This scene was one of the last to be deleted from CHERUB: The Recruit. It fitted into Chapter 35, after the fight in the canteen with Stuart and Gareth and gives a fuller explination as to why Ewart is so angry with James in the scenes that follow.

Unfortunately, the book was too long and it had to be cut.



James, Gareth and Stuart sat outside the Headmistress’s office. Gareth had strips of burned skin peeling off his nose. Stuart was bouncing his trainer, scared. James faced the pair of them with folded arms and a grin. It was great being able to get in trouble without serious consequences.

            Joanna poked her head around the end of the corridor. When she saw there were no teachers she ran to James. He gave her a kiss.

            ‘You’re a bad boy, Ross,’ Joanna giggled. ‘The whole school is talking about you.’

            James looked at Gareth and Stuart.

‘They deserved a beating,’ James said.

            ‘You’ll get yours,’ Stuart said.

            ‘I’ll finish you off now if you don’t shut up.’

            Joanna gave James a can of Coke and a Bounty bar.

            ‘Thought you might be hungry,’ she said. ‘See you on the bus.’

            James sat down and unwrapped his chocolate. He noticed Stuart had started crying.

            ‘I wish I was tough like you,’ James laughed.

            Stuart ran at James. James twisted Stuart’s wrist behind his back.

            ‘Shall I break your arm, cry baby?’ James asked.

Stuart started howling. James let him go and kicked him up the arse.

‘You guys wouldn’t last five seconds at a school in London,’ James said.

            Stuart collapsed on the floor crying. If he wasn’t the same kid who’d stamped on his head two days earlier James might have had more sympathy. The Headmistress came out of her office.

            ‘What’s all this noise? In here now, the three of you.’

            They sat in the office. James picked a fountain pen off the desk and started fiddling. The Deputy Head, the Head of Year Seven and their Form Teacher all stood behind the desk. The headmistress sat in her chair. She had the boys’ records on the desk in front of her. Stuart was still crying and it was making James giggle.

            ‘Ross,’ the Headmistress said, thin lipped. ‘Will you tell me what you find funny?’

            James had been in front of head teachers loads of times. Usually he was worried, this time he didn’t care.

            ‘How much does a head teacher earn?’ James asked.

            ‘I fail to see what that has to do with anything,’ the Headmistress said.

            ‘It’s just that I think they ought to pay you enough to buy some plastic surgery so you’re not so ugly.’

            The Headmistress’ eyes bulged out of her head. She waved James’ file in the air.

            ‘Do you know, Ross, I’ve been teaching for over thirty years and this is the worst school record I have ever seen.’

            Amy told James the record was over the top when he made it up during mission preparation.

            ‘Expelled from four schools,’ the headmistress read. ‘Set fire to a Combined Science teacher. Biting the head off a school terrapin. You shouldn’t be in school; you should be in jail.’

            ‘You’d probably be quite attractive if you lost twenty or thirty kilos,’ James said.

            As James said this, the fountain pen in his hand snapped in half, splattering the desktop with ink. James looked down at the pen.

            ‘I bet that was an expensive one as well.’

            The headmistress stood up from her desk and practically exploded.

            ‘Get out of my sight. Now.’

            James stood up and casually walked out of the office. He figured he didn’t have to worry about going to Gwen Morgan school for a while.