“That’s Mr. Waymark,” cried out Master Percy Tootle, when his overquick eyes perceived that the two had seen each other. “He’s our drawing-master. Do you like the look of him?”
Miss Enderby reddened, and laid her hand on the boy’s arm, trying to direct his attention to a book. But the youngster shook off her gentle touch, and looked at his brothers and sisters with a much too knowing grin. Waymark had contented himself with a slight bow, and at once bent again over his work.
Very shortly the two eldest children, both girls, came in, and with them their mother. The latter paid no attention to Waymark, but proceeded to cross-examine the new governess as to her methods of teaching, her experience, and so on, in the coarse and loud manner which characterised Mrs. Tootle.
“You’ll find my children clever,” said Mrs. Tootle, “at least, that has been the opinion of all their teachers hitherto. If they don’t make progress, it certainly will not be their own fault. At the same time, they are high-spirited, and require to be discreetly managed. This, as I previously informed you, must be done without the help of punishment in any shape; I disapprove of those methods altogether. Now let me hear you give them a lesson in geography.”
Waymark retired at this juncture; he felt that it would be nothing less than cruelty to remain. The episode, however, had lightened his day with an interest of a very unusual kind. And so it was that, on the following morning, not only the gleam of watery sunshine, but also the thought of an hour to be spent in the presence of that timid face, brought him on his way to the school with an unwonted resignation. Unfortunately his drawing lessons were only given on two mornings in the week. Still, there would be something in future to look forward to, a novel sensation at The Academy.