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Page 3 of Aikenside / by Mary J. Holmes.

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THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE trio, who, as the breeze blew harder, quietly re- signed their office, and Devonshire was without a school committee. In this emergency something must be done, and, as the two belligerent parties could only unite on a stranger, it seemed a matter of special providence that only two months before, young Dr. Holbrook, a native of the modern Athens, had rented the pleasant little office on the village com- mon, formerly occupied by old Dr. Carey, now lying in the graveyard by the side of some whose days he had prolonged, and others whose days he had surely shortened. Besides being handsome, and skillful, and quite as familiar with the poor as the rich, the young doctor was descended from the aristocratic line of Boston Holbrooks, facts which tended to make him a favorite with both classes; and, greatly to his surprise, he found himself unanimously elected to the responsible office of sole Inspector of Common Schools in Devonshire. It was in vain that he remonstrated, saying he knew nothing whatever of the qualifica- tions requisite for a teacher; that he could not talk to girls, young ones especially; that he should make a miserable failure, and so forth. The peo- ple would not listen. Somebody must examine the teachers, and that somebody might as well be Dr. Holbrook as anybody. " Only be strict with 'em, draw the reins tight, find out to your satisfaction whether a gal knows 3