They turned, and began to walk towards the houses. Kennedy feltmiserable. He never allowed himself to be put out, to any greatextent, by his own worries, which, indeed, had not been very numerousup to the present, but the misfortunes of his friends always troubledhim exceedingly. When anything happened to him personally, he foundthe discomfort of being in a tight place largely counterbalanced bythe excitement of trying to find a way out. But the impossibility ofhelping Fenn in any way depressed him.
"It must be awful," he said, breaking the silence.
"It is," said Fenn, briefly.
"But haven't the house-matches made any difference? Blackburn's alwaysfrightfully bucked when the house does anything. You can do anythingyou like with him if you lift a cup. I should have thought Kay wouldhave been all right when he saw you knocking up centuries, and gettinginto the final, and all that sort of thing."Fenn laughed.
"Kay!" he said. "My dear man, he doesn't _know_. I don't supposehe's got the remotest idea that we are in the final at all, or, if hehas, he doesn't understand what being in the final means.""But surely he'll be glad if you lick us tomorrow?" asked Kennedy.
Such indifference on the part of a house-master respecting thefortunes of his house seemed to him, having before him the brightexample of Mr Blackburn almost incredible.
"I don't suppose so," said Fenn. "Or, if he is, I'll bet he doesn'tshow it. He's not like Blackburn. I wish he was. Here he comes, soperhaps we'd better talk about something else."The vanguard of the boys returning from preparation had passed them,and they were now standing at the gate of the house. As Fenn spoke, alittle, restless-looking man in cap and gown came up. His clean-shavenface wore an expression of extreme alertness--the sort of look a ferretwears as he slips in at the mouth of a rabbit-hole. A doctor, calledupon to sum up Mr Kay at a glance, would probably have said that hesuffered from nerves, which would have been a perfectly correctdiagnosis, though none of the members of his house put his manners andcustoms down to that cause. They considered that the methods hepursued in the management of the house were the outcome of a naturallymalignant disposition. This was, however, not the case. There is noreason to suppose that Mr Kay did not mean well. But there is no doubtthat he was extremely fussy. And fussiness--with the possibleexceptions of homicidal mania and a taste for arson--is quite theworst characteristic it is possible for a house-master to possess.
Post a comment in response:
|© 2002-2008. Blurty Journal. All rights reserved.|