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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about The Rebel of the School.

“But he can’t be in the yard without being seen; you say that they are bringing lamps and will make the place as bright as day.”

“Yes, but he will be in the sty with Brownie; and he as good as said he’d give her a pinch to make her squeal.”

“Oh, indeed!  I’m afraid that must be put a stop to,” said the old lady.  “Send him to me this minute.”

Susy went out and called her brother.  There was no answer for a minute; then Tom appeared, looking somewhat rakish and disheveled.

“Brownie and I were chumming up like anything,” he said; then he pushed Susy aside and walked into the old lady’s presence.

What she said to him even Susy did not hear, but when the little girl returned to Mrs. Church, Tom was nowhere to be seen.

“Has he gone home, Aunt Church,” she asked.

“You leave the boy alone,” was Mrs. Church’s answer.  “He’s a good boy, and the moral of his grand-uncle; and I’ll leave him that microscope.  See if I don’t.”

CHAPTER XX.

THE GOVERNORS OF THE SCHOOL EXAMINE RUTH.

At four o’clock that afternoon the governors of the Great Shirley School met in the room set aside for the purpose.  There were six governors, and they were all ladies.  Their names were Miss Mackenzie, Mrs. Naylor, Mrs. Ross, the two Misses Scott, and Miss Jane Smyth.  The founders of the Great Shirley School had ordained that it should always be governed by women—­that women should conduct its concerns, should see to the best possible education of its pupils, and should manage these things to the best of their ability.  Even the trustees of the trust fund were women.

Amongst these ladies Miss Mackenzie was reckoned as head.  She was a tall, strong-minded woman, with iron-gray hair, false teeth, a prominent nose, and small steel-gray eyes.  Miss Mackenzie was between sixty and seventy years of age; she always dressed in the severest and most old-fashioned manner, and wore her iron-gray hair in ringlets on each side of her head.  She was an excellent woman of business, and was dreaded not only by the schoolgirls, but also by one or two of the ladies of the committee; those who most feared her were the two Misses Scott and Miss Jane Smyth.  Mrs. Ross was a fashionable woman who went a good deal into London society, talked about the Great Shirley School to her different friends, and was considered an expert on the subject of girls’ education.  Mrs. Ross had a husband and a beautiful home; she dressed remarkably well, and was looked down on in consequence by Miss Mackenzie.  Mrs. Naylor was the oldest of the governors.  She was a little, wizened lady with a face like a russet apple, a kindly smile, and a sweet voice.

It was the custom of the governors to meet four times a year as a matter of course, and as a matter of expediency they met about as many times again.  But a sudden meeting to be convened within forty-eight hours’ notice was almost unheard of in their experience.

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