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“I’m sure a few of you remember Celia Cryer, an old girl,” she began decorously. “She left a trophy when she left the school, to be awarded to the most promising Fifth Former at any time. It has not been awarded for a number of terms, we not deigning any girl suitable.

"However, the matter has been recently brought to my attention, and I have realised that there is one girl in the Fifth Form who fulfils all the criteria entailed to the trophy. And so, to conclude, I am pleased to offer the Celia Cryer Cup for Outstanding Fifth Form Leadership and Resource to Cina Lee!”

Cheers erupted with astonishing gusto, for, though she was liked, Cina’s popularity was seldom acclaimed. Cina herself, sitting near the back of the Hall, went alternatively white and red, and it is to be owned that a few of her pals were called upon to push her to her feet. She mounted the platform and shook the outstretched hand of her headmistress.

“Well done, Cina!” congratulated Miss Timber. “You deserve it.”

“Thanks, but I really didn’t do anything at all except persuade Nellie Russell to do what she would’ve done anyway,” Cina said.

“You’ve been a friend to her,” said Miss Timber. “That’s worth far more than any heroic effort on your part, and I know Celia Cryer would think the same.”

Cina smiled as she turned to the cheering school, and raised an eyebrow in the blissful revelation of self-recognition. Nellie Russell promptly jumped up from her place right in the corner and cried out, “Three cheers for Cina! Hip hip!”

“Hooray!” whooped the school, and Cina grimaced inwardly.

And so the Term of the Most Unreliable Sixth Form Ever ended, happy for all. Even Nellie was happy, for she was going to spend a week of the holidays with her friend Cina and the Lee family, and several days with Ken Peters in Scotland; for Ken felt that she had to make it up to Nellie over the post box incident in which the younger girl had been unfairly blamed.

It was also the first term of the new room, the Pet Room—and the last term of that room. Though most likely it would have made sound progress during the summer, Miss Timber elected wisely to close it down with the remark that it was unnecessary and destined for trouble.

So the two protagonists of this tale—Nellie Russell and Cina Lee—went off on their homeward journey with happy smiles and reinstated self-value.

The End

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