“It’s mine by right,” he said. “It wouldn’t be fair to elect anybody else.”
“But Dick Rover and Larry Colby stand almost as high,” said one of the cadets. “Captain Putnam said your average was 96 per cent., while Rover’s average was 95 per cent., and Larry Colby’s was 94 per cent. A difference of one or two per cent. out of a possible hundred isn’t much.”
“I don’t care,” retorted Lew Flapp, “I ought to be elected major, and that is all there is to it.”
When Dick was approached he had but little to say.
“I didn’t expect to stand so high,” he declared. “I don’t know that I care to be made major. If I get to be a captain or a first lieutenant I shall be well content. You know I was a second lieutenant once.”
“My percentage is more than I expected,” said Larry. “I really didn’t think I was so well up in military matters. Now, if the boys want me for an officer I’ll take whatever they give me.”
“And that is what I say,” added George Granbury.
“Ditto, myself,” put in Tom. “Even a second lieutenantship will not be declined by yours truly.”
After this there was a good deal of canvassing and “log rolling” as it is called. Lew Flapp spent much money in secret, treating boys when at the village and elsewhere. By this means he gathered quite a band of followers around him.
“He is going to win, by hook or by crook,” observed Songbird Powell. “He acts just like some of those politicians who don’t care what they do so long as they win.”
“I am not going to spend a cent on the boys,” declared Dick. “I don’t believe in buying votes.”
There was a strict rule at Putnam Hall that no cadet should touch liquor of any kind excepting when ordered by the doctor. This rule had been broken in the past by Dan Baxter and a few others, but the majority of the cadets respected the rule and kept it.
But Lew Flapp had always been allowed to drink when at home and now he frequently drank on the sly when down to Cedarville. On these excursions he was generally joined by a weak-minded boy named Hurdy, who was usually willing to do whatever Flapp desired done.
One day, just before the election for officers was to come off, Lew Flapp called Ben Hurdy to him.
“I am going down to Cedarville this evening,” he said. “I want you to go along and invite Jackson and Pender and Rockley.”
“Going to have a good time?” asked Ben Hurdy.
“Yes and you can tell the others so, and tell them if they know some others who want a good time, and can keep their mouths shut about it, to bring them along. But mind, Hurdy, we want no blabbers.”
“All right, Flapp, I’ll get the right fellows,” answered Ben Hurdy, and ran away to fulfill his questionable errand.
AN ADVENTURE IN CEDARVILLE
On the same evening that Lew Flapp and his particular cronies went down to Cedarville to have a good time in a very questionable way, Dick Rover and Songbird Powell also visited the village, one to buy some handkerchiefs, and the other to invest in a book he had ordered from the local bookseller and newsdealer.