I've a good mind to cut the whole concern." In this, however, he was mistaken. The two monitors were Gilks of the schoolhouse and Silk of Welch's, who were taking the air this hot summer evening, and thinking and talking of anything but Master Telson. "I tell you," said Gilks, "I detest the fellow." "You detest such a lot of fellows, Gilks," said Silk.

But the two fellows on whom the announcement fell most severely were Gilks and Silk. For if the race of that day was to stand, the schoolhouse boat had definitely won the race, and consequently they were both losers to a considerable extent. They had counted almost certainly on a second race, but now that this had been decided against, their wrath and dismay knew no bounds.

"Anyhow," said Parson, "if he's to be expelled, Silk and Gilks ought to catch it too. I bet anything they took him there. Thanks! a little piece." This last sentence was in reply to an invitation to take some more cake.

It was curious, to say the least of it, that in so short a time the Welcher should have so completely got the upper hand of his confederate that the latter departed meekly without another word on his errand. He found Wyndham, as he had expected, in the library, busy getting together the books for distribution next day. "Hullo!" said Gilks, with a show of cordiality; "here you are again.

"Schoolhouse inside!" exclaimed Gilks, suddenly, as the sun momentarily caught the blue oars of the inside boat. This was all that could be ascertained for the moment. From where they sat the blue and the red flags seemed to be coming towards them exactly abreast. The crowd advanced with a roar, above which it was impossible to hear the name of the leading crew.

"I told Gilks he was to be here at nine o'clock, sir," said the captain. "You had better go and see why he is not here." Riddell obeyed, and found on inquiry at the schoolhouse that Gilks was on the sick-list, and had obtained leave from the matron to remain in bed till after dinner.

"Oh, no, not at all," laughed Silk with a mysterious wink. "All serene for follows like Gilks; but if it was known we'd taken you there, we'd be done for." Wyndham began to feel he had had a narrow escape of "doing" for his two patrons without knowing it. "Promise you won't tell anybody," said Silk. "Of course I won't," said Wyndham, rather scornful at the idea of telling tales of a schoolfellow.

"Gilks came and said you wanted me; that's why I came," said Wyndham. "Awfully good of you," said Silk. "Of course I wanted you. The fact is, young un," said he, becoming a little mysterious, "there's rather an awkward thing turned up. I hope it won't come to anything, I'm sure, but it doesn't do to be too sure." "What do you mean?" demanded Wyndham, looking alarmed.

What irritated Gilks and Silk over the business was that they saw in it the hand of an enemy, and felt that the present change in their protege was due to Riddell's influence in opposition to their own. The two monitors felt hurt at this; it was like a direct snub aimed at them, and, considering the quarter from which it came, they did not like it at all.

As far as Gilks and Silk could see at present Parrett's led by about half a length, which advantage, however, it stood to lose owing to its outside position at the corner. Parson, however, knew what he was about even better than Riddell, who had kept a magnificent course down the reach, but who now seemed afraid to take full advantage of the sharp corner.