The Great Idea The village schoolroom was packed as full as it would hold, and the air was so thick that, as Sylvia said, it could almost be scooped up with a spoon. The lecturer was stout and perspiring freely, but he meant to do his duty at all costs, and he rose to the occasion with tremendous vigour, declaiming in really fine style: "It is a poor man's paradise, and there is no place on the face of this earth to rival it. You reach it by a pleasure cruise across summer seas, to find it has the finest scenery your eyes have ever beheld and a climate that is not to be beaten." "Hear, hear!" shouted Rumple, clapping vigorously. He had led the applause from the very beginning of the lecture, only it was a little awkward for the lecturer that he mostly broke into the middle of a sentence instead of waiting for a pause, as a more judicious person might have done. "Encore!" yelled Billykins, forgetting for the moment that it was not a concert, and, as the lecture had already lasted for upwards of an hour and a half, it might have proved a little tedious to some of the audience if it had been repeated from the very beginning. The rows of people sitting in the seats behind broke into a wild uproar of stamping, thumping, and clapping which lasted for nearly five minutes, and, of course, raised more dust to thicken the atmosphere
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