't mind at all. It was fun!
Jennifer Harris had some pets. They were small white mice, and she was very fond of them indeed. They were kept in a big cage, and she cleaned it out every day, so that it was spotless. No one else had white mice at that time, and Elizabeth and Joan went with Jennifer to see them.
«Aren't they sweet!» said Jennifer, letting a mouse run up her sleeve. «Do you see their pink eyes? Elizabeth, would you like to let that one run up your sleeve? It's such a lovely feeling.»
«Well, I don't think I will, thank you», said Elizabeth politely. «It may be a lovely feeling to you, but it might not be for me.»
«Hallo! Are these your white mice, Jennifer?» asked Harry, coming up. «I say, aren't they lovely? Golly – you've got one peeping out from your neck – did you know?»
«Oh yes», said Jennifer. «Take it, Harry. It will run up your sleeve and come out at your neck, too.»
Sure enough it did! It ran up the boy's sleeve, and soon its tiny nose was peeping out behind his collar. Jo
«I really don't think I could bear that», she said.
The bell rang and the mice were hurriedly put back into their cage. Joan went to have a last peep at her two rabbits. They were fat and contented. She shared them with Elizabeth and was very fond of them indeed. Tea-time and supper-time the first week were lovely, because the children were allowed to take what they liked from their tuck-boxes. How they enjoyed the cakes, sandwiches, sweets, chocolates, potted meat, and jams they brought back with them! Everybody shared, though the new boy, Robert, didn't look too pleased about it, and Elizabeth noticed that Kathleen Peters did not offer any of her sweets round, though she shared her potted meat readily enough.
Elizabeth remembered how selfish she had been about sharing her own things at the beginning of her first term, so she held her tongue and said nothing.
“I can't very well blame other people for a thing I've done myself” she thought. «I'm jolly glad I'm different now!»
The big happening of each week was the School Meeting. The whole school attended, and any of the masters and mistresses who wished to. The two head-mistresses, Miss Belle and Miss Best, always came, and Mr. Johns usually came too. But they sat at the back, and did not take any part in the Meeting unless the children called upon them for help.
It was a kind of school Parliament, where the children made their own rules, heard grumbles and complaints, judged one another, and punished bad behaviour.
It was not pleasant to have one's faults brought before the whole school and dismissed, but on the other hand it was much better for everyone to know their own failings and have them brought out into the open, instead of fearing them and keeping them secret, so that they grew bigger. Many a child had been cured for always of such things as cheating or lying by having the sympathy and help of the whole school.
The first School Meeting was held about a week after school began. The girls and boys filed into the gym, where a big table had been placed for the twelve monitors, who were the Jury. These had been chosen at the last Meeting of the summer term, and would remain monitors for a month, when they could either be chosen again, or others put into their place.