“Ss—ss!” came in a soft hiss 杭州油压kb from a lad across the table.
“Ss—ss! Ss—ss!” cautiously echoed a
Samuel wriggled uncomfortably in his chair, but to his surprise, his neighbor on the right reached over and grasped his knee with friendly force. Samuel instantly responded by seizing the stranger’s[Pg 141] knee, and, fortified by this unlooked-for support, threw back his head and eyed in turn each lad at the table. There was something in his fearless glance that caused the hisses quickly to subside; and when the bell rang, and the students trooped out, no word of challenge was offered to him. Moreover, no other kind of words came either, for it was the hour of recreation, and the boys swarmed the campus, shouting, whistling, singing, and engaging in various athletic games. The most popular sports seemed to be leap-frog and basting-the-bear, for groups 杭州水疗会所排名 everywhere were indulging in these rollicking pastimes.
Samuel stood alone watching, for even his neighbor at table had joined the merry-makers. He decided that if he wished to become one of them he must make a bold move; so, marching up to one of the leap-frog companies, he ventured to enter the game. The effort was quickly foiled, however, for one pupil seized him by the leg, another by the[Pg 142] hair, while twenty voices shouted at once,—
“Clear out! Don’t you know you can’t play with us till you get your blue coat?”
Samuel retired, much crestfallen, wondering when he should be promoted to the prevailing uniform. He wandered up and down the schoolyard, watching here, watching there, hearing never a word of greeting, nor meeting with a friendly nod or smile. At length he came upon an outer stairway, which seemed to lead 杭州油压论坛 somewhere, and climbing it, more with the desire to get away from the hordes of strangers than to explore the premises, he came out upon a flat, leaded roof. Resting his folded arms upon the parapet, he stood gazing at the evening sky, solitary and sad. Up to him came the shouts of the students and the roar of the city’s noises, and for the first time since he had come to London, his heart turned back with a mighty longing to the fields, the river, and the[Pg 143] simple folk of his native village. If only he might hear the lapping of the water and the tinkling of the sheep bells, he would give all that he possessed in the world. He thought of his mother and of his big brother Luke, and the vision of their faces came before him with such startling plainness that he set his teeth and clenched his hands to stem the tide of homesickness that surged over him.
At sound of the deep-toned bell, he hurried down the stair, suspecting that the slender supper was about to be supplemented by a tea or luncheon of some sort; but he was mistaken, for, although the western sky was still ablaze, the boys were filing toward the dormitories.
“This way, Coleridge,” called the steward, appearing on the green.
“Where are they going?” inquired Samuel.
“To bed,” rejoined the other briefly.
“To bed!” ejaculated Samuel; “why, it’s only seven o’clock!”
“Seven is the hour for bed at this[Pg 144] school,” 杭州按摩哪里最好 explained the other shortly, and Samuel gathered from his tone that further comment would be unacceptable.
Awakened next morning by the signal bell, Samuel sat up in his narrow cot and blinked sleepily. Across his bed was thrown a complete uniform such as the other boys wore, and springing up, he gladly donned the costume, and marched down with the others.
At breakfast he sat in the same seat he had occupied last night, and his right-hand neighbor greeted him with a cordial pinch on the arm.
The meal this morning consisted of a quarter-of-a-penny-loaf, on a wooden plate, and a small leathern cup of beer. Samuel was accustomed to rich country milk, fruit, and vegetables; but with yesterday’s hunger still unappeased, he could not afford to be fastidious. In a twinkling the bread and beer had disappeared, and he was unconsciously 全国高端品茶外围 glancing about in search of some one who would serve him with more, when he chanced to[Pg 145] notice that every plate and cup at the table was swept clean, and that the lads were shifting about in their chairs as though anxious to be dismissed. Then it was that Samuel realized with a curious pang that plates were never refilled at Christ’s Hospital, and that the allowance was always distressingly small. Almost as hungry as when he had sat down, he rose with the others and passed outside.
He was about to speak to his table neighbor, when that young person suddenly set off for the high iron palings. Without stood a half-grown girl, holding a little basket on her arm, and when the boy came up with her, she took something from the tiny hamper, and passed it through the fence. That the gift was in the nature of food of some 杭州水疗半套 sort, Samuel discovered from the alacrity with which the boy proceeded to devour it; and the lad from Devonshire stood watching the operation with the strangest of gnawing sensations inside him. Other boys looked greedily at this [Pg 146]spectacle, but went about their affairs as though the sight were a familiar one; and Samuel, following their example, was turning mechanically away when a beckoning gesture from the lad at the fence called him thither.
“Here, I like you, and I’ll give you a bit. Come on!”
Before Samuel had time to accept or decline, the stranger had crowded into his hand a hot roll, and was all but pouring a small can of tea down his throat.
“Thank you—it’s fine,” gurgled Samuel, “but I don’t want to take the things you ought to have.”
“I can spare some. You see I’m ashamed to have this stuff brought to me 杭州桑拿按摩价格 when the other boys can’t get any, but when it comes, I’m so starved I eat it anyway. My sister brings a little breakfast over every day, for our house isn’t very far away, and it helps out, I can tell you. Here’s another piece of crust. Eat it, quick, for I know you want it.”
Samuel accepted the proffered fragments gladly, frankly confessing that he had not felt quite satisfied at breakfast.
“Oh, we never have enough here,” remarked the other calmly. “Wednesdays are the best, for then they give us meat stew; but that happens only one day in seven.”