Mr. Steedstiff spent most of the hour reviewing my completed primers. He frowned and sighed frequently. My spirits sank lower with each raised eyebrow or shake of the head. At quarter after nine, he whispered in Ann’s ear. She fairly bounced off her chair with a grin and disappeared into an anteroom. He followed shortly and firmly closed the door. Lily and Sara exchanged smirks but kept working through their lessons. As the clocks chimed half past, Ann reemerged, preening as a cat in the creamery. Her tongue swiped the corner of her mouth and she daintily licked her fingertips.
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