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Title: Dick Merriwell’s Trap
Author: Standish, Burt L., 1866-1945
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dick Merriwell’s Trap" ***

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                         DICK MERRIWELL’S TRAP

                          THE CHAP WHO BUNGLED


                            BURT L. STANDISH

               Author of the famous _Merriwell Stories._

                       STREET & SMITH CORPORATION
                     79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York

                            Copyright, 1902
                           By STREET & SMITH

                         Dick Merriwell’s Trap
               (Printed in the United States of America)

           All rights reserved, including that of translation
          into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.




For a moment as he lay on the ground holding the ball for Dick Merriwell
to kick the goal that must win the game with Hudsonville for Fardale
Military Academy, Hal Darrell, the left half-back, was seized by a
strong temptation to do wrong. How easy it would be to spoil that kick!
A slight shifting of the ball just as the captain of the Fardale eleven
kicked, and the attempt for a goal would be ruined.

There was bitterness in Hal’s heart, for he realized that Dick was
covering himself with glory, while up in the grand stand sat June
Arlington, a thrilled witness to everything that had occurred during
that most thrilling game.

At first Hal Darrell had refused to play on the team during this game,
but because June had urged him to reconsider his determination not to
play, Hal had humbled his proud spirit and offered to take part in it.
But even then, to his chagrin, he was left among the substitutes until
Earl Gardner, who had been given his position when he withdrew from the
team, was injured so badly that he could not continue in the game. Then
Dick Merriwell thought of Hal Darrell’s desertion of the team and at
first wanted to punish him for it by leaving him on the substitutes’
bench, but his better nature conquered and the spirit of forgiveness
reigned triumphant.

Hal knew nothing of Dick’s temptation to call out another player to take
Gardner’s place, which would have humiliated and infuriated Darrell to
an unspeakable degree. Hal was not aware that Dick fought the temptation
down, crushed it, conquered it, and did what he believed was best for
Fardale, regardless of his own inclination and feelings.

So Hal had been given his old position as half-back and had played a
steady game, contributing greatly to Fardale’s success, although he made
no individual play of brilliancy that distinguished him above the

At the same time he had seen Dick make a great run down the field, had
seen him leap clean over one tackler, and had witnessed a touch-down
that tied the score between Hudsonville and Fardale. If Dick kicked the
goal the game would be won.

If he failed it would most certainly remain a tie, as there was not
enough more playing time to enable either side to score again, unless
some amazing fluke should take place.

So as Hal lay on the ground, holding the ball, he was tempted. Under any
circumstances Fardale would come out of the game with flying colors.
During the first half she had been outplayed by the big Hudsonville
chaps, who had secured two touch-downs and a goal. Her line had been
weak, and she had seemed to have very little chance of making a point.
It looked like a hopeless battle against overpowering odds.

But Dick had never given up for a moment. He had kept up the courage of
his men. And all through the first half Obediah Tubbs, the fat boy who
played center on Fardale, had continued to hammer at Glennon, the big
center of the opposing team, until finally all the fight and sand had
been taken out of the fellow, and the strongest point in Hudsonville’s
line became the weakest.

The cadets took advantage of that weakness in the second half. The most
of their gains were made through center. Glennon, limp as a rag, asked
to go out of the game; but King, the captain, angrily told him to stand
up to his work, knowing it would discourage the others to lose the big
fellow, who had never yet failed to play through any game he had

And when Dick Merriwell had been hurt and it seemed he must leave the
field, Hal had seen June Arlington—forgetting appearances, remembering
only that Dick was stretched on the ground and might not rise again—run
out from the grand stand and kneel to lift his head.

Standing apart, his heart beating hotly, Darrell saw her give back to
Dick a locket containing her picture—a locket she had given to him once
before when he had risked his life to save her from some savage dogs
which attacked her on a lonely road on the outskirts of Fardale, and
then demanded again after her brother had told her some untrue tales
about Dick.

“She would not let me have it when I asked her for it after she got it
back,” thought Hal. “But now she gives it to him again! And she does not
mind who sees her!”

It seemed very strange for a proud, high-bred girl like June Arlington
to do such a thing before the assembled spectators. She had been
governed by her heart, not her head. Had she paused to consider, she
would have been dismayed; but she scarcely knew how she reached Dick,
and she seemed to come to a realization of her position first as she
knelt and held his head. Then she had courage not to lose her nerve, and
she gave him the locket as a “charm” to restore his good luck.

It was after this that Dick made the run that set thirty “faithful”
Fardale rooters howling mad with joy. He did it even though he reeled
and could scarcely stand when he rose to his feet. He did it by casting
off his physical weakness and calling to his command all the astonishing
reserve force of a perfectly trained young athlete. But for his training
and his splendid physical condition, he would have been carried from the
field, done up.

In the moment of his temptation Hal realized that Dick had trusted him
perfectly in calling him to hold the ball.

“But he’s made me help him win glory in her eyes!” was the stinging
thought that followed.

However, he conquered the temptation. As Dick balanced himself, Darrell
carefully lowered the ball toward the ground. The seam was uppermost and
everything was ready for the kick that would decide whether the game
should end a tie or Fardale should leave the field victorious.

Darrell’s hand was perfectly steady as Dick advanced quickly and kicked.
Fairly over the middle of the bar sailed the ball, and the “faithful”
shrieked and howled and thumped one another on the back and had fits.

But they were not the only ones who had fits. Apart at one side of the
field Chester Arlington, June’s brother, and a student at Fardale,
walked round and round in a circle, muttering and almost frothing at the
mouth. Then he started for the grand stand.

“I’ll tell her what I think!” he grated.

But he stopped and stared at the field, where Hudsonville was making a
listless pretense of playing during the few moments that remained. He
seemed to go into a trance and stand there until the whistle blew and
the game was over. He saw the “faithful” go tearing on to the gridiron
and surround Dick, and he could bear to see no more.

“I believe I’ll have to kill him yet!” he snarled, as he turned away.

He walked blindly into the rail beyond which the spectators were slowly
filing out from the enclosure. Some of them stared at him wonderingly,
noting his wildly glaring eyes and hearing his incoherent mutterings.

“What ails that chap?” said a man.

“Gone bughouse,” intimated another. “Who is he?”

“Don’t know. Saw him with that pretty girl who ran out on the field when
Merriwell was hurt.”

“He’s a Fardale boy?”


“Must be crazy with joy. Can’t blame him after seeing his team win in
that way.”

Chester crawled under the rail and bumped against a man.

“Get out of the way, you old fool!” he snarled.

“Who are you talking to?” demanded the man, in astonishment and anger.
“Who are you calling an old fool?”

“You! you! you! You ran into me—me, son of D. Roscoe Arlington! Do you

“You’re a crazy ass!” said the man, and walked on.

Somehow those words seemed to bring Chester to his senses in a measure.

“Brace up, old man!” he muttered huskily. “Why, I wouldn’t have
Merriwell see you like this for a fortune!”

He passed out through the gate with others and started away. Then he
bethought himself and turned back to where a carriage, containing a
driver, waited. He got into the carriage.

“Go on,” he growled.

“But the young lady, sir,” said the driver; “your sister.”

“Oh, yes!” mumbled Chester. “I had forgotten her. We’ll wait for her.
Darrell is a thundering fool!”

“I beg your pardon, sir?” said the driver.

“Nothing that concerns you,” growled Arlington, and he sat like a graven
image, waiting for June.


The sweat-stained, bruised, battered, triumphant Fardale lads peeled off
their football armor in the dressing-room beneath the stand. Earl
Gardner was there, barely able to walk, but supremely happy. Dick was
happy, too. Scudder, partly recovered from a collapse, was shaking hands
with everybody.

“It was a shame!” said Ted Smart in fun. “I hated to see us do it! They
were so sure of the game that it seemed like robbery to take it.”

“By Jim! I’ll be sore to-morrer!” piped Obediah Tubbs. “Never got no
sech drubbin’ before sence dad used to lay me over his knee an’ swat me
with the razor-strop.”

“But you put Glennon on Queer Street,” smiled Dick. “And that was the
finest thing I ever saw happen to a bruiser like him.”

“He! he! he!” came from the fat boy. “I kinder thought I might git
called down fer some of that business, but the empire didn’t dast say a

“I should opine not,” put in Brad Buckhart, the Texan. “He permitted
Glennon to start the slugging-match, and he couldn’t say anything when
it became too hot for the big tough.”

“Both umpire and referee were against us,” grunted Bob Singleton.

“But we won out against all odds, fellows,” said Dick cheerily. “And I
am proud of you!”

“It’s us that sus-sus-sus-should be pup-pup-pup-proud of you!” chattered
Chip Jolliby, his protruding Adam’s apple bobbing as it always did when
he was excited and tried to talk fast.

“That’s right! that’s right!” cried the boys. “Captain Dick was the one
who turned the trick and won the game!”

“No, fellows,” said Dick earnestly. “I did what I could, but to no one
individual belongs the glory of this game. It was a victory won by the
splendid courage and staying qualities of the whole team. It was the
kind of courage that wins great battles. It showed that this team is
made up of the right kind of stuff. We were stronger at the finish than
at the start, while they were weaker. It’s staying power that counts.”

Dick was right. And it is “staying power” that counts in the great game
of life, just the same as in football. A fellow may have ability and be
brilliant in his accomplishments, but if he has not “staying power” he
will be beaten out every time by the tireless, persistent, dogged

The boys were not able to bathe and be rubbed down there, so they
hustled on their clothes and prepared to make for the hotel, where they
might cleanse and refresh themselves after their successful struggle.

“Thunder!” moaned Tubbs. “How hungry I be! Don’t think I ever was so
hungry before in all my life.”

Then it was that some of the faithful appeared with pies of various
sorts, procured at a bakery in town, and delivered them to the fat boy,
who was so fond of pies that he ate all he could even while in training,
the one who presented them making a humorous speech.

When the boys piled into the big carryall that was to take them to the
hotel Obediah had his lap full of pies. Holding one in each hand, he
proceeded to devour them, a supremely happy look on his full-moon face.
Along the route he was observed with amusement, and he laughed and waved
his pies at those who laughed at him.

It seemed that almost half a hundred small boys were waiting for the
Fardale team to appear, and they ran after the carryall, cheering and
calling to one another.

“Well, we seem to have won favor with the kids, anyhow,” said Dick.

When the hotel was reached the boys leaped out and hurried in.

Dick was ascending the steps when a carriage bearing Chester Arlington
and his sister drew up. Chester was talking to June in a manner that
showed his temper. When he saw Dick, he ordered the driver to drive on,
but June said:

“You will stop here. I am going to get out here.”

“Not if I know it!” grated her brother, his face pale with anger.
“You’ll never speak to that fellow again if I can prevent it!”

“Get down, driver,” said June firmly, “and assist me to alight, if my
brother is not gentleman enough to do so.”

The driver sprang down at once, but Arlington grasped his sister’s arm
to restrain her.

At this moment a big dog pounced upon another in front of the building,
and the fighting, snarling animal was under the feet of the horse in a
twinkling. With a snort, the animal sprang away, the reins being jerked
from the hands of the driver.

Arlington had partly risen to his feet, and the sudden leap of the horse
flung him backward over the seat to the ground.

June Arlington was the only occupant of the carriage as the runaway
dashed wildly down the main street of the town.

Dick had witnessed this occurrence. He made a leap down the steps, but
was too late to reach the horse.

Chester Arlington sat up, looking dazed and frightened.

“Stop that horse!” he cried, in genuine alarm. “A hundred dollars to the
man who stops that horse!”

Even as he uttered the words, Dick Merriwell caught a bicycle from the
hands of a boy who had ridden up and was standing beside his machine. On
to the bicycle leaped the captain of the eleven, alighting in the saddle
and catching the pedals instantly with his feet. Away he went after the
runaway, somewhat slowly at first, but with swiftly increasing speed.

“Hi! hi! Runaway! Runaway!”

“Look out for that horse!”

“The girl will be hurt!”

“She may be killed!”

“Look at the fellow on the bike!”

“He can’t catch the horse!”

“Couldn’t stop him if he did!”

The crowd rushed away after the runaway, shouting loudly. Others ran out
from offices and stores. In a twinkling the whole street was swarming
with excited persons.

Dick bent over the handlebars and pedaled with all the strength and
skill he could command. He felt that it was to be a race for life, and
he set his teeth, his heart filled with the win-or-die determination
that had made him remarkable on the gridiron.

A farmer turning in from another street barely reined his horse aside in
time to avoid a collision. He caught a glimpse of the pale face of the
girl in the carriage.

A man ran out and waved his arms at the horse, but he jumped aside when
the animal came straight on without swerving.

Another dog darted after the runaway, barking furiously and adding to
its terror and speed.

June turned and looked back. She saw the bicyclist coming after her, and
she was not so frightened that she failed to recognize Dick Merriwell.

The dog that had barked at the horse got in Dick’s road and barely
sprang aside in time. Had the wheel struck the animal Dick’s pursuit
might have ended there in a twinkling.

It was astonishing how fast young Merriwell flew over the ground. He
strained every nerve. Dick soon saw he was gaining. Fortunately the
street was long and straight, and the runaway kept a fairly straight
course. The reins were on the ground, and it seemed that the girl could
do nothing to help herself. Once she partly rose, as if to spring from
the carriage.

“Don’t do it!” cried Dick. “Hold on! I’ll save you!”

Did she hear him? Whether she did or not, she sank back on the seat and
looked round again.

The lad on the bicycle was nearer—he was gaining. It happened that Dick
had seized a racing-wheel that was geared very high. Fortunately the
road was level and fairly good for his purpose.

Out of Hudsonville tore the runaway, but Dick was close to the carriage
when the horse reached the outskirts of the town. He was confident then
that he would soon overtake the horse. But could he stop the animal

Watching for the opportunity, Dick pushed the wheel along by the side of
the carriage. Not a word did he speak to the girl, and she made no
appeal to him.

Strange as it may seem, all the fear had departed from June, and she was
watching Dick’s efforts with curiosity and confidence. Here was a fellow
to be admired. She asked herself how he would stop the horse, but she
believed that somehow he would succeed.

Past the carriage Dick forged. The wheel whirled beneath him. On the
hard road the hoofs of the horse beat a tattoo. The wind was whistling
in the lad’s ears, but he heard it not. Cold and keen, it cut his face,
but he minded it not.

Nearer, nearer, nearer. Now he was at the fore quarters of the horse,
and he gathered himself for a last burst of speed, fearing the creature
might see him and sheer suddenly to one side. In a sudden fine spurt he
was at the head of the horse. Then his hands left the handlebars. In a
twinkling he had the horse by the bit with one hand, while the fingers
of the other fastened on the animal’s nostrils, closing them instantly.

The bicycle went down, and the wheels of the carriage crashed over it,
but Dick had swung free, and he clung like grim death to the horse.

June Arlington watched that struggle, her heart swelling at the heroism
and nerve of the boy who had ridden thus to her rescue. To her it was a
grand struggle, and her faith in her savior never faltered for a second.

The horse tried to fling up his head, but the weight of the boy held it
down. It seemed that his feet might strike the lad and cause him to
relinquish his hold. In that case, Dick would fall beneath the iron
hoofs, to be maimed or killed.

But the horse could not breathe, his nostrils being closed, and this
soon caused it to show signs of weakness. Its speed decreased, and Dick,
clinging there desperately, felt that the battle would be won if he
could hold out a little longer.

Could he? He had made up his mind that he would—that nothing on earth
should prevent it. When Dick set his mind on anything like that he
always won, and this case was no exception. Little by little the horse
faltered. And then, with surprising suddenness, it gave out entirely and

Dick did not relinquish his hold at once. He held on, talking to the
animal and trying to allay its fears. In this he succeeded wonderfully,
until he soon was confident enough to let up and permit the animal to

When the creature was fully quieted and under control, young Merriwell
turned to the girl in the carriage. He was hatless, flushed, triumphant,

“You are quite safe, Miss Arlington,” he said.

“Thanks to you,” she answered, in a voice that did not tremble. “But I
knew you would do it!”

Dick picked up the reins from the ground when he had succeeded in
quieting the horse, and climbed into the carriage.

Two men driving out of town in pursuit of the runaway met Dick
Merriwell, with June Arlington at his side, serenely driving back into

“By thunder!” said one of the men wonderingly. “This beats the world!
He’s stopped the horse and is driving the critter back as cool as you

“Who is he?” asked the other man.

“Dick Merriwell, brother of Frank Merriwell, the great Yale athlete, who
used to go to school at Fardale.”

“Well, he’s a good one.”

“A good one! He’s a rip-snorter! Not many boys of his years could ’a’
done that job!”

Dick spoke to them pleasantly.

“We were after the runaway,” said one of the men; “but I rather think
you don’t need none of our help.”

“Thank you, no,” said Dick. “But you might drive on a short distance and
pick up that bicycle. I think it is pretty badly smashed. If you’ll
bring it back to the hotel I’ll be much obliged.”

“We’ll do it,” said both men.

“Good boy! Well done!” was shouted at him from all sides as he drove
along the main street toward the hotel.

When he reached the hotel he found a crowd gathered there. Chester
Arlington, pale as a ghost and covered with dirt, was sitting on the

The Fardale crowd was on hand to cheer Dick, but he called on them to be

“This horse is nervous enough now,” he said. “Do you want to start him
off again?”

“He’d be all right with you behind him,” declared Joe Savage.

“That’s Dick Merriwell!” piped a small boy, bursting with enthusiastic
admiration. “Ain’t he jest a peacherino!”

“Boy, it’s marvelous!” declared a man. “You deserve great credit. It may
be that you saved this girl’s life! She shouldn’t forget that.”

“I won’t!” murmured June, loud enough for Dick to hear.

The driver took the horse by the head.

“I’ll hold him,” he said, “while you get out. I don’t know how I can
thank you for keeping him from smashing the carriage and injuring

“Where is my bicycle?” asked the boy from whose hands Dick had snatched
the wheel.

“Here it comes,” Dick answered, noting that the two men in the team were
approaching, with the ruined bicycle held before them. “But I’m afraid
you’ll never ride it again.”

“Well, that’s pretty tough on me,” said the boy, sadly, yet plainly
trying to keep from showing his grief. “I won that for a prize in a race
at the county fair this fall. But I ain’t going to fuss over it as long
as you stopped the horse and kept her from being hurt.”

“Perhaps you’ll get another one, all right,” said Dick. “I think you
will, even if I have to pay for it.”

“You won’t have to do that,” declared the man who had been among the
first to express his admiration over Dick’s feat. “The girl’s brother
said he’d give a hundred dollars to the one who stopped the horse. That
ought to buy another wheel.”

“But I didn’t mean that I’d give it to him!” said Chester Arlington

“What?” roared the man. “What’s the difference who stopped the horse? I
heard you telling since the runaway started that you are the son of D.
Roscoe Arlington, the great railroad man. If that’s so your father can
buy a whole bicycle-factory without going broke. You’d better keep your

“You mind your business!” jerked out Chester, trying to rise from the
steps to meet June, who had been assisted to the ground by Dick. “It was
on his account that——”

Then Chester’s knees buckled beneath him, and he dropped in a limp heap
at the foot of the steps. With a cry, June bent over him.

“He’s hurt!” she exclaimed, in great agitation. “Chester! Chester! Speak
to me, brother!”

But Chester Arlington lay white and still on the ground.

“I think he has fainted, Miss Arlington,” said Dick. “Don’t be alarmed.
He may not be seriously hurt at all. The fright over your danger may
have brought this on. Come, fellows, let’s carry him into the hotel.”

Brad Buckhart drew back.

“Well, I don’t care about dirtying my hands on the coyote,” he muttered.

There were others, however, who were ready enough to assist Dick, and
Chester was borne into the hotel, where he was attended by one of the
village doctors who had joined the crowd. In a few moments he recovered.

The doctor was unable to tell just how much Chester was hurt, and he was
taken to a room for further examination and treatment. June kept close
to him, betraying the greatest anxiety on his account.

Chester’s back was injured, and he did not seem to have strength enough
in his legs to walk. However, as he lay on the bed, he gave his sister a
reproachful look, saying:

“See what you have brought me to, June! It was all on account of your
obstinacy, and——”

“Oh, hush, Chester!” she said gently. “I am very sorry anything happened
to you.”

“And you came near being killed, too. If you had——”

“Don’t talk that way! I am all right, thanks to Mr. Merriwell.”

He started as if he had been stabbed with a keen point, his face showing
pain and anger.

“That fellow! that fellow!” he panted. “That he should be the one to
stop the horse! Oh, I’d given anything rather than had him save you!”

“I presume you would have preferred to see me thrown out and injured or
killed!” she exclaimed.

“No,” he huskily said, “no, June! Oh, you don’t know how I felt when I
realized what had happened and that you might be hurt! I tried to get up
and run after the horse, but I didn’t have the strength. June, you know
I—I wouldn’t have harm come to you for anything. You know it! But to
have him save you!”

There was no doubting Chester Arlington’s affection for his sister; but
his hatred for Dick Merriwell was equally intense.

“My dear brother!” she murmured, gently touching his hair. “Don’t be
silly! Don’t worry any more. It’s all right.”

“No, no; all wrong!” he groaned.


Dick escaped from the crowd and from his friends and took a bath,
followed by a brisk rub-down. When this was over, he donned his clothes,
feeling pretty well, for all of the game he had played through, for all
of his exertions in pursuing the runaway, for all of the bruises
received in stopping the frightened horse.

Being in perfect physical condition, he recovered swiftly. His eyes were
sparkling and there was a healthy glow in his cheeks as he hurriedly
packed his stuff and prepared to take the train that was to carry the
triumphant cadets back to Fardale.

He could hear the boys singing in a room across the corridor. The
“faithful” were having a high old time. They were packed into that room,
their arms locked about one another, howling forth the old songs of
their academy, “Fair Fardale,” “The Red and Black,” and “Fardale’s Way.”

    “It’s no use moaning, it’s no use groaning,
      It’s no use feeling sore;
    Keep on staying, keep on playing,
      As you’ve done before.
    Fight, you sinner; you’re a winner,
      If you stick and stay;
    Never give in while you’re living—
      That is Fardale’s way.”

Dick smiled as he heard this familiar old song roared forth by the
lusty-lunged chaps who were rejoicing over the wonderful victory. It
gave him a feeling of inexpressible pleasure, and it was something he
would never forget as long as he lived.

Oh, these wonderful days at Fardale! It was not likely he would forget
them in after years. He had learned to love the old school as Frank
Merriwell loved it before him, and he was thankful that Frank had
rescued him from the lonely life in far-away Pleasant Valley beneath the
shadow of the Rockies and brought him to the academy.

Not that Dick’s heart had ever ceased to turn lovingly toward the hidden
valley where he had lived a peaceful, happy life, with his little cousin
Felicia Delores as his sole companion and playmate near his own age.
True, he often thought of the days when he had wandered alone into the
woods and called about him the birds and wild creatures, every one of
whom seemed to know him and fear him not a bit. True it was that he
realized a change had come over him so that no longer could he call the
birds and the squirrels as he had done; but still he was happy and had
no desire to exchange the present for the past.

    “No matter where we roam in the mystic years to come,
      There are days we never shall forget,
    The happy days when we, in a school beside the sea,
      Cast aside the past without regret;
    ’Twas there sweet friendship grew ’mid hearts forever true,
      And our longing souls must oft turn back
    With yearnings for that time in youth’s fair golden clime
      When we wore the royal red and black.

    “Oh, the royal red and black!
    We’ll love it to the end.
    True to it we’ll stand,
    And true to every friend;
    So rise up, boys, and cheer
    For those colors bright and clear—
    For the royal red and black.”

In spite of himself, Dick’s eyes filled with a mist as he heard this
sweet song, in which the great chorus joined in that room packed with
loyal Fardale lads. His lips smiled while there was a tear in his eye,
for that tear was a pearl of happiness. They were cheering! He stopped
and listened. They cheered for the red and black, and then a voice

“I propose the long cheer for Captain Merriwell, the royal defender of
the red and black, the greatest captain Fardale ever knew, and the
finest fellow who ever breathed. Let her go!”

They did let her go! It seemed that they would raise the roof. And the
cheer ended with Dick’s name three times shouted at the full capacity of
their lusty, boyish lungs.

In his room Chester Arlington heard them, and he writhed with mental
anguish that caused him to forget his bodily pain.

“Fools! fools!” he snarled. “Where is Darrell? Why doesn’t he come to
me? Is he ashamed because he broke his promise not to play? Well, he
ought to be! He swore he wouldn’t go into that game, and then he went!”

June could have told her brother that Hal offered to go into the game
because she had urged him to do so, but she did not care to agitate
Chester any further just then.

“You must keep still,” she said. “The doctor is going to bring back
another physician and make a closer examination. You may be seriously

“No!” snapped Chester. “I won’t have it so!”

“But I hope it is not so.”

“I won’t have it so! Why should I be hurt while he—while Dick Merriwell
is all right? It isn’t possible!”

“I hope not! I think you will be all right, Chester.”

“You’re a good sister, June!” he suddenly exclaimed, looking at her.
“I’m sorry you made the mistake of having anything to do with that cheap
fellow Merriwell. But, June, you can never know how I felt when I saw
you in that carriage and knew I could do nothing to save you. I thought
I should die! But to have him save you, June—that was the bitterest pill
of all!”

“Don’t keep thinking about that, Chester. Just be quiet until we find
out how much you are hurt. It will kill mother if you are hurt much.”

For Chester Arlington’s mother doted on him. He was her pride and joy,
and she had implicit confidence in him. She had permitted June to come
to Fardale to satisfy June that Chester was in the right in his trouble
with Dick Merriwell, but she had not fancied that June did not mean to
let her brother know she was in town until after she had investigated
and discovered the truth.

“I won’t be hurt!” exclaimed the unfortunate lad. “Why should anything
like that happen to me? But it was so strange that I had no strength in
my legs when I tried to stand.”

“That is what worried the doctor.”

“Worried him?”



“He was afraid your spine had been injured.”

Chester turned still paler.

“My spine?” he whispered, a look of horror on his face. “Why, if that
should be, I might become a helpless cripple.”

“Oh, I don’t think it’s anything like that!” cried the girl, regretting
that she had spoken so plainly. “I am sure it isn’t.”

He lay still and stared up at the ceiling.

“A cripple!” came huskily from his lips. “What a terrible thing! And
that fellow still strong and well! Nothing ever happens to him. Why is
it? It’s his luck—his luck!”

June knew he was thinking of Dick Merriwell, and she thought how nearly
Dick had been knocked out of the game that day, how she had rushed to
him as he lay on the field, and how she had given him the little locket
as a “charm” to keep away misfortune in the future.

“What made you do it, June?” whined the lad on the bed, and she started
as she realized he was thinking of the same thing. “It was a shame—a

“I’m sorry I disgraced you, Chester!” she said, somewhat coldly.

“I’d rather given anything than to have my sister make such a spectacle
of herself. All Fardale will know of it! They will say you are smitten
on him—on that fellow!”

“Chester, I know how much you dislike him; but don’t you think you are
somewhat in the wrong yourself?”

He started to his elbow, with a cry.

“It’s hard enough to be knocked out this way without having my sister go
back on me for a dog like that!” he exclaimed fiercely.

“He is no dog, Chester! Have you forgotten that he stopped the runaway
and saved me?”

“No! no! Wish I could!”

“Have you forgotten that this is the second time he has saved me? Surely
I owe him something! I owe him respect, at least!”

“That’s all! You can keep away from him! June, you must stay in Fardale
no longer. I’ll write mother. That is, if you do not decide to leave at

“Perhaps I may not be able to leave.”

“Not able?”


“Why not?”

“You may need me.”

“You think I am going to be as bad as that? Then that infernal doctor
must have told you something he did not say to me! But I’ll fool
him—I’ll fool them all! I’ll get up all right in a day or so! It’s
nothing but a sprained back! Why doesn’t Darrell come to me? Has he gone
back on me entirely?”

“Perhaps the doctor has told everybody to keep away.”

“Confound the doctor! June, go find Hal Darrell and tell him to come
here right away. I have something to say to that fellow, and I’m going
to say it while it is hot on my mind.”

“Keep still while I am gone,” she said. “Will you?”

He promised, and she left the room to look for Darrell.


The hilarious fellows were repeating “The Red and Black” when Dick
passed down-stairs in search of the boy whose bicycle had been smashed.
Dick had been thinking of that lad. The boy had not raised a fuss over
the destruction of his wheel, and Merriwell admired him for his

The boy was sitting on the hotel steps, mournfully trying to bend the
twisted spokes back into shape. A number of his friends had gathered
around him.

“It’s tough on you, Sammy,” said one of the group. “No fellow has a
right to grab a chap’s wheel and smash it like that.”

“He didn’t mean to do it,” said Sammy.

“That don’t make no difference! He hadn’t any right to take it at all.”

“He did it to chase the runaway and save the girl.”

“Well, you didn’t start the runaway. You wasn’t to blame for it.
Somebody oughter to pay you for your wheel.”

“The fellow whose sister he saved said he’d give anybody a hundred
dollars to stop the horse. Why didn’t he keep his word? Then Dick
Merriwell could pay me for my bike and have fifty dollars left.”

Dick was deeply moved by this, and he came down the steps at once. The
boys looked a bit startled as they saw him and realized he might have
heard some of their talk.

“So you won your bicycle in a race at a fair, Sammy?” he said.

“Yes,” said the boy, and there was a little choke in his throat. “It was
the best wheel I ever had. Judge Merritt put it up as a prize for the
best rider.”

“An’ he thought his son was going to git it,” put in a little fellow;
“but Sammy he jest beat Arthur Merritt out at the finish an’ got the
wheel, though Art was the maddest feller you ever saw.”

“Well, it’s a shame to have your wheel smashed after you worked so hard
for it,” said Dick. “What did you do with your other wheel—the one you
had before you got this one?”

“I sold it. It wasn’t much good, anyhow, and it only cost me nine
dollars second-hand. But I earned all the money to buy it myself.”

“Did you race on your old wheel at the fair?”

“Oh, no! I never could have won on that. Fred Thurston let me have his
wheel to race on.”

“Well, this bike is ruined, that’s plain,” said Dick, as he examined the
ill-fated bicycle. “You’ll never ride it again.”

“I guess that’s right,” nodded Sammy sadly. “But you stopped the horse
and saved the girl.”

Not a whimper, not a sign of anger, only regret for the loss of the
wheel and satisfaction because Dick had been able to save June.

Young Merriwell realized that the boy was something of a hero, with a
most remarkable disposition.

“Don’t worry, Sammy,” he said, smiling reassuringly. “You shall have
another wheel, and I will buy it for you—a wheel just as good as this

“Pardon me,” said a voice that startled Dick and caused the boys to
stare as June Arlington herself came from the hotel and tripped down the
steps. “I claim the privilege of buying another wheel for him. No; it is
right, Mr. Merriwell! My father will gladly furnish the money when he
hears how this wheel came to be broken. I’ll write him all about it this
very day.”

“Hush!” grunted one of the boys doubtingly, speaking in a low tone to a
companion; “that’s a big bluff! That’s jest so Sam won’t raise a row
about it.”

“She’s trying to make Sam think her father has money enough to buy a
fifty-dollar wheel every day if he wants to,” said the other, joining in
the doubtful derision.

June was forced to smile. Sammy had risen and taken off his cap when
Dick lifted his.

“It’s plain your friends haven’t much faith in my promise,” said June.

“That’s all right,” declared the owner of the wheel. “I believe it,
anyhow. Of course, I feel pretty bad over my wheel, but I’m glad the
horse was stopped before you was hurt.”

June’s expressive eyes glowed.

“Thank you,” she said. “Did you ever hear of D. Roscoe Arlington?”

“No; I—why, do you mean the big railroad man?”


“Oh, I’ve heard of him!”

“He is my father, and I promise you that he will buy another wheel for
you at——”

“Excuse me,” put in Dick. “But I was the one who snatched the bicycle
from this boy and smashed it, so it is I who should provide for the

“Not at all,” declared June, with almost haughty decision. “You did it
while trying to save me from harm, and the debt is mine. I insist, and I
shall be angry if you do not let me refer this matter to my father, who
will certainly replace this wheel with the very best bicycle money can

Dick saw that she was very much in earnest, and it was plain that June
was accustomed to have her own way in most things. He was obliged to
yield gracefully.

June borrowed a pencil and piece of paper from Dick, after which she
noted the answers of the boy in regard to the kind of a wheel he wanted,
height of frame, gear, saddle, pedals, and so forth. She was perfectly
practical in this, and when she had finished questioning Sammy she was
in condition, if necessary, to go out and purchase the bicycle herself
and get exactly what the lad most desired.

Dick’s admiration for June Arlington grew steadily. He noted that she
was perfectly cool and self-possessed, for all of the recent adventure
through which she had passed, and that, to a large extent, she was
lacking in the frivolity and giggling giddiness that marred the natural
charm of many girls near her age.

“If I had the money with me,” said June to Sammy, “I would pay you for
your wheel right here; but I haven’t that much, and, besides, I think it
possible you will get a far better machine if you permit my father to
select it for you.”

“Oh, I’m willing to do that!” exclaimed the boy; “and I thank you for——”

“I am the one to thank you,” said June. “You happened along at just the
right time to aid in stopping that runaway.”

This made the boy feel very good, while some of the fellows who stood
near grew jealous and tried to sneer.

June shook hands with Sammy, promising he should hear from Mr. Arlington
within a week, and then she turned back into the hotel, telling Dick she
wished to speak with him. The moment she entered the hotel the other
boys surrounded Sammy. One of them, a raw-boned, freckled chap with
dirty teeth, gave Sammy “the laugh.”

“You’re a soft mark!” he said. “Why, if you’d raised a big fuss you
might have frightened her into paying for your bike right off—that is,
if her father is the big gun she says he is.”

“Go on, Spike Hanlon!” exclaimed Sammy. “What do you take me for? I
ain’t built that way!”

“Because you’re easy. Mebbe you’ll get another bicycle, and, then again,
mebbe you won’t! Soon as she gits outer town she’ll never bother about
it no more. You let her soft-soap you and fool you jest because she
shook hands with ye! Yah!”

“Now, close your face!” exclaimed Sammy, flushing hotly and showing
anger for the first time. “If you say anything more about her I’ll soak
you in the mouth!”

Which demonstrated that Sam had temper and could be aroused to anger,
for all that he had taken the smashing of his wheel so mildly.

At once the boys began to take sides. The majority were with Sammy, but
two fellows sidled over and joined Spike Hanlon.

“You hit me,” said Hanlon, “and I’ll break your head with a rock! That’s
what I’ll do, softie! I’m glad your old wheel was smashed. I’m glad of
it, and I’ll bet you a hundred dollars you never get another one! Yah,
yah! Thought you was big because you beat Art Merritt and got a fine
bike, didn’t ye! Well, now you ain’t no better off than any of us! You
ain’t so well off, for my brother’s got your old wheel, and he lets me
ride it when I want to! Yah! yah! yah!”

But Hanlon had carefully placed himself at a distance by walking away in
a sidelong fashion, and he took to his heels, whooping and laughing
scornfully as Sammy made a move as if to rush at him.

“Don’t you mind, Sammy,” said one of the friends who had sided with him.
“Spike’s jealous. He’s been so ever since you won your bike. And I think
you’ll get a new wheel all right.”

“I know it!” said Sam, with the utmost confidence. “That girl’s all
right, and I’d bet my life she’d have the wheel sent to me! Then won’t
Spike feel sick!”


Up one flight in the hotel was a window in the hall at the front of the
house. Dick and June passed by this window, which, although closed, did
not prevent them from hearing the words of the boys below, and June
laughed when Sammy declared he would soak Spike Hanlon in the mouth if
Spike said anything more about her.

“That’s the kind of champion to have!” exclaimed Dick.

“They are going to fight!” exclaimed June. “That freckled boy is big and

“But I’ll bet anything Sammy does him if they come to a genuine scrap,”
said Dick. “But don’t worry; there’ll be no fight. The most of the boys
are on Sammy’s side, and the other fellow doesn’t want to mix in.”

They heard Spike’s taunts just before he retreated, and June muttered:

“Just you wait and see what kind of a wheel he’ll have! I’ll make father
buy him the very best in the market.”

“Then that other boy will turn green with jealousy,” laughed Dick. “It
will be a great triumph for Sammy.”

“He deserves it.”

“I agree with you. He is a most remarkable fellow, and I like him.
Evidently he’s a poor boy. But he didn’t whimper when his wheel was
smashed, and that is why I say he is remarkable. Most boys would have
put up a terrible outcry over it.”

“It is strange that my brother should have been hurt so badly just from
falling backward out of the carriage when the horse started,” said June.

“Is it a fact that he is badly hurt?” asked Dick.

“I fear so. The doctor told me that, at least, we had not better think
of returning to Fardale before to-morrow. He said he would be able to
say positively to-morrow whether Chester is badly hurt or not. He is
coming back with another doctor in a short time, and they will make a
more complete examination.”

“For your sake,” said Dick sincerely, “I am very sorry that your brother
was hurt.”

Dick spoke with perfect truthfulness, and she understood him. It is not
likely that he would have felt keen regret on Chester’s account alone,
but his interest in June made it possible for him to be sorry, as the
affair had caused her distress.

She thanked him, but she did not misinterpret his words in the least.
She understood that her brother and Dick Merriwell were persistent and
unrelenting enemies.

“I was so glad to see you win the game to-day,” she said, seeming to
wish to change the subject.

“Yes, the boys did splendidly.”

“They did very well, but you—you were the one who really won the game.”

“In football every man is dependent on the others engaged in the game.
Without their assistance he would be powerless to win.”

“Oh, if you put it that way, of course no fellow could stand up alone
against eleven others and win a game. But that does not alter the fact
that you were the one who won the game to-day. And I thought you badly
hurt that time when I—when I made a sensation by running on to the
field,” she finished, her face getting very red.

She was confused, and Dick’s heart beat a bit faster now. But she
quickly found a way to make it appear that it was not purely from
agitation over Dick that she hurried on to the gridiron.

“I was so afraid that meant failure for the team! When I saw you down
and feared you would have to leave the field, I knew Fardale was in a
bad scrape. Without a captain, she would have been defeated quickly.”

Dick knew well enough that it was more than fear for the result of the
game that had caused her to rush pale and trembling across the field and
kneel to lift his head while he lay helpless on the ground; but he
pretended disappointment now, seeking to draw her out.

“I’m very sorry,” he said, watching her closely; “I fancied you were
anxious on my account. I presume it was conceited of me to have such a

She looked him straight in the eyes.

“Doubtless my conduct was such that it gave you cause to think so,” she
nodded, perfectly at ease.

“Your conduct—and your words,” he returned.

She remembered with some dismay that she had been greatly excited as she
lifted his head and knelt on the ground. She could not recall the words
she had uttered at the time, but she knew she had called him “Dick,” and
she entreated the doctor to tell her he was not badly hurt. Still June
retained her self-possession, although she did not repress an added bit
of color that again rose to her cheeks.

“I believe you were shamming, sir!” she asserted, severely. “You seemed
almost unconscious, yet you pretend that you heard what I said. I think
you dreamed that you heard it.”

“Well, it was a very pleasant dream, and it quite repaid me for the jar
I received in that little clash.”

She could not resist his subtle compliment, and, in spite of her
self-control, she felt her pulse thrill a little. Although a girl of
sixteen and usually most reserved, she was open to flattery in its
finest form, as most girls are.

Dick, however, was no flatterer, and he spoke what he felt to be the
simple truth and nothing more. It is possible that his sincerity
impressed her.

“My locket——” she began.

“Oh, I hope you are not going to command me to return it to you again!”
he exclaimed.


“I am thankful for that. I gave it up once, thinking you would be
generous enough to hear what I had to say; but you refused to see me or
to permit me to explain——”

“Which was very unjust of me,” she frankly admitted. “I was sorry when
it was too late, but you did not come again.”

“Because I did not care to receive another snub.”

“Will you pardon me?”

“Surely I will, now that I have the locket again. But I do not wish you
to believe that I ever dropped that locket intentionally with the desire
of having it become known that you had given it to me. I did not think
you could believe such a thing of me.”

There was reproach in Dick’s words, and she felt it.

“My brother made it seem that you did,” she hastened to say;
“and—and—another would not deny it.”

“Another?” exclaimed Dick. “I know who it was! It was Hal Darrell!”

“I have not said so.”

“But you cannot say it was not Darrell?”

“I will not say it wasn’t or that it was.”

“We were enemies once,” said Dick, “but I found him pretty square, and I
can admire a fellow who is my enemy if he is honest. Later we became,
not exactly friends, but reconciled. Somehow we could not get on real
friendly terms, though I fancy we both wished to be friendly at one
time. Of late he has changed, and I am satisfied that he is once more my
enemy. I don’t think he will lie about me, but it is possible he might
not correct the false statement of another. Miss Arlington, is it
possible that, at the present time, there remains in your mind the least
doubt concerning my behavior? If there is such a doubt, even though I
would dearly love to keep your locket and your picture, I must beg you
to take it back.”

He was grim and stern now, and for a single instant she felt a trifle
awed. Then pride came to her rescue, and she exclaimed:

“If you wish to get rid of it so much, I’ll take it, sir!”

“I do not wish to get rid of it. Indeed, I wish to keep it always; but I
cannot keep it knowing you might suspect me of showing it, laughing over
it and boasting that it was a ‘mash.’ Do you understand?”

“I think I do,” she said quietly. “I shall let you keep it, and you may
be sure there is no doubt in my mind. I believe you are a gentleman.”

Dick had triumphed. Again he was a winner, and it made him glad indeed.
He thanked her earnestly and sincerely, upon which she said:

“Foolish though it may seem, I am certain now that the locket has given
you good fortune. I felt sure you would win the game for Fardale to-day
after I gave you the locket, and you took it. Then, with the locket
still in your possession, you stopped the runaway. Keep it, and may it
be the charm to give you luck as long as it remains in your possession.”

“I am sure it will!” he laughed. “As long as it contains that picture it
will remain a charm for me.”

“You know I accept you as a friend, Mr. Merriwell; but my brother is
angry with me, my mother will be more so, and my father will side with
my mother. I tell you this as an explanation of my conduct in the
future, should anything happen to make it seem that I am unfriendly.”

“I think I’ll understand you.”

“Then you will do better than most fellows,” smiled June; “for they do
not understand girls at all. Hal Darrell——”

Then she paused suddenly, for Hal himself had ascended the stairs and
stopped, staring at them. His face was rather pale, and there was a
glitter in his dark eyes.

“Oh, Mr. Darrell!” exclaimed June. “I have been looking for you.”

“Have you?” said Hal, his eyes on Dick.

“Yes. Brother wants to see you. He’s in room 37. Please go right up.”

Hal stood still and stared at Dick a moment longer, after which he
mounted the stairs to the second story and disappeared.


Chester and June Arlington remained in Hudsonville that night and the
next day. On Monday they came back to Fardale, but Chester did not
return to the academy. He declined to go to the house where June had
been stopping, but ordered the best suite of rooms in the Fardale Hotel,
and there he went comfortably to bed.

Perhaps it was a mistake to say he went comfortably to bed, for he was
far from comfortable, as his back had been hurt badly, although the
Hudsonville doctors consoled him with the assurance that, with rest and
proper treatment, he would recover without any permanent injury.

June remained at the hotel to care for him as best she could, and Mrs.
Arlington was notified of his misfortune, with the result that she lost
no time in hastening to the side of her idolized son.

Dick had called at the hotel to see June a moment, and she showed him
the telegram that told her that her mother was coming with all speed.

“I don’t know what will happen when mother gets here,” confessed June,
“but there may be trouble. To tell the truth, I am afraid there will be,
for Chester is determined to tell her I gave you that locket, unless I
get it back.”

Dick’s heart sank a little, but he soon said:

“Then I suppose I shall have to give it up, for I do not wish you to get
into trouble on my account.”

But she declined to take it.

“No,” she said firmly. “I gave it to you, and you are to keep it. I want
you to promise to keep it, even though my mother demands it of you.”

His heart rose at once.

“You may be sure I will do so,” he said.

He was in very good spirits as he went whistling back to the academy. It
was just past midday, but the autumn sun was well over into the
southwest. The wind sent a flock of yellow leaves scudding along the
roadside like a lot of startled birds. The woods were bare, and there
was a haze on the distant hills. In spite of the bright sunshine, in
spite of the satisfaction in his heart, he felt vaguely the sadness of
autumn, as if the world itself were fading and growing old and feeble,
like a man that has passed the prime of life and is hurrying down the
hill that leads to decrepit old age and death. Always the autumn
impressed Dick thus. True he saw in it much of beauty, but it was a sad
beauty that made him long to fly to another clime where fallen leaves
and bare woods would not remind him of winter.

Not that Dick disliked the winter, for in it he found those pleasures
enjoyed by every healthful lad with a healthy mind; but it was the
change from early autumn to winter days that stirred his emotions so
keenly and filled him with that unspeakable longing for something that
was not his.

A stream ran through the little valley, the sunshine reflected on its
surface. Beyond the valley was a little grove, where a red squirrel was
barking, the clear air and favorable wind bringing the chatter of the
little creature to the lad’s ears. Some one had started a fire on the
distant hillside, and the smoke rose till it was hurled away by the
sweeping wind.

Dick’s eyes noted much of beauty in the landscape, for he was sensitive
to color, and the woods were gray and brown and green, the fields were
mottled with brown and green, for there remained a few places where the
grass was not quite dead, late though it was; the hills were misty blue
in the far distance, and the sky overhead was cloudless.

From a high point of the road he could look out on the open sea, and he
heard the breakers roaring on Tiger Tooth Ledge.

The squirrel in the grove seemed calling to him, the woods seemed to
beckon, and even the dull, distant roar of the sea struck a responsive
chord in his heart. A sudden desire came upon him to stray deep into the
woods and hills and seek to renew the old-time friendship and confidence
with nature and the wild things he had once been able to call around
him. Then he thought of Fardale, of the football-field, of his friends
at school, and, lastly, of—June.

“No,” he muttered, “I would not give up my new friends for those I used
to know. The birds and squirrels know me no longer, but I have found
human friends who are dearer.”

He resumed his whistling and trudged onward with a light heart.

That afternoon Dick worked earnestly with the scrub on the field, for
the weakness of the academy’s line in the recent game with Hudsonville
had shown him that injury to one or two players simultaneously might
cause Fardale’s defeat unless some remarkably good substitutes were
ready at hand to go in. And he had come to realize that first-class
substitutes were lacking.

The injured ones were improving as swiftly as could be expected, but it
was certain they would not get into practice until near the end of the
week, and Shannock might not be able to go on to the field for another
week to come.

At the opening of the season Fardale had resolved not to play with
Franklin Academy for reasons well known on both sides. A year before
Franklin had permitted a Fardale man and a traitor to play with its
eleven, and the traitor had dashed red pepper into Dick Merriwell’s eyes
at a time when it seemed certain that the game would be won by the
cadets through young Merriwell’s efforts.

Brad Buckhart “mingled in” and promptly knocked the pepper-thrower
stiff, after which the fellow had been exposed.

But Franklin’s action in permitting the traitor to play on her team had
angered the Fardale athletic committee so that a vote was taken not to
meet her on the gridiron again. But the faculty at Franklin took a hand,
offered apologies, regrets, and made promises to look after the team in
the future. They felt a keen disgrace to have Fardale refuse to meet the
Franklin eleven. The result was that the Fardale athletic committee
finally withdrew the ban, and a date was arranged with Franklin.

This was the team Fardale had to meet on the following Saturday after
the game with Hudsonville, and to Dick’s ears came a rumor that Franklin
had a remarkable eleven that had been winning games in a most alarming

To add to Dick’s uneasiness came a report that Franklin had hired a
professional coach and that there were at least four “ringers” on the
team. Dick was not inclined to believe this at first, for it did not
seem possible such fellows would be permitted on the eleven after the
entreaty and assurance of the Franklin faculty.

Brad Buckhart resolved to investigate. Without saying a word to Dick,
who, he fancied, might object to “spying,” the Texan paid a man to find
out the truth. The result was that, one day, he informed Dick there was
not the least doubt but the “ringers” were to be with the Franklin team.

“I can hardly believe it now!” exclaimed Dick, when Buck had explained
how he came by his knowledge. “How can they afford to do such a thing?”

“Well, pard,” said the Westerner, “I hear that they’re hot set to wipe
out the disgrace of last year’s defeat, and then they won’t care a rap
whether we play with them any more or not. That’s what’s doing over yon
at Franklin. I opine we’d better decline to play.”

“No,” said Dick. “We have no absolute proof that there are ‘ringers’ on
their team, although it is likely your man made no mistake. I shall
notify their manager at once that I have heard such a report, ask
concerning its correctness, and protest against the questionable men
being in the game.”

“And then if they are in it just the same?”

“We’ll play them,” said Dick grimly, “and beat them. After that we can
decline to have any further athletic dealings with them.”

“Partner, you’re right!” exclaimed the Texan. “The only thing I fear is
that our team may not be up to its usual form. If it is, we can down
’em, ‘ringers’ or no ‘ringers.’”

No reply came to Dick’s note of protest until Friday, before the game
was to come off. Then the manager answered briefly that all the men on
his team were amateurs and were taking regular courses at Franklin

“That settles it,” said Dick. “I’d play him now if I had proof that he
had ‘ringers’ on his team. Then I’d relieve my mind after the game.”


Dick knew Mrs. Arlington had arrived in Fardale, and after her arrival
he waited in daily expectancy of hearing something from June. He learned
that the injury to Chester Arlington was so serious that he might be
confined to his bed for two or three weeks. And he also found out that
Hal Darrell visited the hotel daily.

Ostensibly Hal went to see Chester, but Dick felt that the real reason
of his going was to see June. And Dick was startled to feel a sensation
of keen jealousy in his heart. He tried bravely to put it aside, telling
himself that June was his friend and nothing more; but it was obstinate
and declined to be crushed in such a manner, not a little to his

On Saturday morning Dick received a brief note from June, and it fairly
staggered him. This was what she said:

    “_Mr. Richard Merriwell_: Kindly return my locket at once by the
    messenger who brings you this. I insist on it, and you will do
    so if you are a gentleman. —_June Arlington_.”

A second time had this happened. Once before June had sent for her
locket and Dick had returned it as requested. Then, when he sought to
call for an explanation, he was snubbed at the door. He puzzled over
this second note, being astonished by it. For had not June urged him to
promise not to give up the locket on any condition?

“Is she so changeable?” he muttered, in great disappointment. “I could
not have thought it of her! She doesn’t seem that way.”

He could not express his feeling of disappointment at June. She had
seemed like an unusually sensible girl, who would not whiffle round with
every shifting wind.

He understood that, without doubt, strong pressure had been brought to
bear on June by her mother and brother. She had been commanded to send
again for her locket. Chester Arlington was determined that Dick should
not keep it, and he would rejoice if it were sent back to his sister.

But had June been influenced so that she really wished the locket
returned? Rather had she not been compelled to write the request while
she did not wish Dick to comply with it?

He started at this thought, and, of a sudden, he found a way to excuse
June. She could not refuse to obey the command of her mother, and she
had written for the locket because Mrs. Arlington commanded it. That was
the explanation. The messenger was waiting outside the door. Dick
turned, walked to the door, and said:

“There is no answer.”

“But the lady what give me the note said there would be one,” declared
the boy. “She said I was to bring back somethin’ you’d give me.”

“Did she?”

“Yep. An’ said I was to be careful not to lose it.”

“What sort of a lady gave you this note?”

“Oh, she was pritty swell, you bet! She wore good togs, but she had gray
hair, and she looked me over through a glass with a handle what she held
up to her eye, and she says, says she, ‘Boy, are you honest?’ and I
says, ‘I am, though I know I’ll never grow up to be a great politician
or a millionaire if I stay so.’ She didn’t seem to like that much, but
she finally give me the paper what I brought to you, sayin’ as how I was
to bring back the thing what you would give me.”

“Well, there is nothing for you to take back,” said Dick. “But here is a
quarter for you. Just say to the lady that the article is so precious
that I will bring it in person, as I dare not trust it out of my hands.”

“All right. Thankee,” said the boy, and he hurried away.

A feeling of satisfaction had come to Dick.

“I was right,” he exclaimed, with a short laugh. “It is the work of
June’s mother. But how can I get out of giving up the locket and the
picture? June told me to keep it, but if her mother demands it of me
I’ll be placed in an awkward position.”

He was soon given other things to think of, however. The Franklin team
arrived in town before noon, and Buckhart, who was at the station to see
them, came hustling back to the academy and sought Dick, whom he found
in the gym.

“There’s no mistake about it,” said the Westerner excitedly. “One of
their players is Plover, the chap who was barred from the Exeter team
because he was a professional. Why, he’s nineteen years old, and he’s
played the game for three or four years. He got into some kind of a mess
at Exeter and left school to avoid a disgrace. He’s one of the

“How do you know this?” asked Dick. “You do not know Plover personally,
do you?”

“No, but there was a chap at the station who knew him and spoke to him.”


“Plover didn’t seem to like it much. He pretended not to know the fellow
who spoke to him.”

“Who was the fellow?”

“Clerk in Peabody’s store, a fellow who hasn’t been here very long.”

“I’ll have to see him at once,” said Dick.

“I had a talk with him, you bet your boots!”

“Did you?”

“Sure thing, pardner. Said he knew Plover all right, and that the fellow
couldn’t fool him. Said Plover was a chap who played baseball summers
for money, raced for money, had been pulled up for some sort of
crookedness in a running-race, had coached football-teams for money; in
short, he made his living by just such things.”

“Well, he is a fine fellow for Franklin to run up against us!” exclaimed
Dick. “Come, Brad, we’ll look up the manager of that team without

But the manager of the visiting team had not come to Fardale with his
players, as they learned on hurrying to the hotel and making inquiries.

“He didn’t dare come!” muttered Buckhart in Dick’s ears. “He was afraid
you’d get after him before the game. That’s why the onery galoot stayed

Dick’s face wore a grim expression as he called for Captain Hickman.
Hickman and two other Franklin fellows were found in a room. The captain
of the team rose and held out his hand to Dick, crying:

“How are you, Merriwell, old man! Glad to see you again! Of course,
we’ll have to trounce you this afternoon, but that is no reason why we
shouldn’t be friends before the game—and afterward.”

“No, that is no reason,” admitted Dick. “As for trouncing us, that
remains to be seen; but I am sure you ought to do it with the kind of
team you have brought!”

“Oh, yes! we’ve got a corker this year,” laughed Hickman.

“But aren’t you out of your class a bit?” asked Dick, while Brad stood
by the door, grimly waiting the clash of words he expected would come
and eying the two chaps with Hickman, to have their measure in case
there was an encounter.

“Do you fancy your team so very weak?” asked Hickman jokingly. “Why, you
seem to be doing very well.”

“We are strong enough for a school team made up of amateurs, but we may
not be able to cope with professionals.”

“And ‘ringers,’” put in Brad.

Hickman pretended to be surprised and astonished.

“Professionals?” he exclaimed. “Ringers? Why, what do you mean? It can’t
be that you accuse us of having such men on our team?”

“I have information that leads me to believe you have,” said Dick

“It’s not true!” retorted the captain of the Franklin team hotly.

“It’s a lie!” said a yellow-haired chap, rising behind Hickman, and
stepping forward.

“That’s exactly what it is!” agreed the third fellow, as he also rose
and joined the others.

“Here’s where we get into a scrimmage!” thought Buckhart, with a glow of
genuine satisfaction. “Here is where we wipe the floor with three young
gents from Franklin!”

But Dick was not there to get into a row.

“Such information reached me a few days ago,” said Dick, “and I wrote at
once to Mr. Rankin, your manager.”

“Well, you heard from him, didn’t you?”

“Yes; he answered that the report was untrue.”

“Well, that should have satisfied you,” said Hickman. “What more do you

“To-day,” said Dick calmly, “I have been told that on your team there is
a regular professional by the name of Plover.”



“There is no man by that name on the team,” said Hickman. “So you see
that you have been led astray in this matter.”

“Of course it is possible,” admitted Dick, “But we have not forgotten
last year, Mr. Hickman.”

“Last year?” said Hickman uneasily. “What do you mean by that?”

“You should remember very well.”

“Why not——”

“Yes, your little trick you played on us. I believe a fellow by the name
of Jabez Lynch played with you, and he was a Fardale man at the time. He
wore a nose-guard and head-harness that so disguised him he was not
recognized; but he did a piece of dirty work that exposed him before the
game was over. You remember, Captain Hickman.”

Hickman forced a short laugh.

“That was a joke, Merriwell.”

“A joke!” exclaimed Dick, his eyes flashing. “Is that what you call it?
It was no joke, Mr. Hickman, and you know very well that it came very
near ending all athletic relations between our teams and our schools.”

“If that is what he considers as a joke,” put in Brad; “mebbe he allows
it’s a joke to spring a lot of ‘ringers’ on us!”

“Who are you?” savagely asked the captain of the visiting team, glaring
at Brad. “What right have you to dip into this matter?”

“Who am I? Well, I’m Brad Buckhart, the unbranded maverick of the Rio
Pecos! I’m playing with Fardale, and I allow that I can dip in some. If
any of you gents think not, I’m willing to argue it with you any old way
you say. You hear me chirp!”

“Have you come to raise a fuss, Mr. Merriwell?” cried Hickman.

“I have come to warn you,” said Dick, with unabated grimness.

“Warn us—of what?”

“That you are making a grave mistake.”

“Are you going to squeal? Are you going to back out?”

“We shall play you this afternoon if your team is made up entirely of

“Then what——”

“I wish to notify you, Mr. Hickman, that a thorough investigation will
be made. If we learn that you have professionals on your team, Fardale
will sever relations with you. There will be no further contests between

Hickman snapped his fingers.

“Do as you like,” he said. “We’ll have the pleasure of wiping you up in
the last encounter, anyway.”

“Will you?” cried Dick. “Not much! Fardale will defeat you to-day, for
all of tricks and crookedness!”

“Whoop-ee!” exploded Buckhart. “You bet your boots she will!”

Then both boys turned on their heels and left the room.

Dick and Brad were descending the stairs to leave the hotel when
something struck Dick’s shoulder with a little tinkle and fell on the
steps before him.

Dick picked it up, and glanced upward. He fancied he saw a face
disappear above, and there was a rustling sound that died away almost
immediately. In his hand Dick held a bit of paper that was twisted about
an old-fashioned copper coin. He untwisted the paper and saw there was
some writing upon it.

    “I shall try to be at the game. See me a moment if possible.
    Have something to say to you. —_June_.”

“What is it, pard?” asked Brad.

“Nothing much,” smiled Dick, folding the paper and carefully putting it
in his pocket, along with the coin.

The smile left his face, as at the very door, when he was passing out,
he encountered Mrs. Arlington, who had just alighted from a carriage and
was coming in. She saw him, and a haughty look of anger and accusation
settled on her cold face.

“So you decided to come!” she said freezingly. “It is well that you did.
I have consulted a lawyer, and I have about concluded to have you

“To have me arrested?” said Dick, in surprise.


“What for?”


Dick’s face flamed crimson, while a gurgle of incredulity and
astonishment came from Brad’s throat.

“Theft, madam?” said Dick warmly. “Such a thing is ridiculous!”

“Outrageous!” came from Brad.

“I sent for a piece of property belonging to my daughter and you
declined to return it,” said the woman, with a crushing air of

“So it was you who sent for it?” came quickly from Dick. “I am glad to
know that.”

“My daughter wrote the note, which I sent by a messenger. Your refusal
to return the locket makes you a thief. But I presume you have come to
your senses and decided to give it up, in which case I shall not proceed
against you.”

Dick was boiling with anger, and he longed to tell the woman just what
he thought; but he could not forget that she was June’s mother, which
held him in check.

“I did not call to return the locket, madam,” he said. “I had another
matter that brought me here.”

“Indeed?” said the woman, annoyed and surprised. “You will find it best
to attend to this matter without delay if you wish to escape the
unpleasantness of being arrested. To a boy of your callous nature I do
not suppose arrest would seem like a disgrace, but you may fear

Dick could not find words to retort to this insult, but he knew he could
not restrain his outraged feelings much longer, for which reason he
sought to pass the woman at once and get away from her. But Mrs.
Arlington had not played all her cards. She was holding one in reserve.

“I think you were somehow concerned in stopping a horse that had become
frightened in a neighboring town, and I also think my daughter was in
the carriage,” she said, in the same haughty, freezing manner. “Much to
my regret, I have learned that my son failed to pay you for your act, as
he promised to do; but you know he was injured by falling from the
carriage, which explains his failure. I have been told that he said he
would give you a hundred dollars to stop the horse. I always take pains
to have my son keep his word, and I shall do so in this case. When you
call with the locket you shall have the hundred dollars, just as he

Dick knew she felt sure the promise of that money would cause him to
hasten to bring the locket, and it but added to his outraged sense of
fairness. Surely she was the most overbearing, haughty, cold-blooded
woman he had ever met! But she was June’s mother!

“Madam,” he said, “if you imagine for a moment that I stopped that horse
because a hundred dollars was offered to any one who would do so, you
have made a great mistake. I did so because your daughter was in peril.
Nothing could induce me to accept money from your son, from you, or from
any one on earth for such an act!”

He managed to pass her, but Buckhart paused to say:

“Well, I should opine not! Why, confound it! I told you once that this
yere pard of mine has money enough to buy up your old husband’s
railroads and run ’em! Money! Why, when he comes of age he’ll have it to
burn in an open grate instead of coal! Money! Don’t insult him by——”

“Brad!” said Dick sharply; “that will do! Come!”

“All right,” said Buckhart, regretfully following young Merriwell. “But
I wasn’t half done with her. I was just getting round to say over my
opinion of her, and I reckon I’d sure rumpled her fur some.”

“Never mind,” said Dick. “We’ve got other things to think of besides
that woman.”

“Don’t you worry none whatever about arrest,” said the Texan. “She’ll
not be that big a fool.”

“I hope not,” said Dick.

As Dick said, he had other things to occupy his mind. He was bound to
win the game that afternoon and teach Franklin a lesson.

Midday had passed and Dick was entering the gymnasium to prepare for the
game when a boy on a bicycle hailed him. He stopped, frowning a little
as the boy came up swiftly, for he half-fancied it was some one sent by
Mrs. Arlington. As the lad drew near, however, Dick suddenly recognized
him. It was Sammy—Sammy of Hudsonville, on a brand-new wheel! Sammy was
laughing as he jumped off.

“I wanted you to see the wheel Mr. Arlington sent me in place of the old
one,” he said. “I’ve ridden over here on it to thank Miss Arlington and
to see the football-game. I’m going to root for you in the game. Say,
ain’t this wheel a peach?”

“It is very handsome,” said Dick. “It seems to be quite as good as your
other one.”

“Oh, it’s better! A machinist over in our town says it’s the best he
ever saw, and he knows a good one when he sees it.”

“I congratulate you, Sammy,” said Dick. “I’m very glad you got the wheel
all right and like it.”

“Oh, I like it! Say, you’re going to do them Franklin fellows, ain’t
you? They beat our team, and they think they are the real stuff. I’d
give anything to see you do ’em up.”

“All right,” smiled Dick. “Keep your eyes open this afternoon, Sammy.”


In some respects the first half of the game that day was like the first
half in Hudsonville. Franklin had the heavier team, and it kept the ball
in Fardale’s territory fully three-fourths of the time. The first
touchdown was made by Franklin with such ridiculous ease that the
watching cadets groaned in despair. But Dick managed to put enough fight
into his team to enable it to withstand the further assaults of the
enemy, and the half ended with the ball on Fardale’s ten-yard line.

Chester Arlington was not on hand to witness the game, but the rest of
the Wolf Gang, composed of cadets who hated Dick Merriwell—Mark
Crauthers, Fred Stark, Sam Hogan, and Bunol, the Spanish boy—were there
and rejoiced. These fellows did not dare show their satisfaction openly,
but they expressed it to one another.

Sammy of Hudsonville was disappointed, but he kept up his cheering for
Fardale and for Dick Merriwell right through to the end of the half.

“What are you yelling for?” asked a man roughly. “Fardale is getting

“That’s all right,” said Sammy. “I’ve seen them fellows play before. I
saw them play last Saturday, and they crawled out of a worse hole than
this. You can’t keep Dick Merriwell from winning.”

“You seem to be stuck on Dick Merriwell?”

“I am. He’s all right, you bet! I’ll bet a hundred dollars he wins this

“I’ll take you,” said the man. “Put up your hundred dollars.”

Sammy gasped.

“I—I ain’t got a hundred dollars,” he said; “but I’ve got a brand-new
bike that cost pretty near that, and I’ll bet that.”

The man laughed.

“I don’t want to rob you of your wheel,” he said, “so we won’t bet.”

“Don’t you be afraid of robbing me!” exclaimed the boy. “But I think you
need your money, so you hadn’t better bet.”

Dick had looked in vain for June Arlington. She had said she would see
him that afternoon, but he was sure she was not in the stand where most
of the ladies were assembled.

“Her mother would not let her come,” he decided. “I’m sorry. I believe
we could do better if she were here. But we must win this game, anyhow.”

After his usual manner he talked to his men during the intermission,
suggesting little things, telling them where the enemy was weak, working
up their confidence and courage, and doing everything in his power to
get them into proper condition of mind to go in for the game and take

“Plover hasn’t made no great stir so far, has he, pard?” said Buckhart.
“It was Andrews made that touch-down.”

“Plover?” said Singleton. “Who is Plover?”

“The fellow playing left half-back for them.”

“Why, that’s Gray.”

“That’s the name they have given him,” confessed Brad; “but his right
name is Plover, and he’s the chap who got into that bad scrape at Exeter
last year.”

“Why, Plover—he’s a professional!” exclaimed big Bob.

“That’s what we’re up against to-day?” nodded Brad. “Rush and Carney,
their end-men, are ‘ringers.’ Neither of them is taking a regular course
at Franklin. And Wettinger, the left guard, is another. Oh, they’ve got
a scabby team!”

The boys were aroused.

“Let’s beat them, hany’ow!” cried Billy Bradley.

“It would be a shame, a measly shame!” said Ted Smart.

“By Jim!” squeaked Obediah Tubbs; “if them fellers is goin’ to play that
sort of a team they want to look out! Dern my picter if I don’t sail in
hot an’ heavy next half!”

“Everybody sus-sus-sus-sail in!” chattered Chip Jolliby. “We can eat ’em

“Eat ’em! eat ’em!” growled Harry Dare.

So the boys went back on to the field in something of a fierce mood.
Franklin had fancied the cadets would be spiritless and easy toward the
end of the game, but when they found the home team snappier than ever,
they were amazed.

“On your taps every moment, fellows,” said Dick. “Keep them guessing.”

Fardale did keep them guessing, but Franklin seemed to recover from her
first surprise and settled down for a stubborn battle. It was hot work.
With the ball down for the first time on Franklin’s forty-yard line, the
cadets could not make a gain, and were forced to kick. Hickman ran back
in anticipation of the kick, which he took prettily, and the Fardale
rushers were blocked long enough to give him a start, which he improved.

Down the field came the captain of the visiting team. Two of his men
turned in with him as interferers and blocked first one and then another
of the Fardale tacklers. Hickman was covering ground handsomely and had
reached the middle of the field before Darrell closed with him and
dragged him down,

“Great! Great work, Hal!” panted Dick, in admiration. “I was afraid
you’d miss him.”

Hal said not a word.

Franklin had done a clever bit of work, and she was determined to
improve it now. The ball was snapped and passed to Gray, who went across
and plunged into the right wing of Fardale’s line, hitting Jolliby hard
and going through for four yards.

Again Darrell was in the play and stopped the runner.

Andrews, the right half-back, took the ball next time and went at the
right side of Fardale’s line.

The forwards ripped open a hole for him and he slipped through, but Dick
Merriwell hooked on to his legs and pulled him down. This time, however,
full five yards had been made.

“Got to stop it, fellows!” breathed Dick.

Franklin was full of confidence.

“Get ’em going, boys!” said Hickman. “They’ll never be able to stop us.”

But an attempted end run resulted in a loss of three yards, as the
runner tried to dodge back to avoid a tackler. Dick was certain a plunge
into the line would follow.

“20—23—2,” called Quaile, the quarter-back.

Dick was not mistaken. Hickman came plunging right into the line, and he
was met and held in handsome manner. Now something must be done.

The cadet band was playing “Fardale’s Way,” and a great mass of cadets
took up the song. The words seemed sufficient to encourage the
desperately fighting lads.

    “It’s no use groaning, it’s no use moaning,
      It’s no use feeling sore;
    Keep on staying, keep on playing,
      As you’ve done before;
    Fight, you sinner, you’re a winner
      If you stick and stay;
    Never give in while you’re living—
      That is Fardale’s way.”

It was a song to stiffen the backs of those lads. It seemed to do its
work, for again Franklin was held fast without a gain.

Singleton ran back in anticipation of a kick, which the visitors
apparently prepared for. But the preparation was made to deceive, and
Gray was sent with a rush into the line, which it was hoped to take

What a roar of delight went up from the bleachers when the line held and
Gray was actually flung back for a loss! The ball was Fardale’s on

The cadets struck into another stanza of the song:

    “It’s no use trying, it’s no use crying,
      It’s no use raising Cain;
    We don’t fear you, we’ll be near you
      When you come again.
    When you bump us, what a rumpus!
      We are here to stay;
    Then we’ll ram you, buck and slam you—
      Good old Fardale’s way.”

“100—13—88.” It was Fardale’s signal, and the tackles’ back formation
was made. The ball went to Jolliby, who tried center. Knowing what was
coming, Obediah Tubbs actually butted the Franklin center over, and
Jolliby went through for seven yards. This was the kind of stuff!

“20—102—21—44.” It was the signal for the same formation, but Kent was
to take the ball this time. Kent went into center and made three yards,
but Selden, Franklin’s snap-back, stood up against Tubbs in far better

There was a slight pause, as one of the visitors was hurt a bit. In that
pause Dick glanced hopelessly toward the grand stand. He could see
nothing of June.

“She will not come,” he thought. “Her mother has refused to let her.”
Then he went into the game again with all the energy he could command.
He was wearing her locket. If she was not there, he had her picture, and
that was the next best thing.

Fardale played fiercely for a time, actually pushing the ball down the
field to within twenty-five yards of Franklin’s goal, but there it was
lost on a forward pass.

Franklin went into Fardale savagely, but at the very outset was set back
for holding, a thing which delighted the watching cadets. But they made
it up quickly by a clever crisscross and a run round Fardale’s left end,
securing twelve yards.

Franklin realized that it had no snap, and the visitors strained every
nerve. After that run round the end the gains were small, but Fardale
was steadily pushed back to the center of the field. There something

Franklin lost the ball on a fumble, and Darrell got through and caught
it up like a flash. He managed to squirm out of the tangle and started
for the enemy’s goal.

How it was that Dick Merriwell got through also and joined Hal no one
could say, but he bobbed up just as Captain Hickman came down on Darrell
with a rush.

Dick hurled himself before Hickman, who pulled him down, and Hal ran on
with a clear field before him. The crowd rose up and roared like mad.

Darrell ran as if his life depended on it. Behind him the players strung
out in pursuit, but they could not catch him.

Dick Merriwell had made the run and touchdown possible by blocking

Over the line went Darrell for a touch-down. This was the stuff to
thrill every watcher! Somehow Dick seemed to close behind Darrell, for
all that he had been hurled to the ground, and he was laughing.

“Great!” he said again. “Now we’re in the game good and hard!”

“You blocked Hickman handsomely,” said Hal, relaxing a little. “I
thought he had me. Where did you come from?”

“Oh, it was a lucky stab for me, that’s all,” said Dick, modestly
declining to take credit for special cleverness.

The ball was brought out. Darrell was willing to let Dick or Singleton
try the kick, but Dick declined to take the privilege away from him. So
Dick held the ball, and Darrell lifted it over the bar, which tied the

“They can’t beat us now!” declared Dick.

Hickman was growling like a dog with a sore ear.

“Talk about rotten luck!” he said. “That was it. Why, we had them
skinned to death!”

He kicked off and Singleton returned the ball with a handsome drive.
There was some volleying of this sort, and then Fardale attempted a run,
but the runner was pulled down promptly, and the teams lined up for the
concluding struggles of the game.

Fardale fought earnestly, but the visitors were desperate, and but four
yards could be made on three downs. Singleton kicked, and the ball went
out of bounds, where Gray fell upon it. It was brought in for a
scrimmage, and Franklin came back at the cadets. Fardale’s line seemed
made of stone, and Franklin was compelled to kick.

Singleton rushed the ball back eighteen yards before being dragged to
the turf. They piled upon him like a lot of tigers, and when the mass
untangled big Bob lay still and stiff.

Dick advanced anxiously when he caught a sly wink from Singleton and
understood that Bob was playing for time in order to give the boys a
chance to freshen up for the attack. That gave Dick another opportunity
to turn his eyes toward the grand stand. She was not there.

But now, at one side of the field, he saw a carriage, and standing in
that carriage, waving the Fardale colors, was—June! How his heart leaped
as he saw her there!

“She has kept her word! We’ll win!”

But little time was left, and he knew it. In order to win, some fast
work must be done.

Dick spoke to Smart as big Bob slowly rose to his feet. Ted called for
the center-back play, which was a surprise to the enemy, as Smart looked
“easy fruit” when he stepped in to fill the place of the fat boy.

Singleton was behind Ted, however, and he held Selden until Tubbs came
like a rushing mountain and crashed into the line. Behind Obediah were
Merriwell and Darrell, pushing him on. Ahead of him were others, pulling
him ahead. They seized him and sought to drag him down, but he kept on
going, making full ten yards.

Three times Tubbs did this, gaining twenty-one yards in all. But the
fourth attempt resulted in no gain.

Franklin had discovered how to meet the attack and check it. Dick knew
it was time for something else, and so did Smart. The funnel-play was
tried, and Dick was sent into the left wing of the visitors, making a
gain of three yards. It was repeated, and Dick dodged out through the
side of the funnel, striking right-guard and making four yards more. A
third attempt was stopped with no gain.

Fardale was resorting to every stratagem. A wedge was hurled into
center, Singleton carrying the ball. As the wedge went to pieces Dick
caught the ball when Bob tossed it out to him. He darted to the right,
to the left, bowled one man over, and on he went clean to Franklin’s
thirty-yard line.

“It’s Darrell’s turn,” thought Dick. “He ought to get through for a
gain. If we can only keep it up!”

But Darrell was stopped and tackled by Wettinger, who carried him back
for a loss of three yards. He tried again, but lost two yards more. Then
somebody gave Dick the tip that the half was almost up. It seemed that
the game would end in a tie.

A word from Dick. What was going to happen? The cadets were breathless.
They stood up and stared in silence. Even the band was still.

“A field-kick!” cried some one.

That was it! Franklin was preparing for it. They saw Dick Merriwell was
going to try to kick a goal from the thirty-five-yard line.

“Right through there!” grated Hickman, as the Franklin players crouched
and prepared to leap forward like tigers. “Spoil it! spoil it!”

The ball was snapped and passed to Dick, and the enemy slammed into
Fardale’s line with the fury of so many famished wolves.

It took nerve to kick that goal, but Dick was cool as an ice-cake in the
midst of the excitement. He caught the ball, turned it in his hands so
it could be dropped just right, and with those ravenous wolves breaking
through and coming down on him he kicked.

Hundreds of necks were craned, hundreds of hearts seemed to stop
beating, twice as many eyes watched the flight of the yellow ball. On
and on it went, sailing gracefully over the bar, and a noise like
breakers on a lee shore rose to heaven as Fardale realized the game was


Grim, dirty, triumphant, Dick sought the carriage in which he had seen
June standing. She stripped off her glove as she saw him coming and held
out her warm, shapely hand.

“I’m covered with dirt,” he said.

But she would shake his hand, and she gave it a squeeze that he could
not mistake.

“You did it!” she said.

“No,” he answered; “it was Darrell. Did you see his wonderful run?”

“I had not reached the ground, but I heard several say that you made it
possible for him to get the touchdown. I was determined to see part of
the game,” she went on hurriedly. “I’m glad you did not send that locket
back. You know mother compelled me to write that note.”

“I thought so.”

“I hoped you would keep the locket. You must come to the hotel this
evening and see her. There is no way out of it.”

“But how am I to keep the locket and remain a gentleman? She has even
threatened to have me arrested.”

“She won’t do that. Come to the hotel to-night. She will see you, and I
am expected to demand the return of the locket.”

“What will you do?”

“I am going to say that I gave it to you and that I want you to keep

There was no time for further talk. Dick promised to come to the hotel
at a certain hour, so while Fardale Military Academy was rejoicing that
evening he slipped away and set out for the village.

He was well satisfied with what the day had brought forth. Franklin had
departed crestfallen, knowing that Dick would keep his word and
investigate the charge of professionalism against several of her team.
Had she been victorious she would not have cared so much, but now she
knew a close investigation would result in the breaking off of athletic
contests between the two schools, and she would be left with the bitter
taste of defeat in her mouth.

Dick arrived at the hotel and had his card taken to Mrs. Arlington.
There was some delay, following which the lady came sweeping haughtily
into the parlor where Dick waited.

“I presume, sir,” she said frigidly, “you have come to your senses and
decided to return that locket.”

“I concluded to come here and talk the matter over with you, Mrs.
Arlington,” said Dick, perfectly at his ease.

“Have you brought the locket?”

“I keep it with me all the time.”

“I will take it.”

“If you wish to when you hear what I have to say. The locket was given
me by your daughter. She gave it to me on the night of her second visit
to this place. She attended a mask-party that night and discovered a
plot to ruin my arm so that I could take no further part in football
this season. It was to be done by means of a poison ring with a cutting
point, which was to be worn on the hand of one of my disguised enemies.
A scratch from the ring would cause something like blood-poison to set

“Of what interest is this to me, sir? I——”

“I beg your pardon, Mrs. Arlington; possibly you will be interested in a
moment. Three of my enemies in school were concerned in the plot, and
your son was one of them—your son, who is my bitterest enemy!”

“I will not believe it!”

“I can prove it if necessary. Your daughter begged me not to expose her
brother, for she knew exposure would mean disgrace and expulsion of her
brother from Fardale Academy. I promised not to expose him. She gave me
the charm for luck. I have kept it, and it seemed to give me luck. If
you take it from me, if you compel me to give it up, I shall consider
that there is no further reason why I should not expose your son.”

“Sir,” said the woman angrily, “I do not believe a word of your
preposterous story! My son is a gentleman, and——”

“Ask your daughter.”

“It is true, mother,” said June, entering the room. “Mr. Merriwell might
have disgraced Chester, but he declined to do so. I gave him the locket,

There was a sudden cry that caused her to stop. It had a most alarming
sound. Then came other cries and a rush of feet.

“Fire! fire!”

Dick sprang to the parlor door. Above he saw rolling smoke and a gleam
of flames.

“The hotel is afire!” he cried.

“My brother!” screamed June. “He is up there in Room 42!”

“My son!” cried Mrs. Arlington, in horror, and swayed as if about to
faint. “Oh, Heaven, my son! Save him!”

Dick waited to hear no more. Up the stairs he leaped. Guests were
rushing downward through the smoke. One of them struck him and nearly
knocked him down. They were screaming with fear. Pandemonium reigned in
the hotel. Outside the fire-whistle set up a dull, awful call to the
village firemen.

“Room 42!” muttered Dick. The smoke got into his mouth and nose and
nearly choked him.

A kerosene-lamp had exploded, and the fire was spreading with appalling
swiftness. It was on the second floor, and Dick knew Room 42 was on the
third. The fire might cut him off, but he did not hesitate to rush up
the second flight of stairs, down which a screaming woman and two
cursing men tumbled recklessly.

“Room 42!” he thought. “I believe I know where it is.”

There was a light in the corridor, but the upward rolling smoke made it
impossible to see the numbers on the doors. He reached the front of the
house and flung a door open. In the middle of the room, attired in a
nightdress, stood Chester Arlington, weak and trembling.

“What is it?” he asked. “Is the hotel afire?”

“That’s what!” said Dick. “Come on lively if you want to get out alive!”

Chester started, but his knees seemed to buckle beneath him and he fell
in a heap.

“I can’t walk!” he cried feebly. “My legs!”

Dick caught him up and rushed to the door. Up the stairs came a flash of
fire, and it seemed that the staircase leaped into flames as he looked.

“Trapped!” he gasped, “No chance of getting down that way!”

He fell back and closed the door to stop the draft and keep out the
smoke. With Arlington still in his arms, he rushed to a window at the
front of the house and flung it up, calling for help.

Down the street came the village hook-and-ladder company. The truck had
long ladders upon it.

“Right here!” cried Dick. “Run one of those ladders up here!”

It seemed that the men worked very slowly and awkwardly. The fire-engine
came smoking and stringing sparks along the street. A crowd had gathered
below. Their faces were upturned and they waved their arms.

“Don’t jump!” they cried.

Higher and higher the ladders were run. Dick watched them coolly. He was
supporting Arlington, who showed nerve and waited without agitation.

At last the ladder reached the window. The young athlete lifted Chester
in his arms and stepped through the window on to the ladder. Below the
flames burst through a window and he gasped as smoke and heat threatened
to topple him from the ladder. Still he held on and made his way
downward. The crowd began to cheer.

“Who is it?”

“A cadet!”

“Why, it’s Frank Merriwell’s brother! It’s Dick Merriwell! Hurrah for
Dick Merriwell!”

Down to the ground Dick bore Chester Arlington in safety. Chester’s
mother was there and clasped her son in her arms. June was there, too,
and she whispered in Dick’s ear:

“I think you may keep the locket now!”


“Here he comes!”

A carriage, drawn by a handsome pair of horses, was approaching the
academy. In front of the academy was a great gathering of plebes, nearly
the entire class assembling there.

On their way from the gymnasium to their room, Dick Merriwell and Brad
Buckhart paused.

“What’s up?” exclaimed the Texan, in surprise. “What are the plebes

“Here he comes!” cried some one in the crowd.

Dick’s keen eyes surveyed the approaching team and the occupants of the

“I believe I know what is up,” he said, a peculiar look on his face.

“Enlighten me,” urged his companion.

“Chester Arlington is returning to the academy, and his class is out to
give him a reception. You know this is the day he was to come back.”

“Well, blow me if I don’t believe you’re right!” burst forth Brad. “I
opine that he’s one of those in yonder carriage. But who would have
thought he could pull such a stroke, even with his own class! So help
me, I believe nine-tenths of the plebes are here to give him a greeting!
I do, I know!”

“It looks that way,” said Dick, with a nod. “Arlington has made himself
pretty solid with his class.”

“How did he do it?” sniffed the Texan wonderingly. “They must be a lot
of snobs! Just because he happens to have a father who is a big railroad

“No fellow who ever came to Fardale has spent half the money Chester
Arlington has spent,” said Dick.

“That’s right. He’s bought his friends by blowing himself on them. Well,
I’ll allow I don’t care for that kind of friendship. It’s all off when
the money plays out, you bet! Partner, the old hen is in the carriage
with him!”

“Mrs. Arlington is there, yes.”

“And—and his sister!”

“Yes, June is with him.”

“Has he got clean over the fall he took?”

“I hear he has almost entirely recovered.”

“He got up mighty quick, it seems to me.”

“He did recover much sooner than was expected.”

“Pard, I opine he wasn’t hurt half as much as he made out.”

“I don’t know about that. Yes, I know he did not seem to have much of
any strength in his legs the night of the fire in the hotel.”

“And you never got so much as thank you from the old hen! That shows the
kind of stock he sprang from! She pretends to think all creation of him,
and she should have gone down on her knees to you; but she’s such a
cold-blooded old fossil that she couldn’t bring herself to thank you as
she ought.”

“I desire no thanks from her,” said Dick grimly.

“What? When only a bit before she was threatening to have you arrested
as a thief? Well, if I’d been in your boots, pard, I’d seen that she ate
a large piece of humble pie. You hear me peep! I just would! It would
have done her good.”

By this time the carriage was quite near the academy. As it swung round
the drive and stopped, the plebes thronged about it and greeted Chester
Arlington with cheers.

Chester smiled at this outburst and waved his hand at them. He turned to
his mother and said:

“You can see how popular I am here. Now you can see how it would be if I
had a square show.”

“My dear boy!” she said. “It is plain enough! Something shall be done.”

June Arlington was looking around. She was dressed in a tasty and
stylish manner, and she was the kind of a pretty girl to set the plebes
to making “goo-goo” eyes. However, she paid no attention to them. Her
eyes had discovered Dick and Brad at a little distance beneath the
leafless trees, and something like a faint smile came to her face.

“What’s the matter with Arlington?” shouted a plebe, waving his cap over
his head.

“He’s all right!” bellowed the others.

“Who’s all right?” questioned the first speaker.

“Arlington!” rose from the gathering in a grand shout.

Chester rose and bowed with all the grace at his command.

“Thank you, fellows,” he said. “It does me proud to have my classmates
welcome me back to school in this manner. At one time I feared I could
not return so soon, but, fortunately, I was not injured nearly as much
as was supposed at first, and I am almost all right now.”

“We’ve just said you were all right,” reminded one of the gathering.

Chester bowed and smiled again. When he chose he could be very pleasant
in his manner, and it must be confessed that he was not entirely lacking
in personal magnetism. True, he regarded himself as quite a superior
party, but he was wise enough to court popularity with fellows he
classed as far beneath his level.

This was not the case when he first came to Fardale. At that time he had
been haughty and over-bearing to almost every one, and it had seemed he
would soon have nothing but enemies, even in his own class. But he had
found, not a little to his surprise, that he was not gazed on in awe as
a superior person, that he could not domineer over whomever he chose,
and that he was likely to find himself without popularity or power if he
persisted in the course he had chosen.

That was not all. He had found that Dick Merriwell seemed to be the
acknowledged leader in the school, and Dick soon betrayed the fact that
he had no thought of permitting Chester to order him about or even to
accept advice that was not to his liking. Dick had declined to take
Chester on to the football-team unless he proved his efficiency and
fitness for a position. And, therefore, it was not long before Arlington
became Dick Merriwell’s bitterest enemy.

Then it was that Arlington set about the task of winning as many friends
and followers as possible, and he began on his own class. The plebes
wanted a leader, and Chester soon secured the position, which he
determined to hold at any cost.

Dick Merriwell was generous to a fault, but, not believing in bought
friendship, he did not sow his money with a lavish hand. He was more
like the general run of boys, and from his behavior no one would have
dreamed that on arriving at age he was to come into a fortune of mammoth

On no occasion, however, did Chester fail to impress on his friends and
companions the fact that his father was one of the richest men in the

Chester’s little speech brought forth a storm of applause, and the boys
pressed around him to shake his hand as he stepped down from the

Mrs. Arlington had seen June looking in the direction of two lads who
stood beyond the crowd. She adjusted her spectacles and looked in the
same direction.

“Is that young Merriwell?” she asked.

“Yes, mother,” answered June. “You said you were going to thank him for
what he did.”

Chester Arlington’s mother heaved a sigh of mingled regret and
resignation. Her haughty face seemed to say that it was an unpleasant
duty she had to perform, but that she would try to go through it bravely
and with the dignity becoming a woman of her station in life. She leaned
over the side of the carriage and touched her son’s shoulder with her
gloved hand.

“My dear boy,” she said, “I—er—ah—I perceive that—er—that young man,
Merriwell, yonder. Will you have one of your friends invite him to step
over here to the carriage?”

Two or three of the plebes heard her and hurried toward Dick at once.

“Be careful, mother,” warned Chester, in a low tone. “He mustn’t think
he has done too much.”

“Trust me, my son,” she said, and her face hardened somewhat as she saw
Dick Merriwell advancing toward the carriage.

The plebes made room for Dick to pass. He removed his cap and bowed with
grace and politeness to both Mrs. Arlington and June. June spoke, giving
him a smile.

Mrs. Arlington seemed to hesitate a moment, and then she began, with
that same haughty, chilling air that was offensive, to say the very

“I feel it my duty, Mr. Merriwell, to thank you for your action in
assisting my son to escape from the burning hotel. Without doubt Chester
would have been able to descend the ladder alone, but the fact that you
rendered him some aid makes it necessary to thank you.”

Her words were like a slap in the face. Dick saw June turn pale, and he
knew she had not anticipated this graceless act from her mother. Now,
Dick Merriwell was not always cool and restrained, but on this occasion
he was master of himself, even though he felt that the thanks he had
received were as much an insult as anything else. He bowed again.

“If I rendered Mr. Arlington any assistance,” he said, “I am glad I was
able to do so, for the sake of”—he looked at June—“those who are
attached to him.”

Chester Arlington saw that glance, and it enraged him. He knew Merriwell
had not helped him from the hotel because of a feeling of regard or
liking for him, and he believed Dick did it purely for the purpose of
playing the hero before June.

What he did not know was that Dick Merriwell would have done exactly the
same had June not been concerned in any way. In such an emergency Dick
would not have hesitated to go to the aid of any unfortunate human being
caught in the fire-trap, casting aside all thoughts of friendship or

“Oh, I know the fellow!” thought Chester. “He can’t deceive me with his
mock heroism.”

And he did not dream that he was a most ungrateful fellow to entertain
such a thought.

“I trust,” said Mrs. Arlington, “that in the future there may be no
further misunderstandings between you and my son. It seems that at last
you must be aware of the fact that Chester is a young gentleman and that
it will be to your advantage to treat him as such. I am willing to
overlook the past.”

“Which is exceedingly kind of you!” said Dick, who could not entirely
hide the sarcasm in his voice.

“I think you should be equally generous,” declared the woman. “You can
see how exceedingly popular my son is here at the school, and it must be
plain that it will be to your benefit in the future to consult the
wishes of one who has such a following.”

Buckhart had drawn near, and he found it hard to keep from informing
Mrs. Arlington that where her son had one real friend at Fardale Dick
Merriwell had twenty.

“But it’s not my funeral,” he muttered; “and I opine Dick won’t thank me
for mixing in, so I’ll keep my tongue between my teeth.”

Dick said nothing. It was impossible for him to speak the words he
longed to utter, so he chose to remain silent.

“I have entertained thoughts of taking my son out of this school,”
continued Mrs. Arlington; “but have finally concluded to let him remain,
even though his superior abilities have not been properly recognized
here. I understand that you are in a class ahead of him, and, having
been here longer, you are able to use your power to retard his
advancement. This I regard as quite unjust, and I hope you will cease to
interfere with him in the future.”

“Don’t worry about that, madam,” said Dick. “I assure you that, in the
future, as in the past, I will let him alone if he does not trouble me.”

“But he is ambitious, and his ambitions here will be readily attained, I
am sure, if your influence is not brought to bear against him.”

“As long as he seeks to do me no injury, I shall let him quite alone,
you may be sure of that.”

“Then I see no reason why there should be further trouble. As for this
matter of football, of course Chester will be unable to play this
season. In fact, I do not wish him to play at all; but he has set his
heart upon it, and I never deny him anything.”

For that very reason she had spoiled her son, although he was not aware
of it.

“Next year,” she went on, “he may wish to play. If he remains here, I am
sure that, by that time, his superiority will be so apparent that any
jealous enemy will be quite unable to balk him.”

In plain words, she meant that Dick was jealous of her son, and the idea
made young Merriwell smile.

“Here, madam,” he said, “no one ever gets on the football-team without
proving their fitness.”

“I am sure my son could have shown you that he had played on excellent
teams in the past.”

“What any one has done before coming here does not count; it is what he
proves himself able to do here. Mr. Arlington could have come out with
the other candidates and tried for a place on the team; but he seemed to
think he would be taken on anyhow, for some reason or other.”

“And why not?” exclaimed Mrs. Arlington. “I am sure I do not understand
why Chester should be required to take the same chance as any common

“This is the common fellow’s country, madam. If he proves himself worthy
to rise he rises, and no power can hold him down. Birth or wealth cannot
place one on top and keep him there unless he has the brains and ability
to stay.”

“I hope you do not mean to insinuate that my son hasn’t brains?”
exclaimed the indignant woman.

“I am not given to insinuating remarks. If I have anything to say, I say
it plainly.”

She was offended, for this youth looked her straight in the eyes and
spoke without the least symptom of cringing or fawning. Her wealth or
social position did not awe or overcome him in the slightest degree.
This was something to which she was not accustomed, and, therefore, it
gave her great displeasure.

Chester was angry, too, and he said:

“Do not waste further words, mother. You have thanked him, and that is
all that is necessary. Good-by, mother. Good-by, June. Wait till you
come back to Fardale again, and you’ll find out how things stand. There
will be a change.”

He said this with an insolent look toward Dick, who seemed quite unaware
that he had spoken.

“Mr. Merriwell,” said June, leaning from the carriage, “I hope you will
accept my sincere thanks for your many brave and generous acts. I feel

He lifted his hand, smiling.

“Don’t overwhelm me with thanks, please!” he exclaimed. “It places me in
an awkward position.”

“Then I will say no more. I know you are not one to seek praise and
thanks. We may not meet again for a long time, so I will say good-by.”

She held out her gloved hand.

“June!” said Chester quickly, “I wish to say a word to you.”

He stepped between Dick and his sister instantly, preventing Dick from
taking the proffered hand. What he said was spoken in a low tone, and
Mrs. Arlington immediately directed the driver to start. So the carriage
rolled away, and all Dick received was a smile and parting wave from
June’s hand. Inwardly he was boiling, and he longed to knock Arlington

Chester looked at him, laughed and turned to his classmates, who once
more gathered about him.

Brad Buckhart came striding up.

“For the love of Heaven, pard,” he hissed in Dick’s ear, “let me soak
him for you, if you can’t do it! I’ll make him think he was kicked by a
mule! You hear me!”

But Dick was a complete master of himself, and he took Brad’s arm,
turning once more toward the academy steps.

“We’ll go to our room,” he said, in an unruffled tone of voice.


A number of Dick’s friends had gathered in his room to discuss football
matters. There was considerable excitement on the team.

“Hi say has ’ow it’s a blooming mistake!” excitedly declared Billy
Bradley, striking an attitude in the middle of the room, “We ’ave no
business to play with those ’owling toffs, don’t y’ ’now!”

“Oh, dear me!” piped up Ted Smart, who was sitting on the table. “How
can you talk so, Sir William! I am surprised at you! Why, they are
perfect gentlemen! Think how finely we were used the last time we were
in Uniontown! It makes my heart thrill with pleasure to think of that

“Huah!” grunted big Bob Singleton. “I suppose you mean the only time we
ever were in Uniontown, and that was when we played the U. A. A. that
game of baseball last spring.”

“That was a fuf-fuf-fuf-fuf-fuf——” spluttered Chip Jolliby, and then he
stamped on the floor and made wild grabs in the air in his desperate
endeavor to get hold of the word he was trying to utter.

“Whistle, Chip!” cried several, laughing at his comical contortions.

“Whew!” whistled Chip. “That was a fuf-fuf-fuf—whew!—fine old time! Why,
they dud-drugged Dick, and we had to fuf-fuf-fuf—whew!—fight for our
lives. We all sus-sus-sus-said we’ll never go there again.”

“They’re coming here,” squeaked Obediah Tubbs. “We’ll jest wipe ’em all
over the field, see if we don’t. Dern my picter! you watch me sail inter

“I’d like to play one clean game of football!” grunted Singleton, his
face wearing a look of disgust. “I’m getting sick of this rough-house
business. What do you say, Captain Merriwell?”

Dick had been sitting quite still, as he listened to the talk of the
others. He was standing with his elbow against the corner of the

“Fellows,” he said, “we are in for it, as the athletic committee has
decided to accept Uniontown’s offer to fill Rivermouth’s engagement.
We’ll have to play the game.”

“But that’s not saying what you think about it,” said big Bob. “Why were
you not consulted about this change?”

Dick shook his head.

“I presume they thought it wasn’t necessary.”

“You’re the manager of the team.”

“But I do not arrange the schedule, you know.”

“All the same, you should have some say about a change of this sort.

“It’s settled now,” said Dick, “and we’ll have to make the best of it.
We trounced those fellows at baseball last spring, for all of their

“Bub-bub-bub-but it was a close sus-sus-sus-shave,” put in Jolliby.
“They pup-pup-pup-pup—whew!—played all kuk-kinds of dirty tricks to beat

“And this ain’t no school team,” put in Tubbs. “It’s a so-called
athletic club team, and they kin be as dirty as they please. I’m agin’
playing ’em.”

“And I!” repeated several others.

“It’s too late to back out now,” said Dick. “If I had known there was
any talk of making this arrangement I would have gone before the
committee and fought against it.”

“The committee knew what it was doing,” put in big Bob grimly. “It knew
all about our trouble with the U. A. A. baseball-team, and it knew we
had declared we would never have anything further to do with that

“For years,” said Dick, “Fardale has desired to enter into contests with
U. A. A. because of the money there is in it. Eaton has had the
privilege, and this school has been very jealous of Eaton. Last spring
Uniontown gave us a baseball-game to fill in an open date, and we beat
their team.”

“Wasn’t it a shame!” exclaimed Smart. “We were so sorry to do it!”

“We beat them,” said big Bob; “but think of the fight we had! Uniontown
is full of gamblers who bet on their team. The Union Athletic
Association is not a straight amateur organization, no matter what it
claims. It rings in professionals. Its members and officers make money
betting on their teams and their men. That is a well-known fact.”

“No one denies it,” said Dick. “They expected to find us easy, but there
was one fellow who took a fancy to put me out of the game, thinking that
would make it a sure thing for Uniontown.”

“Sus-sus-so it would,” asserted Chip, “You were the only

“The other feller was the ‘pup,’” laughed Obediah Tubbs. “He! he! he!
Wasn’t that a funny joke!”

“The only pup-pup-pitcher we had,” stuttered the lank boy, completing
the sentence after a terrible struggle to give it utterance.

“Well, this thug failed to knock you out,” said Singleton. “His drug was
taken by me by accident, instead of you. And then——”

“And then,” said Smart, “he sprinkled Captain Dick on the field with one
of those buttonhole-bouquet arrangements that squirts water in your

“Only his arrangement was not filled with water,” said Dick.

“Hardly!” exclaimed Singleton. “He had something in it that made you
blind, and you pitched the last inning when you could scarcely see the

“And cuc-cuc-cuc-cuc——”

“Cut-cut-cadawcut!” cackled Smart.

“Cuc-cuc—whew!—caught a hot liner right off the bat, putting out the
last man,” said Jolliby. “That was what bub-bub-broke their hearts.”

“No; it was giving up the biggest share of the gate-money that broke
their hearts,” laughed Dick.

“We can do ’em again!” piped Obediah Tubbs.

“I think we can,” nodded Dick; “but, as Singleton said, this business of
playing with dirty teams is becoming tiresome. Franklin had a lot of
ringers, for I have learned beyond a doubt that their man Gray, as he
was called, was Plover, the professional. The Trojan A. A. tried to
defeat us by roughing it, and we have been up against that kind of
business generally. It would be a pleasure to play one good, clean game
with a school team in our class. It is this slugging, kicking, and
general rough-house playing that makes so many persons down on football.
At best, it is not a ladies’ game, but it is not brutal when properly

“It will be a fight from start to finish with U. A. A.,” said Singleton.
“Those fellows will want revenge for their defeat at baseball, and they
will try to get it by knocking the stuffing out of us.”

“It’s likely you are right about that,” nodded Dick; “but we must be
ready for anything. We must go into the game determined to win, and I
feel confident we can do it.”

“Even if we do win,” said Bob, “it does not excuse the athletic
committee for their blunder in arranging this game. How in the world
they came to do it is what I cannot understand.”

“I ’eard as ’ow they were divided hon the matter,” said Bradley. “John
Warwick was against hit.”

“And he isn’t sore a bit!” grinned Smart, as usual meaning exactly
opposite what he said. “He’s delighted over it.”

“It may be a mistake,” said big Bob; “but the report has leaked out that
the committee was divided on the matter, and that Warne, the chairman,
was compelled to vote to decide it.”

There came a knock on the door,

“Come in,” called Dick.

Earl Gardner entered.

“Have you heard the latest, boys?” he asked.

“The latest joke?”

“No; the latest news. Warwick has resigned from the athletic committee.”

“No?” they exclaimed, in astonishment.

“It’s straight goods, fellows,” asserted Gardner. “He has taken himself
off the committee, and says he will have nothing further to do with it.
He has made his resignation in writing, too.”

“But it may not be accepted,” said Dick, who was very sorry to know that
John Warwick had done such a thing.

“It has been accepted already,” said Earl. “Why, even now the fellows
are beginning to discuss who shall take Warwick’s place on the

“Look out, captain!” breathed Singleton. “If they get the wrong man on
that committee you’ll have no end of trouble, for it will be solid
against you. It’s up to you to get busy.”

There was a heavy step in the corridor and the door flew open and
admitted Brad Buckhart, who strode into the room. One glance at Brad
showed that he was excited and angry.

“Say!” he growled; “do you fellows know what’s brewing round this old
academy? Well, I’ll tell you. Warwick has taken himself off the
committee, and already there is a candidate in the field who is working
hard for the place. There is to be a meeting tonight to elect another
man for the place, and the man who is after it mustn’t have it.”

“Why not? Who is he?” breathlessly asked the boys.

“He’s Chester Arlington,” said Brad; “and that is answer enough why he
should not have the position. You hear me whisper!”

Naturally Buckhart was excited. The thought of having Chester on the
athletic committee, where he could use his influence in running the
affairs of the eleven, was enough to arouse the Texan.

Dick heard Brad’s words without the quiver of a muscle. His lips were
pressed together, and there seemed a hardening of his jaw, but that was

An excited discussion started at once, but every fellow present seemed
to feel that it would be a serious misfortune to have Arlington get on
to the committee.

“He can’t git there anyhow,” squeaked Obediah Tubbs.

“He can unless the right influence is brought to bear against him,”
declared Brad. “He’ll do anything to make the position. He’ll spend
money like water, and he seems to have a barrel of it to spend.”

“But it cuc-cuc-can’t be the fellows here will be bub-bub-bought!”
exclaimed Jolliby.

“Wait and see!” said Brad. “This galoot, Arlington, is mighty slick, and
he’ll play his cards fine.”

“If he ever gets on the committee,” said Singleton, “there is going to
be trouble for this football-team. He is sore because he did not make
the eleven, and he will raise thunder. Merriwell, it is for your
interest to see that Chet Arlington is defeated in this scheme of his.”

Still Dick was silent. He was thinking of his promise to Mrs. Arlington
not to interfere with the ambition of her son, a promise that had been
made in the presence of June and the gathering of plebes about the

The keenly interested boys decided to go forth immediately and find out
“what was doing.” They soon left the room, only Buckhart remaining with
Dick. Merriwell sat on a chair, gazing at the floor, a strange look on
his handsome face. The Texan walked over and dropped a hand on Dick’s


Dick looked up.

“Well, Brad?”

“This yere is no time to squat on your haunches. You want to get right
up and hustle.”

“What for?”

“What for? Whoop! Great horn spoon! Didn’t you hear me say that Chet
Arlington is laying pipes to get on the athletic committee in place of
Warwick, who has resigned?”


“Well, burn my hide and brand me deep! Are you going to squat and let
that onery varmint get on?”

“I don’t think he will succeed.”

“Then you don’t know him as well as I thought you did.”

“He’s not a truly popular fellow.”

“Is Phil Warne?”


“Warne is chairman of the committee. Is Olf Stone?”


“Stone is on the committee. Is Had Burrows?”

“I don’t think so.”

“He’s on the committee, and he was chairman last year.”

“But it is different with Chester Arlington.”


“He is a thoroughbred cad.”

“Sure thing; but you saw how he stood with his own class.”

“The plebes alone cannot elect him to the committee.”

“They won’t be alone.”

“He has no popularity outside his class.”

“But he’s got money, and he’ll use it.”

“I decline to believe,” said Dick, “that the fellows here at the academy
can be bought.”

“Say, when congressmen and senators can be bought at Washington you
don’t want to bet your pile that fellows here at school are much

“Still I will not believe it,” said Dick. “I don’t care to take any part
in this affair, Brad. I have enough to think of without dipping into
this. If my friends oppose Arlington they may work against him but I am
going to keep out of it.”

“That’s where he wins! Why, you can go out and defeat him in an hour!
Just you go to work against him and you will carry things as you like.
But if you sit down and don’t do a thing, the fellows will think you are
indifferent, and he’ll carry them.”

Dick was strongly tempted to take a hand in the affair, but again he
thought of his promise to Mrs. Arlington, and that held him in check.

“If Chet Arlington gets on that committee,” said the Texan, “he’ll have
you in a step all the time. You hear me shout! He will work against you
in every possible way, and he’ll have power to hurt you. Why, you know
that fellow has tried his best to injure the team! Do you regard him as
a fit man for the committee?”

“You know I do not regard him as fit,” came instantly from Dick.

“Then it’s your duty to get out and hustle to keep him off!” exclaimed
Buckhart. “What keeps you from it?”

“My word,” said Dick, in a low tone. “I cannot break a promise.”

“Is that it? Well, if you made any promise that keeps you from doing
your duty now you ought to be lynched! That’s good and plain, if I have
to fight you for it! Why, maybe your promise will lead you to stop your
friends from working against the dog?”

“No; I shall not interfere with my friends if they choose to try to
defeat him.”

“I’m glad to hear it!” exclaimed Brad scornfully. “Then I’m going out
and get into gear. I’ll work like a tiger, and it won’t be my fault if
he gets there.”

Brad strode out, slamming the door and leaving Dick to his reflections,
which were not entirely pleasant.

“It was a foolish promise!” he finally exclaimed. “I should not have
made it, but I did not think at the time that it might put me in a
situation like this. I was thinking she meant his honest ambitions, and
I would be the last fellow in the world to try to crush a chap who had
sincere ambition to get along. I wonder if that promise really binds

But when he had thought upon it for some time he concluded that he was
bound and could not exert his influence to defeat Chester Arlington in
this matter without breaking his word.

No wonder Dick was displeased and troubled over the way things were
going at the academy. He felt that the committee had made a big blunder
in agreeing to take the U. A. A. eleven to fill the place of Rivermouth,
and he could not help being nettled because he had not been consulted at
all in the matter. He knew the Uniontown team would fight like a lot of
tigers for the game, which they would be satisfied to win by foul means,
if they could not by fair. In his heart he was satisfied that Fardale
would have to put up a fiercer struggle to hold her own than she had
against any team for the season thus far, and the fear that she might be
defeated by trickery or treachery was far from agreeable. But to have
Chester Arlington on the athletic committee—that was what troubled him
more than anything else.

“He can’t get there!” Dick finally exclaimed. “It is not possible the
boys here at the academy will permit it. I’m not going to worry about it
any more.”

Then he picked up a book and began studying. However, try as he might to
fasten his mind on the text, he caught himself wondering if there was a
possibility that Arlington would succeed. Who would run against the
fellow for the position? It was important that whoever did so should be
a popular man. Would the right fellow go into the contest?

At last, Dick flung the book aside and sprang up.

“I’ve got to go out and learn what is being done!” he exclaimed, seizing
his cap. “Oh, June Arlington, why did you ever have such a brother! If
you were not his sister it would be different.”


There was excitement enough that night when the meeting was called in
one of the classrooms to elect a member to fill the place made vacant on
the athletic committee by the resignation.

Not all the students at the academy took an active interest in
athletics, but the crowd that pressed into the room filled it to an
uncomfortable degree.

The friends of Chester Arlington had been hard at work that day, and
they were confident that Chester would win. He had resorted to the
methods of a politician, many of which are questionable. He had money,
and he knew how to spend it to make an effect.

His most formidable rival was George Hardy, and Hardy had never been a
popular man at Fardale. Still, it was said that Hardy would carry the
day in case Dick Merriwell came out openly and took sides with him. This
Dick had been urged by his friends to do.

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “Already they say I run the team as I
choose, that I have worked all my friends on to it, and that it is not
fair. I am going to keep out of this affair and let the boys settle it
as they like.”

Brad Buckhart pulled hard for Hardy, but he found it difficult to unite
Dick’s friends on that candidate. It was only by convincing them that
Chester would surely win if they did not unite that he succeeded.

There was a third candidate who entered the field late in the day. It
was Joe Savage.

Now, Savage was known to be friendly in his talk toward Dick Merriwell,
and many of Dick’s friends regretted that he had not decided sooner to
take a hand in the struggle. As it was, the most of them had been
pledged to Hardy by the energetic and wily Buckhart.

Brad had grown confident as the time for the meeting drew near.

“If all the fellows who have talked favorable stand by Hardy, we’ve got
that Arlington crowd buried,” he said.

But Buckhart had to learn that pledges and fair talk may not always be
relied on, a fact that many a defeated politician has discovered to his

The Arlington workers continued their efforts right up to the time the
meeting was called to order.

Elmer Dow, who had managed the basket-ball team once, was chosen
chairman and mounted the platform. Having called the meeting to order,
he suggested that a committee of three be chosen to count the votes, for
it was already settled that the candidate should be elected by written

Instantly Buckhart was on his feet, proposing the name of Dick
Merriwell. Somebody hissed. That hiss was enough to start an uproar. In
a twinkling it was demonstrated that Dick had plenty of friends—in fact,
that the great majority of those present were his friends.

When silence was restored, Dick rose and was recognized by the chairman.

“Gentlemen,” he said quietly, “I think it will be far better to select
on that committee those who are not too closely connected with the
eleven. For that reason I must beg you to excuse me from serving.”

“No, no, no!” roared the cadets.

“Merriwell! Merriwell!” they stormed.

The Arlington crowd seemed silent. Chester had not failed to note that
Dick had not openly entered into the contest against him, although he
had expected something of the sort. However, he did not wish to see Dick
on that platform.

The outcries showed that the meeting insisted on having Dick serve as
chairman of the committee to count the votes.

“Mr. Merriwell,” said Dow, “I think you had better reconsider. You can
plainly see that you are wanted on this committee, and you will do a
favor to the meeting by serving.”

“Merriwell, Merriwell!” came from every side of the room.

“All right,” smiled Dick. “If I am chosen, I will serve, Mr. Chairman.”

Dow put the vote at once.

“All those in favor of Mr. Merriwell manifest it by a show of hands.”

“Up, up!” was the cry. “Up hands!”

“It is a vote,” said Dow, looking over the demonstration of uplifted

No one doubted it, and Dick was called to the platform. Ned Stanton’s
name was next proposed, and there was no opposition. Then Brad Buckhart
was nominated. This raised another uproar, for Brad had plenty of
enemies. A strong opposition was shown at once.

Brad said not a word, but mentally he observed:

“Well, if I’m elected you bet your boots I’m going to serve! I am, I

The vote was taken by a show of hands. Brad’s friends came out strong at
this, but the vote was immediately doubted. Then there was a showing of
hands, while the chairman surveyed the gathering.

When he called for the contrary-minded it was seen that Brad had won,
and he was called to the platform. He was given a round of applause as
he took his seat with Merriwell and Stanton.

Then Dow got up and made a brief speech, in which he suggested the
advisability of getting as good a man as possible for the position. A
few moments later, amid the greatest excitement, the balloting began.

“Here are your Arlington votes!” cried a fellow climbing on the seats
near one aisle. “Right this way for your Arlington votes.”

“Arlington, Arlington!” shouted another fellow, standing on the seats
near another aisle. “The entering class must have a man on that
committee. It’s no more than fair. Vote for Arlington. Here you go!”

In fact, it seemed that fellows with Arlington votes were everywhere,
and these votes they urged on every one. Those who favored Hardy were
not as well prepared with votes, and Buckhart grew uneasy as he sat and
watched the workers for Chester Arlington getting rid of their ballots.

“If that galoot is elected, Dick can blame himself,” thought the Texan.
“He might have crushed Chester Arlington with a word, but he would not
say that word.”

Dow watched the voters closely as they filed past the ballot-box. He had
a sharp pair of eyes, and he was looking for “stuffing” and for

“Hold on!” he suddenly exclaimed, closing the box with a snap. “You have
voted before, Macomber! That kind of work will not go here, and I want
everybody to understand it!”

Macomber tried to pass it off as a joke.

“I believe in voting early and often,” he said.

“You may vote as early as you like, but once on a ballot is the limit,”
said Dow.

Macomber passed on, and the ballot-box was reopened.

“How is it going, do you think?” asked Stanton, of Buckhart.

“Blowed if I know!” confessed Brad, in a low tone. “But I’m afraid
Arlington will carry it.”

“Too bad!” said Stanton, and the Texan knew for the first time just how
the third man on the committee stood.

The entire counting-committee was unfavorable to the plebe who sought a
position on the athletic board.

Arlington’s friends knew this, and some of them commented on it.

“What kind of a show has Chet got with those fellows to count the
votes!” said one.

“He wouldn’t have a show if Merriwell was not on the committee,” said
another. “Merriwell is square, and you can bet your life Chet will get
the position if he’s elected.”

The voting took some time. When it seemed all over Dow rapped on the
table beside him and asked if the votes were all in.

“Hold on!” was the cry from the rear.

Into the room a fellow was dragged by three Arlington workers and rushed
down the aisle. He was red in the face, but cast his vote, laughing as
he did so.

“Here comes another!” shouted a voice.

Another fellow was marched down the aisle by an Arlington worker.

“Bad!” growled Buckhart. “And no one working against the fellow like
that! Bad, bad!”

At last there seemed no more to vote, and the polls were declared
closed. A few moments later, amid breathless silence, the counting
began. Would Arlington win?

Ted Smart, Billy Bradley, Chip Jolliby, Bob Singleton, and Hugh Douglas
were in a group at the rear of the room.

“Dear me!” said Ted. “How slow this is! Why, there’s nothing interesting
about it!”

Singleton was watching Buckhart’s face.

“I’m afraid Arlington has won,” he said.

“What mum-mum-makes you think so?” chattered Jolliby.

“Buckhart looks worried.”

“Hi ’ave an idea it is very close, don’t y’ ’now,” said Bradley.

The votes had been sorted into three piles, and the committee went over
them again. The gathering was pretty quiet now, as it was a time of
great anxiety. Chester Arlington seemed confident. He was smiling and

Buckhart was seen making some figures, but Dick Merriwell, who watched
him, shook his head and seemed pointing out a mistake. Brad nodded, and
then the slip of paper with the figures on it was passed to Dow by
Merriwell. Dow rapped for order.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “you will listen to your vote. Whole number of
votes cast, 238. Necessary for choice, 119. George Hardy has 102;
Chester Arlington, 97; Joseph Savage, 39. Therefore, there is no choice,
and another ballot——”

The rest of his speech was drowned in the roar that rose. Chester
Arlington had not won. Hardy led him by five votes.

“Fraud, fraud!” cried somebody.

Instantly there was a surging mob round the fellow who uttered the
accusing cry. Arlington’s friends were disappointed. They had
anticipated throwing at least a hundred and fifty votes.

“Shut up that fool who is crying fraud!” commanded Chester. “If you
don’t, we’ll get it in the neck sure.”

So the one who made the cry was choked off immediately.

Another vote would have to be taken, and now the disappointed Arlington
crowd set to work with redoubled earnestness. Chester went among them,
assuring them that he believed the count had been fair.

“Then how can you account for our failure to poll the number we
expected?” he was asked.

“Simply by the fact, as it seems, that a number of those who took votes
and promised to support me failed to do so.”

A large number of cadets had remained away from the meeting, but now the
workers rushed away to various rooms, determined to bring out every one
who could be induced to come. Many a fellow who declined to come, or
tried to beg off, was brought along by main force and rammed into the
crowded classroom.

“It’s going to be a heavier vote this time,” said Dick.

“You bet,” nodded Brad, who still looked worried. “I opine Arlington
will carry it on the next ballot.”

“What makes you think so?”

“I’ll bet he has twenty fellows pulling ’em in. If he doesn’t make it, I
shall be relieved.”

“If he doesn’t make it this time,” said Dick, “his chance will grow

“What makes you think so?”

“His friends have secured this vote for him by their hard work, and
they’ll have trouble to hold the fellows they have dragged in here.
Arlington is not really popular.”

But Brad grew more and more nervous as the voting continued. The
Arlington crowd made lots of noise, and it seemed that the majority of
those present must favor him.

As before, Elmer Dow was keenly on the alert to prevent fraud, and
“repeating” was not attempted. One “call down” had been given, and that
was enough to make the tricky fellows wary.

After a while the voting decreased. Three times Dow asked if all the
votes were in, and each time from the rear of the room came a shout for
him to hold on. He waited as one last voter was hurried down the aisle
by the Arlington workers, and then he declared the balloting closed.

“Arlington has carried it,” said Singleton regretfully.

“Hi don’t believe hit!” exclaimed Billy Bradley.

“I’m gosh-darn afuf-fuf-fraid of it!” admitted Chip Jolliby.

The gathering watched the counting of the votes, seeing them singled out
into three piles. Then there was some figuring on paper, and Dick
Merriwell was heard to say: “That’s right.”

The chairman rapped, but the meeting was silent and anxious already.

“Gentlemen,” said Dow, “listen to the vote. Whole number cast, 253.”

“Fifteen more than before,” said Smart, to his companions.

“Necessary for choice,” announced Dow, “127. Chester Arlington has 111;
George Hardy, 101; Joseph Savage, 41. Therefore——”

“No vote!” was the shout that went up.

Arlington had taken the lead on this ballot, but had not received a
majority over both his opponents. Hardy had lost one vote, Savage had
gained two, and Chester Arlington fourteen.

“Arlington!” was the cry.

“If Savage would withdraw in favor of Hardy,” said Ned Stanton to his
companions on the committee, “it would settle things in short order and
knock Arlington out.”

Dick Merriwell said nothing, but he had seen a fellow he knew as an
Arlington worker approach Joe Savage and say something to him. He had
seen Savage shake his head, and then the fellow said something more,
upon which Savage looked startled and seemed to remonstrate. At this,
the fellow snapped his fingers and walked away.

“Something doing there!” thought Dick.

He was right.

“Gentlemen,” said Elmer Dow, “the polls are again declared open. Bring
in your votes.”

Dick was still watching Savage. He saw Joe falter and look round; then,
of a sudden, the fellow stepped up on a bench and cried:

“Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the meeting, as there seems to be a
deadlock, and as it is plain I have very little chance of being elected,
I rise to withdraw from the field. At the same time, I wish to suggest
that those who have cast their votes for me now throw them for Chester
Arlington, as I believe it fair and right for the entering class to have
a representative on the committee.”

Then he stepped down, but he had exploded a bombshell, and there was
consternation in the meeting.

Brad Buckhart had shot to his feet as he heard Savage speak Arlington’s
name, and now he dropped back, gasping:


“Arlington, Arlington!” was the mad cry that went up.

Brad turned to Dick.

“Partner, am I dreaming?” he asked. “Did I hear straight? Did that onery
galoot say Arlington?”

“That’s what he said,” nodded Dick.

“And he pretends to be your friend! Well, he ought to be lynched like a

Dick had been astonished, but he was master of himself, and he did not
show his surprise.

“It was worked somehow,” he said. “I don’t believe Savage really wanted
to withdraw in favor of Arlington, but he was driven into it.”

“Driven? Driven how?”

“I can’t say.”

“He’s just an onery, two-faced——”

Dick’s hand fell on Brad’s arm.

“Careful!” he said. “Don’t raise your voice, old man.”

“Give me a gun,” growled the Texan, “and I’ll sure go out yon and shoot
him up some!”

The balloting had begun, and Arlington’s friends were working harder
than ever.

“We’ve got them now!” they sang joyously.

The voting was rushed along at a lively rate, and there was no delay to
drag in any one. In a short time the chairman declared the balloting
over, and then the counting of the votes began. As the members of the
committee separated the votes into two piles it soon became apparent
that the vote was nearly a tie.

Not all of those who had voted for Savage had swung to Arlington on the
recommendation of Savage. Finally the votes were sorted, and a recount
was made.

Brad Buckhart was pale.

“He’s got it, pard!” he whispered. “Got it by one vote! No, by thunder!
He shall not have it!”

Then Dick saw Brad, in running over Arlington’s votes, cleverly slip two
of them into his palm.

Ned Stanton, however, did not detect the trick.

“What do you make it, Stanton?” asked Dick.

“One hundred and twenty-three for Arlington.”

“That’s right,” said Buckhart huskily. “And Hardy has one hundred and

“Then Hardy wins!” said Stanton, with satisfaction.

“Wait,” said Dick. “Let’s be sure of this. Let’s count them over again.”

“What for?” asked Brad.

“Because I want to make sure.”

Dick carried his point.

“Brad,” he whispered in Buckhart’s ear, without looking toward his
roommate, “I want you to put back those two votes. Put them back, or I
shall have to expose you!”

The Texan turned like chalk. His hands shook a little, and the counting
went on.

“By George, we were wrong!” said Stanton, as they finished. “Arlington
has one hundred and twenty-five! He wins by one vote.”

“Correct,” said Merriwell, and he gave the figures to the chairman,
whose announcement of the result was followed by a mighty cheer for the


Brad Buckhart disappeared at once. When Dick reached his room he found
Brad there, sitting like a wooden image and staring at the wall.

“Well, old man,” said Dick pleasantly, “that was what I call a hot

The Texan did not stir. From his appearance, it did not seem that he was
aware Dick had entered the room.

“In a trance, Brad?” asked Dick.

Still Buckhart remained motionless, staring at the wall, a hard look on
his face.

“What’s the matter?” asked Dick, stopping in front of his roommate.
“What ails you, old man?”

Brad looked at Dick, and there was a mingling of reproach, shame, and
anger in that look.

“Why didn’t you let me alone?” he demanded. “That dirty dog won!”

“You mean——”

“Arlington—you know whom I mean! He’s on the committee now, and he will
show you in short order that he has power there. Just you wait and see
what he does!”

“But he was fairly elected, Brad.”

“Was he? I’m not so sure of that.”

The Texan’s voice was harsh and his manner toward Dick new and strained.
He felt deeply the shame of his position. More for Dick’s sake than his
own, he had sought to keep Chester Arlington from getting on the
committee. Dick had detected him in the act of filching the two ballots
that gave Chester the position, and had compelled him to put them back
while the votes were being counted again. No one else knew of this, but
Buckhart felt that he had lowered himself in the eyes of his friend and

“I’m not so sure his election was fair,” he repeated.

“What do you mean? Why wasn’t it?”

“What made Savage pull out just when he did? What made him try to throw
his votes to Arlington? There was something behind it, and you know it.”

Although Brad had not noted the incident observed by Dick, when Savage
was approached by a fellow who seemed to make a demand on him, against
which he rebelled at first, but to which he finally succumbed, still the
Texan had sense enough to reason it out that there had been an unusual
cause back of the action of Savage in stepping out in favor of Arlington
at that critical juncture.

“What do you think there was behind it?” asked Dick, curious to learn
Buckhart’s opinion on the matter.

“Crookedness, crookedness!” exclaimed the Westerner, rising to his feet
and beginning to tramp up and down the room. “I know it! I’m sure of it!
I was sure of it all the time,” he went on, eager to say something to
make his own act seem less heinous. “That is why I was determined that
Arlington should not win if I could help it. I could have prevented it.”

“Dishonestly! Look here, Brad, I don’t think you realized just what you
were doing.”

Dick attempted to place a hand on Buckhart’s shoulder, but it was
brushed aside, and the Texan continued his excited striding up and down
the room.

“Yes, I did!” he declared grimly. “I knew I was cheating—I knew it! I
meant to cheat! I meant to beat Chet Arlington at his own game!”

“Which would have placed you on the same level with him.”

“No! I would have beaten him! Look here, Dick, when you go against a
slugging football-team, when the other side plays rough-house, how do
you meet them?”

“I try to call the attention of the umpire.”

“What if the umpire will not punish them?”

“Well, as a last resort, I give the boys instructions to make the game
hot in the same fashion as the other fellows.”

“As a last resort! That’s it! Do you think I’m a fellow to choose to do
a dishonest thing?”

“I know you would not choose it because your inclination was that way.”

“But, in a case like this, I would choose it as a last resort. It was
the last resort! It was the only way to keep Arlington from winning.”

“Then, Brad, if a man robs your chicken-coops persistently, you know he
robs it, yet you cannot get proof to punish him by the aid of the law,
you think it just that you should turn about and rob his chicken-coops,
thus making yourself a hen-thief, just to get square with him?”

Buckhart was staggered for a moment, but he recovered quickly.

“Oh, that doesn’t apply! That is a different degree of retaliation.”

“Then your application does not fit a football-game. Brad, you know it
is not right to meet dishonesty with dishonesty. That is not the way to
combat it.”

“It’s about the only way to combat it successfully.”

“I don’t know about that.”

“You’ll find it is.”

“I don’t believe any fellow can afford it, Brad.”

“Afford it?”


“Why, what——”

“Every little dishonest thing a chap does weakens his moral nature. It
is not often a burglar becomes a burglar at a single step. He descends
to that level by degrees. He does some little crooked act in the first
place; then he does something worse, and step by step he goes down the
hill, until at last he is a thorough criminal.”

“Great goodness!” exploded Brad. “You didn’t fancy I was taking my first
step in crime, did you?”

“No; but I knew it was not right, even to defeat an enemy. I knew you
would regret it afterward.”

“Not by a blamed sight! You were plumb wrong there, Dick!”

Dick shook his head.

“I was right,” he said, with positive assurance. “I sought to save you
from the secret shame you must have felt in future when you thought of

“Secret shame. How do you know I——”

“I’ll tell you how I know. Any fellow is liable to slip once. I did,

“You?” gasped the Texan incredulously. “What are you giving me?”

“Straight goods, old man. Once on a time I did a mean and dishonest

“I can’t believe it!”

“It is true. I did it impulsively, and no one but myself ever knew about
it. It was not anything of great importance, but, when my blood had
cooled and I came to realize just what I had done, I felt like a
criminal. I suffered such intense shame and anguish as I have never
known at any other time. I resolved to make reparation, but
circumstances placed it beyond my power to do so, and to this day I have
the unpleasant memory of wronging a fellow being. It taught me my
lesson, Brad. It does not pay for a fellow to stoop to anything of the
sort, no matter how petty.”

This confession from Dick’s lips made Brad feel better. Why, here was
Dick, who had detected him on the point of filching the votes—Dick had
been tempted and had fallen. Dick was not holding himself coldly above
Brad as his moral superior; instead, he freely acknowledged that he had

Buckhart’s feelings about the affair began to undergo a change. A little
while before he had been thinking of his roommate as looking down on him
in pity from a moral height far above him; but now Dick had made it
plain that he had no thought or desire to exalt himself in the least.

“You may be right,” said Brad.

“I know I am,” came positively from Dick’s lips. “You will see it in the
same light when you are cooler. Besides, there was another reason why I
could not afford to let you get rid of those votes.”

“What other reason?”

“I saw you—I knew what you had done.”


“With that knowledge, had I permitted you to work the scheme, I should
have been just as guilty as you. It was to save myself from regret and
shame, as well as you, that I told you you must put the votes back.”

This confession drew Brad still closer to his friend. In all these
things Dick was perfectly honest with his companion, and the Texan
trusted and relied in him.

“I never thought of it that way,” he said.

“But you see I am right,” said Dick. “I was compelled to ask you to put
the votes back in order to save my own feelings.”

“Then, if you had not seen me——”

Dick interrupted with a laugh.

“Why, I should have known nothing about it. But,” he added soberly, “I
am glad I saw you, even though Arlington won.”

“Well,” acknowledged the Texan, brought round at last, “I believe I am
glad of it, too; but it was a howling shame to have that greaser get on
the committee! It was, I know!”


The football-team soon began to feel the hand of Chester Arlington. He
sent men out to practise and directed that they should be tried on the
regular team. And he seemed to have the athletic committee behind him,
for they backed up his demands. Two of these men, Peter Hicks and Rufus
Hoyt, knew something about football and played fairly well.

Dick chafed, for he saw that serious trouble was brewing. He saw that
Arlington would try to manage the team through the committee, and that
was just what Dick determined he should not do.

“It’s a fight, pard,” said Brad Buckhart. “Mark what I say, you’ll have
your troubles with that galoot right along.”

Phil Warne was chairman of the committee. In the past he had permitted
Dick to run the team on the field just about as he pleased. Now,
however, he advised a shifting about of the team and trying them in
other positions.

Dick felt that this was more of Arlington’s work, for Warne was not the
fellow to dip in like that without being put up to it by another.

A feeling of uncertainty and restlessness attacked the team. Dick feared
the men were lacking confidence. They had relied on him in the past, and
now they saw that he was being ordered about. They had talked over the
game with U. A. A., and were almost unanimous on the folly of playing
it. What was there to gain by it? The committee had arranged to have the
game take place in Fardale. If it had been arranged to play in Uniontown
on the same terms as the baseball-game was pulled off, they might have
urged that winning the game would bring in a large amount of money. But
they had agreed to pay U. A. A. a sum of money to come and play the
game, which made it almost a settled thing that it would be a financial

U. A. A. had vowed to get revenge on Fardale for defeat in the
baseball-game. Now it was said that the Uniontown men were anxious to
get up against the cadets and “soak ’em.”

It was not to be a game between schools, and so the school spirit was
lacking. Neither team regarded the other as a rival in its class. There
was no rivalry of a friendly nature.

Some of the boys threatened to rebel, but Dick talked to them and
convinced them that it was best to play the game. He knew Arlington
would make a great to-do about it, saying he was afraid to play, if the
Fardale boys declined to meet the chaps from Uniontown.

Saturday came, and an early train brought the Uniontown players into
Fardale. Some of the boys from the academy were at the station to see
them arrive and to size up their antagonists. Buckhart was one of these,
and he hastened back to the academy, seeking Dick, whom he found in the

“Pard,” he said, “guess who’s in town?”

“I thought you hailed from Texas?”

“Well, so I do.”

“But this guessing-racket is a Yankee trick.”

“You can’t guess?”

“I don’t think I can. Who is it?”

“Fred Kennedy.”

“Kennedy? Who is——”

“Why, pard, you must remember him. He is——”

“Not the dirty whelp who doped Singleton and blinded me when we went to

“The same.”

“Where is he?”

“At the North Hotel.”

Five minutes later Dick was on his way to town, accompanied by Brad.
They went direct to the North Hotel, which did all the hotel business of
the place, now that Fardale House had been gutted by fire, and there
they sought Kennedy.

His name was not on the register. He did not seem to be with the
strangers from Uniontown. Those strangers were the “sports” who followed
the U. A. A. games and bet on the Uniontown team. They were looking for
bets, and they hailed the appearance of Dick Merriwell.

“Tell us where we can get some of our good money up,” said one of the
team. “We’re betting two to one on U. A. A. Have you children at the
academy got any dough you wish to lose?”

“No,” said Dick quietly. “Few of us bet on these games. When we do bet
it is for sport, not for profit. Can any of you gentlemen tell me where
I can find Mr. Kennedy?”

“Kennedy? Kennedy? What Kennedy?”

“Fred Kennedy.”

“From our place? Oh, he isn’t with us.”

Kennedy was not found, but Buckhart was still certain he had arrived in
town, even after they turned back toward the academy.

“He’s here, pard,” asserted the Texan. “I never make a mistake in faces.
That onery whelp stepped off the train, or I’m a Chinaman! You hear me

“I should like to meet him!” said Dick.

“And I’d enjoy being with you, pard. There would be something doing, you

The gamblers from Uniontown found takers for their bets in Fardale, as
the villagers had great confidence in the academy team, which had not
met defeat while under command of Dick Merriwell. Odds of two to one
seemed like a good thing and were gobbled up.

At one o’clock p. m. Dick Merriwell received a shock. He was sent for by
the athletic committee, which was in session at the time. When he
appeared before them, Phil Warne said:

“Mr. Merriwell, we have concluded that, while you have done splendidly
with the eleven, you have not been playing the men in just the right
positions. Besides,” he went on swiftly, not permitting Dick to speak,
“there are two men on the team who are not strong men, and we have
concluded to drop them off for this game and try the experiment of
supplying their places. We do this now because this is not a game with a
school eleven, and we can better afford to experiment than at any other
time. If we find we have improved the team, we shall be very glad. But
we insist that the team be given a fair trial as we have arranged it, no
changes being made until we give you permission, save on account of
injuries. Here is the line-up of the team, with the names of substitutes
to be used, if substitutes are required.”

There was a strange look on Dick’s face as he took the paper from
Warne’s hand and glanced over the line-up of the team. His cheeks
flushed and his eyes gleamed.

“Gentlemen of the committee,” he said, his voice distinct but low, “I
need not say that I am surprised at your most surprising action. I think
you are making a big mistake and are exceeding the bounds of your
authority. It is not necessary to call attention to the fact that
Fardale has not lost a game this season. Up to this time the making up
of the team has been left almost wholly to me. In taking this privilege
out of my hands you have handicapped me greatly, making it impossible
for me to work to the best advantage. I think the mistake is liable to
prove fatal. The shifting about of these players I consider ill-advised,
the dropping of Kent and Dare weakens the line, and, on the whole, the
team as given here will go on the field to-day greatly weakened.”

Chester Arlington had listened, his lips curling and his eyes expressing
contempt. When Dick finished, Chester turned to Hadley Burrows,
observing loud enough for the captain of the eleven to hear:

“Didn’t I say he could insult the committee! He has had things his own
way altogether too long.”

Instantly Dick’s anger flashed like powder to which a match has been

“You, Arlington, are the cause of it all!” he exclaimed, pointing
straight at Chester. “And you are doing it not for the good of the
eleven, but to annoy and injure me! I know you, and I know your methods.
Yet but for me you would not be on that committee now!”

“What?” cried Chester, astonished. “But for you?”


“Bah! You would have kept me off the committee had you dared! I believe
you did try to! I believe you did get rid of some of my votes on the
first two ballots. You knew you were watched too closely for it the last
time, and you didn’t dare try it.”

Dick actually laughed.

“Why, you poor, mistaken duffer!” he exclaimed, unable to fully control
his tongue. “It’s surprising how little you really know about the

“Duffer!” snarled Chester, springing up. “Gentlemen, are you going to
permit this? It’s an insult to the entire committee!”

“Mr. Merriwell,” said Warne severely, “your language is offensive to us
all. If you are not satisfied with what we have done, if you do not care
to follow our instructions thoroughly——”

“What then?”

“You may resign from the team. Another captain will be appointed in your

In his intense anger Dick came near making a mistake and playing into
the hands of Arlington. It was on the tip of his tongue to utter his
resignation, when he saw Chester leaning forward, breathless, expectant,
eager. Instantly the rush of blood to Dick’s head ceased, his heart
seemed to stop its wild hammering, his pulse dropped back to normal, and
he was master of himself.

“No, Arlington!” he exultantly thought, “I’ll not do it! You have failed
in this.

“I’ll stick by the team,” he said aloud. “I could not think of deserting
it now.”

Warne seemed relieved, while Arlington was plainly disappointed.

“Very well,” said the chairman, dismissing him with a gesture. “You have
your instructions.”


The first half of the game was over. The score at the end of the half
stood U. A. A., 18; Fardale, 6.

Fardale’s one touch-down and goal had been made on a fluke.

The teams had lined up as follows:

                 FARDALE                    SPRINGVALE
                 Jolliby      Right end     McElroy
                 Hoyt        Right tackle   Kerns
                 Gardner     Right guard    Seaton
                 Tubbs          Center      Redmond
                 Shannock     Left guard    Hicks
                 Bradley     Left tackle    Clack
                 Lewis         Left end     Iott
                 Smart       Quarter-back   Loppinger
                 Merriwell    Right         Waldron
                 Buckhart     Left          Chase
                 Singleton    Full-back     Durkee

This was a great change about on the home team from the regular order.
Buckhart had been taken off left end and given Darrell’s position at
half-back, while Darrell was dropped entirely. Lewis, a plebe, had been
substituted for Buckhart. Merriwell, Singleton, Smart, and Tubbs were
the only men who held their positions. Bradley had been shifted from
right guard to left tackle, Shannock had been removed from right end to
left guard, Jolliby had moved over from right tackle to right end, Earl
Gardner had been given Bradley’s position as right guard, and these
things had served to break the team up completely, quite taking the
confidence out of it.

Gardner had made the run with the ball, which he secured on a bad pass
and a fumble, and his had been the glory of Fardale’s only touch-down.
It seemed that Uniontown had the game “on ice.”

The visitors had played a rushing, thumping, rough-house game. At first
the cadets had met them in this business, but they lost spirit when
Uniontown kept the ball in the territory of the home team nearly all the
time, seeming altogether too heavy and strong.

Dick was desperate. He was determined to do something to bring about a
change. With the team as it was, he had small hopes of winning.
Strangely enough, all through the first half, for all of the rough
tactics of the visitors, no man was knocked out so that he was forced to
retire from the game.

Brad walked off the field by Dick’s side when the half was over. The gym
was near enough for the men to run over to it, and this they did.

“The jig is up, pard,” said Buckhart. “They’ve got us! And it is all the
work of that dirty dog Arlington! He has ruined the team! I swear it
would have been better if I had cheated and kept him from getting on the

Dick did not seem to hear Buckhart’s words. He was thinking swiftly just
about then.

“We must win this game! I am determined to do it!” he muttered.

“No matter how determined you are,” said Brad, “you can’t do it with
this team as it stands.”

Dick heard this, for he nodded. Reaching the gym, Dick found two fellows
ready to give him a rubbing if he wished it.

“We’ll cut it out,” he said. “You fellows go for Hal Darrell. Bring him

Then he turned to Brad, asking:

“Dare, Kent, and Bradley are with the substitutes, are they not?”


Darrell was found in a minute or so, and brought into the gym.

“Hal,” said Dick, “do you want us to win this game?”

“Sure thing,” said Hal.

“Well, I want you to know that I did not drop you from the team. I was
given orders by the committee to play the team just as it lined up
to-day. Arlington is the man who did this.”

Hal shrugged his shoulders.

“I want you to get into your rig,” said Dick. “Will you do it?”

“Are you going to play me?”


“In defiance of the committee?”


“I’ll be on hand.”

Dick sent for Bradley, Dare, and Kent, with all of whom he talked.

Just as the team was leaving the gym for the field, Arlington and Warne
came hurriedly into the place.

“Just in time!” exclaimed Warne.

“Go on, fellows,” said Dick. “I will be with you in a moment.”

At the same time he made a gesture to Buckhart. Brad was surprised. He
did not quite understand, but he hurried the others out and followed

“In this final half,” said Warne, “there is one thing we want you to do,
Merriwell. Of course, you can’t expect to win, as that team is much
older and heavier, but——”

“I must have dropped it in the shower-room,” said Dick, pretending to be
searching for something. “I’ve got to have it. And I must be out on the
field in two minutes. If you fellows have anything to say, come on and
say it while I’m searching.”

He ran into the room where the boys took their shower-baths. There was a
plunge in the same room.

Warne and Arlington followed. Dick seemed to be searching, looking
swiftly about, his eyes on the floor.

“As I was saying——” resumed Warne.

He got no further. Out of the room darted Dick, and the heavy door
banged, shutting in Chester Arlington and the chairman of the athletic
committee. Outside there was a heavy bolt, which Dick shot into place.

“Say on, Warne!” he exclaimed exultantly and defiantly; “but I can’t
stop to listen. I can’t afford to be bothered by this committee during
the last half of the game.”

He hurried from the now deserted gymnasium. As he was leaving he heard
his astonished captives banging on the door of the bathroom and shouting
for him to open it.

“Pound away! Yell away!” he said. “I think there will be sufficient
noise on the field so that your cries will not be heard for a time, at

He ran from the gym toward the field, and was just in time to go out
with the team.

When the disappointed cadets saw the team go on the field for the second
half they started up and showed interest, for there had been a big
change. With a single exception, the old players were back in their
regular positions.

Kent, who had not entirely recovered from injuries received in a
previous game, was not at left tackle, although he was waiting among the
substitutes. Gardner filled his place. Gardner was not quite large
enough for guard, but he was so very fast that Dick had decided to
retain him in the line. Shannock and Buckhart were again on the ends.
Dare and Bradley were the guards, Jolliby was at right tackle, and
Darrell assumed his old position at left half-back. Three members of the
athletic committee stared and wondered.

“What does it mean?” asked Anson Day. “Why, I thought Merriwell had been
given orders to——”

“Where’s Warne?” asked Oliver Stone excitedly.

“Where’s Arlington?” exclaimed Hadley Burrows. “We must see about this!”

But they looked in vain for either Warne or Arlington.

The cadets were cheering with new life now. Everywhere the red and black
was waving. What a difference there was! Confidence seemed restored.

There was a lull as the spread-out teams waited for the kick-off. In
that hush and pause Dick Merriwell’s keen ears seemed to catch the sound
of faint, muffled shouts coming from the direction of the gymnasium, and
he smiled grimly.

Fardale went into the game with a whirl and a rush that almost swept
Uniontown off her feet. The home team had snap, ginger, vim, and go to
it. Every man was in the game. They played together, and they were out
for victory. Getting the ball, Fardale began hammering against the
enemy, at their thirty-yard line. The funnel-play was tried, and
Singleton hit the left wing of the enemy, going through for five yards.

The same play was repeated, the funnel seeming pointed in the same
direction. Singleton rushed ahead until near what seemed the point of
assault, then suddenly darted out through the side of the funnel, where
an opening had been made for him, and went through the left wing of the
enemy for seven yards. Well, this was the kind of stuff! This was
playing football!

A third time the ball was given to big Bob. And now he went forward
protected by a wedge that hit the line in the center. The wedge pressed
on steadily until the opposing team began to tear it to pieces. Bob saw
a tackler coming through, and, with a deft movement, he tossed the ball
out to Dick Merriwell, who had been keeping just back of him on the
outside of the edge.

The next moment Singleton was dragged down. But the ball was gone, Dick
had it, and he was away like a flash. To the right ran Dick, darting
past Iott, who tried in vain to reach him. He circled the end and
started down the field.

When Chase brought him down he had made full fifteen yards, and the
cadets on the seats were mad with delight.

The Uniontown team was startled and not a little dismayed. Instead of
coming out weak in the second half, the cadets were stronger and faster
than they had been at the beginning of the game.

The ball was carried into Uniontown’s territory and steadily driven down
toward the goal-line of the visiting team. Fardale hammered into the
enemy with a dogged persistency that was admirable and told of the sand
possessed by the academy lads.

Several times through the game Uniontown had resorted to slugging, and
now she tried it again. Jolliby was thumped and Dare was kicked in the
stomach. The umpire detected the fellow in the act of kicking and gave
him a warning, but the kicker said he had not meant to violate the

Still Fardale would not be stopped. Time after time she made her
distance, and the ball was forced down to within ten yards of the goal
of the visiting team. Then the cadets were set back for holding, and an
off-side play lost them the ball when they had the taste of success on
their lips. It was hard, but Dick stiffened up his team, and they
prepared to hold the enemy.

Uniontown seemed to prepare for a kick. Instead of kicking, however,
Uniontown gave the ball to Waldron, while her line buckled down to hold
Fardale. Waldron shot forward, rose into the air, hurdled the line
handsomely, and made six good yards before Darrell pulled him down. It
was a very handsome play, and the visiting crowd had good cause to

Now Uniontown began to push Fardale back steadily. Now and then, when it
was necessary to make a yard or two without fail and Fardale seemed to
hold fast, Waldron hurdled. Repeatedly he was successful, and Fardale
was driven back to her forty-yard line.

Dick saw that the hurdling was counting against them, and he determined
to stop it. He watched closely, and the next time Waldron came flying at
the line, the captain of the cadets charged from the opposite side.

With a flying leap, Dick shot upward and met the hurdler in the air
above the line. Waldron had not expected this, and he was flung backward
for a loss, Dick coming down upon him. The cadets roared their delight
at this.

Twice after that Waldron was stopped in the same manner by Dick, who
completely ruined the success of his hurdling.

When Fardale got the ball again she marched straight down the field and
pushed it over for a touchdown without being checked at any point.

A goal was easily made.

Dick had a word to say to his men as they spread out for the next
kick-off. He was determined to waste no time. Thus it happened that
Fardale did not return the kick. Darrell caught the ball and ran sixteen
yards with it before being grassed.

The signal was given for the center-back play. The Uniontown players
were surprised to see little Smart take the place of the ponderous
Tubbs, while Tubbs retired to full-back and Singleton became temporary

When they started to walk over Smart, however, Singleton backed Ted up,
and then Tubbs, with the ball, came smashing into the line and bored his
way along. They seized him and tried to drag him down, but he kept on
for full ten yards before they could stop him.

“Great work!” laughed Dick. “On the jump now, fellows!”

“On the jump!” cried Ted Smart.

It was the signal for the old “ends-around” play. Fardale had never met
Uniontown on the gridiron before, therefore the visitors were not on to
the cadets’ little play of the previous year.

When the ball was snapped the ends and sides of the line seemed to melt
backward before the assault of the enemy. The center held fast, while
the ends swung round, followed by the opposing men, who were pushing. As
they swung round they came in behind the man who had the ball, and he
was thrust forward, a portion of the visitors working against themselves
without knowing they did so.

Dick kept this play up, working it once or twice by pulling Tubbs back
and letting him slam into the line, until the ball was driven down to
within six yards of the goal-line. There Uniontown made a stand and held
for three downs. But Dick himself went through on the last trial, and he
managed to squirm forward after being dragged down so that the ball was
six inches over the line when the piled-up men untangled.

Dick was pretty badly hurt, but he succeeded in getting on his feet,
turning the ball over to Singleton. Darrell held the ball, and big Bob
kicked the goal, tieing the score.


Uniontown was dazed. The remarkable change in the cadets they could not
understand. It did not seem that they were playing against the same team
at all.

In vain Durkee talked to his men. They were rattled and sore, and they
could not stop the gritty cadets. Fardale made another touch-down and
goal, and when the game ended the ball was once more within three feet
of Uniontown’s line.

Again Dick Merriwell was triumphant, but now he felt that he was on the
verge of an explosion. The two captives in the bathroom of the gym would
be discovered directly. Then what would happen?

Buckhart reached Dick’s side as soon as possible when the game was

“Dick, did you see him?” he asked.

“See whom?”



“He was here.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes; I saw him over there by the gate. I reckon he has taken leg-bail
by this time.”

Together they looked for the fellow, but Kennedy, if present, had lost
no time in hastening away.

The cheering of the cadets at the finish of the game had drowned all
other sounds, but Dick pricked up his ear as they drew near the gym. He
expected to hear a racket coming from within the building. It was silent
as the members of the victorious team entered. Dick wondered if
Arlington and Warne had found some method of escaping, but he discovered
that the door of the bathroom was still closed. He walked straight over
to it and flung it open. The captives walked out, Warne pale with rage,
while Arlington’s eyes gleamed vindictively.

“I beg your pardon!” exclaimed Dick, in apparent surprise. “Did I
accidentally lock you gentlemen in there? It’s too bad! But I am sure
you will be pleased to learn that we won the game.”

He expected a terrible outbreak from both of the fellows, but in this he
was disappointed. Arlington, however, stepped close to him and hissingly

“I’ll have your life for this piece of work!”

“Thank you,” said Dick, loudly enough for those near to hear. “I am glad
you accept my apology. The score was twenty-four to eighteen.”

Arlington passed on.

Warne had not spoken.

“Well, I’ll be hanged!” muttered Brad Buckhart, the truth dawning upon
him. “That takes the prize! Why, he shut ’em up so they wouldn’t bother
him during the last half!”

It was plain that Arlington and Warne had decided that it was best for
them to avoid making a scene, but Dick knew well enough that they were
not the kind of fellows to forego a chance for revenge.

That night the talk of the academy was the football-game. It had become
known that the athletic committee were responsible for the shifting
about of the players in the first half of the game, and not a few of the
students criticized this interference with Dick’s part of the business.
He had demonstrated beyond a doubt in the last half of the game that he
knew the positions to which the men were adapted and that he could run
the team successfully if not interfered with.

In the evening Dick and Brad went into town. As they approached the
post-office, Dick suddenly grasped his companion’s arm and drew him into
a doorway.

“What is it?” asked the Texan.

“Look across the street.”


“See those two fellows over there?”

“Yes. Why, one of them is—it’s Arlington!”


“And the other is——”

“Fred Kennedy!”

“Right!” exclaimed Brad triumphantly. “That is Kennedy! I knew I wasn’t
mistaken! Come, Dick, let’s go over there and tackle them! You can do up
Kennedy. I’ll take care of Arlington while you even the score with the
fellow who blinded you in Uniontown.”

But Dick held Brad back.

“Don’t be too hasty,” he warned. “What are they doing together? I’d like
to understand that.”

“It is right queer.”

“I should say so! Chester Arlington is a member of the Fardale Academy
athletic committee, and is associating with this Kennedy, who is a
crooked gambler. Without doubt, Kennedy came here to-day to bet money on
the football-game, and you may be sure he did not bet on Fardale.”

“Arlington is a traitor!” growled Buckhart. “Pard, you can throw him
down hard, and it’s up to you to throw!”

“I want to find out just what is doing between these two.”

“They’ll get away!”

“No! I’m going to follow them.”

“I’m with you.”

But Dick knew he could shadow the two far better without the aid of
Buckhart, so he insisted that Brad stay back and watch him from a

From a main part of the town Dick shadowed Arlington and Kennedy over
that portion known as The Harbor. Buckhart saw him take that direction
and then lost sight of him. But Brad was satisfied that Arlington and
Kennedy had made for The Harbor, and he followed cautiously.

Dick was peering in at the window of one of the wretched saloons of that
quarter, when he heard some one approaching. He stepped back, hugging
close to the corner of the house, and Brad would have passed.

“Here, you!” whispered Dick. “Hold up, old man. Come here.”

Brad stopped in surprise.

“Is that you, pard?” he asked, in a low tone.

“Sure thing. Come here where you’ll not be seen if any one comes along.”

Brad joined him.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’ve followed those fellows here,” said Dick. “They are inside.”

“What are they doing?”

“That is what I can’t make out.”

“And why did they come here?”

“To get away where there would be little chance that they would be seen
together by any one they did not wish to see them, I fancy.”

“But the whole thing is a mystery to me, pard,” confessed Buckhart.

Dick touched his arm, and cautioned him to keep still. Somebody was
approaching. The street ran close by the corner of the house, and, from
their place of concealment, they saw a person passing.

“Great Scott!” whispered Dick, who seemed to have eyes like an owl. “Did
you recognize him, Brad?”

“Too dark. Did you?”

“Well, if it wasn’t Joe Savage, I’m greatly mistaken!”

“Joe Savage?”



“That’s what.”

“Well, this thing is growing thick. Where is he going?”

Dick peered round the corner and watched the dark figure pass down the
street and vanish in the gloom.

“I may have been mistaken,” he admitted; “but I know he had a walk like
Joe Savage, was just about the build of Savage, and looked to me in
every way like Savage.”

Then he slipped to the window and again peered into the saloon. He was
just in time to see a man with a lamp in his hand conduct Arlington and
Kennedy into a back room. After a few moments the man came out and
closed the door behind him.

“If there is a window to that room, we must find it,” muttered Dick.

There was a window, and they found it. Further, there was a broken pane
of glass in the window. Inside the window some shutters had been closed,
but in one of the shutters was a broken strip, and through this crack
Dick peered and saw Kennedy and Arlington seated with a table between

Buckhart stood on guard while Dick watched those within the little back
room of the old saloon. The broken pane enabled Dick to hear the
conversation of the fine pair inside.

“It was hard luck!” said Arlington.

“Hard luck?” exclaimed Kennedy. “Is that what you call it? Hang it! you
told me it was certain Uniontown would win!”

“That’s right!”

“But Fardale pulled out and won the game. I dropped three hundred

“And I dropped every blooming cent I have made playing cards in a week,
besides what money my mother left me when she went away. I have been
skinning a sucker, and all I have left to show for it is his I O U’s.”

“You said you had fixed it so it was a sure thing.”

“And so I did. Didn’t Uniontown have a walkover in the first half?”

“Look here, Mr. Arlington, if you had not given me the cold cash to bet
on our team, I’d be dead certain you threw me down. Where did you go
when the first half was over? You vanished, and you were not seen again
by me. Then Merriwell switched the team round and walked into us.”

It was plain Arlington did not care to reveal how he and Warne had been
trapped by Dick. He hesitated a little, and then told an improbable
story about being called away by one of the professors.

“You see, I’ve been in a little trouble here,” he said, “and they have
been investigating the affair. I was wanted just about then to answer
some questions, and I had to go.”

“Fishy!” exclaimed Kennedy suspiciously. “It was a queer time for the
faculty to be carrying on an investigation.”

“Oh, they do queer things around that old academy. I tried to get away
and hurry back, but they wouldn’t let me. I thought the game was
Uniontown’s, anyhow, and so I didn’t worry about it.”

Brad Buckhart could hear some of this, and now he was grinding his
strong teeth together.

“A fine chap to have on the athletic committee!” he hissed. “He ought to
be lynched!”

“There is just one thing led me into this deal,” Chester explained to
his companion. “That is my hatred for Dick Merriwell. If he were not
captain of our team, you’d never catch me betting against it. If he were
off the team, I’d work for it as hard as I could. But I am going to down
him if it takes a leg! I’ll stop at nothing to do it! I have the
athletic committee just where I want them. Some of them have played
right into my hands, and they don’t dare do anything but what I tell
them to do. In short, I am the whole committee.”

“Very interesting information,” commented Dick, in a low whisper.

Arlington was smoking a cigarette. Kennedy had lighted a cigar. Both had
ordered drinks, but had not touched the stuff brought them.

“If I hadn’t been called away,” Chester went on, “the result of the game
would have been different. Merriwell could not have changed the team
round again had I remained on the field.”

At this moment, as Dick peered through the broken shutter, the door of
the room was thrown open and Joe Savage appeared in the doorway. Savage
was pale and excited.

“Oh, here you are!” he exclaimed. “I passed this place once. Didn’t
think this was the place you meant when you made the appointment.”

He came in and closed the door.

“I was right!” thought Dick. “It was Savage I saw.”

Neither Arlington nor Kennedy offered to get up. Chester motioned toward
a broken chair.

“Sit down,” he said:

“I don’t care to stop here,” said Savage. “I don’t like the looks of the

“You’re fussy, my friend,” said Kennedy, with a short laugh.

“What have you got to say about it?” exclaimed Joe, frowning at Kennedy.
“I have no business with you. If Mr. Arlington will kindly hand over
those I O U’s, as he agreed, I will get out of here and bother you no

Chester languidly lighted a fresh cigarette.

“Sorry, Savage,” he drawled, “but I didn’t bring them with me.”

“You didn’t?”


“You agreed to—you promised! Confound you, Arlington! are you tricking
me? You won my money from me, and I gave you those papers when you
continued to stick me. You knew I had sworn off gambling when you coaxed
me into it. You knew my father had said he’d disown me if I played cards
any more. And so, when you found your opportunity, you made me play into
your hands. At the meeting you sent word that you would forward those I
O U’s to my father if I did not withdraw and do my best to give you my
vote. If I did so, you would give them over to me. You have not kept
your word to give them up. You promised to do so to-night if I would
meet you here. Now, do you mean to keep your promise?”

“No,” answered Chester coldly.

The next moment Savage had Arlington by the throat and was choking him.
Kennedy sprang up, caught the bottle and struck Savage over the head,
dropping him to the floor. Then Dick Merriwell smashed the window, burst
the shutters open, and went into that room. But the rascals did not wait
for him. With the first crash of breaking glass, they leaped toward the
door, through which they disappeared.

Dick lifted Savage, whose head was cut and bleeding. Buckhart followed
Dick into the room by the window, and was on hand when the proprietor of
the saloon came hurrying in.

“What’s happened here?” asked the man who ran the place.

“Where are those fellows who were here?” demanded Dick, who was tying a
handkerchief about Savage’s bleeding head.

“They dusted out. But who are you, and where did you come from? My
window is broken, and——”

“I’ll pay for the window,” said Dick. “The entire damage isn’t more than
two dollars. Here is five.”

The man took the five-dollar bill Dick extended.

“Can you stand, Savage?” asked young Merriwell.

“I—I think I can,” said Joe. “But that rap took the nerve out of me. I’m
limp as a rag. They ran! Arlington got away! I—I didn’t get what I came

“But you’ll get them, all right,” said Dick grimly, “Don’t worry about

“You bet!” growled Buckhart.

“We must get you to a doctor who can sew up your scalp where it was cut
by that bottle. You’re bleeding pretty freely, and that must be stopped.
Take hold, Buckhart. We’ll get him out of this quarter if we have to
carry him.”

Between them they got Joe out of the saloon and started for the
respectable portion of the village.

“We didn’t get a crack at those galoots!” said Brad regretfully. “I
opined we’d have a lively time when you smashed the window and went
jumping in there.”

Savage grew stronger after getting out into the open air.

“That devil!” he muttered. “Dick, I know you must think me a pretty
cheap fellow. I can’t help it. I believe I am pretty cheap. But
Arlington is slick. He got me into a bad scrape. I had an idea no one
could beat me playing poker, but he’s the slickest thing in the
business, and he skinned me clean to my eye-teeth. He had my I O U’s,
and he was going to use them against me. That’s how he forced me to
withdraw and permit him to get on the committee. He has no right there!”

“Don’t worry about that,” said Dick. “He’ll not stay on that committee.
He will resign Monday, and you’ll get your I O U’s on the same day.”


Dick rapped sharply on the door of Chester Arlington’s room. There was a
stir within, a pause, and then——

“Come in,” called a voice.

Dick entered.

Chester had risen and was standing at attention. When he saw Dick he
looked surprised and disgusted.

“I thought it an inspector,” he growled sullenly, a frown coming to his
haughty face, then he flung himself loungingly upon a comfortable chair,
drew forth a cigarette-case, took out a paper-covered cigarette, and
rolled it between his fingers.

There was smoke in the room.

“If I were an inspector,” thought Dick, who had closed the door behind
him, “I see where you would get pulled over the coals.”

“What in thunder do you want here?” asked Arlington sneeringly, as he
struck a match and lighted his cigarette.

He was not a little surprised by Dick’s boldness in entering that room,
and yet he suspected what had brought his unwelcome visitor.

“I have a little business to transact with you, Arlington,” said
Merriwell, with a quiet, determined manner that irritated Chester still

“Well, I don’t care to have dealings of any sort with you,” declared
Arlington, “and I will inform you at once that you are not wanted here.
This is my room, and you had better get out.”

Dick did not show any inclination to mind this indirect command.

“You may be sure, Arlington,” he returned, “that I am not dealing with
you from choice. Circumstances have made it necessary.”

“Well, I refuse to have anything at all to do with you, so get out!”

Instead of obeying, Dick came a little nearer.

“You’ll not refuse,” he asserted.

“Oh, yes, I will!”

“Oh, no, you won’t!”

“I’d like to know why not?”

“Because you dare not.”

“Dare not?”

“Exactly. If you refuse, you will be called before the faculty to-morrow
morning to answer to several grave charges.”

It seemed that Chester turned a trifle pale, but he snapped his fingers,
stained yellow by cigarettes.

“A threat!” he exclaimed. “But I do not mind your threats, fellow!”

“You will mind this one, for it will be mighty unhealthy for you.”

“You’re a bully!” cried Arlington, springing up. “But you can’t bully me
in my own room! There’s the door!”

He pointed with his finger, but Dick did not look; instead, he kept his
dark eyes fixed on those of his enemy, and there was something in that
steady look that held Chester in check.

“When I am through,” he said, in the same manner of quiet assurance, “I
shall lose no time in getting out by that door.”

“I won’t disgrace myself by getting into a row with you,” sneered the

“You have disgraced yourself enough already. I advise you to go slow.”

“I want no advice from you!”

“In your heart you know well enough one reason why I am here.”

“Really, I haven’t the least idea,” said Arlington, as he again sat
down, a bored expression driving the look of anger from his face.

Dick, however, knew Chester was not bored, knew he was shamming, knew he
was nervous and apprehensive.

“It will not take me long to tell you why I am here. For one thing, I
want you to resign immediately from the athletic committee.”

Chester laughed,

“You—you want me to! Well, what you want is nothing to me. What you want
and what I’ll do are two entirely different things.”

“You will resign,” declared Dick, with positive assurance.

“Not much!”

“You will resign.”

“Why? Because you order it? Because you want to run the football-team,
the committee, and everything connected with Fardale athletics? Well,
you’ll find that you can’t have everything your own way!”

“If you do not resign,” said Dick, “I shall immediately take steps to
compel you to do so.”

“You compel me?”

“I shall.”

“Why, you crazy idiot! You conceited duffer! You swell-headed——”

“That will do!” came sternly from Dick’s lips. “I know you would like to
provoke me into attacking you here, in order that you might claim I came
to your room and assaulted you. I shall not touch you in this room, but
if you continue your insulting epithets I shall call you to account
elsewhere the first opportunity that presents.”

“Bully! But you can’t frighten me. My father is D. Roscoe Arlington,

“That is something you have told everybody in this school a dozen times,
or more; but I should fancy you ought to see by this time that it fails
to make an impression.”

Dick spoke like one who felt himself entire master of the situation, and
that was one thing that infuriated Arlington, although he could not help
being impressed by it. It was this air of perfect assurance of his
position that marked Dick as one different from most lads and gave him
influence and power to a degree. He was also magnetic, and those who
learned to admire him as a friend grew soon to swear by him in
everything and believe he could not make a mistake.

“I am not going to be dictated to by you! Put that in your pipe and
smoke it! You can’t order me about. I was elected to the committee to
fill the place made vacant by the resignation of Warwick, and on that
committee I’ll stay.”

“You will not be on that committee to-morrow night. I give you your
choice, you may resign or be fired off. But you had better resign, for
you may be fired out of the school if you are fired off the committee.”


“The charges that will be preferred against you on the committee are
certain to leak out, and a call before the faculty must follow.”

“What are you talking about, anyhow? What charges will be preferred?”

“You will be accused of having dealings with Fred Kennedy, a gambler, of
giving him money to bet against Fardale, and of being a gambler
yourself. Thus you, one of the athletic committee, therefore deeply
interested in the success of the football-team, are plainly a traitor
working against your own school.”

“That’s fine!” sneered Chester. “It’s easy to make such a charge, but
how are you going to prove it?”

“I have proof enough.”

“What proof?”

“You were heard in Murphy’s saloon at The Harbor dealing with Kennedy.”

“By whom?”


“Ha, ha!” laughed Chester. “And do you think that proof enough? I think
my word is as good as yours.”

“I was not the only one there. Brad Buckhart was with me outside the
window, which was broken, and he heard your talk.”

“Anybody knows he would lie for you.”

“Joe Savage saw you in that room, where he went to have some dealings
with you. He was attacked, struck with a bottle, and seriously injured.
He will appear against you.”

“He’d better not!” grated Arlington fiercely. “If he does, he’ll go out
of Fardale, too!”

“He’ll appear, though. You failed to keep your promise to him, and so——”

“What promise?”

“Your promise to give up his I O U’s, won from him at the poker-table.”

“So that’s his story, eh? Ha, ha! Do you fancy he’ll be fool enough to
get up before the committee and tell that he gambled with me? Why, he’d
be in trouble at once! Gambling is not allowed here. And he doesn’t want
his mother to know that he played for money.”

“You’re right about that, but you have driven him to the limit. The worm
has turned. Arlington, I am holding him in check now. But for me he
would have gone to Professor Gunn with the whole story.”

“I don’t believe it!”

“Believe it or not, as you like.”

“Why should you hold him in check—you? You are my enemy, and I am yours.
You’d not do such a thing for me.”



“For your sister.”

“My sister! Confound you! how dare you speak of her! She is nothing to

“She is a splendid girl, and it is a shame she has such a scoundrel for
a brother.”

Chester leaped up, seizing a paper-weight from the table, and swung it
backward to hurl it at Dick.

“You won’t throw it,” said Merriwell, with the utmost coolness, making
no move to dodge or to protect himself, but looking his enemy straight
in the eyes.

Chester was quivering with excitement, and his lips were drawn back from
his handsome white teeth.

“Blazes take you, Merriwell!” panted Chester. “Some time I’ll kill you!”

“Perhaps you may try it. It would be like you. Put down that

Dick was watching his enemy so closely that he did not see the slight
movement of some curtains which hid an alcove, did not see them slightly
parted, and did not observe a pair of beady black eyes that peered out
at him. Some one besides Arlington and Merriwell was in that room and
had been there all the time.

Chester hesitated, but Dick’s dark eyes seemed to have some magnetic
power over him, for he suddenly lowered his hand and tossed the
paper-weight with a thud upon the table.

“Better not mention my sister further,” he said huskily, shrugging his
shoulders. “You touch me on a sore spot. I can’t bear to think of her
having anything at all to do with you—even speaking to you.”

“You asked me a question, and I answered it truthfully. You are her
brother, and she worries over you. It would hurt her to have you
expelled from Fardale.”


“That is just what will happen to you if I cease to hold Joe Savage in
check. That is what is almost certain to happen to you if I go before
the athletic committee and tell what I know.”

“Hang you! You are bound to get me off that committee. You tried to keep
me from getting on it.”

“I should have done so, but I did not. That was where I made a mistake.
But I had promised your mother not to interfere with your ambitions, and

“Bah! What did you care about such a promise to my mother?”

“My friends urged me to work against you and keep you from getting on
the committee. I know you are a fellow who does not hesitate to break a
promise, and so you cannot understand why I should desire to keep the
promise I foolishly gave your mother. I refused to interfere in any way.
Seeing that, many of the fellows who would have voted against you had I
used my influence declined to vote at all. Some even voted for you,
thinking it might be well to have a plebe on the committee. I was one
who counted the votes. I could have prevented you from winning then
without making a move. I did not suppose you would find a way to sway
the whole committee if you got on, and I thought it might deepen your
interest in the welfare of the team if you got on. I cannot understand a
fellow who will let his personal feelings lead him into working for or
even desiring the defeat of his school team in order to humiliate an

“Oh, you’re such a wonderfully upright and honest fellow!” sneered
Arlington. “You make me sick!”

“I shall not waste further words with you. I want your promise before I
leave this room to resign from the committee, or I shall expose you.”

Arlington felt that he was cornered, but he hated to give in to the lad
he detested.

“All right!” he finally exclaimed. “I’ll resign.”

“Then that point is settled.”

“But don’t think for a minute that you are done with me! I am still your
enemy, and you will find Chester Arlington relentless! I have power,
too. The Arlingtons refuse to be beaten, and you can’t beat me.”

“That’s all right. If you resign, you’ll be wise. But I have one thing
more to demand.”

Chester gasped.

“Something else? Confound you! that’s too much! You have driven me just
as fast as you can!”

“I want the I O U’s you hold against Savage,” said Dick, in the same
self-possessed, confident manner.

“You want them? Ha, ha!”

“Yes; you will give them to me.”

“If I do——”

“Don’t be too hasty. What do you expect to do with them?”

“I won them. He owes me almost fifty dollars.”

“Which he cannot pay.”

“That’s not my fault. He’ll have to pay, or——”

“You wish revenge against Savage. It won’t work. I am satisfied that you
won from him crookedly.”

“He thinks he’s pretty slick with cards,” said Chester; “but he got
bitten, that’s all.”

Dick knew Joe Savage had not been above winning money in questionable
ways at one time, but Savage had reformed, and he seemed sincere, so
that Merriwell was satisfied that he had been led into gambling again,
not that he had chosen it of his own inclination.

Arlington’s words were a practical confession that he had “skinned”
Savage, and Dick had no further hesitation about carrying out his
original plan.

“You agreed to give up those I O U’s if Savage would withdraw as a
candidate for the athletic committee and ask that all votes cast for him
be thrown for you on the next balloting.”

“Well?” said Chester defiantly, “what of it?”

“You failed to keep your agreement with him.”

“Well, you’re taking a lot of interest in this fellow who went against
what he knew was your desire in that meeting! What are you after? Are
you working to get him in your power? That’s it! You have no right to
demand those I O U’s, and I shall not give them up to you.”

“Then you will be summoned before the faculty to-morrow.”

Arlington was desperate. It was difficult for him to control the rage he

“So you’ll ruin Savage here just to get a blow at me!” he cried harshly.
“That shows how much of a friend you are to him!”

“I am doing this with the full knowledge and consent of Joe Savage.”

“Then he’s a fool!”

“Call him that to his face when he recovers from the treacherous blow he

“Oh, I’d willingly do it! I have no fear of him—nor of you!”

But Chester was beginning to fear Merriwell, as well as hate him. Why
was it Dick always accomplished anything he set about doing?

Dick turned toward the door.

“If you choose to sacrifice yourself for those worthless bits of paper,”
he said, “go ahead. I have told you what I shall do, and you know I
never fail to keep my word.”

He was going, and Arlington wavered. It was the bitterness of gall to
surrender, but he felt that it was better than the disgrace of

“Hold on!” he said. “I don’t want the old papers, anyhow! Here!” He took
some slips from his pocket. “Here they are. Take them. I meant to give
them to Savage.”

Dick stepped back quietly, with no expression of satisfaction or
triumph, and took the slips from Chester’s hand. Quietly he ran them
over, glancing at each one. Arlington longed intensely to strike him,
but experience had taught him that he had better not do so.

“These are right,” nodded Dick, coolly putting the slips into his

Again he turned and walked toward the door. Just as he put out his hand
to open the door, something whizzed past his head. Thud!—it struck the
door and stuck there, quivering. It was a knife!


Dick turned like a flash. He saw a slender, dark-faced youth, who had
stepped from behind the curtains and thrown the knife. He also saw that
Chester Arlington had made a spring and clutched the arm of this youth,
thus causing the knife to fly a trifle wild.

That quick move by Arlington had saved Dick. This Merriwell instantly

“You crazy fellow!” Chester panted, giving Bunol a backward fling. “Do
you want to ruin us both? What are you trying to do?”

“I keel him!” snarled the Spanish youth, his dark eyes glaring
murderously. “I keel him!”

“That would ruin us! You ought to know that!”

Then Arlington turned to Dick.

“You can thank me,” he said, “that you did not get that knife between
your shoulders.”

“That’s a nice, murderous whelp you have there!” said Dick, without a
tremor in his voice. “I think he’s altogether too devilish for this
school, and I’ll have to report this piece of business. A fellow who
throws a knife at another fellow’s back will be fired out of Fardale in
a hurry.”

“Hold on, Merriwell!” exclaimed Arlington. “Don’t forget that I saved

“For your own sake,” returned Dick instantly.

“For my own sake?”



“Because you know the trouble you would get into. Because you were
afraid of that. Not from any love of me.”

“Did you help me out of the fire from love of me?”


Arlington forced a laugh.

“I knew you did not. Then we are quits. The score is evened up.”

“But that does not let your fine friend Bunol out. He is a treacherous
snake, and——”

“Yah!” snarled the Spanish boy, starting to advance toward Dick. “I make
you take it back!”

Again Arlington grasped him.

“Keep still!” he commanded. “You are no match for him, so keep away.”

“He have you in bad feex,” said Bunol. “I feex him! You wait! You see!”

The eyes of the young Spaniard gleamed with a light that would have made
a nervous fellow uneasy.

Dick jerked the knife from the door, turned about with it in his hand,
and strode back at Miguel Bunol.

The young Spaniard cried out in excitement, thinking Merriwell meant to
attack and stab him. He made a spring for a corner, where stood a pair
of Indian clubs, and one of these he picked up as a weapon. He chattered
something in Spanish as he faced about again, but Dick had paused by the
table, and was talking to Chester.

“It will be a good thing for you, Arlington,” Merriwell was saying, “if
this snake in the grass has to leave Fardale. If he remains, he will
some day get you into a bad scrape, mark what I say.”

Chester flung back his head with a haughty pose.

“You have had things your own way since coming to this room, Merriwell,”
he said. “But you cannot deny that I saved your life, for that knife
would have struck you fairly had I not grasped Miguel’s arm. If you
report this matter, it will bring about an investigation, which may mean
no end of trouble for me, resulting in my expulsion, as well as Bunol’s.
Of course, I have no way of preventing you from doing as you like, but I
advise you to think it over before you carry it too far. And now, before
there is further trouble, get out. Leave that knife here on the table.”

“No; I’ll take the knife as a trophy.”

“The knife belongs to me!” cried Bunol.

“No; it belongs to me,” declared Dick, as he slipped it into his pocket.
“As parting advice to you, Arlington, take care that your snaky friend
does not carry a knife, unless you wish him to land you in prison by
murdering somebody when you are not around.”

Dick walked out, without once looking back. His manner was perfectly

When the door closed behind Merriwell, Bunol uttered a little
exclamation of disappointment, dropping the Indian club to the floor. He
sat down heavily on a chair.

“You fool!” said Chester scornfully. “Do you want to get us both hanged?
If that knife had struck him——”

“He would be dead now!”

“And we would be in a fine scrape! Merriwell is right; you must stop
carrying a knife.”

“I—I stop? I—I no carry knife?”

“Well, if you do, I’ll have to cut clear of you.”

Bunol seemed thunderstruck.

“You—you do that? You cut clear of me? Why, you bring me here! You pay
my way here! You say I must come to school at Fardale.”

“Because I found you handy before we came here. But now you are becoming
a trouble to me. I am beginning to think I’d be better off without you.”

The young Spaniard showed still further amazement.

“You mean I had better go ’way?” he asked.

“I think you had,” answered Chester, plainly making an effort to summon
the courage to say so. “I have been thinking about it for some time. You
are not much interested in this school, and there is no particular
reason why you should stay here.”

“And you I think is great friend to me!” returned Bunol wonderingly.

“Well, I have been a friend to you, haven’t I?”

“You seem so.”

“Seem so! Why, you have lived off me for more than a year! It was a snap
for you.”

“But now,” said Miguel, “the snap he end, eh? Now you shake me off, eh?
Now you say go, I go, eh? You have done with me? What for?”

“Because you are so hot-headed that you will get me into trouble here.”

“Bah! No! Because you ’fraid Dick Merriwell! That it! I know! First you
come here you think you walk over him. Ha! You try it. Ha! You find it
no work. Then you mean to beat him some way. You try it. It no work. Ha!
You find he very much smart. He no ’fraid anything. When you try, try,
try, you begin to get ’fraid of him an’ you——”

“That’s a lie, Bunol!” exclaimed Chester harshly. “I am not afraid of
anything. But I know now that Merriwell cannot be defeated by ordinary
means. I acknowledge it. I remain his enemy, just the same. I shall
defeat him in the end. I shall triumph. But I must begin differently. I
must work in more subtle ways. Thus far, for the most part, I have tried
to down him by main force. Now I have decided that I must use my brain—I
must resort to strategy. From this day my fight against him shall be
strategical. He may not even think me his enemy. He may fancy me
defeated. He may even imagine me something of a friend. All the while I
shall be working silently against him. When the time comes for me to
strike the crushing blow I shall strike it. But not until I have
triumphed shall I let him know that it was my hand that pulled him down.
This is something new for an Arlington. We meet our enemies openly and
defeat them. But I have found this enemy too strongly intrenched.

“As I have decided on such a course, I have also concluded that I shall
be better off without you here. Therefore, Bunol, I think you had better
make arrangements to leave Fardale. I will give you a hundred dollars,
and you may go where you choose.”

The Spaniard walked excitedly up and down the floor. Of a sudden he
stopped beyond the table, across which he glared at Chester, who had
lighted a fresh cigarette.

“I shall not go!” he exclaimed.

“So?” said Chester, lifting his eyebrows. “You will remain here?”

“I remain.”

“Indeed! How will you get along?”

“Get ’long? Why, jest same.”

“You may have some trouble to pay your way.”

“But you——”

Arlington snapped his yellow fingers.

“It’s all off,” he declared. “I’m done.”

“What? You mean you no help me some more?”

“You guessed it the first time.”

Arlington pretended the utmost coolness, whether he felt it or not. He
inhaled a great whiff of smoke and breathed it out as he spoke. When he
had finished he stifled a yawn with his hand.

Bunol was dazed, for this had come upon him suddenly and unexpectedly,
and he was unprepared. He had not dreamed Arlington would think of
throwing him over.

“So that is it?” he said, after a time. “You think you throw me over!
You think you have done with me! Ha! I got a thing to say ’bout that!”

“You had better not be foolish, Bunol—better not make me any trouble.
You’re too much of a load for me to carry.”

“Too much load?”

“That’s what I said. It was all right before I bucked up against
Merriwell, but fighting him has cost me a pretty penny, and I’m in a bad
hole. I dropped my last dollar and all I could rake on those Uniontown
chumps. Thought they were dead sure to win, and gave the money to
Kennedy to bet. I’m strapped, Bunol.”

“But you get more easy.”

“Not so easy. I’ve been working the old lady pretty hard of late, and
she’s about ready to make a kick. I’ve even got money off sis.”

“You offer me one hundred dollars to go ’way.”

Chester glanced at his hand, on which sparkled a handsome diamond.

“I’ll have to stick this stone up for the sum,” he said. “You see just
where I’m at, Miguel. I’m bumping on the rocks. You can’t blame me. If I
had not been beaten at every turn by Merriwell I’d be ’way ahead now.”

“I keel him! You stop me! I know he make it trouble for you—for me.”

“Killing doesn’t go, Miguel. You’re too hot-headed for this place. Come,
old man, there is no reason why we should fuss about this matter. The
time has come for us to split, and that is all there is to do.”

But Miguel Bunol knew which side his bread was buttered on, and he did
not fancy giving up a good thing like Arlington.

“I go,” he said.

“Good!” nodded Chester.

“For one thousan’ dollars,” added Miguel.

Chester had elevated his feet to the top of the table. Now he let them
drop to the floor with a thud, flung the cigarette aside, and sat up.

“You go——” he began.

Then he paused, with his lips curling, finally adding:

“——to the devil!”

“I stay right here,” said the Spaniard, with unconscious wit.

“As you choose,” said Chester; “but you’ll stay on your own account, and
not one dollar more will you ever get from me.”

Suddenly Bunol became cool.

“That is so, eh?” he asked.

“It is.”

“Ha! You think it. You change your mind. I make you change your mind.”

“You—you make me?” The idea that Bunol could make him do anything was
amusing to Arlington.

“I make you,” reiterated the Spaniard.

“That’s a joke! Why, you poor fool, how will you go about it? What way
have you to make me do anything?”

“Plenty way. You say ‘no’? Ha! How you like it if I tell few thing ’bout

“Tell—tell what?”

“How you do some thing since you come here. Ha! How you do your best to
beat Deek Merriwell. How you try to have football-team beat, so Deek
Merriwell he is beat. How you want him scratch with the poison ring, so
his arm it swell, and so he can play no more at the football. Oh, I can

“But you’ll get yourself into a worse scrape than I, for you have been
the one to do most of the work against Merriwell. I shall swear that you

“I tell your seester! I tell your mother!”

“They’ll not believe you. My word will stand better than yours. You’ll
simply get yourself into trouble.”

“I prove some thing.”

“You can’t; I’ve taken care of that. I have thought all along that the
time would come when we would have to split. Of course, I had no
intention of supporting you the rest of your natural life.”

Arlington was defying his former companion and tool, but no one knew
better than he how dangerous Miguel Bunol was, and he was keenly on the
alert for anything.

“I never be thrown over like this!” asserted the Spaniard. “I ruin you.”

“You will ruin yourself, that is all.”

“You say that. Ha! How we come to be friends in first place? I tell
that! I will!”

“You wouldn’t dare!” exclaimed Chester, turning pale.

“You think that? You wait—you see! I tell how you have boy you hate, how
you pay me to push him off bridge, how he sink, he drown! Ha!”

“But I didn’t mean for him to drown!” explained Chester.

“He drown,” said Bunol grimly.

“I meant to give him a ducking and a scare.”

“He drown!” again came from the lips of the Spaniard.

“I did everything I could to save him. I stripped off and plunged in. I
tried to pull him out.”

“All the same, he drown. Then you say nothing. You no tell how it
happen. You say think he fell in. You try to get him out. Somebody say
you hero. Miguel Bunol say nothing.”

“It wasn’t best that you did! You didn’t fancy going to prison for
murder in the second degree. That’s what would have happened to you.”

“We get great friend. Now you want me no more, you throw me down. Go
’head! I throw you down! I tell all!”

“But it will put you in just as bad a hole.”

“What do I care? I get even with you! Which hurt most—I go to jail, or
you go to jail? You son of great man. All my relation dead ’cept mother.
No can tell where she is now.”

Arlington rose, thrust his hands deep into his trousers pockets, and
began to pace up and down.

Bunol watched him with those beady eyes, and an expression of triumph
came to his face. He knew that he had conquered, and he was right. At
last, Chester turned, came back to the table, and said:

“We can’t afford to quarrel now, I think I was too hasty. We’ll stick
together. I may need you some more.”

“I stick to you all right,” said the Spaniard, with keenest
satisfaction. “Don’t you be ’fraid.”


The resignation of Chester Arlington from the athletic committee created
no end of astonishment. He was overwhelmed with questions, but very
little could be learned from him, as he refused to answer.

“I made up my mind to do it,” he said, “and I did it, that’s all. I’m
not going to talk about it, so don’t worry me.”

It must be confessed that this action on his part lost him many
supporters. The plebes were indignant, as they lost a representative on
the committee, George Hardy, a first class man, being chosen to fill the

Perhaps Mark Crauthers was the most disgusted fellow in Fardale. He
sought Arlington and expressed himself in a flow of violent language,
without giving Chester an opportunity to say a word. When he paused,
Arlington sneeringly asked:

“Are you through?”

“Well, I haven’t said half I could!” snarled Crauthers, showing his dark
teeth. “Why, we had things right in our own hands! With you on that
committee, the Black Wolves could have run things as they chose. You
lost the greatest opportunity you ever had to hurt Merriwell—the
greatest you will ever have.”

“Perhaps I’m tired of this foolishness,” said Chester.

“What foolishness?”

“Trying to injure Merriwell.”

“What?” gasped Crauthers. “You? Why, he has insulted you in a dozen
ways, and you are the last man to——”

“Oh, I’ve forced it on him, and you know that Merriwell is not such a
bad fellow after all.”

Crauthers seemed to be choking.

“Well,” he growled, “I’m blowed if I didn’t think all along that there
was something of the squealer about you! You blowed too much about your
father being the great D. Roscoe Arlington, and——”

“That will do for you!” said Chester, with a pleasant smile. “It is just
about the limit.”

“The limit! Why, you haven’t backbone enough to——”

“If you think so,” said Arlington, “just walk down behind the cedars
with me.”

“What would you do?”

“I’ll agree to give you a handsome thrashing.”

“You can’t do it! Why, I can wallop any squealer that ever——”

“You’re a big stiff!” declared Chester. “You do not dare walk down
behind the cedars.”

Immediately Crauthers started for the cedars, a little grove that stood
within sight of the academy. Behind this grove, hidden from view of any
one in or about the academy, many a fight had taken place. It was a
favorite place for cadets to settle their differences when they had not
time to get farther away.

“Come on—if you dare!” growled Crauthers.

“I’ll be right along,” promised Chester.

Five minutes later the two, who had seemed on friendly terms up to that
day, met behind the cedars. Chester pulled off his coat and placed it on
the ground, dropping his cap upon it. Then he sailed into Crauthers.

Three or four cadets had discovered that something was going to happen
behind the cedars, and they were on hand to witness the encounter.

Arlington had taken boxing-lessons, and he was really skilful. True, he
had found his skill outmatched by that of Dick Merriwell in a personal
encounter, but now it did not take him long to demonstrate that he was
Crauthers’ superior, and in less than ten minutes he had the fellow
whipped to a finish.

“If any of your friends make the kind of talk you did to me,” he
politely said, “I’ll cheerfully apply the same treatment.”

Crauthers, with his face bruised and one eye rapidly closing, made no
reply, but he ground his dark teeth in impotent rage.

Arlington, however, had demonstrated that he would fight, and from that
time there was little outspoken criticism of his change in bearing
toward Dick Merriwell.

Brad Buckhart was heartily disgusted when he heard of the new position
Arlington had taken.

“Wouldn’t that freeze your feet!” he exclaimed, as he finished telling
Dick about it. “He’ll be trying to get chummy with you next. He will, I

Dick smiled a bit, but said nothing.

“Say, pard,” came anxiously from the Texan, “I hope you won’t let that
onery coyote come crawling round you any whatever. Not even for his
sister’s sake. She’s all right, but you can’t trust Chet Arlington.”

“Don’t worry,” was all Dick said.

That afternoon Arlington was on hand to watch the practise of the

Unhampered by the orders of the committee, Dick had full charge of the
men on the field, and he put them through their paces in a way that
demonstrated what he could do with them if given full sway. The boys
seemed to show up unusually well and take hold of the work with new

Whenever a play was carried out with unusual adroitness Chester nodded
and smiled.

“Great!” he said. “The team is in the finest possible shape, and
Merriwell must be given credit for it all. I have doubted his ability in
the past, but I acknowledge my mistake.”

“He makes me sick!” muttered Fred Stark, walking away.

Stark found Mark Crauthers talking to Sam Hogan over near the grand
stand. Crauthers had been doctoring his eye, but he looked as if he had
been “up against the real thing.”

“Look here,” said Fred, as he joined the others, “there’s Arlington over
yonder clapping and cheering for Merriwell. I wanted to hit him, but——”

“That’s it!” exclaimed Crauthers. “I know just how you felt. I did hit
him! And he hit me! I hadn’t an idea a fellow who had been whipped by
Merriwell could fight the way he can.”

“He’s a thorough cad!” declared Stark. “I see through his little game.
He’s beaten by Merriwell, and he has given up. Now he hopes to get on by
turning round and howling for that fellow—hopes to get taken into
Merriwell’s set, perhaps.”

Hogan glanced round. Seeing there was no one near enough to hear what
they were saying, he spoke in a low tone:

“The Wolves are broken up. He’s never been any use. We three are the
only ones left.”

“And we may as well quit,” said Crauthers regretfully. “If he gets in
with Merriwell, he’ll give the whole thing away.”

“One last meeting,” urged Stark.



They looked at one another, nodded, and Hogan said:

“I’ll be on hand. The Den, I suppose?”

“Yes. It’s not likely we’ll ever meet there again after to-night. It
wouldn’t be safe. If Arlington blowed on us——”

“But it will take him some time to get in with Merriwell. Dick Merriwell
is not going to take up with that fellow at once. Arlington will have to
get right down and crawl before Merriwell forgives him.”

“I’m not so sure,” said Stark. “There is a reason why Merriwell may be
glad to take up with Arlington.”

“You mean——”

“Arlington’s sister, of course. She’s smashed on Merriwell, and he is
some smitten on her. That will make all the difference in the world.
I’ll not be surprised to see Merriwell and Arlington chummy within a
week or so.”

“It’s disgusting!” growled Crauthers. “Do you know, I have heard that
these Merriwells always turn their enemies into friends.”

“I know one who will never become a friend to Dick Merriwell,” declared

Hogan said nothing, but down in his heart there was a guilty feeling,
for in the past Dick Merriwell had befriended him, and he had once
thought that never again could he lift a hand against Dick.

But Hogan was a coarse fellow, and he had found it impossible to get in
with Dick’s friends. Dick treated him well enough, but Dick’s friends
would have none of him. This had turned Hogan’s wavering soul to
bitterness again.

These fellows were satisfied that it was only a matter of time when
Merriwell and Arlington would become firm friends. That was because they
had not sounded the depths of Arlington’s nature, had not realized that
his hatred was of the sort that nearly always lived while life lasted.

Arlington had taken a fresh hand and was playing his cards in a new way.
And he had resolved not to trust his most intimate friend. He, also, had
learned that Dick Merriwell had a most wonderful faculty of turning
enemies into friends without at all seeming to wish such a thing.

“The fellows here who pretend to be his enemies to-day may be fawning
around him to-morrow,” Arlington had decided. “I must be careful and
trust no one. I will fool them all.”

Be careful, Chester! There is such a thing as over-playing a part. You
may fool many of them, but you will have to be very clever if you fool
Dick Merriwell. You will find that those dark eyes of his have a way of
reading secrets, of seeming to look straight through you, of piercing
the dark corners of your heart and discovering your motives.

That night three dark figures stole away from the academy and made for a
certain strip of woods in the heart of which lay a jungle of fallen
trees that had been swept down by a tornado. Other trees had sprung up,
bushes were thick, wild vines overran the mass in summer, fallen
branches were strewn about; and still through this jungle a path had
been made. It led to a secret retreat, where the Black Wolves had met
many times to smoke and play cards and concoct plots. They knew the way
well, and they followed it through the semi-darkness, for the moon was
veiled by clouds.

At one place they were compelled to walk the trunk of a tree that had
fallen against another tree. At an angle they walked upward along that
often-trod tree trunk, coming to another fallen tree, lodged like the
first against the one that remained standing. Down the second tree they
made their way. Thus they passed over a thicket through which no path
had been made, coming beyond it to what seemed almost like a tunnel,
where the darkness was most intense. Creeping through this tunnel, they
arrived in the Den, which had been formed originally by a number of
trees that fell together, or were twisted together at their tops by the
hurricane, in the form of an Indian wigwam. Inside, at the bottom the
branches had been cleared away, boughs were spread on the ground, and in
the center was a stone fireplace, about which the Wolves could sit in

Dry wood had been gathered and piled at hand, and some of this they soon
arranged on the stones. Dry leaves served in the place of shavings. They
were sheltered from the keen night air, but a fire would feel grateful
enough, and one hastened to strike a match with numb fingers.

The leaves flamed up brightly, the wood caught fire with a pleasant
crackling sound, and smoke began to roll upward. Then, of a sudden, one
of the trio uttered a gasping exclamation of astonishment and startled
terror, grasping the arm of another, and pointing toward one side of the
Den. There, bolt upright and silent, sat a human figure, seeming to
glare at them with glassy eyes.

So still was that figure that Crauthers, who had seen it first, thought
it lifeless. It seemed like a person who had sought shelter there and
had died, sitting straight up, with eyes wide open and staring. Was it a

No. As the fire rose still brighter they recognized the unbidden one. It
was Miguel Bunol.

“The Spaniard!” exclaimed Stark.

“Spying on us!” burst from the lips of Crauthers, as he saw Bunol’s eyes
move and realized the fellow was very much alive.

“Sure as fate!” agreed Hogan. “He is Arlington’s right-hand man, and he
must be here as a spy.”

Bunol laughed softly, coldly.

“Don’t be fool all of you!” he said. “Bunol not a spy. Not much at all!”

“Confound you!” growled Crauthers, who seemed ready to leap on the
Spanish lad. “What are you doing here, anyhow?”

“I belong to Wolves. I have right to be here.”

“You were not invited. You were not told we meant to meet here. Then——”

“Bunol is no fool. He find out some things you do not tell him. But why
you do not tell him? He is a Wolf, and he have right to know.”

“Oh, go to Arlington, your master!” exclaimed Fred Stark.

“Chester Arlington no master of Miguel Bunol!” returned the young
Spaniard, with heat. “Some time he find Bunol be his master. You wait,
you see.”

The young rascals looked at one another in doubt. Up to this time Bunol
had seemed Arlington’s devoted servant, and it did not seem possible he
had turned against Chester so soon and so unexpectedly.

“Trick!” muttered Hogan suspiciously.

Stark thought so, too. He believed Arlington had somehow learned they
were to meet there, and had sent Bunol to act as a spy and to learn what

“Better soak him!” said Crauthers, who longed to get revenge on Chester
in some manner, and thought it would be partial revenge to give his
trusted servant a good thumping.

Bunol had not stirred. He was watching them closely with his keen eyes,
and his equally keen ears missed not a word they spoke. He understood,

“Don’t be fools!” he said, in the same soft voice. “You will not find it
safe to soak Miguel Bunol.”

“He carries a knife,” said Stark.

Bunol’s lips curled in a bitter smile. They did not know what had become
of his knife. Dick Merriwell had it, but some day he would get it back.

“Look here, you!” he said, “Let me tell you! I have done with Chester
Arlington as friend. You think a long time he is my master. Bah! All the
time I am his master! All the time he pay my way here at school. I make
him give to me the money. How I do it? No matter. I have way. Now he
have spend so much he get in bad hole. He try to throw me over. Ha! I
say no. He think he is my master, and he say I have to go. He give me
one hundred dollars to get me to go. I laugh at him. I say one thousand.
He cannot give that. I know he cannot give it. I stay. But I know he
mean to get done with me soon as he can. I have done many thing for him,
and it make me sore. Ha! See? No longer am I his friend. I make him give
me money, but no longer will I do anything for him. I like to see him
get it some in the neck. Ha!”

Again the boys looked at each other, this time wondering if Bunol spoke
the truth.

“What kind of a game is this?” muttered Stark.

But Bunol protested that it was no game at all, and he swore by all
things good and bad that he spoke the truth. He began to convince them.
He showed his feeling of hatred for Chester Arlington was intense as
well as unreasoning. He seemed to feel that, after providing him with
money so long, after accepting him as a companion, after introducing him
as belonging to a noble family, that Chester had no right to cast him
off and refuse to maintain him longer. He seemed to feel that Chester
was doing him a great injury, and he was burning with a desire for

Crauthers, Hogan, and Stark put their heads together and whispered.

“What do you think?” asked Hogan.

“Fellow’s on the level,” said Stark.

“Believe that’s right,” agreed Crauthers.

“Shall we trust him?”

“He may come handy.”

“Just the one to get at Arlington.”

“He may betray us,” suggested Hogan.

“Put him to the test,” recommended Stark.

“How?” questioned Crauthers.

“Require him to make some move against Arlington.”

“Good idea!”


“Let him make good by attacking Arlington,” grinned Hogan.

“Will he do it?” whispered Stark.

“Try him! try him!” sibilated Crauthers.

Crauthers was eager for the test. He told himself it would be great
satisfaction to bring about a clash between Chester and Bunol. It would
give him the keenest satisfaction to watch Bunol knock Chester out. But
could Bunol do it? Surely not unless he attacked Arlington unawares and
without warning.

The Spaniard, however, was just the one to make such an attack. It was
like him to spring on the back of an unsuspecting enemy.

“How much do you hate Chet Arlington?” asked Stark, as he turned to
Bunol, who was now coolly smoking a cigarette.

“How much? You wait, you see.”

“But you must prove that you hate him. We can’t trust you unless you
convince us. You have been his friend. How can we be sure you are not so

“How you want me to prove it?”

“You must jump him!” palpitated Crauthers. “You must give him a good


“First chance you get.”

“All right,” said Bunol. “I do that. I show you. Then you know I hate
him same as I hate Deek Merriwell.”

Crauthers was filled with the greatest satisfaction. Was it possible
Bunol would keep his word? Then it would be fine to turn the fellow
against Chet Arlington. One thing that had brought Mark Crauthers to the
Den that evening was a desire to induce the others to stand with him in
a plan to humiliate and punish Arlington. And now they had stumbled on a
way of accomplishing that purpose without taking the work in their own

So Bunol was again admitted to the circle, and they sat about the fire,
warming their fingers and smoking. The blaze flared fitfully, lighting
their faces and filling the interior of the Den with a pleasant glow.

Like brigands were they there in that snug retreat of the tangled woods.
The wind did not reach them, for the thicket broke it. At times it rose
and roared above their heads. The trees creaked at intervals, but in all
that strip of woods no living creature save themselves seemed present.

Winter was at hand. The breath of King Cold was sweeping across the
world. Yet they were warm and comfortable in their sheltered retreat.
With blankets and a fire they could have passed the night there in an
agreeable manner.

“I’m getting sick of school,” said Crauthers, tenderly caressing his
swollen eye. “I’d like to get away. I’d like to go West, or somewhere,
and live in the woods, and just hunt and fish and do as I pleased.
Wouldn’t it be great, fellows?”

“It might be all right for a while,” said Stark; “but you’d get sick of
it pretty soon.”

Crauthers shook his head.

“Don’t you think it!” he exclaimed. “I used to think I’d go to sea, or
run away and become a cowboy; but, of course, I’ve gotten over that, for
I’ve found out going to sea isn’t such fun, and the cowboy business is
getting played out. All the same, a fellow could be a nomad and just
hunt and fish and——”

“And tramp!” laughed Stark. “No, thank you! I have no desire to lead the
life of a hobo.”

“Oh, I don’t mean to be a common hobo. I read the other day that there
are lots of people in the country yet who make a good living by hunting.
I’d like that. I like to hunt. I enjoy shooting squirrels and birds and
things, and I know it would be great sport killing big game. I’d enjoy
perforating a grizzly bear and then cutting its throat with my

“Oh, that would be fine!” came sarcastically from Stark. “But it would
not be such sport if you happened to wound the bear and he got you in a
corner. I believe grizzlies are somewhat dangerous under such

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind the danger!” asserted Crauthers. “That would be
part of the sport. I’m not afraid——”

Then he stopped short, for through the woods rang a long-drawn, lonely
cry, like that of some prowling animal. Crauthers turned pale and showed
symptoms of agitation.

“What was that?” he whispered.

The others were startled.

“Sounded like the cry of a wolf or a wildcat,” muttered Hogan.

The wind rose, rushed through the tree tops and died away. As they sat
there listening, the doleful cry was repeated, and this time it sounded
much nearer than before. The thing was approaching!


One who has never been in the woods at night and heard such a strange,
awesome, blood-chilling sound cannot understand the shuddery feeling
that creeps over the flesh of the listener.

In his veins Crauthers seemed to feel his blood turning to ice-water.
His heart stood still when the second cry came, then leaped and pounded
so violently that there was a pain in his breast.

“There’s one of your wild animals, Mark!” said Stark, who was not a
little nervous himself, although he wished to hide the fact.

“For the Lord’s sake keep still!” breathed Crauthers, his dark teeth
knocking together tremulously as he uttered the words. “What can it be?”

“Here’s your chance to hunt a wild animal,” said Hogan. “Go out and
tackle it.”

“Why, you know I haven’t a weapon!”

“Bunol will lend you his knife.”

“No,” said the Spaniard. “The knife I have not.”

“Haven’t even a knife?” gasped Crauthers. “I’ve got a revolver, but I
didn’t bring it. Great Scott! not one of us is armed! What if we are

“Clubs, fellows!” said Hogan, as he began to pull over the little pile
of wood.

“Out with the fire!” sibilated Crauthers, “That’s what has attracted the

Stark grasped him.

“Let the fire burn,” he said. “Haven’t you read how it will hold real
wolves at bay?”

“That’s no wolf!” said Hogan. “It may be a wildcat, but there are no
wolves in these parts.”

By this time the boys had each secured a club. The wind had lulled, and
silence lay on the woods. Once more the cry came to their ears, and this
time it was even nearer. But now there seemed something strangely human
about it.

“Listen!” urged Bunol.

He placed his fingers to his lips and blew the signal of the Wolf Gang,
a peculiar whistle that cut shrilly through the night.

“You fool!” snarled Crauthers. “Do you——”

Then he stopped, for the signal was answered in a similar manner. Again
the wondering boys looked at one another.

“Our signal!” they said.

“I thought I knew who yelled to us,” said Bunol, in satisfaction.

“There is only one fellow at Fardale who knows our signal,” said Stark.

“That’s Arlington!” declared Hogan.

“He comes,” declared Bunol.

“What? Chet Arlington coming here? Why——”

“Somehow he think we may be here, and he comes,” said the Spaniard.

Immediately Stark’s suspicions were reawakened.

“It’s a put up job!” he declared. “He sent you here, Bunol, to listen to
our plans, and now he is coming. Confound your treacherous skin, if

“Hold on!” spoke the Spanish lad, in a low tone. “Better go slow. I have
nothing to do with him. I hate him. I prove it to you.”

“Prove it now!” urged Crauthers. “This is your chance!”


“Go out there and lay for him in the darkness. When he comes along, soak
him! That’s the way to do it! I dare you to do it—I dare you!”

“I’ll do it!” declared Miguel, at once, “Put out fire so he will not
see. Quick!”

Crauthers dashed aside the brands with his foot and began to stamp them

“Hold on!” urged Stark. “I don’t know about this business. Better be
careful, or we’ll all get into——”

“He can’t prove a thing. If he’s alone, we are four to his one. If he is
bringing any one here, it’s right to meet him and give it to him. Go on,

Crauthers ground the dying embers beneath his feet, and the interior of
the Den was plunged into darkness, save for the faint glow of a few

“You wait!” whispered Bunol, as he crouched to creep forth. “You see now
how much friend I am to him! I prove it to you! I get even with him!”

He still retained the club he had caught up from the pile of wood.

Stark was apprehensive, but Crauthers was shaking with eagerness, being
seized by an intense longing to join in the attack on Arlington.

As they waited, the approaching person whistled again.

“He’s crossing the tree-bridge!” palpitated Crauthers. “Bunol will be
sure to be waiting for him when he reaches the ground on this side. Keep

They did not have to wait long. Soon they heard the sound of a sudden
struggle, a muffled, broken cry, and a heavy fall. Their hearts beat
painfully after a period of shocked stillness, and it was not without
difficulty that they breathed.

The night wind passed over the woods like a sigh.

Hogan started to say something in a whisper, but he was checked, and
they waited yet a little longer. Then the voice of Miguel Bunol, soft
and steady, called to them.

“Come out and see how I keep my word,” it said. “I prove to you I do not

Still they hesitated.

“What do you suppose the fool has done?” muttered Stark apprehensively.
“I hope it’s nothing serious.”

He was the first of the remaining trio to creep forth from the Den. The
others followed him, and they found Bunol waiting in the path.

“Come,” he said, and they silently followed him to a little distance,
pausing near the foot of the nearer tree that completed the bridge over
the jungle.

“Here he is,” said the Spaniard.

“Where?” asked Stark.

“At your feet.” But they could see nothing.

Stark struck a match, sheltering it with his hollowed hands, as he cast
the light downward. Hogan breathed forth an exclamation that betrayed
the agitated state of his nerves.

For the flickering light fell on the pale face of Chester Arlington, who
lay stretched on his back where he had fallen when struck down by the
club in the hands of Miguel Bunol. Arlington’s eyes were closed, and
near his left temple something red trickled down from his hair.

“Good heavens!” gasped Hogan, as he dropped on his knees. “Why, this is
carrying the thing too far! I’m afraid he’s badly hurt!”

Crauthers said nothing, for in his heart there was a mingled sensation
of satisfaction and fear.

“What in blazes have you done, Bunol?” demanded Stark, who was likewise

“I soak him!” said the Spaniard. “That was what you say for me to do. I
do it!”

The match fell from Stark’s fingers. In darkness they stood huddled
about that silent form stretched on the ground. Fear had gripped their
hearts. They longed to turn and hurry from the spot, but curiosity held
them yet a little longer.

Stark struck another match and bent over Arlington. He thrust a hand
inside Chester’s coat and felt for his heart. In his excitement he was
quite unaware that he was feeling on the wrong side.

“My God!” he said huskily. “You have killed him, Bunol! His heart does
not even flutter!”

“He should know better than to fool with Miguel Bunol,” said the

By the gleam of the expiring match they glanced at Miguel’s face and saw
there no look of regret. The Spaniard was utterly pitiless, and remorse
had not touched him. A little while before he had seemed the devoted
friend of Chester Arlington, but his friendship had turned to the
bitterest hatred, and his hatred had led to this terrible deed that
might be—murder!

“Let’s get out of here!” whispered Crauthers, “We didn’t do it! We had
nothing to do with it! We know nothing about it!”

Stark wanted them to stay a little longer, but panic seemed to clutch
them. Crauthers went staggering up the tree trunk, with Hogan following
close behind. They did not pause when Stark called to them.

“We better go, too,” said Bunol.

“You go to the devil!” burst from Stark, suddenly overcome by repulsion
caused by the treachery of the fellow. But he did not care to be left
there with the Spaniard and the fellow he had slain, so he hastened to
cross over the trees and rush after his companions.

Like a cat, Bunol followed, and in the desolate woods was left the
unfortunate lad who had been struck down by his erstwhile comrade.

The wind moaned through the trees with a dreary sound, dying away like a
sigh. The woods were still. The trees and the thickets seemed to listen
and wait for some sign of life in that motionless figure.

Stark called to Hogan and Crauthers as he stumbled along the path. He
uttered exclamations of annoyance, pain, and anger when branches whipped
him stingingly across the face. Three or four times he stumbled and
fell, but he was up again and hurrying on in a twinkling.

“Where are those fools?” he grated. “What do they mean by running away
and leaving me like this!”

He paused a moment to listen, and then he gave a great start, for right
beside him a voice spoke:

“They run like cowards.”

“Bunol!” exclaimed Stark, far from pleased. “What in blazes do you mean
by following me so closely? I didn’t hear you behind me.”

“You all run off,” said the Spanish lad. “Why you think I should stay?”

“You did the trick! You should have remained to make sure he was dead or
alive, one or the other.”

“Bah!” said the other. “If he is dead, it do no good to stay. If he is
’live, he come out of it after while, and I care not to be round. He no
see who hit him. If he is ’live, I no want him to have some proof.”

“You were a fool to strike so hard with that club!”

“When I hate, I hate hard. When I strike, I strike hard.”

“But you were a fool! Think of it! You killed him!”

“Perhaps so, perhaps not.”

“I know; I felt for his heart.”

Stark was in a terrible state of mind, for murder was a thing to shake
his nerves, even though it had not been meditated upon in advance. His
brain seemed confused, and he could not decide on the proper course to
pursue. The horror of the tragedy in the woods was on him, and he could
not shake it off.

Bunol managed to hold himself well in hand, and his nerve seemed
wonderful, making him more repellent to Stark.

“You killed him!” repeated Fred. “You may be hanged for it!”

“Why? Nobody need know.”

“Such things are bound to come out. Besides, why should we put ourselves
in a bad box by shielding you? You—you alone are to blame!”

“Ha!” cried Bunol derisively. “You say that? You? Why, you sent me to
soak him! You dare to blow on me? Ha! You be in bad scrape, too!”

Stark drew off from the fellow. The shadow of the gloomy woods was close
at hand, and he turned from it. Several times he looked back, fearing to
see a ghostly figure in pursuit.

Bunol clung close to him. They had not proceeded far before two other
forms rose from behind an old stone wall. Stark halted, his heart giving
a leap, but one of the two called, and he recognized the voice of Hogan.

Hogan and Crauthers were shivering. The cold night wind seemed to cut
them to the bone. Their teeth chattered, and Crauthers seemed almost on
the verge of collapse.

“Fellows,” said Stark, “we were fools to run away like that. We should
have stayed. Perhaps Arlington was not dead. He may lay there and die in
the woods.”

“I wouldn’t go back there for a thousand dollars!” said Crauthers.

Hogan longed to go back, but he lacked the nerve.

They all turned on Bunol, whom they reviled for his act.

“Yah!” snarled the Spaniard. “You squeal! You just as bad! You send me
to do it.”

“Get away from us!” said Hogan. “We want nothing more to do with you!”

“Perhaps you blow on me?”

They made no answer, seeking to hurry from him, but he followed them up.

“You blow, I swear I kill you!” he cried. “I swear to do it, and I keep
my word! You see! you see!”

They had been ascending a hill. Now they turned on him, and, as they did
so, a cry of surprise came from the lips of Hogan.

“Good Lord, boys!” he exclaimed; “just look there!”

They saw him fling his arm out in a gesture toward the distant strip of
woods. They looked, and what they saw was startling in the extreme. In
the midst of the woods there was a reddish glare which rose and glowed
and grew stronger every minute.

“The woods are afire!” gasped Crauthers.

“Sure thing!” came from the lips of Stark.

“Why, how——”

“It started from our fire in the Den! When the brands were
scattered—that’s what did it!”

“Boys,” said Stark chokingly, “Arlington is there in the burning woods!
If we had brought him out! Perhaps we can do it now! Come, fellows—come,
let’s go back!”

They caught hold of him.

“Too late!” said Crauthers. “See how the fire is spreading! The wind is
driving it. The whole strip of woods will be a mass of roaring flame in
a few minutes!”

Miguel Bunol stood by, no words falling from his lips. In his heart
there was a feeling of relief caused by sight of the rising fire.

“If the Spaniard had stayed away——” began Crauthers.

Bunol whirled on him.

“You first to propose I soak him!” he sneered. “Now you lose nerve! Now
you are coward! But fire will wipe all out. It burn so nobody ever prove
he was struck. He was caught in fire and couldn’t get out. That is it.”

Bunol was too much for them. Bad though they had been, the nerve of the
Spanish lad after such a dark deed made him repulsive to them all.

“We had better get back to the academy in a hurry,” said Stark. “We
don’t want to be out when the excitement over this fire starts. Let’s
hustle, fellows.”

So they ran over the hill and on toward the academy. Behind them the
fire rose and waved gleaming pennants to the clouds, which reflected the
red glow. The wind moaned through the night and sent the flames leaping
from tree to tree.

“We are all murderers!” whispered Crauthers, thinking of the boy left
lifeless in the burning woods.


They approached the academy cautiously, yet in a hurried manner. Lights
were in the barracks windows, suggesting warmth and comfort within.
Outside the driving wind was cold and biting. Away to the southwest the
burning woods flung a red glow against the clouds, and this light
reached even to the academy. They feared the light would betray them as
they approached, and they slipped up swiftly.

Sure enough, some one was sitting on the steps outside the door. Who was
it? They halted beneath the leafless trees and held a consultation. What
was to be done?

“We must get in somehow,” said Hogan.

“I’m sorry I came out to-night,” averred Crauthers.

“It’s been a bad night,” came dolefully from Stark.

Miguel Bunol had kept near them, but he did not venture to take part in
the conversation.

They watched the figure on the steps for some time. Now and then they
looked away toward the strip of burning woods, and the reflected light
revealed the terror in their eyes.

They thought of the boy who had been stricken down and left for the
flames, and it robbed them of strength and courage and manhood.

“If that fool would leave the steps!” muttered Stark. “But he sits there
like a dummy.”

“I’m going in,” chattered Hogan. “I’m almost frozen.”

“You’ll be recognized.”

“I don’t care.”

When he started forward the others quickly decided to follow him, and in
a body they advanced toward the steps where sat the motionless figure.
They came up close to it, and then—they suddenly stopped. It was Bunol
who uttered first an exclamation in Spanish, and then jabbered:

“Look! See! It is here!”

He was half-crouching, pointing at the figure, and his teeth rattled
together like castanets, while his protruding eyes gleamed with terror.

Crauthers uttered a groan, and his legs nearly gave way beneath him.

“A ghost!” he whispered.

For the light of the burning woods seemed to show them sitting there on
the steps, hatless, pale, a streak of red down across his temple,
Chester Arlington. Never before had those boys been so startled. In
fact, they seemed for a moment struck dumb and motionless with horror.
Then one of them turned and ran, and the others followed, not uttering a

As they disappeared beneath the trees, Dick Merriwell stepped round a
corner of the building and spoke to the lad who sat on the steps.

“I thought that you would give them a shock. You had better get up to
your room now.”

Chester Arlington, for Chester it was, made no retort and no move. He
sat there dumbly, not even looking at Dick.

“Come,” said young Merriwell, taking his arm.

Chester rose, and they entered the building. Dick assisted Arlington to
his room.

“Are you sure you are all right?” asked young Merriwell.

Chester nodded.

“All right,” he said, in a mechanical manner. “Only my head hurts some.”

At the wash-bowl the blood was washed out of Chester’s hair and from his

“Perhaps you had better have the doctor,” suggested Dick, but Arlington
objected, saying:

“I don’t want the doctor! He’ll ask too many questions. I’m going to
take care of myself. Tell me again how it was you happened to find me
there in the woods.”

“It was not a case of happening to find you,” said Dick. “I have been to
the Den before. I had a fight on the tree-bridge once. I followed you
to-night when I saw you striking out in that direction. You aroused my
curiosity. But I was not familiar enough with the path through that
jungle to keep very near you. So I was not on hand when you were tapped
on the head, but I knew something had happened to you when those fellows
rushed past my place of hiding. I crossed the bridge and stumbled over
you. Then I discovered the fire, which was just starting. I shook some
life into you, got you out and brought you here.”

Arlington was gently drying his hair with a towel. He made a despairing
gesture and dropped on a chair.

“It’s fate!” he muttered. “I might have been burned to death in the
woods but for you! Twice you have saved me from fire! It’s no use, I’ve
got to leave Fardale!”


“I can’t stay here as your frie——” Chester stopped himself abruptly,
remembering the change of policy he had decided upon. A few more words
would ruin everything.

Could he play the part now? Could he continue to pretend to be friendly
toward Dick while really plotting to injure him? That was the plan he
had decided upon, but fate seemed determined to baffle him, to make
sport of him.

Then he thought of the fellows who, a short time before, had pretended
to be his friends. They had struck him down in the woods and left him to
be consumed by the flames. Were these the kind of friends he had made
since coming to Fardale? And Dick Merriwell had friends who would fight
for him, suffer for him, sacrifice anything for him. Chester was doubly

“I’m going away,” he declared. “Merriwell, I’ got to do it!”

“I don’t see why.”

“I do! I can’t tell you. But one thing I am going to do before I go: I’m
going to get even with those whelps who turned on me to-night!”

“You know them all?”

“Every one.”

Chester tied a handkerchief about his head. His manner was rather queer,
and he kept glancing at Dick out of the corners of his eyes.

“There is no more I can do?” said Dick, rising.

“No; you have done too much!”

“Too much?”

“Yes. Frankly, Merriwell, I’d rather any one else in the world should
have given me this last lift.”

Dick smiled. He realized that he had been able to pour hot coals on
Arlington’s head, and it gave him a feeling of satisfaction.

“Too bad you feel that way about it!” he said, retreating to the door.

“Good night,” said Arlington shortly, and Dick went out.

“A thousand devils!” grated Arlington, when he was alone. “How am I
going to keep it up? I hate him still, but he has made it almost
impossible for me to again lift my hand against him. Yes, I believe I
shall have to get out of Fardale. Mother wanted me to go, and I would
not; but now it is different.”


The escape of Chester Arlington from the burning woods seemed most
astonishing to the four rascals who had left him there. Of course, they
learned that it was Chester in the flesh, not his spirit, that they had
seen sitting on the academy steps when they arrived there. At first it
had seemed that he had not been given time to reach the academy ahead of
them, even were he in the best of health and entirely unharmed; but when
they came to consider the matter, they realized that they had spent
considerable time in wrangling and in making a roundabout course that
brought them to the academy as if they had come from a point almost
opposite the burning woods. These small delays and this détour had given
Arlington plenty of time to arrive at the academy ahead of them.
Plainly, he had only been stunned by Bunol’s blow, and had lost little
time in getting out of the woods after recovering.

It is needless to say that the relief of the young rascals was great.
Knowing nothing of Dick Merriwell’s presence in the woods, they
immediately agreed to swear sturdily that they were not there
themselves, in case Chester made trouble for them.

But, to their wonderment, Arlington betrayed no great desire to even up
the score. They fancied he would do this at once, but he ignored them.
For a day or two he wore a handkerchief bound about his head, explaining
that he had slipped and fallen on the stone steps of the academy,
cutting his scalp. Chester was not one given to hesitation when a
falsehood served his purpose better than the truth.

It was Saturday morning of the day that Fardale was to meet Springvale
that Miguel Bunol slipped like a phantom into Dick Merriwell’s room.

Buckhart had gone out, and Dick was alone. Hearing the catlike step,
Dick turned and confronted the young Spaniard.

“Well,” he said, “what do you want here?”

Bunol paused and threw up one hand.

“I come to tell you something,” he said swiftly. “You know Chester
Arlington and I have been some friends. Mebbe you know we are not so any
more? He try to throw me down. I do all I can for him. Well, I like it
not much! From his friend I turn to hate him. When I hate, I hate a lot.
Now I come to tell you that you will not win the football-game to-day.
You think Chester Arlington change to be your friend, eh? Ha! Don’t fool
yourself some like that! He stay your enemy forever. He make believe he
become your friend. That is done to fool you.”

Dick smiled quietly, but the smile was followed by a frown.

“Go!” he exclaimed, pointing toward the door. “I want nothing to do with

“I come to tell you something you better hear. Look, you; yesterday this
room was entered and some papers were stolen from you. How do I know? I
know. I find out. I know who come here. I know Chester Arlington he do
that. Why should he come? You have a locket. It have a picture of his
sister. He is bound to have that. It is one reason why he pretend to be
your friend. He think perhaps he find it here when you were out. He do
not find it, but he find papers on your table, and them he take.”

“You seem to know all about it,” said Dick.

“I know. I watch him. Once he tell me all he mean to do. Now he trust me
no longer, but I watch him. I know papers he take have all the football
signals, all the plays, all the things you do on the field. You mark out
all your plays. You put down your signals. Yesterday you look them over.
You work out one other new play. Then you have to go quick to classroom,
and leave papers on table. When you come again they are gone. Ha!”

Dick was silent. The papers had been stolen, as Bunol described. His
room had been entered by some one with a duplicate key, for the door was
closed and locked when he returned to discover the papers missing.

“You know what he do with papers?” asked the Spanish lad.

Dick shook his head.

“He send them to captain of Springvale football team. To-day you see.
To-day Springvale beat you. Springvale know all your signals—all your
plays. Chester Arlington he get even with you ’cause you make him resign
from committee.”

There seemed some reason in Bunol’s talk, and Dick wondered if the
fellow did not speak the truth.

“How much you give me to trap him?” asked Miguel craftily, “I know how
to do it. He lie to you. He make you think he is to you a friend now,
when he is more your enemy than before. He play you false. I find a way
to trap him, then you can make him get out of school. How much you give?
You pay me, I do it.”

The thought of having anything to do with Bunol was extremely repulsive
to Dick.

“You are a traitor to him,” he said. “I make it a practise to have no
dealing with traitors. I do not trust you, Bunol, and so you may as well

The visitor was astonished. He could not understand Dick at all. To him
it was incomprehensible that Merriwell should not eagerly grasp at
anything to crush an enemy like Arlington. Miguel began to chatter
excitedly, but Dick sternly ordered him from the room.

“Fool!” snarled the Spanish lad, as he backed out “You see if Chester he
do not beat you in the end!”

When the Spaniard was gone Dick thought it all over and worried about
it. If Bunol told the truth, it was likely that Springvale would come
prepared with a knowledge of Fardale’s methods and system that would
make the game a walkover for the visitors. He thought of going to
Chester and telling him plainly what had been proposed by Bunol. With
this idea in mind, he left his room and ran into Arlington at the head
of the stairs. Chester listened to Dick’s words, but his manner showed
that he was aroused.

“So that is Miguel Bunol’s game?” he exclaimed, when Dick had finished.
“Merriwell, it’s a lie! I did not take the papers from your room, and I
know nothing about them. I brand the whole yarn as a lie from Bunol, and
he must be the one who did the trick, else he would not know so much
about it.”

Dick was not satisfied, but he could do nothing further.

Springvale had a husky-looking football-team, and it appeared on Fardale
Field that afternoon with a swagger of confidence that seemed to betoken
their belief in an easy victory.

Thor, their big full-back and captain, was a magnificent-looking fellow,
with a shaggy mane of yellow and fearless blue eyes. He seemed a
youthful reincarnation of the Scandinavian war god whose name he bore,
if a god may be spoken of as reincarnated.

Springvale village had plenty of confidence in its team, and almost a
hundred rooters had accompanied the young gladiators to Fardale to cheer
them on to victory.

On the other hand, the villagers at Fardale had begun to believe the
academy team could not be defeated, upon which their interest in the
games waned, for which reason but a few of them came out. The cadets
were on hand as usual, but the bleachers and ground were not crowded.

Springvale, like many of the other teams, had an almost entirely new
line-up of players.

                 FARDALE                    SPRINGVALE
                 Shannock     Right end     Grant
                 Jolliby     Right tackle   Clark
                 Dare        Right guard    Hooper
                 Tubbs          Center      Foster
                 Bradley      Left guard    Rowe
                 Kent        Left tackle    Osgood
                 Buckhart      Left end     Dodge
                 Smart       Quarter-back   Emery
                 Merriwell    Right         Wellington
                 Darrell      Left          Phelps
                 Singleton    Full-back     Thor

At a distance Thor looked handsomer than big Bob Singleton, but closer
inspection showed that Singleton was of a higher order of intelligence.
Thor was a fine animal, in almost perfect condition, delighting in
physical contests, but he lacked a certain something that showed in
Bob’s mild eye and lazy, well-modulated voice.

Phelps was a lively, slender fellow, while Wellington was swift on his
feet and a great dodger and punter. Emery was a trifle larger than
Smart, but not a whit quicker witted or capable. Springvale’s line was
heavier than Fardale’s, but not a great deal heavier.

The game began with Fardale having the kick-off, and Singleton booted
the leather to the twenty-yard line, where Wellington took it and sent
it back with a magnificent kick that dropped it into the hands of
Singleton. Big Bob started to run, found himself cornered by a tackler,
and passed the ball to Dick Merriwell as he was dragged down. Dick went
on, taking the ball to the thirty-five-yard line.

Then Fardale lined up for the attack, and Springvale prepared to hold
the home team in check. The game was on.

The first assault on center was hurled back, and an effort to go around
the left end was repulsed, a funnel-play directed at the right wing was
a complete fizzle. Springvale seemed to anticipate every move and meet
it quickly, destroying its effectiveness.

“They have our code!” muttered Dick. “The Spaniard was right! They know
our plays!”

Fardale was forced to kick in short order. The visitors took the ball at
the twenty-five-yard line, and the battle was shifted to Springvale’s
territory, but with Fardale on the defense.

Springvale worked swiftly, using no signals at the start, which made it
apparent that the team had entered the field with a series of plays
agreed upon.

Wellington went round the right end for four yards, being pulled down by
Dick. Next it seemed that Phelps had been sent to try the left end, but
the ball was passed to Wellington, who again circled the right end,
making three yards in spite of Dick, who had detected the trick.

A mass play was slammed into Fardale’s left wing. Kent went down before
it, and Clark sat on him, while the tide rolled over them, the ball
being carried to the forty-yard line. Kent was angry when he got up.
Clark had fouled him, but the umpire had not seen it. Clark grinned into
Don’s face.

“Wait! Wait!” said Don. “My turn will come.”

Springvale had Fardale going, and it kept the work up until the home
team was pushed to its own twenty-yard line.

Dick was desperate.

“The Spaniard told the truth!” he kept repeating to himself. “Chester
Arlington has betrayed us again! I was a fool to think he might be
decent! It isn’t in him!”

He remembered how Chester had tried to bribe Jim Watson to steal the
signal-code and diagram of plays at the very outset of the season.
Watson had fooled him by supplying a false code and a lot of hastily
faked-up plays. But a fellow who would think of betraying Fardale once
could not reform so easily.

Both Arlington and Bunol must leave Fardale. Dick had endured quite
enough. He had chosen to hold his hand on account of June, but now—well,
not even for June could he see Chester Arlington betray the old school
and work it harm.

Springvale seemed on the verge of success when the ball was lost by
off-side play.

Fardale went at the enemy earnestly, but immediately after the first
play the referee blew his whistle and set the cadets back for a foul.

Kent had been detected in an effort to get square with Clark, and
everything seemed going wrong. To cap it all, Smart fumbled the ball and
made a bad pass to Darrell.

Hal lost the ball. Hooper came through like the wind, gathered up the
ball without stopping, and on he went over Fardale’s line for a
touch-down. Dismay struck the watching cadets dumb.

Seeing this, Miguel Bunol chuckled and muttered to himself:

“Now mebbe Deek Merriwell he will believe me when I tell him they know
all his signals and his plays.”

Chester Arlington seemed to be filled with the greatest dismay.

“It’s a shame!” he declared. “It was an accident, anyway! They can never
score again.”

Crauthers, Stark, and Hogan were not far from him.

“He’s turned his coat, all right,” said Stark. “I did think it possible
we had made a mistake, but it’s a sure thing that he is trying to get in
with the Merriwell crowd.”

“Well,” said Hogan, “I hear that it was Merriwell who brought him out of
the burning woods the other night. Now will somebody kindly explain to
me how Merriwell happened to be there and where he was that we did not
encounter him.”

“Not I!” growled Crauthers. “But I have found out that it is impossible
to account for Merriwell’s acts.”

“Twice, then, has Merriwell pulled Arlington out of the fire,” said
Stark. “I suppose that makes it seem to Chet that he must flop over and
join the Merriwell crowd; but we’ve all heard him swear a hundred times
that nothing on earth or in the depths below could ever change him or
make him friendly toward Merriwell.”

“Plainly that was gas,” said Crauthers. “But I’m glad he wasn’t burned
in that fire.”

“Can’t understand why he has not tried to settle with us,” admitted
Hogan. “He must have known we were in the Den. And so it must be evident
to him that some of us swatted him on the koko.”

At this moment the playing of the two elevens took all their attention,
and this line of conversation was abandoned.

Springvale had kicked a goal. There had been some volleying after the
kick-off, and then Wellington had made an effort to run with the ball,
but had been brought to earth by Buckhart.

Fardale fought furiously now, and the visitors were unable to make gains
as easily as they had at the outset. With every moment the home team
seemed to grow stronger.

Dick resolved to cast aside the usual methods of play. He settled to
straight football. The line held well, and Springvale could not advance
the ball. She was compelled to kick.

Darrell took the ball and leaped away from Grant, who missed a tackle by
a foot. Hal got away for fifteen yards before being pulled down.

Dick spoke a word to Smart. The plays peculiar to Fardale were
abandoned. There was no funnel, no center-back, no ends around, but
straight hammering football, smashing into the enemy’s line.

On the benches Chester Arlington rose and cheered. Fardale gained yard
by yard. Springvale held as well as she could, but the cadets were at
their best.

During the remainder of the first half the tide of battle shifted and
swayed, but almost all the time the ball was kept in Springvale’s
territory. Twice Fardale had the ball down close to the visitors’ line,
but both times a touch-down was missed by a fluke or a fumble. It was
disheartening, but Dick managed to keep the courage of the boys up, and
they continued the work up to the moment when the whistle blew.

As he was leaving the field with his dirty, sweat-stained comrades, Dick
saw Miguel Bunol hastening toward him.

“What you think now?” asked the Spaniard triumphantly. “You see they
know every play. I tell you truth. What you do? You fail to expose
Chester Arlington?”

“I shall do something when the game is over,” said Dick grimly.

Bunol seemed to take it for granted that he meant to strike a blow at
Chester, and his heart rejoiced. Without delay, he sought Arlington out.

“Well,” he said, “how you like it?”

Chester shrugged his shoulders.

“Too bad Springvale made that touch-down,” he said.

“You feel bad!” sneered Bunol.

“Everybody does,” said Chester, with apparent sincerity.

“You feel worse after game, mebbe,” said Bunol.

“Eh? What do you mean?”

“Wait! You find out! Springvale know all Fardale’s plays. How she know

“How do you suppose I know?”

“Perhaps you don’t. Deek Merriwell he want to see you after game.”

“See me?”

“He want to see you.”

“What for?”

“You find out,” said Bunol, with an insulting smile. “Perhaps you like

Now, Chester felt like striking Miguel, but he turned from the fellow,
shrugging his shoulders again. Did he show guilt? Was his face pale? Did
he tremble a bit?

After the intermission Fardale returned to the field without a change in
the team. One change had been made in Springvale’s line-up. Clark, who
started the rough-house work, had “got his,” and he was replaced by a
substitute named Mullen.

The second half was a hustler from the very start. Both teams went into
the game to win, and the swift playing set the spectators wild with
excitement, and for full ten minutes it seemed an even thing. Then
Fardale got the ball on Springvale’s fifty-yard line.

Dick spoke to Smart, who nodded. A wedge was sent at the enemy’s center,
protecting Singleton, who carried the ball, but Springvale tore the
wedge to pieces.

Just as a tackler came through, Singleton tossed the ball out to Dick,
who had kept clear of the wedge. Dick took the ball and was away like a
flash. Shannock blocked Dodge, and Merriwell rounded the end.

Jolliby slipped through and flung himself before Phelps, who made a try
for Dick. Phelps pulled Jolliby down.

Thor came cutting in. He was in Dick’s path, and there seemed no way to
escape him. The watchers held their breath as Dick made a weak effort to
try to dodge to the left of the big full-back. Thor laughed and shot
forward for a tackle. Dick leaped like a panther to the right, changing
his course with such amazing suddenness that he escaped the hooklike
hands of Thor.

Wellington had been rushing down on them, but Merriwell quickly swung
away, making it a stern chase. In vain Wellington tried to get near
enough for a flying tackle. Dick kept on amid the wildest excitement and
carried the ball over the line for Fardale’s first touch-down. But the
ball had been carried over at the extreme corner of the field, making it
necessary to punt it out.

Dick punted the ball, Darrell being placed to catch it. Somehow Hal
missed, and the chance for a goal was lost.

“That settles it!” groaned a cadet. “We’ll never have another chance to
tie the score in this game!”

But the success of that wedge-play had given Fardale new life. Dick
reverted to the well-known plays of the team and sprung them on the
enemy in rapid succession. Of course, Smart was the one who called for
these plays, but he was working under Dick’s direction. The funnel-play
made a gain twice and then was stopped. Center-back took Springvale by
surprise and secured nine yards. Even the old ends around worked twice
for fair gains.

“Somebody was mistaken,” thought Dick, in great relief. “Springvale does
not know our plays. It was freshness and good luck that enabled them to
check us at first as they did.”

This he became perfectly confident of as the game went on. As confidence
returned the enemy was pushed harder and harder. Dick knew the game must
be drawing to a close. Once he was tempted to try for a field goal, but
did not do so, realizing that a miss meant certain defeat for Fardale.

With the ball seven yards from Springvale’s goal, Fardale was held for
three downs without gaining an inch. Then Singleton fell back, and it
seemed certain he was about to try to kick a goal from the field.
Springvale looked for that—and was fooled.

The ball went to Dick, who followed Tubbs through center. The fat boy
tore a hole through the line and kept on far enough to let Dick through,
and out over the enemy’s line shot young Merriwell, barely in the nick
of time. The goal was kicked, and Fardale had won.

As Dick was entering the gymnasium, Elbert Bradbury, a Fardale lawyer,
spoke to him. Dick paused, and Bradbury said something that caused him
to show great interest.

“All right,” said young Merriwell. “Just as soon as I can take a shower
and get into my clothes.” Then he disappeared into the gym.

When he came out he saw Bradbury again, and this time Louis Thor, the
yellow-headed captain of the visiting team, was with the lawyer.

“I congratulate you, Merriwell,” said Thor, putting out a large hand. “I
thought we had you fellows, but you won out in the end, a trick Fardale
generally does.”

Then the three walked away together, talking earnestly. Some time later
Miguel Bunol was summoned to Dick’s room. He answered the summons. When
he entered, he found Dick, Brad Buckhart, Chester Arlington, and Lawyer
Bradbury there.

Miguel looked the gathering over coolly.

“Bunol,” said Dick, “I have determined to make a thorough investigation
of your charge against Arlington here, and that is why I called you. He
is here to defend himself as best he can.”

“What do you mean?” asked Bunol, smiling.

“You know. You came to me and declared that Arlington entered this room
and stole certain papers. You also said that he turned those papers over
to the Springvale team.”

“Well?” questioned Bunol coolly.

“Do you repeat your accusation?”

“I do.”

“You know it is a lie!” cried Chester hotly, springing from his seat.

“It is true,” returned the Spanish youth.

The lawyer pulled Chester back.

“Wait,” he said, facing Miguel. “How do you know this?”

“No matter. I know it.”

“But we insist on knowing how you know it. Did you see him enter this

“Mebbe so.”

“Did you see him? Answer yes or no.”

“What right have you to ask?”

“I am a lawyer. Perhaps he has engaged me to defend him. You must

Bunol seemed a trifle nervous now.

“Yes, I see him,” he huskily declared.

“How did you happen to see him? What were you doing in this part of the

“I follow him here.”


“Because I suspect. Because I want to find out what he do. He turn on
me. Once he pretend to be my friend. I do many things for him. When he
turn on me, then I hate him. I make up my mind I catch him in trap. That
is why I catch him. That is why I follow him here.”

“And you saw him take the papers?”

“I see him. He leave the door a little open when he slip in. I come
quick and still to door and peer through. I see him pick up papers from

“You have said they were plans for football plays and so forth. How did
you know that?”

“Oh, I hear him laugh and see him have the plans.”

“But you told Mr. Merriwell that he had turned the papers over to the
Springvale captain. How did you know that?”

“I hear him say to himself that he will do so. That is what I suppose he

“Mr. Thor!” called Bradbury.

Captain Thor, of the Springvale team, stepped out of the alcove in which
stood Dick’s bed. At sight of the yellow-headed young gladiator Bunol
changed color.

“Mr. Thor,” said the lawyer, with a motion toward Miguel, “do you know
this boy?”

“Yes, sir,” was the prompt answer. “He came to me at the North Hotel
to-day and gave me a lot of papers, which he said were the signals and
plays of the Fardale team.”

“It is a lie!” cried Miguel.

“He thought I would be glad to get them,” said Thor. “He urged me to use
them and never say anything about them. He seemed to take it for granted
that I would not expose him, as he had done me such a great favor.”

“You did not promise not to expose him?”


“What did you do with the papers?”

“I called in Charles Rowe, a member of the team, and we took the papers
at once to your office, delivering them into your hands, and watching
you seal them in an envelope.”

“Is this the envelope?” asked Bradbury, producing a large, square

“I should say so.”

“What do you wish me to do with it, and the papers it contains?”

“Turn them over to Captain Merriwell. I requested you to do so before
the game, sir.”

“Business prevented; but it is all right now. Here you are, Mr.
Merriwell, and I think you will find the papers all right. As for the
young man who stole them,” and the lawyer turned to Bunol, “if you see
fit, you can make a lot of trouble for him.”

“All I ask of him,” said Dick, “is that he leave Fardale without delay.
He must go!”

Dick pointed to the door, and Bunol slunk out.


Miguel Bunol was waiting for Chester Arlington in the corridor. Chester
started and hesitated when he saw the dark shadow skulking in the gloom
by the door of his room.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“To see you!” returned the Spanish lad, in a low tone that chilled
Chester’s blood.

“You had better get out!” exclaimed Arlington. “I do not trust you.”

He was afraid of Bunol, even though he knew Dick Merriwell had captured
and retained the knife the young Spaniard generally carried. Miguel knew
Chester was afraid, and he laughed in a low, cold manner.

“You come,” he commanded. “I want to talk to you. I have some few things
to say, and I say them. If I not say them to you, then I go to Professor
Gunn, and I talk to him. You take your choice: you talk to me in your
room where nobody hear us, or you let me go to Professor Gunn.”

“You had better pack up and get out of here in a hurry. If you go to
Professor Gunn, it is likely the professor will have evidence enough to
cause you to be placed under arrest. You know what has happened. Captain
Thor, of the Springvale team, has betrayed you, and——”

“We will not talk of it out here,” said Bunol sharply. “In your room we
talk. Either that, or I go to Professor Gunn and tell him a big lot of
many things.”

“Confound it, Bunol! I’m not to blame for the scrape you are in! You
brought it on yourself, and now——”

“All right!” exclaimed Bunol, turning away. “I go to the professor.”

He seemed in earnest, but Arlington’s heart was suddenly filled with
apprehension, and he called to the dark-faced lad.

“Wait!” he said. “If it is only to talk to me, you can come into my

“As you like,” said Miguel, pausing. “If you like it better for me to
talk to professor, then I go to him.”

“I’ll have to make some sort of a bargain with him!” thought Chester.
“He can make it very uncomfortable for me if he goes to old Gunn and
tells all he knows.”

So he put aside his fear of Bunol, unlocked his door and asked the young
Spaniard in.

Arlington hastened to light a lamp, and removed the shade so that the
light fell on Bunol’s face. He wished to watch that face, thinking it
might be the safest thing to do.

Bunol closed the door carefully. He came and stood by the open

“Now, what do you wish to say to me?” asked Chester.

“I am in bad scrape,” said Bunol.

“That’s right,” nodded the other lad.

“You shall help me out of it.”


“_Si_, Chester Arlington; I say you.”

“Well, you must think me a very forgiving chap!” said Chester, with a
sneer. “You know how you got into this scrape. You did it trying to hurt
me. You misjudged Thor. You had no doubt about his using the plans, and
so you placed yourself in his hands. But he did not use them. Instead he
turned the papers over to Lawyer Bradbury, who sealed them up and
delivered them to Dick Merriwell. In the meantime, you had made
arrangements to have the blame of stealing the papers thrown on my
shoulders. But it did not work, and you found yourself in the soup when
Thor confronted you a few minutes ago in Merriwell’s room and swore that
you gave him the papers.

“The jig is up, Bunol. By this piece of business you have ruined
yourself here at Fardale, and you will have to leave the academy. Dick
Merriwell gives you until morning to depart. He will let you go without
punishment if you get out quietly. You’ll have to go.”

Bunol leaned gracefully against the side of the fireplace.

“If I go,” he said, “you go with me.”

Chester’s heart leaped.

“Why, hang it!” he exclaimed; “what do you mean?”

“I mean the thing that I say. You bring me here to Fardale, I take you
with me when I go from here.”

“I guess not! You’ll go, and I shall stay.”

“Then soon you will be expelled in disgrace, which will please your
mother, which will give your sister great happiness, which will make
your father proud!”


“I say it, for I shall go to Professor Gunn, and I shall tell him all
the many things you do, of which I know. I shall tell him how you do so
many things to injure Deck Merriwell. How you cut down the bridge, so
that Merriwell and the girl come so near to drown. I shall tell who was
there, so they be called to prove my word. I shall tell how——”

“See here, Bunol, what’s your price? I will pay you——”

“Now you talk sense!” said Bunol, in satisfaction. “You know well I can
ruin you quick. You should not think my price it is small. If so you
think it is to fool yourself.”

Chester was desperate. Already he had drawn so heavily upon his mother
that he feared to ask for more money. His mother had confidence in him;
she believed him the finest lad alive; it would not do to let her know
that he must have money in order to hush the tongue of this fellow who
might disgrace him.

“If you ask for much,” said Arlington desperately, “you will not get it,
for I cannot get it myself.”

“You get all money you want.”

Chester explained how impossible it was for him to pull another large
sum, but his words did not seem to impress Bunol, who grimly said:

“It is one thousand dollars I will have if I go.”

“And you know I can’t get it! Confound you! you’re crazy!”

The Spanish lad shrugged his shoulders.

“It is the price,” he said coldly.

Arlington paced the room, his face pale and his eyes gleaming. His hands
were thrust deep into his pockets.

“I was a lunatic to place myself in your power!” he finally snarled.

“I have seen you use your power on others,” said Bunol. “I know how you
have no pity. I know how you make the members of the athletic committee
do just as you say, because you find some of their secrets and you
threaten to expose them. I know what you do to Joe Savage when you have
the I O U papers he give you and he is afraid you send them to his
father. Now I treat you just as I see you treat them. You have to come
to time.”

Arlington threw up his hands.

“I’ll quit!” he groaned. “I’ll get out of Fardale! It’s all I can do!”

“No,” said Miguel “There is one thing other you can do.”


“Deek Merriwell make to your mother a promise not to do some thing to
injure you.”


“You go to him; you tell him it ruin you if Miguel Bunol must leave the
school. Then you say to him that if he does not mean to be to you the
ruin he must keep it still about Miguel Bunol. He must not make it so
that Bunol must leave the school. You do that, so that I can stay, and I
will be still about you.”

“Great heavens!” groaned Chester, dropping on a chair and passing a
trembling hand across his forehead. “You ask me to go to Dick Merriwell
and beg—beg, beg! I can’t do that!”

“Oh, all right!” said Miguel, coolly rolling a cigarette.

The fellow was not disturbed, for he felt that he had conquered. He saw
that Arlington was wavering and ready to surrender. It was gall and
wormwood to Chester to be forced into appearing as a supplicant to
Merriwell, whom in his heart of hearts he still hated as much as ever,
but there was no other escape for him. He must humble himself before
Merriwell or get out of Fardale. If he defied Bunol the fellow would
disgrace him; he had not the least doubt of that.

“I’ll pay you the thousand dollars,” he suddenly said.

Bunol lifted his heavy black eyebrows in surprise.

“Why, you say you cannot get it,” he observed, and it was plain that he
felt disappointment in this decision of Chester.

“I can’t—all at once.”


“I’ll get part of it—say a hundred dollars at first. I will pay you
that. You leave the academy. Later I will get the rest as fast as I can
and send it to you.”

Bunol struck a match and lighted his cigarette.

“I am not so much a big fool,” he said. “I take it all at once. That is
the only way.”

“But you’ll get it! I can’t pay you all at once. It will be hard to
raise the hundred. I shall have to sacrifice many things. I shall have
to let some of this stuff here go. But I will do that. It is all I can

Bunol had not taken three whiffs from the cigarette, but he flung it
into the grate and turned toward the door.

“Where—where are you going?” asked Chester unsteadily.

“To Professor Gunn,” was the answer.

“Come back here—come back!” cried Arlington, jumping up in the greatest

Bunol paused.

“Why come back?” he asked. “It is no arrangement we can make.”

“Yes, we can!” declared Chester. “I’ll go to Merriwell and see what I
can do!”

He had surrendered.

It was the hardest thing in the world for Chester Arlington to humble
himself to Dick Merriwell, but he realized that it was the only thing he
could do to save himself. Chester was proud, and the thought of disgrace
at Fardale galled him terribly. He had felt confident of final triumph
over the lad he hated.

To leave Fardale Academy in disgrace—he could not think of it! But Bunol
had made it necessary for him to go to Dick Merriwell and beg a favor in
order to save himself. He could not force himself to it at once. That
evening Dick went over to the village, and Chester waited for him on the

The moon was shining clear and cold as Dick came out of the village and
strode briskly away toward the academy. His shadow kept close beside
him, gliding along over the ground.

Beneath a leafless maple-tree just on the outskirts of the village
Arlington waited until he saw Dick appear. He had been kicking his heels
together and moving about to keep warm. At once he stepped out to meet

“Hello!” exclaimed Dick in surprise, for he recognized Chester.

“Thought you would be along soon,” said Arlington. “That’s why I stopped
here and waited.”

“You were waiting for me?”


Arlington walked at Dick’s side. He hesitated and choked as he attempted
to speak.

“What’s his game now?” thought Merriwell.

“See here,” Chester suddenly exclaimed, “I’m compelled to ask a favor of
you, Merriwell. I don’t like to do it, you may be sure of that, but I
have to do it, regardless of my feelings.”

“Go ahead,” said Dick, suppressing a smile.

“You know Bunol?”

“I should say so!”

“You know the fellow came here with me. My father and his father were
friends, that’s how it happened,” lied Chester. “I’m sorry I suggested
to him that he come here. He’s a treacherous rascal.”

“Which he proved in stealing those papers and trying to put the theft on
you. Evidently he wishes to injure you now.”

“Yes. He’s sore on me. That’s just it. He wishes to injure me, and he’ll
do it, I’m afraid. You know every fellow gets into some pranks. Well,
I’m no saint—never pretended to be. This snake has found out everything
I have done. You know about that bridge trick, Merriwell. I cut the
bridge, but I did it to duck you, because you ducked me before that. I
wanted to get even. I didn’t mean to throw Doris Templeton into the

“If I had fancied that you did,” said Dick grimly, “you’d not be in
Fardale now, I tell you that! If you had not done your best to save her
after she was swept into the pool, I should have carried the matter
before the faculty. The fact that you nearly lost your life trying to
save her caused me to hold my hand and let you off without further

“That was kind of you,” said Chester humbly, although his heart was
seething with rage at the thought of being humbled before his enemy. “I
appreciate it now, even if I haven’t before. Then you know about that
little joke of shutting you in the old vault. You got square for that,

Chester shivered as he thought of the ducking-stool rigged up by Dick
and his friends. Arlington and his four companions were all ducked in
the cold waters of Lily Lake.

“Yes,” laughed Dick, “I believe that little piece of business was
beautifully squared up.”

“In fact, you have evened up for about everything.”

“Perhaps you are right.”

“And you have not been the fellow to blow on me; I give you that

“Thanks!” said Dick, with a touch of sarcasm.

“But now here is this snake Bunol who swears he will go to the faculty
and tell all he knows before he leaves Fardale!”

“Well, that’s rough!”

“Rough! Why, he’ll ruin me!”

“He may, that’s a fact.”

“If he does it I’ll be hauled over the coals and expelled from the

“It looks that way.”

“Now, see here, Merriwell, you’re not such a bad fellow.”

“Thanks!” said Dick again, with still greater sarcasm.

“I know I have no claim on you, and it takes a lot of nerve for me to
come to you and ask a favor; but you can keep this Spaniard from
throwing me down, and——”

“I can do that?”

“Sure thing.”


“By letting up on him. By not forcing him to leave the school.”

“And you have come to ask me to let up on him?” asked Dick, in great
surprise, for it seemed impossible to him that a haughty, overbearing
fellow like Arlington could bring himself to that.

“I have. I confess that I do it to save myself. But you know it would be
mighty rough on me.”

“I am not to blame,” said Dick grimly. “If Bunol betrays you, blame
yourself for choosing such a companion and confidant.”

Chester’s heart dropped.

“You—you mean that you’ll carry out your threat—that Bunol will have to
go?” he faltered.

“Why shouldn’t he?” said Dick. “He is not a fit fellow to have in the
school. The matter is out of my hands. Lawyer Bradbury——”

“But you might keep him still. I am sure he would keep still if you
asked him.”

“Why should I do such a thing? Bunol is my enemy. He is a treacherous,
dangerous fellow. You are not my friend.”

Arlington began to feel desperate.

“I have not been,” he said; “but it might be different in the future.”

“No!” exclaimed Dick. “I do not believe it possible that you and I can
ever become friends. There is nothing in common between us.”

Chester was surprised at this, for he had fancied that by his actions
within the last few days he had led Dick into thinking him a friend at
last. Now he realized that he had not deceived Merriwell in the least.

“He seems to see right through me!” thought Chester despairingly. “What
can I do?”

A thought came to him of a last resort.

“Very well,” he said, with a sigh. “The jig is up with me! I’ll have to
skip out before I’m kicked out. My sister objected in the first place
about coming here to this out-of-the-way place to see me. She won’t have
to come here any more.”

Dick’s heart gave a great thump. June Arlington would not come to
Fardale any more! True, if Chester left the school there would be
nothing to bring her there.

Arlington walked along with his head down, but he glanced sideways
toward Dick to note the effect of his words. Again Dick felt that he
could read Chester’s motive in speaking as he did. He knew Dick was
interested in June, that Dick would wish to see her again; and for this
very reason he had hinted that she would come no more to Fardale. But it
was true that there would be nothing to bring June to Fardale if Chester
left the place.

Dick walked onward in silence, a tumult of thoughts in his mind. If he
forced Bunol from the school then Arlington would have to go. If
Arlington went, June would come no more to the village.

This was the thought that made Dick waver and hesitate. He remembered
her as he had seen her last. Her eyes had smiled upon him. She was his
friend. Even at this moment he carried her locket, in which was her

Arlington was wise enough to give Dick time.

“Hold your hand until I can pack up and get away,” he finally said.
“I’ll leave some time before Monday night.”

After a few minutes, Dick observed:

“I’ll think this matter over, Arlington. Perhaps you won’t have to go.”

“I’ve won!” thought Chester exultantly.


So Miguel Bunol triumphed for the time and remained in Fardale. He
smiled over his success and felt that his power over Chester Arlington
was complete. At the same time, he chuckled at the thought that Chester
had been able to sway Dick Merriwell, and Bunol was shrewd enough to
understand how this had been accomplished. He knew all about Dick’s
admiration for June Arlington, and he had counted on that to win for him
in case Chester could be made desperate enough to humble himself before

Chester felt mean enough. The fact that Dick had held his hand did not
make him, in his heart of hearts, any friendlier toward the captain of
the football-team. He had been compelled to ask a favor of Dick, to
almost beg for it, to let Dick know he could cause him to leave Fardale!
Ah! that was bitterness. Of course, Merriwell chuckled over it to
himself. Of course he would put on superior airs. Oh, it was hard to

Such thoughts as these made Chester satisfied that he hated Dick more
than ever before.

“But I must not let him know it—now!” he said. “I’ve got to pretend that
I have changed to a friend! That is a part of the game. Some day, when I
have crushed him—and crush him I will!—I’ll laugh at him and tell him I
always hated him. My day of triumph shall come!”

Are you sure of it, Chester? Already you have tangled yourself in a
terrible snare, and your efforts to escape may bring about your further
entanglement. Already your plots and tricks have brought you to a point
where you have seen disgrace staring you in the face. Already by way of
punishment you have been compelled to seek a favor of the lad you hate
so bitterly—have been compelled to humble yourself to him.

The plotting, crafty, wicked fellow may seem to succeed for a time. His
plans may seem to go right, and his prosperity may cause those who know
of his crookedness to wonder; but surely the day comes when he finds his
plotting has brought about his undoing, when he realizes that at last
his scheming has wrought disaster and disgrace for him. But Chester
Arlington was young, and he had not learned this great lesson of life.
He fancied that luck had brought about his present misfortune, not that
it was the direct result of his own bad acts.

Of course Brad Buckhart expected Dick to drive Miguel Bunol from the
school, and he could not understand it at all when Dick decided to hold
his hand and let the Spanish lad remain. For once Dick did not make the
explanation full and complete. He did not confess to the Texan that the
departure of Bunol from Fardale meant also the departure of Arlington,
that Arlington’s departure meant that his sister would come to the
village no more, for which reason Dick did his best to hush the matter
up and let it drop quietly.

“I allow I never reckoned he was quite that easy,” muttered the
Westerner regretfully. “When I first knew him he had a temper like cold
steel, and he was forced to hold on to it all the time. Somehow he has
changed. Holding on to that temper has become easy for him, and he’s
master of it now for sure. All the same, he’d be the devil let loose if
it ever did break away so he couldn’t control it. I judge he’d be all
the worse for having held it in check so long. If it ever does break
away from him and he has real cause to kill somebody he’ll do it quicker
than a flash of lightning.”

Brad believed that he understood Dick better than any other fellow in
the school did, and there was good reason why he should, being his
roommate and seeing so much of him. He knew Dick had not gained the
mastery over his quick temper and unreasoning disposition without a
struggle, and he admired him for it.

The agitation over Arlington’s fight to get on to the athletic committee
and his sudden and amazing resignation from it had died out. No one save
a certain few understood why Chester had resigned almost immediately
after being elected. Sometimes the boys talked it over a little and
wondered at it.

But things were moving at Fardale. Football-game followed football-game.
The hockey-team had been organized and was making ready for an active
season. The basketball-team had been in practise some time. There was
talk of an indoor baseball-team.

Of course, athletics and sports were not the only things to take up the
time at the school. The boys had their studies and drills. The members
of the football-team had been excused from drilling during the season,
but the others were put through their paces regularly. Of these drills,
and inspections, and parades little need be said here, for those
characters in whom we are most interested had made up the football-team
and took no part in the exercises.

But there were studies and lectures they could not miss. Professor Gunn
might be easy with them; not so Professor Gooch. He demanded their
attendance and attention in the class-room. He was opposed to athletics
of all sorts, and he took delight in detaining members of the
football-team to listen to some dry-as-dust talk of his when they felt
that they should be out on the field getting in some practise.

As Professor Gooch, his spectacles on his nose, droned away one day
about the Punic Wars, and Hannibal, and Rome, and the destruction of
Carthage, Ted Smart noticed that Billy Bradley, who sat next to him, was
napping. Ted thrust his elbow into Bradley’s ribs.

“Ouch!” grunted Billy, with a start and a snort.

Professor Gooch looked at him severely and continued in his droning

“Of the general character and history of the Carthaginians, from the
founding of the city down to the wars with Rome, less is known than of
any other great nation of antiquity.”

“I’m glad to see you are so interested, Sir William,” whispered Ted, as
Billy was dozing off again.

“Eh?” grunted Bradley, with another start.

“Er—er—hum!” snorted the professor, glaring at Billy over his
spectacles, while Ted sat up very straight and looked supremely innocent
and interested.

Billy was flustered and confused. He fancied the professor had asked him
a question, and he retorted:

“Ya-as, ya-as, Hi quite hagree with you, sir.”

Whereupon there was a suppressed titter, and the professor, thinking
Billy was trying to be “smart” and make sport, said:

“This, is a matter of history, young man, and it makes little difference
whether you agree or not.”

“Hexcuse me!” gasped Billy, almost, collapsing.

The professor continued:

“With the exception of a few inscriptions on medals and coins, a score
of verses in one of the comedies of Plautus, and the periplus of Hanno,
not a solitary relic of Carthage has been preserved.”

“How sad!” whispered Smart. Then he snuggled over closer to Bradley.

“Say,” he whispered, “what’s the longest word in the English language?”

“Hi dunno,” confessed Billy. “But Hi’ll bet hanything Professor Gooch
uses hit hevery day.”

“Not so bad for you!” admitted Ted, for, as a rule, Billy was extremely
dense and slow to see the point of a joke. “But you’ll be surprised when
I tell you. The longest word, in the English language is smiles.”

Billy showed interest at first, then looked doubtful, mildly surprised,
absolutely astonished, and finally positively rebellious.

“Go hon!” he hissed back at Ted. “Hi know better! Hare you taking me for
a fool?”

“Oh, dear, no!” said Ted. “I wouldn’t think of such a thing!”

“Hi know a ’undred hother words that hare longer,” whispered Bradley.

“I’ll bet you a treat you can’t name one word longer than smiles,”
returned Smart, with great earnestness.

“Hi’ll ’ave to go you. Hit’s dead heasy. Hi’ll give you the first word
Hi think of. Hit’s transubstantiation. ’Ow is that?”

“It isn’t a patch,” asserted Smart. “Look at the short distance between
the first and last letters in that word.”

“Hey? Well, look at the shorter distance between the first hand last
letters hin your word. Hi ’ave got you!”

“Not on your tintype! There is a mile between the first and last letters
in smiles.”

Billy gasped for breath and grew so excited that there was danger of his
again attracting the attention of the droning professor.

“A mile?” he gasped. “You hare a blooming hidiot! ’Ow do you make that

“It’s easy,” assured Smart. “If you don’t believe it, just knock off the
first and last letters of smiles and spell what is left. I’m sure you
will find it a mile.”

Billy frowned, glared, wrote “smiles” on the margin of a leaf in the
book he carried, drew a line after the first “s” and before the last
“s,” and found that there really and truly was a “mile” between those
two letters, whereupon he had convulsions and Professor Gooch paused and
stared at him in wondering amazement.

“Woo! woo! woof!” came in a series of explosive grunts from Bradley, who
was doing his best to “hold in.”

“Really, sir,” said the professor severely, “if you feel as bad as that
you may leave the room at once.”

“Woo! woo! Thank you, sir!” said Billy, and he hustled out to have
further convulsions in the anteroom.

Billy was waiting for the others when they filed out of the class-room.
He took great delight in repeating any story that he heard. On this
occasion he seized on Chip Jolliby as a fit subject to try the story on

“Hi say, hold fellow,” he said, locking arms with the lank chap. “What
is the longest word hin the Henglish language?”

“Ru-ru-ru-rubber,” said Chip promptly.

“Hi ham hin hearnest,” declared Bradley. “What his the longest word?”

“Ru-ru-ru-rubber,” stuttered Chip, once more. “That’s the longest word.”

“’Ow do you make that hout?”

“Why, if it ain’t lul-lul-long enough you can sus-sus-stretch it,” said
Jolliby, with a grin, but this did not satisfy Bradley.

“You can’t stretch hit long henough,” he said. “Hi know a word with a
mile between the first hand last letters.”

“Now you sus-sus-stop,” chattered Chip.

“Hi can prove hit,” insisted Billy.

“What’s the word?” demanded Jolliby.

“It’s laughs,” declared Bradley triumphantly, giving the lank lad a poke
in the ribs. “’Ow is that for ’igh? Hisn’t that pretty good, eh?”

To his surprise, Chip looked blank and puzzled.

“Well, hif you ain’t a chump!” exploded Bradley, in disgust. “Just spell
between the first and last letters hand see hif hit hisn’t a mile!”

With which he released Jolliby and turned away, completely dismayed over
his ill success.

Smart, who had kept near enough to hear all this, was forced to press
his hand over his mouth to prevent a shout of laughter.

“Hi wonder what the matter was,” thought Bradley. “’E didn’t seem to see
the point. Hi’ll try hanother fellow.”

He sidled up to Brad Buckhart.

“Hi say, Buck’art,” he said, “what is the longest word hin the Henglish
language. Give hit up?”

“I reckon I’ll have to, William,” said the Texan. “What is the longest

He looked at Billy in such a way that the Cockney youth was confused and

“Hit—hit’s giggles. Hif you don’t believe hit, just spell between the
first hand last letters hand you’ll find a mile. ’Ow his that?”

The Texan looked Billy over.

“Whatever kind of loco-weed have you been eating?” he exclaimed. “You’re
plumb loony for sure.”

Then he strode away, leaving Billy scratching his head and looking
extremely puzzled and bewildered.

Ted Smart was enjoying this hugely. He approached Billy and spoke to
him. Bradley glared at Ted.

“What is the matter with your blawsted blooming old joke?” he ripped out

“Eh?” said Ted, in apparent surprise. “What’s the matter? Why?”

“Hi ’ave tried hit hon two fellows, hand hit didn’t go hat hall.”

“What fellows?”

“Jolliby and Buckhart.”

“No wonder it didn’t go!” said Ted. “Those chaps are too dense to see
the point. Come on with me up to Merriwell’s room. Some of the fellows
are going up there. Just you spring it there and see if you don’t make a
big hit with it.”

So Bradley was led away to Dick’s room, where some of the boys had
gathered, it being a general gathering-place for the football-team.
Singleton was there, lounging comfortably on a Morris chair. Merriwell
was talking to Dare and Douglass. Buckhart and Jolliby had dropped in.

“Give it to them right off the reel,” urged Ted, in a whisper to Billy.

“Hi say, fellows,” said Bradley, “what his the longest word hin the
Henglish language?”

Jolliby and Buckhart looked at each other in disgust.

“What it is, William?” grunted Singleton.

“Give it up?” asked Bradley.

“Sure thing. What’s the word?”

“Hit—hit’s grins,” fluttered Bradley. “Hif you doubt hit, you’ll find
there is a mile between the first and last letters. Hi can thrash
hanybody who doesn’t see the point!”

Then, as nobody laughed, he began to tear off his coat, truly fighting

“You hare a lot hof blawsted thick-’eaded Yankees!” he raged. “Hover hin
hold Hengland——”

“Dear! dear!” said Smart. “Don’t disgrace yourself, Sir William, by
thrashing such dummies. It really takes the English to see the point of
a joke. Now, when I get a good thing I always take it to you, for I know
you will be so quick to catch on!”

This appeased Bradley somewhat, but he returned:

“Hi don’t believe they want to see hit! They never want to see hanything
when Hi tell hit.”

“It’s very shameful,” said Ted, winking at the others behind Billy’s
back. “Any one should be able to see in a minute that there is a mile
between the first and last letters of smiles.”

Then, for the first time, the boys on which Billy had tried to spring
the joke saw the point in it. Immediately they began to laugh, which
disgusted the Cockney lad more than ever.

“Look hat that!” he cried. “When Hi say hit nobody laughs; when you say
hit they hall catch hon him a minute. Hit’s a put hup job!”

“It may look that way, Billy,” said Dick; “but I assure you that we have
just seen the point of the joke. We humbly beg your pardon. But I assure
you that smiles, with its mile between the first and last letters, is
not the longest word. I know one that is longer.”

“Hi doubt hit,” retorted Bradley. “What is hit?”

“It is longer,” explained Dick.

“Hi know you said so, but what is the word?”

“It is longer,” repeated Dick.

“That’s all right. Hit may be, but what is hit?”

“I will spell it for you,” smiled Dick. “L-o-n-g-e-r. Can’t you see that
proves my claim. It is longer.”

Bradley paused with his mouth open. Slowly the point dawned on him. He
slapped his thigh and uttered an exclamation.

“By Jawve! that’s a good one! Hit’s better than the hother one! But
Hi’ll wager hanything lots hof fellows will not see the point when Hi
spring hit hon them. Don’t you know, Merriwell, Hi believe some people
inherit their blawsted stupidity.”

“My dear Bradley!” exclaimed Dick, as if shocked. “It’s not proper to
speak that way of your parents!”

At this the others shouted with laughter, while Bradley was utterly at a
loss to comprehend the cause of their merriment.

“You’re a ’ole lot of hiddiots!” he cried, his disgust breaking all
bounds. “You heven laugh at a fool!”

“Don’t—don’t cast reflections on yourself!” said Smart.

Billy reached for him, but Ted knew better than to fall into those
muscular hands, and he dodged away.

“Hi’ll ’ave nothing more to do with you!” declared the Cockney lad, as
he turned and stalked out of the room, and the laughter behind him added
to his disgust as he closed the door.


Ted Smart saw it first, but no one believed him when he told about it.
Ted declared that he turned over in bed and beheld a white, ghostly form
floating slowly and silently across the room about two feet from the
floor. He also declared that he could see through the white form and
discern solid objects on the farther side. But every one knew Smart was
given to exaggeration, and so they laughed.

“Did you really see anything at all?” asked one.

“Oh, no!” exclaimed Ted derisively; “I didn’t see a thing. I am stone
blind, and I can’t see anything.”

“But it was dark.”

“Oh, the moon didn’t shine in at the window at all!” retorted the little
fellow. “It was dark as pitch! I can see better in the dark than I can
in the daylight!”

All of which meant exactly the opposite.

“Well, what was the spook doing in your room, Smart?”

“Ask me! Just floating round, I fancy. But when the old thing floated my
way I just sat up and said, ‘Shoo!’ like that. The thing stopped and
stretched out a hand toward me. I said, ‘Oh, Lord!’ and went right down
under the bedclothes. I don’t know how long I stayed there, but when I
rubbered out the spook was gone.”

“A pretty bad case of nightmare,” was the verdict, but Ted did not
accept it. He insisted that something had been in his room. True, his
door was locked when he got up and looked around, and the “something”
was gone.

Ted was the last fellow at Fardale to be able to impress any one with
such a story. They guyed him at every opportunity about it. One after
another the boys came to him and asked him to tell them about the
“spook.” They kept him repeating the story over and over until he became
tired of it. Then when he became disgusted and refused to talk about it
any more they laughed and kept up the sport by gathering around him and
repeating what he had said.

Later in the day, Smart said:

“I wonder if spooks have to comb their hair. My pet comb and
silver-backed hair-brush are gone. Don’t know where they could have gone
to unless my spook took them.”

Of course he was advised to look around thoroughly in his room for the
missing articles. He did so, but the comb and brush he could not find.
Ted could not understand why any one should wish to steal the comb and

The very next night Joe Savage saw the “spook.”

Savage and Gorman roomed together, although they were not the best of
friends, having come to a misunderstanding over Dick Merriwell and
football matters.

Joe knew not just what awakened him. It seemed like a long, low sigh.
However, when he opened his eyes, he dimly saw a white form standing at
the foot of his bed. His first thought was that Gorman had arisen for
something, but a moment later he discovered that Gorman was peacefully
sleeping beside him, breathing regularly and somewhat loudly.

Savage was a fellow of considerable nerve, but now he was startled in
spite of himself. His room was not on the right side for the moonlight
to shine in at his window, but still there was light enough for him to
make out the white figure, which had the general semblance of a human

Joe thought of Smart’s spook-story.

“Rot!” he told himself. “That’s what’s the matter. I must be dreaming.”

He deliberately pinched himself, discovering that he was very

The thing seemed to be looking straight at him, and a feeling of
unspeakable queerness froze him stiff in bed. He tried to convince
himself that it was a case of imagination, but the longer he looked the
plainer he could see the ghostly figure. After a while he became
convinced that there really was something white there at the foot of the

Then through the room again sounded that long, low, tremulous sigh. It
was expressive of unspeakable sadness, and about it there was something
inhuman and spiritlike.

Savage felt himself getting cold as ice. He began to shiver so that the
bed shook. In that moment he was ashamed of himself, for he was not a
fellow who believed in such nonsense as ghosts. Summoning all his
will-power, he sat up in bed, expecting the thing would vanish, in which
case he would be satisfied it was an hallucination of some sort. Instead
of vanishing, the ghost stretched out a hand toward Joe as if to grasp

Immediately Savage lay down again. The thing slowly moved away,
disappearing from view.

Joe lay there, hearing Gorman still breathing regularly and
stentoriously, but straining his ears for some other sound.

The door leading from his room to the corridor was not in view.

Joe had remained silent thus a full minute or more. At last he forced
himself to get out of bed and step out of the alcove into the room. He
was still shaking, but he looked about in vain for the spook. The thing,
had vanished from the room.

He crossed the floor quickly and tried the door. It was locked.

“Well,” said Savage to himself, “I wonder if I really did see anything!
I’m almost ready to swear I did, and yet——”

He lighted a match and looked around as well as he could. Lights were
not permitted in the rooms at that hour, but he did not believe any one
would observe the light from a burning match.

The striking of the match broke Gorman’s slumber. He choked, started,
and sat up. He saw Savage in the middle of the room, holding the lighted
match above his head.

“What’s up?” grunted Abe, rubbing his eyes.

“I am,” answered Joe.

“What are you looking for?”

“The spook.”


“I saw it,” said Savage.

“What’s the matter with you?” growled Gorman, in deep disgust. “Come
back to bed.”

The match burned Joe’s fingers and he dropped it.

“I saw something,” he declared.

“Been dreaming,” mumbled Gorman, lying down.

But the darkness seemed to convince Joe that he had really and truly
seen something.

“No,” he declared grimly, “I know I saw something at the foot of the

“Pooh!” ejaculated Abe, and he got into a comfortable position and
prepared to sleep again.

After returning to bed Joe lay a long time thinking the matter over.

“I’m not a fool,” he thought, “and I am ready to bet my life that there
was some kind of a thing in this room.”

The impression settled on him so that he found it almost impossible to
get to sleep. As he lay thus a sudden wild yell echoed through the
corridors, followed by a commotion.

Joe had left the bed at a single bound as the yell rang out. Another
bound seemed to take him to the door of his room. He found some
difficulty in unlocking the door, as the key was not in the lock, and he
was compelled to take it from the hook where it hung and use it to
unlock the door.

By the time he got outside, with Gorman at his heels, the corridor was
swarming with excited cadets in their night garments.

“What’s the racket?” asked Savage, of the nearest fellow.

“Jim Wilson saw a ghost,” was the laughing answer. “Wouldn’t that jar

But immediately Savage was eager to question Wilson. This was prevented,
however, at this time, as the boys were hustled into their rooms.

“What do you think of that?” asked Joe, when he and Gorman were back in
their room.

“Jim Wilson’s a scare-baby,” returned Gorman. “If any other fellow had
yelled like that I’d thought it a joke to get up a sensation. Wilson
would never think of such a thing.”

“But I saw something here in this very room a while ago.”

“Don’t tell anybody that,” sneered Abe, as he again prepared to sleep.
“They’ll take you for a big chump.”

Gorman was a fellow who liked to sleep, and he declined to make any
further talk.

During the remainder of the night all was quiet about the academy.


“Hey, Savage!” said Gorman, as they were rushing through dressing in
order to be present at roll-call; “where’s my watch?”

“How do I know?” returned Joe, as he buttoned his shirt. “Where you put
it, I suppose.”

“No it isn’t. It’s gone.”

“Well, I think you’ll find it if you look for it.”

“But I can’t find it!” snapped Gorman. “I left it right here on the
table last night, where I leave it every night. It’s gone now.”

“Well, you needn’t look to me for it!” flung back Savage, whose temper
had been ruffled by the tone assumed by his roommate. “I hope you don’t
think I took your old watch? I have one of my own, and—Hey! where’s my

Savage was very neat and trim in his habits, and he always cleaned his
finger-nails mornings when he reached a certain point in his dressing.
It was shortly after washing his face and hands, as that was the best
time to do so. Just now he had thrust his hand into his pocket for his
knife, only to discover that it was gone.

Gorman paid no attention to Joe, but continued to look around for his
watch, a scowl on his face.

Savage felt hastily through his pockets, then began to look around

“Seen my knife?” he demanded.

“No!” snapped Abe; “but I’d like to see my watch. It’s mighty strange
where that watch has disappeared to.”

Joe stood still, his hands in his pockets, thinking.

“I had that knife last night,” he muttered. “I sharpened a pencil with
it. I was sitting right there by the table. I put it back into my
pocket. Funny where it’s gone.”

Then the two boys found themselves staring suspiciously at each other.

“My watch is valuable,” said Gorman.

“My knife was a present from my mother,” said Savage. “I thought
everything of it.”

“My watch was a present from my father. It was worth a neat little bit.”

“I can’t help that. I know it is a good watch. You’ll find it——”

“I don’t know about finding it. I had it last evening. I wound it up
just the same as usual before going to bed. I remember very distinctly
winding it.”

“Well, your watch didn’t walk out of this room, did it?”

“How about your knife?”

There was little satisfaction in these questions, and they suddenly
realized that they would have to hustle if they were to be on hand at
roll-call, whereupon they hastily completed preparations and scudded out
of the room, both in a very bad temper.

After roll-call and morning service there were a few moments before
breakfast. Savage came upon a group gathered about Gorman, who was
telling of the mysterious disappearance of his watch. Just as he came
up, Jim Wilson joined the group.

“Lost your watch right out of your room?” he said. “Well, I lost mine
last night, so I’m in the same scrape.”

“Perhaps your ghost took it, Jim,” laughed one of the group of lads.

“Ghost?” exclaimed Gorman. “Why, confound it! Savage said something
about a ghost. I woke up in the night and found him standing in the
middle of the floor, holding a lighted match over his head. He was white
as a sheet.”

“How about that, Savage?” demanded several of the boys, who had noted
the approach of Joe.

Savage shrugged his shoulders.

“I wasn’t going to say anything about it,” he declared; “but I did see
something in our room last night.”

Jim Wilson grew excited.

“What was it like?” he asked wildly, much to the amusement of some of
the boys. “Was it tall and white, with long arms, and did it just seem
to float along without making a sound?”

“I couldn’t see it very plainly. It stood at the foot of the bed. But it
was white.”

“Did it groan just awful?”

“No; but it uttered a doleful sigh.”

“My ghost groaned. Gosh! It made my hair stand right up. Then when the
thing lifted its arm I just gave a yell. It vanished quick enough. I got
out of the room. Don’t know how I got out there. Don’t know how I opened
the door. Perhaps it was open. I can’t say. Laugh, you fellows! I don’t
care! I tell you there was something in my room!”

“I suppose you fellows know,” said a tall, solemn lad, “that a chap
committed suicide here at the academy once?”

“No?” cried several.

“Sure thing,” nodded the tall fellow. “Cut his throat. He was daffy.”

“Dear me!” murmured Ted Smart, who had just strolled along in company
with Dick Merriwell. “What a delightful way to kick the bucket! I admire
his taste!”

“But was there a fellow who really committed suicide here?”

“Yes,” nodded Dick Merriwell. “My brother told me about it. His name was
Bolt. The room he killed himself in was closed for a long time. Some of
the fellows used to sneak into it nights when they wanted a little
racket. There was a story about the room being haunted; but, of course,
that was bosh.”

“Was it?” said the tall fellow, in a queer way.

“Perhaps it is the ghost of Cadet Bolt that is romping around here once
more,” suggested a mocking lad.

“What do you think, Smart?” questioned a boy with squinting eyes.

“I have found it a bad practise to think,” answered Ted evasively. “It
is wearing on the gray matter, don’t you know.”

But they observed that Smart was not as lively and jocular as usual.

“This spook seems to be a collector of relics,” said Dick. “He has
collected something wherever he has appeared. First he got away with
Smart’s comb and brush, then Gorman’s watch; Savage lost a knife, and
Wilson is also out a watch.”

“Well, what do you think of it?” was the point-blank question put to

“It’s very remarkable,” confessed Merriwell.

“Oh, there’s nothing in the ghost-story, of course!” said a
bullet-headed boy.

“Perhaps there is,” said Dick.

“What?” cried several, in surprise.

“You don’t believe it?” said one. “You don’t take stock in spooks?”

“I might not take stock in this one,” admitted Dick, “if it were not
that he has taken stock wherever he had visited. In other words, the
fact that he has carried off some valuable articles leads me to believe
in him.”

“But how——”


“You don’t——”

“I can’t see——”

“You mean——”

“It seems likely that somebody, or something, has been prowling round
this building,” said Dick, cutting them all short. “There goes the

There was a general movement to form into ranks to march to the
dining-hall by classes, as was the custom, and the subject was dropped
for the time being.


The mystery of the “spook” that had so suddenly appeared at the academy
grew with every night. Strange sounds were heard in the corridors,
sentinels were frightened, and little articles and things of value
continued to disappear from the rooms of the cadets.

“I wonder if this yere spook has visited us, pard?” said Brad Buckhart,
one morning.

“Why?” asked Dick.

“My knife is gone now. The critter seems to take to knives and such
things as a duck takes to water, and so I thought maybe he had wandered
in here and appropriated my sticker.”

But Brad dismissed the matter with that, nothing more being said about

The “spook” excitement continued to provide a topic of interest for the
boys, but the approach of the football-game with the New Era A. A.
finally surpassed it in interest.

Various were the opinions expressed in regard to the probable outcome of
the game with New Era. Some thought New Era would not be able to score,
some thought she would make the game interesting, some even thought
there was a chance for her to win; but the majority seemed inclined to
the idea that Fardale, thus far undefeated, would not fall before this

When the report came that the Trojan A. A., which had been defeated by
Fardale, had not permitted New Era to score and had rolled up
twenty-eight points, it seemed a settled thing that the cadets were to
have an easy time of it. The members of the team grew overconfident,
something Dick warned them against.

“Oh, we’ll eat those galoots up!” declared Buckhart.

“Perhaps so,” said Dick; “but we don’t want to be too sure of it. You
know it is never possible to know just what to expect from one of these
independent teams. They are full of tricks, and they are not
over-particular about their methods.”

“Oh, if they are looking for rough-house, they can find it! Remember
what happened to the Trojans when they tried that sort of business.”

Dick remembered that the Trojans had been battered into a state of
amazed decency.

Chester Arlington’s interest in the football-team seemed very keen. He
was out every day to watch practise, and he cheered and encouraged the
boys like a most loyal supporter of the eleven. He even went further
than that. Darrell’s shoulder had been injured, and Chester declared he
knew just how to massage the muscles to bring it back into perfect
condition. He peeled off his coat, to the surprise of all, and gave
Hal’s shoulder a rubbing after practise each day.

And it was a fact that Darrell’s shoulder improved amazingly beneath
this treatment. Seeing which, some of the other fellows, who were
bruised or lame, ventured to ask Chester to give them a little

Dick was not a little surprised when Arlington consented and seemed so
intensely eager to have every man on the team in the finest possible

Buckhart looked on in deepest distrust. Leaving Arlington in the gym,
working over Bradley, stripped of coat, vest, and hat, and sweating
handsomely, Brad followed Dick from the building and spoke to him as
they walked toward the barracks.

“This yere Ches Arlington is puzzling me some, I admit I can’t just make
out his little game now.”

“Then you think he’s up to some game?” asked Dick.

“Pard, he’s crooked. He’s been against us ever since he found he
couldn’t get on the team. There is no reason why he should flop now.”

Dick thought how Chester had been compelled to humble himself and ask a
favor. Was it possible there had come a change of heart in the fellow?

“I suppose you’re right, Brad,” he said. “But I don’t see what harm he
can do. He seems to be doing considerable good.”

“I wouldn’t let him put his paws on me if every bone in my body was out
of place and he could put them all back!” exploded the Westerner.
“Bradley’s just thick-headed chump enough to let him do it.”

In the meantime, Arlington had attended to Billy Bradley, who was the
last one to seek his attention, and had donned his coat and vest and
found Hal Darrell waiting. Bradley departed, leaving Arlington and
Darrell together.

“Well, Arlington, old man,” said Darrell, with a puzzled smile, “I never
thought you’d come down to it.”

Chester flushed a bit.

“Come down to what?” he asked.

“Rubbing these fellows you consider so far beneath you. It is amazing!”

“I suppose so,” admitted Chester.

“You have turned Good Samaritan.”

“For my own benefit.”

“For your benefit?”


“I fail to catch on. How for your benefit?”

“I’ve got to get on my feet somehow, Darrell. You know my dislike for
Merriwell has led me into betting heavily against Fardale, and I have
been soaked good and hard.”

“Yes, I know.”

“I know you did, but every time I thought I had a sure thing. With
Merriwell off the team I should have been eager for Fardale to win. With
him on it, I hated him so much that I was more than eager for the other
side to win. Fardale secured victory after victory; but that simply made
me all the more confident that the tide must turn and she must lose.
What’s the result? I’m flat. Of course, I can get more money, but
really, old man, I’m ashamed to call for it.”

Thinking of the money Chester had lost and had squandered in foolish
ways, Hal did not wonder that he was ashamed. Truly, it was astonishing
that a boy of Chester’s years could have so much money to fling about
without thought or reason.

“That’s the explanation,” nodded Arlington. “I must get on my feet

“I don’t see how you expect to do it by——”

“This time I’ll back Fardale.”

“Why, you can’t find any one to bet on New Era.”

“Oh, yes, I can! Those New Era fellows have sent some chaps into town
looking for bets.”

“Why, great Scott! we downed the Trojans, and the Trojans buried New

“All the same, the sports who are looking for bets seem confident that
New Era will make Fardale look like thirty cents.”

“But you say you’re broke. How are you going to——”

“I’ve raised money on everything I could hook. I’ve borrowed some. I
want to borrow ten of you, Hal. You know I’ll pay if I lose, but I won’t
lose. Will you let me have a sawbuck? It’s my chance to get even, and
I’m going to make the best of it.”

“Why, yes, I think I can squeeze out a tenner,” said Darrell.

“But you will be in up to your eyes if we happen by any chance to drop
this game.”

“If Fardale loses, I’ll have to make a clean breast to mother and get
her to put me on Easy Street again. But Fardale’s not going to lose.
That’s one thing I’m sure of. And I want every man in the best possible
condition. That’s why I’m working so hard on the fellows who will let me
polish them up. See?”

Hal saw, but still it seemed strange that Chester Arlington, proud,
haughty, independent, should do what he was doing.

The following day was Friday. After practise Arlington again stripped in
the gym and gave his attention to those who would have him.

There was more or less football talk, and the boys gradually dressed and
wandered out. A few were left when a little incident occurred that must
be recorded.

Again Arlington was working over Bradley. Sweating, he paused to pull
out his handkerchief and wipe off his face. As he removed the
handkerchief from his pocket a knife dropped to the floor. He picked it
up and then paused, staring at it.

Dick noticed this, and he saw Chester stop and stare at the knife. He
also noted a frown on Arlington’s face, a puzzled expression. Suddenly
Dick showed interest.

“Let me see that knife, Arlington,” he demanded.

Chester surrendered it.

“Is this your knife?” asked Dick, with something like accusation in his
voice and manner.

“No,” admitted Chester, “it is not.”

“But it came out of your pocket?”

“It dropped to the floor when I took my handkerchief out. I never saw it

Dick stood looking straight at Chester. Somehow Arlington’s manner
seemed truthful. In a moment, however, he grew angry beneath Dick’s
persistent gaze.

“What do you mean by staring at me that way?” he demanded hotly. “Do you
think I’m lying?”

“No,” said Dick, turning away and putting the knife in his pocket. “I
know the owner of this knife, and I’ll give it to him.” Then he walked

Chester started as if to follow him, but stopped and turned back, saying
to Bradley:

“I think you’re all right now.”

“Here’s your knife, old man,” said Dick, as he handed the knife over to
Buckhart in their room after supper.

“Hey?” exclaimed the Texan. “Why, why, where——”

“It is your knife, isn’t it?”

“Sure as shooting. But where did it come from?”

“I saw Chester Arlington pick it up from the floor in the gym.”



Brad looked surprised.

“Why, it couldn’t have been there ever since I lost it,” he said.
“Somebody would have found it before this.”

“It seems that way,” said Dick; and he did not explain to Brad that the
knife had fallen first from Chester’s pocket as he pulled out his

Why Dick chose to keep silent on this point he hardly knew. He was
mystified over the knife incident. Chester Arlington did not seem like a
fellow who would resort to petty robbery. Surely he would not steal an
ordinary pearl-handled knife, worth perhaps three dollars, when he spent
money lavishly? And yet Dick had heard it hinted within a day or two
that Chester was hard up, and that his parents had declined to advance
more money for him to squander until a certain time had passed.

Strange thoughts were flitting through Dick’s head. Placed in a
desperate situation, would Chester be tempted to pilfer? The “spook,”
the missing trinkets and articles of value, these things Dick thought
about. Then he wondered if there was not some way for him to solve the
mystery and clear up the whole affair. But, in the meantime, the
football-game with New Era took his attention.


In the following manner the two teams faced each other on that dark,
wet, dreary Saturday afternoon:

                 FARDALE                    SPRINGVALE
                 Shannock     Right end     Porter
                 Jolliby     Right tackle   Kinter
                 Bradley     Right guard    Sheehan
                 Tubbs          Center      Rouke
                 Dare         Left guard    Mahoney
                 Gardner     Left tackle    Reed
                 Buckhart      Left end     Huckley
                 Smart       Quarter-back   Eyster
                 Merriwell    Right         Sampson
                 Darrell      Left          Nelson
                 Singleton    Full-back     Austin

A snow-storm had been threatening, but had turned to a rain-storm, the
weather becoming milder. It was not a downpour—just a weak, unpleasant

But a drizzle could not keep the cadets from turning out to witness the
game. They packed the seats reserved for them. There was not the usual
large gathering of spectators from the village and surrounding country,
although the attendance was not light.

The visitors were the first to come trotting out on the field. They wore
some sort of leathery-looking suits, and in the rain those suits
glistened strangely. They did not resort to the practise of falling on
the ball in warming up, but passed the ball from hand to hand and did a
little kicking.

The Fardale team came jogging out in their well-worn suits. They went at
the preliminary practise in the usual manner.

Brad Buckhart squinted at the New Era players, a peculiar expression on
his face.

“Whatever sort of suits have they got on?” he said, turning to Jolliby.

“Ask me sus-sus-sus-something I cuc-cuc-can answer,” stuttered the tall

“This rain makes ’em shine like grease,” said Brad. “They’re a
queer-looking bunch.”

The cadets had given their team a cheer on its appearance. The band was
not out. But the boys were prepared to sing and root in earnest.

Dick Merriwell had looked the enemy over. One of the fellows attracted
his attention. When he drew aside with the referee and the captain of
the visiting team, he said:

“Captain Huckley, there is a man on your team whom I know to be a
slugger, as well as a professional. His name is Porter. I have played
baseball against him, and know what he is.”

“Porter?” said Huckley, not at all pleased. “I think you must be
mistaken about his character. He’s all right.”

“Then he has changed greatly for the better,” said Dick. “He has no
great liking for me. I had some trouble with him once.”

“Well, you can’t ask me to break up my team just because you happened to
have some trouble with one of the men on it.”

“I don’t ask you to break the team up; but you may find it a good plan
to give Porter warning to play straight football. Those fellows up there
on the seats won’t stand for crooked work.”

“That’s all right,” came with a sneer from Huckley. “We’ll have a snap
with your little team to-day, Captain Merriwell. There won’t be any need
of our resorting to anything but the simplest kind of football.”

“That remains to be demonstrated. Perhaps you may change your mind

“Time is passing,” said the referee. “The game will begin late now.”

“We’re ready,” announced Dick grimly. “Flip the coin. Mr. Huckley may
call it.”

“Heads,” said Huckley, as the coin spun in the air.

“Tails,” announced the referee. “Your choice, Captain Merriwell.”

There was not much wind, and Dick decided to kick off. So Fardale took
the ball and the eastern goal to defend.

Singleton kicked, but, in spite of the fact that there was no wind, the
ball flew off to one side and went out of bounds. When it was brought
back the big fellow took plenty of time and smashed it hard and fair.

Up into the air and away sailed the ball. Over the muddy field raced
Buckhart and Shannock.

Sampson caught the ball. He made no attempt to return the kick, but
leaped forward.

Buckhart seemed to have the fellow foul. He tackled, but somehow he
failed to hold the fellow, his hands slipping off in a most surprising

Sampson dashed onward.

Gardner fancied he saw his opportunity. He closed in on the runner and
made a beautiful leap for a tackle.

“He’s got him!” cried the cadets.

But, although Gardner’s hands fell fairly on the runner, he was unable
to hold Sampson, who slipped away from him and still kept on.

Darrell was the third man to tackle the runner, and he brought him down,
although Sampson nearly slipped from his grasp in the struggle. But New
Era had carried the ball back to her forty-yard line.

“Whatever have those galoots got on?” growled Buckhart, as he hurried to
get into the line-up. “Why, I tackled the fellow all right, but he went
out of my hands like grease.”

Gardner said nothing. He felt chagrined over his failure to stop
Sampson. There was plenty of confidence in the New Era players as they
lined up for the scrimmage.

There was a sudden signal, a single word spoken, and the ball was
snapped and passed to Sampson.

The runner went straight into Fardale’s center, which was the strongest
point of the home team’s line.

Those fellows in the shiny suits hit the line hard, and Sampson came
through on the jump. It seemed that a dozen hands grabbed him, but he
twisted and squirmed and slipped away and kept on for ten yards before
being stopped. Merriwell was in the scrimmage, and he made a startling

“Boys!” he palpitated, as they prepared to line up again, “their suits
are greased!”

It was a fact!

The leather suits, each suit made in one piece, were greased! That
explained how it was that the tacklers had been unable to hold the man
who carried the ball even when they clutched him with their hands.

That explained how Sampson had been able to slip through the center of
Fardale’s line when many hands were placed upon him to restrain him.

If anything, the dampness added to the slippery condition of the leather
suits, and the New Era players were like a lot of greased pigs.

Merriwell was thunderstruck. Never had he heard of such a trick, and
when the truth dawned upon him he felt completely nonplused.

New Era gave Fardale little time for thought. She had the cadets
“going,” and she meant to keep up the work. Again a word was spoken as a
signal, and again the ball went to Sampson. There was a rush toward
center, but Sampson circled to come around the right end.

Dick dashed to meet the fellow. He doubted if it would be possible to
hold Sampson if he made a fair tackle. Therefore, as Sampson came round
the end Dick charged him at full speed, plunged into him heavily and
bowled him over.

The ball flew from Sampson’s hands.

Dick had expected the shock, and he recovered in a most amazing manner.
With a dive, he caught up the ball and leaped away.

A New Era man grabbed for him. He thrust out his hand, caught the fellow
under the chin and pushed him off with a thrust that actually lifted him
off his feet.

Another came down on Dick, but Merriwell was like a cat on his feet and
dodged away.

“I must do it!” thought Dick, as he darted toward the enemy’s goal-line.

They were after him. They sought to pen him in. He flew through them.
The cadets rose on their seats and roared.

“Go, Merriwell!” they shrieked. “Go on, Merriwell!”

Considering the condition of the field, considering the fact that there
were pools of water and the ground was wet and slippery, Dick’s speed
was surprising. His dodging was even more surprising. It seemed that
Dick was certain of getting through for a touchdown.

Austin cut down on him from one direction. Dick got past the visiting
full-back. Then, with a clear field before him, he turned to make
straight for the goal.

The other players, spread out and strung out, were coming after him. In
that moment, when success seemed certain, Dick slipped. He had kept his
feet in turning, twisting and dodging, but now he slipped and came near
going down. He was up and away again, but Austin was close upon him.

“He’ll make it!”

“No, he won’t!”

“Austin has him!”

It was true that Austin had made a beautiful tackle, catching Dick about
the legs and bringing him down so near the goal-line that another bound
would have carried the ball over.

Then the pursuing players came pouring down upon them. In the lead was
Porter, New Era’s right end.

Porter jumped into the air to come down on Dick with both feet,
evidently hoping to put Captain Merriwell out of the game.

As Porter jumped into the air Dick rolled to one side, seeking to break
Austin’s hold on his legs.

That saved him from serious injury. Porter struck him with one foot
only, and then, as he reeled to fall, Brad Buckhart booted him with all
the strength of a muscular leg, lifting him clean over the goal-line.

There was a mad roar of rage from the cadets who had witnessed Porter’s
dastardly act. Another roar of satisfaction as they saw Buckhart lift
the fellow with a swinging kick. Then it seemed that those watching lads
would rush down from the seats and come pouring on to the field.

“Hold them back!” cried Professor Broad, the athletic instructor and
master of the gym.

Thirty or forty lads, many of them wearing chevrons on their sleeves,
joined with Professor Broad in restraining the excited witnesses.

On the field it seemed that a fight was imminent. Some of the New Era
men wanted to tackle Buckhart, and he promptly invited them to come on.

“Sail right in, you galoots!” he cried, swinging his clenched fists in
the air. “If that’s the kind of game you want to play, you’ll get all
that is coming to you! You hear me shout!”

Captain Huckley restrained his men.

“The whole thing was unintentional,” he said.

“Not on my part,” promptly confessed Brad. “I kicked the onery skunk,
and I meant to do it, you bet! He tried to stamp out my pard, and I’d
shot him full of holes if I’d had a gun!”

From behind the ropes where he was being held in check, Chester
Arlington cried:

“That’s the stuff, Buckhart! Get at him again!”

The excited cadets had been checked, but they were standing, looking
black enough as they glared through the rain at the mud-bespattered

“Put him off the team!”

Somebody raised the cry, a dozen caught it up, it swelled louder and
louder, it rose to a mad roar for the removal of Porter.

“Put him off! Put him off! Put him off!”

“Are you all right, captain?” asked big Bob Singleton, who had pulled
Merriwell to his feet.

“All right,” assured Dick, squirming a little. “Nearly lost a rib, but
I’m all right.”

“Porter jumped you with both feet. It was lucky you rolled just as you

“Porter, eh? Where’s Captain Huckley?”

“Here,” was the answer.

“You know what I said about that fellow. He——”

“No use to fuss about him now,” said Huckley. “The umpire disqualified
him. He’s out of the game.”

This was true, and a substitute had been called to take Porter’s place.

The game went on, Fardale lining up with the ball within two yards of
New Era’s goal.

The ball was snapped and passed back to Darrell. In a most surprising
manner, two or three of New Era’s forwards slipped through Fardale’s
line and had Hal before he could make an advance. Down he went. A loss
of three yards! This was bad work.

“Hold fast in the line,” urged Dick. “Don’t let them through like that!”

“Talk about greased lightning!” grumbled Harry Dare.

“Can’t hold them,” said Gardner desperately. “Hands slip right off!”

“Whatever sort of a game is this?” growled Brad Buckhart, in deepest
disgust. “Are they allowed to wear suits like that? Are they allowed to
grease themselves so a fellow can’t get hold of them at all?”

The New Era players laughed in the faces of the Fardale lads.

“There are some things about this game you chaps do not know,” sneered
Durban, who had taken Porter’s place.

“We may be able to teach you a trick or two before the game ends,” flung
back Buckhart.

But Fardale could not seem to do much with these slippery fellows, and
she failed to advance the ball, failed in trying for a field-goal,
failed so dismally that the watching cadets groaned with dismay.

New Era took a turn at rushing the ball along the muddy field. She
plowed into Fardale, and soon it seemed that the cadets had no show at

Chester Arlington, his rain-hat slouched over his face, was pale to the
lips as he saw those greased players slip through Fardale’s line for
steady gains, saw the ball carried along the muddy field toward
Fardale’s goal, realizing in his heart that the home team was playing
against a terrible handicap.

“Just my luck!” he thought. “Here I’ve been betting against Fardale and
losing right along; to-day I bet on her, and these duffers come along
with a trick that makes our team look like a lot of dubs. I’m beaten
again! Lord have mercy! the old lady will have to cough up now, and
that’s a fact!”

He groaned aloud when the thought of the dreadful condition financially
that he would be in if Fardale lost that game. If Fardale lost! There
seemed no doubt about that, for New Era walked straight along to a
touch-down and then kicked a goal.

Fardale kicked off again. Nelson caught the ball and ran, slipping from
the hands of three tacklers who got hold of him fairly. It was awful!

Dick Merriwell brought Nelson down at last, but the ball was in the
center of the field.

“Bub-bub-blame this greasy business!” chattered Chip Jolliby, in deepest
disgust. “There must be sus-some kuk-kind of a rule against it.”

He was covered with mud to the eyes, presenting a comical, as well as a
wretched, spectacle.

“Hi don’t like this kind of football, don’t y’ ’now!” wailed Billy
Bradley. “Hit’s hawful—simply hawful!”

“Brace up!” squeaked Obediah Tubbs. “I wish to thutteration I could git
some dry dirt on my hands, then I guess I could hold on to one of them
’tarnal critters.”

Buckhart was blustering, but bluster did not amount to anything in this
game. New Era had Fardale on the run, and she kept the work up. Again
the ball was rushed down to Fardale’s line, the cadets being unable to
hold the greased players. This time, however, Austin failed to kick a

Dick talked to his men.

“Hold ’em, fellows,” he urged—“hold ’em as well as you can this half. I
have an idea. We’ll get after them hard in the last half. They’re not
our match. We can down them handily on even terms.”

Dick was satisfied from what he had seen of New Era’s playing that the
team was not a match for Fardale on even terms. Had the suits of the
visitors not been greased they could not have held their own with the

Having arrived at this belief, Dick began to think swiftly, and an idea
soon flashed through his head. So he urged his men to hold New Era down
as well as possible in the first half, promising a change in the final

The boys responded as well as they could under such discouraging
conditions. Covered with dirt and grease, they stuck their toes into the
mud and fought every inch of the ground. But New Era pushed her
advantage, and before the half ended she had made three touch-downs,
failing, however, to kick but one goal. And the whistle blew for the end
of the half with the ball again less than seven yards away from
Fardale’s line.


Sympathizers with the cadets crowded about the gate as they passed out
to trot over to the gym.

“Too bad, fellows!”

“Go for them next half!”

“Don’t give up!”

Some of them shook hands with the players as the latter passed out.

“You’re all right, Captain Merriwell!”

“We’re betting on you yet!”

Dick laughed. His hand was grasped once or twice. He felt something left
in his palm. Looking down, he discovered a folded bit of paper.

As he trotted toward the gymnasium Dick unfolded the paper. On it he
read, written with a lead-pencil:

    “To solve the mystery of the spook, look at Chester Arlington’s
    watch. Ask him to let you see it. Ask Abe Gorman has he seen it
    before. —_A Friend._”

Dick thrust the paper into a safe place and kept on to the gym. Chester
Arlington was there. He had his coat and vest off, his sleeves rolled
up, and he was ready to give attention to any one who needed it.

Dick seized Elmer Dow at the door of the gymnasium and said something to
him in a low tone.

“Have to go to the village for the stuff,” said Elmer.

“No,” declared Dick. “I bought a lot to use on rainy days when we had to
play ball.”

Then he told Elmer where to find whatever it was that he wanted, and Dow
hurried away.

Bradley’s shoulder had been twisted again, and Arlington was at work on

Abe Gorman was once more taking interest in the eleven, and, as he had
managed the team, he was present in the gym.

“What time is it, Arlington?” asked Dick of Chester.

“Don’t know. There’s my coat and vest on that peg. Look at my watch.”

Chester seemed so busy that he scarcely realized who had asked to know
the time.

Dick stepped over to the wall and took a watch from Chester’s pocket. He
had noted that Gorman was close at hand. In a low tone, he said:

“Look here, Gorman; do you know this watch?”

Abe looked at it, started, gave a jump and grabbed it.

“Do I know it?” he cried excitedly. “It’s mine! Why, where did you——”

He stopped short, seeing that the watch was attached to a chain that was
hooked into the vest hanging on the wall.

“Whose coat and vest are these?” he asked harshly.

Chester had been attracted by Abe’s words. He left Bradley and stepped

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“Does this coat and vest belong to you?” demanded Gorman.

“Sure thing,” nodded Arlington.

“Well, will you explain how you happened to have my watch in your

“Your watch?”



“Here it is! I saw Merriwell take it from your pocket. It’s attached to
this chain.”

Arlington seemed thunderstruck. Dick was watching Chester closely, and
he thought:

“The fellow is amazed, or he’s an excellent actor.”

“What sort of a joke is this?” Arlington demanded. “Where is my watch?”

“I don’t know about your watch,” said Gorman coldly; “but I do know that
this watch, found in your pocket, is my watch. I wish you to explain how
its came there!”

Chester had turned pale.

“Why, confound it! I hope you don’t think I stole your old watch,
Gorman?” he said hotly.

“I have not stopped to think much about it. I know it was stolen from my
room, and I know it was found in your pocket.”

Other fellows were gathering around, and Arlington grew indignant.

“I’d have you understand,” he said fiercely, “that my father is D.
Roscoe Arlington, and I do not have to become a petty thief! I can have
a dozen watches, if I need them. Somebody put that watch there to injure
me! Merriwell, you—you asked what time it was! I told you to look at my
watch. You—you are the one who took it out of that pocket! You,” he
almost shouted—“you have put up this job on me!”

In his great excitement, Chester seemed almost ready to hurl himself at

“Steady!” flung back the captain of the eleven. “No fellow ever knew me
to put up a dirty job on another. I found that watch in your pocket,

“Ready for the field!” cried the timekeeper. “Everybody hustle! Just
time to get back.”

The football-players hurried toward the door. Dick, with the others,
leaving Gorman and Arlington to settle the matter.

Elmer Dow came panting into the gym.

“Got it?” asked Dick anxiously.

For reply Dow thrust into Dick’s hands a large paper bag. Dick opened it
quickly and peered within.

The bag contained a glistening white powder.

“That’s the stuff!” exclaimed the captain of the eleven exultantly. “Now
we’ll see if there is no way of holding on to those greased New Era

And he hurried to overtake his men.

When the Fardale team went on the field for the second half it was
observed that across the breast of each man was a strange broad white
streak. From a distance it looked like a broad chalk-mark, somewhat
wider than a man’s hand.

New Era was confident. She expected to use Fardale worse in the second
half than she did in the first. The shiny suits of the New Era men
looked shinier and more slippery than ever.

The rain had stopped, but the field was a muddy spectacle.

After the kick-off the two teams went at each other in earnest. As they
lined up for the scrimmage, the Fardale men were seen to rub their hands
across their chests where the white streak could be seen.

When the crash came Fardale went into the enemy with ginger, and New Era
found difficulty in slipping through after the fashion set earlier in
the game. Somehow, for all of the greased suits, the Fardale lads were
able to grasp the enemy and cling to them. New Era was surprised by her
first repulse.

The two teams lined up again. Signal. Back went the ball to Sampson. He
was the man to make a gain in an emergency.

A revolving formation smashed into Fardale’s right wing. Sampson was
shot out of it with the ball. But not until the cadets had begun in the
most surprising manner to yank the formation to pieces.

There seemed an opening between Bradley and Jolliby, and through this
Sampson tried to plunge.

Dick Merriwell met him. Dick’s hands fell on him. Sampson gave a
wrenching twist and sought to slip away, but he did not slip.

Dick held the fellow fast and flung him backward. Fardale closed in, and
the rush was stopped. Still New Era was not satisfied. What had happened
that she could not slip through the Fardale line after the same fashion
as before?

Another line-up was followed by an attack on the left wing of Fardale’s
line. Kinter and Sheehan sought to force Dare and Gardner apart. But
Dare and Gardner had rubbed their hands across that magic belt of white
on their breasts, and they gripped Kinter and Sheehan with hands that
did not slip. The others who sought to aid Kinter and Sheehan were
baffled, and when Nelson took the ball through the line he was grabbed
and held.

Down! The cadets were roaring. They knew something had happened. They
realized that the “greased pigs” were not having a snap, after the way
of the first half.

New Era was held for downs. The ball went to Fardale. How the cadets on
the seats did cheer!

Fardale had new life. She went into New Era smashingly. The ball was
advanced—three yards, five yards, nine yards!

New Era was amazed. They saw the cadets rub their hands across their
bosoms and then tackle surely and firmly. What sort of magic was this?

Fardale did not give up the ball. She walked steadily along the muddy
field with it, playing hard, swift and handsomely.

Not until Fardale had advanced to within five yards of the goal did she
lose the ball. Then it was lost on a fumble by Darrell, Sheehan coming
through and falling on it. But now New Era was rattled. The visitors
realized now that without the advantage of the greased suits they would
not stand much show in the game, and something had happened which seemed
to rob those greased suits of their effectiveness.

The muddy hands of the Fardale lads soon destroyed the whiteness of the
line across their breasts; but one or two of them seemed to be carrying
a white powder, which was passed from hand to hand. Each of the cadet
players took a handful of this powder and smeared it across his breast,
partly renewing the white line.

New Era, in her excitement, started with an off-side play that set her
back half the distance to the goal-line. On the very next play there was
holding in the line, and the ball went to Fardale.

The cadets signalized their recovery of the ball by pushing it over for
a touch-down at the very first attempt.

Singleton kicked for a goal, but with the stopping of the rain a wind
had risen, and he did not take it into consideration, with the result
that the ball was deflected so that it struck one of the uprights and
bounded off.

Score: New Era, 16; Fardale, 5.

Fardale’s chances looked desperate, but she was right in the game with
vim and ginger at the next kick-off. Plainly she was playing to win, if
such a thing was possible. By this time New Era had fathomed the secret
of Fardale’s success in seizing and holding the visiting players in the
greased suits. It was resin—powdered resin!

Dick Merriwell had sent Elmer Dow for a bag of the stuff, which he had
used while pitching to handle a wet and slippery baseball. This powdered
resin had been smeared across the breasts of the Fardale players, who
rubbed their hands in it frequently, and thus were enabled to grasp and
hold the greased visitors.

Somehow Fardale’s success in meeting and spoiling the effectiveness of
New Era’s trick seemed to take the heart out of the enemy. Seeing this,
the cadets played with renewed energy, and it was not long before the
ball was again carried to New Era’s line and pushed over for a

This time Smart held the ball, and Dick did the kicking. Dick waited for
the wind to lull a little, and then he kicked with all the skill and
judgment he could command. The oval sailed straight over the center of
the cross-bar.

Score: New Era, 16; Fardale, 11.

Chester Arlington was shaking with excitement. He had shouted until his
voice was a husky whisper.

“Keep it up!” he croaked. “One more touch-down! One more goal! We’ll

But the time was short, and, for all of her success, Fardale’s chances
seemed small. Dick urged his men to do their best, and they responded
after the manner of true Fardale boys.

Getting the ball, New Era attempted to keep it in her possession and
kill time, knowing that would enable her to win. But Fardale was fierce,
and a fumble gave Ted Smart his chance. He dropped on the ball, with six
or seven fellows on top of him.

Fardale had the ball, though Smart was carried from the field for the
first time during the season, being replaced by Toby Kane.

Fardale went into the enemy with such fierce rushes that New Era was
beaten backward yard by yard, fighting every foot of the distance. Every
spectator was standing now, for all understood what might happen.
Fardale could tie the score with a touchdown. With a touch-down and goal
she could win the game.

With less than a minute to play, Fardale was still nine yards from the

“A kick from the field!” cried somebody. “She’s going to try to tie the

It seemed like a kick for a field-goal, but the movement had been made
to deceive New Era. The ball was passed to Dick, who went into New Era’s
center directly behind Obediah Tubbs.

The fat boy walked in with his arms swinging, and he hurled players to
the right and left. Once before he had won a game by tearing a hole
through center at a critical period, and now he repeated the
performance. He ripped up New Era’s center in splendid style, and
through the opening went Dick Merriwell. Right over the line shot Dick,
Sampson tackling him and pulling him down a second too late. It was a

The score was tied and time was up!

But a touch-down made under the circumstances gives the team making it
an opportunity to kick for goal, so the ball was brought out. Darrell
held it, and Dick Merriwell drove it over the cross-bar, winning the
game by one point.


“Whatever are you doing, pard?” asked Brad Buckhart, as he found Dick at
work on the hinges of the door to their room.

“Sh!” cautioned Dick. “I’m setting a trap.”

“Hey? A trap?”

“I said so.”

“What for?”

“A spook.”

“What?” The Texan was astonished.

It was three days after the game with New Era. The mystery of the spook
remained a mystery. Nor had Chester Arlington been able to explain how
Abe Gorman’s watch happened to be found in his pocket.

Chester was under a cloud. It was known at the school that he had spent
money so freely that his recklessness had left him “broke.” It was known
that money had been refused him by his parents. It was known that he had
resorted to desperate measures to “raise the wind.” He had pawned
clothing and trinkets to get money to bet on the game between Fardale
and New Era. Had New Era won, his condition would have been worse than
ever; but the victory of the home team had eased the strain somewhat.
Arlington realized that he was suspected, but he carried his head high
and proclaimed his innocence.

Buckhart became interested in Dick’s work.

“What sort of a trap is it?” he asked.

“I’m fixing the door so that it will swing to whenever it is opened.”

“What of that?”

“I am going to put an extra spring-lock on it.”

“Oh, I see; you’re fixing it to keep the spook out.”

“No; I’m fixing it to keep the spook in!”

“Hey? Great horn spoon! What—what if—I don’t understand, anyhow.”

“I’ll explain.”

“Go ahead.”

“I shall put the spring-lock on the door, but it will not be used in the
daytime. I shall fix it so that it will work at night.”

“Still I don’t see——”

“Wait. When we go to bed at night I shall leave the regular lock on; but
I have a method by which I can cause the spring-lock to work if the door
is opened and closed during the night. If Mr. Spook takes a fancy to
come in here, the spring in the hinges of the door will cause it to
close behind him, the spring-lock will fasten it, and Mr. Spook will be

“But you think——”

“I think our spook is some fellow who has keys to fit the doors of a
number of rooms. He can open the ordinary lock on this door, for he came
here and carried off your penknife, which Chester Arlington afterward

“Arlington is the spook.”

“Perhaps so. It seems that way. I did not tell you that, after the New
Era game, while the crowd was pawing me over, another note was thrust
into my hands, did I?”


“Well, that was what happened. Of course, I couldn’t tell who put it

“What did it say?”

“It said ‘Search Chester Arlington’s room and see what you will find if
you wish to clear mystery of the spook.’”

“Great tarantulas! And you—what did you do?”

“I waited. Since then several articles stolen from fellows here have
been returned to them in a mysterious way.”

“Which makes you think—what?”

“Arlington returned them. Perhaps he became frightened. Perhaps he felt
that he didn’t need them any longer after Fardale defeated New Era and
he won his bets.”

“He’s a skunk, pard! I reckon he’s a regular kleptomaniac.”

“But the robberies have started up again. I want you to help me spread
the report that we think it strange we have not been robbed of anything
valuable. I want you to say that we don’t take much stock in it, as we
leave things lying around every night that are worth taking. I will say
the same things. Get the fellows to repeating it. I want the spook to
visit us.”

“I see, pard,” nodded Brad. “I’ll do it.”

This plan was carried out by them, and two nights later the “spook” paid
them a visit. Dick it was who heard him moving with a rustling sound in
the room. As Merriwell sat up the spook went rustling toward the door.
Dick jumped out of bed and saw a white form at the door.

“Hey, Brad!” he shouted. “We’ve got him! Come on!”

The Texan rose, uttering a snort.

The white object seemed trying to open the door, but it resisted his

“No use,” declared Dick triumphantly. “The trap is sprung, and you’re

He advanced on the spook, who turned, uttering a low snarl. Dick saw an
uplifted hand, dodged, clutched a very real wrist, held fast and closed
with the fellow.

“Light up, Brad!” he cried.

Buckhart struck a match and lighted the lamp. The spook fought
desperately, and Buckhart hastened to aid Dick to subdue him. They
smashed against the furniture and walls, overturning chairs and making a
great racket.

The noise aroused others, and there came a heavy knocking at their door,
while many voices demanded admittance.

“We’ve—roused—the whole—’cademy!” panted Buckhart.

“All right,” panted Dick, as he skilfully tripped the spook and they all
came crashing to the floor.

They pinned him down and subdued him. He was covered by a sheet. Having
secured the fellow, Dick directed that the door be opened, and Buckhart
opened it. Into the room came a dozen cadets.

“Dear me!” said Ted Smart. “How quiet you are! I can’t sleep, it is so

“What is it?” was the general question.

“It is the spook!” triumphantly said Dick. “Take a look at him. We
captured him, but he made it lively for us. He tried to stick me with
that knife there on the floor.”

“A fellow with a sheet over him!” grunted Bob Singleton.

Dick tore the sheet off and got up, permitting the captive to rise.
Miguel Bunol stood before them! The spook was unmasked at last.

“To the guard-house with him!” cried Dick. “His hash will be settled in
the morning.”

Bunol looked at Dick with intense hatred.

“Fool!” he hissed. “I give you chance to destroy your worst enemy and
you do it not! You hate him; I hate him. I want you to disgrace him, but
I do not understand that you be such a fool.”

Then he was marched away.

Bunol was expelled and turned out of the school in disgrace. He tried to
strike Arlington before leaving by seeking an opportunity to tell things
against him, but no one would listen to him, and his revenge failed.

                                THE END.

No. 92 of the _Merriwell Series_, entitled “Dick Merriwell’s Defense,”
by Burt L. Standish, gives the hero a chance to prove that he is able to
overcome real difficulties and win ultimate success. It will stir the
reader’s ambition to become a good athlete.

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