“Very well,” returned George Strong.
Pepper was watching matters closely and he at once guessed that somebody had told Josiah Crabtree where the teeth were.
“It must have been the fellow who spotted me last night,” reasoned The Imp. “Wonder if he told my name? If he did——” Pepper ended the question with a big sigh.
With great eagerness Josiah Crabtree received the set of teeth and examined them to see if they were all right. Then, having placed them where they belonged, he strode forth from his room in quest of the cadet who had played the trick.
Pepper was just sitting down at the breakfast table when there was a sudden step behind him and the next moment he found himself jerked out of his place.
“You come with me, young man!” stormed Josiah Crabtree. “I have an account to settle with you!”
“What do you want, Mr. Crabtree?” asked The Imp, as meekly as he could.
“You know well enough!” cried the teacher. “Come!” And he led Pepper out of the mess-hall. His grip on the youth’s arm was so firm that it hurt not a little.
“Mr. Crabtree, you are hurting my arm.”
“I don’t care if I am!” snapped the teacher. “You come along!” And he fairly dragged Pepper along the hall.
“You’ll soon see.”
“What is wrong?”
“You know well enough, Ditmore. You took my—er—my set of teeth! You have made me the laughing-stock of the whole school! You shall suffer for it!”
“Who says I took the teeth?”
“John Fenwick saw you place them on the chandelier! Oh, you need not deny it.”
“Mumps! Well, he always was a sneak!” answered Pepper.
“He is a nice, manly youth.”
With a firm grip still on Pepper’s arm, the irate teacher led the way to a room looking out on the rear. It was an apartment less than ten feet square, and plainly furnished with two chairs and a couch. In one corner was a stand with a washbowl and pitcher of water. The single window was stoutly barred.
“Going to make a prisoner of me?” asked Pepper, as the door was opened and he was thrust into the room.
“You shall stay here for the present,” snapped Josiah Crabtree. “When I let you out I think you’ll be a sadder and perhaps a wiser boy.”
“Am I to have my breakfast?”
“No,” answered the teacher.
Then he banged the door shut, locked it, and walked swiftly away.
A GRAVE ACCUSATION
“Well, I suppose I ought not to complain,” mused Pepper, as he sat down on one of the chairs. “A fellow can’t have his fun without paying for it. But just wait till I catch Mumps! I’ll give him a piece of my mind, and maybe more!”
He got up presently and looked out of the window. He could see but little excepting a stretch of snow. The cell-like room was almost without heat, and he had to clap his hands together, and stamp his feet, to keep warm.