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Candia: You think it would be useful?

Brassica: Well, a lot of people have come in on the action

mid-plot, so-yes- why not offer them a synopsis?

Candia:  Okay- they can skip it if they have been following

since Snod’s story took off.

Here it is, folks:

SYNOPSIS: Snod’s Law

Augustus Snodbury, Senior Master and Acting Head of St Birinus’ Middle School

is ripe for retirement. He loves comfort food, the Model Railway Club and Latin.

He is a role model for Junior Masters, but a bête noire for other staff.

For his entire life, he has taken for granted that he was the product of a liaison

of socialite and erstwhile Land Girl, Berenice Snodbury and A N Other.

Berenice’s sister, Augusta, took on responsibility for the child when her sister

ran off to Venezuela, following romantic dreams inspired by her hero, Simon


The original Augusta, the girls’ mother. had not set them a terribly orthodox

example, as she herself had run around the Bosphorous with an itinerant rug


Snod’s lonely, institutionalised existence is interrupted by a climactic revelation

that an affair which he conducted with the ‘lax’ (lacrosse) mistress of a

sister establishment many moons ago engendered a child. That ‘child’ is now

a Housemistress at St Vitus’ School for the Academically-Gifted Girl, the school

in which her mother originally taught. (In fact, Gus has unwittingly met his

daughter on a number of occasions, at joint educational functions.)

The reason that his relationship broke down was owing to a Hardyean

twist of fate. A missing communication which contained his marriage

proposal now re-surfaces during re-furbishment for a school let. Diana,

the retired lax mistress, is exposed as having been deceitful.

She married ‘on the re-bound’, foisting her child on Murgatroyd-Syylk,

picture dealer and restorer. The pair subsequently divorced and now

Syylk is completing a restoration project of a Pele Tower in the Borders.

UNC Lacrosse.jpg

Drusilla, the Housemistress, attempts to encourage her parents to meet.

Will their romance re-ignite? Initially, it is a damp squib.

On Berenice’s death, a mysterious package arrives at school. It contains

a signet ring which Augustus’ apparent half-brother was asked to send

over to England. It bears an insignia associated with Wyvern Mote, now a

National Trust property.

Drusilla and Gus visit Great-Aunt Augusta and take her out of Snodland

Nursing Home for the Debased Gentry for the day, partly to introduce her

to her great-niece, and partly to investigate Wyvern Mote. There they see

a photograph in the schoolroom of two of the original heirs, with their tutor,

Anthony Revelly. The facial resemblance is clear: Gus is his offspring; Revelly

his father, rather than Lord Wyvern.

Lady Wyvern had had the child by her sons’ tutor on the death of her

husband. The tutor was permitted to live in a grace-and-favour apartment

in the stable block, for life, when the property was handed over to The

National Trust.

Berenice, who had been a Land Girl in the vicinity, had been paid an

undisclosed sum to acknowledge the child as being her own. A good time

girl, Berenice had tired of the responsibility, eventually absconding and

leaving her sister to arrange his schooling at St Birinus. Augusta had

once been Head Girl of St Vitus’, so knew of the boys’ prep school

establishment and its reputation.

Now Hugo, in Venezuela, has to be disabused of his belief in his

relationship to Gus.  They decide to leave Aunt Augusta in the dark.

Danish Jubilee Egg.jpg

The latter gave her ‘great-niece’ a present of what resembles one

of the famous missing Faberge eggs.  It turns out to be a fake and

yet, Dru’s visit to her step-father in the Pele Tower makes up for her

disappointment, as she is promised a communion chalice which Bonnie

Prince Charlie used before his fateful final ride south, on Syylk’s decease.

(The Pele Tower turns out to have been in Lady Wyvern’s family in the

past, so there is a neat circularity about Drusilla’s future inheritance of

the restored property, as Murgatroyd’s sole heiress.

The Head Teacher of St Birinus’ had an unfortunate ‘turn’ at the Christmas

Eve Midnight Service and was diagnosed with hypogonadism. His mid-life

crisis leads to him taking time off in order to make a motorcycle trip across

The Sahara, much to his wife’s relief. Unfortunately, Gus has to ‘stand in’,

but when his previous boss decides to abdicate, he does not apply for the

permanent post. Nevertheless, a position of Deputy Head is created for him,

in order to boost his pension. Poskett, Milford-Haven and Drusilla Fotheringay-

Syylk apply for the Headship, but are unsuccessful. Will the latter two decide

to throw over their careers and try to make a musical success of their lives


Drusilla has shone in various musical concerts, by playing her harp for both

schools. She has been the focus of attention from Nigel Milford-Haven, the

rather wimpish Junior Master who is beginning to sing solo tenor in some

school productions and Geoffrey Poskett, Choirmaster. She seems to favour

Nigel, since she has asked him to come to the Borders with her in the school

holidays, to stage a concert for clarsach and voice.

She hopes to raise money for Murgatroyd’s roof repairs. Nigel is nervous, as

his mother usually draws on his decorating expertise in the school holidays

and she is not going to be too pleased at his bid for independence.

Meanwhile ‘Snod’ has settled into a friendly relationship with Diana, the mother

of his child, who has sold her cottage and moved back to the Suttonford area,

in which both schools are situated. However, his attention has been attracted

to Virginia Fisher-Giles, the widowed seamed-stocking-wearing PA. An invitation

for coffee chez elle after she has run him to a Head Teachers’ Conference

turns out to be more intimate than either anticipated.

Will he succumb to a projection of future domesticity with Virginia? Will he

resurrect the corpse of his relationship with Diana, or will he continue his

Inkling’ existence of bachelor bliss?

The lure of retirement is like an ever-receding pot of gold. He has a year

or two to serve as Deputy Head under the new regime. Will he be able to

preserve the old ways, or will the introduction of a new system create a

tsunami of bureaucracy that will threaten to engulf him?