Time and Place
The garden of Mme Angelique's Academy of Dancing and Dramatic Art, Hampstead, London, during the Victorian era
One morning Jane, the maid, and all the pupils of Mme Angélique's Academy of Dancing and Dramatic Arts are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the newspaper containing the results of the Fortune Ballot Beauty Competition. The postman comes first, and Jane receives two letters. On opening one, she learns that she has won a valuable time-keeper in another competition. Expecting a watch, she is disappointed when an alarm clock arrives. The papers then arrive, from which it is discovered that the Ballot has been won by a Sarah Jane Smith – which is not only Jane's full name but also the real name of Mme Angélique herself. A check of the ticket numbers, however, determines that the winner is neither of them. They commiserate with each other. Their consolation prizes are packets of tea. At this point Jane opens her second letter – it is from her uncle in Australia, and encloses £50. Now Jane can become one of Mme Angélique's pupils and learn to behave like a lady.