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A Boy Knight by Martin J.

And did not dare face Father Boone


But as he shouted out, "Frank, Tom, Dick, come see the board, a real live circus is in town," they all dropped their games, and trooped into the reading room.

"Gee!" was the exclamation from every throat.

"That's news."

"What row is that?"

"Wanton destruction!"

"That sounds good."

"O, but say, it's the real thing."

"That's Father Boone's handwriting. What does it mean?"

Then they fell to asking questions all together.

Finally, it settled down to what had happened, and when it happened, and how it happened. Everybody asked everybody else what it was all about, and everybody told everybody he did not know. Some boys got around Frank and began to quiz him.

"Did you see any damage done, Mulvy?"

"No."

"Let's form a committee and send our regrets to Father Boone, and also say there must be a mistake."

They all agreed.

"Name Mulvy spokesman of the committee," shouted McHugh.

Frank protested, but they paid no attention to him. Soon the committee was formed, and was ready to go upstairs. They waited for Frank. As he did not move they said, "Step along, Mulvy, we are all ready."

"I said no. Count me out."

"Count you out, nothing," yelled several. "You're elected, now go."

Frank did not move. Sunney Galvin, one of the biggest boys in the Club, and a good fellow, walked up to him and said, "No nonsense, Frank, face the music; you owe it to Father Boone and the Club to help set matters right."

"Sunney, I said no, and that settles it."

"It settles nothing," said Sunney. "Unless you are in the scrape yourself, you'll go like a man and do your part. You have been chosen."

"Chosen or not, I don't go. That's final," he said with vigor.

"O ho, Mulvy, so there's somebody involved after all! You wouldn't play safe if you were not concerned."

"See here, Galvin," said Frank, "you know me well enough to know that I am square. Give a fellow credit for knowing his own business."

"O that's very well, and all that, Mulvy. But your business here and now is to do the duty you've been elected to. And if you don't, you're yellow."

"Yes, and something worse," cried another.

"Do you know too much for your own reputation?" shouted another. For although Frank was the best liked and most admired boy in the Club, boys are boys, and they talk right out. Frank knew they had a certain amount of right on their side and that was what helped him to swallow the insults, which otherwise he would have resented vigorously.

The crowd was rather amazed itself that he did not resent their insinuations more than he did. Gradually the word passed that he was in the thing himself, and did not dare face Father Boone. Dick resented that intensely.

"He is not, and you all know it."

"Hank, old man," he said, "clear yourself, come along with us."


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