Tag Archives: enemy

Teacher’s Pet [1990]

  • Teacher’s Pet –  Judy: #1574 (10 March 1990) – #1583 (12 May 1990)
  • Artist: Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?)

Plot

Anna Norman gets on well in school until the arrival of a new teacher Miss Johnstone. Her new form teacher, starts favouring her immediately, earning Anna the name of “Teacher’s Pet” from her classmates. Even when Anna tries to get in trouble it makes things worse, such as when she is late to class she expects to be punished, like her other classmates were, but “Stoney” Johnstone just lets her away with it, and everyone else just thinks Anna’s taking advantage. When it comes time to elect a form captain Johnstone makes it clear that she thinks Anna has the right qualities for the job and commiserates with her when she lose out to Lucy. No amount of objections from Anna can convince her friends that she never wanted to be captain. It continues to get worse, on a museum trip, Johnstone implies that Anna told tales on Lucy and Anna rues the day the teacher took a liking to her. One good thing comes out of the trip is that her old friend Ros has gotten suspicious of Johnstone’s motives and points out to Anna that everything she does gets her in trouble and perhaps Johnstone doesn’t favour her at all!

Anna puts this theory test by speaking in slang to Johnstone when no one else is around, and gets a more typical “Stoney” response, but in class when she does it, Johnstone suggests she’d be perfect for reading the lead Pygmalion. She enlists Ros’s help to find out why Johnstone is doing this, Ros agrees to help but doesn’t want to get too involved for fear of losing friends. So in secret Ros and Anna start investigating Miss Johnstone, they find out where she lives and theorize that Anna may look like a sister that she dislikes. That theory is soon disproved as Johnstone is an only child. While Stoney is away for the weekend they do more snooping where she lives and gets talking to a neighbour of hers. Seeing a letter in a book she lent the neghbour, they think they have a new clue. It involves the local dramatics society and they think Stoney is upset because she lost out to a younger actress similar to Anna that also has the same name. Again this theory quickly goes nowhere, as the letter actually was Mrs Greys’, the neighbour.

Johnstone assigns Anna to the school disco committee, despite Lucy volunteering, not winning Anna any favours from the others. The theme is to be the 60s, so Anna asks to borrow some of her Dad’s records, but he won’t let his precious collection out of the house, her mom says he had them even before they met (some foreshadowing here!). Then while setting up for the disco, Anna gets in Stoney’s bad books temporarily for playing “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles. Stoney ends up scratching the record in her hurry to turn it off. Wayne, the owner of the record, blames Anna for putting it on. Ros thinks they finally have a clue to Stoney’s past and they must find out why she hates that song so much.

Things look up for Anna, when Ros introduces her to her cousin Tom and they hit it off, but of course Stoney tries to cause problems. Anna then tells her mom that she she is having problems with Miss Johnstone praising her all the time, so her mom says she will have a word with her on parents night. But on the night Johnstone leaves suddenly with a headache before meeting the Normans. Ros who has smoothed things with Tom, reckons that Stoney had a broken romance, and wanted to break Anna and Tom up, though it doesn’t explain why she’s targeting Anna specifically. She soon finds out the reason why, when they get a chance to look in Johnstone’s flat while Mrs Grey is looking after her cat. Anna finds a picture of young Johnstone with a man whose face is crossed out, but she recognises the car in the background. A visit to her grandmother and looking through old photo albums, confirms her suspicions, the man in the photo was her dad! Mr Norman had never made the connection with the name but he was once engaged to Jean Johnstone but broke it off because of her jealousy and moodiness. They contact the headmistress and Johnstone doesn’t even deny it when confronted, she is happy she took her revenge. Learning the truth her classmates are sorry for how they treated Anna, she forgives them easily as she doesn’t want to end up like Stoney holding a grudge for years.

Thoughts

This is an interesting hate campaign story, there are several things that make it stand out from similar stories. Firstly that it is an adult campaigning against the protagonist rather than a peer. Miss Johnstone is in a position of power, she abuses this terribly and has no regrets that she punishes an innocent girl for the perceived wrong doings of her father. She also doesn’t regret ruining her own career because of this. Even without her revenge plan, Miss Johnstone isn’t a nice person, she soon earns her nickname “Stoney” with her tough discipline and hard attitude. We later learn it is not just being dumped that has turned her into this bitter person (although it certainly doesn’t help!) as even as a younger woman Johnstone was prone to jealousy and moodiness. Seems Mr Norman had a lucky escape!

Another thing that makes it stand out, is that it is not clear that there is a hate campaign against Anna to begin with. Other stories have had the “friend” of the protagonist turn out to be their secret enemy, but here because of Miss Johnstone’s strategy it’s not clear there is a hate campaign. Certainly it is a devious scheme, by praising and acting like she thinks Anna is great, she causes trouble without suspicion. It is nearly half ways through the story before her motives are actually questioned. Some of the girls thoughts on why Johnstone is after Anna are a stretch (such as looking like a hated sister) but they don’t have a lot to go on, so they have to think of some reason. Anna was lucky to find the photo and recognise the car and end Johnstone’s revenge. I like that Anna’s parents are supportive too, because often adults in these stories can be dismissive, especially considering Anna’s complaints are “Johnstone’s too nice to her”! While her mother doesn’t think it can be that bad, she does say she will talk to Johnstone and when they find out who she really is, they go straight to the Headmistress.

Anna’s friends are a bit quick to judge her, even Ros at first when she agrees to help, she doesn’t stand up for her in public. This might be excused if she didn’t want to put Johnstone onto their investigation but she also says she doesn’t want to get involved and lose her friends. Although as Ros becomes more convinced of Johnstone’s motives, she does become more active in supporting Anna, even introducing her to Tom, her cousin. I’m sure Anna, as a nice person, would have forgiven all her friends anyway, but it’s good to see it tie in with Johnstone, as she doesn’t want to become a bitter, unforgiving person like her. It brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.

Binnie’s Boutique

Plot

Binnie Sayer is looking after her grandmother’s drapery shop while the  old lady is in hospital and has turned it into a flourishing boutique, in spite of opposition from Pegg’s, next door. To Norman Pegg’s fury, Binnie has been asked by his niece, Sara, to provide clothes for her wedding. Binnie has designed the bridesmaids’ dresses herself, but the bride is to wear Mrs Sayer’s old wedding gown. When Binnie finds a document proving that the boutique belongs to her grandmother and not to Pegg, he sneaks into the cellar of the boutique.

binnie's boutique

Notes

Appeared

  • Binnie’s Boutique – Judy: #364 (31 December 1966) – #370 (11 February 1967)

 

Beauty the Beast

Plot

Binnie, daughter of Fred Black, a dairyman of Rookfield, is keen to show-jump their milk pony. Beauty has such a comical face he is often referred to as Beauty the beast, but Binnie has a high regard for him. As Binnie is inexperienced at jumping she is having some lessons at the pony  school, run by Miss Moore. She and Beauty are chosen for the school team in a combined training event, Althea Brimpton, daughter of the owners of a popular hotel, is furious, because she thinks she should have been chosen instead. The hotel is one of Fred Black’s biggest customers, and Mr Brimpton threatens to give him up unless Binnie ceases to attend the pony school. As Fred is in the process of buying a new van, he is forced to agree, much to  Binnie’s sorrow.

beauty the beast

Notes

  • Artist: Ian Kennedy

Appeared

  • Beauty the Beast – Judy:  #227 (16 May 1964) – (?)

 

Pat of the Painted Boats

Plot

After her father has an accident, Pat Walsh and her friend, Julie Grant, are trying to navigate the derelict rennet canal on their own, in a painted boat.  If their venture is successful, the canal might be opened again for water transport, but an unknown enemy is determined to sabotage the attempt. By a trick one night, the two girls are left stranded as a thief makes off with the ‘Ursula’.
Pat of painted boats

Notes

Appeared

  • Pat of the Painted Boats – Judy:  #192 (14 September  1963) – #199 (02 November  1963)

Pineapple Pauline

Plot

Mr Malone and his daughter Pauline inherit a part of Buccaneer’s Cay, an island in the West Indies. The Malones intend to start a pineapple plantation on their part of the island, but they make an enemy of Dutch Seagar, who has a plantation on the other part of the island.

pineapple pauline

Notes

Appeared

  • Pineapple Pauline – Judy:  #31 (13 August 1960) – #43 (05 November 1960)

 

Brampton’s Big Noise

Plot

Chris Wilson had won a scholarship to Brampton College of Music. She had come up the hard way, and had made two enemies at college – a couple of snobs Prue Fletcher and Gwen Terry.

Notes

  • Artist: Guy Peeters

Appeared

  • Brampton’s Big Noise – Mandy:  no publication dates available
  • Brampton’s Big Noise (2) – Mandy:  #506 (25 September 1976) – (?)

The Pride of Penrhos

Plot

When Welsh cattle drover David Penrhos was injured, his two children, Nan and Gwyn, took over the task of driving his fine cattle to the Michelmas Fair in London. But they had an evil rival, Black Dylan, whose campaign against them grew daily more savage. He’d even tried to stampede his own huge herd, and trample the two youngsters underfoot.

pride-of-penros

Notes

Appeared

  • The Pride of Penrhos – Debbie:  #320 (31 March 1979) – (?)