A sign in the classroom read: Monastic Ideal Strictly Enforced. Sam had spent the entire year working on a crucifix. He had planed it, he had sanded it, he had chiseled out the joint -- but always McGillvery had found fault. He had never made the lines straight, although he had made them smooth; and McGillvery had never given him the glue to join the pieces. At the end of the year, when the other boys took their work home to show their parents, Sam stole a wooden letter holder painted to resemble a mailbox.