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   Chapter 24 CONCLUSION

Dick Prescott's Second Year at West Point / Or, Finding the Glory of the Soldier's Life By H. Irving Hancock Characters: 5580

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

Still patiently Anstey turned to Greg.

"Mr. Holmes, will you be kind enough to go to the room of Mr. Packard of the first class, also Mr. Maitland, of the second class, and present my very respectful compliments? Will you ask both gentlemen if they can make it convenient to come here, forthwith, on a matter of corps honor?"

Greg departed. He was back within five minutes, simply nodding. Very soon Mr. Packard and Mr. Maitland appeared. They listened silently while Anstey laid the story before them. Then Packard glanced at the second classman.

"Shall I speak for us both, Maitland?"

"If you please."

"Mr. Anstey, and gentlemen," continued Packard, "this is primarily a matter affecting your own third class, and should be settled by the members of your class. But, in its broader scope, the conduct to which Mr. Dodge has confessed affects the entire corps. Mr. Dodge charges that you are abusing your power. Maitland and I beg to differ with him. Mr. Anstey, you have done the only thing that can be done in such a case of infamy and dishonor. Mr. Dodge will, of course, send in his resignation tomorrow; it will be much easier for him than facing disgrace of a more public kind through a published verdict of a general court-martial. As soon as Mr. Dodge has reached his home he will also write that letter exonerating Mr. Prescott; I am sure he will. If he does not, the corps will then take steps to turn the evidence over to the representative of the Associated Press, and of the largest newspapers in the country. In other words, Mr. Dodge, by refusing to write that letter, will face a vastly larger exposure all through the country. Now, Maitland, as this is, first of all, a class matter, I feel that we have offered enough. Gentlemen, if you have no further need of us, we will withdraw."

The self-appointed committee of the yearling class withdrew a moment after, Furlong and Dunstan carrying with them the evidence.

Bert Dodge tendered his resignation promptly. Within a week the notice of its acceptance by the Secretary of War was published before the battalion, and Dodge skulked away, alone, unregretted and utterly crushed, to the railway station. During the last few days he had been "cut" by every man in the corps.

Three days after his departure the superintendent of the United States Military Academy received a letter that caused him much astonishment. In this letter Dodge briefly confessed that he, and he alone, was the guilty party in that cribbing affair, and Dick Prescott had had no guilty share or knowledge in the incident.

"Hm!" mused the superintendent, a grim smile passing over his face. "This Dodge business has all the ear-marks of another affair of Army honor settled unofficially by the corps of cadets."

Dodge's let

ter was published in a special order then read before the corps of cadets, and the affair was closed.

Dick and Greg continued to play in the Army nine the rest of that spring. It was one of the most brilliant of Army seasons on the diamond, and much of the credit was due to yearlings Prescott and Greg.

Baseball was at last cut short by the arrival of the busy graduation season.

Immediately after the proud and happy graduating class had left to take up its new life in the scattered Army of the United States, the yearling class dropped that designation and became the new second class at West Point. As members of the new second class, these happy youngsters laid aside their uniforms for two and a half months, and, in citizens' clothes, made their rush away from the Military Academy to begin the summer furlough that comes but once in the cadet's more than four years of Academy life.

That evening found Greg and Dick in New York City. Happy as small boys, they looked at the great city in genuine glee.

"I feel like rubbing my eyes, Greg, old chum!" laughed Dick.

"Are we dreaming, or can such large cities actually be?"

"It seems to me that I have a remembrance of large towns in some previous stage of existence, somewhere in the universe," sighed Holmes ecstatically. "But this town is bigger, noisier, fuller of life and fun than anything I can recall."

"We have until midnight before the home train leaves," pursued Dick.

"Home! Now, that is something of which I have a much keener recollection!" cried Greg, his eyes moistening. "Dick, I'm afraid that, if there were a train earlier than midnight, even the big town wouldn't detain me."

"But there isn't an earlier train, Greg, and there are no taps or sub-division inspectors tonight. What shall we do?"

"First of all, then," proposed Greg gleefully, "let us see if there is a place in New York where they know the meaning of the big feed."

"And then the theater!" chuckled Dick.

"Which we'll reach in one of those wonderful vehicles that the natives call taxicabs!"

They found a place without difficulty.

"Then to walk along Broadway with its flashing lights; then the railway station!"

"The train!"

"Home in the morning!"

"We'll start with a taxi," proposed Greg. "Here's an empty one coming. Here, chauffeur. Yes! The Waldorf!"

What befell our cadets thereafter will be reserved for the next volume in this series, which is published under the title, "Dick Prescott's Third Year At West Point; Or, Standing Firm for Flag and Honor."

This story will be a rare treat, one that will make the blood bound faster in the arteries of any real American boy. A narrative of surpassing interest and thrilling adventures in the military cadet's life is promised.


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