Fred Fearnot's Day, or The Great Reunion at Avon
The next day there was a great crowd at the railway station at Avon
to see the departing Alumni off to their respective homes. They lived in
all parts of the State, and some beyond its boarders. The professor and
all the faculty of the academy were present, including the Advocate and
her mother. The entire senior class of the girls' high school came down
in carriages, and again the inquiry passed around as to who the two
engaged couple were.
"Terry, old fellow," sang out one of the Alumni, "you are going
to hang on a while longer here, are you?"
"Yes. It's about the hardest place to get away from I ever was
"How long are you going to stay, Fred?" another asked.
"Just waiting on my mother," he replied, "who was never in Avon
"No waiting on your girl, eh?"
"Yes, I wait on her all the time, and the fact is, I'm waiting
"Just what I suspected," and he looked at Evelyn, who laughed and
"Fred will say anything, you know. He can say more and mean less
than any of you academy boys."
"Well, whatever he says, he says well."
"Oh, yes, he's a good talker, and we all like to listen to him,"
After the train moved out the professor and his wife turned to
Fred, Terry, Dick and Joe and invited them and the young ladies to make
their homes over at the academy during the remainder of their stay in
"It's better," added the professor, "that you should all be
together, and now that the others have gone, we have ample room for your
"Thank you, professor," said Fred, "we'll go back to the house
and consult the ladies about it. I believe that Tom and his wife are
going to leave in a day or two, and the Misses Wellborn will go with
them as far as Fredonia, where they will take the train for Ashton,
where they are summering."
The professor's party returned to the academy, while Fred and
Terry accompanied the girls back to the Hawthorne residence, where they
remained the greater part of the day resting quietly from the fatigue of
the convention and the banquet of the evening before.
"I'm glad it's all over with, Terry," remarked Fred, as they sat
on the piazza talking over the Incidents of the great reunion.
So am I. It has been a splendid advertisement for the academy,
and I think the professor is about the happiest man in the State to-day."
"No doubt of that," assented Fred. "it hasn't cost him a cent
less than a thousand dollars."
"A thousand dollars wouldn't cover it, Fred," said Terry. "But it
will be worth ten thousand dollars to him in the future. He has a good
head for business, and he knows as much about advertising as the famous
showman Barnum did."
After a little more talk they decided that it was best for them
to accept the professor's invitation to go over to the academy and be
his guests during the remainder of their stay in Avon. Evelyn insisted
that it was Fred's duty to keep with his mother and sister as much as
possible and see that they enjoyed their visit.
"But really," she added, "I think that the rest of us should go
home because the invitation extended to us was merely on your account."
"Oh, drop that now," said Fred, "the professor and his wife think
just as much of Terry as they do of me or any other student, and if you
and Terry and Mary don't go over, I won't either."
"Well, we leave to-morrow," said Tom Tipps, "and the Misses
Wellborn will go with us."
"Well I'm sorry you break up the party," returned Fred.
"We'll stay here then until you and the ladies leave. Then Terry
and I will take the girls over to the academy. Dick, what are you and
Joe going to do?"
"Just as we please,'" said Dick. "We'll go over to the academy
for a few days to relieve you and Terry of the burden of four young
"Good!" laughed Terry. "I like a fellow that sticks to his
"See here," said Fred, "I suggest that we all go over to the
academy this evening and have a jolly time, return here, see Tom and the
ladies off to-morrow and then move over and stay there until we are
The suggestion was acted upon, and that evening after tea, the
entire party went over to the academy where they spent several hours
singing songs and telling stories.
Tom Tipp and his wife and the two Wellborn girls then took leave
of the professor's family, Mrs. Fearnot and Margie, after which they all
returned to the Hawthorne residence.
The next morning Tom and his party left, and an hour or two later
the two girls and four boys moved to the academy to prolong their visit
to the professor's family.
"Now, there's four pair of us," laughed Fred. "and we ought to
have a good time while we are together. I suggest that every morning we
draw straws to settle the question as to which of the girls we shall
have for the day."
"Why, what an idea," exclaimed Marguerite.
"Well, it's the only way to prevent us boys from fighting,"
laughed Terry. "We've got sporting blood enough in us to stand by the
decision of the straws for twenty-four hours."
"I think it's a good idea," laughed Evelyn, and of course the
girls agreed to it.
They remained together in a bunch pretty much the whole day, and
spent the evening singing and chatting till a late hour. On the
following morning the straws were drawn to settle the question of
escorts for the day, and the result was extremely laughable. Both Fred
and Terry drew their own sisters for partners.
"Say, let's try this over," suggested Terry. "This isn't just In
accordance with the fitness of things."
Amid a great deal of laughter the straws were drawn again, when
Fred won Eunice, Dick secured Evelyn, Terry had Margie, while Joe was to
take charge of Mary.
"Now, that's just as it ought to be," said Terry.
It was extremely satisfactory to the Advocate, who greatly
feared that she had seriously blundered the day before, after listening
to Fred's remarks about the jealousies of people. She had heard him
declare that jealousy was a detestable trait, and that he would cut off
both his hands rather than marry a jealous-hearted girl. She had
resolved never to exhibit any jealousy again in his presence, even
though she might be almost consumed by it.
Fred never found her so pleasant before, and he exerted himself
to his utmost to entertain her, but adroitly managed to keep them all
pretty much together in order to avoid any tendency toward spooning.
In the afternoon he suggested that they all go down to the
boathouse and row up to the Andrews farm to indulge in a feast of
watermelon. The suggestion was hailed with delight, and they hurried
down to the boathouse where each of the boys procured a boat and put his
girl into it.
"Now, girls," called out Fred, "these are racing sculls, you
know, so you must sit perfectly still, or overboard you'll go. They are
the easiest things capsized of anything on the water."
"I'm very much afraid of them," remarked Eunice. "I think it
would be better if we either walked or went up in carriages."
"Oh, we'll stick to the boat," said Fred, and they managed to get
the girls seated in the boats and started off up the river. They reached
the Andrews place after a brisk row, and were welcomed by the family of
the old farmer.
There was a great feast of melons, and the party remained there
for two or three hours, after which they started back on their return to
the academy. When within about a hundred yards of the boathouse, Evelyn
called to Eunice. The latter in trying to turn around so as to look at
her, capsized the boat and she and Fred were in the water. The other
girls screamed, when Evelyn and Dick were upset.
Of course the two boys
were excellent swimmers, as was Evelyn also; but Eunice couldn't swim
and she came within an ace of drowning Fred, who of course was doing his
utmost to swim ashore with her. It was an utter impossibility to climb
into the little boat. Evelyn swam ashore, telling Dick to secure the
boat as she could swim like a fish. Dick, however, gallantly kept
alongside of her till they reached the river bank a little above the
boathouse, while Fred was exerting himself trying to persuade Eunice to
keep still and let him get her ashore. She was so terribly frightened,
however, that she clutched him around the neck with both arms, greatly
impeding his efforts to save her. He managed to reach the shore with
her, however, where Joe Jencks, after landing Mary, pulled her out of
the water. She fainted dead away, and the girls had a lot of trouble
bringing her to.
Evelyn, though, dripping wet, laughed at the accident, and said
she didn't mind it at all. She devoted herself to looking after Eunice,
who, when she came to, threw her arms around Fred's neck, and called him
"That's right," laughed Evelyn, "he saved me several times, and I
kissed him for all I was worth. The rascal likes it. I believe he turned
the boat over just for the very purpose of playing the hero."
"Did Dick turn the boat over for you?" snapped Eunice.
"No, I did it myself, just to keep you company. I knew I could
"Yes," laughed Dick, "she can swim like a duck. I tried to hug
her in the water but she wouldn't allow it, while you were nearly
choking Fred to death."
Oh, but Eunice was mad! Dick and Evelyn were disposed to destroy
the romance of the rescue.
"Say, Evelyn, you and Dick shut up now. Just because you two can
swim is no reason why you should make light of such a serious matter. It
was a new experience for the Advocate, who can't swim, and I tell you it
was a pretty hard effort on my part to save her. I made up my mind if I
couldn't get her out alive, I'd go to the bottom with her."
"Oh, you would have to," retorted Evelyn, "judging from the way
she held on to you, it was evident that if she couldn't get out, you
"Oh, you did the very same thing once, old girl, out at the lake,
too," retorted Fred, "before you learned how to swim, and I had the mark
of arms around my neck for a week afterward. Terry, run up to the house,
get the carriage and have it sent down here for these two half-drowned
Terry started off, but before the carriage could get there, the
two mothers, Mrs. Lambert and Mrs. Fearnot, came running down to the
boathouse frightened almost to death.
"All's well that ends well," laughed Fred. "There's nobody hurt,
and none of the sweetness of either girl has been dissolved by the
Next week's Issue will contain "FRED FEARNOT IN THE SOUTH; OR, OUT
WITH OLD BILL BLAND."
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