Frank's seat in the schoolroom was directly in front of that occupied by John Haynes. Until the announcement of the prize John and he had been on friendly terms. They belonged to the same class in Latin, and Frank had often helped his classmate through a difficult passage which he had not the patience to construe for himself. Now, however, a coolness grew up between them, originating with John. He felt envious of Frank's success; and this feeling brought with it a certain bitterness which found gratification in anything which he had reason to suppose would annoy Frank.
On the morning succeeding the distribution of the prizes, Frank arrived at the schoolhouse a few minutes before the bell rang. John, with half a dozen other boys, stood near the door.
John took off his hat with mock deference. "Make way for the great prize essayist, gentlemen!" he said. "The modern Macaulay is approaching."
Frank colored with annoyance. John did not fail to notice this with pleasure. He was sorry, however, that none of the other boys seemed inclined to join in the demonstration. In fact, they liked Frank much the better of the two.
"That isn't quite fair, John," said Frank, in a low voice.
"I am always glad to pay my homage to distinguished talent," John proceeded, in the same tone. "I feel how presumptuous I was in venturing to compete with a gentleman of such genius!"
"Do you mean to insult me?" asked Frank, growing angry.
"Oh, dear, no! I am only expressing my high opinion of your talents!"