* * *
Miss Timber was in bed for the following few days with a cracking headache, so Nellie decided not to bother her or any of the staff, who were rather worried. She felt she ought to tell someone about the latest example of the continued bullying, and yet she felt that Stacie Whitt would do not more good than the harassed staff—though for rather different reasons! The staff would be focussed on Miss Timber’s headache, but Stacie not only had a liking for dictator-like leadership—as did Mel—but she also scorned reporting and tale-telling alike, seeing them as one and the same.
All in all, the occurrence never reached the ears of any except those three who resided inside the deception—two implentors and one victim. Miss Timber, laid down by her inclination towards developing migraines at times, was wholly unaware of the unpleasant happenings in her school.
Nellie was not frantic with anxiety over any of the many sectors in her school life which would have agitated less courageous persons. She was not resentful or unforgiving of her persecutors’ treatment of her. She was not proud or seeking attention in her sorry plight. Not wholly self-contained, she did not shut herself away from the world. She was merely calm, self-chiding, and resumed her friendly mask as if nothing had happened. She was as jolly as jolly with all concerned, though this jolliness constituted the reverse of chumminess.
Nellie Russell was one of the rare kind who carry burdens with as much outward cheer as inward common sense. She tended to forget wisdom at the time of disaster, but made up for it through the consequences with unfailing composure, courage and good will.
There was a school post box situated near the secretary’s office at the front entrance. Twice a week it was emptied by those selected for the job, one representative from each form and a handful of prefects. Sensibly, Miss Timber, had ordained that the secretary must always attend and oversee the letter sorting, a provisional rule for the arrival of some letter undesirable for a schoolgirl.
Nellie Russell, accompanied by Stacie Whitt, Kendra Peters, Alyssa Tinton, Maggie Haroldson and Klipso Mooning, hurried heavily in a body to the ‘Post Office’ one Thursday, where a bunch of lower formers were congregated in attendance for their arrival. The post box was fair-sized, though it was on the verge of bulging point at the time.