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The Madcap of the School
written by "Salmon, Balliol, 1868-1953"
...a thing at The Poplars, but, if it’s expected, I won’t break the traditions of the school. You can always depend upon me in that respect.” Precisely at 11.30 the whole of the school was assembled in the big hall awaiting the presence of their lecturer. Professor Marshall, who had been regaling himself with lunch in Miss Beasley’s study, now made his appearance, escorted by the head mistress, and apparently refreshed by cocoa and conversation. The girls always agreed that his manners were beautiful. He treated everybody with a courtly deference, something between the professional consideration of a fashionable doctor and the dignity of an archdeacon. After Miss Gibbs’s uncompromising attitude, the contrast was marked. He entered the room smiling, bowed a courteous good morning to his pupils, who rose to receive him, and placed a chair for Miss Beasley with gentlemanly attention. The Principal, radiant after showing off her new quarters, refused it with equal politeness. 30 “No, thank you, Professor. I’m not going to stay. I have other work to do. You will find your class the same as before, with the addition of two new girls. Maude Heywood—come here, Maudie!—and Cynthia Greene. I hope they’ll both prove good workers.” Maudie Heywood, blushing like a lobster, stepped forward and thrust three limp fingers for a fraction of a second into the Professor’s large clasp, then thankfully merged her identity among her schoolfellows. Cynthia, who was behind her, smiled bewitchingly upwards into the florid, benevolent face of her new instructor, then, falling gracefully upon one knee, seized his hand and touched it with her lips. The sensation in the room was immense. The Professor, looking decidedly astonished and embarrassed, hastily withdrew his hand from the affectionate salutation. Miss Beasley’s eyes were round with horror. “Cynthia!” she excl...

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