The prime of Madam Jeen Snellflort

Tallis Steelyard

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Some people seem to not so much live their lives as to be passengers in them, carried along at the convenience of somebody else. One such person was Madam Jeen Snellflort. Orphaned at a tender age she was made the ward of her great-uncle. This gentleman was a man of immense dignity, absolute propriety, and limited imagination. He was of some considerable age when he acquired a ward, having managed to pass through a busy life without family encumbrance. So as soon as was decent he packed the child off to the Misenbart academy for young ladies. This august institution was considered to provide the perfect education for daughters of families with adequate means and few original ideas.

The academy stands in its own grounds to the north of Port Naain, surrounded by hedges of quite impressive impenetrability. Local yeomen organise day trips to go and visit the hedge and…

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