How the Tide Turned

“I [hold] it truth, with him who sings
    To one clear harp in divers tones,
    That men may rise on stepping- stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.”


How the Tide Turned

“Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
  In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side:
     Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
     Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.”


East and Mrs. Wixie

The turning-point in our hero’s school career had now come, and the manner of it was as follows. On the evening of the first day of the next half-year, Tom, East, and another School-house boy, who had just been dropped at the Spread Eagle by the old Regulator, rushed into the matron’s room in high spirits, such as all real boys are in when they first get back, however fond they may be of home.

“Well, Mrs. Wixie,” shouted one, seizing on the methodical, active little dark-eyed woman, who was busy stowing away the linen of the boys who had already arrived into their several pigeon-holes, “here we are again, you see, as jolly as ever. Let us help you put the things away.”

“And, Mary,” cried another (she was called indifferently by either name), “who’s come back? Has the Doctor made old Jones leave? How many new boys are there?”

“Am I and East to have Gray’s study? You know you promised to get it for us if you could,” shouted Tom.

“And am I to sleep in Number 4?” roared East.

“How’s old Sam, and Bogle, and Sally?”

“Bless the boys!” cries Mary, at last getting in a word, “why, you’ll shake me to death. There, now do go away up to the housekeeper’s room and get your suppers; you know I haven’t time to talk—you’ll find plenty more in the house. Now, Master East, do let those things alone—you’re mixing up three new boys’ things.” And she rushed at East, who escaped round the open trunks holding up a prize.

“Hullo, look here, Tommy,” shouted he, “here’s fun!” and he brandished above his head some pretty little nightcaps, beautifully made and marked, the work of loving fingers in some distant country home. The kind mother and sisters, who sewed that delicate stitching with aching hearts, little thought of the trouble they might be bringing on the young head for which they were meant. The little matron was wiser, and snatched the caps from East before he could look at the name on them.

“Now, Master East, I shall be very angry if you don’t go,” said she; “there’s some capital cold beef and pickles up-stairs, and I won’t have you old boys in my room first night.”

“Hurrah for the pickles! Come along, Tommy; come along, Smith. We shall find out who the young Count is, I’ll be bound: I hope he’ll sleep in my room. Mary’s always vicious first week.”

As the boys turned to leave the room, the matron touched Tom’s arm, and said, “Master Brown, please stop a minute, I want to speak to you.”

“Very well, Mary. I’ll come in a minute, East; don’t finish the pickles—”

Tom’s first Sight of Arthur

  By PanEris using Melati.

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