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introducing the subject for discussion, if Hillman's charged admission to her home games, it would be possible to get through a season without asking for assistance from the student body. “But you fellows know that that is n’t the school policy. We are allowed to sell tickets for the Farview game only, and while we make about four hundred and fifty dollars as our share, that does n’t go very far against the season's outlay. We have to pay from seventy-five to a hundred and twenty-five dollars to every team that comes here to play us. When we go away we seldom make enough to pay our expenses. In the Highland game, because it cost us almost nothing for fares, we did. At the present moment we have a cash balance on hand of forty-three dollars, and our liabilities, including Mr. Mulford's salary for the remainder of the season, are about eight hundred dollars. The manager estimates that we'll have to incur added expenses of about a hundred and twenty dollars for Farview game tickets and new supplies. In short, we shall have to pay out, before the season ends, about nine hundred dollars. Against that we have on hand forty-three dollars, and in prospect, something like five hundred, leaving us about three hundred and fifty in the hole. There has been talk of cutting out the Lansing and Whittier games, but that would n’t make enough difference. Besides, it would give us a black eye to cancel games as late as this. We might save perhaps seventy dollars if we did, but it would cost us ten times that in public estimation. As far as I can see, fellows, if we're going to have a football team, we 've got to pay for it. We 've asked permission to charge admission, even a nominal one, to all games, but the faculty is against it. And we have asked to have a regular assessment made against each student. To many of us that would seem the fairer and most satisfactory way of meeting the emergency. But the faculty does n’t like that any better than the other proposition. So I guess it 's up to us, each and every one of us, to dig down and produce the coin. We need three hundred and fifty dollars at least. That means that every fellow in school must pony up four dollars, or, rather, that the average must be four dollars each. Some of you can’t give so much, probably, and a few can give more. I'd like to hear from you, please. Don't be afraid to say what you think. We want to get together on this matter and thrash it out, if it takes until ten o'clock. Any one who
has any suggestion to offer or anything to say will be heard. Come on, somebody!” There were plenty of speakers: Dave Brewster, the baseball captain, Dan Whipple, senior class president, Lew Cooper, upper middle class president, Dave Murray, the manager of the team, Craig Jones, for the lower middlers, and many others. Some subscribed to the donation scheme, others opposed it. Cooper suggested an appeal to the school alumni. Brewster pointed out that the effort would cost money and that the result would be uncertain and, in any case, slow. An increase in the price of tickets to the Farview game was discussed and the idea abandoned. An hour passed and the meeting was getting nowhere. Some of the younger boys had already withdrawn. A tall, lantern-jawed youth had charged the football committee with extravagance, and Dave Murray had bitterly resented the allegation. Ned, who, with Laurie and Lee Murdock, was seated near the back of the hall, had shown signs of restiveness for some time and had been muttering to himself. Now, to the surprise of his companions, he jumped to his feet and demanded recognition. “Mr. Chairman!” “Mister—” Dan Whipple pointed a finger at Ned and nodded. “Turner,” prompted Kewpie. “Mr. Turner,” encouraged the chairman. “I’d like to say that I never heard so much talking and saw so little action,” began Ned, impatiently. “What 's the matter with some one saying something useful instead of just chewing the rag?” “You tell 'em!” piped a small junior above the applause and laughter. “All right! I 'll tell you fellows that you 're a lot of pikers to hesitate to pledge three or four hundred dollars to keep your team going. Where I come from we had to have a new grand stand two years ago and we called a meeting like this and we raised seven hundred dollars in thirty-five minutes in cash and pledges. There were a lot more of us, but half of us would have felt like Rockefellers if we 'd ever found a whole half-dollar in our pockets! Some of us gave as high as five dollars, but not many. Most of us pledged two dollars; and those who did n’t have two dollars went out and worked until they 'd made it, by jingo! And we got our grand stand up inside of two weeks, in time for the big baseball game.” There was real applause this time and those in the front of the hall had swung about to have a look at the earnest youth who was calling them names. “That 's one way of getting the money,” continued Ned, warming up finely, “but there 's another. Out my way—” “Say, where do you come from?” called Some One. “I come from California,” answered Ned, proudly. “Maybe you 've heard of it!” “Attaboy!” shouted Kewpie. “Swing your leg, Nid!” “When we want to raise some money out there and folks are too stingy to give it outright, we take it away from them another way. We get up a fête. We give them a good time and they pay for it. Why not try it here? I don't know how many folks there are in this burg, but I reckon there are enough to part with three or four hundred dollars. Give them an excuse to spend their money and they 'll spend it!” Ned sat down amid loud applause, and Dave Brewster was recognized, although half a dozen others were clamoring for speech. “Turner 's said something, fellows,” declared Brewster. “The idea 's worth considering. We 've never tackled the town folks for money, and there 's no reason why they should n’t come across. They've come to our games for years without paying a cent, except for the Farview game, and it would n’t hurt them to give a little to a good cause. I don’t know what sort of a fête Turner has in mind, but I should think we might get up something that would do the business.” “Mr. Chairman,” said Kewpie, “I move that a committee of three be appointed by the chair, to include Nid, I mean Mr. Turner, to consider the the matter of giving a fête to raise the money.” “Seconded!” “You have heard the motion,” droned Whipple. “All those in favor will so signify by saying "Aye." Contrary, “No." Moved and carried. I will appoint the presidents of the senior and upper middle classes and Mr. Turner to the committee, three in all. Is it the sense of this meeting that your committee is to report to it at a subsequent meeting, or is it to have authority to proceed with the matter if it decides that the scheme is a good one?” “Full authority, Mr. Chairman!” “Let 'em go ahead with it!” “Sure! That’s what we want. action!” “Is there any other business? declare the meeting adjourned!”
Whipple captured Ned on the way out. “We'd better get together right away on this, Turner,” he said. “Can you meet Cooper and me at my room to-morrow at twelve?” Ned agreed, and he and Laurie and Lee went on. “What I 'd like to know,” remarked Laurie, after a moment's silence, “is how you're going to have a fête in a place like this. The weather 's too cold for it.” “Maybe it will be warmer,” answered Ned, cheerfully. “Besides, we don’t have to have it outdoors.” “It would n’t be a fête if you did n’t,” Sniffed the other. “Well, what 's the difference? Call it anything you like. The big thing is to get the money.” “You had your cheek with you to talk the way you did,” chuckled Laurie. “He talked sense, though,” asserted Lee, warmly. “Of course. The Turners always do.” Laurie steered Ned toward the entrance of East Hall. “Well, good night, Lee. See you at the fête!” Upstairs, Ned tossed his cap to the bed, plumped himself into a chair at the table, and drew paper and pencil to him. “Now,” he said, “let’s figure this out. I’ve got to talk turkey to those fellows to-morrow. What 's your idea, partner?” “Hey, where do you get that stuff?” demanded Laurie. “Why drag me into it? It's not my fête. I don't own it.” “Shut up and sit down there before I punch your head. You ’ve got to help with this. The honor of the Turners is at stake!” So Laurie subsided and for more than an hour he and Ned racked their brains and gradually the plan took shape.
CHAPTER XII THE COMMITTEE ON ARRANGEMENTS
“It 's like this,” explained Ned. He and Laurie and Polly and Mae Ferrand were in the little garden behind the shop. The girls were on the bench and the boys were seated on the turf before the arbor, their knees encircled with their arms. A few yards away Antoinette eyed them gravely and twitched her nose. On the porch step, Towser, the big black cat, blinked benignly, sometimes shifting his gaze to the branches of the maple in the next yard, where an impudent blackand-white woodpecker was seeking a late luncheon. “There are two sub-committees,” continued Ned, earnestly. “Whipple and Cooper are the Committee on Finance and Publicity, and Laurie and I are the Committee on Arrangements. I told them I had to have help and so they took Laurie in.” “No thanks to you,” grumbled Laurie, who was, however, secretly much pleased. “It’s going to be next Saturday afternoon and evening, and this is Tuesday, and so there is n’t much time. We were afraid to make it any later because the weather might get too cold. Besides, the team needs the money right off. I looked in an almanac and it said that next Saturday would be fair and warm, so that 's all right.” “But don't you think almanacs make mistakes sometimes?” asked Polly. “I know ours does. When we had our high-school picnic, the almanac said 'showers' and it was a perfectly gorgeous day. I carried my mackintosh around all day and it was a perfect nuisance. Don’t you remember, Mae?” “Well, you’ve got to believe in something,” declared Ned. “Anyway, we 're going to have it at Bob Starling's, and if it 's too cold outdoors, we 'll move inside.” “You mean at Uncle Peter's?” exclaimed Polly. “Yes. We thought of having it at school first, but Mr. Hillman did n’t like it much; and besides, the fellows would be inside without having to pay to get there! You see, it's going to cost every one a quarter to get in.” “And how much to get out?” asked Mae, innocently. Ned grinned. “As much as we can get away from them. There 'll be twelve booths to sell things in—” “What sort of things?” “All sorts. Eats and drinks and everything. We 're getting the storekeepers to donate things. So far they 've just given us things that they have n’t been able to sell, a pile of junk, but we 're going to stop that. Biddle, the hardware man, gave us a dozen cheap pocket-knives, but he 's got to come across again. We 've been to only eight of them so far, but we have n’t done so worse. Guess we've got enough truck for one booth already. And then there 'll be one of them for a rummage sale. We 're going to get each of the fellows to give us something for that, and I 'll bet we 'll have a fine lot of truck. Each booth will represent a college and be decorated in the proper colors: Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and so on. And—and now it 's your turn, Laurie.”
“Yes, I notice that I always have to do the dirty work,” said the other. He hugged his knees tighter, rolled over on his back for inspiration, and, when he again faced his audience on the bench, smiled his nicest. “Here 's where you girls come in,” he announced. “We want you two to take two of the booths and get a girl for each of the others. Want to?” “Oh, it would be darling!” cried Polly. “I’d love to!” said Mae. “Only—” “Only—” “Only what?” asked Ned, as the girls viewed each other doubtfully. “I 'm not sure Mother would let me,” sighed Polly. “Do you think she would, Mae?” “I don’t believe so. Mama would let me. particular that way.” “Gee!” said Ned, in disappointed tones, “I don’t see why not! It is n’t as if—” “Of course it is n’t,” agreed Laurie. “Besides, your mothers would be there too!” “Would they?” asked Mae, uncertainly. “Of course! Every one's coming! What harm would there be in it? You can do things for—for charity that you can’t do any other time! All you 'd have to do would be just stand behind the booth and sell things. It won't be hard. Everything will have the price marked on it and—” “You won't need to go by the prices always, though,” interpolated Ned. “I mean, if you can get more than the thing is marked, you ’d better do it! And then there 's the the costumes, Laurie.” “Oh, yes, I forgot. We 'd like each girl to sort of wear something that would sort of match the college she represented—sort of,” he explained apologetically. “If you had the Yale booth, you could wear a dark-blue waist, and so on. Do you think that would be possible?” Mae giggled. “We might ask Stella Hatch to take the Harvard booth, Polly. With her hair, she would n’t have to dress much!” “And you and Polly could take your first pick,” observed Laurie, craftily. “You 'd look swell as-as Dartmouth, Mae!” “In green! My gracious, Nod! No, thank you! But Polly ought to be Yale. She looks lovely in blue. I think I’d like to be Cornell. My brother Harry 's in Cornell.” “All right,” agreed Ned. “I wish you 'd
And I don’t believe She-she 's awfully
ask your mothers soon, will you? Do try, because we 've just got to get girls for the booths. You ’d have lots of fun, too. The Banjo and Mandolin Club is going to play for dancing for an hour at five and nine, and there 'll be an enter
does n’t mean much, does it? The ‘Messenger' editor 's agreed to put in an advertisement for us for nothing, and there 'll be notices all around town in the windows; we got the man who prints the school monthly
tainment, too.” “What sort?” asked Polly. “We don't know yet. Some of the gymnastic team will do stunts, I think, for one thing, and there 'll be singing, and maybe Laurie will do some rope-swinging—” “I told you a dozen times I would n’t! Besides, I have n’t any rope.” “We can find one, probably,” replied his brother, untroubled. “We have n’t settled about the entertainment yet. And there are two or three other things we have n’t got to. Starling 's going to have his garden all fixed up, and he 's going to cover the old arbor with branches and hang Chinese lanterns in it and have little tables and chairs there for folks to sit down and eat ice-cream and cake. And that reminds me, Polly. Do you suppose that Miss Comfort would make some cakes for us?”
“Why, yes, Nid, but —but you ’d have to buy them. I don’t think you ought to expect her to donate them.” “We meant to buy them, of course, Polly. And we wondered if your mother would make some of those dandy cream-puffs.” “I’m sure she will. How many would you Want?” “I don't know. You see, there 's no way of telling how many will come. There are three thousand people in Orstead, but that
to do them for just the cost of the paper. So folks ought to come, should n't youthink?” “Oh, I 'm sure they will!” agreed Polly, and Mae echoed her. “But it 'll be dreadfully hard to know how much cake and icecream and refreshments to order, won't it?” “Fierce,” agreed Ned. “I suppose the best way will be to reckon on, say, three hundred and order that much stuff. Only, how do you tell how much they will eat?”
“Why, you just can't! Besides, Nid, three hundred people would only bring in seventy-five dollars!” “In admissions, yes; but we 've got to make them buy things when we get them in there. If every one spent a dollar inside—” “But lots of them won't. Do you think they will, Mae?” Mae shook her head. “No, I don’t. Lots and lots will just come out of curiosity and won't spend a cent. I know, boys, because that 's the way they act at the fairs here.” Ned kicked at the turf gloomily. that 's fierce!” he muttered. “Well, we'd ought to get more than three hundred folks,” said Laurie. “Remember, it 's to be afternoon and evening too. I'll bet there’ll be nearer six hundred than three.” Ned brightened. “That 's so. And six hundred, even if they only averaged fifty cents apiece, would be three hundred dollars. And I guess if we can make three hundred, we can dig up the other fifty! Well, we 've got to get busy, Laurie. I got them to give me a cut from practice this afternoon and I'll have to make the most of my time,” he explained to the girls.
“Oh! And did they let you off, too, Nod?” asked Polly. “No, we 're through with baseball,”
Laurie answered. “No more till spring. I'm just fairly broken-hearted!” “When will you know about helping us, Polly?” Ned asked. “I’ll ask Mother right away; and you 'll ask, too, won't you, Mae? Can you stop in this evening? I do hope it 'll be all right!” “So do we!” said Ned and Laurie, in a breath. “Rather!” And the Committee on Arrangements hurried away. That night the committee met again in Dan Whipple's room in West Hall and satisfactory progress was reported all along the line. Ned read a list of donations from the town merchants, and announced that twelve young ladies from the high school would be on hand, appropriately attired, to take charge of the booths. Lew Cooper showed a proof of the poster that was to go into the windows and to be tacked on posts and fences and of the four-inch, double-column advertisement to appear in the “Messenger.” Dan reported that Mr. Wells, the physical director, had promised to see that the best six members of the gymnastic team should exhibit afternoon and evening.
“That means, though,” he said, “that we 'll have to have some kind of a platform. Better make a note of that, Lew.” “Platforms cost money,” answered Lew, dubiously. “Maybe we can borrow—I 'll tell you what! There 's one stored over in the field-house, one they use to set the dressing-tent on. It 's in two pieces, sections,—but I guess it 's big enough. We 'll see if we can't get the use of it.” “Good! Better ask Mr. Wells. Hal, did you see Norris?” Hal Pringle was Dan's room-mate, and, while he was usually present at the meetings, he was careful to keep himself in the background unless called on for advice. Now he looked up from his book and nodded. “Yes, it 's all right. They 'll play for an hour in the afternoon and an hour at night. I had to promise them eats, though.” “Of course. Much obliged. Speaking of eats, fellows, what 's been done about the refreshments?” “Nothing yet,” answered Ned. “I wanted to talk that over. How many sandwiches and how much salad will we want? And how many gallons of ice-cream and—” “Whoa!” begged Dan. “Blessed if I know! How the dickens are we going to know how much food will be needed? What's the rule about it? Or is n’t there any?” “Depends on how many will attend the show,” said Lew. “Find that out—” “How 're we going to find it out, you chump? How many do you suppose we can count on, Ned?” “Maybe six hundred,” was the answer. “But if it should rain—” “There you are! If it rained, we might n’t get two hundred! I'll say that 's a problem. We 'd be in a fine fix if we found ourselves with two or three freezers of ice-cream on our hands and a lot of other truck. Look here, Tabby might know. Suppose you ask her, Ned. We 've got to have enough and not too much.” “It 'll be all right about the ice-cream,” said Laurie. “The man said we could return what we did n’t open if we got it back that night so he could pack it over. But the other things—” “You talk to Tabby in the morning,” repeated Dan. “She 'll know if any one does. Now what else? What about the entertainment part of it, Mr. Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements? What have you got in mind besides the gymnastics?” “We thought we might find some one who