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12. CHAPTER XII (continued)
"What are you doing?" he asked.
He looked from Singer to Philip, but neither answered.
"Don't you know that I've forbidden you to play that idiotic game?"
Philip's heart beat fast. He knew what was coming and was dreadfully frightened, but in his fright there was a certain exultation. He had never been swished. Of course it would hurt, but it was something to boast about afterwards.
"Come into my study."
The headmaster turned, and they followed him side by side Singer whispered to Philip:
"We're in for it."
Mr. Watson pointed to Singer.
"Bend over," he said.
Philip, very white, saw the boy quiver at each stroke, and after the third he heard him cry out. Three more followed.
"That'll do. Get up."
Singer stood up. The tears were streaming down his face. Philip stepped forward. Mr. Watson looked at him for a moment.
"I'm not going to cane you. You're a new boy. And I can't hit a cripple. Go away, both of you, and don't be naughty again."
When they got back into the school-room a group of boys, who had learned in some mysterious way what was happening, were waiting for them. They set upon Singer at once with eager questions. Singer faced them, his face red with the pain and marks of tears still on his cheeks. He pointed with his head at Philip, who was standing a little behind him.
"He got off because he's a cripple," he said angrily.
Philip stood silent and flushed. He felt that they looked at him with contempt.
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