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´╗┐Title: Interference and Other Football Stories
Author: Sherman, Harold Morrow, 1898-1987
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Interference and Other Football Stories" ***

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  [Transcriber's note: Extensive research found no evidence
  that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]









Made in U. S. A.


  A Case of Nerves
  The Bright Token
  "Butter Fingers"
  For the Glory of the Coach


"Can I see you a minute, Coach?"

"Yes, Mack.  Come in."

Mack Carver, substitute back on Grinnell University's varsity squad,
stepped across the threshold of Coach Edward's office.  He carried his
one hundred and eighty-seven pounds easily and with an athletic
swagger.  But he scowled as he entered, indicating that his call was
about an unpleasant matter.

"Well, boy--what's on your mind?" smiled the Coach, straightening up
from a mass of papers which contained diagrams of the plays Grinnell
was to use in her season's big game against Pomeroy, now less than a
week away.

"Plenty!" was Mack's bluntly grim answer.  He stood now, facing his
coach, across the desk.

Coach Edward's smile faded as he met Mack's challenging glance.

"I want to know why I've been kept so much of the time on the bench?"
the substitute back fired, point blank.

"Because," answered Coach Edward, evenly, "there were eleven better men
on the field.  That's ordinarily the only reason any man's kept on the

"I don't believe it," retorted Mack, feelingly.  "You've had it in for
me because my brother is coach at Pomeroy.  That's the reason!  And
you'd like to be coach at Pomeroy yourself!"

Coach Edward drew in his breath, sharply.  "Perhaps I would!" he said.
"But that's a strict matter of business--nothing personal!"

"No?" flashed Mack.  "You and brother Carl have been rivals for the
last two years.  You've been out to beat each other on the gridiron and
now that you've turned out some cracking good teams with the smallest
college in the State, you think you've got my brother on the run!"

"I'm tickled, naturally," admitted the coach.  "Wouldn't _you_ be?
Don't you suppose your brother enjoys his triumphs over _me_? ... It's
all in a spirit of good sportsmanship!"

"That part of it may be all right," conceded Mack, "but you feel strong
enough against my brother, just the same, to not want to give _me_ a

"That's bunk!" branded Coach Edward.  "But there's one thing I've
always wanted to know ... why is it you quit Pomeroy after two years
and came to Grinnell?"

"That's an easy one to answer.  I discovered I could never hope to make
the team that my brother was coaching.  He was bending over backward to
keep from showing me any favors.  When I found that out, I figured I'd
better save him from any further embarrassment and give myself a fair
chance by changing schools.  That's why I came to Grinnell!"

"But why Grinnell--Pomeroy's bitterest rival?  Of all the schools you
might have picked...!"

Mack grinned, sardonically.  "My brother didn't think I'd ever make a
good football player.  I'd hoped to be able to show him."

"That's just your greatest fault," spoke the coach, frankly.  "You want
the limelight every move you make.  You're wondering all the time if
everyone's looking at you ... and it's hurting your game.  No good
player can be thinking of starring and playing at the same time."

Mack stared hard for a moment.

"You've got me wrong," he said, slowly.  "I naturally want to do the
best I know how.  And maybe I've looked to you like I wanted to attract
attention.  If I have, it's only because I hoped _you'd_ take a shine
to what I was doing.  The spectators didn't matter."

"You didn't need to worry about me," the coach replied.  "It's my
business to keep tab on each man on the squad.  I'm sorry if you feel
I've legislated against you but you force me to say that, up to the
present, I'm inclined to agree with your brother."

"You will excuse me a minute?" requested the Coach, on observing that
Mack had no comment to make for the moment, "I've an air mail letter I
must post at once."

"Okay," Mack assented,, and sank disconsolately in a chair beside the
desk as Coach Edward strode from the room, envelope in hand.

"This is a swell fix I'm in," Mack bemoaned, with the Coach having
gone.  "Talk about being hoodooed!  How should _I_ know that Coach
Edward would ever be out after my brother's coaching job?  I'll bet you
every time Coach sees me he thinks of my brother and that kills my
chances.  But I was good enough so he had to make me a sub anyhow."
Mack's gaze suddenly fell upon Coach Edward's pile of papers.  Diagrams
of football plays caught his eye.  He leaned forward that he might see
them better, then gave a glance toward the door and arose from his
chair.  "Hello!  Pretty nice!...  Maybe my brother wouldn't give a lot
to have a copy of all these plays!...  He's probably had his scouts
covering Grinnell games ... but here's some plays we haven't used all
season.  Boy--that lateral pass opening out into a forward is a pip!...
Coach Edward's been saving the fireworks to shoot on Pomeroy all
right!...  Guess he'd give his left ear to beat my brother's team this
year.  Huh!  I'd give my right ear to get in the game!"

Impelled by curiosity, Mack lifted some of the papers and studied other
diagrammed plays.  He became more engrossed than he had intended when
he was seized with the uncomfortable feeling that someone else was in
the room.

"Well?" spoke Coach Edward, standing quietly just inside the door.

"Oh!  I ... er ... a ...!" stammered Mack, badly fussed.  "Pardon
me!...  I saw these plays here and I...!"

"... and you thought you'd get them _memorized_," said the Coach,

"No, sir!" flashed Mack, stung at the insinuation.  "I was just
interested.  I...!"

There was nothing further that he could say.  It dawned on him in that
moment that his relationship to the coach of Pomeroy's eleven was apt
to cause many actions of his to be misconstrued.  He would have to be
more careful.  Coach Edward was even now regarding him suspiciously.

"I hope, Mack, that I can trust you," he was saying.

"You sure can," Grinnell's disgruntled substitute answered, inwardly
resenting the suggestion that he might use such information as he had
gleaned against his school.

"I am surprised," Coach Edward finished, "that you would have permitted
yourself to examine anything on my desk."

"I'm sorry, sir," Mack apologized, realizing that the Coach had reason
for complaining.  "But I wouldn't think of passing anything on to
anyone else."

"It wouldn't be exactly wise," said Coach Edward as the two stood face
to face.

Mack, who had toiled so long in the hopes of becoming a varsity regular
and whose disappointment had finally assumed proportions of a grudge
against his Coach, now made one final appeal.

"Coach, everything I do seems to be wrong.  I can't get over the
feeling that you don't like me.  I swear I didn't mean anything by
looking at those plays ... but you've an idea that I did.  As for my
being on the team and not getting a real chance to play--there must be
some reason ... some big reason, if it's not prejudice.  Whatever that
reason is--I want to know it."

"That's what you _say_," rejoined Coach Edward.  "But you're the sort,
Mack, who won't be told.  You're proving that fact right now even
though you claim you want to know what's wrong.  I've done the best I
could for you on what you've shown me...  I'm not in the habit of
arguing or discussing a player's merits or demerits with him off the
field so I'll have to ask you to consider this interview at an end."

"Okay!" rasped Mack, his pride deeply wounded and his feelings running
away with him.  Turning on his heel, he strode to the door, but whirled
impulsively to throw back an angry taunt: "And here's hoping you get
trimmed by Pomeroy!"

"Thank you," replied Coach Edward, icily.  "I might have expected just
such a remark from you."

And a very unhappy youth, leaving the Coach's presence with a wave of
remorse sweeping over him, knew that now he most certainly had sealed
his doom.  He could hardly expect to be given an opportunity of playing
in the Pomeroy game after this.

Grinnell's football schedule was so arranged that the Pomeroy game was
always the last of the year.  This permitted the small college eleven
to throw its complete strength against an ordinarily more powerful team
in the annual hope of creating an upset.  For Pomeroy, the Grinnell
contest had customarily been booked as a "breather" between big games.
There had been little disposition in previous years, as a consequence,
to take Grinnell's opposition too seriously.  Thus, most of the
excitement and enthusiasm had been provided by wide-eyed Grinnell
supporters who had hypnotized themselves almost to the point of
believing that the impossible was about to happen--a Grinnell victory!
That these loyal rooters had been disappointed as regularly as the
annual conflicts arrived, did not seem to dampen the ardor of the next
season's support.  "Hope springs eternal" was the trite but simple
explanation offered by certain zealous followers who steadfastly
refused to concede Pomeroy's vaunted superiority.  Coach Edward's
advent at Grinnell had served to heighten the interest when the small
college had held Pomeroy to a 20 to 7 count the first year of his
mentorship.  Things commenced looking decidedly up as Grinnell, under
the new coaching regime, came back the following fall with even more
stubborn opposition, losing to Pomeroy in the last quarter, 13 to 7.
No longer could Pomeroy consider the smaller college a set-up and this
alone was sufficient for Grinnell supporters to claim a "moral
victory."  But even bigger things were expected this season--Grinnell's
first undefeated eleven going into its major contest against a Pomeroy
team which was fighting hard to sustain its prestige of former years.

Secret practice sessions were announced by Coach Edward the final week
before the Pomeroy game, adding an air of mystery and high tension to
an already pulsating feeling of suspense.

"Coach has a genius for inventing new plays," Frank Meade, left half,
remarked to Mack Carver as the two dressed for practice on Tuesday
afternoon.  "Don't you think?"

"He figures out some good ones all right," Mack admitted.

"I'll say he does!" echoed Frank, with enthusiasm.  "That one he taught
us last night--a forward pass breaking out of that lateral!"

Mack's face colored.  He was too familiar with this play from having
seen it in diagram form on the Coach's desk.

"Yes," he mumbled.  "That's a peach."

"If it's properly executed," Frank went on, "it should be good for a

"Absolutely," Mack agreed, bending down and fingering with his shoe

"Of course the right half has to block off any tacklers who may be
trying to get through at the man with the ball," Frank continued.  "The
ball carrier's got to be given plenty of chance after taking the
lateral to spot a receiver for the forward.  If he can do this--the
play ought to be a wow."

"I'd like to be in there on that play," Mack said, impulsively.

Frank laughed.  "You may get the call yet.  Anything can happen in this

"Yeah?" retorted Mack, sarcastically.  "All I've gotten so far is
slivers in the seat of my pants from sitting on the bench.  I'm getting
tired of being shoved in for a couple minutes before the end of the
half to give you birds a chance to get under the showers and take a
rub-down before the second half opens.  And then rushing in after the
game's in the bag to hold 'em for dear old Grinnell.  There's no kick
in that."

"But somebody has to do it," returned Frank, regarding Mack, curiously.
"I did that the last two years before they put me to work as a regular."

"Yes, but this is my _third_ year," rejoined Mack.  "At that rate, if
I'm any good, I ought to be out there with you, too."

"You're playing in hard luck," Frank replied, pulling on his sweater.
"Grinnell has the best material she's ever had and the regulars are so
good that even good substitutes don't have the chance they might have."
He made a little bow, winking mischievously.  "Of course, I'm excluding
myself.  I'm rotten!"

Mack forced a grin.  This whole situation was too serious to him to be
taken lightly.  "Yes," he retorted.  "I'd probably be a regular if I
was as rotten as you are!"

"Cheer up!" chuckled Frank, slapping Mack on the back.  "Maybe some
day--you _will_ be!"

"I won't unless Coach gives me a better break," said Mack, a bit
bitterly.  "I've played in enough games to get my letter but it hasn't
meant anything ... an average of five minutes a game.  Even at
that--don't you think I'm as good a back as Dave Morgan?"

Mack bit his lips as he asked the question.  It was perhaps unfair to
so embarrass Frank but Grinnell's substitute back was tempted to "fish"
for compliments as a defensive gesture against Coach Edward's analysis
of his ability.  Should Frank agree that there was very little
difference, in his opinion, between Dave and himself, Mack felt that
this alone might prove the Coach to be biased.

"You--as good a back as Dave?" repeated Frank, cagily.  "Well, I'd be a
hard one to answer that.  Dave happens to team together with me just
about perfectly.  He's cleared the way for most of my long runs, as you

"Probably I could have done that, too," Mack argued.  "But I've never
been put in the game when you were in.  I've gone in with the second
string backfield.  We don't have an open field runner in that crowd who
can get away like you can."

"Thank heaven for that!" grinned Frank.  "Say--you've asked _me_ a
question.  Now let me ask _you_ one.  Since your brother is coach of
Pomeroy you ought to know something about our chances for beating them
this year.  What do you think?  Are we going to break the jinx?"

Mack hesitated.  Frank, who had raised his voice to command the
attention of fellow teammates, was enjoying Mack's discomfiture.

"That's what I call putting a fellow on the spot," sympathized Dave
Morgan, sauntering up.  "If you can't think of a good answer, Mack--I
suggest the old reliable 'yes and no'."

Fellow team members laughed.

"Hey, Mack!" called fullback Steve Hilliard.  "Isn't your brother
handicapped with poor material this year?  His team's not done so well
... sort of an in and out eleven ... one Saturday looking like a world
beater ... the next Saturday looking like a bunch of dubs.  What's the

"You fellows know as much about it as I do," replied Mack, reluctant to
venture a comment.  "For one thing, I think my brother's team has
played the stiffest schedule in their history ... and he's had trouble
keeping them at their peak every game.  But Pomeroy's liable to make
plenty of trouble for us--as usual."

"Meaning you think we still can't take them over?" pressed Frank,

"We'll have to go some!" was Mack's well guarded opinion.

"Which leaves us just where we were before," summarized Frank.  "Too
bad, guys!  Here we've got a man--the actual brother of Pomeroy's
coach--and he can't give us a better inside on what to expect.  Was for
two years on the squad, too!...  I was hoping he could tell us all of
Pomeroy's weaknesses and what his brother might be having up his
sleeve.  But now it begins to look like 'no soap'!"

"Don't you even know his standard plays?" joshed Steve.  "If you know
the formations, you might tip us off so we could shift to meet them."

"I'd have to be in the line-up to do that," said Mack.  "Each play
would have to be diagnosed.  Even then I wouldn't want to do it."

"Why not?"

"Wouldn't seem hardly fair--taking advantage of what I know about my
brother's plays ... or system."

"All's fair in love and football," kidded Steve.  "Shouldn't think that
would make any diff.  Your brother has scouts out, trying to discover
what he can about us.  Our coach has scouts giving your brother's team
the once-over.  So there you have it!  Fellows have changed colleges
before.  You're entitled to bring what you know about football at
Pomeroy to Grinnell.  Why be close-mouthed about it?"

Mack shook his head decisively.

"As far as my football in Pomeroy is concerned," he gave answer, "it's
a closed book.  I'm here at Grinnell just as though I'd come here at
the start.  Of course I can't forget, with the Pomeroy game coming up,
that my brother's coach of the team and that I'm really opposing him..."

"How do you feel about that?" Frank asked.

Mack drew in a deep breath as team members looked at him with intent

"All right, boys!" broke in Coach Edward, entering the locker room.
"Snap out of it!  We're going to have our last scrimmage of the year
tonight.  Going to try out those new plays I ran you through yesterday.
Let's go!"

The players, springing to their feet, jostled each other through the
doorway onto the field, Mack joining with them, secretly glad of the
coach's interruption.  Inwardly he was in such a turbulent state that
he didn't really know how he felt about the Pomeroy-Grinnell clash.  He
should be intensely loyal to Grinnell, without question ... but there
were other factors crowding in.  If to lose the Grinnell game actually
meant the loss of his brother's coaching job ... it also meant the loss
of his mother's support.  Carl had been assuming this responsibility
until he, Mack, could finish his schooling and help out.  Under these
circumstances, with Carl's position probably wavering in the balance
due to an unsteady season and the demand of Pomeroy alumni for winning
football, the outcome of the Grinnell game took on added if not painful
significance.  The situation was even beginning to take the edge off
Mack's original desire to compete against his brother's team and show
it up.  There was always drama in the idea of brother against brother.
Newspapers were already hinting at the possible conflict and would make
much capital of the matter if it did come to a head.  But Mack did not
now relish the thought of being in any way instrumental in the loss of
his brother's coaching job.

"I'm getting in more and more of a jam, it seems to me," he muttered,
as he trotted out on the field.  "Maybe I'd be better off if I quit
this game entirely."

Opportunities often come when least expected.  Coach Edward suddenly
decided that he wished the regulars to face the strongest lineup he
could possibly throw against them as a severe test of the new plays.
As a result, Mack Carver found himself at right half on the Second
Eleven which had been trained in Pomeroy plays.

"You've run through many of these Pomeroy plays yourself," Coach Edward
said to him, "so we're depending on you to carry the brunt of the
Second Team offensive and give us a good idea of what to expect next

There was nothing in the coach's attitude to indicate a remembrance of
the unpleasant interview between them.  Mack's heart bounded at the
thought that Coach Edward was recognizing him to this extent.  Here
was, at least, a chance to demonstrate what he could do in
practice--much more of a chance than he had been given hitherto.

"I'll try to impersonate Dizzy Fox, Pomeroy's star right half," Mack
told Alf Rigsbee, Second Team quarterback.  "He's the man our fellows
will have to look out for!"

"Okay, _Dizzy_!" grinned Alf.  "You're going to be in for a busy

"And listen!" cried Mack, with more spirit than he had felt all season.
"Let's give this Varsity bunch more than just a work-out!...  If we all
hang together, I think we can outscore 'em!"

"We can try!" volunteered Bob Hayes, fullback.  "Seeing as how we've
got some of you first team subs in here to help us!"

Coach Edward, assuming the role of referee, blew his whistle,
signalling the two teams to take the field.  It was to be the Varsity's

Frank Meade, carefully toeing the ball, looked over the boys opposing

"Don't be too hard on us, you guys!" he joshed.  "We're just learning
the game!"

"Then we'll teach you a lesson this afternoon!" quarterback Alf Rigsbee
called back to him.  "We're out to _get_ you babies and we don't mind
saying so!"

The threat brought howls of good-natured derision from the Varsity team
members but the chiding ceased when, with Franks kicking off over the
goal line and the ball being brought out to the Seconds' twenty yard
line, Mack Carver made fifteen yards on the first play with one of his
brother's clever wing back formations.

"I'll show Coach Edward whether I'm a ball carrier or not!" Mack told
himself, highly flushed with his early success.  "Call my number
again!" he begged.

Quarterback Rigsbee shot him the ball a second time and Mack skated
through tackle on a delayed wing back for seven yards.

"This Varsity isn't much!" kidded the Seconds' linesmen, elated at
Mack's gains.

"Wait till we've solved these new plays and we'll stop you cold!"
promised Bert Henley, Varsity quarterback.

But the Seconds were well drilled and Mack Carver, in particular,
functioned remarkably well, skirting the ends and knifing through the
line on plays with which he had long been familiar.

"Wonder what Coach thinks now?" he said to himself as the Seconds
landed on the Varsity's ten yard line for a first down.

Mack found himself regretting that there were no student spectators and
no newspaper reporters on the sidelines watching his performance.  All
such had been banned for this week of secret practice.

"Come on, gang!  Let's stop this advance right here and now!" appealed
Varsity quarterback Donner.  "We've played with these little boys long

The Varsity had taken a time-out to get reorganized.  The so-called
Scrubs hadn't made things this interesting throughout the entire season.

"They'll be expecting another wing back," counselled Mack.  "My brother
had another good play you fellows haven't been taught.  What do you say
we try it?"

"No--we'd better stick to the plays that have been given us," replied
quarterback Alf Rigsbee.

"It's simple," insisted Mack, "and we want this touchdown.  Listen--you
feint a pass behind the line to me and I shoot to my left like I've got
the ball but the left half really gets it--only, after he does, he
fades hack into the backfield and then throws a forward pass out to me.
It's a grand scoring play.  We ought to be able to work it without
rehearsal and it should catch the Varsity flat-footed!"

Quarterback Rigsbee looked to his fellow team members questioningly.

"Sounds like a peach to me," endorsed left half Bill Grady.  "What do
you say we try it?"

"Well, if you guys think it's okay," agreed Alf.  "Now this'll be the

With play resumed, the Seconds sprung their surprise play.  A quick
crisis-crossing behind the lines, Mack lunging to the left, Bill Grady
taking the ball and dropping into his backfield...!

"Look out for a pass!"

The Varsity shouted its warning as Bill suddenly wheeled and hurled the
pigskin to his left where a crouching figure straightened up, raced
toward the goal, jumped into the air to catch the ball and was tackled
almost immediately, only to fall over the line for a touchdown.

"Atta boy, Mack!" shouted delirious Seconds, dragging the tickled
Varsity substitute to his feet.

"How about it, you Varsity?" Mack taunted.  "A march of eighty yards!"

"Yea, Pomeroy!" razzed Second team members.  "You can't stop Pomeroy!"

"Just a minute!" broke in Coach Edward, abruptly.  "What play was that
you fellows just pulled?"

Alf Rigsbee, Seconds' quarterback, looked a bit uneasy.

"Why, er ... it was a play Mack suggested to us ... one his brother
used.  Not so bad, hey?"

"Since when is anyone giving you men plays without my authority?" the
Coach demanded, picking up the pigskin.  "Ball's on the ten yard line.
Use the plays in which you've been instructed!"

Mack stared, open-mouthed.  "But, Coach, I...!" he started, biting off
the protest.

"I was afraid of that," quarterback Rigsbee mumbled.  "But we scored on
the Varsity anyhow.  They can't take that away from us!  Never mind
that, guys--we'll do it all over again!"

Cut here Alf's optimism encountered its first snag.  The Varsity, now
desperate, crashed through the Seconds' line to throw Mack for a four
yard loss.  In four downs the Seconds had advanced the ball only to the
nine yard line where it went over.  The Varsity tried a running play
which failed to gain and then kicked out of danger.  On an exchange of
punts, the Varsity gained twenty yards and put the ball in play on
their twenty-nine yard line.

"Here we go!" they announced.

"Yes--_backward_!" shouted quarterback Rigsbee as the Seconds' line
charged fast and forced a two yard loss.

"Get in there!" ordered the Coach.  "You've got to work for your
yardage tonight.  I haven't picked out any bed of roses for you Varsity
men.  If you're going to stand a chance against Pomeroy you've got to
do better than this!"

"Don't let them shake Frank Meade loose!" pleaded Alf of his determined
Seconds.  "Frank depends on Dave's clearing the way for him.  Stop Dave
and you stop Frank most of the time!"

"I'll take care of Dave!" volunteered Mack, eyeing his rival for right
halfback.  "The coach thinks he's better than I am.  All right--this is
a swell time for him to prove it!"

On the first play with Dave running as interference, Grinnell's star
blocking halfback collided with the fellow who thought he was just as
good and Mack's ambitious effort to break up the formation ended in a
nose dive as Frank, carrying the ball, raced down the field for
thirty-seven yards and a first down on the Seconds' thirty-four yard

"I thought you said you'd take care of Dave," chided quarterback
Rigsbee as a dejected Mack picked himself up.

"He won't block me out again!" was all Mack would say as he took his
place behind the line.

"Dave's a tough man to stop," rejoined Alf.  "You pick him off right
along and you _are_ good!"

The Varsity was laughing now.  Frank's long run had pepped Grinnell's
first stringers up.  Quarterback Bert Henley said something in Frank
Meade's car.  Frank nodded.  It was to be one of Coach Edward's new
plays ... two laterals behind the line with Frank on the ball carrying

"Watch this one!" warned Alf Rigsbee as he saw the shift.  His Seconds
were all eyes and they needed to be for the passes which followed left
them momentarily dazed.  The pigskin changed hands with bewildering
speed behind the line and Frank finally emerged with Dave running
interference, dashing around right end.  Most of the Seconds had been
pulled in on the play but Mack, studying the shift closely, hazily
recalled that this was another of the plays he had seen diagrammed.

"Frank around right end!" he exclaimed, "that play looked like a nifty
when they ran through it last night.  But I'll nail Frank this time!"

Racing to his left, Mack rapidly loomed in front of the fast traveling
Frank who was shielded by his interferer, Dave, running a step ahead
and in front of him.  Dave, seeing Mack coming, prepared for the
impact.  Mack, eyes only for Frank, charged savagely, intending to
brush Dave aside and keep on going until he had brought Frank to the
ground with a diving tackle.  What actually happened was extremely
jolting to Mack.  He hit Dave but did not tumble him.  Instead it was
he who rebounded and Dave continued on.  Mack, rolling over, painfully,
saw Dave go on down the field to bowl quarterback Alf Rigsbee, playing
safety, out of the way and leave Frank with a clear path to the goal

"Great work!" Mack heard Coach Edward complimenting Dave.  "That's what
I call 'interference'!"

The Varsity lined up in front of the Seconds' goal line with Dave
holding the ball while Frank place-kicked the point after touchdown.  A
chagrined Mack Carver could only turn to Alf and declare: "The score
should have been a tie if that touchdown of ours hadn't been

Alf shrugged his shoulders, expressively.  "What do we care?" was his
answer.  "It's only practice!"

To Mack, however, his entire efforts seemed to have been punctured like
a toy balloon.  He had tried to put more fight in his play.  He had
tried, moreover, to show the coach that Dave was not so hot as a
blocking back.  But he had actually only served to further demonstrate
Dave's great ability to dump would-be tacklers.  This scrimmage had
been more than practice to him--it had been a final testing of
abilities he had claimed to have which he apparently did not possess.
The coach would probably discount the runs he had made while
impersonating Pomeroy's star back, Dizzy Fox.  He had already
discredited the touchdown scored on a trumped up play, despite its
perfect execution.  In fact, every way you looked at it, this fellow
Mack Carver appeared as a complete wash-out.  He even marvelled now
that he had had the audacity to visit Coach Edward and ask why he
wasn't a regular on the Varsity.  How foolish of him to have imagined
that the Coach was holding his relationship to Carl Carver against him!
He really owed the coach an apology!

"Hey, Mack!" said a voice, and Grinnell's substitute back, momentarily
lost in a solemn revery, realized that Dave Morgan was at his elbow.
"Listen, old man," Dave was saying.  "I didn't hurt you, did I?"

"No," Mack replied.  "But you sure took me out of those plays.  It was
swell interfering."

Dave nodded.  "You came at me like the charge of the Light Brigade," he
grinned, "only you hit me too high ... gave me a chance to get under
you and I hoisted you out of the way.  Next time try the shoulder and
the half roll--like this ...!"  And Dave put his words into action,
sending Mack spinning as he did so.

"Much obliged!" was Mack's comment, when he had recovered his balance.

"Don't mention it!" said Dave, and was off to join his Varsity mates as
the two elevens lined up again for kick-off.

Mack, standing staring after the fellow who had beaten him out for the
team, could scarcely control his feelings.  He had carried a chip on
his shoulder all season; hadn't mixed with the fellows the way he might
have; had taken the game and its incidents too seriously, and here was
a guy--his rival--who was sport enough to take him aside and tip him
off as to how he might be stopped!

"I'll try it next chance I get," Mack decided, "and if it works...!"

Varsity kicked off to the Seconds who lost the ball on downs after
putting on another advance--this one for forty yards.  Mack was
responsible for half of the yardage gained but the Varsity was now
getting on to the Pomeroy plays and developing an effective defense to
cope with them.  Taking the ball on its twenty-three yard stripe, the
Varsity started a slashing drive, mixing straight line plays and end
runs.  Finally, with the Seconds' defense stiffening, quarterback Bert
Henley called upon Coach Edward's new play--the lateral opening out
into the forward pass.

"Now!" thought Mack, as he analyzed what was coming.

Dave Morgan, intended as Frank's screen on the pass, lateralled to
Frank and stationed himself in front as interferer.  Frank, who had
started to run wide, faded back for the throw.  Coming in fast, Mack,
following instructions, tore into Dave, hitting him low.  Frank's
interference disappeared suddenly and completely in a jolting
somersault and Mack, with a half roll, was upon his feet and diving
back after the man with the ball.  Frank tried to elude him and to
forward pass at the last instant but Mack had covered him too fast.  He
was tackled before he could get the ball away for a loss of twelve

"Great stuff!" congratulated a winded Dave who had staggered to his
feet.  "That's getting past interference!"

"Now aren't you sorry you wised me up?" smiled Mack, appreciatively.
"You could have had things all your own way."

"But it wouldn't have been any fun," was Dave's reply.  "Now I've got
to _work_!"

And Dave's prediction proved correct.  A friendly feud developed
between Mack and himself.  It was no longer possible for Dave to block
Mack out of the play and keep going himself.  Invariably the two went
down and out together.  Occasionally Mack would so batter his
interference as to reach the man with the ball himself.  If he did not,
he so thoroughly removed the interference that he forced the ball
carrier in the open and made him comparatively easy prey for fellow
Seconds to bring down.

"Dave, you've done wonders for me," Mack said, gratefully, at the end
of a gruelling practice.  "I don't know how to thank you."

"Don't try," Dave answered.  "I've been watching you for some time.  I
knew you were just missing out.  You ought to make it tough for anybody
from now on!"

That any fellow player would have been so unselfish as to help a rival
overcome a fault in charging interference and thus jeopardize his own
position on the team was almost beyond Mack's comprehension.  Long
after the practice session was over he puzzled Dave's great kindness
and wondered, too, whether Coach Edward had finally been impressed with
the way he had played.

"After I got the hang of it, I made even Dave look bad," Mack told
himself.  "I certainly didn't intend to do this ... but every time I
broke up the interference and nabbed Frank it counted in my favor and
against Dave.  Coach doesn't know, of course, who's responsible for my
improvement.  I only wish it was earlier in the season.  I might be
able to get somewhere."  But this thought brought a feeling of remorse
since Mack's advancement would ordinarily have to be at Dave's expense.

"I see now what Coach meant about a fellow's playing wholeheartedly for
the team," Mack reflected.  "Dave wasn't thinking of himself when he
helped me out.  If I should develop into the better player, I know he'd
take his hat off to me.  And here I've been playing for myself right
along.  Swell guy--this Mack Carver!...  So swell he ought to be ducked
in Grinnell Lake!"

News travels fast across a college campus.  The following morning
students were thrown in a turmoil of excitement by word that Coach
Edward's office had been rifled during the night and nothing disturbed
but the team plays.  It was rumored that two detectives had been
employed by the college to determine, if possible, the guilty party or
parties.  Despite an attempt to keep the matter quiet, newspapers got
hold the story and, later in the day, papers appeared with streaming



The Grinnell _Leader-Tribune_ went so far as to declare, in its news
story, that relations between Pomeroy and Grinnell had been strained
for the past two years since Grinnell had developed into a school to be
feared by the larger college.  It seemed that Pomeroy had scheduled
Grinnell merely for the purpose of giving her a drubbing and taking it
easy between big games and that Grinnell's increased opposition had
been embarrassing to Pomeroy students and alumni who rated their eleven
far better than the intended victim.  Now matters had become so acute,
a report was going the rounds that Coach Carl Carver's job at Pomeroy
hung upon his winning the Grinnell game, about which there was some
doubt owing to Pomeroy's uncertain season.  A victory for Grinnell, on
the other hand, would be the greatest triumph ever scored by that
school since Pomeroy was a nationally known eleven, accustomed to
playing the best in the country.  "It's a step up or a step down for
either coach," the news article concluded, and Mack Carver, Grinnell
substitute back, who read the stories with a strange lump in his
throat, breathed his thanksgiving that no mention was made of him.

"This is one time when my not being well known as a football player has
helped out," he said to himself.  "If I'd been prominent on the
Grinnell team, I'd have been played up along with my brother.  As it
is, they'll probably let me alone."

But in this surmise, Mack was wrong.  On reporting for football
practice that afternoon, he found fellow team members regarding him
with traces of suspicion.

"Coach wants to see you in the Field House," Frank informed.  "He says
not to dress."

Mack stiffened with surprise.

"Okay," he replied, face sobering.  "Any idea what it's about?"

"How should I know?" rejoined Grinnell's star back, but Mack fancied he
noted an attempt on Frank's part to conceal his real feelings.
"Maybe," Frank added, rather lamely, "he's moving you up as a regular!"

"No chance of that," said Mack, grimly.  "See you guys later!"

He turned on his heel and strode out of the locker room.  On the way to
the Field House his thoughts ran together crazily.  There could only be
one answer to the Coach's request to see him.  It must be in connection
with the stolen plays!...  Mack's mind raced back to the moment in
Coach Edward's office when he had been detected examining the plays.
He winced.  This was probably the meagre clue upon which he was being
drawn into the case ... this and the fact that he was a brother of Carl

Coach Edward was apparently awaiting Mack's arrival.  He was in the
company of two strange men when Grinnell's substitute back located him
in one of the conference rooms.

"Meet Mr. Pierce and Mr. Greene," the Coach introduced.  "Take a chair
over here."

Mack sat down, feeling the two men looking him over, shrewdly.

"You've been called," explained Coach Edward at once, "in the hopes
that you may help us throw some light on what happened in my office
last night."

"I thought so," answered Mack, eyeing his coach squarely.

"Why did you think so?" demanded the man referred to as Pierce.  He was
solidly built, black moustache and heavy eyebrows.  Mack took an
instant dislike to his bullying manner.

"The reasons should be obvious," he replied.

"As we understand it," spoke up the man introduced as Greene, "you paid
Coach Edward a visit some days ago--at his office."

"I did," acknowledged Mack.

"At that time," continued Mr. Greene, "you took quite an interest in
some diagrams of plays which your coach had on his desk."

Mack's face flushed.  "I did," he admitted.

"What was the big idea?" boomed Pierce.  "You knew your coach would
tell you all he wanted you to know about any plays he had.  Why take
the first chance you got to look them over?"

Mack turned to Coach Edward who sat back, having left the questioning
to the two strange gentlemen.

"Listen here, Coach!  Who are these men?  Am I being cross-examined?
You don't think that _I_...?"

"These men are detectives as you've probably supposed," said Coach
Edward.  "I haven't accused you of anything.  The case has been turned
over to them.  They have been acquainted with all known facts ... and
you simply are being asked to contribute what you know."

Mack stirred uneasily.  "I don't know anything!" he replied, frowning
his defiance.

"Didn't you even know that a key to Coach Edward's office was found to
be missing from his desk shortly after you left?" pressed Detective

"No," said Mack, his temper slowly rising.

"But you're willing to admit that a knowledge of Grinnell plays and
signals would be highly valuable to your brother, aren't you?"

Mack glared.  "I suppose they would ... but if you think my brother
would take any underhanded advantage...!"

"We're not thinking," interrupted Detective Greene, smoothly.  "We're
just talking out loud.  I believe you've been peeved at your Coach for
some time ... even accused him of not giving you the breaks you

"That's right," said Mack, after a moment's hesitation.  "And I want to
apologize for that."

"You do, eh?...  What for?"

"Because I discovered last night I was wrong."

"Last _night_?"

"I mean--yesterday afternoon ... in scrimmage.  I thought I was better
than I really was.  I'm sorry I ever said anything, Coach."

Coach Edward nodded, exchanging glances with the two detectives.

"Trying to make things right now, aren't you?" taunted Detective
Greene.  "But you can't explain away that crack you took at Coach
Edward just as you were leaving."

"What crack was that?"

"'Here's hoping you get trimmed by Pomeroy!'"  Mack flinched.  He had
been sincerely trying to straighten matters up but the detectives did
not appear to be giving him credit.

"I was sore when I left," said Grinnell's substitute back.  "I
shouldn't have said that.  I didn't really mean it."

"You didn't mean it, eh?...  Isn't it a fact, when you left Coach
Edward's office you were practically positive you wouldn't get a chance
to play against Pomeroy?"

He hesitated.  "Yes, sir," he finally granted.

"And," persisted Detective Pierce, "isn't it a fact, if you couldn't
get a chance to play, you would rather have seen your brother's team

"No!" cried Mack, rising from his chair.

"Just a minute, son!" snapped Detective Pierce, pushing Mack down.
"Wasn't that remark you made, leaving Coach Edward's office, actually a

Mack stared at the burly figure in front of him in amazement.  This
interview was taking on the proportions of a third degree.

"A threat?" Mack repeated, somewhat bewildered.

"A threat that, if the coach didn't put you in the game against
Pomeroy--you'd do all you could to help Pomeroy win!"

"That's a lie!" branded Mack.  "I didn't have any such idea in mind.
You can't prove a thing.  I never saw the key.  I haven't been near
Coach Edward's office since.  I haven't been in touch with my brother.
You can't make me out a thief.  I went straight to the Coach with my
grievance and got it out of my system.  I've apologized--whether he
wants to accept it or not.  I'd intended going to him and apologizing
today ... until this came up.  It's unfortunate ... but I didn't have
anything to do with it!"

Mack's outburst sounded incoherent as it poured from his lips but he
was greatly up-wrought.  To think of such suspicions having centered
upon him!  He could understand how he had been responsible for part of
his dilemma but the rest seemed far-fetched, absurd.

"I think, officer, the boy's been questioned enough," said Coach Edward.

"Not quite!" rejoined Detective Pierce.  "This young man also mentioned
in your presence the rumor that you were out after his brother's job.
Isn't that so, Mr. Carver?"

"Yes," glowered Mack, now strictly on the defensive.

"He had that very much on his mind.  It's human then to believe that he
would be interested in his brother's holding his job.  Am I right?...
Isn't that the way you feel about it, Mr. Carver?"

"Naturally," conceded Mack, with a feeling of being cornered.  "But I
wouldn't let even that stand in the way of playing my hardest for
Grinnell if I got the chance in the Pomeroy game!"

"On the other hand, if you should sympathize too much with your
brother, you might fumble at the right time or make a poor play which
would help Pomeroy out?"

"No, no!" Mack fairly shouted.  "I'm not that sort.  I won't answer
another question!"

"You're quite right, Mack," sided Coach Edward, evidently disturbed by
the turn the cross-examination had taken.  "Gentlemen, I don't think
anything is to be gained by detaining Mr. Carver longer."

Detectives Pierce and Greene looked consultingly at one another.

"I'm not satisfied that the boy's telling all he knows," declared
Pierce.  "Since I'm in charge of this case, I must ask that he be
suspended from the team until this matter is solved."

"Please," begged Coach Edward, as Mack looked his concern.  "Not that.
It will mean unfavorable publicity--ill feeling between the two

"We can't help that," said Detective Pierce, bluntly.  "You've reported
that your office has been entered.  We've been assigned to the case.
You've told us everything you knew about events leading up to last
night and it's our job to run the clues down.  Greene and I feel that
this young man should be held as a material witness.  Naturally it
won't look right for you to keep a man on the team who's under

"I quite agree with you there."

"Then suspend him at once."

"I dislike doing this very much."

"You haven't any choice, Mr. Edward."

"But I don't feel you've lined up sufficient evidence to warrant such
action.  I'll confess thinking first of Mack when I discovered what had
been done ... but it was only because of certain incidents.  Listening
to this cross-examination today, I'm not convinced that he is any way
connected.  Rather, I believe that the circumstances surrounding him
have been unfortunate.  I'd much prefer to drop the whole matter

"You can't drop it!" bellowed Detective Pierce.  "It's in the papers.
We're not going to have it said that we were hushed up.  Whoever broke
into your office must have been working for Pomeroy because the plays
and signals wouldn't have done anyone else any good.  When this young
man decides to talk we'll find out something.  You wait and see."

Mack Carver laughed, grimly.  The situation, serious as it was, now
struck him funny.  Two small town detectives with an inflated sense of
their own importance.  Coach Edward, because of his desire to win the
Pomeroy game had magnified the happening until it had developed beyond
his control.  There was going to be some fireworks now despite anything
that he could do.

"It's all right, Coach," said Mack, sympathetically.  "Go ahead and
suspend me.  You probably wouldn't have played me anyway--so it's no
loss to the team.  Besides--these men can't prove anything on me if
they spend the rest of their lives."

"Mack," addressed Coach Edward, with obvious sincerity.  "I hope you'll
believe me when I say that I'm deeply sorry this thing has occurred.
You've made your mistakes in judgment ... and I've made mine.  I've a
feeling now that you're being done an injustice but there's little I
can do about it for the time being...!"

"What are you trying to hand the boy?" cut off Detective Pierce.  "Is
he suspended or isn't he?"

"He's suspended," said the Coach, simply.

"Very well!" snapped Detective Pierce.  "Come on, Greene.  I've got
another angle for us to follow up.  As for you, son--you stay put where
we can call you!"

"I will," Mack promised, and stepped into the hall.

Outside the cool November air felt bracing to his feverish temples.  He
inhaled it to the depth of his lungs as he strode from the Field House,
across the gridiron where Darby, assistant coach, was putting the squad
through its paces.

"Hi, Mack!" yelled Frank as the substitute back was discovered.  "Where
you going?...  Wait a minute!"

The team members looked Mack's way, apparently much interested.

"They're probably curious to know what's happened," thought Mack, a
peculiar sort of numbness taking possession of him ... a numbness which
was making him insensible to bitterness and disappointment.  But Mack
had no desire to mix with his fellows and hurried his footsteps toward
the exit gate.

"Hold on, Carver!" Assistant Coach Darby shouted after him.

Mack came to a stop and looked back, wonderingly.  Darby hurried, over,
followed by Varsity team members.

"What's the matter?" asked Mack, almost defiantly.  "What do you want?"

"Better get into your duds," said Darby.  "We may need you."

"Not me," Mack rejoined, incredulously.

"Yes, you!" replied Frank, coming up and tapping him on the shoulder.
"Dave's just been carried off the field with a dislocated knee.  It's
doubtful if he'll be able to play Saturday."

Mack stood for a moment, shocked at the news.  The field seemed to spin
around in a circle ... then the peculiar numbness returned.

"Too late," he heard himself saying.  "You'll have to use someone else.
I'm no longer on the team.  I've been suspended."

And, with that, he continued on out through the exit gate, not so much
as glancing back over his shoulder.

Grinnell College never knew a sensation to compare with that which
arose over the suspension of one Mack Carver.  Not widely acquainted
because of his having entered Grinnell as a Junior with his residence
on the campus not quite three months in duration, Mack now became the
most discussed young man in school.  His brother, Coach Carl Carver of
Pomeroy, had been too well known for the past few years, due to the
steam roller effect of his team upon the woeful best that Grinnell
could put on the field.  Newspapers, in their merciless survey of the
present situation, left nothing to be imagined, emphasizing that the
coming Saturday's contest was more a "battle of coaches" than it was a
"battle of elevens."  Injury of Dave Morgan, Grinnell's great blocking
back, had complicated matters still more since Mack Carver, the
suspended back, would logically have taken his place on the team.  News
had leaked out of Mack's satisfactory performance in the last secret
scrimmage and rumor had it that Mack and his brother were not supposed
to be on speaking terms.  This rumor hardly jibed with the suspicion
Mack was declared to be under--of having stolen Grinnell signals and
plays for the purpose of tipping said brother off that Pomeroy might be
assured of winning the game.  But, since one good rumor deserved
another, all those interested might read and take their choice.
Meanwhile all sorts of wild reports were circulated, sides were
frenziedly taken, and the Grinnell stadium was sold out with thousands
of demands for tickets being of necessity refused.

"There'll be plenty of excitement here Saturday," a Grinnell
storekeeper remarked.  "I'm going to re-enforce my store windows so the
crowds can't push 'em in."

Friday afternoon, Pomeroy's football squad, thirty-three strong,
arrived at Grinnell, having made the hundred and forty mile trip by
bus.  They immediately took rooms in the Grinnell Inn--a whole floor to
be exact--and then the squad stretched their legs with a walk up and
down the Main Street while Coach Carl Carver got on the telephone and
called his brother.

"Mack--this is Carl!  What's all this I hear about stolen plays and
your suspension?"

"It's all a lot of noise!"

"Yeah?  Doesn't sound like it by the papers.  Looks pretty serious to
me.  I've invited Coach Edward up here to see me in fifteen minutes and
I want you to be here."

"Aw, nix, Carl!...  I've said my say.  I'm not begging for anything.
I've embarrassed you enough as it is!  You know what they're saying ...
that we're in cahoots!"

"What do I care what they're saying?...  I want you to be here,
understand?...  I'm not taking 'no' for an answer!"

"Okay," said Mack, reluctantly, "but I'm telling you beforehand, it
won't do you any good."

Mack arrived five minutes before Coach Edward appeared.

"Well!" greeted Carl, "this is a nice kettle of fish!"

"Mostly my fault, too," said Mack, and related the events leading up to
the present moment.

"So Coach Edward is after my job?" mused Carl.  "That's what happens
after you've had a winning team for a couple years.  A few reverses and
the proud alumni commence hollering 'get the axe'!  Everybody loves a
winner and they don't stop to figure there's got to be a loser to every
winner.  Now that Grinnell's piled up a great record this year, we're
supposed to bump you off.  If we do, despite the fact we've had no
season to shout about ourselves, the alumni will consider our year
crowned with success."

"You think you're going to beat us?" grinned Mack.

"Yes--with you suspended!" kidded Carl.

"Cut it!" Mack winced.  "I'll prove to you yet that I can play

"Go to it!" invited Carl.  "I admire your stick-to-it-iveness!  Three
years and just a substitute indicates a bear for punishment."

"Being related to you is my biggest handicap," was Mack's rejoinder.
"It cost me better consideration before and it's costing me my chances

"Tough luck!" sympathized Carl.  "But if your coach gets my job next
year, you'll have a clear field!"

"I hope he doesn't!"

"Meaning you hope we win?"

Mack's face colored.  "No--but I hope you keep your job win or lose."

"Listen, kid!" and Carl looked cautiously toward the door, "we've been
slowed up due to injuries and illness this year in addition to poor
material.  But right now my eleven's at its peak for the first time and
we're set to give Grinnell a whale of a battle tomorrow.  So--if your
team wins, your coach will be deserving of something!"

A rap sounded on the door.

"There he is now!"

Carl strode over and flung the door open.

"Edward, how are you?"

"Fine, Carver.  And you?"

"Okay!...  I've asked my kid brother to sit in."

"Oh! ...  Hello, Mack!"

"Hello, Coach."

"Sit down, Edward."


"I haven't said anything to Mack about this but maybe I can throw a
little light on this stolen play business."


"On Wednesday night, this week, I received a mysterious note, signed by
a Mister "X" who proposed to sell me your signals and plays.  I was
advised to leave one hundred dollars under a log in a vacant field..."

Coach Edward leaned forward, highly interested.  Mack whistled,

"What did you do?"

"I left the hundred," related Coach Carver, "but I marked the bills.
The next morning I found the bills gone and, in their place, this
sealed envelope which, I imagine, contains the stolen plays and

"You haven't opened it?"

You'll have to take my word for it.  The seal is unbroken.  Of
course--this could be a second envelope."

"Hardly likely," said Coach Edward, greatly fussed.  "May I open it?"

"I should expect you to," said Carl.  "Maybe we've both been fooled.
It may be nothing but a wad of paper."

"No--it's the plays all right ... and--the signals!" gasped Coach
Edward.  "This is almost incredible ... and certainly brazen!  I don't
suppose the guilty person has been traced?"

"No--although the police in Pomeroy as well as the merchants have been
quietly tipped off as to the marked bills--a tiny "X" in the right hand
upper corner.  You see, the idea is to out-X Mister X."  Carl was

"But he's probably left the town," surmised Coach Edward.

"Yes--and he's more probably returned to Grinnell," predicted Carl.
"You may find some of the marked five dollar bills in your town."

"Then you figure the thief a resident of Grinnell?"

"Well, I most certainly don't wish to claim him for Pomeroy!  We've
already been given the name of being behind this ... and my own brother
is under the shadow of suspicion."

"This I regret very much," declared Coach Edward.  "I said so at the
time.  Mack and I have had our differences; I jumped a bit too hastily
at conclusions myself and the result is this unfortunate notoriety.
I'm profoundly sorry.  I would like to be able to make amends."

"Then may I suggest that you begin by reinstating my brother at once.
You have the evidence now to prove he was not implicated and I demand
that you do it!"

"You won't have to demand," promised Coach Edward, "I was opposed to
this action in the first place and it will please me to present these
facts to the dumb detectives on the case who would have half the
college indicted for the theft if I'd listen to them!"

"Whether you use my brother in the game or not is no affair of mine,"
continued Coach Carver.  "But it _is_ my affair when his name and mine
is attacked.  As for tomorrow--good luck but not too much of it!"

"I might say the same to you!" said Coach Edward, extending his hand.

The two coaches shook hands.  Carl's hand was cool and firm; but his
rival's palm was hot and trembly.

Morning papers, the day of the game, carried the news of Mack Carver's
reinstatement and a letter of public apology from Coach Edward.  No
explanation was offered, as to the reasons behind Mack's return to the

"I'll bet this action was taken simply to reduce the feeling between
the two colleges," ventured a Grinnell supporter.  "There have been
enough ugly reports surrounding this game and the authorities probably
got together, figuring they'd quiet a lot of wild rumors and unfounded
stories.  But you can't tell me--where there was so much smoke--that
there isn't plenty of fire!"

And this opinion seemed to be shared by most of the thousands who
jammed the stadium for the game.  It was a clear, cold day with a dry,
hard field destined to provide a fair test of the strength of both

In the locker room, as Grinnell players dressed for the game, Mack
Carver was approached by team members who expressed their confidence in
him.  Mack, while he tried not to show it, was highly nervous and ill
at ease.  There was now every reason to believe that he would see
service in the game since Dave's knee had not responded to treatment
and since Coach Edward would probably feel that his playing at least
part of the contest would prove to Pomeroy that no grudge or suspicion

"If I'm put in I've got to play a bang-up game," Mack told himself, "or
I'll be open to criticism again.  I can't afford to make any slips."

Dave Morgan, hobbling in on crutches, had encouraging words to say.

"You're in a tough spot, I know," he sympathized.  "But just forget
you're related to Coach Carver and go out there to play a game of
football.  If you tear in there the way you did when you got started
against me--you won't have to worry."

"Thanks," said Mack, gratefully.  "You're a peach!"

"Don't kid yourself," grinned Dave.  "I didn't throw this knee out to
give you your chance!"

Mack's eyes clouded.  "No, Dave--you've done more than that.  You've
shown me what real spirit was.  I've been so wound up in myself that I
couldn't feel it before.  I feel it now, though ... and I only hope I
can play good enough so your loss won't be felt too badly."

Dave patted him on the back.  "I'll be pulling for you, boy!"

A buzz of excitement went through the crowded stands as the Pomeroy and
Grinnell elevens lined up for kick-off and the player numbered "26" in
Grinnell's backfield was pointed out to be Mack Carver.  Pomeroy was
kicking to Grinnell.

"The highly exploited brother act is about to be put on!" cried a fan.
"We'll soon see what a brother player can do against a brother coach.
If there's not plenty of fireworks in this game, I'll miss a good

Mack, as he awaited the referee's whistle starting the game, felt his
heart throbbing in his throat.  This was his big moment--a terrible
moment.  For him--the world rested on his shoulders.  Thanks to
unwelcome newspaper publicity his every move would be watched.  He
would be playing as though followed by a spotlight.  Keenly conscious
of the business rivalry between his brother and Coach Edward, Mack
thoroughly appreciated the gesture of his being placed in the opening
line-up.  He even wondered what his own feelings would have been had he
been in Coach Edward's shoes.  Could he have trusted the brother of a
rival coach in the big game--knowing how deeply rooted is family
loyalty?  Not that he would have suspected said brother of deliberate
leanings toward the other side ... but he might have feared an
unconscious favoring and a partial let-down on the part of the brother
at critical times.  Were a game the only thing at stake, such brotherly
consideration might be entirely discounted.  But when the loss of such
a game might affect the family pocketbook, the situation took on
different proportions.  And this was the tough spot in which the
Grinnell Coach and player found themselves.  Coach Carl Carver had
never intimated any personal concern nor confessed to any embarrassment
at the possibility of Mack's playing.  His attitude had been impersonal
... but he, of the three, was least in position to feel the strain.

The kick-off!

Mack's eyes followed the ball as it arched in the air and spun his way.
Out of the corners of his eyes he saw team-mates forming a phalanx in
front.  Then he heard Frank Meade's voice off to his left.

"Take it, Mack--and follow me!"

The stands were rocketing sound as Mack, his throat suddenly dry as
paper, realized the pigskin was coming to him on his own seven yard
line ... that the Pomeroy eleven was rushing down ... trying to
penetrate Grinnell's quickly forming interference.  He made the catch,
clutching the ball to him fearsomely, terrorized at the thought of
dropping it, and felt himself in motion as he slid in behind Frank who
crossed in front of him.  Ten--fifteen--twenty yards he traveled ...
conscious that frenzied Pomeroy forms were being dumped heavily to
earth by fellow team-mates ... and that Frank, directly ahead, was
doing herculean work at clearing the way for him.  On the thirty yard
stripe, Frank suddenly went down, blocking off another tackler as he
fell ... and Mack was forced to veer toward the sidelines as he was
left upon his own.  He saw now that Dizzy Fox, Pomeroy's star backfield
man, was bearing rapidly down on him.  There was no escape ... he must
try to straight-arm ... or else be forced out of bounds....


Dizzy's body-jarring tackle could be heard over the entire field.  Mack
felt his breath violently punched from him and the mad clamor of the
field fade out in almost total darkness.  A referee's whistle
screeched.  Mick came to himself with the trainer bending over him,
lifting him up and down at the waist.  He was gasping for breath.

"Pomeroy's ball!" he heard the referee saying.

"Pomeroy's ball?" Mack repeated, dazedly.

"Yeah--you fumbled when you was hit!" said the trainer.  "Tough break,
old boy!"

Pomeroy's ball on Grinnell's forty yard line and Mack Carver's
brilliant runback of the initial kick-off reduced to naught!

"What will Coach Edward think?" an agonized Mack wondered as he
stumbled to his feet and was shoved back into position.

"Never mind that, Mack!" Frank was saying in his ear.  "That might have
happened to any of us!"

But this was small consolation and it was even less consolation when
Pomeroy, overjoyed at the early turn of fortune, put on an inspired
drive which carried them the remaining distance to the Grinnell goal in
three first downs.  The point after touchdown was kicked and Pomeroy,
five minutes after the game's opening, was out in front with a seven to
nothing lead.

"That's what you call brotherly cooperation!" remarked a disgruntled
rooter, but he was instantly howled down by those inclined to be

"Mack was over-anxious!" explained one.  "He made a great get-away but
he was trying too hard.  He was too tense when he was hit and the ball
was snapped out of his arms.  If he'd have relaxed, he'd have held onto
it.  Shouldn't I know?  I played for three years!"

Again Pomeroy kicked off.  This time the ball went to Frank Meade who
was downed on the twenty-five yard mark.  Then followed a terrific
struggle between two powerful lines--both elevens settling down to work
with the first hysteria of battle over.  The contest became a punting
duel between the twenty yard lines with the offense of the two teams
effectively checked.

"Looks like that lone touchdown might prove to be the measure of
difference between Pomeroy and Grinnell!" observed a spectator as the
half ended.  "If it is, it's going to be hard on Mack Carver!  He
hasn't shown much so far ... but no one has--except Dizzy Fox who made
the only score.  That fellow sums up as the best back on the field!"

In the locker room a dejected Mack Carver rightfully expected a
reprimand from his coach.  Instead, Coach Edward announced to his
squad: "Boys, you'll be glad to know that the man who stole our signals
and plays has been caught.  He's a small time gambler who'd placed bets
on Pomeroy to win.  We owe his capture to Mack's brother, Coach Carl
Carver.  And I want to again apologize to Mack for the embarrassment
I've caused him and his brother."

"That's all right, Coach," replied Grinnell's substitute back who had
played in the starting line-up for the first time.  "I'm darn sorry
about that fumble."

"Go out after 'em this half!" was Coach Edward's retort.  "You can get
that touchdown back!"

Mack could have no quarrel now about not being given the proper chance
to show what he could do.  Coach was keeping him in, was giving him the
benefit of every doubt, was finding no fault even when his fumble might
be costing Coach Edward an opportunity to take over the coaching reins
at Pomeroy ... and at the same time help Coach Carver to hold his

"This touchdown mustn't be what decides the game!" Mack told himself,
fervently.  "If Pomeroy wins, I mustn't be held accountable for it!"

The third quarter began as though to continue the close defensive
struggle but, along toward the end of the quarter, Grinnell suddenly
came to life as left half Frank Meade, behind the frenzied interference
of Mack Carver, broke away for a thirty-nine yard run which placed the
ball on Pomeroy's twenty-one yard mark.

"Great work, Mack!" shouted a delighted Dave Morgan from the Grinnell
bench.  Then, turning to the Grinnell subs, Dave grinningly declared:
"Say--he looked just like _me_ out there on that one!  Did you see him
block those tacklers out of the way?...  Now he's got going ... look
out, Pomeroy--here we come!"

Pomeroy's defense tightened.  An end run failed to gain.  A lateral
pass was good for four yards.  Third down and seven to go.

Quarterback Bert Henley, calling signals in the huddle, nominated one
of Coach Edward's new plays--the lateral pass opening into a forward.
On this play, Mack was to take the pass from Bert and lateral to Frank
who was to fade back while Mack screened the pass from in front,
blocking off would-be tacklers.

The ball was snapped.  Mack took the toss from Bert and started
running, then tossed the pigskin on to Frank who was running on his

The toss was poor and Frank fumbled, then recovered.  Mack continued
left, covering Frank as he dropped back ... but the Pomeroy line was
through fast and Mack found himself confronted with three frenzied
linesmen who sought to break up the pass.  He threw himself in front of
them all and actually succeeded in bringing two down but the third
dodged to the side and leaped up, just as Frank, hurried by the poor
toss, released the pass.

"It's intercepted!" screamed Pomeroy stands as the Pomeroy right end
deflected the ball and gathered it into his arms, starting off for the
Grinnell goal, some eighty yards distance.  He angled his run to avoid
a desperate Frank Meade who immediately gave chase.  Mack,
disentangling himself from the two Pomeroy linesmen, also attempted to
follow after but was bumped joltingly to the ground again by another
Pomeroy player who came up from nowhere to offer interference in his
team-mate's wake.

"Touchdown!" yelled a delirious Pomeroy as the right end crossed
Grinnell's goal just as Frank hit him in a diving tackle.  "There goes
your old ball game!"

Amid a riotous ovation by Pomeroy rooters, the point after touchdown
was added as the third quarter ended with the scoreboard reading:
Pomeroy, 14; Grinnell, 0.

"I'm responsible for that score, too!" moaned Mack, inconsolably.
"That rotten pass I made to you, Frank.  By the time you recovered and
got set they were on you!..."

Frank, bitterly disappointed, had nothing to say.  But Quarterback Bert
Henley, greatly perturbed by the breaks of the game, turned savagely
upon Grinnell's substitute back.

"You're right, Mack.  You've played a swell game today for Pomeroy!  If
you'd stolen the signals and handed 'em to your brother's team, you
couldn't have done any better!  Coach Edward's treated you pretty white
... but you're about as low as a guy could get!"

"Shut up, Bert!" demanded Frank, grabbing the outraged quarterback by
the arm as Mack accepted the blazing denunciation with clenched fists,
controlling himself with difficulty.

"He ought to be taken out!" cried fullback Steve Hilliard, equally

Grinnell team members looked to the sidelines, half-expectant that
Coach Edward would take action but he sat immobile as Pomeroy prepared
to kick-off once more.  Whether by design or not, the pigskin was
driven directly at Grinnell's offending player.

"I'll take it!" cried Frank, racing over from the side.

"No!" shouted Mack, "It's _mine_!"

Something in Mack's brain went hot at the realization that his
team-mates were trusting him no longer.  Here was Frank, trying to take
a ball away from him which was rightfully his to accept.  Frank made
the catch, snatching the ball practically out of Mack's arms.

"Get in front of me!" he yelled.

Mack had no other choice.  Pomeroy players were sifting through
Grinnell's interference as Mack shot up the field, with the
fleet-footed Frank constantly urging him on to greater speed, until
both got behind a wedge of their own team members who were doing an
excellent job of crashing Pomeroy tacklers.  At mid-field the wedge was
broken up and Mack and Frank emerged from the heap on their own.

"To the right!" directed Frank, seeing that two tacklers were bearing
down from the left.  Mack changed directions obediently.

Grinnell supporters, wild with hope, screamed the two runners on.

"Look out from behind!" they shrieked, as a Pomeroy player, giving mad
chase, was rapidly closing up the gap.

Frank looked back over his shoulder, then called to the fellow who had
put his own team in the hole.

"Mack--drop back and take that guy out!"

"Okay!" answered Mack, dropping at once to the rear as Frank raced past

The Pomeroy tackler loomed up almost at once and Mack, whose charge
down the field as Frank's interferer had been fraught with one
spectacular piece of frenzied blocking after another, now completed his
task by hurling himself in front of the last threat to Frank's
sensational touch down dash from kick-off.  Tackler and interferer went
down in a thudding pile as Grinnell's star halfback crossed Pomeroy's
goal line and triumphantly touched the ball down.  Then the field
rocked with sound.

"What a run!" gasped Dave Morgan, waving his crutch.  "And what a piece
of interfering!  Mack sure produced that time!  Didn't look like he was
handing the game to Pomeroy then, did it?...  Come on, gang--this old
game isn't lost yet!"

But a great groan went the rounds as the pass from center was bad and
Frank missed the kick for extra point.  Score: Pomeroy, 14, Grinnell, 6!

"If we make another touchdown and kick the goal, we'll still be a point
behind!" grieved a Grinnell supporter.  "There goes our outside chances
of at least tying the score!"

"Now you're playing _football_!" were Frank's words to Mack as he shook
his fist at him and then turned on other scowling team members with the
demand that they show a little fight.

"This is not enough!" Mack kept repeating.  "I've got to do more!...
This is not enough!"

Grinnell kicked off and it was a frenzied Mack Carver who raced down
the field to bowl over interferers and down the Pomeroy man with the
ball on his eighteen yard line.

"Yea, Carver!...  Yea, yea, yea!"

"Hold 'em!" ordered Quarterback Bert Henley.  "Make 'em kick!"

The Grinnell linesmen, battered from the pounding they had received,
dug their cleats into the turf and held for three downs with Pomeroy
being able to gain but two yards.  Dizzy Fox then dropped back to his
five yard line to punt.

"Block that kick!" was the cry.

And, with the snapping of the ball, Grinnell opened up a hole.  It
existed but for a moment as the lines strained against one another ...
but, in that moment, Grinnell's right guard was through.  He hurried
the kick, all but blocking it so that the ball went out of bounds on
Pomeroy's thirty yard mark.

"All right, gang!" shouted Quarterback Bert Henley.  "What are we going
to do about this?"

"We're going through!" answered the team to a man.

Coach Edward sent in three fresh linesmen with the aim of aiding the
offensive drive.  The scoreboard read: eight minutes to play.

To Mack's astonishment, he was given the ball on the first play, a
drive through tackle.  He plunged for four yards and, heard the
Grinnell stands yell his name.  Frank was good for two yards ... Steve
was good for four more and a first down on Pomeroy's twenty yard mark!

"That's hitting 'em!" commended Bert.  "Keep it up, you guys!  How
about you, Mack?  Do you want to see us win or don't you?"

Mack glared.  "Just gimme that ball!"

Fighting and squirming his way through, Mack made another four yards.

"Four yards, Carver!" the stands commenced shouting.

But Pomeroy rose up to turn fullback Steve Hilliard back at the line of

Third down and six to go.  Frank Meade--on a triple pass behind the
line--with Mack as interference, breaking out around left end!  The
play was beautifully executed but Mack, as he turned the end, stumbled
so that Frank bumped him and was thrown off his stride.  Before he
could recover, Pomeroy tacklers were in on him so that he gained but a

"There you go!" razzed Bert, shaking a blackened fist in Mack's face,
"Spilling the bucket again!"

"Shut up, Bert!" snapped Frank.  "Signals!"

"Signals!" Bert repeated.

Mack stiffened.  Bert was calling the trick play once more on which he
had made the poor toss to Frank.  This time the play must be good.
Here they were on Pomeroy's fifteen yard line and fourth down with five
yards to go.

"If I bungle _this_ one...!" Mack thought, and bit his lips.

Berths toss to him was wide but Mack reached out one hand and pulled
the ball to him as he ran.  He shot the ball on a quick lateral toss to
Frank and fairly sobbed his relief when he saw that the toss couldn't
have been better.  Frank faded, holding the pigskin ready to pass, as
Mack now turned his attention to helping block Pomeroy men who were
trying to get through at him.  In this he was successful, going down
under two Pomeroy linesmen as Frank shot a pass low and to the
right--over the end zone.  There--racing into the end zone, was right
end Eddie Miller.  He touched the ball with his finger tips, juggled
and caught it, being almost immediately buried beneath an avalanche of

"Yea!" roared the Grinnell stands.  "A touchdown!"

Pomeroy, a greatly sobered team, lined up in front of its own goal
posts.  The team charged viciously and Frank, with Bert upending the
ball, again missed the place-kick for extra point.

Score: Pomeroy, 14; Grinnell, 12.

"Well, we might as well lose by two points as one," philosophized a
Grinnell supporter.  "Nice comeback we staged ... but too late to do us
much good.  Only four minutes left to play."

Grim-faced Grinnell warriors eyed each other.  Could they possibly
regain possession of the ball and drive down the field for a third
touchdown and snatch a victory from almost certain defeat?  The odds
were overwhelmingly against them.  It had been a most spectacular and
pulsating game from the standpoint of spectator and player alike.  Both
teams were now near exhaustion from their offensive and defensive

"Brother Carl will certainly know his team's been in a ball game,"
thought Mack, feeling somewhat relieved that he had at last performed
creditably after several wretched blunders.  Inwardly, however, there
lurked a condemning conscience which impressed upon him that no
performance save one which might lead to a Grinnell victory could ever
suffice.  This feeling took precedence over a flash of satisfaction
that his brother was apparently to retain his coaching position, if it
actually had hung upon the outcome of this game.  "But I mustn't think
of this at all!" Mack told himself at once.  "My attitude has got to be
like Dave suggested.  I've simply got to forget any family tics.  I'm
playing to beat Pomeroy ... not my brother!"

Grinnell kicked off to Pomeroy and the visitors indicated at once that
they intended to retain possession of the ball until the end of the
game if they possibly could.  Several first downs in succession ate up
valuable seconds and took the ball to Grinnell's forty-five yard line.

"Hold 'em!" begged and ranted quarterback Bert Henley.  "What's the
matter with you guys?  Gone to pieces?...  Get in there and _hold that

More reserves came dashing out from the side lines to help bolster a
Grinnell forward wall which had taken plenty of punishment.  These
fresh men drove into the Pomeroy line on the first play and opened a
hole through which Mack Carver darted.  He hit an interferer, sent him
spinning and broke up a pass behind the line.  The ball went wild with
Mack following into Pomeroy's backfield after it.  Three wide-eyed
Pomeroy men were on his heels as he dived for the pigskin and rolled
over with it clutched against his stomach.  The three Pomeroy men
landed on him almost together.

"Grinnell's ball on Pomeroy's forty yard line!" announced the referee,
and Grinnell supporters went crazy.

"Great stuff, Mack!" shouted Coach Edward from the sidelines, and Mack,
hearing, could only gulp his joy.  The game might be lost but if Coach
Edward only could believe he'd done his best despite the two glaring
misplays ... errors, at least, which he, himself, could never excuse...!

"Your kid brother's playing quite a game out there!" observed a faculty
member to Pomeroy's coach who fidgeted nervously.

"_Quite_ a game?" was the response.  "A whale of a game!...  I never
saw a kid play in worse luck the first three quarters ... but now he's
making his own breaks ... and am I glad there's only a minute left to

Mack was thumped joyously on the back by fellow players as he staggered
back in position, holding his side.  He had held onto the ball at all
costs and despite a scrambled attempt on the ground to wrest it away
from him.

With only time for about two plays, Quarterback Henley called for a
pass.  Frank Meade faded back and shot a long one.  Mack, breaking
through with other possible receivers, had not expected to be singled
out, but wheeled just in time--after getting free--to hear the crowd
yell and see the pigskin coming straight at him.  He reached up and
picked it out of the air on Pomeroy's twenty-five yard line, being hit
before he could move by Dizzy Fox.

"Yea, Carver!" yelled the stands.

Mack, all but bewildered by the way plays had revolved about him, was
pushed into the huddle as time-keepers consulted their watches.

"What'll it be?" demanded Bert.  "Shall we chance another pass?"

"A field goal would do it?" cried Steve, with a glance at the
scoreboard.  "But Frank's toe hasn't been so hot today!"

"We've only time for one more play," reminded Bert.  "Can you fellows
hold that line?  Seems to me a kick's a little better than another
pass.  We're almost dead in front of the goal posts!"

"I'll try it if you say so!" volunteered Frank.  "Mack--you've got to
block 'em off until I toe that ball!  They mustn't get through at me
this time!"

"Okay!" said Mack, jaws tightening.  Here was the test.  A successful
kick meant defeat for his brother ... no, defeat for _Pomeroy_!  It
meant that all scores against him would be wiped out ... his misplays
forgotten...!  ... But how about his brother's coaching position?...
He mustn't think about that!...  His mother--her support!...  No,
no!...  Whatever happened would be all right....  He must do his part
... he must be loyal to Grinnell.  He'd picked this school with the
hope of someday helping to beat Pomeroy ... and here was his chance!...
He must do his part to the uttermost limit ... and then--if the kick
failed ... well--nobody could say he hadn't tried...!

"Kick formation!" Bert was calling.

A murmur of surprise swept through the stands and a pall of silence
fell.  Grinnell--attempting a field goal as a last resort ...
attempting to pull a lost cause out of the fire!

"Hold 'em, gang!" begged Bert.  "You've got to hold 'em!"

Grinnell's quarterback was kneeling, ready to upend the ball.  Steve
and Mack were stationed at the side and in front.  They exchange
determined glances.

"No one gets past us!" said Steve.

Mack, too full for words, nodded, fingers twitching, eyeing the enemy

Coach Carl Carver, pulling nervously at the rim of his hat, sized up
the distance between the teams and the goal posts.

"It's one chance in a...!" he started.

The ball flashed back and the two lines came together in a desperate
upheaval.  Grinnell's line wavered and snapped.  As it did so, Bert
caught the pigskin and placed its nose on the ground, sighting the
distant goal posts.  Frank started running forward.

"You get those two--I'll stop these babies!" fullback Steve shouted to
Mack as he blocked off frenzied Pomeroy linesmen, rushing through in a
mad attempt to spoil the kick.

"Right with you!" echoed Mack, obliterating from his mind all thoughts
of possible consequences ... intent only upon doing the job assigned
him.  His body halted the plunge of the Pomeroy left end and guard ...
and resulted in a third Pomeroy player piling atop.  As he went down he
caught a fleeting glimpse of the pigskin passing over his head.  A
moment of breathless, very terrible suspense, broken only by the sharp
crack of the timer's gun, signalling that the game was technically
over.  Then a tremendous roar!  Mack freed himself from the mass of
arms and legs just in time to see the ball settling over the bar and to
see the scoreboard change its figures to read:


Unaccountable things happened after that.  More pandemonium than a
fellow, playing his first full game for Grinnell had thought existed in
the world.  Joy-crazed students surrounding him as he suddenly gave
vent to his feelings and, to the amazement of fellow team-mates, broke
into uncontrolled sobs.

"What the heck are you crying about?" Frank Meade was demanding.

"Because," he choked, "Pomeroy lost!"

A great shout of laughter went up at this from all except those who
realized the predicament Grinnell's substitute back had been in.

"Cheer up, kid!" called a familiar voice, and Mack beheld Coach Carver
fighting his way through to him in company with Coach Edward.

"But you lost your job?" Mack wanted to know, still somewhat dazed by
it all.

"I sure did!" grinned Brother Carl, gripping him by the shoulder.  "You
knocked me out of that!...  I always said you couldn't play football!"

"And now he knows it!" smiled Coach Edward.  "I'm taking your brother's
place at Pomeroy next year--so he tells me!...  In fact, he recommended

"What?" gasped Mack.

"Why not?" rejoined Carl, his eyes twinkling.  "I've signed up to coach
Great Western next year at ... guess what salary...?"  Carl looked
about him, cautiously.  "I don't want any newspaper guys to hear
this--it's ... er ... just something to be kept in the family."
Whereupon Carl cupped his hand between his mouth and Mack's ear and
whispered a figure.

"No?" cried Mack, overjoyed, and--forthwith leaped atop his brother's
back, bearing him to earth for a down which was not recorded in the


"Look at that guy--he hasn't been eating enough to keep a canary alive
for the last three days!"

"You know what's the trouble, don't you?"


"Yeah--nervous indigestion?   Speed's on edge over the big game next
Saturday against Hamilton!"

"No kidding?"

Kinky Doyle, who sat at the Second Team's training table, stared at his
informant unbelievingly.

"Straight dope!" replied Sober Watkins, quarterback of the Scrubs, with
a glance toward the Varsity training table nearby and star half-back
Speed Bartlett, toying with his meal.  "Speed had the same kind of
stagefright last season ... lost so much appetite and sleep and got so
high strung that he fumbled in the Hamilton game and handed them the
victory on a platter!"

"That's funny," said Kinky, after a pause.  "He hasn't been this way up
to the last few days.  He's played through the whole year...!"

"Sure--the big game's the only one that bothers him this way," grinned
Sober.  "You know, some fellows can stand every kind of flower but
goldenrod ... and that knocks them for a flock of sneezes.  Well, for
some reason, Speed has the feeling that Hamilton's not to be sniffed
at.  All the other games are just dress rehearsals but this contest is
the real thing!"

"That's bad," declared Kinky, seriously.  "Bad for Speed and bad for
the team.  The other fellows can't help but be depressed by the way
he's taking it.  And after what happened last year it'll be a wonder if
Speed don't have the whole eleven on edge."

"You said it," agreed Sober.  "But what can we do about it?  That's a
neat little problem for Coach Brock to solve!"

Could the two squad members have known it, the Coach was even at that
moment turning a rather drastic plan over in his mind.  Something
certainly had to be done.  Practically every fellow at the Varsity and
Second Team training tables had observed the sudden funereal atmosphere
being radiated by one Speed Bartlett.  His sad and solemn conduct had
begun to descend like a pall upon a heretofore gay and carefree dining
hall.  Just why this climax to a Medford season should have such a
nervous effect upon her star halfback was as difficult to determine as
why some folks got short of breath in the proximity of a cat.  "Cat
asthma", this was called.  There weren't any words exactly descriptive
of Speed's disorder for he was courageous to a fault.  In the heat of
battle he played with an abandon and a drive that usually carried him
through to his objectives.  It wasn't, then, a matter of his actually
being "afraid" of anything.  But, still, the seeming mere anticipation
of the big game with Hamilton produced a nerve-shattering reaction.

"I can't let this go on," Coach Brock decided, "or I won't have any
morale left.  Hamilton has a strong eleven this year and we'll need all
the fighting spirit we've got.  Now if I can just figure out some way
to suspend Speed from the team--tell him he's out of the big
game--relieve him of his nerve tension and then shove him in the
contest at the last minute ... that might turn the trick!"

Phil Doran and Milt Gleeson were as rabid Medford supporters as could
be found in college.  More than this--they were close chums of Speed
Bartlett.  Between them they owned a little runabout in which they
travelled to the various college towns where Medford's eleven might be
playing.  The coming Hamilton game, however, was to be played at
Medford and, since it was to be the last contest of the season, the
boys' football trips were over.

"What do you suppose Coach Brock's sent for us about?" Phil asked Milt
as the two were on the way to the athletic director's office.

"Haven't the slightest idea," grinned Milt.  "But maybe he wants us to
help him work out some new plays to spring against Hamilton!"

"Only play I could suggest would be for him to put in the first and
second teams at the same time," declared Phil.  "Then we might have a
chance to win by sheer weight of numbers!"

"Oh, it's not as bad as that," replied Milt, defensively.  "If Speed
just holds to his regular form this year, he'll give Hamilton plenty of
trouble.  He's crazy to make up for his fumble in last season's game.
Have you seen him lately?"

"Not in three days.  Have you?"

"No.  I called around at his dorm yesterday but he wasn't in.  About
time we got together again.  Speed's a great guy."

"And a mighty sweet football player," complimented Phil.  "Well, here
we are--outside the sanctum of the man who controls the destinies of
Medford pigskin chasers.  Shall I rap?"

"Sure--don't you see it says 'private'?"

A voice bade the callers to "come in!" and Phil and Milt presently
found themselves standing before the genial-faced coach.

"Sit down!" Coach Brock invited, motioning to chairs.  And when the two
wondering visitors were seated, he came straight to the point with: "I
understand you fellows know Speed Bartlett very well?"

Phil and Milt exchanged glances.

"Well ... er ... yes, sir ... we ...!"

"We're _pretty_ good friends," temporized Milt.  "Why--what's ...  er
... happened?...  Is Speed in trouble?"

Coach Brock smiled, amusedly.  "Yes, as a matter of fact, he is.  Not
necessarily serious trouble," he hastened to assure as Phil and Milt
looked their concern, "but I want to guard against it getting any

"Good grief!" exclaimed Milt, anxiously.  "What's Speed done?"

"We haven't been out with him for some time," volunteered Phil, "so we
wouldn't know anything."

"It's nothing like that," declared the Coach.  "Speed's simply going to
pieces over thoughts of the Hamilton game.  I've got to break him of
this or he's going to have himself in such a mental stew by game-time
that he'll be next to useless."

"Oh--then you want us to brighten him up?" divined Phil.

Coach Brock shook his head.  "No, there's only one thing that can have
any effect upon Speed," he said, decisively.  "He's got to be told that
he can't play on Saturday.  This will bitterly disappoint him, of
course, but it will relieve him at the same time.  But the fly in the
ointment is how to make Speed believe that he's really not going to
play.  He knows very well that I wouldn't remove the star of the team
without definite reason.  Obviously, then, the only way we can put one
over on Speed is to catch him breaking one of the strict rules I've
laid down for members of the squad."

"Now I 'get' you," cried Phil, eagerly.  "You want us to help get Speed
in bad!"

"That's precisely it," agreed the coach.  "And here's how you can do
it.  Take him over to Ashby in your car to catch the early evening
show.  There's a Knute Rockne two-reeler showing at the picture house
that I'll recommend be seen.  As you fellows know, my orders are for
every man on the squad to be in his room and in bed by ten o'clock.
Ashby is a good twenty miles from here and, after stalling for time you
start back to Medford with just time enough left to get Speed to his
dorm within the ten o'clock law.  Unfortunately, however, your car
breaks down and you are delayed getting back until after midnight."

"Quite a thrilling plot," agreed Milt.

"It calls for some real acting," opined Phil.  "And if Speed ever
caught on he'd darn near kill us!"

"Aren't you willing to die for your college?"

smiled Coach Brock.  "I'll be within sight of the dorm so that I can
manage to be passing when you drive up, several hours late, with Speed.
What happens after that will be regrettable but hardly any fault of
yours.  Automobiles do break down ... even in the best of families!"

Phil and Milt grinned.

"But what if Speed doesn't care to see this picture?" queried Milt.

"I think he'll jump at the chance after the send-off I give to it this
afternoon at practice," said the coach.  "But I'll insist that all
fellows who do make arrangements to take in the show, make a point of
getting back by their accustomed hour."

"Okay!" accepted Phil.  "We'll tackle Speed on the proposition after
practice ... tell him we've just learned of the football program ...
and that we're leaving in time to catch the seven o'clock show.
Wouldn't he like to go along?"

"That's right," Coach Brock approved.  "You can explain to Speed that
the seven o'clock show will be over around nine o'clock which gives you
a whole hour to drive the twenty miles back.  Let me know, for sure, if
you can make arrangements, and I'll be ready to do my part."

"We'll try our darndest," promised Phil.

"And, of course," the coach added, warningly, "it goes without saying
that you are to keep this little matter strictly confidential.  You are
doing this, remember, for the team!"

Phil and Milt stiffened with a sense of their responsibility.

"You can trust us," they assured.

Speed Bartlett was quite innocent of any plot against him and quite
glad to accept the invitation of his two friends to attend the show.
In fact, he welcomed the opportunity as a means of possible relaxation.
Coach Brock had spoken highly of the Knute Rockne short
subject--declaring it to be extremely educational, particularly as
pertained to open field running.  Since this was supposed to be Speed's
specialty, his curiosity was aroused.

"Strange you fellows should be interested in seeing this same show,"
mused Speed, on the way over.  "It's a good break for me since I'm
supposed to see it, anyway."

"Listen, Speed," declared Phil.  "We're nuts over football.  We'd go
almost anywhere within reason to see a game or something interesting
about it.  And when we read in the paper that one of Knute Rockne's
pictures was there ... well, that was enough for us!"

"Clever bird, this fellow, Knute," kidded Milt.  "I'd place him next to
Coach Brock."

Arriving at Ashby, Phil and Milt parked their car on a side street and
were surprised to find a crowd waiting to get seats.

"Hello--they're doing some real business.  Must be a great show!"
exclaimed Milt, with a wink at Phil.

"Ten minutes after seven," said Speed, a bit disturbed.

"Oh, there's plenty of time," said Phil, "but I've got so in the habit
of sitting that I hate to stand."

It was seven-thirty before the three patrons from Medford were escorted
to seats and then it was to discover that the Knute Rockne feature had
just finished.

"Tough luck," Milt whispered.  "But it'll start the next show.  We're
all right."

The three then settled down to enjoy the feature picture and time sped
quickly.  It was ten after nine that the Knute Rockne short subject
next flashed on the screen and its interest was compelling from the
start.  The two-reeler was over at nine-forty, much to Speed's concern
when he discovered the time.

"Holy smoke!" he cried.  "We've got twenty minutes to drive twenty
miles.  You fellows'll never make it!"

"We'll try!" declared Phil, optimistically, as they rushed for the car.
"Gosh, where did that time go to?"

"Won't make much diff if we are a few minutes late," said Milt,
reassuringly.  "Coach won't hold you to account on this."

"But he made a point of saying we had to be back on time if we went,"
Speed recalled.

"Sure--he's got to keep his discipline up," rejoined Phil, sliding
behind the wheel and working the starter.  "What's the matter with this
thing?  Have I flooded the carburetor?"

The engine had refused to respond.

"That's probably what's the trouble," diagnosed Milt.  "Turn off your
gas entirely."

"Good grief!" groaned Speed, "Get going, you guys!  I don't want to be
any later than I have to!"

"Keep your shirt on!" soothed Milt.  "There she spits!  She'll catch
hold in a minute.  This little old bus hasn't failed us yet."

Another valuable minute shot past ... and another.

"Say--there goes the interurban!" said Medford's star halfback,
nervously.  "It makes Medford by ten-thirty.  I'd better catch it!"

"Don't be foolish!" cried Milt, grabbing Speed and holding him in the
car.  "We'll be back in Medford before that traction!  It's a concrete
road most all the way!"

"Here we go!" announced Phil as the engine finally took hold.
"Now--just as soon as we get beyond the city limits...!"

At ten o'clock, when all good little football players were supposed to
be tucked in their beds or, at least, safe in their rooms, a runabout
containing the outstanding star of Medford's eleven was whizzing along
the highway with the indicator wavering between fifty and fifty five
miles an hour.

"Nine miles in fifteen minutes!" figured Phil, eyes intent on the road
ahead.  "At that rate we'll be in Medford around ten-sixteen.  You
don't see that interurban do you?"

"It's just about leaving Ashby now!" grinned Milt.  "How's this for
traveling, Speed?  This is just a little faster than you go down the
field.  Say--what did you think of that Rockne picture anyhow?  Pick up
any pointers?"

"Very interesting," admitted Speed.  "But what's that I hear--is it a
knock in the motor?"

"Careful, Phil!" warned Milt.  "The old engine's getting too hot again.
Better slow up!"

"What's the matter?" asked Speed, anxiously.

"Nothing much," answered Milt, "Only we can't hit it up too fast for
too long a time.  Might burn out a bearing or something!"

Phil reduced the speed from fifty to twenty miles an hour and still the
knocking persisted.

"Sounds like it's almost out of gas," said Speed.  "It's commencing to
cough now!"

"Maybe it caught cold standing out there to-night," suggested Milt.
"It _is_ acting strangely.  Wouldn't you say so, Phil?"

"Something's gone wrong," was Phil's grave comment.  "I think there's
some foreign substance clogging the carburetor!"

Pulling to the side of the road, Phil stopped the car.

"Now what?" gasped Speed, glancing at his watch.

"Have to take a look," said Phil, getting out and raising the hood.
"Pass out the flashlight, Milt!"

"Which seat is it under?" asked the confederate in the dire conspiracy.

"How do I know?" was Phil's rejoinder.

A half hour of tinkering with the engine followed, during which an
agitated Speed Bartlett paced up and down the highway, returning every
few minutes to inquire the progress made.

"We can't even get the engine started now," was Milt's cheerful report.
"It's a good thing we stopped when he did!"

"That's where you made your mistake," said Speed, irritably.  "You
never should have stopped!"

"No!" retorted Phil, caustically.  "You should burn out a bearing on
_your_ car!"

"I haven't any car!" replied Speed, sharply.

"That's just the point!" returned Milt, smothering a chuckle.  "But,
don't worry, Speed, we'll explain to the Coach!  Have a chocolate
bar--there's one in my coat in the car."

"I can't eat anything," was Speed's glum rejoinder.  "My stomach's on
the blink."

A flashing headlight suddenly appeared from around a curve in the road.

"Heigho!" exclaimed Phil.  "Here comes the interurban!"

"Quick--your flashlight!" cried Speed, with sudden resolution.  "I'll
flag it!"

Medford's football star dashed forward but Milt fumbled the flashlight
in handing it over and by the time Speed got hold of it the interurban
was whizzing past.

"I knew I ought to have gone home by traction!" he lamented, loudly.
"Something told me not to go back with you guys!  This is terrible!"

"Listen, Speed--you're getting all worked up over this," consoled Milt.
"You crawl in the car there and curl up on the seat and get your sleep.
That's why the Coach wants you to turn in at ten--so you'll get the
right amount of sleep.  If he should find out about this, we'll tell
him you got your sleep just the same!"

"Sleep?" bellowed a greatly aggravated!  Speed.  "I haven't slept for
four nights as it is!  How can I sleep now?"

"Hey, Phil!" cried Milt, insinuatingly.  "I'll fix this bird.  Where's
the monkey wrench?"

It was a quarter to one o'clock before a familiar looking runabout
appeared in front of the MacDaniel Dormitory and the door popped open
to let a highly exasperated and greatly worried athletic figure out.
There was not a sign of another soul upon the campus, nor was there a
light visible save the flickering street lamps.

"Coast is clear!" whispered Milt.  "Awfully sorry, old boy, but nobody
will be any the wiser.  You sneak in to your room and...!"

"Hello, there!" sounded a voice.  "Is that you, Speed?"

"Blue murder!" exclaimed an agonized fellow, under his breath, as he
cringed against the side of the car.  "That's Coach now!"

"It can't be!" said Phil, punching Milt knowingly with his elbow.
"What would Coach be doing out this time of night?"

There were the sounds of footsteps approaching.

"Make a break for it!" advised Milt, hoarsely.

"I can't," moaned Speed.  "I--I'm caught--cold!"

"Well!" addressed Coach Brock, as he got within real hailing distance.
"Is this the time for you to be turning in?  Who are these chaps with
you?...  Oh, yes--I see.  Doran and Gleeson.  Where have you been?"

"It's all our fault, Coach," Phil spoke up.  "Milt and I took Speed
over to see the Rockne picture at Ashby and ... and our car broke down
on the way back."

"I've heard that story before," was Coach Brock's unfeeling reply.
"What did I tell you, Speed, about being in by ten o'clock?"

"But, sir ... I ... er ... it was unavoidable," stammered Medford's
star half-back.  "I fully intended ..."

"Sorry, Speed!" cut short the Coach, severely.  "Orders are orders.
I'd like to make an exception but this wouldn't be fair to the other
members of the squad.  From now on you're under suspension and this act
removes you from the game on Saturday!"

"No, Coach, no!" pleaded Speed.  "You can't keep me out ... not for
this!  It's the first time I ever broke regulations and it wasn't

"Then why were you trying to sneak in the house?" demanded Coach Brock.
"You didn't intend to report this infraction to me did you?"

"Well, er ... don't suppose I did," Speed was forced to confess.  "I
was afraid maybe you wouldn't understand."

"Hmm!  It's a good thing I worked late at the office tonight," was the
Coach's comment.  "As it is, I understand only too perfectly.  You'll
turn in your suit tomorrow!"

Medford campus was thrown in a turmoil the next day, which was Tuesday,
with the news of Speed Bartlett's suspension.  The report was first
treated as a rumor but when a crestfallen Speed himself would not deny
it and when he did not appear on the field for practice, the awful
truth finally dawned.

"It's good-bye game now!" mourned Medford fans.  "Did you hear what
Coach kicked Speed off the team for?  Being out late!  Can you fathom
that?  And Speed had a good reason, too ... he was in a car that broke

A wave of indignation swept the college that the star player should be
ruled out of the big game of the year on a technicality, but Coach
Brock, in issuing a brief statement, stood by his guns, declaring that
discipline was necessary and the owners of the car, on further
cross-examination, could not prove that anything was or had been wrong
with the car.  It was natural that such an excuse would be offered when
the fellows were caught flat-footed.  But none of the three, under
questioning, would tell where they had been after leaving the theatre
at Ashby.

The affect of Speed's removal on his fellow team members was to
eliminate any possible tendencies toward over-confidence.  In its stead
a grim determination was born.  Medford would have to make up for the
loss of its star by a greater fighting spirit.

Speed himself, as disappointed as he was, suddenly discovered that his
appetite had returned.  Stomach muscles which had contracted under the
nervous anticipation of the coming conflict, now relaxed and set up a
cry for food to work upon.  And, while Speed no longer reported to the
training table, it was observed by a spying Phil and Milt that he ate
abundantly but wisely.

"Coach sure knows his psychology," Milt said to Phil as they were
crossing the campus the day before the game.  "All that was the matter
with Speed was a bad case of nerves...."

At the moment of this remark, the fellow in question was hurrying in an
attempt to overtake his two friends, and had just gotten within
earshot.  Discovering that he was being talked about, Speed lagged
curiously behind.

"Speed's got sand all right," he overheard Phil say.  "But he worries
too much before hand.  You can imagine how bad it must have been for
the training table with Speed sitting there like a guy with a load of
lead in his stomach.  The whole eleven's better off.  It's a blow to
have Speed suspended but Medford'll take the field tomorrow with a
world of fight.

"And when Coach sends Speed into the game--maybe Medford spirit won't
rise sky high!" chuckled Milt.  "Boy, I guess maybe we didn't play our
parts to perfection!  We ought to get letters for this!"

Medford's star halfback stopped in his tracks and let his two friends
continue on their way, not realizing that he was anywhere near them.
He was burning with humiliation and resentment.  So--this had all been
a put-up job!  Coach Brock had enlisted the services of his two chums
to frame him ... to save his nerve for the big battle!

"I'll go to the Coach and tell him what I think of him!" was Speed's
first reaction.

But more sober thought decided Speed against this step.  There was
truth in what Phil and Milt had said about him.  He had been painfully
conscious of his feelings toward the coming game.  Even now, since he
knew that Coach Brock intended reinstating him at the last moment, all
the old nervous symptoms had returned, worse than ever.  There was that
heavy feeling in his stomach, the quickening of his pulse, the strained
sensation in his head....

"I guess I wasn't such a good influence around the fellows in this
condition," Speed reflected glumly.  "But Coach put me off the team and
I'm going to stay off the team.  I'll fix him--I'll leave town tonight
so he _can't_ get hold of me!"

Saturday morning found the campus of Medford alive with old grads and
loud-mouthed Hamilton rooters who told everyone who would listen, in no
uncertain terms, what their eleven was going to do to the home team.

"Too bad your star is out of the game!" Hamilton lamented.  "You'll be
using that for an alibi--but we'd have beaten you either way!"

At noon, Coach Brock sent word by second team member, Kinky Doyle, that
Speed Bartlett was to report to him at once.  The Varsity had just left
training table, having had an early lunch.  In two hours they would be
dressing for the game.

"Hey, Coach!" cried an excited Kinky fifteen minutes later.  "I've just
come from Speed's room.  He's not there ... but I found this
note--addressed to you!"

Coach Brock took the note, wonderingly, opened it, and read:

To Coach Brock,
  Medford College,

Dear Sir:

Since I have been removed from the team, I couldn't bear to stay and
see the game, so I have left town.


"Great jumping Jehoshaphat!" swore Coach Brock, crumpling the paper.
"The boy's gone crazy!  Get hold of Doran and Gleeson at once!"

"Yes, sir!" blinked a wondering Kinky Doyle, hurrying off.

With Phil and Milt delivered to him, post haste, Coach Brock took them
privately aside and showed them the note.  Phil gasped and Milt

"Where would Speed have gone?" demanded the coach.

"I haven't the slightest idea," replied Milt.  "Have you, Phil?"

"There's four different directions," Phil answered.  "And one's as good
as another!"

"Well, you've got to find him!" the Coach ordered.  "You got him in
this mess!"

"_Us?_" mumbled Phil and Milt, all but overcome.

"Don't argue!" snapped the Coach.  "Get out and hunt him up!  If Speed
Bartlett doesn't play today, the game's as good as lost!"

"End of first half!" cried the radio announcer.  "And what a game this
has been!...  But Hamilton's great team is proving too much for Medford
today.  They're out in front, two touchdowns, thirteen to nothing,
which just about indicates the difference in playing strength.
Medford's offensive hasn't been able to get going ... no doubt due to
the loss of their backfield star, Speed Bartlett...  Stand by, folks,
we're to have a word now from Coach Brock of Medford...!"

There was a moment of prickling silence, then the sound of someone
clearing a husky throat.

"I hope you will pardon me, radio football fans, for this brief
intrusion," spoke Coach Brock.  "But I am addressing this appeal to
Speed Bartlett with the hope that he may be within the reach of my
voice.  I herewith apologize to him.  Further ... er ... facts have
just come to light in regard to his violation of the rules and were he
here in Medford today he would be offered his place in the line-up.  It
is self-evident that Medford needs him...!"

A certain young man, standing in front of a radio store in Ashby,
waited to hear no more.  He rushed over to a taxi stand at the curb and
hailed a driver who had been listening in on the game.

"What'll you charge to take me to Medford?"

The taxi driver almost fell from his seat.

"That's a fifteen dollar ride, son!"

"Okay!" accepted Speed, "And there's an extra five in it for you if you
break all records getting there!"

"Have you got that much money?" asked the driver, incredulously.

"No," answered Speed, truthfully.  "But Coach Brock has...!"

"Oh--be you Speed Bartlett?" exclaimed the driver, starting his car.
"Suffering cats, boy!  Then I'm gonna turn this old bus into a flyin'

"Good!" cried Speed, jumping in.  "Oh--wait a second!  I want to run in
this telegraph office!"

A messenger boy, twenty minutes later, with the third quarter about
four minutes under way, reached Coach Brock's side.  The coach was
intent upon the game inasmuch as his team was being pushed once more
into the shadow of its own goal posts.  Hardly realizing what he was
doing, he took the yellow envelope and thrust it in a side pocket.

"Hey, Coach!" cried a substitute, grabbing his mentor by the arm.
"That was a telegram!"

"Read it to me!" snapped Coach Brock, handing the wire over and not
taking his eyes off the field.

The sub slit the envelope open and gazed at the message in bewilderment.

"Why--why--this is funny!" he exclaimed.  "There's no name signed or
anything--just one word...!"

"What is it?" asked the Coach.  "Hold 'em out there!  What's the matter
with you fellows?  Gordon, go in for Ochs at left tackle!...  What did
you say that one word was...?"

"The word is '_coming_'!" announced the substitute.

Coach Brock whirled, interest quickening, and seized the yellow piece
of paper.

"_Coming?_" he repeated.  "Coming?...  By George--this is from that
goofy Speed Bartlett!...  Jerry, you go in for Maltby at right guard.
Get Pete to take a time-out and tell the team that Speed's on the way
here.  Tell those guys to buck up!  Speed'll be in the game now ...
he's due any minute!"

A second substitute raced out on the field and Coach Brock now
excitedly examined the telegraph blank.

"Ashby!" he groaned, as he saw the office from which the wire was sent.
"Twenty miles...  He had ten minutes of the intermission minutes for
time-outs ... plus two minutes' for the third quarter plus another ten
to fifteen minutes for time-outs ... plus two minutes' intermission
between quarters ... how much does that make?  Can he get here before
the game's over?...  Why did that galoot have to go so far away?...
Come on, team--the old fight!"

News that their backfield star was due to appear any second proved a
tremendous bracer to a beaten team.  Medford braced on her ten yard
line and held the mighty Hamilton for downs, then punted out of danger.
Medford did even more than this.  As the third quarter drew to a close,
she drove deep into Hamilton territory on her first sustained offensive
of the day.

"Save the game for Speed!" became the slogan.  "Put the old ball in
scoring position!"

But the fourth quarter got under way with no sign of Speed Bartlett and
Coach Brock was forced to wave a yellow slip of paper as proof that he
hadn't been pulling a ruse on his team.

"He's coming!" the coach megaphoned.  "This wire says so!"

"He must be coming from Florida!" growled quarterback Pete Slade.
"Let's go, guys!...  Maybe we can score without him!"

A taxi suddenly wheezed into the stadium, steam and water frothing from
the radiator, the cap of which had been blown off.  A figure leaped
from the taxi before it had come to a stop and went racing toward the
Medford bench.  A section of the Medford crowd recognized the figure
and set up a great hue and cry.  The Medford team, hearing the
outburst, immediately called for "Time out!"

"Pay this man twenty bucks!" Speed panted, pointing to the taxi driver,
as Coach Brock embraced him, wildly.  "How about my togs?"

"They're right here!" said the Coach.  "Gather around him, you fellows.
He'll have to change on the field ... no time to chase to the locker

Clothes were fairly thrown at Medford's star halfback and willing hands
helped strip him while other willing hands, almost too willing, fairly
jerked on his moleskins.  Meanwhile Coach Brock had shoved two ten
dollar bills in the taxi driver's hand, wrapped a blanket around him
and pushed him down on the bench alongside the substitutes.

"What's he doing this for?" asked the bewildered driver.

"Don't know," grinned the sub next him.  "If he finds he needs you,
he'll probably send you into the game!"

The time-out period exhausted, Medford resumed play with third down and
eight to go on Hamilton's fifteen yard mark.  But, so stimulating was
the knowledge that Speed Bartlett was actually on the field, Medford
opened up a hole which sent quarterback Pete Slade galloping through
for a first down!

And then the top of the stadium all but lifted as Speed dashed out on
the gridiron, buckling his belt.  Team-mates greeted him like a long
lost brother and Medford went into a huddle.  The stands were in an
uproar.  Fullback Ned Turner went through for two yards to Hamilton's
five yard mark.

There was nothing nervous about Speed Bartlett as he crouched in his
position, waiting to hear his signal called.  He had been given so much
to think about on his wild ride from Ashby to Medford that the nerve
strain had left him.  He was coldly calm and grimly determined,
obsessed with a desire to make up for lost time.  An enthused Medford,
having taken a severe battering from Hamilton earlier in the game, now
tore into the enemy and made a slicing opening for her backfield star
who flashed through and over the line for a touchdown on his first play.

Phil and Milt, just entering the stadium after a fruitless search for
Speed, could not believe their eyes as they looked out on the gridiron.

"What's Coach been doing--kidding us?" they gasped.  "Speed's been in
the game all the time!"

Greater cheers as Speed kicked goal for extra point and the scoreboard
changed to read: Hamilton, 13, Medford, 7.

"Six more minutes to play!" someone announced, hysterically.  "Do it
again, Speed, old boy!"

Team members exchanged words with Speed as they lined up to kick off to

"Boy, we thought you'd never get here!"

"So did I!" Speed grinned.  "Been softening Hamilton up for me all this
time, eh?  Well, let's get another touchdown!"

A worried Hamilton, receiving the kick-off, was downed on her
twenty-two yard mark.  But three yards were gained on two tries and
Hamilton punted, desperately resolved to hold the touchdown lead to the
finish.  It was Medford's ball on her own thirty-three yard line.  But
Medford now was playing with a frenzy and yet with a precision which it
had not shown all season.  Mixing line plays, end runs and lateral
passes, with Speed Bartlett being given the ball three-fourths of the
time, quarterback Pete Slade drove his warriors down to Hamilton's
twenty yard mark with two minutes remaining.

"Listen, fellows!" said Speed, in a huddle, "I saw a play in a movie
the other day ... one of Knute Rockne's ... and there's a weakness in
Hamilton's line ... right where this play's supposed to go.  It's an
off-tackle smash ... and if the man with the ball gets through into the
open field it's almost impossible to stop him...!"

"Give us the dope!" ordered quarterback Slade.  "We're entitled to one
more time-out!"

"Now what's Speed up to?" wondered Coach Brock, who, for the past five
minutes had been biting off fingernails at a rapid rate.  "Looks to me
like he's been knocked goofy and is delivering the boys an oration!"

With the calling of time the team snapped back into position and a new
formation took shape before an astounded Coach's eyes.  The ball was
passed and a hole was suddenly cracked open off left tackle.  Through
this hole a dashing Speed disappeared and then, as suddenly, reappeared
in the face of Hamilton's surprised secondary defense.  Two would-be
tacklers were shunted out of the way by vicious Medford interference
and Speed side-stepped another.  The rest of the way to the goal line
was unmolested and he romped across for his second touchdown of the
quarter to tie the score at thirteen all!

"I never gave the boys that play," said Coach Brock.  "But it's vaguely
familiar.  I've seen it some place before!"

"That play was shown in the Rockne picture!" informed a substitute.

Coach Brock blinked a moment, then put a hand to his head, staggered
dizzily, and sat down.  But he did not remain seated long for Speed
Bartlett coolly toed the ball between the uprights for the point that
sent Medford into the lead, fourteen to thirteen, just as the gun
banged for the game's end, in one of the greatest last quarter finishes
ever witnessed in the home stadium.

Phil and Milt were the first wild-eyed rooters to reach Medford's star
halfback as other supporters swarmed on the field with one idea in
mind--to tear down the goal posts.  They hoisted a protesting Speed on
their shoulders and hurried him across the field toward the Medford

"Why carry me this way?" Speed shouted, looking down at them.  "How
about your car--is it broken down again?"

Something in the way Speed said this caused Phil and Milt to glance up

"How did you get wise?" Phil wanted to know.

"Never mind!" rejoined Speed.  "Keep moving!  Don't let this crowd
catch me ... and keep me away from Coach Brock!..."

"Why?" gasped Milt.  "What's the matter?"

"Nothing!" said Speed, "except I haven't had anything but a malted milk
all day--and I'm darned hungry!"

"Can you beat that!" groaned Phil.  "Hold up your side of him, Milt!
He's getting darned heavy!...  Here we've sacrificed ourselves to save
this guy's nerves ... and then, in this last five minutes, we get all
upset ourselves!  My stomach's tied up in such a knot that I couldn't
even digest a soda wafer."

"Don't mention stomach to me," said Milt.  "I'm a nervous wreck!"

"Hey!" shouted a jubilant Coach Brock, who saw that a gathering crowd
was carrying the star of the game in triumph to the locker room.  "Wait
for me, Speed!"  Then, grinningly, he held up a yellow slip of paper
and signalled with it.  "Don't you see--you boob--I--I'm _coming_!"...


"Here, take this--it's your token of good luck," she had said.  That
was twenty years ago, when she was a wistful, dark-eyed slip of a girl
and he a wiry, sandy-haired bundle of nerves that football authorities
insisted on dubbing the best quarterback in Harvard history, a man who
would certainly be accorded All-American honors at the conclusion of
the season.

It was a bare hour before the game that he had met her in a secluded
spot in the shadow of the stands.  A cold rain was falling which, most
every one admitted, made a Yale victory look overwhelmingly certain.
He could remember how the delicately traced fingers had clung to the
lapel of his sweater, and how, when he had started to take leave of her
for the locker room, she had restrained him.

The fingers had gone to her throat, had fumbled there an instant, and
had undone the slip of a crimson bow which had been caught at the
collar of her waist.  Tinglingly he could recall how she had commanded
him to hold out his right wrist, how sheepish he had felt when she had
tied the bow about it--and yet how proud!  He had kissed it then and
she had laughed, a laugh of nervous admiration, and patted him on the
arm.  And he had gathered her into one last, impulsive embrace and
whispered, "My darling wife!"

Ah, that was twenty years ago!  Twenty years!  And yet memory made it
yesterday; for to-day Carrington R. Davies was going back--back to the
scene of it all--back to witness the annual clash with the Yale
Bulldogs, and to sit in the stands where he would be pointed out as one
of Harvard's greatest old-time football heroes.

Every year since his graduation, C. R. D. had gone back on the occasion
of the Yale game--gone either to Cambridge or New Haven--and he
intended to keep on doing it as many years as he was permitted to draw

As Davies took the train at the Grand Central Station, New York, he
glanced apprehensively at the gray sky overhead and hoped that the
weather man who had prophesied rain was wrong.  Harvard would need a
dry field this year to stand an even chance at winning.  Her back field
was light, fast, and shifty.  It depended on a quick get-away and a
sure under-footing.  Yale's eleven was solid, heavy from end to end,
with a stubborn defense that had allowed but two touchdowns so far that
season, and a pile-driving back field that moved slowly but surely
behind a battering forward wall.  If it rained, Davies reflected,
Harvard's last vestige of hope was due to be trampled in the mud.

And yet twenty years before, almost to the day, with a driving rain
falling and Yale dangerously near Harvard's goal in the last quarter,
the game locked in a grim nothing-nothing tie, a bespattered,
sandy-haired youth with a crimson bow encircling his right wrist, had
scooped up a fumble at his very goal line and dodged and slipped
through the whole Eli team for a frenzied touchdown.

The final score of that heart-blasting contest had been five to
nothing, and the sensational length-of-the-field run had clinched for
the Harvard quarterback his right to All-American honors.  The feat was
talked about yet, wherever Harvard men gathered who had witnessed the
spectacle of victory jerked from the grinning jaws of defeat.  At the
Harvard Club on Forty-fourth Street, New York, Carrington frequently
ran into brother alumni who said, "I remember you when----" and then he
was forced to listen to their versions of his crowning football

Davies found solace in going over old times.  The Harvard Club was his
haven of refuge.  He was one of the best known men there.  To enter the
dining room was to nod to men at practically every table.  There was a
joy in feeling that he was among friends; in having his praises sung to
younger grads by those who had chummed with him in college; to have his
football prowess perpetuated by retelling.

It was nothing to C. R. D. that he was recognized also as one of the
leading architects in New York City.  He had worked hard the past
twenty years, but perhaps it was not so much because he had yearned to
go forward as it was to keep him from thinking too much on certain
closed incidents of his life.

At times, like this morning, he found himself trying to piece together
what his father, Martin S. Davies, would have told him had he not died
with the words on his lips.  It was only four years back.  The elder
Davies had been stricken suddenly while Carrington was in the West, and
a wire had brought the son on the first train.  He was told, on
arrival, that the father was desperately ill; that he had held to the
weakening thread of life and consciousness because of a strong-willed
desire to impart some vital information to his son.

However, when Carrington Davies had been led into the sick room, the
father, overcome with emotion, died from the shock, his fingers
clutching the arms of his son, his eyes set upon his son's face, and
the words: "Your wife--I--she's at----" trailing off into the darkness
with him.

For days after, when all his father's effects had been painfully gone
over, Davies had sat in frenzied study.  It had been years since he had
given serious thought to the brief, tragic romance of his college days.
He had suffered keenly for a time, but his father's counsel had held
weight with him, held weight even though he could never forget the
girl, nor that day of days when she had plighted her faith in him with
the dainty crimson bow and he had gone out on the field of battle
feeling like a gladiator.  A silly, lovesick fool he had been, perhaps,
on that glorious day; but no incident in his entire life thereafter
quite came up to this.

When he had become older and more mature, when he had reached an age at
which he could better judge the sort of woman he should marry, Davies,
as his father said he would, had come upon the discovery that all
feminine creatures were hopeless bores.  Thus his unattached state grew
to be recognized as perennial, and whatever romance he enjoyed came to
him through the cultivated channels of his memory.

How angry his father had been when he had found that Davies had
secretly married!  The boy had written home for the family blessing and
had received, by return mail, the family curse.  Carrington Davies came
of too good and wealthy a stock to have been inveigled into marrying a
nobody, his proud parents told him.  Why, the girl was an orphan, her
parents had been dead some years, and she was employed at serving in a
quaint little tea room under the brow of the university.

It was quite natural that a girl of her circumstances should have roped
Davies in.  Any girl who had really cared would have insisted that he
wait until after graduation.  Should this marriage become known to
college authorities, Davies would be expelled.  And then where would he
be?  Disgraced!  His career ruined!  And ruined by a girl who had
cleaved to him only for the money that he represented!

Martin S. Davies made a special, hurried trip to Cambridge to make his
son see all these points.  And the elder man brought plenty of money to
make any others concerned see as he wanted them to see.  The affair was
successfully hushed up.  Carrington Davies, threatened with being
disowned if he did not do exactly as his father dictated, had stood by

He reflected now that this had been the biggest mistake of his life.
But years of strict obedience to his parent had awed him, awed him into
letting his father approach Hazel Nubbins, the girl who had so shortly
before become his wife.  What the elder Davies said to her or what
proposition he made, the son never knew.  But he recalled the satisfied
expression his father wore on returning from the interview, when he

"It's all right, son.  I've fixed everything.  Now, for God's sake
don't ever get into a jam like this again!"

And the next day Carrington Davies heard that the girl had left the
place of her employ, pleading ill health.  Weeks later, when he had
come out of the daze occasioned by these happenings, Davies had been
unable to obtain any information as to Hazel's whereabouts.  And
gradually, as the weeks stretched out into months, the whole affair
shaped itself into the memory of a vaguely pleasant dream which had
turned out a blundering nightmare.

Now, as he sped over the rails on the football special bound for
Cambridge, his thoughts came racing back to the present at the dash of
something against his window, a something that left a running streak.

"Rain!" exclaimed Davies disappointedly.  "Drizzling, cold rain!  The
devil hang the weather man, anyhow!"

As the trip progressed the rain did likewise, true to forecast.  At
twelve fifteen, when the special arrived at Brighton, a stop one mile
from the stadium, Davies stepped into a sullen, sweeping downpour.
There was little hilarity among the detraining football followers, and
crimson colors gave way to the somber black of umbrellas.  Davies
raised his coat collar and pulled down his hat brim, making a dash for
a store front that carried a light-lunch sign.

It seemed that almost every one else made a dash for the same place at
the same time, and the race proved a dead heat with the first fifty.
These just managed to squeeze inside, Davies being about the
forty-seventh by half an elbow and several sore toes.  It made him feel
as if he was bucking the line again; only there was little relish to it
this time, with the general pell-mell and every one calling out his
order in place of the familiar, "Rah, rahs!"

Just how Davies at last came by a Swiss-cheese sandwich and a cup of
pleasantly hot and fragrant coffee he never quite knew.  He just found
himself jostled along, automatically holding out his hands when he came
up against the counter, taking what was thrust into them, putting it
out of sight as quickly as possible, while some one behind him was
fighting for his place, and then following the path of least
resistance, which led to the cashier's perch where the extent of his
hasty appetite was checked up in so many cents.

After that Davies discovered himself once more in the rain, feeling
strangely alone and just a little bit dazed.  It was early yet.  He had
half a notion to go up to the locker room and see the boys.  He had
done this in other years, had even sat in the dugout with them and had
thrilled at the imagining that his presence had inspired them; but
somehow, this day, Davies felt his inadequacy.  It was a sort of
left-out feeling; more than that, a sensing that his sun had set, that
perhaps he had worn the halo of gridiron hero too long, and that his
friends might have been humoring him.

It was such dampening, disconsolate thoughts as these that prompted
Davies to hail a taxicab and go directly to the stadium.  He would
refrain from his usual haunts this year and, through this refraining,
see if he was missed.  It was quite possible, did he not remind
Harvard, year by year, as to just who he was, that the old college
would forget him.  He must remember that the world lived largely in the
present while he had been living largely in the past.

The rain had abated somewhat when Carrington emerged from the taxi and
joined the wet line of Harvard and Yale enthusiasts crowding through
the main entrance.  There was life here; the atmosphere of expectancy
that was bred by the very outline of the stadium, the concrete sides of
which had rocked with throat-tearing sounds, time on time.  How could
one's blood help but warm, even under the pelting of rain, at the
memories intrusted to the historic amphitheater of sport in which so
many athletic classics had been staged?  Davies' heart leaped as he
came inside the stadium and got his first glimpse of the green-sodded
gridiron, now spotted with pools of water, the goal posts looking sleek.

Already the stands were alive with huddled humanity and bobbing
umbrellas.  Yellow slickers, dotted through the field of black, made
Davies think of a checkered taxicab.  He cursed himself for not having
brought his own raincoat along.  In years gone by he could have been
wet to the skin and not minded it, but now he was conscious of a desire
for dry comfort.  Certainly he couldn't be getting old!

By game time the stadium was a howling, wet mass.  The rain had
subsided to a spraylike drizzle, and Carrington, after a minute study
of the sky line, decided that this improvement was the best which could
be hoped for.

The conditions underfoot were bad.  The sod was soggy and slippery.
Punters, in practice, stationed themselves with great care before
getting off their kicks.  Even then the punting experts were observed
to retain their footing, at times, with difficulty.  Davies shook his
head forebodingly.  There was nothing encouraging to the Crimson in the

The sons of Old Eli were cheering their steam-roller eleven to the
echo.  As Davies compared the heavy Yale line with the noticeably
thinner Harvard wall, he shuddered instinctively as he thought of these
men taking the impact of what was due to come.  He was seized with a
sense of futility at the very outset, and a ready sympathy for the
Harvard back field.  He had been in just such a position years before
when it seemed as though he was battering his head against the side of
a brick building, and all for naught, it seemed, too--only that he knew
he should keep on battering, battering, just for the Crimson, the dear
old Crimson.

Plunk!  The hollow, wet sound of toe meeting pigskin and a
mud-spattered object turning end over end, with beneath it--jerseyed
figures charging!  Harvard had kicked off!

Davies rose spontaneously from his seat and added his puny voice to the
maelstrom of noise.  On the Yale ten-yard line a blue-clad man pulled
down the mud-spattered object and, clutching it firmly against his
chest, took a few slipping side-steps to dodge an eager tackler.  The
Eli succeeded in this, only to crash directly into the arms of a second
Harvard tackler, who bore him to the sodden earth on the Blue's
fifteen-yard stripe.  Davies sank back into his seat with a sigh of
relief.  The first prickling moment of the game was over.

There were, though, further prickling moments to come.  On the first
play Yale launched a line-smashing offensive, aiming her backfield men
at different points on the Harvard forward wall.  It was
slip-slosh-bang, slip-slosh-bang!  There were slow, heavy shiftings,
then a mud-smeared man with the ball diving through a hole for one,
two, three, or five yards--sometimes ten.  Yielding, always stubbornly,
but always yielding, the slender Harvard line bent back and back under
the savage, relentless onslaught of unmuzzled Yale Bulldogs thirsting
for the blood of victory.  Davies wore his voice to shreds trying to
stop Yale's advance.

It was no use.  This was one of those days when all the cheering that
could be martialed, and all the resistance that could be offered
against the foe, availed but little.  Thwarted from a touchdown by the
Crimson's grim stand on their very goal line, Nixon, Yale's star
kicker, dropped back and booted the dripping-wet ball between the
uprights for a spectacular field goal which shot the Elis into a
three-point lead.

In the second quarter, facing the same bitter opposition and impeded by
the slow, heavy conditions underfoot, Yale satisfied herself with
battering the Crimson eleven back until, clawing at one another on the
Harvard twenty-yard mark, Nixon mechanically duplicated his first field
goal to bring his team's score for the half up to six points.  Yale
supporters shrieked their joy.  The Harvard stands roared loyal
encouragement, then lapsed into mournful silence.

During the intermission, Davies confessed to himself that he had never
seen a "fightinger" team except, perhaps, the eleven that had fought
that memorable battle back in 1905.  Here were Crimson gridiron
gladiators who made the heart burst with pride; who, though being
slowly ground into defeat, were displaying Spartanlike valor; who, by
the inspired nature of their resistance, were putting gnawing lumps in
the throats of their ardent followers.  Ah, this was a contest worth
watching, a combat which would go down in history, a story of how a
slight Harvard eleven, struggling against tremendous odds, had all but
wrested victory from one of the most powerful Yale machines of all time!

When the teams reappeared on the field for the second half, Davies felt
the years fall away as in a strange dream.  He began to wax exultant
about the weather, remembering with what grim satisfaction he had
rubbed his nose in the wet dirt behind Yale's goal line after his
sensational dash the length of the gridiron twenty years
ago--yesterday?  No, twenty years----

A frenzied cheer brought Davies back to the present.  Yale had kicked
off, and Harvard, receiving, had run the ball back fifteen yards.
First down on their twenty-one yard line!  Broadhurst, slim-figured
Harvard quarterback, seemed a dynamo of pep from the way he was barking
out signals and urging the utmost from his men.  Another cheer, more
frenzied than the first, burst out as a Crimson back slid around right
end for a four-yard gain.  The next play netted seven yards around the
same end and a first down.  Harvard rooters went crazy and Davies went
with them.

Given cause for hope in the first worth-while ground gained against the
powerful Yale eleven, the Harvard team threw its whole remaining force
into the drive.  For seven pulsating minutes it seemed as though the
Crimson could not be denied a touchdown.  Yard after yard was torn off
on slipping end runs and slashing plunges through the line.  Davies
forgot some of the sympathy he had felt for the team of his Alma Mater.
It was now risen to the heights of David against Goliath.

Alas, though, with the ball on Yale's five-yard mark and the Harvard,
stands wildly intreating a touchdown, Broadhurst, trying to carry the
ball himself, fumbled!  The pigskin was seen to strike the ground and
then to be swallowed up by a cloud of flying forms.  When the referee
had dug through the confused mass of arms and legs, he found the ball
in Yale's possession, and Harvard's big glimmer of hope immediately
vanished.  Broadhurst, who but a second before had been credited with
putting the driving force into Harvard's great attack, was now roundly
censured as the blunderer who had blown the golden opportunity.  The
quarterback was a sophomore, Davies learned from the talk of some of
the more recent Harvard graduates near by.

Overjoyed at having brought a stop to the one serious threat of the
enemy, the Yale team lined up on their four-yard mark and held like a
stonewall while the great Nixon got off a forty-yard punt from behind
his own goal line.

With the punch gone from Harvard's attack, the Crimson made but a scant
yard in two downs; then the little Broadhurst threw a long forward
pass.  The play was well screened; but an alert son of Yale, keenly on
the job, managed to intercept the ball.  He was thrown in his tracks.

It was growing dark, with the lowering clouds threatening a genuine
deluge.  A chilling gust of wind whistled through the stadium.  Some of
the less hardened "rooters" got up and began forcing their way toward
the exits.  A gloomy silence hung over the field.

Once more in swing, the Yale steam roller got under way.  It took up
its old battering tactics--slip-slosh-bang, slip-slosh-bang.  There was
nothing sensational in its movement, just methodical.  And back--ever
back--though courageously resisting, went the Crimson line.  A flock of
substitutes came running out now.  The ball was on Harvard's
twenty-three yard line, four minutes more to play.  The substitutes
brought a new, if hopeless touch of spirit to the Harvard eleven.  They
were ambitious, almost pathetically so in the circumstances, to make a
good showing in their fleeting chance for glory.

"Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown!" the Yale supporters began to chant
in monotonous fashion.  It was not a question now of who would win, but
could Yale go over the goal line in the time that was left?  Harvard
had put up a surprising battle against an eleven which had been favored
to defeat her by at least twenty points.  And Yale was a bit miffed at
this, sternly desirous of adding to the score by hammering through for
a touch down.  A victory won solely through the talented toe of the
great Nixon was hardly sufficient tribute to the supposed offensive
power of the team itself.

There were two minutes left to play when Yale brought up on Harvard's
three-yard line for a first down.  Behind the battered and tottering
Crimson wall a figure raved and ranted and roared, entreating his
teammates to stave off the Bulldog's advance.  He stamped from end to
end in the churned up sod, prodding each player in a vicious manner.
But there was no visible stiffening of the Harvard defense at the
savage barking of its quarterback.  The team was crushed after having
done its best to no avail.

"Look at that bird begging his line to hold and he the one who made
that costly fumble!" cried a Yale supporter, who somehow had obtained a
seat in the Harvard sections.  It was next to that of Davies'.  "Wonder
if he thinks they'll pay any attention to him now?"

Davies felt like making some hot retort to this, but he didn't.  He
decided to salve his feelings in a cigar and to escape the agony of
watching Old Eli crush the Crimson under the added weight of a
touchdown.  As Davies lighted up, the lowering clouds spread wide
apart, letting down sheets of driving rain.

"A good thing it's almost over," he told himself.  "About time for one
more play.  Well, I don't suppose we could have expected anything
different, with the odds against us, and the weather, but if Broadhurst
had only----"

Settling back in his seat, Davies was gloomily conscious of the hosts
of Yale rising to their feet with a stupendous din.  His view was
blotted from the gridiron by flashing arms and wildly lurching forms.
But Davies was no longer interested.  There was no use, he thought, in
getting excited over a Yale touchdown.

While all was confusion about him, Davies sat still, puffing on his

But the cheering kept up!  There was a different note in it now, a
great, heart-rending groan that was drowned out by an ear-bursting,
joyous roar.

Davies looked up wonderingly.  "Say, what's happening?"

Just how Davies got to a standing position on his seat he never knew.
But he was suddenly and overwhelmingly conscious of a most unusual
sight.  Crossing the Harvard thirty-yard line, running toward the
distant Yale goal with head down, straight into the driving rain, was
the slim-lined figure of the Harvard quarterback--the ball tucked under
his right arm.

Behind the speeding man with the ball, trailed three desperate Yale
players, while another was cutting across the gridiron in the hope of
intercepting the Crimson runner from in front.  Back near the Harvard
goal line, teammates on both sides, now completely out of play, yelled
encouragement to pursuers and the one pursued.

Davies, eyes glued on Broadhurst, jabbed out an arm and grabbed the
Yale supporter by the shoulder.  "Yea!  How'd we get the ball?" the
hero of twenty years before demanded.

"Let go my collar bone!"  The Yale fan winced, trying to jerk away.

"All right; but how'd we get the ball?" persisted Davies.

"Nixon fumbled on your goal line.  What's the matter, you poor fish!
Why don't you watch the game?"

Davies _was_ watching it now for dear life.  The slender Harvard
quarterback was being pressed from front and back.  He had been forced
close to the side line in an effort to evade the tackler who was
lumbering at him across water-soaked sod.  But, it was now evident that
Broadhurst must face this peril.  The soggy condition underfoot had
made it impossible for him to evade the Eli even by keeping close to
the side line.  There was no turning outward.  To do so would carry the
ball out of bounds.  And any hesitancy or slowing up would close the
distance between the Crimson runner and the three Yale men who kept
doggedly pounding along after him.

Instinctively Davies stiffened his right arm and pushed it out
violently.  For one heart-quaking second it seemed to him that the
years had rolled back and that he was carrying the ball.  He sensed
acutely the sensation that must be Broadhurst's, and he suddenly found
himself shrieking: "Give him the straight arm!  Give him the straight
arm!  Give him the----!"

And as if, from out that mad pandemonium of sound, Broadhurst had heard
and heeded, the Harvard quarterback ran directly at the oncoming
tackler; then, when it appeared as though Broadhurst must go down with
arms reaching out to encircle him, he jabbed a mud-stained hand
straight from the shoulder, catching the Yale man in the face.

The impact almost threw Broadhurst from his feet, but he saved himself
by a quick jump to the side and, a slipping lurch which shook a foot
loose from the last frantic grab of the tackler as he dived head
foremost into a muddy sheet of water.

"Atta boy!  Atta boy!" cried Davies, no longer accountable for what he
might say or do.

The man with the ball now had a clear field and was crossing the
fifty-yard line.  The going was difficult, each step uncertain.
Several times he all but fell, the ground was so heavy and sodden that
it seemed almost as if Broadhurst were running in one spot, his feet
slipping under him.  And with the tread-mill effect it looked as though
the three frenzied pursuers were gaining.

In Yale territory now, the bleak goal posts looming up in front of him,
Broadhurst chanced a glance back over his shoulder.  What he saw was
none too reassuring.  The Yale stands broke into a roar of insane
entreaty.  A Yale man was at Broadhurst's very heels, and Broadhurst
was crossing Old Eli's ten-yard line with a touchdown in sight!  It was
but a matter of seconds.  If the Crimson runner could be overtaken,
Harvard's last bubble of hope would be punctured.

"Yea!  He's got him!" yelled the Yale supporter, crashing Davies over
the head.

"He hasn't, either!" the Harvard grad shouted, with a shove which all
but upset the rival rooter.  "Look at that, will you?"

At the four-yard line the Yale tackler left his feet in a frantic dive.
He struck the man with the ball just below the knees, and Broadhurst
crumpled forward, giving a tugging leap.  It may have been due to the
fact that he was soaked to the skin and that the tackler's hands were
wet and chilled; at any rate, the Eli's grip slipped to one leg, and,
instead of going down, Broadhurst strained along, dragging his tackler
after him.  As he reached the goal line the two other Yale men sailed
through the air and hit him.  All four went down in a splashing fall.
Then every one in the stands went wild.

With the strength of a team gone delirious with joy, the Crimson
players took their positions in front of the Yale goal and prepared for
the play which would give them a try at the extra point after
touchdown.  The stands rocked with tributes of noise, bestowing upon
Broadhurst one of the most deafening ovations ever accorded a gridiron
hero.  He had fittingly redeemed himself.  His blood-tingling
length-of-the-field run in the last minute of play had tied the score
at six to six.

Davies waited only long enough to see the water-soaked ball sail
between the uprights for the winning point.  Then he clambered over the
seats and cut across the outraged gridiron in the direction of the
clubhouse, unmindful of the fact that the mud had sucked off both his

At the clubhouse, Carrington Davies encountered unexpected opposition
in gaining admittance.  It seemed that no one had known who he was and,
what was more, no one seemed to care after being informed.  Such crass
ignorance irritated Davies greatly, but he held his patience.  The
disregard shown him was only due to the prevailing excitement.  If any
one of them had only stopped to think!

At last Davies rushed to the door and slid past, picking a hole between
the burly door-tender and a rather uppish young substitute who C. R. D.
ardently hoped would never become a regular.

Once inside, the going was easier.  Players in different stages of
dressing, and others still under the showers, glanced at him curiously
as his eyes sought out but one individual--the Harvard quarterback.

"Where's Broadhurst?" Davies asked of the Crimson man nearest him.

"Other side of the lockers," the individual addressed answered gruffly.
Then, as Davies followed the direction, he mumbled: "Who let that bird

The latest Harvard hero was lacing a shoe when the former All-American
quarterback came upon him.  Davies paused a moment, looking down at the
slim-lined figure sitting on the bench.  He watched the slender fingers
as they plucked feverishly at the shoe strings.

Evidently the boy was in a great hurry, Davies thought.  He probably
wanted to get out--to meet his sweetheart and to hear her tell him how
wonderful she thought he was.  Davies felt a gripping pang.  He knew
all about it.  He had been there--exactly in Broadhurst's shoes--twenty
years before.

After what seemed a dragging century, the young fellow finished lacing
the shoe, looked up, and started.  "Oh!  I--I beg your pardon.  Did you
want to see me?"

Now that his opportunity for congratulation had come, Davies for some
unknown reason, felt suddenly small and insignificant.  He felt the
clear blue eyes of the new Harvard star boring into his with kindly
inquiry, and for once in his life old C. R. D. found himself stammering.

He did manage to extend his hand.

"I--I just wanted to tell you how much I--that is--it did me lots of
good to see----  Oh, hang it!  Signals over!  What I mean to say is
that I've followed Harvard football for over twenty years.  You see, my
name's Carrington R. Davies."

The Harvard quarterback continued shaking the stranger's hand politely;
but there was no sign of recognition at mention of the name, only a
slight frowning of the eyebrows.

C. R. D. noted this and his stammering became several degrees worse.
"I--I--used to play quarterback on the Crimson, too."

The other's eyebrows lifted at this.

"And I--and I----  Well, of course you wouldn't remember; but it was
just such a day as this--twenty years ago--that I----  Perhaps you've
heard tell of it?"  C. R. D. brought up lamely, loath to relate the
entire incident and hoping that Broadhurst would recall hearing of it.

The Harvard quarterback shook his head, but there was an interested
gleam in his eyes.  "Why, no.  I'm sorry, sir; but I----"

"Well," the former All-American quarterback broke in desperately, "I
made a ninety-five-yard run for a touchdown in the last minute of play
and won the game against Yale, much as you did--to-day."

There was a deep-throated chuckle from young Broadhurst.  "Then it's
you, sir, who deserve congratulations!"

"No, no.  That's not the point," insisted Davies, with a sense of giddy
bungling.  "That's really not the point.  I just mentioned it because
I--because I couldn't help thinking of it, that's all.  I couldn't help
thinking of myself from the moment I saw you out there, free, with the
game at stake, making for the Yale goal.  It was just like looking at a
moving picture of myself--twenty years ago.  You'll pardon me,
Broadhurst, I know.  Nothing's ever gripped me like that run of yours
this afternoon.  Nothing!"

Davies was in the swing of things now.  He had recovered from his
embarrassment and was pouring out his feelings in a flow of words which
tumbled over themselves to get expressed.  Broadhurst was the one who
was embarrassed this time.  He looked down at the floor and shifted his
feet awkwardly and tried to draw away his hand, but the stranger only
gripped it the tighter.

The Harvard quarterback shot a glance about the locker room, relieved
to see that no one appeared to be noticing them.  Every one was
interested in his own business, anxious to get outside and join the
victory-crazed celebrators.

"I was with you every step of the way," Davies went on.  "When you
slipped, I slipped.  When you straight-armed the Yale man, I
straight-armed him, too.  Everything you did all the way to the goal
line, I did.  It was almost uncanny.  Even when they tackled you as you
went over for a touchdown and pounded you into the mud--that's just
what happened to me.  So I have you to thank more than to congratulate,
Broadhurst, for we both know what it means to have done our best for
the good old Crimson.  And you have helped me to live over one of the
happiest, most thrilling moments of my life!"

The Harvard quarterback withdrew his hand.  The stranger turned away to
hide eyes which brimmed with tears.

"I--I'm glad, sir," was all that Broadhurst could think of to say.

Davies stiffened, chagrined at himself for his show of feeling.  He was
a silly, sentimental old fool, inflicting his childishness upon a
gentlemanly young fellow who was too kind and sportsmanlike to show
distaste or offense.  But why should any one else be interested in his,
Carrington R. Davies' feelings, or the fact that, twenty years before,
he had scored a touchdown?

"Well, I'm keeping you from going out.  I'll be taking leave," remarked
the All-American quarterback, backing off apologetically.

"Don't be in a hurry," Broadhurst said, reaching out for his dress
shirt, but obviously glad to be about his business.  "I'll be through
in a minute and then----"

Whatever else the Harvard quarterback may have said was lost upon
Davies.  He was quite instantly, unexpectedly, and acutely made
conscious of something extremely coincidental.  The arm that reached
out to take the shirt from the locker had the slip of a crimson bow
tied about the wrist.

Davies rubbed a hand across his eyes and looked again.  How he had
missed seeing that bow before he could not understand.  But it was
certainly there.  Infernally peculiar!  It was certainly there.

Broadhurst, noting the stranger's stunned expression, stopped, his
shirt half on, to inquire what was the matter.

"Why--why nothing--only that bow.  You--you'll probably think me
odd--but, do you mind my--my taking a good look at it?"

The Harvard quarterback held out his arm with a slight gesture of
impatience.  Davies took the hand and studied the bit of ribbon.  Of
course, it wasn't--but didn't it beat the devil how everything had
worked out this day?  Either that or he was suddenly losing his mind.
Perhaps that was it.  He had brooded so long over the affair of his
youth that at last it had affected his brain.

The ribbon was wet--and soiled--and--this, he thought, could easily be
his imagination--it was actually a trifle faded.  But it did look
strangely familiar, strangely like the one that a dear, trusting girl
had tied about his wrist, and that he had sealed there with a kiss
twenty years before.  It was infernally peculiar.  That was all there
was to it.  Infernally peculiar!

Davies straightened up, to find the Harvard quarterback at the point of

"I don't blame you for thinking me out of my mind," sympathized C. R.
D.  "And I may be, for all I know.  So many ungodly things have
happened to me to-day.  But--if it's not being too personal--where did
you get that bow?  From your sweetheart?"

There was almost a contemptuous note in Broadhurst's voice as he
started to button his shirt.  "No!  My mother."

Davies felt his knees give way beneath him and he dropped down heavily
upon the bench, staring up at the Harvard quarterback, unbelievingly.
"Your--your mother?"

"Yes.  What's wrong with that?" demanded Broadhurst, picking up collar
and tie.  "It's a good-luck charm," he explained curtly; then he added
with a smile: "And it sure worked to-day!"

"A--a good-luck charm?" echoed Davies weakly.  "A good-luck----  Say!
Your mother--I mean, is your father--living?"

The Harvard quarterback paused in his tying of a four-in-hand to shoot
a puzzled glance at the evidently insane stranger.  "No, sir.  He died
before I was born."

"Oh, I see," Davies mumbled, conscious of his heart thumping in his
ears.  "But your name--Broadhurst?  Was that your father's?"

This question was almost too much for the latest Harvard hero.  He spun
his locker door shut with a bang.  "Why certainly!"  Then, wheeling
upon his questioner, he asked: "Why wouldn't it be?"

"I--I thought perhaps your mother might have married again and that
you--you took the name of your--your stepfather," hazarded Davies.

"See here.  I don't know what you're driving at, but I don't like your
insinuations.  My mother was married only once, and she----"

"Listen!" broke in Davies excitedly.  "If I'm not badly mistaken, your
real name's Carrington R. Davies.  I mean--perhaps not Carrington
R.--but Davies anyway!"

"You don't know what you're talking about.  My name's Carrington
Nubbins Broadhurst!"

"Carrington Nubbins.  It is!  Well, why didn't you say so?  But you're
all wrong on the last name.  Where's your mother?  I've got to see her.
Why, confound it, old boy, I'm your father!"

Five palpitating seconds of electrifying silence followed Davies'
fervent outburst.  Then C. R. D. spoke again, in a voice that was husky
with pent-up emotion and the shock of it all.

"Where's your mother?  I've been twenty years trying to find her.  Oh,
God, this is wonderful!  You--my son!"

Still the young man who went by the name of Broadhurst stood,
unspeaking, undecided as to what to make of this rabidly serious
personage who, not alone satisfied with claiming prestige for
performing a gridiron feat similar to his, was now trying to claim a
part in his parentage.

"It was twenty years ago," explained Davies appealingly, "almost to the
day, when, just before the game with Yale, I met your mother--met her
in a secluded spot under the stands.  There was a cold rain falling,
and I can remember how we pressed up close against the stands to keep
from getting soaked.  And she took that little crimson bow from about
her neck and tied it around my wrist.  I can even recall exactly what
she said.  It was, 'Here, take this--it's your token of good luck.'"
Davies' voice broke at this and tears glazed the eyes of even the
Harvard quarterback.

"I--I guess there must be something to it, all right," confessed the
youth who had been surnamed Broadhurst, the name his mother had taken.
"That's just what mother did this afternoon--insisted on meeting me
under the stands, and--and tied on this bow--and said those same words!"

It was a peculiar sight--had any one been there to see it--a grown-up
man and a growing man clasping hands, their faces wet and streaked.

"I'm taking mother to dinner tonight," said the younger man softly,
after what seemed like an hour of understanding silence.

"No--you mean that I'm taking mother and you," corrected the old-time
player firmly.  Then, leaning over, he touched the crimson bow
reverently and asked: "I--I wonder if you'd let me wear that to-night?
I want her to see me with it on.  I want her to know that Davies played
the game!"


How did "Rus" Lindley get his nickname, "Butter Fingers"?  Now _I'll_
ask _you_ one!  "Why did the guys call six foot Harry Tibbits,
'Shorty'?"  Answer that and you've answered your own question about

I guess, if you'd go into the science of nicknames far enough you'd
find that the name you can pick which comes the furtherest from fitting
who you're picking it for is the one that suits the best!  There--how's
that for getting rid of an involved sentence?

At any rate, if "Rus" really deserved to be dubbed "Butter Fingers"
then the moon is really made of green cheese and the cow really did
jump over it and all that stuff.  Because if there was one thing that
"Rus" _wasn't_, it was _butter fingers_.

"Rus" was a lean, lanky, long-armed, awkward, thin-nosed cuss that
you'd think, to look at, didn't have an ounce of ambition or a pint of
sense.  The next minute you'd wake up to find the ounce a hundred
pounds of condensed lightning and the pint a couple of gallons of
trigger thinking.  That's the kind of a surprise package "Rus" was.
And, brother, look out!!  If "Rus" ever had occasion to lay hands on
you he didn't let go until he got good and ready.  Try your _durndest_
and you couldn't shake loose the grip he carried in those long, slender
fish hooks of his.  "Butter Fingers"?

What a laugh!  "Rus" was never known to have muffed anything in his

It was "Butter Fingers" who climbed the greased pole and took down the
Senior colors his Freshman year.  It was "Butter Fingers" who untied
the wet knots in the fellows' clothes the time we Sophies got caught
swimming in the Old Bend, thus saving us from a most embarrassing
situation.  It was "Butter Fingers" who hung by his digits from a
window sill on the fourth story of our dorm when she was burning down
... hung there ten minutes till the firemen got a ladder under him
after he'd been cut off from the stairs.  He saved seven roommates by
that sure-grip of his, swinging them from a window where they were
trapped and sending them down the stairs ahead of him before the fire
put the stairs out of commission.

And who but "Butter Fingers" could have "human-fly-ed" it up the front
of the old stone chapel, clear up into the belfry?  Of course he did it
on a dare but those wonder fingers of his just pulled him up, catching
hold of places that the ordinary person would tear their finger nails
on and cry thirteen bloody murders from the strain of hanging to
crevices by the finger tips.

That was "Butter Fingers"!

But, using the words of Al Jolson, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!"  What
I've just got through telling you was just practice exercises for the
bird with the muscular mitts, the uncanny grip, the steam shovel hands
and the never-break-clutch.

Say, I hope you're not getting this "Butter Fingers" wrong.  He was
long, lean, lanky, awkward, thin-nosed and all that ... but he wasn't
built like a foundry.  His hands weren't extra large, either ...
excepting that the fingers were extra long.  He only weighed a hundred
and fifty-one pounds which isn't much when you're thinking in terms of
football and so much for so tall.  That's where "Butter Fingers" had
you fooled.  You had to see him in action before you'd believe what
"Rus" Lindley could do.

Was he modest?  He was so quiet and unassuming that you could hear his
watch ticking in his vest pocket!  Was he athletic?  Don't be
ridiculous!  If he wasn't athletic anywhere but in his fingers he'd
have been athletic enough.  As it was, he was the best end that ever
played on a football eleven representing Burden High!

What makes you think "Butter Fingers" was a freak?  He wasn't born
strong-fingered.  Naw.  He had to develop it.  What made him do it?
Well, I don't know as I could answer that exactly.  I remember "Butter
Fingers" saying once he'd gotten a kick out of chinning himself ever
since he was a baby.  Sure!  You don't chin yourself with your chin ...
you chin yourself with your ... anyhow it's mostly done with your grip!
You get a hold of a bar or something and pull your body up rigid!  All
right, then!  Why didn't you say you'd tried it?  Ain't so easy, is it?
Especially after the tenth time!

Can you imagine what sort of an end a guy with a powerful grip could
make?  Can you figure what would happen to a football if "Butter
Fingers" ever laid his grapplers on it?  And can you picture a runner
trying to get away from a tackle by a bird like "Rus"?  A fly might as
well try to pull its feet off a sheet of sticky fly paper as a runner
to jerk loose from "Butter Fingers" once he's got him.

Would you like to hear how "Butter Fingers" won his undying fame?  Have
I got the time?  No, but I'll take time.  This story's worth it!

Just make yourself as comfortable as possible.  You'd better sit on the
edge of your chair, though, because that's where you'll be before very
long anyway.  And I'll start right in at the beginning so you won't
miss any of the picture.

First, you got to get a close-up of this fellow, "Rus" Lindley.  He's
the kind they describe in the movies as "Oliver, who takes everything
seriously--including football."  Before any of the guys nicknamed him
"Butter Fingers," "Rus" was just an ordinary, awkward candidate for the
team ... but while he was picking up bumps in practice he was likewise
putting on bumps of knowledge.  "Rus" had one of them scientific slants
of mind and he always had to figure why he was supposed to do a certain
thing a certain way.  Once he'd found out the reason he was satisfied.
Professor Tweedy, our "math" teacher, used to say that "Rus" was a
"natural born thinker."  But geometry and trigonometry weren't the only
subjects that "Rus" approached from all angles.  He used his bean at
all times and places.

That's why, when "Rus" went out for football, he felt called upon to
exercise his gray matter.  It was perfectly obvious to him, for
instance, after a careful study of the rudiments of the game, that the
weather might seriously alter one's style of play.

"Take the difference between a dry field and a wet field," he says to
me, one afternoon, "I'm surprised the coach doesn't make us practice
with a wet ball and the field soaked down.  The almanac indicates rain
three Saturdays this fall and the signs couldn't be any worse for
torrential precipitation on the Saturday we play Edgewood.  What's that
going to mean?  Simply that the luckiest team wins!  But if the coach
used the little mechanism inside his bean it might mean that the
_smartest team_ would win.  What made Napoleon great was his dry land
operations.  But, oh boy, didn't he get _soaked_ at _Waterloo_!  Of
course that's a rather far-fetched illustration.  Just the same, you've
got to know how to handle yourself under all conditions or you're
practically sunk before you start!"

I agreed with "Rus" not feeling equal to stacking my brain up against
his, and besides he has a way of making things sound darn logical.
Seeing as how the coach seemed to be overlooking a good bet, "Rus"
decides that he's going to get the training he should have anyway.  So
we meet one night after football practice in his backyard.

"This is what I'd call a laboratory experiment," explains "Rus" as he
soaks down the back lawn with the garden hose, "The other boys would
probably give us the merry ha ha if they saw what we're going to do but
if my theory's right we'll see the day when we can laugh up our own

When the lawn's nice and oozy and slippery from super-saturation, "Rus"
turns the water on the football and gets it just as wet as though it
had fallen in a lake.

"All right, Mark," he says to me, "I'll hit the dirt first.  This kind
of practice isn't exactly going to be pleasant but it has a good chance
of proving profitable.  Now you stand over there and roll that football
across the grass.  I'm going to try to fall on it!"

It's easy enough for me to do what "Rus" directs.  But it's not so easy
for "Rus" to do what he intends.  We're dressed in our football togs,
of course, right down to the cleated shoes.  But even at that the grass
is so sleek that the footing's as treacherous as a polished ball room
floor.  On his first try, "Rus" slips and falls flat before he gets to
the ball and the pigskin rolls to the fence.

"There went the chance to save the game!" he points out as he gets to
his feet.  "Let's try her again!"

Honest, you never saw anybody that's such a glutton for punishment!
"Rus" gets sopping wet and all grass-stained and dog-tired but he keeps
me throwing that football in all sorts of zig-zag bounces across the
lawn till it's so dark that the street lights come on.  And then he
apologizes for not having traded off with me so's I could have got some
of the same experience.  "I'm just as well satisfied," I answers.  "You
don't need to feel bad about that!"

"We'll do it again, every chance we get," says "Rus," not seeming to
notice my lack of enthusiasm, "I'm rotten!  I missed at least half my
dives.  And as for scooping the ball up on the run, wasn't I pitiful?
But that's what an end's got to be able to do and yours truly isn't
going to make a bad muff in a game if he can help it!"

Being a friend of "Rus's" and practically a next door neighbor as well
as a team-mate, I can't really turn the serious-minded bird down.
Besides, I have to admit to myself that it's darn interesting watching
the vim that "Rus" puts into this secret practice.  Some nights it's
mighty chilly and with the grass wet down it's enough to make your
spinal column wriggle, but "Rus" never seems to mind.

"The most annoying part of this thing for me," says "Rus," "is 'Mom's'
objection to my draping these wet togs over her radiators.  She claims
the house smells like a Chinese laundry every night.  I tell her she
must be a good sport and put up with it for the good of the team!"

Say, you'd be surprised, after a couple of weeks, to see how "Rus"
improves!  It gets to be marvelous the way he can tear across the lawn,
reach down with those long fingers, scoop that slippery pigskin up and
keep right on going toward what he imagines is the enemy's goal!

"Preparedness!" he'd smile at me.  "That's one of the greatest words in
the English language!  I want to be ready when the fumble comes!"

Sometimes "Rus" would hit the lawn like an India rubber ball and almost
seem to wrap his lean, lanky frame around the pigskin, bouncing up on
his feet on the roll and untangling his legs from the knot to be
streaking away almost before you could tell what was happening.  Once
he put so much steam behind it that he couldn't stop in time and plowed
into the back fence, busting two boards loose and bruising his shoulder.

"Zowie!  I ran into some real opposition that time!" he grinned.

It isn't long before all this extra practicing that "Rus" is doing
begins to show up on the football field.  In scrimmage he gets the
reputation of being "sure-fingered" because he drags down passes,
recovers fumbles and handles the ball so smoothly that it seems like he
can't miss getting hold of it no matter how wild it goes.  In
comparison the rest of us look pretty sick, all excepting me ... and
I'm a little better than average because of my experience with "Rus."
Several times, while I'm playing my position at left half, there's a
poor pass back from center and I have to drop on the ball.  Believe me,
I'm mighty thankful then for the special training I've picked up!

"This game of football is just a matter of following the ball," "Rus"
airs to me one night, "I don't care what these wise birds say.  There's
breaks in every game that, if we could take advantage of 'em, would do
more than all the fancy plays ever invented.  Look at last week when we
played Madison.  We have 'em down on their own ten yard line and we
break through and block the punt and two of our fellows dives for it.
Do they get the ball?  Yes, they do not!  A Madison back, who knows his
onions, shoots in--picks the ball up off his shoe tops after it's
bounced out of our fellows' arms--and runs forty yards before he's
stopped.  That's what I call converting good fortune out of disaster!
Either one of our boys ought to have downed the ball on Madison's eight
yard line but both of 'em muffed it.  On a dry field, too...!

"But you must realize, Rus," I argues, "that _your_ attitude on this
matter is very exceptional.  You can't expect all football players to
pay the attention you've been paying to developing themselves to a fine
point on picking up loose balls!"

"Razzberries!" retorts "Rus," "Then they're not worthy of the name of
football players!"

And there the arbitration rests.  But the season doesn't get much older
than "Rus's" mania begins to break out in a new channel.  He's so
anxious to see all the boys proficient in the gentle art of falling on
the ball that he takes to ragging them every time they miss out.

"Butter fingers!" he yells, and gets a glare in return for his trouble.

"Butter fingers, yourself!" cries the guy who's just looked foolish.

And the first thing you know, the name that "Rus" has branded his
team-mates with, comes back on him like a boomerang.  So, the only
fellow who doesn't deserve the title of "Butter Fingers" is the one who
gets it!

"That's all right," "Rus" says to me.  "Let 'em call me 'Butter
Fingers.'  I'll make 'em eat that word twenty times a day.  And they'll
be trying extra hard to keep from being 'Butter Fingers.'  You see!"

Which makes it sound like "Rus" has decided to act the martyr to some
adopted cause!  Now right here's where a complication enters my story
in the shape of Mr. Maxwell Tincup, dignified member of the school
board and a political power in the town.  Among other things Mr. Tincup
is bitterly opposed to football as a sport that's "absolutely
barbarious."  Football, in Mr. Tincup's exalted opinion, is a machine
which manufactures a lot of good-for-nothing rowdies.  He's made the
air blue at many board meetings, voicing his protest against
continuance of the sport as an athletic activity at Burden High but
he's never quite been able to get a majority vote against it.  Just the
same his attitude has stirred up considerable feeling and hasn't
exactly made him popular with the boys.

"What Tincup needs is a dose of second childhood," "Butter Fingers"
prescribes one day.  "He evidently didn't have any the first time!"

Mr. Tincup's home is right on our way to school, a big old-fashioned
house that stands on a corner of the street, surrounded by a high
picket fence.  We often see the anti-footballist's three year old son
hanging to the fence and peeking out as though he'd like to investigate
the outer world.

"Look at the poor kid," points out Butter Fingers as we're passing one
afternoon.  "They keep him as spic and span as a children's
advertisement.  Maxwell Tincup, Junior's sure going to be a chip off
the old block if the old block has anything to say about it!  I'll bet
some day he takes the tiddly-winks championship of South America!"

"Are you sure Mr. Tincup won't consider that too strenuous?" I asks,
innocent like.

"Butter Fingers" grins and shrugs his shoulders.

It's not until the Monday before the big game of the year with Edgewood
that the something happens which changes the complexion of the whole
situation and brings Mr. Tincup's objection to football to a boil's

"Butter Fingers" and me are coming back from the athletic field after
an extra hard workout.  I have a football and we're tossing it back and
forth as we're trotting down the sidewalk, me about fifty feet ahead of
"Butter Fingers" so we can have plenty of distance to pass.  As we cut
across the corner toward Tincup's house I spot him out in the yard,
washing his front porch off with the stream from the garden hose.
"Hello!" says I to myself, "Mr. Tincup's getting industrious in his old

Just then "Butter Fingers" lets loose an extra long throw.  I can see
at a glance that the ball's going to be over my head unless I can take
it on the jump.  Nope!  I miss it by three feet, banging up against Mr.
Tincup's front fence trying to pull it down.

"Look out!" I yells when I see what's going to happen.

If "Butter Fingers" had took aim he couldn't have made a squarer hit.
The pigskin spirals over the fence and plunks Mr. Maxwell Tincup smack
on the side of the head.  The blow's so unexpected it knocks the nozzle
of the hose out of his hands and before anybody can say "Ask me
another!" the hose squirms around like a snake and soaks him from head
to foot.  Mr. Tincup begins yelling like he's in the middle of the
ocean, going down for the last time.  It takes him a couple of seconds
to get on to what's hit him, but the minute he sees the football lying
on the lawn he lets out a bellow of rage and turns to us, shaking his

"All right, young gentlemen!" he snorts.  "That's the end of your ball
... and it's the end of _you_, for that matter!"

It may be the end of us but it's not the end of our ball so far as
"Butter Fingers" is concerned.  He's over the fence in a jiffy and
streaking for the pigskin as though he's on a football field.  Mr.
Tincup doesn't suspect any opposition on picking up what "Butter
Fingers" regards as a free ball.  He's too dripping wet and ripping mad
to suspect anything.  As he stoops down to pick up the ball which is
also wet, it slips out of his fingers.  To make matters worse he kicks
it accidently with his foot and it rolls along in front of him.  It's
right then that "Butter Fingers" arrives.  He takes a running dive
across the wet lawn, skids right under Mr. Tincup's nose, curls himself
around the pigskin, bounces up on his feet and keeps on going till he
comes to the fence which he hurdles.

Mr. Tincup stares at the human cyclone, his mouth so wide open that you
can see all the gold in his teeth.

"Come here!" he shouts, waving his arms.

"I'm sorry!" calls "Butter Fingers," "We didn't mean to do what we did
but this is our ball and we got a right to it!"

"You've got no right to be playing football!" raves Mr. Tincup,
beginning to shiver now as the air's kind of cold.  "And I'm going to
see that you don't play football hereafter!"

"Gee!" I says to "Butter Fingers," when we've beat it.  "I don't know
as that was such a bright stunt--your rescuing that pigskin.  We might
better have let old Tincup have it.  Now he's going to raise a rumpus
for sure!  He'll probably go to the board."

"Butter Fingers" gives me the laugh.

"Make your pulse behave!" he says.  "Everybody knows Mr. Tincup's a
great guy to holler.  He won't get any further than his echo.  Say--I
don't hear you mentioning anything about that pickup I made.  Speak up,
brother!  Can't you recognize a masterpiece?"

"Your masterpiece," I answers, "Wasn't the pickup.  It was hitting Mr.
Tincup on the bean!"

"Just the same," argues "Butter Fingers," "if the old boy'd only had
some football experience I'd never have gotten away with the ball.
That only goes to show the value of...!"

"Oh, dry up!" I orders.  "You're getting unbalanced on that subject...!"

It isn't until the next morning that we get the glad tidings of bad
news.  Ain't it the truth that everyone's glad to be the first to tell
you something sad?  And what do you suppose has happened?

That peeved Mr. Tincup has stirred up a special called meeting of the
school board and has gone and gotten us suspended from the team!  He's
raised a terrific rumpus about football in general and has tried to get
the big game of the year with Edgewood canceled but he can't get away
with that.  He's influential enough to put a crimp in the team, though,
and to put a crimp in us in particular, by getting the board to have us
kicked off the eleven just when we're needed most.  I hope you won't
think I'm handing myself bouquets on purpose but I'm the best backfield
man the team's got and I've already told you how hot "Butter Fingers"
is as an end.  Are we sore?  Are we sick?  So is most everyone else but
what good does that do 'em?  The students get out a petition asking for
the school board to meet again and reconsider the matter but the school
board pays about as much attention as a deaf ear.

"We're sunk all right," I says to "Butter Fingers" in the middle of the
week.  "Leave it to Tincup to see that we don't play Saturday!  He's
got it in for us for fair!  And we're going to be treated to the
_exquisite pleasure_ of sitting on the sidelines and seeing our team
take a nice trimming from Edgewood!"

"Edgewood's going to be plenty tough!" admits "Butter Fingers,"
soberly.  "We wouldn't have been any too strong with our best line-up
against 'em.  Wouldn't this give you a pain?  Especially after all the
extra work we've put in so's we'd be in tip top shape for that game!"

"Don't cry on _my_ shoulder," I replies, "I got tears enough of my own!"

Saturday comes.  It's the one day in the fall that the almanac gets
absolutely right.  There's a precipitous rain falling.  The weather
sort of reflects our gloom.

"It's just the kind of a day I've been dreaming about," moans "Butter
Fingers," "There's bound to be plenty of fumbles.  I ought to be in
there to get 'em!"

"Tell that to Tincup!" I answers.

By noon a wind springs up and the clouds lift a little.  The downpour
begins to let up.  But the football field is already a young lake and
water is backed up in the streets.  It's going to be a grand afternoon
for ducks and a splashing time for a gridiron battle.

At one o'clock, an hour before game time, "Butter Fingers" says to me,
"Mark, there's one thing old Tincup can't keep us from doing.  He can't
prohibit our going to the locker room and hanging around with the
fellows till they're due on the field.  Maybe we can cheer the gang up
a bit!"

"Not much chance of that," I replies.  "But, I'm with you,

So we sets out.  And of course our direction takes us right past the
house that's owned by the object of our affections!  I suggests to
"Butter Fingers" that we make a detour but he growls that he'll be
darned if the high and mighty Mr. Maxwell Tincup is going to make him
take so much as an extra step.

The rain has entirely stopped now and by the breeze that's blowing it
looks like the sky is through for the day.  As we get near the picket
fence we discover something unusual.  Mr. Tincup's three-year-old kid
is out by the curb trying to sail a toy boat in the water.  And
standing on the front porch, staring at us with a satisfied grin on his
face, is the anti-football member of the school board himself!  Mr.
Tincup looks at us as much as to say, "Well, how do you young rascals
feel now?"

There's nothing we can do but swallow our medicine and parade past with
eyes front as though we haven't even seen him.  This we start to do
when--all of a sudden--a strong gust of wind comes along and takes the
kid's hat off, rolling it into the street.  "Butter Fingers" sees this,
and grins.

"Dadda, look!" says the kid, pointing a finger at his hat which is
lying in a puddle of water in the middle of the street.  We watch the
kid, laughing inside to think of anything happening which might affect
old Tincup's dignity.  The kid runs along the curb, finds a place where
he can step over the stream of water and starts out on the street after
the hat.

"Junior, come here!" yells Mr. Tincup, hurrying down off the porch.
"Papa'll get it for you!"

But Papa doesn't have a chance.  Things commence to take place after
that so fast that it leaves me dizzy.

Just as the kid starts off the curb a big, heavy duty truck comes
thundering down the side street and turns sharp around the corner.  The
driver catches sight of the kid, lets loose the klaxon and reaches for
the brakes.  Seeing the danger, the kid tries to beat it back, slips on
the wet pavement and falls!  I stop dead, looking on, petrified.  I'm
so frozen that I don't even see "Butter Fingers" leave my side.  My
eyes are glued on the kid and the truck, with the brakes set, skidding
right down on him!  I hear Mr. Tincup scream.  Then there's a swishing
sound and a body goes sliding along the pavement.  It strikes the kid,
arms reach out, fingers grab a hold, the body does a roll ... and then
you can't tell which is which.  Honest, I don't dare look for a second,
it's so close!  But when I opens my eyes again I see the truck driver
crawling down off his seat, wiping perspiration from his forehead.
Over on the opposite curb there's a long, lean, lanky bird getting to
his feet and helping up a badly scared youngster that's all wet and

"Who says football doesn't fit you for something useful?" I hear
"Butter Fingers" mumble to himself.  Then he stoops down.  "How are
you, kid, all right?  We took a nice, wet roll, didn't we?"

The next instant an insane man races across the street and grabs the
kid in his arms and sits down on the damp curb and breaks into sobs.

"Boy," said the truck driver, extending his hand to "Butter Fingers,"
"that was the nerviest stunt I ever seen!  Look how far that old wagon
skidded past where you were!"

"Butter Fingers" looks.

"Been a bad place for a fumble, wouldn't it?" he says, then glances
quick at me.  "Say, Mark--we'll have to be legging it or we'll miss out
seeing the team!"

"Just a minute!" says a choky voice from the curb.  "Where you boys

"To see the game!" I answers, rather short.

"No, you're not!" raves Mr. Tincup, jumping to his feet.  "You're going
to _play_!"

He fumbles in his pocket, pulls out a calling card and scribbles on the

"Give that to Coach Spilman," he says, handing it to "Butter Fingers."
"I'll have to get in touch with the other members of the board before I
can get your suspension lifted but I'll do it, boys, if it's humanly
possible!  Meanwhile, you get to the locker room and get all dressed
ready to go in at a minute's notice!"

We're not reinstated till the beginning of the last quarter but it's
time enough for "Butter Fingers," with the score 13 to 7 against us, to
scoop up an Edgewood fumble on our seventeen yard line and run
practically the length of the field for a touchdown!  Then I kicks the
extra point to make the score 14 to 13 which is the way it stands when
the game ends.

As we're going off the field an overjoyed member of the school board
comes pushing through the crowd and compliments "Butter Fingers" for
his star performance, ending up with, "And young man, I can't ever tell
you how grateful I am for that other wonderful thing you...!"

"Don't mention it!" says "Butter Fingers," breaking in modestly.  "The
thanks are on _my_ side.  I didn't have much practice this week and
picking up the kid just put me back in trim!"


"There's no use talking, Mooney.  You've broken training rules and
you're through.  That's final."

For a pulsating moment Elliott University's star fullback stood facing
the great John Brown, acknowledged dean of all football
coaches,--facing him as though he had not heard aright.  There was
stunned surprise evident in the attitudes of his team-mates, too.  No
one had imagined that John Brown would have the nerve to cross Mooney
beyond the giving of a reprimand.  Not and hold the reputation which he
had slaved so hard to preserve in turning out a winning eleven for
decadent Elliott his first year there.  The great John Brown might
better have remained in permanent retirement, resting on his richly
deserved laurels, than risk his halo of "wizard" and "miracle man of
the gridiron" by failure to restore Elliott's former football
supremacy.  The press had been free to predict, when Coach Brown had
finally consented to do what he could for Elliott, that this task would
prove his Waterloo.  "Coach Severely Handicapped by Material and
Facilities," one headline read, while another had it, "Sun Now Hardly
Destined to Set on Triumph for John Brown," the articles going on to
decry the lamentable conditions surrounding Elliott's effort to attain
a higher athletic grade.  The task was regarded as beyond that of even
a miracle man and John Brown was credited with having accepted the
crudest of tests.

And now, after Elliott had risen toward glory by defeating Hale, first
of the Big Three, thus repudiating in part the commonly accepted
opinion that the University could not hope to win any of her big
contests that year--now, when all eyes were upon John Brown as never
before; when it seemed as though this wily old fox, in some uncanny
manner, had juggled another victorious eleven out of athletic
chaos,--the coach was cutting off his nose to spite his face by
dismissing Tim Mooney from the team!

Why it had been Mooney who, almost single-handed, had accounted for
Hate's defeat.  The backfield had been built around him; his experience
had been relied upon as a stabilizer for the entire eleven which was
comprised mostly of green, untried material.  Removing Mooney from the
team was like jerking the center pole out from under a tent and
expecting the tent to remain standing upright.  At least that is the
way members of the eleven felt about it.

And the reason Coach Brown was kicking Mooney off the team was because
he had stayed out past midnight on several occasions with his co-ed
sweetheart, Ruth Chesterton.  One of John Brown's rules was that every
football man must be in bed by ten and those acquainted with his
usually strict disciplinary measures had become accustomed to obeying.
But Mooney's case had somehow been regarded as different.  Folks had
come to consider him, because of his outstanding athletic prowess, a
law unto himself.  In fact, Tim had become obsessed with the same

"You--you're not joking?" he asked, still unable to believe John
Brown's stern edict.

"Joking!" blazed the coach, "What would I be joking about?  I warned
you what would happen ... and the same thing's going to happen to
anyone else who wilfully violates rules.  You're through, Mooney, and
you're through for good.  Turn in your togs at the clubhouse!"

A hurt expression crept into the eyes of Elliott's star fullback.  He
took a step forward, intreatingly.

"Aw, say, Coach ... honest, I'm sorry.  I didn't think you'd ... that
is, I ... I ... it won't happen again, sir."

"No, you can bet it won't," said John Brown in a voice of quiet
coldness.  Then, deliberately turning his back, "All right--first and
seconds out for fifteen minutes' scrimmage!"

At Naylor College where Coach Brown had Inaugurated and made famous his
football system, he had been loved and respected by players as well as
student body.  Resigning his seat of honor at Naylor had been one of
the hardest things John Brown had ever done.  But, even though the
announcement of his resignation had been met at once by staggering
offers from big schools East and West, the noted coach had refused them
all.  He had retired to gain what he felt to be a much needed rest from
years of strenuous yet highly enjoyed activity.  And newspapers
throughout the land, devoting columns to his eulogy, extolled the
unbroken string of victories which his teams at Naylor had scored over
the most powerful elevens in the country.  Quitting the game at the
zenith of his career, it was a widely known fact that Coach Brown could
have fixed his own price for services with at least six of the biggest
institutions of learning in America.  Here was a man who had coached
football for the sheer love of it, immune to the earning possibilities
of his tutoring.

But two years in retirement had done much to lessen Coach Brown's
resolve.  It had remained for a small group of loyal Elliott alumni to
approach the coach on a new tack.  These men believed that John Brown
might be landed if the proper appeal were made.  They had studied out
that the other schools had failed in striving to outbid one another, a
point which seemed to prove that money to John Brown was no object.
All right then--the way to reach him must be through sentiment--if he
could be reached at all.

For years Elliott had been embarrassed through its position as a
leading university and its inability to put winning athletic teams on
the field.  This condition was particularly true of the football
elevens.  The touch of a master hand was needed; the application of
such a system as John Brown had put into effect at Naylor; the guidance
of a coach who could command not only the respect of his players but
the enthusiastic support of the student body.

Carefully planning their verbal assault, the committee of Elliott
alumni swooped upon Brown.  They found the great coach apparently as
determined as ever not to re-enter the football limelight, but they
presented him with a picture, so graphically and despairingly setting
forth the sorrowful condition of athletics at Elliott, and so feelingly
playing upon his love for the game that John Brown, wavering, finally
consented to take charge of Elliott for _one year_!

Immediately the press, so glowing in its accounts before, had leaped to
the conviction that John Brown, despite all he had said to the
contrary, had actually been a hold-out until some college had reached
the figure he demanded.  This conviction had been given wings with the
rumor that Elliott University was to pay him the unheard of amount of
$50,000 for a yearns services although, it was grudgingly admitted, if
John Brown could bring Elliott out of the slough of athletic
degeneracy, he would probably be worth every cent of that sum.

Thoroughly appreciating the huge job cut out for him, John Brown, in
taking over the reins of football government at Elliott, had signed up
Red Murdock, one of the stars he had developed in other years at
Naylor, to act as assistant coach.  And one of his first official acts
had been to put into force a rigid rule of discipline.  He knew that he
must demand the utmost in every way from whatever or whoever there was
at hand in order to even approach what he hoped to accomplish.  But the
mere fact that Brown had come to the head of things at Elliott was
cause for the schools on Elliott's schedule to regard their
proverbially weak opponent with new respect and wonderment.

The game with Hale had been a genuine eye-opener.  Elliott's 20 to 6
victory had hardly been looked for and neither had the startling
performance of one Tim Mooney whose open field running had made two
touchdowns possible and whose talented toe had kicked two field goals.
A new star had arisen to add to Coach Brown's constellation of
developed gridiron heroes.

On the strength of Mooneyes work alone, football authorities were now
willing to concede Elliott a chance against Larwood, second of the Big
Three, which was to be met the following Saturday.  But Delmar, last
and bitterest enemy of Elliott--a college noted for the consistent
power of its football elevens and this season rated as possessing the
greatest team in the country--was considered a good thirty to forty
points better than Coach Brown's aggregation at its strongest.

"What!  Mooney banned off the team!"

When the news of Coach Brown's drastic action flashed through the
Elliott student body it was greeted by a storm of indignant and growing
protest.  A petition was immediately drawn up and sent the rounds
asking John Brown to reconsider his expelling of Mooney.  The petition
was as nearly one hundred per cent as a petition could be.  But the
petition failed to move the coach.  Those who reflected on his past
history reported gloomily that once the coach took a stand on anything
he was like several rocks of Gibraltar.

Ruth Chesterton, the girl indirectly responsible for Tim Mooney's
dismissal, felt greatly upset over the whole affair.  She had thought
Coach Brown's bed time regulation a silly old rule until it had
operated against her hero.  Now she was one of the most rebellious in
her attitude toward the man whom many people referred to familiarly as
J. B.  So, the petition had failed to do any good?  Well, she knew what
she would do!  She would go to him and tell him what she thought about
the matter and then what could he do but rescind his action?

But when the irate Miss Chesterton came into the presence of the great
John Brown she suddenly quailed.  She couldn't tell exactly why she
quailed but she found it exceedingly difficult to look into the
crystal-pointed blue of J. B.'s eyes and say the things she was going
to say.  Instead, she felt somehow like a foolish little girl who had
been used to having her own way at all costs and who had now met up
with a man who knew her better than her own father.

She was conscious almost at once of the smooth tufts of silvery hair
about this man's temples and the great furrowed line across his
forehead, the firmly set mouth, the broad shoulders--the trace of a
smile as he leaned toward her and said, in a kindly inquiring manner,

And that one word, peculiar as it may seem, had unnerved her or
disarmed her, she didn't know which.  There crept over Ruth Chesterton
a sense of guilt.  She found herself stammering and stumbling.

"Please, sir ... I'm the girl that Mr. Mooney went out with when he
broke the rules."

"Oh--you are?"

"Yes, sir."

An embarrassed pause.

"Well--what of it?"

"Why, I ... I thought perhaps you'd like to see me."

That wasn't the right thing to say.  Ruth knew it the moment she had
uttered it but she had never felt more uncomfortable in her life.

"Me--like to see you?  Why should you have thought that?"  There was a
trace of ironic amusement in the coach's voice.

"Why--why because I was sort of responsible for Mr. Mooney's breaking
the rules."

"Did he send you here?"

This question did much to bring Ruth back en her feet.

"No, sir!  I came of my own free will.  He doesn't know anything about
it.  He isn't that kind, Mr. Brown.  He's taken all the blame--and it's
really more my fault than his--lots more.  I--I encouraged him to--to
go out with me those nights ... I didn't think it would do any harm ...
and you'll have to admit yourself that ten o'clock is pretty early,"
Ruth added, as she gained courage.

"Sorry, young lady, but the question of time is not debatable.  Mr.
Mooney broke the rules and that ends it..."

"But, Mr. Brown ... won't you ... I mean ... the team ... or rather,
the game with Larwood.  Won't he be needed?"

The coach nodded, frankly.

"I shouldn't be surprised."

"Then perhaps--well, maybe if folks understood just how he came to
break the rules...  I'd be glad to..."

John Brown raised his hand in a waving gesture.

"It's done now--and what's done cannot be helped.  The time for you to
have thought of the consequences was before you tempted your friend to
ignore the restrictions."

Ruth, sensing that she was getting nowhere, decided to throw herself
entirely upon John Brown's sympathy.

"Mr. Brown ... if I tell you that I'm awfully, awfully sorry and that
I'll never, never interfere with anyone keeping rules again, would

The coach shook his head, giving a sharp, deep-throated laugh.  Then
the lines in his face hardened, the furrowed crease
stiffened--ridge-like--and he leaned forward compellingly.

"You are not sorry because Tim Mooney's loss to the team may mean the
loss of the game--or games.  You are sorry only for Mr. Mooney and the
limelight his playing might reflect upon you.  Pardon my frankness but
I know your type well.  You are a disciple of this individual freedom
cult which has swept the world.  You have regarded rules as being made
only for the thrill and pleasure of breaking.  It has pleased your
vanity that Mr. Mooney should have chosen your company rather than the
observance of football regulations, A loyal Elliott girl, having a
friend on the team, would have insisted on keeping training rules with
him.  But, not you!  You've been a thoughtless traitor to your college.
And now perhaps your joy will be complete when I tell you that your act
may come close to costing me the ambition of my life.  Good day!"

Shocked by the sudden, burning reprimand and the blunt abruptness of
her dismissal, Ruth sat for a few prickly seconds staring at the coach.
Then she arose and, in place of being indignant, walked sobbingly from
the room!

The following Saturday, minus the services of Tim Mooney, Elliott went
down to a bitter, heart-rending defeat at the hands of Larwood, losing
by the hard-fought score of 7 to 0.  Five times during this
blood-tingling conflict, Elliott drove the ball down inside the enemy's
ten yard line but somehow, every one of these times, just missed the
punch which would have taken it over.  Throughout the game, and
especially at the moments when Elliott was in possession of her golden
scoring opportunities, the stands had madly implored for Mooney.

"Mooney!  Mooney!  Give us Mooney!" they had chanted.

And after the game Elliott fans took occasion to warmly denounce Coach
Brown for the discipline he had employed which had deprived Elliott
University of what would have been one of her most notable victories in
years.  The press of the nation was full to overflowing of newsprint
that day either attacking or defending the great John Brown.  Most
sport writers were of the opinion that the famous coach had only
himself to blame for the defeat, poking much fun at his ten o'clock
law.  A few of the more orthodox ones, however, credited John Brown
with having put law and order above victory, and lauded the personal
sacrifice he had made in so doing.  But Elliott, crazed at having been
given a taste of athletic fruits after so long a time of starving,
could not reconcile herself at not having been able to eat the whole
apple.  As time ticked on, Larwood's defeat of Elliott seemed more and
more uncalled for ... and the abuse of John Brown grew and grew.

What Coach Brown's thoughts were on the situation no one knew.  He had
scarcely been seen since the game and he had stayed so close to his
room--it had been reported--that he had even had his meals sent up to
him, refusing all interviews as well as callers.  This in itself was
unusual--but that was John Brown.  Eccentricity was expected of a man
who had been in the habit of accomplishing such astounding results with
raw human material and a football.  To those who flattered themselves
that they reasoned, it was decided that John Brown, incurring popular
disfavor, had taken the simplest and most effective course of curbing
drastic comment by giving his antagonists no object to shoot at.  After
all, right or wrong, Coach Brown was in charge of the team and it had
been through his efforts solely that Elliott had been able to even give
Larwood a fight.

Every Monday, following a game, it was a custom among coaches to review
the previous Saturday's struggle, calling attention to the errors of
omission and commission as well as stressing the strong points of play.
Coach Brown's analyses of games had been regarded by many as
classics--some even called them scholarly treatises--but, at any rate,
the Monday hour in the Elliott clubhouse was recognized as the
education period par excellence of the entire week in football circles
and everyone who could possibly command a right to attend was there to
hear the contests cussed and discussed play by play.

"Wonder what thunderbolt J. B. will have up his sleeve for us this
time?" every Elliott football man was asking himself as he headed for
the clubhouse the Monday after the Larwood battle.

It was certain that John Brown would say something distinctly
significant.  His stone silence over the week-end would indicate that.
Whatever his reactions to the boiling pot of criticism which had been
stewed over him, the team could expect to get most of these reactions
in the form of sharply defined lightning thrusts at weaknesses
which--to Coach Brown--had been responsible for Elliott's failure to
win.  Team members instinctively knew that, so far as Tim Mooney was
concerned, John Brown would regard him as though he had never lived.
The coach would chalk up the defeat--not against Mooney's absence from
the line-up--but against the team individually or collectively failing
to come through in some particular.  They knew this because John Brown
had emphasized, in some outstanding past instances, that "Games are
never won by the men on the sidelines but by the eleven on the field."

At the clubhouse the hands of the old wooden-faced clock pointed to
five minutes after four.  This was fifteen minutes past the time that
the Monday talk usually began.  Players, lounging in the locker room,
looked at one another in silent wonderment and then strolled toward the
windows and gazed out down the walk which led through a lane of trees
to the campus.  As the clock droned the quarter hour, Red
Murdock--assistant coach--got up, with an air of uneasiness, and
sauntered to the door and stood, peering.  An unnatural quiet fell upon
those present.  Coach Brown had never been late before.  Punctuality
had been one of his iron-clad rules.  And now he had kept them sitting
there, in growing impatience and suspense, some twenty-five minutes!

Suddenly the assistant coach straightened up and stepped from the door.
Automatically the players changed from lounging positions to attitudes
of expectant attention.  And every face cried to heaven of the
exclamation, "Ah,--he's coming!"

There followed the sound of feet on the sidewalk--a firm, measured
tread which grew methodically nearer until it stopped abruptly at the
threshold.  A moment more and a figure filled the doorway.  But such a
figure!  John Brown to be sure--yet a different John Brown, an older
John Brown; a sadder John Brown.  His face looked white--not so white
as the chalk lines on the gridiron--but unusually white.  And there was
a drawn quality about it with a certain weariness under the eyes.  All
this no one could help but notice as he stood in the doorway, facing
them.  Yet, when the face relaxed into the smile that everyone had
grown to love, its white, drawn weariness was forgotten.  The coach was
himself again.

"Well, boys, you've got one on me this time.  Sorry to have kept you

John Brown advanced into the room, nodding a greeting to Red Murdock.
He lifted a foot and placed it upon the empty end of a bench on which
some players were seated, leaning over to rest his elbow on his
upraised knee and his chin upon the palm of his hand.  He stood thus,
the thumb of his other hand run in under his belt strap, his cap pulled
well down so that the band of the rim seemed almost to press against
the furrowed line of his forehead.  Just a simple, unaffected pose
perhaps--but somehow, this tardy Monday afternoon, it held a touch of
the dramatic.

"Team--I have a little surprise for you to-day," said the great John
Brown.  "We're not going to discuss Saturday's game with Larwood, The
game itself has been discussed enough by everyone who saw it.  But I
would like to say to you and let it be heralded as coming from me, that
I never hope to see a more perfect game of football than you men of
Elliott played against Larwood!"

Could the roof have crashed in unexpectedly at that instant it could
have caused no more profound astonishment than this most surprising of
tributes from the lips of John Brown.  Was he suddenly gone crazy--or
was he about to perpetrate some biting joke?

A substitute, anticipating a sarcastic follow-up, let out a mirthful

"All right, you're through for the day."  The coach gave the order
without raising his voice nor even looking at the culprit.  He waited
until the chagrined disturber had slunk out before resuming.

"I mean it, men.  My idea of perfect play Is when a team performs
strictly as it has been coached to perform ... following a system
through to the very last regardless of the breaks of the game or the
preconceived notions of the individual players.  That is team-work in
the fullest--that is genuine football.  That you failed to win does not
alter the fact that you gave a faultless exhibition insofar as your
experience and training permitted.  Saturday you were by no means the
greatest team I have ever coached, but you were by all odds the
fightingest, willingest bunch of grid warriors that, in my estimation,
ever wore moleskins!"

The coach paused and shifted his position to the other knee while the
Elliott men sat like a group of badly fussed and dumbfounded school
boys.  Even Red Murdock could not conceal a look of frank bewilderment.
What on earth was the great John Brown driving at?  He had never heard
the coach extol an eleven before.  This was a most radical departure....

"A comparatively green line and a green backfield and yet you held
Larwood to one touchdown and threatened her goal five different times!
There is victory enough for me in that achievement...."

Forgetting their embarrassment at the praise which was being heaped
upon them, a change began to creep over the team members--a sort of
magical change which stiffened spines and raised heads with a growing
pride.  Gone was the inward despondency which had gripped them since
their gruelling loss to Larwood.  And in its place...?

Quick to note this rousing transformation, Red Murdock--assistant
coach--fought back a smile and the simultaneous inclination to kick

"Strike me for a dumb-bell!  J. B. sure knows his stuff.  He realizes
he's dealing with practically new and little seasoned men ... and he's
trying to save their morale and bolster it up for the biggest game of
the year--against Delmar.  Criticism at this stage of development would
eat their hearts out.  He's feeding them...  but oh, aren't they eating
it?  They've turned to putty in his hands right now!"

This much Red Murdock told himself while Coach Brown was pacing
impulsively across the room and back.  The wily old fox still!  And the
Elliott men leaning forward breathlessly, hanging upon his every word.

"But what you _have_ done is nothing as compared to what you _can_ do!
This week you are going to learn how to beat Delmar ... and next
Saturday you are going to do it!"

An involuntary gasp escaped the lips of John Brown's listeners.

"You are going to do it because I have faith in you and I am going to
see you through.  I..."

The face of John Brown returned suddenly back to its chalk-like white;
the flash sunk out of his eyes, leaving weary rings; the drawn quality
took hold of his cheek muscles--and his foot slipped off the bench to
the floor as he clutched impulsively at his shirt front.


A dozen hands caught the great John Brown as he slumped forward and

There was the mad moment of bringing water, of applying restoratives,
of sending out a rush call for Doctor Landon.  Then the quieter, more
chilling moment when the doctor had come ... and had looked up ... and
shaken his head.

Newspapers were kindly enough now.  They told how the great John Brown
had been stricken down at the height of his brilliant career.  They
intimated that the strain of developing a winning team at Elliott had
taken its toll, together with the loss of the Larwood game and its
attendant _unjust_ criticism.  Colleges throughout the country went
into mourning.  Football practices were curtailed as a mark of respect
and memorial services were held.  At Naylor there was talk of a
monument to place in their Hall of Fame.  The sporting populace at
large sincerely grieved over the passing of this nationally revered
figure who had contributed much to football in particular and all
athletics in general.

But it was natural that Elliott should take Coach Brown's passing
hardest of all.  A difference of opinion sprung up at once as to
whether the last game of the season should be played.  Some argued that
the game should be cancelled as a tribute to John Brown's memory, while
others--who claimed to know J. B. the best--wondered if this were the
sort of tribute that the famous coach would have appreciated.  Had he
not left his body with the message to "carry on" on his lips?  Had not
his dying words been a fervent exhortation to the team to buckle down
to the strenuous task of preparing to meet and, if humanly possible, to
defeat Delmar?  In the light of Delmar's imposing season's record, the
coach's last talk may have seemed preposterous for the colossal faith
he was seemingly placing in his system and his ill-experienced but
fighting team.  Yet John Brown had died with his face to the
front--ready to meet his biggest test head-on, and--under these
circumstances it would be a good thing for Elliott and the entire
football world if the game were gone through with on schedule.

There were two individuals at Elliott who mourned as one--a big-framed,
well proportioned fellow and a slender-lined, sweet-faced girl.  Their
sorrow over J. B.'s loss had been made all the more inconsolable
because of certain previous events now stamped indelibly upon their
minds and magnified to the point of causing them much remorse.  Perhaps
they should not have taken the happening quite so much to heart but Tim
Mooney and Ruth Chesterton somehow felt as though they had been
condemned in the eyes of the coach and his demise now offered them no
opportunity to redeem themselves.

When the Elliott board of control, after a special called session of
great solemnity, announced its decision to permit the looming contest
with Delmar to be played there was much sober rejoicing.  The athletic
world figuratively wore a mourning band on its arm but there had been
born a sense of thrill in its heart such as the prospects of no other
gridiron battle had aroused.  The demand for seats at the Elliott
stadium became unprecedented.  Authorities, harassed from all sides by
the frenzied petition for pasteboards, ordered the construction of
temporary stands but the clamor soon outgrew all bounds of

It was estimated that some fifty thousand fans must be denied the
spectacle of Coach John Brown's last team meeting the tartar of all
football elevens in Delmar.  There was little doubt as to what would be
the outcome of the game but the conditions under which the game was to
be played were such as to raise interest to the highest human pitch.

It had been decreed that there should be no vying of rival cheering
sections with one another--a rather foolish decree, some
thought--finding it hard to imagine a football contest devoid of the
familiar and on-spurring "Rah, rahs."  But this was an idea that the
faculty had devised as a mark of respect and no one could criticize the
spirit which had prompted the formulation of the decree.  No, if the
game were to be played the proper tribute to John Brown must, at the
same time, not be lost sight of.  And what could be more significantly
impressive than a crowd numbering upwards of seventy thousand, watching
a football contest in profound silence?

Wednesday night, after Red Murdock had got back to his room from the
services held for his beloved leader, he was surprised by a tap on the

"Don't wish to be disturbed," he said.

"But I--it's very important, sir," intreated a voice from the other

"Can't help it!" he snapped, his irritation being due to the enormous
responsibility which had fallen upon him.  "See me tomorrow."

For answer the doorknob turned and the door swung inward.  The
assistant coach raised his head, about to make angry protest, but the
protest melted on his lips at what he saw.  Standing in the hallway was
the grim and resolute figure of Tim Mooney.

"I beg your pardon, sir--but I've just got to see you tonight!"

"Well,--all right.  Come in."

The former Elliott fullback stepped through the doorway and pushed the
door shut after him, nervously.  He came over toward the man who had
been forced into the unenviable role of trying to fill Coach Brown's
great shoes, and stood--fumbling with his cap.  There was an awkward
moment, broken finally by Red Murdock.

"You said you had something important.  Let's get it over quickly.  I
don't feel like...."

Tim Mooney crumpled the cap in his large right hand and raised the fist
in an appealing gesture.

"It's just this, sir...  I didn't have to--being off the squad--but
I've kept every regulation since.  And I want to go in.  I'd give my
right arm to go in.  I--I--somehow I feel like I'd been partly
responsible for J. B.'s death!"

"You shouldn't feel that way, Mooney."

"Perhaps not ... but I can't help it....  If we'd only won from
Larwood.  But we can't lose to Delmar, Mr. Murdock.  We can't!  No
matter how strong Delmar is we've got to beat 'em ... for J. B.'s sake.
Please, sir ... won't you reinstate me just for this game?  After that
I'm through.  I'll never play again so long as I live..."  Mooney
choked.  "I guess there's no flowers our coach would like better than a
victory over Delmar.  Won't you let me help try to give 'em to him?"

There was something in Tim Mooney's appeal that was heart-rending.
Tears glistened in the former Elliott fullback's eyes and found their
reflection in the eyes of John Brown's assistant coach.

"Mooney," spoke Red Murdock, with difficulty, "I know just how you
feel.  I played for J. B. once and I'd have given as much for him in
life as you're now willing to give to him in death.  I can't refuse
you, boy.  You play.  Report for practice tomorrow night!"

Outside the brown-stoned house and across the street from the place in
which Red Murdock had his room, a girl paced up and down, taking care
to keep within the gathering shadows.  Every once in a while she would
stop, just opposite the house, and gaze anxiously at the entrance.  The
time of her waiting seemed a young eternity to her though in all it
could not have been more than ten minutes.  And then the figure she had
been looking for emerged.  He glanced about, saw her, and both started
toward each other.

"What did he say?" she cried, breathlessly.

The former Elliott fullback did not attempt a verbal reply.  He simply
reached out and gripped the hands of the girl, as they met, and nodded
his head.

"Pm so glad," she murmured, tears splashing down upon his rough
knuckles.  "I really think J. B. misjudged me ... and I haven't any way
of making up to him ... except through you....  It's our chance, Tim
... to make good!"

He smiled and patted her arm and the two of them went off, hand in
hand, through the dusk.

No one saw the sun rise the morning of the momentous day as Saturday
dawned behind a bank of dark, somber-looking clouds.  Highways early
became choked with lines of automobiles and railway schedules slowed
under the running of football specials.  The vicinity about Elliott
University soon resembled a vast ant hill, swarming with sport-crazed
humans.  By noon the little college town was transformed into a huge
outdoor garage with every available space, even front lawns, taken up
by autos, many of which bore licenses from distant states.  The throng
milled up and down the streets, impelled by a restless curiosity.
Delmar students, on hand six thousand strong, felt almost lost without
the tuneful services of their famous band.  An uncanny absence of
boisterous sound prevailed as though everyone was impressed with the
peculiar nature of the occasion.  And because of this strained sort of
reverent silence the atmosphere was gradually being made so tense as to
be almost unbearable.

Members of the Elliott team, confined to their rooms until noon by
order of Red Murdock, reflected--to a much more trying degree--the
feelings of the multitude.  Outside they could hear the tramp and
shuffle of feet and occasionally an outcry, but their ears recorded no
blare of music or outburst of jostling gaiety.  And, as minute crawled
after minute, their irritation grew so that they took to pacing up and
down--up and down--figuratively frothing at the mouths to be out and
clawing into Delmar ... anything to get the torture of waiting over!

By fifteen minutes before game time every possible nook and cranny of
Elliott field was jammed with heart-palpitating humanity.  The great
stadium was packed, aisles and all, with the greatest crowd its
historic confines had ever held.  And thousands more stormed the gates
outside, beseeching entrance.

In the clubhouse, eleven Elliott men--the choice of Red Murdock to
start against Delmar--sat in a rigid circle while their assistant coach
delivered his last admonitions.

"And one word more," said Red, as the shrill whistle of the referee
called impatiently for Elliott's appearance on the field.  "It was just
last Monday that John Brown stood in this room, precisely as I am
standing now, and voiced his confidence in you.  He declared that
Saturday you were going to beat Delmar.  He said you were going to do
it because he was going to see you through.  Outside there, to-day,"
with a wave of the hand toward the stadium, "There are eighty thousand
people, one of the greatest football gatherings that ever attended a
game in America, hushed and waiting to see what account John Brown's
team gives of itself.  Throughout the country telegraph keys will click
your every play and radios will tell the story to countless thousands.
To-day you hold within your palms the opportunity for achieving
Elliott's greatest athletic triumph and at the same time immortalizing
the name of Coach John Brown.  Does John Brown live ... or does John
Brown die...?"

Another urgent blast came from the referee's whistle.  A motion from
Red Murdock and eleven grim-jawed men shot from the club-house.  A
great murmuring hum arose as the team burst upon the field--then an
involuntary cheer as the game got under way with Delmar kicking off.

Highly strung and nervously eager, Elliott took the kick-off on her
seven yard line and advanced the ball, under splendid interference, for
nineteen yards before being downed.  The man with the ball had been Tim
Mooney and the stands echoed his name though the cheering sections were
dumb.  On the first play, as a price for her over-anxiety, Elliott was
penalized five yards for being off-side.  The next play netted but two
yards, an attempt through Delmar's sturdy line.  Then the ball was
snapped to Elliott's star fullback and Mooney--every nerve pulsating
with the desire to give his all--fumbled.  A mad commotion of flying
legs and arms ... a moment of breathless suspense as the arms and legs
were untangled ... a mighty groan of disappointment from the
crowd--scarcely three minutes of play over and Delmar in possession of
the ball but twenty-three yards from Elliott's goal!

The recovered fumble was too good an advantage for Delmar to pass up.
Employing a crushing style of attack, directed furiously and
unmercifully at the lighter Elliott line--Delmar commenced her first
march toward a touchdown.  It took just five plays to put the ball
across despite the most heroic efforts of Elliott to resist Delmar's
steam roller offensive.  Delmar added the point after touch down by a
kick from placement, giving her an early lead of 7 to 0.

Convinced now that they were in for the witnessing of a massacre, the
stands sat dejectedly considering how foolish it had been to hope that
the late John Brown's eleven could possibly prove a match for
Delmar--cream of the country's football teams.  There were some who
even callously began to remark, as Delmar launched her second
ground-gaining onslaught against Elliott, that Providence had been kind
to John Brown in calling him home, thus saving the great coach from the
ignominy of seeing his last efforts crowned by a crushing and
devastating defeat.

But passing such quick judgment upon Elliott was hardly fair in the
light of the terrific strain under which the eleven was playing.
Temporarily shot to pieces by the disheartening fumble, it was not
until Delmar had swept into Elliott territory again that John Brown's
team found itself enough to brace and rock the stadium with the thrill
of stopping Delmar's smashing advance by taking the ball on downs!
Even this sudden flare-up of spirited defense was lightly regarded by
the stands who saw in Elliott's improved play but the last spent effort
of a dying ember whose light is always brightest before it fades into
oblivion.  And Tim Mooney's fifty yard punt, putting Elliott out of
danger for the time being, was the ember at full glow.  Delmar would
soon get going once more and Elliott would be beaten back until the
team, burning itself out against a mightier foe, became as so many
ashes underfoot.

But oh, how that ember clung to the light ... and life!  All through
the first half it persisted, shining brightest when fanned most by the
tempest, and standing out as a bulwark which Delmar, with all her
relentless battering, could not surmount.  Time upon time Delmar
pounded dangerously near Elliott's goal yet each time the Elliott spark
of resistance was somehow equal to the occasion with Tim Mooney's toe
doing Herculean work toward driving the invaders well back into their
own territory from whence they were forced to begin all over again.

Gradually there stole upon the eighty thousand humans the throbbing
realization that they were witnessing a sample of raw-handed courage
such as men display only when under some great, compelling
influence--an influence inspired by a necessity equalling a Marne or an
Argonne to them--an influence which cried out above the bruising tide
of battle, "They shall not pass!  They shall not pass!"

Between halves the stands arose and stood two minutes, with heads
uncovered and bowed, as a tribute to Coach John Brown's memory.  The
tribute was of involuntary nature, started by students in the Elliott
section and quickly copied by the crowd.

"You're a great team today, boys," was Red Murdock's greeting as the
Elliott warriors lurched drunkenly into the clubhouse for their
precious ten minutes of rest.  The players eyed him soberly, chests
heaving, shirts mud-grimed and torn, bodies sore and weary from
blocking the path of the Delmar tornado.  And Red Murdock, looking them
over, felt how hollow would be the saying of another word.  He devoted
attention instead to treating their various minor hurts and giving an
encouraging slap here and there to the back of a man whose shoulders
inclined to droop.

Furious at having been held to one lone and practically fluke
touchdown, Delmar opened the second half with a drive of even greater
power, calculated to put Elliott speedily to rout.  The cream of the
country's football teams had hammered steadily enough at Elliot's line
to have worn it to shreds by now.  No other eleven had stood up so long
under Delmar's terrific charging and John Brown's team must crack wide
open soon.  But all through the third quarter, calling upon an almost
uncanny reserve force, Elliott managed to stave the enemy off.  True,
whenever Elliott came into possession of the ball she found herself
unable to launch an offensive of her own.  This was due to a Delmar
line of equal stone-wall quality--a line which had not permitted a
touchdown to be scored against it that season.  And Elliott was not
going to be the first team to do it either.  There was humiliation
enough for Delmar in the fact that victory was being won by so small a

Going into the last quarter, the stands could notice a perceptible
wilting of the Elliott team.  There were no expressions of surprise at
the sight, only wonderment that John Brown's eleven had withstood the
gruelling attack that long.  A wave of sympathetic feeling passed over
the stadium.  The crowd did not care to see the pathetic spectacle of a
team which had acquitted itself so nobly in the face of odds, crumbling
in the final fifteen minutes of play and falling a helpless, exhausted
victim to the ravages of a foe already maddened at having been so
bitterly repulsed.

Now, as the vast throng looked through half-closed eyes, it saw the
mighty Delmar slowly corning into her own.  Taking the ball on her
forty-two yard mark, Delmar sent her backfield men galloping through
holes which began to yawn open in the Elliott defense.  Five, ten,
fifteen yards were reeled off on every play.  Time was called while the
Elliott line was patched up by three substitutes.  But with play
resumed, the Delmar steam roller continued unaffected on its way,
rumbling and pounding over the ground which separated it from the
Elliott goal.  Six minutes of play remained as the country's leading
football eleven drew up for a first down on their stubborn opponent's
ten yard line.

"Touchdown, Delmar!" called its six thousand rooters, uttering the
first real blast of sound which had come from the stands all day.

Up in the Elliott section a white-lipped girl strained forward,
silently intreating.  Her face was tear-streaked.  There was something
desperately compelling about her attitude.  The spectre of defeat to
her was as grim as the spectre of death.  Almost unconsciously her lips
parted and she started to sing in a low, wavering voice:

  "John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the grave ..."

Spectators on either side of her looked at the girl queerly as if they
thought she had suddenly gone out of her head.

  "John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the grave,"

Now some of the people near her became conscious of a strange, tingling
sensation that seemed to cut to their very marrow as the voice, gaining
in strength so that it carried out over the stand, repeated once more:

  "John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the grave,"

And, in a magnetic sort of way there arose a spontaneous response of
voices from all parts of the stand, joining in on the next line:

  "His soul goes marching on!"

Down on the gridiron, their bodies weary from battle, crouched the
battered Elliott eleven.  The players glanced up curiously as the first
swells of the song reached them.  Then they were seen to stiffen as the
chorus, gaining volume, chanted out to them:

  "Glory, glory hallelujah!
  Glory, glory, glory hallelujah!
  Glory, glory hallelujah!
  His soul is marching on."

The Delmar line crashed forward and the man with the ball dashed around
the end.  But he got little more than started when it seemed as though
the entire Elliott team had torn through and nabbed him.  There was a
roar in the stands and the great crowd was on its feet, men with their
heads uncovered, while the song leaped to the lips of all and welled
into a mighty dirge as the girl--lifted to the shoulders of those
nearby--led by a waving of her arms.

  "The stars of heaven are looking kindly down,
  "The stars of heaven are looking kindly down,
  The stars of heaven are looking kindly down,
  On the grave of old John Brown."

A great cheer went up as Elliott, suddenly transformed into men of
steel, took the ball on downs and snapped into its first play.  Another
cheer as Tim Mooney tore through the hitherto invincible Delmar line
for fourteen yards.  On the next play Mooney charged through for five

  "Glory, glory hallelujah...!"

As though there had come into each Elliott player a superhuman force,
the Delmar team was pushed back and back, resisting stubbornly but
ineffectively.  It was a driving offensive against time.  If Elliott
could go over for a touchdown in the three minutes left and kick goal,
it could at least earn a tie with the mighty Delmar.  On its seventeen
yard line Delmar braced desperately.  Thirty valuable seconds were
taken in two setbacks for a four yard loss.  Then Mooney broke through
for a run that carried the ball over the goal line.  Feverishly the
teams lined up for the kick after touchdown.

  "He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord,
  He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord,
  He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord,
  His soul........"

And Mooney missed the attempt at goal after touchdown!  The song broke
into a great heart-broken moan.  Score--Delmar 7; Elliott 6.  The one
stupendously inspired chance gone.

The teams lined up again for the kick-off with Mooney sobbing like a
baby at his failure.  Delmar kicked ... and the ball settled into
Mooney's arms.  He started down the field with a grimness born of
despair.  Past chalk mark after chalk mark he ran while the words of
the song, now sung in frenzied fashion, roared in his ears:

  "Glory, glory hallelujah!'
  His soul is marching on ..."

At Delmar's forty yard line Mooney was stopped.  He was thrown heavily
after having completed the longest run of the game--fifty yards.  The
time-keepers consulted their watches.  Mooney shouted hysterically at
the quarterback ... the quarterback barked a signal ...  Mooney lunged
back and planted his feet in the rough sod, holding out his hands...

  "John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
  John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
  John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back,
  His soul is marching on!"

Standing on Delmar's forty yard line, as charging Delmar linesmen broke
through and plunged at him, Mooney's toe swung up and booted the ball.
As the ball took the air there came the shrill shriek of the
time-keeper's whistle.

Then the throbbing notes of the song, swelling on in a burst of fervent
hope as the ball turned end over end, straight for the goal posts....

  "Glory, glory hallelujah!
  Glory, glory, glory hallelujah!"

A moment more and the Elliott players fell upon Mooney, hugging and
kissing him with mad joy, while the song roared into a mighty harmony
of heart-bursting sound:


And then, as if with a sudden thought of overwhelming reverence, the
voices died into a soft refrain:

  "His soul is marching on!"

The eighty thousand spectators poured from the stands with a solemnity
which bespoke their attendance at a memorial service.  They had just
looked upon and been party to a miracle.  The last second field goal
from the forty yard line had given Elliott a 9 to 7 victory over the
great Delmar eleven.

At the corner of the field a girl cried happily, her head unashamedly
against Mooney's shoulder.

"Whatever made you think of that?" Mooney asked her, tenderly.

"I--I don't really know," she answered, looking up at him with just a
trace of embarrassment, "but somehow ... you'll think I'm foolish for
saying this ... I had the feeling it was John Brown!"



Harold M. Sherman, one of the most popular authors of boys' books needs
no introduction to the vast majority of young readers.

To boys who like, as every red-blooded boy must, these high type sport
stories, we dedicate this series.

  FOOTBALL . . . . . ITS A PASS!

The Goldsmith Publishing Co.


Books by



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