OFF FOR THE SUMMER ENCAMPMEMT
The present situation was enough to make any pitcher nervous, and
it must be confessed that Tom could scarcely control himself. "A
wild pitch, and it's all up with our side," he thought, as he took
his place in the "box."
"One ball!" That was the verdict as the sphere landed in Frank's
hands. "Two balls!" came immediately after.
Frank paused, then rolled the ball to Tom. "Do be careful,"
whispered Dick. "Take your time."
"Perhaps we had better put Larry in the box," suggested another
player, but Tom shook his head determinedly. "I'll stick it out!"
"One strike!" The batter had tried, but failed to hit the sphere.
Tom felt more hopeful, but immediately after came three balls and
then four balls, and amid a cheer from his friends the Pornell
player walked to first base.
The second man at the bat went out on a foul, and the cadets
cheered this time. Then came a strong hit to left field, and in
came one run.
"Hurrah! 3 to 2 in Pornell's favor!"
"You've got 'em on the run now, boys; keep it up!"
Two balls, and the next batter knocked a hot liner to Fred. It
came along like lightning, but Fred wore a "do-or-die" look and
made a dive for it--and held on, although his hands stung as if
scorched with fire.
"Hurrah! Two out! Now for the third, and then knock out that
lead of one run!"
Alas! This was easier said than done. The next player gained
first, and so did the youth to follow. Then came a heavy hit, and
the score went up to 5 to 2. But that was the last of it, so far
as Pornell was concerned.
"Now, Putnam Hall, see what you can do!"
Larry was at the bat, and cautious about striking. "One strike!"
called the umpire, as the boy let a good ball go by. Another real
strike followed, and then Larry caught the sphere fairly and
squarely, drove it far into left field, and made a home run.
"A homer! Wasn't that great!"
"That makes the score 5 to 3. Keep it up, Putnam Hall!"
The home run was very encouraging, and now Dick came forward with
his ashen stick. He had one strike called on him and then managed
to make a clean one-base hit.
Another player, named Forwell, took stand next. The pitcher for
the Pornell team was now as nervous as Tom bad been and suddenly
Forwell was hit in the arm by the ball.
"Dead ball!" cried the umpire. "Take your base," and Forwell went
to first, while Larry marched to second.
Then Sam came to the bat, but his first strike was a foul, caught
by the third baseman. Another out followed, made by the captain,
much to his chagrin. The score now stood 5 to 3, with two players
on base and two out. One more out and the match would come to an
end, unless the score was a tie.
"Tom Rover to the bat!" called the score-keeper, and Tom marched to
the plate. A strike and two balls, and he made as clean a one-base
hit as had his elder brother.
"Three on base and two out!" came the cry.
"Now, Pornell, be careful!"
Fred Garrison was the next of the team to come forward. All eyes
were centered upon Fred. "Be careful, oh, be careful!" pleaded
Frank. "Don't get out as I did!"
"One strike!" cried the umpire as the ball whizzed over the plate.
"Ball one!" came a moment later. "Strike two!" was immediately
Bang! the ball had come on again, and Fred had hit it with all of
the force at his command. It shot past second base and toward
centerfield. "Run! run!" yelled Frank, and the crowd joined in,
as Dick started for home, followed by Forwell and Tom. The center
fielder fumbled the ball, and the four runners came in one right
on top of the other.
"Putnam Hall has won!"
"Say, but wasn't that a great game?"
"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" came from the cadets and their friends.
It was a great time for the boys. They gave three cheers for
their opponents, but the Pornellites felt their second defeat too
keenly, and as quickly as they could they left the grounds, and
quarter of an hour later were on their way home.
After this contest matters moved along quietly until June. In the
meantime the cadets studied up with all diligence for the
examinations soon to take place. All of our friends passed
creditably, Dick standing second in his class, Tom fourth and Sam
third in their classes. Captain Putnam and George Strong heartily
approved of the showing made.
"That Tom Rover is full of fun," was the captain's comment, "but
he knows how to study as well as how to play jokes."
Mumps was almost at the foot of his class. The sneak had hardly
any friends left, and he announced that he was going to leave
Putnam Hall never to return--for which no one was particularly
Immediately after the examinations it was announced that the
entire school would march to a place called Brierroot Grove, where
they would go into their annual encampment for two weeks. At once
all of the cadets were in a bustle, and soon uniforms were brushed
up, buckles and buttons polished, knapsacks packed, and rifles
oiled and cleaned.
"Makes a fellow feel as if he was going off to the war!" observed
Sam. "I don't know but what I would like to be a soldier some
The battalion marched away one Monday morning, with flags flying,
drums beating loudly, and the fifers blowing away upon "Yankee
Doodle" with all of their might. The route was the lake road, and
many of the farmhouses passed were decorated in honor of the
departure. As they passed the Stanhope homestead, Dora and Mrs.
Stanhope came forth and waved their handkerchiefs, and Dick, as
second lieutenant of Company A, could not resist the temptation to
wave his sword at them.
The camping-out spot was reached that afternoon at five o'clock.
The provision wagon and that loaded with the tents had already
come up, and soon the cadets were putting up their tents, while
the cooking detail was preparing supper. The evening meal
consisted of nothing but bread, coffee, and beef stew, but never
did plain fare taste better, with such pure mountain air for
"It's just boss!" said Tom on the second day in camp. "Living in
a tent suits me."
The next day, however, he changed his tune, for it rained in
torrents, and everybody got soaked to the skin.
"Ugh!" said Tom. "I wasn't thinking of this when I said it suited
me." All made the best of it, and luckily the storm did
not last over twenty-four hours, when the sun came out warmly, and
that was the last of the rain while the encampment lasted.
A week had passed by when one afternoon Dick, Tom, and Sam
received permission to visit the town of Rootville, a mile away.
They were not to be gone not over three hours, and were to
purchase some medicine needed by several cadets who had taken cold
during the damp spell.
The boys walked to Rootville in high spirits, and readily procured the
drugs desired, then they wandered around from place to place, taking
in the sights.
There was a depot, and as natural they drifted thither, and into
the waiting room. Here almost the first persons they saw was
Arnold Baxter and Buddy the tramp thief.
"Gracious!" burst from Dick's lips, and then he pulled Tom and Sam
back. "Here is a chance at last to arrest that thief!"
"That's so!" cried Tom. "Wait, I saw a policeman outside. I'll
call him," and he darted off. While Dick and Sam awaited Tom's
reappearance, they noticed that Baxter and Buddy were holding a
conversation of great interest.
"I will pay you well if you will help me in this deal," Arnold
Baxter was saying.
"I'll do all I can," answered Buddy Girk. "But what of your son
"Dan is not to be depended upon," answered Arnold Baxter. "He
robbed me of two hundred dollars and skipped out for Chicago."
"Humph!" murmured Dick. "Here is certainly news of Dan Baxter
that is very much to his discredit. I hope I and Dora and the
rest never hear of him again."
Some other folks now came into the depot, and Arnold Baxter and
Buddy lowered their voices, so that Dick and Sam could hear
Soon Tom arrived, followed by the policeman, who looked
anxiously at the two men.
"You say they are thieves?" he asked of Dick.
"The short man is. He stole my watch."
"What of the other?"
"He is a bad man too--although it may be hard to prove it."
At once the crowd approached the evil pair, and the officer caught
Buddy Girk by the arm, "I want you," he said in a low, firm voice.
The thief turned swiftly, and as he saw himself confronted by Dick
and the officer of the law his face fell.
"I ain't done nothing'!" he cried, and tried to break away, but
the officer at once overpowered him and brought forth a pair of
"You'll put these on," he said grimly, and spite his protestations
Buddy Girk was handcuffed.
"Hold on!" cried Dick, as Arnold Baxter started to run. He made a
clutch for the man, but Baxter was too quick for him and slipped
through the crowd and out of the depot. Instantly Dick made after