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A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett first published in 1905 - LWT 1986
Sara wakes up the next morning. She feels warm and safe and still thinks she is dreaming. Her old blanket is now coloured and cosy. The fire is lit and she can feel warmth for the first time in her room. Becky calls in and cannot believe her eyes. She thinks that a magician must have done it. The room is transformed with red curtains and nice furnishings.
Bacon ,eggs and hot tea or served on a silver platter. Becky and Sara sit down and eat breakfast. Next door Mr. Carrisford is told of how his servant crept into Sara's room and added all the items without her stirring. Again Carrisford asks for the whiskey decanter. His servant states that he cannot find it. Mr. Carrisford is looking better though so the lack of alcohol is doing him good.
Back at the school, Sara is cleaning the floor when the door knocker sounds. She answers it and receives a small delivery boy with a large parcel. Sara signs for it just as Miss Minchin arrives. They open it to find a large expensive coat amongst other expensive clothes for Sara inside. Miss Minchin is totally bewildered and asks Sara if she has a rich uncle somewhere. Sara reminds her that even if she did have a relative how would they have know that she lived in the tope right attic room upstairs as was written on the label.
Miss Minchin is worried, she is really worried. If Sara indeed has a rich relative there will be hell to pay after the way Sara has been treated. Miss Minchin tries to recover the situation by requesting Sara to change into the new clothes, then to return to the class with the other girls, there will be no more work duty for the rest of the day. On arrival at the classroom, Lavinia acts the usual nasty piece of work she is until she it told to shut up by a voiceful Ermengarde. Sara sits down and tries to explain to the other girls.
Upstairs, Becky is waiting for her. The magician has returned and left food for Sara and Becky. Steak and soup for lunch. Becky thinks he must be a ghost.
Later Mr. Carmichael returns with bad news for Mr. Carrisford. He explains that the little girl was not the right one. Carrisford is not that disappointed as he thinks that the main search should now be in England.
Later that day, Sara returns the monkey to the Carrisford household. The man servant explains that the master would like to thanks her personally for rescuing and returning him. Sara enters the house and slowly walks into the hall. She is shown into the living room with Mr. Carrisford and Mr. Carmichael are waiting. Mr. Carrisford thanks her and explains that the monkey finds London a strange and fascinating place and asks her to forgive him if has been bothering her. Sara replies that there is nothing to forgive. She states that the Sikh calls him the evil one but that he is not evil at all. Carrisford asks how she knows he is a Sikh. Sara tells him that she met lots of Sikhs out in India. She also tells him that she was born and raised there.
Suddenly Carrisford starts to realise that his search may be over and turns to Carmichael to continue the questioning. Carmichael asks her if his son gave her sixpence and if she lived at the school. Sara answers yes but Carmichael asks if she was one of the pupils. Sara recounts the story of the fact she was once but then her father lost all his money and that now she was a skivvy.
Carrisford then hears the news that her name was Crewe and her father was Captain Crewe and that he had given all his money to a friend who had lost it. Sara then sees the statue of Kali and realises it used to belong in her house in India. Carrisford tells her that he is the friend who lost all the money, the idol used to be hers and that he has been searching all over Europe for her.
Meanwhile Henrietta had seen the goings on and reported back to Miss Minchin. Miss Minchin dresses and then goes round to Mr. Carrisford's house.
Sara is overjoyed at what Mr. Carrisford has told her. She also learns that she owns half a diamond mine and is now very rich. She also learns that the manservant Ramdas is the magician who had transformed her dismal bedroom.
Miss Minchin arrives at the Carrisford residence and demands to know why Sara has been visiting. She apologises for Sara's intrusion and orders her home. Mr. Carmichael reminds Miss Minchin that it is now up to Sara as to whether or not she returns to the school. Miss Minchin storms to the door and states that they have a job looking after this one as she thinks she is a Princess. Sara reminds Miss Minchin that she only tried to behave as a Princess would.
Back at the school, everyone now knows the news. Amelia finally has the guts to stand up to her sister and tells her what she thinks. Amelia the resigns her post as Miss Minchin hangs her head in shame as she has lost so much. Later the Carmichael children have tea with Sara.
Later Ramdas visits Becky upstairs with a letter from Sara. Becky cannot read it and asks him to read it her. In the letter, Sara asks Becky to leave her post and come and be her personal maid. Becky is overjoyed at the thought.
Sara wishes to help everyone as she knows what it feels like to be poor and lonely. Mr. Carrisford suggests she builds The Ralph Crewe home for stray children. Sara then returns to the baker's shop and is instantly recognised by the owner who was kind to her in the past. Sara learns that Anne, the small girl she helped outside has been taken in by the shop owner and is very happy.
Sara then returns home in a horse and carriage. She sees the girls from the school walking with Miss Minchin. They all call to her but are hurriedly along by the head mistress.
So again ends another superb little gem of children's television. They have not made anything this good for years and probably never will again. Comments, thoughts etc. to the usual address.
The Story in Six Parts