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CHAPTER I

“Huh, that was an easy one!" Edward

Anderson Turner retreated to a flat-topped INTRODUCES A PAIR OF HEROES

stone wall bordering a well-shaded lawn and “JAIL,” said the boy in the gray flannels. seated himself with a sigh of relief. His

“School," pronounced the boy in the blue companion followed suit. Behind them, serge.

grass and trees and flower beds made a “Bet you!"

pleasant setting for a square gray house, half “No, sir, you owe me ten cents now. You hidden from the street. Overhead a horsedid n't pay up the last time.”

chestnut tree spread low branches across the “It 's wrong to bet for money, Laurie.” sidewalk. The quiet village street ascended

The other set down the suitcase he was gently, curving as it went, empty in both carrying and scoffed. "Yes, when you lose," directions. Somewhere on a neighboring he observed, with deep sarcasm. “That 's thoroughfare a scissors-grinder was punctuatthirty-five cents you owe me. You bet in ing the silence with the musical ding-dangChicago that"

dong of bells. In a near-by tree a locust was "That debt 's outlawed. Chicago 's in making his shrill clatter. Across the way, Michigan—"

the subject of contention, stood a large red"Bet you!"

brick edifice, stone trimmed, many windowed, “And this is New York, and so

costly and unlovely. The boys viewed it “Mighty good thing Dad sent you to silently. Then their glances fell to the two school, Laurie. Chicago 's in Illinois, you black suitcases on the curbing. ignoramus."

“How far did that hombre say it was to the "Is it? Well, who cares?''

Lawrence

school?” asked Ned Turner, after a minute Stenman Turner had also deposited the bag of silence. he was carrying on the brick sidewalk and “Three quarters of a mile." was applying a lavender-bordered handker "How far have we walked already?" chief to a moist brow. “Just the same, “Mile and a half.” that's a jail.”

Consequently?" "If that 's a jail, I 'll eat my hat,” declared "Said hombre was a li -was unvoracious." the other.

"Un-ver-acious is the word, old son." "It 's not a school, though, and that is “What do we care? We don't own it," flat," was the prompt retort.

replied Laurie, cheerfully. “Want to go on?”'

out."

go."

Ned shook his head slowly. “What time “Guess the only ‘nuts' are right here. have you got?'' he asked.

Come on, let 's hit the trail again.” Ned slid “What time do you want?”' was the flip to his feet and took up his burden. “Why pant response.

the dickens we did n't take that carriage the With a sigh, Ned pulled back his left sleeve fellow wanted to sell us is more than I see.” and looked at his watch. "It 's only about 'Cause we needed the exercise. Also, a quarter to twelve. We don't have to get 'cause we 're down to a dollar and fourteen there until six if we don't want to."

cents between us—unless you 're holding "I know, but I could n't sit on this wall all that time! Besides, what about lunch?" "Well, I'm not!" replied Ned, indignantly.

“I'm not very hungry," was the sad reply. "I paid for the breakfasts in New York

“That 's the trouble with having your "And I paid for dinner on the diner last breakfast late."

night" “That's the trouble with eating two plates "Who said you did n't?” They went on of griddle-cakes, you mean," retorted Laurie. leisurely, and presently Ned continued. “Anyway, I 'm hungry if you 're not. Let's "Say, suppose we don't like this ranch after

we get there—then what, old son?” But he made no move, and they continued, Laurie considered thoughtfully. Then, to dangle their shoes from the wall and gaze "Two things we can do," he pronounced. lazily across the shady street. The scissors- “No, three. We can put up with it, change grinder's chime died in the distance. Far it to suit us, or leave it.' ther down the street the whirring of a lawn “Leave it! Yes we can! On a dollar and mower competed with the locust.

fourteen cents?” "Upon a wall they sat them down,” mur “We 'll have nearly twenty more when we mi ed Ned, turning a challenging look on cash Dad's check and pay the term bill. his companion.

Twenty dollars would take us back to New "Lost in the wilds of Orstead Town,” added York and buy a lot of griddle-cakes, anyLaurie.

way.” Ned nodded mild approval and, once more, Laurie's voice was partly drowned by a silence held.

small delivery automobile that dashed into Save that one was dressed in gray and the sight at a corner ahead and sped by with a other in blue, the two boys were strikingly clamor worthy of a four-ton truck. The alike. Each was slim of body and round of brothers looked after it interestedly. “That face, with red-brown hair and a short, slightly 's the first sign of life we've seen,” said Ned. impertinent, nose. Ned's eyes were a trifle “Say, I do wish this street would stop twistbluer than Laurie's and he had the advan

ing this way.

First thing we know, we 'll tage—if advantage it was of some five be back at the station!" pounds of weight. But neither of these "Bet you I 'd hop the first freight then. facts was apparent at first glance. Faces I've got a hunch that we're not going to care and hands were well browned and the pair for Hillman's School." looked extremely healthy. They were dressed "Speak for yourself. I am. I like this neatly, with perhaps more attention to detail town, too.

It 's pretty.” than is usual in lads of their age, their attire "Oh, it's pretty enough," grumbled terminating at one end in well-polished brown Laurie, “but it went to sleep about a century shoes and at the other in immaculate black ago and has n't waked up since. Here 's derbies. Their age was fifteen years, three somebody coming; let 's ask where the school months and eleven days. Which, of course, is.” leads you to the correct conclusion that they "It's just a girl.” were twins.

“What of it? She probably knows." “Maybe,” hazarded Laurie, presently, The girl appeared to be of about their own “we've lost our way.”

age and wore a white middy dress with black "Don't just see how we could," Ned ob trimming and a scarlet tie knotted below a jected. “The old chap at the station said we V of sun-browned throat. She wore no hat were to keep right along up Walnut Street. and her dark hair was gathered into a single This is still Walnut Street, is n't it?''

braid. As she drew near she gave the boys a "I suppose so.” Laurie's glance strayed short glance of appraisal from a pair of right and left. "Must be; I don't see any gravely friendly brown eyes. It was Ned walnuts."

who shifted his suitcase to his left hand and

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raised his derby. It was always Ned who tagious, and he grinned in response. A spoke first; after that, they alternated scru man at the station told us it was only three pulously.

quarters of a mile, but we've been walking "Would you please tell us where Hillman's for hours!” School is?” he asked.

"I guess it 's nearer a mile than three The girl stopped and her somewhat serious quarters," answered the girl, slowly. She

appeared to be giving the matter very serious consideration and two little thoughtful creases appeared above her nose, a small, straight nose that was bridged by a sprinkling of freckles. Then the smile came again. "Maybe it did seem longer, though," she acknowledged, "for it 's up-hill all the way, and then you had your bags. You're new boys, are n't you?"

Ned acknowledged it, adding, "Think we 'll like it?"

The girl seemed genuinely surprised. "Why, of course! Everyone likes it. What a perfectly funny idea!"

"Well," said Laurie, defensively, “'we've never tried boardingschool before, you see. Dad did n't know anything about Hillman's either. He chose it on account of the way the advertisement read in a magazine. Something about 'a moderate discipline rigidly enforced.'

The girl laughed again. (She had a jolly

sort of laugh, they de"THE TWO BOYS WERE STRIKINGLY ALIKE"

cided.) “You 're you face lighted with a smile. "It's right there," ’re twins, are n't you?" she asked. she replied, and nodded.

"He is,” replied Ned, gravely. The boys turned to the blankness of a high "Why-why, are n't you both?” Her privet hedge behind an iron fence. The girl brown eyes grew very round and the little laughed softly. “Behind the hedge, I lines creased her nose again. mean,” she explained. “The gate is a little "It 's this way,” explained Laurie. "Ned way around the corner there, on Summit was born first, and so, as there was only one Street."

of him, he was n't a twin. Then I came, “Oh,” said Laurie. That laugh was con and that made two of us, and I was a twin.

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You see, don't you? It's really quite plain."

CHAPTER II The girl shook her head slowly in puzzle

THE GIRL IN THE WHITE MIDDY ment. "I—I 'm afraid I don't,” she answered apologetically. "You must be twins WHEN Dr. John Hyde Hillman started a both of you, I mean-because you both look modest school for boys, on the bank of the just like both-I mean, each other!" Then Hudson River, at Orstead, the town barely she caught the sparkle of mischief in Ned's crept to the one brick building that contained blue eyes and laughed. Then they all dormitory and recitation rooms. But that laughed. After which they seemed suddenly was nearly twenty years ago, and to-day the to be very good friends, such good friends place is no longer isolated, but stands well that Laurie abandoned custom and spoke inside the residence section of the village. out of turn.

There are four buildings, occupying most of “I suppose you know a lot of the fellows,” an unusually large block. School Hall, he said.

four stories in height, is a red-brick, slateThe girl shook her head. "N-no, not any, roofed edifice, whose unloveliness has been really. Of course, I see most of them when mercifully hidden by ivy. It faces Summit they come to Mother's, but she does n't like Street and contains the class-rooms, the me to-to know them."

offices, and, at one end, the principal's quar“Of course not,” approved Ned. "She 's ters. Flanking it are the two dormitories, dead right, too. They ’re a pretty poor lot, East Hall and West Hall. These, while of I guess.'

brick, too, are more modern and far more "Oh, no, they 're not, really! Only, you attractive. Each contains sleeping-rooms to

She stopped and then went on a accommodate, forty students, two masters' trifle breathlessly: "I guess she would n't be studies, a recreation hall, dining-room, kitchawfully pleased if she saw me now! 1-I en, and service rooms. ind East Hall hope you 'll like the school.”

is the gymnasium, a picturesque structure She nodded and went on.

random-set stone, gray stucco, and much “Thanks,” called Laurie. “If we don't glass. Here, besides the gymnasium proper, like it, we 'll change it. Good-by!"

is an auditorium of good size, a modest “Nice kid," observed Ned, tolerantly, as swimming-tank, locker-room and baths, and they turned the corner of the hedge. “Won a commodious office presided over by Mr. der who she is. She said most of the fellows Wells, the physical director. From the went to her mother's. Maybe her mother gymnasium steps one looks across an attracgives dancing lessons or something, eh?" tive, well-kept quadrangle of shaded turf,

"If she does, she won't see me," responded vegetable and flower gardens and tennishis brother, firmly. “No dancing for mine.” courts. “Maybe it 's compulsory."

Doctor Hillman occupies an apartment at "Maybe it's esthetic," retorted Laurie, de the west end of School Hall, gained from the risively. “It makes no never mind. I 'm building by way of the school offices, and agin it. This must be the place. Yes, from without, by way of a wide porch, vine there's a sign."

screened in summer and glassed in winter, It was a very modest sign a-swing from a an outdoor living-room where, on seasonable rustic post beside a broad entrance giving Friday afternoons, the doctor's maiden sisonto a well-kept drive. "Hillman's School ter Miss Tabitha, who keeps house for him, -Entrance Only,” it read. Laurie stopped

weak tea and layer-cake to all in pretended alarm and laid a detaining comers. Miss Tabitha, I regret to say, is clutch on Ned's shoulder.

known among the boys as “Tabby," with, “Entrance Only!' Sounds as if we could however, no more intention of disrespect than n't ever get out again, Ned! Do you dare?” in alluding to the doctor as "Johnny.” Miss

Ned looked doubtfully through at the Tabitha's thin body holds a warm heart, and curving drive and the red-brick building that her somewhat stern countenance belies her showed beyond the border of trees and

kindly ways. shrubbery. Then he threw back his shoul On this fifteenth day of September, shortly ders and set foot bravely within.

after twelve o'clock, Miss Tabitha was seated “Come, comrade, let us know the worst!" on the vine-shaded porch in an erect and un

Laurie, with a gesture of resignation, fol- compromising attitude, her knitting-needles lowed.

clicking busily. Near by, but a few moments “What you durst I will likewise durst!” before released from the office, the doctor was

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stretched in a long wicker chair, a morning emphasized by his manner of thrusting his paper before him.

At the other end of the head forward to eke out the deficiencies of his porch, a gate-legged table was spread for the lenses. This trick was apparent a minute mid-day meal, and a middle-aged colored later when, following in the tripping footwoman who, when it pleased her, answered steps of Miss Tabitha, the two boys emerged to the name of Aunt Persis, shuffled in and on the porch. They were amazingly alike, out of sight at intervals. It was Miss Tabi- the doctor decided: same height, same breadth tha who, hearing the sound of steps on the at hip and shoulder, same coloring, same walk, peered over her glasses and broke the leisurely, yet confident, ease of movement, silence.

same expression of lively curiosity twinkling “Two more of the boys are coming, John,” through an almost depressingly respectful she announced.

solemnity. The doctor grunted.

“These are the Turner boys,” announced "I think they are new boys. Yes, I am Miss Tabitha. This is Edward and this sure they are. And bless my soul, John, is —” She halted to look doubtfully from they ’re alike as two peas!"

one to the other. “Or—or perhaps this is “Alike?” The doctor rustled the paper to Edward and Dear me!” indicate interest. “Well, why should n't "I 'm Edward, ma'am," said the boy in they be? Probably they 're brothers. Let

gray. me see, were n't those two boys from Cali "Well, I don't see how you can ever be fornia brothers? Of course. Turner 's the certain of it!" sighed Miss Tabitha, doubtname."

fully. “This is Doctor Hillman." “Well, I never saw two boys so much alike They shook hands, and in a moment the in all my born days,'” Miss Tabitha mar boys found themselves seated side by side veled. “Do you suppose they can be twins, and replying to the doctor's questions. John?"

"You are entering with certificates from “It 's quite within the realm of probabil your high school principal, I believe, young ity," was the reply. “I believe that twins gentlemen. What year were you?” do occur occasionally, even in the-er—best "Second, sir," answered Ned. regulated families."

And your home is in—" "Well, they certainly are twins!"

"Santa Lucia, sir," replied Laurie. Tabitha laid down her work, brushed the “California," added Ned. front of her immaculate dress, and prepared "Well, you 're quite a ways from home. to rise. “I suppose I had better go and Did you make the trip alone?meet them,” she added.

“Yes, sir. Dad was coming with us as far “I don't see the necessity for it, my dear,” as Chicago, but something happened so he the doctor protested. “Cummins may, I could n't. We did n't have any trouble, think, be relied on to deal even with-er though." twins."

“Really? Well, I believe you have the “Of course, but-still-California 's such distinction of residing farther away than any a long way—and they may feel strange—or of your fellows here. I don't recall any one lonesome

who lives as far away as California, do you, The doctor laughed gently. “Then by all sister?" means go, my dear. If you like, have them Miss Tabitha looked doubtful and hesitated out here for a few minutes. If the resem an instant before she replied, “George Watblance between them is as striking as you son comes from Wyoming, I think, John.” seem to think, they must be worth seeing.” “So he does," assented the doctor, gravely;

When Miss Tabitha had tripped into the "but measured in a straight line, my dear, house, the doctor dropped his paper, stretched California is slightly farther than Wyoming." luxuriously and, with a sigh of protest, "Is it?" asked Miss Tabitha, untroubled. sat up. He was several years younger than I never could remember where those western his sister—which is to say, in the neighbor- States are.” hood of forty-seven. He was

a smallish “You remember many more important man, compactly built, with a pleasant coun things, however. My sister, boys, fancied tenance on which a carefully-trimmed Van that she detected a certain resemblance dyke beard made up to an extent for the between you, and even surmised that you lack of hair above. He wore shell-rimmed might beer-twins. Doubtless she 's glasses and was very near-sighted, a fact mistaken.”

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