A finishing branch of the Chalet School has been opened in the Bernese Oberland with Miss Wilson as Head. This new branch is originally called the Welsen branch, but this changes in a later book. The book occupies the same term as SHOCKS FOR THE CHALET SCHOOL.
Peggy is one of the first students along with many others of her Chalet School friends. But there are also several students from other schools who nurse an imaginary grievance that the Chalet girls are trying to impose their own traditions. As this is a finishing school, the girls are given a considerable amount of freedom and there are no prefects. This rather goes to the head of some of the girls at first and there is trouble in the offing.
Two problem pupils, in very different ways are Edna and Elma, Edna is a perfect example of the "prunes and prisms" type of girl, unable to enter into the fun of her fellows and miserable because she does not understand why she is not accepted. Peggy takes her in hand about half way during the term and manages to effect a great change, so much so that Edna is able to take a comic role in the end of term pantomime and carry it off quite well.
Elma is a much more serious case, as she has actually been send to the Oberland because her parents are worried about a relationship she has developed with a particularly unsavoury man called Stuart Rainer. She breaks the rules with impunity, indulging in card playing on Sundays and crowns her iniquities by carrying on a clandestine correspondence with Stuart and even planning to sneak out and meet him. This causes a lot of trouble until the situation is sorted out.
After all these confusions, the term ends happily with a pantomime got up by the girls, themselves. This is to later become a settled tradition, as the pantomime is one of the most eagerly awaited events in later books. As the term comes to an end, Miss Wilson is able to reflect that the finishing branch has got off to a really promising start.