Anne is a pupil at Fairacre School. She is nine years old, and is asked to look after Linda Moffat on Linda's first day. Linda shares her chocolate with Anne, and the pair become friends. Later, Anne and Linda give Miss Read a joint Christmas present of perfume called "Dusky Allure".
Miss Read reflects that there is no shortage of money at Anne's home, but there is a lack of supervision. Her mother has no time to pack a snack for her daughter to take to school, Anne's shoes are "good but dirty", her socks often have holes, and she frequently forgets her dinner money. Linda considers her to be untidy, but is determined to be friends with her even though she knows her mother will disapprove of the untidiness.