The Folks

The Folks

The Folks

The Folks

Excerpt

The assembly room of the high school was always restless at this last period in the afternoon. Whispers went about--a gust of laughter hastily suppressed as the teacher in charge began clearing her desk. The little grade children were out already, and their voices sounded high and clear from the other building, a block away, as they went running home.

The principal came into the room. He went softly up onto the platform, leaned over, with one hand flat on the desk, and spoke to Miss Larrabie. Then he straightened up and stood waiting. The gong sounded out in the hall. It was fifteen minutes early. Mr. Bellew stood smiling and complacent.

"You may put away your books," Miss Larrabie said.

Then they came tramping in from their classes, up the two broad stairways, into the assembly room through the two big doors that were hastily opened, and noisily took their seats. Mr. Bellew nodded at Miss Larrabie; she gathered up her papers and left the platform, opening one of the front seats and sitting down there just below the platform with the other teachers who were all coming in; and then Mr. Bellew stepped forward and tapped the bell. The excited uproar in the room calmed down, the eager faces were all turned toward him.

"Now, if you'll just give me your attention, school."

A few more shufflings of feet, a book dropped and a head hastily bent as someone leaned over the aisle to pick up the book --and then it was expectantly, rustlingly quiet. They could hear the running steps of the grade children out on the sidewalk.

"Well, I suppose you're all somewhat worried if you've happened to notice that classes are letting out a little early today."

Laughter--shrill from the girls, bursting out in sardonic noisiness from the boys; but an uneasy shifting of bodies and shuffling of feet.

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