MUMPS IS TAUGHT A LESSON
The cadets stared blankly at each other. Only two of them were
undressed; the others had all of their clothing on.
It was time for the head assistant to go the rounds, to see that
all was right for the night. Should he be allowed to enter the
dormitory he would certainly "smell a mouse," and perhaps knock
all of their plans for a feast in the head.
"Off with your clothing, all of you!" whispered Tom. "I'll manage
this affair. Pretend to be asleep."
"But, Tom, it's my fault--" began Dick, when his younger brother
cut him short.
"Into the bed--I'll be all right, Dick."
Satisfied that Tom had some plan in his head for smoothing matters
over, the other boys disrobed with marvelous rapidity and crept
into their beds. While this was going on the knocking at the door
"Boys, open the door!" said George Strong. "Open the door, do you
"Answer him!" whispered Tom to Larry, whose bed was nearest him.
"Pretend you have just awoke," and he flung himself on the floor,
with one of a pair of big rubber boots in each hand.
"Oh--er--Mr. Strong, is that you?"
"Yes, open the door."
"Why--er--is it locked?
At once Larry tumbled from his bed, unlocked the door and stood
there rubbing his eyes. "Excuse me, Sir, for not hearing you
"I want to know what the meaning is of the noise in here?" said
George Strong severely, as he gazed around the dimly lit
apartment, for the lamp was turned low. "You boys are--gracious
me! What's this?"
The teacher started back in genuine surprise, and his words
aroused all of the boys in the beds, who followed his gaze in
For in the center of the floor sat Tom, his eyes tightly closed, a
rubber boot in each hand, and rocking backward and forward with
great rapidity, as if rowing.
"Two lengths ahead!" muttered Tom. "I'll beat you yet, Larry!
Three lengths! Oh, but this is a dandy race! Pull away, you
can't beat me! Oh! There goes an oar," and, bang! went one of
the rubber boots against the base board, and Tom made a leap as if
diving into the water after it, sprawling and spluttering as he
pretended to swim.
"He's got the nightmare again!" shouted out Sam, quick to
understand Tom's dodge. "Tom, wake up there!"
"The nightmare!" echoed Mr. Strong. "Is it possible? Poor boy!
Wake up, Thomas!" and he caught Tom by the shoulder and shook him
and finally set him on his feet.
"The oar--I will have the-- Oh!" Tom opened his eyes and stared
around him blankly. "Why--er--what's up?"
"My boy, you've had the nightmare," answered the teacher kindly.
"I told you not to eat that pie tonight," put in Sam. "He saved his
pie from dinner, and ate it just before we came up here,"--which was
"Er--I thought I was on the lake racing Larry Colby," murmured
Tom and hid his face as if in embarrassment. "What did I do?" he
"You almost raised the roof, that's what you did," answered Dick.
"You had better send home for some of those digestion tablets you
used to take," and then he hid his face in the blankets to keep
from laughing out loud.
"I will." Tom turned to George Strong. "Excuse me, Mr. Strong, I
am sorry I have caused you so much trouble."
"How do you feel now?" questioned the assistant anxiously.
"Oh, I'm all right now."
"Well, then, go to bed; and I trust you sleep more soundly for the
balance of the night," said the teacher; and he remained in the
room until Tom was tucked in, when he went off, taking the key of
the door with him.
"Tom, you're a brick!" came from Frank, when the teacher was out
of hearing. "What a head you have on your shoulders!"
"Strong took the key of the door," said Fred.
"I don't like that."
"Shove a chair-back up under the knob," suggested Dick, and this
was done, the chair thus making an excellent brace.
"Now to get that stuff in," said Dick, donning his clothing with
all possible speed. "I shouldn't wonder if the soda and root beer
are frozen as hard as a rock."
He was soon ready to descend, and the others lowered him by aid of
the wash line. Then the boxes and packages were hoisted up, and
Dick came after.
A few minutes later came a slight tapping on the door, repeated
three times. It was a signal, and Sam opened the door, admitting
George Granbury and seven other cadets from dormitory No. 2. The
occupants of several other dormitories followed.
"Are we to have Mumps and his crowd in here?" asked one of the
"I don't want Mumps," answered Dick. "Not because he ran against
me, but because he was Baxter's toady and is a regular sneak."
"Little Luke Walton and Mark Gross voted for you, Dick," said
Harry Blossom. "They ought to be invited."
"All right, tell them to come in, and anybody else who wishes,
outside of Mumps," answered Dick.
The young captain went off, and soon returned with six boys of
Sam's age or younger.
"Mumps is awfully mad," he announced. "My idea is, he is going to
cause us trouble if he can."
"We'll wax him good if he does!" cried Tom. "Say, Sam, let us
watch him," and he hurried into the hallway, while the others
attacked the several good things Dick had provided for them.
Tom and Sam had been in the dark hallway but two minutes when the
door of Mumps' dormitory opened and the sneak came out, wearing
his slippers and his long overcoat. He glided swiftly toward the
side stairs leading to Captain Putnam's private apartments.
"He's going to peach!" whispered Tom, "Come on, Sam, let us
capture the enemy!" and he hurried after Mumps and caught him by
"Hi! who is this?" demanded the sneak, turning in fear. Then, as
Tom and Sam confronted him, his face grew white.
"Come with us, Mumps, we want to treat you," answered Tom readily,
into whose head another trick had entered.
"I don't want any of your treat," growled the sneak. "Let me go."
"Oh, you must come," urged Tom. "We have a fine bottle of root
beer and a lot of candied fruit for you."
If there was one thing that Mumps liked, it was root beer, while
he knew candied fruit was very rich eating. Accordingly he
"I'll get all I can first and tell on them afterward," he thought,
and allowed Tom, and Sam to conduct him into the dormitory
occupied by the Metropolitan Sextet.
"Here is Mumps come to join us!" cried Tom, as he introduced the
sneak into the room and he winked at Dick. "Now, Mumps, sit down
and make yourself at home, and I'll get something for you," and he
motioned the sneak to a position at the head of his bed.
He hurried off, and presently came back to Mumps with a fine slice
of candied orange. The sneak was greedy, and instantly
transferred the entire slice to his mouth and began to chew it
"Oh!" he cried presently, and drew down his face in disgust.
"What's the matter, Mumps?" asked Sam.
"This orange tastes awful!" spluttered Mumps, and rushed
to the window. As he put out his head, Tom pointed to the sneak
and then to a bottle of cod liver oil on the table at which he had "flavored"
the candied fruit. "We'll get square just wait," he whispered. "You gave me that
piece on purpose," howled the sneak, as soon as he had cleared
his mouth. "Oh, what an awful dose! Somebody give me a drink of
"The water is all gone, Mumps," answered Tom. "Awfully sorry.
Have a glass of root beer," and he poured out a tumbler full.
Willing to drink anything to take that taste out of his mouth, the
sneak took the tumbler and gulped down about half of the root
The remainder was about to follow, when suddenly he stopped short.
"Awfully good, isn't it?" put in Dick.
"Good? It tastes like salt water!" snorted Mumps. And he was not
far wrong, for Tom had taken the pains to put a lot of salt in to
the glass before filling it up.
"Why, that is the best root beer I ever tasted," put in Larry.
"It's as sweet as sugar. Let me taste your glass, Mumps."
"Do so with pleasure," and the sneak passed it over. Larry
pretended to take a gulp. "Fine! Couldn't be better. Isn't that
so, Frank?" and he passed the glass to Harrington. "It's
certainly as good as mine, and that's O. K.," answered Frank; and
then George Granbury took the tumbler and declared the root beer
was even better than what he had had previously.
"It's certainly your stomach, Mumps, my boy," said Tom. "You look
kind of funny--just like a fellow I knew who got the smallpox."
"He does look like a fellow getting the smallpox," put in Dick.
"Mumps, does your tongue feel dry-like?"
"Dry, of course it is dry--and salty," growled Mumps, but he
began to grow uneasy.
Mumps whined, "I feel sick all over. Oh,
say, do you think I really am getting the smallpox?"
For an instant there was a dead silence. Then the boys could hold
in no longer, and a long but smothered laugh showed the sneak how
completely he had been sold.