inspired only a sort of timid admiration and respect; and his school-companions summed him up tersely as a "muff" and a "grind." For, while he walked away with the highest honors at the close of every session, he was, if the truth must be told, something of a coward. He had moods of sulkiness, and moods of maddening superiority. His brain was nimble enough, but he had never been known to accept any challenge to match his physical strength and courage with theirs. He professed a deep contempt for their primitive and barbaric methods of settling difficulties, and adroitly evaded the outcome of any schoolboy's discussion that seemed likely to end in mortal combat, by yielding his point with a self-contained, contemptuous politeness, and a premature diplomacy which mystified and enraged his companions.
Jane only was not to be dominated by his assumption of patronizing authority; and at his unsolicited correction, she promptly bristled up. It rarely took much to rouse the fiery, impulsive Jane.