could take things as you do—but I never can get higher than a joke. Everything’s a joke. If I was going to be flogged next minute, I should be in a blue funk, but I couldn’t help laughing at it for the life of me.”

“Brown and East, you go and fag for Jones on the great fives’-court.”

“Hullo, though, that’s past a joke,” broke out East, springing at the young gentleman who addressed them, and catching him by the collar. “Here, Tommy, catch hold of him t’other side before he can holla.”

The youth was seized, and dragged struggling out of the quadrangle into the School-house hall. He was one of the miserable little pretty white-handed, curly-headed boys, petted and pampered by some of the big fellows, who wrote their verses for them, taught them to drink and use bad language, and did all they could to spoil them for everything1 in this world and the next. One of the avocations in which these young gentlemen took particular delight was in going about and getting fags for their protectors, when those heroes were playing any game. They carried about pencil and paper with them, putting down the names of all the boys they sent, always sending five times as many as were wanted, and getting all those thrashed who didn’t go. The present youth belonged to a house which was very jealous of the School-house, and always picked out School-house fags when he could find them. However, this time he’d got the wrong sow by the ear. His captors slammed the great door of the hall, and East put his back against it, while Tom gave the prisoner a shake-up, took away his list, and stood him up on the floor, while he proceeded leisurely to examine that document.

“Let me out, let me go!” screamed the boy in a furious passion. “I’ll go and tell Jones this minute, and he’ll give you both the——thrashing you ever had.”

“Pretty little dear,” said East, patting the top of his hat; “hark how he swears, Tom. Nicely brought-up young man, ain’t he, I don’t think.”

“Let me alone,——you,” roared the boy, foaming with rage, and kicking at East, who quietly tripped him up, and deposited him on the floor in a place of safety.

“Gently, young fellow,” said he; “’tain’t improving for little whippersnappers like you to be indulging in blasphemy; so you stop that, or you’ll get something you won’t like.”

“I’ll have you both licked when I get out, that I will,” rejoined the boy, beginning to snivel.

“Two can play at that game, mind you,” said Tom, who had finished his examination of the list. “Now you just listen here. We’ve just come across the fives’-court, and Jones has four fags there already, two more than he wants. If he’d wanted us to change, he’d have stopped us himself. And here, you little blackguard, you’ve got seven names down on your list besides ours, and five of them School-house.” Tom walked up to him, and jerked him on to his legs; he was by this time whining like a whipped puppy.

“Now just listen to me. We ain’t going to fag for Jones. If you tell him you’ve sent us, we’ll each of us give you such a thrashing as you’ll remember.” And Tom tore up the list and threw the pieces into the fire.

“And mind you, too,” said East, “don’t let me catch you again sneaking about the School-house, and picking up our fags. You haven’t got the sort of hide to take a sound licking kindly;” and he opened the door and sent the young gentleman flying into the quadrangle with a parting kick.

“Nice boy, Tommy,” said East, shoving his hands in his pockets, and strolling to the fire.

“Worst sort we breed,” responded Tom, following his example. “Thank goodness, no big fellow ever took to petting me.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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