We all looked at his empty desk and waited for a small voice to cry ‘I’m down here’,but there was only silence. Fred Frisbee then suggested that he may have beenunwell and had gone home. Winnie Wickers thought that he might have had to run anerrand for the head teacher. No one suggested that Miss Battleaxe might be standingone metre above his head.‘Well,’ said Miss Battleaxe, ‘We’ll have to continue the lesson without him and youall better pay attention because next week we shall have a test to see how much youremember.’We all groaned, but not too loudly as Miss Battleaxe did not like to hear childrengroan or moan in her class. Outside, the sun was shining and the playing ﬁelds in thedistance looked so inviting, but inside the classroom we had to sit quietly, listeningand learning all about the Romans. She probably told us lots of interesting factsabout how they got here, when and where they landed, what they wore and what theyate. Unfortunately, most of it went in one ear and straight out of theother because all we could think about was Thomas sitting there in thedark under the trapdoor. Then Omar O’Shea and Petal Patel started togiggle, but we all looked at them ﬁercely and shook our heads just likeMiss Battleaxe would have done. This was no time to start giggling.Suddenly, as Miss Battleaxe was describing the construction of Roman roads, thesound of a book falling came from under the ﬂoor boards. Almost immediately,Jasmine Juxtapose pushed a book off her desk. ‘Sorry Miss,’ she said as she picked itup and received a cold stare from Miss Battleaxe, the one she used to stun wasps.A little later, as Miss Battleaxe was showing us a picture of a Roman centurion andexplaining how he tied his toga, there came a loud sneeze from the underworld.Within a second or two, several pupils were all sneezing together and disturbing MissBattleaxe’s presentation.‘Dear me!’ she exclaimed, ‘I hope there isn’t a nasty bug going round. We don’t wantanyone to miss next week’s test, do we?’ but no one spoke.Towards the end of the lesson, some of us thought we heard the sound of snoringcoming from the trapdoor. Well, none of us was going to pretend to be asleep in MissBattleaxe’s class, but she didn’t seem to notice and kept droning on about thoseRomans. Finally, the lesson was over. Miss Battleaxe swept out of the classroom and,when the coast was clear, we released Thomas from his dungeon. He was covered indust but didn’t seem too unhappy at having spent the whole lesson there.