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Being rather young at present I am
getting on in years, but still I am rather
youngI have no particular adventures of
my own to fall back upon. It wouldn't much
interest anybody here, I suppose, to know
what a screw the Reverend is, or what a
griffin she is, or how they do stick it into
parentsparticularly hair-cutting and medical
attendance. One of our fellows was charged
in his half's account twelve and six-pence for
two pillstolerably profitable at six and three-
pence a-piece, I should thinkand he never
took them either, but put them up the sleeve
of his jacket.

As to the beef, it's shameful. It's not beef.
Regular beef isn't veins. You can chew regular
beef. Besides which there's gravy to regular
beef, and you never see a drop to ours.
Another of our fellows went home ill, and heard
the family doctor tell his father that he
couldn't account for his complaint unless it
was the beer. Of course it was the beer, and
well it might be!

However, beef and Old Cheeseman are two
different things. So is beer. It was Old
Cheeseman I meant to tell about; not the
manner in which our fellows get their
constitutions destroyed for the sake of profit.

Why, look at the pie-crust alone. There's
no flakiness in it. It's solidlike damp lead.
Then our fellows get nightmares, and are
bolstered for calling out and waking other
fellows. Who can wonder!

Old Cheeseman one night walked in his
sleep, put his hat on over his night-cap, got
hold of a fishing-rod and a cricket-bat, and
went down into the parlor, where they
naturally thought from his appearance he was a
Ghost. Why, he never would have done that
if his meals had been wholesome. When we
all begin to walk in our sleeps, I suppose
they'll be sorry for it.

Old Cheeseman wasn't second Latin Master
then; he was a fellow himself. He was first
brought there, very small, in a post-chaise,
by a woman who was always taking snuff and
shaking himand that was the most he
remembered about it. He never went home for
the holidays. His accounts (he never learnt
any extras) were sent to a Bank, and the Bank
paid them; and he had a brown suit twice a
year, and went into boots at twelve. They
were always too big for him, too.

In the midsummer holidays, some of our
fellows who lived within walking distance,
used to come back and climb the trees outside
the playground wall, on purpose to look at
Old Cheeseman reading there by himself.
He was always as mild as the teaand that's
pretty mild, I should hope!—so when they
whistled to him, he looked up and nodded;
and when they said "Holloa Old Cheeseman,
what have you had for dinner?" he said
"Boiled mutton;" and when they said "An't
it solitary, Old Cheeseman?" he said "It is a
little dull, sometimes;" and then they said
"Well, good bye, Old Cheeseman!" and
climbed down again. Of course it was imposing
on Old Cheeseman to give him nothing
but boiled mutton through a whole Vacation,
but that was just like the system. When
they didn't give him boiled mutton they gave
him rice pudding, pretending it was a treat.
And saved the butcher.

So Old Cheeseman went on. The holidays
brought him into other trouble besides the
loneliness; because when the fellows began
to come back, not wanting to, he was always
glad to see them: which was aggravating
when they were not at all glad to see him,
and so he got his head knocked against walls,
and that was the way his nose bled. But he
was a favourite in general. Once, a subscription
was raised for him; and, to keep up his
spirits, he was presented before the holidays
with two white mice, a rabbit, a pigeon, and
a beautiful puppy. Old Cheeseman cried
about it, especially soon afterwards, when
they all ate one another.

Of course Old Cheeseman used to be called
by the names of all sorts of cheeses, Double
Glo'sterman, Family Cheshireman, Dutchman,
North Wiltshireman, and all that. But he
never minded it. And I don't mean to say
he was old in point of years, because he wasn't,
only he was called, from the first, Old Cheeseman.

At last. Old Cheeseman was made second
Latin Master. He was brought in one morning
at the beginning of a new half, and
presented to the school in that capacity as "Mr.
Cheeseman." Then our fellows all agreed
that Old Cheeseman was a spy, and a deserter,
who had gone over to the enemy's camp,

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