“Time has passed quickly. The term is nearly over, it is the end of examination week. Then examination began, it was a new experience to Tom. There are no more classes, but during school-hours he has to write papers, one on every subject. Every morning, the questions though and reminds the boy that not one work of talking is allowed. At the end of the two hours he calls out. “Time is up” and every student gives up his paper some hoping they’ll pass, others afraid of failing.
Now the last day of the term has come: the students are assembled in the large hall to hear the result of the examinations. The masters in their caps and gowns, are seated round the headmaster, and everyone is eager to know what places the students have taken. The principal begins from the bottom of the school, and at the last boy in each form, so that the excitement grows greater and greater as he reads on.
Our friends are very much excited, and anxious to hear what George’s place will be. And when at last the Headmaster calls out: First, Bennett, Tom is so glad that he begins clapping his hands, thought it is against the rule, the other boys follow suit. George is red and over his beaming face. “Silence” orders the Principal, but it is a few seconds before he can go on reading his list.
Tom could not expect to be first, but he is not too low down. His report is satisfactory and tomorrow he is going up to London where he will spend his Christmas holidays at his uncle’s. What about Ralph? Well, he is last, of course, and his family will be ashamed of his studies.”