I'm happy, very happy. But Peter isn't and Miss Scunthorpe isn't and Catherine certainly isn't. Why's that?
It got worse, Miss Stiltoe looked miserable and just sat there. What to do?
Go and ask Cook, what else? On the way I bumped into Henry.
“Why are you looking so unhappy, Henry?”
“Oh, don't you ask!”
I put my arms round him and kissed him on the end of his nose.
“Thank you, Jennffer, but I must go now.”
On the way I bumped into misery number two. “Catherine! Don't say anything! Just maul me!”
It was the worse mauling I'd ever had, just lifeless. “Catherine, listen to me! I know what has happened. You have had an argument with Henry. He is not talking to you and you are not talking to him. Right? Yes, of course I'm right.”
“Just listen to me! You go straight to Henry. Tell him that you accept his apology, that you have forgiven him and that you love...”
“But, Jennffer, he hasn't apologised to me.”
“That has got nothing to do with it. Just tell him that you accept his apology and give him a terrific mauling. Don't give him a chance to say a word. Tell him everything you like about him. Just do it, right now!”
When I reached the kitchens a mug of cocoa was waiting for me. “Cook has been expecting you. What do you want to know, Jennffer?”
“Why are they unhappy, Cook? And you know who I mean, don't you?”
“Well, Jennffer, I don't know about your Peter and your Miss Scunthorpe, really not, I can't read minds. And I don't know why Miss Stiltoe is unhappy either, but I can guess.”
“Miss Stiltoe is unhappy, I think, because her girlfriend has left her.”
“Cook, what girlfriend?”
“Jennffer! Put two and two together! Think! Who has disappeared this week? And why are you giving history lessons to the younger girls?”
“You mean, Miss Stiltoe and Miss Hargreaves are that close, or were that close. I didn't know.”
“No surprise, Jennffer. Miss Stiltoe is a very private person and so is Miss Hargreaves. However Miss Hargreaves has a big problem, she is terribly jealous. Anyone speaks to Miss Stiltoe and she gets upset.”
“There is one person who is always talking to Miss Stiltoe and really upsets Miss Hargreaves. On Monday it was too much for Miss Hargreaves, they had a big row and Miss Hargreaves stormed off.”
“Oh, who is that person?”
“Oh, Jennffer, it's you, you silly sausage!”
The ball bearings in my brain rolled into the right holes and everything was much clearer. I had to get Miss Hargreaves back, but how?
“I'll give you a tip, Jennffer. When Miss Hargreaves disappears, she goes to her mother in the big city.”
That evening I went to the clubhouse. There were the usual drinking crowd. I waited for the President of the club, he was normally there on Wednesday evenings for the weekly meeting.
“You gotta a gun?”
The President of the club took a handgun from a pocket and put it on the table. He added two clips of ammunition from another pocket.
I took it to the firing range. The President of the club followed me and put on ear protection. I fired two shots – it made a real mess of the target card.
“This is a real make-my-day sorta gun. I'm gonna need this.”