“When do you want to get to work?”
Reff Ritter looked around anxiously. It was cold on the campus and growing darker rapidly. Only a few cadets were in sight.
“Come on now,” he answered. “We’ll see if the coast is clear.”
They walked to the end of the gymnasium building, where, in a long room, the bicycles of the students were kept. It was pitch dark inside and not a soul was in sight.
“Now, you remain outside,” said Ritter. “If you see anybody coming begin to whistle ‘Yankee Doodle,’ as loud as you can. Don’t wait for me, for I’ll go out the back way.”
“All right. But let me know when you are through,” answered Coulter, somewhat nervously.
Coulter took his stand outside of the building and peered forth eagerly in the darkness. Only three cadets were in view and they presently entered the school building. Then ten minutes went by—a long wait for the youth who was aiding Ritter in his plot. Then Reff came quickly from the gymnasium.
“Anybody around?” he asked hurriedly.
“Have you finished, Reff?”
“Did you get at all three of the wheels?”
“I sure did. Say, they will have their own troubles, see if they don’t!” chuckled the bully. “But come on before anybody sees us,” he added, and stalked away in the darkness, with his crony beside him.
THE WORK OF THE ENEMY
It was not until a few minutes after five o’clock that Jack, Andy and Pepper hurried down to the gymnasium, to get their wheels. At the last moment Andy discovered that one of his buttons was loose and had to be sewed on, and Jack had trouble with the new cap he was going to wear. It was a trifle too large and he had to place a strip of paper under the band to make it stay on his head properly.
“It certainly feels like snow,” said Pepper, as the three got out their bicycles. “I am sure we’ll get a snowstorm before long.”
“I don’t care, if only it holds off till we get back,” returned Andy.
They lit the acetylene gas lamps, with which their wheels were provided, and then ran the bicycles down to the roadway.
“Have a good time,” cried Stuffer, who had come out to see them off.
“Don’t worry about that,” replied Pepper, gaily.
“I’ll wager you’ll have a dandy spread,” went on the lad who loved to eat.
“Wish you were along, Stuffer?” asked Jack.
“Do I? Well, now, don’t mention it!” and Stuffer’s eyes fairly watered in anticipation.
“I’ll bring you something if I get the chance,” sang out Pepper, as he gave his bicycle a shove and leaped into the saddle. “So-long!”
Jack and Andy followed their chum, and with a parting cry to Stuffer, all three pedaled along the highway leading to Point View Lodge. It was now night, but the three gas-lamps lit up the road so well that they had little difficulty in finding their way.