The Second Form at Malory Towers
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The Second Form at Malory Towers is a children's novel by Enid Blyton set in an English boarding school. It is the second book in the Malory Towers school story series. The novel was published in 1947.
In the second form at Malory Towers, Darrell Rivers comes back to school with her best friend Sally Hope.
When they all are in their dormitory that first night, they find out that there are three new girls. They are: Belinda Morris (a girl who has a great talent in art), Ellen Wilson (who earned a scholarship and is extremely serious), and last, but not least, Daphne Millicent Turner (an envious girl who befriends Gwendoline Mary Lacey, another spoilt, envious only child. She is believed to be very wealthy indeed).
The next day, Darrell's best friend - Sally Hope - is announced Head Girl of the Second Form. Alicia Johns, who was top of their form last term, becomes jealous because she is not even in the running for the head of the form (she is not chosen because of her hardness). Daphne is a poor student with no aptitude for studies and games. Gwendoline Mary Lacey the spoilt, selfish, conceited, and snobbish girl of the form is very much impressed by Daphne's wealth, prettiness, and gracefulness. While Daphne's French is poor she is desperate for help but won't take any coaching from the two French mistresses.
Little Mary Lou who is timid, shy, loyal and kind, offers to help her without realising that she did Daphne's work for her. Gwen becomes jealous of her friend's attention of Mary Lou but Daphne tells her that she is just using Mary Lou but this is not entirely true because Daphne likes her. Ellen worries herself because of her work which is not as brilliant as she would like. It is revealed that Ellen comes from a poor family and she had worked extremely hard during the holidays to win the only scholarship that could take her to Malory Towers.
Alicia and her best friend Betty Hill from West Tower feel restless and decide to play a trick on their singing master Mr Young. They rub invisible chalk on his piano seat and when he gets up a bright pink pattern is shown on his suit. They are begged to play the trick again but this time Darrell writes the word "Oy" on the French mistress Mam'zelle Dupont's seat.
The next excitement is the French plays. The girls are not excited about this because both the Mamzelles produce them and had quite different ideas. Mamzelle Dupont wants her favourite Daphne to play both of the lead parts in the plays. Daphne charms Mamzelle Dupont by charming her beautiful smile which gets her out of trouble by most of her teachers except Miss Potts, Mamzelle Rougier and Miss Parker. Mamzelle Rougier dislikes Daphne because of Daphne's under the handed character and poor quality of work. She wants to make Darrell and Sally the lead characters instead. Mamzelle Rougier argues with Mamzelle Dupont about over the choice of whom should play the lead parts in the plays. Their argument interests the children and Belinda makes some marvellous caricatures of the two mistresses in which Mamzelle Dupont is portrayed as the heroine and Mamzelle Rougier as the villain. This is so because Mamzelle Dupont had a great sense of humour and was more liked by the students than the other Mamzelle who is sour and bad-tempered.
Belinda bounds the sketches in a neat book and Alicia advises her to place the book during the French lesson the next day for Mamzelle Dupont because she would laugh and enjoy herself. Belinda agrees and does so. Alicia happens to know that tomorrow Mamzelle Rougier will take the lesson not the other Mamzelle she tells this to Betty only. Next day the class are shocked. Mamzelle Rougier sees the book and is furious and goes off to Miss Grayling, the headmistress. Sally and Belinda decide to go and own up to Miss Grayling.
In the meanwhile, Mamzelle Dupont passes by the classroom and sees Mary Lou crying. She is informed of the incident and goes to see Miss Grayling as well. She sees the humorous side of the pictures and puts everything right. The girls apologise and their apologies are accepted. Mamzelle Rougier apologises to the girls for over-reacting and her choice of girls was chosen for the plays. A generous offer by Mamzelle Dupont.
Ellen works exceedingly hard yet can produce bad or ordinary work as a result of her overworking she becomes ill. When she recovers she asks for extra coaching but is refused because the mistresses think that Ellen should not pressure herself with extra coaching just after her illness. Also, things are being stolen. Alicia sees Ellen wandering around and accuses her one evening. Ellen dreads the exams and tries to cheat she overhears that the papers are in Mamzelle Dupont's desk. She is caught by Darrell during her attempt. In the morning Ellen is sick and goes off to the san. Darrell and the others think that she is expelled. Darrell tells nobody about the previous night.
Daphne after a couple of days has to send a parcel but can't. Mary Lou in the windy, stormy night decides to do so. When Gwen tells this to Daphne, Daphne tells Gwen that she dislikes her and really likes Mary Lou. She goes off to find her. She finds her and they both are stuck. Gwen at school informs Miss Parker and she directly goes off to report to Miss Grayling. A search party is sent out both Daphne and Mary Lou are found and are sent to the san. Everyone in the form is informed of this and Darrell, Sally, Belinda and Irene go to search for the parcel the next afternoon. Daphne is regarded as a heroine.
When the four children find the parcel which is a box they are puzzled by its contents which include stolen purses, a brooch and a necklace. They report to Miss Grayling who She calls Daphne to her office it is revealed that Daphne is the thief and Daphne is actually from a humble background and had been lying and had also stolen things at her previous schools. She is not expelled by Miss Grayling. The decision to expel her lies with the girls who decide to give her a chance. Darrell during these recent events informs Miss Grayling of Ellen's problems. Miss Grayling deals with her and at the end, everything is all right again and the girls look forward to their holidays. Daphne befriends Mary Lou.