Boycotted And Other Stories

Juvenile Fiction/
#Juvenile Fiction #School & Education
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Excerpt The School cuts me. I hardly know yet what it was all about, and at the time I had not an idea. I don’t think I was more of a fool than most fellows of my age at Draven’s, and I rather hope I wasn’t an out-and-out cad. But when it all happened, I had my doubts on both points, and could explain the affair in no other way than by supposing I must be like the lunatic in the asylum, who, when asked how he came to be there, said, “I said the world was mad, the world said I was mad; the world was bigger than I was, so it shut me up here!” It had been a dismal enough term, as it was, quite apart from my troubles. That affair of Browne had upset us all, and taken the spirit out of Draven’s. We missed him at every turn. What was the good of getting up the football fifteen when our only “place-kick” was gone? Where was the fun in the “Saturday nights” when our only comic singer, our only reciter, our only orator wasn’t there? Who cared about giving study suppers or any other sociable entertainment, when there was no Browne to invite? Browne had left us suddenly. One day he had been the life and soul of Draven’s, next morning he had been summoned to Draven’s study, and that same evening we saw him drive off to the station in a cab with his portmanteau on the top. Very few of the fellows knew why he had been expelled. I scarcely knew myself, though I was his greatest chum. On the morning of the day he left, he met me on his way back from Draven’s study. “I’m expelled, Smither,” he said, with a dismal face. “Go on,” replied I, taking his arm and scrutinising his face to see where the joke was hidden. But it was no joke. “I am,” said he hopelessly: “I am to go this evening. It’s my own fault. I’ve been a cad. I was led into it. It’s bad enough; but I’m not such a blackleg as Draven makes out—” And here for the first time in my life I saw Browne look like breaking down. He wasn’t going to let me see it, and hurried away before I could find anything to say. If he hadn’t told me himself, I should have called any one who told me Browne had been a cad—well, I’d better not say what I should have called him. I knew my chum had been a rollicking sort of fellow, who found it hard to say No to anybody who asked anything of him; but that he was a blackleg I, for one, would not believe, for all the Dravens in the world. Hardly knowing what I did, I walked up to the master’s study door and knocked. “Come in.” I could tell by the voice that came through the door I should do no good. I went in. Mr Draven was pacing up and down the room, and stopped short in front of me as I entered. “Well?” I wished I was on the other side of the door; but I wasn’t, and must say something, however desperate. “Please, sir, Browne—” “Browne leaves here to-day,” said Mr Draven coldly; “what do you want?” “Please, sir, I hope you will—” I forgot where I was and what I was saying. My mind wandered aimlessly, and I ended my sentence I don’t know how....
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