Updated 15th December, 2007.
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16. The Abbey Girls again
Next day, she returns with Joy and they learn something of the problems between Mary and Biddy. They take Mary with them to watch a Folk Dance class. On the advice of the Pixie, a Folk Dance teacher, they invite both girls to a dance party for children in Plaistow, and ensure that both Biddy and Mary dance. The letter Mary later writes to the relatives in Africa reveals a glimpse of the writing talent which had been suppressed for so long. The girls start attending Jen's classes once a week. Joy invites Mary and Biddy to visit the Hall. Biddy enjoys making friends with Rosamund and Maidlin, Mary revels in the peaceful atmosphere and the growing friendship with Joy and Jen. She reveals to them her thwarted wishes to write, and the dream world in which she too often finds refuge.
Rosamund, Maidlin and Biddy trespass in the Manor grounds and take a boat out onto the lake. The boat overturns, Maidlin comes close to drowning. Andrew Marchwood resuscitates her, and sends a message assuring Joy that she will recover. For the first time, Joy feels something other than irritation for him. Joy and Jen consult with the Pixie again about the best way of dealing with Mary. She and Biddy continue to attend Jen's classes. Mary teaches the class for one evening when Jen is unexpectedly unable to do so. Having proved that she could do so successfully, she is persuaded to take on a class of children who need a teacher. As these new interests rouse her from her former dream existence, she hints at starting to write once again, perhaps school stories.
17. The Abbey Girls in Town
Mary teaches country dancing to a class of poor children in their area. She is asked by Joy to prepare the children for a demonstration for a charity committee. Joy is asked to dance a couple of Morris jigs as a change in the program. The organisers of the program are careless in notifying the guests that the children were trained by Mary, it appears that the crowd think the Joy is the teacher. Ruth is annoyed but not as much as Biddy who speaks out. Mary bears the brunt of Joy's anger and a war of notes ensues.
Sir Andrew Marchwood, who has long been keen on Joy, sees another side of her this evening and makes plans to leave England for South Africa. Previously, he had proposed to Joy, who sent him away while she considered her answer.
A few weeks after the demonstration, the girls meet up again at a London dance party. Mary realises that Joy is not angry with her. The war of notes was merely a venting of Joy's temper. Joy invites the Devine girls to the Hall for Jen's crowning as May Queen. There, in the woods, Mary meets Sir Andrew and suggests that he gives Joy a second chance.
The next day, Joy meets the party on the terrace and announces: "Dear people, I am going to marry the man next door!"
18. Queen of the Abbey Girls (1926)
Joy tells Biddy that Marguerite has offered her a job as a junior clerk in her husband's firm at Lyons and offers Mary Devine a job at the Hall representing her interests when she goes away after her marriage. Joy decides to marry in three weeks time. Jen who has gone back to cookery school takes that time off to prepare for the wedding. Maid also takes three weeks off at Joy's request but Rosamund still has to go to school.
Jen is crowned as the beech queen and has a brown train embroidered with yellow daffodils, cowslips, buttercups and laburnum.
Joy decorates a suite of rooms for Mary with beautiful pottery . Joy gets married. Mary Devine goes to the village and sees Nelly Bell at the hostel, she is a dreamer she hears her story about a lost husband. Everyone finds out Joy is going abroad straight away without saying goodbye. Jen plays cricket with Ken but does not want to face the fact he in love with her. Maidlin pines for Joy and mopes. Rosamund attempts to bully her into participating and coaches her at lessons.
Jen escapes to visit Pixie at her caravan and asks for advice. Ken follows her with a message her father is ill and drives her to Yorkshire. He visits her there and they become engaged. Her father dies. She returns to the Abbey. Maid takes up singing lessons and Mary publishes.
19. The Abbey Girls Win Through
Mary's first full-length book, a school story, has been well-received. Nancy visits the Hall to get Mary's autograph for her young stepsister. Jen is devastated to hear of her mother's sudden death. Mary, Maidlin and Rosamund are all helpless in face of her grief, and it is Nancy who gives comfort. Rosamund takes a practical route, teaching the village Folk Dance class which Jen or Mary should have taught. Mary is desperately upset by her inadequacy. Nancy is later able to give her some ideas to hold onto.
Rosamund had previously arranged with Pat Mercer and another couple of girls from school to let them into the Abbey through the secret passages, simply to tease Jen. In the face of Jen's grief, she goes to tell them the stunt is off, but the girls don't understand and angry words are exchanged. The friendship between Mary, the girls and Nancy continues to develop. Rosamund is upset by the quarrel with Pat Mercer and the other girls, but won't admit she could have been in the wrong, too. At a chance meeting during a picnic on the hills, she refuses to accept their apology. Jen returns from her mother's funeral the day before Joy finally returns from Africa. Meantime, the Cook had to go to look after her mother, had an accident and scalded herself, so her sister Grace, a maid at the Hall left abruptly to look after them both.
Nancy offers her services as temporary Cook and moves into the Hall. She confesses to Mary that while the initial purpose of her visit had been to obtain copy about the Hall and the family for a series of articles she was writing, she no longer intends to do so. Instead, she will write about some of the activities in the Village. Maidlin takes fright at Rosamund and Mary's hints that although Joy is indeed coming home, she will have a husband with her. Inevitably, some things will not be the same as before she went away. In awakening her to the need to put Joy's wishes ahead of her own, Jen initiates the slow process of helping Maidlin to grow up. Joy receives a rapturous welcome, particularly from Maidlin, who is finally roused from the half dream in which she had existed during her "mother's" absence. Andrew had remained in Kenya to go on one last safari, but should have been on his way home by now. She learns about the domestic crises, and welcomes Nancy and Nell. Maidlin eventually yields to Rosamund's persuasion and agrees to become the new Hamlet Club Queen in face of Rosamund's need - the alternative would be Pat Mercer.
Joy becomes increasingly anxious about the lack of news from Andrew. Kenneth is initially reassuring, but ultimately, news comes to him that there may be trouble. He tells Jen, alone, and they agree a plan of action should the worst happen. On the night of Maidlin's crowning, Joy and Mary return to the Hall to find a telegram to Joy asking for confirmation of the rumour that all on Andrew's safari have been killed. The shock sends her into premature labour, and after a terrifying night for everyone, she gives birth to twin girls, Elizabeth Joy and Margaret Joan. Jen and Kenneth are married quietly in the Village Church a week later. Mary "gives away" the bride, Maidlin and Rosamund are bridesmaids. Unknown to Jen, Mary and Joy had sent word to the Hamlet Club Queens and a group of friends were at the church to wish her well. Nancy prepared a meal for the select few who were invited back to the Hall. Jen and Kenneth leave. Mary tells the others that a message from Kenya has confirmed Andrew's death. As a result, the newly weds are now Sir Kenneth and Lady Marchwood. She and Nancy break the news to Joy, who, grief-stricken, though not totally unprepared, seeks comfort from her babies. On Monday, Rosamund learns that Pat Mercer's father is dangerously ill in Brussels and her mother has gone to him. She forgets her own resentment of Pat's actions in responding to her present need, and the breach between the girls is healed.
20. The Abbey Girls at Home
Whilst Betty is ill at the Abbey, Jen is torn between her commitment to Bettys recovery and Joys demands. This is another example of Joys lack of "realization" of the needs of others and Jen is run ragged physically and emotionally. Eventually, Jen breaks down in tears and, as a result, Joy pulls herself together, goes downstairs for the first time since her widowhood to face up to her responsibilities and helps Jen. This event marks the beginning of Joys recovery, especially when she rediscovers her love of music in response to Bettys requests. It is also a period when Joy grows as a human being in compassion and tolerance.
Ros is suddenly called away to nurse her sick mother in Switzerland and Mary escorts her overseas. As a result, Jen, who is aware that she will shortly have to move back to the Manor, charges Maidlin with becoming Joys "friend" rather than her "daughter". After a bout of her usual trepidation, Maidlin takes on new responsibilities and this marks the end of her girlhood.
In the last chapters, Joan comes back from overseas to live permanently 30 miles away, Rosamund comes back to the Hall after the death of her mother, both old Lady Marchwood and Mrs. Shirley die and Jen gives birth to her son, Andrew. Joy is on the verge of opening a Music School for poor but talented girls with Betty in charge.
21 The Abbey Girls Play Up.
Maribel, Rosalind and Cecily are invited to spend a weekend with Joy and the Guides convince Maidlin to run a Campfire Group for the poorer girls of the neighbourhood. Eventually, too, Joy is persuaded by Jen to help Mary-Dorothy out by running a Girl Guide group in the village. Meanwhile, whilst these arrangements are being made, Maribel meets Scoutmaster Michael Marchwood, a cousin of Kenneth's and they fall in love. Imbued with the spirit of generosity, Cecily persuades Joy to invite Sandy to join the Music School as well.
Rosamund returns from Switzerland for a visit, partly because she has seen a photo of Cecily taken at the Campfire Meeting, and recognises her as the long-lost daughter of an inmate of the Sanatorium. The novel ends with Cecily about to become reunited with her mother.
22. Abbey Girls on Trial
She invites them to the Abbey without telling them who they are visiting. They meet Joy, Elizabeth and Margaret, Andrew and Anthony and Nelly Bell as well as Jen and Rosemary Jane. They also meet Mary Devine whose books they have read. Rosamund tells them she wants to open a shop and they invite her to take the empty one next to theirs to sell pottery and hand woven goods. Joy and Maidlin do not want her to go but are persuaded by Jen that she has to. Everyone helps her to decorate her new home. She moves in.
Maidlin writes to her and asks for her advice about the Campfire Girls. Rosamund worries that she will remain dependent on her, so does not advise her and a chasm grows between them. Joy attempts to fix it but makes it worse. Jen talks to Rosamund and suggests she make it up with Maidlin. Rosamund returns to the Abbey with Jen - Maidlin and Rosamund make it up.
Rosamund's father dies. She gets her diploma in cookery. Eleanor falls sick at Malta, on her way home from Ceylon. Audrey and Rosamund travel out to Malta to bring her and Roderick, her baby son, home.
23. Biddy's Secret (1931)
Maidlin is supposed to meet Biddy at Aix. Instead she meets a young woman bringing a letter from Biddy. They travel to Annecy, where Maidlin finds out that Biddy has secretly married Claude Verdier who has since deserted her and her baby Marie Madelon. Maidlin helps Annette and her mother in their café and meets the Bennett family, who are passing through the area on holiday. She decides not to travel on to Italy but manages to persuade Biddy to go home with her and tell Mary what has happened. She is forgiven by everyone, and a home made for the baby and herself. Later, she receives a letter from Etienne Verdier , Claude's cousin, who shows that he still cares for her.
24. Rosamund's Victory (1933)
Rena MacKay and Lisabel Durrant (from the Rocklands series) visit the Rose and Squirrel and meet Rosamund who gives them tea in exchange for pruning her roses. Rena and Lisabel have been sent by Mrs Thorburn to fix the garden of a house left to her by an uncle. Rosamund tells them her six week old brother Roderick is coming to live with her.
Rena and Lisabel are surprised at how young Rosamund's "aunts" are. Audrey brings Roderick home, but Eleanor has gone to Devonshire. Rosamund would like Roderick to live permanently with her but Eleanor will not agree to anything more than a temporary stay. Rena finds out from Rosamund that Jenny Wren is a friend of hers. They plan to phone her, and give her a surprise. However , when they make the call, Jen is disturbed because her second son has had a fall and has concussion, so they say nothing.
Rena and Lisabel meet Joy and the twins at The Rose and Squirrel. Finally, they meet Jen again and talk about Betty McLean who is now head of Joy's Music School and Captain of Joy's Guides.
Eleanor writes and says she wants to return to India. Rosamund worries that she might later claim Roderick should he later become Earl of Kentisbury.
Rufus Courtenay comes to see Rena and asks her to marry him now that he has qualified as a doctor. Eleanor comes to the Rose and Squirrel; she is unwilling for Rosamund to have Roderick permanently. Rufus says his aunt Sheila is giving him Rocklands as she is marrying again and moving away. Rex comes and asks Lisabel to marry him.
Rosamund asks Jen and Kenneth Marchwood to help her gain custody of Roderick. Eventually Eleanor agrees, and leaves for India. Rosamund and Roderick visit the Honorable Geoffrey Kane, the most senior member of the Kane family by virtue of age, and the heir to the current Earl, Geoff, a youth of 16, at Verriton House.
27. The girl who wouldn't make friends (1909)
She has a hideaway room in the ruined castle in the grounds of Plas Quellyn and has an ally in Ivor Lloyd. She and everyone else refuse to let the English family see the secret place. Jim Carradine, a friend of the Brents, stays with them while on leave from his ship and falls in love with Gwyneth fawr. He helps the Brents discover Gwyneth fach's secret hiding place and they find Robert Quellyn's famous paintings of Welsh legends there. A week later, Robin goes back by herself to look at them, unaware Gwyneth fach is there. Gwyneth fach, furious her hiding place isdiscovered, frightens Robin into falling off the wall and she is hurt. Grateful that Robin did not betray her, Gwyneth fach finally makes overtures to her. Mrs Brent has to go to Mr Brent who is brought home to a Southampton hospital with typhoid.
Dicky overhears a plot by three men to steal the paintings from the secret hiding place. They lie in wait for them and foil the attempt. Jim and Gwyneth fawr become engaged, Mr & Mrs Brent return and Gwyneth fach becomes their adopted daughter.
26. Patch and a Pawn
27. Maidlin to the Rescue
28. Joy's New Adventure (1935)
Joy phones to say she will be meeting Sir Ivor's mother and her return
to collect the twins will be delayed by a day. The twins are in disgrace.
29. Rosamund's Tuckshop
30. Maidlin Bears the Torch (1937)
Benedicta, Jim and their mother decide to visit the Abbey ruins, Maidlin, deputising for her aunt Ann Watson, shows them round. Learning that Benedicta had been a campfire girl, she invites her to stay on to attend a camp fire ceremony that evening. At the end of it, Jim comes to tell Benedicta her mother is in hospital after a car accident. Benedicta is invited to stay at the Abbey overnight. She meets Jen Marchwood, who tells her that her daughter, Rosemary, may have to have an operation and that she and her husband Ken are really worried.
Everyone is preparing for Rosamund's wedding. Benedicta notices Jim is besotted with Maidlin. She tells Maidlin that his real love is Gail Alwyn and learns that Gail looks after Rosamund's tuckshop and is coming to the wedding. Jen and Ken can't go to the wedding as it is at the same time as Rosemary's operation, and Joan Raymond stays with them. She asks Benedicta to stand by to take a phone message to Joy and Rosamund after the wedding ceremony. Rosemary recovers; Jim and Gail meet again.
Ivor is invited to conduct the David Orchestra in New York for three years. Joy decides to go with him. The twins go missing in the Abbey and Margaret is in danger of falling into the old well. In saving her from falling, Benedicta falls and is badly injured. Rosamund and Geoffrey return from their honeymoon in Scotland.
32. Rosamund's Castle (1938)
During the first night, Tansy talks to Benedicta and Daffodil to find out more about Wood End, and what Rhoda and Rosalie had done there. She tells them something of her relationship with the girls, and how she had played with both them and the young Earl.
Benedicta is invited to the Castle to meet the Marchwood twins who are staying there. They tell her a secret, that they have discovered an old playroom. Benedicta persuades them to give her the key so she can ask Tansy about the playroom. She talks to Tansy who is obviously upset about the playroom and who snatches the key from her. Benedicta and Daffodil think that Tansy might try to get to the playroom at night and determine to follow her there. As she leaves they follow but lose her in the dark. Half a mile from the Dower House they are frightened by the stag, Alexander the Great. On their return to Dower House are met by Tansy who has obviously gone to the castle in the meantime.
Tansy had been up to the playroom, taken a chess set which she feels was hers to take, and
hidden it in a cave in the grounds. The twins find the cave, do not explore it, but do ask
Tansy about it. Tansy becomes nervous about them exploring further and finding the hidden
Rosamund and Maidlin, driving back from visiting, see Alexander threaten Tansy. While Maidlin goes for help, Rosamund saves Tansy from being gored but loses consciousness. Tansy later confesses why she did it and reconciles with Rosamund. Rosamund returns the chess set to Tansy on condition that she will play chess regularly with the Earl, who is a good player. Tansy shows her own competence, and earns the right to keep the set indefinitely, providing she agrees to give the family first refusal should she ever decide to part with it.
Rosamund and Geoffrey's first son, Hugh is born and everyone rejoices. He becomes heir to the title, but his "uncle" Roderick will be raised alongside him.
33. Damaris Dances (1940)
They return to England for a holiday, only to find that Crossriggs is to be compulsorily purchased and demolished as part of a road widening scheme, effectively removing the proposed site of the hen and beekeeping operation. They visit Hiker's Halt with Phillipa, now Head Girl of St. Dorothea's.
They return to the Abbey and see Maidlin initiating Cicely Perowne into Camp Waditaka as its first firemaker. Damaris dances in front of Maidlin and tells her she wants to take up ballet. Maidlin, at first reluctant, then consents. Rosamund helps Damaris decide on her stage name, Mary Damayris. She arranges for Damaris, and Rachel, who will look after her, to live in the housekeeper's quarters at the Kentisbury's London house. Rachel tells Maid she wants to write. Maidlin sings at Queen's hall and for the BBC. Joy hears the broadcast in New York.
Damaris joins the Antoine Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in the Goose Girl. However she is then excluded because she inserts her own dance steps and extra pirouettes. Madame Roskova, however, encourages her to develop her own version of the Goose girl's dances as a training exercise. When Leonie, the chosen Goose Girl, collapses with appendicitis, Madame Roskova summons Damaris to dance for her - not knowing that Antoine is also watching from behind a screen. He needs no persuading to allow Damaris to replace Leonie and she steps into the part with very few rehearsals. Her performance on opening night is universally acclaimed, and the papers proclaim that a new star is born.
34. Adventure for Two (1941)
Michelle plans to be a dressmaker in winter but Elsa still has to find a
way to earn her living when the ferry closes down for the season.
Elsa and Mor (the dog) find caves on the island and she is allowed to run guided tours. the ballet company dances at Sandylands, and Damaris, Daphne, Irene and Rachel come to visit the island.
No 35. Maid of the Abbey
Young Donald Robertson keeps the twins amused by taking them out sightseeing with Lindy and Maidlin. Maidlin is unconscious that Donald has more serious thoughts about her. She is upset when Mary-Dorothy suggests it might be so. Maidlin sends Donald away and the next day his Uncle, Dr Jock Robertson, an orchestra conductor about 10 years Maidlin's senior visits the Abbey to investigate, and he and Maidlin become engaged.
Maidlin discovers Lindy's singing voice and she and Jock plan Lindy's future. The twins come down with the measles and Lindy stays with them. Elizabeth's case is only slight, Margaret's much worse and the twins need to be separated. The only medicine that works on the twins is the knowledge that the mother Joy Quellyn will be home from New York shortly.
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