The Tower Rooms is a mystery written for older girls.
Doris, who is 18, teaches 12-year-olds and lives in a small flat in Prahran, Melbourne, with her brother Colin, 23, who was a fifth-year medical student but who now works in an office. They are raising their younger sister, Madge, who is still at school, because their parents died. Madge has two years to go to complete her secondary schooling, and would like get a scholarship to University if she does so. It’s their best plan. But poor Doris is worn out and far too skinny, and the doctor advises her to go and rest in the country. There is no money for that, but then Madge finds this advertisement in the newspaper:
Lady requiring rest and change offered pleasant country home, few weeks return light services. Teacher preferred. References exchanged.
There followed an address in the south-west of Victoria.
Doris applies, and is accepted by Mrs Marie McNab of ‘The Towers’ near Wootong.
I Make a Friend
On the train she meets Dick Atherton, who shares rooms with Harry McNab at Trinity College, University of Melbourne:
“. . . you said it was your first visit.”
“I’m hardly a visitor,” I said. It wasn’t easy, but I thought it best to have things on a straight footing. “I’m . . .” It came to me suddenly that I hardly knew what I was. “I’m—a sort of governess, I suppose. I’m going up, just for the holidays, to help Mrs McNab.”
“What a shame!” said Mr Atherton promptly—apparently, before taking thought. He pulled himself up, reddening. “At least—you know what I mean. Those kids ought to have someone about six feet, and weighing quite twelve stone, to keep them in order. They’re outlaws. . .”
The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights on this story.
First Published in: 1926
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne