Jobs don't grow on trees, the principal
of the Belmont Secretarial College was fond of
"Be positive," Mrs Price told her
departing students, as she shook them by the
hand in turn. "Go out into the world and win ! I
have every confidence in you."
When she came to the last student, however,
her confidence suddenly evaporated. She looked
at Lucy Beck, and sighed.
"Good luck, my dear," she said kindly, but
rather in the tone of voice of someone wishing a
snowman a happy summer.
Lucy Beck was young and small and mouse-coloured,
easily overlooked. She had a lonely 'O' level
and a typing speed that would make a tortoise
"Whoever will want to employ me ?" she had
asked Mrs Price once, and Mrs Price had been at
a loss to answer.
Lucy wanted a job. More than anyone, more
than anything, she wanted a job. She was tired
of being poor. She was fed up with macaroni
cheese and baked beans. She was sick of