The Sky is Falling

The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson

Book: The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kit Pearson
she found was called Elsie Dinsmore . Its spongy pages were spotted with mildew; “Mary Ogilvie” was written on the flyleaf in careful round handwriting. It was a strange book, about a repulsively good little girl who was very religious. Norah struggled along with it until dinner.
    T HAT EVENING Norah had a telephone call. “For me?” she asked with disbelief. Who knew her in Canada?
    â€œHello, Norah, this is Dulcie!” said the high, nervous voice.
    â€œHello, Dulcie,” said Norah without enthusiasm. Still, it cheered her up to hear someone familiar.
    â€œIsn’t it super that we live in the same neighbourhood? The Milnes are ever so nice. We’ve had a holiday since we arrived. What I was wondering was … do you think we could try to sit next to each other at school tomorrow? It’s quite a large school, Aunt Dorothy says …”
    What she was really asking was if they could stick together as if they were friends. The Smiths had onlycome to Ringden two years ago. Norah remembered how scared Dulcie had looked on her first day of school and how the other children had taken advantage of this to tease her.
    Norah had never been a new girl. She had always been one of the most popular people in her class—surely that would carry on. It was flattering that Dulcie recognized her superior position.
    â€œI’ll see what I can do,” she said grandly.
    â€œOh, thank you, Norah!” said Dulcie. “See you tomorrow!”
    Aunt Florence came into the hall. “Off to bed with you, now,” she said briskly. “You and Gavin have a big day tomorrow. I don’t know how that delicate little boy is going to bear it.”

    â€œNow in School and Liking It”
    A s if Aunt Florence had willed it, Gavin woke up the next morning too sick to go to school. His nose streamed, he had a croaky cough and his forehead was hot.
    Aunt Florence moved him downstairs into the bedroom opposite hers and settled him against lofty pillows under a mountain of blankets. When Norah left with Aunt Mary she could hear the rich voice coaxing, “Would you like me to read Winnie-the-Pooh to you? I once knew a little boy who loved that story.”
    The walk to Prince Edward School was not long; they reached the two-storey red brick building much sooner than Norah wished. She tried not to flinch from the curious stares of the children standing around in noisy groups. Aunt Mary took her inside to look for the head-master; she called him the “principal”.
    The principal’s secretary told them to wait in the outer office. They sat on a hard bench and listened to adeep voice talking on the telephone from behind a frosted glass door. Soon Dulcie and Lucy bounced up, accompanied by a complacent-looking, smiling woman.
    â€œGood morning, Miss Ogilvie,” she said. “This must be Norah. I’m so pleased that Dulcie and Lucy will have friends from home. But where’s your little brother?”
    Aunt Mary explained about Gavin. Mrs. Milne introduced her to the Smiths and said that Derek was going to high school. “He’s such a clever boy, they’ve put him ahead a year. Isn’t it a privilege to have the care of these children, Miss Ogilvie? The Reverend and I didn’t realize how empty our lives were until they came. Already I feel as if they are part of the family.” She plumped the bow in Lucy’s hair and kissed her fondly.
    â€œMr. Evans would like to talk to the ladies first,” interrupted the secretary. She led Aunt Mary and Mrs. Milne behind the glass door and then left the office. “You wait here quietly,” she told the children. “He’ll see you in a few minutes.”
    â€œMiss Ogilvie seems very nice,” said Dulcie. Her rash, like Lucy’s lisp, had disappeared. “What’s Mrs. Ogilvie like? Uncle Cedric says she’s a dragon, but a pillar of support for the church.”

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