They arrive at the enormous school that looks like a castle, and come upon a woman in the road. She is a gypsy and seems to recognize Gemma, saying, "You've come back to me" (4.7). Say what?
Chillingly, the woman then asks about Carolina and says, "Mother Elena sees everything" (4.12).
Pulling up to the school, Tom reminds Gemma that she should stick to hanging with the rich in-crowd, a.k.a. "her equals," which Gemma thinks is hilarious since she thinks of herself as a loser, though she doesn't say as much.
Expecting to be welcomed in by a warm face, Gemma is shocked to be met instead by a disappointed housekeeper who immediately scolds her for being late.
Waiting in the lobby, some girls come over and flirt with Tom, who shows off for them. Needless to say, Gemma isn't thrilled.
When it is time for Tom to leave, he doesn't have anything nice to say, just, "Make us proud" (4.28). Uh, yeah—we'll miss you too, Tom.
Gemma is taken to meet the headmistress, Mrs. Nightwing, who ignores her until she is done with her paperwork.
Finally Mrs. Nightwing talks to Gemma, though she does so in a cold, short way. She tells her she doesn't need to wear black (to mourn her mother), and she also breaks down the schedule of events.
Down the hall is her new room, which is tiny and bare, and which she will share with a scholarship student, a.k.a. a lower class girl.
Gemma tries on her uniform and finds it is too short because she is tall for her age.
They walk to prayers in the chapel and pass by a locked door—it leads to the East Wing, burned by a fire and now sealed off.
Gemma thinks she sees a shadow move behind the door.