Saturday, 13 July 2013

Story Of The Day - Outside Mr Billingham's study

Our next 'Story of the Day' is Outside Mr Billingham's study by Arthur James Blimp which has been recommended by LSF member, Opb

"This is a very short school caning story, well deserving of the term vignette which has been applied to it by some commenters.

Do not, however mistake brevity with lightness; the sense of place is nicely described, the asides about baldness and the foolishness of getting involved in the schemes of the notorious Edwards create a stream-of-consciousness feel that must make those of us who have stood outside the Head's study recall the feelings exactly.

Just when the reader thinks that this is just going to be a ramble inside the boy's head we are treated to a twist – the teacher's attractive older daughter appears, doubtless the target of much unfulfilled sighing by the boys, and for a moment the narrator reaches for a little fellow feeling with her – seeking brownie points or perhaps a distraction from the ordeal to come.

Needless to say the edifice of this delusion comes crashing down. This is a good read, a delicate piece given the subject matter.

Waiting outside the study, as his friend is caned, a young boy chats to the Master's daughter. He even dares ask if her father canes her but she denies it. All too soon it is his turn in the study!

synopsis by PinkAngel

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