I was awakened this morning by raucous cries through my bedroom window.
I was flabbergasted to see a group of youths, from Doctor Augustus Lyre's Select School for Young Gentleman, standing by the moat protesting.
Furthermore, I was astounded to see Doctor Lyre, himself, urging them on and denigrating my personage in front of them.
Some nonsense about tuition fees!
As you know, I am the chairman of the Board of Governers. I subsidise the fees for poor students, but it has been necessary, in these difficult economic times to raise the fees from a farthing a month to a halfpenny - for the wealthier students.
I feel the fees are still very reasonable - and could not believe the attitude of the ungrateful scholars.
I went to remonstrate with them - and got a tomato in the eye!
"What's all this about, Lyre?" I demanded.
"Whilst we appreciate all the good works you have done for the school, Sir, I am afraid that I cannot condone your actions - a shilling a week from every student is an impossible demand!" he wept.
"A shilling a week! what are you talking about man?" I declared.
"Don't deny it, Sir," piped up Noddy Ninety "I have been on the receiving end of that bully you have employed as fee collector!"
"Yes, he waits outside the school gates every morning and gives us a good shakedown. He lifts us up and shakes us until he has all our dinner money - he even takes any sweets or lollies we got!" squeaked another of the urchins.
"Arrant nonsense! I am a multi billionaire - what would I want your lollies for!" I shouted.
"What kind of man is this fee collector
?" I quizzed Noddy.
"Oh very smartly dressed, Sir - he has a blue uniform and a badge!" he answered.
"I see...and what is it made of?" I continued.
"Well funny you should mention that, Sir, but it is of a very poor material, a very rough sackcloth - and he is quite uncouth!" Noddy muttered.
"You fools! is this what you call a good education, Lyre? why, they cannot even recognise one of the Badfort Crowd in the crudest of disguises!" I spluttered.
"Oh Sir, have we been duped?" cried Lyre.
"I am afraid so, like many academics your mind is so absorbed in the loftier aspirations of the intellect that you fail to see the baser motivations of the hoi-polloi for monetary gain. I forgive your questioning of my leadership - Cloutman and Gubbins will be at the school gates tomorrow to administer a good kicking up to this fee collector!
", I reassured him.
"By the way, Lyre, I think we need to discuss additional tests for the pupils - their spelling on those posters is atrocious!"
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