lesson, and consisted of the apparently unfeeling words: “You ought to

filer, you know—you really ought.”

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


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 his


“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 book.

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


“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 presently resumed.

“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.

(C) 2013