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Title: Jimmy Kirkland of the Cascade College Team
Author: Fullerton, Hugh Stuart
Language: English
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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.

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                             JIMMY KIRKLAND
                                 OF THE
                          CASCADE COLLEGE TEAM

                                   BY
                           HUGH S. FULLERTON

                             ILLUSTRATED BY
                          CHARLES PAXSON GRAY


                              PHILADELPHIA
                      THE JOHN C. WINSTON COMPANY
                               PUBLISHERS



                          Copyright, 1915, by
                      The John C. Winston Company.

                          PRINTED IN U. S. A.



[Illustration: “So You Quit—Quit Cold?”]



                                   To

                           Amos Alonzo Stagg

    Player, coach and teacher, who has made the ideal of purity and
    honesty in college sport a reality, this volume is respectfully
    inscribed.



                               CONTENTS.


                                 Chapter               Page
                I. The New Man at Cascade                 9
               II. Larry Clashes with the Coach          21
              III. Larry Seeks Revenge                   33
               IV. An Old Friend Is Found                46
                V. Krag Reads Larry a Lesson             58
               VI. A Friend in the Foe’s Camp            66
              VII. A Lesson in Obedience                 74
             VIII. A Victory Over Self                   82
               IX. The Pig in the Parlor                 91
                X. “Peeg” Excitement                     99
               XI. “Paw” Lattiser Has a Plan            109
              XII. The Plan Succeeds                    119
             XIII. The “Peeg Mystery” Cleared           128
              XIV. The Prodigal Pig Returns             137
               XV. Helen in Trouble                     145
              XVI. A Treacherous Blow                   156
             XVII. The Game with Golden                 168
            XVIII. Larry Gets Some Facts                179
              XIX. “Paw” Lattiser to the Rescue         188
               XX. The Captain of Cascade               197
              XXI. Temptation                           207
             XXII. A Game and An Ally Won               217
            XXIII. Helen Appeals for Help               226
             XXIV. The Quarrel with the Major           236
              XXV. The Final Game                       247
             XXVI. Facing the World                     258



                             ILLUSTRATIONS


          “So You Quit—Quit Cold?”              Frontispiece

                                                        Page
          The Pig Was Borne up the Back Stair             97
          “How Can I Be a Professional?”                 158
          “Oh Larry, Take Me Away!”                      235



                         JIMMY KIRKLAND OF THE
                            CASCADE COLLEGE
                                  TEAM



                               CHAPTER I
                        _The New Man at Cascade_


Boys, young men, men advanced in years but not in spirit, laughed,
shouted greetings, pounded each other upon backs and gripped hands—all
inspired with the joy of reunion. The shadows of the gray buildings of
Cascade College were sharply outlined upon the lawns and walks in the
brightness of California sunshine. Behind them the mountains sloped
steeply down from the forest-crowned heights to spread over the
shelf-like plateau which had been transformed from a wooded wilderness
of giant trees to a semi-tropical garden.

Mask-faced Chinese youths in the severest of black clothing, a few in
the rustling gorgeousness of their native silks; Nipponese, who wore the
clothing of Americans as if they had crept into the garments without
disturbing the work of the tailor; American boys from ranch and
mountain, from desert and vineyard, in the loose freedom of Western
clothing; boys from San Francisco, garbed a month ahead of Broadway
style; clear-skinned, handsome Hawaiian youths; a group of dark-skinned
East Indian lads; representatives of East and West drawn together by
common pursuit of knowledge, pressed steadily toward the wide portals of
Ridgeway Hall.

“Oh you Big Bill!”

“Hello, Old Scout! How are the Rangers?”

“Missed you at Honolulu, Dick.”

“Did the mine pan out?”

“Did you strike oil, Jimmy?”

“Wow, there’s Nikki. Hi, you Nikki, how’s Yeddo?”

Brown, yellow, black, red and white, they shouted the greetings and
brought the word from all parts of the world, while they importuned each
other for news of the long summer vacation. They spoke of Hawaii, the
Philippines, China, Japan, of mines in the mountains, ranches in the
desert, oil in the foothills, of oranges, pears and apples, of
lumbering, of Alaska, of sea voyages and hunting trips, of work and
play.

The students of Cascade College were returning for the fall
semester—each with a wonder tale to tell. To Eastern college men the
scene would have seemed strange; for under the college spirit and the
bubbling joy of the return there was a deeper note. They were boys
again—schoolboys back from vacation—but during the two months they had
played the parts of men and they had the air of having had a part in the
big world outside the classroom.

Standing alone, and feeling lonely during all the merriment, James
Lawrence Kirkland watched the reunion. Half a dozen times he had started
as if to join the press of students to reach the registrar’s office and
conclude the ordeal of matriculation, but each time he had stopped as if
fascinated by the sight of so many interesting boys. He found himself
liking and disliking them and striving to pick out those who would be
his friends and those who would be his enemies during the four years to
come. He saw an alert, keen-eyed little Nipponese youth running to meet
a giant of a boy in a broad Stetson hat.

“Mr. Sunderland,” cried the brown youth.

“Oh you Nikko,” yelled the giant, and lifted the lighter youth in his
arms and danced with him.

This was Sunderland, the famous football player and hammer-thrower, and
Jimmy Kirkland watched him with new interest. And as he gazed he saw
upon the lapel of the coat of the little brown youth a service medal
that told of a year with Oku’s army in Manchuria.

Larry felt suddenly insignificant and unimportant among these fellows,
scarcely older than he was, who had played a part of the world’s great
events. His confidence and assurance were evaporating, and he found
himself lonely among them all. He turned quickly and, jostling through
the glad throngs, he reached the registrar’s office and was enrolled.
The card which he filled in read:

    James Lawrence Kirkland. Residence, Shasta View Ranch, Pearton,
    Oregon. Age, eighteen.

He breathed more easily and carried himself with a new respect as he
descended the stairs. He was a full Freshman, with fewer conditions to
make up than he expected. His self-confidence returned, and he emerged
upon the campus again, walking lightly.

He was an excellent type of athletic youth as he strolled slowly through
the throngs, keeping a sharp lookout for some familiar face. In spite of
his appearance of youth and his slenderness he possessed a magnificent
pair of shoulders, and his blue eyes looked fearlessly into the eyes of
those to whom he spoke. He carried himself jauntily, because of his
lightness of foot, and his sandy, rebellious hair that bordered upon
red, called attention to the well-formed head well set upon the wide
shoulders.

Larry Kirkland was the ward of Major James Lawrence, owner of Shasta
View, one of the wealthiest men on the Pacific coast. He and Larry’s
father had been chums for years, and when the boy was left an orphan,
the Major had taken him, to make him his heir. Larry had organized the
boys of the ranch into a baseball team which, under his guidance and by
the advice of Bill Krag, a major league pitcher, had triumphed over all
opponents. His experience as manager of the Shasta View team, and his
athletic ability and experience in handling the boys who played with
him, had made it easy for Larry to become the leading athlete of the
preparatory school, near Portland. During his two years there he had
been captain of the baseball and track teams and had played on the
football team, and he had entered college with the expectation of being
greeted as a valuable acquisition. The fact that no one among all the
throng of students paid the slightest attention to him, caused him to
feel resentful. His buoyant spirit asserted itself.

The scant respect with which the upper classmen showed to new men and to
the Freshmen irritated him. He was accustomed to being looked up to for
advice, to being a leader, and to dictating the course of action to his
associates, and to find himself treated as a small boy was humiliating.
He was standing upon a terrace, unnoticed save when some passing
Sophomore gave him a careless glance. He was angry with himself for
permitting the feeling of resentment to upset him when a shout caused
him to turn.

“Larry Kirkland!”

Larry whirled to see a small, lithe, brown boy leaping toward him on the
terrace, hands outstretched in greeting and a glad smile on his face.

“Katty!” he exclaimed in surprise. “You here? Where did you come from?”

He seized the hands of the Nipponese boy and shook them heartily.

“I was just wishing I could see some one I knew,” said Larry. “But this
is beyond what I hoped for. How are you? Are you in college?”

“I am in the college,” replied Katsura proudly. “My uncle is in
merchandising. When I left Shasta View I came to live with him. He sends
me to the college that some day I may return to Nippon and serve our
Emperor.”

“How are you pitching now?” asked Larry joyously.

“I have pitched but little since I left the ranch,” said Katsura. “Twice
during the summer I pitched for our boys. I am stronger, and I think
would be better with practice.”

“Well, we must practice then,” said Larry enthusiastically. “We must
practice the old javelin throw. Can you still do it?”

“Yes,” said Katsura proudly. “I have tried it often. It is natural, the
old motion of my fathers in throwing the spear, and it helps me add
speed. How is the Shasta View team?”

“Fine,” cried Larry joyously. “We beat Pearton three times this summer,
and we had three teams down from Portland and won two of the games from
them.”

“Who is pitcher now?” inquired Katsura a little jealous of his
successor.

“Watson. You didn’t know him. He came after you left us. He is about my
age and he is faster than Benny Arnett was. But he never has learned to
pitch a slow curve the way you could.”

“I have wanted to go back and pitch again.”

“We’ll have to try for the team here. If we both make it what an honor
that will be for Shasta View! Are there any other boys here I know?”

“Only Harry Baldwin, from Rogue River ranch,” replied Katsura gravely.
“To him I never speak. He has been here two years.”

“I guess he won’t be glad to see me,” laughed Larry. “I haven’t seen him
for a year. His father and Uncle Jim hate each other more than ever. Do
you remember the time we beat Rogue River ranch team?”

“Yes,” said Katsura, brightening at the recollection, then suddenly
growing serious again. “He has not forgotten it either. He never loses
an opportunity to attempt to insult or injure me. See, there he is now.”

Larry’s eyes turned in the direction indicated and he saw Harry Baldwin,
son of Barney Baldwin, his guardian’s feudal foe. Harry was standing
talking to a group of flashily dressed, “sporty-looking” youths.
Presently the group moved slowly along the walk near which Larry
Kirkland and Katsura were standing. Harry Baldwin was talking, when his
eyes suddenly caught the gaze of Larry Kirkland. A sneer came to his
face and as he turned his eyes away, he said to his companions:

“Not much material for the athletic teams this fall.”

“I thought it looked good,” argued one of his companions. “I laid some
bets before leaving home that we would win everything.”

“It doesn’t promise much,” responded Baldwin. “Fellow up from Los
Angeles who ought to be good in the sprints, and two from Fresno who
seem good baseball material, not much else.”

“What has Baldwin to do with athletics, Katty?” asked Larry, who had
overheard the remarks.

“He is the leader of the sporty crowd here,” replied Katsura. “He is a
great friend of the coach, and pretends to run things. He plays on the
baseball team and they say he will be captain in the spring.”

“Whew!” whistled Larry in surprise and consternation. “Then I won’t have
much chance to make the team.”

“How about this new fellow, Kirkland, from up near you, Harry?” asked
one of the flashily-dressed youths. “I heard he was a wonder, and that
he had a fine team on his ranch.”

“He’s a fresh little pup,” responded Baldwin, raising his voice and
flashing a look toward Larry. “Awful case of swelled head. He thinks he
owns the earth, but he is not game. We played a game with them a couple
of years ago and they beat us by accident, then refused to play us
again. He thinks because he can play on a team his uncle owns he is
going to run everything, but he’ll find himself mistaken.”

Larry turned red at the insult flung at him and took an impulsive step
forward. Katsura, who had overheard, laid a hand upon his arm.

“Pretend we did not hear,” he said quietly. “He raised his voice to make
us hear, and he’ll be hurt if he thinks we didn’t.”

“Well, I know how the land lays,” said Larry, recovering himself with an
effort. “That is a frank enough declaration of war. But I’m going to
make the team, whether he wants me to or not.”



                               CHAPTER II
                     _Larry Clashes With the Coach_


                    Candidates for the Baseball Team
                      Report at the Athletic Field
                        at Three o’Clock To-day.
                            Bring Uniforms.
                                    HAXTON, _Coach_.

The announcement, plastered prominently upon the bulletin board in the
main hallway of the administration building, attracted a swarm of youths
who read in it the opportunity for winning fame upon the athletic field.

The returning students had waited impatiently through four days of rain
and fog for the call for volunteers to defend the honor of the college
on the diamond. Since the opening of the term the chief topics of
conversation among the lower classmen had been as to the material from
which the team was to be made. Only five of the veterans of the
preceding spring were on hand, and the students demanded that a team be
organized that could regain the laurels lost in the annual game with
Golden University, the great rival school.

Larry Kirkland stood before the bulletin board. He was struggling
between his desire to rush forward and announce himself a candidate and
what he conceived to be his duty to his studies. He was behind with his
classes, and carrying a heavy burden of conditions that were yet to be
worked off. He had determined not to make any of the athletic teams
until he was abreast the others in his studies. Three years of careless
and unsystematic studying at the ranch under a tutor and in a
fashionable but not thorough private school, had left him in arrears to
his books. The discovery, made soon after he entered college, that he
was behind other boys of his age, had aroused his pride, and during the
autumn and winter, he had worked hard, and made rapid progress. In spite
of this, however, there remained a burden of extra work to carry before
he could leave the Freshman class, and he was debating whether or not he
dared take the time for baseball. But spring was in the air; the
California spring with its fogs and chills, broken by fevers of sunshine
and summer. The trades were blowing, sweeping the hills clean to let the
brightness and sunshine develop the flowers and renew the greenness,
then bringing the fog and chill from the sea to lay a gray blanket over
all.

But where winter and spring meet eternally, it is always spring in the
veins of the youth of the land. The baseball season was at hand, and the
delayed call was out. Larry was longing to get into his uniform, which
he had worn ever since Krag, the great Giant pitcher had presented it to
him, and flaunt Shasta View in the face of the college youths. The
thought that he would not be able to make the team never came to his
mind. He felt confident that he could win his way, and the only problem
was as to whether or not it would be the right thing to do. He was still
hesitating when Katsura came leaping down the steps of the hall.

“Are you going to try for the team?” he inquired laughingly. “Of course
you are.”

“No,” said Larry with sudden decision. “I’m afraid I won’t have the time
this spring. I’m behind in math, and have two conditions to work off,
and it will keep me grinding.”

“I hoped you would try,” said Katsura admiringly. “Shasta View ought to
be represented.”

“Why don’t you try, Katty?” asked Larry. “You ought to be able to make
it, with practice.”

“I have serious duties,” replied the brown boy gravely. “Besides I would
fear to arouse the feeling against my race. It is strong here among some
of the students.”

“Oh, I guess Haxton wouldn’t be that narrow, if you could pitch,” said
Larry. “He wants to win.”

“I distrust Mr. Haxton,” said Katsura. “He always is with the sporty
crowd. Those who have money are his friends.”

“That’s bad for the school,” replied Larry. “Let’s walk over and watch
the practice, anyhow.”

The two boys found a vantage spot on the grass at the edge of the wide
playing field and, reclining at ease, watched the efforts of the youths
who were straining every muscle to prove their ability and right to play
for the honor of the school. Both Katsura and Larry felt keenly the
renunciation they had made, and each laughingly accused the other of
purposely dragging him into temptation.

Boys of every height, of many ages, and many colors, creeds and races,
attired in makeshift uniforms, were working desperately to attract the
attention of the coach or his advisors. Some wore white shirts, with the
wreckage of old football or baseball trousers. Some wore trousers
abbreviated by the simple operation of cutting off at the knees. Many
wore socks, with great lengths of bare leg showing. Roommates possessing
one uniform had divided the treasure, one taking the trousers and one
the shirt. There were track suits, golf suits, white ducks, and one
youth drew a laugh by appearing in an undershirt and a wide pair of
Chinese trousers that flapped with every move. But all were in deadly
earnest.

Haxton, the coach, strolled around among the perspiring, eager
candidates, stopping frequently to watch the movement of some one.
Occasionally he caused some youngster to thrill by inquiring his name
and jotting it upon a pad of paper. He smiled at the awkwardness of some
who possessed more zeal than skill. At times he talked with the veterans
of the preceding season, directing them to watch certain of the boys who
had shown symptoms of skill in catching or throwing.

Larry, remembering his own trials in selecting the teams at Shasta View
ranch and at preparatory school, watched Haxton’s methods with keen
interest. He observed with a feeling of resentment that Harry Baldwin
walked with the coach offering advice, and sometimes pointing to some
youngster.

“Baldwin seems to be his right-hand man,” remarked Larry.

“They are friends,” said Katsura. “It is said that Baldwin goes with him
around the cities, and spends large sums of money.”

“The sports seem to control athletics here.”

“There was much complaint last year,” remarked Katsura gravely. “The
rich and the sporty ran the teams—and we were beaten. Many blamed
Haxton.”

Haxton blew his whistle at that moment and ended further discussion. The
candidates gathered around the big coach, and he quickly divided them
into teams, pairing off pitchers and catchers, and telling them to work
easily. The fielders whose names he had taken were placed in double
lines for infield and outfield, and two of the veterans were set to
batting balls for them to field.

The dozen or more pitchers and catchers had lined up near where Larry
and Katsura were sitting and the boys watched with considerable
amusement the efforts of some of the boys, and commenting upon the speed
and ability of others. They laughed as they talked of their own first
efforts.

“We probably would have looked greener than these fellows,” said Larry.
“Yet we thought we were good.”

“I remember,” Katsura replied, smiling, “that when you told me to bat,
my idea was to stand on the plate and face the ball.”

“We learned rapidly, though,” laughed Larry. “Mr. Krag’s letters of
advice were worth a month of ordinary coaching.”

“Do you ever hear from Mr. Krag now?”

“No.” Larry’s face became troubled. “He never has written me since the
day the Giants released him. He wrote that his arm had snapped while he
was pitching and was useless. Then he stopped writing.”

“I wish I could have known him,” said the little brown boy. “To think of
a famous pitcher taking an interest in us, way out here!”

“I’m afraid he is in ill luck,” said Larry. “He never saved money—he
was too generous. The papers said he had little saved when the accident
ended his career. I wrote and offered to help him, but he never
replied.”

“Trying to make it curve?” Larry broke off his recital quickly and
called to a tall, slender young fellow who was working hard, and who
caught as if playing patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man.

“Yes, but somehow I can’t do it. I seem to have lost the knack. I’m sure
I made it curve a few days ago.”

“Let me show you how,” Larry volunteered, springing to his feet and
running forward, unable longer to resist the impulse to play. “Come on
Katty. Catch a few minutes and we’ll show them how.”

He took the ball and explained to the tall youth the proper manner of
gripping it for the different curves, and the method of releasing it
from the hand.

“For the real curve—the fast breaking one that darts down and out—let
it go this way,” he said, hooking his arm in a wide swing, that ended
with a sudden snap of the wrist that sent the ball darting down and
outward into Katsura’s hands.

“Now watch him,” he remarked, as Katsura lazily floated a slow twisting
curve back at him.

“I can’t do much until my arm warms up,” said Larry. “Must start easy. I
was foolish to throw that curve first, but couldn’t resist the
temptation.”

For five minutes he explained and demonstrated, showing the tall youth
little tricks and motions, until finally the slender boy sent a curve to
Katsura.

Both Larry and Katsura were warmed, and as their muscles unlimbered they
entered into the spirit of the sport, and instead of retiring to their
seats on the grass, they continued throwing and catching with vast
enthusiasm, while the two candidates watched them with respectful
admiration and accepted their advice.

“Oh you Katty,” cried Larry. “That curve certainly is better. You ought
not waste it. That slow curve twists more, I believe.”

“I am stronger,” called Katsura, “and my hand grip is more powerful.”

“Get out of here!” rasped a voice sharply behind them.

The boys whirled quickly. Half the players overheard the sharp rebuke.

“What are you doing here?” demanded Coach Haxton angrily. “Neither of
you reported as candidates.”

“I—I—We”—Larry hesitated, confused and angry. “We didn’t intend to
try for the team. I was just trying to show this pitcher how to throw a
curve, and I got interested and forgot I was intruding.”

“When I want any assistant coaches I’ll let you know,” snapped the coach
angrily. “Either come out and try for the team, or keep off the
grounds.”

“Very well,” said Larry, flushed, angry and yet, knowing himself in the
wrong, unable to reply as he desired to do, “I will not trouble you
again.”

“Hold on, don’t go off mad,” said the coach, relenting a little. “You
look as if you could play. If you’re in college why don’t you come out
and try?”

“I have conditions to make up,” replied Larry, soothed by the change in
tone. “I’m sorry I intruded.”

“You owe it to the school to play if you can,” retorted the coach. “We
need some fellows who know something. Where did you ever play?”

“We played together on a team up in Oregon,” responded Larry. “Katsura
here was the pitcher”——

“Oh,” said the coach, his voice changing again as he looked at Larry
sneeringly, “I’ve heard of you. You’re that fresh young fellow Baldwin
was telling me about. We need players, but not yellow ones of your
kind.”

He turned quickly, leaving Larry standing in helpless anger.

“Come,” said Katsura. “You see how it is.”

“It is a good thing we decided not to try for the team,” laughed Larry
mirthlessly. “Baldwin evidently expected we would.”



                              CHAPTER III
                         _Larry Seeks Revenge_


Larry Kirkland, hot and rebellious from the rebuff inflicted upon him
and Katsura by Coach Haxton, made matters worse during the next few days
by discussing with several of his classmen the treatment accorded him.
The hurt rankled. He had been accustomed to attempting, at least, to
treat with fairness the boys who had played ball with him. He had tried,
after he had cooled from his first anger, to look upon the matter from
the viewpoint of the coach. He did not blame Haxton for ordering him
from the field. The point he made was that Haxton himself had been
inclined to pass over the infringement of rules, until he discovered who
Larry was. Then he had showered insult upon him and that without cause.

Larry found that many of the undergraduates sympathized with him and
several who had been witnesses of the rebuke, came to him with their own
stories of Haxton’s injustice. Had he been willing to let the matter
drop there, perhaps all would have been well; but the sympathy of others
served to increase Larry’s bitterness. He enlarged unconsciously upon
his wrong, and held forth that it was no use for him to attempt to enter
athletics since the coach was under the influence of the wealthier
fellows.

One afternoon Larry, with some of his Freshman sympathizers, was sitting
under a tree on the campus, talking over the downfall of the baseball
team, and the sporting department generally, when “Paw” Lattiser
stopped, gazed over his glasses at the boys and calmly seated himself
among them.

Lattiser was one of the notable figures of the school, a Senior and
leader of the student body. He was a quiet, whimsical fellow, slow of
speech, continually sucking away at an old pipe and strolling around the
walks, studying as he walked and smoked. He was past thirty-five years
of age, and according to the campus version, he had toiled in the lumber
camps, worked as deck hand on a lumber schooner, and, when he finally
had saved enough to carry him through college, had taken up his
long-delayed education. He was two years getting out of Freshman class,
but after that, by steady work and grinding, he held with his class, and
had become one of the honor men. He was the advisor of the youngsters,
the counselor of the Seniors, and was held in high esteem by the
faculty. He looked over the top of his glasses at Larry, who suddenly
became confused and stopped talking.

“Thought I heard you say something about the team, Kirkland,” said
Lattiser. “Go on; I’m interested.”

“I was just saying,” replied Larry, somewhat taken aback by the manner
of the big, loose-jointed student, “that it is no use for me to try for
any team. Baldwin has told some yarn about me and has prejudiced them
against me.”

“Imagination, plus enlarged ego,” commented Lattiser. “Baldwin says
something, you make a fool of yourself and add evidence to his charge.
You brood until you think everyone is against you. You kick because a
small faction is unjust and accuse everyone.”

“Anyhow,” argued Larry, “he makes it impossible for me to get a chance.
Baldwin seems to run athletics, and I’m not foolish enough to give him a
chance to order me off the field.”

“You have the interests of the school at heart, I suppose?” inquired
Lattiser quietly. “Or your own ambitions?”

“I didn’t intend to try for the team at all,” protested Larry, hurt by
the insinuation.

“If you did not want to play,” retorted Lattiser, in his quiet drawl,
“you wouldn’t care. If you had the interest of the school in mind, you
would overlook any slight placed upon you, for the sake of the college.”

“I’m perfectly willing to sacrifice myself,” mumbled Larry, sulkily.
“All I want is a chance.”

“You have a chance,” said Lattiser. “If you youngsters want to do
something for this school, there is a big chance. You organize a class
team, and develop players who can be ready to play for the college at
any time.”

He arose, lighted his pipe, and smiled at their expressions.

“If conditions are as you say,” he said easily, “they cannot last—and
you’ll be ready.”

“Let’s do it,” suggested Katsura. “Let’s organize a Freshman team, that
will play good ball. In two years we can have our chance, anyhow.”

“Two years?” ejaculated Larry. “Why not get up a team, practice hard,
and then challenge the Varsity and beat it?”

“Yes, yes,” cried several of the boys.

“No, that would be wrong,” remarked Katsura. “Even if we could, which I
doubt, we are for the school, and ought not to belittle the team that
represents it.”

“I think Katty is right,” remarked Larry thoughtfully. “That was what
good old Paw was driving at.”

“Anyhow, let’s see the captain of the Freshman team and ask him if he
wants us as recruits.”

“Who’ll we play?” objected one youth. “What’s the use of wasting our
time practicing if we are not to have games.”

“We can play the other class teams and get a reputation for ourselves,”
replied Larry. “Besides, it would be sport to take some of the pride out
of those Sophs, especially Baldwin.”

“Remember what Mr. Lattiser said about forgetting yourself?” asked
Katsura mischievously.

“By George, he’s right too,” responded Larry irritated. “I can’t seem to
forget myself. Come on, let’s find Arries.”

The five boys found Arries, the Freshman captain sitting on a bench on
the campus, digging away at mathematics.

“Hello,” he said, responding to their greetings. “Glad to meet you all.
I’ve seen you around.”

“We came about the baseball team,” said Larry, after waiting for some of
the others to act as spokesman. “We wanted to offer our services. How is
the team?”

“Well,” replied Arries gravely, as he laid down his book, “we have a
catcher, big Winans; and one of our infielders once stopped a ball.
There is a tradition that one of the outfielders once caught a fly. They
made me captain because I’m so near sighted I can’t see the ball until
the catcher holds it up close to my eyes.”

The boys laughed at the captain’s fantastic description of his team.

“We wondered if you could use us,” said Larry. “Katsura is a good
pitcher, good enough for the Varsity team. All of us have played more or
less ball, and we want to play if you need us.”

“Need you?” exclaimed Arries, arising and shaking their hands. “Why we
need everything excepting a catcher. Winans is the only one on the team
who can catch the ferry. We played the Juniors and were lucky to escape
alive. They licked us 26 to 2, and it would have been worse if darkness
hadn’t interfered.”

“When do we play the Sophs?” inquired Hagstrom. “We ought to be
practicing for that, oughtn’t we?”

“I believe the game is in two weeks,” said Arries. “Haven’t paid much
attention to it since the late unpleasantness with the Juniors. Fact is,
no one else has. It discouraged us.”

“But you are captain,” protested Larry. “Why don’t you call the team
together and we’ll practice.”

“I intended to,” replied Arries carelessly. “Fact is, though, I got so
far behind in studies I forgot, and then I lost the list of players. You
fellows do as you please.”

“Aren’t you going to practice?” inquired Larry half indignantly.

“I? I should say not,” retorted the captain. “Too busy. Besides, we only
play for fun, and it’s hard work to practice. Too hot.”

“If you will tell us who the catcher is we’ll find him,” suggested
Katsura.

“He’s that big fellow from Bakersfield,” replied the captain rising.
“Takes everything in earnest. I’ll have to go to class now. Thank you
fellows for coming to my assistance.”

“No wonder they get beaten,” laughed Larry, as Arries strolled away.
“Let’s hunt Winans. Katty and a catcher ought to beat all that kind of
team without help.”

Winans, they found, was a large, slow-speaking, quick-moving youth. He
looked slow, and the ease with which he moved made him appear lazy. The
boys found him quite the opposite.

“I’m glad some one in this class wants to play real ball,” he said when
they had stated their purpose. “Arries only asked the fellows he
happened to know to join the team, and most of them forgot about it. I
had to find a few to fill in the game we played, and that was a
nightmare. If you fellows want to hustle, I’m with you.”

The following week was a busy one. Winans roomed in a house only a block
from the one in which Larry Kirkland had taken up his abode, and two
other Freshmen were in the same house. Instead of reporting for practice
at the athletic field, the Freshmen decided they could get better
results by taking simple practice in the big yard behind the boarding
house. Each evening they played until it was too dark to see the ball.
With Katsura pitching better and better, and three of the boys able to
play fairly well, Larry, who by common consent had been made the leader,
felt that for a class team, it would do well, especially as Winans
rapidly learned to work well with the diminutive pitcher. It was hard to
get nine Freshmen to practice, but usually Larry had six or seven each
evening, and as the day of the contest approached he felt confident that
his team would furnish a surprise for the Sophomores, who had three of
the regular Varsity team. Also interest among the Freshmen increased as
the date came near, and Winans sent a dozen volunteers, all of whom were
tried out and told to be on hand.

The game was to be played on the athletic field, and after class
meetings to stir up enthusiasm, both classes marched down upon the
field, shouting defiance at each other, while the upper classmen
gathered in the stands and bleachers, watching them with condescending
smiles of amusement, and striving to stir the lower classmen up to the
point of starting the annual rush.

Freshmen, however, were herded into the bleachers at one side of the
field, the Sophomores into the other, and the opportunity for a rush was
averted, or rather delayed.

The two teams arrayed in strange assortments of uniforms, improvised or
borrowed for the occasion, practiced, and during the laughable practice
of the Sophomores, Katsura walked to where Larry Kirkland was examining
a bat.

“Baldwin is trying to make trouble,” he said in low tones. “Look.”

Larry looked in the direction indicated and saw Harry Baldwin in
conversation with several Seniors who had assumed police and other
duties. One of the Seniors, who had been chosen to umpire, nodded and
walked toward the Freshman bench.

“Here, Fresh,” he called, beckoning to Larry. “And you,” he added,
addressing Katsura, “what are you doing on this team?”

“We are members of the Freshman class,” they responded quickly.

“You two can’t play,” decided the Senior brusquely. “We can’t allow
ringers in these games. Here,” he added, calling the Freshman captain,
“you Arries, get these two ringers out and send in two others.”

“Who says we are ringers?” demanded Larry, advancing angrily upon the
Senior. “We have as much right to play as any one.”

“I say so,” replied the Senior calmly. “You play too well. I’ve heard
about you, and your professional training. Now scoot.”

Speechless with rage and mortification Larry advanced more
threateningly. But Katsura quietly grasped his arm.

“It’s a lie,” he spluttered. “But if Baldwin runs this school I suppose
I’ll have to stay out.”

“No more back talk, Freshie,” remarked the Senior. “Don’t speak that way
to your superiors. Call me Sir.”

“Don’t let it fuss you, Kirkland,” said Arries mildly. “It isn’t
important. It is all for fun.”

Larry, raging inwardly, turned and walked with Katsura from the field,
while the Sophomores jeered. He was hot with the injustice of it and
burning for revenge. He took his seat with the Freshmen and strove to
watch the slaughter of the Freshmen, but before long he slipped from the
crowd, and hurried away, refusing to be comforted even by the calm
philosophy of Katsura, who followed.



                               CHAPTER IV
                        _An Old Friend is Found_


The train bearing Larry Kirkland back to Shasta View ranch for the long
summer vacation carried a heavy-hearted, discouraged youth, for whom
even the pleasure of home-coming was dimmed. His college year had been a
series of disappointments and rebuffs. He had gone to Cascade College
filled with high hopes and dreams of winning a place among the men of
the institution. The year had been one of rebukes, and loneliness,
except for the friendship of a few. He, who had always been a leader and
popular, found himself looked upon with suspicion, and rated as
undesirable by many. His attempts, which were few, to add to his circle
of friends, had been met with coldness. Every effort had been a failure,
and some of them, he realized, had been serious mistakes, chiefly
because they were misunderstood.

For all his woes he blamed Harry Baldwin who had exerted his influence
against his boyhood rival in every direction. Larry realized that he had
been beaten by Baldwin, and felt, bitterly, that he could not fight his
neighbor with the same weapon. Instead of choosing his own circle of
friends, ignoring Baldwin and living in a different set and circle,
Larry, rebuffed, had withdrawn more and more, to himself, and avoided
introductions, even to those who were with him in classes. Katsura, the
diminutive Japanese boy, had remained his staunch and loyal supporter,
and at times, a valuable advisor who had prevented him from making even
more serious mistakes in his dealings with the other boys. He had
Winans, the hearty, good-natured youth who had caught for the Freshman
team, and Lattiser occasionally favored him by stopping to talk with him
on the campus, always with a quiet word of advice. Larry did not
understand, until during the final month of the spring term, that his
friendship for Katsura was an additional cause for his unpopularity, or
that, among a certain element of the student body, there existed a
hatred for the Japanese. That discovery aroused his resentment.

It was with relief that he finished his examinations and caught the
train for Shasta View. The train was panting out of the wide valley into
a narrow gorge in the mountains and commencing its twisting, tortuous
climb over the Cascades when he awoke. His first glimpse of Mount
Shasta, towering high overhead, revived his spirits, which rose with the
altitude as the train labored upward through the twisting canon, past
the gushing, geyser like springs of Shasta, over the Black summit, and
went racing downward through the fir forests into the valley garden of
the Rogue River.

He was standing in the vestibule, grip in hand, when the train stopped
at Pearton, and, almost before the porter could throw open the doors he
sprang to the platform. The depot wagon from the ranch was waiting and,
recognizing the wagon and ponies, Larry ran toward it, expecting to see
Major Lawrence. He saw the driver jump down, and glance along the long
line of cars. There was something familiar to him in the slope of the
huge shoulders and the easy grace of movement. Before Larry could recall
where he had seen that form, the driver turned toward him. Larry dropped
his suitcase and sprang forward.

“You—you, Mr. Krag? Where did you come from?” he cried.

Krag, the former pitcher of the Giants, one of the great players of
baseball history, stretched out his huge hands and seized Larry.

“Hello, Jimmy boy,” he bellowed cheerfully. “I never would have known
you. I was watching for a kid the size of the one I put on the train at
Portland—and I find a man. Gee, boy, how you’ve grown!”

“I’d have known you anywhere,” exclaimed Larry eagerly shaking hands.
“Tell me, how did you come to be waiting for me? Where did you drop
from? I haven’t heard a word from you for more than a year—and find you
here.”

“I’m working for Major Lawrence,” Krag responded. “I asked him to let me
come down to meet you. I wanted to give you a surprise. You don’t know
how lucky you are to have him your friend, boy,” he added seriously.
“He’s the squarest, best fellow in the world.”

“I know that,” replied Larry, growing serious, “but how did you come to
be here, and when did you come?”

“Nearly two months ago,” Krag said laughing. “I’m getting to be an old
residenter on the ranch. You’d better behave yourself during vacation.
I’m general overseer, and if you don’t behave, I’ll take you in hand.”

“Where did Uncle Jim find you?” asked Larry, still puzzled. “He never
mentioned you in his letters.”

“I suppose he wanted to surprise you when you came home,” replied Krag.
“He always thinks of things that might please some one.”

“Where have you been?” demanded Larry. “I wrote as soon as I heard the
Giants had let you go. The manager wrote that you had dropped out
without telling any of the fellows your plans, and had gone West. I
wrote twice more, and asked to have the letters forwarded, but never
heard from you, excepting one paper said you were coaching a team. I
wrote there, and it was not true.”

“I know,” said Krag earnestly. “I received one letter, and I was proud
to know you still thought of me. Most of the others forgot me as soon as
my arm went back on me. I’m beginning to think now that the luckiest day
in my life was the one on which I found a lonely little boy on a
railroad train and amused myself entertaining him.”

“I never can forget your kindness,” said Larry, “but how did you happen
to quit the Giants?”

“It was my own fault,” said the big pitcher quietly. “Jump into the
wagon, I’ll toss the trunk up behind and tell you while we are driving
out to the ranch.”

A few moments later the wagon was rattling rapidly through the main
street of Pearton, and Krag did not speak until he pulled the ponies to
a more sedate gait ascending the hill.

“I was drawing a big salary,” he said, “one of the best; $8,000 a season
and a lot besides, easy money, forced upon me by admirers. I thought it
would last forever. I never had known anything about business. Jumping
from nothing a year to $8,000 spoiled me. Money ran away from me, and I
never saved anything. I seldom had a month’s pay saved up and usually
had to draw advance money before the winter was over, to tide me
through. I drew big pay for eight seasons, and made a good fellow of
myself.

“My arm felt as good as ever, and I was pitching just as well, so I
never worried about it, or tried to save. It seemed good for a dozen
more years. I was pitching against a weak club, working easily and
winning, I wasn’t even trying hard, but suddenly, as I tossed up a slow
twister, a ligament in the arm snapped. They nursed me along the rest of
the season, hoping the arm would come back. I knew it wouldn’t. It was
done, and I couldn’t even go to the minors.

“The Giants offered me a contract the next spring. There wasn’t a chance
for me to pitch and I couldn’t go take money under false pretenses. I
might have had a job as first baseman on account of my batting.”

He waited for Larry to laugh, but Larry was so sympathetic, he had
forgotten that Krag was joking at his own expense on account of his weak
hitting.

“I was done as a ball player—with the best part of my life gone and
only a few hundred dollars. That’s the trouble with this baseball
business. A young fellow makes good money at first, but after six or
eight or ten years, he is through, and the years he might have used in
getting a good start in some trade or profession are gone. I looked
around for a job. The fellows who had been my closest associates
commenced dodging for fear I’d ask them for something, so I decided to
come West and go to work. I landed in Portland, almost broke and got a
job working on the docks. I didn’t want any of my old friends to find
me, but one did. He was a reporter. He wrote that I was in Portland and
might locate there if I found the proper opening. Major Lawrence saw the
note, wrote, offered me a job, and here I am.”

“That’s like him,” said Larry tenderly. “He never forgets. The day I
came, I told him of your kindness to me, and he said he would like to
meet you. He probably has been watching for mention of you ever since.”

“He certainly is good,” said Krag feelingly. “He must have sized me up
as too strong or too lazy to do real work, and put me in charge of the
packing houses. Then, when Arnett, his general overseer, quit a month
ago, the Major gave me his position—in spite of the fact that I’m just
starting to learn the ranch business.”

“Gee, that’s great!” exclaimed Larry enthusiastically. “You must live at
the bungalow?”

“Yes, the Major insisted that I take a room there. He said he was so
lonely with you gone that he couldn’t find any one even to have a
satisfactory quarrel with. He gets mad at me because I won’t get mad at
him, and we have some magnificent quarrels.”

“He likes to have any one contradict him, so that he can pretend to get
mad,” laughed Larry. “The only thing that makes him really angry is for
someone to agree with him all the time. He’s the grandest, finest man in
the world, and I never can repay him for his kindness to me.”

“Nor I,” said Krag seriously. “He saved me from becoming a
day-laborer—or worse—and I thank you for your part in it.”

“My part? I hadn’t any part. Besides I think Uncle Jim guessed pretty
shrewdly that you’d make the best kind of a man to run the ranch for
him. All I’m afraid of is that you’ll be too busy to teach me any
baseball.”

“By the way,” said Krag quickly. “I’ve been so busy gossiping about
myself, I forgot to ask if you made the team?”

The wagon, rolling along at a rapid gait, was nearing the crest of the
last billow of ground, and ahead, over the tops of the orchards, they
could see the gables of Shasta View. Towering high in the background
rose the mountains, and at that moment the fog wreath was wind-torn from
the brow of Shasta, revealing the cone in its steely whiteness.

“It seems home now,” said Larry, pointing away across the valley. “I
never shall forget how it seemed the first morning I came, walking,
homesick, scared and tired, carrying the uniform you gave me and
wondering what kind of a reception I would get.”

“Stick to the subject,” said Krag quickly, observing that Larry was
striving to turn the conversation into other channels. “Did you make the
team?”

“I didn’t play any baseball,” said Larry reluctantly, “I didn’t even try
for the team.”

“Why?” asked Krag in quick surprise.

“Please don’t ask now,” said Larry quietly. “I’ll tell you later. It is
not pleasant, and just now I want to forget it.”

They were descending the last hill rapidly, and in a few minutes Krag
touched the ponies with the whip and they whirled into the long avenue
with a fine burst of speed. Before the ponies stopped at the front of
the bungalow, Larry Kirkland had leaped from the wagon, sprang up the
steps and threw both arms around Major Lawrence. The Major, puffing,
scolding, growling, while tears of joy dimmed his eyes, patted his hand,
and to hide his emotion, scolded Krag for loitering, declaring it had
taken him an hour to drive from Pearton to the ranch.



                               CHAPTER V
                      _Krag Reads Larry a Lesson_


Major Lawrence arose from his seat by the fire, stretching himself,
scolded.

“Pair of young wastrels,” he declared accusingly. “Wasting my time,
making me sit here and listen to your yarns. You ought to be made to
work overtime for it. Here the ranch accounts are a week behind; and
Krag loafing and telling yarns, leaving it for an old man like me to
do.”

“Sit down, Major,” said Krag easily. “I’ll finish them up after you and
Larry go to bed.”

“You shan’t do it,” stormed the Major. “Sit up all night, then be too
sleepy to get up and do your work. I’ll do them myself.”

He stormed away to his private office, sniffing angrily, and Larry
Kirkland and Bill Krag laughed.

“He’d never be happy unless he scolded someone,” said Krag. “I think he
is half mad because I didn’t do the accounts, so he could quarrel with
me over them.”

“I had a notion to tell him he was too old to be working late,” laughed
Larry. “He always calls himself old and gets mad when any one else does
it.”

They were sitting before the big open fire in the living room, for the
day had closed with a misty rain. Larry was expanding under the home
influence and the Major’s kindness and love, thinly concealed under his
pretense of anger. Chun, the Chinese youth who had succeeded to the
entire charge of the household, had served a late supper at the
fireside, and Krag had told stories. His tales of exciting games on many
major league ball fields, of the old friends and foes, of desperate
struggles, of narrow escapes and hard-luck defeats. The big pitcher
suddenly broke off in his recital of events and lapsed into a thoughtful
silence, while Larry took up the story of his own exploits on the Shasta
View team and in the preparatory school. Major Lawrence occasionally
chuckled over some tale of boyish outbreaks, but Krag maintained a
silence, punctuated by the sucking of his pipe.

After Major Lawrence’s choleric exit from the scene, Krag smoked
silently for some time. Then he roused himself suddenly and asked:

“Larry, why didn’t you play ball at Cascade?”

“I—I—well, the truth is they didn’t want me.”

He launched into a long explanation of his trials and troubles at
Cascade College, of his feud with Harry Baldwin and of Baldwin’s
influence over the coach and those in charge of the athletic teams at
Cascade. As he talked the recollection of his wrongs stirred him to
eloquence, and more and more he forgot Krag and voiced his inner
injuries.

“So you quit—quit cold, showed the yellow?” inquired Krag quietly, as
he removed his pipe from between his teeth and sat forward waiting for a
reply.

Larry’s mouth opened as in surprise. He started to make a reply, broke
off shortly and sat staring thoughtfully into the fire. Krag, smoking
glanced toward him from the corner of his eye. He saw the boy hurt, and
angry, and puffed away in silence waiting for the youth to speak, to
defend himself or give some explanation.

“I’ve been afraid of it for a month,” said Krag quietly. “When I picked
up the papers in town and did not see your name in the lists, I thought
you had the sulks and were not trying for the team. I believed if you
tried you could have made it.”

“What could a fellow do, under the circumstances?” asked Larry sulkily.
“I couldn’t beg them to let me play.”

“I said to myself,” Krag continued, unheeding the remark, “I said, ‘he
has the swelled head.’ I hoped it wasn’t true.”

“It wasn’t true,” said Larry flashing into anger. “You know I’m not that
kind. I wasn’t trying to run the team, or anything of that sort.”

“No,” replied Krag, still unmoved. “You didn’t ask them to make you
captain, you just walked out and condescended to show them a few things
about the game. You didn’t put on a uniform and get out and work; you
loafed around waiting for them to beg you to help out the team.”

“It isn’t true. You know it isn’t true,” stormed Larry, although he
stirred uncomfortably, realizing that Krag was hitting nearer the truth
than was comfortable.

“I know you don’t think it is true, Larry,” said the big pitcher kindly.
“You don’t know. I believe you dislike that kind of a fellow almost as
much as I do—and I’ve been with them for years. I ought to know the
symptoms. I hoped you’d escape it, that’s what made me so anxious to see
your name in the paper.” Larry maintained a sulky, aggrieved silence.

“The trouble with you, Larry,” said Krag after a long pause, during
which he lighted his pipe afresh, “is plain, untrimmed, swelled head.”

“Yes it is,” he said sharply when Larry started to expostulate—“plain,
unvarnished, swelled head. I’ve seen too many kids ruined by that
disease not to know it—and too many to permit me to keep quiet and let
you go wrong from it.

“You went to college thinking you were the big recruit to the baseball
ranks. It was natural. You had been the whole thing here on the ranch,
boss of everything and used to being obeyed. You were the best player in
that little prep school, and bossed the whole works and showed them how
the game should be played. Then when you went down to Cascade your
feelings were hurt because you weren’t asked to run the team.”

Larry maintained an angry, sullen silence. He was boiling with
resentment, outraged, scandalized and shocked at the brutal accusations
hurled at him and heaped upon him by the man he had made an idol for
years.

“You did feel a little hurt because no one paid much attention to you,
didn’t you?”

No answer.

“You did want to play? You would have played in spite of studies, if
they had shown the proper respect for your ability, wouldn’t you?”

No reply.

“You didn’t organize that Freshman team out of love for the Freshman
team, but with an idea of beating a fellow you didn’t like. Isn’t that
true?”

No response, except that Larry shoved his hands more deeply into his
pockets and slid lower into his chair.

Krag smoked in silence for a time. Then he arose, knocked the dottle
from his pipe, stretched himself and coming nearer, dropped a big hand
onto the boy’s shoulder.

“If I didn’t like you so much I wouldn’t tell you these things, Larry,”
he said quietly. “I wouldn’t know just how you felt, if I hadn’t felt
that way myself when I started playing baseball. I don’t want you to
make the mistakes I made, or suffer from them the way I did. You know
that, don’t you?”

A long silence.

“If—if—if what you say is true,” said Larry hesitatingly, “what ought
I do?”

“It is true, isn’t it?”

“There’s a lot of truth in it.”

“Then all you’ve got to do,” said Krag cheerily, “is to treat yourself
the way you’d treat one of your players—Benny, the fellow you had the
trouble with, for instance. Just go out there, work, and keep your mouth
shut. Obey orders, and let others decide whether they are right or
wrong.”

“But if Baldwin, and the coach?” Larry hesitated.

“Rot,” said Krag. “Larry—if you’re right, no wrong person can make you
wrong. In a college it is the students that decide who is wrong and who
is right, just as in a government it is the people. The bosses can run
either a ball team or a government for a time—but not with the public
watching them—and they watch baseball closer than they do governments
in this country.”



                               CHAPTER VI
                      _A Friend in the Foe’s Camp_


Larry Kirkland, filled with new resolutions and abounding with life and
spirits after a vacation of work and play, was returning to college
determined to recover his lost standing and to win his way.

He and “Gatling” Krag were waiting for the Shasta Flyer to roll down
from the North and bear him over the mountains to Cascade College. They
had talked of the summer, of the ball games at the ranch, the annual
camping trip to Crater Lake Park, and of the hopes and plans for Larry’s
success at college.

“Don’t come back without your C, Larry, boy,” said the big ex-pitcher.
“Remember, it is more the victory over yourself that counts than the
mere making of the team.”

“I’m going to try Bill,” said the boy. “I want to thank you for showing
me my mistakes. I guess I was a pretty swelled-headed kid.”

“Was?” asked Krag, laughingly. “It’s all right if it is in the past
tense. A fellow has a right to think well of himself if he does not let
it blind him.”

At that moment an automobile dashed up to the station platform in a
cloud of dust, and turning, they recognized the car as the new one from
the Rogue River ranch. They had seen Harry Baldwin driving it at a
reckless rate of speed over the roads at intervals during the summer,
but Harry Baldwin was not among those who alighted. Two servants were
busy removing luggage and checking it, while a slender, graceful girl,
pouting and evidently in a bad humor, was standing by the machine,
petulently replacing the wind-blown locks of fair hair that had escaped
from beneath her motoring cap. The girl was obviously annoyed, and she
tapped her foot impatiently upon the platform and gazed up and down as
if expecting someone. Larry Kirkland gazed at her in frank admiration.
He recognized in her the fair-haired, pretty child who had accompanied
Barney Baldwin to Shasta View ranch three years before, to witness the
game between the teams of Shasta View and Rogue River ranches. Larry
recalled with a sense of hurt that she had applauded the Rogues.

“Chance to start a flirtation on the train, Larry,” said Krag teasingly.
“I guess our pretty little friend is going on the train with you. She
seems in distress. Why don’t you rush to the rescue and make yourself
solid with the fair maiden?”

“Oh, shut up,” said Larry, reddening under the teasing. “I guess I
wouldn’t be very welcome as a champion. She is related to the Baldwins,
cousin or something of Harry’s, and she probably would snub me.”

“I’ve noticed,” laughed Krag, “that the female of the species is less
hateful than the male in these family feuds. Maybe she could influence
Harry to let you alone.”

A few moments later the Flyer roared down the valley and Krag gripped
the hand of his young friend.

“Good-bye, Larry,” he said. “Don’t quit. Fight it out—you’ll win.”

“Thanks,” said Larry, “I’ll win—if only over myself. Good-bye.”

In spite of his plan, not to pay any attention to the pretty girl, he
scarcely had placed his grip in his berth when the opportunity to meet
her was forced upon him. She was struggling with several pieces of
baggage, and the overloaded porter was helpless. The girl seemed ready
to weep from annoyance, as she strove to pass down the aisle to her
section.

“May I assist?” asked Larry, quickly observing her plight.

“Oh, thank you!” she exclaimed gratefully, as he seized upon her hand
baggage and carried it for her. He arranged the baggage, saw her seated,
and lifted his cap.

“Thank you, again,” she said, smiling. “It was so annoying. Cousin Harry
promised to go with me on this train, and he went away with some friends
and failed to appear. I was left to make the trip alone.”

“He is not appreciative of his opportunities,” said Harry, struggling
with his first compliment.

“Oh,” she laughed, “Harry still regards me as a child. He never
appreciated me—or anyone else, excepting himself.”

“Are you going far?” inquired Larry, after an embarrassing pause.

“To St. Gertrude’s. It is a girl’s school near Cascade. I am to go there
because Harry is in Cascade and he is supposed to watch over and protect
me.”

“Won’t that be fine?” ejaculated Larry enthusiastically. “I’m in
Cascade—perhaps we may see each other occasionally.”

“You a Cascade man?” she asked. “Harry never mentioned any of the
Pearton boys”——

“I beg pardon,” said Larry flushing quickly. “I forgot to tell you who I
am—— Your cousin and I are—well, we are not friends. I am Larry
Kirkland.”

“Larry Kirkland?” she said. “I never heard the name”——

“I’m Major Lawrence’s ward”——

“Oh!” the girl exclaimed.

The tone was a commingling of surprise, consternation and half
disappointment.

Larry reddened, and an embarrassing pause ensued.

“I see you have heard of me,” he remarked lamely. “I saw you several
years ago.”

“Yes-s,” the girl said hesitatingly. “I have heard Harry speak of you. I
remember seeing you—at a baseball game, but you have grown so I did not
recognize you.”

“Your cousin and I have not been—well, friends,” he remarked. “So I
suppose you have not heard much good concerning me.”

“Oh, as for that,” she said smiling, “Harry and I are not friends
either. He is a bear and he treats me as if I were still a child.”

“I do not see why we should be enemies, just because our families are,”
remarked Larry, feeling as if he had turned traitor to Major Lawrence
when he said it. “It is not our quarrel.”

“No,” she said doubtfully. “You do not seem a bit as Harry said you
were. I expect he just told those horrid stories about you because he
does not like you.”

“I’m sorry he chooses me as an enemy,” said Larry, remembering Krag’s
advice and striving not to permit his temper to be ruffled.

“Harry says he will not let you play on the teams at Cascade,” she
replied quickly. “He says the fellows do not like you and will not play
if you do.”

“I wasn’t very popular last year,” said Larry, laughing to conceal his
embarrassment. “You see I didn’t know them and thought they did not
treat me well. I hope it will be better this year.”

In a few moments their embarrassment passed, and the boy and girl
chattered away merrily. Larry told of his boy life back in the East, of
the death of his parents and Major Lawrence’s kindness in taking him as
his own son; of his trip West, and of his meeting with the Giants and
Krag the pitcher. Helen Baldwin was sympathetic.

“I can understand,” she said. “My father and mother are poor and we are
a large family, so it was hard for papa to give us all he would have
liked to. Uncle Barney offered to take me and educate me, so I am much
in the same situation that you are—only when Uncle Barney goes East, he
takes me, and I visit with my parents, and next summer he is going to
bring Bertha, my younger sister, to the ranch as company for me, as
Harry and Bob and I do not play well together.”

By bedtime they were fast friends. The feud of the Lawrence and Baldwin
families seemed buried so far as they were concerned. And the following
morning, when they arrived, Larry Kirkland carried the girl’s baggage to
the wagonette that was to take her to St. Gertrude’s and promised that
he would call on Thursdays when the girls were allowed visitors.

As the wagonette turned up the avenue he seized his own neglected
baggage and springing into a carriage, started for Cascade campus,
filled with a new determination to win his C.



                              CHAPTER VII
                        _A Lesson in Obedience_


Cascade College baseball team was out for the fall practice. Only a few
recruits, fellows who had been barred by their studies or by conditions
during the regular season, were out with the veterans who, proudly
wearing their C’s were tossing balls around the long vacant field. The
team had been a failure in its important games, and Coach Haxton,
chafing under criticism of the upper classmen and the dearth of interest
throughout the college, had decreed that the team must work during the
fall until the football men occupied the stage, and he had threatened
angrily to replace several of the veterans of the team with youngsters.
Yet there had not been a call for recruits to strengthen the team.

It was not customary at Cascade to call baseball volunteers in the fall
term, but to issue calls late in the winter term and at the opening of
the spring. The games played in the fall were not of importance from a
college standpoint. The “big” games against Golden University and St.
Mary’s—those that counted in the standing of the rival schools—were
playing in the spring. But during the fall and early winter—when the
genial climate permitted playing, games were scheduled against the
strong teams of the nearby cities, games which tested the ability of the
players even more than did those of the championship season; as their
opponents usually were the best of the independent amateurs.

It was onto this scene of half-hearted activity that Larry Kirkland came
on the crisp, perfect afternoon, followed by Katsura, Winans and Big
Trumbull, the heavy-hitting giant who had sided with Larry during his
troubles of the preceding spring. The arrival of the quartette on the
playing field created something of a sensation among the veterans, who
stopped their listless practice and watched them wonderingly. Those
close together exchanged puzzled questions as to the meaning of the
sudden descent of the leaders of the opposition of the preceding term.
Behind the quartette sauntered “Paw” Lattiser, an open book in one hand,
a straw hat absent-mindedly held in his mouth. He was bareheaded as
usual, and appeared to pay no attention either to the new recruits or to
the regulars, who were practicing.

Coach Haxton was standing talking with some of the pitchers and
catchers, instructing them as to the way he wanted signals given. He
turned quickly as the quartette approached.

“Well?” he asked belligerently, “I suppose you fellows want us to stop
practice and let you use the field?”

“No,” said Larry, acting as spokesman. “We came down to offer ourselves
for the team, if you need us or can use us.”

Haxton was taken aback by the conciliatory tone of the youth he had
considered the ring-leader of the opposition.

“Oh, you’d like to get on the team, eh?” he said harshly. “I suppose
you’d like to be captain—or perhaps to coach it?”

A wave of angry resentment at the tone and the words arose within Larry
and he struggled to control his growing anger.

“No, sir,” he said. “I’ll try to make the team, if I’m good enough. You
see, we did not come out to report last year and you ordered us off the
field because we didn’t. Now we report and are ready to try with the
others for positions.”

Harry Baldwin, who had been tossing a ball around, came near enough to
overhear the conversation. Haxton hesitated.

“Well,” he said, “if you fellows want to take your chances and will
obey”——

“We do,” replied Winans; “maybe we weren’t in the right last term. We
figure that we owe it to the college to do all we can to help”——

“I guess the college can run without your help,” said Baldwin. “You
didn’t appear very anxious to help it last spring.”

“We have just admitted that we believe we were wrong, Baldwin,” said
Larry. “It seems to me we are offering whatever we have—and Mr. Haxton
is judge of what is best for the team and the school.”

“You seem to think you can win a place on this team as easily as you can
one with those niggers and Japs at the ranch,” sneered Baldwin. “You’ll
find the decent fellows here will not stand for it—or for you.”

“Hold on, Baldwin, hold on,” remarked Paw Lattiser mildly. “Seems to me,
from what I’ve heard, someone else is trying to run things.”

“What have you to do with this, Lattiser?” snapped Haxton, who resented
the patronizing calmness of the veteran. “I’m running this team.”

“Well,” replied Lattiser quaintly, “I admit that—although from the last
two years’ showing you have little enough to boast about. The point is
this: I gave these youngsters some advice last fall; told them they were
here to work for the honor of the school and not for their own
reputations. I overheard them planning to come and offer their services,
so I thought I’d stroll down and see if they were right when they
claimed, last year, that they were not wanted.”

“We want players who can play—and are willing to do right,” said
Haxton. “We’ve had enough swelled-headed players who think they can run
the team.”

“You’re the judge of their ability,” remarked Lattiser. “But it seems to
me you’re judging the ability of these four youngsters in rather an
off-hand manner, since you’ve never even seen them play. There is a
feeling among the students now that the teams are not being chosen with
a view to the best results—and if this idea spreads it will not help
Cascade as an athletic school—or any other way.”

“Any student is at liberty to try for the team,” assented Haxton
sulkily.

“You’re not going to let them”—— Baldwin stopped in the midst of his
angry question. He, as well as Haxton, recognized the power of Paw
Lattiser over the students, and he checked himself through fear of
arousing the placid veteran to action.

“They are at liberty to TRY,” responded Haxton, emphatically. “Come on,
you fellows, get to work. We’ve been wasting a lot of time arguing over
nothing. You new men get out there in the outfield and chase flies.
We’ll soon discover whether or not you can play ball.”

Lattiser stood with a twisted grin on his face. Larry, who had flushed
with a rebellious start at the order to chase flies saw the veteran
watching him, smiled his thanks and turning raced to catch Katsura, who
already was sprinting for the outfield. Lattiser stood for an instant,
then strolled away, opening his neglected book.

“The Cascade team is looking up,” he remarked whimsically to himself. “I
thought that youngster was going to refuse to go. He is all right—he
and that little brown boy.”

“We’re in just as bad a fix as ever, Katty,” remarked Larry as they
trotted back, perspiring after pursuing a long hit to the center field
fence. “Haxton will not give us a fair chance—but we must keep at it,
and keep trying.”

“One of our philosophers says,” replied the little Nipponese, “that he
who is in power never is in power long who rules unfairly.”

“Gee,” laughed Larry, “maybe our philosophers say the same thing; but it
is hard for me to swallow.”

That evening he wrote a long letter to Krag, detailing the events of the
day. He awaited anxiously for four days for the answer, wondering how
the big ex-pitcher would look upon his moves and his submission to what
he considered unjust treatment.

“You’ve scored in the first inning,” read Krag’s letter. “Just keep
plugging away and they can’t keep you down. Don’t criticise any of the
other fellows, or offer advice unless it is asked. You are lucky to have
three fellows with you. Work with them and let Haxton go his own gait.
The guy who isn’t square as a boss soon cooks his own goose.”

“You see,” remarked Katsura laughing as Larry read to him what Krag had
written, “you have your philosophers. Mr. Krag says the same thing—in a
different way.”



                              CHAPTER VIII
                         _A Victory Over Self_


The fall and winter brought little change in the situation, and when the
holiday time came, Larry Kirkland found himself barred as completely
from the Cascade team as he had been during his Freshman rebellion.

Day after day during the fall, while the team was playing and in
training, he reported at the field, toiled at chasing the balls batted
to outfielders by the regulars, and during the breathing spells worked
with Katsura, Trumbull and Winans. At the first he secretly hoped that
coach Haxton would see the injustice of the stand he had taken and
permit them to participate in the practice, at least sufficiently to
ascertain whether or not they were good enough to play the game. But
after the first day, Haxton paid little or no attention to them, save to
issue brief orders for them to go to the outfield and catch flies. If
one of them dared advance to the infield and occupy a place temporarily
vacant, he was sent back with a sharp rebuff. In the hours outside of
practice, the ostracised quartette gathered on the lot near their
“barracks” and indulged in real practice.

After three weeks of that kind of treatment, Larry found himself in a
mood to rebel openly, to tell Haxton and Baldwin what he thought of them
and to quit. Only the weekly letter from Krag, praising him for his
pluck in sticking to it under trying circumstances, kept him from the
move that would have been fatal. He managed to maintain a cheerful
demeanor while practicing with the regulars, but occasionally, while
with his own chums, he broke out in protests.

“Confound it, fellows,” he remarked one evening, as they rested after an
hour of catching and fielding practice on their improvised field, “I
don’t want them to think I’m a quitter, or that they can run over us
this way. It is getting on Haxton’s nerves to have us come out and
pretend that we like being errand boys. He knows we see the weaknesses
of his team, and he knows that he is making a big mistake in treating us
this way.”

“One of our philosophers says,” remarked Katsura, “that the more evil
one does to a foe, the more one hates him.”

“But that isn’t the worst of it,” continued Larry, “I have a guilty
feeling all the time that I am doing Cascade a lot of harm myself; that
I ought to quit.”

“How do you figure that out?” inquired Winans.

“Haxton and Baldwin do not dislike any of you. They hate me and I have
dragged all of you into it because you are my friends. If I’d quit going
to the field, he’d soon give you fellows a chance”——

“It’s the principle of the thing, Larry,” said Trumbull. “Now, as for
myself, I don’t care a bit whether I play on the team or not. In fact,
I’d rather just be lazy and loaf around than get out there and hustle
for a place on the team. But I can’t do it. I want to see Cascade get
the right system in athletics. If we stick together we’ll soon have the
sentiment of the better bunch of fellows with us and with the sentiment
of the students behind us”——

“That is the big danger,” interrupted Winans. “If we win by taking
control ourselves, we antagonize all the other crowd. There are some
decent fellows with them; because they do not understand what the
situation is, and they have their friends. Even if the secret societies
did get them onto the team, they’re good players. It will not do
athletics any good if we merely drive out one faction and put another in
control.”

At that juncture Paw Lattiser came around the building, stopped, gazed
at them solemnly over the rims of his heavy glasses and remarked:

“Hello, youngsters, plotting again?”

“We were just talking over the athletic situation,” replied Winans,
“especially the baseball team.”

“I thought it was about time for me to look up you kids,” said the
veteran, seating himself. “I haven’t had time to watch you. What is it,
more trouble?”

“Same old trouble,” replied Trumbull ruefully. “We’re all trying for the
team, and all we get to do is to chase flies in the outfield.”

“Have you been doing that faithfully?” asked Lattiser earnestly.

“Every afternoon,” replied Winans. “Haxton scolds if we pitch or catch,
and I’ve forgotten how a bat feels in my hands. He shoos us out if we
get too near the infield”——

“It looks as if he didn’t want you,” remarked Lattiser, thoughtfully
rubbing his chin. “I thought maybe he would be more of a man. The thing
for him to do was either to work you hard, then say you would not do for
the team, or else to play fair. He does not seem to have the nerve to do
one, or the moral courage to do the other.”

“Yes, but what are we to do about it?” asked Larry quickly.

“My boy, keep on working hard, don’t talk back, don’t give him any
opportunity to order you off the field. Meantime, you four are learning
just as much baseball and a lot more discipline than you would learn if
you were on the team. Leave the rest to Pop. I’ll figure out some way to
straighten things out.”

“He’s a queer bird,” laughed Trumbull as Lattiser strolled on, feeling
his way with his feet, his eyes fastened upon the pages of his book.

“He is older—and therefore wiser,” said Katsura. “His eyes twinkled
when he spoke of finding a way. I think he already has a plan.”

But in spite of Lattiser’s promise to find a way the fall and winter
passed without a change in the situation, and the Christmas holidays
drew nearer and nearer. Baseball practice had given way to the football
squads, and the interest of the students turned to the other games.
Practice was abandoned, and training suspended until after the holidays.
In spite of this suspended animation on the part of the team, Katsura,
Winans and Trumbull worked faithfully at their practice. Only a few days
during the winter were severe enough to prevent playing, and they found
their work improving steadily. Winans had become a remarkably effective
catcher, and when working with Katsura, he seemed to increase the
effectiveness of the little brown boy’s pitching. Larry discovered to
his surprise that Katsura could prevent him from hitting the ball hard
and that he had discovered his “weakness,” which was a sharp curve ball,
which “broke” quickly at the front of the plate. Winans, who, in a quiet
way, was a tease, delighted in signaling for this ball whenever Katsura
pitched two strikes to Larry, and he roared with laughter when it
“fooled” the batter. Katsura had mastered the “javelin curve,” and the
motion, peculiar as it was, made the ball the more deceptive.

“What’s the use of working so hard?” panted Trumbull one evening. “We
haven’t a real chance—and none of the regulars is in training at all.”

“That’s just the idea,” replied Winans. “I’m not bubbling over with
delight at the idea of working hard an hour a day—but we are fighting
for a chance to make good, and we’d be nice lobsters if we fell down
when we got the chance.”

So the practice work continued steadily through the winter term. Twice a
month, on evenings when callers were permitted, Larry Kirkland rode to
St. Gertrude’s and called upon Helen Baldwin. The girl seemed delighted
to receive him, and chattered bewitchingly during the hour he was
permitted to remain with her in the parlors. By silent consent they had
banished the topic of the enmity between the families. Several times
Helen asked him what Harry was doing, and complained that he seldom came
to see her, and that she was lonely.

Both were planning their Christmas vacations, and Larry was disappointed
when she received word that her uncle would stop for her and take her
East for the holidays. Krag had written, planning a deer-hunting trip
into the mountains, and at the prospect of the hunt, Larry rushed
through the remaining weeks of the term, and with a much lighter heart
boarded the train for Shasta View. He felt that he had conquered himself
and gained a great victory, even though he had failed to make the team.



                               CHAPTER IX
                        _The Pig in the Parlor_


“The trouble with us,” remarked Winans, kicking his long legs in the air
and hurling his book across the room, “is the lack of initiative. We’re
dying of dry rot. No one starts anything, and the others fail to finish
what he don’t start.”

“What’s the woe?” inquired Kirkland, lounging over his books in a deep
chair under the lamp. “You’ve been aching for some deviltry for days.
Why don’t you start something?”

“I’ve been virtuous so long I can’t stand it any longer,” said Winans.
“Here we are drilling at baseball, trying for the track team, boning on
studies like a lot of slaves, and no fun going on at all. If any of you
fellows had any nerve we’d set fire to the main building or tie Prexy in
a tennis net and toss him into the lake.”

“Why don’t you blow up the old dormitory or put poison in the food at
the mess hall?” inquired Larry wearily. “That seems to be your
conception of undergraduate humor.”

“Well,” replied Winans slowly, “before I came up from home the governor
spent two or three days telling me how he and his crowd put a wagon load
of hay on top of the north dorm on Hallowe’en, how they hitched one
professor’s cow to a buggy and drove her through the campus, and a few
other delicate pranks. He spent hours bragging about all the devilment
he pulled off while he was here at Cascade, and warning me against doing
the same.”

“Very proper advice,” remarked Kirkland, who had been buried in his
mathematics. “The old gentleman seems to have a very high sense of a
student’s duty to his alma mater.”

“Yep,” replied Winans carelessly. “I have a sneaking suspicion that if I
go home this term without blowing up a laboratory or assaulting a
professor the revered Pater will think I am wasting the advantages of
higher education and will be vastly disappointed in me.”

“Let’s pull off something that will wake up the whole school,” suggested
little Butler. “Something new and unheard of.”

“What are you nefarious schemers plotting?” asked Kirkland, again
climbing down from the heights of pure mathematics to the level of his
comrades. “I just caught the drift of your remarks. Who do you want to
maltreat?”

“Bartelme,” suggested Butler. “Not that I have any dislike for Bart, but
we’ve got to have a victim and he’s so confoundedly dignified we ought
to reduce him to the ranks. He’s so important since the Seniors
appointed him to have charge of the barracks, he makes Prexy look cheap.
Let’s do something to good old Bart.”

“What do you suggest?” inquired Winans, still busy trying to kick the
headboard of the bed while stretched flat on his back.

“Let’s dope up his bed with cactus splinters,” suggested Butler
hopefully.

“Crude and not original,” declared Winans. “My son, if you are going to
do anything to render your name famous in this school, you’ll have to
think of something more original than that. It is related in ancient
history that when Methusalem was a Freshman the Sophomores put cactus
needles in his bed. Suggest something else.”

“Let’s steal Herr Schermer’s pig,” suggested Butler.

“My son,” said Winans, sitting up in bed, “you show signs of human
intelligence. That would be something to do.”

The quartette of students laughed heartily. Herr Schermer’s pig was one
of the campus marvels. Professor Schermer, whose immense head,
heavy-lensed glasses and strong Teutonic accents made him one of the
notables of the faculty, was professor of biology, and his pig had,
during the preceding year, been one of the campus institutions. Gaunt,
with ribs showing like the bars of a xylophone, the poor beast had
trotted ’round and ’round the small pen beside the biological laboratory
squealing dismally, save during the periods each day when the “Herr
Professor” Schermer tolled it inside the laboratory and there performed
strange and wonderful experiments, accompanied by the distressed squeals
of the unfortunate porcine victim, which attracted the attention of the
entire campus. It was understood that the “Herr Professor” was
conducting these experiments in an effort to test his discovery of a
serum to cure hog cholera, and the doleful grunts of the pig the sleek
satisfaction of the “Herr Professor” after each session in the
laboratory promised success.

The idea of stealing the “Herr Professor’s” beloved pig was enough to
startle into action the plotters gathered in the rooms of Winans and
Kirkland for the ostensible purpose of study.

“Let’s pignap it to-night,” suggested Winans. “Haul it away and hide
it.”

“Hold on a minute,” said Kirkland. “Butler wanted revenge on Bartelme.
Why not steal the ‘Herr Professor’s’ pig, lug it into the dorm and put
it in Bartelme’s bed.”

“Hooray,” yelled Winans. “Great little idea. Come on fellows. We’ll stir
this mossy old school up as it never was stirred before.”

The four rocked to and fro with sheer delight as they elaborated the
idea. The thought of the dignified, serious professor mourning his lost
and loved pig, and of the sedate and over-dignified student monitor
discovering said pig in his bed, was too much for their youthful sense
of humor.

Ten minutes later the plotters, reinforced by Trumbull, whose powerful
strength was needed to accomplish their purpose, were reconnoitering
carefully the surroundings of the biological laboratory, and a scuffle,
a few indignant squeals and a chorus of muffled laughter followed. The
pig, accustomed as he was to the indignities to which he had been
subjected, probably merely wondered mildly what further use science
might have for him when a heavy blanket was thrown over his head and,
lifted in the arms of the giant athlete, he was bundled over the fence
of the pen. His legs quickly were bound, a noose was pulled tightly
around his nose to smother the indignant squeals and the snickering
brigade bore him in triumph toward the dormitory.

[Illustration: The Pig Was Borne Up the Back Stairs]

Few students were awake, and the belated ones were poring over their
studies under night lights. The reconnoitering party reported that
Bartelme’s room was vacant, and that Bartelme was away for the evening,
engaged in tutoring some backward Junior in his studies.

With much scuffling and smothered laughter the pig was borne up the back
stairs and into the room of the student who was in charge of the youths
quartered in that dormitory. An impromptu nightcap was fashioned and
tied about the porcine head, one of Bartelme’s nightgowns was adjusted
and, with feet securely bound, the “Herr Professor’s” valuable pig was
left to his repose between the immaculate sheets of the bed.

The culprits, chuckling and whispering orders to each other to maintain
silence, beat a retreat from the dormitory, and once outside, they
gathered under the shade of a pepper tree and doubled with laughter over
the success of their prank, drawing amusing pictures of what would
happen when the dignified Bartelme discovered his roommate.



                               CHAPTER X
                          _“Peeg” Excitement_


The success of Larry Kirkland and his friends in “stirring up” Cascade
was beyond their wildest imaginings. Before noon of the following day
the school was in a turmoil. The “Herr Professor’s” pig had disappeared
and theft was charged.

It was little Butler who came running to whisper the announcement of
this new development in the prank. It was known that when Bartelme
reached his room the pig was gone. It had disappeared sometime between
the moment the plotters had tucked it under the covers and forty-five
minutes later, when Bartelme returned and made complaint that some
students had invaded his room, mussed his bed clothing and stolen his
nightgown. No one seemed to know what had become of the animal, nor did
anyone connect the theft of the pig with Bartelme’s loss. It was
inconceivable that the pig, tied and trussed as it was, could have
escaped from the bed, opened the door, fled down three flights of stairs
and reached freedom and surcease from operations by the professor.
Besides, the boys remembered they had closed the bedroom door and also
the door leading to the stairway.

The new phase of the situation made the prank appear more serious; but
it was the attitude of the dignified “Herr Professor” that caused most
uneasiness. He was inconsolable and, as Winans remarked, “his Dutch was
up above the boiling point.” He had discovered his loss early in the
morning, and had stormed into the offices of the president demanding
vengeance. Unconsciously he added to the uproar by declaring loudly that
“Dere vud be peeg excitement” when he caught the culprits.

The “peeg excitement” grew and increased, especially after chapel
exercises, in which President Jamieson spoke seriously of the offense,
detailed the earnest, unselfish work of Professor Schermer in the
interests of science, of long hours of study in his bacteriological
laboratory; how, by the use of the humble pig, he believed himself near
the solution of the cause and prevention of a disease that was one of
the worst scourges under which the farmers struggle.

The seriousness of the joke became more and more evident, and the “fun”
rapidly was oozing from it. After chapel exercises the guilty quartette
strolled across the campus talking.

“The thing that worries me,” said Winans, “is that the pig is gone. Of
course, we thought it would be returned and we’d have the laugh on that
serious old fossil Bartelme. I wonder who took that pig and what they
did with it?”

“I’ve talked to several of the fellows who live in that end of the
dorm,” admitted Butler. “Some of them heard us go up with the pig and
come down again, but didn’t pay any attention. Rumsey said he was going
for water later and, while passing down the hall, he heard two or three
fellows carrying something down the back stairs, but before he reached
the head of the staircase they closed the back door.”

“How many of them?” inquired Trumbull seriously.

“He couldn’t tell. He didn’t see them, and was judging from the noise
only.”

“Well, one thing is certain,” remarked Larry. “Two or more fellows in
this school know we took the pig and put it in the bed. Why did they
want to spoil our joke? If they wanted to return the pig, why didn’t
they put it back in the ‘Herr Professor’s’ pen?”

“And why don’t they tell on us now?” queried Butler anxiously.

“It wasn’t anyone connected with the faculty,” concluded Winans. “If it
had been, we’d have been on the carpet in chapel and probably been fired
or suspended. What the dickens I can’t understand is that they would
keep quiet.”

“Maybe they took the pig to put in someone else’s bed, and it will show
up all right when they see how serious this thing is.”

But the pig did not return. The guilty ones waited anxiously for two
days, worried and expectant, hoping that the missing “peeg” would be
returned and the situation relieved.

If was rumored that city detectives were engaged on the case and that a
spy had been placed in the dormitories to discover the identity of the
culprits. The faculty was extremely busy with its investigation, and was
threatening dire punishment. To make it worse, the newspapers had
scented the facts and were blazoning the story of the “peeg excitement”
at Cascade in lurid yarns, which held the “Herr Professor” up to
ridicule and passed lightly over the loss to science. The burlesque on
the missing germs became a joke for paragraphers and “funny men,” and
each jest was a blow to the sensitive nature of the brusque, rotund,
little scientist who had devoted the best years of his life to the study
of cholera in hogs.

It was the fourth day after the theft of the “Herr Professor’s”
inoculated pig that Larry Kirkland determined upon action. It had
appeared as if the affair of the pig was being forgotten, but to Larry,
as he studied and analyzed the situation, it became more and more
serious.

As usual the chums had gathered in Larry’s quarters in the boarding
house to study or romp when he raised the question.

“Fellows,” he remarked seriously, “I’ve made up my mind to go to
Professor Schermer in the morning and confess that I stole his pig.”

“What for?” demanded Trumbull. “They are busy forgetting that infernal
shoat, and in another week it will pass into the unwritten history of
Cascade. Future generations of Freshmen will adore us and perhaps
imitate us as heroes who stole the pig. Our names will go down with
those of the heroes who got away with something and were not caught.
Only the boob is caught; the hero is the one who gets away with it.”

“I know,” replied Larry; “but this is different. My conscious hurts me
every time I think of it. If we only could get the pig back”——

“Let’s chip in and buy that old grouch a new pig,” urged Trumbull. “He’s
made as much fuss over that pig as if it was a gold mine we stole.”

“Why didn’t you get up in chapel and declare we stole the pig, Larry?”
taunted Winans. “If your conscience hurts you so much, why not tell them
about who put the sauer kraut in Professor Ehmke’s ink well?”

“You fellows don’t understand,” protested Larry. “I won’t give any of
you away. I think we ought to go and tell Professor Schermer we stole
the pig and ask him if there is anything we can do to repay.”

“You’ll get us all fired from college,” protested Butler. “What’s the
use? They’ll never find out who did it.”

“I’ve waited for them to find out,” said Larry. “I wasn’t going to
confess while they might think it through fear of being caught.”

“Fellows,” said Trumbull, “I’ve been thinking that way myself. Let’s go
over and have it out with the ‘Herr Professor.’”

“Oh, I say,” protested Larry; “I didn’t want to drag you into it. I’ll
own up and see what can be done.”

“Nothing like that,” announced Winans. “We’re all in the same boat. What
do you think, Butler?”

“Me? Why I’d just a lieve confess as to do it over again,” laughed the
little fellow ruefully. “My conscience is clear. I didn’t carry the pig,
and I’m so small the ‘Herr Professor’ probably will attack you big ones
first.”

Rather dismally the small party set out across the campus and
hesitatingly approached the residence of Professor Schermer. Winans,
summoning all his courage, advanced and rang the bell, and the
hesitating and confused culprits were ushered into the presence of the
grave, courteous student, who regarded them over the tops of his
glasses.

“Young shentlemans, to vot do I owe der honor off your presences?” he
inquired gravely.

They shuffled, waited, each for the other, and glanced back and forth
between each other for moral support.

“It’s this way, professor,” said Larry, screwing up his courage. “We
swiped your pig and”——

“Vass? You stole mine pig?” he exclaimed, frowning. “For vy?”

He bristled with indignant anger and glared at them.

Quickly, now that the first plunge was taken, Larry related the
circumstances, described the theft of the pig, of placing it in the bed
and leaving it. Slowly a smile broke upon the face of the professor and,
growing, it expanded into a laugh, and he sat rocking back and forth.

“You iss fery pad poys,” he said, removing his glasses to wipe the tears
from his eyes. “Pad poys, but you iss honest. Where iss mine pig?”

Again Larry explained desperately, the professor nodding gravely.

“We wanted to tell you, professor,” he said, “how sorry we are. We’d do
anything to help get the pig back, but we don’t know who took it or
where it is.”

“Berhaps it vill return,” said the professor calmly. “You are ferry pad
poys, but you are goot pad boys to tell me. Aber I shall not speak of it
again, and you, I know, vill help me find mine pig.”

They shook hands with him seriously and backed from the study.

“Isn’t he an old trump?” said Winans enthusiastically. “He won’t even
report it. I for one will break my neck to help him recover his fool
pig.”



                               CHAPTER XI
                      _“Paw” Lattiser Has a Plan_


Students were trooping back to Cascade after the Christmas holidays.
Larry Kirkland, disappointed at having failed to see Helen Baldwin on
the train, found himself fretting with eagerness to reach the campus. He
understood, now, the feelings of the upper classmen toward the
newcomers. He was part of it all now and he found himself shouting
greetings, slapping his friends on the back and thrilling with the
renewal of a comradeship that is dearer, perhaps, than any other in a
man’s life. He felt the reverent awe of the old, gray buildings. At last
he understood what is meant by “college spirit,” the unselfish
patriotism to Alma Mater that all good college men must feel. He was
part of it and he began to understand part of the debt he owed the
institution for what it was giving him.

The winter sun was shining warm, and the tang of the trades was in the
air. It was mid-January, but already the boys were talking of the
baseball team, and of the chances of a strong club to represent the
college. The first two weeks of the term passed rapidly. Cold and fog
had succeeded the sunshine, but early in February the deferred call for
candidates for the track and baseball teams was posted on the big
bulletin board, to set the aspirants off in fresh excitement.

The boys gathered around the bulletin board were discussing, with much
earnestness, the chances of making the team, when Paw Lattiser,
sauntered closer, stood peering over his glasses for a moment and read
the announcement.

“Hello, Paw,” called one Junior, proud of his right to address the
veteran familiarly. “You going to try for the team this year?”

“Well,” said the veteran, “I may try to help out a bit. Here, lend me a
lead pencil.”

A dozen youngsters rushed to hand him a pencil, and, holding a sheet of
paper against the wall, Lattiser boldly lettered a fresh bulletin, which
he tacked upon the board.

The swarm of younger boys pressed close and read:

                               ATTENTION!

    All those interested in having a winning baseball team at
    Cascade this year, attend meeting in Gym Hall, Friday evening,
    7.30.

                                                   P. N. Lattiser.

The posting of Paw Lattiser’s bulletin created a furore in the ranks of
the undergraduates. No one knew what the meaning of the bulletin was and
in response to all questions Lattiser smiled his peculiar smile and
sauntered along, pretending to be engrossed in his studies. The crowd
still was grouped around the board, discussing Lattiser’s bulletin, when
Coach Haxton, with Harry Baldwin, and several of the leaders of the
“sporty” crowd came past and stopped to read the bulletin.

“What’s this?” asked Haxton angrily. “Who has been calling a baseball
meeting?”

“Lattiser posted the notice,” chirped one Freshman. “He wouldn’t say
what it was for.”

“That old fogy is always butting in,” remarked Harry Baldwin. “I suppose
he thinks he knows how to run things better than Mr. Haxton does.”

“Hold on, Baldwin,” retorted Dalmores, the outfielder. “Lattiser is a
pretty solid old square head. Whatever he is doing he has a reason for
it—and don’t forget that he’s a pretty big man in this school—both
with the students and the faculty.”

“He’s an old trouble-maker,” snapped Harry. “I think he’s a spy for the
faculty”——

“You do?”

The question was asked quietly, and Harry Baldwin, confused and red,
whirled to drop his eyes before the steady gaze bent upon him by Paw
Lattiser, who stood, looking over the top of his spectacles. “Well,
young man, if I were telling the faculty any tales I might relate
interesting ones about you. However, about that bulletin: I have an idea
that may help the team, and I want to put it to the students. I may be
wrong, but Mr. Haxton can tell us. Hope all of you come.”

He turned away without another word, leaving Harry uncomfortable and
fuming.

“I didn’t know the old fellow was interested in baseball,” said Haxton.
“Anyhow, if he has any suggestions we ought to hear them. It is one
certain thing that we need something.”

The meeting Friday evening was well attended. The news that Paw Lattiser
had taken to baseball and was going to propose a remedy for the team
attracted students from curiosity as well as from interest and many of
the upper classmen who knew and respected the odd veteran came to listen
to his proposed cure for the athletic ills of the college.

The small assembly hall used for athletic meetings was crowded when
Lattiser appeared. He walked into the room, still reading, and continued
engrossed in his subject until a laugh aroused him. He blinked as if
striving to recall his whereabouts, then grinned and advanced to the
small platform, where he stood, cracking his big knuckles, his book held
tightly under one arm, while waiting for the laugh to subside.

“Boning on political science,” he said, smiling. “Sat down under the arc
lamp outside to study and almost forgot the meeting. Very interesting
subject—political science.”

He stood smiling while the students roared at his apologetic
explanation.

“Fellows,” he said finally, “I don’t know much about baseball. Haxton
attends to that part of it. But I hear a lot of criticism among the
students. Maybe it’s only because we’ve been losing, but many of you
seem to think we ought to get winning teams. I haven’t heard any of you
say Haxton did not get the best work out of the men; you seem to think
that the team doesn’t get the best men.”

He paused and there was a murmur of assent.

“I figure it this way,” he went on. “We haven’t any right to criticise
unless we are willing to help. No use pointing out a flaw and not trying
to discover the remedy. I believe every one here wants old Cascade to
win”——

He paused until the applause subsided and then added:

“But someone is wrong. Half of us are criticising, and the other half
resent the criticism. Most of us think we could do better than Haxton is
doing”——

An outburst of laughter greeted the sally and showed that Lattiser had
struck home with his whimsical thrust.

“The thing I propose is just this: You fellows who think you can play
better, run a team better, and win more games than Haxton and the
Varsity team can, are entitled to a chance, and you are complaining that
you don’t get it”——

Lattiser was talking earnestly. He had dropped the half-humorous tone he
had been using, and it was plain that he was flicking some of the
students to the raw. Larry Kirkland, who was sitting with Katsura, had
an uneasy sense of guilt, and wondered how much of the talk was meant
for him.

“What I propose is just this,” continued Lattiser. “Let Haxton pick his
regular team—fourteen men—the best he can select. Then let the others
make up a team and play his choice. If Haxton, as some of you charge, is
playing favorites, his team will get a beating. If he selects the best
men no one has a kick coming.”

Haxton, angry and trembling, arose.

“Whoever says”——he commenced, then gained control of himself. “That’s
a good plan, Lattiser. This school has been troubled by a lot of fellows
who sit around and knock instead of coming out and helping build up the
team. I accept the challenge on behalf of the Varsity team—and with the
understanding that after we’ve beaten them they stop abusing the players
and help the team.”

Three cheers for Lattiser, and three for Haxton were followed by three
cheers for the Varsity team. It was Larry Kirkland who leaped upon his
chair and proposed the cheers for the Varsity team—and suddenly little
Billy Towne, the clown of the Junior class, restored good humor and
ended the meeting with a laugh by proposing three cheers for the
knockers.

An hour later, as Larry Kirkland and Winans were settling to their
studies, Paw Lattiser entered their quarters.

“Hello, fellows,” he said cheerfully. “Hard at it?”

“Mr. Lattiser,” said Larry, “I thought you were hitting at me in your
talk. Really, I’m not that way.”

“When you get older,” remarked Lattiser, “you’ll see that the best way
to handle a crowd of hot heads is to jolly both sides. That meeting was
a big bluff. You’re sitting here, planning to lead the Outcast team and
beat the Varsity right now, I’ll wager a dollar.”

“I—I—well, I did think of it,” confessed Larry lamely.

“You won’t be on the second team, my boy,” said Lattiser calmly. “I know
Haxton. He has realized all along he was wrong. He’ll choose you, and
the little Jap and Winans for his team, and the second team will not
have a chance. I purposely gave him the opportunity. Whether he wants
you or not he’ll pick you now just to show he is fair—which he is not.
The fact that he isn’t fair will make him do it.”

“He’s a wise old fowl,” remarked Winans. “He has Haxton figured out just
as I have.”

“The trouble will not be with Haxton,” said Larry. “It will be with
Baldwin. He’ll not let me on the team if he can keep me off it.”



                              CHAPTER XII
                          _The Plan Succeeds_


Lattiser’s prediction proved true. On the first day of practice, after
Haxton had spent two hours studying the candidates, he boldly posted a
notice on the bulletin board, naming the fourteen players he had
selected as members of the Varsity squad. Eight were veterans of the
team of the preceding season; one was Jacobs, a youth who had tried for
the team and who had been carried as a substitute; one was Wares, a new
man who came highly recommended from a preparatory school, and the
others were the rebels—Larry Kirkland, Trumbull, Winans and Katsura.

Even Larry was surprised to find that all four of them had been
selected; and he was relieved, for secretly he had feared that Haxton,
who was known to hold prejudice against the Japanese, would surrender on
all other points and bar Katsura.

The announcement of the team make-up broke the opposition to Haxton and
his methods. As Lattiser had shrewdly guessed, Haxton had selected, as
regulars, the very men upon whom the “knockers” based their charges of
unfairness, and left them nothing upon which to base their charges.
There was an enthusiastic movement among the lower classmen, who thought
they could play well, to organize a team to play the regulars, but they
were defeated in a farcical game and, true to their promise, they ceased
criticising and became loyal adherents of the Varsity. Sentiment in the
school had been unified, and the college spirit of Cascade revived. Only
one sore spot remained—and that was the enmity between Larry Kirkland
and Harry Baldwin.

“If only we played different positions,” Larry lamented to Winans. “It
seems as if I always have to fight that fellow. One or the other of us
has to be third baseman of this team.”

“He has declared he wouldn’t play on a team with you,” remarked Winans.
“I guess he’ll have to make good.”

Another surprise resulted, however. Haxton was too shrewd a judge of
players not to see that he had found an excellent infielder in Kirkland,
and much as he disliked the youth, who had been a stumbling block in his
path, he could not afford to overlook such material, especially as
Larry’s fielding and base-running in practice games had attracted the
admiring attention of some of the upper classmen who knew the game. He
hesitated to offend Baldwin, yet, as the practice games proceeded, it
became evident to all on the field that Larry was much the better at
third base, and the superior to Baldwin in all-around playing. On the
eve of the game with St. Mary’s, the first of the important games with
rival teams of rival institutions, Haxton announced the line-up of the
team, placing Baldwin at third, Kirkland at short, and, even more
surprising, sending Winans in as catcher and placing Torney, the regular
Varsity catcher, a veteran of three seasons, at first base. The move
undoubtedly strengthened the team as a whole, but Larry Kirkland knew
Haxton had compromised with his own judgment in keeping Baldwin on
third, and that he either should have been sent to third himself or
placed on the bench. He was disappointed that Trumbull had not been
chosen, but the enthusiasm of the big outfielder over the choice of two
of his friends as regulars was so honest that it was recompense.

The game with St. Mary’s proved a desperate one. For seven innings the
two teams, evenly matched, battled for supremacy, with the score tied,
each team having scored once. Larry saw several opportunities wasted,
but, remembering the advice of Krag, he maintained silence, and made no
comments upon the failure of his fellows to take advantage of openings.
He realized for the first time that he knew more of the generalship of
the game than did Haxton, who plainly was limited in his knowledge of
baseball strategy. Krag’s lectures, and his own experience with the
Shasta View team, had taught him a great deal about the inside game that
was unknown to the college boys.

With the score 1 to 1 in the first half of the eighth, the first batter
for St. Mary’s drove a long two-base hit out to left field. Larry
expected the next batter to sacrifice, and had crept forward a few paces
to be in readiness in case the ball should be bunted toward him, when
the batter slashed fiercely at the ball and drove it on the ground
between Baldwin and Larry. It was Baldwin’s ball, although the chance
was difficult, and as Baldwin was caught standing flat-footed, Larry
leaped sideways and made a desperate effort to head off the hit. He
reached the ball back at the edge of the grass, outside the base lines,
and in such a position that to recover, turn and throw to first base in
time was an impossibility. Like a flash he thought of another play and
without looking he scooped the ball and threw it underhand to third
base. The runner coming from second had hesitated as Larry tore across
the base line in pursuit of the ball, and he was all of fifteen feet
from the bag when Larry threw. The play was unexpected and brilliantly
executed. If Baldwin caught the ball and touched the runner it meant
that St. Mary’s hopes were dashed and that Cascade was saved temporarily
from a dangerous position. But Baldwin did not catch the ball. Larry’s
warning shout aroused him just in time to enable him to dodge, the ball
flashed past his head, went to the grand stand and while the St. Mary’s
adherents screamed their applause, one runner scored and another reached
second base. Before the inning ended he, too, crossed the plate and the
score was 3 to 1 in favor of the visitors.

Larry, hot and exasperated, returned to the bench. He was determined not
to speak of the misplay that had resulted so disastrously, but when he
reached the bench he found Haxton and Baldwin in a heated argument.

“Why don’t you keep your eyes open?” Haxton demanded. “If you had been
keeping your eye on the ball it wouldn’t have happened.”

“That —— —— simply tried to show me up,” snarled Baldwin. “He knew
the play was to first, and he threw to third because he saw I wasn’t
watching.”

“It was the only way he could have played it,” retorted Haxton,
exasperated. “Don’t try to shift the blame. You were asleep and now
you’re trying to lay it on someone else.”

“I won’t play on a team with a mucker like that,” cried Baldwin, furious
with anger. “He’s been trying to get my job ever since he came here and
I won’t stand it.”

“All right—all right,” responded the now furious manager. “McAtee, you
play short next inning and we’ll put Kirkland on third.”

Baldwin, stunned by the unexpected acceptance of his challenge, started
to whine.

“Oh, say, Dick,” he pleaded, “I was mad—I didn’t mean it. Don’t put me
out of the game—my girl is in the stand.”

“You must have been watching her instead of the ball,” snapped Haxton,
too furious to relent.

Baldwin sprang to his feet, as if to strike the manager, and at that
instant little Katsura, with a catlike move, seized his arm, gave it a
quick twist, and Baldwin, half sobbing with pain, sank down, whimpering
and holding his arm.

Suddenly he turned upon Larry Kirkland, cursing and half sobbing.

“You did this,” he said. “It’s all your fault. You’ve been trying to
make trouble for me ever since you came here—but I’ll get even with
you—I’ll”——

Larry had leaped to his feet, but Winans dragged him back, and Baldwin,
still swearing and threatening, left the field.

During all the scene Larry Kirkland had not spoken a word. Indeed,
Baldwin’s frantic outburst had been so unexpected that none of the
players had recovered from their astonishment sufficiently to join the
dispute. Larry turned to the coach.

“I’m sorry this happened, Mr. Haxton,” he said. “I tried to make the
play”——

“I know it,” snapped Haxton. “Cartright, you get up there and try to get
those two runs back.” He glanced along the bench a moment. “Trumbull,”
he snapped, “you’ll hit for Arksall. We’ve got to get those runs back.”

But although they rallied and strove desperately to overcome the
disadvantage, they were beaten, 3 to 2.



                              CHAPTER XIII
                      _The “Peeg Mystery” Cleared_


The time for the final selection of the Cascade team approached, with a
score of youths working with might and main to win or hold places as
regular players. The conduct of Haxton toward Larry Kirkland and his
friends had not changed materially, although after the rebellion of
Harry Baldwin he was fairer toward Larry and his friends. It was evident
too that the opinion of the students who came regularly to watch the
practice games was having its influence upon the coach, and that he was
watching more attentively the playing, especially of Winans, the big,
easy-moving, strong-throwing catcher, and of Kirkland, whose work at
third base and at shortstop in the occasions in which he had been given
the opportunity to play. Paw Lattiser’s active interest in Kirkland was
having its influence among the Seniors, and Clark, one of the student
directors of athletics, appeared to favor Kirkland or, at least, to
treat him with condescending friendliness.

In several clashes in which the first team, chosen by Coach Haxton, had
been pitted against the “scrubs,” Kirkland had shone brilliantly as
compared with Harry Baldwin, who seemed to have an idea that the
position was a sinecure after regaining his standing with Haxton.
Baldwin and several of the sporty crowd that followed his lead lost few
opportunities to belittle Kirkland, and several times they had
flagrantly attempted to insult little Katsura. Only the calm philosophy
of the little brown fellow and his ignoring of the rebuffs prevented
open resentment of their conduct by Kirkland and Winans, who valued the
friendship of Katsura.

Larry Kirkland returned to his rooms one evening after a call at St.
Gertrude’s, quiet and troubled.

“Why all these glooms?” inquired Winans, who, as usual, was sitting up
hoping to start an argument before going to sleep. “Has the lovely
maiden treated you ill to-night?”

“I’m worried over something,” confessed Larry. “It was just a little
remark I heard. I didn’t pay any attention to it at the time, but
walking home I remembered it and I wish I had inquired more closely.”

“What was it?”

“Well—the friend I went to see happens to be related to Har——to one
of the fellows here in school. She remarked that this fellow had told
her I was sure to be fired from college. I thought it was merely some of
his talk, as he has made similar remarks before, but on the way home I
wondered whether it had anything to do with the pig case.”

“Oh, that’s dead, buried and forgotten. I haven’t heard it even
mentioned lately, and the faculty probably gave it up in disgust when
the ‘Herr Professor’ dropped it.”

“You forget,” said Larry earnestly, “that at least two persons knew we
stole the pig. Why did they keep quiet? Maybe they will inform the
faculty now. If this fellow I speak of knows we stole the pig, the
faculty will hear of it soon enough.”

“Oh, forget it,” advised Winans. “I’ve figured out that the fellows who
took the pig out of Bartelme’s bed are afraid to say a word because they
are as deep in the mud as we are in the mire.”

“I know that,” urged Larry. “That’s why I’m thinking about this. If we
can find out who they are, maybe we could find the ‘Herr Professor’s’
pig for him.”

“Chances are, piggy, germs and all, has gone to pig heaven long before
this,” yawned Winans. “I’m sleepy, and I refuse to worry about that pig
any further. I’ve grown so sick of pig that I won’t touch my ham and
eggs.”

Larry’s troubled evening was not without cause. Two days later he
returned from class and found Winans and Trumbull awaiting him in gloomy
forboding. Each had received notice to appear before the Faculty
Committee at three o’clock that afternoon without fail. Another note of
the same import was awaiting addressed to Larry, and a hasty scouring of
the campus revealed little Butler in the throes of despair over an order
of similar nature. The discovery that all of those implicated in the
“peeg” plot had been summoned made it a certainty that the faculty at
last had received information as to the identity of the culprits. Butler
seemed much relieved.

“Gee,” he ejaculated, “I’m glad it’s that. I was afraid it was some
confounded flunk in math. I’d rather be called up for first degree
murder than to flunk in math. I think father would forgive me more
quickly.”

“I’m certain father will be proud of me now,” said Winans.

The luncheon period was spent in idle speculation as to the manner in
which the faculty had received its information. Larry, although his
suspicions pointed strongly to Harry Baldwin, and who felt assured that
Baldwin at least knew the faculty would be informed, decided to withhold
his accusation until after the ordeal in the president’s office.

The quartette, a little awed, filed into the offices of the president
promptly at the assigned hour. The president, cracking his knuckles, as
was his wont, sat in state, flanked on the right by Professor Jervis,
dean of the mathematical department and the terror of many generations
of Cascade youths, ready and eager to enforce any penalty up to capital
punishment upon any accused or suspected student, and on the left by
Professor Weyrich, head of the college of chemistry, the jovial,
twinkling-eyed, fat friend and defender of all boys, who loved them most
when they had fractured college law worse than usual.

As the quartette entered, President Jamieson gazed at them over the rims
of his spectacles, cracked his knuckles until they sounded like corn
popping, and said:

“Ahem—young gentlemen, good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon,” they replied faintly.

“Ahem,” continued the president, eyeing them one after the other
pompously. Professor Jarvis scowled threateningly, and Larry Kirkland,
shifting his glance from the forbidding and the accusing countenances,
looked at the solemn-faced head of the chemical department just in time
to observe a quick, but unmistakable wink from the eye furtherest from
the others of the faculty.

“Ahem,” repeated the president. “Ahem,—Winans, Kirkland, Trumbull and
Butler; all here I see. Very satisfactory. Very satisfactory.”

“Yes, sir,” they agreed in chorus.

“I suppose,” the president hesitated and cracked his knuckles again. “I
conclude, at least, that you young gentlemen are aware of the charge
about to be considered? You need not reply. I can see you at least fear
we have discovered you; but, to be just, I will merely add that if any
one of you is in ignorance, which is possible, but hardly probable, the
charge is that you are the four miscreants who committed the crime of
theft in stealing one pig, the property of Cascade College, for use in
scientific investigations, then in the custody of Professor Schermer.”

He bent a judicial, yet accusing, look upon them.

“Well, well, what have you to say?” demanded Professor Jervis sharply.
“What defense have you to offer—if any?”

“I think,” interjected Professor Weyrich, “that the facts of the case
have not been fairly stated. The pig was not, as I understand it, the
property of Cascade College, since Professor Schermer paid for it from
his own salary, and Jervis, I believe it was at your suggestion that the
Faculty Finance Committee refused to pay for the pig.”

“The matter of ownership is inconsequential,” declared the president.
“No matter whether Professor Schermer paid for the pig or not, it was a
valuable asset to the scientific department of Cascade and therefore
really the property of the institution. What have you young gentlemen to
say?”

The quartette shuffled uneasily, waiting for one to advance as
spokesman. Winans nudged Larry Kirkland, who stepped a pace forward and,
looking straight at Professor Jervis, replied:

“We stole the pig.”

His antagonistic nature was stirred by the attitude of Professor Jervis,
and he set his lips tightly, determined not to say another word. At that
moment Professor Schermer entered.



                              CHAPTER XIV
                       _The Prodigal Pig Returns_


Professor Schermer bowed gravely to the Faculty Committee and remarked
to Professor Weyrich:

“Ach, Schon, I vass for you seeging”——

Suddenly he caught sight of, or recognized, the four culprits and,
turning to them, he bowed again, his grave face taking on a worried
expression.

“Ah,” he exclaimed, “mine gute friends, the gute pad poys. I vass in
hopes you would be gute poys before this.”

“Those,” exclaimed Professor Jervis, “are the young scoundrels who stole
your pig, Schermer. We discovered their guilt and they have confessed.”

“Mine gute Provessor Jervis,” said Professor Schermer; “dot I alretty
know long ago. They haf to me come to confess, unt they iss not
sgoundrels, but gute pad poys.”

“They confessed to you that they stole the pig and you said nothing to
the faculty of it?” exclaimed the worthy president in dismay. “Dear me,
dear me, this is a state of affairs!”

“It seems to me it was a pretty fair thing to do,” declared Weyrich.

“It was this way, Professor,” declared Larry Kirkland, addressing
Professor Weyrich and turning from Jervis, who was frowning angrily. “We
took the pig as a lark. We carried it into the third floor of the
dormitory and put it in Bartelme’s bed. We thought he would find it
there and we’d have a joke on him. When we discovered how serious the
matter was, we thought it was the fair thing to confess to Professor
Schermer that we took the pig and offer restitution. He was very kind
and offered to drop the entire matter.”

“Then if Schermer got his pig back why did he not tell us?” asked
Professor Jervis angrily.

“I haf not der peeg,” said the little professor, nodding his great head
sadly.

“What became of the ah—er—porcine victim of this escapade?” inquired
Professor Weyrich, his eyes twinkling with enjoyment he could not
entirely conceal.

“That is why I spoke just now,” volunteered Larry boldly. “We left the
pig in Bartelme’s bed, tied hand and foot. Someone else took it before
Bartelme got there. Two or three fellows were heard to carry something
down the back stairs after we left. We have been trying to find who they
were, so as to recover the pig for Professor Schermer, but until to-day
we never have had a clue.”

“Ah—young man, you have a clue now?” inquired the worthy president.
“What is it?”

“If you will tell me who informed the faculty that we stole the pig,
I’ll tell you who took him from Bartelme’s room,” asserted Larry. “Then
we’ll have a chance to recover it.”

“Unfortunately,” said the president sadly, “we cannot do that. The note
naming you as the culprits was not signed.”

After some discussion the youths were requested to retire while the
Faculty Committee discussed the question of punishment. Fifteen minutes
later they were summoned to return. Professor Jervis, hot and angry, was
just retiring.

“Anyhow,” he exclaimed angrily, “I’ll not be a party to it. I’ll not be
a party to letting every young scoundrel who flaunts defiance in the
face of the faculty go scot free.”

Jervis’ angry departure gave the youths a strong hint that they were to
be permitted to escape punishment, and fifteen minutes later, after
listening to a scathing reprimand, they emerged upon the campus with the
weight lifted.

“Come on, fellows,” said Larry Kirkland; “let’s get back that pig.
Professor Schermer is one of the squarest little men in the world and we
ought to do anything to repay him.”

“But where is it?” inquired Trumbull.

“Come over to the rooms. I have a scheme and if you fellows will go
through with it we’ll get that pig back.”

It was nine o’clock that evening when four young men advanced cautiously
toward one of the fraternity houses just outside the college grounds.
They were well prepared. By notes, telephone messages and other devices
all the regular occupants of that house had been drawn to far parts of
the town or the college colony. The one remaining was Harry Baldwin, who
was lolling disconsolately upon a couch, pretending to study and smoking
cigarettes when the door to his study opened, four fellows stepped
inside and shot the bolt.

“Hello!” exclaimed Baldwin, starting up. “You came”——

“Baldwin,” said Big Trumbull, who had been nominated to do the talking,
“we’ve come to find out what you did with Professor Schermer’s pig.”

“You stole him—you ought to know,” retorted Baldwin, betraying himself
in his surprise.

“Then you _are_ the one who wrote a note to the faculty?” demanded
Trumbull. “That’s one thing we wanted to be sure of. Now, what did you
do with the pig?”

“I didn’t take the—pig. I won’t tell you anything,” declared Baldwin
defiantly.

“Sit on him, fellows,” ordered Trumbull.

The sitting-upon process, accomplished by four athletic youths was
extremely efficacious. In three minutes Baldwin, helpless and ready to
cry from rage, weakened.

“Let loose and I’ll tell you,” he said, surrendering.

“Two of you climb off,” ordered Trumbull. “Now, Baldwin, where did you
take that pig?”

“We took him in an automobile,” replied Baldwin sullenly.

“Why?”

“Well, we saw you fellows put it in Bartelme’s room and we thought it
would get you in bad if the pig never came back.”

“Who were we?” demanded Trumbull.

“Don’t answer that, Baldwin,” said Winans as Baldwin opened his mouth to
reply. “Don’t make him any worse of a tattletale than he is.”

“All right,” assented Trumbull. “Now, Baldwin, what became of that pig?”

“We hauled it out to that road house, about seven miles out, and gave it
to the fellow who keeps the garage there.”

“All right, Baldwin—and if you’ve lied to us we’ll be back.”

“I’ll get even with you fellows for this,” stormed Baldwin as the
quartette released him and started to retreat from the fraternity house.
“I’ll see that the faculty knows all about this business.”

“Lock the door again, Win,” ordered Trumbull threateningly. “Now,
Baldwin, that won’t do. The faculty knows we took the pig. It has tried
us and found us innocent of wrongdoing. It wants to find the ones who
really stole the pig.”

“You fellows aren’t going to tell”——

“Oh, shut up,” exclaimed Trumbull in disgust. “No—you keep your mouth
shut and if we get that pig back we’ll keep quiet.”

Three hours later the rejoicing quartette, with a trussed pig emitting
muffled squeals in the tonneau of the automobile, returned and, after a
breathless skirmish to avoid the night watchman, they reached the pen
behind the biological laboratory and the precious pig was left grunting
indignantly.

Early ones among the students the following day found Professor Schermer
busy in his laboratory, speaking endearing words in broken German to the
pig, which, trussed upside down on the table, was squealing its
indignation as the scientist gloated over the discovery that his
precious germs not only were intact, but that the cultures had developed
amazingly during piggy’s period of freedom.



                               CHAPTER XV
                           _Helen in Trouble_


Cascade was winning. After the defeat at the hands of the strong team
from St. Mary’s, the re-arranged club settled to its task and, improving
with every game, it became one of the strong contenders for honors in
the college circuit. In the second encounter, St. Mary’s had been
overthrown and Larry Kirkland, who was playing brilliantly at third
base, was the deciding factor in the victory.

For a week after the scene on the bench during the game with St. Mary’s,
Harry Baldwin had failed to make any move, beyond striving to conciliate
Coach Haxton and regain his standing with the other players. He reported
for practice the day after the game, and although not received warmly by
either the coach or the other players, he had worked faithfully,
avoiding any reference to the trouble; and he had privately apologized
to Haxton for his loss of temper and breach of discipline.

Not a hint had been dropped as to the means by which the pig had been
recovered. Baldwin at first seemed to avoid the quartette who had forced
him to confess, but by degrees he returned to his attitude of scornful
superiority toward them and truckling with Haxton.

Larry Kirkland, who was watching in silence, commenced to hope that the
disciplining had taught Harry Baldwin a valuable lesson and several
times, during practice, he purposely had called to Baldwin to practice
at third and had voluntarily gone to hit “fungoes” to the fielders,
permitting his rival to practice in the position. His generous behavior
toward Baldwin had won him much sympathy from the veterans, and it
seemed that Baldwin himself had decided to bury the hatchet and work in
harmony with his foe.

Larry was happy and was working harder than ever for the interests of
the team. Although Haxton had not seen fit to give Katsura an
opportunity to pitch, he had allowed him to pitch to the regular players
during practice and it was evident that he was watching with much
interest the effective use of the slow curve by the little brown youth
who appeared to have so little speed and yet continued to puzzle the
best batters on the team.

Larry, Katsura, Winans and Trumbull had continued their practice work
after dinner each evening, and frequently, while resting from their
exertions, they discussed plays and how they should be made. Larry
explained to them some of Krag’s theories of baseball, and they found
much pleasure in debating over plays made by the professional teams
reading the accounts of games in the newspapers and arguing as to how
the plays should have been made. Dalmores, the quiet, thoughtful, big
fellow, who had played two years on the team, joined them and became one
of the evening practice class.

They were sitting on the grass one Thursday evening, after a lively
practice session, discussing the chances of victory in the game with
Golden University, which was the most important game of the year.

“We’ve got to make a lot of improvement in the next ten days,” said
Dalmores. “They hit Arksall hard last year, when he seemed to be
pitching just as well as ever. They have five of last year’s men on the
team—and they say the new men are better than the ones they lost.”

“We have a chance if Arksall is good,” said Winans. “For me, I’d rather
have Katty here pitching against them. Arksall has a habit of weakening
when they get a few hits, and that is just the time Katty begins to
pitch.”

“Hey—what are you running away for?”

Trumbull shouted the question at Larry Kirkland, who, arrayed in his
best garments, was trying to slip out of the house and around the corner
unobserved.

“Going fussing again?” called Winans. “Shame on you—and the big game
with Golden only ten days off.”

“You fellows are only jealous,” called Larry, hurrying away. “I’ll be
home early.”

“I thought something was up when he rushed away as soon as we quit
practicing,” said Winans, kicking his feet into the air. “I wonder what
the attraction up at St. Gertrude’s is? This is calling evening, isn’t
it?”

“Girl from up his way,” volunteered Trumbull. “I saw him hiding a
photograph when I went into his room the other day and he blushed until
I was afraid he’d set the curtains afire.”

Meantime the “attraction,” Helen Baldwin, was waiting nervously in the
reception room at St. Gertrude’s Seminary for Larry Kirkland. She had
telephoned to him earlier in the day, asking him to be sure to keep his
promise and call, and he was hastening to respond to the request.

During the term he had found himself more and more interested in the
pretty cousin of his enemy and her friendship had become so important a
part of his life that he found himself thinking of her frequently during
the week and longing for the arrival of Thursday evening. That the girl
found pleasure in his calls he was certain. Twice she had told him how
lonely and homesick she was and had hinted that by representing himself
as her cousin he could call more than once a week. The suggestion, made
in half jest, half earnest, had worried him, and when he protested that
such a thing would be dishonorable, she had laughed it off and said she
was joking.

The telephone message that had been left for him, set him a-flutter with
excitement and he had hurried away as quickly as possible from his
comrades.

He found the girl cuddled into the corner of a big divan, her fair hair
piled with studied carelessness upon her small head and her
high-colored, rounded face was marred by a petulant, pouting expression.

“I was so afraid you wouldn’t come,” she said. “The person who took my
message did not seem able to understand anything.”

“I came as soon as possible,” he replied, seating himself near her as
she drew aside her skirt to make room for him. “They said you wished to
see me and that it was important.”

“Oh, Larry,” she said, frowning prettily and using his name for the
first time in their acquaintance, “I am so worried. Harry was here
to-day to bring me some money from Uncle Barney. He found out that you
have been calling on me and he was furious.”

“I do not see what he has to do with it,” replied Larry, stiffening in
an instant.

“He said terrible things about you,” she continued. “I was so worried
for fear you boys had been having trouble again. Why cannot you be
friends?”

“I’m afraid we never can be friends,” said Larry. “But I thought we had
ceased being enemies. We have been getting along very well lately.”

“Harry says you undermined him and got his place on the team,” said the
girl. “He said you were a sneak, and that you took advantage of him.”

“He wouldn’t dare say that to me—or to any of the fellows who know what
happened,” retorted Larry, angered by the accusations. “I have tried to
treat him fairly.”

“But you are playing in his place, aren’t you?”

The tone, more than the question, was accusing, and Larry found himself
confused and placed on the defensive.

“Yes,” he replied, unwilling to tell the circumstances.

“Then he is right—in a way,” she said. “If it were not for you he’d
still be playing?”

“I suppose so,” he responded. “The manager made the change—we had
nothing to do but obey him.”

“Harry said you took unfair advantage of him,” she said easily. “I told
him I did not believe it.”

“Thank you,” he said. “The truth is he lost his temper in a game and
threatened to quit, so the manager took him at his word—and put me in
his place.”

“I’m sorry you boys cannot play your foolish games without quarreling.
Why don’t you let him play? It seems to me it is babyish to be fighting
over a little thing like that.”

“I couldn’t let him play if I wanted to,” he answered. “Girls don’t
understand things.”

“Harry says he is going to play in the game against Golden,” she
answered innocently. “He said he must play because he has invited
several of his girl friends to come and see him—and he would be so
ashamed if he did not get to play.”

“Did he say how he was going to get back onto the team?” Larry was
becoming suspicious. He realized that the girl did not understand that
she was betraying secrets, and felt guilty in drawing admissions from
her.

“Oh—he has several plans,” she replied innocently. “I told him I would
ask you not to play”——

“But you do not understand,” he interrupted. “Mr. Haxton says who will
play, and we have nothing to do with it. If he thinks Harry ought to
play he will.”

“Harry is mad at Mr. Haxton, too,” she ran on. “He asked Mr. Haxton to
put him on and Mr. Haxton refused—because he doesn’t like Harry any
more, although he owes Harry lots and lots of money. I thought maybe, if
Mr. Lawrence wrote you to come home you could go—and then Harry could
play.”

Larry laughed quickly. He knew the girl did not have the least
conception of what it meant to him, or to Harry Baldwin to play in the
greatest game of the year, and he forgave her because of her ignorance.

“But Mr. Lawrence is not at the ranch,” he answered. “He is leaving
to-day to be gone a month.”

He had cause to remember, later, that remark, although at the time it
seemed unimportant.

“Well,” she said resignedly, “I’m sure I don’t care. Harry seemed so
anxious to play I thought I’d help him. It doesn’t seem important to
me.”

“I am sorry he is so disappointed,” said Larry forgivingly. “I know how
it would be.”

“Oh, he hasn’t given up hope yet,” the girl replied carelessly. “He has
another plan if Mr. Haxton won’t let him play.”

“I wonder what it can be?” mused Larry, secretly tolerant of the girl’s
ignorance.

He was to learn later.



                              CHAPTER XVI
                          _A Treacherous Blow_


Two days before the game with Golden University the blow fell. Larry
Kirkland, playing the best ball he ever had played and inspired with
confidence and the hope of winning his C, was at the athletic field
early, busily engaged in catching with Katsura.

“You want to be ready, Katty,” he cautioned. “Arksall is likely to
weaken at any time and if he does you are our only hope. I believe
Haxton knows it. He has been studying you every day. He asked Torney
about you and the big fellow said you had him all puzzled, because it
looked as if the batters would kill every ball you pitched, and they
couldn’t hit it at all.”

“I’ll be ready,” smiled Katsura. “I have studied the Golden batters.
Last year I watched them and when they played St. Mary’s this year I sat
in the stands. I saw many things that I would have done very
differently.”

“Kirkland!”

The call came from a group of older men gathered near the front of the
stands, who for some time had appeared to be in earnest conversation.

“Coming,” called Larry cheerfully as he trotted along the front of the
stands to the lower boxes and leaped the barrier at a bound. He had
recognized Professor Terbush, the representative of the faculty, and
Clark, the student representative. They were with Haxton and Paw
Lattiser, and several seniors, and seemed to be excited over something.

“Mr. Kirkland,” said Professor Terbush quickly. “This is rather serious
and I hope you will answer our questions honestly and frankly. I warn
you any attempt at deceit will be discovered.”

“Oh, I say, Professor,” drawled Lattiser, “that sounds as if you had
found Kirkland guilty already.”

“I admit the circumstances look bad for him,” said the professor,
frowning at the challenge. “I still hope the young man may be able to
prove that he is innocent.”

“Innocent of what?” gasped Larry, too taken aback to understand fully
what was meant. “What am I charged with?”

“We have here,” said Professor Terbush, waving a letter in one hand, “a
letter from the athletic committee of Golden University protesting
against you as a member of the Cascade team.” The professor frowned
heavily, his voice pregnant with accusation.

“On what grounds?” stormed Larry hotly. “Why shouldn’t I play on
Cascade?”

“The charge is professionalism,” replied the instructor. “We have
investigated and we are commencing to fear that the charge made against
you is based upon facts.”

“Professionalism?” Larry first was puzzled, then flamed with anger. “How
can I be a professional? I don’t understand.”

“The letter charges that you once played on a professional baseball
team. Is that true?”

[Illustration: “How Can I Be a Professional?”]

“No.”

“Sure?”

“Certainly I am sure. I never was with any such team.”

“Weren’t you once with the Giants, at Portland?”

“No—y-e-s, I was for one day.”

“Ah,” said Professor Terbush, turning to the others with an “I told you
so” air, “I thought as much.”

“Hold on a moment, Mr. Terbush,” said Lattiser. “This isn’t any of my
cross-examination, but it seems the witness needs a lawyer. Tell us the
circumstances, Kirkland.”

Larry, who had been confused and guilty-looking under the accusing looks
and tone of the faculty member, flashed a grateful smile at Lattiser, as
he suddenly recalled having told the veteran of his experience with the
Giants.

“It was when I was nearly fifteen years old,” he said. “I met them—or
one of them—on a train coming West. They took me out to the ball park
with them and I sat on the bench with them during the game and that
night I came on home. I never have seen the team since.”

“That hardly makes a professional of him, Professor,” laughed Lattiser.

“Ahem—I suppose not,” agreed Professor Terbush, “providing the young
man is able to sustain his statements with proof. However, that is but
part of the indictment against him.”

He paused, cleared his throat and waved the accusing letter
impressively. “It also is charged that he has employed a professional
from that team to coach him.”

“That is false,” cried Larry, who seeing that he had the sympathy of one
or two of the committee and the active support of Lattiser was
commencing to recover from the confusion into which the unexpected
attack had thrown him.

“Young man,” said Professor Terbush severely, “I have no doubt that the
Golden University committee has good grounds for presenting these
charges. It is unbecoming in you to accuse them of lack of verity.”

“Oh, I say, Professor,” drawled Lattiser, “there’s a chance they are
mistaken, isn’t there? Give Kirkland a chance.”

“Do you mean to insinuate that I am dealing unfairly?” demanded the
professor, outraged.

“Not at all, not at all,” agreed Lattiser. “I merely wanted him to have
his constitutional rights—which he seems entitled to even in a
college.”

“I shall be only too glad if the young man is able to disprove charges,
which, if sustained, would bring lasting disgrace upon the fair name of
our school,” said Professor Terbush, entirely overlooking the hidden
sarcasm of Lattiser’s concluding sentence.

“I can explain,” said Larry. “Mr. Krag was my friend. When he retired
from baseball he was employed by my guardian as foreman on the ranch. He
never has been paid to coach me—and, in fact, never has done much
coaching excepting to tell me where I was wrong and to offer advice.”

“You admit he has coached you?”

“I suppose it amounts to that. He has tried to help me learn the game.”

“The final charge is even more serious,” said Professor Terbush,
adjusting his glasses and looking at the letter as if reading. “It
charges that your guardian, Mr. James Lawrence, maintains a paid ball
club on the ranch, that you are its captain, and that, for winning a
certain game, to wit, a game against a team representing Pearton, Mr.
James Lawrence paid you the sum of $1,000, and agreed that, if you
succeeded in winning a place on the Cascade team he would give you a
like present in addition to paying the expenses of your education.”

“It’s a lie!” cried Larry, goaded by the injustice of the accusations as
well as by the tone of the faculty representative.

“Young man—young man,” cried Professor Terbush in an outraged tone, “do
not further prejudice the committee against yourself by such violent
language toward your superiors.”

“By the way, Professor,” said Lattiser calmly, “you speak of his
superiors. Who are they? Who signs that letter? Who makes these
accusations?”

“The letter is from the athletic board of Golden University. The charges
have been made to them and they have requested that we investigate and,
if we find the charges true, to bar Kirkland from participating in
athletic events, which, of course, it is our duty to do.”

“Yes, but who makes the charges?” persisted Lattiser. “It seems to me it
is one man’s word against another—and we ought to know who the other
is.”

“We are not interested in the person making the charges,” replied
Professor Terbush. “What interests us is whether or not they are true.”

“I know who makes the charges,” Larry exploded angrily. “It is no one
connected with Golden University—it is a person in this college.”

“Be careful what you say, Kirkland,” said Haxton quickly. “That’s a
pretty serious charge.”

“I know it,” said Larry. “But there are some things in that letter only
one person knows”——

“That is beside the question,” decided Professor Terbush quickly. “We
must ascertain the truth or falsity of the charges. Are you able to
prove your assertions.”

“Wait a minute,” interrupted Lattiser. “It seems to me that in law a man
is innocent until proved guilty, and that the burden of the proof is on
the accuser.”

“Not in this case,” said Professor Terbush severely. “Our honor and the
honor of the school is at stake. We must not evade our duty on
technicalities.”

“I can prove it,” declared Larry quickly. “Major Lawrence can disprove
every charge made against me.”

“Very good, very good,” said Professor Terbush. “I recall Major
Lawrence. It seems to me he once made this institution a munificent
donation. A worthy man—we will write him.”

“But,” protested Larry in dismay, “if you write him I cannot play in the
game. He is not at home; he has gone East—and perhaps will be traveling
for a month or more.”

“That is unfortunate,” said the professor seriously. “I sincerely wish
he were here to disprove the accusations. Under the circumstance there
seems nothing to do but submit to the suggestion of the committee. We
cannot afford to take chances of placing a lasting blight upon our honor
as a college.”

“Seems to me,” said Lattiser dryly, “you can afford to place a lasting
blight upon Kirkland’s honor and integrity without much effort.”

“Mr. Lattiser,” protested the faculty member, “your construction of our
motives is almost insulting. We but do our duty.

“Gentlemen,” he continued, turning to the other members of the athletic
committee who had remained silent, “what is your judgment?”

“I think we ought to give Kirkland a square deal,” said James, who
represented the under classmen. “He hasn’t been proved guilty. What do
you think, Mr. Haxton?”

“Well,” said Haxton, “I’ve thought all along he played a little too well
and knew too much to be an amateur.”

“You believe him guilty?”

“I don’t know anything about it—it looks funny.”

“I think we should suspend Mr. Kirkland from playing,” announced
Professor Terbush, “and suspend judgment in his case until he is ready
to produce his alleged proof.”

“Then I don’t play against Golden?” asked Larry beseechingly.

“We cannot afford to risk the honor of our noble institution,” replied
Professor Terbush. “We hope you will be able to prove your innocence,
and present the proof you say you can get.”

Larry, almost stunned by the judgment, walked unsteadily out of the
stand and down onto the playing field. Katsura, who had been watching
from afar, ran to meet him.

“What’s the matter, Larry?” inquired the little brown boy anxiously.

“They’ve thrown me off the team, Katty,” he wailed. “They won’t let me
play with Golden.”

“Baldwin?” asked Katsura, stiffening quickly.

“It must have been. No one else could or would have done it,” said
Larry, walking unsteadily toward the club rooms.



                              CHAPTER XVII
                         _The Game With Golden_


A flutter of golden banners, ribbons, flags and flowers grew to a wave
of gold as the team of Golden University raced out from a gateway
between the stands and scattered rapidly to their positions on the
playing field. The adherents of Golden, banked on the big stands to the
third-base side of the oval, arose and sent volley after volley of
cheers across the field to where the students and admirers of Cascade
sat. A return broadside of applause greeted the opening attack of the
greatest baseball battle of the year as the men and girls of Cascade
welcomed the visitors.

Five minutes later a tumult suddenly broke loose on the Cascade side of
the field. A ripple of applause, starting at one end of the stands grew
and spread, until suddenly five thousand of the lovers of Cascade arose,
and screamed their welcome to their team. Then, volley for volley, the
rival schools fired their cheers across the field at each other,
challenging to battle. The waves of blue on one side marked the sea of
blue banners, and the sunshine slanting upon the golden banners sent the
challenge back in heliographic flutters.

The long, rippling yell of Golden answered the booming, resonant war cry
of Cascade as the teams practiced. Down in front of each section cheer
masters, animated jumping-jacks, armed with flags and megaphones,
spurred the throat-weary ones to louder efforts, while the teams, tense
and silent, practiced with set lips.

In the throng just back of first base Larry Kirkland, miserable and
dejected, was sitting alone brooding over the injustice of his lot and
striving to hide the hot anger that was consuming him. During all the
applause and the cheering he had remained silent; nor had he joined in
the Cascade yell that greeted the diamond warriors when they ran onto
the field.

Kirkland had fresh reason for anger and resentment.

In the first bitterness of his disappointment he had made desperate
efforts to reach Major Lawrence by telegraph, to disprove the
accusations of professionalism and to secure reinstatement before the
game was played. In this he had been aided most actively by Paw
Lattiser, who had come to his rescue with advice and who had attempted
to cheer him in his disappointment. But Major Lawrence had gone East on
a long-deferred business trip and could not be located and, as a
crowning blow, he had taken Krag with him, so that after telegraphing
several times to Pearton, and sending messages to be forwarded, it
became evident that it would be impossible to reach Major Lawrence and
secure his evidence in time to compel the reinstatement of Larry
Kirkland prior to the game with Golden, and the effort had been
abandoned reluctantly. Although Larry did not know it, Paw Lattiser had
carried the case before the faculty, and urged strongly that justice be
done, but the faculty had declined to interfere in the matter or dictate
to the Athletic Board of Control.

This disappointment was a bitter blow to Larry Kirkland. He had staked
his hopes upon the game with Golden, and further, to be barred from that
contest meant the loss, for a year at least, of the coveted C—the honor
mark of Cascade and the Cross of Honor for college athletes. So bitter
had been his disappointment that he had refused to attend the game, in
spite of the urging of Katsura and of the others who had remained loyal
to him in his troubles. To his surprise, Larry discovered that he had
more friends in Cascade than he ever had imagined. Several of the
Seniors, who scarcely had spoken to him before, had come to him to
express their sympathy and their indignation and to pledge him their
assistance and two or three of the team who belonged, by former
alliance, to the Haxton-Baldwin crowd, had assured him that they
believed him innocent and that in their opinion it was a contemptible
trick to protest him at the last minute.

Larry had won further admiration by maintaining strict silence in regard
to his suspicions. To Katsura and Winans he had expressed his belief
that Harry Baldwin was behind the accusations, and Katsura gravely had
advised him not to mention his belief or make any charges until he had
the proof.

It was because of this that Larry, sitting in the stands, was raging
inwardly. At the last moment, as he heard the noise of the excited
students pressing toward the grounds, he had abandoned his idea of
remaining at the house and studying, and had hurriedly joined the
throng. After all, he argued, it was selfish to place his own interests
above those of the college. He would cheer as loyally, and “root” as
hard for Cascade as if he were playing.

It was while he walked toward the athletic field that he heard a thing
that revived all his anger and disappointment. Just ahead of him three
young fellows, bearing Golden flags, were hastening along, and talking
in rather loud tones.

“I don’t care,” said one of them, “Wallace had no right to bring those
charges. He has done the same thing he accuses this Cascade man of
doing”——

Wallace! Larry suddenly realized that the trio of Golden youths were
talking about him. The name Wallace aroused a memory. He could not think
for a moment in what connection he had heard the name. Then one of the
youths ahead said:

“Pshaw! They all do it. I’ll wager half the fellows on both teams have
taken money for playing.”

“It wasn’t so much his protesting this Kirkland,” responded the other,
“as the way he did it. Wallace said he found out a week ago that
Kirkland’s uncle was going away, and that he didn’t make the charges
until he was sure the old man couldn’t deny them. It seems this uncle,
or guardian, or whatever he is, is very rich and Wally was afraid he
might come down and deny it all.”

“All I have to say,” said the third, “is that it wasn’t square. He
either ought to play or ought not—and it wasn’t right to make the
charges knowing he couldn’t prove or disprove them.”

As they passed out of hearing Larry Kirkland stood still, wondering and
pondering over the situation. He recalled Wallace vividly. He was the
tall pitcher who had been imported by Harry Baldwin to pitch for Rogue
River ranch team against Shasta View on the memorable occasion which had
served to embitter the feud of the Baldwin and Lawrence families. But
how had Wallace known that Major Lawrence was going East? Larry cudgeled
his brain for a solution of that mystery as he walked more slowly toward
the field.

Suddenly an idea sprang into his mind that drove his selfish thoughts
from him. Instead of going to his seat in the stand immediately he
hastened to the club house and advanced toward Coach Haxton.

“Why, hello, Kirkland,” said Haxton a little awkwardly. “Sorry you’re
not with us”——

“Thank you,” replied Larry chillingly. “But I dropped in to tell you
something, if you do not object to taking advice.”

“Glad to get it,” said the coach in more friendly tones. “We may need it
with the team broken up this way.”

“It’s this,” said Larry quickly, “I know this fellow Wallace who is
pitching for Golden. Batted against him once. He has a lot of speed and
a fast curve, but he is liable to be wild. Besides, if your players wait
and make him pitch hard he’ll tire himself out before the end. He hasn’t
the strength to keep up his speed and he gets wilder when he tires.”

“Thank you,” said Haxton. “I’ll remember it.”

“When he gets fussed up,” said Larry, “bunt toward him and he will fall
all over himself. I think you can beat him that way.”

“I say,” said Haxton with genuine friendliness, “it’s awfully decent of
you to try to help after—after—well, after what has happened.”

Larry had gone to his seat torn by conflicting emotions. He regretted
giving the advice, yet felt that he had done his duty. He found it hard
to hope that Cascade would win. But, before the second inning was
played, he had forgotten his own troubles and was cheering as loyally as
any over the plays. The third, fourth and fifth innings passed and still
neither team had been able to score. Golden’s batters were hitting
freely, but unluckily, and the splendid defensive work of Cascade was
holding them in check. It was evident that Haxton was following Larry’s
advice. The batters were waiting and forcing Wallace to pitch many balls
to each of them and it was evident to Larry that the strain was telling
upon him. In the sixth inning a base on balls and a sacrifice put Rodney
on second base and Harry Baldwin, hitting the first ball pitched to him,
drove home the first run and Cascade went wild. But in the seventh,
Arksall wavered, grew wild, and in trying to get the ball over the plate
was freely batted, and four Golden runners crossed the plate.

In this dilemma Haxton turned to Katsura. The little brown fellow
smiled, trotted out, pitched a few practice balls, and stepping to the
slab began floating his tantalizing slow twisters across the plate, and
the rally ended quickly. Larry applauded wildly as Katsura, still
smiling coolly, trotted back to the bench. He was not discouraged, for
he believed that Katsura, with his skill and cunning, would stop Golden
from scoring and he hoped that Cascade could score freely when Wallace,
worn down by the strain, weakened. He weakened in the eighth inning,
grew wild, and Cascade quickly tied the score. Two runners were on the
bases when Harry Baldwin, disobeying orders, struck out, and Larry felt
a pang of fierce joy at the discomfiture of his rival.

The ninth came with the crowd working itself to a high pitch of
excitement and the score tied. The first Golden batter retired, and the
next hit a slow, easy bounder to the shortstop, who, hastening
unnecessarily, threw the ball against the stands, allowing the runner to
reach third. The situation was dangerous. Haxton called the shortstop
and second baseman closer to the plate and played to cut off the runner.
Katsura, pitching as coolly as in practice, refused to permit the batter
to hit a good ball, and as a result gave him a base on balls, increasing
the chances of a double play.

The next batter drove a bounder straight at Harry Baldwin. The crowd
checked its cheer. Baldwin scooped the ball perfectly. He could throw to
the plate and shut off the runner there, or he could throw to second and
try for the double play that would end the inning. He paused an instant,
steadied himself and threw to first base. The moment he threw he started
trotting off the field, and, aroused suddenly by the roar of surprise
and anger from the Cascade followers, he stopped as if bewildered. He
had forgotten how many batters were out—and had permitted the runner to
score from third without an effort to stop him. A moment later a fly
ended the inning. Cascade rallied desperately in their ninth, but failed
to score. Larry Kirkland, dejected, yet inwardly glad that it was
Baldwin who had lost the game, joined the rush toward the exits.
Baldwin’s blunder had cost Cascade the game and the championship.



                             CHAPTER XVIII
                        _Larry Gets Some Facts_


Bill Krag refused to regard Larry’s disappointment over being debarred
from the Cascade College team as a professional as a serious matter. He
listened to Larry’s long tale of his wrongs with a smiling face, and
when the story was done he threw back his great head and roared with
laughter. Larry, who had just arrived from college for the long
vacation, was hurt and sought refuge in sullen silence.

“Buck up, Larry boy,” he counseled. “I know it’s tough, but ten years
from now you’ll sit down and wonder why you thought it amounted to
anything.”

“I expected you, at least, to sympathize with me,” pouted Larry.

“Say,” laughed Krag, “if it’s sympathy you’re looking for you’ll find it
a scarce article. As a matter of fact, I’m glad it happened.”

Larry stiffened angrily and bit his lip.

“I’ll tell you why,” said Krag more seriously. “It’s what you need.
You’re getting better experience at college than most boys do. The
experience is better than the honors you could win playing ball. You’d
forget the honors in three or four years, and you’ll never forget this
experience. You’re learning in school what you’ll get up against as soon
as you get out”——

“But it isn’t square,” protested Larry.

“If you’re going to kick on everything that isn’t square in this world
you’ll go through life kicking,” retorted Krag, grinning. “The thing to
do is to get proof that you’re not a professional, then go back and show
them you are all right by taking your medicine and still remaining
loyal.”

But Major Lawrence, on his return home, did not view the matter from
Krag’s viewpoint. He flared into hot rage at the injustice of the attack
upon his ward, and declared he would withdraw all his donations from
Cascade, and teach that faculty a lesson. When he heard that Harry
Baldwin was suspected of furnishing the Golden University committee,
through Wallace, with the information, he grew purple in the face, and
stormed around the bungalow, declaring war on the entire tribe of
Baldwins. His outburst against Barney Baldwin and his son made Larry
Kirkland squirm uneasily, for he had an engagement to call upon Helen
Baldwin at Rogue River ranch that evening and he had hesitated to
mention that fact to Major Lawrence, fearing an outburst.

Larry felt that it was his duty to speak to Major Lawrence of his
intention, but the fierce denunciation of the Baldwins by the major had
caused him to delay the announcement and when, after dinner, he had
completed his toilet, while Krag rolled upon the bed and made facetious
remarks and guesses as to the identity of his inamorata, the major had
driven away to a distant part of the ranch, Larry, taking a light
runabout wagon drove straight toward Rogue River ranch, secretly
relieved at having escaped the ordeal.

He had expected, and rather dreaded, meeting Harry Baldwin or his
father, but after the brown boy had taken charge of his horse, he was
greeted by Helen Baldwin, who invited him to sit with her on the wide
veranda of the rather pretentious house.

“I invited you to come this evening,” she laughed, “because Uncle Barney
and Cousin Harry have gone to Portland and I feared it might be
embarrassing to you to meet them.”

“That was thoughtful,” he replied, smiling. “I’m afraid I might not be
considered a welcome guest.”

“I was thinking of myself, too,” she laughed. “Harry would be furious if
he knew you were calling on me. He seems to think he is my guardian.”

They chatted for a time of school, of the events of commencement week,
and finally the conversation turned to athletics.

“I was so disappointed at not seeing you play with Cascade,” she said
brightly. “I was there with a crowd of the academy girls. I told them I
had a friend on the team, and we all wore Cascade colors, excepting Sue.
She knows a man who plays on Golden, so she wore his colors. We looked
all over the field for you. Why didn’t you play?”

“I am off the team,” he remarked, striving to avoid the subject. “I was
sitting in the stands. I saw you, but you were way across the field and
there was such a jam I could not reach you to speak to you.”

“I don’t understand,” she persisted. “Harry said you would not play, but
you said you would. Did you let him play because I asked you to do it?”

“No,” he said. “I intended to play, but they would not let me.”

“Harry was right then?” she exclaimed. “He said they wouldn’t”——

“When did he say that?”

“Oh, some time before the game. You know I told you he had invited a
girl to see him play, and he said he had to play because she was
coming.”

“Did he say how he would keep me from playing?” Larry’s tone was
strained, as he strove to control his rising anger.

“No—yes—I didn’t understand, but he said something about some rule,
only he was afraid Mr. Lawrence would come down and deny what he said.”

“Did you happen to tell him that Mr. Lawrence was going away?” he
inquired, striving to make the question sound innocent.

“Why, yes—I believe I did tell him. Yes—I remember now. He said that
was good, and that the old crank could not make any more trouble.”

Larry flushed at hearing Major Lawrence called an old crank, but
concealed his indignation. He had not as yet secured all the information
he wanted.

“By the way,” he remarked presently, “is Harry still friendly with
Wallace, the Golden pitcher?”

“Oh, yes, they are great friends. I thought it was mean of Mr. Wallace
not to let Harry hit the ball, didn’t you? I was so excited. Harry was
mad at Mr. Wallace after the game, and he growled at all of us during
dinner. He was mad at Mr. Haxton, too.”

“I thought he and Haxton were great friends,” remarked Larry, who was
getting more information than he expected.

“They were, but Mr. Haxton was just hateful to Harry, Harry says. He
loaned Mr. Haxton a lot of money—and then Mr. Haxton turned against
him.”

“Thank you,” said Larry quietly. “Let’s change the subject and talk of
pleasanter things.”

Half an hour later, as he drove away from the lights of the Baldwin
ranch house, he was so deeply engrossed in patching together the
circumstances of his expulsion from the team with the things the girl,
in her ignorance of the game, had revealed, that he roused himself just
in time to jerk the horse to one side of the road as a big touring car
flashed past. In that flash he recognized Harry Baldwin at the wheel. He
smiled bitterly.

“I just escaped in time,” he muttered to himself. “If I had met him”——

He whistled softly to himself as he hastened the gait of the horse and
turned toward Shasta View.

“Hello, Larry, where have you been?” shouted Major Lawrence from the
shadows of the piazza as Larry tossed the reins to the waiting Chinese
boy and leaped from the runabout.

“I’ve been over to Baldwin’s ranch,” Larry replied quickly, determined
to have it over with.

“I thought you would,” replied the Major, chuckling.

Larry, who had expected an outburst of wrath, was taken aback.

“Did you see the cub?” asked Major Lawrence.

“He wasn’t at home,” replied Larry. “He nearly ran me down on the road
as I came home.”

“See Barney Baldwin?”

“No; he and Harry have been in Portland.”

“Then you didn’t get any satisfaction from them?”

“No, Uncle Jim. I didn’t go to see them in the first place. But I found
out enough—more than enough.”

He quickly related what he had learned from Helen Baldwin, how Harry
Baldwin had timed his attack and planned to strike when proof could not
be obtained; how he had used Wallace in preferring the charges, and how,
by loaning money to Haxton, he had placed the coach in a position where
he was compelled to aid in the scheme, or at least could not oppose
Baldwin.

“I’ll see about this,” stormed the Major. “I’ll clean out the whole kit
and caboodle of them. That whelp Baldwin cannot run things to suit
himself.”

He trailed off into a spasm of denunciation of the Baldwins. Larry
realized that, in his anger, Major Lawrence had entirely overlooked the
significant fact that Larry had gone to the Baldwins to call upon Helen
and he felt guilty, as he had deceived his friend and benefactor.



                              CHAPTER XIX
                     _“Paw” Lattiser to the Rescue_


The meeting of the Board of Athletic Control of Cascade College had been
uneventful. The two faculty members, the two student representatives,
and Coach Haxton, comprising the board, had transacted the routine
business, discussed informally the plans for the baseball campaign, and
were preparing to adjourn when a request was received from “Paw”
Lattiser that he be permitted to present a matter of importance to the
board when unfinished business was reached. After a brief consultation
the board invited Lattiser to appear and state his business.

The veteran student, peering owl-like above the rims of his glasses,
entered, his inevitable book under one arm and a bundle of
impressive-looking papers under the other. He bowed awkwardly to each of
the professors, advanced to the center of the room and stood there as if
embarrassed.

“What’s the case, Paw?” inquired Shelley, one of the “sporty” crowd, who
was regarded as the representative of the fraternities on the Athletic
Board. “Hustle up—I’ve got some boning to do.”

“Gentlemen,” said Lattiser quietly, “I have here, under my arm, the
papers in the case of James Lawrence Kirkland, who, as you will recall,
was suspended and barred from participating in athletic sports on the
ground that he is a professional.”

“Oh, that was settled last spring,” said Shelley lightly. “Professor
Terbush decided Kirkland didn’t belong.”

“Mr. Shelley is correct,” remarked Professor Terbush pompously. “As I
recall it, the young man was found to have played ball for money.”

“Your recollection is a bit at fault,” retorted Lattiser. “You probably
will recall that you said you would be glad to reopen the case, and
expressed a hope that Kirkland could produce proof of what he said. Here
is the proof.”

He passed a sheaf of folded documents to Professor Terbush, who received
them, and held them while hesitating.

“What’s it all about, Lattiser?” asked Shelley. “I haven’t got time to
spend all night here reading documents.”

“I have there,” replied Lattiser, “the affidavit of Mr. James Lawrence
Kirkland, denying each and all of the charges made against him by—or
rather through—(he stopped and glanced over the top of his glasses at
the circle about him)—the athletic authorities of Golden University. I
have the affidavit of his guardian, Mr. James Lawrence, denying utterly
each and every charge. I have the affidavit of Mr. William Krag, denying
having had any part in the matter, as charged.”

“Ahem—m,” said Professor Terbush. “You are sure, are you, Lattiser,
that this is not a scheme to whitewash the young man?”

“That is what I am trying to avoid,” replied Lattiser easily. “We do not
want any whitewashing—nor do we want any fortune dictating the
Cascade.”

The others nodded approval.

“Professor Terbush appears to consider Kirkland guilty,” Lattiser
continued. “Naturally he fears that Mr. James Lawrence, being rich, will
strive to overcome all objections by using money, or the power his money
gives him. Isn’t that the situation?”

“Exactly,” said Professor Terbush, nodding. “No fortune I hope, is large
enough to dominate this institution.”

“I’m glad you take that view,” said Lattiser, grinning. “If you
gentlemen have studied those affadavits, I have more to offer.”

He fumbled through the papers under his arm a moment and brought forth
another folded sheet.

“I was convinced last spring,” he remarked, as he unfolded the paper,
“that injustice had been done. I decided to take an interest in the
case. Knowing that Wallace was quitting Golden University, I sought him,
and secured from him this confession.”

“What’s this all about?” demanded Haxton, who had maintained silence.
“You seem to have proved Kirkland innocent—let him try for the team if
he wants to.”

“The confession of Wallace,” continued Lattiser, refusing to notice the
interruption, “bears upon the case. Wallace has written and signed this
statement. Briefly, he admits that more than a week before the game
between Golden and Cascade, he received a letter from a member of the
Cascade team containing the charges against Kirkland, asserting they
were true. The letter further stated that although the charges were
true, Kirkland’s guardian was extremely wealthy and would use his wealth
and power to keep Kirkland on the team. It therefore suggested that the
protest be filed at the last minute.”

“Is it possible?” inquired Professor Terbush, horrified. “Can such
things be?”

“They not only can, but be,” replied Lattiser, grinning; “but that is
not the worst—I have proof that Mr. Haxton, a member of this board, and
athletic director and coach, knew of the plan to protest Kirkland”——

“I was told he was a professional—I believed he had no right”——
Haxton, flushing scarlet, had half arisen—“I still believe he got money
for playing.”

The members of the board gasped.

“I have learned also,” said Lattiser, suddenly arousing and shaking his
finger at the confused coach, “that you at first threatened to expose
the entire thing; but that when told you needn’t pay the $300, you had
borrowed, if you kept still—you kept still.”

“It’s a lie!” shouted Haxton. “Baldwin lies if he”——

He stopped, realizing that Baldwin’s name had not been mentioned, and
that he had betrayed himself.

“The money had nothing to do with it,” he shouted angrily. “I thought
Kirkland had no right on the team”——

“Gentlemen,” said Professor Terbush severely, “gentlemen—let us not
indulge in personalities, but continue the business. As chairman of the
board, I now call for a vote on the acceptance of Mr. Haxton’s
resignation.”

“But I haven’t resigned”—— Haxton turned, amazed and confounded by the
sudden change of front by the professor.

“All in favor of accepting Mr. Haxton’s resignation say aye,” persisted
the professor.

“Aye,” said Moulton.

“Aye,” quickly echoed Clark.

“No,” shouted Haxton.

“No,” screamed Shelley, who had been striving to get an opportunity to
protest. “I object to this sort of thing—you have no right.”

Rap, rap, rap went Professor Terbush’s gavel.

“The gentleman is out of order,” he ruled. “The chair votes aye. The
ayes have it. Mr. Haxton, having resigned and his resignation being
accepted, automatically ceases to be a member of this board. Mr. Haxton
will please retire. Is there any further business?”

Professor Terbush had risen to the occasion and his rulings seemed to
take the breath away from Haxton and his ally. Haxton, protesting and
angry, seized his hat and departed; and a few moments later adjournment
was taken.

Half an hour afterward Larry Kirkland and Winans were engaged in the
highly intellectual sport of striving to put Big Trumbull under his bed.
The sounds of their terrific struggle had brought youths in all stages
of semi-undress, racing from their rooms to witness the long-delayed
battle, which had been threatened if Trumbull persisted in practicing on
his piccolo during study hours. Paw Lattiser’s entrance was unnoticed
and he stood grinning silently until Trumbull, exhausted, surrendered
and was pushed, a limp and helpless mass, under his own bed; while
Winans and Kirkland danced a war dance of victory.

“Hello, Paw, what’s the good word?” demanded Winans, still breathing
heavily.

“Big news,” said the veteran. “Kirkland is reinstated and exonerated
from the charges of professionalism by the Athletic Board.”

“Whoop, hurray,” yelled Winans, leaping to shake Larry’s hand.

“Wake up, you boob and thank Paw for restoring your good name.”

Larry, stunned by the unexpected news, stammered his thanks. “That’s
only part of it,” said Lattiser, who was enjoying the sensation he was
creating, although maintaining his careless drawl. “Haxton has resigned
as coach”——

“Whoopee-e-e,” yelled Winans, leaping onto a table. “Three cheers for
Paw Lattiser.”

The cheers were given with a spirit that aroused the matron and startled
the students.

“Come on, all of you,” yelled Winans. “I’m going to drag Paw down to
Bob’s and buy all the best seats in the house, while he tells us about
it.”

“Hold on, you fellows,” came a muffled voice from under the bed. “Half a
dozen of you drag me out of here, so I can join the celebration.”



                               CHAPTER XX
                        _The Captain of Cascade_


The resignation of Coach Haxton created a condition of athletic chaos at
Cascade College. Some hint of what had transpired at the meeting of the
Athletic Board had spread through the student body, and although it was
garbled and colored by repetition, Larry Kirkland suddenly found himself
a campus idol. The certain knowledge that he had been unjustly accused,
added to the discontent among the undergraduates over the defeat at the
hands of Golden University, and the startling rumors as to how Haxton
had wrecked the team by favoritism, all combined to center the sympathy
of the students around Larry—and those others who, according to rumor,
had been unfairly treated.

There were rumors that the Athletic Board was planning a startling
change in the coaching system of the school and that, because of
Haxton’s failure, it was decided to return to the system of student
management. The meeting of the board was awaited with great interest.
During the first few weeks after the Christmas holidays no move was made
by the board. The basket-ball team played its scheduled games under the
direction of its captain, but, although the weather was favorable, no
call came for the candidates for the baseball team. It was known that
the faculty, aroused by the Haxton incident, was in consultation with
the athletic leaders, and striving to evolve a system of handling all
sports.

One bright morning, when the early trade-winds were sweeping away the
fogs and the sun was shining temptingly, Professor Terbush summoned the
members of the Athletic Board to his classrooms, and, an hour later,
Clark, who for two years had been one of the student members of the
board, emerged and posted a notice upon the bulletin board.

Larry Kirkland, with Winans, was strolling toward the hall, when a shout
attracted their attention and, an instant later a cheering mob of
Freshmen and Sophomores bore down upon them, and forming a ring, gave
three cheers.

“What’s this all about?” demanded Larry, breathless as the fellows
pulled and dragged at him, all striving to shake his hand at once. “Let
up. What’s happened?”

Still cheering, they dragged him toward the bulletin board and he
blinked, as he read:

                                 NOTICE

    Candidates for the baseball squad will report to Captain
    Kirkland at the baseball field, 3 P. M. to-morrow.

                                                     E. G. Clark,
                                                  _Acting Manager_.

Larry stood staring at the poster, as if unable to grasp its meaning.

“Speech, speech,” yelled a diminutive Freshman.

“Speech,” howled the delighted students, enjoying his embarrassment.
Larry, his face redder than his hair, struggled, protested and kicked,
but was carried bodily to the steps, and placed upon the stone coping.

“Fellows,” he stammered, twisting with embarrassment, “I’m all
embarrassed”——

“Who would have guessed it?” yelled little Turner, raising a laugh.

“Fellows,” Larry repeated, “I’m flabbergasted. This is all news to me. I
can’t realize that I’m appointed captain. Maybe it’s a joke”——

“No, no!” cried several. “The committee decided upon a student manager
and student control.”

“All I can say,” concluded Larry lamely, “is, I’ll do my best—to help
old Cascade win, and I want you all to help me.”

An outburst of applause greeted his stumbling speech, and a moment
later, seeing an opening, Larry dodged into the doorway and fled through
the building, across the campus and did not stop until he reached his
rooms. There he remained, cutting two recitations, while trying to
realize the turn fate had taken, and striving to plan how he would form
his team. He recalled his early experiences with the Shasta View club,
and decided that, in selecting his men, he would follow the same
methods.

Larry was busily engaged writing a long letter to Krag, explaining the
situation and asking advice, when the door opened and Clark, escorted by
Winans and Katsura, who had come to offer their congratulations,
entered.

“Hello, captain,” called Clark, offering his hand.

“Hello, manager,” replied Larry. “I want to thank you fellows—I have
been afraid it is a mistake”——

“Better thank Lattiser,” laughed Clark. “He talked the professor into
it. Old Terbush came through like a trump. Said we owed it to you for
what the committee did. We’ll never get rid of you now. He is as strong
for you as he was against you.”

“He’s honest in his beliefs, anyhow,” said Larry, “I’d never dare face
him when I was guilty. He made me feel guilty when I was innocent.”

“What are we going to do about the club?” asked Clark. “I never played
the game enough to know it, but you may count on me to back you up.”

Larry explained carefully his plan for the formation of the team, and
the idea met the approval of the new manager.

“You have the ground work of a team, anyhow,” he said. “I suppose you
will select men to fill in the positions?”

“No,” replied Larry. “My idea is to forget that any one ever played on
the team—and award every position to the fellow who plays the best
ball.”

“You’ll have some of the fraternity men and some Seniors in your hair,”
warned Clark. “However, what we want is a team—I’ll back you up and you
may count on Lattiser and Terbush.”

The interest in baseball revived quickly when Larry’s plan for choosing
a team became known among the students. Instead of the usual two dozen
candidates, the field swarmed with players of all conditions, each
hopeful of getting a position.

“Candidates for catcher,” Larry called, after the throng had been
batting and throwing for half an hour.

“Torney is our catcher,” remarked Jacobs, the second baseman casually,
as if imparting information.

“I know,” replied Larry, “but no one is a member of the team this fall
until he wins his place. Candidates for catcher!”

Eight candidates stepped out.

“Pitchers!” called Larry.

“Oh, I say Kirkland,” said Jacobs anxiously, “the fellows who won their
places last year are entitled to stay.”

“Not unless they’re better than the others,” replied Larry briefly. “We
want a ball club, not a friendly, social organization.”

His quick squelching of the spirit of rebellion among the veterans
appealed to the candidates. Fifteen who claimed to be pitchers were
separated from the others and set to work throwing to the catchers.
Rapidly the entire squad was divided into groups according to what
positions they thought they could play. Not one volunteer offered
himself for third base.

“Looks as if I have a cinch,” laughed Larry. “Don’t be afraid to try,
you third basemen; if you’re better than I am you’ll get the job.”

Little McAtee, a splendid fielder and speedy, laughed.

“All right, Cap,” he said. “I’ll tackle you, but I think you can beat
me.”

“I don’t want any one to think he hasn’t a chance until I tell him,”
said Larry. “I won’t try to pick a team for three days, and then it will
be a tentative one. Of course we’ve got to reduce the squad quickly, so
those remaining may practice. But I want to keep twenty-five regulars
this fall.”

“Well, that was a good start,” remarked Clark, as they walked across the
campus after two hours of hard work.

“How do you think the fellows like the idea?” inquired Larry anxiously.

The responsibility of the position had commenced to worry him, and he
feared that his innovations would not be received in good part by the
students.

“The majority of the fellows who were watching agree with you,” said
Clark. “I think most of the players believe it is the right way—but, I
imagine you’re going to have trouble with some of the old players—and
the fraternity crowd will be furious. Baldwin is trying to stir them
up—says he isn’t getting a square deal.”

“I didn’t see Baldwin out to-day,” remarked Larry thoughtfully.

“Would you give him a chance to make the team?” asked Clark, stopping in
surprise.

“Of course, if I thought him good enough.”

“Well—you beat me,” laughed Clark. “After what he has tried to do to
you to give him a chance.”

“He’s a pretty fair player, if he attends to business,” remarked Larry.
“I don’t want my personal grievances to hurt the team.”

There were two letters awaiting him when he reached his room. One was
from Krag saying:

“Now is the time to be careful. It is harder, sometimes, to stand
prosperity than it is to stand abuse.”

The other was a long, scrawly note from Helen Baldwin.

“I have heard of your good luck in being made captain,” she wrote. “Let
me congratulate you. I do wish you would give Harry a chance.”

Larry whistled softly to himself as he read it, striving to guess how
Helen Baldwin had heard the news so quickly.



                              CHAPTER XXI
                              _Temptation_


The next week was one of worry and apprehension for Larry Kirkland. He
had feared, most of all, that he would arouse the enmity of some of the
candidates when he reduced the size of the squad, but to his surprise he
found this task easy. In the first three days more than half of the
candidates voluntarily retired, discovering for themselves that they
were not expert enough to hope to replace the others. Larry was
compelled to issue an order that all candidates who desired to retire
from the squad consult with him before quitting, for he feared losing
some promising material because the players might grow discouraged, or
think themselves poorer players than they really were. By the end of the
first week, the squad was reduced to eighteen players, and after careful
study, Larry chose his first team. The team was made up of Trumbull, cf;
Winans, catcher; Katsura and Arksall, pitchers; Torney, 1b; Jacobs, 2b;
Wares, ss; Allen rf; Dalmores, cf.

Larry had appealed to Krag for assistance in choosing his men and for
the first time the big ex-pitcher had refused, declaring that from that
time on Larry must exercise his own judgment, but warning him against
“playing favorites.”

Of the team chosen, only Jacobs had elected to take a stand against
Larry’s theories. He did not actively oppose the captain in anything,
but constantly obeyed orders with a half-sneering smile, or a side
remark directed to some other player, that told, more plainly than
words, his idea that Larry’s plan of playing ball was wrong. The
attitude of Jacobs, more than anything else, served to harass and annoy
the young captain. He hesitated to force an open rupture, yet realized
that the behavior of Jacobs was having a bad effect upon the team in
general. He ignored the contemptuous looks and laughs for several days.

“I’ve got to do something about Jacobs,” he said to Clark. “He is
against everything I do, and he is not getting into the spirit of the
team.”

“That fraternity crowd is not back of him,” said Clark. “I’ve noticed
that they seem well pleased at your selection of players. They’ve got
half the squad. The old sporty crowd seems to be backing him up. If I
were you, I’d read the riot act to him, and, if he don’t want to play,
tie a can to him.”

The crisis came that same afternoon. Larry had been working with the
pitchers at one side of the field, and the regular team was supposed to
be at fielding practice on the diamond. Larry, running back to take his
turn at bat, saw Jacobs loafing near the bench, in earnest conversation
with Harry Baldwin.

“Oh, Jacobs, why aren’t you on the job?” he called.

“I’m talking to a friend,” replied Jacobs sneeringly and not moving to
resume practice.

Larry, boiling inwardly, stood still an instant, striving to master his
anger. Then he walked toward the pair.

“Baldwin,” he said quickly, “if you will not help the team please do not
interrupt the practice.”

“You can’t order me off this field,” retorted Baldwin angrily. “I came
here to talk business to Jacobs.”

“His business right now is playing ball,” said Larry steadily. “You have
no right here unless you come in uniform as a candidate for the team. I
learned that lesson myself—and I believe you were one of the teachers.”

He smiled bitterly at the recollection of the time Haxton had ordered
him off the field.

“A fine chance I’d have to make the team with you captain,” sneered
Baldwin.

“Just the same chance any one else would have, if you are the best
player in the position,” retorted Larry. “The idea is to make a ball
club—not to promote friendship.”

“I can play as well as any one here can,” retorted Harry, sullenly
defiant.

“Then get out and prove it,” retorted Larry quickly. “Jake, we’ve wasted
a lot of time. Get out there at second and we’ll try working that double
play.”

He played abstractedly and missed several chances to make plays during
the three-inning practice game with which they wound up the daily
practice.

“I’ve done the right thing, I’m sure,” he muttered to himself as he
dressed. “But it looks as if I had merely made more trouble for myself.”

It was his evening to call at St. Gertrude’s, and the trouble he had
feared commenced to materialize more rapidly than he expected. He found
Helen Baldwin nervous and excited. Her fair face was flushed and the
dark rings around her pretty eyes indicated that she had been weeping.

“Oh, Larry,” she exclaimed, “I have been so upset. I wanted to see you.
I’ve had such a dreadful time.”

“Haven’t they been treating you well here?” asked Larry, remembering the
complaints the girl had uttered of the treatment she said was accorded
her by some of the teachers.

“It isn’t Miss Hazlett this time,” she said. “It’s Cousin Harry. Oh, he
is simply dreadful. Every time he comes here he scolds me just terribly
because you are my friend. He was here to-day, and he told me if I
allowed you to call any more he’d write Uncle Barney, and tell him, oh,
dreadful tales about me.”

“That is funny,” reflected Larry. “Harry came to the grounds this
afternoon and I invited him to join the team. I hoped we might at least
quit quarrelling.”

“Did you do that? Oh, I’m so glad you did! Maybe he will not write Uncle
Barney.”

“What did he threaten to tell? I’m sure he could not tell anything that
would do any harm.”

“Oh you do not know! Harry is horrible! He threatened to write that I
have been breaking bounds and going riding with you and other fellows,
and he knows how Uncle Barney dislikes Mr. Lawrence, so he just wants to
make trouble.”

“Why,” Larry exclaimed indignantly, “I never have seen you outside of
this room—he surely wouldn’t write such a lie as that.”

The girl pretended to weep, dabbing at her eyes. She concealed the fact
that she, with two of the girls had broken the rules and gone automobile
riding with three of the town boys, and that Miss Hazlett had discovered
the fact. She cunningly led Larry to believe that Harry Baldwin’s entire
tirade of threats had been caused by her friendship for him.

“I’m so glad you and Harry are going to make up and that he can play on
that old team,” she said, smiling as she dried her eyes with a bit of
lace. “He seems to think that is more important than anything. Maybe he
won’t tell those awful tales about me if you let him play. I wanted to
ask you to deny them if he wrote Uncle Barney.”

“Of course I’ll deny them,” he answered stoutly. “It’s a muckerish trick
to talk that way about a girl. As for playing on the team; he isn’t on
it yet. He’ll have to win his place.”

“He said you wouldn’t give him a fair chance,” she replied. “He is just
as furious with you as he is with me.”

An hour later Larry Kirkland bade her good-night. His mind was strangely
excited as he walked slowly through the drives on the lawn and set forth
for the long walk back to his rooms on the campus at Cascade. He was
fighting a battle with himself.

He could make a place for Harry Baldwin on the team and, at one stroke
he could end the constant warfare with that element of the students that
had opposed him from the first. He could put an end to Harry Baldwin’s
opposition to everything he did or tried to do. Better, he told himself,
he could protect Helen Baldwin from the malice of her cousin and earn
her closer friendship—a friendship which was coming to mean more and
more to him every day.

It would not be hard. Baldwin was a fair ball player. The team needed a
stronger shortstop, and Baldwin, he thought, could be trained to play
that position well. No one would object, excepting perhaps little
Wares—Wares was a poor batter, although clever and fast in defense. It
might be a good move.

Larry was approaching the campus, still fighting the battle in his own
mind. As he entered the wide avenue, bordered with eucalyptus trees, he
looked far up the arcade of gentle swaying trees to the gray tower on
the main building, now lighted by the rising moon. He stood a moment
awed by the solemn quietness. As he gazed toward the mass of gray
buildings he again felt the spirit of the college stir within him. No,
if Baldwin played on the team, he would earn his place. The good of the
school; the honor of Cascade in baseball had been entrusted to him, and
he would not compromise it to gain—even Helen Baldwin.

Having made the decision, Larry Kirkland walked rapidly through the
darkened campus, paused an instant to yell a greeting at Mike, the
Professor of Lawnology, who attended to the lawns and watched for
predatory students, and so to his rooms. He had won his hardest battle.



                              CHAPTER XXII
                        _A Game and an Ally Won_


On the evening before the game with St. Mary’s, the first of the “big”
games of the college year, the baseball squad of Cascade College,
numbering nineteen men, with Manager Clark presiding, met to discuss
plans for the battle.

The preliminary games had been played, and the Cascade team was playing
more steadily and brilliantly than ever before. Captain Kirkland had
shifted the lineup several times, in order to try out the men and there
was much discussion among the students as to how the team would line up
for the initial struggle of the year against an important club. The
meeting had proceeded quietly for some time when Clark called upon
Captain Kirkland to outline the battle plans.

“Fellows,” said Larry, “I have thought this out the best I can and I
hope that no one will take it to heart if not selected for this game. I
think it best that Arksall start the game for us, with Katsura ready to
relieve him if he needs it. That will give us more hitting strength. I
have placed Wares at short, and myself at third”—He paused and a murmur
arose from the place where several of the veterans of the team were
sitting.

“The rest will play in their regular positions excepting Jacobs”——

The murmur from the veterans arose to exclamations of surprise. Harry
Baldwin and Jacobs were off the team.

“I knew we wouldn’t get a fair deal,” said Baldwin, so that every one in
the room could hear. Larry quickly accepted the challenge.

“I left Baldwin and Jacobs off the team,” he said slowly, “because, for
the last week, they have been breaking training rules and have not shown
the proper spirit either on or off the field. Besides, I believe the men
chosen for their places are better ball players than they are. I am
willing to leave it to a vote of the club and abide by their decision if
any one is dissatisfied.”

Larry flung the challenge at the little group of malcontents.

“Don’t do it,” urged Clark hotly. “You’re the judge.”

“I’d rather have the club vote,” persisted Larry, “if I am wrong, the
sooner we find it out the less harm there is done.”

There were murmurs of protest, muttered consultations and the vote was
taken. Clark opened the slips of paper and read them off. The result of
the vote stood 16 to 4 in favor of Kirkland’s decision.

“The majority seems to think I’m right,” said Larry. “Anyhow, we’ll try
it this time.”

“You can’t take a C man off the team that way,” protested Jacobs. “I
earned my place and if I don’t play to-morrow I won’t play at all.”

“Very well,” said Larry firmly. “We cannot compel you to play—but I
imagine the opinion of the students will be against you if you quit that
way.”

The meeting ended quietly, but the open dissension in the ranks had its
effect. After the meeting, the players broke up into small groups and
scattered, discussing the situation. The news of the trouble in the club
spread like wildfire over the campus and interest in the game was
redoubled. Lattiser, who, while holding aloof, always was ambling into
the scene when trouble threatened, was among the first to rally to the
support of Kirkland’s methods. During the morning he strolled over the
campus, rallying the Seniors, and half an hour before the game started
he led a marching force of Seniors, in cap and gowns, to the park and,
before they took their seats, he signaled, and the Seniors, standing,
gave vent to three long cheers for Kirkland.

The moral support of the Seniors overawed the malcontents. Harry Baldwin
and Jacobs, who had been loitering around as if undecided as to what
they were going to do, suddenly changed front, donned their uniforms and
took their places in the preliminary practice.

The game started as if to be a walkover for St. Mary’s. The big batters
of the academy fell upon Arksall’s fast curve and fast ball in the first
inning and drove out two hits before he had settled to his task.

“Slow up, slow up,” urged Larry feverishly. “Lob the ball to them.”

But Arksall was too “rattled” by the unexpected onslaught to heed the
advice and, pitching blindly, he hurled the ball high over Winans’ head
and let the runners advance to second and third bases. An instant later
Hoskins, the big St. Mary’s first baseman, drove a line single to right
center. Trumbull fielded the ball perfectly, and threw fast toward the
plate. The throw was vain, as both runners would score on the hit, but
Kirkland, cutting in, caught the ball in the middle of the diamond,
snapped it to McAtee, and Hoskins was caught going to second.

“That clears the bags,” yelled Larry. “Steady now, fellows—stop ’em.”

The play restored Arksall’s nerves to some extent, and he pitched more
carefully, and, although St. Mary’s made two more hits in the inning
they failed to score again.

“Only two runs on four solid hits, boys,” yelled Larry. “Now get at them
and get those runs back.”

Meisler, of St. Mary’s, a speedy left-handed pitcher, however, refused
to permit them to hit, and the game rushed along, with the score 2 to 0,
through the fourth. Arksall had steadied and was pitching well, while
the team behind him was playing brilliantly. Twice little McAtee had
proved the wisdom of Larry’s choice of second basemen by brilliant stops
that shut off runs.

“We’ve got to get started, fellows,” said Larry as he came to the bench
at the end of St. Mary’s fifth inning. “I’m first up. I’m going to try
bunting. Then, Torney, you hit the first ball and, McAtee, you wait and
make him pitch. Wares, if you get up, hit the first ball. We’ll try to
get him guessing as to what we are going to do.”

Larry faced Meisler and swung viciously at the first ball pitched,
missing it purposely, and the crowd, especially the St. Mary’s
adherents, roared with laughter.

Meisler grinned and pitched a fast ball, and Larry bunting perfectly
toward third base, raced across first before the surprised pitcher or
third baseman could move toward the ball. The plan was beginning to
work. Torney, who was a clever actor, shortened his grip on the bat,
crouched and pretended he intended to bunt, but hit the first ball
pitched hard, and drove it so fast past McNamara’s head that the St.
Mary’s third baseman could only dodge, and Larry reached third and
Torney second, and the Cascade adherents went wild. Wares, obeying
orders, strove for a base on balls, but flied out and Larry scored after
the catch. McAtee bunted safely and a fly ball sent Torney across the
plate with the tying run.

The sixth found the teams battling on even terms, but in the first half
of the seventh an error, quickly followed by a hit and two long flies,
gave St. Mary’s two more runs and seemed to decide the game.

The last of the eighth found Cascade still struggling in the rut.

“We upset them last time by bunting,” said Larry. “Arksall, you’re
leading off, try it. They’ll not expect it from you.”

The big pitcher, awkward and notoriously a poor hitter and a slow
runner, had struck out twice, and among the critics of the game in the
stands there was a murmur when he was permitted to bat again, a murmur
of disapproval that changed to one of laughing applause when he bunted
toward third and went lumbering across first ahead of the ball.

“You run for him, Katsura,” ordered Larry. “I’m going to hit the second
ball he pitches toward right field, if possible. I’ll pretend to bunt
the first.”

His plan worked perfectly. Maloney, drawn out of position to field the
bunt, saw the ball bound past him and before it could be recovered,
Katsura was on third and Larry on first. Torney was too anxious, and his
high fly seemed to end the rally.

Larry turned quickly to Trumbull, who was coaching.

“Send Jacobs up to hit for McAtee,” he ordered. “We’ve got to win it
here.”

Jacobs, who had been fretting on the bench, sprang to the bats and
rushed to the plate. The first ball that Meisler pitched was a foot
above his head, but he hit it with terrific force, and sent it rolling
to the cinder path far beyond the outfielders. Before it could be
retrieved, all three runners had crossed the plate and Cascade led 5 to
4.

There Katsura held them, and Cascade rejoiced in victory dragged from
defeat.

In the club house, as the excited victors dressed and discussed the
events of the afternoon, Jacobs approached Larry Kirkland:

“Thank you,” he said simply. “I was wrong. My dad came over to see the
game—and it would have hurt him if I had not played.”

Larry grasped the extended hand heartily. One, at least, of the
opposition was converted.



                             CHAPTER XXIII
                        _Helen Appeals for Help_


The troubles that had beset Larry Kirkland since first he entered
Cascade College appeared to be departing. The generous action of Jacobs,
the deposed second baseman, in turning to Larry’s support and advocating
his cause among the “sporty” students who had opposed him, appeared to
clear the way to complete understanding. Only Harry Baldwin remained
antagonistic and, since he had lost the support of many of his friends
through his own behavior, his opposition carried little weight.

Larry was in an excellent humor as he dressed to call at St. Gertrude’s
on the Thursday evening following the final game with St. Mary’s. The
team was winning. St. Mary’s, Silver University and Pacific College
teams had fallen before the victorious Cascade club, and only the strong
team of the Golden University remained to be conquered to insure the
championship.

It was small wonder that Larry Kirkland was jubilant. He had received a
letter from Krag, congratulating him and warning him of the danger of
over-confidence, and he had just succeeded, after a struggle that
aroused the entire dormitory, in pinning Winans’ shoulders to the
carpet. That wrestling match had been brooding all term and was renewed
each time Larry prepared to call on Helen Baldwin.

Winans, defeated and all mussed up, was stretched upon the partially
wrecked bed, jeering at his conqueror.

“I was doing it for your good,” he declared. “I was trying to save you
from the wiles of a designing woman. Now you can go to your fate, but
don’t blame me.”

“If you’re just jealous I’ll introduce you some day,” said Larry,
refusing to be teased.

“It’s my fault,” moaned Winans in mock grief, “to let one so young, so
tender, so beautiful, stray into the clutches of a heartless woman.”

“Shut up, or I’ll throw you, hog-tie you and lock you in the closet,”
threatened Larry, still trying to comb down a shock of rebellious red
hair.

“Come on,” bantered Winans. “You can’t throw me again. You took unfair
advantage last time”——

“Aw, you know I can’t wrestle with these clothes on,” protested Larry.
“Wait until I get my ball things on.”

“Come on, I dare you,” taunted Winans. “I ought to tackle you and muss
up your pretty hair anyhow.”

Larry refused to discuss the case, being absorbed in knotting a new and
gorgeous tie.

“That’s no way to treat a pal,” pleaded Winans, changing his tone. “The
idea of running off after a crinoline when you might stay here and have
a nice comfortable game of chess with your old chum.”

Larry grinned and refused to be drawn into argument.

“I’ll have to get a divorce,” wailed Winans. “I’ll report that you have
deserted me—and go room with Paw Lattiser. He’s more company, anyhow.”

But Larry remained obdurate and hastened away toward St. Gertrude’s,
whistling as he went. The whole world seemed good to him then. He was
early and so decided to walk over the hills to the girls’ school.
Students in cap and gown or in flannels, strolling through the
eucalyptus arcades, shouted greetings as he passed.

With no thought of the crisis in his life that awaited him he walked
briskly toward St. Gertrude’s, thinking of the girl he was going to
meet. Helen Baldwin had come to mean much to him and her friendship was
dear. He had idealized her and woven boyish dreams about her, although
he never had considered seriously any plan for the future. She was the
first girl he ever had known as a friend and the attitude of appealing
helplessness she assumed toward him excited his imagination. The fact,
too, that she constantly claimed to have been neglected or ill-treated
by the Baldwins aroused his sympathy. He did not stop to think that his
dislike for the Baldwins blinded him, nor did he imagine that, perhaps,
the girl was using his prejudice against the Baldwins for her own ends.

He entered the reception room at St. Gertrude’s, and as the maid closed
the door, Helen Baldwin rose from her chair. He stepped forward gladly,
both hands outstretched.

“Helen!” he exclaimed.

His tone changed suddenly.

“Helen,” he repeated, this time anxiously, “what has happened? What have
they been doing?”

“Larry! Larry!” she sobbed, clinging to him. “Take me away from this
place, take me away from them all!”

The tears and her pathetic appeal aroused in him the man’s sense of
protectorship. Instinctively his arm slipped around her waist and he
strove to comfort her.

“Tell me about it, Helen,” he urged tenderly. “What is it? Has Harry
been annoying you again?”

“Oh, it is all of them,” she wailed. “They treat me terribly! I cannot
stand it. You must take me away.”

“What have they been doing?” he demanded, trembling with indignation.
“Tell me.”

The boy had become a man, defender of woman, in a few moments, and he
spoke with a sternness in his voice that never had been there before.

“Tell me,” he repeated. “I will not let them harm you.”

The girl ceased sobbing, but still clung to him.

“Harry wrote Uncle Barney the most terrible tales,” she said, drying her
eyes with suspicious suddenness that he did not observe. “He told him
about your coming here and Uncle Barney came this morning. He was
furious and he said if I dared let you call on me again, or take me
driving, he would pack my things and bundle me off home.”

The girl cunningly concealed the fact that her teachers also had
reported to Barney Baldwin that she had been breaking rules and riding
in automobiles with young men, that she had pretended to be riding with
her cousin and when caught had declared that Harry had taken her riding
and introduced her to the young man who brought her back to the school.

“It’s a shame,” declared the boy hotly. “They must be brutes to accuse
you of such things when they know we never have been out of the school
grounds together.”

“It’s because they hate you, Larry,” she persisted. “I told Uncle Barney
you were my friend, and that I would not give you up”——

“You told them that?” The boy seemed bewildered.

“Yes, yes, Larry,” she repeated. “I told them I never would give you up.
Now you must take me away—somewhere. You must marry me and we will go
away and never see these hateful people again.”

Larry stepped back in surprise.

“Marry?” he exclaimed in a bewildered tone.

In all his acquaintance with Helen Baldwin the thought of marriage had
not occurred to him. If it had it had been as a dream in the hazy
future. Some day, of course, he would marry, but he never had thought of
Helen Baldwin as his wife, nor of any girl.

“Yes,” she sobbed, “you must take me away.”

“But, Helen,” he protested, “we cannot do that.”

“We must,” she urged, half hysterically. “We can elope, go into the city
and be married”——

“And what then?” he asked, his calmer common sense coming to the rescue.
“Neither of us has anything—I cannot support a wife.”

“I’ve thought it all out,” she went on hurriedly. “We will be married.
Then we will go and Major Lawrence will forgive us and I need never
endure the hateful treatment I get here.”

“No,” said the boy slowly. “We cannot do that. I cannot treat Major
Lawrence that way. I will ask his permission”——

“You must not do that,” she interrupted quickly. “He would separate us
and we’d never see each other again.”

She buried her face in her handkerchief and sobbed hysterically.

“But I must ask him,” the boy protested, striving to comfort her
awkwardly. “I’ll telegraph him that I am coming home, and when he
understands it he will not refuse.”

“He will. I know he will,” sobbed the girl. “He hates all the Baldwins
and he’ll hate me. He’ll never consent.”

“But he must,” protested the boy. “I’ll tell him how horridly they have
treated you—and he’ll take you, and when we are older”——

“Oh, you’re all against me,” she stormed. “I relied so on you and you’ve
failed me. You don’t love me.”

Again she wept. The boy, his face drawn with anxiety and pain, knelt
beside her.

“I do,” he protested. “But, Helen, can’t you see”——

The bell that marked the end of the calling period rang. They knew that
in a minute or two Miss Tiddings would enter the room, and Larry sprang
to his feet quickly.

[Illustration: “Oh Larry, Take Me Away!”]

“You must dry your eyes,” he whispered. “They must not know. I will
telegraph Mr. Lawrence to-morrow.”

The girl dabbled at her eyes, and a moment later, when Miss Tiddings
entered the room and sniffed politely, she saw no traces of the tempest.

“I’ll wire,” whispered Larry as he held her hands. “Bear it a little
longer.”

“He’ll never consent,” she whispered. “Oh Larry, take me away. I cannot
endure it much longer.”

Larry Kirkland left St. Gertrude’s, his brain surging with new emotions.
He scarcely heard Winans’ raillery as he went to bed and for a long time
remained awake, striving to lay some plans for the future.



                              CHAPTER XXIV
                      _The Quarrel With the Major_


Major James Lawrence was at breakfast with Bill Krag, on the wide porch
at Shasta View bungalow, when a telegram was handed to him by Chun, the
Chinese youth who had assumed charge of the housekeeping.

The Major, who had been arguing with Krag, ripped open the envelope,
frowned, reread the message, frowned more heavily and commenced to
storm:

“Young rascal!” he shouted. “I suppose he has had more trouble at
school. All foolishness to send a boy to college, waste of time—and he
does nothing but get into trouble”——

“But, Major,” argued Krag, who was breaking his egg, “you took the
opposite end of the argument the other evening. You insisted that a boy
without a college education was like a boat without a pilot.”

“What do you mean by throwing up my mistakes to me?” demanded the Major.
“I only took that side of the argument because you took the other.
Confound it, can’t a man argue in his own house?”

“He sure can,” grinned Krag, who enjoyed the Major’s tyrannical
outbursts. “What’s the matter with Larry now?”

“He don’t say, confound him!” spluttered the Major. “Says he must see me
on an important matter and is coming home. Confound him, why don’t he be
more explicit?”

“Girl, I suppose,” suggested Krag, shrugging his shoulders. “It’s about
time for him to have his first love affair.”

“Woof,” said the Major indignantly. “Girl? That child in love? Why,
confound him, if he dares mention such a thing I’ll cowhide him within
an inch of his life.”

“I suppose you didn’t have a girl when you were about his age, Major?”
inquired Krag. “He’s past eighteen now—nearly nineteen.”

“I never had time for that girl foolishness,” snorted the Major. “Why,
when I was his age”——

“Not even one?” persisted Krag teasingly.

“Oh, well”—— The Major paused a moment and grew thoughtful——
“Eighteen, eh,” he said, “when I was eighteen?”

He drummed for a moment with his fingers on the table and looked far
away toward Shasta.

“She was the only one, Krag,” he said softly with a far-away look in his
eyes. “I left home then. She kissed me good-bye—Bloop,” he exploded,
“the idea of him in love! Why, if he dares mention such a thing”——

“Maybe it isn’t a girl at all,” remarked Krag, his mouth full of toast.
“Maybe it’s some baseball trouble. So he’s coming home? Why don’t you go
to Cascade instead? The team plays Golden University Saturday.”

“I haven’t time to be cavorting around all over the continent to see
this baseball foolishness,” snorted the Major. “I’m a busy man, Krag.”

“Oh, well,” said Krag. “I just thought it would save him the trip up
here, and, besides, you have some business down there and could stay and
see the game.”

“Foolishness!” snorted the Major angrily. “I’ll wire him not to come.
He’s got to stick to his business just as I stick to mine.”

He stamped across the veranda to his office, to write the telegram, and
Krag laughed until his great body shook when he heard Chun repeat the
message over the telephone to the telegraph operator in Pearton.

The message that the Major sent was:

    “Don’t come home. Will be there to-morrow and stay over to see
    the game Saturday.”

Major Lawrence, preparing to storm and upbraid his ward, reached Cascade
on the morning of the deciding game of the baseball season. At the first
glance of the haggard face and drawn expression of the boy, his kind,
old heart relented. He felt a great surge of tenderness come over him as
he looked into Larry’s troubled eyes.

“It’s all right, boy,” he said tenderly. “It’ll be all right. Don’t
worry.”

“I had to tell you about it, sir,” said Larry in a strained voice. “I
was coming down to see you because it is something I couldn’t write.”

“Don’t tell me about it now,” ordered the Major. “Not a word until we
have had breakfast. You’re right to tell your old uncle about it. I’m
sure it’s nothing we cannot fix up. Wait until we get to the rooms, and
we’ll talk it over.”

“Thank you,” said Larry. “I’ve been dreading telling you. I didn’t sleep
much last night, worrying about it.”

“Not sleep?” stormed the Major, working himself into a mock rage to
cover his own agitation. “Not sleep and on the eve of the game? Why,
confound you, boy, I came down here to see you win that game.”

“We’ll win, I think,” said Larry, smiling wanly at the familiar sight of
the Major’s anger. “The team is playing good ball—and Katsura will
pitch.”

The subject, thus changed to baseball, was not resumed. At breakfast,
Major Lawrence met Winans and Trumbull, and after they had learned his
peculiar temperament and had drawn him into several hot arguments, they
bore him off under the pretense of letting Paw Lattiser decide a point.
It was luncheon time before they returned, the Major triumphantly
declaring Lattiser the only sensible person in the entire school. It was
not until he was preparing to start to the game that Larry had the
opportunity to speak to the Major alone.

“Uncle Jim,” he said, “I want to talk with you.”

“Don’t bother me with your nonsense now,” stormed the Major. “I’m going
to the game with Lattiser—sensible fellow, Lattiser, not one of these
flighty-headed college idiots like Winans and that monkey Jessup he
introduced me to. Wait until to-night and we’ll talk things over.”

The Major was decorated for the occasion, and his cane and coat lapel
bore huge Cascade ribbons.

“I’ve learned the Cascade yell, Larry,” he went on. “Listen to me and
I’ll make you win.”

“But it’s something that must be settled. I must know before the game,”
the boy persisted.

“All right—fire away,” said the Major resignedly. “I suppose its
money.”

“Yes—and no,” replied Larry. “Its a girl.”

“Girl?” roared the Major, leaping from his chair and stalking up and
down the floor. “Girl? Confound it, I’ll girl you! Krag said it was a
girl and I told him if it was I’d soon knock that sort of foolishness
out of your head. The idea—girl? Why, you young scoundrel, you’ve just
shed your pinafores and talking of girl! Next thing I hear you’ll be
wanting to marry her.”

“I do want to marry her, Uncle Jim,” said the boy earnestly. “Right
away.”

“What?”

This time the Major’s astonishment was not pretended. He stopped and
stared at Larry as if striving to comprehend.

“Marry?” he cried. “You marry? What have you to offer a wife? What means
of support have you? Nothing. You’re dependent on me, sir, and if you
talk marriage in the next five years, I’ll cut you off without a penny,
without a penny, understand? Don’t talk to me of marriage.”

He had worked himself into a real passion, and resumed his storming up
and down the room.

“But you don’t understand, Uncle Jim,” pleaded the boy. “She is in
trouble; her family is not treating her well; I am the only one to whom
she can turn for help.”

Somehow, in spite of his earnestness, the reason seemed inadequate and
the necessity not so real as it had seemed when he was listening to
Helen Baldwin’s sobs.

“Not treating her right?” demanded the Major. “Well, I’ll attend to
that; I’ll see to that. I’ll fix it with the family and then, after you
are old enough to marry and still love her—who is she?”

The Major broke off his promises suddenly and shot the question at
Larry.

“Helen Baldwin,” replied Larry, in a low tone.

He was prepared for an outburst, but for nothing such as the one that
broke. For an instant Major Lawrence stood glaring at him.

“Baldwin?” he screamed. “You want to marry a Baldwin? Marry one of the
tribe that robbed me and robbed your father, broke your father’s health
and killed him. YOU marry one of that breed of rats? Never!”

“But, Uncle Jim, she is not one of them. She is different. They are
cruel to her and accuse her”——

“Don’t talk to me of a Baldwin,” raged Major Lawrence. “I’d rather see
you in your grave. Never dare mention her name to me again.”

Larry, bridling with what he thought was injustice, stood his ground
before the wrath of his guardian. He was about to speak when Winans,
from the hallway, shouted:

“Hustle up, Larry. Time to start.”

“That is your final decision, sir?” asked Larry, his voice trembling as
he strove to control himself.

“My final decision,” stormed the Major. “Yes, if you ever dare speak to
me of her, or of marrying, I’ll cut you off without a penny. She only
wants my money, anyhow. She’s like all the rest of the Baldwin’s. She’s
been trying to trap you and get a hold on my money.”

“I won’t listen even to your slandering her,” said Larry rapidly. “I can
work. I can support her without your help. I’ll marry her and prove to
you that what you say about her is false.”

He turned quickly and started for the door.

“Hey, aren’t you ever coming?” shouted Winans.

“Coming,” cried Larry, striving to conceal his emotion.

He turned his face quickly as he opened the door. The Major, looking
apoplectic had sunk into a chair and did not meet his gaze. For ten
minutes Major Lawrence remained motionless. Then suddenly he slapped his
leg.

“By George,” he ejaculated, “I believe that little game cock would do
it. I’ve got to get busy and see that girl.”

He arose quickly, and bustled out to meet Lattiser.



                              CHAPTER XXV
                            _The Final Game_


A frantic outburst of applause, followed by the ripping, crashing
Cascade yell aroused Larry Kirkland from the half daze in which he had
moved since his fiery interview with Major Lawrence. For an hour he had
been torn by a tumult of conflicting emotions in which he found it
difficult to think clearly. The hot anger in which he had parted with
his guardian had partially subsided and given way to stubborn
determination to carry out his part of the program.

His mind was made up; Major Lawrence had called him ungrateful, a
parasite and had hinted that he was incompetent to earn his own living.
He would no longer accept alms, he thought bitterly. He realized that he
had failed to lighten the supposed burden of woe for Helen Baldwin. She
must bear it bravely for a little while and he would go out into the big
world, fight the battles for himself and for her and return and claim
her. His mind had traveled in circles over and over the same ground.
Plainly he could not marry her at once because that would place him in a
position where they must accept aid from either Major Lawrence or from
the Baldwins—and to him the thought of either was hateful.

The roar of the crowd as the Cascade players trotted out onto the
playing field broke in upon his tumult of thought. His brain cleared as
if by magic, and a sudden grim resolve seized upon him. He would play
that day as never before. It was his last game of ball and he would show
them his ability. He jerked his belt more tightly and, diving sideways,
fielded a hard-hit ball and tossed it quickly to Jacobs, who, pivoting
as a dancer whirls, threw to first base. Another outburst of applause
greeted the lightning-like handling of the ball and the applause was
like balm to Larry’s sore nerves. The weariness from a sleepless night,
the mental strain of the morning passed; he felt quick return of
confidence in himself. He looked upon the crowd, volleying cheers back
and forth across the arena, and smiled cynically. They were all his foes
now—he was going to fight them all now, to force them to his own terms.

Larry found himself giving directions with a coolness that surprised
him. His low-toned advice to Katsura and Winans was given with the air
of one accustomed to commanding.

“These fellows have been hitting against speedy pitching all the time,”
he said. “I do not think they can hit your slow twisters Katty, keep the
fast curve low, pitch the javelin ball close to their hands and across
their chests, and tease them into hitting the slow twisters.”

“No breaks to-day, boys,” he called as his team left the bench. “On the
toes every minute. Remember, every man hits when he sees the runner
moving and every base runner runs. Make Herron pitch all the time. Don’t
hit until you have to, and then run it out to the limit.”

The spirit of the Cascade team was high and their confidence rising.
Katsura, pitching easily, puzzled the heavy hitters of Golden in the
first inning and three of them retired on easy chances.

“They’re swinging their heads off,” remarked Larry. “All three of them
hit at the ball before it got to the plate. Mix them up in the next,
Katty, and keep them guessing.”

Inspired by their success, Cascade rushed the attack. Jacobs, leading
off, reached first, and instead of waiting for a sacrifice or a hit and
run sign, he dashed for second; Dalmores swung viciously, missed, and
Jacobs was out at second.

“Great work, Jake,” said Larry, although the Cascade crowd was groaning.
“Keep it up and he’ll throw the game away.”

Dalmores went out and Trumbull, after hitting a hard single, was caught
trying to steal on the third ball pitched.

The Cascade crowd was vexed, thinking that two chances had been wasted;
but the players were satisfied. Katsura, cunningly mixing his “javelin”
throw with his slow, twisting curve held Golden at bay in the second
inning.

“Rush ’em again boys,” ordered Larry tersely. “Rush ’em. We’ve got to
upset them and get a bunch of runs in one inning. Keep at ’em.”

In vain they strove to smash the defense of Golden, and the third inning
passed, neither team having been able to gain any advantage. The crowd
was in an uproar and the excitement was growing. In the fourth, Cascade
had two men on bases, and both were lost in striving to take an extra
base on hits. The fifth found them in a deadlock. Cascade had had six
men on first base and each had gone out, four of them striving to steal
bases, and the others in attempting to go from first to third base on
short hits. Golden had only succeeded in reaching first base twice, and
both runners were left standing still.

The Cascade contingent in the stands was beginning to complain that the
players were throwing away their opportunities. They did not stop to
think that only twice had they succeeded in making two hits in an
inning, and that, had any runner succeeded in advancing an extra base,
each hit would have meant a score.

To Larry, keenly watching, forgetful of his own troubles and thinking
only of winning the game, it was evident that the rushing tactics of the
players were bothering both Herron, the pitcher and Langham, the
catcher. Herron was worrying as he pitched because he was constantly
compelled to watch the runners, and Langham was overanxious, and leaping
into position to throw with every ball that was pitched.

Larry, glancing toward the stands, saw Major Lawrence sitting with Paw
Lattiser. His face was purple from cheering and he applauded every play,
good or bad and keeping the spectators near him convulsed with laughter
by his display of ignorance of the game. Not far from them he espied
Helen Baldwin, surrounded by a bevy of St. Gertrude girls. She waved a
cane garnished with Cascade colors.

“She hides her troubles better than I do,” reflected Larry, watching her
gay chattering with her companions.

In the sixth inning, with two out, little Atchison reached first base
for Golden. Katsura, after having two strikes on Mortimer, tried his
javelin ball, and the big outfielder, lunging at the first fast ball he
had seen all day, drove it far to the right field corner of the field,
and scored behind Atchison.

The Cascade throng sat silent, while a sudden tempest seemed lashing
into golden waves the stands in which the University supporters sat.

“That’s all right,” called Larry. “We’ll get them back and then some.
Keep right at them. They’ll break soon.”

He glanced toward the stands, where Major Lawrence was protesting
frantically that the hit was foul by ten feet and, as he gazed, he saw
Helen Baldwin standing and waving a streamer of Golden ribbons that she
had snatched from one of her companions. The sight of this display of
disloyalty aroused him to the fighting point. He raced to the coacher’s
lines and led the team, cheering, coaching, pleading with them to get on
first base. Katsura managed to draw a base on balls. On the first ball
pitched, the fleet little brown boy was off far ahead of the pitch, and
he slid safely into second, only to be left.

Golden, scenting victory, attacked with new vigor; but Katsura, pitching
steadily and cunningly, prevented scoring, and the end of the seventh
saw the Cascade team seemingly beaten 2 to 0.

“Hit every ball he pitches now, fellows,” cautioned Larry quietly. “Hit
any ball he puts over the plate and run it to the limit. Don’t stop
until the ball is ahead of you.”

Dalmores was first. He rushed to the bat, smashed the first ball pitched
hard to left field. The fielder picked up the ball quickly and threw
back to the pitcher, over the shortstop’s head. Dalmores turned first
base in his stride and, before the pitcher could get the ball and throw
it back to second, he slid in safely and the Cascade “Waterfall yell”
arose in challenge to the waving of the golden banners. Trumbull hit the
ball viciously, Golden’s shortstop fumbled and he was safe on first,
with Dalmores perched on second. Winans hit a hard-line drive, straight
at Golden’s shortstop, and both base runners were compelled to dive back
to the bags to avert a double play.

Larry Kirkland came to bat with Cascade cheering wildly. He walked
slowly to the plate, determined to turn the tide. He sent a long foul
down the left field line. On the next ball he stepped forward, hit a
curve as it broke and as the ball flashed over the third baseman’s head,
he sprinted as never before. Dalmores scored and Winans, running at a
terrific pace, reached third. Larry by a desperate slide, reached second
in safety.

A hit meant the lead for Cascade and a sudden silence fell over the
contending forces. In the crisis, Torney flied out to the first baseman
and the chances seemed lost. Allen, the next batter was a poor hitter.
Larry was desperate. He was ranging up and down, almost to the
shortstop. Suddenly he called out and at that instant Herron, already
goaded and worried by the aggressive base-running attack, whirled and
threw the ball to the second baseman. Even as he threw Winans dashed for
the plate. Larry stood still until he saw the second baseman hurl the
ball back to the catcher to shut off the run. Then he raced for third.
Winans had slid safe to the plate with the tieing run and Larry,
sprinting at top speed, whirled around third, and racing twenty feet
toward the plate, suddenly stopped, dodged as if to return to the bag
and hesitated. Langham saw him and with frantic haste hurled the ball to
the third baseman hoping to trap the runner. As he threw, Larry whirled
again and was in full flight toward the plate. The third baseman,
leaping, dragged down the high-thrown ball and hurled it back to
Langham, low and wild, and as Larry slid across the plate the Cascade
yell poured down from stands and bleachers, and the Golden banners
dropped.

Golden, in panic and broken by the dazzling, daring base-running attack,
went to pieces. Before the rushing assault ended, two more runners had
crossed the plate, and in the eighth inning Larry led the assault with a
three-base hit that gave Cascade the victory 7 to 2.

Cascade was the champion. Years of defeat at the hands of Golden
University were avenged. The Cascade crowd swarmed upon the field, even
while the players were cheering their overthrown rivals, and Larry
Kirkland found himself borne aloft and carried around the field on the
shoulders of the students, he found no joy in it. The reaction had set
in and with a rush he recalled his troubles. The victory seemed a hollow
one.



                              CHAPTER XXVI
                           _Facing the World_


The cheers, the applause, the congratulations of friends who pushed and
crowded to shake his hand meant nothing to Larry Kirkland. Fellows he
had known and liked pounded him upon the back and shouted their
congratulations and rejoicings over the victory. To hide his feelings he
forced himself to smile and mutter thanks. To him the victory seemed all
hollow and useless; and his years of struggling to achieve a place on
the team and win his C appeared vain and futile, not worth the effort.
He was facing stern realities now, and the achievements that had seemed
to him all-important dwindled and appeared childish.

He was dressing hastily, taking little part in the boisterous
celebration in the club house. The players, relieved suddenly from the
strain, half-hysterical with joy over their victory, wrestled, pushed
each other into the big swimming plunge, pounded each other with wet
towels and hurled shoes and bats against the lockers in sheer delirium
of gladness. They hugged each other, while each, trying to lift his
voice above the others, yelled praise of the playing the others had done
during the game. Larry, dressing rapidly at his locker, strove to escape
unnoticed. Over on the opposite side of the row of lockers Harry Baldwin
was dressing in sullen silence. He had not been allowed to have a part
in the great game, and a sense of injustice rankled within him. Mentally
he charged Larry Kirkland with treating him unfairly, although the truth
was, Larry had forgotten him entirely, although he knew Helen Baldwin
and her friends were waiting for Harry to dress. He must see Helen a
moment before Harry joined her to tell her his plan. He threw his coat
over his arm and hastened toward the door, hoping to escape unseen. The
one thing he dreaded above all others was bidding good-bye to the
fellows of the team. He feared if he attempted to say farewell he would
break down. A lump was in his throat. He wondered whether they would
miss him. He had resolved not to remain for commencement, not even to
wait to receive the cherished C.

“Hey, you Larry!” roared Trumbull. “What are you trying to do? Going to
ditch us for a skirt? Shame on you.”

The indignant outburst of the big fielder rallied the others and
attracted their attention to Larry’s effort to flee. They seized upon
him and dragged him back.

“Don’t fellows,” he pleaded. “I haven’t got time to celebrate right
now—important business. I must hurry before she—before”——

“SHE,” howled Trumbull. “I knew it! Let’s throw him in the tank and make
him unpresentable.”

“Not now, fellows,” begged Larry, struggling to get away. “Really, I’ve
got to go.”

“All right,” vouchsafed his captors unwillingly. “If you will desert us,
we’ll get even. Wait until the dinner to-night. We’ll make you give a
speech and then hiss you.”

“So long, fellows! Hate to leave you,” Larry managed to say. There was a
tug at his heart-strings, but he tried to smile, and backed out of the
door dodging a shower of shoes and gloves that enabled him to hide
agitation. Only Katsura saw something was wrong. He ran quickly after
Larry, overtook him in the corridor, and laid his hand upon the
captain’s arm.

“If it is any trouble in which I may help,” he said, “command me. I
would like to help you.”

“Thank you, Katty,” Larry gulped. “I’ll never forget—never—good-bye.”

“Good-bye,” said Katsura, shaking his hand firmly. “Is it nothing I can
help?”

“Nothing,” said Larry thickly, turning away, leaving Katsura gazing
sadly after him.

He hurried out into the late afternoon sunshine and across the campus to
where a bevy of girls fluttered around a waiting automobile. They waved
the Cascade colors and set up a shrill cheer as he approached—a cheer
that ended in a burst of laughter. Hat in hand, he walked directly to
Helen Baldwin.

“Oh, Larry!” she said, “it was glorious, it was magnificent—why what is
the matter?”

“Walk with me a little way,” he said. “I came to tell you.”

“It is bad news then,” she said petulantly as they drew apart from the
others. “I knew Mr. Lawrence would not consent.”

“He refused,” said Larry. “I defied him. I told him we would not take a
penny of his money.”

“How foolish of you,” she said lightly. “You should not have quarreled
with him.”

“But we could not accept charity,” he protested. “You must stand it
until I can come back and support you.”

“Come back?” she exclaimed. “Where are you going?”

“I do not know,” he said. “You must be brave, Helen. I am going away. I
have broken with Major Lawrence. I’ll go away somewhere and”——

“That is foolish,” she said. “I was afraid when Major Lawrence came to
me that you had quarreled with him. He didn’t seem a bit angry with me.
He was very polite.”

“You saw Uncle Jim?” he asked in surprise. “What did he say? What did
you tell him?”

“I told him it was all a joke”——

“A joke?” The boy’s face was ghastly from the shock.

“Of course, Larry,” she replied impatiently. “Be sensible. You did not
want me to quarrel with him, did you?”

“But it wasn’t necessary to tell him that,” he protested.

“I did it to throw him off his guard,” she said lightly. “Then we could
run away and get married. I know he’d forgive us, now that he knows me.
He really seemed to like me, and patted me on the arm and said I was a
sensible girl.”

“It sounds as if you deceived him,” he answered sulkily. “We cannot
treat him that way—deceive him and come to him as beggars, asking him
to support us.”

“Be sensible, Larry,” she pouted, drilling holes in the gravel walk with
the end of her stick. “All’s fair in love and war.”

“I know it is hard on you,” he said. “But it is better that we make our
own way. I can work and support you.”

“And give up everything?” she asked with open eyes. “Ridiculous!”

“You will have to wait a year—maybe two years,” the boy said softly.

“Helen!” Harry Baldwin called sharply from the group near the
automobile. “We are waiting.”

“Coming in a moment,” she cried back gaily. “Don’t be foolish, Larry,”
she added.

“You will not forget? You will wait for me?” he asked holding her hand.

“They are looking, Larry,” she said, drawing her hand away. “Be
sensible.”

“You will wait?”

“Coming,” she cried as Harry called again, and then hurriedly. “Yes,
yes—now be sensible and make up with Major Lawrence.”

She turned away. Larry walking determinedly across the campus, saw her
in the gay group in the tonneau as the car whizzed around the circular
drive. He stood gazing after the retreating car, but she did not turn to
look back. Then he hastened to his rooms.

                    *     *     *     *     *     *

That night there was a vacant place at the head of the table when the
baseball squad gathered for the Jubilation dinner at which the C’s were
awarded. A rapid search of the campus failed to reveal a trace of the
missing captain. The squad sent to bring him to the dinner found Major
Lawrence alternately storming up and down the dismantled room and
dropping in helpless dejection into a chair.

During the dinner Larry Kirkland, bravely choking back the lump that
persisted in arising in his throat, sat in a seat of an eastbound
Overland train, looking out into the darkness of the Sierras and trying
to plan his future.

                                THE END

                 *        *        *        *        *

Transcriber’s Notes:

A few obvious punctuation and typesetting errors have been corrected
without note.

[End of _Jimmy Kirkland of the Cascade College Team_ by Hugh S.
Fullerton]





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