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13. CHAPTER XIII (continued)
Philip passed from the innocence of childhood to bitter consciousness of himself by the ridicule which his club-foot had excited. The circumstances of his case were so peculiar that he could not apply to them the ready-made rules which acted well enough in ordinary affairs, and he was forced to think for himself. The many books he had read filled his mind with ideas which, because he only half understood them, gave more scope to his imagination. Beneath his painful shyness something was growing up within him, and obscurely he realised his personality. But at times it gave him odd surprises; he did things, he knew not why, and afterwards when he thought of them found himself all at sea.
There was a boy called Luard between whom and Philip a friendship had arisen, and one day, when they were playing together in the school-room, Luard began to perform some trick with an ebony pen-holder of Philip's.
"Don't play the giddy ox," said Philip. "You'll only break it."
But no sooner were the words out of the boy's mouth than the pen-holder snapped in two. Luard looked at Philip with dismay.
"Oh, I say, I'm awfully sorry."
The tears rolled down Philip's cheeks, but he did not answer.
"I say, what's the matter?" said Luard, with surprise. "I'll get you another one exactly the same."
"It's not about the pen-holder I care," said Philip, in a trembling voice, "only it was given me by my mater, just before she died."
"I say, I'm awfully sorry, Carey."
"It doesn't matter. It wasn't your fault."
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