“I wonder why they couldn’t have remained here longer?” mused Dave.
“They both told me that they were very young in their profession as civil engineers, and that they had to spend nearly all of their time ’on the job,’ as Tom phrased it,” replied Belle.
“How did they look?” asked Dave.
“A shade older, of course, than when they were in the High School.”
“Are they much taller?” asked Darrin.
“Somewhat; but they have not shot up in height, the way you and Dan, and Dick Prescott and Greg Holmes have done,” Belle continued.
“Brown as berries, I suppose, after working down in the alkali deserts?” asked Dave, who felt that he could not hear enough of those dear old chums.
“Meaning Tom and Harry?” smiled Belle. “Or Dick and Greg?”
“Tom and Harry, that time, of course,” laughed Dave. “But I’m waiting to hear a whole lot about Dick and Greg as well.”
“No; I wouldn’t call Tom and Harry exactly as brown as berries,” went on Belle, laughing, “for I am not acquainted with many kinds of brown berries.”
“Coffee berries?” hinted Darrin.
“I would call Tom and Harry fully as bronzed as Indians,” Belle ventured.
“Have you ever seen any Indians?” asked Midshipman Darrin, looking at his sweetheart rather quizzically.
“Oh, haven’t I?” laughed Belle Meade, her eyes sparkling. “We had Indians here the early part of this summer. There was a medicine show here, with Indians and cowboys, and that sort of thing. One day the Indians and cowboys got intoxicated and they went through Main Street like a tornado. They were yelling and shooting, and had people all along the street running for cover. Even the chief of police, though he wasn’t a coward, ran into safety.
“In the midst of it all Dick Prescott, Greg Holmes, Tom Reade and Harry Hazelton came out of an ice cream parlor. Tom and Harry got a glimpse of the very Wild West looking company of yellers and shooters. Tom and Harry have seen enough Indians and cowboys to know the real thing—and that these were only poor imitations. All of a sudden Tom and Harry and Dick and Greg charged into that howling, shooting crowd and knocked them right and left. Your four old-time chums simply disarmed the ‘bad’ ones and turned the weapons over to the chief of police.”
Belle went on, describing the famous incident, while Dave leaned back, laughing heartily.
“How I wish I had been on hand! I’d like to have helped, too,” he added.
“Those four youngsters didn’t need any help,” laughed Belle.
“Which was the most surprised crowd—the ‘bad’ Western outfit or the police department?” chuckled Dave.
Readers of our “West point series” will find the “Wild West” scene fully narrated in “Dick Prescott’s third year at West point.”
“Isn’t it outrageous,” demanded Dave, “that the West Point and the Annapolis leave of absence should be so arranged that midshipmen and cadets who are old, old friends never get a chance to meet each other on furlough!”