"I'll go right home and tell Cynthy Ann," exclaimed Mrs. Payson, "an' if she don't w'ip him I will. I never see such a bad set of boys as is growin' up. There ain't one on 'em that isn't as full of mischief as a nut is of meat. I'll come up with them, as true as I live."
Full of her indignation, Mrs. Payson gave up her proposed call on Mrs. Thompson, and, turning about, hurried home to lay her complaint before Cynthy Ann.
"I'm glad she's gone," said Sam, looking after her, as with resolute steps she trudged along, punching the snow vigorously with the point of her blue cotton umbrella. "I pity Tom Baldwin; if I had such a grandmother as that, I'd run away to sea. That's so!"
CHAPTER XXIV. A CHAPTER FROM HARDEE
A few rods east of the post-office, on the opposite side of the street, was a two-story building used as an engine-house, The second story consisted of a hall used for company meetings. This the fire company obligingly granted to the boys as a drill-room during the inclement season, until the weather became sufficiently warm to drill out of doors.
On the Monday afternoon succeeding the preliminary meeting at the academy, about thirty boys assembled in this hall, pursuant to a notice which had been given at school and posted up at the tavern and post-office.
At half-past two Frank entered, accompanied by Mr. Morton.
Some of the boys were already acquainted with him, and came up to speak. He had a frank, cordial way with boys, which secured their favor at first sight.