We Followed Our Schoolmaster And Watched
While The Body Was Lowered And The Red Earth Shovelled In.
was deep, and Mr. Trigg assisted in filling it, puffing very much over
the task and stopping at intervals to mop his face with his coloured
Then, when all was done, while we were still standing silently around,
it came into Mr. Trigg's mind to improve the occasion. Assuming his
schoolroom expression he looked round at us and said solemnly: "That's
the end. Every dog has his day and so has every man; and the end is
the same for both. We die like old Caesar, and are put into the ground
and have the earth shovelled over us."
Now these simple, common words affected me more than any other words I
have heard in my life. They pierced me to the heart. I had heard
something terrible - too terrible to think of, incredible - and yet - and
yet if it was not so, why had he said it? Was it because he hated us,
just because we were children and he had to teach us our lessons, and
wanted to torture us? Alas! no, I could not believe that! Was this,
then, the horrible fate that awaited us all? I had heard of death - I
knew there was such a thing; I knew that all animals had to die, also
that some men died. For how could any one, even a child in its sixth
year, overlook such a fact, especially in the country of my birth - a
land of battle, murder, and sudden death?
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