There was great excitement when Tessa got the letter about the USA from her father. At least, no one, according to Susan, had ever seen Tessa more excited than a half-dead fish in an aquarium at feeding time - "she opens her mouth a little wider than usual, that's all," Susan maintained - but Susan was excited enough for two anyway.
The letter came at breakfast time just before the Easter holidays, when everybody was pretty sick of school anyway and any diversion was welcome. Midge, Susan and Tessa were dallying over breakfast, reluctant to leave the warm dining room and face the icy March winds outside on their way to prayers, when the post was handed round by a prefect. Tessa read her letter in her slow deliberate way and Susan, who had no letters herself that morning, fidgeted. "Well, go on, tell," she said eventually when Tessa had been given enough time to read a book, "what's the news, Tessa?"
As usual, Tessa didn't answer directly. "You know my father?" she said.
"Of course I don't know your father," said Susan. He's always abroad, never even comes to Speech Day-"
"No, well, but you know who I mean-"
"Och, I know who you mean."
"Yes, well, you know that he is in the Foreign Service?"
Susan said that she did know that, but she'd often wondered if Tessa hadn't made some sort of mistake about that, because she had always thought that these diplomatic types were supposed to be very clever, diplomatic and all that jazz, yet how could a clever diplomatic father have a dim daughter like Tessa?
Tessa was indignant. "Well, of course I haven't made a mistake," she said. "Surely I should know what my own father does?"
"Well, you would think so," said Susan, "but you know what you're like, Tessa, you never know what's going on half the time."
From SUSAN IN TROUBLE, the planned 12th Susan book. The plot has the girls planning to go to the USA and Mexico. However, Jane Shaw only wrote six pages of the book before abandoning it.