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The author, Gail Carriger, uses complex and historic vocabulary to give the . evaluates her developing proficiencies of etiquette and espionage simultaneously. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (review); Alaine Martaus · Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books · Johns Etiquette & Espionage. Download PDF. ETIQUETTE AMP ESPIONAGE FINISHING SCHOOL 1 GAIL CARRIGER PDF. Etiquette & Espionage Finishing School Series, Book 1 (eBook): Carriger, Gail.
Mumsy wasnt lying, you understand, about my conduct? The climbing and such. Although it has been a while since I tried to climb up a person. And the footman and I werent flirt ing. He thinks Petunia is the pip, not me. What about the taking apart? Sophronia nodded, as it was a better excuse for destroying the dumbwaiter than spying. Im fond of machines. Intriguing things, machines, dont you find? The woman cocked her head to one side. I generally prefer to make use of them, not dissect them. Why do you do it?
To upset your mother? She was relatively fond of her mother, as one is apt to be, but she supposed some part of her might be on the attack. A flash of a smile appeared on the womans face. It made her look very young. It vanished quickly. How are you as a thes pian? Any good? What kind of finishing school teacher asks that? Sophronia was put out. I may have smudges on my face, but Im still a lady! The woman looked at Sophronias exposed petticoat. That remains to be seen.
She turned away, as though not inter ested anymore, and helped herself to a slice of cake. Are you strong? Down the hall, something exploded with a bang. Sophronia thought she heard her mother shriek. Both she and the visitor ignored the disruption. Sophronia edged toward the tea trolley, eyeing the sponge. From all the climbing. A pause. And the machine lifting, I suppose. Sophronia blinked. Im not weak. Youre certainly good at prevarication. Is that a bad thing? That depends on whom youre asking.
Sophronia helped herself to two pieces of cake, just as though she had been invited to do so. The visitor forbore to remark upon it. Sophronia turned away briefly, in the guise of finding a spoon, to tuck one piece in her apron pocket. Mumsy 12 wouldnt allow her any sweets for the next week once she found out about the dumbwaiter.
The woman might have seen the theft, but she didnt acknowl edge it. You run this finishing school, then? Do you run this finishing school, Mademoiselle Geraldine? Do you run this finishing school, Mademoiselle Geral dine? Odd, in a finishing school teacher. Shouldnt she wait until Mumsy returns? Have you heard of it? Sophronia had. I thought only the very best families were allowed in. Sometimes we make exceptions. Are you the Mademoiselle Geraldine? You dont seem old enough.
Why, thank you, Miss Temminnick, but you should not make such an observation to your betters. Sorry, madam. Sorry, Mademoiselle Geraldine. Oh, yes, sorry, Mademoiselle Geraldine. Very good. Do you notice anything else odd about me? Sophronia said the first thing that came to mind. The gray in your hair. Its amiss. You are an observant young lady, arent you? Then, in a sudden movement, Mademoiselle Geraldine reached and 13 pulled out the small throw pillow from behind her back.
She tossed it at Sophronia. Sophronia, who had never before had a lady throw a pillow at her, was flabbergasted, but caught it.
Adequate reflexes, said Mademoiselle Geraldine, wiggling her fingers for the return of the pillow. Bemused, Sophronia handed it back to her. Why A blackgloved hand was raised against any further questions. Temminnick returned at that juncture. I do apologize. How incurably rude of me. I cant comprehend what has happened to the dumbwaiter. Its making the most awful racket. But you dont want to hear of such piddling domestic trifles. She put a great deal of emphasis on the word trifles.
Sophronia grimaced. Temminnick sat down, rubbing at a grease spot on her formerly impeccable gloves. How are you and Sophronia get ting on? Mademoiselle Geraldine said, Quite well. The young lady was just telling me of some history book she was recently read ing. What was the subject? So, she doesnt want Mumsy to know shes been throwing pillows at me?
Sophronia was never one to let anyone down when fibs were required. Apparently the Primeval Monarchy, which follows directly after the Mythical Period, has been given new dates. And Her mother interrupted. Thats more than enough of that, Sophronia. A headmistress isnt interested in education. Really, Mademoiselle Geraldine, once you get her started shell never 14 stop. She looked hopeful. I know shes a terrible mess, but can you do anything with her? Mademoiselle Geraldine gave a tight smile.
What do you say to a probationary period? Well return her in time for that comingout ball of yours in a few months and see how she gets on until then? Oh, Mademoiselle Geraldine, how perfectly topping!
Soph ronias mother clasped her hands delightedly. Isnt this thrill ing, Sophronia? Youre going to finishing school! But I dont want to go to finishing school! Sophronia couldnt help the petulance in her voice as visions of parasol training danced through her head. Dont be like that, darling. It will be very exciting. Sophronia grappled for recourse. But she threw a pillow at me!
Oh, Sophronia, dont tell fibsyou know how unhappy that makes me. Sophronia gawped, swiveling her gaze back and forth between her nowanimated mother and the crowlike stranger. How soon can she be made ready? Mademoiselle Geral dine wanted to know. Sophronias mother started. You wish to take her away now? I am here, am I not? Why waste the trip? I didnt think it would be so soon. We must shop for new dresses, a warmer coat. What about her lesson books? Oh, you can send all that along later.
I shall provide you with a list of required items. Shell be perfectly fine for the time being. A resourceful girl, I suspect. Well, if you think it best. Sophronia was not accustomed to seeing her mother rail roaded so effectively. But Mumsy! If Mademoiselle Geraldine thinks it best, then you had bet ter hop to it, young lady. Go change into your good blue dress and your Sunday hat. Ill have one of the maids pack your necessities. May we have half an hour, mademoiselle? Of course.
Perhaps I will take a little tour of the grounds while you organize? To stretch my legs before the drive. Please do. Come along, Sophronia, we have much to do. Frustrated and out of sorts, Sophronia trailed after her mother. Accordingly, she was given an old portmanteau from the attic, three hatboxes, and a carpetbag. With barely enough time to ensure a nibble for the driveto goodness knows where, at a dis tance of goodness knows how farSophronia found herself being shoved hastily into a carriage.
Her mother kissed her on the fore head and made a show of fussing. My little girl, all grown up and leaving to become a lady! And that, as they say, was that. Sophronia might have hoped for a grand sendoff with all her siblings and half the mechanical retainers waving tearstained handkerchiefs. But her younger brothers were exploring the farm, her older ones were away at Eton, her sisters were busy with fripperies or marriagespossibly one and the same and the mechanicals were trundling about their daily tasks.
She thought she spotted Roger, the stable lad, waving his cap from the hayloft, but apart from that, even her mother gave only a perfunctory waggle of her fingertips before returning to the house.
It was a hired transport but decked out like a private conveyance, with walls of midnight blue quilted velvet to reduce road noise, and goldfringed blankets to ward off the chill. Sophronia barely had time to take it all in before Made moiselle Geraldine banged the ceiling with the handle of her parasol and they lurched forward.
More startling than the decoration was the fact that the carriage was already occupiedby two other students. They had, apparently, been sitting patiently the entire time Mademoiselle Geraldine took tea and Sophronia fell out of dumbwaiters and packed all her worldly goods into a portmanteau. Directly across from her sat a brighteyed, lively looking young lady, a little younger than Sophronia, with masses of honeycolored hair and a round porcelain face.
She wore an enormous gilt and red glass brooch pinned to her bright red dress. The combination of the hair, the jewelry, and the dress made her look quite the scandal, as though she were in training to become a lady of the night.
Sophronia was duly impressed. Oh, goodness! Which, for one left to sit idle in a carriage with no distraction or entertainment, it might well have been. How do you do? Isnt this a spiffing day? Really, quite spiff ing. Im Dimity. Who are you? Is that all? What, isnt it enough? Sophronia Angelina Temminnick. Gosh, thats a mouthful. It is? I suppose so. As though Dimity Ann PlumleighTeignmott were a nice easy sort of name.
Sophronia dragged her eyes away from the girl to examine the final occupant of the carriage. It was difficult to make out what kind of creature lurked under the oversized bowler and oiled greatcoat. But, if pressed, she would have said it was some species of grubby boy. He had spec tacles that were very thick, a brow that was very creased, and a large dusty book occupying the entirety of his lap and attention.
Whats that? Oh, that? Thats just Pillover. My little brother. Ah, I commiserate. I have several of my own. Dashed inconvenient, brothers. Sophronia nodded, perfectly under standing the outlandish hat and coat.
Pillover glanced up from behind his spectacles and issued them both a look. He seemed a few years younger than his sis ter, who was, Sophronia guessed, about thirteen.
Hes slated for Bunsons. For what? Bunson and Lacroixs Boys Polytechnique. You know, the other school? Sophronia, who had no idea what Dimity was talking about, pretended to follow out of politeness.
The girl prattled on. She seemed to be a bit of a prattler. Sophronia was comfortable with this after living with her own family. They were big talkers, but with a lot less interesting things to say than Dimity. Mummy and Daddy want him to be an evil genius, but he has his heart set on Latin verse. Dont you, Pill? The boy gave his sister a nasty stare. Pillover is terribly bad at being bad, if you take my meaning.
Our daddy is a founding member of the Death Weasel Confed eracy, and Mummy is a kitchen chemist with questionable intent, but poor Pillover cant even bring himself to murder ants with his Depraved Lens of Crispy Magnification.
Can you, Pill? Sophronia felt as though she was progressively losing the thread of the conversation. Death Weasel Confederacy? Dimity nodded, curls bobbing. I knowcan you countenance 19 it? I tend to look on the bright side; at least Daddys not a Pickleman. Sophronias eyes popped. Uh, oh yes, rather. What in aether is a Pickleman? But Pill here is a sad disappointment to poor old Daddy. The boy in question put down his book, clearly driven to defend himself.
I made the articulated hassock that moved when someone went to sit on it. And there was that custard pot that never got cool enough for the pudding to set. Dimity provided parenthetical information against this defense. The hassock always ended up moving forward help fully.
And Cook simply used the Custard Pot of Iniquity for keeping her buns warm. Oh, I say. Thats not on. Telling family secrets like that!
Face it, Pill, youre disappointingly good. Oh, I like that! And youre so evil? Why, you want to get married and be a lady. Who ever heard of such a thing in our family? At least I try. Well, finishing school should help with being a lady. Shouldnt it? At least this was something Sophronia knew about. The boy snorted derisively. Not half. Not this finishing school. Wrong kind of finishing altogether. Or should I say right kind, but only on the surface?
Im sure you follow. Pill over made a funny little leer at Sophronia, then, seeming to have embarrassed himself, resumed his book. What could he possibly be implying?
Sophronia looked to Dimity to explain her brothers behavior. You mean, you dont know? Know what? Youre a covert recruit? No family connec tion at all? I knew they took them, of course, but I didnt think I would get to meet one. How charming! Have you been under surveillance? I heard they do that sometimes. Mademoiselle Geraldine interceded at that juncture. Thats enough of that, Miss PlumleighTeignmott. Yes, Mademoiselle Geraldine. The headmistress went back to ignoring them.
So where are we traveling to? Sophronia asked, figuring that was a safe question, since they clearly werent allowed to talk about the school itself.
You dont even know that much? Dimitys tone was full of pity. Sophronia shook her head. No, I mean, where is the loca tion of this school? Well, no one knows exactly, but to the south. Dartmoor, or somewhere around there. Why so mysterious? Dimity shook her head, curls flying. Oh, no, you see, Im not meaning to be. It isnt, you understand, at a fixed location. What isnt? The academy. Sophronia imagined a building, filled with shrieking girls, scooting about the moor on tracks, like some massive, over excited mechanical.
The school is mobile?
What, on hundreds of tiny little legs? Well, yes, moving, only not on legs. I think its, you know. Dimity tilted her head back and looked to the ceiling. Mademoiselle Geraldine screamed, probably upset by extended contact with Pillovers grimy coat, and flapped her arms and legs to get the boy off. Sophronia and Dimity untangled themselves, giggling. Pillover extracted himself from the headmistress with remark able dignity for a boy of his age and dress and retrieved his bowler from the floor.
What on earth is going on? Mademoiselle Geraldine banged on the ceiling of the cab with her parasol. The carriage remained still. Or at least it didnt appear to want to move forward. Every so often it would bob upward, as though it were afloat on the open sea. The door to the carriage was yanked open to reveal not the coachman, but a bizarrelooking gentleman.
He was dressed for the hunt in tweed jodhpurs, boots, red jacket, and riding hat, but he also wore goggles, with a long scarf of the type donned by arctic explorers wrapped around the lower part of his face.
The carriage lurched again. One of the horses neighed in alarm. The strange man had a massive brass onion pinned to his cravat and was pointing a wickedlooking pistol at the occu pants of the carriage. Sophronias eyes, once caught by the weapon, remained fixed upon it. Never before had she come 22 facetoface with an actual gun. She was shocked. Why, that thing could go off. Someone could get hurt! No, corrected Mademoiselle Geraldine, her teeth gritted. Worse: flywaymen. There was something in her tone, felt Sophronia, that suggested she was not surprised.
Sophronia was instantly suspicious of both Mademoiselle Geraldine and the flywayman. The headmistress batted her long eyelashes. Why, sir, what could you possibly want from us? Im simply a headmistress transporting these children to their final destination. Laying it on a bit thick, isnt she?
We have nothing of great value. We The flywayman interrupted Mademoiselle Geraldine. We know perfectly well what youve got those pretty little mitts on. Hand over the prototype. I have absolutely no idea what you are on about. The head mistresss trembling smile was well executed, but apparently not convincing. Course you do. Where is it? Mademoiselle Geraldine shook her head, eyelashes lowered prettily.
Well, perhaps well simply have a look for ourselves. The man stuck his head, briefly, back out the door and yelled something indistinguishable up to the sky.
There came a thump on the top of the carriage. Sophronia and the others could do nothing but watch, mutely, as their trunks, bags, and hatboxes were thrown from the roof to crash 23 to the ground. There they fell open, littering the dusty road with clothing, hats, and shoes.
Two more flywaymen, dressed much like their leader, jumped down after and began rifling through the spilled contents. Whatever they were looking for appeared to be relatively small, as every piece of luggageno matter what the sizehad to be emptied.
One of the men even used a knife to slash the bot toms of the trunks, searching for hidden pockets. This was all highly embarrassing, to have ones private pos sessions strewn about in public! Sophronia was particularly mortified that Pillover could see all her underthingsa stranger, and a boy! She also noted that Mademoiselle Geraldines trunks included some very salacious night garments.
Why, there was a nightgown of purple flannel. Imagine that! The flywaymens movements became increasingly frenzied. Their leader, while still guarding the occupants of the carriage, glanced frequently behind him at the activity in the road. After a quarter of an hour, the mans hand, the one holding the gun, began shaking from fatigue. I told you, young man, you will not find it here. Whatever it is. She tossed her head. Actually tossed it! We know you have it. You must have it! The headmistress looked off to the far distant horizon, nose elevated.
Your information would appear to be faulty. Come with me. You, children, stay here. The man dragged Mademoiselle Geraldine from the carriage. The headmistress struggled briefly, but finding the mans strength superior to her own, she subsided. Sophronia hissed to Dimity and Pillover. Probably overcome by physical assault, said Dimity. Or dead, added Pillover. Howd they get to us? I didnt hear any horses or anything. Pillover pointed up. Sky highwaymen. Havent you heard of them? Well, yes, but I didnt think they actually existed.
Pillover shrugged. Must have been hired by someone, Dimity said. What do you think the prototype is for? Does it matter? You think she actually has it? Sophronia wondered. Pillover looked at Sophronia with something like pity in his dark eyes. Of course she has it. Question is, did she hide it well enough? Or did she make a copy? Is it safe to let them think theyve won? And was she thinking that far ahead?
Sophronia interrupted their speculation. Thats a lot of questions. They heard Mademoiselle Geraldine say something sharp to the men rifling through the luggage. All three looked out the open door to see what would happen next. The flywayman with the gun struck the headmistress across the face with his free hand.
Oh, dear, said Sophronia. She suppressed panic and a strange urge to giggle. Shed never before seen a grown man actually hit a woman. Pillovers small face became drawn behind his round specta cles. I dont think she planned for this.
His assessment seemed correct, for Mademoiselle Geraldine proceeded to have a bout of hysterics, culminating in a very dramatic faint in the middle of the road. Quite the performance. My sister Petunia once acted like that over a mouse. You think shes shamming? Dimity was inclined to be impressed. Shamming or not, she seems to have hung us out to dry. Sophronia pursed her lips.
I dont want to go to finishing school, but I dont exactly want to be kidnapped by flywaymen either. The carriage lurched up again. Sophronia looked at the ceiling.
The flywaymens transport must be tied to the luggage rails above. She put two and two together: the flywaymans goggles plus his onionshaped pin. Balloon transport. At which point Sophronia decided she had better do something about their predicament.
We need to cut the balloons ties to the carriage and get to the drivers box and take command of the horses. Once we get moving, can we out run them? Pillover nodded. No scientist has figured out how to make air transport move as quickly as ground.
Although there were some interesting dirigible prototypes in last months Junior Guide to Scientific Advancements and Amoral Superiority. Some thing about utilizing the aether currents, but nothing on bal loons, so Dimity interrupted her brother.
Yes, thank you, Pill. Clearly, 26 prattling was a family trait even Pillover was prone to indulge in sometimes. What do you two have?
Pillover emptied the pockets of his oversized greatcoat: some pinesap gum, a monocle on a stickthe Depraved Lens of Crispy Magnification, perhaps? Dimity produced a box of sandwiches, a wooden spoon, and a knitted stuffed octopus out of the small covered basket at her feet. All Sophronia had was the piece of sponge shed swiped at tea and stashed in her apron, now sadly crushed. She split it into three and they ate the cake and thought hard.
None of the enemy paid them any mind. The three flyway men had given up demolishing the luggage and now stood about arguing. Mademoiselle Geraldine was still firmly fainted. Ignorance is most undervalued in a student. And have you killed someone recently? Is that really efficient?
Mission unaccomplished. Soap was a nice character and the fact that he has his own ''way of speaking'' did not bother me at all. My favorite character though was Pillover since he was one of the only ones making Sophronia shut her mouth stop talking.
And, when he spoke, I listened with interest. She looked around. I can curtsy now, and my eyelash fluttering is practically unparalleled. She has her own style, though I must admit that it is not my favorite for it is kind of simple and, in my opinion, this would have been better with a 1st person POV. Too bad because there would have been plenty of couple possibilities.