"It must be very stupid to be always in a girls' school," said Alfred. "Such a set of nincompoops, like Mrs Ballard's pupils walking two and two."
"And they have no games worth playing at," said Jim. "They can neither throw nor leap. I don't wonder at Mary's not liking it."
"What is that Mary doesn't like, eh?" said the father, looking over his spectacles and pausing before he opened his next letter.
"Being among a lot of nincompoop girls," said Alfred.
"Is it the situation you had heard of, Mary?" said Caleb, gently, looking at his daughter.
"Yes, father: the school at York. I have determined to take it. It is quite the best. Thirty-five pounds a-year, and extra pay for teaching the smallest strummers at the piano."
"Poor child! I wish she could stay at home with us, Susan," said Caleb, looking plaintively at his wife.
"Mary would not be happy without doing her duty," said Mrs Garth, magisterially, conscious of having done her own.
"It wouldn't make me happy to do such a nasty duty as that," said Alfred—at which Mary and her father laughed silently, but Mrs Garth said, gravely—