Morgan said at last was said suddenly, irrelevantly, when the
moment came, in the middle of a lesson, and consisted of the
apparently unfeeling words: "You ought to filer, you know - you
Pemberton stared. He had learnt enough French slang from Morgan to
know that to filer meant to cut sticks. "Ah my dear fellow, don't
turn me off!"
Morgan pulled a Greek lexicon toward him - he used a Greek-German -
to look out a word, instead of asking it of Pemberton. "You can't
go on like this, you know."
"Like what, my boy?"
"You know they don't pay you up," said Morgan, blushing and turning
"Don't pay me?" Pemberton stared again and feigned amazement.
"What on earth put that into your head?"
"It has been there a long time," the boy replied rummaging his
Pemberton was silent, then he went on: "I say, what are you
hunting for? They pay me beautifully."
"I'm hunting for the Greek for awful whopper," Morgan dropped.
"Find that rather for gross impertinence and disabuse your mind.
What do I want of money?"
"Oh that's another question!"
Pemberton wavered - he was drawn in different ways. The severely
correct thing would have been to tell the boy that such a matter
was none of his business and bid him go on with his lines. But
they were really too intimate for that; it was not the way he was
in the habit of treating him; there had been no reason it should
be. On the other hand Morgan had quite lighted on the truth - he
really shouldn't be able to keep it up much longer; therefore why
not let him know one's real motive for forsaking him? At the same
time it wasn't decent to abuse to one's pupil the family of one's
pupil; it was better to misrepresent than to do that. So in reply
to his comrade's last exclamation he just declared, to dismiss the
subject, that he had received several payments.
"I say - I say!" the boy ejaculated, laughing.
"That's all right," Pemberton insisted. "Give me your written
Morgan pushed a copybook across the table, and he began to read the
page, but with something running in his head that made it no sense.
Looking up after a minute or two he found the child's eyes fixed on
him and felt in them something strange. Then Morgan said: "I'm
not afraid of the stern reality."
"I haven't yet seen the thing you ARE afraid of - I'll do you that
This came out with a jump - it was perfectly true - and evidently
gave Morgan pleasure. "I've thought of it a long time," he
"Well, don't think of it any more."
The boy appeared to comply, and they had a comfortable and even an
amusing hour. They had a theory that they were very thorough, and
yet they seemed always to be in the amusing part of lessons, the
intervals between the dull dark tunnels, where there were waysides
and jolly views. Yet the morning was brought to a violent as endDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>