Part 2 out of 6
Creak! open swung the door, and out into the night leaped a youth who
seemed to be hotly pursued by four painted and bloodthirsty-appearing
The hack was standing exactly as Frank expected it would be, and he was
on the box with the driver at two springs.
"It's all right," he asserted. "We've got the fellow up there, though he
did kick up some. A part of our gang was rigged up like Indians, and
they nipped him all right."
"It's the divil's own set ye shtudints are!" muttered the driver. "Av ye
hurry, Oi'll sthay to take him away; but Oi'll not remain here long, fer
it's th' cops will be down on us roight away."
"We'll get away ahead of the cops, don't fear that," declared Frank.
"They're bringing him downstairs now. We had to take two or three others
with him; but well not bother with them long."
"Arrah! th' poor freshman!" said the driver. "Oi'd not loike to be in
his place this noight!"
He was completely fooled, thinking all the time that Frank was one of
the party he had brought there to capture the freshman.
As they rushed out Frank had seen a fellow standing near the open door
of the hack, and that fellow had promptly taken to flight at sight of
the Indians, two of whom pursued him hotly.
Frank hoped they would be able to overtake the fugitive, for if one of
the party escaped he would report to the sophs, who were bound to make a
big hustle to rescue their captured comrades.
The disguised freshmen came downstairs, bearing their captives, who were
swiftly thrust into the hack, which was a big, roomy, old-fashioned
As many of the freshmen as could do so piled inside and upon the hack,
and then Frank gave the signal, the driver whipped up his horse and away
"East Rock," said Frank.
"Eh?" exclaimed the driver. "Thot's not pwhere ye wur goin' in th'
"We have changed the programme. East Rock is where we are bound for
"All roight, me b'y."
The triumphant freshmen felt like shouting and singing in jubilant mood.
Indeed, Rattleton could not refrain from "letting off steam," as he
called it, and he gave one wild howl of triumph that made the streets
"Break it off!" sharply commanded Frank. "Want to let the sophs know
we're up to something?"
"I don't care."
"They might raise a rescue party and follow us."
"But they wouldn't frop any chost--I mean chop any frost with us."
"Pwhat's thot?" came suspiciously from the driver. "An' is it not
softmores ye are yersilves?"
"Of course we are," returned Harry, instantly.
"Thin pwhat fer do ye yell fer 'Umpty-eight?"
"Oh, it's a way we have. Don't mind it, but keep on driving if you want
to retain your scalp, paleface. We are mighty bad Injuns!"
The driver knew how to pick out the darkest and most deserted streets.
By the time the outskirts of the city were reached the freshmen were
Frank Merriwell improvised a stanza of a song, and in a few moments the
entire band caught the words and the tune. As the hack rolled along
toward East Rock the freshmen sang:
"We belong to good old 'Umpty-eight,
For she's a corker, sure as fate, sure as fate.
We have met the sophomores,
And they're feeling awful sore;
So hurrah for good old 'Umpty-eight! 'Umpty-eight!"
"Begobs! ye're th' quarest gang av softmores Oi iver saw!" cried the
driver. "An' it's not wan av yez Oi remimber takin' up to th' freshman's
"We have changed," explained Ned Stover.
"And it's the first change I have seen for a week," declared Harry
Rattleton. "I'm waiting to hear from the governor."
"Howld on," said the driver. "Oi want to see the mon thot hired me."
He threatened to pull up, but Frank caught the whip and cracked it over
"What do you want?" asked Merriwell.
"Oi want me pay."
Now, Frank knew well enough that the driver had received his pay in
advance, but he was beginning to suspect that the party that hired him
had come to grief, and so he was for exacting an extra payment from the
"Look here, driver," said Frank, sternly, "I want your number."
"In case it may appear later on that you have received money at two
separate and distinct times for doing the same piece of work."
"Get oop!" yelled the driver. "It's ownly foolin' Oi wur."
So the hack rolled on its way, with the happy freshmen smoking and
singing, while the captive sophs ground their teeth and railed at the
Inside the hack Dismal Jones, most hideously bedaubed, was smoking a
cigarette and brandishing a wooden tomahawk at the same time, while he
sat astride of Bruce Browning, who was on the floor.
"This is a sad and solemn occasion, paleface," croaked Dismal. "You have
driven the noble red man from his ancestral halls, which were the dim
aisles of the mighty forests; you have pushed him across the plains, and
you have tried to crowd him off the earth into the Pacific Ocean. Ugh!
You have pursued him with deadly firearms and still more deadly fire
water. You have been relentless in your hatred and your greed. You have
even been so unreasonable that whenever a poor red man has secured a few
paleface scalps as trophies to hang in his wigwam you have taken your
trusty rifles and gone forth with great fury and shot the poor Indian
full of hard bullets. You have done heap many things that you would not
have done if you had not done so. But now, poor, shivering dog of a
paleface, the injured red man has arisen at last in his might. If we are
to perish, we are to perish; but before we perish, we will enjoy the
gentle pleasure of roasting a few white men at the stake. Ugh! We have
held a council of war, we have excavated the hatchet, we have smashed
the pipe of peace to flinders, or something of the sort, and have struck
out upon the war trail."
"You act as if you had struck out," growled one of the captives.
"That's because he has had a few balls," gurgled Browning. "Talk about
being burned at the stake! That's not torture after being obliged to
inhale his breath. My kingdom for some chloroform! Will somebody please
hit me on the head with a trip hammer and put me out of my misery?"
"Whither art thou bearing us, great chief?" asked one of the captives.
"We will bare you out yonder," answered Dismal. "At the stake you shall
stand arrayed in the garments nature provided for you."
"I don't care for tea," murmured Browning--"not even for repartee."
"This is worse than being roasted at the stake!" muttered a soph in a
corner. "It is severe punishment."
"Help!" cried Dismal. "Somebody take me out! I can't get ahead of these
"You'll get a head if I ever find a good chance to give it to you,"
declared the voice of Puss Parker from the darkness.
Outside the painted savages were roaring:
"Farewell! farewell! farewell, my fairy fay!
Oh, I'm off to Louisiana
For to see my Susy Anna,
Singing 'Polly-wolly-woodle' all the day."
And thus the captured sophomores were borne in triumph out to East Rock,
and as they were the ones who engaged the hack, they paid for their own
Never before had anything like it happened at Yale. It was an event that
was bound to go down in history as the most audacious and daring piece
of work ever successfully carried through by freshmen in that college.
And Frank Merriwell was to receive the credit of being the originator of
the scheme and the general who carried it out successfully.
THE "ROAST" AT EAST ROCK.
A strange and remarkable scene was being enacted in the peaceable and
civilized State of Connecticut--a scene which must have startled an
accidental observer and caused him to fancy for a moment the hand of
time had turned back two centuries.
Near a bright fire that was burning on the ground squatted a band of
hideously-painted fellows who seemed to be redskins, while close at
hand, bound and helpless, were a number of palefaces, plainly the
captives of the savages.
That a council of war was taking place seemed apparent. And still the
savages seemed waiting for something.
At length, out of the darkness advanced a tall, well-built warrior, the
trailing plumes of whose war bonnet reached quite to the ground. If
anything, this fellow was more hideously painted than any of the others,
and there was an air of distinction about him that proclaimed him a
"Ugh!" he grunted. "I am here."
The savages arose, and one of them said:
"Fellow warriors, the mighty chief Fale-in-his-Hoce--I mean
Then a wild yell of greeting went up to the twinkling stars, and every
savage brandished a tomahawk, scalping knife, or some other kind of
"Brothers," said Hole-in-his-Face, "I see that I am welcome in your
midst, as any up-to-date country newspaper reporter would say. You have
received me with great _eclat_--excuse my French; I was educated
abroad--in New Jersey."
"Go back to Princeton!" cried one of the captives.
"Fellow warriors," continued Hole-in-his-Face, without noticing the
interruption, "I am heap much proud to be with you on this momentous
"Yah! yah! yah!" yelled the savages.
"And now," the chief went on, "if you will proceed to squat on your
haunches I will orate a trifle."
Once more the redskins sat down on the ground, and then the late arrival
struck an attitude and began his oration:
"Warriors of my people, why are we assembled together to-night?"
"Because we couldn't assemble apart," murmured a voice.
"We are assembled to avenge our wrongs upon the hated paleface," the
chief declared. "It was long ago that the proud and haughty paleface got
the bulge on the red man, and we have not been in the game to any great
extent since then. Every time we have held two pairs he has come in with
one pair of sixes or a Winchester and raked the pot. He has not given us
any kind of a show for our white alley. Whenever we seemed to be getting
along fairly well and doing a little something, he has wrung in a cold
deck on us and then shot us full of air holes, purely for the purpose of
ventilation in case we objected. Warriors, we have grown tired of being
soaked in the neck."
"That's right," nodded a savage, "unless we are soaked in the neck with
"At last," shouted the orator--"at last we have arisen in our wrath and
our war paint and we are out for scalps. We have decided that the joy of
the red man is fleeting. To-night a flush mantles your dark cheeks, but
to-morrow it will be a bobtail flush. What have we to live for but
vengeance on the white man and a little booze now and then? Nothing! Our
squaws once were beautiful as the wild flowers of the prairie, but now
the prize beauty of our tribe is Malt Extract Maria, whose nose is out
of joint, whose eyes are skewed, whose teeth are covered with fine-cut
tobacco, and who lost one of her ears last week by accidentally getting
it into the mouth of her husband.
"My brothers, we are not built to weep. It is not the way of the noble
red man. A few more summers and we will be no more. We will have kicked
the stuffing out of the bucket and wended our way up the golden stair.
But before we cough up the ghost it behooves us to strike one last blow
at the hated paleface. When we get a chance at a paleface it is our duty
to do him, and do him bad. Are you on?
"We have been successful in capturing a few of our hated foes, and they
are bound and helpless near at hand. Shall they be fricasseed, broiled,
fried, or made into a potpie? That is the question before the meeting,
and I am ready to listen to others. Let us hear from Squint-eyed
"It doesn't make a dit of bifference--I mean a bit of difference to me
how I have my paleface cooked," said the one indicated as Squint-eyed
Sausageface. "Perhaps it would be well enough to cook them at the
"I think that would be the proper mode," gravely declared another
warrior; "for I have heard that they boast they are hot stuff. They
should not boast in vain."
"Warriors," said Hole-in-his-Face, "you have heard. What have you to
"So mote it be," came solemnly from one.
"Yah! yah! yah!" yelled the others.
"That settles it, as the sugar remarked to the egg dropped into the
coffee. Prepare the torture stakes."
There was a great bustle, and in a short time the stakes were prepared
and driven into the ground, one of the savages hammering them down with
a huge stick of wood.
Then the captives were bound to the stakes and a lot of brush was
brought and piled about their feet.
Some of the sophs actually looked scared, but Browning kept up a
continual fire of sarcastic remarks.
"Ugh!" grunted Hole-in-his-Face. "This paleface talks heap much. Remove
his outer garments, so the fire may reach his flesh without delay."
Then Browning was held and his clothes were stripped off till he stood
in his under garments, barefooted, bareheaded, and still defiant.
"Oh, say!" he muttered, "won't there be an awful hour of reckoning!
Merriwell will regret the day he came to Yale!"
At this Hole-in-his-Face laughed heartily, and Browning cried:
"Oh, I know you, Merriwell! You can't fool me, though you have got the
best makeup of them all."
When everything was ready, one of the savages actually touched a match
to the various piles of brush about the feet of the unfortunate
As the tiny flames leaped up the painted band joined in a wild war dance
about the stakes, flourishing their weapons and whooping as if they were
real Indians. Some of their postures and steps were exact imitations of
the poses and steps taken by savages in a war dance.
"Say, confound you fool freshmen!" howled one of the captives. "This
fire is getting hot! Do you really mean to roast us?"
"Yah! yah! yah! Hough! hough! hough!"
Round and round the stake circled the disguised freshmen, and the fire
kept getting higher and higher.
Puss Parker fell to coughing violently, having sucked down a large
quantity of smoke. Some of the others raved and some begged. But still
the wild dance went on.
"Merciful cats!" gasped Tad Horner. "I believe they actually mean to
"Sure as fate!" agreed another. "They won't think to put out the fires
till we are well cooked, if they do then!"
"This is awful!" gurgled Parker. "Browning, can't you do something?"
"Well, I hardly think so," confessed the king of the sophomores. "But I
will do something if I ever get out of this alive! You hear me murmur!"
"Say!" cried Tad Horner. "I can't stand this much longer. The fire is
beginning to roast me."
"It's getting warm," confessed Parker. "But it seems to keep burning
around the outside edge."
"Keep cool," advised Browning.
"What's that?" yelled Horner. "Who said 'keep cool?' Oh, say! That's
"Just look at the wood," directed the king of the sophomores. "You will
notice that all the wood about our feet is water soaked, and there's
only a little dry wood out around the edges. That's all that is
This they soon saw was true, and it gave them great relief, for it had
begun to seem that the crazy freshmen actually meant to roast them.
At the very moment when the uproar was at its height there came a sudden
loud cry, like a signal, and out of the darkness rushed at least twenty
They were sophomores who had somehow followed them out there to East
Rock, having been aroused and told of the capture of Browning and his
mates by the soph who escaped.
One fellow on a bicycle had followed them till he felt sure of their
destination, and then he had turned back and told the others, who
hastily secured teams and flew to the rescue.
"'Umpty-seven! 'Umpty-seven! 'Rah, 'rah! 'rah!" yelled the rescuers as
they charged upon the freshmen.
"'Umpty-eight! 'Umpty-eight! 'Rah! 'rah! 'rah!" howled the painted lads
Then for a few moments there was a pitched battle.
The battle did not last long, for the freshmen saw they were
outnumbered, and at a signal from their leader they broke away and took
to their heels.
By rare good luck every man was able to get away, for, not knowing
anything about the water-soaked wood piled about the feet of the
captives, the rescuers nearly all stopped to scatter the burning brush.
"Oh, say!" grated Browning, as he was released. "But this means gore and
bloodshed! We'll never rest till we have squared for this roast, and we
will square with interest! Merriwell's life will be one long, lingering
torture from this night onward!"
"What's all this racket and cheering?" asked one of the rescuers.
"Listen, fellows! By Jove! it seems to come from the place where we left
"That's what it does, and it's the freshman yell," cried another. "Come
on, fellows! If we don't get a move on we may have to walk back."
They started on a run, but when they arrived at the place where the
teams had been left not a team was there.
The freshmen had captured the teams, drivers and all, together with the
hack, and far along the road toward the city could be heard a cheering,
singing crowd. As the disgusted and furious sophs stood and listened the
singing and cheering grew fainter and fainter.
"Fellows," said Chop Harding, "I am sorry to leave Yale, but I am
certain to be hanged for murder. After this, whenever I see a freshman I
shall kill him instantly."
It was a doleful and weary crowd of sophs that came filing back into
town and sneaked to their rooms that night.
Of course the sophs would have given a great deal could they have kept
the story quiet, but on the following morning it seemed that every
student in the college knew all about it.
The juniors laughed and chaffed the sophomores, who were sullen and
sulky and who muttered much about getting even.
The freshmen were jubilant. They were on top for the time, and they all
knew they might not have long to crow, so they did all the crowing they
could in a short time.
And still nobody seemed to know just who was concerned in the affair,
save that Merriwell and Browning must have been.
When Browning was questioned he was so blankly ignorant of everything
that it seemed as if he had slept through the whole affair. He had a way
of turning every question off with another question, and it was soon
discovered that no information could be obtained from him.
Still it was passed from lip to lip that the great and nighty king had
been found by the rescuers, stripped to his underclothes, and tied to a
stake, while the smoke arose thickly around him and nearly choked him.
Some one suggested that Browning's complexion seemed to have changed in
a remarkable manner, and then the students fell to asking him if he
really enjoyed a smoke.
Browning seemed subdued; but those who knew him best were telling
everybody to hold on and see what would happen.
"This is just the beginning," they said.
However, several days passed and still nothing occurred. It began to
look as if the sophs had decided that they were outgeneraled and were
willing to let the matter drop.
Frank Merriwell was not deceived. He knew the sophs were keeping still
in order to deceive the freshmen into a belief that there was no danger,
and he continued to warn all his friends to "watch out."
In the meantime Diamond had recovered and was in evidence among the
freshmen. It was said that he went down to Billy's, a favorite freshman
resort, and spent money liberally there almost every night.
The result of this soon became apparent. Diamond was surrounded by a
crowd of hangers-on who seemed to regard him as a leader. He was working
for popularity, and he was obtaining it in a certain way.
Now, Frank Merriwell was no less generous than Jack Diamond, but he
would not drink liquor of any kind--he would not touch beer. It did not
take him long to discover that this peculiarity caused many of the
students to regard him with scorn. He was called the Good Templar and
was often derisively addressed as Worthy Chief.
The very ones who were first to apply the name in derision afterward
came to call him Worthy Chief in sincere admiration.
Frank went around to Billy's occasionally, and although he would not
drink, he treated frequently, paying for anything his companions wanted
to take, from beer to champagne.
One evening Frank, Harry and Dismal Jones went into Billy's and found
Diamond and a large crowd there. Jack had been drinking something
stronger than lemonade, and he was holding forth to a crowd of eager
One look at Diamond's flushed face did Merriwell take, and then he knew
the fellow was open for anything. The high color in the cheeks of the
Virginian was a danger signal.
Merriwell and his two friends ordered drinks, Frank taking ginger ale.
Harry and Jones lighted cigarettes.
Frank examined the pictures around the walls. There were ballet dancers
who were standing on one toe, famous trotters, painted pictures of
celebrated fighting cocks, hunters in red coats leaping five-barred
fences, and so forth.
As he looked over the pictures he became aware that Diamond was saying
something that was intended for his ears.
"Southerners never fight with their fists," the Virginian declared.
"They consider it brutal and beastly, and so they do not learn the
so-called 'art.' They are able to fight with some other weapons, though.
There is a man in this college who is trying to be a high cock of the
walk, but he will never succeed till he shows his right by meeting me
face to face with weapons of which I have knowledge. I have met him with
his weapons, and if he is not a coward he will give me a show. But I
think he is a coward and a sneak, and I--"
That was more than Frank could stand. He did not pause to think that
Diamond had been drinking and was utterly reckless, but he whirled and
advanced till he stood squarely in front of the Virginian.
"I presume, Mr. Diamond, that you are referring to me," he said, coldly
and steadily, although he could feel the hot blood leaping in his veins.
Diamond looked up insolently, inhaled a whiff of his cigarette, and then
deliberately blew the smoke toward Frank.
"Yes, sir," he said, "I presume I did refer to you. What are you going
to do about it?"
"You called me a coward and a sneak."
"If I had not already left the marks of my knuckles on you I would slap
your face. As it is, I will simply--pull your nose!"
And Frank did so, giving Diamond's nose a sharp tweak.
Up to his feet leaped the Virginian, his face white with wrath. He
picked up a glass of champagne as he arose, and then he dashed it into
In a twinkling friends were between them, keeping them apart.
Merriwell smiled and wiped the champagne from his face with a white silk
handkerchief. The proprietor bustled in and threatened. Diamond quivered
"There will be no further trouble here," calmly said Frank. "This matter
must be settled between us--I could see that plainly enough. It wan just
as well to bring it to a head at once."
"Lunder and thightning--I mean thunder and lightning!" panted Rattleton.
"He won't fight you again with his fists."
"I do not expect him to."
"You'll have to fight with rapiers, sure!" said another.
"Merriwell, you're a fool!"
"You have fallen into his trap. He was making that talk to drive you to
do just what you did."
"Well, he may congratulate himself on his success."
"Blamed if I understand you! You seem cool enough, and still you act as
if you actually meant to meet him with deadly weapons."
"I shall meet him with any kind of weapons he may name."
Roll Ditson came forward.
"Of course you understand that I have no feeling, Merry, old man," he
said; "but Diamond has chosen me as his second once more, and so I can't
refuse to serve him. It is a most unfortunate affair, but he insists
that you fight him with rapiers."
"Very well; I agree to that. Arrange the time and place with my second,
Frank sat down, picked up an illustrated paper, and seemed deeply
interested in the pictures.
Ditson drew Rattleton aside.
"My principal," said he, swelling with importance, "demands that this
meeting take place at once."
"Great Scott!" exploded Harry. "I object to this sort of business. It is
outrageous! If one of them should be seriously wounded, what excuse can
"We'll find some excuse that will go."
"But what if one of them should be killed?"
"I hardly think anything as serious as that will occur."
"But should it, there would be an investigation, and expulsion and
disgrace, if nothing worse, would overtake us."
"Oh, well, if you are afraid, just go back and tell Mr. Merriwell to
apologize here and now, and I think Mr. Diamond will let him off."
Harry looked at Merriwell and then shook his head.
"He'll never do that," he said, hoarsely. "We'll have to arrange this
duel. There is no other way for it."
Between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three blood runs hot and swift in
the veins of a youth. It is then that he will do many wild and reckless
things--things which will cause him to stand appalled when he considers
them in after years.
Frank believed that in order to retain his own self respect and the
respect of his comrades he must meet Diamond and give him satisfaction
in any manner he might designate.
But there was another reason why Frank was so willing to meet the
Virginian. Merriwell was an expert fencer. At Fardale he had been the
champion of the school, and he had taken some lessons while traveling.
He had thoroughly studied the trick of disarming his adversary, a trick
which is known to every French fencing master, but is thought little of
He believed that he could repeatedly disarm Diamond.
His adventures in various parts of the world had made him somewhat less
cautious than he naturally would have been and so he trusted everything
to his ability to get the best of the Virginian.
Roland Ditson longed to force Merriwell to squeal. He did not fancy
Frank knew anything of fencing, and he thought Merriwell would soon lose
his nerve when he saw himself toyed with by Diamond.
And Diamond had promised not to seriously wound the fellow he hated.
The meeting was arranged as quietly as possible, and the freshmen who
were to witness it slipped out of Billy's by twos and threes and strode
Thirty minutes later, in a small, stuffy room, two lads, with their
coats and vests off and their sleeves turned back, faced each other,
rapiers in hand.
"Ready, gentlemen!" called Ditson.
They made ready.
The position was assumed.
Then came the command that set them at it.
In less than twenty seconds the spectators, who kept back as well as
possible, had seen something they never beheld before. They saw two
beardless lads fighting with deadly weapons and using skill that was
It took Jack Diamond far less than twenty seconds to discover that
Frank Merriwell was a swordsman of astonishing skill. He had expected to
toy with the Northerner, but he found himself engaged with one who met
every stroke like a professional.
A great feeling of relief came over Harry Rattleton.
"Whee jiz!" he muttered. "Merry is a cooler at it! I believe he's
With Diamond astonishment gave way to fury. Was it possible that this
fellow was to get the best of him at everything? He fought savagely, and
Ditson turned white as a ghost when he saw the Virginian making mad
thrusts at the breast of the lad he hated.
"He's forgotten his promise--he's forgotten!" huskily whispered Ditson.
"What if he should run Merriwell through the body?"
Then came a cry of anger from Diamond and a cry of surprise and relief
from the spectators.
Frank Merriwell, with that peculiar twisting movement of his wrist, had
torn the rapier from the Virginian's hand.
The blade fell clanging to the floor, and Merriwell stepped back, with
the point of his rapier lowered.
Snarling savagely, Diamond made a catlike spring and snatched up the
weapon he had lost.
"On guard!" he cried, madly. "The end is not yet! I'll kill you or
you'll kill me!"
There was a clash of steel, and then the fight was on with more fury
Diamond was utterly reckless. He left a dozen openings where Frank could
have run him through. But Merriwell was working to repeat the trick of a
few seconds before.
The frightened spectators were beginning to think of intervening, when
once again Diamond was disarmed.
At the same moment there came a heavy knocking at the door.
One fellow, who had been on guard, ran in from a corridor and cried:
"It's the faculty! Somebody has given them wind of this!"
"Here! here!" called a freshman. "Follow me!"
They did so, and he led them to a back window, out of which they
Diamond was the last to get out, and just as he touched the ground
somebody came around the corner and grabbed him.
"I have one of them!" shouted a voice, which he recognized as belonging
to one of the faculty.
He struggled to break away, but could not.
Then somebody dashed back to his side, caught hold of him, and with
wonderful strength tore him from the grasp of the man.
"Run!" panted Frank Merriwell's voice in his ear.
And they ran away together, and in a short while were safe in their
It turned out that it was not the faculty that had tried to get in where
the duel was taking place, but some of the sophs. At the time he turned
back to rescue Diamond, however, Frank had believed the Virginian was in
the grasp of one of the professors.
Merriwell was regarded as more of a wonder than ever when it became
generally known that he had twice disarmed the Virginian in a duel with
rapiers--or a "fencing contest," as the matter was openly spoken of by
those who discussed it.
But Bruce Browning, king of sophomores, was awaiting an opportunity to
get at Frank.
"Say, fellows, this thing must stop!"
Puss Parker banged his fist down upon the table as he made this emphatic
declaration, the blow causing the partly emptied glass of ale to dance
"Aw, say," yawned Willis Paulding, "you want to be a little cawful or
you will slop the good stuff, don't yer know."
Willis affected a drawl, had his clothes made in London, and considered
himself "deucedly English," although he sometimes forgot himself for a
short time and dropped his mannerisms.
Tad Horner gave Paulding a look of scorn.
"Come off your perch, Paul!" he invited. "You give me severe pains! Get
onto yourself! I don't wonder Parker is excited over this matter."
"Who wouldn't be excited?" exclaimed Puss. "These confounded freshmen
have overthrown all the established customs of the college. They have
been running things with a high hand. Why, they have really been cocks
of the walk ever since that little affair out at East Rock."
"'Sh!" cautioned Punch Swallows, a lad with fiery red hair. "Don't
speak of that, for the love of goodness! Just think of a gang of sophs
being captured by freshmen disguised as Indians, taken out into the
country, tied to stakes and nearly roasted, while the freshmen dance a
gleeful _cancan_ around them! It's awful! The mere thought of it gives
me nervous prostration!"
It was two weeks after the duel, and the five sophomores had gathered in
the little back room at Morey's, They looked at each other and were
silent, but their silence was very suggestive.
"By Jawve!" drawled Paulding, "it is awful! I wasn't in the crowd. If I
"You'd been roasted like the rest of us," cut in Parker.
"But I'd made it warm faw some of the blooming cads."
"Haven't we been doing our level best to make it warm for them?" cried
Horner. "But no matter what we do, they see us and go us one better."
"It all comes from Merriwell," asserted Swallows. "He's king of the
freshmen, the same as Browning is king of the sophomores."
"And he's a terror," nodded Horner. "He can put up more jokes than one."
"And they say he can fight."
"They say! Why, didn't you see him do Diamond, the fresh from Virginia?
Oh, no. I remember you were not with us that night. Yes, he can fight,
and he doesn't seem to be easily scared."
"I think he is a blawsted upstart," said Paulding, lazily puffing at his
cigarette. "He needs to be called down, don't yer know."
"Some time when he is upstairs, call him down," suggested Horner.
"Fists are not the only things that fellows can fight with," said
Parker. "The matter has been kept quiet, but it is said to be a fact
that Diamond forced him into a duel with rapiers, and he disarmed the
Southerner twice, having him completely at his mercy each time."
"And Diamond prides himself on being an expert with that kind of
weapon," nodded Horner.
"Why doesn't Browning do something?" asked Paulding. "It is outrageous
faw a lot of freshies to run things this way."
"Browning is in training," said Parker.
"In training? What faw? Why, he is so lazy--"
"He's training to get some of the flesh off him. It is my opinion that
somebody must check Merriwell's wild career, and he is getting in
condition to do it. You know that Browning was one of the hardest men
who ever entered Yale. He is a natural athlete, but he's lazy, and he
has allowed himself to become soft. Why, he knocked out Kid Lajoie, the
professional, in a hard-glove contest of three rounds. Lajoie was easy
fruit for him. I fancy he means to go up against this fresh duck
Merriwell and do him. That's the only thing that will pull Merriwell off
his perch. He doesn't mind being hazed."
"Doesn't mind it!" shouted Horner. "Confound him! He always manages to
turn the tables in some way, and hazes the parties who try to haze him."
Two youths came in from the front room.
"Hey, Browning! Hello, King! Come join us. You, too, Emery"--to the
other fellow. "What'll you have, Browning?"
Browning accepted a seat at the table, but waved his hand languidly as
he declined to drink.
"I'm not taking anything now," he said.
"Oh, but you must! Have some ale, old man."
"Excuse me, gentlemen. I tell you squarely that I am not taking anything
just now. By and by I will be with you again. Emery will go you one.
That's what he came in for."
"That's right," declared Browning's companion. "I was out stargazing
last night. Looked at the Long-Handled Dipper a long time, and it gave
me an awful thirst. I've had it with me all day. Yes, mine's ale."
So another round was ordered. Horner passed around the cigarettes, and
Browning declined them. The others lighted up fresh ones.
"Say," broke out Emery, suddenly, "do you know that fresh Ditson gives
me that tired feeling?"
Tad Horner grinned.
"He's no good," said Tad. "He is crooked and he's a toucher. Touched me
for a V once, and I am looking for that fiver yet. That was two years
ago, before I came here. I knew him then."
"He tried to touch us for a drink as we came along," said Browning. "I
took him in here once, but I've been sorry ever since. He said he had
his thirst with him just now. I told him to go sit on the fence and let
the wind blow him off."
"And he is a big bluff," asserted Emery. "The other day he was telling
how he once sat at the table with kings and queens. I told him that I
had--and with jacks and ten spots. Here comes the amber. My! I won't do
a thing to it!"
The waiter placed the glasses of ale before them, and Emery eagerly
"Here's more to-morrow," was his toast, and he seemed to toss it off at
a single swallow.
"By Jawve!" drawled Paulding. "You must be thirsty!"
"I am. Have been all day, as I said before. It was hard stuff last
night, and we went the rounds. My head needed hooping when I arose from
my downy couch this morning."
"Well, you shouldn't have gotten intoxicated, in the first place," said
"I didn't. It was in the last place. If I'd gone home before we struck
that joint I'd been all right."
"Wow!" whooped Tad Horner. "You seem full of 'em!"
"Oh, I am. I've been eating nothing but red pepper lately, and I'm hot
stuff. Let's have another one all around."
More ale was ordered.
"Your neck must be dry enough to squeak, old man," said Parker,
addressing Browning. "It doesn't seem natural for you to go thirsty.
Won't you have just one?"
"Not one," smiled Bruce, lazily. "I've got too much flesh on me now, and
I'm trying to get some of it off."
"Going to try for the football team--or what?"
"Nothing of that sort--but I have a reason."
"What is it?"
"You're laying for Merriwell, and you mean to do him. I am right, am I
The king of the sophomores smiled in a lazy way, but did not reply.
"That settles it," laughed Parker. "I knew I was right. Well, somebody
must curry that young colt down and it must be done right away."
Browning showed sudden animation. He looked around at the faces of his
companions and then said:
"This crowd is straight, and I am going to make a few remarks right here
and now. I feel just like it."
"Drive ahead." "Go on." "We are listening."
"I am not inclined to talk this matter over publicly," said Bruce, "but
I will say that the time is ripe to get after these confounded freshmen,
and we must do it. I want to tell you what I found this morning. Open
wide your ears and listen to this."
His companions were quite prepared to listen.
"You know I am getting up every morning and taking a stiff walk. I turn
out at daybreak."
"Good gracious!" gasped Tad Horner. "How do you do it?"
"Well, I've got one of those electric alarm clocks, and I put it just as
far away from my bed as possible."
"Why is that?"
"So I won't get hold of it and smash thunder out of the thing when it
gets to going. You know it won't stop its racket till somebody stops it
or it is run down, and it takes an hour for it to run down after it
starts in to ring you up."
"By Jawve!" drawled Paulding; "I hawdly think I'd like to have one of
the blooming things in my room."
"I don't like to have one in my room, but it is absolutely necessary
that I do. Hartwick, my roommate, admires it!"
The listeners laughed.
"I should think he might," said Puss Parker. "He's got a temper with an
edge like a cold-chisel."
"Oh, yes, he admires it! I've got so I believe I should sleep right
through the racket, but he kicks me out of bed and howls for me to
smother the thing. So you see I am bound to get up at the proper time.
Once I am out of bed, I stay up. The first morning after I bought the
clock the thing went off just as it was beginning to break day. I got up
and stopped it and then went back to bed. Hartwick growled, but we both
went to sleep. I had been snoozing about five minutes when the clock
broke loose once more. Hartwick was mad, you bet! I opened my eyes just
in time to see him sit up in bed with one of his shoes in his hand.
Whiz! Before I could stop him he flung the shoe at the clock. I made a
wild grab just as he did so, struck his arm, and disconcerted his aim.
The shoe flew off sideways and smashed a mirror. Hartwick said several
things. Then I got up and stopped the clock again. I dressed and went
out for my walk, leaving Hartwick in bed, sleeping sweetly. When I came
back I found him, about half dressed, jumping wildly up and down in the
middle of the bed, upon which was heaped all the bedclothes, all of
Hartwick's clothes except those he had on, all of mine, except those I
was wearing, and as I appeared he shrieked for me to tear down the
window shades and pass them to him quick.
"'What's the matter?' I gasped. 'Are you mad?'
"'Yes, I am mad!' he howled, tearing his hair. 'I am so blamed mad that
I don't know where I am at!'
"'But what's the matter?'
"'Matter! Matter! Hear it! Hear the daddly thing! It has driven me to
the verge of insanity! I tried to stop it, but I couldn't find how it
works. And now I am trying to stifle it! Hear it! Oh, bring me a club!
Bring me something deadly! Bring me a gun, and I will shoot it full of
"Then I found that I could hear my clock merrily rattling away under
that heap of clothes. It seemed to be defying Hartwick or laughing at
"I got him off the bed, pawed around till I found the clock between the
mattresses, and then stopped it. Hartwick offered me three times what it
was worth if I'd let him use his baseball bat on it. I told him it
seemed to be a very willing and industrious alarm clock, and it was
mine. I warned him to injure it at his peril. Since then I have learned
how to stop it so it will stay stopped, but it barely commences to
rattle at daybreak when I feel Hartwick's feet strike me in the small of
the back, and I land sprawling on the floor. That explains how I succeed
in getting up at daybreak."
"You started in to tell us what you found this morning," said Punch
Swallows, to Browning, lighting a fresh cigarette.
"So I did, and the alarm clock ran me off the trail. Well, I got up this
morning as usual--when Hartwick kicked me out to stop the clock. I went
out for my walk and crossed the campus. What do you think I found?"
"A diamond ring. We'll all have ale."
"Oh, no, Tad, it wasn't a diamond ring. I noticed something stuck up on
one of the trees. It was a big sheet of paper, and on it was skillfully
lettered these words:
"'Bruce Browning will wear a new set of false teeth to chapel to-morrow
Browning stopped and looked around. He was very proud of his even,
regular, white teeth. They were so perfect that they might be taken for
"store teeth" at first glance, but a second look would show they were
The sophs laughed, and Bruce looked indignant.
"That caused me to look still further," he went on, "and I soon found
another sheet upon another tree. This is what I read:
"'Conundrum. Why is King Browning a great electrician? Because all his
clothes are charged.'
"By that time I felt like murdering somebody. I did take a morning walk,
but it was in search of more stuff of the same order. I found it
everywhere in the vicinity of the college, and some of the stuff was
simply awful. It made me shudder. I knew who was back of it all.
Merriwell put up the job."
"But you outwitted him by getting around in time to tear down everything
he had put up. You matched him that time."
"By accident. But I must more than match him. He must be suppressed."
"That's right! that's right!" cried the boys in chorus.
"I know he put the advertisement for black and white cats and yellow
dogs in the papers. My name was signed to it, and more than two hundred
black and white cats and yellow dogs were brought me by parties anxious
to sell them at any price. One time there were seven women with cats in
my room, when two men came up leading dogs. The first woman had managed
to get into the room, and while I was arguing with her, trying to
convince her that I did not want her blamed old cat, the others found
their way in. They opened on me altogether. Hartwick shut himself in the
clothespress, and I could hear him laughing and gasping for breath. I
was nearly crazy when the men sauntered in with the dogs in tow. Oh,
Browning fell over limply in his chair, as if the memory of what
followed was too much for him.
"You have had a real warm time of it," grinned Swallows.
"Warm! Warm! My boy, it was warm! Two of the women were showing me their
cats. The dogs saw the cats; the cats saw the dogs. One of the cats made
a flying leap for a dog. The other fled, and the other dog pursued. The
seven women shrieked all together, and the two men swore and tried to
catch the dogs. The other cats escaped from the baskets in which they
were confined. Warm! Say!"
The king of the sophomores mopped his face with his handkerchief. He
seemed on the verge of utter collapse.
The listening lads could not entirely restrain their laughter. The
picture Browning presented and the incident he was relating were
altogether too ludicrous.
"Talk about rackets!" he wearily continued; "we had one then and there.
The cats yowled and the dogs howled. The women fell over each other and
screamed blue murder. The men chased the dogs and roared blue blazes.
And the wind blew hard!
"One of the cats alighted on an old lady's head. The cat's mistress
grabbed her and took her away. The cat had socked her claws into the old
lady's wig, and it came off, leaving her almost as bare as a billiard
ball. Oh, marmer!
"Two of the cats fell to tearing the fur out of each other. Some of them
walked on the ceiling, like flies, in their endeavors to get away from
the dogs. One of them pounced on a dog's back and rode him around the
room, as if she were a circus performer. The other dog chased a cat
under the bed, and they were having it there. Oh, they didn't do a
thing--not a thing!
"After a while one of the men captured one of the dogs and dragged him
toward the door. The other man saw him and made a rush for him. 'Drop
that dawg!' he yelled. 'It's my dawg!' the other man yelled back. And
then the other man howled, 'You're another. It's my dawg!'
"Right away after that there was trouble between the owners of the dogs.
They tried to hurt each other, and they succeeded very well. One of them
had both eyes blacked, while the other lost two teeth, had his lips
split and his nose knocked out of plumb. But they smashed the stuffing
out of the furniture while they were doing it.
"I climbed up on something in one corner and did my best to cheer them
on. I sincerely hoped both would be killed. The dogs seemed to feel it
their duty to enter into the spirit of the occasion, and they chewed
each other more or less.
"Then the police came in. I came near landing in the station house,
along with the two men who were fighting, but they concluded not to
pinch me. The women departed after having once more expressed their
opinion all around concerning me.
"When they were gone Hartwick came out of the clothespress. We sat down
amid the ruins and said over some words that will not bear repetition.
"That's the whole of the cat-and-dog story. I've never been able to
prove that Merriwell put the advertisement into the paper, but it is all
settled in my mind. It was directly after this that I went into
Some of the sophs laughed and some showed indignation.
"It was a very nawsty thing to do," declared Paulding.
"I can't help laughing over it." chuckled Tad Horner. "But of course you
ought to get back at Merriwell."
"Well, I shall do my best."
"I don't think you need to train to do that trick," said Punch
Swallows. "A man who can knock out Kid Lajoie ought to polish off a
freshman in a minute."
"You haven't seen Merriwell fight?"
"He is clever?"
"He is a corker. Of course I believe I can do him, but I want to do him
easy, and that is why I am training."
Another party of sophomores came in.
"It is Harrison and his crowd," said Parker, "and I'm blowed if they
haven't got Roll Ditson with them! That cad of a freshman has succeeded
in getting in here again."
"Ditson hates Merriwell, don't yer know," said Paulding. "He pretends to
be friendly with Merry, but he's ready to do him any time."
Ditson had fawned around Browning a great deal since entering college,
with the result that the king of the sophomores came to entertain a
feeling of absolute disgust for the fellow. The very sight of Ditson
made the "king" feel as if he would enjoy giving him a good "polishing
But Bruce was no bully, although he was a leader of the sophomores. He
had proved his ability to fight when it was necessary, but no one could
say that he ever showed any inclination to do bodily harm to one who was
weak and peaceable.
During his freshman year Browning had originated any number of wild
projects for sport, and he had always succeeded in carrying them through
successfully. Thus it came about that he was called the "king," and his
companions continued to call him that when he became a sophomore.
But now there was a man in college who had fairly outwitted Browning on
several occasions, and so it came about that the king was aroused
against Frank Merriwell.
Browning keenly felt the sting of being beaten at his own game, and he
was obliged to confess to himself that Merriwell had accomplished the
But our hero was not inclined to let Bruce alone. He did not wait for
the king to become aggressive; he set about keeping Bruce in hot water,
and he succeeded very well.
The other freshmen, stimulated by the example of one who was distinctly
a leader among them, carried on such an energetic campaign against the
sophomores that the latter found themselves almost continually on the
Such a thing had never before been known at Yale and the sophs were
highly indignant. They informed the freshmen that they were altogether
too fresh. They said the freshmen were breaking a time-honored custom,
and it must be stopped.
But the triumphant freshmen kept right on, laughing in the faces of
their angry foes.
It was expected that Browning would not delay about getting back at
Merriwell and his friends, and the admirers of the king were surprised
when he seemed to remain inactive.
Then it came out that Bruce was in training, and it was said that he was
putting himself in condition to give Merriwell the worst licking of his
Frank heard about it, but he did not seem disturbed in the least.
Whenever any one spoke to him about it he merely smiled.
Among the freshmen there were some who believed Merriwell able to hold
his own against Browning. They were Harry Rattleton, Jack Diamond and
one or two more.
Diamond and Merriwell were not friendly, but they had ceased to be open
enemies. For the time being the hatchet was buried, and there was peace
But the two did not become friends. Merriwell continued to assert that
Diamond had sand, and Diamond was ready to back his judgment in saying
that Merriwell was a match for any man in Yale.
Morey's was a sophomore resort. Juniors and seniors patronized the
place, but a freshman was not allowed there unless invited to accompany
some of the regular frequenters of the place.
Ditson was ambitious. He was not satisfied to associate with those of
his own class, but he wanted it thought he was such a fine fellow that
the sophomores picked him up for his company.
Thus it happened that he had succeeded in getting into Morey's several
times, but he was killing his own chances of ever having any popularity,
although he did not know it.
Browning was angry when he saw the fellow come in. He called one of the
sophs over and said:
"Say, what are you bringing it in here again for, my boy? It's been here
too many times already."
"We're working him."
"Working him? He's working you--for the drinks."
"That's all right. He's telling us what he knows about Merriwell. If
there is anything in that fellow's history that we can use as a sore
spot, we may be able to suppress him."
"All right," scowled Browning. "Go ahead and pump the crooked sneak, but
don't swallow his lies. I don't believe he knows anything at all about
A few minutes later the soph returned and said:
"I don't think he knows much about him, myself, but he says he's down at
Billy's now--or was an hour ago. We might get a chance to Lambda Chi him
Browning seemed to arouse himself.
"That's right," he agreed. "We'll go down to Billy's."
The party filed out of Morey's and Browning took the lead. Ditson went
along with them as if he was a sophomore. He seemed to feel himself
highly honored, but Browning had hard work to choke back his absolute
contempt for the fellow.
As they went along, it was arranged that Ditson should go into Billy's
and see if Merriwell was there. One of the sophomores should accompany
him. If Merriwell was there and he should come out alone or in company
with one or two others, he was to be captured. Browning had a plan that
should be carried out if the capture was made.
Ditson seemed to think he was doing something very smart and cunning in
betraying a fellow freshman into the hands of the sophomores. He fancied
he was making himself solid with Browning's crowd.
Billy's was reached, and one of the sophs went in with Ditson, while the
others kept out of sight nearby.
After a little the soph came out and reported that Merriwell and
Rattleton were in there. He had treated the house, but Merriwell had
absolutely declined to take anything.
"Oh, yes," nodded Browning. "They say he never drinks. That's how he
keeps himself in such fine condition all the time. He will not smoke,
either, and he takes his exercise regularly. He is really a remarkable
Arrangements were then made that a cab should be brought to the corner
near Billy's, where the driver should remain, apparently waiting for
It was known to be quite useless to attempt to decoy Merriwell out, so
dependence must be placed on chance. If he came out with no more than
one or two companions his name was "mud," according to the assembled
Arrangements were made to bind handkerchiefs over their faces to the
eyes, so they would be partly disguised. Some of them turned their coats
wrong side out, and some resorted to other means of disguising
Then they waited patiently.
It was not so very long before Ditson came out in a breathless hurry. He
signaled, and they called him. As he hastened up he panted:
"Merriwell is coming right out, fellows! Be ready for him!"
The sophomores knew which way Frank was likely to go after leaving
Billy's, and they lay in wait at a convenient spot.
"Is he alone?" eagerly asked Puss Parker.
"Who is with him?"
"Good! Take a tumble to yourself and skip."
Ditson did so.
"Now, fellows," hurriedly said Browning, "be ready for a struggle.
Remember that Merriwell is a scrapper and he is likely to resist. We
must take him completely by surprise. Get back and lay quiet till I give
They did as directed, and as they were in a dark corner, there was not
much danger that they would be seen till they were ready to light on
Footsteps were heard.
"Here he comes!"
Browning peered out, and two figures were seen approaching.
"How many?" anxiously whispered Tad Horner, quivering with anxiety.
"Two. They are easy. Ready for the rush."
The sophomores crouched like savage warriors in ambush.
Merriwell's peculiar, pleasant laugh was heard as the two unsuspecting
Rattleton was talking, and, as usual, he was twisting his expression in
his haste to say the things which flashed through his head.
"It doesn't make a dit of bifference if we haven't proved anything
against him, I say Ditson can't be trusted. He's got a mooked crug--I
mean a crooked mug."
"Oh, don't be too hard on the fellow till you know something for sure,"
advised Merriwell. "I will confess that I do not like him, but--"
There was a sudden rush of dark figures out of the shadows, and the two
freshmen were clutched. Coats were flung over their heads and they were
crashed to the ground.
Although taken by surprise, both lads struggled.
In the suddenness of the rush Browning had made a mistake and flung
himself on Rattleton, while he had intended to grasp Merriwell. The coat
being cast over the head of the lad prevented him from discovering his
Punch Swallows and Andy Emery were devoting themselves to Merriwell, and
it was their first impression that they had tackled Rattleton.
For an instant it seemed that the trick had worked to perfection, and
the freshmen had been made captives easily.
Then came a surprise.
Swallows and Emery were unable to hold their man down. He tore off the
smothering coat and rose with them, despite all they could do. They
cried out for help:
"Give us a hand, fellows! He's like an eel! Quick!"
Some of the sophs had been unable to render much assistance, and they
now did their best to aid Swallows and Emery. In their haste to do
something they seemed to get in the way of each other.
"Well, I don't know--I don't know!" laughed a familiar voice, and the
freshman gave Swallows a snap that lifted him off his feet and cast him
into the stomach of another fellow, who received such a blow from
Punch's head that the wind was knocked out of him in a moment.
"We'll have to see about this," said the freshman as he cracked Emery on
the jaw and broke his hold.
"Great smoke! It's Merriwell!" gurgled Emery as he reeled back.
"Onto him, fellows!" urged a soph, and Frank suddenly found six or seven
of the crowd were at him.
Just how he did it no one could tell, but he broke straight through the
crowd and in another moment was rushing back toward Billy's, shouting:
"Lambda Chi! Lambda Chi!"
It was useless to try to follow him, as all quickly saw.
In the meantime Rattleton had been cornered, and the disappointed sophs
resolved to escape with him. They lifted him and made a rush for the
cab. He was bundled in, and away went the cab.
Frank rushed into Billy's and gave the alarm. He was out again in a
very few seconds, with a crowd of excited freshmen at his heels; but
when they came to look for the sophomores and Rattleton they found
"Confound it!" exclaimed Frank in dismay. "How could they get him away
so quick? I can't understand it."
The freshmen searched, but they found nothing to reward them. Rattleton
was in the toils of the enemy, and the would-be rescuers were given no
opportunity to rescue him.
Then Merriwell blamed himself for leaving his roommate at all. But
Billy's had been so near and his chance with his many assailants had
seemed so slim that he had done what seemed the right thing to do on the
spur of the moment. He had not fancied that the sophomores would be able
to get Harry away before he could arouse the freshmen and bring them to
"Poor Harry! I wonder what they will do with him?" Frank speculated.
"Oh, they won't do a thing with him!" gurgled Bandy Robinson.
"How did it happen, anyway?" asked Roland Ditson, who had joined the
freshmen after the affair was over.
He tried to appear innocent and filled with wonder and curiosity, but
his unpopularity was apparent from the fact that nobody paid enough
attention to him to answer his question.
Frank, however, found it necessary to tell his companions all about the
assault, and Ditson pretended to listen with interest, as if he had
known nothing of the affair.
The freshmen went back to Billy's and held a council. It was decided to
divide into squads and make an attempt to find out where Harry had been
This was done, but it proved without result, and not far from midnight
all the freshmen who had been there at the time of the capture, and many
others, were again gathered at Billy's. They were quite excited over the
affair, and it seemed that the beer they had absorbed had gone to the
heads of some of them.
In the midst of an excited discussion the door burst open, and a most
grotesque-looking figure staggered into the room. It was a person who
was stripped to the waist and painted and adorned like a redskin, his
face striped with red and white and yellow, his hair stuck full of
feathers, and his body decorated with what seemed to be tattooing.
"Bive me a gear--I mean give me a beer!" gasped that fantastic
individual. "I am nearly dead!"
"It's Rattleton!" shouted the freshmen.
They crowded around him.
"Well, say, you are a bird!" cried Lucy Little, whose right name was
"A regular bird of paradise," chuckled Bandy Robinson.
"Where are those fellows?" demanded Frank Merriwell. "Where did they
leave you? Tell me, old man."
"At the door," faintly replied Rattleton as he reached for a mug of beer
which some one held toward him. "They took me right up to the door and
made me come in here."
"Out!" shouted Frank--"out and after them! Capture one of them if
possible! We want to even this thing up."
Out they rushed, but once more the crafty sophomores had vanished, and
not one of them was to be found.
The freshmen went back and listened to Harry's story. He told how he had
been blindfolded and taken somewhere, he did not know where. There they
had kept him while his friends were searching. When there was no danger
that the freshmen would discover them, they set out to have fun with
"Say, Merry, old man," said Harry, "I know Browning was the leader of
this job, although he was disguised. They seemed to feel pretty bad
because you got away. They got twisted--took me for you at first, and by
the time they discovered their mistake you were knocking them around
like tenpins. One chap insists you broke his jaw."
"Well, I am glad I did that much. I didn't mean to leave you, Harry.
Billy's was so near I thought I could get the boys out and rescue you
before they could carry you off. I couldn't rescue you alone, so I ran
here to stir up the fellows."
"That was right. I was glad you got away. They were laying for you. They
told me so."
"Well, come back, and we'll wash this stuff off you."
"I don't know as you can do it."
"Eh? Why not?"
"They said it was put on to stay a while. They told me we were so fond
of playing the noble red man's part that they would fix me so I could
play it for a week or two. Some of them advised me to use sand to scrub
myself with if I hoped to get the paint off."
"Oh, that must be all a bluff. It will come off easy enough if a little
cocoa butter is used on it. Here, somebody run out to a drug store and
get some cocoa butter."
After they had worked about fifteen minutes they looked at each other
in dismay, for they had scarcely been able to start the paint, and it
become plain that cocoa butter, soap and water would not take it off.
"Didn't I tell you?" murmured Harry, sorrowfully. "I'm done for! I'll
never be able to get it off! I'll have to go out West and live with the
Sioux! If I do I'll take along the scalps of a few sophomores!"
They continued to work on him for nearly an hour, but were unable to get
off more than a certain portion of the paint. Harry was still
grotesquely decorated when the boys arrived at the conclusion that
further scrubbing with the materials at hand was useless.
Then Frank went out and rang up a druggist who had gone to bed, for it
was after midnight. He told the man the sort of scrape his friend was in
and offered the druggist inducements to give him something to remove the
The druggist said it could not be paint, but must be some sort of
staining, and he gave Frank a preparation.
Frank went back and tried the stuff on Harry. It removed a certain
amount of the stain, but did not remove it all.
At last, being thoroughly worn out, Rattleton said:
"I'll give it up for to-night, fellows. Perhaps I'll be able to get the
rest off in the morning. I'll poultice my face and neck. But you'll
have to watch out, Frank. They say they will use you worse than this
when they get hold of you."
For the time the sophomores seemed to have the best of the game.
FRESHMAN AGAINST SOPHOMORE.
On the following morning a large piece of cardboard Swung from the door
of Merriwell and Rattleton's room in Mrs. Harrington's boarding house.
On the cardboard was this inscription:
Have you used
Harry was up at an early hour industriously scrubbing away. He succeeded
fairly well, but despite his utmost efforts the coloring refused to come
And it was absolutely necessary that he should attend chapel.
On their way to chapel Frank and Harry came face to face with Professor
Such, who peered at them sharply and said:
"Good-morning, professor," returned the boys.
Harry tried to keep behind Frank, so that his face would not be noticed.
The professor was nearsighted, but he immediately noted Rattleton's
queer actions, and he placed himself in front of the boys, adjusting
"Hang his curiosity!" muttered Harry in disgust.
"Eh?" said the professor, scratching his chin with one finger and
peering keenly at Harry. "Did you speak, sir?"
"Yes, sir--I mean no, sir," spluttered Harry, while Frank stepped aside
and stood laughing silently to himself.
"I thought you did. Er--what's the matter with your face, young man?"
"That's the result of my last attack of chilblains," said Harry,
desperately. "They hent to my wed--I mean they went to my head."
The professor seemed to doubt if he had heard correctly, while Merriwell
Rattleton looked frightened when he came to think what he had said. He
felt like taking to his heels and running for his life.
"Chilblains, sir?" came severely from Professor Such. "Sir--sir, do not
attempt to be facetious with me! You will regret it if you do!"
Cold sweat started out on Harry's forehead, and he looked appealingly
toward his companion; but Frank had turned away to conceal his
"I--I don't think I--I understood your--your question," stammered
Harry. "I'm a little heard of haring--I mean hard of hearing."
"I asked you what was the matter with your face, sir."
"Oh, my face! Ha! ha! He! he! I thought you said something about my
pace, because I was walking so slowly. That made me fancy you were
interested to know what ails my feet. Excuse me! I beg your pardon,
"Hum!" coughed the professor, again scratching his chin with the tip of
his finger, while he peered through his spectacles, plainly still
somewhat suspicious. "It is rather remarkable that you should get things
mixed in such a manner."
"I am not feeling well, professor, not at all."
And it was apparent to Frank that Harry told the truth.
"You are not looking well," came somewhat sarcastically from Professor
Such's lips. "Your countenance has a strangely mottled hue."
"It comes from Injun jestion," explained Merriwell, coming to his
"Eh? From what, sir."
"From indigestion," said Frank, very soberly. "He is much troubled that
"Much troubled! much troubled!" exclaimed the professor, whose ear had
been offended and who immediately turned his attention on Frank. "I
advise you to be somewhat more choice and careful of your language,
young man. There is a right and a wrong use of words."
Just then the chapel bell clanged, and the professor exclaimed:
"Bless me! we'll be late if we're not careful!"
Away he hurried.
Frank and Harry followed him, and as they went along Harry expressed his
feelings forcibly and violently.
"How dare you howl before me?" laughed Frank.
"Excuse me," said Rattleton. "I didn't know you wanted to howl first."
At chapel Harry felt that the eyes of everybody were upon him. He kept
one hand up to his face as much as possible, but he saw the sophomores
smiling covertly and winking among themselves. He longed to get even;
that was his one burning ambition and desire.
When the service was over the freshmen stood and bowed to the faculty as
they passed out. They were supposed to keep bowing to the seniors,
juniors and sophomores, but that custom had long been a dead letter at
Yale. The freshmen had become too independent for such a thing.
However, they stood and saw the upper classmen go past, and it seemed
to poor Harry that every fellow stared at him and grinned. The sophs
added to his misery and anger by winking at him, and Tad Horner ventured
to go through a swift pantomime of taking a scalp.
"Oh, I am liable to have yours yet," thought Harry.
On their way back to their rooms Harry and Frank were greeted by all
sorts of calls and persiflage from the sophomores, who had gathered in
knots to watch them pass.
This sort of chaffing gave Rattleton "that tired feeling," as he
expressed it, and by the time they reached their room he was in a
"I'll get even!" he vowed, fiercely. "I'll do it."
"Go ahead--you can do it," laughed Frank. "You can do anybody."
Then Harry flung a book at him, which Frank skillfully caught and
returned with the utmost politeness.
At breakfast Rattleton was chafed by the freshmen, and he boiled more
"Somebody has my coat, vest, hat, shirt and undershirt," he said as he
thought the affair over. "I had to go home in a linen duster which I got
down to Billy's last night. I don't care so much for the clothes I lost,
but I'd like to know who has 'em. I'd sue him!"
But after breakfast an expressman appeared with a bundle for Rattleton,
and in the bundle were the missing articles.
The sophomores were jubilant, and they taunted the freshmen. They said
the fate that had befallen Rattleton was simply a warning. It was
nothing beside what might happen.
For the time the freshmen were forced to remain silent, but they felt
that the sophomores had not evened up matters by any means. And the
affair would not be dropped.
During the afternoon of that day it rained for at least two hours, and
it did not clear up and let the sun out, so there was plenty of dirt and
mud at nightfall.
Then it was that Rattleton some way found out that a number of
sophomores who dined at a club on York Street were going to attend a
party that evening. It was to be a swell affair on Temple Street, and
the sophs were certain to wear their dress suits.
"They'll din for dresser--I mean dress for dinner," spluttered Harry as
he was telling Frank. "It's certain they'll go directly from dinner to
"Well, what has worked its way into your head?"
"Give it to us."
"We'll be ready for 'em when they come from dinner, and we'll give 'em a
rush. They're not likely to be in any condition to attend a party after
we are through with them. What do you say, old man? What do you think
"We are likely to get enough of rushing in the annual rush, but I'm with
you if you want to carry this job through."
"All right, then, we'll do it. We'll give those sophs a warm time. I
have been grouchy all day, but I begin to feel better now."
So Frank and Harry communicated the plan to their friends, and a party
gathered in their room immediately after supper.
Dismal Jones was out as a scout, and he had agreed to let them know when
the sophomores left their club. They were inclined to take much more
time in dining than the freshmen.
Pretty soon Jones came racing up the stairs and burst into the room.
"Come on, fellows!" he cried. "The sophs are leaving their club, and
there's lots of 'em wearing dress suits. We'll have a picnic with 'em!"
Dismal seldom got excited, but now he was quite aroused.
The freshmen caught up their caps and hurried downstairs. They were soon
on the street, and they hastened to meet their natural enemies.
The sophomores had formed by twos, with Browning and Emery in advance.
It was true that many of them were in dress suits, and they were not a
little disturbed when they saw the solid body of freshmen coming swiftly
to meet them.
To pass on the right the sophomores were entitled to the inside of the
sidewalk, and although they would have given much to avoid the
encounter, they formed solidly and prepared to defend their rights.
The freshmen also formed in a compact mass, and came on with a rush,
keeping hard up against the wall.
"Turn to the right! Turn to the right!"
The sophomores uttered the cry as they hugged the wall on the inside.
"Sweep 'em off! Sweep 'em off!"
That was the cry that came from the determined freshmen.
"Hold on! hold on!" ordered Browning. "There is a law for this!"
"Then you will have to produce officers to enforce it," laughed Frank
"But there is a regular time for rushing."
"This is not a regular rush, so we don't mind."
"But you fellows have no right to do it!"
"Is that so?" was the derisive retort. "Hear the sophs squeal fellows!
Oh, my! but this is funny!"
"Stop a minute and we will argue this matter, freshies," invited
Browning, who was thoroughly disgusted over the prospect.
Then the whole crowd of freshmen roared with laughter.
"Hear the baby cry!" they shouted. "He is begging! Ha! ha! ha!"
Browning's face was crimson with anger and confusion.
"You are an insolent lot of young ruffians!" he snapped, "and Merriwell
is the biggest ruffian of you all!"
"Back it up! back it up!"
"Why don't you?"
"I will when the right time comes."
"What's the matter with this for the right time?"
"No! no! Turn to the right and let us pass now. We will see you again."
"We see you now, and we are going to raise you the limit."
The sophomores held a hurried consultation, and then Browning said:
"If you fellows will wait till we go change our clothes we'll come out
and give you as warm a time as you want."
"All right, we will wait."
"Then let us pass."
"We'll do that, but you will have to pass on the outside."
That was something the sophomores could not do without yielding to the
freshmen, and they felt that they had rather die than yield unless
compelled to do so.
The sophomores stormed and scolded, and the freshmen, who outnumbered
them, laughed and flung back taunts.
Then the sophomores determined on a quick, sudden rush, but it happened
that the freshmen had decided on a rush at the same moment, and the two
bodies of lads plunged forward as if at one signal.
"'Umpty-eight! 'Umpty-eight!" yelled the freshmen.
"'Umpty-seven! 'Umpty-seven!" shouted the sophomores.
Crash! They met!
Then there occurred one of the liveliest struggles of the season up to
that date. Each side did its best to force the other off the sidewalk,
and for some moments they swayed and surged in one spot.
At last the superior weight of the freshmen began to tell, and the
sophomores were slowly swept backward, contending every inch.
Feeling that they must be crowded to the outside, Browning gave the
signal for them to break and make it a hand-to-hand affair. Then he
grappled with Merriwell.
Frank was ready, and he willingly left the line as the freshmen forged
onward. He was anxious for an opportunity of seeing just what sort of
stuff the king of the sophomores was made of, and this was his chance.
Finding that they could not hold the freshmen back, the sophs had each
singled out a man, and the contest became hand to hand.
In a few moments several parties were down, and some of them rolled from
the sidewalk into the street.
Now that they had been forced to do battle, the sophs were desperate,
and they sailed in like a lot of tigers.
Rattleton found himself pitted against Andy Emery, and Emery had the
reputation of being as full of grit as a bulldog. He was on the 'Varsity
crew, and he had a back and shoulders which were the admiration of those
who had seen him strip to the buff.
Emery had a quick temper and a strong arm. He grappled with Harry,
lifted him off his feet and tried to throw him, but the freshman came
down on his feet like a cat.
A second later Emery was astonished to feel his own feet flung into the
air, and he could not help falling, but he clung to his antagonist and
they went down together.
Over and over they rolled, each striving to get on top. They were soon
off the sidewalk and into the street.
Emery was furious, for he felt that his dress suit was the same as
ruined, and he uttered some very savage language.
"That's right," chuckled Harry. "Cuss a little--it may help you."
It seemed to, for Emery finally succeeded in getting astride Rattleton
and holding him down for a few moments. He was soon pulled off by
another freshman, and the merry war went on.
Little Tad Horner was right in the hottest scrimmage, and he proved
formidable for the freshmen, despite his size. He had a way of darting
under them and tripping them up, then getting away before he could be
Dismal Jones was quoting Scripture and doing his best to make himself
felt by the sophomores. Jones was a character. His parents were
"shouting Methodists," and they intended him for the ministry. He had a
long, sad face, but he was full of deviltry, and it was very seldom that
the freshmen entered into any affair against the sophomores that he was
not on hand and interested.
"Lay on and spare not!" he cried, after the style of a camp-meeting
revivalist. "If the wicked entice thee, consent thou not. Get behind me,
Satan! Brothers, oh, my dear brothers! it makes my heart sad and weary
to see so much wicked strife and contention."
Punch Swallows, the red-headed soph, found himself pitted against Lucy
Little. Despite his name, Little was not a "sissy," and he was no mean
antagonist, as Punch found out. It was nip and tuck between them, and
neither seemed to have the best of it.
Some of the sophs were able to down their men, but they were so
outnumbered by the freshmen that they could not hold an advantage very
The struggle between Browning and Merriwell waxed furious. The big
sophomore exerted himself to his utmost, and he found that it was
necessary that he should do so if he had any thought of holding his own
with the freshman leader.
Frank knew all the time that he was pitted against a hard man, and so
his muscles were strained and his nerves were taut.
"Now, fresh, we'll see what we can do for you," Browning said, as he
made a mighty effort to land Frank on his back.
"You are very kind," laughed Merriwell. "I will not forget your
"You are not the only one," panted Browning. "There are others."