Trevor did not take long to resume a garb of civilisation. He never
wasted much time over anything. He was gifted with a boundless energy,
which might possibly have made him unpopular had he not justified it by
results. The football of the school had never been in such a
flourishing condition as it had attained to on his succeeding to the
captaincy. It was not only that the first fifteen was good. The
excellence of a first fifteen does not always depend on the captain.
But the games, even down to the very humblest junior game, had woken up
one morning--at the beginning of the previous term--to find themselves,
much to their surprise, organised going concerns. Like the immortal
Captain Pott, Trevor was "a terror to the shirker and the lubber". And
the resemblance was further increased by the fact that he was "a
toughish lot", who was "little, but steel and india-rubber". At first
sight his appearance was not imposing. Paterfamilias, who had heard his
son's eulogies on Trevor's performances during the holidays, and came
down to watch the school play a match, was generally rather
disappointed on seeing five feet six where he had looked for at least
six foot one, and ten stone where he had expected thirteen. But then,
what there was of Trevor was, as previously remarked, steel and
india-rubber, and he certainly played football like a miniature
Stoddart. It was characteristic of him that, though this was the
first match of the term, his condition seemed to be as good as
possible. He had done all his own work on the field and most of
Rand-Brown's, and apparently had not turned a hair. He was one of
those conscientious people who train in the holidays.
When he had changed, he went down the passage to Clowes' study. Clowes was
in the position he frequently took up when the weather was good--wedged
into his window in a sitting position, one leg in the study, the other
hanging outside over space. The indoor leg lacked a boot, so that it was
evident that its owner had at least had the energy to begin to change.
That he had given the thing up after that, exhausted with the effort, was
what one naturally expected from Clowes. He would have made a splendid
actor: he was so good at resting.
"Hurry up and dress," said Trevor; "I want you to come over to the
"What on earth do you want over at the baths?"
"I want to see O'Hara."
"Oh, yes, I remember. Dexter's are camping out there, aren't they? I
heard they were. Why is it?"
"One of the Dexter kids got measles in the last week of the holidays,
so they shunted all the beds and things across, and the chaps went back
there instead of to the house."
In the winter term the baths were always boarded over and converted
into a sort of extra gymnasium where you could go and box or fence when
there was no room to do it in the real gymnasium. Socker and stump-cricket
were also largely played there, the floor being admirably suited to such
games, though the light was always rather tricky, and prevented heavy
"I should think," said Clowes, "from what I've seen of Dexter's
beauties, that Dexter would like them to camp out at the bottom of the
baths all the year round. It would be a happy release for him if they
were all drowned. And I suppose if he had to choose any one of them for
a violent death, he'd pick O'Hara. O'Hara must be a boon to a
house-master. I've known chaps break rules when the spirit moved
them, but he's the only one I've met who breaks them all day long
and well into the night simply for amusement. I've often thought of
writing to the S.P.C.A. about it. I suppose you could call Dexter an
animal all right?"
"O'Hara's right enough, really. A man like Dexter would make any fellow
run amuck. And then O'Hara's an Irishman to start with, which makes a
There is usually one house in every school of the black sheep sort,
and, if you go to the root of the matter, you will generally find that
the fault is with the master of that house. A house-master who enters
into the life of his house, coaches them in games--if an athlete--or,
if not an athlete, watches the games, umpiring at cricket and
refereeing at football, never finds much difficulty in keeping order.
It may be accepted as fact that the juniors of a house will never be
orderly of their own free will, but disturbances in the junior day-room
do not make the house undisciplined. The prefects are the criterion.
If you find them joining in the general "rags", and even starting
private ones on their own account, then you may safely say that it is
time the master of that house retired from the business, and took to
chicken-farming. And that was the state of things in Dexter's. It was
the most lawless of the houses. Mr Dexter belonged to a type of master
almost unknown at a public school--the usher type. In a private school
he might have passed. At Wrykyn he was out of place. To him the whole
duty of a house-master appeared to be to wage war against his house.
When Dexter's won the final for the cricket cup in the summer term of
two years back, the match lasted four afternoons--four solid afternoons
of glorious, up-and-down cricket. Mr Dexter did not see a single ball of
that match bowled. He was prowling in sequestered lanes and broken-down
barns out of bounds on the off-chance that he might catch some member of
his house smoking there. As if the whole of the house, from the head to
the smallest fag, were not on the field watching Day's best bats collapse
before Henderson's bowling, and Moriarty hit up that marvellous and
unexpected fifty-three at the end of the second innings!
- Н. М. Тагина
- Т. И. В.
- hi upsilon
LyoSHICK и hi upsilon