As summer encampment ends we join Cadet Buck Crenshaw having spent the final weeks of the season in the West Point infirmary. It is assumed Buck suffers under a “nervous complaint” for why else would he bribe stable hands to protect the negro cadet Milford Streeter after a schooling horse is found dead? Streeter disappears from the scene leaving Buck to take the fall.
The barracks had become a fortress of hostility. Buck half expected to be beaten on the way back to his room after weeks in the infirmary, but everyone went about their business, getting their books and shoes and mattresses in order. Buck practiced what he might say to his roommate Carter, but was surprised by a visitor at his door.
“Sir.” Streeter stretched out his hand.
Buck brushed past, expecting to find Carter, but he wasn’t in.
Streeter followed him. “Sir, I’ve come to see…
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