Home > Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(2)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1)(2)
Author: Ally Carter

“That by committing this act at two a.m., she was also in violation of the school curfew. And that Ms. Bishop willfully destroyed school artifacts.” Jason lowered the book and paused—a little more dramatically than necessary, Kat thought—before he added, “According to the Colgan Code of Honor, these charges are punishable by expulsion. Do you understand the charges as they have been read to you?”

Kat took a moment to make sure the board really did want her to respond before she said, “I didn’t do it.”

“The charges.” Headmaster Franklin leaned forward. “The question, Ms. Bishop, was whether you understood the charges.”

“I do.” Kat felt her heartbeat change rhythm. “I just don’t agree with them.”

“I—” the headmaster started again, but a woman to his right touched his arm lightly.

She smiled at Kat as she said, “Headmaster, I seem to remember that in matters such as this, it’s customary to take the student’s full academic history into account. Perhaps we should begin with a review of Ms. Bishop’s record?”

“Oh.” The headmaster seemed to deflate a bit. “Well, that’s quite right, Ms. Connors, but since Ms. Bishop has only been with us a few months, she has no record to speak of.”

“But surely this is not the first school the young woman has attended?” Ms. Connors asked, and Kat bit back a nervous laugh.

“Well, yes,” the headmaster admitted grudgingly. “Of course. And we tried to contact those schools, but there was a fire at Trinity that destroyed the entire admissions office and most of their records. And the Bern Institute experienced a terrible computer crash last summer, so we’ve had a very difficult time finding . . . things.”

The headmaster looked at Kat as if disasters must follow wherever she went. Ms. Connors, on the other hand, looked impressed. “Those are two of the finest schools in Europe.”

“Yes, ma’am. My father, he . . . does a lot of work there.”

“What do your parents do?”

As Kat searched the second row for the girl who’d posed the question, she started to ask exactly why her parents’ occupations mattered. But then she remembered that Colgan was the kind of place where who your parents were and what they did always seemed to matter.

“My mother died when I was six.”

A few people gave a slight sigh at this, but Headmaster Franklin pressed on. “And your father?” he asked, unwilling to let a conveniently deceased mother swing any sympathy votes Kat’s way. “What does he do?”

“Art,” Kat said simply, carefully. “He does a lot of things, but he specializes in art.”

At this, the head of the fine arts department perked up. “Collecting?” the man asked.

Again Kat had to fight back a smile. “More like . . . distribution.”

“Interesting though this may be,” Headmaster Franklin interrupted, “it does not pertain to . . . the matter at hand.” Kat could have sworn he’d stopped himself from saying to my convertible.

No one responded. The only motion in the room was the dust that still danced in the narrow beam of falling light. Finally, Headmaster Franklin leaned forward and narrowed his eyes. Kat had seen lasers with less focus as the headmaster snapped: “Ms. Bishop, where were you on the night of November tenth?”

“In my room. Studying.”

“On a Friday night? You were studying?” The headmaster glanced at his colleagues as if that were the most outrageous lie any Colgan student had ever dared to utter.

“Well, Colgan is an exceptionally difficult institution. I have to study.”

“And you didn’t see anyone?” Jason asked.

“No, I—”

“Oh, but someone saw you, didn’t they, Ms. Bishop?” Headmaster Franklin’s voice was cold and sharp. “We have cameras monitoring the grounds. Or didn’t you know?” he asked with a chuckle.

But of course Kat knew about the cameras. She suspected she knew more about every aspect of Colgan security than the headmaster did, but she didn’t think this was the appropriate time to say so. There were too many witnesses. Too much was at stake. And, besides, the headmaster was already smiling triumphantly and dimming the lights with a remote control. Kat had to twist in her chair to see a section of the round wall sliding aside, revealing a large TV.

“This young woman bears a striking resemblance to you, does she not, Ms. Bishop?” As Kat watched the grainy black-and-white video, she recognized the quad, of course, but she had never seen the person who was running across it wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

“That’s not me.”

“But the dormitory doors were only opened once that night—at 2:27 a.m.—using a student identification card. This card.” Kat’s stomach flipped as the single-worst picture she had ever taken appeared on the screen. “This is your Colgan student I.D., is it not, Ms. Bishop?”

“Yes, but—”

“And this”—Headmaster Franklin reached beneath his seat—“was found during a search of your belongings.” The personalized license plate—COLGAN-1—seemed to glow as he held it above his head.

It felt to Kat as though all the air had left the dim room as a strange feeling swept over her. After all, accused she could handle; wrongly accused was entirely new territory.

“Katarina?” Ms. Connors asked, as if begging Kat to prove them wrong.

“I know that seems like a lot of very convincing evidence,” Kat said, her mind working, gears spinning. “Maybe too much evidence? I mean, would I really use my own I.D. if I’d done it?”

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