Fred Fearnot's Day, or The Great Reunion at Avon

CHAPTER V.
EVELYN CREATES A SENSATION ON THE ATHLETIC GROUNDS.

Fred's suggestion that Terry and Mary take the other carriage pleased the former Immensely, and he assisted his sweetheart out and into the other one with the greatest alacrity.

"Now, what was the use of the expense of in extra carriage, Fred?" Evelyn asked.

"Thunder! Don't you suppose that Terry is willing to pay a dollar for a little ride with his girl. And don't you think I am built the same way myself? Don't go to teasing me now just because I'm stuck on you."

"Well, I won't tease you, but I do want to tell you not to say anything to Eunice about her inviting your mother and sister to stop with her after telling Mary and me that she had no extra room."

"Why should I not, dear? I'm just itching to let her know that I noticed it."

"Well, you shouldn't do anything of the kind. and you know that as well as, I do. If you were dealing with a man it would be a different thing."

"Bless your dear heart! You are the most generous girl I ever knew in my life, and I'm almost tempted to register a vow that when we are both old enough to fall in love, I'll come sneaking around your home in Fredonia to find out whether or not I'll be permitted to make up to you."

"All right. The gate and the door be open to you," she laughed, "and maybe by that time we'll be old enough to know whether or not a little bit or courting would be enjoyable."

"Oh, everybody seems to think that courting is fine fun, and I think that even before that time we might try our hands in the way of a little practice at it so as to he able to avoid blunders when we commence in earnest."

"Yes, we might. Most girls enjoy being courted, and I don't know but what I would myself but where have you and Terry been all the morning? You left us girls to amuse ourselves, and we haven't seen you since last night."

"Well, that's an explanation I wanted to make. The boys decided that they would spend the day going through athletic exercises at the gymnasium, and of course they wouldn't listen to any excuse that Terry or I might put, up to get out of it."

They reached the Hawthorne residence where Fred and Terry alighted and assisted the two girls out, dismissed one of the carriages, entered the other together and drove ever to the academy.

"Why Fred," exclaimed Eunice. "why in the world didn't you and Terry bring the girls over?"

"Did you invite them to come over?" Fred asked her.

"No, I forgot to do so."

"Well, they didn't forget, and neither did Terry nor I. We brought them up here with us, and we are not going to neglect them."

And with that he passed into the cottage where he again kissed his mother and sister, and began playing with them in his rollicking way, telling them what a splendid time he was having with all the graduates of the academy, many of whom he had never met before.

"Some of them are splendid fellows who are making their mark in the world; so, little sis, you'd better look out, or they'll be after you. They know a pretty girl when they see one." Then turning to his mother he added: "You can now understand why we boys are so much in love with Avon and its splendid academy. Did you ever see such magnificent grounds or finer scenery? I would like nothing better than to live here all the days of my life."

"Well I'm glad you've found a spot somewhere on the face of the earth where you are willing to settle down and stop roaming all around the world." laughed his mother.

"Well, don't you think it is a place fit for a high-strung boy like me to live in?" he asked, and leading her out on the porch, he pointed to a low range of mountains beyond the river and a magnificent stretch of country farther down the stream.

"I tell you it is one of the finest places in the whole State. The air is fine, the water pure, and no better people can be found in any community in the whole country."

"It is indeed lovely," assented his mother.

"Yes," added Mrs. Lambert. "I have been in love with the place myself ever since I first saw it, and the professor has spared no expense in trying to build up an institution worthy of its environment."

Just then Professor Lambert came around from the academy and joined them. He welcomed Fred's mother with a warmth that was genuine and expressed his gratification at her presence at such a time.

"The banquet to-morrow night," said he, "will be one not easily forgotten, for some of our students have made their mark in the world, and you will perhaps hear speeches during the evening that would be an honor to The Senate of the United States."

In a little while dinner was announced, and the professor tendered his arms to Mrs. Fearnot and Margie, while Fred promptly tendered his to Mrs. Lambert.

"Say, Advocate," he laughed, "here's the left arm for you. They say that a fellow's palpitations are generally heard on that side. Terry, the rascal, ought to be here to look after you, but as he is not. I'll do the best I can for you, and the best is all a fellow can do. If your mother has cut you out. Blame her and not me."

"I won't take a particle of blame," laughed Mrs. Lambert.

"Neither will I," said Fred, "for one is not to be blamed for a strict performance Of duty."

"That saved you," laughed the Advocate, taking his arm and accompanying them into the dining-room.

It was known that the two strangers who had just arrived were Fred's mother and sister, and all the graduates gazed at Marguerite and inwardly pronounced her beautiful.

After the meal they intercepted the Advocate and insisted that she should introduce them all to Miss Fearnot, and for nearly an hour the two girls held a reception In the academy hall. They found Marguerite bright and witty like her brother, and they were all greatly charmed with her. The time was short, however, as the boys had to return to the clubhouse to renew their athletic exercises, leaving the ladies in possession of the buildings. They were out on the. athletic grounds beyond the clubhouse engaged in bicycle racing when the ladies up at the cottage heard great cheering. They ran out on the plaza and saw it carriage surrounded by nearly the entire force of graduates.

"My!" exclaimed Eunice, "somebody has arrived whom the boys are cheering."

"Who can they be?" Marguerite asked.

"Indeed I don't know. I wish I did. Just listen. The boys are singing a song of welcome."

Eunice sent for Black Pete and ordered him to go down to the athletic grounds arid find out who the new arrivals were. He returned a few minutes later and reported that four young ladies were in the carriage, and two of them and were Misses Olcott and Hamilton.

"Why, it's Evelyn and Mary!" exclaimed Margie. "We ought to go down there and join them."

"Why in the world didn't they come by here?" Mrs. Fearnot asked, looking around at Eunice and her mother.

"Indeed I don't know," replied Eunice "I went over to see them last night."

"Yes, and we expected them out to-day," added the Advocate's mother.

"Well, that's not like Evelyn. She is very far from being a thoughtless girl. It must be that the boys are at the bottom of it."

There was a worried look on Eunice's face. She new that she had failed to invite the girls over, and feared that she had not only blundered, but had given cause for offense.

"What are the boys doing there?" Mrs. Fearnot asked.

"I believe they are going through some athletic exercises. All those who were not at the academy when Fred and Terry were here are extremely anxious to see them in their feats of skill and strength. It is claimed that their class excelled all the others before or since in athletic sports and hence there is a great deal of interest among the different classes to see what they can do. I was told that Fred won every contest In the clubhouse this morning."

"Of course he did," laughed Margie. "I've never known brother and Terry to be beaten yet. Neither of them seems to know what fear is, and greater friends than they I never knew or heard of."

"How about Damon and Pythias?" Eunice asked.

"They are a second edition of Damon find Pythias," added Margie. "I believe that one would die for the other if it were necessary. "

"Really, I do, too," laughed Mrs. Fearnot. "I never knew two brothers to love each other as those two boys do, and as for Evelyn she is one of the most unselfish girls I ever knew. She always thinks of others rather than herself. I never heard of her being angry in my life, and with all that she is as sensible as people, twice her age."

That unstinted praise was gall and wormwood for Eunice, but her face was as placid as a May morning as she listened to it.

"Let's go down and see them, Eunice," suggested Marguerite.

Eunice hesitated before replying, then she remarked:

"None of the gentlemen invited us to witness their exercises, and they may have invited Evelyn, Mary and the other two young ladies."

"Oh, well. what if they did? My brother is there, and you are the Advocate, beloved by all of them. What difference does it make?"

"Yes, dear go down there and ask the young ladies to come up to the cottage," suggested Mrs. Lambert to Eunice.

"Who are the other young ladies?" Mrs. Fearnot asked.

"I think they are the Misses Wellborn; two sisters, who came up with Fred and the girls."

"Oh, I remember hearing Fred speak of them. Their father bought a building lot up at Dedham Lake. They spend their summer up there at Ashton, and Fred says they are very nice girls."

Eunice and Margie put on their hats, took their parasols and walked down to the athletic ground. where Fred and the champion of the seniors of the year before his were now dashing around the enclosure on their heels. The boys were so deeply Interested In the race, they didn't see the two young ladies making their way toward the carriage, nor did Evelyn and Mary see them until they were right alongside of them.

"Oh, my. here's Eunice and Margie!" exclaimed Mary, shaking hands with the two girls. Evelyn, however, was so intent on watching the race that she never looked at them; in fact hadn't seen them.

"Fred is winning! Fred is winning!" she cried, clapping her hands. "They can't beat that boy." Then she saw the other two and exclaimed:

"Oh, my, are you two here? Excuse me, I was watching the race," and she kissed both of them with girlish enthusiasm.

The next moment she was watching the bicyclers, and cheering Fred on until he crossed the line.

"Fred won!" she cried, "I knew he would win!" and she threw her arms around Margie's neck and kissed her again.

"Did you ever see such an enthusiastic girl?" laughed Eunice.

"Oh, I'm so fond of all sorts of sport," returned Evelyn. "Excuse me, I really forgot," and she introduced the Wellborn girls to the Advocate and Marguerite.

"Oh, I'm so glad to meet you," exclaimed Margie, greeting the two girls. "I've heard brother speak often of you."

"We are glad to meet you," said the elder of the two sisters, "for if ever a brother loved a sister, your brother loves you. He not only loves you but is proud of you, and I'm sure you ought to be proud of him if you are not."

"Why, I am proud of him. He is one of the best brothers in the world, and so is Terry."

Margie and Evelyn, with their arms around each other's waist, strolled off a little distance together, for they had many little confidences to whisper to each other. They were soon joined by Fred, while Terry and others went to the carriage to talk with the Advocate, Mary and the Wellborn sisters.

"You won again, Fred," said Evelyn, her eyes sparkling and cheeks glowing as she extended her hand to him.

"Yes, of course I did. Our class is the best that the academy has ever turned out."

"Of course it is. It's because you trained them."

"Thank you, old girl. I've heard it score of them say that same thing within the last hour, and of course I'm feeling a little bit proud. Has the Advocate invited you up to the cottage yet?"

"Yes, she came down with Margie, but wanted to know why we didn't drive by there before we came here."

"What did you say to that?"

"Why, I told her it was more fun being with you boys."

Just then they were joined by several others, and again Marguerite held a reception there on the athletic grounds. All wanted to pay their respects and congratulate her on the number of victories Fred had won that day. She had a pleasant word for every one. Her repartee was almost as keen as that of Evelyn.

Some fifty feet away the other girls were holding a little court near the carriage, with about two score of young men around them. They were finally interrupted, however, by Teacher Brown, who called the next race between the champion runners of different classes. There were some seven or eight of them, each class having put up its own champion, and again the attention of the entire crowd was centered upon the runners. The girls all got together to watch them, and before two laps had been made, Fred, Terry and Dick Duncan were seen to be in the lead.

"Mary! Mary!" cried Evelyn, clapping her hands, "our boys are winning again!" and her girlish enthusiasm seemed to electrify the whole crowd. As the race neared the end she clapped her hands and called out:

"Beat 'em Fred! Do your best, Terry! Keep up with 'em, Dick! You are three of a kind, all good boys!" and as the three passed over the line as winners, she started up one of the old glee club songs with an enthusiasm that fairly took the boys' breath away. They looked at her admiringly, some of them lovingly, and all joined in the chorus with a hear that filled the very air with harmonious vibrations.

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