[] 'GEORGE, don't behave fiercely today, will you?' said Julian, after breakfast. 'It won't do you or Timothy and good at all.'

[] 'Do you suppose I'm going to behave well when I know perfectly well that Mr. Roland will never let me have Tim indoors all these holidays?' said George.

[] 'Well - they said a week,' said Dick. 'Can't you try for a week?'

[] 'No. At the end of a week Mr. Roland will say I must try for another week,' said George. 'He's got a real dislike for poor Tim. And for me too. I'm not surprised at that, because I know that when I try to be horrid, I really am horrid. But he shouldn't hate poor Timmy.'

[] 'Oh George - you'll spoil the whole holls if you are silly, and keep getting into trouble,' said Anne.

[] 'Well, I'll spoil them then,' said George, the sulky look coming back on her face.

[] 'I don't see why you have to spoil them for us, as well as for yourself,' said Julian.

[] 'They don't need to be spoilt for you,' said George. 'You can have all the fun you want - go for walks with your dear Mr. Roland, play games with him in the evening, and laugh and talk as much as you like. You don't need to take any notice of me.'

[] 'You are a funny girl, George,' said Julian, with a sigh. 'We like you, and we hate you to be unhappy - so how can we have fun if we know you are miserable - and Timmy too?'

[] 'Don't worry about me' said George, in rather a choky voice. I'm going out to Tim. I'm not corning in to lessons today.'

[] 'George! But you must!' said Dick and Julian together.

[] 'There's no "Must" about it,' said George. I'm just not coming. I won't work with Mr. Roland till he says I can have Timothy indoors again.'

[] 'But you know you can't do things like that - you'll be spanked or something,' said Dick.

[] 'I shall run away if things get too bad,' said George, in a shaky voice. 'I shall run away with Tim.'

[] She went out of the room and shut the door with a bang. The others stared after her. What could you do with a person like George? Anyone could rule her with kindness and understanding - but as soon as she came up against anyone who disliked her, or whom she disliked, she shied away like a frightened horse - and kicked like a frightened horse, too!

[] Mr. Roland came into the sitting-room, his books in his hand. He smiled at the three children.

[] 'Well? All ready for me, I see. Where's George?'

[] Nobody answered. Nobody was going to give George away!

[] 'Don't you know where she is?' asked Mr. Roland in surprise. He looked at Julian.

[] 'No, sir,' said Julian, truthfully. 'I've no idea where she is.'

[] 'Well - perhaps she will come along in a few minutes,' said Mr. Roland. 'Gone to feed that dog of hers, I suppose.'

[] They all settled down to work. The time went on and George did not come in. Mr. Roland glanced at the clock and made an impatient clicking noise with his tongue.

[] 'Really, it's too bad of George to be so late! Anne, go and see if you can find her.'

[] Anne went. She looked in the bedroom. There was no George there. She looked in the kitchen. Joanna was there, making cakes. She gave the little girl a hot piece to eat. She had no idea where George was.

[] Anne couldn't find her anywhere. She went back and told Mr. Roland. He looked angry.

[] 'I shall have to report this to her father,' he said. 'I have never had to deal with such a rebellious child before. She seems to do everything she possibly can to get herself into trouble.'

[] Lessons went on. Break came, and still George did not appear. Julian slipped out and saw that the yard-kennel was empty. So George had gone out with Timmy! What a row she would get into when she got back!

[] No sooner had the children settled down after Break to do the rest of the morning's lessons, than a big disturbance came.

[] Uncle Quentin burst into the room, looking upset and worried.

[] 'Have any of you children been into my study?' he asked.

[] 'No, Uncle Quentin,' they all answered.

[] 'You said we weren't to,' said Julian.

[] 'Why, sir? Has something been broken?' asked Mr. Roland.

[] 'Yes - the test-tubes I set yesterday for an experiment have been broken - and what is worse, three most important pages of my book have gone,' said Uncle Quentin. 'I can write them out again, but only after a great deal of work. I can't understand it. Are you sure, children, that none of you has been meddling with things in my study?'

[] 'Quite sure,' they answered. Anne went very red -she suddenly remembered what George had told her. George said she had taken Timmy into Uncle Quentin's study last night, and rubbed his chest with oil! But George couldn't possibly have broken the test-tubes, and taken pages from her father's book!

[] Mr. Roland noticed that Anne had gone red.

[] 'Do you know anything about this, Anne?' he asked.

[] 'No, Mr. Roland,' said Anne, blushing even redder, and looking very uncomfortable indeed.

[] 'Where's George?' suddenly said Uncle Quentin.

[] The children said nothing, and it was Mr. Roland who answered:

[] 'We don't know. She didn't come to lessons this morning.'

[] 'Didn't come to lessons! Why not?' demanded Uncle Quentin, beginning to frown.

[] 'She didn't say,' said Mr. Roland dryly. 'I imagine she was upset because we were firm about Timothy last night, sir - and this is her way of being defiant.'

[] 'The naughty girl!' said George's father, angrily. 'I don't know what's come over her lately. Fanny! Come here! Did you know that George hasn't been in to her lessons today?'

[] Aunt Fanny came into the room. She looked very worried. She held a little bottle in her hand. The children wondered what it was.

[] 'Didn't come in to lessons!' repeated Aunt Fanny. 'How extraordinary! Then where is she?'

[] 'I don't think you need to worry about her,' said Mr. Roland, smoothly. 'She's probably gone off with Timothy in a fit of temper. What is very much more important, sir, is the fact that your work appears to have been spoilt by someone. I only hope it is not George, who has been spiteful enough to pay you out for not allowing her to have her dog in the house.'

[] 'Of course it wasn't George!' cried Dick, angry that anyone should even think such a thing of his cousin.

[] 'George would never, never do a thing like that,' said Julian.

[] 'No, she never would,' said Anne, sticking up valiantly for her cousin, although a horrid doubt was in her mind. After all - George had been in the study last night!

[] 'Quentin, I am sine George would not even think of such a thing,' said Aunt Fanny. 'You will find those pages somewhere - and as for the test-tubes that were broken, well, perhaps the wind blew the curtain against them, or something! When did you last see those pages?'

[] 'Last night,' said Uncle Quentin. 'I read them over again, and checked my figures to make sure they were right. These pages contain the very heart of my formula! If they got into anyone else's hands, they could use my secret. This is a terrible thing for me! I must know what has happened to them.'

[] 'I found this in your study, Quentin,' said Aunt Fanny, and she held up the little bottle she carried. 'Did you put it there? It was in the fender.'

[] Uncle Quentin took the bottle and stared at it. 'Camphorated oil!' he said. 'Of course I didn't take it there. Why should I?'

[] 'Well - who took it there, then?' asked Aunt Fanny, puzzled. 'None of the children has a cold - and anyway, they wouldn't think of the camphorated oil, and take it into the study to use! It's most extraordinary!'

[] Everyone was astonished. Why should a bottle of camphorated oil appear in the study fender?’

[] Only one person could think why. It suddenly came into Anne's mind in a flash. George had said she had taken Timmy into the study, and rubbed him with oil! He had had a cough, that was why. And she had left the oil in the study. Oh dear, oh dear - now what would happen? What a pity George had forgotten the oil!

[] Anne went very red again as she looked at the oil. Mr. Roland, whose eyes seemed very sharp this morning, looked hard at the little girl.

[] 'Anne! You know something about that oil!' he said suddenly. 'What do you know? Did you put it there?'

[] 'No,' said Anne. 'I haven't been into the study. I said I hadn't.'

[] 'Do you know anything about the oil?' said Mr. Roland, again. 'You do know something.'

[] Everyone stared at Anne. She stared back. This was simply dreadful. She could not give George away. She could not. George was in quite enough trouble as it was, without getting into any more. She pursed up her little mouth and did not answer.

[] 'Anne!' said Mr. Roland, sternly. 'Answer when you are spoken to.'

[] Anne said nothing. The two boys stared at her, guessing that it was something to do with George. They did not know that George had brought Timothy in the night before.

[] 'Anne, dear,' said her aunt, gently. 'Tell us if you know something. It might help us to find out what has happened to Uncle Quentin's papers. It is very, very, important.'

[] Still Anne said nothing. Her eyes filled with tears. Julian squeezed her arm.

[] 'Don't bother Anne,' he said to the grown-ups. 'If she thinks she can't tell you, she's got some very good reason.'

[] 'I think she's shielding George,' said Mr. Roland. 'Is that it, Anne?'

[] Anne burst into tears. Julian put his arms round his little sister, and spoke again to the three grown-ups.

[] 'Don't bother Anne! Can't you see she's upset?'

[] 'We'll let George speak for herself, when she thinks will come in,' said Mr. Roland. 'I'm sure she knows how that bottle got there - and if she put it there herself must have been into the study - and she's the only person that has been there.'

[] The boys could not think for one moment that George would do such a thing as spoil her father's work. Anne feared it, and it upset her. She sobbed in Julian's arms.

[] 'When George comes in, send her to me in my study,' said Uncle Quentin, irritably. 'How can a man work when these upsets go on? I was always against having children in the house.'

[] He stamped out, tall, cross and frowning. The children were glad to see him go. Mr. Roland shut the books on the table with a snap.

[] 'We can't do any more lessons this morning,' he said. ‘Put on your things and go out for a walk till dinner-time.'

[] 'Yes, do,' said Aunt Fanny, looking white and worried. 'That's a good idea.'

[] Mr. Roland and their aunt went out of the room. 'I don't know if Mr. Roland thinks he's coming out with us,' said Julian, in a low voice, 'but we've got to get out first and give him the slip. We've got to find George and warn her what's up.'

[] 'Right!' said Dick. 'Dry your eyes, Anne darling. Hurry and get your things. We'll slip out of the garden door before Mr. Roland comes down. I bet George has gone for her favourite walk over the cliffs. We'll meet her!' The three children threw on their outdoor things and crept out of the garden door quietly. They raced down the garden path, and out of the gate before Mr. Roland even knew they were gone! They made their way to the cliffs, and looked to see if George was coming.

[] 'There she is - and Timothy, too!' cried Julian, pointing. 'George! George! Quick, we've got something to tell you!'