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your head. It’s all owing to your precious caution that they got
hold of it. If you had let me burn it, and taken my word that it was
gone, it would have been a heap of ashes behind the fire, instead of
being whole and sound, inside of my great-coat.’

‘Beaten at every point!’ muttered Ralph.
‘Ah!’ sighed Squeers, who, between the brandy and water and
his broken head, wandered strangely, ‘at the delightful village of
Dotheboys near Greta Bridge in Yorkshire, youth are boarded,
clothed, booked, washed, furnished with pocket-money, provided
with all necessaries, instructed in all languages living and dead,
mathematics, orthography, geometry, astronomy, trigonometry--
this is a altered state of trigonomics, this is! A double 1--all,
everything--a cobbler’s weapon. U-p-up, adjective, not down. S-q-
u-double e-r-s-Squeers, noun substantive, a educator of youth.
Total, all up with Squeers!’

His running on, in this way, had afforded Ralph an opportunity
of recovering his presence of mind, which at once suggested to
him the necessity of removing, as far as possible, the
schoolmaster’s misgivings, and leading him to believe that his
safety and best policy lay in the preservation of a rigid silence.

‘I tell you, once again,’ he said, ‘they can’t hurt you. You shall
have an action for false imprisonment, and make a profit of this,
yet. We will devise a story for you that should carry you through
twenty times such a trivial scrape as this; and if they want security
in a thousand pounds for your reappearance in case you should be
called upon, you shall have it. All you have to do is, to keep back
the truth. You’re a little fuddled tonight, and may not be able to
see this as clearly as you would at another time; but this is what
you must do, and you’ll need all your senses about you; for a slip

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