Изображения страниц
PDF

back thirty yards, eluding half the Crofton team, and placed it on her forty-five-yard line. Crofton's defense was now severely tested. Gould gave the ball to his backs, and twice Hawthorne made first down by short line plunges. The vulnerable spot in Crofton's defense was at left tackle, where Parker, willing though he was, lacked experience and weight. On her twenty-five-yard line, Crofton stiffened up, and Gould tried a forward pass that proved illegal. A plunge at center gave the ball to Crofton, and Arnold punted on the first down. Gould caught the ball, and was promptly laid on his back by Gil. A penalty for holding forced Hawthorne back to her thirty yards. Gould tried an end run that gained but seven yards, and then punted. Crofton made three yards through right tackle, and then Arnold got off a beautiful forward pass to Gil, and the latter, by squirming and crowding, finally reached Hawthorne's twenty-yard line. Two rushes failed to gain much distance, and Arnold dropped back to the thirty-yard line, and, with every watcher holding his breath, drop-kicked the oval over the cross-bar. It was Crofton's turn to exult, and exult she did, while from the opposite side of the gridiron, Hawthorne hurled defiance. A moment later the first half ended, the score 9 to 6; Crofton ahead by three points. Jim returned to his party on the seats and squeezed himself down beside Jeffrey, looking very serious. “Is n't it just glorious?” cried Hope, her cheeks crimson and her hair, loosened by the breeze, fluttering about her face. “Glorious?” laughed her brother. “Yes, it is " “Can we hold them, do you think?" asked Jeffrey. Jim shook his head. “I don't know. I heard Johnny tell Duncan Sargent a minute ago that he 'd give a hundred dollars if the game were

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[graphic]

“Jim, I hope we just—just gobble them up this half,” said Hope. “Gobble them up?” repeated Mr. Hanks. “Is that—er—a foot-ball term, or do you use the phrase metaphorically?” “She means eat 'em alive, sir,” laughed Jeffrey. “We won't do that,” said Jim, with a shake of his head. “All we can hope to do is hold them where they are. Is n’t Gil playing a peach of a game? And Poke, too? Did you see him go through for that touch-down? He was like a human battering-ram ''' “How 's Gary doing?” asked Jeffrey. “Putting up a great game; playing a heap better than Sargent, I think. But I suppose that 's natural enough. Sargent 's captain, and that always puts a chap off his game, they say. If I was that Hawthorne quarter, I 'd plug away at Parker and Sargent, and I'll bet I'd make some bully gains.” “They probably will this half,” said Jeffrey. “Their coach has probably seen just what you have. Somebody ought to tell Gould, too, that he is punting too low. He does n’t give his ends a chance to get down the field. We 've gained every time on exchange of kicks.” At that moment a voice cried, “Hazard | Hazard | Is Hazard here?" Jim jumped to his feet and answered. A substitute player in a much begrimed uniform ran up. “Johnny wants to see you at the gym,” he called. “Right away !” “What the dickens does he want?” muttered Jim. “Keep my seat for me, Jeff.” He found the locker-room in wild confusion. Rubbers were busy with strains and bruises; twenty fellows were talking at once; the air was heavy with the fumes of alcohol and liniment. Johnny was deep in conversation with captain and manager. “You wanted to see me?” asked Jim, pushing his way through the crowd. “Yes, I do' Look here, Hazard, where do you stand?” “Stand P” “Yes,” replied Johnny, impatiently. there any way you can play this half 7" “I'm afraid not,” answered Jim. “Mr. Gordon wired that I 'd have to take an exam before I could play.” “You did n’t take it?” “No, sir. There was n't any way to take it that I knew of.” Johnny looked at Sargent questioningly. “You would n’t risk it, would you?” he asked, in a low voice. Sargent shook his head emphatically. Vol. XXXIX. —75.

[ocr errors]

“I 'd be afraid to. J. G. 's a tartar about that sort of thing. Better try Needham.” “All right.” Johnny nodded to Jim. “Sorry. Thought maybe you could manage somehow to help us out. Better not go against the faculty, though.” “I 'm willing to risk it if you need me,” replied Jim, quietly. “I won't have it,” said Sargent, decisively. “You ’d get fired as sure as fate, Hazard. Much obliged, just the same.” “Time 's up !” called Johnny. Jim walked back to the field despondently. If they had given him any encouragement, he told himself, he 'd have risked J. G.'s displeasure and played. When he reached his seat, Jeffrey asked: “What was it, Jim 2" “Nothing much. Johnny thought maybe I could play in this half. They 're taking Parker out. Needham 's going in. He will be twice as bad as Parker, I guess.” “Did n't Johnny know?” “About me? Yes, but he seemed to think I might have taken an exam. I don't see how I could have, do you?” Jeffrey shook his head. “No, I don't.” Jim glanced along to find Mr. Hanks peering interestedly through his spectacles. “Do I understand, Jim,” he asked, “that you could play if you passed an examination?” “Yes, sir, I suppose so. That 's what Mr. Gordon wired, you know.” “Do they–er—need you, do you think?” “They seem to think so,” answered Jim. “They want a fellow to take Parker's place.” “Well—well—” Mr. Hanks's eyes snapped behind the thick lenses of his glasses—“do you think you could pass an examination now P” “Now!” exclaimed Jim. “Why—why—do you mean—” “I mean now!” repeated Mr. Hanks, crisply. “Now and here !” “Yes, sir!” “Then I'll examine you, and if you pass—” “Jeff,” cried Jim, as he jumped to his feet, “run over and tell Johnny to find some one to take my place on the line. Tell him I 'm taking my exam Tell him to get me some togs, and I'll be ready to play in-” he stopped and looked at Mr. Hanks. “Fifteen minutes 1" said the instructor.

. CHAPTER XIV JIM PASSES AN EXAMINATION

HAwTHoRNE began to hammer the left side of Crofton's line at the start. Gould hurled his backs time and again at Needham and Sargent. Gain after gain was made, Needham proving no harder to penetrate than Parker had been. Sargent was a tougher proposition, but even he was weakening. The first ten minutes of the third quarter was a rout for Crofton. From their forty yards to Crofton's twenty-five, the Hawthorne players swept, and then, just when success seemed within their grasp, a fumble lost them the ball. Poke reeled off twelve yards through the center of the Hawthorne line, and Smith and Benson plugged away for another down. Then Hawthorne held stubbornly, and Arnold kicked. After that, Hawthorne came back again, slowly but surely, banging the left guard and tackle positions for gain on gain, and now and then sending Gould on an end run for the sake of variety. Both teams were tiring now, and the playing was slower. Smith was hurt, and a substitute went in for him. With two minutes of the third period remaining, the ball was down on Crofton's eighteen-yard line, and the crimson-and-gray was almost in her last ditch. Had Gould chosen to try a goal from field there, he might have tied the score, but the plucky little general was out for a victory and insisted on a touch-down. He himself took the ball for a plunge through left tackle, and got by for three yards. Then a delayed pass went wrong, and before another play could be brought off, the whistle sounded. At that minute, over behind a corner of the Crofton grand stand, Mr. Hanks nodded his head twice. “You pass, Hazard,” he said. Five minutes later, Johnny had Jim by the arm, and was leading him along the side-line. “Wait till this play is over,” he said. “Then go in for Needham. Get the jump on those fellows and break it up ! Understand? Break it up ! You can do it; any one can with an ounce of ginger. There you are Scoot ” And Jim scooted “Left tackle, sir!” he cried to the umpire. That official nodded. Needham, panting and weak, yielded his head-gear and walked off to receive his meed of cheering. Arnold thumped Jim on the back ecstatically. “Oh, look who 's here !” he yelled shrilly. “Well, well, well ! Now let's stop 'em, Crofton " “Look out for the left half on a cross-buck,” whispered Sargent from between swollen lips. “And get low, Hazard. We 've got to get this, you know; we've got to get it !” “All right,” answered Jim, quietly, eying his antagonist shrewdly. “Here 's where we put 'em out of business.” “Hello, son,” said the opposing tackle as the

lines set again. “How 'd they let you in P Watch out now, I 'm coming through '" But he did n't. Jim beat him by a fraction of a second, and was pushing him back before he knew what had happened. Sargent, having no longer to play two positions, braced wonderfully. In three plays Hawthorne discovered that the left of her opponent's line was no longer a gateway. Learning that fact cost her the possession of the ball, for she missed her distance by a halffoot. Crofton hurled Poke at left guard, and piled him through for four yards. Then came a mix-up in the signals in which Smith's substitute hit Hawthorne's line without the ball. Arnold kicked, but his leg was getting tired, and Gould got the oval twenty yards down the field. On Crofton's forty-yard mark, Gould got off a short forward pass that took the team over two white lines. Then an end run netted nothing, and again Gould kicked. Benson got under the ball, caught it, dropped it, tried to recover it, and was bowled aside by a Hawthorne forward, who snuggled the pigskin beneath him on Crofton's twelve-yard line. Two plunges netted nothing, and Gould fell back for a kick from the twenty-eight-yard line. Although half the Crofton team managed to break through, and though Gil absolutely tipped the ball with his fingers, the oval flew fair. and square across the bar, and Hawthorne had again tied the score | With only three minutes to play, the teams took their places, and Sargent kicked off. Gil and Tearney again downed Gould in his tracks. A try at a forward pass failed, and an on-side kick went out at Crofton's forty-five yards. The ball was brought in, and Arnold pegged at Hawthorne's center for twelve yards. A fumble by Gil was recovered by a Hawthorne end, and again the orange-and-black started for the Crofton goal. But there was little time left now, and along the side-lines it was agreed that the contest would end in a tie. When two minutes remained and the ball was in Hawthorne's possession on her opponent's thirty-eight yards, after two exchanges of punts, Gould dashed off around Gil's end of the line, and, with good interference, gained almost fifteen yards. Hawthorne took heart at this, and her cheers boomed across the field. A plunge at right tackle gave her five more. Then the unexpected happened. Gould dropped back into kicking position, but when the ball went to him, he poised it, and waited to find his end to make a forward pass. Jim, hurling himself past his opponent, dodged a back, and before Gould could get the ball away, was upon him. Down went the little quarter, and away bobbed the ball. An instant of wild scrambling, and then Jim was on his feet again, the ball was scooped up into his arms, and he was off with a clear field ahead | After him came the pursuit, foe and friend alike strung back along the gridiron. Past the fifty-five-yard line, and still well ahead, Jim edged in toward the middle of the field. Then Gould, making what was his pluckiest effort of all that long, hard-fought game, almost reached him. But behind Gould was Gil, and Gil it was who, just as the quarter-back's arms stretched out to bring Jim to earth, threw himself in front of the enemy. Over they went together, rolling and kicking, and Jim, with his breath almost gone, staggered and fell across the goal-line.

WHAT if Andy LaGrange, called on to kick the goal in place of Sargent, did miss it by yards

and yards? The game was won 1 For another year the crimson-and-gray held the championship ! Crofton was still shouting, still waving, still cavorting, when LaGrange missed that goal, and still at it when, after two plays, the final whistle sounded. Hope, standing on the seat, flourished her flag wildly. “Is n't it perfectly jimmy?” she cried, looking down at Mr. Hanks and her mother. Mr. Hanks, beaming with satisfaction through his spectacles, assented. “It is. We—er—as you would say, gobbled them up !’” “Did n't we just? And did n't Jim do beautifully, Mr. Hanks?” Mr. Hanks nodded slowly. “Yes,” he replied, "your brother passed a very creditable, if somewhat hurried, examination.”

THE END.

A thoughtful little FRIEND: “come on IN, Hippo

the water 's FINE 1 ''

[graphic]

BY EMILIE BENSON KNIPE AND ALDEN ARTHUR KNIPE

CHAPTER X IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY

As I stood amid the young officers aboard the Good Will, I felt much embarrassed, as my blushing face must have shown, for one of them stepped forward and addressed me most politely: “You must excuse our manners, Mistress— Mistress—” “My name is Beatrice Travers,” I said. “And mine is plain Guy Vernon, at your service,” he returned. “These others are mostly lords of one sort or another, and, as you are like to be with us for some time, ’t is fitting you should know them.” Whereupon, with much ceremony and many low bows, he named them one after another. Each in his turn doffed his hat to me, and I courtesied the best I knew ; and though, perhaps, there was a smile here and there among them, they did not mock me, and behaved as English gentlemen should to one who had come among them, e'en though it was from a rebel ship. T is fitting that I should say here that, while I was on the Good Will, these young officers treated me with every kindness, and one, indeed, proved a friend in need. Once more, after this introduction, they began to ask me questions, but were again cut short by the officer who had brought me aboard. He was Lord Bedford, heir to one of the great dukedoms, but 't was not on that account that his commands were heeded. “'T is gloomy weather when Bedford 's in charge,” Mr. Vernon explained. “He is so monstrous earnest.” “One would think 't was a real war to see him act the martinet,” exclaimed another. “And is it not a real war?” I asked in surprise, at which they all laughed heartily. “Nay, Mistress Travers,” said Mr. Vernon, smiling; “it hath all the words of a war, I grant you, and there have been many declarations of this or that; but what can a few colonists do without an army, without a navy, and without a leader? 'T is no war, but a lark; and I, for one, hope they come early to their senses, for I have visited among them and like their ways. When all 's said and done, they 're Englishmen, like the rest of us, and it 's far from pleasant to have to kill your brothers because they have taken wry notions into their heads.” “Enough, Vernon,” one of them called. “Stop

your talk of politics and your croaking that there will be no war. Send it may last long enough to gain promotion for some of us at least. Otherwise these old topers of the quarter-deck will live forever.” Then they all began to talk among themselves, and divided into little groups, for 't was evident that they would have to wait to satisfy their curiosity. “Vernon,” said Lord Bedford, “I will leave the prisoner in your care, to be produced when Sir John is ready to receive her.” And with that he, too, went off. “'T is a weighty charge,” said Mr. Vernon, seriously. “May I ask you, Mistress Prisoner, to give me your word that you will not try to escape, otherwise I fear I shall have to put you in irons.” “Am I really a prisoner?” I asked. “You heard the earnest Bedford,” Mr. Vernon replied; “but 't is not likely you can escape far from the ship, and aboard here we are so crowded, there is scarce room for a mouse to hide. The truth is we 're no war-ship, but a transport. T will be a comfort when we join the fleet and get rid of these landlubbers.” With that, Mr. Vernon led me below to a large cabin, and, after some trouble, I fancy, he found me a sleeping place which, though but a cubbyhole, was comfortable enough for one small maid. I then asked to have my portmanteau, but that was denied me until my interview with the great Sir John should be over. Of him I had some fear, for in our talk Mr. Vernon dropped a hint now and then that the commander was not all a gentleman should be; that with his inferiors he was like to be a boor, while he was servile to those above him. It was nigh eleven o'clock when, at last, I was summoned before the great man, and, as I went, Mr. Vernon gave me a final word of caution. “I wish, Mistress Beatrice, for the credit of the navy, that you were going before another than Sir John, but here 's a hint: don't seem to fear him, or he will try to crush you. Take your courage in your two hands and talk back to him. If, by any chance, you have a relation with a title hooked to his name, let it out early; 't will help. Now go, and good luck to you.” It was with a beating heart that I entered the cabin where a group of older officers stood about the head of the table, at which was seated a coarse, red-faced man, whom I rightly took to be

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »