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Synopsis

Muirtown Seminary was an imposing building of the classical order, facing the north meadow and commanding from its upper windows a fine view of the river Tay running rapidly and cleanly upon its gravel bed. Behind the front building was the paved court where the boys played casual games in the breaks of five minutes between the hours of study, and this court had an entrance from a narrow back street along which, in snow time, a detachment of the enemy from the other schools might steal any hour and take us by disastrous surprise. There were those who wished that we had been completely walled up at the back, for then we had met the attack at a greater advantage from the front. But the braver souls of our commonwealth considered that this back way, affording opportunities for ambushes, sallies, subtle tactics, and endless vicissitudes, lent a peculiar flavour to the war we waged the whole winter through and most of the summer, and brought it nearer to the condition of Red Indian fighting, which was our favourite reading and our example of heroism

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