back to page 4        Return to page 1         Chapter 5 Andy leaves school

There were only 2 weeks to the end of term at Andy's school so his father said he could go back until the end of term. Andy went to see the Headmaster. Andy explained what had happened and said, "Unfortunately I will have to leave school."

"I am really sorry, Andrew," said the doctor. "You are one of my best pupils.  I shall be willing to take you for half price--that is, for one hundred and fifty dollars--till you are ready for college."

Picture of Andy with Dr Crabb

"Thank you, Dr. Crabb," replied Andy, gratefully. "You are very kind, but my father would not even be able to pay that."

"It is a thousand pities," said the principal, with concern. "If you must leave, you must. I will have to look at this carefully but it may be possible to take you free of charge."

"Thank you; but I feel that I ought to go to work at once to help my father." 

"Perhaps you are right. I just wish I could do something to help."

"I think it will help me if you will give me a letter of recommendation which I can show to anyone if I am asking them for a job."

I will certainly do that said Dr Crab." He sat down and wrote the letter. It said that Andy had worked very hard and that he was clever and reliable.

At the end of term Andy won a prize for being top of his class.
Andy was very good at drawing he could quickly draw little sketches of people. When they heard that he was leaving,each of his friends asked to be drawn before he left.

Someone said,"Can you draw Dr Crab?" "Right,"said Andy and he started to draw a Crab with a face that looked like Dr Crab. Everyone laughed and laughed.

Now Dr Crab was walking down the corridor and he came across to see what had happened. Andy was afraid he would be annoyed but he simply said,"Please do one of those for me," and he went away laughing.
Finally, on the last day of term Andy said goodbye to them all. They were all very sad that he was leaving. He got in the train and travelled back to Arden. He was just walking out of the station when someone called his name.

Picture of Conrad on left and Andy on the right.

.Looking around, he saw Conrad Carter, the squire's only son.

"So you've come home from the academy?" said Conrad, curiously.

"Yes," answered Andy, briefly.

Andy did not like Conrad. In fact none of the boys liked Conrad.  Conrad knew that his father was the richest person in the village.  He thought that made his father important and it made him important too.

  He always talked to people as if he was more important than they were and sometimes he would be really nasty.

"You'll have a pretty long holiday," went on Conrad, with a laugh.

"Yes, I suppose so."

"Oh, well, it's the best thing for you. I thought it foolish when your father sent you off to the academy. If the Arden grammar school is good enough for me it is good enough for you."

"There is nothing to prevent your going to the academy."

"I know that. My father could afford it, even if it cost a good deal more. You wanted to go to college, didn't you?"


"It was very foolish for a poor boy like you."

"Why do you think you know better than I do," said Andy.

"Are you going to work on the farm?" said Conrad.

"I may till I get a job."

"I'll speak to father. He might take you for an errand boy."

"I don't think that job would suit me."

"Why not?"

"I want to learn to be a merchant or a businessman."

"That's what I am going to do when I get through school. Of course I can take my time. I do not need to hurry."

I suppose not."

I suppose you know that my father has taken a mortgage on your father's farm?"

"Yes, I know that."

"If your father can't pay the mortgage when it is due, father will have to take the farm."

Andy did not answer. He thought that Conrad was being really nasty. 

He decided to talk about something else. He said, "That's a new bicycle, isn't it?"

"Yes; I got tired of the old one. This is a very expensive one. Wouldn't you like to own a bicycle?"


"Of course, you never will."

"Then I must be content without one." 

"Well, I must leave you. I'll come around soon and see you. Perhaps you will be a riding a horse to plough." He said this because he thought  to plough was a very poor job.

As Conrad sped away on his bike Andy said to himself, "I shouldn't like to be rich if it made me as disagreeable as Conrad."

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