No Greater Love

Stephanie Cole is a girl who loves the spotlight. She will do anything to get it, anything at all. But when suspicions arise about her life and her being the cause for a former teachers suicide she is all too quick to run from her love of the light. But when she is reported missing it falls to Detective Inspector Henry Quinton and his DC Wilson Drake to find her before something terrible happens. Soon St. Grandorf's school for girls is back to normal and Stephanie is home again yet when she is found murdered there are a number of suspects for Quinton to look at before he can find the true perpetrator of this terrible crime....

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19. Mister Barrows become Head tutor of St. Grandorf’s and Stephanie Cole goes back to school

Chapter Nineteen:

 

Mister Barrows become Head tutor of St. Grandorf’s and Stephanie Cole goes back to school

 

As would be expected with this type of weather many of the local schools were closed. It was, however not the case for St. Grandorf’s. We were all telephoned that previous evening by Mister Barrows and we were told that the school would be open as usual. Nevertheless, some of the pupils were either unable to turn up or simply didn’t want to “risk” the traitorous journey from the large country estates into the streets of London and then on towards the large red rectangular building that was St. Grandorf’s school for girls.

 

It was just before nine O’clock but I wasn’t in a lesson. Today was a day that Mr. Barrows had called an assembly. He would however, firstly give us a “quick” little chat as he put it. So there we were the thirteen of us. The Art tutors, the English tutors and the History tutors and of course the Language Tutors as well. We all sat in the lime green walled room with a cup of tea and a biscuit and simply chatted. It was all quite cosy, not like a school at all. We waited there for what felt like an age (the number of biscuits forever decreasing) before finally Mr. Barrows waddled in. There was something different about him today, he seemed smarter somehow. Not to say that he didn’t look smart normally but to say that his clothes seemed smarter and newer. Maybe it was just me? But then again I got the feeling that the others were also looking at Barrows and were also trying to figure out what was different about the deputy head tutor. Barrows continued his waddle until he was almost in the centre of the room. He cleared his throat and gave a big, fat smile to all of us. We waited, ears pricked.

“I have some sad news; unfortunately Mrs. Francis has lost her battle. Her funeral shall take place one week from today.” He bellowed.

“Then who will take over as head tutor?” Asked Mr. Tudor the only male English tutor in the entire school.

“A very good question Andrew.” Bellowed Barrows.

The man smiled as he received the “compliment”.

“Two nights ago I was telephoned by the board. They have told me that the school will have a new head’ installed immediately. They will stay in the position for the next term at least and then the board will look at the situation a little further.”

“So who is the new head then?” asked another staff member.

I relaxed in my chair; I had already seen the glint in Barrows eye and knew what was a moment from coming.

“Well, it may come as some surprise to you but… well your new head tutor is…is me.” Barrows smiled.

It took a moment for the staff to take the news in, but it took just a second for them to start crawling up his backside.

In just a second the room had gone from a deadly, slightly awkward silence into a lime green walled room filled to the rafters with “oh congratulations” and “I hope you have many happy years”. It was pathetic. Absolutely pathetic to see them do such a thing. I knew exactly what they were up to. Now that they knew that a job would be available as deputy head-tutor they would all start to try and earn so-called “brownie points” which would keep them all busy for weeks and fill them with anticipation

Though I didn’t approve of what the other staff members were doing I did find myself soon congratulating Mister Barrows myself. I shook his large, flabby hand and smiled before too saying “…I hope you enjoy it sir…” before leaving the room and readying myself for the first lesson of the day. I was meant to be at the assembly but I had had enough of people crawling up people’s backsides. And I had to check the grades of Mrs. Stephanie Cole, who apparently was in school today…

 I waited in my room for another hour. I was busy preparing for my class to come back from their assembly, it seemed strange but it felt as though I was anxious to see whether or not the rumours were true or not.. I had taken some of their books in from the previous lesson and had marked their work, all of which was rather good. I myself felt like a little school girl, all giddy and wobbly-kneeded. They were five minutes late but I put that down to Mister Barrows and him most likely dragging on the fact that he was the new head and how he would try and uphold the reputation of St. Grandorf’s and exedra, exedra and exedra.

The class were chatting a little as they sat down and I allowed them to as I wrote the Latin onto the blackboard.

“Right then class. We are to continue with what we were doing last lesson, if you can remember that.” I looked around the room. And then I saw her, she was staring at her book to see what comments I had made. She seemed quieter and less attention seeking. Whether this was true or not I don’t know but that was my first perception of the girl whom had been in the papers.

“I have marked your books and I must stress my pleasure in finding out that I have a class of such fantastic ability.” The girls suddenly took interest in what I was saying and all smiled at me. Their eyes beaming like shining stars on a clear black background of the dark night sky.

“Sir.” Suddenly the girl looked up from her book.

“Yes Miss Cole?” I starred straight at her.

“You haven’t marked my book, sir.” She held up the green covered exercise book.

“Oh, I’m sure I did do Miss Cole.” I was sure that I had marked it, in fact I was sure that it had been at the top of my pile and that it was the one that I had marked first.

“It doesn’t matter sir.” She re-placed the book onto her desk, she seemed paler than she had been and much more nervous. Like a frightened mouse and looking at me as if I was a growling fox.

“I’ll see to it Miss Cole, do not worry.” I smiled at her. She barely managed to smile back. She seemed scared, but what of?

 

 

 

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