Chapter 1V

The principal walked to the microphone, and thanked the Coach and his fencers for their demonstration. He then reminded the student body of that evening’s football game, then dismissed the students, who left the gymnasium in a jostling rush.

The Coach waived his four fencers together. “Nice job out there,” he said.

“Principal didn’t say anything about when we practice,” said Annie.

The Coach winced, and tapped his fingers against his forehead. “Must’ve forgot what I told him about Monday and Wednesday afternoons.”

“Forgot?” said Double-J. “More like he doesn’t care. Look, we were great entertainment for this afternoon, but let’s face it, we’re an afterthought here. This whole thing  was  a joke, a waste of time.”

“That’s enough,” said the Coach. “Look, if I had been paying attention I would have spoken up and reminded the principal to say something about practice. You want to be angry at someone, be angry at me, all right. The principal had to talk the football coach into letting us have this demo, so I’m not going to hold a grudge against him for not mentioning practice. Look,” he said, staring directly at Double-J, “the demo is over. Let’s turn our attention on what happens next, and not worry about what’s done.”

“Excuse me?” came a voice from outside the fencers’ circle. The team turned to the speaker.

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