I asked Jonah and Jeremy to raise their right hands and to repeat after me.
“I vow to help those weaker than myself. To protect my fellow students and this school. And to work to better myself for my family, community and country, so help me God.”
I believe they really meant it when they took the vow and actually had a quest for their lives that they never had before.
I looked at Jonah and said, “I want you to go ask Peggy if she would help you with the arithmetic during lunch today. That will be the opening to your courtship.”
He looked dubious, but nodded that he would do it.
We went back in to the school house. I was shivering by now. It was chilly, and I stoked the fire to get a little more warmth in the building.
We went through some basic arithmetic and, as just as I suspected, Jonah didn’t have a clue what we were talking about. A few of the younger children hadn’t been exposed to some of the basic math dealing with division. I could see that the girls were a lot more adept at arithmetic than the boys, which surprised me. I always thought that during the 19th Century, girls and women weren’t exposed to math as were the boys.
Anyway, just before lunch I had all the pupils come up to the front of the room and pay the money for their school year’s tuition. After collecting the money, I felt relieved about my finances for awhile anyway.
At lunch, I looked up at Jonah, and he nodded. He went to Peggy and asked if they might go outside for a private conversation. She looked surprised, but said yes.
I smiled and went to the bank to deposit my earnings.
Once outside, Jonah said, “I just wanted to apologize again for pulling your hair. It was a stupid thing to do for a Knight.”
Jonah turned red and hurried on, “The main reason I wanted to talk with you was to ask for your help.”
Peggy jaw actually dropped as she stared at Jonah.
He added, “I need help with arithmetic and you seemed to catch on to it real quick. I was wondering if you could help me for a few minutes during lunch each day. You know. Until I am up to speed. I will be glad to pay you.”
Peggy finally recovered from her shock. She actually smiled and said, “Jonah, I will be glad to help you and you don’t need to pay me.”
Jonah grinned and asked, “Can we start now?”