The Daisy Chain or Aspirations
Oh Life, without thy chequered scene,
Of right and wrong, of weal and woe,
Success and failure, could a ground
For magnanimity be found?
Dr. May was called for late the next day, Friday, and spent some time in one
of the houses near the river. It was nearly eight o'clock when he came away,
and he lingered, looking towards the school, in hopes of a walk home with his
Presently he saw Norman coming out from under the archway, his cap drawn
over his face, and step, gesture, and manner betraying that something was
seriously wrong. He came up almost to his father without seeing him, until
startled by his exclamation, "Norman--why, Norman, what's the matter?"
Norman's lips quivered, and his face was pale--he seemed as if he could not
"Where's Tom ?" said the doctor, much alarmed. "Has he got into disgrace
about this business of Tomkins? That boy--"
"He has only got an imposition," interrupted Norman. "No, it is not that--it is
myself"--and it was only with a gulp and struggle that he brought out the
words, "I am turned down in the school."
The doctor started back a step or two, aghast. "What-how--speak, Norman.
What have you done?"
"Nothing!" said Norman, recovering in the desire to reassure his father--
"That's right," said the doctor, breathing freely. "What's the meaning of it...a
"Yes," said Norman, with bitterness. "It is all Anderson's doing--a word from
him would have set all straight--but he would not; I believe, from my heart,
he held his tongue to get me down, that he might have the Randall!"
"We'll see you righted," said the doctor eagerly. "Come, tell me the whole
story, Norman. Is it about this unlucky business?"
"Yes. The town-fellows were all up about it last evening, when we came out
of school. Anderson senior himself began to put them up to having the fence
down again. Yes, that he did--I remember his very words--that Tomkins could