And thus his small mind kept wandering on till he could follow it no longer, and again went off into a doze.
Next morning Theobald and Christina arose feeling a little tired from their journey, but happy in that best of all happiness, the approbation of their consciences. It would be their boy’s fault henceforth if he were not good, and as prosperous as it was at all desirable that he should be. What more could parents do than they had done? The answer “Nothing” will rise as readily to the lips of the reader as to those of Theobald and Christina themselves.
A few days later the parents were gratified at receiving the following letter from their son—
“My Dear Mamma,—I am very well. Dr Skinner made me do about the horse free and exulting roaming in the wide fields in Latin verse, but as I had done it with Papa I knew how to do it, and it was nearly all right, and he put me in the fourth form under Mr Templer, and I have to begin a new Latin grammar not like the old, but much harder. I know you wish me to work, and I will try very hard. With best love to Joey and Charlotte, and to Papa, I remain, your affectionate son, ERNEST.”
Nothing could be nicer or more proper. It really did seem as though he were inclined to turn over a new leaf. The boys had all come back, the examinations were over, and the routine of the half year began; Ernest found that his fears about being kicked about and bullied were exaggerated. Nobody did anything very dreadful to him. He had to run errands between certain hours for the elder boys, and to take his turn at greasing the footballs, and so forth, but there was an excellent spirit in the school as regards bullying.