ON THE WAY TO PUTNAM HALL
The idea of going back to dear old Putnam Hall, with all of its pleasant memories, filled Tom with good humor, and he was fairly bubbling over on the train which carried the boys to Ithaca, where they were to take a steamer up Cayuga Lake to Cedarville, the nearest village to the academy.
“Makes me feel as I did the first time we went to the Hall,” he declared. “Don’t you remember that trip, and the fun we had with Peleg Snuggers, the wagon man?” and then he burst out singing:
“Putnam Hall’s the place for me!
Putnam Hall’s the place for me!
The best old school I know!”
“You’ll have the conductor putting you off, the next thing you know,” remarked Sam.
“Putting me off? Never!” cried Tom. “He knows that academy boys own privileges that other passengers do not possess. He can’t cork me up. I defy him!”
“Wonder if we’ll meet any of the other fellows,” mused Dick.
He had hardly spoken when the train stopped at a junction, and two other lads got aboard and came down the aisle. One was tall and handsome, and the other stout and with a round, chubby face beaming with good humor.
“Larry Colby!” cried Dick, leaping up and grasping the tall boy’s hand. “I’m awfully glad to meet you. Returning to the Hall, of course?”
“Yes,” was the answer from the Rover boys’ old chum. “Isn’t it odd that I should be thinking of you just as we meet?” and he shook hands.
“Hullo, if it ton’t peen dem Rofer brudders alretty,” cried the round-faced lad, with a twinkle in his eyes. “I dink me you vos left der Hall for goot, yah!”
“Hans Mueller!” came from Sam. “Then you are going back, too? I thought you had scarlet fever?”
“Not much I ain’t,” said the German youth. “I vos eat too much of dem puckveat cakes alretty, und dot makes mine face preak owid, put I ain’t got no scarlet fefers, nein! How you vos alretty annahow?” And he shook hands as Larry had done.
“I can hardly believe your story about being cast away on an island in the Pacific,” said Larry.
“Your letter read like a fairy tale. If you tell the fellows they’ll think you are drawing the long bow.”
“Yes, Larry vos told me somedings apoud dot,” broke in Hans. “You vos regular Robinson Roosters,” he said.
“Great Scott! Robinson Roosters!” yelled Tom, bursting out into a fit of laughter. “Boys, we are discovered at last.”
“Well, if you are, you needn’t crow over it,” came from Larry.
“Roosters and crowing! Oh, Larry, I didn’t think you’d begin to pun so early,” put in Sam.
“He just hatched it out,” said Tom.
“I suppose you think that sounds chic,” joined in Dick. And then there was a laugh in which all but Hans Mueller joined. The German youth looked blankly from one to another of his companions.