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It is not necessary to put down in detail all that the scheme was meant to effect, or how; even if Fernando had thought it all out then and could remember it all now.

He did enter into correspondence with some boys at other schools, and found adherents to the scheme. So did other boys of the group of St. Wolstan's.

Finally he drew up a paper and had it printed at the town, five miles away, nearest to St. Wolstan's. The paper set out the objects of the union, and (I think) the methods to be followed and the rules to be observed. And it gave the name by which the members were to call their association. The name was, perhaps, the most singular feature of the scheme.

At the top of the paper the Holy Name was printed in a Cross, thus :







And the little association or guild took for its designation that of a very great and famous one; it called itself the Society of Jesus.

Now how did the boy hit upon that title? It must be remembered that he had now read the Life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola ; and that no doubt answers the question. But he did not mean to copy the name absolutely. In the Life the Order founded by Saint Ignatius was always mentioned as the Company of Jesus, and Fernando did not know that in English-speaking countries it is in fact known as the Society of Jesus. So the boy, purposely avoiding the word "Company chose that of "Society." I cannot help wondering what Saint Ignatius thought of it up in heaven. A schoolboy in a nonCatholic school was plagiarising the name of his own great Society for a queer, unauthorised, highly illicit, little association of other Protestant schoolboys. For my part, I think he understood. What the Saint founded was meant to band Catholics together in defence of the ancient faith then assailed by a new menace. What the unsaintly boy meant was to help himself and others to be Catholics in an isolation that made it difficult. Perhaps the smiling Saint only prayed that the lad might really be made a Catholic.

Well, the paper was printed, as has been

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said, and copies of it were posted by Fernando and his associates to their friends in other schools; and in some sort the little society was launched on its half-secret contraband voyage. The members were but few; whether they would ever have grown to be many I cannot guess, for the " society" was, like its mighty namesake was, doomed to be suppressed. No doubt Fernando dreamed of its rapid spread, of new associates coming in from ever so many schools. Perhaps if that had happened he himself would never have been really a Catholic.

But from his dreams about his society he was soon and coldly awakened.

One day he was "wanted," and it was by the Head Master this time, for the Warden was not then in residence; and well, I fancy, was it for him that the Warden was away.

Fernando betook himself to the Head Master's house and knocked, without apprehension, at the study door. Prefects were constantly being sent for by the "Head" about matters concerning the school, and there was nothing alarming in such a summons. And Fernando was extremely fond of the Head Master. Dr. Usher (we will call him so) was neither old nor awful. He

was not in the least "donnish," and cultivated no ponderous aloofness of manner : I doubt if he would have thought it scandalous if anyone had suggested the hypothesis that he was once a boy himself. He could laugh at jokes he had not made himselfeven if one of his own Sixth Form boys made one at his own supper-table. He could, however, make excellent jokes himself, and he was first-rate company. He had a temper, and he could be unpleasant enough, especially to persons who disliked sarcasm; but Fernando thought his irony very stimulating, and was not exactly afraid of him.

When he called out "Come in," Fernando went in, unsuspicious of calamity. The Head's house was not so imposing as the Warden's Lodge, and his study was quite a small room, pretty full of books, much read and not too full-dressed. A man who is not on easy terms even with his books is apt to be more alarming in his library.

"Come in, Burscough, and wait a minute till I've finished this," said the Head Master over his shoulder. He was really writing, and writing quickly to get it done, not on purpose to create suspense. Fernando stood still, waiting, not at all disturbed.

Then the Head had finished, and got up. "Well, Burscough!" he began. And Fernando promptly perceived that something was going to happen. Dr. Usher's face was always expressive, and it expressed a good deal.

First of all, it seemed to say:

"You're a nice young gentleman, I don't think."

He did not assume a look of savage hostility, or even of magisterial wrath; but he did look determined, and he did not look pleased.


No nonsense," his eyes said.

"And what nonsense," his sardonic smile said.

"Now, Burscough," his lips said, aloud, and then his glance was directed towards his writing table. Fernando's eyes followed, and there, on the top of a pile of letters, lay that well-known printed leaflet concerning the "Society of Jesus.'

I have no doubt that Fernando grew as red as a turkey-cock-not that I ever saw a red one.


Yes," said the Head Master, grimly, “it has been sent to me."

Some master in some other school had got.

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