I was chosen. I would have to show him around. And Mr Brown wanted to see everything, especially the girls' changing rooms.
Mr Brown was the inspector. Every year an inspector came and sat at the back of the class and took notes. They were always nasty. Mr Brown was nasty. Mr Brown was small. Mr Brown had lots of questions.
There are some funny goings-on in this school. You've got to be careful. And when I say you I mean you and I mean me. Have you seen anything odd? Groups of girls doing strange things, indescribable things, real bad things.
Oh, no! What do you mean exactly?
He told me. It was very interesting.
Oh, you do surprise me. Do girls really do that? I mean, when I say girls, I mean only a few girls.
Oh, yes! And more than you think.
Mr Brown made lots of notes and put them in a black leather zip-up bag.
I'm going to tell you about the birds and the bees. I think you need it.
His version of the birds and the bees was very much what a small man (like Mr Brown) could do to a full-grown schoolgirl (like me) using lots of rope. Yes, all his pockets were full of rope. It was the oddest version of the birds and the bees that I had ever heard.
More note taking. More questions.
We passed the door in the top corridor to Miss Sargnagel's room. I had an idea.
The door was not locked. It was never locked. Miss Sargnagel had said many times that maybe one day a nice man will come through the door; and so she did not lock it.
All the girls thought that Miss Sargnagel was soft in the head. She was very small and very shy and had never spoken to a man in her life. What was she waiting for?
Today she was not waiting, she was leading a natural history walk in the woods. It probably was about natural history, what else could she know?
Oh, why don't we go in here and I could try some of the things you have told me about? I mean, try them on you.
Without waiting for an answer I pulled him into the room and pushed him flat on the table. I took some rope from his pocket and tied his hands. I pulled his trousers down and tied his knees together.
This is good?
Oh, yes! he said.
I undid his shirt and pulled it over his head and down his arms. I pulled off everything else.
Oh, what have you got there?
Oh, it's a tattoo of the sinking Titanic. Good, isn't it?
I wanted to stuff his pants in his mouth but his knees were in the way.
I got some of Miss Sargnagel's underwear and continued with the good work.
As I was busily tying all the stockings to his arms and legs, very pretty bows, the voices in my head started again:
You're a fine one, he tells you a few harmless stories and you do this to him.
Doreen, you are having unkind thoughts again. Perhaps Mr Brown is just waiting for some nice person to appear and make him nice; just like what you did to Miss Cavendish.
And that ain't you Doreen, you're too big!
Doreen – what a stupid name you've got.
Do you really want to tie up this poor man naked and do that to him? Really?
Doreen, you are hearing voices.
You are crazier than Chardonnay.
And you know it!
I also found some lipstick. Did it really belong to Miss Sargnagel? I decided that Mr Brown could be improved with some stripes, some bold stripes.
Oh, yes! Now the fun can begin. Are you ready Mr Brown?
A very muffled “Yes, please!”
Oh, yes! But first I must go to the bathroom. Hang on!
I left the room and took his zipped bag to our lodgings in the village. We found a letter from the Inspectorate of Schools firing Mr Brown for what he had done to some girls. Interesting.
There were some newspaper cuttings of what he had done, with pictures and diagrams. More interesting.
Some notes about Brenda, Chardonnay and Miss Cavendish – he had been spying on them. Much more interesting. But why not me?
Some very detailed plans for what he would do to Brenda, Chardonnay, Miss Cavendish and me, especially me. VERY, VERY INTERESTING!
Perhaps he really was a nice man. The notes kept us busy for weeks – so much fun.
We never saw or heard of Mr Brown and Miss Sargnagel again.