Fiction: A Shunning at West Point

Author Adrienne Morris

A few weeks later Buck accepted an invitation to help test the jittery new guards on duty. Stealthy cadets came at all angles and times. One officer played a stranger refusing to give the countersign; another called down from a tree while another one slid by undetected, much to the embarrassment of the fledgling guard.

Buck in his first summer had impressed his superiors by never becoming rattled except for the one time when Fred shoved a garter snake down his trousers.

The moon sunk away, the exercise ended, and the upperclassmen drifted back to their tents for a little sleep. Buck came upon Streeter. He wasn’t tired, so Buck struck up conversation. “How are you liking guard duty, Mr. Streeter?”

“It’s a challenge, sir, but then I guess we wouldn’t be here if we were afraid of challenges,” Streeter replied. “Sir, is it true that when yearlings take to…

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