“That’s all you think women good for,” said Janet.
“Quite true,” said Bobus, coolly.
And Mr. Ogilvie was acknowledged by his sister to have done a good deed that night, since the Folly might be far more secure when Janet tried her experiments alone.
CHAPTER XIV. PUMPING AWAY.
The rude will scuffle through with ease enough,
Great schools best suit the sturdy and the rough.
Soon see your wish fulfilled in either child,
The pert made perter, and the tame made wild.
Robert Otway Brownlow came out fourth on the roll of newly-elected scholars of S. Mary, Winton, and his master was, as his sister declared, unwholesomely proud of it, even while he gave all credit to the Folly, and none to himself.
Still Mary had her way and took him to Brittany, and though her present pupils were to leave the schoolroom at Christmas, she would bind herself to no fresh engagement, thinking that she had better be free to make a home for him, whether at Kenminster or elsewhere.
When the half-year began again Bobus was a good deal missed, Jock was in a severe idle fit, and Armine did not come up to the expectations formed of him, and was found, when “up to Mr. Perkins,” to be as bewildered and unready as other people.
All the work in the school seemed flat and poor, except perhaps Johnny’s, which steadily improved. Robert, whose father wished him to be pushed on so as to be fit for examination for Sandhurst, opposed, to all pressure, the passive resistance of stolidity. He was nearly sixteen, but seemed incapable of understanding that compulsory studies were for his good and not a cruel exercise of tyranny. He disdainfully rejected an offer from his aunt to help him in the French and arithmetic which had become imminent, while of the first he knew much less than Babie, and of the latter only as much as would serve to prevent his being daily “kept in.”
One chilly autumn afternoon, Armine was seen, even by the unobservant under-master, to be shivering violently, and his teeth chattering so that he could not speak plainly.
“You ought to be at home,” said Mr. Perkins. “Here, you, Brownlow maximus, just see him home, and tell his mother that he should be seen to.”
“I can go alone,” Armine tried to say; but Mr. Perkins thought the head-master could not say he neglected one who was felt to be a favoured scholar if he sent his cousin with him.
So presently Armine was pushed in at the back door, with these words from Rob to the cook-"Look here, he’s been and got cold, or something.”
Rob then disappeared, and Armine struggled in to the kitchen fire, white, sobbing and panting, and, as the compassionate maids discovered, drenched from head to foot, his hair soaked, his boots squishing with water. His mother and sisters were out, and as cook administered the hottest draught she could compound, and Emma tugged at his jacket, they indignantly demanded what he had been doing to himself.