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WILLIAM AND THE WAXWORK PRINCE 85
someone keeps us in jus' 'cause they know we want to go to it."
" Well, so long as it isn't ole Markie-----" said
Henry, and left the sentence unfinished.
There was no need to finish it. Ole Markie was Mr. Markson, the headmaster, and he never " kept in " for less than an hour. His system of " keeping in " was simplicity itself. He sent for the victim to his own form room after school, set him a page of Latin verbs to learn, and then left him and went home to tea. But he made sure that the victim did not go home, by instructing Cramps, the caretaker, to make frequent journeys from his basement lair to the class room to glance through the glass panel in the door and make sure that the victim was intent upon his page of Latin verbs till the hour was up. Markie had never been known to return to the victim himself. He sometimes sent for him to hear the Latin verbs in the morning, but more often he forgot.
Hence Henry's " So long as it isn't ole Markie-----"
For Markie's keepings in were always a full hour, and Cramps, the caretaker, was a very conscientious man.
" Just our luck if it is," said Douglas. But none of them, of course, really thought that Fate would allow such a tragedy as that actually to happen. Their pessimism was merely in the nature of a pose and they went on eagerly to discuss the coming fair.
" We'll go straight off the minute school's over," said William. " We won't go home to tea. We'll get off soon as the bell ring3. Bet you I'm out first. Then we'll run to the fair ground an' stay there till bed time. Or p'raps jus' a little after bed-time. I bet I'm first in to see the waxworks."
" There's a woman with a beard," said Henry eagerly.
"I've seen one of them," said William scornfully;
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