“Certainly not,” responded Mr. Gadsby. “You should—–er—–preserve discipline.”
“How am I to preserve discipline, if I can’t inflict punishments?” insisted Mr. Cantwell.
“But you should—–er—–that is—–my dear Cantwell, you should make the punishments merely fit the crimes.”
“In such an outrageous case as to-day’s,” fumed the principal, “what course would have been taken by the Dr. Thornton whom you are so fond of holding up to me as a man who knew how to handle boys?”
“Dr. Thornton,” responded Mr. Gadsby, “would have been ingenious in his punishment. How long were the boys out, over recess time?”
“Then,” returned Mr. Gadsby, “I can quite see Dr. Thorton informing the young men that they would be expected to remain at least five times as long after school as they had been improperly away from it. That is—–er—–ah—–he would have sent for his own dinner, and would have eaten it at his desk, with scores of hungry young men looking on while their own dinners went cold. At three o’clock—–perhaps—–Dr. Thornton would have dismissed the offenders. It would be many a day before the boys would try anything of that sort again on good old Thornton. But you, my dear Cantwell, I am afraid you have failed to make the boys respect you at all times. The power of enforcing respect is the basis of all discipline.”
“Then what shall I do with the young men this time?”
“Since you have—–er—–missed your opportunity, you—–er—–can do nothing, now, but let it pass. Let them imagine, from day to day, that sentence is still suspended and hovering over them.”
Wily Dick Prescott had been to see Mr. Gadsby, just before the arrival of the principal. In his other capacity of reporter for “The Blade” the High School pitcher had said a few earnest words to his host. Mr. Gadsby, with his eye turned ever toward election day and the press, had been wholly willing to listen.
THE AGONY OF THE LAST BIG GAME
“Ya, ya, ya! Ye gotter do somethings!”
This from Mr. Schimmelpodt. That gentleman was waving one of his short, fat arms wildly. It may as well be stated that from the smaller extremity of that arm, namely, his hand—–a small crimson and gold banner attached to a stick cut circles in the air.
“Go to it, Gridley!”
“Get busy! You can’t take a black eye at this end of the season.”
Gridley High School with a season’s record of one tied game and a long tally of victories, seemed now in dire straits.
Sides were changing for the last half of the ninth inning.
Gridley had taken seven runs. Wayland High School, with six runs already to their credit, was now going to bat for the last inning unless the score should be tied.
The perfect June day, just before commencement, had brought out a host. Wayland had sent nearly four hundred people. The total attendance was past four thousand paid admissions.