“I don’t like the sob-stuff,” replied Perry resentfully. “What’s the use of rubbing it in? Why not let a fellow be cheerful after he has got through by the skin of his teeth and kicked his books under the bed? Gosh, some folks never want anyone to be happy!” He raised himself by painful effort and peered out and down into the gloom. “Sophs, I’ll bet,” he murmured, falling back again on the cushions. “No one else would sit out here on the grass and sing school songs two days before the end. I hope that idiot singing second bass will get a brown-tail caterpillar down his neck!”
“The end!” observed Steve Chapman. “You say that as if we were all going to die the day after tomorrow, Perry! Cheer up! Vacation’s coming!”
“Vacation be blowed!” responded Perry. “What’s that amount to, anyway? Nothing ever happens to me in vacation. It’s all well enough for you fellows to laugh. You’re going up to college together in the Fall. I’m coming back to this rotten hole all alone!”
“Not quite alone, Sweet Youth,” corrected Joe. “There will be some four hundred other fellows here.”
“Oh, well, you know what I mean,” said Perry impatiently. “You and Steve will be gone, and I don’t give a hang for any other chaps!”
He ended somewhat defiantly, conscious that he had indulged in a most unmanly display of sentiment, and was glad that the darkness hid the confusion and heightened colour that followed the confession. Steve and Joe charitably pretended not to have noticed the lamentable exhibition of feeling, and a silence followed, during which the voices of the singers once more became audible.
Mother of our Youth!
Dexter! Guardian of the Truth!”
“Cut it out!” Perry leaned over the windowsill and bawled the command down into the darkness. A defiant jeer answered him.
“Don’t be fresh,” said Steve reprovingly. Perry mumbled and relapsed into silence. Presently, sighing as he changed his position, Joe said:
“I believe Perry’s right about vacation, Steve. Nothing much ever does happen to a fellow in Summer. I believe I’ve had more fun in school than at home the last six years.”
The others considered the statement a minute. Then: “Correct,” said Steve. “It’s so, I guess. We’re always crazy to get home in June and just as crazy to get back to school again in September, and I believe we all have more good times here than at home.”
“Of course we do,” agreed Perry animatedly. “Anyway, I do. Summers are all just the same. My folks lug me off to the Water Gap and we stay there until it’s time to come back here. I play tennis and go motoring and sit around on the porch and—and—bathe—”
“Let’s hope so,” interpolated Joe gravely.
“And nothing really interesting ever happens,” ended Perry despairingly. “Gee, I’d like to be a pirate or—or something!”