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“I want to be clear that I take full responsibility for my daughter’s behavior.” The widow Macnair is quiet but firm.

“Not at all. I’m sure it was all the Havisham woman’s doing; she had an unnatural influence on the girls when she taught here.” The headmaster is just hoping she won’t ask too many questions about that. “We’ll inform the police, have her rounded up and taken back where she belongs—this Chinese accomplice you mentioned as well.”

“Thank you for being so understanding. Proserpina? Aren’t you going to apologize and thank the headmaster?”

Proserpina’s tongue is stiff and cold.