If you wander around the village of Gribble, you can pick up some interesting clues about what’s going on there. This crumpled sheet of paper blown out of a dustbin behind the local newspaper office is very revealing. This article is a little difficult to read in its original form, so the text is copied out for you below.
RAGING INFERNO ENGULFS VILLAGE SCHOOL
BY BARRY PIGGLESWORTH, JUNIOR REPORTER
A major fire at the village school has caused mayhem among staff and pupils today.
The inferno, believed to have started under mysterious circumstances in a sports bag situated in a cloakroom this morning, was dealt with courageously by Mr Bertram Splodge, chief fire officer for Gribble village. Mr Splodge, who described his age to our reporter as “still young enough to beat you in a race to the pub, Sonny Jim,” said of the blaze, “luckily for everyone involved, my new Fire Cart 3000 boasts the best technology available and as such is now equipped with a small blanket as well as the regulation buckets of water and sand. That Miss Dagger did try to prevent me from entering the scene of the fire, but I reminded her that once a call has been made, the fire service is obliged to see the job through. She wasn’t very happy, I can tell you, but as I said to her, rules are rules. I had a job to do and I did it, in spite of her sticking her nose in. Oh, you won’t put that bit in the paper, though will you? Not that I’m scared of her of course, nothing like that. But, well, you know what she’s like.”
The Chronicle understands that the fire resulted in Miss Bovina Wishbone’s class being evacuated to the playground and forced to remain there for several minutes. A sports towel was incinerated to such a degree that it could not be saved and several children claimed to be so traumatised that they needed to go home, but were disappointed to be returned to the classroom and told to continue with their fractions. The Chronicle also contacted Miss Mortillda Dagger, headmistress, for her comments on the situation. She said, “For pity’s sake, not this again. Is there no real news to report these days? I don’t know what they pay you for at that newspaper. I hope you’re not taking any notice of that fool and his ridiculous cart. Tell your editor if he doesn’t start minding his own business he’ll have me to answer to and —That’s enough, Barry. Don’t send this to print. Ed.
Fire in the school? Well now. What could possibly have caused that?
Come back soon for more teasers!