Out of all the teachers in the school, Canon was the one who demanded the most respect. In his presence, no one dared to talk, nor breathe loudly for fear of attempting defiance. When he approached it was as if the world had gone into mute. Thunder-struck boys spoke tersely in controlled whispers, and only when he was completely out of earshot would they speak normally again.
Between classes there was always five minutes' uproar. The boys fought amidst derisive voices, laughed over crude jokes, and stuck gum under old desks. However, in the minutes before Canon's class, everything was still. Every boy was in his seat reciting random details on The Battle of Hastings, in complete silence. The only sound that could be heard was the tick, tock of the clock above the blackboard. Suddenly, the hour reached two. The boys waited in trepidation eyeing the bleak, wooden door from which the teacher from hell would enter.
After an unimaginable length of time had passed, Canon entered the classroom
His entrance was theatrical. He marched in with gigantic strides, each one bearing the weight of five hundred pound lorry. He slammed his briefcase down on the desk as if he had something against it, and scanned the class, looking for a victim. Everybody was silent, nothing moved.
Canon was a very tall but wide man with a sallow, equine face. He maintained an immaculately cut beard which lay over pallid-white skin. And his eyebrows were permanently hunched over his eyes which flashed full of menace every time he was spoken to. Even teachers were afraid to engage in conversation for fear of staring into those eyes.
His attire was flawless - a masterfully tailored suit and tie over a crisp white shirt, with two spotlessly polished leather shoes.