The Cadets of Flemming Hall
The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.
“A quiet sly humor, a faculty of investing every-day events with adramatic interest, a photographic touch which places her characters beforethe reader, and a high moral tone are to be remarked in Miss Ray.”
Their guests proceeded to seat themselves as their tastes
From the days of “Tom Brown at Rugby” tohis more modern brothers, the American “NewSenior at Andover,” and the French “StraightOn,” stories of boy school life have gone on multiplyingand still the tale is not all told. Everyschool has its slightly different atmosphere, andcalls for its different historian. For that reason,I offer this picture of life at Flemming Hall.
Though Irving Wilde and the doctor may not beportraits, still the school life of each one of us hasknown one or more similar teachers, from whomwe have gained the inspiration to do broader, truerwork, inspiration which, although unconsciouslyreceived, perhaps unconsciously given, has yetleft its stamp upon all our later work in life.
It is to the courtesy of one such teacher that Iowe the Harrow song with which my story closes.So far as I know, it has never been in print, onthis side of the Atlantic. My preface, too, wouldbe incomplete without an expression of my indebtednessto the boy friend who criticised my athletics,and above all to the kindness of the artist,Mr. Clephane, whose thorough and practical knowledgeof cadet life has been invaluable to me.
It is to be hoped that I have done no harm to thecause of Yale athletics, in making use of the incidentof Captain “Phil” Allen’s daring leap, duringthe Yale-Atalanta race, in May, eighteenhundred and ninety. I can claim no originality inthe climax of my regatta; it is the mere telling ofan historical fact.
If, in spite of my long list of assistants, my boyreaders can find a single line of my story whichshall bring me into closer touch with them, I shallbe more than satisfied.
Third January, 1892.
|II.||Flemming and its Ways||24|
|III.||Leon’s First Day at Flemming||40|
|IV.||The Boniface Rebellion||57|
|V.||War in the Color-Guard||75|
|VII.||How Leon spent his Thanksgiving||110|
|VIII.||Max makes a Treaty of Peace||124|
|IX.||In the Storm||142|
|XIII.||The Course of True Love||218|
|XV.||On the Lake||247|
|XVI.||In the Ravine||259|
“There comes the stage!”
At the word, four or five boys came leapingdown the flight of steps and joined the lad watchingat the gate, as the old coach crept slowly upthe hill. The powerful, iron-gray horses, tired outwith their long climb, plodded onward, quite unconsciousof the eager faces above them. Suddenlya smooth brown head was popped out of thestage window, followed by an arm that wavedvigorously in answer to the ringing cheer whichgreeted the owner’s coming.
“Hurrah, there’s Hal!”
The stage turned in under the arching gateway,and the horses, quickening their pace as theyreached their journey’s end, toiled up the graveldriveway leading to the steps. Before they hadfairly stopped, out jumped a boy of sixteen, dressedin a gray uniform, resplendent with brass buttons.He was immediately seized and surroundedby his schoolmates, all talking at once.
“Glad to see you back, old boy!”
“So late I was afraid you had cut FlemmingHall for good!”
“Why didn’t you wait till Christmas, and donewith it?”
“Where’ve you been all summer?”
“Lots of new fellows here and our new teacher;you just ought to see him!”
Without deigning to reply to the shower ofquestions, as soon as he had shaken hands allround, the new-comer turned back to the stageand said,—
“Come, Leon, step out and show yourself.”
As he spoke, a boy two or three years youngerthan himself stepped down from the stage andjoined the group, a little shyly, it must be confessed.But Harry laid a protecting hand on hisshoulder, as he said by way of introduction,—
“See here, you fellows, this kid is my brother,Leon Arnold. He’s a good fellow, plucky enoughto make up for his small size, and I know you’lllike him. Now come on, one at a time, and I’lltell Leon who you all are, so you can start fairand square. This is Louis Keith,” he went on,turning to a slender lad of fifteen whose darkolive skin and blue-black hair were suggestive ofJapan or China, rather than American birth; “wecall him Ling Wing, or Wing for short. He’s thedude of Flemming Hall, and immensely proud ofhimself when he gets on his dress uniform. Thisnext one,” he added, pointing to a yellow-haired,roly-poly youth of about the same age; “is MaxEliot. Look out for him; he’ll get you into allsorts of mischief.”
“Don’t you worry, young Arnold; I’ll get youout again, and that’s more than Hal does for hisfriends. Ask him about the night Max and Louiswent after the pies,” interrupted the tallest of thegroup, a sixteen-year-old giant who was alreadypast his six feet and was still stretching upward,while his small sandy head and blue eyes lookedridiculously boyish at the top of his manly figure.
“This, Leon,” his brother explained, withoutpaying the slightest heed to the interruption; “isJack Howard, popularly known as Baby. He’s agood fellow, but an awful drain on the familypurse, for the tailor always charges him double forhis uniforms.”
During the laugh that greeted this sally, ayoung man drew near the group, a well-built,athletic-looking young man dressed in army blue,whose brown eyes brightened behind their spectaclesas he put out his hand, saying cordially,—
“Harry, I am glad to see you at last. We hadalmost given you up.”
Regardless of Leon and of his introductions,Harry whirled around quickly and grasped theoutstretched hand.
“Lieutenant Wilde! Are you really back here?How jolly!”
“Back again, as well as ever and delighted tobe with my boys once more, after six months ofrest. They were all here but you, and the doctorand I were beginning to be afraid you were notcoming, after all. Is this the brother you wroteabout?”
“Oh, yes, this is Leon. Leon, Leon, this is LieutenantWilde,” he added, eagerly pulling hisbrother by the sleeve.
Lieutenant Wilde looked at the lad with interest.Harry Arnold was one of his favorites, andon that account he was the more curious to seeHarry’s younger brother. Very different werethe two boys who were standing there in the glareof the September sun, under their teacher’s gaze.Harry’s broad shoulders, round face, quiet grayeyes and firm lips seemed to tell of a more lastingstrength than the thin, wiry figure of Leon, hislaughing, restless brown eyes and mobile mouth;but the boyish hearts were the same in their quick,impulsive generosity, in their firm adherence to astrict code of honor, and in their keen sense offun. Though apparently the more yielding of thetwo, Leon ruled his