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Newspaper Page Text
THE NEW SCHOOLMASTER
?' By J. B. Ayres.
The farmer looked at the sum, be
spectacled young man in front of him
j&nd gave a contemptuous grunt.
"So you're the new schoolmaster
of Four Corners!" he said, ejecting a
'fluid of tobacco from his mouth. "Yes,
T guess I can board you. I boarded the
last three schoolmasters. My terms
ris $20 a month, payable in advance."
Next Moment He Found Himself
Lying on the Floor.
"Why in advance?" inquired Mn
i "Because you won't last a month,"
answered Silas Prettyman. "None of
'em does. Take the last schoolmas
ter, now. He was a six-footer. Looked
like a bull. Plenty of nerve, too. But
he didn't last more'n six weeks. The
one before him gave up after two.
The -one before him, lasted three.
Three is about the limit and two if
the average. You see, Mr. Pendle
"Pendleton, please," interposed the
"Pendleton, then. As I was saying,
three weeks is the limit. We have
some tough scholars in Four Corners.
In spite of his anticipations, Mr.
Pendleton's heart sanlc as he took his
place at the desk and saw a score of
boys and girls shuffle in with broad
gnns upon their faces. Four Corners
was a little mountain town in Ken
tucky. It was not the place Horace
Pendleton would have chosen for
making his pedagogic debut, but for
the fact that the young man's lungs
had been giving him trouble, and the
dofctor had ordered him to go west, he ,
had compromised on the mountain
village, whose keen, dry air rivaled
that of Arizona.
The school consisted of boys and
girls of all ages, from Jim Smith, a
husky youth of some twenty years,
who was still struggling over the
mysteries of long division, and Miss
Susie Connor, a farmer's daughter,
who attended principally to be a sort
of matron to the little ones, down to
the staid little ones of seven and eight
years. But Pendleton soon perceived
that Smith, and not he, was the lead
er of the assemblage. When he gave
the signal, they followed him. For i
the first day curiosity kept the bad
element in check.
It was after school on that day that
Smith came insolently up to Pendle
ton. "Say, you're the one-lunger, ain't
you?" he asked. "We don't want to
be hard on a feller what's only got
one lung. So I'm going to make
things easy for you, if you act right.
Before Pendleton had recovered .
from his surprise, Smith had slouched
away, leaving the young man gasping
at his pupil's audacity.
"No corp'ral punishment," was the
slogan jin Four Corners, which prided
itself on being an enlightened com-r