Todd said bitterly, “I will, sir.”
“I am glad of that,” said Taylor, “and I believe you will. Good night, Todd.”
“Good night, sir.”
Todd packed up his portmanteaux that night as gloomily and as savagely as though his shirts were his deadly enemies. But there was a square, determined thrust-out of his weak chin which boded ill for Jim Cotton’s classics and mathematics in the future.
It was the inalienable right of the juniors of the cock-house to give a concert the last night of the term, and to have free and undisputed possession of the concert-room. Corker made it a rule that the captain of the school should be there to see there were no riots, which, as the fags were off home on the morrow, was more than possible. So when I got a polite note from Grim about half an hour after the results of the Perry Exhibition had been announced, telling me that Corker had given the customary consent, I strolled about looking up a cohort of monitors to help me in maintaining the “sacred cause of order and decency.” I knew of old those junior concerts. “Pandemonium” was nearer the word.
Biffen’s juniors, red-hot from their exertions and hoarse from their shouting in the speech-room, held a meeting in their own private quarters to deliberate as to their concert.
“I vote Father Grim to the chair,” said Wilson.
“Thanks, my son,” said Grim, with alacrity “Somebody second that, and let’s get to business.”
Somebody obligingly seconded, and Grim enthroned himself with dignity in the chair, and said cheerfully, “Carried nem. con. That’s the way to commence biz. Now, you fellows, I thank you for this unexpected honour, which has quite taken me by surprise. I shall always—”
“Shut up, Grim,” said Brown. “You know jolly well you asked Wilson to propose you.”
“All right, Brown; I’ll talk with you afterwards. Sorry your Roman nose is out of joint; but nobody proposed you, you know, so shut up. Gentlemen—”
“Biffen’s are cock-house at last” (deafening cheers) “and we must make our concert a stunner. It must go with a bang from start to finish. It must lick every other fag’s concert that ever was, and ’be the bright harbinger of—’ What is the rest of the quote, Wilson?”
“‘Of future joys,’ you ass.”
“‘Of future joys,’ you asses.”
“I’ll punch your head, Grim; you said you remembered it.”
“All serene, old man, never mind the cackle.”
“What about our concert?” asked Brown.
“It’s going to be great. Does any one happen to have a programme of that awful performance of Corker’s house last year?”
“Rather!” said half a dozen of Biffen’s ornaments. “Did you think we’d burn a curiosity like that?”
“Cut out and get yours, Rogers, my pet.”