Prout’s house was furious because Macrea’s and Hartopp’s houses joined King’s to insult them. They called a house-meeting after dinner — an excited and angry meeting of all save the prefects, whose dignity, though they sympathized, did not allow them to attend. They read ungrammatical resolutions, and made speeches beginning, ‘Gentlemen, we have met on this occasion,’ and ending with, ‘It’s a beastly shame,’ precisely as houses have done since time and schools began.

Number Five study attended, with its usual air of bland patronage. At last M’Turk, of the lanthorn jaws, delivered himself:

‘You jabber and jaw and burble, and that’s about all you can do. What’s the good of it? King’s house’ll only gloat because they’ve drawn you, and King will gloat, too. Besides, that resolution of Orrin’s is chock-full of bad grammar, and King’ll gloat over that.’

‘I thought you an’ Beetle would put it right, an’— an’ we’d post it in the corridor,’ said the composer meekly.

Pas si je le connais. I’m not goin’ to meddle with the biznai,’ said Beetle. ‘It’s a gloat for King’s house. Turkey’s quite right.’

‘Well, won’t Stalky, then?’

But Stalky puffed out his cheeks and squinted down his nose in the style of Panurge, and all he said was, ‘Oh, you abject burblers!’

‘You’re three beastly scabs!’ was the instant retort of the democracy, and they went out amid execrations.