They were a motley lot, for the most part other peoples rejects, but by some fluke of human chemistry they made her sissy-school work.
On her right sat matron, a tall, scrawny woman with a thin face always displaying a sour expression and looking as if she were perpetually sucking an acid-drop.
After all, a sissy school could be construed as a sink of moral corruption and a haven for homosexual depravity.
Following a few minutes of silence everyone sharpened up perceptively and seemed eager to co-operate, and at last Jennifer seated herself regally in the carver. Show me how far you have progressed under Mr Hardwick's instruction.
Young people could play havoc if not checked all the time and they would be reckoning her incapable of maintaining control. She waited until her mother had exited the room, then pushed it away with her foot and pointed to an individual on the end of the line.
Vitally then, she had to put her stamp of authority on things. "Go and find me a proper chair." While he went off to find something from a side room she held the others with her eyes, displaying no hesitancy, no giggles or ingratiating smiles, nothing that could be interpreted as weakness.
I'm not a tutor and at first sight I may seem a slip of a girl whose demands can be easily dodged, but I can tell you I'm not inexperienced when it comes to calling the tune with boys in frocks." The faces in her small audience drained of colour as the resonance of her voice beat against their ear drums. Her intonations were of the kind that made dogs tuck their tails between their legs. Unable to form a safe answer and smashed by her fierce invective he looked down, contrite, while some of the others in the group sniggered. Anyone else who comes up with a cleverer-than-thou notion had better watch out, because I'm in the mood to put their balls through a laundry mangle." They all obeyed her without raising any protest.
Innocent twinks were totally out of their depth in such a place.
Miriam opened the door and poked her head through the gap into her daughters bedroom.
"Sorry to call on you at such short notice darling, but the water boiler's buggered and I have no other choice but to ask Hardwick to go and have a look at it.
It's probably best if I just leave you with them or nothing will ever get done, I need to see if Hardwick as any idea of what he's doing." There were times when it would seem an advantage to be a hard-faced harridan of forty, and Jennifer guessed this was one of them.
These new first-termers didn't know her, so they would be assessing her at that moment, noting her youthfulness and estimating her abilities, and eventually they would think her too young to keep a grip on their behaviour.