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PAGE 2

A Digression
by [?]

Observe me, then, on the polling day, busily at work in a corner of the schoolroom. I am writing in bold capitals on a piece of exercise paper, “Vote for the shah.” Having written it, I pinned it proudly up in a corner of the room, and stood back awhile to look at it. My first effort at electioneering. There was no immediate sensation, for everybody else was too busy over his own affairs to notice my little poster, and so I went about from one little knot of talkers to another, hanging shyly on the outskirts in the hope that, when it broke up, I might lead the way casually towards my masterpiece–“VOTE FOR THE SHAH.”

Suddenly my attention was attracted to another boy, who, even as I had been a few minutes ago, was now busily writing. I kept my eye on him, and when he had finished his work, and was walking across the room with a piece of paper in his hand, I followed him eagerly. He was at least twelve; I was only nine. Can you wonder that he seemed to me almost the last word in wisdom? So I followed him. Could it really be that my poster had forstalled his? What glory if it were so! He pinned up his notice. He moved away, and I read it. It said: “VOTE FOR THE SHAR.”

You can imagine my feelings. I went hot all over. “Shar,” of course, not “Shah.” How ever could I have been such an idiot as to have thought it was “Shah”? S-h-a-h obviously spelt shash, not shar. How nearly I had exposed my appalling ignorance to my fellows! “Vote for the–“; I blushed again, hardly able to think of it. And oh! how thankful I was now that everybody else had been too busy to read my poster. Hastily I went over to it, and tore it down; hastily I went back to my desk and wrote another poster. Observe me now again. I am writing in bold capitals on a piece of exercise paper: “VOTE FOR THE SHAR.”

And the moral? Well, my omnibus has now; fetched its compass round Victoria, we are back on the main route again, and I think I must leave the moral to you.