Page images



back thirty yards, eluding half the Crofton team, If Hawthorne pounded away at the left and placed it on her forty-five-yard line. Crof- side of our line, she could gain like anything. ton's defense was now severely tested. Gould Parker 's doing the best he can, but he can't gave the ball to his backs, and twice Hawthorne stop them." Then he turned to Mr. Hanks, and made first down by short line plunges. The vul- asked him: "How do you like the game, sir ?" nerable spot in Crofton's defense

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

“HE WAS OFF WITH A CLEAR FIELD AHEAD !" (SEE PAGE 595.) on the seats and squeezed himself down beside Jeffrey, looking very serious. "Very much indeed. 1-I find myself quite in

“Is n't it just glorious ?" cried Hope, her cheeks terested. Hope has been instructing me in the crimson and her hair, loosened by the breeze, -er - fine points, but I fear she has found me a fluttering about her face.

very stupid pupil." “Glorious ?" laughed her brother. “Yes, it is !" "Well, I don't think I can give you more than

"Can we hold them, do you think?" asked Jef- a C," laughed Hope. "And Mama gets a D minus. frey.

Awhile ago she wanted to know why the tall man Jim shook his head. “I don't know. I heard in the white sweater did n't play harder.” Johnny tell Duncan Sargent a minute ago that "Well, nobody told me he was the re he'd give a hundred dollars if the game were whatever he is," declared Mrs. Hazard, smilingly.

[ocr errors]


"Jim, I hope we just - just gobble them up this “I 'd be afraid to. J. G. 's a tartar about that half,” said Hope.

sort of thing. Better try Needham." "Gobble them up?" repeated Mr. Hanks. "Is "All right.” Johnny nodded to Jim. "Sorry. that-er-a foot-ball term, or do you use the Thought maybe you could manage somehow to phrase metaphorically?"

help us out. Better not go against the faculty, “She means eat 'em alive, sir," laughed Jef- though.” frey.

"I 'm willing to risk it if you need me,” re"We won't do that,” said Jim, with a shake of plied Jim, quietly. his head. “All we can hope to do is hold them "I won't have it," said Sargent, decisively. where they are. Is n't Gil playing a peach of a "You 'd get fired as sure as fate, Hazard. Much game? And Poke, too? Did you see him go obliged, just the same.” through for that touch-down? He was like a "Time 's up!” called Johnny. human battering-ram!"

Jim walked back to the field despondently. If "How 's Gary doing?" asked Jeffrey.

they had given him any encouragement, he told “Putting up a great game; playing a heap bet- himself, he 'd have risked J. G.'s displeasure and ter than Sargent, I think. But I suppose that 's played. When he reached his seat, Jeffrey asked: natural enough. Sargent 's captain, and that "What was it, Jim?" always puts a chap off his game, they say. If I "Nothing much. Johnny thought maybe I could was that Hawthorne quarter, I 'd plug away at play in this half. They 're taking Parker out. Parker and Sargent, and I 'll bet I'd make some Needham 's going in. He will be twice as bad bully gains."

as Parker, I guess." "They probably will this half,” said Jeffrey. "Did n't Johnny know?" “Their coach has probably seen just what you "About me? Yes, but he seemed to think I have. Somebody ought to tell Gould, too, that might have taken an exam. I don't see how I he is punting too low. He does n't give his ends could have, do you?" a chance to get down the field. We 've gained Jeffrey shook his head. "No, I don't." Jim every time on exchange of kicks."

glanced along to find Mr. Hanks peering interAt that moment a voice cried, “Hazard ! Haz- estedly through his spectacles. ard! Is Hazard here ?"

"Do I understand, Jim,” he asked, "that you Jim jumped to his feet and answered. A sub- could play if you passed an examination?” stitute player in a much begrimed uniform ran “Yes, sir, I suppose so. That 's what Mr. Gorup. “Johnny wants to see you at the gym," he don wired, you know.”' called. "Right away !"

“Do they-er-need you, do you think?" “What the dickens does he want?" muttered “They seem to think so," answered Jim. "They Jim. "Keep my seat for me, Jeff.”

want a fellow to take Parker's place." He found th locker-room in wild confusion. "Well-well—” Mr. Hanks's eyes snapped beRubbers were busy with strains and bruises; hind the thick lenses of his glasses— "do you twenty fellows were talking at once; the air was think you could pass an examination now ?" heavy with the fumes of alcohol and liniment. "Now!exclaimed Jim. "Why-why-do you Johnny was deep in conversation with captain meanand manager.

"I mean now!" repeated Mr. Hanks, crisply. "You wanted to see me?” asked Jim, pushing “Now and here !" his way through the crowd.

“Yes, sir!" "Yes, I do! Look here, Hazard, where do you “Then I 'll examine you, and if you pass—" stand?"

"Jeff," cried Jim, as he jumped to his feet, "Stand?"

"run over and tell Johnny to find some one to "Yes," replied Johnny, impatiently. "Is n't take my place on the line. Tell him I 'm taking there any way you can play this half?”

my exam !

Tell him to get me some togs, and "I 'm afraid not,” answered Jim. "Mr. Gordon I 'll be ready to play in-" he stopped and looked wired that I 'd have to take an exam before I at Mr. Hanks. could play.”

"Fifteen minutes !" said the instructor. "You did n't take it?" “No, sir. There was n't any way to take it

CHAPTER XIV that I knew of.

JIM PASSES AN EXAMINATION Johnny looked at Sargent questioningly. “You would n't risk it, would you ?” he asked, in a low HAWTHORNE began to hammer the left side of voice. Sargent shook his head emphatically. Crofton's line at the start. Gould hurled his backs


time and again at Needham and Sargent. Gain lines set again. "How 'd they let you in? Watch after gain was made, Needham proving no harder out now, I 'm coming through!" to penetrate than Parker had been. Sargent was But he did n’t. Jim beat him by a fraction of a tougher proposition, but even he was weaken- a second, and was pushing him back before he ing. The first ten minutes of the third quarter knew what had happened. Sargent, having no was a rout for Crofton. From their forty yards longer to play two positions, braced wonderfully. to Crofton's twenty-five, the Hawthorne players In three plays Hawthorne discovered that the swept, and then, just when success seemed within left of her opponent's line was no longer a gatetheir grasp, a fumble lost them the ball. Poke way. Learning that fact cost her the possession reeled off twelve yards through the center of the of the ball, for she missed her distance by a halfHawthorne line, and Smith and Benson plugged foot. Crofton hurled Poke at left guard, and away for another down. Then Hawthorne held piled him through for four yards. Then came a stubbornly, and Arnold kicked. After that, Haw- mix-up in the signals in which Smith's substitute thorne came back again, slowly but surely, bang- hit Hawthorne's line without the ball. Arnold ing the left guard and tackle positions for gain kicked, but his leg was getting tired, and Gould on gain, and now and then sending Gould on an got the oval twenty yards down the field. On end run for the sake of variety. Both teams Crofton's forty-yard mark, Gould got off a short were tiring now, and the playing was slower. forward pass that took the team over two white Smith was hurt, and a substitute went in for him. lines. Then an end run netted nothing, and again With two minutes of the third period remaining, Gould kicked. Benson got under the ball, caught the ball was down on Crofton's eighteen-yard it, dropped it, tried to recover it, and was bowled line, and the crimson-and-gray was almost in her aside by a Hawthorne forward, who snuggled the last ditch. Had Gould chosen to try a goal from pigskin beneath him on Crofton's twelve-yard field there, he might have tied the score, but the line. Two plunges netted nothing, and Gould fell plucky little general was out for a victory and back for a kick from the twenty-eight-yard line. insisted on a touch-down. He himself took the Although half the Crofton team managed to ball for a plunge through left tackle, and got by break through, and though Gil absolutely tipped for three yards. Then a delayed pass went the ball with his fingers, the oval flew fair, and wrong, and before another play could be brought square across the bar, and Hawthorne had again off, the whistle sounded.

tied the score ! At that minute, over behind a corner of the With only three minutes to play, the teams Crofton grand stand, Mr. Hanks nodded his head took their places, and Sargent kicked off. Gil twice.

and Tearney again downed Gould in his tracks. “You pass, Hazard,” he said.

A try at a forward pass failed, and an on-side Five minutes later, Johnny had Jim by the arm, kick went out at Crofton's forty-five yards. The and was leading him along the side-line.

ball was brought in, and Arnold pegged at Haw"Wait till this play is over," he said. “Then thorne's center for twelve yards. A fumble by go in for Needham. Get the jump on those fel- Gil was recovered by a Hawthorne end, and lows and break it up! Understand? Break it again the orange-and-black started for the Crofup! You can do it; any one can with an ounce ton goal. But there was little time left now, and of ginger. There you are! Scoot!"

along the side-lines it was agreed that the conAnd Jim scooted !

test would end in a tie. When two minutes re"Left tackle, sir !” he cried to the umpire. mained and the ball was in Hawthorne's possesThat official nodded. Needham, panting and sion on her opponent's thirty-eight yards, after weak, yielded his head-gear and walked off to two exchanges of punts, Gould dashed off around receive his meed of cheering. Arnold thumped Gil's end of the line, and, with good interference, Jim on the back ecstatically.

gained almost fifteen yards. Hawthorne took "Oh, look who's here !” he yelled shrilly. heart at this, and her cheers boomed across the "Well, well, well! Now let 's stop 'em, Crofton!” field. A plunge at right tackle gave her five

"Look out for the left half on a cross-buck," more. Then the unexpected happened. whispered Sargent from between swollen lips. Gould dropped back into kicking position, but “And get low, Hazard. We 've got to get this, when the ball went to him, he poised it, and you know; we've got to get it!"

waited to find his end to make a forward pass. "All right,” answered Jim, quietly, eying his Jim, hurling himself past his opponent, dodged antagonist shrewdly. “Here 's where we put 'em a back, and before Gould could get the ball away, out of business."

was upon him. Down went the little quarter, and “Hello, son," said the opposing tackle as the away bobbed the ball. An instant of wild scrambling, and then Jim was on his feet again, the and yards? The game was won! For another ball was scooped up into his arms, and he was year the crimson-and-gray held the championoff with a clear field ahead!

ship! After him came the pursuit, foe and friend Crofton was still shouting, still waving, still alike strung back along the gridiron. Past the cavorting, when LaGrange missed that goal, and fifty-five-yard line, and still well ahead, Jim still at it when, after two plays, the final whistle edged in toward the middle of the field. Then sounded. Hope, standing on the seat, flourished Gould, making what was his pluckiest effort of her flag wildly. all that long, hard-fought game, almost reached "Is n't it perfectly jimmy?" she cried, looking him. But behind Gould was Gil, and Gil it was down at Mr. Hanks and her mother. who, just as the quarter-back's arms stretched Mr. Hanks, beaming with satisfaction through out to bring Jim to earth, threw himself in front his spectacles, assented. “It is. We-er-as you of the enemy. Over they went together, rolling would say, “gobbled them up !!” and kicking, and Jim, with his breath almost “Did n't we just? And did n't Jim do beautigone, staggered and fell across the goal-line. fully, Mr. Hanks?"

Mr. Hanks nodded slowly. "Yes,” he replied, What if Andy LaGrange, called on to kick the "your brother passed a very creditable, if somegoal in place of Sargent, did miss it by yards what hurried, examination."

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






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. OtherAs I stood amid the young officers aboard the wise these old topers of the quarter-deck will live Good Will, I felt much embarrassed, as my blush- forever.” ing face must have shown, for one of them Then they all began to talk among themselves, stepped forward and addressed me most politely: and divided into little groups, for 't was evident

You must excuse our manners, Mistress that they would have to wait to satisfy their curiMistress"

osity. “My name is Beatrice Travers," I said.

"Vernon," said Lord Bedford, “I will leave the “And mine is plain Guy Vernon, at your ser- prisoner in your care, to be produced when Sir vice," he returned. “These others are mostly John is ready to receive her." And with that he, lords of one sort or another, and, as you are like

too, went off. to be with us for some time, 't is fitting you should "'T is a weighty charge," said Mr. Vernon, know them.” Whereupon, with much ceremony seriously. “May I ask you, Mistress Prisoner, to and many low bows, he named them one after give me your word that you will not try to escape, another. Each in his turn doffed his hat to me, otherwise I fear I shall have to put you in irons." and I courtesied the best I knew; and though, “Am I really a prisoner ?" I asked. perhaps, there was a smile here and there among "You heard the earnest Bedford,” Mr. Vernon them, they did not mock me, and behaved as replied; "but it is not likely you can escape far English gentlemen should to one who had come from the ship, and aboard here we among them, e'en though it was from a rebel crowded, there is scarce room for a mouse to ship. 'T is fitting that I should say here that, hide. The truth is we're no war-ship, but a while I was on the Good Will, these young offi- transport. 'T will be a comfort when we join the cers treated me with every kindness, and one, in- feet and get rid of these landlubbers." deed, proved a friend in need.

With that, Mr. Vernon led me below to a large Once more, after this introduction, they began cabin, and, after some trouble, I fancy, he found to ask me questions, but were again cut short by me a sleeping place which, though but a cubbythe officer who had brought me aboard. He was hole, was comfortable enough for one small maid. Lord Bedford, heir to one of the great dukedoms, I then asked to have my portmanteau, but that but 't was not on that account that his commands was denied me until my interview with the great were heeded.

Sir John should be over. “'T is gloomy weather when Bedford 's in Of him I had some fear, for in our talk Mr. charge,” Mr. Vernon explained. "He is so mon- Vernon dropped a hint now and then that the strous earnest."

commander was not all a gentleman should be; "One would think ’t was a real war to see him that with his inferiors he was like to be a boor, act the martinet,” exclaimed another.

'while he was servile to those above him. “And is it not a real war?" I asked in surprise, It was nigh eleven o'clock when, at last, I was at which they all laughed heartily.

summoned before the great man, and, as I went, “Nay, Mistress Travers," said Mr. Vernon, Mr. Vernon gave me a final word of caution. smiling; "it hath all the words of a war, I grant "I wish, Mistress Beatrice, for the credit of the you, and there have been many declarations of navy, that you were going before another than this or that; but what can a few colonists do Sir John, but here 's a hint: don't seem to fear without an army, without a navy, and without a him, or he will try to crush you. Take your courleader? 'T is no war, but a lark; and I, for one, age in your two hands and talk back to him. If, hope they come early to their senses, for I have by any chance, you have a relation with a title visited among them and like their ways. When hooked to his name, let it out early; 't will help. all 's said and done, they 're Englishmen, like the Now go, and good luck to you." rest of us, and it 's far from pleasant to have to It was with a beating heart that I entered the kill your brothers because they have taken wry cabin where a group of older officers stood about notions into their heads."

the head of the table, at which was seated a "Enough, Vernon," one of them called "Stop coarse, red-faced man, whom I rightly took to be

« PreviousContinue »