Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School and Billy Bunter's ...

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Authors: Frank Richards
to Bunter. A
page of unprepared Latin was a deep mystery to him.
But he had to construe. It was useless to tell Quelch that he had had no time
for prep—worse than useless, in fact!
“I said go on, Bunter!”
“Oh! Yes, sir!” gasped Bunter. “I—I’ve lost the place, sir—.”
 “You should not lose the place, Bunter! Go on from ‘ At pius Aeneas, per
noctem plurima volvens — ’! ” snapped Mr. Quelch.
“Yes, sir,” moaned Bunter, blinking at his page. Evidently it was something
about that beast, Aeneas, but Bunter wondered dismally what the beast was up to
this time. The most concentrated blink could not extract any particular meaning
from the verse of P. Vergilius Maro.
“I am waiting for you to go on, Bunter,” said Mr. Quelch, in a deep voice.
“Oh, certainly, sir! I—I was just—just thinking! At Pius Aeneas, per noctem
plurima volvens, ut primum lux alma data est—!” “Construe!” rapped Mr. Quelch.
“But good Aeneas—!” Peter Todd ventured to whisper. It was a rather dangerous
venture under the gimlet-eye.
“Todd!” barked Mr. Quelch. “Did you speak?”
“Oh! Yes! I—!”
“Take fifty lines, Todd.”
There was no more help for Bunter. Nobody else wanted fifty lines. The hapless
Owl had to make a shot at it.
“But good Aeneas—!” he mumbled. There was a pause.
“Go on, Bunter.”
“Oh, yes, sir, I—I’m going on,” groaned Bunter. “It— it’s quite easy to me,
sir, as I was—was so careful with my prep last night, sir.”
“If you do not immediately construe, Bunter—.”
“But good Aeneas,” gasped Bunter. “But—but—but Gig-gig-good Aeneas, per
noctem plurima volvens — turning over in bed—.”
“Wha-a-a-t?”
“But good Aeneas, turning over several times in the night—” amended Bunter.
“Ha, ha, ha!” yelled the Remove.
“Silence! Bunter, what do you mean by this?” thundered Mr. Quelch.
“Is— —isn’t that right, sir?” stammered Bunter.
“Bless my soul!” said Mr. Quelch.
“Ut pr/mum lux alma data est—when he was given a light!” pursued Bunter.
“Bunter! Have you the faintest idea of the meaning of that passage?” exclaimed
Mr. Quelch.
“Oh, yes, sir. Aeneas was turning over in bed, and they gave him a light—”
“Ha, ha, ha!”
“You have not prepared this lesson, Bunter.”
“Oh, yes, sir! I—I was very careful with it. I—I worked at it very hard, sir,”
groaned Bunter. “I—I think I’ve got it right, sir.”
“Grant me patience!” articulated Mr. Quelch.
Billy Bunter looked indignant. It was true that he hadn’t prepared that
passage: and he had had to make a shot at it unprepared: and that it was rather
a shot in the dark. Still, his “con” seemed all right—to Bunter. He had at
least got some sense out of it: and a fellow couldn’t always get any sense out
of Virgil!
Quelch gazed at him, apparently at a loss for words: and Bunter went on:
“ Exire locosque explorare novos —goes out and explores nine places—!”
“Stop!” almost shrieked Mr. Quelch.
Bunter stopped. He was glad enough to stop, so far as that went. But he could
not hope that he had made a good impression on his form-master, and taken a
step towards that good report that he needed so much. Only too clearly he
hadn’t.
He blinked uneasily at Quelch. It was borne in upon his fat mind that Quelch
was going to be a beast!
“Bunter! If you prepared this lesson—!”
“Oh, yes, sir! Toddy knows—Todd’s in my study, sir! I wasn’t sitting in the
armchair while you did your prep, was I, Toddy? You can ask Todd, sir.”
“If you have prepared this lesson,” said Mr. Quelch, in a grinding voice, “you
will immediately construe that passage, Bunter. If not—.”
“Oh! Yes, sir!” groaned Bunter.
So far as Bunter could see, he had construed that passage. Quelch did not seem
to think so: in fact, he seemed annoyed about something. Bunter blinked at his
Latin again, willing to take another pot-shot, if he could possibly

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