Part 4 out of 4
First, there was a brief inspection, after which cadets, with
leave to visit the West Point Hotel, or officers' homes, strolled
away to meet young women friends.
"I'm due to be only a rooter today," sigh Greg, as he saw his
roommate start off to the gym to meet the other members of the
"Your luck may change," rejoined Dick. "You'd better go along
to the gym. You're the sub. shortstop, you know, and Meacham
may not be on deck. Better come along, now."
"I will, then; I wasn't going over until just before time to get
into togs and sit on the bench."
Up to this time, neither Prescott nor Holmes had judged their
academic standing to be good enough to make it safe for them to
enter into sports. This winter and spring, however, had found
them "safe" enough for them to go into training with the baseball
Dick had tried for the position of pitcher, but Kennedy had been
chosen, while Prescott had gone to second base. Tatham was the
"Say, have you seen the Lehighs?" demanded Furlong, as the chums
joined the crowd at the gym. "They're big fellows. They weigh
a ton and a half to our ton."
"Lightness and speed count for more than beef in this game," smiled
"Lehigh has sent some huskies, all right, and they look as if
they'd give us a tough battle."
In baseball and football West Point plays college teams. The
college men are generally older and much heavier. Besides, the
college men, not having the same intense grind at their institutions,
are able to devote four or five times as much actual time to the
work of training.
Despite these handicaps, the West Point team generally holds its
own end up very well indeed. The West Point men have one advantage;
they are always in training, for which reason their bodily condition
is always good. It is in the finer points of the technique of
the game that the United States military cadets suffer from less
Maitland, of the second class, was captain of the team this year.
He was a much disturbed man when Dick and Greg reached the gym.
"What ails Maitland?" Dick asked Furlong.
"Haven't you heard? Kennedy is a great tosser, but he has his bad
days when his wrist goes stale. And Tatham, the sub., fought his
way through a poor dinner, but then he had to give up and go to
hospital. He's threatened with some kind of fever, we hear. That
leaves us without a sub. today."
"Oh, does it?" thought Prescott. With quick step and eager eye
he sought Captain Maitland, who was also catcher for the nine.
"Mr. Maitland, I understand you're without a satisfactory sub.
pitcher for today?"
"Confound it, yes; we're praying for the strength of Kennedy's
"You may remember that I tried for pitcher."
"I know you did," replied Maitland gloomily. "But the coaches
thought Kennedy and Tatham ahead of you."
"If Kennedy should go bad today," pressed Dick eagerly, "I trust
you will be willing order me in from second to the box. I know
that I won't disappoint you. Ebbett and Dunstan are both good
men at second."
Captain Maitland looked thoughtful.
"I'm afraid, Prescott, if Kennedy does happen to go stale, we'll
have to call on you."
"I won't disappoint you, if you do, Captain!"
Then Maitland turned to regard Meacham, who was entering at that
"What on earth ails you, Meacham?" demanded the worried captain
of the nine.
"I was at a loot party last night," confessed Meacham miserably.
"Overeating yourself---when you're in training, man?"
"Honestly, Maitland, I didn't believe the little that I put down
was going to throw me. There wasn't a murmur until eleven this
morning, and I felt sure that was going to work off. But it won't,
and, oh, my!"
West Point's shortstop put his hands over his belt line, looking
comically miserable. But to Captain Maitland there was no humor
in the situation.
"You're a fine one!" growled Maitland. "Oh, Holmesy! Come over
here, please. You haven't been teasing your stomach, have you?"
"I don't know that I have a stomach," replied Greg promptly.
"You'll play shortstop today, then."
Half an hour later, the Lehigh fellows were out on the field,
going through some practice plays. Below the center of the grandstand,
the West Point band was playing its most spirited music. The
seats reserved for officers and their families, and for invited
guests, were filling up rapidly. At the smaller stand, over at
the east side of the field, Lehigh had some two hundred friends
Now on to the field marched the corps of cadets, filing into the
seats reserved for them, just north of the officers' seats.
Now, the band began to play the U.S.M.A. songs, the cadets joining
in under the leadership of the cheer-master.
Then, amid a storm of West Point yells, the Army nine strode on
to the field. Things moved quickly now. Lehigh won the toss and
went to bat.
Kennedy appeared to be in excellent form. He struck out the first
two Lehigh men at bat. The third man, however, gained first on
called balls. The fourth man at bat drove a two-bagger, and now
second and third were occupied. As the fifth of the Lehigh batsmen
stepped up to the plate, the Lehigh cheers resounded, and West
Point's rooters sat in tense silence. What was the matter with
Kennedy? But the Army pitcher struck out his man, and Lehigh
went out to grass without having scored. Lehigh's revenge, though,
was swift. Three West Point men were struck out almost as rapidly
as they could move to the plate.
In the second inning both sides got men to bases, but neither
side scored. In the third Lehigh took one solitary run, but it
looked well on the score-board at the north end of the field.
West Point, in the last half of the third, put men on first and
second, but that was all.
By the fourth inning, Kennedy was pitching a bit wildly. Maitland
gazed at his comrade of the battery with anxious eyes. Lehigh
began to grin with the ease of the thing now. One after another
men walked to bases on called balls, until all of the bags were
Suddenly Kennedy, after taking a twist on the ball, signaled Maitland.
The captain turned the umpire and spoke.
"Kennedy's old trick! He's gone stale and Tatham is down at hospital,"
passed from mouth to mouth among the home rooters. "Now, what's
left for us?"
After a brief conversation with the umpire Maitland signaled.
Dick Prescott came bounding in from second, to receive the ball
from Kennedy, while Ebbett was seen racing out to second.
"Play ball!" called the umpire crisply.
"Oh, pshaw!" called one of the cadets. "In training season Prescott
tried for pitcher and the coaches turned him down. Now we're done
Spirits were gloomy among the West Point rooters. Yet, within
a few moments, they sat up, taking notice.
Dick, with his nerves a-tingle, his eye keen, measured up the
Lehigh batsman and sent in one of his old-time, famous Gridley
spit-balls. It looked slow and easy. The Lehigh man swung a
well-aimed crack at the ball.
"Strike one," announced the umpire.
Again Prescott turned his wrist and twirled.
Then an outcurve.
"Strike three! Out!"
Lehigh began to look with some interest at this new, confident
The next Lehigh man to bat met a similar fate. So did the third man.
Now, the West Point yells went up with new force and purpose.
The corps yell rose, loud and thunderous, followed by three cries
In their half of the inning, West Point put men on first and second,
but that was the best they could do.
So it dragged along to the seventh inning. Army rooters were
now sure that West Point's star pitcher had been found at last,
and that Lehigh would have rare luck to score again today. But
West Point didn't seem able to score, either, and Lehigh had the
one needed dot.
As Army went to bat Greg took up the stick and swung it expectantly.
"Do something, Greg," Dick had whispered. "I'm the second man
after you, and I'll back you if you can get a start. Remember
the old Gridley days of victory. Get some of that same old ginger
Holmes, as he swung the stick over the plate, seemed to feel himself
back on the old athletic field of Gridley High School. And these
stalwart college boys before him seemed to him to be the old,
old Tottenville High School youngsters.
One strike Greg essayed and lost. At the second offer, he hit
the ball a sharp crack and started. He reached first, but as
he turned, the ball fell into the hands of Lehigh's second baseman,
and Greg fell back to safety at first.
Ebbett, who followed, hit at the third offer, driving the ball
almost under the feet of Lehigh's right-fielder. As that man
seized it he saw that Greg was within kicking distance of second
bag, so he threw to first and Ebbett was out.
Dick now stepped confidently forward. He looked at Lehigh's tired
pitcher with a challenging smile.
At the first offer, Prescott struck the leather sphere---crack!
In an instant Greg was in motion, while Dick raced as though
bent on catching his chum. The ball had gone out over the head
of center, who was now faithfully chasing it across outfield.
Greg came in and hit the plate amid a cyclone of Army enthusiasm.
The band was playing in sheer joy. Dick kicked second bag, then
darted back as he saw the ball drop into the hands of the Lehigh
catcher, who promptly sent it spinning straight into the third
Then Maitland gained first on called balls, and Furlong did the
same, which advanced Prescott to third.
Now Carson came up with the stick, sending out a slow grounder.
In like an Apache runner came Prescott, kicking the plate just
before the ball dropped.
From the seats of the Army came the triumphant yell:
"North point, east point, south point, West Point---_two points_!"
The next Army man struck out, but West Point was breathing, now,
with score two to one.
"Don't let Lehigh put another dot on the card, Prescott, and you'll
be our pitcher this year," promised Maitland.
"Wait and see if the visitors can get any more from us," laughed
Dick coolly. He felt that he had his old Gridley winning gait
on now. He proved it by striking out three straight in the first
half of the eighth. But West Point did not score, either, in
Then came Lehigh, grim and desperate, to bat for the ninth time.
The first man Dick struck out. But even his wrist seemed to
be treacherous now. The second Lehigh man offered at nothing,
and went to first on called balls. So did the second, and a third
man, and the bags were filled.
Maitland glanced appealingly at Dick.
The new batsman, at the second offer, drove a slow grounder.
Greg Holmes raced forward for it, like a deer. As he caught it
up there was no perceptible pause before he sent it straight into
Maitland's hands, and the man headed for the plate was out. But
the three bags were again full.
Another Lehigh man hit one of Dick's drives, but only faintly
with the edge of his bat, and he went out on a foul hit.
"Now, I'm going to strike this new man out," resolved Dick desperately,
steeling nerves and muscles for the effort.
"Strike one!" called the umpire. "Ball one! Ball two! Strike
two! Strike three! Out!"
It was over, and Lehigh, covered with chagrin, gave up the contest,
while a pandemonium of Army cheers went loose. Two to one!
"Prescott, I guess you're our pitcher here-after" called Maitland
hoarsely. "And you, Holmesy, for shortstop!"
Dick Prescott found himself the center of a swift rush of cadets.
Then he was hoisted aloft, and rushed off the field in triumph
and glory, while the corps yell rang out for him. Over in the
gym. Prescott was forced to hold an impromptu reception. Greg
got much of the ovation.
Captain Verbeck, the head coach, came up to grasp Dick's hand.
"Prescott, I don't understand how you ever got by us. But Maitland
wants you for our star pitcher after this, and you'll have to
be. It was the greatest Army game, from the box, that I've seen
in many a year."
"Say, you fellows," greeted Anstey, breaking into their room after
the chums had returned to barracks, "you two had better go over
today, and the men who are to drag the spooniest femmes tonight
are all plotting to write you down on the dance cards of their
"That's the best reason in the world for keeping away from Cullum,
then," laughed Dick.
"But I mean it seriously," protested Anstey.
"So do I," replied Dick
"I'm really a committee of one, sent here by some of tonight's
draggers," protested the Virginian.
"Tell them of your non-success, then, do," urged Dick. "For I'm
not going to Cullum tonight. Are you, Greg?"
"Ye-es," returned Holmes promptly. Then, suddenly, he paused
in his moving about the room.
He now stood looking at his left hand, on which appeared a small
smear of black.
"No!" suddenly uttered Greg. "I'm not going. I've changed my
mind---and for the best reasons possible."
"Now, what on earth has made you so excited?" demanded Anstey
GREG'S SECRET AND ANOTHER'S
"Are you going to the hop tonight?" asked Holmes, looking up with
gleaming eyes from the smear on the back of his hand.
"No," admitted Anstey.
"Can you keep a secret?
"Yes, suh; suhtinly."
"Then come here at 8.15 to-night."
"What are you talking-----"
"I'm not talking, _now_," retorted Greg with a resolute tone in
his voice. "Like a wise man, I'm going to do some thinking first.
But you call around this evening. It'll be worth your while."
Anstey looked and felt highly mystified. It must be something
both sudden and important to make Greg change his mind so swiftly.
For Cadet Holmes, who, in his home town, had not been exactly
noted for gallantries to the other sex, had, in the yearling class,
acquired the reputation of being a good deal of a "spoonoid."
This is the term applied to a cadet who displays a decided liking
for feminine company.
"I can see that it isn't any use to ask you anything now," went
"It isn't," Greg returned promptly. "I'm never secretive against
you, Anstey, old man and the only reason I don't talk at once
is that I don't know just what I want to say. But remember---8.15.
By that time I think I shall have solved myself into a highly
talkative goat yearling."
Rap-tap! at the door, and Furlong and Dunstan dropped in.
"Want to tell you what I think about your pitching, old ramrod,"
"It's rotten!" glowed Dunstan cheerfully "And your shortstop work,
"What kindergarten nine did you play with last?" insisted Furlong.
"I was just making up my mind not to pitch again this season,"
grinned Cadet Prescott.
"Why not?" Furlong demanded.
"Milesy," laughed Dick, "you should never go out on a kidding
expedition until you're sure you're josh-proof yourself. Do you
think anything less than the coaches and the team captain could
stop me from pitching? But I sorry for Ken, if I'm to supplant
"You needn't be. Kennedy is glad. He hopes to make the cavalry,
and he says he wants to train that wrist for wielding a sabre."
"Can you two near-plebes find time to drop in this evening, at
just 8.15?" demanded Greg.
"Certain idea! What's up, Holmesy?"
"It isn't a feed," declared Greg. "But I think you'd be sorry
afterwards if you failed to come."
"We'll be here," promised Dunstan.
"Then I guess our party will be complete," mumbled the mysterious
"Say, Holmesy," nudged Dunstan, "how did you get that smear on
the back of your hand? Do you know, it looks like the famous
one that Cadet Dodge rubbed off with a borrowed handkerchief,
once on a time."
"Does it?" asked Greg innocently. "Be good enough to loan me
your handkerchief, then?"
"Not much!" growled Dunstan, backing away. "The loaning of personal
linen seems on its way to becoming a court-martial offence."
When the visitors had left, Dick turned on his chum, demanding
"What's the game for tonight, anyway, Greg?"
"You didn't see how I got this smear on my hand, did you, old
"Then I'm not going to tell you at present," replied Greg, going
to his washbowl and pouring in water. "But the way I got it set
me to thinking.
"Well, about the way Bert Dodge got his hand smeared back in the
days of ancient history. And, old ramrod, I believe that following
up the clue may lead to some other discoveries that will possess
a vital interest for you."
"No more at present! That's a special order," affirmed Greg.
"Be good, like the rest, and wait until 8.15 to-night."
At supper, in cadet mess hall, the talk all naturally turned to
the diamond game with Lehigh that afternoon. The Army, at the
outset, had hardly expected to win against that year's Lehigh
nine. When the game was well under way, Army hopes had been still
lower. Now, the talk was all on how Prescott and Holmes had saved
the game to the Army. Even Maitland, without a trace of jealousy,
conceded them most of the credit.
"What has cherubic, spoonoid Holmesy got up his sleeve for 8.15?"
asked Dunstan in an undertone of Anstey.
"I reckon, suh, you'll have to apply for particulars to the Information
and Security Service, suh," replied the Virginian. "To the best
of my belief, suh, the secret is all Mr. Holmes's."
So no more questions were asked. But at 8.15, to the second,
Furlong and Dunstan tapped on the Prescott-Holmes door, and, as
they did so. Anstey turned at the head of the stairs. Punctuality
is one of the cardinal virtues of the soldier; to be a half minute
late is a grave breach of etiquette; to be five minutes late amounts
almost to a crime.
"Now, Holmesy, we want light," insisted Furlong.
"At first blush," returned Greg, "some of you may not like the
job. It is nothing more nor less than a visit to Dodge's room,
while he and Blayton are absent at the hop."
"It is an extreme measure, surely," murmured Dunstan.
Anstey remained silent, waiting for further particulars.
"What I would call to your attention," went on Greg, "is that
my roommate, old ramrod, was nearly bounced out of West Point
for something he never did. I believe, and probably you all do,
that Mr. Dodge played an evil and guilty part in what became nearly
"I wouldn't put anything mean beyond Dodge," replied Furlong.
"Now, I believe I can take you to Dodge's room. Both he and Brayton
are absent at the hop. Brayton has always been a decent fellow,
I don't believe he admires Dodge any too much, but he has to put
up with his roommate. Now, in that room I hope to find evidence
which will prove that Dodge is not fit to be a member the corps
of United States Military Academy cadets. Will you come with
me and look for the proof?"
"I suhtinly will, suh," replied the Virginian promptly.
"If Anstey will go on a job like that," muttered Dunstan, "then
I guess it's a proper undertaking for gentlemen."
"I thank you, suh," nodded the Virginian gravely.
"Then come along, all hands," begged Greg. "If we find anything
of the sort that I expect to, then there will be witnesses enough
to prove the find to the satisfaction of the class and of the
Feeling like so many conspirators, this committee of five moved
along to Dodge's room. Greg went a little ahead and tapped.
Had Dodge been there it would not have interfered seriously with
his plans. But there was no answer, so Holmes pushed open the
door, turning the gas half on and lighting it.
"This afternoon," declared Greg, "I dropped a stub of a pencil
in our room. It fell on the bricks of the floor of the fireplace,
and rolled into the space between two of the bricks. In getting
that pencil out I got on the back of my hand the smear that you
"Fellows, I've been thinking for weeks and months about that smear
on the back of Mr. Dodge's hand. When I saw the one on the back
of my own hand it occurred to me at once how Mr. Dodge might have
got that black spot on his hand. It came over me, all in a flash.
I knew that Brayton and Mr. Dodge would be out of the way this
evening at the hop. Dodge has a hiding place somewhere in this
room. From the past history of the Academy we know that favorite
hiding places have always been under the bricks of the fireplaces.
For use in the winter time the hiding place must be in the outer
edge of the brick flooring, close up to where it joins the boards.
In such a hiding place the fire wouldn't harm the hidden objects.
Now, some of you might help me to see what we can find."
Anstey, with a gravely judicial air, knelt beside Holmes. Together
they tapped back and forth over the bricks with rulers taken from
the study tables.
"This is the brick that hides the place, I reckon, suh," announced
the Virginian rather deliberately.
"Let's pry it up, then," suggested Greg.
But the brick resisted rather strenuous efforts.
"That's odd, in itself," muttered Holmes. "Almost of the bricks in
these fireplaces come up as easily as a naval apprentice's dinner.
Anse, we've got to work at this brick until we have loose. It
surely hides something."
"We mustn't damage either the wooden or brick flooring," warned
Furlong. "If we did find anything, after all, think of the row
Dodge could raise over the vandalism in his room."
So the time slipped by, faster than any of them knew. But these
five cadets, now satisfied that the obdurate brick really did
hide a secret toiled on with no thought of surrender.
At last they struck the combination. The brick back of the one
that so resisted their efforts was finally pried up, after a good
deal of effort. This opening laid bare a neat but powerful spring.
Had they had, at the outset, the whole secret of this spring,
they could have raised the resisting brick in a second's time.
"Get it up---must have a look!" cried Prescott hoarsely.
It was Greg who raised the brick that had resisted their efforts
for so long. Underneath Cadet Holmes found a collection of things
that chained the attention of all, as each took eager looks in
"Going to put the stuff back, for the present?" asked Anstey,
with an odd quiver in his voice The honorable Virginian was upset
by what he had seen.
"Not never!" retorted Greg with ungrammatical emphasis. "It won't
be just the thing for old ramrod and myself to have it, either.
Milesy, you and Dunstan take it along with you. Now, old ramrod,
just what had we better do?"
"I don't see anything for it but to root out again after taps and
the subdivision inspector's visit tonight," muttered Dick, who
was alternately pale and flushed over the discovery, and all that
it meant. "Gentlemen, will you come softly to my room fifteen
minutes after the sub-division inspector's official visit at taps?"
Greg and Anstey restored the bricked flooring of the fireplace
so that nothing indicated the late search.
Then, Dunstan and Furlong carrying away the discovered stuff,
the five prowlers turned out the gas and separated.
THE "COMMITTEE ON CLASS HONOR"
At a few minutes after eleven, that same April night, five cadets
fully dressed stole down the corridor, and the leader laid a hand
on Dodge's doorknob.
In another moment they had stepped inside and their arrival awakened
"Plebes' quarters next floor up, brothers," called Brayton in
drowsy good nature.
"I'm sorry to say, Brayton, we're on the right floor, and in the
right room," responded Dunstan. "But this visit won't bother you!"
The noise of voices awoke Bert Dodge with start. He awoke with
a snort, then sat bolt upright, peering in the dark.
"Wh---who's there?" he demanded hoarsely.
"A committee on class honor, Mr. Dodge," replied Furlong, while
Anstey added, with ironic politeness:
"Don't be alahmed, suh. We do not believe you to be possessed,
suh, of any of the commodity of which we are in search."
"Brayton" asked Greg, "will you be good enough to slip into your
bathrobe and hang your blankets over the window? Then we can
have some light. That's one thing we're going to need," he added
"Don't you do it, Bray," broke in Dodge stiffly. "As for you
fellows, the best thing you can all do is to go back to your cradles.
Bray and I want to sleep the night through. And you've no business
"I'm afraid you've missed the point, suh?" replied Anstey with
bored patience. "That is exactly why we're here, suh---because
we have business here."
Brayton had slipped into his bathrobe and was now crossing the
room with blankets on one arm.
"Chase 'em out, Bray; don't hang any blankets for them to run
a light behind," begged Dodge.
"I'm afraid I'd better," murmured Brayton, as he stood on a chair
and reached up to put the blankets in place. Didn't you hear
the announcement that this is a committee of honor? The class
has a right to send one to any man, and Prescott, the class president,
is here. There, those blankets will hold and shut in all light.
Turn on the gas, Holmesy, if you will."
"You'd better get into robe and slippers, too, Mr. Dodge," hinted
Dunstan strongly. "Our business is with you, and I think you'll
feel more at ease on your feet."
"What is all this nonsense about, anyway growled Dodge, as he
slipped out of bed and wrapped himself in his dressing gown.
"That's what we'll ask you to explain," retorted Greg. "But let
us go about this in a regular manner. In the first place, Brayton,
please understand that you are not being investigated. It is
Mr. Dodge who is under suspicion."
"Yes; under fine suspicion!" snarled Dodge. "You mean I'm to
be the victim of a plot hatched by my two old enemies back in
the home town."
But Greg, ignoring him, turned to his chum.
"Dick, old ramrod, as you're the aggrieved one, I don't suppose
you can exactly act as class president in this case. But you
can designate some other member of the class to act in your place."
"Then I'll name Mr. Anstey," replied Dick. "I believe he will
be satisfactory to everyone."
"Not to me!" snapped Bert Dodge, his uneasy gaze roving from one
face to another. "The class president can't name his own substitute."
"Silence!" commanded Brayton, turning on his roommate. "Of course
the class president can delegate his duties, temporarily, to another."
"Take this matter in charge, Mr. Anstey," begged Dick, turning
to the Virginian.
"Mr. Dodge," continued the Virginian, "be good enough, suh, to
pay good heed to what I have to say. That will be necessary,
in fairness to yourself, suh. I'll begin at the beginning."
Anstey began with the handkerchief-borrowing episode in barracks
area. He dwelt upon the accusation against Cadet Prescott, the
court-martial, and the further fact that even the verdict of acquittal
had not, at first, been fully accepted by all members of the corps
of cadets clearing Dick of the fearful suspicion against his honor.
"What has all this to do with me?" snarled Dodge. "Is Prescott
trying to revive his old and infamous hints against me?
"Wait a moment, Mr. Dodge," continued Anstey patiently. "Now
will now move along to the drill in the riding hall yesterday
Anstey then described the bared cuff that Prescott had seen on
Dodge's left wrist.
"That's a lie," rasped out Dodge.
But Anstey heeded him not; Prescott merely smiled. But the sight
of that smile maddened Dodge, who sprang up, crying:
"Yes! You think you have it all cooked up against me, Dick Prescott!
But you'll find that truth and right will win."
Dick did not answer, but Anstey, looking impressively at the culprit,
"Mr. Dodge, tonight, while you were away, we pried up that brick!"
Every vestige of color fled from Bert's face. He seemed about
to fall, but he clutched at the chair back and remained standing.
"Of course, Mr. Dodge, you know what we found there. Brayton,
you don't so you will interested in seeing the things. Milesy,
be good enough to spread the collection on that table. Here, you
see, first of all, is the cuff of yesterday. Even the writing,
in India ink, remains on it. And here are reddish stains, made
by the impact of that cuff with the tan-bark of the riding hall.
Here are slips of paper on which the main features of the hardest
math. problems of each day have been noted down, ready for writing
on a cuff. Here is the water-proof ink and the pen with which
the writing on the cuff was done. And here are some other slips
of paper, evidently older, on which other problems have been written
out more fully. These older slips of paper contain problems of
last November and early December---the time when Prescott was
in his deep trouble. Now, these older slips are of paper just
like the piece that fell from the handkerchief that Prescott took
out of his blouse on that tragic day. Somewhere in the files
the authorities have that slip that figured in the charges at
Prescott's trial by general court-martial. I imagine, on comparison,
that slip will be found to be on paper identical with these slips
containing older problems. And you will note that these older
slips are written on with a typewriting machine, with crude figures
drawn in, just as in the case of the slip that figured Prescott's
trial. Now, Mr. Dodge, isn't it plain to even the dullest mind
that you have been systematically cribbing at math., and that
it is to that fact you owe your present high standing in the yearling
"Now that I think of it," remarked Brayton, turning and fixing
his roommate with a frigid, hostile stare, "I have, on at least
two occasions, entered this room just in time to see Mr. Dodge
spring up hastily from near the fireplace. But I am a dull-witted
fellow, I suppose, and I didn't suspect.
"Have you anything to say, Mr. Dodge?" demanded Anstey.
"Nothing," barely gasped the detected wretch.
"Then I will say something instead, suh," continued the Virginian.
"I would rather the task fell to someone else, but this work has
been delegated to me, and I must see it through, suh. Mr. Dodge, we
are all satisfied that you are a miserable, lying, sneaking hound,
suh, not worthy to associate with gentlemen. We are satisfied, suh,
that you are without honor or principle, and that you will never be
fit to become an officer of the Army."
"Now, see here, fellows," broke in Dodge in a whining tone, "if
you'll be generous and give me another chance, I can live this down."
"Then you admit that which we have been stating against you, do
you, suh?" questioned the Virginian. "It will be best for you
to be wholly honest, suh!
"Yes---yes---I---admit---it," cried Dodge brokenly. "But I didn't
deliberately plan for Prescott's undoing---on my honor, I didn't!
What happened was this: When I took Prescott's handkerchief with
one hand, I had that crib in the other hand. After using the
handkerchief, I found that I couldn't pass it back without either
letting the crib be seen, or else tucking the crib into the
handkerchief. So I had to do the latter thing. But that was as far
as I was guilty---on my honor, gentlemen!"
"Then you expect us to believe in the honor of a cadet who dishonors
himself by sneaking cribs into a section room?" demanded Anstey
with mild but withering sarcasm.
"Give me just one more chance, gentlemen!" faltered Dodge. "I
pledge you my word that, henceforth, I'll do everything that is
creditable and honorable, and nothing that isn't!"
"We have a somewhat different proposition for you, Mr. Dodge,"
observed the Virginian. "We want no more of your stripe. We
would degrade the entire Army, and the whole people of the United
States of America if we allow you to remain here. Tomorrow, at
an early hour, you will hand in your resignation as a cadet, to
take effect upon acceptance. If you fail, we will lay before
the superintendent and the commandant of cadets all the evidence
that we have against you, including your own confession. You
will then have to face a general court-martial and be dismissed
from the service in the deepest disgrace that can come to a cadet."
Bert Dodge sank to his knees, holding his clasped hands up before
"Don't insist on that, gentlemen! Don't! Spare me the disgrace!
Spare my parents!
"Mr. Dodge," replied Anstey sternly, "honor is the watchword in
the United States Military Academy, and all through the Army.
We couldn't spare a dishonorable wretch like you, suh, without
sharing in your disgrace. And I have not told you all that we
require. As soon as you have gone to your home you will write
a letter to the superintendent, exonerating Mr. Prescott from
all suspicion in that fearful affair. You will admit that you
alone were guilty. According to custom, that letter will be read
before the battalion in special orders and the entire corps will
then know how fully Cadet Prescott is worthy of being one of us."
"Write that letter?" demanded Dodge, leaping to his feet, but
cowering. "Never! You are taking an unfair, unmanly, ungenerous
advantage of me! You shall never have any such letter from me!"
Still patiently Anstey turned to Greg.
"Mr. Holmes, will you be kind enough to go to the room of Mr.
Packard of the first class, also Mr. Maitland, of the second class,
and present my very respectful compliments? Will you ask both
gentlemen if they can make it convenient to come here, forthwith,
on a matter of corps honor?"
Greg departed. He was back within five minutes, simply nodding.
Very soon Mr. Packard and Mr. Maitland appeared. They listened
silently while Anstey laid the story before them. Then Packard
glanced at the second classman.
"Shall I speak for us both, Maitland?"
"If you please."
"Mr. Anstey, and gentlemen," continued Packard, "this is primarily
a matter affecting your own third class, and should be settled
by the members of your class. But, in its broader scope, the
conduct to which Mr. Dodge has confessed affects the entire corps.
Mr. Dodge charges that you are abusing your power. Maitland
and I beg to differ with him. Mr. Anstey, you have done the only
thing that can be done in such a case of infamy and dishonor.
Mr. Dodge will, of course, send in his resignation tomorrow;
it will be much easier for him than facing disgrace of a more
public kind through a published verdict of a general court-martial.
As soon as Mr. Dodge has reached his home he will also write
that letter exonerating Mr. Prescott; I am sure he will. If he
does not, the corps will then take steps to turn the evidence
over to the representative of the Associated Press, and of the
largest newspapers in the country. In other words, Mr. Dodge,
by refusing to write that letter, will face a vastly larger exposure
all through the country. Now, Maitland, as this is, first of
all, a class matter, I feel that we have offered enough. Gentlemen,
if you have no further need of us, we will withdraw."
The self-appointed committee of the yearling class withdrew a
moment after, Furlong and Dunstan carrying with them the evidence.
Bert Dodge tendered his resignation promptly. Within a week the
notice of its acceptance by the Secretary of War was published
before the battalion, and Dodge skulked away, alone, unregretted
and utterly crushed, to the railway station. During the last
few days he had been "cut" by every man in the corps.
Three days after his departure the superintendent of the United
States Military Academy received a letter that caused him much
astonishment. In this letter Dodge briefly confessed that he,
and he alone, was the guilty party in that cribbing affair, and
Dick Prescott had had no guilty share or knowledge in the incident.
"Hm!" mused the superintendent, a grim smile passing over his
face. "This Dodge business has all the ear-marks of another affair
of Army honor settled unofficially by the corps of cadets."
Dodge's letter was published in a special order then read before
the corps of cadets, and the affair was closed.
Dick and Greg continued to play in the Army nine the rest of that
spring. It was one of the most brilliant of Army seasons on the
diamond, and much of the credit was due to yearlings Prescott
Baseball was at last cut short by the arrival of the busy graduation
Immediately after the proud and happy graduating class had left
to take up its new life in the scattered Army of the United States,
the yearling class dropped that designation and became the new
second class at West Point. As members of the new second class,
these happy youngsters laid aside their uniforms for two and a
half months, and, in citizens' clothes, made their rush away from
the Military Academy to begin the summer furlough that comes but
once in the cadet's more than four years of Academy life.
That evening found Greg and Dick in New York City. Happy as small
boys, they looked at the great city in genuine glee.
"I feel like rubbing my eyes, Greg, old chum!" laughed Dick.
"Are we dreaming, or can such large cities actually be?"
"It seems to me that I have a remembrance of large towns in some
previous stage of existence, somewhere in the universe," sighed
Holmes ecstatically. "But this town is bigger, noisier, fuller
of life and fun than anything I can recall."
"We have until midnight before the home train leaves," pursued Dick.
"Home! Now, that is something of which I have a much keener
recollection!" cried Greg, his eyes moistening. "Dick, I'm
afraid that, if there were a train earlier than midnight, even
the big town wouldn't detain me."
"But there isn't an earlier train, Greg, and there are no taps
or sub-division inspectors tonight. What shall we do?"
"First of all, then," proposed Greg gleefully, "let us see if
there is a place in New York where they know the meaning of the
"And then the theater!" chuckled Dick.
"Which we'll reach in one of those wonderful vehicles that the
natives call taxicabs!"
They found a place without difficulty.
"Then to walk along Broadway with its flashing lights; then the
"Home in the morning!"
"We'll start with a taxi," proposed Greg. "Here's an empty one
coming. Here, chauffeur. Yes! The Waldorf!"
What befell our cadets thereafter will be reserved for the next
volume in this series, which is published under the title, "_Dick
Prescott's Third Year At West Point; Or, Standing Firm for Flag
This story will be a rare treat, one that will make the blood
bound faster in the arteries of any real American boy. A narrative
of surpassing interest and thrilling adventures in the military
cadet's life is promised.