The following day the three met in the shed after school, at least two of them breathless with anticipation. Rosetta would not talk about their out of school activities inside school, holding fast even when exposed to heights of coaxing and bullying that many others would've given in to in a short time, so Carla and Jessie awaited the verdict with bated breath.

"£83.31," Rosetta said. She did not tease them as Carla certainly would have done, but went straight to the point.

"We could buy loads with that!" exclaimed Carla. "We could paint this place!"

"Let's leave that idea for the holidays," Jess said. "We need to get rid of the spiders first."

Once they had got over the initial excitement, Rosetta called them to attention.

"Now, what's the next thing to be discussed?"

"Did you know that Alice Mandalay is leaving our school and going to Wales to live?" Jessie said eagerly.

"That's gossip!" Rosetta dismissed. "Next!"

Carla giggled excitedly. She knew how dead aginst gossip Rosetta was, and how Jess had an inbuilt tendency towards it.

"There's the Vienna problem," Jessica said doubtfully. "And it is a problem at the moment, because she's having a party on Friday and she's invited us."

"That's not a problem," Carla said. "I've already refused her invitation. Haven't you?"

"Not yet. It's in the pocket of the trousers I wore three weeks ago. And they've been through the wash since," Rosetta said anxiously.

Carla laughed. "Then that's finished!"

"It's rude not to answer an invitation, even if it's a refusal," Rosetta reproved.

"Mine's at the back of my sock drawer," Jessica put forward. "I'm going to read it all the same."

"I didn't," Carla said complacently. "I just signed the slip at the end saying I couldn't come, tore it off and sent it back."

"Doesn't your mum notice these things?"

"She was tired when I got the invite, and happened to stay in bed most of the day," Carla explained.

"Well, when I go home I'm going to read the invitaion," Rosetta said. "And my presence at the party will depend on what I find."

"Me too!" Jessica cried.

Carla looked at them both with a murderous expression.

The End

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