In another fortnight the boat-house
was entirely completed, furnished, and ready for the
occupancy of the club. School had closed for the
season, and the summer vacation had begun; but most
of the boys, in anticipation of the pleasure which
the boat club promised them, preferred to stay at
home rather than go to the seashore or the mountains,
or visit their friends at a distance.
Mr. Burlap, the tailor, had exerted
himself to the utmost; and the new dress of the boat
club was soon ready for use. The tarpaulins had
been purchased and lettered, and the uniforms had
been hung up in the little closets in the club-room
of the boat-house. One was appropriated to each
member, whose number was painted upon the door.
Uncle Ben had given the boys several
extra lessons in rowing in the meantime, and the discipline
of the club and the rowing were pronounced perfect.
The first meeting in the new hall was appointed to
take place on Monday morning, and punctually to the
hour the members were all assembled.
The hall had been tastefully furnished
and decorated, under the direction of Captain Sedley.
On the floor was a very pretty carpet with bright
colors; on the walls hung several large maps and engravings
in frames, illustrative of various boat-scenes; and
over the door leading to the boat-house proper was
painted in blue letters,-
ZEPHYR BOAT CLUB.
On the window-curtains the name of
the club was also painted. In the middle of the
room was placed a long table, around which were arranged
thirteen chairs for the members. The library cases
were filled with books, which had been selected with
great care by Mr. and Mrs. Sedley. On the table
were placed various pamphlets and periodicals; and
when the club assembled, Uncle Ben was there, seated
in the coxswain’s armchair, poring over the
pages of the Sailor’s Magazine.
The boys all came in and took their
chairs, each of which was numbered; and Uncle Ben
cheerfully resigned his place to the coxswain.
“Order!” said Frank, rapping on the table.
Captain Sedley had instructed Frank
in some of the forms of conducting a public meeting;
and the matter had been made the topic of conversation
among the others, so that they had a tolerable idea
of parliamentary usage. They were all enthusiastic
and eager to learn; and some of them had attended
a special town meeting a few days before, for the
purpose, as they expressed it, of “seeing how
the thing was done.” And when Captain Sedley
came in to breakfast on the morning of that eventful
day, he found Frank intently perusing the pages of
When, therefore, the coxswain called
the meeting to order, all noise and conversation immediately
ceased; and the members of the club seemed determined
to conduct themselves with more propriety than the
“legal voters” of Rippleton had at the
town meeting they had attended.
Frank, in the words of the newspaper
reporters, “made a neat and appropriate speech,”
on the occasion of taking possession of the new hall.
After this important matter had been disposed of, the
coxswain remarked that the first business of the club
would be to select a name for the hall.
“Mr. Chairman,” said Charles
Hardy, rising with the utmost gravity and decorum.
Uncle Ben laughed outright; but immediately
apologized for his unseemly mirth, and fearful lest
he should disturb the dignified body again, he withdrew
from the hall, and busied himself in polishing up the
brass work of the boat.
“Charles Hardy,” said
the young chairman, bowing to the member who had obtained
“I move that this hall, hereafter,
henceforward, and for all time to come, be called
Sedley Hall,” said Charles, who, in the absence
of any work on parliamentary tactics in his father’s
library, had carefully studied the “Business
Man’s Assistant,” from which he had stored
his memory with a variety of legal and technical phrases.
He had the jingle of them in his head, and did not
mind much about the substance.
Captain Sedley entered the hall just
as he made his motion.
“Second the motion,” said Fred Harper.
“It is moved and seconded that
this room be called Sedley Hall,” continued
the coxswain, rising from the chair. “The
question is open for discussion.”
“Mr. Chairman,” said Captain
Sedley, scarcely able to control his inclination to
indulge in a hearty laugh at the dignity and formality
of the proceedings, “though not, strictly speaking,
a member of the club, perhaps you will indulge me
in a few remarks on the question before the house.
I am very grateful to you for the honor to my name
and family which is contemplated by the excellent member
on the other side of the table; but for reasons of
my own, I must beg the gentleman to withdraw his motion.”
“He cannot withdraw without
the consent of the house-of the club, I
mean,” said Frank, blushing at his blunder.
“It is customary when no objection
is made,” replied Captain Sedley gravely, “to
permit a motion to be withdrawn.”
“Mr. Chairman,” said Charles,
rising, “for the obvious reasons mentioned by
the honorable and distinguished gentleman, I withdraw
At the risk of disturbing the dignity
of the meeting, Captain Sedley remarked that he had
stated no reasons.
“I move that the room be called
Zephyr Hall,” said Tony Weston.
“Second the motion,” said Charles.
Frank stated the question, and observed
that it was open for any remarks. But the members,
not feeling disposed to indulge in any flights of
eloquence before Captain Sedley, maintained an obstinate
silence for full five minutes. The chairman, impressed
with the idea that some speeches must be made, anyhow,
did not interrupt the dignified quiet by putting the
At last the silence was broken by
a hearty laugh on the part of Captain Sedley.
“Why don’t you put the question, Frank?”
“The debate has not taken place yet.”
“There are some questions which it is not necessary
“Question!” said Fred Harper, who had
been to town meeting.
“Those in favor of calling the
room Zephyr Hall, please manifest it by raising the
“All up!” cried Fred Harper.
“It is a unanimous vote,” added the chairman.
“Let the clerk record the vote,” whispered
Captain Sedley to his son.
“We have no clerk yet.”
“Doing business without a clerk!” laughed
“The next business will be to
choose a clerk,” continued Frank, laughing.
“Please to bring in your ballots for a clerk.”
There were paper and pens at the other
end of the table; and Fred Harper, who seemed to have
a very good idea of “the manner in which the
public business is transacted,” commenced writing
votes. In a few moments they were all supplied.
“I move that a committee of
three be appointed by the chair to collect, sort,
and count the votes, and report to the meeting,”
“Second the motion,” added Tom Greene.
The motion was put and carried.
“The chair appoints Frederic Harper, Thomas
Greene, and Mark Leman.”
The votes were collected and reported.
“Whole number of votes, thirteen,”
repeated Frank; “necessary for a choice, seven;
Frederic Harper has one; Anthony Weston has twelve,
and is elected.”
Captain Sedley clapped his hands at
this evidence of good will on the part of the members,
and the club all joined heartily in the demonstration.
Three days before, the grand jury had found a bill
against Tony; but his friends still continued to regard
and treat him as an innocent person.
“I thank you for your kindness,”
said Tony, rising; “I am sure, I-”
but the poor fellow choked up, and could say no more.
His heart was full, and the great
tears rolled down his cheeks.
“Never mind it, Tony; here is
the record-book,” said Fred Harper, taking it
from the library case.
Tony wiped away his tears, and seated
himself at the foot of the table, where a small desk
had been placed for the use of the clerk.
“Mr. Chairman,” said Charles Hardy.
Frank nodded to him to indicate that he had the floor.
“I move that a committee of
three be appointed to draft and report a constitution
for the club.”
“Second the motion,” added Sam Harper.
The motion prevailed. Charles
Hardy, Tony Weston, and Fred Harper were nominated
“at large,” and chosen to serve on this
committee. Leaving the hall, they retired to
the boat-room for deliberation; but the constitution
had already been prepared by Frank and Charles, with
the assistance of Captain Sedley. To make the
business look more important and dignified, Charles
insisted on remaining out a few moments, during which
time they talked over the matter with Uncle Ben.
When they returned, the constitution
was duly reported, and adopted article by article.
Perhaps my young readers would not
readily appreciate the moral of my story without reading
this important document; therefore I add, in full,
This association shall be
called the Zephyr Boat Club.
The objects of the association
shall be the instruction and
amusement of the members,
and the acquiring of good morals, good
manners, and good habits in
The officers of the club shall
consist of a coxswain, as president,
and a clerk.
It shall be the duty of the coxswain
to command the boat, to preside at the meetings
of the club, and to exercise a general supervision
over its affairs. He shall hold his office for
The clerk shall keep a record
of the meetings, and of all business
pertaining to the club, and
shall hold his office for four weeks.
No member of this club shall use profane
language at any time. No member shall neglect
his school, or his duties at home. No member
shall use vulgar or indecent language. No
member shall provoke a quarrel with another person,
but shall do all he can to prevent fighting and
unkindly feelings one towards another. No member
shall use tobacco, or ardent spirits as a beverage,
in any form. All members shall obey the coxswain
while in the boat. Any member offending against
either of the requirements of this article shall be
liable to suspension, and if incorrigible, to expulsion
from the club.
In order the more perfectly to carry
out the beneficent and reformatory purposes of
the founder of the club, to whose bounty we are
indebted for the opportunities of instruction and amusement
the association affords us, we appoint him our
Director. All violations of Article VI.,
and all violations of the spirit of our organization
set forth in Article II., whether in word or in deed,
shall be reported to our Director, and the delinquent
shall be subject to such penalty as he shall determine.
The hall and library shall
be open every Wednesday and Saturday
afternoon, at such other times
as the Director or coxswain may
order, and every evening except
Sunday till nine o’clock.
This constitution may be altered
or amended by a vote of two-thirds
of the members.
This constitution was transferred
to the record book, and duly signed. Some other
business was transacted, and the meeting adjourned.
“Put on your uniforms,”
said Frank, as he rose from his chair, “and we
will make our first appearance.”
“At twelve o’clock there
will be a collation ready for you on Centre Island,
to which you are all invited,” said Captain Sedley.
“Hurrah!” shouted Charles
Hardy, as he rushed into the boat-room.