'Here is one of the men, Mr Abney. There was a profound sensation. Boys who had ceased to squeal, squealed with fresh vigour. Glossop made his suggestion about the telephone with a new ring of hope in his voice. Mrs Attwell shrieked. They made for us in a body, boys and all, White leading with the lantern. I was almost sorry for being compelled to provide an anticlimax.
'It's absolutely necessary that I should be here. 'And that I should. She considered me for a moment. 'Mrs Attwell told me that you were one of the assistant-masters at the school. 'I am acting as assistant-master. I am supposed to be learning the business. She hesitated. 'Why? she said. 'Why not? 'But but you used to be very well off. 'I'm better off now. I'm working.
'Oh, slush! 'I shouldn't wonder. I looked at my watch. 'Meanwhile, you had better go to bed. It's past your proper time. He stared at me in open-eyed amazement. 'Bed! 'Bed. He seemed more amused than annoyed. 'Say, what time do you think I usually go to bed? 'I know what time you go here. Nine o'clock. As if to support my words, the door opened, and Mrs Attwell, the matron, entered.
'I think it's time he came to bed, Mr Burns. 'Just what I was saying, Mrs Attwell. 'You're crazy, observed the Little Nugget. 'Bed nothing! Mrs Attwell looked at me despairingly. 'I never saw such a boy! The whole machinery of the school was being held up by this legal infant. Any vacillation now, and Authority would suffer a set-back from which it would be hard put to it to recover.
The boys stopped squealing, Mrs Attwell and Glossop subsided, and Mr Abney said 'Ah! in a self-satisfied voice, as if he had directed this move and was congratulating himself on the success with which it had been carried out. The whole strength of the company gathered round the light. 'Thank you, White, said Mr Abney. 'Excellent. I fear the scoundrel has escaped. 'I suspect so, sir.
Reports from the seat of war told of a sullen and probably only temporary acquiescence with Fate on the part of the enemy. He was in bed, and seemed to have made up his mind to submit to the position. An air of restrained jubilation prevailed among the elder members of the establishment. Mr Abney was friendly and Mrs Attwell openly congratulatory. I was something like the hero of the hour.
Mrs Attwell will show you where you in fact, your room. In the general movement White must have raised the lamp or stepped forward, for the rays shifted. The figure beside me was no longer dim, but stood out sharp and clear in the yellow light. I was aware of two large eyes looking into mine as, in the grey London morning two weeks before, they had looked from a faded photograph.