“Now what shall I do with the teeth?” the cadet asked himself. He was strongly tempted to tell Jack and Andy of the trick, but decided to keep the matter to himself.
At last another idea came into The Imp’s head and after everybody had apparently gone to bed he stole downstairs and entered the assembly room of the school. He had previously tied the set of teeth to a bit of fishing line having a sinker at the other end. He now took aim at the central chandelier and by good luck sent the sinker and line whirling around one of the pendants, leaving the set of teeth dangling below a foot or more.
“Won’t there be a surprise when they see ’em up there!” he muttered. “And won’t Crabtree have a job getting them down!”
“Oh, my, what a thing to do!” came a voice from out of the darkness. Pepper whirled around quickly, but the speaker had vanished, banging a door after him.
“Who was that?” was the question Pepper asked himself. He could not place the voice, and was much disturbed. Would the intruder, who had seen his actions, expose him?
“I’ll have to chance it,” he told himself rather dubiously. “I can’t get the teeth down anyway. Too bad! I thought I was alone!” And then he hurried off to bed in anything but a comfortable frame of mind.
[Illustration: THIS WAS A SIGNAL FOR THE DISCHARGE OF ALL SORTS OF THINGS AT THE DANGLING OBJECT.
The Mystery of Putnam Hall. (Page 192)]
PEPPER A PRISONER
At the usual hour the next morning Josiah Crabtree arose and dressed himself. He was in a far from happy frame of mind, for a tailor’s bill he had to pay was higher than he thought it ought to be.
Having donned his garments, and washed himself and combed his hair, he turned to the stand to get his new set of teeth.
He took up the glass and peered into it.
“Hum!” he mused. “I thought I put them in there—in fact, I was sure of it!” he murmured.
He set the glass down and commenced to look around, on the bureau, on his bookcase, on the shelf, and even on the chairs. But, of course, nothing in the shape of the set of teeth came to light.
“This is queer, mighty queer,” said the teacher to himself. “Now, let me think what I did with them. Yes, I put them in the glass, I am positive of it!”
He examined the glass once more, turning it around and around. Then he commenced a systematic search of the room. At the conclusion something like a groan escaped his lips.
“They are gone! gone!” he murmured hollowly. “And I left the old set at the dentist’s to be made over! Oh, what shall I do? I cannot go to the classroom without my teeth, the cadets would roar at me! It must be a trick, a wicked trick! Oh, if only I could find out who did this awful thing!”
He made another hunt, and then, not knowing what else to do, opened his door and hailed a passing cadet.