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Left Guard Gilbert by Ralph Henry Barbour

You want to see if there's a window open in Torrence


"Then

forward, my brave comrades! If anyone sees us we'd better scatter and hide out for awhile."

They climbed over a stone wall and made their way through a grove adjoining the school grounds, keeping close to the boundary fence. It was as dark as pitch in the woods and every now and then one or another would walk into a tree or fall over a root. Don's teeth were chattering like castanets, for the night had grown cooler and a little breeze was blowing from the west, and his clothing was still far from dry. They crept past the back of the Cottage very cautiously, for there were lights upstairs and down, and breathed easier when the black bulk of the gymnasium loomed before them and they could crawl over the fence and drop back into school ground. From the corner of the gymnasium to Billings was a long distance, and looked just now longer than it ever had before. Also, in spite of the fact that there was no moon, the night was surprisingly light and Tim scowled disapprovingly at the stars as they paused for an instant at the corner of the building to get their breaths.

"Keep low," advised Tim, "and make for Torrence. Then we'll stay close to the walls of the buildings. You want to see if there's a window open in Torrence, Clint?"

"No, I'll stay with you fellows. I'd probably walk into a chair or a table and someone would take me for a burglar."

"Come

on, then. Haste to yon enfolding darkness!"

They "hasted," and a second or two after were creeping, doubled up lest their heads show above the darkened windows and arouse unwelcome curiosity, along the rear of Torrence. Then they raced across the space dividing Torrence from Main Hall and repeated the proceedings until, finally, they were under the windows of Number 6 Billings. Both were open at the bottom and their doubts and tribulations were at an end. Clint was assisted in first, Tom followed and then Tim and, finally, Don was unceremoniously yanked up and through.

"Eureka!" breathed Tim. "Can you make it to your room, Tom? If you don't want to risk it you can bunk out here on the window-seat or somewhere."

"You may have half of my bed," offered Don. But Tom was already removing his shoes.

"If Horace hears me," he whispered, "he's got better ears than I think he has. Good-night, fellows. We had a bully time, even if we didn't get that rarebit!"

Tim groaned hollowly. "There! Now you've gone and reminded me that I'm starved to death!"

"Shut up," warned Don. "Don't forget that Horace's bedroom is right there." He nodded toward the wall. "Beat it, Tom, and don't fall over your feet!"

The door opened soundlessly, closed again and Tom was gone. They listened, and, although the transom was slightly open, not a creak or a shuffle reached them. "He's all right," whispered Tim. "Me for bed, fellows. Want to come in with me, Clint, or will you luxuriate on the window-seat?"


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