THE SORCERER'S STONE!

 CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: ALMOST KILLED

 

The next afternoon, Larry was tired from all that the previous night had brought, so he decided to walk over to the overlook. He sat there for nearly an hour, praying and watching the ocean waves hit the beach far below. “There’s a lot to think about,” Larry thought to himself. “And a lot to pray about.”

Just then, Larry heard a voice—at least it seemed to be a voice, as clear as anything,—“Larry! Get up and get back quick!”

Immediately, Larry obeyed, not knowing what this was all about. As he turned around, there was Ms. Centaur, about fifteen feet away, walking quietly toward him.

Larry had the eerie feeling that she was planning to push him off the cliff. It would have looked like a suicide.

Startled at Larry’s sudden action, the teacher stopped in her tracks. There was a moment of silence as the two faced each other. Then, unable to carry through on her purpose, she flew into a terrible rage, swearing and cursing Larry.

Then pausing, “We are going to get rid of you!” she said in slow, measured tones of rage. She looked like she would physically attack him if she thought she could. “You will be thrown out of this campus within a week!”

Another pause. By this time, she seemed to be having a difficult time controlling herself. “And I’ll laugh; I’ll laugh!” Uncontrollable laughter came from her mouth.

Something about it sounded horrible to Larry. It sounded like the laughter an insane person would make. Larry was impressed that he should not say one word to her.

Suddenly recognizing that she had better leave before others came and heard her hysterical laughing, the woman turned on her heel and hurried off as quickly as she could.

Peter and Skip rushed down the hall and opened the door to Larry’s room. They found him praying beside his bed. As he looked up, they could see he had a deeply concerned look on his face.

“We’ve got to pray earnestly about this,” said Larry. “These are souls for whom Christ died, and Satan wants to entrap them!” Larry said.

The three knelt together and one after another sent up earnest prayers to God for help.

Seated once again, Peter looked at Skip, indicating he should be the one to tell him.

“Larry, I have news for you! Those two guest teachers are denouncing you in class. They are telling all the students you do not belong here, you are bad for the school, and the administration ought to kick you out!”

“It’s beginning to be an open war, isn’t it?” said Larry softly. “Well, we’ve got more strength than they do.”

“What do you mean?” asked Peter, knowing what he was going to say.

“We’re in the majority! We have God and all the angels of heaven on our side,” responded Larry. “All the witches have is the administration and the devil.”

“You think President Vandersleeve is on their side?” asked Skip. Larry had been careful not to tell anyone about his private conversations with the librarian and Mr. Oliver.

“I have reason to believe that, yes, the president will side with them in a showdown,” replied Larry. “You say they are telling this to all the students?”

“Yes,” said Skip, “That’s what I am told; in every session they are ranting and raving. Both must have savage tempers.”

“You can expect that of a witch or wizard. Because they have rejected God, it is difficult for them to control themselves.”

“What if their talk gets to the president?”

“I’m sure it has by now. We should see some sparks pretty soon,” said Larry calmly.

As the boys left the room, they saw Larry get down on his knees again, with his Bible open before him on the bed. 

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN: APPARENTLY THE END   

Mr. Adams, the boys’ dean looked grave. He had tried to remain neutral, but it was obvious he was on Larry’s side. When Larry heard the knock on the door, on opening it he found Mr. Adams standing there.

“Could I speak with you a minute?” asked the dean.

“Yes sir, come right in.” 

“Larry, President Vandersleeve just phoned me. He wants you to come to his office right away.”

“All right, I’ll go right over.

“Uh, before you go,—uh, Larry.”

“Yes sir.”

“Larry, you know where I stand without my telling you.” A pause then, “I want you to know I’ll be praying for you.”

“Thanks dean,” said Larry appreciatively. “It’s encouraging to hear you say that. I didn’t think you were a praying man.”

“I think I’m beginning to be one,” replied the dean.

Once again, Larry was headed for the ad building. He had not been told to bring anyone with him, but the thought forcefully came to him, that he should take someone as a witness.

So first, he knocked on Skip’s room next door. They called for him to enter. Opening the door, he found both of them rising from their knees.

Quickly, Larry told them the latest and asked if either one of them wanted to accompany him as a witness to what was said. There was always the possibility that the president might later make false charges that Larry had threatened or attacked him while alone in the president’s office.

Neither Peter or Skip had thought of this possibility, but quickly recognized that something like that could happen.

“You cannot trust people who are allied with spiritualists,” Larry said.

By this time, not only Larry but the other two as well were learning that earnest prayer strengthens a person, so he can face lions.

“You can know that we’re sticking with you to the end!” said Peter.

Skip agreed, just as resolutely.

Arriving at the administration building, the three went directly to the head office. “I understand that President Vandersleeve would like to see me,” said Larry.

“Yes, he is waiting for you. Go right in.” The president’s secretary looked very nervous. Larry could not help wondering on which side she stood.

The thought that he should take someone with him was apparently a good idea. As soon as he entered Dr. Vandersleeve’s office, Larry could tell the president was not expecting three students.

“Uh, uh, I would rather speak to you alone,” said the president.

“I believe I am in my rights to bring a witness or two with me.”

At this, the president lost his composure entirely. He had hoped to flatter Larry or say whatever it took to get him to cease his campaign against the special class. But Larry’s direct reply enraged him. He thought to himself, “This kid is too smart, I’m not going to be able to win him over.”

In an angry tone, the president rose to his feet, drew himself up to his full height and said, “You are either going to stop this undermining of school authority or I’m going to kick you out of this school. I’ll write it in your transcript, ruin your reputation, and destroy your future!”

The president paused for a moment, waiting for an answer, but none was forthcoming. “Do you hear what I say? I have the power to do this! Either back off or I’ll destroy you!”

It was obvious to all three boys that the president was under immense pressure.

“Thank you so much for what you have told me,” replied Larry calmly. He had just darted another prayer for guidance to the Lord, as did Jeremiah in the king’s presence.

“Is that all you have to say!” demanded the president, by this time in a white heat of rage.

And then he added, “You will either start attending that class again, studying what its three instructors have to say, or else!” A pause, then, “I’ll give you one day to think it over.”

“You don’t need to,” replied Larry in a courteous but remarkably firm tone of voice. “Never again will I set foot in that witchcraft class.”

“You—, you—, You’re out!” The president’s face turned purple with rage. “As of right now, you are out! I’m kicking you out of this academy!”

“Yes, sir,” said Larry.

“And if you don’t pack your bags and leave by tomorrow morning, I’ll have you arrested for trespassing!” 

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