3663. “What,” they asked rhetorically, “would happen in a encampment during war, if the enemy was mistaken for one of themselves and allowed to enter.” So it was a matter of military discipline and all the boys involved were assigned to find twelve examples in military history where battles were lost because of that sort of simple carelessness.
3664. Meanwhile, it was Friday afternoon and Alexis was locked in a room in the basement of the school. Everybody else had left the grounds and it was the beginning of a three-day weekend. The coachman’s boy assumed, as you also would assume, that some silly mistake had been made. He could see that he was locked up as in a jail, but the only explanation he could thing of was that he had been mistaken for some cadet who had to be disciplined.
3665. He heard voices and the footsteps of people moving around on the upper floors. He imagined that any second a key would turn in the lock of the door, and he would be released, even perhaps, with an apology. The sounds of commotion and movement became louder for a while, and then died away. Finally he heard the sound of the footsteps of one solitary person. A door closed in the distance, and there was complete silence.
3666. Then the lights were turned off. Then began three days during which Alexis did not eat or drink anything. He had a long period of time to give a great deal of thought to a great many things. The problem was that Alexis had no idea what those things were that he needed to think about.