'What do you want?' I asked, with awkward diffidence.
'Say, "What do you want, Master Reed?"' was the answer. 'I want youto come here;' and seating himself in an armchair, he intimated by agesture that I was to approach and stand before him. blond wigs
John Reed was a schoolboy of fourteen years old; four years olderthan I, for I was but ten: large and stout for his age, with a dingyand unwholesome skin; thick lineaments in a spacious visage, heavylimbs and large extremities. He gorged himself habitually at table,which made him bilious, and gave him a dim and bleared eye andflabby cheeks. He ought now to have been at school; but his mama hadtaken him home for a month or two, 'on account of his delicatehealth.' Mr. Miles, the master, affirmed that he would do very well ifhe had fewer cakes and sweetmeats sent him from home; but the mother'sheart turned from an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the morerefined idea that John's sallowness was owing to over-application and,perhaps, to pining after home.
John had not much affection for his mother and sisters, and anantipathy to me. He bullied and punished me; not two or three times inthe week, nor once or twice in the day, but continually: every nerve Ihad feared him, and every morsel of flesh in my bones shrank when hecame near. There were moments when I was bewildered by the terror heinspired, because I had no appeal whatever against either hismenaces or his inflictions; the servants did not like to offendtheir young master by taking my part against him, and Mrs. Reed wasblind and deaf on the subject: she never saw him strike or heard himabuse me, though he did both now and then in her very presence, morefrequently, however, behind her back. best hair pieces
Habitually obedient to John, I came up to his chair: he spentsome three minutes in thrusting out his tongue at me as far as hecould without damaging the roots: I knew he would soon strike, andwhile dreading the blow, I mused on the disgusting and ugly appearanceof him who would presently deal it. I wonder if he read that notion inmy face; for, all at once, without speaking, he struck suddenly andstrongly. I tottered, and on regaining my equilibrium retired back astep or two from his chair.
'That is for your impudence in answering mama awhile since,' saidhe, 'and for your sneaking way of getting behind curtains, and for thelook you had in your eyes two minutes since, you rat!'
Accustomed to John Reed's abuse, I never had an idea of replying toit; my care was how to endure the blow which would certainly followthe insult.
'What were you doing behind the curtain?' he asked.