Mr. Walters fell to "showing off," with all sorts of official bustlings
and activities, giving orders, delivering judgments, discharging
directions here, there, everywhere that he could find a target. The
librarian "showed off"--running hither and thither with his arms full of
books and making a deal of the splutter and fuss that insect authority
delights in. The young lady teachers "showed off"--bending sweetly over
pupils that were lately being boxed, lifting pretty warning fingers
at bad little boys and patting good ones lovingly. The young gentlemen
teachers "showed off" with small scoldings and other little displays of
authority and fine attention to discipline--and most of the teachers, of
both sexes, found business up at the library, by the pulpit; and it was
business that frequently had to be done over again two or three times
(with much seeming vexation). The little girls "showed off" in various
ways, and the little boys "showed off" with such diligence that the air
was thick with paper wads and the murmur of scufflings. And above it
all the great man sat and beamed a majestic judicial smile upon all
the house, and warmed himself in the sun of his own grandeur--for he was
"showing off," too.
There was only one thing wanting to make Mr. Walters' ecstasy complete,
and that was a chance to deliver a Bible-prize and exhibit a prodigy.
Several pupils had a few yellow tickets, but none had enough--he had been
around among the star pupils inquiring. He would have given worlds, now,
to have that German lad back again with a sound mind.