Over the Sliprails
The Master's Mistake
William Spencer stayed away from school that hot day, and "went swimming". The
master wrote a note to William's father, and gave it to William's brother Joe to carry
"You'll give that to your father to-night, Joseph."
Bill waited for Joe near the gap, and walked home with him.
"I s'pose you've got a note for father."
"Yes," said Joe.
"I s'pose you know what's in it?"
"Ye--yes. Oh, why did you stop away, Bill?"
"You don't mean to say that you're dirty mean enough to give it to father? Hey?"
"I must, Will. I promised the master."
"He needn't never know."
"Oh, yes, he will. He's coming over to our place on Saturday, and he's sure to ask me to-
"Look here, Joe!" said Bill, "I don't want to get a hiding and go without supper to-night. I
promised to go 'possuming with Johnny Nowlett, and he's going to give me a fire out of
his gun. You can come, too. I don't want to cop out on it to-night -- if I do I'll run away
from home again, so there."
Bill walked on a bit in moody, Joe in troubled, silence.
Bill tried again: he threatened, argued, and pleaded, but Joe was firm. "The master trusted
me, Will," he said.
"Joe," said Bill at last, after a long pause, "I wouldn't do it to you."
Joe was troubled.