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Chilocco School Short Stories
Chilocco Discipline for Breaking Schedule

Theda and Gerry were already on restriction. The infraction was a small one true, but still a breaking of the rules. One girl overslept past the morning wake up call and the other was guilty of not completing the assigned detail as carefully as she should have. Being on restriction simply meant not being allowed to go out on the lawn or attend the Flaming Arrow social later. Both were on the student council and were to be at a meeting at seven p.m. While they were waiting in the lobby for the time they could leave the building the two girls were visiting.

Thelda was always "in love" with someone and it was with one sigh after another she kept watching the clock. "If I don't get out there in a little bit I won't get to see Jimmy at all." She was full of anxiety.

Gerry typically wasn't thinking about anything other than her notes she had make for the council. When Thelda looked at the clock and noted it was twenty minutes to seven Gerry really wasn't alert to what the girl was planning.

"Come on." "Come on." "Let's leave now." Thelda wanted to go but she wasn't going to just leave on her own, alone.

"If we get caught?" Gerry was reluctant.

"Oh, we won't get caught." "They don't pay any attention to the kids getting out from the dining hall." Thelda was insistent.

With no comment to discourage the girl Gerry was gathering up her things to leave.

Thelda was all excited and already looking toward the oval to see if she could see her boyfriend. As the two girls rounded the corner of the dining hall and started toward Haworth Hall where the meeting was to be held who would being driving around the oval but their Mrs. McMahon.

Now Mrs. Mac was always lenient with Gerry's sliding through some of the duties because it was the girl's practice to stay out of trouble. But when the ex-marine officer rolled out of the car, confronted them head on with clinched jaw and eyes narrowed, Gerry knew there was no getting past this infraction.

"What are you girls doing out here while you are on restriction?" Mrs. Mac was adamant.

Quickly, Thelda was trying to find a way out. "We are going to the student council meeting." Now if Mrs. Mac had not been alert to Thelda's history this would have been a valid excuse. However, the experienced old leader of women was wise to the girl's wayward ways.

She slowly, deliberately lifted her arm to leisurely look at the military looking watch. "You are twenty minutes early for the meeting." "Back to the building!" "And now!"

The girls had no alternative but to return to the same lobby they had just left. Mrs. Mac had come into her office from the back entrance and was sitting at her desk in the office off to the side of the lobby as the girls entered. "Girls!" "Come on in here and take a seat."

Gerry was now glaring at Thelda but didn't dare open her mouth to utter one word.

It seemed like an eternity they sat in the rigid chairs before Mrs. Mac. spoke. "Now girls!" She was level in her address. "You were already on restriction, and now you pushed just one step farther." "When is this going to stop?"

Thelda spoke. "We are so sorry, Mrs. Mac." "We just wanted to go a little early to have some time on the lawn."

Mrs. Mac would not be put off. "Now Thelda, I know why you wanted to go early."

Gerry tried to weasel out of her place in the crime. "I was just with Thelda." She tried to excuse herself.

The older woman never spoke quickly or without thinking. "I cannot let this go by.""There must be punishment." "It must be carried out immediately."

Thelda was a veteran of the school and she knew what was to be. Gerry was newer and more ignorant of consequences, but she was soon to learn.

"Thelda, you will mop and wax the lobby and the south hallway, on your knees" "Gerry, you will mop and wax the reading room and the north hallway on your knees." The fact that these were great spaces didn't seem to bother Mrs. Mac in the least.

It wasn't just the discipline. It was the fact that the girls would be on their knees cleaning as the other girls were coming in from the Flaming Arrow.

Later as Gerry was soaking her knees with cold compresses treating the blisters there, she had time to think. She knew the discipline was not too harsh. It wasn't as if she had not been taught about "bad association," as a child. It was this point Mrs. Mac was driving across. For the rest of her time at the school the girl never had a problem with keeping to "schedule," or being in the wrong place at the right time.

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