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THE DOCTOR REIGNING.
a sturdy cheery præpostor of another house, who goes into the Doctor; and they hear his genial hearty greeting of the new-comer, so different to their own reception, as the door closes, and return to their study with heavy hearts, and tremendous resolves to break no more rules.
Five minutes afterwards the master of their form, a late arrival and a model young master, knocks at the Doctor's study door. 6 Come in!" and as he enters the Doctor goes on to Holmes
" you see I do not know any thing of the case officially, and if I take any notice of it at all, I must publicly expel the boy. I don't wish to do that, for I think there is some good in him. There's nothing for it but a good sound thrashing." He paused to shake hands with the master, which Holmes does also, and then prepares to leave.
“ I understand. Good night, sir."
« Good night, Holmes. And remember," added the Doctor, emphasizing the words, “a good sound thrashing before the whole house." r
The door closed on Holmes, and the Doctor, in answer to the puzzled look of his lieutenant, explained shortly.“ A gross case of bullying. Wharton, the head of the house, is a very good fellow, but slight and weak, and severe physical pain is the only way to deal with such a case; so I have asked flolmes to take it up. He is very careful and trust. worthy, and has plenty of strength. I wish all the sixth had as much. We must have it here, if we are to keep order at all."
Now I don't want any wiseacres to read this
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book ; but if they should, of course, they will prick up their long ears, and howl, or rather bray, at the above story. Very good, I don't object; but what I have to add for you boys is this, that Holmes called a levy of his house after breakfast next morning, made them a speech on the case of bullying in question, and then gave the bully a “good sound thrashing ;” and that years afterwards, that boy sought out Holmes, and thanked him, saying it had been the kindest act which had ever been done upon him, and the turning point in his character; and a very good fellow he became, and a credit to his school.
After some other talk between them, the Doctor said, “I want to speak to you about two boys in your form, East and Brown; I have just been speaking to them. What do
think of them ?" “ Well, they are not hard workers, and very thoughtless, and full of spirits — but I can't help liking them, I think they are sound good fellows at the bottom."
“ I'm glad of it. I think so too. But they make me very uneasy. They are taking the lead a good deal amongst the fags in my house, for they are very active, bold fellows. I should be sorry to lose them, but I shan't let them stay if I don't see them gaining character and manliness. In another year they may do great harm to all the younger boys."
« Oh, I hope you won't send them away,” pleaded their master.
“ Not if I can help it. But now I never feel sure, after any half-holiday, that I shan't have to flog one
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of them next morning for some foolish thoughtless scrape. I quite dread seeing either of them.”
They were both silent for a minute. Presently the Doctor began again :
They don't feel that they have any duty or work to do in the school, and how is one to make them feel it?"
“ I think if either of them had some little boy to take care of, it would steady them. Brown is the most reckless of the two, I should say; East wouldn't get into so many scrapes without him.”
“ Well,” said the Doctor, with something like a sigh, “ I'll think of it.” And they went on to talk of other subjects.