Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Love Among The Blackboards
by [?]

An organized government requires a cabinet, and, during the first weeks of her reign over Room 18, Miss Bailey set about providing herself with aides and advisors. She made, naturally, some fatal and expensive mistakes, as when she entrusted the class pencils to the care of one of the Yonowsky twins who, promptly falling ill of scarlet fever and imparting it to his brother, reduced the First-Reader Class to writing with coloured chalk.

But gradually from the rank and file of candidates, from the well-meaning but clumsy; from the competent but dishonest; from the lazy and from the rash, she selected three loyal and devoted men to share her task of ruling. They were Morris Mogilewsky, Prime Minister and Monitor of the Gold-Fish Bowl; Nathan Spiderwitz, Councillor of the Exchequer and Monitor of Window Boxes; and Patrick Brennan, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces and Leader of the Line.

The members of this cabinet, finding themselves raised to such high places by the pleasure of their sovereign, kept watchful eyes upon her. For full well they knew that cruelest of all the laws of the Board of Education, which decrees: “That the marriage of a female teacher shall constitute resignation.” This ruling had deprived them of a Kindergarten teacher of transcendent charm and had made them as watchful of Miss Bailey as a bevy of maiden aunts could have been. Losing her they would lose love and power, and love and power are sweet.

Morris was the first to discover definite grounds for uneasiness. He met his cherished Miss Bailey walking across Grand Street on a rainy morning, and the umbrella which was protecting her beloved head was held by a tall stranger in a long and baggy coat. After circling incredulously about this tableau, Morris dashed off to report to his colleagues. He found Patrick and Nathan in the midst of an exciting game of craps, but his pattering feet warned them of danger, so they pocketed their dice and turned to hear his news.

“Say,” he panted; “I seen Teacher mit a man.”

“No!” said Patrick, aghast.

“It’s a lie!” cried Nathan; “it’s a lie!”

“No; it’s no lie,” said Morris, with a sob half of breathlessness and half of sorrow; “I seen her for sure. Und the man carries umbrellas over her mit loving looks.”

“Ah, g’wan,” drawled Patrick; “you’re crazy. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure do I,” cried Morris. “I had once a auntie what was loving mit a awful stylish salesman–he’s now floorwalkers–und I see how they makes.”

“Well,” said Patrick, “I had a sister Mary and she married the milkman, so I know, too. But umbrellas doesn’t mean much.”

“But the loving looks,” Morris insisted. “My auntie makes such looks on the salesman–he’s now floorwalkers–und sooner she marries mit him.”

“Say, Patrick,” suggested Nathan; “I’ll tell you what to do. You ask her if she’s goin’ to get married.”

“Naw,” said Patrick. “Let Morris ask her. She’d tell him before she’d tell any of us. She’s been soft on him ever since Christmas. Say, Morris, do you hear? You’ve got to ask Teacher if she’s going to get married.”

“Oo-o-oh! I dassent. It ain’t polite how you says,” cried Morris in his shocked little voice. “It ain’t polite you asks like that. It’s fierce.”

“Well, you’ve got to do it, anyway,” said Patrick darkly, “and you’ve got to do it soon, and you’ve got to let us hear you.”

“It’s fierce,” protested Morris, but he was overruled by the dominant spirit of Patrick Brennan, that grandson of the kings of Munster and son of the policeman on the beat. His opportunity found him on the very next morning. Isidore Wishnewsky, the gentlest of gentle children, came to school wearing his accustomed air of melancholy shot across with a tender pride. His subdued “Good morning” was accompanied with much strenuous exertion directed, apparently, to the removal and exhibition of a portion of his spine. After much wriggling he paused long enough to say: