WILLIAM - online children's book

More adventures of the famous 11 year old and the "outlaws"

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104                                WILLIAM
" Well, my boy," said Mr. Markson, " have you learnt it ? "
His boy continued to pore over the Latin grammar without moving or replying.
Mr. Markson raised his voice. " I'll—er—hear you now, my boy. You've had your hour."
Still the figure did not move. Mr. Markson went across the room and touched its shoulder.
" Don't you hear me, my boy ? " he said.
The figure collapsed on to the desk, head down, arms outstretched, as if abandoning itself to despair.
Mr. Markson (who was rather short-sighted) was evidently surprised and distressed at this.
" Come, come, my boy," he said. " No need to despair hke that. No need at all. If you can say your verbs properly no more will be said about the matter. Very childish to behave like this. Be a man. Be a man."
The figure refused to be a man. It remained in its tragic attitude of despair, its head on the desk, its arms outspread.
Mr. Markson, still surprised and distressed, ap­proached it and laid his hand again on its shoulder. It collapsed on a heap on the floor. Mr. Markson rushed to the door and called loudly for the care­taker, "Cramps! Cramps ! Ring up for the doctor at once and bring some water to my class-room. There's a boy here fainted."
Then he approached the prostrate figure and lifted it carefully in his arms. . . .
The Outlaws, of course, should have disappeared before that, but horror and surprise had literally deprived them of the power of movement, and when Mr. Markson had laid down his burden with considerably less tenderness than he had shown in raising it, and had looked around him, his eye ablaze with lust for vengeance, the first object it fell on was William,
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