No matter how unconventional the sport, Philip Wesley would not give up a chance to work under the skilled athletic direction of Bart McEwen especially when an athletic scholarship might lie in the balance. With a great many reservations, he and friend Tooter form a trio fencing team with Bart and come to grips with the heavy demands of the sport. Win or lose, the school editor berates the team mercilessly, but the boys won't give up. Their tenacity eventually results in their triumph over Academy Hill and the ""Solid Citizen"" award for Phil. Few athletic books for boys involve this fascinating sport, and it is largely for this reason that fans will remain ""On Guard"" throughout.