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Mrs. McConnal signaled me over to her before her last period class started.
I spoke first. "I guess you heard, huh?"
"About Coach Grant spanking you? Of course, everybody's heard." She looked at me a bit sternly.
"You gonna whip me?" I asked.
"I heard you tripped Richard in the gym." she said.
"Yeah. He hit me in the head." I told her.
"Did you tell Coach Grant?" she asked.
"No. I didn't think it would do any good, and besides it would sound like I was trying to beg out of it."
"You were probably right." she replied.
"I'll tell him after school.' I went on. "I don't want him to think I did it for no reason at all."
"He probably guesses you had a reason, but it's not a bad idea to tell him anyway." she said.
"You gonna whip me?" I asked her again.
She smiled sweetly. "No, darling. Does it still hurt?"
"Some. I can still feel it, but it doesn't hurt all that bad any more."
"Would you like a pillow to sit on?" she asked sympathetically.
I blushed. "No, thanks, but I appreciate it." She's so sweet (sometimes). God I loved her (still do).
We continued with class, working on "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the play we were going to do in the spring. The whole class was working on some of the long speeches. Even those with smaller parts were learning the speeches. Everybody would know the play. Those of us with larger parts were working on not only our own speeches, but some of the other long ones as well.
Coach Grant and I had our meeting after school. He gave me a list of people who had volunteered to work with me. Clark and Stan had both offered to help. I was glad of that. They could both be good sparring partners. Several football players had volunteered to play with me. Coach said some of them thought that a strange request but that several of them liked me anyway and would be glad to play. One of them was a big lineman, Alvin. I had taken notice of him, but didn't realize that he knew who I was.
Alvin was one of the biggest guys in school. He had to weigh at least twice as much as I did, and from my point of view, it seemed he was at least twice as tall. In reality he was a couple of heads taller than me.
I told Coach Grant I would also need someone to help me in the hours leading up to each game; be sure I was in the right places, be sure I had my right clothes, keep people away from me, etc., and asked if he thought Alvin would mind doing those things. He said Alvin would do whatever I needed of him. In fact he said that Alvin had approached him privately and asked that coach Grant put in a special word for him; that Alvin really wanted this slot.
So Alvin it would be. I hope this worked out.
With the business taken care of I explained to Coach Grant that Richard had hit me in the head that morning, and that that was why I had tripped him.
"I figured he had done something to you, Jeremy." he said. "But let me pass along a tip to you, since you obviously haven't learned it yet. Never retaliate. Parents and teachers never see the first lick, only the second one. Referees are the same way. I try to tell all my players that. It can avoid some serious penalties." He laughed.
Then he asked, "I didn't hit you too hard, did I?"
I took a deep breath. "You hit me hard enough." And after a pause, "ut, no, you didn't hit me too hard."
Which brought to mind another subject. "Coach," I said, "speaking of hitting too hard: Miss Andrews is probably going to have to use one of those canes on those three guys who have been giving her such a hard time. She does know that doesn't she? I mean, she doesn't expect them to change their tune based simply on her threats, does she?"
"I think she knows." he said. "And I do hope that she knows that even she could hit someone too hard with one of those canes."
"Has she ever felt one of those things herself, Coach?" I asked.
"No, I don't think she has." he answered. "And I do get your point."
"You got paddled a few times when you were a kid, right?" I asked. "So you know what kind of damage one can do. I mean, you could have hit me too hard, if you hadn't known what you were doing."
I could tell he did indeed take interest in the idea I had put in his head. Yeah, a lick or two with one of those canes applied to Miss Andrews' panties just might go a long way towards warming up an evening, or getting an evening off to a great start. It also might give her the final touch of education in caning that could save some boy a devastating ass slashing at her hands.
I never considered myself a matchmaker, but they were both good looking and I thought they had compatible personalities. And even if they weren't perfectly compatible, there's no reason why they both couldn't have some fun enjoying each other while they had a chance.
I asked Coach Grant to ask Stan, Clark, Alvin, and a couple of others who had volunteered to spar at chess with me, to meet me in the library the next day after school. I also asked him if he would make the necessary arrangements with Mr. Donaldson for us to have use of the library every day after (as well as during) school for playing chess.
Coach Grant assured me that he would take care of it.
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