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munity. But, even if sudh a method
of discipline Sad been permitted, haw
would it have been enforced?
The questjn was prompted by the
pandemonium that followed upon Mr.
Pendleton's resolute rejection of Jim
Smith's proposition. Everybody in
Four Corners knew that the new
schoolmaster would soon go the way
of his predecessors. The school board,
- who secretly disapproved of educa
tion, watched matters with smug
smiles. Smith lounged insolently in
his seat; Smith talked with his neigh
bors and contemptuously refused to
recite his lessons. ..
"I told yer what it would be if you
didn't do as I said," he explained to
Mr. Pendleton, when the schoolmas
ter remonstrated with him privately.
"Get out fof the school? Say, yer
crazy. What'd I get out for when I'm
having the time of my life here?"
There was one thing that kept the
schoolmaster to his work. That was
Susie Connor. She iad told him it
was a shame the boys did not "behave
better. She had counseled an ap
peal to the board. A strong attach
ment had begun to dawn between the
young man and the pretty country
"If I were you, Horace," she said
one day they had begun uncon
sciously to call each othdr By their
first names "I would try to make a
real school here. There are men iir
the community .who would stand by
you if you refused to let.Jim come to
school. And you could do sb much."
"I would like nothing better," he
answered. "I would like to cast my
lot here and make a read educational
center qf Four Corners. But if I took
the law into my own hands and
trashed " Smith" at which Susie's
eyes widened a little "I should have
to give up my position. And I'm
Btaying here for yo'u, Susie."
Before the day had' elapsed every
body knew that Pendleton and Susie
Connor were sweethearts.
On the next day Smith cast all pre
tense at discipline. His remarks .
made in l class were brief "and
"You're sweet on her," he said, in
dicating the girl, whose face was
mantled with red. "She's my gal, Mr.
Schoolmaster understand? And I
won't have any miserable, -measly in
terloper coming here fooling round
MrT Pendleton had been aware that
Smith had a calf-like attachment fcr
the girl, but it had never occurred to
rhim to take him seriously. ,
He looked up hopelessly, and he
saw a strange look in Susie's eyes. He
could nbt help interpreting it aright.
It said: "Are you man enough to pre
vent my being insulted and to stand
up for me?"
"Mean that, Smtih?" asked Mr.
Pendleton, leaving his desk and cross
Smith leaped at him with a bellow.
"Ah, sure !" he mimicked. "You've .
had your day, Mr. Schoolmaster, and
now you can git, because this school
won't open any more so long as
you're in this town, you sniveling
"Smith," said Horace Pendleton,
"you are a bad boy-andyou have the
makings of a bad man in you. Do
you see that switch in the corner?
Go and bring it to me."
The lout stared at him incredu
lously; then, with swinging arms, he"
rushed at him. Next moment, he
found himself lying on the floor, the
blood issuing profusely fromhis nose.
It did not take more than one blow to
quiet the bully. He. burst into a yell.
"ill tell tne Doara on you, ne
shrieked. "I'll "
"Smith,'' said the schoolmaster,
"did you hear what I said about that
switch? Go and bring it- to me."
He yanked him from the floor and
grasped him with one hand by the
collar. And Smith crept to the cor
ner then, with a wild yell threaten
ing vengeance, he had burst out of
the door and .was running in the
direction of his home."
'.This-will mean good-bye, Susje,"
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