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Harbat - the school

In the upper town, amongst nice and tidy houses, is the school for the elite. Here the principal Israel Meadows rules. He is a much respected man and knows the etiquette as no one else. He has a stiff collar and a monocle with a golden chain. In his chest pocket his handkerchief is well ironed in place. He has a mustache and strong sideburns, and not one hair out of place.

In the entire school, principale Meadows' word has been honored, and subsequently, nothing is out of place. And if anything is out of place, it must be the fault of one of the children. Physical punishment is of course the most efficient method. He would punish when a child looks dreamy out of the window on a summer afternoon, when a child doesn't know its lessons...

The children learn here about the ways to behave towards the opposite sex, they learn civil things, like rules for eating in a civilised manner, talking in a civilised manner. They also learn how to write, basic math... And most important of all, they learn how to not be a child.

Sometimes a well respected member of the community comes as a guestspeaker. Mr.Kinney for instance, about the honor of the woman, and the noble art of the duel, or the boys' favourite, Monsieur Le Patourel, who is instructor for the guards, and known as the world's best fighter.

One cold, frosty morning, near the close of November, about twenty-five boys and girls were assembled as usual waiting for the master. Some were studying their lessons, and some were playing; the boys at ball, the girls at jumping the rope. But all of them (with one exception), those studying and those playing, were watching the mouth of the path at which the master was expected.