The “High” School Girl

Photo by Nicole Willson; cartoon by Robert L. Brown, 1937

(Autograph Book Story #1. The introduction to this series is here.)

When Daniel asks Robert to contribute something — a poem, a sketch, or the like — to his memento book, Robert feels challenged. Daniel, along with the other Harrons, has a very odd sense of humour. It’s never easy to figure out what will make Daniel laugh, but Robert likes to try.

Ever since his cousin visited from the states last summer, Robert’s had a bizarre mental image stuck in his head. That gives him an idea for Daniel’s book, and the more he thinks about it, the more he thinks it’s the kind of thing Daniel might enjoy.

Robert finds his favourite pen and draws the sketch slowly and carefully. He goes through a good bit of paper before he’s completely happy with how it looks.

At school, he hands Daniel the drawing with some trepidation. Daniel lifts his glasses, looks at the paper, and then glances up at Robert with an eyebrow raised.

“I’m not sure I get it,” he says.

Robert lets out a nervous chuckle. “A ‘high’ school girl? I mean, she’s really tall. You know? She’s up high.” He holds a hand way up over his head to demonstrate.

“Well, yes. I see that, but …” Daniel trails off, still looking puzzled.

Robert’s face is getting hot and his speech starts coming faster. “My cousin was here from America, and all he talked about were the high school girls. He carried on about how I’d have to come visit, how the American high school girls would love me. High school girls this, high school girls that. And all I could think was … are all the girls really tall over there or something?”

“What if he meant another kind of ‘high’?” Daniel isn’t smiling, yet, but there’s a glint in his eye.

“Then it’ll make for a very interesting trip, won’t it?”

Daniel still looks doubtful. “But why is the matron looking up her dress?”

“Look how tall the girl is. The matron hasn’t got much of a choice, does she?”

Finally, Daniel snorts. “Nice one, Brown.”

Later on, Robert sees Daniel trimming the sketch down and pasting it into his memento book, and he feels as if he’s won something.