“I thought that over, and wrote out what I believed would cover the ground. If you listen now, I’ll read it to you,” returned the chairman.
“Hear! hear ye! All keep silent while our honored chairman reads the document to which we expect to subscribe our names and seals!” called William, pompously.
What Paul had written was simply that those whose names were found below had united themselves together with the idea of forming a troop that could be connected with the regular Boys Scout organization as incorporated.
Then every boy present wrote his name beneath the agreement, after which they went into executive session, the parents of A. Cypher being kindly but firmly requested to retire from the room, while the election of officers proceeded, and other necessary steps were taken to perfect the first patrol.
So the first patrol of Stanhope Troop was organized, and consisted of the eight originators of the scheme. It was decided to call this the Red Fox patrol. As fast as others were arranged for they could take on such names as Gray Fox, White Fox and even Black Fox.
Later on they hoped to secure a scout master, but just now with Paul and Wallace brimming over with woods’ lore, the lack of such an officer would not bother them.
The meeting ended in Paul being placed in the honored position of scout leader, with the second position being thrust on Jack Stormways, though he declared that Wallace Carberry was far better qualified to fill it than he ever could be.
But Paul was satisfied to have it so. Jack was his favorite chum; and he would be thrown much in his company. Besides, the desire to study up the rules, and perfect himself in all that an assistant scout master should know, might for a time at least take Jack’s thoughts away from the subject of his trouble at home.
Before the boys left they were summoned to the dining room, where refreshments were placed before them; and when the meeting did finally break up every fellow felt deep down in his heart that an important step had been taken toward raising the standard of living among the rising generation of Stanhope.
Finally, as the hour had grown fairly late it was suggested that they leave in a body, since all military organizations did this.
“And,” continued the one who had put this idea forward, “while we have nothing to do with the army itself, we expect to be governed by certain military rules. What say, fellows?”
“Fall in! fall in!”
Out of the door they marched, and down the steps, two by two; Bluff Shipley, who was paired with Nuthin’, being the lone straggler in the rear, since his mate remained at home.
If he experienced the slightest sense of dejection at being compelled to walk without a side partner, it was of very brief duration.
Outside it was very dark, and this condition seemed more or less heightened by the fact that the eyes of the young scouts had become accustomed to the glow of the rooms they had just left.