In The Right Direction

May 22, 1896
Edith Bowen

“You wished to see me?” I asked.

Ms. Maple turned to look at me.

“Yes. Thank you for coming, Edith.” She replied.

Only then did I realize we were not alone. Standing behind her was the Dean. He had a serious look on his face which gave me pause. Ms. Maple seemed relaxed and given my inability to read her intentions in the past I could not determine if it was a good or bad sign.

“Miss Bowen, it is a pleasure to see you again so soon.” The Dean said. “Please have a seat.”

He gestured toward a vacant chair in front of Ms. Maples desk. It was strange to see her standing in front of her desk instead of seated behind it. The Dean stood waiting politely for us both to be seated.

“Thank you.” I said, minding my etiquette lessons for a change as I carefully sat down.

“I was impressed with you in every way at the board meeting last week.” The Dean began. “You spoke not only from your heart but with your brain. You represented the finest example of Primrose College and you should be proud.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“The board has voted in favor of proceeding, largely in result of the speeches given by yourself and two of the young men from Brown.”

I nodded.

“I understand you had something to do with the content of their final speeches.”

My mouth opened in surprise but no words came out. The Dean smiled.

“There is not much which occurs on either campus of which I am not aware.”

“Foolish of me to have thought otherwise.” I said with a mild blush gracing my cheeks.

“Not at all. I go to great lengths to ensure the students here think as you did. I am impressed with your dedication and devotion. The fact you went out of your way to influence the decision of the board speaks volumes about you. Mr. Carrington has often spoke of you in high regard and I find myself now in agreement with his opinion.”

I smiled still blushing, but feeling a touch more at ease.

“Most kind of you, sir. If I may, I assume there is a purpose beyond flattery to this meeting?” I asked.

“You assume correctly. I understand you are studying to become an educator?”

“Yes, sir. It has been my goal for the last two years. I expect to complete the requirements for degree and certification by next summer.”

“Excellent. As you might expect, there is a great deal of preparatory work to be done over the summer. In light of your goals and your apparent dedication to involving yourself in the inner workings of this school, I would like to invite you to intern with the newest member of our teaching staff.”

“I would be honored, sir.”

My heart surged with excitement.

“It will be a significant amount of work on your shoulders. While the gentleman is an experienced teacher he has never before taught at university and he has only limited experience in disciplinary matters. It will be among your duties to assist him in adapting to the policies of Primrose College. Do you feel you are capable of the task?”

“Yes, sir. I assure you I am equal to it.”

“Excellent. In the event you need assistance in your duties you may rely on Ms. Maple. She has assured me she will make herself available to you as needed.”

Ms. Maple nodded.

“Thank you.” I said.

“The gentleman’s name is Mr. Charles Birchwood. We are expecting him to arrive in June but have yet to confirm an exact date. Mr. Carrington is coordinating with him and will inform you of the precise date once it is known.”

“Very good, sir.”

“I am confident you will continue to bring pride to yourself and the college. In anticipation of your excellent assistance and work, I will pen a letter of recommendation to the state certification board. I trust that will be satisfactory compensation?”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” I replied.

The Dean then stood. Ms. Maple and I stood as well.

“Good afternoon, ladies.”

“Good afternoon, sir.” We replied.

To think Mr. Carrington thought I was in dangerous territory! Clearly matters have worked out for the best, at least for me. I do feel sorry for Penelope, suffering at the hands of Remington Drake. And of course, I cannot forget the incident with Elizabeth, but I am not convinced it had anything to do with me or my agenda. Clearly Lucy was involved in some way and I suspect it was due in part to the anonymity of the informant to the Carrington’s. We all know it was Margaret Spooner now but at the time Lucy must have thought Elizabeth behind it and sought revenge in advance.

I could be wrong, but for now the pieces of the puzzle fit nicely together.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Surprise, surprise, and episode without somebody being beaten.
Warm hugs,