With his club foot, Amos Waughops was no match for the boy with his nimble legs, and, flushed and beaten, the gabbler hobbled back to his desk. He looked toward the twins, all four of them, as if to wreak his vengeance on them, but he somehow felt that they were foemen unworthy of his steel, and forebore. As for "Dodd," it was his last day of school with Amos Waughops.
But the counterfeit always presupposes the genuine, and the same system that includes such specimens as Miss Stone and Amos Waughops in its wide embrace, enfolds also thousands who are the worthiest of men and women. After all, Virtue is on top in this mundane sphere; if it were not so, this old planet would have gone to ruin long ago. Let us look up!
The fact is, he had secretly made up his mind never to go to school again, a conclusion that it is no particular wonder he had reached after his experience with Amos Waughops, as just chronicled.
The multiplication table, that had been the bane of his school life, up to date, and which, under the stupid management of Amos Waughops and the over-wrought Grube methods of Miss Stone, had floored him in every tussle he had had with it, now grew tractable and docile, a creature subservient to his will and quick to do his bidding, unhesitatingly.
I am sure I shall be pardoned, too, if I still further probe in this direction, and unfold a little more the nature of the circumstances that had to do with the evolution of "Dodd" while he went to school to Amos Waughops, in "deestrick four."
When the State took charge of the schools it removed them from the realm of charitable institutions, though some people are very unwilling to acknowledge the fact, and it is a very common thing for the public funds to be still used indirectly for charitable purposes. They are so used on fellows like Amos Waughops and his cognates of the other sex. It is an abomination.
"Stop!" exclaimed Amos Waughops, brandishing a long stick which he always carried in his right hand and waved to and fro as he talked to the children, as though he were a great general, in the heat of battle, swinging his sword and urging his men to the charge, "What are you crying about? Eh? Look up here! Look up, I say! Do you intend to mind me?"
There was a hill of dry tobacco quids on the floor under the "teacher's desk," historical relics of the reign of Amos Waughops, and equally disgusting debris scattered all over the room, special contributions of the free American citizens of "deestrick four," who had held an election in the house a few days previous.
You may not like Mr. Waughops; you may not like his way of teaching school; you may say that I am cruel to harp on facts to the extent of intimating that the mere misfortune of being a cripple is not reason enough for being a school teacher; but I can't help this either, because it is true, and we all know it is.
Even the persuasion of his grandfather, for whom he had the greatest reverence, was insufficient to get him into the school house again that winter. He learned to do many things on the farm, and helped in out-of-door work in all the coldest days, suffering much from cold and storm, but all this he bore cheerfully rather than meet Amos Waughops and the slat again.