This proposal seemed to be acquiesced in by the boys generally. The business meeting terminated, and Mr. Morton was invited to commence his instructions.
"The boys will please form themselves in a line," said the teacher, in a clear, commanding voice.
The positions assumed were, most of them, far from military. Some stood with their legs too far apart, others with one behind the other, some with the shoulders of unequal height. Frank alone stood correctly, thanks to the private instructions he had received.
"Now, boys," said Mr. Morton, "when I say 'attention!' you must all look at me and follow my directions implicitly. Attention and subordination are of the first importance to a soldier. Let me say, to begin with, that, with one exception, you are all standing wrong."
Here there was a general shifting of positions. Robert Ingalls, who had been standing with his feet fifteen inches apart, suddenly brought them close together in a parallel position. Tom Wheeler, who had been resting his weight mainly on the left foot, shifted to the right. Moses Rogers, whose head was bent over so as to watch his feet, now threw it so far back that he seemed to be inspecting the ceiling. Frank alone remained stationary.
Mr. Morton smiled at the changes elicited by his remarks, and proceeded to give his first command.
"Heels on the same line!" he ordered.
All the boys turned their heads, and there was a noisy shuffling of feet.
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