highly interesting

His thoughts, however, were soon recalled, and he was giving his entire attention to the work of the class. His own lesson had been thoroughly prepared and when he took his seat after Mr. Crane had called upon him to recite he felt that he had done well.Mr. Crane, however, made no comment, and there was no change in the quiet manner with which he conducted his recitation. Ward was a trifle disappointed, as he felt that such work as he was doing was entitled to a little more recognition than he had received. However, he gave his attention to the lesson, and when the class rose to leave the room he turned to Jack and said:

"It's this afternoon the nine practises, isn't it?""Yes," replied Jack evasively.The conversation ceased abruptly, and as Ward passed with the class out to Dr. Gray's recitation room, he several times perceived that he himself was the subject of conversation among the boys.Striving hard not to appear to notice it, and yet with a sinking heart realizing that somehow the boys appeared to avoid him, he apparently was taking his last glimpse at his lesson before entering the recitation room. And yet his thoughts were not of the lesson. Even Jack he noticed was walking by the side of Berry--Luscious Berry--and if one might judge from his manner the conversation was .

With a heavy heart Ward entered the room, and as soon as the recitation was ended departed alone for his room in West Hall. Once there, he seated himself and in a kind of dull misery began to think over his situation. The fellows were "cutting" him, there was no doubt of that, he thought, and even the new boys were looking at him with suspicion. And yet it was possible for him even now to win back all he had lost; all he would have to do would be to go in with the "Tangs" again and enter heartily into their sports and pranks and he would soon have his position restored.

But what would that position be? One which would prevent him from doing good work, first of all, and that was something he was eager to do, at least for the present. Soon he would forfeit the good opinion of Mr. Crane and Dr. Gray, and his steps would begin to slide. He might win a certain amount of popularity from such fellows as Tim, but what would it all amount to?

Then why should he feel called upon to defend Little Pond? He had been compelled to fight his own battles when he had entered the school and it had done him good, or at least so Ward thought. Little Pond would soon learn to take his own part, and meanwhile a little attention from Tim might not do him any real harm.
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