In hindsight, it was a good thing I took notes for our school exchange or we would have missed a lot of the early details.
Of course, Daisy insisted that she had noticed them and realised they were peculiar and said she would have remembered them. Some things simply aren't worth arguing over. Choosing where to start writing about this was much trickier than usual, so in the end I just decided to start from the first day of our exchange. Daisy rolled her eyes at this and said that yet again I had started with details no-one was interested in.
The Detective Society - Daisy, Myself, Lavinia, Kitty and Beanie - left Deepdean before any of the other girls were awake. Not for any kind of Detective business for once, for our school exchange.
Daisy had complained about it nonstop (though she said that was an exaggeration on my part) since Miss Bernard announced that our dorm would be swapping places with girls from another boarding school. Daisy was very put out that she should be shunted to any other school, though I suspected that the teachers were rather more pleased than she was.
Still, it was organised and there was nothing that Daisy could do apart from complain. Which she did. A lot. Until Lavinia threatened to smother her with a pillow. Anyway, on that early morning, all five of us stumbled out of Deepdean School for Girls and onto the minibus outside, accompanied by Miss Cunningham, Matron's new assistant.
By the afternoon, my brain was fried. Not literally, of course, because that would have been horrid. It had been a long journey. An hour to the station, five hours on the train, then another hour on this minibus, and all the while Daisy had insisted we continue to hone our detective skills. Which was jolly difficult to do when it was just so unbearably hot.
"You've forgotten one, start again", Daisy said. We were up to a list of nearly fifty objects to remember in order and it was pushing the limits of everyone's memory to try and recall them all and think of new ones to add. Even Daisy had faltered for just a moment in her last turn, though I knew she would never admit it.
"Give it a rest, Daisy", Lavinia groaned from across the aisle, "It's a wonder Hazel's never throttled you".
Which, of course, Daisy responded to with self righteous indignation but it did make her quieten down. My heart sank because it was just more proof that she had lost something in recently months, a part of her that made her so...Daisy. I had often thought I would prefer it if Daisy had her corners rubbed off a bit but I'm quickly finding that isn't the case. Daisy but less-Daisy wasn't the person I became friends with two years ago.
"You'll see the school soon", the driver called from the front, "Move around to the left if you want a good first look, let me tell you it's something!"
Daisy rolled her eyes. We had, of course, already heard that Malory Towers looked like a castle on the cliff tops and Daisy had immediately decided that that was simply too twee for words. I privately thought that given the high and mighty opinion Daisy had of herself at times (okay, all the time), she would be a bit more excited.
Still, despite her protests, I did see Daisy's face come over with the same look of amazement as everyone else. Beanie's mouth was practically hanging open.
"I'd much rather be coming here than Deepdean", Kitty said.
Daisy ruffled and I knew she was about to defend her school (and Daisy really did think of the school as hers, each term I half expected to hear that Daisy had managed to swindle her way into having the land ownership transferred to her), but then the minibus took a sharp turn and everyone was thrown back into their seats.
"Not long now", I said, still looking up at the school as I spoke. It really did look much nicer than Deepdean, but looks could be ever so deceiving.