Frank Armstrong at Queens, p.1
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"BANG!" WENT THE PISTOL AND SIX LEGS AND SIX ARMS BEGAN TO WORK LIKE PISTONS. --Page 151.]
FRANK ARMSTRONG AT QUEENS
By MATTHEW M. COLTON
"Frank Armstrong at College," "Frank Armstrong's Vacation," "Frank Armstrong, Drop Kicker," "Frank Armstrong, Captain of the Nine," "Frank Armstrong's Second Term."
A. L. BURT COMPANY Publishers New York
Printed in U. S. A.
Copyright, 1911, BY HURST & COMPANY
MADE IN U. S. A.
I. FRANK ENCOUNTERS A BULLY 5
II. AN AFTERNOON OF FOOTBALL 18
III. JIMMY GETS IN THE GAME 29
IV. FRANK HAS A NEW NAME 41
V. CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY 51
VI. HAZING AND THE WATER CURE 64
VII. SCHOOL SPIRIT AND SCHOOL INFLUENCES 76
VIII. QUEEN'S MEETS BARROWS AT FOOTBALL 88
IX. WHAT CAME OF A TUMBLE 102
X. FRANK SPRINGS A SURPRISE 112
XI. A PROSPECTIVE PUPIL 123
XII. A TRY-OUT ON THE TRACK 134
XIII. LEARNING TO RUN THE HUNDRED 145
XIV. A MYSTERIOUS APPEARANCE 156
XV. FRANK WINS HONORS ON THE TRACK 170
XVI. WARWICK INVADES QUEEN'S 182
XVII. THE GREAT FOOTBALL GAME 194
XVIII. GAMMA TAU RECEIVES A SHOCK 211
XIX. AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE MYSTERY 224
XX. A CONTEST AT THE GYMNASIUM 241
XXI. THE LOSS OF A RINK 252
XXII. A HEROIC RESCUE 265
XXIII. A CHALLENGE FROM WARWICK 279
XXIV. A GIFT AND A THEFT 294
XXV. THE ICE CARNIVAL 305
Frank Armstrong at Queen's.
FRANK ENCOUNTERS A BULLY.
"Can you tell me how to get to Warren Hall, please?"
The question was addressed by a slender youth of fourteen to a groupof lads lolling on the grass at the foot of a great elm in the yardof Queen's School.
"Well, I guess the best way would be to walk, unless you havean automobile," was the flippant answer of a freckle-faced andaggressive member of the group, who, lying with his hands under hishead, gazed up at the questioner with an impish grin. The rest of thecrowd laughed loudly at the sally.
"I mean," said the newcomer, visibly embarrassed with this unkindlyreception, "in which direction is Warren Hall?"
"Follow your nose and your two big toes, kid, and you'll get thereall right," was the rude response from the self-appointed guide,and at this several of the recumbent youths rolled around on theground with laughter. It was great, this exhibition of wit. ChipDixon considered himself brighter than the morning sun, and througha certain strength of his own held sway over his satellites, some ofwhom were with him this particular afternoon.
The boy asking for information, at the second rebuff looked thespeaker coolly in the eye. His embarrassment had gone now, and in itsplace came a look of disdain. He threw his head back.
"I asked for Warren Hall because I'm going there, and I'm not surewhich one it is, but this smart fellow," indicating Chip, "doesn'thave sense enough to answer a straight question. Can anyone tell me?"He cast his eye around the group. A look of amazement that a new boyshould dare to cross words with this rough and ready fire-eater,spread over the faces of several of them, and a titter ran around,for Chip was not over well liked in the school.
Before anyone had time to answer, Chip himself sprang to his feetwith clenched fists. He liked to say sharp things, but like manyothers, young and old, he could not stand his own medicine, and thetitter angered him no less than the cool looking boy who had drawn itforth.
"Smart, am I?" he yelled, rushing up to the newcomer. "I'll show youwhether I'm smart or not," and he pushed his face up close to that ofthe new boy, who held his ground bravely in the rush of the fellowwho evidently meant fight. In an instant the two were surrounded.
"Ow! ow!" yelled Chip, just at the moment he appeared to be readyto land his fist on the unoffending boy, "ow! ow! I'll kill you forthat," and he grabbed one of his feet and danced around on the otherin agony. The heavy suit case, which the newcomer carried had beendropped on the toes of Chip's thin pumps, and must have hurt cruelly.And it looked as if it had been dropped intentionally.
"I'll pay you for that, you fresh kid," and Chip made another rush.
"Cheese it, Chip, here's Parks. Cut it out."
Chip subsided quickly, assumed an air of easy indifference, and beganto talk with those of his cronies nearest to him as if nothing hadhappened.
Mr. Robert Parks, the assistant master of the school, and a martinetfor discipline, was swinging rapidly down the walk, unaware thatanything out of the ordinary was taking place. He was a young man inappearance, perhaps not over thirty-five, but he had trained for thearmy, and showed it in his bearing. A railroad accident had deprivedhim of his left arm, and as army service was impossible for him, hetook up the work of teaching. He nodded pleasantly to the boys as heapproached them, and then stopped suddenly.
"Hello, Armstrong," he said with surprise, as he saw the strange ladstanding there, "I was just going across to your room. Been talkingwith your father on the telephone and I promised him I'd see yousettled all right. He said that he had been unable to come up withyou, but described you so well I knew you at once. Glad you fell inwith friends, though," added Mr. Parks, glancing around the circle offaces.
"They are not friends of mine. I was just asking for directions whenyou came up," answered Frank, for the new boy was none other thanFrank Armstrong. He had made up his mind to enter Queen's in the fallterm after all, and as his health was so robust owing to the greatvacation he had had at Seawall and in the Everglades, his mother andfather offered no objections, and so here he was faring forth alone.
"They have given you a room in Warren Hall, I believe, haven't they?"said Mr. Parks.
"Yes, sir; eighteen is the number."
"No, a fellow named Gleason is with me, from New York State, I think.I don't know him."
"Well, come along," said Mr. Parks, and led the way in the directionof Frank's future domicile.
"So that's Frank Armstrong, is it?" growled Chip, still with hisfeathers ruffled from the setback he had received. "I've heard of himand he's what I call a pretty fresh guy. If old Parks hadn't showedup when he did I would have knocked a little freshness out of him."
"He wasn't as fresh as you were," broke in little Willie Patterson."He asked a civil question and you began to be funny before any ofus had time to answer. And, besides, it mightn't have been so easyto knock what you say is 'freshness' out of him. I notice he didn'tback up much when you rushed him. Was the suit case heavy?" he addedmockingly. Willie's diminutive size made him bold, and, besides,wasn't his sturdy but slow-witted room-mate, A. B. C. Sinclair,commonly called Alphabet, there to fight his battles fo
Dixon knew he was at a disadvantage, shut his jaws tight and saidnothing, but if his look meant anything it meant that a heavy handwas to fall on Frank at the first opportunity.
"That's the fellow the papers have been talking about. Call him the'great swimmer boy of Milton' because he got in a race with thechampion Darnell down in Florida somewhere," sneered one of Chip'scronies, anxious to find favor in the eyes of his boss.
"Swimmer! My eye," grunted Chip. "I could tie one hand behind me andbeat him out." Chip boasted of being something of a swimmer himself,and he could not believe that the slender boy, whom he had tried tojolly and later to scare, had the strength to swim against him. "If Iget him in the water some time I'll drown him."
"I don't know about that," said Willie. "I think he's all right, andI'm going up to his room and tell him we are not all grouches likeyou are," and picking himself up he steered rapidly for Warren Hallto square matters with his own conscience. The bearing of the new boyhad won him completely.
Without a hint of the storm of injured feelings left behind, andconsequently unheeding, Mr. Parks walked rapidly with Frank acrossthe school quadrangle to Warren, and shortly arrived at the quaintold doorway of the second entry.
"Warren was the first of the buildings of Queen's," said Mr. Parks asthey trudged along. "It used to be the whole school when there wereonly about twenty-five boys. That was fifty years ago, but as thenumber of pupils increased these other buildings were added, and wehave room now for a hundred and eighty boys altogether."
"Yes, I know the school has been growing. Father says it's the bestin the state."
"Well, I think there are none better, even though our friends ofthe Warwick school up the river put on airs occasionally," said Mr.Parks.
"That's Russell Hall across the north end of the yard where therecitation rooms are," he continued, "and the school library and thesocial hall; and at the north end of Warren there, is the chapel.Just across from Warren is Honeywell where the school officers are.Doctor Hobart, the head of the school--you know him, of course--hashis quarters in Warren. So you'll have to be on your best behavior."And Parks smiled down on the lad to whom he was much attracted.
They were now at the foot of the entry where was located No. 18. Mr.Parks plunged up the stairs and Frank followed at his heels, takingtime to note the queer old crooked stairway, the newel post which wasnothing more than a round block of wood carved with many initials,and the hand rail scarred with many a knife line where the ambitiousinitial cutters had dug deep to impress their fame on succeedinggenerations. The painted plaster of one side of the stairwaywas scrawled with initials, impromptu verses and rude sketches,caricatures evidently of school characters.
"Here we are," said Frank's guide, stopping before a door on thesecond landing. "Let's see if Gleason's in," and he tapped lightly.There was no response, and turning the knob he stepped within. Frankfollowed at his heels, and entered what was to be his new home for anumber of months at least.
"Well, I wouldn't say Gleason was much of a hand at keeping thingstidy," observed Mr. Parks. "Maybe you can help him. I wish you luck.If I can assist in any way, just call on me. I have an office inRussell Hall, ground floor, first entry, and my office hours areprinted on a slip on the door. Come and see me when you get settled.Good day."
"Good day, sir, and thank you for your kindness," replied Frank, andthe door shut.
Parks was right when he said Gleason was not a tidy housekeeper, forthe place was in heaped up disorder. Evidently Gleason had not yetsucceeded in settling himself. His clothes were scattered aroundthe room, and mateless shoes bestrewed the floor. A laundry box laytipped on the window seat with half its contents on the cushion andhalf on the floor, and the center table was filled with a promiscuousassortment of books, writing materials, a tennis racket, and severaltennis balls reposing on a battered flannel cap. Out of this crazyjumble on the table, the drop light rose like a mushroom-toppedlighthouse. The fine fireplace was piled full of crumpled papers.
Frank's own things had been tumbled into his bedroom, and there layhis first work of straightening things out. He was busily engagedin setting things in order when there came a tap on the outer door,and following the tap, without waiting on ceremony, a hand pushed itopen. Frank turned and saw his visitor, noticing at once that it wasone of the group he had encountered a little while before.
"You're Frank Armstrong," said the newcomer.
"That's my name."
"Well, my name's Patterson, Wee Willie they call me because I'm sobig." The manner was friendly and genial.
Frank grinned. "Glad to see you," he said as Wee Willie stuck out hishand.
The visitor continued: "I happened to be in that bunch of fellowsthis afternoon, and I came up to apologize for Queen's, and to tellyou that Chip Dixon made me sick. He didn't speak for the schoolwhen he cut into you this afternoon so heavy."
"Who is he?"
"He's in my class, a Junior, and belongs to the society that thinksit runs this school, but he's a big bluff, if anyone should ask youabout it. He's got most of us scared to death because he's so handywith his tongue and his fist, but it tickled me to death to see youstand up to him this afternoon. Christopher is his name, but 'Chip'is a nickname they've given him."
"I couldn't do anything else, could I?"
"No, of course not, but it is going to put you in bad with Gamma Tauall right. They are awfully clannish."
"Do you belong?" asked Frank.
"No, they didn't think enough of me to give me a bid, but I don'tcare. I don't like the bunch they took from our class, and I wouldrather be outside looking in, than inside looking out. Gamma Tau usedto be looked up to, but lately they have stopped giving the electionfor merit. It's all politics now, and the master, old Pop Eye Hobart,said he would abolish it if they didn't stop their monkeying and getdown to first principles."
"Well, I'm sure I don't care whether I get an election or not, ifit's that kind of a society. I'd rather stay out."
"The trouble is that the society runs the athletics of this school,"continued the diminutive oracle, "and it's a hard job to make anyteam if you don't have the Gamma Tau pin. If you do have it, nomatter how rank you may be, you're IT with a large capital I."
"Then that's what's the matter with your teams up here, is it?"queried Frank, who had kept an eye on Queen's school athletics forsome time, and knew that victories were rarities.
"Hit it first time, right in the eye. We are punky to the state ofrottenness, and we'll remain that way till the Gamma gets its headknocked off, and the best athletes in the school get a chance. As itis now, the best we have don't try.
"Well, I must be off," said Wee Willie, as he slid from the windowseat. "I just wanted to tell you we're not all like Chip Dixon.He's a crab and walks backward and doesn't know it. Ta ta, see youlater," and the Wee One swung himself out of the door and clattereddown the stairs, leaving Frank to straighten out his effects as besthe might, and puzzle on the first tangle of life at school in whichhe found himself.