browning version:it is about a sixteen years old boy, Taplow, who is a science student in the lower fifth grade. He is waiting for the result to be declared on the following day. Taplow, if he gets his remove well, will get to chose his specialisation. The narrator has tried to juxtapose the perception of students and teachers and the perception of teachers of different age. The present teacher of Taplow, Mr. Crocker-Harris and Frank both teach science. However, Harris is about to retire for it is his last day in the school as well as the last day of the term, while Frank is a young teacher who despite being a science teacher takes interest in Arts as well.
The play is a conversation between Frank and Taplow, while Taplow is waiting for Crocker as he has been assigned extra work. When Frank observes the dedication of the student, he says that he will get his remove for sure for he is doing the extra work as well. Then Taplow remarks that the extra work can actually act as a hindrance in his getting his remove, as Mr. Harris is not like other teachers who appreciate the students who do extra work. He is made of different mettle. He is strict and likes to be disliked. Unlike other teachers he is not to tell his students their result before the judgement day. Taplow has asked his result to Harris and in response he tells him that he has given Taplow exactly what he deserves. The firmness of the teacher has been difficult to handle. However, it is so that today when on being called for extra work, Crocker is late himself by ten minutes and thus Frank and Taplow gets an opportunity to converse.
Taplow like a child vents his grief to Frank on how he dislikes Arts and the novel Agamemnon and is more interested in science alone. Seeing the student, Frank admits that he has been wondering how Mr. Harris is able to terrify all the students so much. He asks him if he beats them. However, the truth has been the other way round. Taplow tells Frank that Harris is not a sadist like some teachers around. He is rather tough like a nut. He is heartless and not a sort of person who will beat students and vent his frustration. He likes being disliked, which Taplow realises when his teacher does not appreciate him when he genuinely laughs on one of his jokes. He has been disciplined, reserved and tough.
The ending of the play is surprising. Enters the wife of Mr. Crocker Harris and she suggests Taplow not to wait for her husband in vein. She advises him to leave for Harris has been at Bursars and so he should leave for he has been already late and may take quite some time to get back. The behaviour and attitude of Mrs.Mille Crocker Harris, baffles Taplow who is not willing to leave for it has been the order of his student whom, despite being not nice, he likes. Then Mille assuring him that she will take the blame for his sake builds a valid excuse for him. She hands him a prescription and asks Taplow to take it to a chemist and get it made up. Convinced Taplow accepts the proposal and leaves Frank and Mrs. Crocker Harris behind.