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So it was with a great deal of anxiety on my own account, and also on account of the little book, that the days passed while I waited the ordeal that would come to me when I faced the admiral of the fleet, toward which we were hurrying. At length one beautiful morning, we sighted land, which Mr. Vernon said was the Long Island; and soon afterward we entered a broad, beautiful bay in which were all manner of ships at anchor, for here lay the English fleet over which Admiral Lord Howe had command. I shall never forget what a wondrous sight, it was. There were many ships of the line, huge, stately vessels with masts that seemed to reach into the blue heavens, and peaceful enough they looked, riding at anchor on the sparkling waters, in spite of the guns showing through the ports. Flags were a-flying everywhere, and boats of all sizes were running from one ship to another, so that the bay had a most busy look. Aboard the Good Will there was much bustling about. Everything had been made clean and bright, the officers all had on their best uniforms, and the sailors, too, were dressed for the occasion. The ship herself was bedecked from stem to stern with flags, and a gay appearance we must have presented, for many cheers came to us as we sailed to our station. As the great ship headed into the wind, the sailors manned the yards and the salutes to the admiral boomed out across the water. We came to rest amid the echoes of the answering guns. •. Immediately Sir John appeared on deck, clad in a gorgeous uniform. A boat was put over the side, and, in a twinkling, our commander was being rowed to the flag-ship to make the report that was to decide my fate. I stood against the bulwarks looking across the water, and watched him mount the ladder and disappear, my heart heavy with the thought of what was to come. I was near to weeping, for I felt my courage ebbing away rapidly and despair taking its place. As I stood there, Mr. Vernon came and leaned on the rail beside me. “Nay, be not so downhearted,” he said, noting the dismal look upon my face; “at worst it will only be a return to England.” “And what could be worse 2'' I cried out. “No one wants me there, and here I am treated like a criminal. None believe what I say. I am badgered and beset till I scarce know what I am about. No one but a fool like Sir John would treat a maid so.” “Nay, get that notion out of your small head,” Mr. Vernon returned. “I 'll grant you he lacks manners, especially to his inferiors; but he 's far
from being a fool, my lady. He is one of the best officers in His Majesty's navy, and Lord Howe thinks much of his opinion.” “In that case I am lost,” I cried. “Sir John will make it out that I am the worst rebel that ever lived.” “Now you are running to the other extreme.” said Mr. Vernon, with a smile. “Lord Howe is no fool either, and, knowing all the circumstances, he is as able as another to put two and two together. He will take Sir John's chagrin and disappointment into consideration when he listens to the tale. I know not how it will turn out, but the admiral can be counted on to deal fairly by all, in so far as any human being is able to do that.” “Do you think Lord Howe will want to see me soon " I asked, for it is ever my desire to be done with disagreeable tasks. “I should expect them to send for you at any minute,” he answered, and then looked at me very critically for a space, so that I wondered what was in his mind. “I hope you will know me the next time we meet, sir,” I said saucily, for his eyes searched me up and down, and I felt embarrassed. “Do not jest,” he returned gravely, “I am thinking of your good. Have you any other gowns o' “Why, yes, to be sure,” I answered, surprised at such a question. “Must I put on my best to visit Lord Howe ?” “Nay,” he returned quickly, “that you must not do; but here is a suggestion I would take were I in your place: put on the plainest dress you have, and, if you can make yourself look younger, I would advise it. How to do it I leave you to contrive, but the more childish you seem, the more likely are you to get your way, for, you see, Sir John will try to make you out older and more responsible than you are, and if you appear very young, that will be a point in your favor at once.” I understood, and saw the wisdom of his suggestion. Since I had been on the ship, it had been my desire to seem older perhaps than I really was; for, though I think I was not a very vain or silly girl, I confess I had spared no pains to make myself appear grown up. It was but natural, as I was the only child among many who were older. To effect this I had always worn my richest petticoats and ruffles and tuckers, and dressed my hair as much like Aunt Prudence's as I could manage, though, to be sure, I had never dared to powder it. To make myself look younger than I had appeared on the Good Will was not difficult, for I had little calamanco smocks a-plenty, for morning wear about the house. In one of these, with my hair in curls, I would look
child-like enough. “Oh, thank you, Mr. Vernon,” I said to him.
“I see what you would be at, and shall make my
self ready at once,” and I was about to go to my
cabin when he spoke again. “Oh, another thing, Mistress Beatrice " he cautioned. “Do not be saucy nor talk back.
The boat fairly danced over the water, and when at length I was landed on the flag-ship, I was taken at once below and ushered into a splendid cabin. Here were seated many officers, among whom was Sir John, and there was some talking going forward, for those who were with me held me at the entrance till an opportune moment should present itself for me to enter.
Tears are much more becoming to a child, under some circumstances, and the admiral is not Sir John.”
“I understand,” I replied, “but Sir John angers
me so that "t is all I can do to hold my tongue. You know they call me Bee at home, not only because it 's short for Beatrice, but because Hal says I have a little sting, which is my tongue; but I shall try to keep it in check,” and with that I ran off to change my dress. I was scarce ready when the summons came, and I went at once on deck to find a boat awaiting to take me to the flag-ship. Mr. Vernon saw me, and there was a twinkle in his eye. “'T is capital " he whispered as I passed him, and I felt somewhat heartened as I went down over the side and started off to learn my fate.
I knew at once which must be Lord Howe, for he sat at the head of the table, and those about him showed plainly that his was the deciding voice in all matters. Presently at a lull in the talk I was brought forward, and the man in charge of me told them who I was. At once there was a craning of necks, as I stood before them looking as demure as I could. For a moment there was silence, and then, as if at a signal, they all burst into a roar of laughter, all, that is, save Sir John and Lord Howe, though there was a smile about the latter's lips. “And is this the blood-thirsty rebel you captured, Sir John P” one gentleman called out, slapping the table with his open hand. “Had we not better have a company of marines to guard us from so dangerous a foe, Your Lordship 2"
“My faith, Sir John " cried another, “’t is well you had the Good Is 'ill. Any smaller ship would scarce have done for so daring an enterprise.” I looked at Sir John, and his face was wellnigh purple with rage. “'T is a trick " he shouted above the laughter. “The vixen is older than she looks.” “Gentlemen gentlemen " called Lord Howe from the top of the table, and at once there was quiet. “Come hither,” he went on in the most kindly voice, and I stepped forward at once and stood beside him. “How old are you, little maid” he asked at length, and I answered truthfully that I was twelve. “You scarce look so old,” he replied, and then, to Sir John, “but even twelve is no great age, think you?” At that there was renewed merriment at Sir John's expense, and, though I could have laughed with joy to see him so baited, I kept a straight face and lowered eyes. “And now, my child,” Lord Howe said, “suppose you tell us how you came to be upon this rebel ship.” Amid silence, for all about the table seemed much interested in what I was saying, I told once more the tale of my coming to the Americas and the reasons for it. That my story was believed, in the main at least, was shown by the remarks that went around the table in regard to Mr. Van der Helst's behavior to me, and there were even several who blamed Granny for having let me go at all. But ere long, Sir John cut in harshly. “Your Lordship,” he said, “I submit that this tale is scarce plausible. However, the point is
this: I am convinced that the maid is the bearer
of certain advices from those aboard the ship to those on land. How important those advices are we all know. I thought of course that she carried a written message, but, having searched her effects thoroughly and found nothing, I can only conclude that they planned to convey the news through her by word of mouth, not daring to trust the written document with her.” “Nay, Your Lordship, I carry no such message,” I burst out ere they questioned me; and this was true, for I knew not at all what the purport of the letter was, and it certainly was not sent by word of mouth. “And I respectfully submit,” said one gentleman thoughtfully, “that they would hardly have sent a messenger into the lion's mouth.” “The girl's truthfulness is already in question.” Sir John cut in harshly. “By a lucky accident we discovered that the ‘old Mr. Travers' she talked of was in fact a young man and a very active rebel. Those who made up the tale for her evidently did not count upon our having any one on board who knew Mr. Travers, and thought that her story would go unquestioned. If, therefore, we have found her tale false in one particular, what can we believe? Moreover, why run the risk? My suggestion is that under any circumstances we send her back to England without allowing her any communication with those on shore. She was found on a rebel ship, and I have no doubt she is a rebel spy. Surely there is enough treason in that book of hers to convict a dozen.” “Aye, that book,” said Lord Howe, musingly; “I should like to see it.” Then for the first time in a week I saw my little volume of Maxims, as one of Sir John's aids handed it to the admiral.
F Ew of the boys who read this article will become BigLeague pitchers. The majority of them probably have no such ambition. But nearly all boys play ball, and almost all boy players wish, at some time, to be pitchers. The first necessity for a - pitcher is to have control of the ball. That can't be emphasized too strongly. A boy may be able to throw all the curves imaginable, but if he can't put the ball where he wants it, the batters keep walking around the bases, and he will never win any ball games. Therefore, I would, first of all, advise my young readers to practise accuracy, until they can place the ball just where they want to send it. Let them pitch to another boy, with a barn or a fence as a back-stop, and try to put one high, over the inside of the plate, the next low over the inside, and then high over the outside, and again low over the outside; and keep up this practice patiently until mastery of the control of the ball is obtained. A boy will find that even if he can't
pitch a curve, but has good control, he will be
able to win many more ball games than if he has a lot of benders, but no ability to put the ball where he wants it. There used to be a pitcher in the American League named “Al” Orth, who was called the “Curveless Wonder,” because, it was said, he could n't throw a curve ball. But he had almost perfect control, and was able to pitch the ball exactly where he thought it would be hardest for the batter to hit it. The result was that, for several years, he was one of the best pitchers in the American League, with nothing but his control to fall back upon. But he studied the weaknesses
MATH EVV SON
of batters carefully—that is, he was constantly on the alert to discover what sort of a ball each batter could n't hit—and then he pitched in this “groove,” as it is called in base-ball. When I was a boy about eight or nine years old, I lived in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, a little country town ; and I had a cousin, older than I, who was always studying the theory of throwing. I used to throw flat stones with him, and he would show me (I suppose almost every boy knows) that if a flat stone is started with the flat surface parallel to the ground, it will always turn over before it lands. That is, after it loses its speed, and the air-cushion fails to support it, the stone will turn over and drop down. The harder it is thrown, the longer the air sustains it, and the farther it will carry before it drops. My cousin showed me, also, that, if the hand were turned over, and the flat stone started with the flat surface at an acute angle to the earth, instead of parallel to it, the stone, instead of dropping, would curve horizontally. I began to practise this throw, and to make all sorts of experiments with stones. I got to be a great stone thrower, and this practice increased my throwing power, and taught me something about curves. When I was nine years old, I could throw a stone farther than any of the boys who were my chums. Then I used to go out in the woods and throw at squirrels and blackbirds, and even sparrows; and many a bagful of game I got with stones. But, when aiming at game, I always used round stones, as these can be thrown more accurately. All this time I was practising with stones, mainly for amusement; I had n't played any baseball, except “one old cat,” with boys of my own age. As a matter of fact, I did n't think much about base-ball. Gradually, however, I became interested in it, and before long, I was allowed to stand behind the catcher when the Factoryville team was playing, and “shag" foul balls, or carry the bats or the water. For I was born with the base-ball instinct, and a “mascot,” or bat-boy, is the rôle in which many a ball-player has made his Start. This Factoryville nine was composed of grown men, and it was not uncommon for small town teams to wear whiskers in those days. Many of the players, too, were really fat men. But, boylike, I felt very important in being “connected with" this pretentious-looking club. My official name was “second catcher,” which entitled me to no place in the batting order, but gave me a chance at all foul balls and other misplaced hits that none of the regular nine could reach. If I happened to catch a wild foul ball, I would often hear the spectators say, “That 's a pretty good kid. He 'll make a ball-player some day.” But if I missed one, then it would be: “That kid 's pretty bad. He 'll never be a ball-player " So, at the age of ten, I became a known factor in the base-ball circles of Factoryville, and might be said to have started on my career. My next step was learning to throw a curve with a base-ball, and one of the pitchers on the town team undertook to show me how this was done. He taught me to hold the ball for an outcurve, and then to snap my wrist to attain the desired result. After considerable practice, I managed to curve the ball, but I never knew where it was going. I used to get another youngster, a little younger than I, up against a barn, with a big glove, and pitch to him for hours. At last, I attained fair control over this curve, and then I began practising what is known in the Big Leagues as “the fast ball,” but what most boys call an “in-curve.” Every boy knows that, if he grips a ball tightly and then throws it, with all his speed, off the ends of his fingers, the ball will curve in toward a right-handed batter slightly. This curve is easy to accomplish, as it is merely a matter of speed and letting the ball slide straight off the ends of the fingers, – the most natural way to throw. It does not require any snap of the wrist, but the bend of the curve is naturally slight, and that is the reason most Big Leaguers call it a fast ball, and do not recognize it as a curve. At the age of twelve, having no designs on the Big League, I called it the “in-curve,” and reckoned, with some pride, that I could throw two curves—the “out” and the “in.” I first began playing ball on a team when I was twelve, but most of the other boys were older than I, and, as pitcher was considered to be the
most important position, one of the older boys always took the job without even giving me a tryout. In fact, they thought that I was altogether too good a pitcher for my age, because I had considerable speed, and it was natural that several of the older boys did n't want to see the “kid” get along too fast. So they put me in right field, on the theory that “anybody can play right field.” I was not much of a ball-player, outside of being a pitcher, and it must be confessed that I never showed up brilliantly with that boy team. I could catch flies only fairly well, could throw hard and straight, and was pretty good at chasing the balls that got away from me; but I was n’t a good hitter, and probably for just one reason. I was what is known as a “cross-handed” batter, and the experts will all tell you that this is a cardinal sin in a batsman. It means that I stood up to the plate as a right-handed batter does, but put my left hand on top of my right, which greatly reduces the chances of hitting the ball when a man swings at it. All boys should be careful to avoid this cross-handed method of holding the bat. It is a great weakness. No one that I played with knew enough to tell me to turn around and bat left-handed, or that I was probably, by nature, a left-handed hitter. I would advise any boys who have this fault to try hitting left-handed, and if this does not prove successful, to practise keeping the right hand on top until they are able to swing that way. No one will ever be a good ball-player who hits in the clumsy, cross-handed style. I believe I got the habit from hoeing, and chopping wood, and performing some of the other chores that a country boy is called upon to do. At all events, it “came natural,” as the saying is, for me to hold my left hand on top of my right when doing any work of that kind. The result was, that I batted as if I were hoeing potatoes, and seldom obtained a hit. Once in a while, I would connect with the ball, in my awkward, cross-handed style, and it would always be a long wallop, because I was a big, husky, country boy; but more often I ignominiously struck out. So it will be seen that my real base-ball start was not very auspicious. But, even then, I would rather play base-ball than eat, and that is the spirit all boys need who expect to be good players. When I was fourteen years old, the pitcher on the Factoryville team was taken ill one day, just before a game with a nine from a town a few miles away, and the contest was regarded as very important in both villages. Our second pitcher was away on a visit, and so Factoryville was “up against it” for a