An Ordinary Boy

by Hamster

Chapter 6: Aftermath

Neither Mike nor Josh heard anything more about the decision of the Board concerning Colonel Carruthers. Mike went to school on Wednesday morning and started getting organized for the first class of the day. By eight thirty the boys in his first class were all sitting at their desks waiting for Mike to start the lesson when the school tannoy system came to life.

"All students and staff will attend a special assembly in the school hall in ten minutes time. Please proceed immediately to the hall at this time."

Mike glanced at Josh, who was in this class, and saw Josh looking at him and giving him the slightest of smiles. Mike gave a little smile back, which went unnoticed as the boys were all lining up to go to the school hall.

When he reached the school hall Mike sat in his assigned chair on the stage, and looked out at the assembled boys, all dressed in their blazers and school ties. Being the most junior staff member he was seated right at the end of the row of staff members, seating being arranged in order of seniority, which meant he could see the boys but was not in the main focus of their attention. There was a lot of whispering among the boys. He saw Josh, who was looking completely blank, and not joining in the mass whispering. At nine ten Mr. Phillips, the Deputy Headmaster walked on to the stage accompanied by Marcus Smith. The hall became silent as boys sat to attention. Mr. Phillips came to the microphone.

"Good morning everyone. Thank you for coming. I would like to introduce Mr. Marcus Smith, Chairman of the Board of Governors, who has an important announcement to make."

Mr. Phillips stepped aside and gave the microphone to Marcus.

"Good morning, everyone. It's my sad duty today to inform you that our greatly respected Headmaster, Colonel Carruthers, suffered a stroke yesterday and has been hospitalised. I'm pleased to tell you that his condition is stable and he is expected to make a full recovery. However, his doctor has advised him to avoid any strenuous activity for a period of some weeks to ensure he fully recovers. As a result, Colonel Carruthers will not be returning to the school for the rest of this term. I know that you will all want me to wish Colonel Carruthers a speedy recovery and hope he will return at the beginning of the next school year.

"In the absence of Colonel Carruthers, the Board of Governors has met to decide on who should act as Headmaster until such time that the Colonel can resume his normal duties. I am pleased to inform you all that the Board decided to ask Mr. Phillips here to take on the Headmaster's responsibilities for the foreseeable future. Thank you."

Mr. Phillips returned to the microphone.

"Thank you, Mr. Smith. I know that everyone will want you to wish Colonel Carruthers well, and that we all look forward to seeing him back in school once he has made a full recovery. Obviously I will need to make some adjustments to my teaching schedule and reassign some of the staff to take over those classes. This may take me the rest of the day to organize so I hope that everyone will be patient as we make the necessary changes. At this time the special assembly is over, and everyone can return to their classrooms and resume our regular schedule. Thank you."

In accordance with school tradition, boys did not talk as they left the school hall, but the moment they left the building Mike could hear a loud amount of chatter. Clearly, the announcement that Colonel Carruthers was out of the picture indefinitely led to lots of speculation among the boys.

Back in his classroom Mike found all of his boys chattering away. There was no doubt what the topic of conversation was, and from what snippets he heard, Mike judged that the unanimous opinion of the boys was that they were all very, very pleased that the Blimp wasn't around. Mike caught Josh's eye, who gave the slightest of nods and a tiny smile, but otherwise showed no sign that he knew anything other than what he had been told in the assembly.

After classes were over for the day, Mike was getting ready to go home earlier than normal because there wasn't any homework to mark. Just as he was about to leave, there was a knock on the door.

"Come in!"

Josh poked his head round the door.

"Can I come in, Mike, I think I left something in my desk earlier."

"Yes, of course. Don't close the door, you know the rules."

"I just wanted to say thank you for looking after me for the weekend, I had a great time. And you were right about what the Board was going to do. Do you think he'll be back?"

"No. I think he'll 'decide to retire' in a few weeks time. Then it will all be neatly tied up and the school won't get embarrased."

"I've texted my parents about it. I'll let you know what they say."

"Thanks. Now, you better get going or people will wonder what we're doing alone in my classroom. And remember, my name is 'sir' again"

"Thanks sir!"

"Oh, how was Jenkins?"

Josh gave a huge grin.

"He was very willing, sir, twice. He wants me to visit him again this evening. If you see him walking slowly tomorrow, you'll know why!"

"Get out of here, you nasty little boy!"

"I'm not that little, sir, you know that!"


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