“Tabby and Van got up and joined her at the window, looking to where she was pointing. Three girls, in their mid-teens, were moving quietly across the lawn, taking care to stay away from any light source. They were carrying what seemed to be a body dressed in professor’s robes, and obviously giggling as they went.
“Now who, I wonder, is that supposed to be?” Tabby asked.
“Yes,” Van said, “and who is the unsuspecting recipient?”
The three retired teachers chuckled, looked at each other, and as one, rushed for the door. Silently they went down the stairs, and out into the quadrangle. Moving softly and carefully, they followed the girls. Out of the quad they went, and up to the Caldwell block, shifting their burden as they went. They paused, and Lisa, Tabby and Van ducked into the deep shadow under a tree as the girls looked around. Seeing no one, the girls went up the steps, and into the block.
“Hmm…” Lisa whispered. “Which one of the female Dons would they be after? Not miss Wilson, they all seem to like her.”
“No, not her,” Van said, “nor Miss Simpson. She’s strict, but they all think she is fair.”
“I’ll bet I know,” Tabby giggled. “Miss Perkins! She and Mr. Wallace have been seen together, but only at se distance from the school. They are either having an affair, or are married, and I think it’s the latter. I’ve seen them both coming out of a flat over on Grosvenor Street; never together, but no more than five minutes apart. And I saw her peeking out of a window once, waving goodbye to him. She had the silliest smile on her face, almost simpering, and he was just as bad, waving his fingers at her.”
“Oh, my. That’s not good, since academy rules forbid anything other than professional relationships between teachers. But why would those girls want to expose them? I thought the students liked both of them.” Van shook her head in dismay.
“Oh!” I know! Look at the mannequin; it’s made to look like Miss Thompkins. She is not liked at all, but if those two come in and find what seems to be her standing outside their apartment, it should give them a scare. Maybe the girls are trying to warn them about discovery.” Lisa looked at the others. “If that’s what they’re doing, I hope it works.”
“Yes, that is a thought. I know both Miss Thompkins and Mr. Archer are very nosy types, and I have seen them poking around in this neighbourhood.” Tabby sighed, and tapped her lips with a finger. “I think it would be a shame, and give the school a bad name, if those two were fired, or forced to resign, just because they fell in love.”
“Right! We have to do something, and do it tonight. I know all of the board like both Perkins and Wallace. I’ve heard them many times, saying what an honour it is to have them teaching here. Come on, I’m going to see how many of the board we can get together tonight. All we have to do is tell them what’s happening, and I know the majority will vote immediately to remove that ban.”
The three old ladies hurried back to the quad, each to her own room, where they made several phone calls. Soon they were gathered in Lisa’s room again. “I got the president, vice, and treasurer,” Lisa said. They are all on their way over. We must get to the committee room and get it ready. They were going to pick up others on the way.”
“I got four others, and they’re coming too.” Tabby said.
“I only got two, but they were upset at the thought of losing Perkins and Wallace over such an out of date rule. Mary Saunders said she’d have to bring her children, but she’s coming. One of us can take care of the children while they have a meeting. We seem to have reached a quorum, so whatever they decide can be announced in the morning at assembly.” Lisa smiled. We’ve done it, she thought. And Perkins and Wallace can live like a normal married couple. She felt very satisfied.
Morning assembly started out as usual, but when the president of the board of directors walked out on the stage, it caused a great stir. That just never happened!
“I have a short announcement to make. It was brought to our attention last night that there has been an outdated rule on the books that put two of our best teachers at risk of losing their positions. This Accademy is known for the excellence of its graduates, and the high quality of its curriculum. To lose two of our best instructors because of an archaic rule was something we just could not countenance. Last night almost the entire board met, and voted to rescind the rule banning personal relationships between members of the staff. That includes allowing marriage, if two of the staff so desire.” She sat down.
The entire student body leapt to their feet and cheered, jumping up and down, clapping hands and hugging each other. Suddenly a chant started “Perkins, Wallace, Perkins, Wallace” it went on and on. Miss Perkins and Mr. Wallace both tried to fade into the woodwork, but the Board President stood, and raised her hands for silence. When the noise faded out, she held out her hands.
Miss Perkins, Mr. Wallace, please come here.” She was smiling, and slowly the two made their way up onto the stage. Both were blushing, and looked nervous.
Mrs. Wills stepped forward, and placed a hand on each one’s shoulder. “It seems your secret was very well kept by the whole student body,” she said. “Now let us all congratulate you, and wish you many, many, years of happiness. And many years here with us, at Prescot-Mainbridge Academy.”
Once more the students raised their voices, cheering and chanting the teachers’ names. It took an hour to quiet them down enough to send them off to their classes. At break time, the three latest Purple Particles started gathering money for a gift, the best they could find, to let their favourite teachers know how much they were appreciated, and how happy their students were about the marriage.
Lisa, Tabby and Van watched, smiling. “Well, now we can officially retire as the PPs,” Lisa said. The other two nodded. “Yes, we have worthy followers, now,” Tabby said. They walked off together, arm in arm, as they so often had before.