"Yes," said Mr. Pengelly, "we're going to decide the fate of your school tonight..."
"Ugh, Jan," began Mrs. Pengelly in a vexed voice, "and I've taken care to say nothing..."
"My dear soul! What's the matter with 'ee? 'Tes no secret."
"Mr. Pengelly, what do you mean?" asked Katherine, never at any time backward. Fiona and Isobel were looking somewhat alarmed.
Mr. Pengelly laughed. "'Tes nawthen'. The lease of the School laands falls due this year, and 'tes a question of renewing the lease. Council won't say No to Pendragon Manor."
"I wish I could be sure of that," said Mrs. Pengelly. "You know as well as I do that there's talk of the Ministry of Education taking over the land. Aye, and the school with it."
"Good gracious me!" said Fiona. Was every school to which she and Katherine were sent liable to crumble about their ears?
From THE MOOCHERS, Chapter 6, The Rumours Begin. Mr. Pengelly is Cornish, which accounts for the strange spelling. Note that Mrs. Pengelly uses the expression Ugh, which is an expression of disgust today. It was an editor at Collins, Jocelyn T. Oliver, who felt it was time to change it to Och. So, we see Ugh used in the early Susan books, but in the later ones and Crooks Tour, the girls say Och. Jocelyn Oliver was the inspiration for Mr. Parfitt in Crooked Sixpence, and wrote to the author that he was pleased to be "immortalised" in the book. When Mr. Oliver moved to Nelson Publishers, Jane Shaw agreed to write some books for him, which explains why the Penny and Northmead books were published by Nelson.