“Say wheel, first!” called out Sid, not intending Aunt Stanshy or any other spectator should hear the advice be thought it necessary to give the chief marshal.
“Wheel first!” shouted Wort, but the only “wheel” that started was one on the go-cart, which concluded to leave its axle, much to the disgust of the president and the confusion of the company. Sid sprang from the cart. “Here, let me do it, Wort.”
“Form in line!” Wort shouted majestically.
“Form in line!” Sid was whispering to several old veterans. “Where’s Juggie?”
“Keep your bugle handy and sound it when Wort says, ‘Charge!’”
Juggie proudly brandished a fish-horn which he had
borrowed of Simes
“Shoulder arms!” screamed Wort.
“Ow, my teeth!” squeaked Pip, whose foot had been vigorously rammed by Billy Grimes.
“Order arms! Present arms! March! Charge!”
These directions followed one another so rapidly that only the oldest veterans, and they wildly, could attempt obedience.
“Blow your bugle!” shouted Sid to Juggie.
“Charge! Cavalry, forward!” Wort was shrieking.
It was a wild melee. The cavalry (go-cart) was shoved forward by Gov. Grimes, running it against Pip and Billy, while the “infantry” rushed ahead, each on his own hook, the color-bearer and the color-guard trying to get into place somewhere. Wort vainly endeavored to keep at the head of something or somebody. All this time Juggie was swelling his cheeks and sounding his horn, and this was the only thing that was successfully done. Fortunately the ground to be charged across was not a long stretch, and in a moment they were all shoving against the fence.
“Wort, you didn’t do that right,” claimed the president.
“Yes, I did.”
“No, you’re wrong,” asserted Sid.
“Let me try?” asked Rick.
“No, this will do,” said Sid. “You may march us, Rick.”
This compromise was accepted. Away they all went, Rick strutting forward with great dignity, but Juggie waved his flag cautiously, for the flourishing of such a long pole might lead to his capsizing. Tony followed Juggie. Billy and Pip still tugged at the go-cart that the president continued to monopolize. Charlie solemnly guarded the precious freight in the “chariot.” Wort, who had been at the head of the column, had now wandered to the rear, and his face wore a puzzled look, as if he did not know where to put the chief marshal.
“You ought to have two policemen in front,” squeaked a little voice from the sidewalk. It was Tommy Keys, a small boy, who had seen a procession in Boston, and thought he knew how such things ought to be managed.
“Shet up,” shouted the governor, indignant at even the faintest suggestion of weakness, and he rushed upon Tommy with a drawn clothes-stick. Away went the terrified Tommy.