While studying at Oxford University, Paul Pennyfeather is set on by members of the Bollinger Club, who set on him, remove his clothes and force him to run naked around the university campus. Expelled for indecent behaviour, he looks for a job as a schoolmaster and finds one at Llanabba Castle School, Wales, where he is one of a bunch of misfits who probably drifted into teaching by accident just as he did. The students are irritating, and some of the staff are very odd. Among them are the usually drunk, accident-prone Captain Grimes, and the likeable yet ever-dithering Prendergast, who once made the mistake of removing his wig in full view of the boys on his first day at the place.
Very soon Sports Day arrives, and with it Margot Beste-Chetwynde, the mother of one of his pupils. Prendergast accidentally shoots one budding young athlete, Lord Tangent, in the leg with a starting pistol. His mother, Lady Circumference, only seems mildly annoyed. Later Captain Grimes mysteriously disappears, and Paul becomes engaged to Mrs B-C. On the morning of the wedding he is arrested on a charge of trafficking in the white slave trade and sent to prison. While behind bars his fiancée comes to visit him, and tells him she is getting married to someone else.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste