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the room, every action being clearly revealed in the bright moonlight that was streaming through the windows.

CHAPTER XXII

THE ROW IN THE RIDING DETACHMENT

“Wow, what on earth is the fellow doing?” muttered the puzzled Pierson.

Haynes had gone over to his fatigue blouse, the left front of which he was examining very closely.

Then the turnback began to mutter indistinctly.

“Why, Haynesy is walking and talking in his sleep!” decided Pierson. “Queer! I never knew him to do anything like that before. He must have something on his mind.”

Pierson had read, somewhere, that it is never wise to disturb a sleepwalker, there being a risk that the sleepwalker, if aroused too suddenly, may suffer collapse from fright.

“I wonder what on earth old Haynesy can have on his mind?” pondered Pierson. “Oh, well, whatever it is, it is no business of mine.”

With that Pierson let his head return to his pillow.

“That did the trick for Prescott—ha! ha!” muttered the turnback.

“What on earth did the trick, and what trick was it?” muttered watching Pierson, curious despite the admitted fact that it was all none of his business.

After a few moments more Haynes went back to his cot, pulled the sheet and a single blanket up over him, and became quiet.

“It wouldn’t do any good to ask Haynesy anything about this,” decided Pierson. “He won’t remember anything about it in the morning.”

So Pierson went to sleep again. When he awoke in the morning he was more than half inclined to believe that he had dreamed it all.

The general reviews were drawing toward their close. In two studies Haynes was making a poor showing, though he believed that he would pass.

Riding drills were being held daily now. Preparations were being made for the stirring exhibition of cavalry work that was to be shown before the Board of Visitors.

On the afternoon of the day before the visitors were due, Greg started up at the call for cavalry drill.

So did Dick.

“Where are you going?” challenged Cadet Holmes.

“To cavalry drill,” responded Cadet Prescott.

“Who said you could?”

“The K.C. for one; Captain Albutt for another.”

Greg looked, as he felt, aghast at the idea, but he managed to blurt out:

“What about the rainmakers?”

“Captain Goodwin has examined me again.”

“Surely, he doesn’t approve of your riding yet, Dick?”

“He didn’t say whether he did or not.”

“Then—–“

“But he certified that I was fit to ride.”

“Dick, you didn’t have to do this—–“

“No; but I want to be restored to full duty. Captain Albutt has informed me that the horse assigned to me will be a dependable, tractable animal, and I shall be on my guard and use my head.”

“I don’t like this,” muttered Greg, as he fastened on his leggings.

“I didn’t suppose you would, so I didn’t tell you anything about it.”

By the time that the second call sounded both young men were prepared, and joined the stream of cadets pouring out of barracks.

Other cadets than Greg expressed their astonishment when they saw Prescott in the detachment.

“Is this wise, old ramrod?” asked Anstey anxiously.

“A soldier shouldn’t play baby forever,” returned Dick. “And I have permission, or I wouldn’t be here.”

“I don’t like it,” muttered Anstey.

Furlong, Griffin and Dobbs all had something to say.

Haynes didn’t let a word escape him, but his eyes lighted with evil joy.

“Now, I can finish the job, I guess,” throbbed the evil one.

The detachment to which Prescott and some of his friends belonged was formed and marched through one of the sally-ports. Just beyond, a corporal and a squad of men from the Regular Army cavalry sat in saddle. Each enlisted man held the bridle of another horse than the one he rode. As the corporal dismounted his men, the cadets, at the word from their marcher, moved forward and took their mounts. At the command, the detachment rode forward, by twos, at a walk, down the road that led to the cavalry drill ground below the old South Gate.

It was Greg who rode beside his chum. In the drill, later, when in platoon front or column of fours, it would be Haynes who would ride on Dick’s left.

The turnback had already made sure that his useful black pin was securely fastened inside his fatigue blouse.

Arrived at the drill ground, the cadets dismounted, standing by their horses in a little group until Captain Albutt should ride out of one of the cavalry stables and take command.

Haynes, with a rapid throbbing of his pulses, bent forward and down, pretending to examine his horse’s nigh forefoot.

As he did so, with an expertness gained of practice, Haynes slipped the head of the black pin in under the front of the sole of his right boot. Then he straightened up again, chatting with Pierson.

“I say, Haynes,” drawled Anstey, a few moments later, glancing at the turnback’s right foot, “that’s a dangerous-looking thing you have in your boot.”

“What’s that?” demanded Haynes, losing color somewhat, yet pretending to be surprised.

“That long pin, sticking out of the front of your right boot,” continued Anstey, pointing.

Haynes glanced down, saw the thing, and pretended to be greatly astonished.

“How did I get that thing in my shoe?” he cried.

Then, with an appearance of indolent indifference that was rather overdone, the turnback stooped low enough to extract the pin. But his fingers trembled in the act, and half a dozen cadets noted the fact.

“That’s a reckless bit of business, Haynes,” continued Anstey in a voice that did not appear to be accusing.

“Reckless?” gasped Greg Holmes. “It’s criminal!”

“What do you mean?” demanded Haynes, straightening himself and glaring coldly into Holmes’s eyes.

But Greg was one of the last fellows in the world to permit himself to be “frozen.”

“I mean what I say, Haynes,” he retorted plumply. “With that thing in the toe of your boot something would be likely to happen when some other horse’s flank bumped you on the right. And, by George, it’s Prescott who rides at your right in platoon or column of fours!”

Greg shot a look full of keen suspicion at the turnback.

“And it was Prescott who rode on your right the day he was thrown from Satan!” flashed Greg, his face going white from the depth of his sudden feeling. “Haynes, did you have that pin in the toe of your boot the day that Prescott was thrown in the riding hall?”

“You—–” Haynes began, at white heat, clenching his free fist.

“Answer me!” broke in Greg insistently.

“I did not!”

“I don’t believe you!” shot back Cadet Holmes

“Confound you, sir, do you mean to call me a liar?” hissed the turnback.

“Yes!” replied Greg promptly.

Haynes dropped his bridle, stepping toward Greg Holmes, who, however, neither flinched nor looked worried.

“Hold my lines, Dobbs,” urged Pierson, passing his bridle over to a fellow classman.

Then Pierson sprang in front of Greg, facing his roommate.

“Softly, Haynes!” cried Pierson warningly.

“What is this to you?” demanded the turnback hotly.

“I am under the impression,” replied Pierson, “that this is not a personal matter so much as it is a class affair.”

But Haynes, feeling that he was almost cornered, became reckless and desperate.

“This is a personal matter, Pierson. Stand aside until I knock that cur down.”

“From any other man in the detachment,” spoke Greg bitterly, “I would regard the use of that word an insult. Haynes, if you hit me, I shall knock you clean into the Hudson River. But I will not accept any challenge to fight until the class has passed on this matter.”

“The class has nothing to do with it,” insisted Haynes.

“I think the class has,” broke in Pierson. “When the time comes I shall have considerable to say.”

“Then say it now!” commanded Haynes, glaring at his roommate.

“I will,” nodded Pierson. “The other night, Haynes, I was awakened to find you walking about the room in your sleep. You also talked in your sleep. At the time I could make nothing of it all. Now, I think I understand.”

Then Cadet Pierson swiftly recounted what he had seen and what he had heard that night in the room.

“You were fingering something on the left front of your blouse, and while doing so, you made the distinct remark that this was what had done the trick for Prescott,” charged Pierson. “I did not see what it was that you were fingering, but the next day, the first chance I got, I, too, examined the left front of your blouse. I found a small, black pin fastened there. It has been fastened there every time since when I have had a chance to look at your fatigue blouse hanging on the wall.”

“I am not responsible for what I say when I’m sleepwalking,” cried Haynes in a rage. “And, besides, Pierson, you’re lying.”

“I’ll wager that not a man here believes I’m lying,” retorted Pierson coolly.

“No, no! You’re no liar, Pierson!” cried a dozen men at once.

“Is there a black pin inside your blouse at this moment?” challenged Greg.

“None of your business,” cried the turnback hoarsely.

“I demand that you show up, or stand accused,” insisted Cadet Holmes.

“I’ll show up nothing, or take any orders from anyone who tries to lie my good name away,” retorted Haynes. “But at least two of you will have to fight me mighty soon.”

“I won’t fight you,” retorted Greg bluntly, “until the class declares you to be a man fit to fight with.”

“Nor I, either,” rejoined Pierson decisively. “Stand aside, you hound, and let me get at that cur behind you!” cried Haynes hoarsely.

“Attention!” called the detachment marcher formally. “The instructor for the day!”

Captain Albutt rode out of the nearest cavalry stable, mounted on his own pure white horse.

At the order of the marcher each cadet fell back to the lines of his own mount.

When Captain Albutt reached the detachment he saw nothing to indicate the disturbance that had just occurred.

CHAPTER XXIII

THE DECREE OF “COVENTRY”

“Prepare to mount! Mount!”

Some preliminary commands of drill were executed. Then the serious work of the hour began.

Never had Captain Albutt commanded at a better bit of cavalry work than was done this afternoon by members of the first and second classes.

The wheelings, the facings and all the manoeuvres at the different gaits were executed with precision and dash. All the movements in troop and squadron were carried out to perfection.

To the instructor, it was plain that the most perfect esprit de corps existed. The cadets were acting with a singleness and devotedness of purpose which showed plainly that the perfect trooper was the sole subject of thought in their minds. At least, so the instructor thought, from the results obtained.

Even Haynes’s face was inexpressive as he rode.

Greg was as jaunty as though he had not an unkind thought toward anyone in the world.

Cadet Prescott did not betray a sign of any thought save to do his duty perfectly.

Yet, every time that his horse was brought close to Haynes’s, Prescott had his eyes open for any foul play that might be attempted by the turnback.

“If the young men do as splendidly to-morrow before the Board of Visitors,” thought Captain Albutt, “I shall feel that my year of work here has been a grand success. Jove, what a born trooper everyone of these young fellows seems to be!”

At last the drill was finished. In detachments, the young cadet troopers returned to the road between the administration building and the academic building.

Here each detachment dismounted, surrendered its horses to a waiting detail of enlisted cavalrymen, and then marched in to barracks.

As soon as the young men had removed their riding leggings, and the dust from their uniforms, most of them descended into the quadrangle.

Haynes reached his room just an instant behind Pierson.

“See here, Pierson, you cad, what did you—–“

“Oh, shut up!” replied Pierson, with a weary sigh.

“Don’t you speak to me like that, sir!” cried Haynes warningly, as he stepped over to where his roommate was busy with a clothes brush.

“I don’t want to talk with you at all,” retorted Pierson.

“You’ll talk to me a lot, or you’ll answer with your fists!”

“Fight with you? Bah!” growled the other man in disgust.

“You cad, you deliberately li—–“

But Pierson, having put his brush away, turned on his heel and left the room.

Haynes paused for an instant, his face white with a new dread.

A cadet stands low, indeed, when another cadet will not resent being called a liar by him.

“This has kicked up an awful row against me, I guess,” muttered the turnback, as he hastily cleaned himself. “I must get down into the quadrangle, mix with the fellows and set myself straight.”

Full of this purpose, for he was not lacking in a certain quality of nerve and courage, Haynes went down to the quadrangle.

“I am afraid a good deal of feeling was aroused this afternoon, Furlong,” began the turnback.

Then he gulped, clenched his fists and lost color, for Cadet Furlong, without a word, had turned on his heel and walked away.

“Griffin, what does Fur—–“

Cadet Griffin, too, turned on his heel, passing on.

“Dobbs—–“

It was Dobbs’s turn to show his back and stroll away.

“What the deuce has got into them all?” wondered Haynes, though his heart sank, for, much as he wanted to ignore the meaning, it was becoming plain to him.

Another cadet was passing along the walk. To him Haynes turned with an appealing face.

“Lewis,” began the turnback, “I am afraid I shall have to ask you—–“

Whatever it was, Lewis did not wait to hear. He looked at Haynes as though he saw nothing there, and joined a little group of cadets beyond.

“Confound these puppies!” growled Haynes to himself. “They’re all fellows that I hazed when they were plebes, and they haven’t forgiven me. I see clearly enough that, if I am to have an explanation, or get a chance to make one, I must do it through the members of my old class.”

Some distance down the quadrangle stood Brayton and Spurlock, first classmen and captains in the cadet battalion.

“They’re high-minded, decent fellows,” said Haynes to himself. “I will go to them and get this nasty business set straight.”

Past several groups of cadets stalked Haynes, affecting not to see any of the fellows. But these cadets appeared equally indifferent to being recognized.

Brayton and Spurlock were talking in low tones when the turnback approached them.

“Brayton,” began Haynes, “I want to ask you to do me a bit of a favor.”

Brayton did not stop his conversation with Spurlock, nor did he show any other sign of having heard the turnback.

“Brayton! I beg your pardon!”

But the first classman did not turn.

“Spurlock,” asked Haynes, in a thick voice, “are you in this tommy-rot business, too?”

Spurlock, however, seemed equally deaf.

“Then see here, both of you—–” insisted Haynes, choking with anger.

The two first classmen turned their backs, walking slowly off.

There was no chance to doubt the fate that had overtaken him. Haynes had been “sent to Coventry.” Henceforth, as long as he remained in the corps of cadets, he was to be “cut.” No other cadet could or would speak to him, under the same penalty of also being sent to Coventry.

Henceforth the only speech that any cadet would have with him would be a necessary communication on official business. Socially there was no longer any Cadet Haynes at West Point.

Once, two years before, Haynes had helped to put this punishment on a plebe, who had soon after quitted the Academy.

Then Haynes had thought that sending another to Coventry was, under some circumstances, a fine proceeding. But now the like fate had befallen him!

“The fellows don’t really mean it. They’re excited now, but to-morrow they’ll be sorry and call the whole foolishness off,” thought the “cut” man, trying hard to swallow the obstinate lump that rose in his throat.

In the quadrangle, mostly in groups, were fully two hundred cadets. But not one of these young men would address a word to the exposed turnback.

“There’s one satisfaction, anyway,” thought Haynes savagely, as he walked blindly back toward the door of his own subdivision in barracks, “I can take it all out on the plebes!”

Just as he was going up the steps Haynes encountered a plebe coming out.

“Here, mister!” growled Haynes. “Swing around with you! At attention, sir! What’s your name, mister?”

But the plebe did not even pause. He did not avert his head, but he took no pains to look at Haynes, merely passing the turnback and gaining the quadrangle below.

Now the utter despair of his position came over Haynes. How suddenly it had come! And even Haynes, with his four years at West Point, could hardly realize how the Coventry had been pronounced and carried out in so very few minutes after release from cavalry drill.

Tears of rage and humiliation in his eyes, Haynes stumbled to his room. Once inside he shunned the window, but stumbled to his chair at the study table, and sank down, his face buried in his arms.

“Oh, I’ll make somebody suffer for this!” he growled.

Out in the quadrangle, now that the turnback was gone, the main theme of conversation was the discovery and exposure of the afternoon.

Pierson was requested to repeat his statement to a large group of first and second classmen.

“I don’t believe a man could get a pin stuck into the toe of his boot accidentally, in the way that Haynes had his pin arranged,” declared Brayton. “Has one of you fellows a pin to lend me?”

A pin being passed, Brayton sat down on a convenient step and tried to adjust the pin between the sole and the upper of the toe of his boot.

“I can force it in a little way,” admitted Brayton, “but see how the pin wobbles. It would fall out if I moved my foot hard. Some of the rest of you try it.”

Other cadets repeated the experiment.

“I’ll tell you, fellows,” said Spurlock at last; “a fellow couldn’t accidentally get a pin in that position, and hold it firm there. But I know that, after repeated trying, and working to fit the pin, I could finally get matters so that I could quickly fit a pin that would hold in place and be effective.”

“Of course,” nodded Lewis. “It can be done, but only by design.”

“And that was the very way that Prescott’s horse was enraged, so that old ramrod got his awful tumble!” exclaimed Greg bitterly.

“You believe, now, that the whole thing was a dirty, deliberate trick, don’t you?” asked Spurlock of Prescott.

“I am pretty sure it must have been,” nodded Dick.

“Then,” declared Brayton, “the whole thing is something for you second classmen to settle among yourselves. In the first place, it is your own class affair. In the next place, we men of the first class are practically out of the Military Academy already. It will do the first class no good to take any action, because we shall not be here to carry out any decree.”

“You can advise us, though,” suggested Holmes.

“And we’ll do so gladly,” nodded Brayton. “Then do we need to hold a class meeting, and vote to make the Coventry permanent?”

“Hardly, I should say,” replied Brayton. “You’ve already started the cut, and it can be continued without any regular action—unless Haynes should have the cheek to try to brazen it out. If he does insist on staying here at the Military Academy, you can easily take up the matter during the summer encampment.”

“It would seem rather strange for me to call a class meeting, when the whole affair concerns me,” suggested Dick.

“Oh, you don’t need to call the meeting, old ramrod,” advised Spurlock. “A self-appointed committee of the class can call the meeting. You can open the meeting, of course, Prescott, and then you can call any other member of the class to take the chair.”

“I wonder if it will be necessary to drum the fellow out of the class formally?” asked Anstey.

“Only time can show you that,” replied Brayton. “Better just wait and see what action the fellow Haynes will take for himself. He may have the sense to resign.”

Resign? That word was not in Haynes’s own dictionary of conduct. After his first few moments of despair, on gaining his room, the turnback had risen from his chair, his face showing a courage and resolution worthy of a better cause.

“Those idiots may think they have ‘got’ me,” he muttered, shaking his fist toward the quadrangle. “One of these days they’ll know me better! I’ll make life miserable for some of those pups yet!”

Just before it was time for the call to dress parade Pierson came hurrying into the room to hasten into his full-dress uniform.

Haynes, already dressed with scrupulous care, looked curiously at his roommate. But Pierson did not appear to see him.

Haynes stepped over to the window, drumming listlessly on the sill. At length he turned around.

“Pierson,” he asked, “have the fellows sent me to Coventry?”

“You don’t need to ask that,” replied the other coldly.

“Is it because of Prescott?”

“Yes. And now, will you stop bothering me with the sound of your voice?”

“Pierson, you know, when a fellow is cut by the corps, his roommate is not required to avoid conversation with the unlucky one.”

“I know that,” replied Pierson coldly. “But I’ve had all I want of you and from you. Except when it is absolutely necessary I shall not answer or address you hereafter.”

“How long am I to stay in Coventry?”

Pierson acted as though he did not bear.

“Has formal action been taken, or is this just a flash of prejudice, Pierson?”

No answer.

“Humph!”

The call to form and march on to the parade ground was sounding. Snatching up his rifle, Haynes stepped out and joined the others.

Haynes did not receive even as much as a cold glance.

“I’m less than a bit of mud to them!” thought the turnback bitterly. “These fellows would step around a patch of mud, just to avoid dirtying their shoes.”

It was a relief to hear the command to fall in. Haynes felt still better when the battalion stepped away at its rhythmic step. He did not have to look at any of his contemptuous comrades now, nor did he need a word from them.

Somehow, though in a daze, the turnback got through dress parade without reproof from any of the watchful cadet officers. Then, almost immediately after dress parade, came the hardest ordeal of all.

Once more, this time in fatigue uniform, the turnback had to fall in at supper formation. With the rest he marched away to cadet mess ball, found his place at table and occupied it.

During the meal merry conversation ran riot around the tables. Haynes was the only man among the gray-clad cadets who was left absolutely alone.

After supper, while Pierson lounged outside, Haynes went back to his room.

Pacing the floor in his deep misery and agitation, he took this vow to himself:

“I won’t let myself be driven from the Military Academy! No matter what these idiots try to do to me—no matter what indignities they may heap upon me, I’ll keep silent and fight my way through the Military Academy! I will receive my commission, and go into the Army. But that fellow Prescott shall never become an officer in the Army, no matter what I have to risk to stop him!”

CHAPTER XXIV

CONCLUSION

For most of the young men at West Point the academic year now came swiftly and joyously to an end.

True, some score and a half of plebes were found deficient, and sent back to their homes.

The same thing happened to a few of the third classmen.

All of the members of the first class succeeded in passing and in graduating into the Army.

The poor plebes who had failed had been mournfully departing, one at a time.

These unhappy, doleful young men felt strangely uncouth in the citizens’ clothes that they had regained from the cadet stores.

Yet everyone of these plebes received many a handshake from the upper classmen and a hearty good wish for success in life.

More doleful still felt the dropped third classmen, who had been at the Military Academy for two years, and who had thoroughly expected to “get through” into the Army somehow.

It was now a little before the time when cadets must hasten to quarters to attire themselves for dress parade.

Several score of cadets still lingered in the quadrangle when Greg Holmes and Pierson suddenly appeared, heading straight for one of the largest groups, in which Dick Prescott stood.

“Heard any news lately?” asked Greg, a pleased twinkle in his eyes.

“Nothing startling. We’ve been supplying new, dry handkerchiefs to the poor, late plebes,” answered Brayton.

“Haven’t heard about that fellow Haynes?” asked Greg.

“Nothing,” admitted Brayton.

“Well, you see,” exclaimed Pierson, “Haynes made up his mind to disregard the grand cut. He determined to stick it out, anyway, even for a whole year.”

“He’ll have a sweet time of it, then,” put in Spurlock dryly. “I never heard of a fellow who got the general cut lasting a whole year here before.”

“That was Haynes’s decision, anyway,” went on Pierson. “This is no guess work. The fellow told me so himself.”

“I reckon, suh, maybe we’ll be able to change his mind,” drawled Anstey.

“No you won’t,” broke in Greg decisively. “Haynes got in bad on the last two days of general review. Chemistry and Spanish verbs threw him. So he was ordered up for a writ (written examination) in both subjects. He fessed frozen on both of them. He applied for a new examination in a fortnight, but the fact that Haynes was already a turnback went against him.”

“He’s `found,’ eh?” questioned Brayton, smiling gleefully.

“Dropped,” nodded Pierson.

“Fired!” added Greg, with a look of satisfaction. “There’s no getting around the truth of the old superstition, fellows!”

The “old superstition” to which Holmes referred is one intensely believed in the cadet corps. While there is nothing whatever to prevent a sneak from being admitted to the United States Military Academy, the cadets believe firmly that a dishonorable fellow is bound to be caught, before he graduates, and that he will be kicked promptly out of the service by one means or another.

“Has the fellow gone yet?” inquired Spurlock.

“He’ll slip away while the rest of us are away at dress parade, I guess,” responded Pierson. “Haynes is in cit. clothes already, and is just fussing around a bit.”

“He must feel fine!” muttered Brayton musingly. “I could almost say `poor fellow.'”

“So could I,” agreed Prescott, with a good deal of feeling. “It would break my heart to be compelled to leave the corps, except at graduation, so I can imagine how any other fellow must feel.”

“Oh, well, he’d never be happy in the Army, anyway,” replied Spurlock. “Out in the Army the other officers can take care of a dishonorable comrade even more effectively than we do.”

“What made Haynes fess out, I wonder?” pondered Brayton aloud.

“Being sent to Coventry got on his nerves so that he couldn’t pull up enough at review and the writs,” replied Pierson. “He wasn’t one of the bright men, anyway, in the section rooms.”

“By Jove, suh! There’s the fellow now!” muttered Anstey.

The others turned slightly to see Haynes, out of the gray uniform that he had disgraced, wearing old cit. clothes and carrying a suit case, step out and cross the quadrangle to the office of the K.C.

A few minutes later, Haynes came out of the cadet guard house. Knowing that he would never have the ordeal to face again, Haynes summoned all his “brass” to the surface and stepped down the length of the quadrangle. He passed many groups of curious cadets, none of whom, however, sent a look or a word to him.

Then on out through the east sally-port strode Haynes. On the sidewalk beyond, he passed Captain Albutt. Haynes did not salute the officer; he didn’t have to. Even had Haynes saluted, Captain Albutt could not have returned this military courtesy, for Haynes was no longer a member of the American Military establishment.

* * * * * * *

On the afternoon of the day following the graduating exercises came to a brilliant finish at Cullum Hall. Brayton, Spurlock and their classmates were honorably through with West Point, their new careers about to open before them.

Cadet Dick Prescott came forth from the exercises, a look of radiant happiness on his face.

He had been ordered before a board of surgeons that morning. Just as a formality he was to go before a medical board again in August.

“But that’s only a piece of red tape,” Captain Goodwin had explained to him. “By wonderful good luck, or rather, no doubt, thanks to Captain Albutt’s gallantry, your spine is now as sound as ever. Come before us in August, but I can tell you now that the August verdict will be O.K.”

“My, but you look like the favorite uncle of the candy kid!” muttered Greg, as the two chums in gray strode along together.

“Why shouldn’t I?” retorted Dick. “My spine is all right, and I’m to stay in the service. Then besides, Greg, old fellow, think what we are now.”

“Well, what are we?” asked Greg.

“First classmen! Only a year more, Greg, to the glorious old Army! Think of it, boy! In blue, in a year, and wearing shoulder-straps!”

“I wish we had just graduated, like Brayton, Spurlock and the rest,” muttered Greg.

“You want to rush things, don’t you, lad?”

“But Dick, you see,” murmured Holmes, “a cadet can’t marry.”

“Oh, still harping on Miss Number Three?” laughed his chum.

“Number—thr—–” stammered Greg.

“You don’t mean to say that it is all off with Miss Number Three?”

“Oh, yes; months ago.”

“She broke the engagement?”

“Yes,” admitted Holmes. “But I don’t care.”

“What’s the present girl’s number?” teased Dick.

“Five,” confessed Greg with desperate candor. “But this girl, Dick, is worth all the others. And she’ll stick. After all, it’s only a year, now, that she’ll have to wait.”

At this point, however, we find Dick and Greg to be first classmen. So their further adventures are necessarily reserved for the next and concluding volume in this series, which will be published under the title, “_Dick Prescott’s Fourth Year At West Point; Or, Ready to Drop the Gray for Shoulder Straps_.” All we need to tell the reader is that this coming volume will contain the most rousing story of all in the _West Point Series_.

THE END