Stephen felt his own face red too, thinking of all the bets about who would get first place in elements, Jack Lawton or he. Wasn't he looking, through the haunted pane, for something he couldn't see?--and wasn't it the first time in the whole business that he had known such a lapse? The first, the very first: I found it a splendid portent. Dante looked terribly angry and repeated while they laughed: --Very nice! Ha! Very nice! It was not nice about the spit in the woman's eye. The essay was for him the chief labour of his week and every Tuesday, as he marched from home to the school, he read his fate in the incidents of the way, pitting himself against some figure ahead of him and quickening his pace to outstrip it before a certain goal was reached or planting his steps scrupulously in the spaces of the patchwork of the pathway and telling himself that he would be first and not first in the weekly essay.