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- The Rover Boys in the Jungle - 2/33 -
"A spell in the West will take the nonsense out of him," came from Dick. "It was a great pity he ever got under Dan Baxter's influence I wonder how Arnold Baxter is getting along? He was quite severely wounded, you know, during that tussle on the yachts."
"He's about over that, so Frank Harrington says," replied Larry. "I'll wager he is mighty bitter against you fellows for having put him where he is."
"It was his own, fault, Larry. If a person is going to do wrong he must take the consequences. Mr. Baxter might today be a fairly well-to-do mine owner of the West and Dan might be a leading cadet here. But instead they both threw themselves away -- and now they must take what comes."
"My father used to say it took all kind of people to make a world," went on Larry. "But I reckon we could do without the Baxter and the Buddy Girk kind."
"And the Josiah Crabtree kind," added Sam. "Don't forget that miserable sneak."
"Perhaps Crabtree has reformed, like Mumps."
"It wasn't in him to reform, Larry," came from Tom. "Oh, how I detested him, with his slick, oily tongue! I wish they had caught him and placed him where he deserved to be, with the Baxters."
"Yes, and then we could -" began Sam, when he stopped. "Hullo, Frank, what are, you running so fast about?" he cried.
"Just got a letter from my father!" burst out Frank Harrington, as he came up out of breath. "I knew you would want to hear the news. Dan Baxter has escaped from jail and the authorities don't know where to look for him."
NEWCOMERS AT THE ACADEMY
"Dan Baxter has escaped!" repeated Dick. "That is news indeed. Does your father give my particulars?"
"He says it is reported that the jailer was sick and unable to stop Dan."
"Humph! Then they must have had some sort of a row," put in Tom. "Well, it does beat the nation how the Baxters do it. Don't you remember how Arnold Baxter escaped from the hospital authorities last year?"
"Those Baxters are as slick as you can make them," said Frank. "I've been thinking if Dan would dare to show himself around Putnam Hall."
"Not he!" cried Larry. "He'll travel as far can and as fast as he can."
"Perhaps not," mused Dick. "I rather he will hang around and try to help his father out of prison."
"That won't help him, for the authorities will be on strict guard now. You know the stable door is always locked after the horse is stolen."
At this there was a general laugh, and when it ended a loud roll of a drum made the young cadets hurry to the front of the parade ground.
"Fall in, Companies A and B!" came the command from the major of the battalion, and the boys fell in. Dick was now a first lieutenant, while Tom and Sam were first and second sergeants respectively.
As soon as the companies were formed they were marched around the Hall and to the messroom. Here they were kept standing in a long fine while George Strong came to the front with half a dozen new pupils.
"Young gentlemen, I will introduce to you several who will join your ranks for this season," said the head assistant. Then he began to name the half dozen. Among others they included a round-faced German youth named Hans Mueller, and a tall, lank, red-haired boy, of Irish descent who rejoiced in the name of Jim Caven.
"I'll wager the Dutch boy is full of fun," whispered Sam to Tom. "You can see it in his eyes."
"I don't like the looks of that Jim Caven," returned Tom. "He looks like a worse sneak than Mumps ever was."
"I agree there. Perhaps we had better keep, our eyes open for him."
Despite this talk, however, the newcomers were welcomed cordially, and to the credit of the students be it said that each old cadet did all in his power to make the new boys feel perfectly at home.
"Mine fadder vos von soldier py der Cherman army," said Hans Mueller. "Dot's vy he sent me py a military academy ven we come py dis country."
"Glad to know you intend to help us fight the Indians," answered Tom innocently.
"Me fight der Indians? Vot you means py dot?" demanded Hans, his light-blue eyes wide open with interest.
"Why, don't you know that we are here to learn how to fight Indians?" went on Tom, with a side wink at those around him.
"No; I dink me dis vos von school only."
"So it is -- a school to learn how to shoot and scalp."
"Schalp! Vot's dot?"
"Cut an Indian's top-knot off with a knife, this way," and Tom made an imaginary slash at Hans' golden locks.
"Ton't do dot!" stammered the German boy, falling back. "No, I ton't vant to learn to schalp, noputty."
"But you are willing to fight the Indians, are you not?" put in Sam. "We are all going to do that, you know."
"I ton't like dem Indians," sighed Hans. "I see me some of dem vonde by a show in Chermany, und I vos afraid."
At this a laugh went up. How much further the joke would have been carried it is impossible to say, but just then a bell rang and the boys had to go into the classroom. But Tom remembered about the Indians, as the others found out about a week later.
As the majority of the scholars had been to the Hall before, it did not take long for matters to become settled, and in a few days all of the boys felt thoroughly at home, that is, all but Jim Caven, who went around with that same sneaking look on his face that Tom had first noticed. He made but few friends, and those only among the smaller boys who had plenty of pocket money to spend. Caven rarely showed any money of his own.
With the coming of spring the cadets formed, as of old, several football teams, and played several notches, including one with their old rivals, the pupils of Pornell Academy. This game they lost, by a score of four to five, which made the Pornellites feel much better, they having lost every game in the past. (For the doings of the Putnam Hall students previous to the arrival at that institution of the Rover boys see, "The Putnam Hall Series," the first volume of which is entitled, "The Putnam Hall Cadets." - Publisher)
"Well, we can't expect to beat always," said Tom, who played quarterback on the Putnam team. "We gave them a close brush."
"Yes, and we might have won if Larry hadn't slipped and sprained his ankle," put in Sam. "Well, never mind; better luck next time. We'll play them again next fall." Sam was right so far as a game between the rival academies was concerned, but none of the Rover boys were on hand to take part in the contest -- for reasons which the chapter to follow will disclose.
With the football came kite-flying, and wonderful indeed were some of the kites which the boys manufactured.
"I can tell you, if a fellow had time he could reduce kite-flying to a regular science," said Dick.
"Oh, Dick, don't give us any more science!" cried Sam. "We get enough of science from, Uncle Randolph, with his scientific farming, fowl-raising, and the like. I would just as lief fly an old-fashioned kite as anything."
"Dick is right, though," put in Fred Garrison. "Now you have a big flat-kite there, three times larger than mine. Yet I'll wager my little box kite will fly higher than your kite."
"Done!" cried Sam. "What shall the wager be?"
"Ice cream for the boys of our dormitory," answered Fred.
"All right, but how is a fellow to get the cream if he loses?"
"That's for him to find out, Sam. If I lose I'll sneak off to Cedarville, as Dick did once, and buy what I need."
"Ice cream for our room it is," said. Frank.
"And mum's the word about the wager, or Captain Putnam will spoil the whole affair if he gets wind of it."
"Make me stakeholder," grinned Tom. I'd just like to lay hands on
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