HE’S HAD ENOUGH, SIR
This episode from A Kestrel for a Knave tells of an incident
after a football match in which the side captained by Mr Sugden,
the games teacher, had lost because Billy Caspar, who hated football,
had let in a goal. It takes place in the shower-room where Billy
has been cornered by Sugden at one end and three boys placed by
him at the other.
"He's had enough, Sir"
The cold water made Billy gasp. He held his hands out as though
testing for rain, then ran for the end. The three guards barred
"Hey up, shift! Let me out, you rotten dogs!" They held
him easily so he swished back to the other end, yelling all the
way along. Sugden pushed him in the chest as he clung his way round
"Got a sweat on, Caspar?"
"Let me out, Sir. Let me come."
"I thought you'd like a cooler after your exertions in goal."
"Gi' o'er, Sir! It's not right!"
"And was it right that you let the last goal in?"
"I couldn't help it."
Billy tried another rush, Sugden repelled it, so he tried the other
end again. Every time he tried to escape the three boys bounced
him back, stinging him with their snapping towels as he retreated.
He tried manoeuvring the nozzles, but whichever way he twisted them
the water still found him out. Until finally he gave up, and stood
amongst them, tolerating the freezing spray in silence.
(continued on next page)