“And old Professor Fuzzytop made me bring all my books and sit up at that little table beside his desk for a week. Of course I didn’t mind that a bit, because then I could see what everybody in the room was doing instead of just the few around me. The only thing I prayed for was that Miss Muggins wouldn’t come in and see me, because she has taken a sort of fancy to me and makes it easy for me in Latin, but if I ever fall from grace she won’t pass me. But of all the luck, right in the middle of the Fourth Hour when everybody was in the room studying, in she walked. I saw her as she opened the door and quick as a wink I opened up the big dictionary on the table and buried my nose in it, so she’d think I had gone up there of my own accord. She stopped and looked at me, then patted me encouragingly on the shoulder and remarked what a studious girl I was. I thought everybody in the room would die trying not to laugh, but nobody gave me away. She came in during the Fourth Hour for several days after that, and every time I flew to the sheltering arms of the dictionary, and she always made some approving remark out loud. Now she thinks I’m a shark and I have a better stand-in than ever with her. She told her Senior session room that there was a girl in the Junior room who was so keen after knowledge that no matter when she came into the room she always found her consulting the dictionary!”
Sahwah’s imitation of the elderly and precise Miss Muggins was so close that the girls shrieked with laughter. Even Nyoda, who was a “faculty,” and should have been the ally of the deluded instructor, was too much amused to say a word. “By the way, Sahwah,” she said when the laughter had died down, “how are you coming on in Latin? The last time I saw you your Cicero had a strangle hold on you.” Sahwah made a fearful grimace, and recited sarcastically:
“Not showers to larks more pleasing,
Not sunshine to the bee,
Not sleep to toil more easing,
Than Latin prose to me!
“The flocks shall leave the mountains,
The dew shall flee the rose,
The nymphs forsake the fountains,
Ere I forsake my prose!”
Nyoda laughed and shook her head at Sahwah, and “Migwan,” otherwise Elsie Gardiner, looked up at the despiser of prose composition in mild wonderment. “I don’t see how you can make such a fuss about learning Latin,” she said, “it’s the least of my troubles.”
“But I’m not such a genius as you,” answered Sahwah, “and my head won’t stand the strain.” Her mental limitations did not seem to cause her any anxiety, however, for she hummed a merry tune as she drew her tatting shuttle in and out.