Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesA Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 23. I Go To Eton--My Master--I Serve Him Well
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 23. I Go To Eton--My Master--I Serve Him Well Post by :coolcreator Category :Long Stories Author :Juliana Horatia Ewing Date :May 2012 Read :2171

Click below to download : A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 23. I Go To Eton--My Master--I Serve Him Well (Format : PDF)

A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 23. I Go To Eton--My Master--I Serve Him Well

CHAPTER XXIII. I GO TO ETON--MY MASTER--I SERVE HIM WELL

I went joyfully to school the first time, but each succeeding half with less and less willingness. And yet my school-days were very happy ones, especially to look back upon.

"You will be in the same tutor's house as Lionel Damer," said my father; "and I have written to ask him to befriend you."

"Just the sort of idiotic thing parents do do," said Sir Lionel, on our first meeting. "You may thank your stars I don't pay you off for it."

Leo had grown much taller since we met, but he had lost none of his beauty. I was overpowered by his noble appearance and the air of authority he wore, and then and there gave him the hero-worship of my heart. It was with a thrill of delight that I heard him add, "However, I want a fag, and I dare say I can take you. Any sock with you?"

"Oh, yes, Leo," said I, hastily; "a big hamper. And there are two cakes, and a pigeon pie, and lots of jam, and some macaroons and turnovers, and two bottles of raspberry vinegar."

"My name's Damer," said Leo. "Can you cook?"

"Not yet, Damer," said I, hoping that my answer conveyed my willingness to learn. For I was quite prepared for all the duties of fag life from Mr. Clerke's descriptions. And I was prepared to perform them, pending the time when I should have a fag of my own.

I must do Leo justice. His tyranny was merciful. I was soon expert in preparing his breakfast. I used to fetch him hot dishes from the shop. My own cooking was not good, and I made, so he said, the most execrable coffee, which led him to fling the contents of the pot at me one morning, ruining my shirt, trickling hot and wet down my body under my clothes, and giving me infinite trouble in cleaning his carpet. (As to _his coffee, and the salad dressing he made, and his cooking generally, when he chose to do it, I have never met with anything like it since. However, things taste well in one's school-days.)

Leo Damer was one of those people who seem able to do everything just a little better than his neighbours, without attaining overwhelming superiority in any one line. The masters always complained that he did not do as much in school as he might have done, and yet he stood well with them. His conduct was of the highest. I may say here that, knowing him intimately in boyhood and youth, I am able to assert that his moral conduct was always "without reproach." His own freedom from vice, and the tight hand he kept over me, who lived but to admire and imitate him, were of such benefit to me in the manifold temptations of school-life as I can never forget. His self-respect amounted to self-esteem, his love for other people's good opinion to a failing, he was refined to fastidiousness; but I think these characteristics helped him towards the exceptional character he bore. A keen sensitiveness to pain and discomfort, and considerable natural indolence, further tended to keep him out of scrapes into which an adventurous spirit led many more reckless boys. He had never been flogged, and he said he never would be. "I would drown myself sooner," he said to me. And if any dark touch were wanting to complete my hero's portrait, it was given by this terrible threat, in which I put full faith.

He was a dandy, and his dressing-table was the plague of my life. Well do I remember breaking some invaluable toilette preparation on it, and the fit of rage in which he flung the broken bottle at my head. He was very sorry when his first wrath was past, and he bound up my head, and gave me a pound of sausages, and a superbly bound copy of Young's "Night Thoughts," which I still possess. I also retain a white scar above one of my eyes, in common with at least eight out of every ten men I know.

"Do you ever hear from your cousin?" Sir Lionel asked one day in careless tones.

"Polly writes to me sometimes," said I.

"You can show me the next letter you get," said Sir Lionel condescendingly; which I accordingly did, and thenceforward he saw all my letters from her. I was soon clever enough to discover that Leo liked to be asked after by his old friends, and to receive messages from them, which led me to write to Polly, begging her always to send "nice messages" to Sir Lionel, as he would then treat me well, and perhaps give me some of his smoked bacon for breakfast. Her reply was characteristic:


"MY DEAR REGIE,--"

I shan't send nice messages to Leo. I am sorry you showed him the letter where I said he was handsome. Handsome is that handsome does, and if he treats you badly he is very ugly, and I hate him. If he doesn't give you any bacon, he's very mean. You may tell him what I say.

"I am your affectionate cousin,

"POLLY."


I was obliged to hide this letter from Leo; but when he asked me if I had heard from Polly I could not lie to him, and he sent me to Coventry for withholding the letter. I bore a day and a half of his silence and neglect; then I could endure it no longer, and showed him the letter. He was less angry than I expected. He coloured and laughed, and called me a little fool for writing such stuff to Polly, and said her answer was just like her. Then he gave me some of the bacon, and we were good friends again.

But the seal of our friendship was a certain occasion when I saved him from the only flogging with which he was ever threatened.

He was unjustly believed to be concerned in an insolent breach of certain orders, and was sentenced to a flogging which was really the due of another lad whom he was too proud to betray. He would not even condescend to remonstrate with the boy who was meanly allowing him to suffer, and betrayed his anguish in the matter so little that I doubt if the real culprit (who never was a week unflogged himself) had any idea what the punishment was to poor Leo.

He hid himself from us all; but in the evening I got into his room, where I found him, pale and silent, putting some things into a little bag.

"Little one!" he cried, "I know you can keep a secret. I want you to help me off. I'm going to run away."

"Oh Damer!" I cried; "but supposing you're caught; it'll be much worse then."

"They won't catch me," he said, his lip quivering. "I can disguise myself. And I shall never come back till I'm a man. My guardian would bring me here again. He thinks a man can hardly be a gentleman unless he was well flogged in his youth. Look here old fellow, I've left everything here to you. Keep out of mischief as I've shown you how, and--and--you'll tell Polly I wasn't to blame."

I was now weeping bitterly. "Dear Damer," said I, "you can't disguise yourself. Anybody would know you; you're too good-looking. Damer," I added abruptly, "did you ever pray for things? I used to at home, and do you know, they always came true. Wait for me, I'll be back soon," I concluded, and rushing to my room, I flung myself on my knees, and prayed with all my heart for the averting of this, to my young mind, terrible tragedy. I dared not stay long, not knowing what Leo might do, and on the stairs I met the real culprit, who was in our house. To this day I remember with amusement the flood of speech with which, in my excitement, I overwhelmed him. I painted his meanness in the darkest colours, and the universal contempt of his friends. I made him a hero if he took his burden on his own back. I dwelt forcibly on Leo's bitter distress and superior generosity. I bribed him to confess all with my many-weaponed pocket-knife (the envy of the house). I darkly hinted a threat of "blabbing" myself, as my meanness in telling tales would be as nothing to his in allowing Leo to suffer for his fault. Which argument prevailed I shall never know. I fancy Leo's distress and the knife did it between them, for he was both good-natured and greedy. He told the truth by a great effort, and took his flogging with complete indifference.

Thenceforward Leo and I were as brothers. He taught me to sketch, we kept divers pets together, and fused our botanical collections. He cooked unparalleled dishes for us, and read poetry aloud to me with an exquisite justness and delicacy of taste that I have never heard surpassed.

His praise was nectar to me. When he said, "I tell you what, Regie, you've an uncommon lot of general information, I can tell you," my head was quite turned. Whatever he did seemed right to me. When I first came to school, my hat was duly peppered and pickled by the boys and replaced by me with one of unexceptionable shape. My shirts then gave offence to my new master.

"I suppose," he said, surveying me deliberately, "a good many of your things are made by Mrs. Baggage?"

"Nurse Bundle makes my shirts, Damer," said I.

"It's all the same," said Damer. "I knew it was connected with a _parcel somehow. Well, the _Package patterns are very pretty, no doubt, but I think it's time you were properly rigged out."

Which was duly done; and when holidays came and the scandalized Mrs. Bundle asked what I had done "with them bran-new fine linen shirts," and where "them rubbishing cotton rags" had come from that I brought in their place, I could only inform her, with a feeble imitation of Leo's lofty coolness, that I had used the first to clean Damer's lamp, and that the second were the "correct thing."

One day I said to him, "I don't know why, Damer, but you always make me think of a vision of one of the Greek heroes when I see you walking in the playing-fields."

I believe my simply-spoken compliment deeply gratified him; but he only said, like Mr. Clerke, "You _do say the oddest things, little 'un!"

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 24. Collections--Leo's Letter--Nurse Bundle And Sir Lionel A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 24. Collections--Leo's Letter--Nurse Bundle And Sir Lionel

A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 24. Collections--Leo's Letter--Nurse Bundle And Sir Lionel
CHAPTER XXIV. COLLECTIONS--LEO'S LETTER--NURSE BUNDLE AND SIR LIONELIf Nurse Bundle hoped that when I went to school an end would be put to the "collections" which troubled her tidy mind, she was much deceived. Neither Leo nor I were bookworms, and we were not by any means so devoted as some boys to games and athletics. But for collections of all kinds we had a fancy that almost amounted to mania. Our natural history manias in their respective directions came upon us like fevers. We "sickened" at the sight of somebody else's collection, or because we had been reading about butterflies,
PREVIOUS BOOKS

A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 22. Nurse Bundle Finds A Vocation... A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 22. Nurse Bundle Finds A Vocation...

A Flat Iron For A Farthing - Chapter 22. Nurse Bundle Finds A Vocation...
CHAPTER XXII. NURSE BUNDLE FINDS A VOCATION--RAGGED ROBIN'S WIFE--MRS. BUNDLE'S IDEAS ON HUSBANDS AND PUBLIC-HOUSESI was very happy under Mr. Clerke's sway, and yet I was glad to go to school. The tutor himself, who had been "on the foundation" at Eton, had helped to fill me with anticipations of public-school life. It was decided that I also should go to Eton, but as an oppidan, and becoming already a partisan of my own part of the school, I often now disputed conclusions or questioned facts in my tutor's school anecdotes, which commonly tended to the sole glorification of the "collegers."
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT