The Rover Boys at College
Edward Stratemeyer

Part 1 out of 4

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Josephine Paolucci
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.






Author of "The Rover Boys at School," "The Rover Boys on the Ocean,"
"The Rover Boys on Treasure Isle," Etc.



* * * * *







"We're making time now, Tom."

"Making time?" repeated Tom Rover as he gazed out of the car window at
the telegraph poles flashing past. "I should say we were, Sam! Why, we
must be running sixty miles an hour!"

"If we are not we are making pretty close to it," came from a third
boy of the party in the parlor car. "I think the engineer is trying to
make up some of the time we lost at the last stop."

"That must be it, Dick," said Sam Rover. "Gracious, how we are
rocking!" he added as the train rushed around a sharp curve and nearly
threw him from his chair.

"I hope we get to Ashton on time," remarked Tom Rover. "I want to take
a look around the grounds before it gets dark."

"That's Tom, wanting to see it all before he sleeps!" cried Sam Rover
with a grin. "You look out, Tom, that you don't get into disgrace the
first thing, as you did when we went to Putnam Hall Don't you remember
that giant firecracker, and how Josiah Crabtree locked you up in a
cell for setting it off?"

"Ugh! Will I ever forget it!" groaned Tom, making a wry face. "But
I got the best of old Crabtree, didn't I?" he continued, his face

"Wonder if we'll make as many friends at college as we did at Putnam
Hall," remarked Dick Rover. "Those were jolly times and no mistake!
Think of the feasts, and the hazings, and the baseball and football,
and the rackets with the Pornell students, and all that!"

"Speaking of hazing, I heard that some of the hazing at the college
we're bound for is fierce," came from Sam Rover.

"Well, we'll have to stand for what comes, Sam," answered his big
brother. "No crying quit' here."

"Right you are, Dick," said Tom, "At the same time if--Great Caesar's
ghost, what's up now!"

As Tom uttered the last words a shrill whistle from the locomotive
pierced the air. Then came the sudden gripping of the air brakes on
the car wheels, and the express came to a stop with a shock that
pitched all the passengers from their seats. Tom and Sam went
sprawling in a heap in the aisle and Dick came down on top of them.

"Hi, get off of me!" spluttered Sam, who was underneath.

"What's the matter? Have we run into another train?" asked Tom as he
pushed Dick to one side and arose.

"I don't know," answered the older brother. "Something is wrong,
that's certain."

"Are you hurt, Sam?" asked Tom as he helped the youngest Rover to his

"No--not much," was the panting reply. "Say, we stopped in a hurry all
right, didn't we?"

With the shock had come loud cries from the other people in the car,
and it was found that one young lady had fainted. Everybody wanted to
know what was the matter, but nobody could answer the question. The
colored porter ran to the platform and opened the vestibule door. Tom
followed the man and so did Sam and Dick.

"Freight train ahead, off the track," announced Tom. "We ran into the
last car."

"Let us go up front and see how bad it is," returned Dick. "Maybe this
will tie us up here for hours."

"Oh, I hope not," cried Sam. "I want to get to the college just as
soon as possible. I'm dying to know what it's like."

"We can be thankful we were not hurt, Sam," said his older brother.
"If our engineer hadn't stopped the train as he did we might have had
a fearful smashup."

"I know it," answered Sam soberly, and then the boys walked forward to
learn the full extent of the damage done and what prospects there were
of continuing their journey.

To my old readers the lads just mentioned will need no special
introduction, but for the benefit of those who have not read the
previous volumes in this "Rover Boys Series" let me state that the
brothers were three in number, Dick being the oldest, fun-loving Tom
coming next and Sam the youngest. They were the sons of one Anderson
Rover, a rich widower, and when at home lived with their father and an
aunt and an uncle on a beautiful farm called Valley Brook.

From the farm, and while their father was in Africa, the boys had been
sent by their Uncle Randolph to school, as related in the first book
of the series, called "The Rover Boys at School." At this place,
called Putnam Hall, they made many friends and also a few enemies and
had "the time of their lives," as Tom often expressed it.

A term at school had been followed by a short trip on the ocean, and
then the boys, in company with their uncle, went to the jungles of
Africa to rescue Mr. Rover, who was a captive of a savage tribe of
natives. After that came trips out West, and to the Great Lakes, and
to the mountains, and, returning to school, the lads went into camp
with the other cadets. Then they took another long trip on land and
sea and led a Crusoe-like life on an island of the Pacific Ocean.

"I think we'd better settle down now," said Dick on returning home
from being cast away, but this was not to be. They took a house-boat
trip down the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers, had a number of
adventures on the plains and then found themselves in southern waters,
where they solved the mystery of a deserted steam yacht.

They returned to the farm and to Putnam Hall, and for a time matters
went along quietly. On account of attending to some business for his
father, Dick had fallen somewhat behind in his studies, and Tom and
Sam did their best to catch up to him, and, as a consequence, all
three of the youths graduated from Putnam Hall at the same time.

"And now for college!" Sam had said, and all were anxious to know
where their parent intended to send them next But instead of settling
this question Mr. Rover came forward with a proposition that was as
novel as it was inviting. This was nothing less than to visit a spot
in the West Indies, known as Treasure Isle, and made a hunt for a
large treasure secreted there during a rebellion in one of the Central
American countries.

"A treasure hunt! Just the thing!" Dick had said, and his brothers
agreed with him. The lads were filled with excitement over the
prospect, and for the time being all thoughts of going to college were
thrust aside.

From Mr. Rover it was learned that the treasure belonged to the estate
of a Mr. Stanhope, who had died some years before. Mr. Stanhope's
widow was well known to the Rover boys, and Dick thought that Dora
Stanhope, the daughter, was the finest girl in the whole world. There
was also another relative, a Mrs. Laning--the late Mr. Stanhope's
sister--who was to share in the estate, and she had two daughters,
Grace and Nellie, two young ladies who were especial favorites with
Sam and Tom.

"Oh, we've got to find that treasure," said Tom. "Think of what it
means to the Stanhopes and the Lanings."

"They'll be rich--and they deserve to be," answered his brother Sam.
It may be added here that the Rovers were wealthy, so they did not
begrudge the treasure to others.

A steam yacht was chartered and a party was made up, consisting of the
Rovers, several of the boys' school chums, Mrs. Stanhope and Dora and
Mrs. Laning and Grace and Nellie. The steam yacht carried a fine crew
and also an old tar called Bahama Bill, who knew the exact location of
the treasure.

Before sailing it was learned that some rivals were also after the
treasure. One of these was a sharper named Sid Merrick, who had on
several occasions tried to get the best of the Rovers and failed. With
Merrick was Tad Sobber, his nephew, a youth who at Putnam Hall had
been a bitter foe to Dick, Tom and Sam. Sobber had sent the Rovers a
box containing a live poisonous snake, but the snake got away and bit
another pupil. This lad knew all about the sending of the reptile and
he exposed Tad Sobber, and the latter, growing alarmed, ran away from
the school.

The search for the treasure proved a long one, and Sid Merrick and Tad
Sobber did all in their power to keep the wealth from falling into the
hands of the Rovers and their friends. But the Rovers won out in the
quest and sailed away with the treasure on board the steam yacht. The
vessel of their enemies followed them, but a hurricane came up and the
other ship was lost with nearly all on board.

"Well, that's the end of Sid Merrick and Tad Sobber," said Dick when
he heard this news. "If they are at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean
they can't bother us any more." But Dick was mistaken in his surmise.
It was true that Sid Merrick had been drowned, but Tad Sobber was
alive, having been rescued by a schooner bound for London, and he
was now on his way back to the United States, more bitter than ever
against the Rovers, and with a determination to do all in his power
to bring Dick, Tom and Sam to grief and gain possession of the money
which he and his uncle had claimed belonged to them instead of to the
Stanhope estate.

On arriving at Philadelphia from the West Indies the treasure was
deposited in a strong box of a local trust company. From it the
expenses of the trip were paid, and the sailors who had aided in the
search were suitably rewarded. Later on the balance of the treasure
was divided according to the terms of Mr. Stanhope's will. This placed
a large sum of money in the hands of Mrs. Stanhope, both for herself
and Dora, and also a goodly amount in the hands of Mrs. Laning for
herself and Grace and Nellie.

The Stanhopes had always been fairly well off, but not so the Lanings.
John Laning was a farmer, and this sudden change to riches bewildered

"Why, mother," he said to his wife, "whatever will you and the gals do
with the money?"

"Several things, John," she answered. "In the first place, you are not
going to work so hard and in the next place the girls are going to
have a better education."

"Well, I'm not afraid of work," answered the farmer. "About
eddication, if they want it--well, it's their money and they can have
all the learnin' they want."

"Dora is going to a boarding school and Nellie and Grace want to go
with her," went on Mrs. Laning.

"Where is Dora going?"

"To a place called Hope Seminary. Her mother knows the lady who is the

"Well, if it's a good place, I reckon the gals can go too. But it will
be terrible lonesome here without 'em."

"I know, John, but we want the girls to be somebody, now they have
money, don't we?"

"Sure we do," answered Mr. Laning readily.

So it was arranged that the three girls should go to Hope Seminary,
located several miles from the town of Ashton, in one of the Central
States. In the meantime the Rover boys were speculating on what
college they were to attend. Yale was mentioned, and Harvard and
Princeton, and also several institutions located in the Middle West.

"Boys, wouldn't you like to go to Brill College?" asked their father
one day. "That's a fine institution--not quite so large as some but
just as good." And he smiled in a peculiar manner.

"Brill? Where is that?" asked Dick.

"It is near the town of Ashton, about two miles from Hope Seminary,
the school Dora Stanhope and the Laning girls are going to attend."
And Mr. Rover smiled again.

"Brill College for mine," said Sam promptly and in a manner that made
his brothers laugh.

"Sam wants to be near Grace," said Tom.

"Well, don't you want to be near Nellie?" retorted the youngest Rover.

"Of course I do. And I reckon Dick won't be angry at being where he
can occasionally see Dora," went on the fun-loving Rover with a sly
wink. "Of course it's nice enough to write letters and send boxes of
chocolates by mail, but it's a good deal better to take a stroll in
the moonlight and hold hands, eh, Dick?"

"Is that what you do?" asked Dick, but his face grew very red as he

"Never in the wide, wide world!" cried Tom.

"I leave that for my sentimental brothers, big and little."

"Who is sentimental?" exclaimed Sam. "Maybe I don't remember you and
Nellie on the deck of the steam yacht that moonlight night--"

"Aw, cut it out!" muttered Tom. He turned to his father, who had been
called from the room for a moment. "If you think Brill College a good
one, dad, it will suit me."

"And it will suit me, too," added Sam.

"I mentioned Brill for two reasons," explained Mr. Rover. "The one was
because it is near Hope Seminary and the other is because I happen to
know the president, Dr. John Wallington, quite well; in fact, we
went to school together. He is a fine gentleman--as fine a fellow as
Captain Putnam--and I am sure his college must be a good one."

"If it's as good as dear old Putnam Hall, I shall be well content,"
answered Dick.

"Then you are satisfied to go there, Dick?"

"Yes, sir."

So it was settled and arrangements were at once made for the three
boys to go to Brill. Fortunately it was found that their diplomas
from Putnam Hall would admit them to the freshmen class without
examination. All of the boys wrote letters to the girls and received
answers in return.

The college was to open two weeks before the seminary, so that to
journey to Ashton together would be out of the question.

"Well, we'll see the girls later, anyway," said Dick. "I hope they
like it at Hope and we like it at Brill; then we'll have some splendid
times together."

"Right you are," answered Sam, and Tom said the same.

At last came the day for the boys to leave home. Trunks and dress-suit
cases were packed, and not only their father but also their Uncle
Randolph and their Aunt Martha went to the depot to see them off.

"Now be good and take care of yourselves," said Mr. Rover on parting.

"Learn all you can," added Uncle Randolph. "Remember that knowledge is
better than wealth."

"Oh, I'm going to cram my head full of learning this trip," answered
Tom with a grin.

"Take care of yourselves and don't get sick," was Aunt Martha's
warning. "If you do, get a doctor right away." And then she gave each
of the boys a warm, motherly kiss and a hug. She thought the lads the
very best in all this wide world.

The train came and the boys were off. After a two hours' ride they
had to change to the main line and got into the parlor car already
mentioned. Then they had dinner in the diner and went back to the
other car to read and to look at the scenery. Thus several hours
slipped by, when of a sudden came the jar and shock that told them
something out of the ordinary had happened.



When the Rover boys reached the head of the train they found an
excited crowd beginning to collect. The locomotive of the express had
cut into the last freight car a distance of several feet, smashing a
number of boxes and barrels and likewise the headlight of the engine.
Nobody had been hurt, for which everybody was thankful. But the
engineer of the express was very angry.

"Why didn't you send a man back with a flag or put a torpedo on the
track?" he demanded of the freight train conductor.

"Did send a man back," was the answer, "but he didn't go back far
enough--hadn't time. This happened only a few minutes ago."

"You can't expect me to stop in a hundred feet," growled the engineer.
As a matter of fact he had not stopped in many times that distance.

"Well, I did what I could," grumbled the freight conductor.

By making inquiries the Rover boys learned that the freight train had
jumped a frog at a switch and part of the cars were on one track and
part on another. Two trucks were broken, and nobody could tell how
long it would take to clear the track upon which the express stood.

"May be an hour, but more likely it will be six or eight," said one of
the brakemen to Tom. "This section of the road is the worst managed of
the lot."

"And how far is it to Ashton?" asked Dick.

"About twelve miles by the railroad."

"Then walking is out of the question," came from Sam. "I shouldn't
mind hoofing it if it was two or three."

"The railroad has to run around the hill yonder," went on the train
hand. "If you go up the tracks for a quarter of a mile you'll come to
a country road that will take you right into Ashton, and the distance
from there isn't more than seven or eight miles."

"Any houses on that road?" asked Tom.

"Of course--farmhouses all along."

"Then come on," went on Tom to his brothers. "We can hire a carriage
to take us to Ashton and to the college. Some farmer will be glad of
the chance to earn the money."

"Let us wait and see if the train moves first," answered Dick.

"She won't move just yet," answered the brakeman with a sickly grin.

The boys stood around for a quarter of an hour and then decided to
walk up to the country road that had been mentioned. Their trunks were
checked through, but they had their dress-suit cases with them.

"We'll have to carry these," said Sam dolefully.

"Let us see if we can't check them," returned his big brother. But
this was impossible, for the baggage car was locked and they could not
find the man who had charge of it.

"Oh, well, come on," said Tom. "The cases are not so heavy, and it is
a fine day for walking," and off he started and his brothers followed

It was certainly a fine day, as Tom said. It was early September,
clear and cool, with a faint breeze blowing from the west. On the way
they passed an apple orchard, laden with fruit, and they stopped long
enough to get some.

"I declare this is better than sitting in that stuffy car," remarked
Sam as he munched on an apple. "I am glad to stretch my legs."

"If we don't have to stretch them too long," remarked Dick.

"Say, I wonder if we'll pass anywhere near Hope Seminary!" cried Tom,
"It may be on this road."

"What of it?" returned his younger brother. "The girls are not here
yet--won't be for two weeks."

"Oh, we might get a view of the place anyway, Sam."

"I want to see Brill first," came from Dick. "If that doesn't suit
us--" He ended with a sigh.

"Oh, it will suit, you can bet on it!" cried Sam. "Father wouldn't
send us there if he wasn't sure it would be O.K. He's as much
interested as we are."

Walking along the highway, which ran down to a little milk station
on the railroad, the three boys soon discovered a farmhouse nestling
between some trees and bushes. They threw their baggage on the grass
and walked up to the front door.

They had to knock several times before their summons was answered.
Then an old lady opened the door several inches and peeped out.

"What do you want?" she demanded in a cracked voice.

"Good afternoon," said Dick politely. "Can we hire somebody to drive
us to Ashton? We were on the train, but there has been a smash-up, and

"Land sakes alive! A smash-up, did you say?" cried the old lady.

"Yes, madam."

"Was my son Jimmie killed?"

"Nobody was killed or even hurt."

"Sure of that? My son Jimmie went to Crawford yesterday an' was coming
back this afternoon. Sure he wasn't on that train?"

"If he was he wasn't hurt," answered Dick. "Can we hire a carriage to
take us to Ashton?"

"How did it happen--that accident?"

"The express ran into the end of a freight train."

"Land sakes alive! The freight! Maybe it was the one we sent the cows
away on. Was there any cows killed, do you know?"

"I don't think so."

"Well, tell me the particulars, will you? I don't go out much an' so I
don't hear nuthin'. But an accident! Ain't it awful? But I always
said it was risky to ride on the railroad; I told Jimmie so a hundred
times. But he would go to Crawford an' now maybe he's a corpse. You
are sure you didn't see a tall, thin young man, with a wart on his
chin, that was cut up?"

"What do you mean, the wart or the young man?" asked Tom, who was
bound to have his fun.

"Why, the young man o' course; although I allow if he was cut up the
wart would be, too. Poor boy! I warned him a hundred--"

"Can we hire a carriage here or not?" demanded Dick. The talk was
growing a little tiresome to him.

"No, you can't!" snapped the old lady. "We never hire out our
carriage. If we did it would soon go to pieces."

"Is there anybody who can drive us to Brill College? We'll pay for the
service, of course."

"No. But you might get a carriage over to the Sanderson place."

"Where is that?" asked Sam.

"Up the road a piece," and the old lady motioned with her head as she
spoke. "But now, if my son Jimmie was in that accident--"

"Good day, madam," said Dick and walked away, and Sam and Tom did the
same. The old lady continued to call after them, but they paid no

"Poor Jimmie! If he isn't killed in a railroad accident, he'll be
talked to death some day," was Sam's comment.

"Don't you care. We know that Jimmie's got a wart, anyway," observed
Tom, and he said this so dryly his brothers had to laugh. "Always add
to your fund of knowledge when you can," he added, in imitation of his
Uncle Randolph.

"I hope we have better success at the next farmhouse," said Sam.
"I don't know that I want to walk all the way to Ashton with this
dress-suit case."

"Oh, we're bound to find some kind of a rig at one place or another,"
said Dick. "All the folks can't be like that old woman."

They walked along the road until they came in sight of a second
farmhouse, also set in among trees and bushes. A neat gravel path,
lined with rose bushes, ran from the gate to the front piazza.

"This looks nice," observed Sam. "Some folks of the better sort must
live here."

The three boys walked up to the front piazza and set down their
baggage. On the door casing was an electric push button.

"No old-fashioned knocker here," observed Dick as he gave the button a

"Well, we are not wanting electric push buttons," said Tom. "An
electric runabout or a good two-seat carriage will fill our bill."

The boys waited for fully a minute and then, as nobody came to answer
their summons, Dick pushed the button again.

"I don't hear it," said Sam. "Perhaps it doesn't ring."

"Probably it rings in the back of the house," answered his big

Again the boys waited, and while they did so all heard talking at a

"Somebody in the kitchen, I guess," said Tom. "Maybe we had better go
around there. Some country folks don't use their front doors excepting
for funerals and when the minister comes."

Leaving their dress-suit cases on the piazza, the Rover boys walked
around the side of the farmhouse in the direction of the kitchen.
The building was a low and rambling one and they had to pass a
sitting-room. Here they found a window wide open to let in the fresh
air and sunshine.

"Now, you must go, really you must!" they heard in a girl's voice. "I
haven't done a thing this afternoon, and what will papa say when he
gets back?"

"Oh, that's all right, Minnie," was the answer in masculine tones.
"You like us to be here, you know you do. And, remember, we haven't
seen you in a long time."

"Yes, I know, Mr. Flockley, but--"

"Oh, don't call me Mr. Flockley. Call me Dudd."

"Yes, and please don't call me Mr. Koswell," broke in another
masculine voice. "Jerry is good enough for me every time."

"But you must go now, you really must!" said the girl.

"We'll go if you'll say good-by in the right kind of a way, eh, Dudd?"
said the person called Jerry Koswell.

"Yes, Minnie, but we won't go until you do that," answered the young
man named Dudd Flockley.

"Wha--what do you mean?" faltered the girl. And now, looking through
the sitting-room window and through a doorway leading to the kitchen,
the Rover boys saw a pretty damsel of sixteen standing by a pantry
door, facing two dudish young men of eighteen or twenty. The young men
wore checkered suits and sported heavy watch fobs and diamond rings
and scarf-pins.

"Why, you'll give us each a nice kiss, won't you?" said Dudd Flockley
with a smile that was meant to be alluring.

"Of course Minnie will give us a kiss," said Jerry Koswell. "Next
Saturday I'm coming over to give you a carriage ride."

"I don't wish any carriage ride," answered the girl coldly. Her face
had gone white at the mention of kisses.

"Well, let's have the kisses anyway!" cried Dudd Flockley, and
stepping forward, he caught the girl by one hand, while Jerry Koswell
grasped her by the other.

"Oh, please let me go!" cried the girl. "Please do! Oh, Mr. Flockley!
Mr. Koswell, don't--don't--please!"

"Now be nice about it," growled Dudd Flockley.

"It won't hurt you a bit," added Jerry Koswell.

"I want you to let me go!" cried the girl.

"I will as soon as--" began Dudd Flockley, and then he gave a sudden
roar of pain as he found himself caught by the ear. Then a hand caught
him by the arm and he was whirled around and sent into a corner with a
crash. At the same time Jerry Koswell was tackled and sent down in a
heap in another corner. The girl, thus suddenly released, stared at
the newcomers in astonishment and then sank down on a chair, too much
overcome to move or speak.



The Rover boys had acted on the impulse of the moment. They had seen
that the girl wanted the two dudish young men to leave her alone, and
stepping into the kitchen, Dick had tackled Dudd Flockley while Tom
and Sam had given their attention to Jerry Koswell.

"You cowards!" cried Dick, confronting Flockley. "Why can't you leave
a young lady alone when she tells you to?"

"They ought to be kicked out of the house," added Tom.

"You--you--" spluttered Dudd Flockley. He did not know what to say. He
gathered himself up hastily and Jerry Koswell followed. "Who are you?"
he demanded, facing Dick with clenched fists.

"Never mind who I am," was the reply of the oldest Rover. "Aren't you
ashamed of yourself?"

"This is none of your affair," came from Koswell.

"Well, we made it our affair," answered Tom. He turned to the girl "I
hope we did right," he added hastily.

"Why--er--yes, I think so," faltered the girl. She was still very
white and trembling. "But--but I hope you didn't hurt them."

"See here, Minnie, are you going to stand for this?" growled Dudd
Flockley. "It ain't fair! We're old friends, and--"

"You had no right to touch me, Mr. Flockley," answered the girl. "I
told you to let me go. I--I thought you were a--a--gentleman." And now
the tears began to show in Minnie Sanderson's eyes.

"I am a gentleman."

"You didn't act like one."

"Oh, come, don't get prudish, Minnie," put in Jerry Koswell. "We
didn't mean any harm. We--"

"I want you to leave this house!" said the girl, with a sudden show
of spirit. "You had no warrant to act as you did. It--it was--was
shameful! Leave at once!" And she stamped her small foot on the floor.
Her anger was beginning to show itself and her face lost its whiteness
and became crimson.

"We'll leave when we please," muttered Dudd Flockley.

"So we will," added Jerry Koswell.

On the instant Dick looked at his brothers, and the three advanced on
the two dudish-looking young men.

"You do as the young lady says," said Dick in a cold, hard voice. "I
don't know you, but you are not wanted here, and that is enough. Go!"
And he pointed to the door.

"See here--" blustered Flockley. But he got no further, for Dick
suddenly wheeled him around and gave him a shove that sent him through
the doorway and off the back porch.

"Now the other fellow," said the oldest Rover, but before Tom and
Sam could touch Jerry Koswell that individual ducked and ran after
Flockley. Then both young men stood at a safe distance.

"We'll fix you for this!" roared Flockley. "We don't know who you are,
but we'll find out, and--"

"Maybe you want a thrashing right now," came from Tom impulsively.
"I'm in fighting trim, if you want to know it." And he stepped out
of the house, with Sam at his heels. Dick followed. At this hostile
movement Flockley and Koswell turned and walked hurriedly out of the
garden and down the country road, a row of trees soon hiding them from

"They are as mad as hornets," observed Sam. "If they belong anywhere
near Ashton we'll have to look out for them."

"Right you are," answered Tom. "But I am not particularly afraid."

Having watched the two young men out of sight, the three Rover boys
returned to the farmhouse. Minnie Sanderson had now recovered somewhat
and she blushed deeply as she faced them.

"Oh, wasn't it awful," she said. "I--I don't know what you think of
it. They had no right to touch me. I thought they were gentlemen. They
have called here several times, but they never acted that way before."

"Then we came in the nick of time," answered Dick. "Will you allow me
to introduce myself?" and he bowed. "My name is Dick Rover and this
is my brother Tom and this my brother Sam. You are Miss Sanderson, I

"Yes, Minnie Sanderson."

"We are strangers here. We were on the train, but there was a little
accident and we were in a hurry to get to Ashton, so we got off and
walked up this road, thinking we could hire somebody to drive us to
Brill College."

"Oh, do you go to Brill?" And the girl's eyes opened widely.

"We don't go yet, but we are going."

"Then--then you'll meet Mr. Flockley and Mr. Koswell again."

"What, are they students there?" cried Tom.

"Yes. This is their second year, I believe. I know they were there
last spring, for they called here."

Sam gave a low whistle.

"We are making friends first clip, aren't we?" he murmured to his

The boys related a few of the particulars of the accident and their
experience at the farmhouse near the railroad.

"Oh, that's old Mrs. Craven!" cried Minnie Sanderson. "She would talk
you out of your senses if you'd let her. But about a carriage, I don't
know. If papa was here--"

At that moment came the sound of carriage wheels on the gravel path
near the barn.

"There is papa now!" cried Minnie Sanderson. "You can talk to him. I
guess he'll take you to the college quick enough."

"How did those two young fellows get here?" asked Sam.

"I don't know. And please--that is--you won't say anything to my
father about that, will you? It would make him very angry, and I don't
know what he'd do."

"We'll not say a word if you wish it that way," answered Dick.

"I don't think they'll bother me again after the way you treated
them," added the girl.

She led them toward the barn and introduced her father, a fat and
jolly farmer of perhaps fifty. Mr. Sanderson had been off on a short
drive with one horse and he readily agreed to take them to Brill
College for two dollars.

"Just wait till I put in a fresh team," he said. "Then I'll get you
over to the college in less than an hour and a quarter."

While he was hooking up he explained that he had been to a nearby
village for a dry battery for the electric doorbell.

"We don't use the bell much, but I hate to have it out of order," he

"That's why it didn't ring," said Sam to his brothers.

The carriage was soon ready and the three dress-suit cases were piled
in the rear. Then the boys got in and Mr. Sanderson followed.

"Good-by!" called the boys to Minnie Sanderson.

"Good-by," she returned sweetly and waved her hand.

"Maybe we'll get down this way again some day," said Dick.

"If you do, stop in," returned the girl.

The farmer's team was a good one and they trotted out of the yard
and into the road in fine shape. Dick was beside the driver and his
brothers were in the rear. The carriage left a cloud of dust behind as
it bowled along over the dry country road.

"First year at Brill?" inquired Mr. Sanderson on the way.

"Yes," answered Dick.

"Fine place--no better in the world, so I've heard some folks say--and
they had been to some of the big colleges, too."

"Yes, we've heard it was all right," said Tom. "By the way, where is
Hope Seminary?"

"About two miles this side of Brill."

"Then we'll pass it, eh?" came from Sam.

"Well, not exactly. It's up a bit on a side road. But you can see the
buildings--very nice, too--although not so big as those up to Brill.
I'll point 'em out to you when we get there."

"Do you know any of the fellows at Brill?" questioned Tom, nudging Sam
in the ribs as he spoke.

"A few. Minnie met some of 'em at the baseball and football games, and
once in a while one of 'em stops at our house. But we are most too far
away to see much of 'em."

Presently the carriage passed through a small village which the boys
were told was called Rushville.

"I don't know why they call it that," said Mr. Sanderson with a
chuckle. "Ain't no rushes growing around here, and there ain't no rush
either; it's as dead as a salted mackerel," and he chuckled again.
"But there's one thing here worth knowing about," he added suddenly.

"What's that?" asked Dick.

"The Jamison place--it's haunted."

"Haunted!" cried Tom. "What, a house?"

"Yes, a big, old-fashioned house, set in a lot of trees. It ain't been
occupied for years, and the folks say it's haunted, and nobody goes
near it."

"We'll have to inspect it some day," said Sam promptly.

"What--you?" cried the fat farmer.


"Ain't you scared?"

"No," answered the youngest Rover. "I don't believe in ghosts."

"Well, they say it's worth a man's life to go in that house,
especially after dark."

"I think I'd risk it."

"So would I," added Tom.

"We'll pay the haunted house a visit some day when there is no session
at the college," said Dick "It will give us something to do."

"Hum!" mused the farmer. "Well, if you do it you've got backbone,
that's all I've got to say. The folks around here won't go near that
Jamison place nohow."

The road now became hilly, with many twists and turns, and the farmer
had to give his entire attention to his team. The carriage bounced up
and down and once Sam came close to being pitched out.

"Say, this is fierce!" he cried. "How much more of it?"

"Not more'n a quarter of a mile," answered Mr. Sanderson. "It is
kinder rough, ain't it? The roadmaster ought to have it fixed. Some of
the bumps is pretty bad."

There was one more small hill to cross, and then they came to a level
stretch. Here the horses made good time and the farmer "let them out"
in a fashion that pleased the boys very much.

"A fine team and no mistake," said Dick, and this pleased Mr.
Sanderson very much, for he was proud of but two things--his daughter
Minnie and his horses.

"There is Hope Seminary," said Mr. Sanderson presently and pointed to
a group of buildings set in among some large trees. "That's a good
school, I've been thinking of sending my daughter there, only it's a
pretty long drive, and I need her at home. You see," he explained,
"Minnie keeps house for me--has ever since my wife died, three years

The boys gazed at the distant seminary buildings with interest, and as
they did so Dick thought of Dora Stanhope and Tom and Sam remembered
the Lanings. All thought how jolly it would be to live so close
together during the college term.

"Now we've got only two miles more," said Mr. Sanderson as he set
his team on a trot again. "I'll land you at Brill inside of fifteen
minutes, even if the road ain't none of the best."

The country road ran directly into the town of Ashton, but there was
a short cut to the college and they turned into this. Soon the lads
caught sight of the pile of buildings in the distance. They were set
in a sort of park, with the road running in front and a river in the
rear. Out on the grounds and down by the stream the Rover boys saw a
number of students walking around and standing in groups talking.

With a crack of his whip Mr. Sanderson whirled from the road into the
grounds and drove up to the steps of the main building.

"This is the place where new students report," he said with a smile.
"I'll take your grips over to the dormitory."

"Thank you, Mr. Sanderson," said Dick. "And here are your two
dollars," and he handed the money over.

While Dick was paying the farmer Sam turned to the back of the
carriage to look at the dress-suit cases. He gave an exclamation.

"What's the matter?" asked Tom.

"Didn't you have a suit case, Tom?"


"Well, it's gone."




"Yes, gone Are you sure you put it in the carriage?"

"Positive," was Tom's answer. "I put it on top of yours and Dick's."

"Then it must have jounced out somewhere on the road."

"What's up?" asked Dick, catching a little of the talk.

"Tom's case is gone. He put it on top of ours, and I suppose coming
over that rough road jounced it out."

"One of the satchels gone, eh?" came from Mr. Sanderson. "Sure you put
it in?"

"Yes, I am positive."

"Too bad. Reckon I'd better go back at once and pick it up."

"I'll go with you," said Tom.

The matter was talked over for a minute and then Tom and the farmer
reŽntered the carriage and drove off. As they did this a man came out
to meet Dick and Sam.

"New students?" he asked shortly.

"Yes," replied Dick.

"Please step this way."

The doorman led them along a broad hall and into a large office. Here
they signed a register and were then introduced by an under teacher
to Dr. Wallington, a gray-haired man of sixty, tall and thin, with a
scholarly aspect. The president of Brill shook hands cordially.

"I feel that I know you young gentlemen," he said. "Your father and I
were old school chums. I hope you like it here and that your coming
will do you much good."

"Thank you, I hope so too," answered Dick, and Sam said about the
same. The two boys felt at once that the doctor would prove their
friend so long as they conducted themselves properly, but they also
felt that the aged president of Brill would stand for no nonsense.

Having been questioned by the doctor and one of the teachers, the boys
were placed in charge of the house master, who said he would show
them to their rooms in the dormitory. Dick had already explained the
absence of Tom.

"Your father wrote that you would prefer to room together," said
the house master. "But that will be impossible, since our rooms
accommodate but two students each. We have assigned Samuel and Thomas
to room No. 25 and Richard to room No. 26, next door."

"And who will I have with me?" asked Dick with interest. He did not
much fancy having a stranger.

"Well, we were going to place a boy with you named Stanley Browne, a
very fine lad, but day before yesterday we received a new application
and the applicant said he desired very much to be put with the Rovers.
So he can go with you, if you wish it."

"Who was the applicant?" asked Dick quickly.

"John A. Powell. He said he was an old school chum of yours at Putnam
Hall and had been on a treasure hunt with you during the past summer."

"Songbird!" cried Dick, and his face broke out in a smile. "Oh, that's
good news! It suits me perfectly."

"Did you call the young man Songbird?" queried the house master.

"Yes, that's his nickname."

"Then he must be a singer."

"No, he composes poetry--or at least verses that he calls poetry,"
answered the eldest Rover.

"I wish some more of the old Putnam Hall crowd were coming," put in
Sam. "Think of having Hans Mueller here!" And the very idea made him

"Hans isn't fit for college yet, Sam. But there may be others," added
Dick hopefully.

They soon reached the dormitory, located across the campus from the
main building and followed the house master up-stairs and to rooms
No. 25 and 26. Each was bright, clean and cheerful, with big windows
looking to the southward. Each contained two clothes closets, two
beds, two bookshelves, a bureau, a reading table, two plain chairs and
a rocker. The walls were bare, but the boys were told they could hang
up what they pleased so long as they did not mar the plaster.

"The lavatories are at the end of the hall," said the house master.
"And the trunk room is there, too. Have you had the trunks sent up

"No, sir," answered Dick.

"Then let me have your checks and I will attend to it. I see the man
has already brought up your suit cases. I hope your brother has no
trouble in recovering the one that was lost."

"When is John Powell coming?" asked Dick.

"To-morrow, so he telegraphed."

The house master left Dick and Sam and the two boys looked over the
rooms and put some of the things from their suit cases in the closets
and in the bureaus. Then they walked down to one of the lavatories and
washed and brushed up. Everything was so new and strange to them that
they did not feel at all at home.

"It will take a few days to get used to it I suppose," said Sam, with
a trace of a sigh. "I know I felt the same way when first I went to
Putnam Hall."

"Let us go down and take a look around and watch for Tom," replied his
brother. "Say, but I'm glad Songbird is coming," he added. "I don't
care much for his doggerel, but John's a good fellow just the same."

"None better," replied Sam heartily. "And his poetry isn't so very
bad, always."

The two brothers went below and strolled around. They found the main
building formed the letter T, with the top to the front. In this were
the offices and the classroom and also the private apartments of the
president and his family and some of the faculty. To the east of the
main building was a long, one-story structure, containing a library
and a laboratory, and to the west the three-story dormitory the lads
had just left. Somewhat to the rear was another dormitory and beside
it a large gymnasium, with a swimming pool attached. A short distance
away was a house for the hired help and a stable and carriage sheds.
Down by the river was a boathouse, not unlike that at Putnam Hall but

"This is a fine layout and no mistake," observed Dick with

"Did you see that fine athletic field beyond the campus?" returned
Sam. "That means baseball and football galore."

Having walked around the outside of the various buildings the Rover
boys made their way to the highway to watch for the coming of Tom.
Hardly had they reached the road when they saw a crowd of six students
approaching. Among the number were Dudd Flockley and Jerry Koswell.

"See those two, Dick?" whispered Sam. "Won't they be mad when they see
us here?"

"Well, I don't care," answered Dick coolly. "If they say anything, let
me do the talking." And thus speaking, Dick sat down on the top of a
stone fence and his brother hopped up beside him.

The six students came closer, and of a sudden Dudd Flockley espied the
Rovers. He stopped short and pulled his crony by the arm, and Jerry
Koswell likewise stared at Dick and Sam.

"You here?" demanded Flockley, coming closer and scowling at the
youths on the fence.

"We are," answered Dick briefly.



"Humph!" And Flockley put as much of a sneer as possible in the

"How did you get here?" asked Koswell.

"Got a carriage at the Sanderson place," answered Sam with a grin.

"You did!" cried Flockley. "Say, you're a fresh lot, aren't you?" he
went on, glaring at Dick and Sam. "Where's the third chap?"

"None of your business," answered Dick sharply.

"Don't you talk to me like that!" cried Dudd Flockley, and then his
face took on a look of cunning. "Freshmen, eh? Then you don't know
what we are. We are sophs, and we want you to answer us decently."

"That's the talk!" cried Koswell. "Boys, these are freshmen, and on
the fence, too. We can't allow this, can we?"

"No freshies allowed on that fence!" answered another boy of the
crowd. "Off you go and quick!"

As he spoke he approached Sam and tried to catch him by the foot to
pull him off. Sam drew in his foot and then sent it forth so suddenly
that it took the sophomore in the stomach and sent him reeling to the

"At them!" yelled Flockley. "Show them how they must behave! Sophs to
the front!"

"Wait!" The command came from Dick, and he spoke so clearly and firmly
that all the sophomores paused. "Is this an affair between Flockley
and Koswell and ourselves or is it simply two freshmen against six

"Why--er--have Flockley and Koswell anything against you two?"
demanded one of the boys curiously.

"I think so," answered Dick. "We had the pleasure of knocking them
both down a few hours ago. As it was a private affair, we won't go
into details."

"Didn't do it because you were freshmen?" asked another lad.

"Not at all. We were total strangers when the thing occurred."

"Yes, but--" came from another sophomore.

"Sorry I can't explain. Flockley and Koswell can if they wish. But I
advise them to keep a certain party's name out of the story," added
Dick significantly. He felt bound to protect Minnie Sanderson as much
as possible.

"It's all stuff and nonsense!" roared Dudd Flockley. "They are
freshies and ought to be bounced off the fence and given a lesson in
the bargain."

"That's it--come and hammer 'em!" added Jerry Koswell.

"What's the row here?" demanded a tall lad who had just come up. He
had light curly hair, blue eyes and a face that was sunshine itself.

"Two freshies on the stone fence, Holden," said one of the sophomores.
"We can't allow that, you know."

At this Frank Holden, the leader of the sophomore class, laughed.

"Too bad, fellows, but they've got you. Term doesn't begin until
to-morrow and they can sit where they please until twelve o'clock
midnight. After that"--he turned to Dick and Sam--"well, your blood
will be on your own heads if you disturb this fence or the benches
around the flagstaff."

"My gracious! Frank's right, term isn't on until to-morrow," cried
another student. "I beg your pardon, boys!" And he bowed lowly to the

"Gee, it's a wonder you fellows wouldn't say something before I was
kicked off the earth!" growled the sophomore who had been sent to the
grass by Sam.

"Don't thank me for what I did," said Sam pleasantly, and this caused
some of the other college fellows to grin.

"Don't say a word," cried the one who had gone down. "Only--well, if I
catch you on the fence, it will be who's best man, that's all."

"Aren't we to do anything to these freshies?" demanded Dudd Flockley.
He did not at all relish the turn affairs had taken.

"Can't do a thing until to-morrow," answered Frank Holden decidedly.

"Bah! I believe in making a freshie toe the mark as soon as he

"So do I," added Jerry Koswell.

"Can't be done--against the traditions of Brill," answered the class
leader. "You've got to give a freshman time to get his feet planted on
the ground, you know," he added kindly and with a smile at Dick and

"Thank you for that," answered the older Rover. "We'll be ready for
the whole sophomore class by to-morrow."

"We'll see," answered Holden and passed on, and the majority of the
second-year fellows followed. Flockley and Koswell lingered behind.

"See here, you chaps," said Flockley. "What are your names?"

"If you want to know so bad, my name is Dick Rover and this is my
brother Sam."

"And who was the other fellow?" asked Koswell.

"My brother Tom."

"Three brothers, eh, and named Rover!" growled Dudd Flockley. "All
right, I'll remember that, and I'll remember how you treated us up to
the Sanderson place."

"And I'll remember it too and square up," added Koswell.

"We'll make Brill too hot to hold you," snapped Flockley, and then he
turned into the gateway leading to the campus and his crony followed.



"Dick, we have made two enemies, that's sure," remarked Sam to his
brother as they watched Flockley and Koswell depart.

"It couldn't be helped if we have, Sam," was the reply. "You are not
sorry for what we did at the Sanderson house, are you?"

"Not in the least. What we should have done was to give those chaps a
sound thrashing."

"They seem to have a number of friends here. Probably they will do all
they can to make life at this college miserable for us."

"Well, if they do too much, I reckon we can do something too."

Some new students had been standing at a distance watching the scene
described in the last chapter. Now one of them approached and nodded

"Freshmen?" he asked.

"Yes," answered both of the Rovers.

"So am I. My name is Stanley Browne. What's yours?"

"Dick Rover, and this is my brother Sam."

"Oh, are you Dick Rover? I've heard about you. My cousin knows you
real well."

"Who is your cousin?"

"Larry Colby."

"Larry!" cried Dick. "Well, I guess he does know us well. We've had
some great times together at Putnam Hall and elsewhere. So you are
Larry's cousin? I am real glad to know you." And Dick held out his

"Larry is one of our best chums," said Sam, also shaking hands. "I
remember now that he has spoken of you. I am glad to know somebody at
this place." And Sam smiled broadly. Soon all three of the boys were
on good terms, and Stanley Browne told the Rovers something about

"I come from the South," he said. "My folks own a large cotton
plantation there. Larry was down there once and we had a lot of fun.
He told me of the sport he had had with you. You must have had great
times at Putnam Hall."

"We did," said Sam.

"I thought there were three of you, from what Larry said."

"So there are," answered Dick, and told about Tom and the missing
dress-suit case. "Tom ought to be getting back," he added.

Stanley had been at Brill for two days and had met both Flockley and
Koswell. He did not fancy either of the sophomores.

"That Frank Holden is all right," he said, "but Flockley and Koswell
are very overbearing and dictatorial. I caught them ordering one of
the freshmen around like a servant. If they had spoken that way to me
I'd have knocked them down." And the eyes of the Southern lad flashed

"Where do you room?" asked Dick. He remembered what the house master
had said about Stanley and felt that the youth would make a nice
roommate for anybody.

"I'm in No. 27, right next to you fellows. Mr. Hicks was going to put
me in with you first, but afterward said a friend of yours was going
to fill the place."

"Yes," said Dick. "But you will be right next door, so it will be
almost the same thing. Who is your roommate?"

"A fellow named Max Spangler. I don't know much about him, as he only
came this noon. But he seems all right. Here he comes now."

As Stanley spoke he motioned to a short, stout lad who was walking
across the campus. The boy had a distinctly German face and one full
of smiles.

"Hello, Friend Browne," he called out pleasantly and with a German
accent. "Did you find somebody you know?"

"I've made myself known," answered Stanley, and then he introduced the
others. "They bunk next door to us," he added with a nod toward Dick
and Sam.

"Hope you don't snore," said Max Spangler. "I can go anybody but what

"No, we don't snore," answered Sam, laughing.

"Then I'm your friend for life and two days afterward," answered the
German-American lad, and said this so gravely the others had to laugh.
Max put the Rovers in mind of their old friend Hans Mueller, but he
spoke much better English than did Hans, getting his words twisted
only when he was excited.

Dick suggested that they all walk down the road to meet Tom, and this
was done. The conversation was a lively one, Stanley and Max telling
of their former schooldays and the Rovers relating a few of their own
adventures. Thus the four got to be quite friendly by the time the
carriage with Tom and Mr. Sanderson came in sight.

"Find it?" sang out Sam to his brother.

"No," was Tom's reply.

"You didn't!" cried Dick. "How far back did you go?"

"Way back to Rushville. I know it was in the carriage at that place,
for I saw it."

"Too bad," said Sam. "Did you have much of value in it?"

"Not a great deal. Most of my stuff is in my trunk. But the case alone
was worth six dollars, and it had my comb and brush and toothbrush and
all those things in it."

"Want me any more?" asked Mr. Sanderson. "If you don't, I'll get home.
It's past milking time now."

"No, I'll not need you," answered Tom and hopped to the ground. A
minute later the farmer turned his team around and was gone in a cloud
of dust.

Tom was introduced to Stanley and Max, and the whole crowd walked
slowly back to the college grounds. Then Tom was taken to his room,
the others going up-stairs with him. He washed and brushed up, went to
the office and registered, and then the bell rang for supper.

The dining hall at Brill was a more elaborate affair than the messroom
at Putnam Hall, but the Rovers were used to dining out in fine places,
so they felt perfectly at home. Dick and Sam had already met the
instructor who had charge of their table, Mr. Timothy Blackie, and
they introduced Tom. Stanley and Max were at the same table and also a
long-haired youth named Will Jackson, although his friends called him

"I don't know why they call me Spud," he said to Dick, "excepting
because I like potatoes so. I'd rather eat them than any other
vegetable. Why, when I was out in Jersey one summer, on a farm, I ate
potatoes morning, noon and night and sometimes between times. The
farmer said I had better look out or I'd sprout. I guess I ate about
'steen bushels in three weeks."

"Phew!" whistled Sam. "That's a good one."

"Oh, it's a fact," went on Spud. "Why, one night I got up in my sleep
and they found me down in the potato bin, filling my coat pockets with
potatoes, and--"

"Filling your coat pocket?" queried Stanley. "Do you sleep with your
coat on?"

"Why, I--er--I guess I did that night," answered Will Jackson in some
confusion. "Anyway, I'm a great potato eater," he added lightly. Later
on the others found out that Spud had a vivid imagination and did not
hesitate to "draw the long bow" for the sake of telling a good story.

The meal was rather a stiff and quiet one among the new students, but
the old scholars made the room hum with talk about what had happened
at the previous term. There was a good bit of conversation concerning
the last season of baseball and more about the coming work on the
gridiron. From the talk the Rovers gathered that Brill belonged to
something of a league composed of several colleges situated in that
territory, and that they had held the football championship four and
three seasons before, but had lost it to one of the colleges the next
season and to another college the season just past.

"Football hits me," said Dick to Stanley. "I'd like to play

"Maybe you'll get a chance on the eleven, although I suppose they give
the older students the preference," was the reply.

Stanley had met quite a few of the other students, and after supper
he introduced the Rovers and Max and also Spud. Thus the Rovers were
speedily put on friendly terms with a score or more of the freshmen
and also several of the others. One of the seniors, a refined young
man named Allan Charter, took the crowd through the library and the
laboratory and also down to the gymnasium and the boathouse.

"We haven't any boat races, for we have no other college to race
against," said the senior. "The students sometimes get up contests
between themselves, though. Dick Dawson used to be our best oarsman,
but last June a fellow named Jerry Koswell beat him."

"Koswell!" cried Sam. "I thought he was too much of a dude to row in a

At this remark the senior smiled faintly.

"Evidently you have met Mr. Koswell," he remarked pointedly.

"We have," answered Tom.

"Well, he can row, if he can't do anything else."

"I'd like to try my skill against him some day," said Tom, who during
the past year had taken quite a fancy to rowing.

"Perhaps Koswell will be glad to let you have the chance," said Allan

A little later the senior left the freshmen, and the latter strolled
back in the direction of the college buildings. It was now growing
dark, and the Rovers concluded to go up to their rooms and unpack
their trunks, which had just come in from the depot.

"You fellows want to keep your eyes wide open to-night," cautioned
Stanley, who came up with them.

"Hazing?" asked Dick.

"So I was told."

"Will they start in so early?" asked Sam.

"Any time after midnight. I hate to think of it, but I reckon a fellow
has got to submit."

"That depends," answered Dick. "I'll not stand for everything. I'll
not mind a little hazing, but it mustn't be carried too far."

"That's the talk," cried Tom. "If they go too far--well, we'll try to
give 'em as good as they send, that's all."

"Right you are!" came from Sam.

They unpacked their trunks and proceeded to make themselves at home as
much as possible. As Dick was alone in his room, he went over to his
brothers' apartment for company, locking his door as he did so.

"I'll tell you what I'd do if I were you, Dick," said Tom. "Stay here
to-night. My bed is big enough for two on a pinch. Then, if there is
any hazing, we can keep together. To-morrow, if Songbird comes, it
will be different."

This suited the oldest Rover, and he brought over such things as he
needed for the night. The boys were tired out, having put in a busy
day, and by ten o'clock Sam and Tom were both yawning.

"I think I'll go to bed," said Sam. "If anything happens wake me up."

"Oh, you'll wake up fast enough if they come," answered Tom. "But I am
going to lay down myself. But I am not going to undress yet."

Taking off their shoes and collars, ties and coats, the boys said
their prayers and laid down. Sam was soon in the land of dreams, and
presently Tom and Dick followed.

Two hours passed and the three lads were sleeping soundly, when
suddenly Tom awoke with a yell. A stream of cold water had struck him
in the head, making him imagine for the instant that he was being

"Hi, stop" he spluttered and then stopped, for the stream of water
took him directly in the mouth. Then the stream was shifted and struck
first Dick and then Sam. All three of the Rovers leaped from the beds
as quickly as possible. Although confused from being awakened so
rudely, they realized what it meant.

They were being hazed.



The stream of water came from a small hose that was being played
through a transom window over the door of the room. A lad was holding
the hose, and in the dim light Dick recognized the face of a youth
named Bart Larkspur, a sophomore who did not bear a very good
reputation. Larkspur was poor and Dick had heard that he was used by
Flockley, Koswell and others to do all sorts of odd jobs, for which
the richer lads paid him well.

"Stop that, you!" cried the oldest Rover, and then, rushing to the
door, he flung it open and gave a shove to what was beyond. This was
a short step-ladder upon which Larkspur and several others were
standing, and over the ladder went with a crash, sending the hazers to
the floor of the hallway in a heap.

"Get the hose," whispered Tom, who had followed his brother, and while
the sophomores were endeavoring to get up, he caught the squirming
hose and wrenched it, nozzle and all, from Bart Larkspur's hand.

"Hi, give me that!" yelled Larkspur.

"All right, here you are," answered Tom merrily, and turned the stream
of water directly in the sophomore's face. Larkspur spluttered and
shied and then plunged to one side into a fellow student standing
near. This was Dudd Flockley, and he was carried down on his back.

"Play away, Six!" called out Tom in true fireman style, and directed
the stream on Flockley. It hit the dudish student in the chin and ran
down inside his shirt collar.

"Stop, I beg of you! Oh, my!" screamed Flockley, trying to dodge the
water. "Larkspur, grab the hose! Knock that rascal down! Why don't
somebody do something?"

"Give me that hose, you freshie!" called out Jerry Koswell, who was
in the crowd. "Don't you know better than to resist your superiors? I
want you to understand--"

"Keep cool, old man, don't get excited," answered Tom brazenly. "Ah, I
see you are too warm. Will that serve to keep your temperature down?"
And now he turned the hose on Koswell, hitting the fellow directly in
the left ear. Koswell let out a wild yell and started to retreat and
so did several others.

"Don't go! Capture the hose!" called out Flockley, but even as he
spoke he took good care to get behind another sophomore.

"Capture it yourself!" growled the youth he was using as a shield.

"Say, you're making too much noise," whispered another student. "Do
you want the proctor down on us? And turn that water off before you
ruin the building. Somebody has got to pay for this, remember," he

As it was an unwritten law of Brill that all hazers must pay for any
damage done to college property while hazing anybody, one of the
sophomores started for the lavatory where the hose had been attached
to a water faucet. But while the water still ran, Tom, aided by Dick
and Sam, directed the stream on the sophomores, who were forced to
retreat down the hallway.

"Now rush 'em! Rush 'em!" yelled Flockley, when the water had ceased
to run. "Bind and gag 'em, and take 'em down to the gym. We can finish
hazing 'em there!"

"Get into the room!" whispered Dick. "Hurry up, and barricade the

"Right you are, but no more hose water for me," answered Tom, and
pulled on the rubber with all his might. It parted about half way down
the hallway, and into the room he darted with the piece in his hands.
Then Sam and Dick closed the door, locked it, and shoved a bed and the
table against the barrier. They also turned the button of the transom
window so that the glass could not be swung back as before.

"Now they can't get in unless they break in," said Dick grimly, "and I
doubt if they'll dare to do that."

"Say, maybe I'm not wet," remarked Sam, surveying his dripping shirt.

"Never mind; we sent as good as we got, and more," answered Tom with
a grin. "Let us put on our coats so we don't catch cold. No use of
putting on dry clothing until you are sure the ball is over."

"Tom, you're a crack fireman," said Dick with a smile. "I'll wager
those sophs are mad enough to chew nails."

"What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," quoted the
fun-loving Rover. "What's the good of living if you can't return a
compliment now and then?"

For several minutes all was silent outside. Then came a light knock
on the door. Dick held his hand up for silence and the knock was

"Don't answer them," whispered the oldest Rover.

"Say, I want to talk to you fellows," came in low tones. "This is

"Who are you?" asked Dick after a pause.

"I'm Larkspur--Bart Larkspur, I want to tell you something."

"Well, what is it?" demanded Tom.

"Your resistance to our class won't do you any good. If you'll come
out and take your medicine like men, all right; but if you resist it
will go that much harder with you."

"Who sent you--Frank Holden?" asked Sam.

"What has Holden to do with it?" growled Larkspur.

"We know he's the leader of your class."

"He is not. Dudd Flockley is our leader."

"Then Flockley sent you, eh?" put in Dick.

"Yes, if you want to know it."

"Well, tell Flockley to mind his own business," answered Dick sharply.
"If Frank Holden wants us we'll come, but not otherwise."

"Are you hazing any of the other fellows?" asked Tom.

"We'll haze them after we get through with you," growled Larkspur, and
then the Rovers heard him tiptoe his way down the hall.

"I think this attack was gotten up by the Flockley-Koswell crowd,"
was Dick's comment. "Maybe it wasn't sanctioned by the other sophs at

The Rovers waited a while longer and then with caution they pulled
back the bed and the table and opened the door. By the dim light in
the hallway they saw that the place was deserted. Somebody had run a
mop over the polished floor, thus taking up most of the water.

"I guess they have given it up for to-night," said Dick, and his words
proved correct.

After waiting a good hour the three Rovers rearranged the room,
hanging up some of the bedding and rugs to dry near the window, which
they left wide open. Then they locked the door and went into Dick's
room, which had not been disturbed. As they did this another door
opened, and Stanley poked out his head, followed by Max.

"We heard it all," said the Southern lad with a chuckle. "Hope you
doused 'em good!"

"We did," answered Tom. "They didn't tackle you, did they?"

"No; but I suppose they will later, or to-morrow."

"I am ready for them if they come," came from Max. "I got this," and
he held up a long, white sack.

"What is it?" asked Sam.

"Plaster of Paris. If they tackle me I'll make 'em look like marble
statues already." And the German-American youth winked one eye

Despite the excitement the Rover boys slept soundly for the rest of
the night. All were rather sleepy in the morning, but a good wash in
cold water brightened them greatly. While getting ready for breakfast
they looked for Flockley and Koswell, but those two students, as well
as Larkspur, kept out of sight.

"They don't like the way matters turned out last night," said Dick.

On entering the dining-room they saw the sophomores at a nearby table.
Flockley and Koswell glared darkly, while as they passed, Larkspur
put out his foot to trip Sam up. But Sam was on guard, and instead
of stumbling he stepped on the fellow's ankle, something that caused
Larkspur to utter a gasp of pain.

"What did you do that for?" he demanded savagely.

"Sorry, but you shouldn't sprawl all over with your feet," answered
the youngest Rover coldly, and passed on to his seat. When he looked
back, Larkspur, watching his chance so that no teacher might see him,
shook his fist at Sam.

"We have got to keep our eyes wide open for that bunch," was Dick's
comment. "Last night's affair will make Flockley and Koswell more sour
than ever, and Larkspur is evidently their tool, and willing to do
anything they wish done."

After chapel the Rovers were assigned to their various classes and
given their text-books. It was announced that no regular classes would
be called until the following Monday morning.

"That gives us plenty of time to study our first lessons," said Sam.

"Yes, and gives us time to get acquainted with the college layout and
the rest of the students," added Tom. "Do you know, I think I am going
to like it bang-up here."

"Just what I was thinking," returned Dick. "It isn't quite so boyish
as Putnam Hall was--some of the seniors are young men--but that
doesn't matter. We are growing older ourselves."

"Gracious, I'm not old!" cried Tom. "Why, I feel like a two-year-old
colt!" And to prove his words he did several steps of a jig.

Only about half of the students had as yet arrived, the others being
expected that day, Friday, and Saturday. The college coach was to
bring in some of the boys about eleven o'clock, and the Rovers
wondered if Songbird Powell would be among them.

"You'll like Songbird," said Dick to Stanley Browne. "He's a great
chap for manufacturing what he calls poetry, but he isn't one of the
dreamy kind--he's as bright and chipper as you find 'em."

The boys walked down to the gymnasium, and there Sam and Tom took a
few turns on the bars and tried the wooden horses. While they did
this Dick talked to a number of the freshmen with whom he had become

"We are to have a necktie rush Monday," said one boy. "Every fellow is
to wear the college colors. Meet on the campus an hour before supper

"I'll be there," said Dick. He knew what was meant by a necktie rush.
All the freshmen would don neckties showing the college colors, and
the sophomores, and perhaps the juniors, would do their best to get
the neckties away from them. If more than half the boys lost their
ties before the supper bell rang the freshmen would be debarred from
wearing the colors for that term.

Shortly before eleven o'clock a shout was heard on the road, and a
number of the students made a rush in that direction. The college
coach swung into sight in a cloud of dust. It was fairly overflowing
with boys and young men, all yelling and singing and waving their hats
and caps. At the sight those on the campus set up a cheer.

"This is something like!" cried Tom enthusiastically. He wanted to see
things "warm up," as he expressed it.

The coach was followed by three carriages, and all deposited their
loads at the main building steps and on the campus. There were more
cheers and many handshakes.

"There he is!" cried Sam, and rushing forward, he caught John Powell
by the hand, shook it, and relieved the newcomer of his suit case.

"Hello, Sam!" cried Songbird, and grinned from ear to ear. "Hello,
Dick! Hello, Tom! Say, did I surprise you?" And now he shook hands
with the others.

"You sure did," replied Dick. "I was afraid I was going to have a
stranger for a roommate. Your coming here suits me to a T!"

"I didn't write to you because I wanted to surprise you," explained
Songbird. "I've composed some verses about it. They start--"

"Never mind the verses now," interrupted Tom. "Come on in and we'll
introduce you to the fellows, and then we'll listen to your story. And
we'll tell you some things that will surprise you."

"And I'll tell you some things that will surprise you, too," returned
John Powell, as he was led away by the three Rover boys.



"So you've made some enemies as well as some friends, eh?" remarked
Songbird Powell, after he had been registered, taken up to his room,
and had listened to what the Rover boys had to tell. "No use of
talking, it doesn't take you fellows long to stir things up!"

"You said you had a surprise for us, Songbird," returned Tom. "I'm
dying by inches to know what it is."

"Maybe it's a new poem," put in Sam with a grimace at his brothers.

"I've got a poem--several of them, in fact," answered Songbird, "but
I didn't have those in mind when I spoke. Who do you suppose I met
yesterday morning, in Ithaca, while I was waiting for the train?"

"Dora Stanhope and the Lanings," answered Tom promptly.

"No. Tad Sobber."

"Tad Sobber!" exclaimed the Rover boys in concert.

"Songbird, are you sure of it?" demanded Dick.

"Sure? Wasn't I talking to him!"

"But--but--I thought he was lost in that hurricane, when the
_Josephine_ was wrecked."

"No. It seems he escaped to a vessel bound for England; but his uncle,
Sid Merrick, was lost, and so were most of the others. Sobber just got
back from England--came in on one of the ocean liners, so he told me."

"How did he act?" asked Tom.

"Where was he going?" added Sam.

"Did he seem to have any money?" came from Dick.

All of the Rovers were intensely interested, and showed it plainly.

"Say, one question at a time, please!" cried Songbird, "You put me in
mind of a song I once wrote about a little boy:

"'A little lad named Johnny Spark
Was nothing but a question mark.
He asked his questions night and day,
When he was resting or at play.
One minute he would tackle pa,
And then he'd turn and tackle ma;
And then his uncle he would quiz--"

"And let that line please end the biz,"

finished Tom. "Say, Songbird, please don't quote poetry when we are
waiting to hear all about Tad Sobber. Have some pity on us."

"Yes, tell us of Sobber," added Sam and Dick.

"All right, if you don't appreciate my verses," returned the would-be
poet with a sigh. "Well, to start with, Tad Sobber was well dressed,
and looked as if he had all the money he needed. He wore a brown
checkered suit, so evidently he hasn't gone into mourning for his
uncle. He told me he had had a rough experience on the ocean during
the hurricane, and he blames you Rovers for all his troubles."

"That's just like Sobber," was Dick's comment.

"He wouldn't tell me where he was going or what he was going to do,
but he did let drop a remark or two about the fortune you discovered
on Treasure Isle. He said that he was firmly convinced that the money
belonged to him and to his uncle's estate, and that he meant some day
to make a fight for it."

"In the courts?" asked Tom. "If he does that he'll get beaten. Father
says the treasure belongs to the Stanhope estate and to nobody else."

"No, he didn't say he was going to court about it, but he said he was
bound to get hold of it some day."

"I hope he doesn't try to get it by force," said Sam. "That would mean
trouble for the Stanhopes and the Lanings."

"The money is in the banks now, Sam," said Dick. "He couldn't get hold
of it excepting on an order from those to whom it belongs."

"And they'll never give him any such order," added Tom.

"Do you suppose he was going to see the Stanhopes and the Lanings?"
questioned the oldest Rover anxiously.

"He didn't say, I wanted to question him further, but a man who was
standing on a corner, some distance away, beckoned to him, and he left
me and joined the man, and the two walked off."

"Who was the man?"

"I don't know."

The boys talked the matter over for some time, but Songbird had
nothing more to tell, and at last the subject was dropped. Songbird
was introduced to Stanley, Max, and a number of the other students,
and soon he felt quite at home.

That evening there was a bit of hazing. Dick and Tom escaped, but Sam,
Songbird and Stanley were caught in the lower hallway by a number of
the sophomores and carried bodily to the gymnasium. Here they were
tossed in blankets and then blindfolded.

"We'll take them to the river," said one of the sophomores. "A bath
will do them good."

"Let's give 'em a rubbing down with mud!" cried Jerry Koswell. He had
some tar handy, and if the mud was used he intended to mix some of the
tar with it on the sly.

"That's the talk!" cried Larkspur, who knew about the tar, he having
purchased it for Koswell and Flockley. The three had at first intended
to smear the beds of the Rovers with it, but had gotten no chance.

"Give them a good dose!" said Dudd Flockley. He had joined in the
blanket-tossing with vigor.

Sam, Songbird and Stanley were being led to the river when Max came
rushing up to Tom and Dick, who happened to be in the library, looking
over some works of travel.

"Come on mit you!" he cried excitedly in broken English. "Da have got
Sam and Stanley and dot friend of yours alretty! Hurry up, or da was
killed before we git to help 'em!"

"They? Who?" asked Dick, leaping up.

"Sophs--down by der gym!" And then Max cooled down a bit and related
what he had seen.

"We must surely go to the rescue!" cried Tom. "Wait! I'll get clubs
for all hands!" And he rushed up to his room, where in a clothing
closet lay the end of the hose he had taken away from the sophomores.
With his knife he cut the section of hose into eight "clubs," and With
these in his hands he hurried below again.

At a cry from Dick and Max the freshmen commenced to gather on the
campus, and Tom quickly handed around the sections of hose. Other
first-year lads procured sticks, boxing gloves, and other things, and
looked around for somebody to lead them.

"Come on!" cried Dick, and he sprang to the front, with Tom on one
side and Max on the other. The German-American boy had a big squirtgun
filled with water, a gun used by the gardener for spraying the bushes.


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