Authors: Megan Atwood
Madame handed the man a mintâher fanciest kindâand sat behind her desk with a smile.
“I'm sorry to be rude, Mr. Johnson, and don't think me unappreciative of your time, but why is it you've come again?”
Mr. Johnson examined the mint and frowned. “Madame Puant. Betsy. I think you know exactly why I'm here.”
Madame sighed, her shoulders slumping. “Yes. Yes, I do.”
“My great-great-great grandfather did everything in his power to protect this school. But sometimes that's just not enough. Now, because of my love for my family, I am loath to get rid of this place. Nor am I excited about what might happen to myself and my family if I do â¦ but I'll be damned if I let the children here get hurt.”
“Sir, I would never allow harm to befall my students. How dare you suggest such a thing!”
He waved his hand. “What I'm
is that if we can't get things under control here, if we can't contain the â¦ uh, misfortune â¦ Well, I'm afraid I'll have no choice but to demolish this place.”
Madame slumped again. “I understand. But these children â¦ are exceptional. And we nurture them and this dance â¦”
Mr. Johnson nodded. “Even so, you must agree: This house makes people do strange things. Strange even to them. Did you punish the girl?”
Madame shook her head. “No. The circumstances were punishment enough. And I knew she would choose correctly eventually.”
Mr. Johnson nodded and stood up. “Well, then. We are in agreement. We need to put a stronger lid on the more eccentric qualities of this place. And if that can't happen, then I'm afraid the Quincy Academy will be no more.”
About the Author
Megan Atwood is the author of more than fourteen books for children and young adults and is a college teacher who teaches all kinds of writing. She clearly has the best job in the world. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with two cats, a boy, and probably a couple of ghosts.