they let me up, I looked at Jones and if looks could kill, he'd have had short shrift. He tried to hit me but I dodged the blow and went out to plot revenge.
Jones was the head of the cricket First Eleven in which I too was given a place just for my bowling. Vernon of the Sixth was the chief bowler, but I was second, the only boy in the lower school who was in the Eleven at all. Soon afterwards a team from some other school came over to play us: the rival captains met before the tent, all on their best behaviour; for some reason, Vernon not being ready or something, I was given the new ball. A couple of the masters stood near. Jones lost the toss and said to the rival captain very politely, "If you're ready. Sir! we'll go out". The other captain bowed smiling, my chance had come:
"I'm not going to play with you, you brute!' I cried and dashed the ball in Jones's face.
He was very quick and throwing his head aside, escaped the full force of the blow; still the seam of the new ball grazed his cheek-bone and broke the skin: everyone stood amazed: only people who know the strength of English conventions can realise the sensation. Jones himself did not know what to do but took out his handkerchief to mop the blood, the skin being just broken. As for me, I walked away by myself. I had broken the supreme law of our school-boy honour: never to give away our dissensions to a master, still less to boys and masters from another school; I had sinned in public, too, and before everyone; I'd be universaly condemned.
The truth is, I was desperate, dreadfully unhappy, for since the breakdown of the fags' revolt the lower boys had drawn away from me and the older boys never spoke to me if they could help it and then it was always as "Pat".