"Hurrah, Sam, it is settled at last that we are to go to boarding school!"
"Are you certain, Tom? Don't let me raise any false hopes."
"Yes, I am certain, for I heard Uncle Randolph tell Aunt Martha that he wouldn't keep us in the house another week. He said he would rather put up with the Central Park menagerie-think of that!" and Tom Rover began to laugh.
"That's rather rough on us, but I don't know but what we deserve it," answered Sam Rover, Tom's younger brother. "We have been giving it pretty strong lately, with playing tricks on Sarah the cook, Jack the hired man, and Uncle Randolph's pet dog Alexander. But then we had to do something-or go into a dry rot. Life in the country is all well enough, but it's mighty slow for me."
"I guess it is slow for anybody brought up in New York, Sam. Why, the first week I spent here I thought the stillness would kill me. I couldn't actually go to sleep because it was so quiet. I wish uncle and aunt would move to the city. They have money enough."
"Aunt Martha likes to be quiet, and uncle is too much wrapped up in the art of scientific farming, as he calls it. I'll wager he'll stay on this farm experimenting and writing works on agriculture until he dies. Well, it's a good enough way to do, I suppose, but it wouldn't suit me. I want to see something of life-as father did."
"So do I. Perhaps we'll see something when we get to boarding school."
"Where are we to go?"
"I don't know. Some strict institution, you can be sure of that. Uncle Randolph told aunty it was time the three of us were taken in hand. He said Dick wasn't so bad, but you and I-"
"Were the bother of his life, eh?"
"Something about like that. He doesn't see any fun in tricks. He expects us to just walk around the farm, or study, and, above all things, keep quiet, so that his scientific investigations are not disturbed. Why doesn't he let us go out riding, or boating on the river, or down to the village to play baseball with the rest of the fellows? A real live American boy can't be still all the time, and he ought to know it," and, with a decided shake of his curly head, Tom Rover took a baseball from his pocket and began to throw it up against the side of the farmhouse, catching it each time as it came down.
Tom had thrown the ball up just four times when a pair of blinds to an upper window flew open with a crash, and the head of a stern-looking elderly gentleman appeared. The gentleman had gray hair, very much tumbled, and wore big spectacles.
"Hi! hi! boys, what does this mean?" came in a high-pitched voice. "What are you hammering on the house for, when I am just in the midst of a deep problem concerning the rotation of crops on a hillside with northern exposure?"
"Excuse me, Uncle Randolph, I didn't think to disturb you," answered Tom meekly. "I'll put the ball away."
"You never stop to think, Thomas. Give me that ball."
"Oh, let me keep it, Uncle Randolph! I won't throw it against the house again, honor bright."
"You'll forget that promise in ten minutes, Thomas; I know you well....
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Read this one by way of research. In many ways a typical school story - sporting events, a bully to deal with, a mean teacher and a damsel in distress. Very much of its time though, in the moralising tone of the author, who isn't afraid of putting his own opinions into the story. He also had a rather annoying habit of blatantly promoting the next books in the series.