The Project Gutenberg eBook of Frank Armstrong at College

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Title: Frank Armstrong at College

Author: Matthew M. Colton

Illustrator: A. O. Scott

Release date: January 13, 2015 [eBook #47966]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Edwards, Michaela Chovitkova and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive)


Frontispiece: The Yale quarter drove another forward pass to Armstrong who caught it cleanly and was off like the wind.

The Yale quarter drove another forward pass to Armstrong who caught it cleanly and was off like the wind.—Page 279

[Pg 1]



Author of

"Frank Armstrong's Vacation," "Frank Armstrong
at Queens," "Frank Armstrong's Second Term,"
"Frank Armstrong, Captain of the Nine,"
"Frank Armstrong, Drop Kicker."



Publishers         New York

Printed in U. S. A.

[Pg 2]


[Pg 3]


I. The Freshman Rush   5
II. A Brush with the Police   18
III. The Codfish Creates News   35
IV. Making the Eleven   49
V. Frank Learns to Tackle the Dummy   65
VI. The Great Freshman Battle   79
VII. A Wreck at the Harbor   95
VIII. Fun at the Theater   110
IX. A Jump in Baseball and the Result   124
X. The Try-outs at Cambridge   138
XI. A Voyage to London   149
XII. The Codfish Loses Himself   170
XIII. The Flying Machine to the Rescue   187
XIV. Progress and a Wreck   201
XV.[Pg 4] The Match at Queen's Club   212
XVI. Making the 'Varsity Nine   229
XVII. The Southern Trip   241
XVIII. Football in Junior Year   258
XIX. The Harvard-Yale Game   273
XX. How All Things Came Out at Last   283

[Pg 5]

Frank Armstrong at College.


It was the evening of a day in late September and a noticeable chill in the air hinted at the near approach of fall. Through the whole of that day and for several days previous to the opening of our story, incoming trains had deposited their burden of enthusiastic young humanity in the old town of New Haven.

From mountain, shore, city, town and country came the throng of students like an army of youth, to take up the work of the college year at Yale, which opened her doors to them on the morrow. Men from all classes were in that motley throng which surged and billowed around the corner of College and Chapel streets, for this night was the night of "the rush," which tradition says shall be the first event of the college year. There were Seniors, in their new-found[Pg 6] dignity of seniority; Juniors, nearer by a year to the coveted goal of a degree; Sophomores, who by the passage of time coupled with an adequate stand escaped from the ignominious position of the youngest class, and last, but not least, the Freshmen who, to-night, began their existence as a class. But the Freshmen kept themselves aloof from the upper class-men, perhaps for reasons of offense and defense for they were to be tried out later on, and did not want to be found lacking.

Bronzed giants whose bulk proclaimed them to be at least "football material" shouldered their way through the crowd and the air was filled with the chatter and hum of many voices. Greetings between men who had been separated for the summer were heard on every side.

"Hello, Dick. Mighty glad to see you!"

"Glad to see you again. It's great to be back, eh?" and the speakers, with a hearty hand-grip would pass on and repeat the formulæ with little variation, to other friends.

Suddenly the blare of a brass band cut through the chatter. Marshals sprang to the work of getting the parade in order, for a parade always precedes and has come to be part of "the rush." These men, conspicuous by their long-handled[Pg 7] kerosene torches and the 'Varsity Y emblazoned on sweaters (for only men who have won the coveted letter are eligible for the position of marshals,) began to separate the groups.

"Seniors, this way!" was the shout.

"Juniors, this way!"

"Sophomores, this way!" And, quickly following the command, the various groups, in the order named, dropped into line and, led by the marshals with torches swinging, went dancing down Chapel street to the compelling melody of a popular college marching song.

"Freshmen, this way!" And to the shout, which was caught up and echoed up and down the line, the new-comers to the halls of Yale dropped in behind the Sophomores, feeling themselves, for the first time, a class instead of merely a huddled group without a bond of any kind. Dancing as merrily as their predecessors to the strains of the band, the Freshmen went swinging down the street imitating to the best of their ability the zigzag sweep of their elders. Hands of strangers touched for the first time and arms were thrown over strange shoulders and the feeling was good.

In the middle of that swaying mass of Freshmen[Pg 8] it does not take long to discover our three friends, Frank Armstrong, Jimmy Turner and last but not least the irrepressible Codfish, clad immaculately as usual. To-night he wore a delicate gray Norfolk suit with a vivid blue tie and socks to match, a tribute to the colors of the college he had adopted.

"You are a brave one to appear in that Paris model," laughed Frank, who had arrayed himself in the oldest clothes he could find in anticipation of rough times before the evening was over.

"Merely trying to uphold the reputation of the class and inject a little beauty into the occasion," returned the Codfish. "Look at our friend James. He has the ear-marks of a hobo!"

Jimmy was far from being a beauty, it is true.

"Safe and sane, sonny. Safe because the attentive Sophomores won't take a second look at me and sane because I need my good ones when I go calling," retorted Jimmy.

"I think this Sophomore scare is pure bunkum," the Codfish suggested. "A fellow told me to-night that hazing at Yale has been given up.[Pg 9] Someone was hurt a while ago in the merry pranks and the Faculty stopped it, eh?"

He wasn't quite certain about it, and wanted verification.

"You're safe," said Jimmy, "they never trouble the lady members of a class. Hello, what's the matter?" he went on as the parade came to a sudden halt at the corner of Church and Chapel streets.

"Scrap, I guess," said Frank. "Bunch of town fellows trying to muss up the leaders. Always do that, they say. There they go across the street, and here we go!" as the band, which had stopped for a moment while a gang of young rowdies tried to cut the line of parade and were worsted in the attempt, began again and the merry zigzag went on.

Around the central Green or square of the city tramped the jolly hundreds, occasionally giving voice to the chorus of a song the band was playing or a cheer in which the Freshmen joined as well as they were able, but in spite of their desire to be real Yale men, stumbling badly on the nine "Yales" at the end.

Up Elm street, lined with hundreds of townsfolk glad to see the college once again in full[Pg 10] swing, their faces lit up by the red fire and Roman candles in the hands of the marchers, swung the leaders. At High street the procession turned and entered the Campus. The gang of town boys and young men which had trailed the procession tried to force themselves into line, but were summarily thrown out, and without further molestation the marchers circled the Campus or college yard, and, opposite the Library, finally halted at a spot of green sward previously selected for the wrestling.

The instant the leaders stopped there was a grand rush of the hundreds behind to gain a vantage point, and in a second the little circle the leaders had formed was squeezed together like paper.

"Get back, get back," yelled the torch bearers, and emphasized their commands by pushing the lighted torches under the noses of those composing the living wall. Of course, there was only one thing to do and that was to go back with all haste. Pushing the ever-widening circle of spectators back with threatening fury, the marshals made a circle of sufficient capacity to carry on the wrestling bouts, which were the climax of "the rush."

[Pg 11]

"Down!" howled the chief marshal, at which the front rank of that squeezed and straining wall squatted on the ground, but so great was the pressure of the hundreds behind that a score of the second row were shot clear over the heads of the first row and into the ring.

"Out with the intruders," yelled a marshal, and the unfortunates were seized and thrown bodily into outer darkness over the heads of the first rows and were lost to view in the ruck.

"Now I know why it is a good thing to put on your old duds," Frank gasped to Turner as they bored their way toward the center of activity. Our three friends had left the ranks of their class with many others when the head of the parade reached the Campus, and dashed over to a point where they were told the wrestling usually took place, on a chance that it would be in that spot this time.

Their guess was right and for a moment they were actually within the coveted circle, but when the marshals made their onslaught on the crowd in order to expand the ring they were whirled into outer ranks and had only, after a desperate effort and "under a pressure of a hundred pounds to the square inch" as Turner expressed[Pg 12] it, succeeded in digging their way back to the third or fourth tier in that circle of human faces. They were more fortunate than the hundreds who prowled around outside without a chance of a glimpse at the wrestling.

"We've lost the Codfish," exclaimed Frank. "Oh, Gleason," he called, but there was no answering voice.

"Lost in the shuffle," said Turner. "He was with us a minute ago but he'll turn up. He won't miss any tricks, don't you forget it."

"He isn't much for this kind of a scramble game," returned Frank. "I thought he was holding back a bit when we struck in this last time, but——"

"Sophomores, bring out your candidates," roared a big man who wore the football Y on his blue sweater.

"Who is that whale of a man?" asked Frank.

"That's Howard, the football captain," volunteered a boy just in front of them, who had overheard the question. The speaker held a notebook in his hand and they afterward learned he was a news-heeler getting a story for the News, the official college paper.

[Pg 13]

"Freshmen?" inquired the heeler, looking our friends over.

Frank nodded.

"That fellow, yelling for a Freshman lightweight candidate, is the crew captain," went on the heeler; "and over there to his left is Dunnelly, the chap who kicked the goal against Princeton last year and saved us the game." The heeler pointed out the celebrities as they prowled around the ring, calling loudly for wrestling champions.

"You see," explained the heeler, "there are wrestling bouts in the three weights,—light, middle and heavy, between the Sophomore and Freshmen for the class championship. Three bouts in each event."

"O, you Freshmen, show your sand, trot out a candidate!" bawled one of the men within the ring. The crowd outside clamored for candidates from the Freshmen.

"We want a Sophomore lightweight!" roared another, and the crowd took up the cry and repeated it. "Sophomore lightweight, Freshman lightweight, don't be quitters, come across with the champions!"

[Pg 14]

"Sophomore lightweight, Sophomore lightweight!"

"Freshman lightweight!"

"Don't be quitters!"

"Show your sand, Freshmen!"

Suddenly there was a commotion on one side of the ring, and amid yells and the shaking of torches, the living wall opened and a slender, blond-haired youth stepped into the ring.

"Who is he?"

"What's his name?"

"Sophomore or Freshman?"

"Sophomore," said the boy.

"Your name," demanded a marshal.


"Your weight?"

"One twenty-nine, stripped."

"You'll do."

Immediately two Juniors volunteered to second him, and fell to work stripping him to the waist, the traditional custom for the friendly combat.

Meanwhile the calling for a Freshman lightweight went on without success, and the crowd was throwing red-hot taunts at the youngest class for shirking their duty. The Freshmen had[Pg 15] pushed one of their number into the ring, but he proved to be over the required weight and was cast out without ceremony.

A commotion on the outside of the ring started anew the calls for a Freshman lightweight, and the call was unexpectedly answered by the appearance of a young man in delicate light gray clothes with blue necktie and socks to match, who was passed unceremoniously over the hands of the crowd and deposited right-side-up on the green grass of the enclosure.

Jimmy gasped. "The Codfish, or I'm a Hottentot!"

"No one else, for sure. How did they get him?" exclaimed Frank.

The Codfish was greeted by a rattling cheer, followed by much advice.

"Well done, Freshman!"

"Take off those pretty clothes!"

"He certainly is a Yale man, look at that tie!"

"Good work, Freshman, eat him up!"

The referee, the Captain of the Yale Wrestling Team, strode over to the Codfish, and looked him up and down.

"You are not a very promising specimen," he said. "Ever wrestle before?"

[Pg 16]

"Never," said Gleason. "All I know about wrestling wouldn't hurt anyone."

"What's your name and weight?"

"Gleason, and I weigh one twenty-five."

"Stripped or with those clothes on?"

"Clothes and all," said the Codfish with a grin, and his eyes wandering around the sea of faces, chanced to light on his two friends, Armstrong and Turner. He waved an airy salute to them, and began with his seconds, two Seniors, to divest himself of his coat, shirt and undershirt.

"He really means to wrestle," gasped Frank. "Can you beat it?"

"He certainly has his nerve with him," returned Jimmy.

"His middle name is nerve."

The preliminaries over, Ballard and the Codfish faced each other in the flickering light of the torches, shook hands, and at the shrill scream of the referee's whistle, rushed at each other. Neither was versed in the art of wrestling, but both were about the same size. Down they went on the ground, Gleason underneath, the Sophomore struggling to pin the shoulders of the Freshman to the ground, which meant victory.[Pg 17] But just at the moment when things looked bad for the under-dog, he slipped out of the hold, squirmed free and threw himself with all his force against the Sophomore, bearing him over sideways. The assault was so sudden that Ballard was taken unawares, and before he could gather himself, Gleason sprang on the prostrate boy and shoved his shoulder points on the grass. A resounding slap on the back by the referee testified to the success of the attack, and it was the Freshmen's turn to cheer, which they did right lustily.

[Pg 18]


"First blood for the Freshman. Wow!!"

Both principals were now in their corners being fanned with towels and put in shape for the second bout which was to follow immediately, for there were three in each event as the Codfish learned to his sorrow. His eyes wandered again to where Frank and Turner were wedged in the crowd, almost speechless at what they saw before them.

"The Codfish of all creatures in the world to be wrestling for his class," laughed Jimmy.

"We live and learn. He may be out for football yet."

The subject under discussion just at this moment bent his head and whispered something to one of his seconds, then looked up and nodded in the direction of his friends agape on the other side of the circle. For a moment the gaze of the second rested on Armstrong and Turner. Then[Pg 19] the whistle blew and the boys sprang again to the center of the ring.

This time it was different. The Sophomore did not rush in so fearlessly. He circled round and round with arms outstretched and figure crouching. Then he sprang at the Freshman's leg and before the latter knew it he was on his back with his opponent squarely across his chest.

"Fall for the Sophomore," announced the referee, slapping the victor on the shoulder. Sophomore yells rent the air.

"A tie, a tie! Now bury the Freshman this time. Go to it."

Again the seconds ministered to their men, and after a two-minutes' rest the boys went at it, but the Codfish, who was not noted for his physical prowess, went down after a brief tussle, and the lightweight event was awarded to the Sophomores amid yells by that class which echoed back from the buildings of the quadrangle. Gleason struggled into his clothes, and ducked through the living wall as fast as he could go, while the calls for the middleweight wrestlers were being yelled by the marshals.

A husky young Sophomore quickly responded,[Pg 20] but again the Freshmen were slow with their man.

The big football captain, who had been in conference with some of his aides, walked across the ring.

"You red-head, there," pointing to Turner, "come out here and defend the honor of your class. The Freshman who just wrestled says you're a good one."

Frank and Jimmy looked at each other.

"So that's the game the Codfish put up on me," said Jimmy. "Wait till I get at him. I'll dirty his clothes worse than they are now."

"Come on, Freshman," said the Captain peremptorily.

"I can't wrestle," said Jimmy.

"Get out here and learn then. Come on," and the Captain reached a big hand over the heads of the squatters in the ring. Jimmy felt compelling hands pushing from behind, and with the eyes of everyone on him, there was nothing to do but go forward. A path was cleared for him and he stepped into the ring.

"Good boy, Red. You've got to even this thing up."

"Show us you have the goods!" yelled someone[Pg 21] whose sympathies were with the Freshmen.

The Freshman and Sophomore took their corners after the referee had satisfied himself that the pair would be well matched as to weight, and soon they were down to wrestling condition with bare backs and sock feet, because a wrestler is never allowed to wear anything that might in any way injure his opponent.

"Does your friend know anything about the game?" inquired the news-heeler of Frank.

"Not much, he did a little of it at school, but he is very strong," was Frank's reply.

"Well, he'll need it. That fellow who is pitted against him is Francis who won the lightweight event for his class last year, and is one of the best men in his class at the wrestling game."

When the Sophomore got to his feet, it was seen that he was a head taller than his opponent, but not so heavily built. His slender body was finely muscled, and his face wore a smile of confidence which said quite plainly what his opinion was of the outcome.

"Middleweights—Sophomore Francis, weight 148; Freshman Turner, weight 154," bawled the announcer. Then the whistle shrilled and the boys sprang forward to shake hands. That preliminary[Pg 22] over, they backed away from each other and circled around, sparring for an opening. Francis rushed, but Turner cleverly evaded him. Again he tried and was thrown off by Turner, the "spat" of the meeting bodies sounding sharp and clear in the night air.

"Good boy, Turner. Don't let him get that grip on you," yelled a Senior as Turner eluded another bull-like rush which carried both the contestants in among the torches. It was Francis' method of wrestling to carry the fight fast and furious from the beginning. More skirmishing, and finally a savage rush, and Francis got a hold on Turner's leg, lifted him from his feet and threw him backwards. Both crashed to the ground. There was a twisting, squirming struggle with Turner at the bottom, but not downed yet for he managed to break away from Francis' hold and got to his hands and knees with Francis across his back.

The picture at this point was one worthy of the brush of an artist. Riding in a clear sky, a round moon looked down through the branches of the big elms to where the boys fought it out on the grass, panting with their exertions. Most of the torches had by this time burned themselves[Pg 23] out and lay smoking at the feet of the human circle. For a background to the picture hundreds of lights twinkled on in the dormitory windows facing the Campus, and in the dim light of the moon could be seen scores of people who had taken advantage of the Dwight Hall porch from whence they could get a distant view of the struggle.

But the boys struggling on the ground and those crowded around the ring were not interested in the pictures. Back and forth the wrestlers went, the advantage first with one and then with the other. Francis could not get his famous holds on Turner for the latter, with extraordinary strength, either evaded or broke them before he was caught irrevocably. Time was up for the bout before either had scored a fall.

"Keep him off, Turner," counseled one of his seconds, while he pummeled the wrestler's arm and shoulder muscles. "Tire him out in this next bout, and you will get him in the last one."

"Don't let him get that half-Nelson on you or you are going sure as shooting," advised the man who fanned the panting Turner with a towel. "You've taken some of the confidence out of him already."

[Pg 24]

Francis in his corner was getting the same kind of advice.

"You'll get him this time," cheered his advisers. "Carry it right to him and don't let him get out of your grips."

"He's strong," said Francis. "He nearly broke my arm, but I'll get him. Don't worry." But the confident smile had gone from his face. It was going to be a bitter struggle in which his skill was pretty nearly evened by the Freshman's unusual strength.

"Ready," shouted the referee, and once again the boys sprang at each other. Francis was more cautious this time; Turner watchful and wary. Round and round they circled until Turner seeing what he thought was an opportunity rushed with such a tremendous drive that Francis, unable to escape, was borne off his feet. He managed to save himself from a bad position by driving Turner's head down, and mounting his back, rode half way round the ring like an old man of the mountains, while the crowd yelled and laughed. The laughter seemed to madden Jimmy. With a herculean effort he freed himself from Francis who dropped to the ground on hands and knees firmly braced. Using all his[Pg 25] strength to turn him over without success, Jimmy relaxed his muscles, rested for a moment, and then putting every pound of energy into one supreme effort, picked his opponent up by the middle and threw him backwards over his head. Francis struck on his shoulder, rolled over on his back and lay still. He had been stunned by the fall.

A little fanning brought Francis back to consciousness, but he had enough for that night, and the referee awarded the bout to Turner. A few moments of conference and the announcer cried:

"Turner wins the middleweight bout for the Freshmen. The third bout will not be pulled off."

The Freshman cheer that went up rattled the windows in Durfee Hall. As Turner was putting on his clothes, and while calls were going out for heavyweight candidates, a man wearing the 'Varsity Y stepped up to him.

"Do you play football?"

"Yes, a little," said Turner, rubbing tenderly a red welt across his right forearm, which had been raised by one of the Sophomore's love taps.

"Report to me at the Field next Monday. I'm[Pg 26] the Freshman football coach. Maybe I can use you."

Turner thrilled. "So the old Codfish didn't get me in wrong after all. I'll forgive him," he thought to himself. Finished with his dressing, he was allowed to pass through the thinning wall of spectators, and was picked up by Frank who had wriggled from his position with difficulty.

"Great stuff, Jimmy," cried Frank. "It was worth real money to see you in action!"

"I don't deserve any credit for it," said Turner. "I happened to get a lucky lift on him. He knows more about the game than I'll ever learn. I hope I didn't hurt him."

"Never fear, his pride was hurt more than his body," returned Frank. "I wonder where Hercules Gleason went to. He disappeared after his meteoric burst of wrestling form."

"As I'm a sinner, there he is now," exclaimed Jimmy, pointing to a dejected figure leaning against the bole of a huge elm tree. The boys pranced up to him, and sure enough it was the Codfish, mussed and bedraggled. Great blotches of green grass stain ornamented his beautiful light gray trousers, and one knee peered out[Pg 27] through a six-inch rent which had been made when his overzealous opponent dragged him along the ground in the second bout. His usually sleek hair was all awry and a zigzag scratch beautified the side of his face.

"How did you like my début?" he asked weakly.

"Great, but how in the name of Mike and the rest of the family did you come to get roped in?"

"They noticed my special fitness for the job, I guess," murmured the Codfish, "and they threw me into the ring, and when I got there, what was there left but to take my medicine?"

"Who was it that chucked you over our heads, and why didn't you follow us when we made a break?" demanded Frank.

"O, you ducked off so fast that I lost track of you, and then while I was hunting around for you a bunch of fellows came along and asked me if I were a Freshman."

"And you said no, of course," said Jimmy.

"No, I said yes with the result as you saw it. I was lucky to escape with my life. How that Sophomore came to let me throw him is more than I can understand."

[Pg 28]

"It was the blue socks that did it," declared Frank. "He simply couldn't withstand them."

"Come on home," said the Codfish, groaning. "I'm a mess."

"Not till this match is over," said Frank. "We've got to stick by the class. There's one for us I guess," as Freshmen yells betokened a fall for the candidate of the youngest class in the heavyweight match now going on desperately in the ring they had left.

Five minutes more, and a great burst of cheering announced the end of the match with the Freshman candidate a winner.

"That gives us the championship," shouted Frank, and the three friends grasped each other about the shoulders and whirled around in a wild dance, the Codfish favoring his lame knee as much as possible.

Like magic the great crowd of students faded from the Campus and headed for York street. At the corner of High street and Elm the gang of town roughs, now augmented to a hundred or more, yelled defiance at the students, and occasionally fell upon some of them who were on the outskirts of the crowd.

"Look out for your caps," came the warning,[Pg 29] but it was not given soon enough to prevent some of the unwary from losing their headgear at the hands of the roughs who were out for the particular business that night of cap-snatching. Hot blows were struck, the whole body of students uniting against the common enemy. At every few steps a rough, backed by a half dozen of his pals, dashed into the students and for a moment there would be a whirlwind of fighting, ending generally in the attacking party beating a retreat with bloody noses but with the prized cap trophies.

Keeping out of the fighting, the three friends moved slowly with the crowd in the direction of Pierson Hall on York street, where their rooms were located. Frank supported the crippled Codfish with an arm around his waist. Jimmy appointed himself as rear guard, keeping a wary lookout for attacks.

Suddenly out of the crowd swooped two roughs and charged full at Frank and the Codfish, bowling them over like nine-pins. One of the roughs grabbed Gleason's cap, which he was unwise enough to wear, and with it a handful of his hair. This brought a blood-curdling yell[Pg 30] from the victim of the assault, and drew the attention of the crowd.

For the second time that night Jimmy went into action. A well-delivered punch knocked the cap-snatcher into the street, but before he could do more execution he was set on by a half dozen of the snatcher's friends who had followed closely on their companion's heels. Frank dropped the Codfish and sprang to Jimmy's assistance, and in a second a scrap of major proportions was in full swing. The boys put up a whirlwind argument with their fists, and were holding their own when through the mass came ploughing two officers of the law, the light flashing on their brass buttons.

"Police, police, beat it!" yelled the roughs, and they fled precipitately, all excepting the two that Frank and Jimmy were pummeling with such exceeding vigor that they didn't have time to escape.

Into the circle where the fight was going on strode the officers with clubs drawn.

"Quit it and come with us," said one of the policemen. "We're going to put a stop to this street fighting. A night in the lock-up will take some of the spunk out of you fellows. Come[Pg 31] on," and each grabbed an arm of Armstrong and Turner while the roughs who had started the trouble, with terrified looks, turned, dashed through the crowd, and made their escape.

"They snatched my cap," said the Codfish.

"So you were in it, too? You better come along with your friends," said one of the officers, reaching for Gleason's arm.

"Why don't you take the roughs that started the muss?" remonstrated Frank.

"No lip, young fellow," said the officer, scowling and shaking his club. Both policemen started forward, pushing their captors ahead of them, but the crowd blocked the way and began to hoot and yell. It looked like serious trouble for a minute when, shouldering through the crowd, came a giant of a man wearing the uniform of the University police.

"What's the matter, boys?" he said in a soft tone.

"These young fellows were fighting and we're going to jug them for a while."

"No, I wouldn't do that, now," urged the soft voice. "Maybe they had a reason. Let me take charge of them. They're good boys."

"They were defending themselves," said a[Pg 32] man who stepped forward from the ring of spectators. "I saw the muss and these boys are not to blame." Turner recognized in the speaker the man who had asked him to report at the Field the next week, and his heart sank. It was a bad way to start his Yale career, he thought.

"Let me take them in charge," urged the University officer, and reluctantly the City policemen released their holds on the offenders.

"Well, see that they don't get into trouble again on the streets or you can't save them."

"O, I'll take care of them," and then to Frank, "Come on, boys, let's go over to your room. I wouldn't have you fighting for the world. It isn't a good way to start, you know."

"We simply couldn't help it," Turner burst out. "What would you do in such a case?"

"O, I'd just naturally run," said the officer, and a laugh shook his huge bulk.

"But if you couldn't run?" urged Turner.

"Well, I'd just naturally have to fight, I s'pose," and he laughed again his good-natured laugh which had numberless times quieted turbulent spirits. "We'll forgive you this time. Now where do you live? I'll see you to your[Pg 33] rooms. You've had enough fun for the night."

"We live together at Pierson, just around the corner," said Frank.

"Come on then," said the officer, and accompanied by a cheering crowd, the procession moved onward while the roughs, regaining some of their courage, followed at a safe distance and jeered.

The boys gained their room without further trouble, and for an hour looked down on the seething mass on York street below where the classes pushed and struggled in good-natured fun.

"Well, it's been some evening," said the Codfish reminiscently as he daubed arnica on his bruised knee.

"Yes, Yale seems to be a lively little place," said Turner. "Hand me over that arnica when you have done with it. I have a few tender spots myself."

"I'll have a lick at it when you are through with it, Jimmy," laughed Frank. "I lost a yard of skin in the last mêlée. I hope they don't have many nights like this. I wouldn't last."

Sore and bruised the three crawled into their[Pg 34] beds, but the sting of broken skin could not stifle the feeling of radiant happiness that was theirs because at last they were "Yale men," and a part of the great institution about which their dreams had so long centered.

[Pg 35]


Golden October, slipping rapidly by, found our boys settled comfortably in their college life. The first week was a hard one for them all, but as time went on they adjusted themselves to their surroundings, began to make acquaintances and easily dropped into the daily routine of work and play. Frank and Jimmy had gone out for the Freshman football team, and the latter was now a recognized member of the squad with great hopes for the future.

Frank had been unfortunate. On the third day of practice he twisted an ankle and had been obliged to sit on the side-lines watching his fellows boom along under instruction of the coach while he saw his chances gradually growing slimmer. To-day he had gone out again and after half an hour again wrenched the bad ankle. It would be another week at least before he could think of playing.

[Pg 36]

"You are the best representation of Gloom I ever saw pulled off," said the Codfish that night as Frank hobbled into the room after dinner at Commons, and threw himself into a chair.

"My jinx seem to be working overtime," returned Frank, "and my guardian angel is out visiting somewhere. Did you ever see such luck?" and he deposited the injured leg on the chair in front of him.

"Bad judgment, my boy, bad judgment. You should have gone in for the less strenuous sport of rowing as I have," admonished the Codfish.

"A lazy, sit-down job and one for which you are peculiarly fitted," broke in Jimmy Turner.

"Ah, but my boy, if you can win your Y sitting down, isn't it better than to be mauled by bear-cats every day? I belong to the antisweat brigade."

"The only Y you will ever get is the one you find in your soup," Jimmy flung at him.

"Stranger things than that have happened, Mr. Turner."

"Yes, blue moons, for instance."

Codfish, fired by the general fever for something to do outside of the classroom, had indeed enlisted himself as a candidate for the coxswain[Pg 37] of the crew, because, as he said, "You only had to sit still, pull ropes now and then and talk." He had been out as one of the coxswains and had shown some aptitude in spite of the fact that he knew nothing whatever about rowing.

"I'm paralyzed with amazement," said Frank, looking the Codfish over quizzically, "that you ever got ginger enough into your system to even do sit-down work."

"Well, you see it was this way," returned the crew squad-man, crossing one thin leg over the other. "I went down there to the boat house one day, merely to look on, to see——"

"To see how the young idea was shooting, eh?" grunted Jimmy.

"Precisely. And when the coaches saw me they were struck with my peculiar—ahem——!"


"Wrong again, the phrase I was going to use was, 'peculiar fitness,' fitness, do you get it? for the job, and begged me to help them out."

"And you helped?"

"What could I do? Other things are claiming my attention but I could not see rowing go to the bad down there, so I accepted as gracefully as I could."

[Pg 38]

"And now things are in a rotten state?"

"For the second time, wrong and always wrong. They are improving daily. Of course, I'm not in the first boat yet, it would have created too much jealousy, but I have assurance from headquarters that I will be moved into the coveted position of cox of the Freshman crew as soon as it has been picked."

"Heaven help the first Freshman crew then," groaned Jimmy.

"Little do they realize the honor that is shortly to descend upon them," returned the Codfish, complacently. "I have some original ideas about steering a shell which will practically assure them of the race next June."

"And they are?"

"Why cast pearls before swine? The scheme will be revealed to you in due season," and the Codfish pulled a pad of paper toward him and began to scribble on it industriously.

"You didn't know, perhaps, that I've decided to go out for the News, did you?" said the Codfish, scratching away with his head tilted on one side.

"Aren't you a little late in the undertaking?"[Pg 39] inquired Frank. "That is something of a job for even an intelligent man."

"For an ordinary intellect, yes, but for me a mere bagatelle, or bag-of-shells, as the ancients have it."

"Heeling the News means hours and hours of shacking," said Frank. "Have you seen those pale ghosts of heelers flitting around by day and by night on bicycles?"

"O, yes, that's the ordinary way, I know. I shall deal only in scoops, which, if you follow me, means a 'beat' on all the other fellows."

"It's a difficult business, sonny."

"On the contrary, a cinch. Watch your Uncle Dudley. Simply mind over matter. You boneheads wouldn't understand my reasoning processes if I explained, so why explain? But I say, when is David Powers expected in this burg?"

"Arrives on the morning train from New York," said Frank. "Got in on the Olympic last night from the other side. Began to think he was lost."

"Good old Davey. And he's going to be in Pierson?"

"Yes, right across the hall from us."

"Good, I can use him in my News ambitions.[Pg 40] Now I guess I'll run across to the News office and tell the editors I'm ready to start work."

"I hope they kill you," Jimmy shot after him as the door banged.

Half an hour later the Codfish was back in the room.

"Well, what happened?" both boys demanded.

"What do you suppose?"

"They fired you out after one good look at you."

"On the contrary, they welcomed me with open arms. Assignment Editor is a peach. He recognized my ability at once."


"O, kind of naturally doped it out for himself. General bearing I have, I s'pose. Poor Freshman bunch heeling the News now, he told me, and that makes my chances better."

"O, you egotist, you blithering egotist," laughed Jimmy.

"No, no, not egotism, just merely confidence. Now if I were on the Freshman football squad, I'd just simply know I was going to make the team, and that's all there'd be to it. I'd make it. Mind over matter, my boy, mind over matter, as I was telling you."

[Pg 41]

"And when do you begin?" inquired Frank.

"O, I'll knock off a little something in the morning. I've an hour after ten-thirty recitation. I asked the Assignment Editor to save me a column on the front page, in view of a scoop I contemplate. Hand me that paper, Turner," indicating the evening paper which lay on the floor at Jimmy's feet.

Turner tossed it over to him, and Codfish at once buried himself in its columns. After ten minutes' reading, the Codfish slapped his knee with a resounding slap and gave evidence of excitement.

"What's up, old top?" inquired Frank, looking up from his book.

"Basis for a scoop first lick out of the box," was the answer.

"And what?"

"O, read it in the News day after to-morrow," and the Codfish settled himself to lay out his plans. He had come across an item which suggested something in the way of a story which would attract the attention of the whole college.

Nothing was seen of the Codfish the next day. He explained to his roommates that he had taken two cuts and had gone into the suburbs on an[Pg 42] exploring expedition. He had hardly time to welcome David Powers who arrived in due season, and was properly installed among his belongings in the room across the hallway. But the following morning as with Frank and Jimmy he strolled across the Campus to Osborn Hall for the first recitation after Chapel, he proudly exhibited a copy of the News. On the first page in black type was emblazoned the head:


Then followed a description of the bones which were represented to be those of a prehistoric horse of a species not before known to the paleontologists. The article ended with the information that the bones had been carefully preserved, and had been presented, or would shortly be presented, to the Yale Museum by the News representative who had had a prominent part in their recovery.

[Pg 43]

The Codfish puffed out his chest as Frank and Jimmy scanned the article. "What do you think of your humble roommate now, eh, what? Didn't I tell you to read it in the News?"

"So that's what bit you the other night?"

"Sure. The ordinary eye would have passed that item over without a thought, but I saw possibilities in it. You never saw so many bones," he added. "Fine bones, perfectly fine bones, just as good as any over in the Museum, and a lot whiter than most of them."

"Yes, but who told you they belonged to the prehistoric horse?"

"O, the foreman of the gang. He was a keen guy, I tell you, knew all about the game and got me so enthusiastic that I bought the whole bunch for ten dollars. They'll have a chance to mull over them up at the Museum in a day or two."

"More likely they are the remains of some poor bossy," said Jimmy, "who laid down and died yesteryear."

"You are the most disgusting pessimist I know," said the Codfish in high dudgeon. "Haven't they as good a chance to be old-fashioned bones as anything? Anyway I got the[Pg 44] story in and a credit of five thousand words at least on the scoop. The fact that I bought them and presented them to the Museum should be worth another bunch of credit to me, but I'll work that up into a new story that will knock their eye out."

"But Lord help you if you've put the News in wrong," said Frank.

"Tush, tush," was all that Codfish would say, "don't discourage the efforts of a budding genius."

Several days later three expressmen might have been seen carrying most carefully a gigantic packing box labeled:


and addressed to the Peabody Museum. Behind it marched the Codfish.

"Round the back way," he commanded. "You can't get in the front way. Easy there. You're carrying the most important thing you ever handled."

"It's darn'd heavy," grunted one of the men.

"That's because it's so valuable," admonished[Pg 45] the guardian of the box. "Don't drop it, on your life; it's a prehistoric horse."

"Well, if it is, give me a historic one. He must be solid stone."

"No, only solid bone, like your head. Easy there!"

Stumbling and grunting the men carried the box as gingerly as they could around to the back of the Museum.

The Codfish left his precious possession, and hunted around in the gloomy depths of the basement of the Museum among the giant bones of long extinct mammals which lined the corridors.

"They must all be ossified here," he muttered to himself, but as he was about to give up the search for something living in that forbidding cavern, he came upon an apron-clad man who looked him over curiously.

"Well," said he of the apron.

"I'm looking for the bone man," said the Codfish somewhat abashed.

"You're in the wrong museum, you want the dime kind."

"No, I don't. I want the bone professor."

"O, the bone professor, eh? Well, I'm the[Pg 46] man," he said, while the suspicion of a smile crossed the pale features. "What's wanted?"

"Got a bunch of bones out here for you, great stuff, too."

"Whose bones?"

"O, it's something that will interest you. I've presented them to the Museum."

"You have, eh? That's kind of you. Didn't you think we had enough?" glancing around at the tiers of cases and the tons of uncased bones lying on the floor.

"O, but you've got nothing like these. These are the whitest bones you ever saw, belonged to a prehistoric horse or something of that kind. Don't you read the News? Take a look at them. Where do you want them put?"

The "bone professor" called a workman who, with a hatchet, soon had the cover of the packing case ripped off, exposing the great find of the Codfish.

"This is a poor joke," said the professor, the danger light beginning to flash in his eye. "Take them out of this."

"Why, aren't they good bones? Didn't they belong to a prehistoric horse?"

"A prehistoric jackass, and you are a direct[Pg 47] descendant," shouted the professor. "I won't have you or your bones around here. You've dug up a domestic animal cemetery somewhere. Off with them," and he turned on his heel and plunged into the basement without so much as another look at the discoverer of the prehistoric horse.

"And to think that I paid ten dollars to get them here," reflected the Codfish. "Science can go hang in the future. Here," to the driver of the wagon, "take this blooming box of bones away somewhere and lose it forever."

"It'll take five dollars to lose it right," said the driver, who with his two assistants, had hung around, grinning broadly at the discomfiture of the friend of science.

"It's worth five to have it lost," said the Codfish as he went into his pocket for the necessary bill, "and if I ever see it or you again, beware of your life."

"We'll take it to the soap factory, eh?"

"No chance," said the Codfish gloomily. "The bones are not old enough for the Museum and too old for the factory. Eat them if you want to, only get rid of them somehow. I'm off," and he strode out to High street in a rage. But the[Pg 48] Codfish had the newspaper man's sense, and that night wrote an article for his paper which explained that the find was only "semiprehistoric, and as such did not have the value that it was first supposed to have in spite of the authority of the first testimony."

The Codfish did not know till later that his prehistoric stories netted him less than nothing, for he was docked ten thousand words by the News board for handing in an article which contained so much misinformation.

In such ways do the Fates trip up even unselfish friends of science.

[Pg 49]


"I'd give good money, if I had it," quoth Turner, "to have to-morrow's game over and won." Half a dozen boys were gathered in the Pierson Hall rooms, and the talk was on the Exeter game which was to be played on the morrow.

"Why so timid?" spoke up the Codfish, who was planning another assault on the News columns.

"This Exeter team is good, awfully good. Did you see what they did to Hotchkiss last week?"

"Sure—16 to 0."

"And what was our score against Hotchkiss?"

"Nothing to 6."

"Figuring at that rate it will be an interesting occasion for us to-morrow afternoon," said Frank Armstrong gloomily. "But then," more cheerfully, "you can never tell what will happen[Pg 50] in football. If our friend James Turner could get away on one of his dashing runs, right early in the game, it might be a help."

"I haven't been dashing much lately," said Turner. "My dashing has been chiefly on the ground."

"The worm may turn," suggested Butcher Brown, a broad-shouldered and loosely built young chap who played a tackle position on the second Freshman eleven, and who lived on the same floor in Pierson, at the end of the corridor.

"Speaking of worms," observed the Codfish, "did you notice the News this morning?"

"I saw it was printed as usual," said Frank. "Some good football news on the first page?"

"Always thinking of football. Did you happen to look in the crew notices? Of course, you didn't."

"What was it? Tell us. Have you been promoted?"

"Promoted is the word," said the Codfish proudly. "I have the honor to announce to you, since you didn't read it for yourself, that I'm to guide the destinies of the third Freshman crew henceforth."

"I'm glad I'm not on it, then," said Turner.

[Pg 51]

"And," continued the Codfish undaunted by Turner's shot, "in about a week I'll land in the seat of the first eight. They are very fond of my style down there at the boathouse."

"Your line of talk I suppose is so overpowering that the crew rows hard to get away from it."

"Don't be sarcastic, Armstrong. It doesn't fit your particular style of beauty. You are peeved because you can't make the Freshman football team, and, of course, I don't blame you, but try not to be jealous of me."

Frank laughed. "Go it, old bird," he said. "We're too fond of you to be jealous, but remember the old proverb: 'Pride goeth before a fall!'"

"Watch me," said the Codfish. "Proverbs don't fit my case," and the Codfish busied himself over a pile of correspondence.

"Why such industry?" inquired Turner, after a few minutes of silence broken only by the scratching of the Codfish's pen.

"Read it in the News, my son. I'm going to have a red-hot scoop to-morrow."

"Let us in on it."

"Not on your life."

[Pg 52]

"Has it anything to do with prehistoric horses?"

"Nothing at all. Better than that. This one will make them all sit up and take notice. There ought to be about ten thousand words credit in this one. I can see the road clear to an editorship on that ancient and honorable sheet. When I get on the Board, I'll see to it that all football games are very carefully reported, and that your glaring mistakes are not brought out too prominently."

"Thanks, very much," said Turner, laughing. "You're a confident little rooster. For a man who talks so much you get very little into that same News, it seems to me."

"I'll bet you I can get a front page article to-morrow."

"I'm not a betting man," said Turner. "Moreover I don't want to take your money."

"Quitter," retorted the Codfish. "I'll bet you for fun, money or beans."

"I haven't had any fun for the last three weeks. I have no money, and beans are scarce."

"Then I'll show you, anyway. Read the News in the morning," and grabbing a handful of manuscript the Codfish dashed out the door,[Pg 53] slamming it vigorously behind him as was his habit.

An hour later, just as the boys were about to turn in for the night, Jim, the University officer, pushed the door open and entered.

"Hello, boys," said the officer, seating himself in a big armchair and puffing with the climb of three flights of stairs. "Do you have a fellow named Gleason rooming here, a News heeler?"

"Sure," said Frank, "that's the Codfish."

"Yes, yes," said the officer. "Well, he's been pinched."

"What, arrested?"

"Sure thing. He's down at the lock-up now. Captain just telephoned me to see if I could locate his friends."

"What was he up to?"

"Riding a bicycle on the Chapel street sidewalk."

"But he has no bicycle, it would be too much like work for him to ride one."

"Well, he must have borrowed it then, because he was pulled in by one of the city men for breaking the ordinance against riding on the sidewalk."

[Pg 54]

"The nut," ejaculated Turner. "He should have known better than that."

"We've got to get him out of hock," said Frank.

"I guess you will if he gets out to-night," returned the officer, laughing, "and it takes about fifty dollars bail to do it."

The boys looked at each other, aghast. "Fifty dollars!" they said. "That's a lot of money."

"Take up a collection," suggested the officer, "and I'll go down to the station with you. It has got to be cash. They won't accept checks for bail, you know."

Frank and Jimmy brought forth their rolls, but when they had laid all their cash on the table they were still short a matter of twenty-five dollars. In this emergency David Powers was called upon across the hall, and he advanced the necessary funds.

At the Police Headquarters they found the Codfish installed in the Captain's room, writing industriously.

"Just in time," said the Captain. "I was just going to put him in the cooler. I think he ought to spend the night with us, anyway. Teach him a lesson."

[Pg 55]

The Codfish continued his writing unconcernedly for a minute, sighed with satisfaction, folded up the paper and put it in his pocket. "When the formalities are complied with, I'll go along with you. Have you got the bail?" he said to Frank, who was gazing at him in amazement.

The money was soon paid over, and the Codfish was released from the grip of the law with instructions to be on hand for the opening of the city court at nine o'clock the next morning.

"You crazy nut," said Jimmy, on the way up to Pierson Hall. "How did you come to get pinched?"

"Method in my madness, old top. Let's swing around to the News office. I've got a couple of articles for them, two more scoops."

"And what are they?"

"O, read the News in the morning," said the Codfish, joyfully. "You wouldn't understand the workings of the genius mind like this," tapping his forehead, "if I told you."

The boys swung over to Elm street, and the Codfish handed in two articles at the News office, and then went along with his friends. "It always gives me a feeling of deep exhaustion to[Pg 56] see those heelers working so hard on that sheet."

"Do they work hard?" inquired Frank.

"Work hard! Great fishes of the vasty deep, they put in an amount of hours that ought to make you football fellows blush with shame, if you could blush. The ordinary news-heeler doesn't have time to eat his meals."

"You don't cut out many, I notice," laughed Jimmy.

"Yes, but I'm not the ordinary kind."

"I've heard you say that before."

"These other fellows chase little bits of things for news' sake, while I create news for my sake. Get the difference?"

"Right—O," said Frank. "You created some the other day—some bone news."

"'Still harping on my daughter,' as one William Shakespeare said some moons since? Can't you give that a rest and turn your mind to the present? Never worry about the dead past, is my motto. Even Napoleon made mistakes, to say nothing of Turner, eh Jimmy?"

Reaching the Pierson room, the Codfish threw himself into a big chair and sighed luxuriously. "Great day's work. Although I started late on this competition I must be nearly up to the leader[Pg 57] now, and a little more hustling will shoot me to the front."

"What an ego!" exclaimed Frank. "But now in the privacy of our own room, will you kindly tell me, why, how and what for did you get yourself in the hands of the law to-night, whose bicycle was it you borrowed, and when are we going to get the money we advanced to release your worthless carcass from hock?"

"My, what a lot of questions. Do you mean to tell me you haven't visioned my scheme, a bright young fellow like you? Pshaw, pshaw, Armstrong, I didn't think it of you."

"Go ahead and elucidate, Sherlock Holmes!"

"It seems hardly necessary, but it is said, and truly I now perceive, that brains and brawn are not kindred attributes of the genus football man. In a word, I got myself pinched, and thereby made news for the News. Savez?"

"You got arrested on purpose to write up your own arrest?"

"Sure thing, surest thing you ever knew. Made a pretty little story of it, touched on the brutality of the officer who hauled me into the station, and, incidentally, made a strong plea for the use of the city sidewalks by heelers on[Pg 58] bicycles when the streets are as dusty as they are now, to say nothing of a little hit at the lack of courtesy accorded the Yale student by the ordinary, garden variety of policeman."

"And this is what we provided good money for!" said Frank.

Turner advanced threateningly upon the offender. "This is what we were dragged from our room in the dead hour of night for, this is the thing for which we deposited our good money! I hope they give you a thousand dollars and costs, and send you to jail for a year, to-morrow morning."

"O, yes," continued the Codfish, not noticing Turner's outburst, "and I forgot, I wrote another little item suggesting that the Criminal Club, of which I am now a member in good standing, and which has fallen into decay, be rejuvenated and reëstablished in its glory of the olden days."

"Well, you've had your trouble for nothing, old lunatic. The News won't print anything like that."

"If they don't, they don't know good news when they see it."

"Costly news, I should say," grunted Frank.[Pg 59] "Costly with our money. We want our money back and fifty per cent. interest for the wear and tear on our constitutions in this night air."

"I'll pay it to you out of my dividends from the News Board when I cash in."

"Then we'll never get it," groaned Jimmy. "I'm going to bed. Codfish has absolutely gone nutty."

"That's always said about geniuses by ordinary folks, old top. Time alone will prove who is the nutty gent," the Codfish shot after him as Turner went into his bedroom.

The next morning the college was agog with excitement about the proposed flight of aeroplanes over Yale field some time during the afternoon while the football game was in progress. Details of the flight were given in the Yale News, the names and histories of the aviators and the types of machines to fly. It was further stated that one of the flyers would loop-the-loop in full view of the crowds in the stands. The Codfish was bursting with pride at the sensation he had sprung, for it was his story which had set the college talking.

"It's knocking their eye out," he boasted.

[Pg 60]

"Is it coming off?" inquired Frank incredulously.

"Sure, it's coming off. It cost me a cool two hundred and fifty to get them here, and I've had a dickens of a time keeping it quiet."

"So that's what you've been at these last three days, is it?" said Turner.

"A week, my boy, you can't do big things like that in three days. This ought to give me a lead in the race. Eh, what?"

"A race for your life, if it doesn't come off."

"Always skeptical, no imagination, typical football type, slow to grasp an idea. If you had read the papers you would have seen that they're having a flying meet down at Bridgeport. With a little lubricant in the shape of cash, the rest was easy."

A great crowd journeyed to Yale Field that afternoon, so great that it resembled in a measure the days of the big football games. With three events scheduled—a Freshman game, a 'Varsity game and a flying exhibition, all in one afternoon, thousands were drawn in the direction of the field, and the football manager chortled with joy as he saw the shekels going into his treasury.

[Pg 61]

The games came and went, but no fliers hove in sight. The Freshmen were overwhelmed by the big Exeter team, and after that was over the 'Varsity proceeded to punch holes in their opponents. The spectators divided their attention between the field and the sky, but nothing came. The nearest thing to an aeroplane that appeared during the afternoon was a large hawk which floated up from the southwest, and volplaned down from the heights. For a moment it raised false hopes. The crowd reluctantly filed out of the big stands as darkness began to settle over the field and still no flying men put in their appearance.

The Codfish was puzzled but not alarmed. Nothing could disturb his buoyant nature. He rode back to the city on a car loaded with people who indignantly proclaimed a fake by the Yale News for the purpose of drawing a larger attendance for the game, but although he heard, the Codfish kept his own counsel. Arriving at his room he found a telegram from the manager of the meet at Bridgeport, notifying him that owing to a disagreement among the fliers, they would not be able to come to New Haven at all, and that his check would be returned next day.

[Pg 62]

"Well, this lets me out," soliloquized the promoter of the flying meet. "I'll write this up, describe the disagreement in detail, and hand it in for Monday's paper. Great thought," he added aloud, "more credit for yours truly. We play them both ways and the middle, there's no chance to lose."

Just then Frank and Jimmy came in. The game had not been one to enliven their spirits. They were caustic in their remarks to the Codfish.

"You are certainly a bum flying meet promoter," said Frank. "With two such stories as you have pulled off in our conservative little News, you might as well die."

"On the contrary, I've just begun a little story," as indeed he had, "which will explain the matter satisfactorily. Fliers are said to be uncertain birds anyway, and I guess they are. This story," he added, "will put me straight with the editors and the editors straight with the college. No harm done at all. Exhibition arranged, all in good faith, some aviator has the pip, no flight, telegram explains, I explain, more news at every turn, and there you are."

"Yes, and there you are," said Turner scowling.[Pg 63] "Your roommates get the blame for not letting you be locked up, as you should be."

"O, I didn't see you scoring any touchdowns to-day. Come in," he yelled as a knock came on the door. A young Freshman heeler entered with a note which he handed to the promoter of the flying exhibition. "From the News," he added and went out.

The Codfish took the letter and tore off the end of the envelope. "Big assignment I imagine, expected as much, they're beginning to see I'm onto my job."

But as the Codfish read, a change came over his face. He went through the short note once and then again, while his roommates watched him curiously.

"Well, what is it, an assignment, eh?" said Frank. "Something big?"

"An assignment, yes," returned the Codfish weakly, "an assignment to quit. What do you think of this?" and he read aloud:

"G. W. Gleason,

Pierson Hall.

Dear Sir:—

It is the unanimous opinion of the Board that you had better confine your activities to some[Pg 64] other field of endeavor than the News. An imagination like yours is wasted on the ordinary business of publishing a college paper. We do not deal entirely in fiction. We respectfully suggest that you try the Courant, which will more nearly suit your peculiar type of genius.

Very truly yours,

John P. Murray, Chairman."

"Fired, by gosh," said the Codfish.

"Fired it is," said Turner. "I knew your zeal would carry you over the falls."

"Well, I had a good time going, anyway."

"O, I say," said Frank, "what did they give you at City Court this morning?"

"Five dollars and costs, not much for the experience. It was worth all the trouble. Experience is what I live for."

"You funny duffer," said Frank, laughing. "Now pay up," and the Codfish did.

"Well, there's one thing I still have left, my crew job. They can't shake me there."

[Pg 65]


"How does that ankle feel?" inquired the Freshman coach of Frank Armstrong one afternoon at practice on the week following the Exeter game. "I see you stepping around quite lively on it."

"I think it is good enough, sir," said Frank. It was far from a well ankle, but Frank was desperately anxious to get into the game from which he had been denied on account of his accident, and was willing to take a chance with it. He had felt that he was going to be overlooked entirely in spite of the fact that he had kept in training and had done as much as he could under the conditions.

"Good enough then. Do you know the signals?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, then take some practice now and later[Pg 66] I want to try you at quarter on the Second. You played there on your prep. school team, eh?"

"Yes, sir," said Frank, his heart jumping at the thought that he was to have his chance, after all.

"All of you over to the 'Varsity field," commanded the coach. "The exhibition of tackling in that Exeter game was enough to make a strong man weep, not a half dozen clean ones in the whole game. I'll teach you to stop a man or kill you in the attempt," and Coach Howard, with a determined face, led his squad into the great wooden amphitheater where at one end below the goal line stood two tackling dummies, looking very much like gallows, each with the canvas-clad shape of a man dangling from a rope over a pit of sawdust and loam. There had been some tackling practice early in the season in which Frank had not participated on account of his injured ankle, so the experience for him to-day was to be a new one.

"Now, this is the way, watch me carefully," said Howard. "Start from here," indicating a point about fifty feet from the dummy, "get under way quickly, increase your speed toward the end of the run, spring off one foot, not a[Pg 67] dive, remember, strike the dummy with your shoulder just under the hips, and wrap your arms around the legs. This way," and suiting the action to the word, Howard, who was in football uniform, dashed at the swinging figure, struck it with a crash, carried it from its fastening on a clean, driving tackle.

"Now line up and all take your turn," said the coach as he came back to the group. "Lead off, Bostwick." Bostwick was an old end from Andover, who had come down to Yale with a reputation already made, and who had been chosen captain of the team.

After Bostwick ran a steady string of the Freshmen tackling the dummy, some cleanly, some awkwardly. A field assistant picked up the canvas-clad figure, and replaced it on the hook after each savage assault, ready for the next man, while the coach stood by, offering criticism and suggestion.

"Too low, too low," he shouted to a candidate. "Your man would get away from that. Just what you did Saturday." Or to another, "Don't slow up; he won't bite you. Drive into him hard, and carry him right off his feet and keep a good grip with both hands, both hands," he[Pg 68] yelled as one of the tacklers slapped one arm around the canvas legs.

It was Frank's turn. He sprinted down the runway, sprang head-first at the swinging figure, hit it cleanly, and grasping it tightly with both arms, crashed down in the sawdust pit.

"Wrong, wrong," cried Howard. "That was a diving tackle. Your team would be penalized for that; you've got to make that last step a long stride, not a jump, remember. Otherwise it was O. K."

Frank picked himself out of the pit, and walked back limping a little. He had leaped with all his vigor from the injured leg, and winced with the pain of it. But he was not going to show it. On his second trial he did better, but was so anxious to favor the ankle that he slowed up and took a succession of little short steps just before he sprang, which drew the fire of the coach down upon him, and caused a smile to go around the waiting line.

"Afraid of it?" queried the coach, sarcastically. "It isn't stuffed with anything harder than excelsior, and it won't bite you."

Frank walked back to his place at the end of the line crestfallen, but determined to show a[Pg 69] better result on his next trial. Several of the 'Varsity coaches had strolled over from the other tackling dummy, where some of the 'Varsity line men were being put through their paces, and all of them were on the lookout for likely material for future 'Varsity teams.

But, try as he might, Frank could not satisfy the coach. Something was wrong with all his attempts. The coach did not know that the injured ankle was throbbing like a toothache. Frank was afraid to admit it for fear he would be relegated to the side-line for another period of waiting. So he blundered through his tackling at a great disadvantage.

"That's enough," said the coach at last. "You are a sad bunch at this game, but we'll give you a daily dose of it and see if it helps any. Come back to the Freshman field for a scrimmage," and followed by his squad of pupils, he led the way.

That afternoon was a nightmare for Frank. Favoring his ankle as much as he dared, he ran the Second team without snap or vigor, and although he got away on two quarterback runs for ten or fifteen yards each, and nearly got a field goal from a difficult angle, he was pulled[Pg 70] out of his position and sent to the side-lines before the scrimmaging was finished, firmly convinced that he was not cut out for a quarterback.

"This infernal ankle of mine," he grumbled to Jimmy Turner on their way back in the stuffy car to the city. "I couldn't do anything. My leg felt like a stick. I couldn't get out of my own way."

"I don't think you made much of a hit with the coach this afternoon," admitted that individual. "I heard him say to one of the 'Varsity men, just as we were getting on the car, that you had some possibilities, but you were too much afraid of getting hurt."

"He did, did he?" and Frank glared at Coach Howard who was sitting further up the car pointing out a play diagram to Madden, the quarter of the first team. "Thought I was a nice old lady! I'll show him something if this leg ever gets better," and he gritted his teeth in anticipation of the happy time to come when he could disprove the coach's suspicions.

Handicapped by his bad ankle, and often in agony with the pain of it on the field, Frank continued, as the days went by, to fight an up-hill[Pg 71] but losing fight. Turner was daily strengthening his position at left halfback, and was already looked upon as of possible 'Varsity caliber for the next year. While not very fast, he ran hard and low, and it took an uncommonly hard tackle to bring him to the ground. He also had that thing which pleases the coaches, an unfailing instinct for the ball. Wherever it was, Turner was not far away.

On the Saturday of that week came the game with Pawling School. Frank sat on the side-lines with longing in his heart as he saw his teammates, for the first time in the season, play a game worthy of them. The first quarterback, Madden, ran his team with speed and judgment, and when the half was finished had driven the visitors down the field and scored two touchdowns on them. In the third quarter, Madden received a hard jolt in the stomach in a scrimmage, and Frank thrilled as he saw the coach walk down the side-line, looking for a substitute. He came on, passed Frank and selected a quarter named Barlow to take Madden's place, and who sat just beyond him. Barlow shed his sweater as he ran, and with a few words from the coach, sprang into Madden's place behind the center.[Pg 72] Under his guidance another touchdown was added in the third quarter, and the teams changed sides for the last period of the game.

Frank gave up hope, as the minutes flew by, for any chance at that game. Barlow was not doing so well now, but there was little time to play. The Pawling team had twice succeeded in stopping the Freshmen near the Pawling goal line, and the substitute quarter had fumbled a punt which for a moment threatened a touchdown against his team. Bostwick, the vigilant end, had recovered the ball at midfield, and saved the situation, but Coach Howard was evidently anxious. He had made many substitutions to give new men practice, and had thus weakened the team, while Pawling seemed to gather new strength. Down the side-line came Howard again. This time he stopped opposite Frank.

"I'm going to send you in, Armstrong, to get a little practice. Hang onto the ball and keep your head. Steady that line up and look out for the forward pass. Hurry it up."

But there was no need to tell Frank to hurry. He had torn off his sweater with the first hint of his opportunity, and was listening to the coach with body poised for the run onto the[Pg 73] field. In his eagerness he had entirely forgotten about the ankle.

With the coming of the new quarterback, the team took fresh life. Under his urgings, they began to mow down their opponents as they had in the first part of the game, and the crowd gathered along the side-lines expressed their appreciation of the brace the team was taking in joyous howls. A pretty forward pass, Turner to Bostwick, put the ball on Pawling's 15-yard line.

Harrington, the big center, made a bad pass on the next play, but on a slice outside of tackle, Turner made five yards. The Pawling team braced, and cut the advance down on the next play to a single yard.

Bostwick stepped back to Frank and whispered something to him. Then he called the whole team around him, and with arms over each other's shoulders, they conferred on the next play. Dropping apart quickly, the linemen sprang into position.

"Look out for a fake," cried the Pawling quarter, dancing around in front of the goal posts.

"A forward pass!" cried another of the backs.

But it was neither a fake nor a forward pass.

[Pg 74]

Armstrong ran quickly to a point ten yards behind his crouching line, coolly measured with his eye the distance from where he stood to the cross-bar, and a moment later, receiving the ball on a long, true pass from Harrington, dropped it to the ground, swung his toe against it as it rose, and sent it spinning directly between the posts.

The kick was as pretty a one as could be desired, and its appreciation was testified to by jubilant yells and the skyward flight of sweaters and blankets along the side-lines.

A kick-off at midfield which Turner ran back 30 yards, a single rush, and the whistle ended the game.

"Why didn't you tell me you could do that?" said Coach Howard giving Armstrong a hearty slap on the back as he trotted over to the side-line to pick up the discarded sweater. "You put that over like a veteran!"

"Didn't have a chance before," said Frank, grinning.

"Guess you didn't. Well, I'll see to it that you get a chance after this." And then, as the throng of grimy players and the spectators straggled off to the cars, "I had pretty nearly come to the[Pg 75] conclusion that you were too soft for the game of football."

"My ankle isn't as good as it ought to be," said Frank, looking down. "I was afraid of doing more damage to it."

"I'll take a look at that ankle in the gym," said Howard. "Maybe we can make a quarterback of you yet. I want you to come over to the Freshman training table after this."

It was a joyful gathering in Pierson that night, with a full attendance, for little by little the Armstrong-Turner-Gleason-Powers combination began to have a following in the dormitory and in the class. Friends began to drop in to talk over matters of the moment as they passed to and from their rooms, and if they were the right kind they always had a welcome. The room became the central one for spreads and parties, when the fun raged until ten o'clock.

"All over," Frank would shout. "Lights out." Both Turner and Armstrong believed in keeping strict training hours.

On this particular night the Codfish was in his element.

"Three cheers for our own little quarterback," he howled.

[Pg 76]

"Sit down, you fish," shouted Turner. "You didn't even see the game."

"O, but I have ears. All the little birds sang it as I was coming up from the boathouse this evening."

"How's the Freshman crew coming on?"

"I'm on the second now. You should have seen us scare the First boat this afternoon. Had a mile spin. Started up by the Quinnipiac bridge, and finished at Tomlinson, points you land-lubbers know nothing about."

"And the Second was licked, of course?"

"Only by a blade, my son. We gave them the race of their lives, fairly tore down the river, scared the oysters and all that sort of thing, to say nothing of the First Freshmen."

"And when do they put you in the first shell?"

"'Nother week, about, I guess. Wouldn't be right to the other fellow to advance me too fast."

"Great stuff, Codfish," said Turner, laughing. "I think you have confidence enough to steer the 'Varsity crew over the course at New London right now."

"Sure thing," said that worthy. "There's nothing to it. Mind over matter, as I hinted to you once before; kind of scientific attitude."[Pg 77] The Codfish was busy untying a voluminous box which he had brought home with him.

"For heaven's sake, what have you got there, a prehistoric horse?" inquired Turner.

"No, my little halfback, it is a guitar," and having finished unwrapping the instrument, he swung it over his head. "I'm going out for the musical club stuff. I must have some activity, some life; can't get it with two grumps like you fellows, so I must go after it."

"Jove," groaned Frank, "haven't we suffered enough with you and the piano without having a guitar?"

The Codfish lay back on the window seat, strummed the untuned guitar, and began to hum:

"When I was a student at Cadiz
I played on the Spanish guitar—"

"You'll be a student in Hades if you don't let up!" shouted Turner. "We can stand anything excepting the picture of you as a student at Cadiz. Please desist."

"O, tush, old fellow, your soul is not attuned to music. What's the next line? I seem to disremember it——"

[Pg 78]

"When I was a stoogent at Cadiz." strum, strum, strum, strum,
"I played on the Spanish guitar."

"Good night!" yelled Frank. "Come on, let's go to Poli's and hear some real music. We'll let the Codfish be 'a stoogent at Cadiz' all to himself."

"S'matter?" said the musician reproachfully. "Well, if you must go, good night. I cannot frivol my time away at Poli's vaudeville when true art is stirring in my soul."

"Let her stir then," said Frank. "We're off," and the door banged.

[Pg 79]


The week of the Princeton game was a hard one for the Freshman team. Coach Howard, assisted by several members of the 'Varsity coaching staff, drove the team with all his might, but the results were not encouraging. Frank had been established as quarterback on the second team on the Monday following the Pawling game, and was making good there. He was now a substitute to Madden, and twice had been called over to the first eleven when Madden went out of the game temporarily. Away back in his head was the hope that he might still win out in the race for the quarterback position. But Madden had come to Yale with a big reputation justly earned at Hill School, and was a hard man to displace. When Frank's hopes were highest the crash came.

Bostwick, the captain and end, threw out his[Pg 80] knee in a fierce scrimmage, and was carried groaning to the side-lines.

"The fifth end hurt this fall, confound the luck," said Howard as he stood looking down at the captain. "And no one to take your place that's worth a cent."

"I'll be all right in a day or two," moaned Bostwick. "Stick some one in till I get a brace on this thing. I can play in the game Saturday."

"Maybe you can and maybe you can't," said the coach. "Did you ever see such beastly luck, and we were just beginning to round into shape. Who am I going to put in there? There's half a dozen ends and none of them worth a tinker."

He ran his eye over the squad which crowded around the injured captain. "Here, Armstrong," he called, "did you ever play end?"

"A few times in prep. school, sir."

"Well you can learn it, can't you?" said Howard petulantly. "Bostwick may pull through in time, and maybe he can't, and you are better than anything I have."

"I'll do my best," said Frank, feeling his hopes for a place on the team slipping away, for he knew well that in the short time still left in the[Pg 81] season his chances were small to learn that most difficult of line positions—end.

"You are fast and about the only clean tackler I have on the squad," said Howard. "Get in and try it."

Bostwick, having been temporarily fixed up and led limping away in the arms of two of the substitutes in the direction of the car, play was resumed with Armstrong in his new position.

"Don't you let anyone get past you on the outside," commanded Howard. "And don't be drawn in, no matter what happens. If you can't break the interference, spill it so the defensive half can get the man with the ball. Come on, try it."

Frank did try and tried hard. His ankle had improved, and under the punts he went down the field like a streak of lightning, missing but few tackles. But when the team was on the defensive, he showed the weakness of inexperience.

"Outside of you that time," bawled the coach, and when the new end moved out further, the play went inside. Sometimes he stopped the interference and sometimes, digging desperately through the tangle of legs, he got the runner on[Pg 82] a driving tackle, which earned for him a "Good boy, Armstrong," from Howard.

But it was bitter hard work, and never in his life had the welcome "That's enough for to-day" found him so ready to quit. His body felt bruised and sore all over from the driving work of the afternoon and his legs were as heavy as lead, as in the gathering dusk he dragged himself to the waiting trolley car which was there to carry the team to the city.

"You did well to-day, Armstrong, for a starter," said the coach kindly as he came through the car. "It's a hard dose I've given you."

Frank smiled a wan smile as he loosened his shoe laces.

"How heavy are you?"

"Guess about a hundred and forty-one or two," said Frank, straightening up while the muscles of his back protested.

"Too light, too light," said the coach, shaking his head. "If you had another ten or fifteen pounds on you, you'd do. But Bostwick may be able to get into the game by Friday," he added, and passed along to his seat.

Walking over from the training table that[Pg 83] night, Turner railed bitterly at Frank's luck. "You had a chance, a bare chance to get in at quarterback for a part of the game anyway, in spite of your bad start, and now you are dished, sure as shooting. The Captain will be O. K. It didn't look like a bad injury to his knee."

"Can't be helped," said Frank. "We've got to take our medicine in this old game. That's part of the training at Yale, isn't it?"

"It is, but it's not easy stuff to swallow."

"Well, there's nothing to do but swallow it, and I'm going to be game, but it hurts. Bostwick may not make it, and I may get in against Princeton, after all."

Turner shook his head. "I don't think there's a chance; you are only filling in. I can see the handwriting on the wall. He'll come back, and you will be his substitute. The only chance is that he may get hurt again, but I hope he won't for he is the best we've got on that side of the line."

"I hope he comes back," said Frank fervently, "because with me in there I wouldn't give three cents for our chances."

"Which are not any too good with the best we have."

[Pg 84]

It proved to be as Jimmy said. Bostwick was put under heroic treatment in the baking oven for sprained and injured limbs, and to the great joy of all, Frank included, appeared on the field on Thursday. He was a little stiff because of the hampering action of the brace that Howard had devised for him, but went to his old place in the line while Frank was sent to the side-lines.

The practice went well. "We still have a chance against the Tiger cubs," said the coach. "Only a signal drill for fifteen minutes to-morrow," he called out as the squad was leaving the field. "Get to bed early and don't worry yourselves to death. We're going to give them the time of their lives Saturday."

The cheerfulness of the coach was largely assumed, for the Princeton cubs were coming up from Tigertown with a long string of victories to their credit. Only twice during the whole season had they been scored on, and one of these was a lucky drop-kick. The Yale Freshman team, on the contrary, had staggered through the season with a showing far from creditable, and the critics were all predicting a big score for the visitors.

But in spite of the gloomy forecastings, the[Pg 85] Yale Freshmen went into that game with a determination to do or die, and while they did not win, neither did the much-heralded Princeton cubs win. Frank watched from the side-lines the desperate battle up and down the gridiron. He saw his roommate giving the best that was in him in the struggle, and prayed fervently that Bostwick might last it out. Every man on the team was a hero that day, and when the final whistle blew, with Captain Bostwick still on his feet and playing a whirlwind game in spite of his injured knee, the score stood at a tie, nothing to nothing.

Going in on the car the coach had nothing but praise for the team. "We didn't lick them, but it is a good start for Harvard next Saturday," he said. "We have a week left, and we'll give the Johnnies a run for their money, all right."

"Armstrong," the coach added, as he dropped down beside him in the trolley car, "I'm sorry you didn't get in, but better luck next time."

"O, that's all right," returned Frank. "I was mighty glad to see Bostwick go through, he showed his sand with that bad knee."

"He certainly did, and he deserves a lot of[Pg 86] credit. But I'm going to keep you at end just the same because I may need you."

"All right, sir," said Frank, but he well knew it was the end of his ambitions for a place on the team excepting for an accident to the Captain, which he did not want to think about.

Four days of practice the week after the Princeton contest brought the team to a condition of fitness which they had not before reached that year, and on Friday afternoon, escorted to the train by a hundred of their class, the team with substitutes, coaches, trainers and a goodly crowd of supporters, set out for Cambridge. As the 'Varsity was away, the Freshman game had the honor of being staged on the main gridiron.

That game in the towering Stadium was one that hung long in Frank's memory. It was a game of desperate attack and defense. Three times in the first period the rushing red-legged players had the Blue team down inside the five-yard line, and three times they were stopped by the stone-wall defense. All through the first half the Yale team fought on the defensive, crumpling up before the fierce rushes of the Harvard players, but somehow stiffening as the goal line approached.

[Pg 87]

So certain were the Harvard players of scoring a touchdown that they disdained to try for a goal from the field, and each time they were stopped by the men from New Haven they took the ball back with dogged determination, only to lose it again.

"We have them now," said Howard as his men were being cared for between the halves. "Go after them. They've shot their bolt, and it's our turn."

After the kick-off in the third quarter, Turner raised great hopes by running the ball back through the Harvard team, and, before he was tackled, laid it only twenty yards away from the Harvard goal line.

A smash at center earned only two yards.

"Armstrong, get ready, I'm going to send you in to try for a goal," said the coach, running down to where Frank was sitting, shivering with the excitement of the struggle that was going on out in the field. Frank slipped off his sweater, and made ready, but the chance he so longed for never came.

Madden's signal was mixed somehow, and the man who was to take the ball wasn't where the quarter expected him to be. He started to run[Pg 88] with the ball himself, but was upset by a savage tackle, and dropped the pigskin, which went bounding backward toward his own goal. Half a dozen players took a driving shot at the leather, but it eluded them as if it had been greased. Finally a lanky Harvard end wound his body around it at midfield. Yale's chance to score at that particular moment was lost.

Frank gritted his teeth and slipped on his sweater again. The battle was once more taken up with renewed vigor. The advantage lay first with one team and then with the other, but never again did Yale have so good a chance to score.

Again striking its stride, after a lot of futile punting, the Yale Freshmen got together and began to plough through their opponents. Turner was playing like a demon while the little Yale contingent matched yell for yell with the Harvard supporters on the other side of the field. Turner on two tries reeled off twenty-five yards, and put the ball just across the center of the field. A forward pass netted fifteen yards more, and again the coach began to look for a chance to score, not for a touchdown, for the attack had not shown itself capable of beating down that splendid[Pg 89] defense, but by a drop-kick if the opportunity came.

But again when hope was high in every heart came a sudden disastrous fumble, and again the red-legged end had the ball.

"Take it away from them," howled the Yale crowd.

"Throw 'em back."

"Eat the Johnnies up."

But that husky Harvard team was not a whit disturbed by the ferocious cries from the Yale side of the field. They settled down to business again, and slowly, but surely, worked the ball down toward the Blue goal line.

The tired boys from New Haven fought on grimly in the fourth period, making the gains against them shorter and shorter as they were pushed back. Turner intercepted a forward pass which would have surely made a touchdown for Harvard, and for a time there was a respite for the Yale Freshmen for the fullback kicked the ball far down the field, only to have it caught and brought back past Bostwick, this time, for thirty yards.

At it again went the two teams, Yale defending stubbornly, but vainly, against the powerful[Pg 90] rushes of the Harvard backs, who, now that the end of the game was drawing near, threw their last bit of energy into the attack. Through center and tackle went the bull-like rushes of the backs. Bostwick's end was circled for fifteen yards, and he was laid out for a while, but revived soon after a little dabbing of the sponge on his face.

"I want you to be ready, Armstrong," said the coach, hurrying up to Frank whose eyes were glued on the field, and whose heart was pumping with the excitement of the struggle. He was straining almost as hard as his mates out on the field, lunging his shoulder into the substitute who sat next to him, in the unconscious effort to help stop the Harvard rushes.

"Touchdown, touchdown," sang out the Harvard Freshmen supporters.

"We want a touchdown!"

"Hold 'em!"

"Hold 'em, Yale!" was the defiant cry from the opposite side of the field.

"Show the Johnnies where you come from!"

With the ball on the Yale ten-yard line it looked as if no power in the Yale team, at least, could stop the victorious march. Bostwick was again[Pg 91] laid out, but was up on his feet after a minute of attention.

"Good old Bostwick," cried Frank, stirred by the game fight his captain was making.

"Long cheer for Bostwick!" and the dancing cheer leaders led a ringing yell for the fighting captain, which seemed to stiffen up the boys out on the field. They stopped the next Harvard rush without a yard of gain. Standing like heroes together, the Freshmen line did the impossible, repulsed the fierce assaults the Harvard team could give, and took the ball.

"Y-a-a-y——" yelled the Yale stand, rising as one man. Hats and caps went into the air. The cheer leaders tried to get order, and give a cheer, but no one paid any attention to them. The crowd continued to yell like Comanches, as the lines settled themselves again.

"Time must be nearly up," said a substitute.

"It can't be," cried Frank, gritting his teeth in a frenzy. "They must have five minutes more to play. They've got to have it," and he drove his heels into the unoffending ground as if at that distance he could help in the charge that was to be delivered against the red host.

[Pg 92]

"What's Madden going to do, rush it?" inquired a voice.

"I hope not," said Howard. "A short kick would mean a free catch and a chance for a placement goal. Good boy," he shouted as Madden changed the signal, and the fullback, who had gone back behind the goal line, came running up again to the regular formation.

"Put it through them!"

"Smash it out, boys!"

The signal came sharp and clear from the lips of the quarterback, high above the background of yells from the partisans.

"Turner's ball," whispered Frank to himself.

The pass was swift and true. Turner took the ball from Madden's hands at full speed. The play was intended to be a slice off tackle, a play that had gained a good deal of ground during the afternoon. But, alas for the best laid plans of men, mice and football players, he never reached his destination. The tired Yale line sagged and broke. Through gaping holes poured a stream of Crimson-jerseyed men. Two tacklers struck Turner, who was practically on his goal line, at the same time, and swept him backward like chaff. So swift and sudden had been[Pg 93] the deluge that the halfback was carried off his feet and over the goal line before he had even a chance to yell "down."

The crowd did not at once appreciate the significance of the matter, but a few, recognizing a safety for Harvard, set up a scattered cheer. A moment later the fateful information was flashed from the scoreboard, "Safety," and the Harvard stand delivered itself of a high-pitched yell.

A moment later the referee's whistle blew, and the great game was over. A host of men swept from the stands and surrounded the victors, cheering and prancing about.

With Bostwick at its head, trying hard not to limp, and with faces drawn and mud-stained, the beaten team walked wearily to the dressing rooms where they were joined by the substitutes.

"You didn't win but I'm proud of you all," said Coach Howard, slapping the jaded players on the back as they came through the door. "You were up against a better team, fifty per cent. better."

"Here, Bostwick," he added a minute later to the captain, who, sunk in gloom and with hanging head, was pulling off his wet football clothes, "cheer up. We can't always win. The main[Pg 94] business is that you and your team played a magnificent up-hill game. I'm satisfied and Yale will be satisfied for you gave the best in you. That's always the test. You'll have another chance next year."

[Pg 95]


The excitement of football had passed like most things in college and out of it. The 'Varsity had triumphed over Princeton, and tied with Harvard in a stirring, up-hill game, and now the students had settled down to the ordinary routine. While it was late in November, the fall had been such an open one that the crews, eager to get every day of practice possible, stuck to their work in the harbor. Codfish held manfully onto the job of coxswain in the Second Freshmen eight, the long-looked-for place on the First still eluding him. He was hopeful, however. "I'll get it before the rowing stops, and if not then, when it starts in the spring," he boasted to his roommates. "Watch me."

This afternoon he was perched on the window seat, legs crossed, lolling back on the cushions, and tickling the guitar.

"For the love of Mike," cried Frank from his[Pg 96] room, where he had gone to nab an elusive French irregular or two, "isn't that 'stoogent from Cadiz' ever going to graduate?"

"Why so peevish?" inquired the Codfish, keeping up his strumming and humming. "There are fourteen different keys, you know, Mr. Armstrong, and as you never know which one you're going to be caught in, I've got to be a Spanish student in every one of them. I only have ten more to fix in my retentive memory, so the agony will soon be through."

"How many have you circumvented?"

"Six to date. I'm going to tackle the minors to-night; plaintive little things, those minors, they get the heart-throb stuff."

"Heavens!" said Frank. "Why don't you hire a hall somewhere out in Hampden? I'll go halves with you to get rid of you."

"'Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast,'" quoted the Codfish, "but not the football player."

"Music did you say?" growled Frank.

"No soul, no soul at all for the beautiful," sighed the guitar player. "Such music ought to move you to tears."

"It does, bitter tears, very bitter tears. Please[Pg 97] desist, stop and quit. I'm having trouble with this dose of Romance language. I wonder why they ever called them Romance languages?"

"Give it up." Then, throwing down the guitar: "I say, Frank, chuck it and come down to the harbor. We are going to have a bit of a brush with the First Freshmen crew, and you've never seen your old pal hold the tiller ropes. Maybe I can get you into the launch. We go out at three. Where's Turner and David?"

"David is probably grubbing on his Lit. stuff, and there's no use in trying to get him. Jimmy went over to Chapel street to get something, and ought to be back here in a minute. Here he comes now. I'll go if he does."

Turner came into the room whistling a merry tune, threw himself on the couch and elevated his heels to the end of the desk in the national attitude.

"Gee whiz, but it's a great day! Why don't you fellows get out? Not many more days like this between now and next May."

"The Codfish has just invited us down to the harbor to see how well he can't steer a boat, and I said I'd go if you would. I've some French[Pg 98] here, but there's no hope of doing it when this musical bug is doing his stunts."

"I'm your man," said Turner, jumping up at once. "I know the coach and maybe we can get on the launch."

"I'll attend to that," said the Codfish, majestically. "I haven't been knocking around that old boathouse two months for my health. You are my guests to-day."

"Go it, old skate. So long as we get aboard we don't mind who does the trick."

"Lead on, Macduff," quoted Frank, and like playful dogs newly unleashed, they broke for the street. Racing over to Chapel street, they caught a steamboat car at the York street corner, and, after a fifteen-minute ride, reached their destination.

On the float was a scene of great activity. The crews of half a dozen boats were standing around waiting their turn to embark. Some carried oars in their hands, others were stretched at full length on the runways, taking in to the full the rays of the warming late fall sun. Most of them were stripped to the waist as in summer, for the day had an uncommon warmth. One crew had just landed, evidently from a smart row, for[Pg 99] sweat glistened on their bare and brawny backs, as they unshipped their oars and at the word of their coxswain snapped their shell out of the water and turned it upside down over their heads in one splendid free sweep.

They were just in time to see the 'Varsity go out, eight clean-limbed, stalwart young fellows, who carried their shell easily, with a quick and springy step, and with almost military precision. Without a word spoken, the long sweeps were quickly adjusted in the row-locks. At a word from the captain, the men stepped to their seats, bent and fastened their feet into the sandal-like attachments at the footboards. Then the boat was shoved off until the long sweeps were free to catch the water on both sides of the boat.

"Row," snapped the coxswain, and eight blades cut the water like knives, sending up a little spurt of water in the front of each one of them. Like a machine the bodies swung back and forth, the blades dipped rhythmically, and in a minute the crew was but a dot in the waters of the lower river where the 'Varsity launch, the "Elihu Yale," waited.

"By Jove," said Frank, admiration showing on[Pg 100] his face, "that was about as pretty a thing as I can imagine."

"Don't you wish you had gone out for the crew?" inquired Turner. "They don't twist your ankles and knees down here, or muscle-bruise you."

"No, but they break your back and freeze you to death in the cold winds down here," said someone laughingly. "I just heard your friend's remark, and thought I'd enlighten you. Don't you remember me, Turner? We wrestled this fall one night, about a thousand years ago. Francis is my name."

Both then recognized the wrestler whom Turner threw over his head the night of the rush. He extended a frank hand. "Coming down to look us over?"

"Didn't know you rowed," said Turner, taking the proffered hand.

"Yes, I'm trying it. Not much good, either, but maybe I can help to push some other fellow up a peg higher. That's all we scrubs are good for, you know." He said it without any heat, merely stating the fact. "We help to cultivate the flowers, but we can't pick them. It's a part of the Yale training.

[Pg 101]

"Ta, ta, there's my call," and he dashed into the boathouse where his crew were preparing to take the shell out.

Following the Second 'Varsity, came the First Freshmen crew, and then on the heels of the First came the Second, the Codfish busying himself with an air of great importance.

Permission having been given Armstrong and Turner to watch the practice from the Freshman launch, which lay at the end of the float, they climbed in with alacrity. The launch preceded the two crews down to the bridge where it waited till the shell came up.

"Take it easy, now," said the Freshman coach as the crews lined up alongside. "Keep your stroke to about twenty-six and pull it through. Ready? ROW!"

Both crews dropped their blades in the water, pulled a long, slow stroke, and slipped rapidly up the river, the little launch darting first to one and then the other while the coach shot words of criticism at the oarsmen through a short megaphone.

"Number Five, don't slump down on the catch!"

"You're very short in the water, Number Two,[Pg 102] finish it out and get your hands away quickly."

"Don't buck your oar, Four, on the finish; sit up straight."

"For heaven's sake," this to the Codfish. "Can't you keep that boat straight? What are you wabbling all over the river for?"

"'Vast, 'vast," he yelled as the rowing grew ragged. "'Vast" is short for "Avast," the usual signal to stop rowing.

When the crews came to rest on their oars, the coach shot a torrent of criticism at the men. No one escaped.

"Exactly like football," said Frank grinning. "No one ever gets it quite right."

"Only difference from football is," said Jimmy, "that the other fellow is getting the hot shot now. I guess I'll take mine on the field."

"Me, too," said Frank. "It doesn't strike me as inspiring, this crew business."

"And the Codfish isn't such a whirlwind as he tries to make us think," commented Turner.

The coxswain was coming in for a fire of criticism from the coach with the megaphone. "Now try it again and watch yourselves—you get worse every day."

[Pg 103]

"Doesn't it sound natural?" laughed Frank. "No more of that in ours for a year."

The crews, stopping and starting, but always under a shower of advice from the coach, drove their way up to the upper bridge where they were ordered to turn around and line-up for the race down stream. After much dogged paddling by fours and high-pitched orders by the coxswains, for the boats were difficult to swing around in the swift running current, they finally got about and were sent off with a word from the coach who had previously ordered them to keep below twenty-eight to the minute.

Down the river the boats flew, each crew striving with might and main. For a little time it was nip and tuck, but by degrees the First crew edged ahead, and half a mile from the start had a lead of three-quarters of a length and were rowing easily, while the winded Second was splashing along and dropping further back at every stroke. The Codfish was steering a serpentine course which further retarded his boat.

When the crews drew up at the end of the mile, both badly pumped out from the sprint, the coxswain of the Second came in for a raking by the coach.

[Pg 104]

"You wabbled down that course like a drunken man," he said hotly. "You ought to be on an oyster boat. What's the matter with you? Can't you see?"

"Poor Gleason, he's getting his this afternoon," said Frank.

For another hour the crews were kept on the jump and then, as the dusk was beginning to come down over the hills, the coach ordered them in.

"Race it for the float," he commanded, "and look out for the sand bar by the bridge. It's low water. GO!"

The Second was lying about a length ahead of the First boat when the order was given, and, seeing his opportunity, the Codfish shouted: "Now we've got them, beat 'em to it. Row, you terriers!"

Throwing what science they had learned to the winds, the Second Freshman crew drove their oars into the water and, at a stroke far above what the coach wanted, tore off for the boathouse, the shell swaying and the water flying while the Codfish urged them on at the top of his voice.

[Pg 105]

"Sock it through, you huskies, don't let them get you!"

The First crew, not to be outdone, started after the Second. At first they kept the stroke down, but the coxswain, seeing his chance of overhauling the renegades in the short distance to go, called on his stroke to "hit it up," which that individual was nothing loath to do.

"Cut them out before they get to the float," cried the coxswain of the First crew. Up went the stroke, and the race was on in earnest. The coaching launch had drifted down toward the bridge on the outgoing tide, before the coach saw what was in progress. He waved his arms, bawled through the megaphone, and gesticulated in an endeavor to stop the wild pace, but neither crew heard, nor wanted to stop if they had heard. This was not a race under instructions. It was only a private scrap and, as such, it stood, for the launch was too far off to overhaul the flying, splashing crews.

Foot by foot the First crew gained on the Second, which now, with the stroke over forty to the minute, merely stabbed their oars in the water and jerked them out again, while the spray flew from each assault of the blades. The better[Pg 106] trained First crew kept the stroke longer, and in coming to the float were only a few yards behind. Edging in, they crowded the Second from their course, and in order to avoid a collision, the luckless Codfish steered his crew widely to the left. He knew, but had forgotten in the excitement of the race, that a narrow sand bar almost awash at low tide, was just below the central pier of the drawbridge.

"Look out there, Second crew," came the warning cry from the float now directly opposite the racing shells.

The coxswain in the Second heard, but it was too late. Straight onto the sand bar, on which rippled less than an inch of water, ran the slender nose of the shell. The brake thus suddenly applied to the frail craft checked the speed, and when the boat stuck midway of the bar, with each end suspended above deep water, every oarsman was thrown from his seat.

Immediately an ominous cracking was heard, and the front end began to sag with its load of more than five hundred pounds.

"Jump," yelled the captain, who rowed the bow oar; but before any of the forward four could free themselves from their foot harness, the slender[Pg 107] boat snapped squarely in the middle, where it rested on the bar, and both pieces, with their crews aboard, slipped off into deep water, filled and sank.

For a moment it looked serious, but, fortunately, every member of the Second, with the exception of the Codfish, could swim. As they found themselves deeply immersed, they shook themselves free from their foot fastenings and struck out in the cold water for the float only a few rods distant, all excepting the Codfish. He kept his seat in the shell and held to the tiller ropes for dear life, while the current swept him down stream in the path of the oncoming launch.

As the rear end of the broken shell swung across the bow of the launch, the coach reached down, grabbed the ill-fated coxswain by the back of his coat, and jerked him into the launch. Then with a boat-hook both ends of the ruined craft were captured, for both ends, released from their weight, now floated buoyantly, and were towed to the float.

"I forgot about the sand bar," said the Codfish meekly, as he stood on the cockpit of the launch, the water running from him in streams.

"And you forgot my instructions, too," said[Pg 108] the coach, his eyes blazing at the luckless coxswain. "This will do for you. Pack up your duds and don't come down here again. If I see you around this float again, I'll chuck you overboard." The bedraggled oarsmen had all made the float in safety, and enjoyed the discomfort of their coxswain who in his zeal had inadvertently given them a cold bath.

"How was I to remember the blooming sand bar?" complained the Codfish that night, radiant now in dry raiment. "We were winning. What's a sand bar in the glory of victory?"

"Are you going down again," inquired Frank, "and take the chances of a ducking?"

"Not on your tin-type," said the ex-coxswain. "The thing was beginning to pall on me. No diversity in the job, no spectators to urge you on as you have out at the field, nothing but work. I've resigned the job."

"Another way for saying you're fired, eh?" said Turner, smiling at the imperturbable roommate.

"Have it any way you want to, old sport. One thing," continued the Codfish, "even if I have lost the chance to shine in aquatics, I still have the[Pg 109] Mandolin Club left. I'll put a dent in that by and by."

And curling himself up on the couch, with the pillows properly arranged at his back, he struck into the Spanish Fandango, the newest addition to his not very extended répertoire.

[Pg 110]


Up the gallery of the Hyperion Theater, the Freshman class went bouncing with a great clatter and stamping of feet. It was the night of the Glee Club concert, toward the end of January, which, in the days of Frank Armstrong's Freshman year, opened the festivities of Junior Promenade, the great social function of Yale. The Promenade has for generations been known as the "Junior Prom," but it is not strictly a Junior occasion. Seniors, and even Sophomores whose finances are not too low to permit the purchase of a ticket, may go, but in spite of the fact that many of these classes do go, the Prom is still largely a Junior affair. Around the Prom, or ball, which brings the social gaiety to a close, have grown in the course of years other entertainments for the fair guests and their chaperons, who gather in New Haven by the hundred from the length and breadth of the land. Of these the Glee Club concert was one where[Pg 111] the Freshmen in those days, for it has all been changed since, were tolerated in the upper gallery of the theater. They could not sit in the pit or balcony of the house. Custom had allowed them certain rights and their "stunts" were looked forward to as a part of the entertainment. The Freshmen were not supposed to interfere with the concert itself but frequently did interfere in spite of the restraining influence of Junior guards who were scattered through the gallery. But the throwing of confetti, streamers and cards to the fair guests was tolerated and expected. Occasionally the Freshmen overdid the thing and not infrequently a "rough-house" of considerable proportions held sway.

Frank's class was a lively one, as had been shown on several occasions during the fall and early winter. A number of the members had a faculty for getting into trouble on all occasions. Half a dozen of them had been only a few days before up before the Freshman Committee for attempting to break up a dance in one of the local halls of the city, which necessitated the rushing of a squad of police to the scene. Minor mischief was always being done. Rumors were rife that the Freshmen were going to perpetrate[Pg 112] something new on the night of the Glee Club concert. Therefore the Junior guards were more than usually vigilant.

"What's that you have under your coat?" demands a Junior as a tall Freshman appears on the landing of the stairs with the skirts of his raincoat bulging suspiciously.

"Nothing but myself," backing away.

"Come on, open up! What have you got?"

"Nothing, I tell you," but the Junior lays violent hands on him and after a moment's search drags forth a squawking hen! She flaps herself free from the grip of her rescuer and creates a disturbance which brings scores up to the landing on the double quick.

The hen is finally captured and carried out, squalling tremendously at the unaccustomed usage.

Other Freshmen are captured with noise-making devices, living and mechanical, and thrown out bodily or the objectionable instruments of torture taken from them. But some have slipped past even the vigilant eyes of the guards, and are ready to carry out the Freshman part of the entertainment as classes before them have done.

Inside the theater the gallery is jammed till[Pg 113] it can hold no more. There is a babel of voices through which occasionally cuts the sharp Yale cheer, that the Freshmen now, with three months of practice, have learned to perfection. Cheers, howls and catcalls make that gallery a perfect bedlam.

Over the gallery front, looking fearfully insecure in their high perch, hang scores of boys angling for the attention of the Juniors' young ladies with a long string to which is attached a card and perhaps a pencil. One side of the card bears a fond message to the fair guest below, and the other side is blank for the answer, which the Freshman above hopes to catch in his angling. And frequently he does. The Junior takes it all in good part.

"O, lovely creature, will you be mine, will you let me hold your lily-white hand when I'm a Junior?" is the rather disconcerting message a young lady in one of the boxes pulls down after it has been dangled in front of her nose for a minute or two by Freshman hands in the top gallery. The Freshman above having established communication, waits impatiently for an answer. Presently it is written in the box below and is pulled up eagerly.

[Pg 114]

"No, I don't like the color of your hair."

"I'll dye it blue if that will help any," may be the next message. Fifty men are angling at a time and the lines sometimes get crossed. It is all great fun for the girls who enter into the spirit of the thing and are not disturbed, after the first shock, at the ardent messages that are swung in front of their faces.

Of course, every one cannot angle for love messages in the pit because, although the front of the gallery resembles a grape-hung garden wall with the clustering heads, there are several hundreds behind the first row. They content themselves with throwing confetti and paper streamers into the pit and boxes until there is a jungle of it below, through which a late-comer must literally break his way. The floor itself is covered with confetti and cards whereon are printed in prose and verse amazing praises for the class in the upper gallery, recounting what that class will do when it becomes a Junior class two years later and shall have the position of honor.

On this particular night everything went well in the gallery until the program was half over. Then trouble broke loose, for all legitimate[Pg 115] means for attracting attention had been exhausted. At the moment the quartet was delivering itself of a touching melody and quiet was temporarily established even in the gallery. The tenor, striving for one of his highest notes, suddenly broke off with a violent sneeze. Some one in the gallery had thrown a tissue paper wad of snuff against the scenery behind the quartet. The paper broke and the snuff, light as feathers, permeated the air.

The bass singer of the quartet immediately followed the tenor with a resounding bellow at which the audience, not knowing the cause, burst into roars of laughter. But soon they changed from laughing to sneezing, for handfuls of the snuff were now pitched over the gallery rail by the offenders, and the coughing and sneezing became general. No one was exempt. Dignified chaperons, pretty girls and their escorts joined in the chorus. The quartet retired in confusion, holding onto their noses.

"Stop it, stop it!"

"Get out, Freshmen," yelled the guards, but so thick was the press in the gallery that the guards were powerless to get at the offenders. To cap the climax, a Freshman emptied about a[Pg 116] bushel of fine, powderlike confetti on the heads of the people below, while still another opened a pillow of fine down feathers which, dropping to the pit of the theater in a cloud, covered the gowns of the ladies. The feathers insinuated themselves down the necks of everyone.

Having worked their last indignity, two score of the Freshmen tumbled down the gallery stairs like a hurricane, and broke pell-mell for the street with the guard after them. Some punches were delivered, but most of the Freshmen escaped, yelling, with whole skins.

Then the Glee Club concert went on again and was not interrupted but once, when someone threw a small rubber ball from the gallery which struck the leader fairly on top of his head and bounced twenty feet into the air to the great amusement of the audience and the discomfort of the leader.

"Some night!" observed the Codfish as the boys reached their room in safety. "I got hit three times in the overflow. Gee whiz, how those feathers stick!"

"Were you the pillow man?" inquired Frank.

"I was that same. Have you noticed the absence of two of our best cushions?"

[Pg 117]

"My cushions," gasped Frank, "and where are the cases?"

"When the storm burst I didn't have time to get them under cover. They go to the Hyperion management as a souvenir."

"More likely to the Junior scouts," suggested Jimmy.

"Thoughtful kid, my initials were on them," said Frank. "You could create trouble for someone if you were alone on a desert island."

But no trouble did come out of the incident for the great dance itself coming on the next evening, as it did, overshadowed such minor things as the Freshman class and its doings.

But the affair had one result. It was the last time that the Glee Club concert was ever held at the Hyperion. After that year it went to one of the University halls where Freshmen, fishing from the top gallery, tantalizing feathers and tormenting snuff were not known, and where the concert went its full length without disturbance of any kind.

Frank Armstrong, while a frequent visitor at the swimming pool, had not gone out for the Freshman team. Football had claimed his attention in the fall when swimming practice first began,[Pg 118] and although urged to join the Freshman team by classmates, who had seen him in the pool, he had declined.

"I want to have a good big deposit in the education bank when baseball opens up," he used to say.

"You're a blooming old grind," the Codfish would retort when Frank advanced his reasons for keeping the time free for studies. "You aren't doing as much as I am for the class."

"But I'm doing as much as I can for the class and something for myself."

"Selfish, selfish. Here's the Freshman swimming team staggering along——"

"Floundering along, you mean."

"Fishes flounder, and there's no fish on the team, human or otherwise. That's the reason they ought to have a good, able-bodied fish like yourself, scales and all, to help 'em out."

But in spite of Frank's desire to keep away from swimming, other than as a pastime, and to keep in fair condition, he became drawn into it unintentionally. One day, sprinting down the length of the pool to overtake Jimmy, he attracted the attention of Max, the swimming instructor,[Pg 119] who kept an eagle eye on the outlook for promising talent.

"Where you learn to svim like dat?" inquired Max as Frank pulled himself out of the water at the end of the pool while Jimmy hung gasping with his exertions on the edge.

"O, paddling around," returned Frank.

"Pretty good paddlin', I guess. Vhat's your name?"




"Ever do any racing?"

"A little."

"Here, let's see if you can svim fifty yards fast."

"O, but I'm not in training."

"Don't make no difference about dat. Svim up one length and back again. I see your time. Come on, I tink you can svim fast."

Frank, thus urged, took a racing dive, paddled easily to the other end of the pool, turned leisurely and came back to the starting point.

"Umph!" grunted the swimming instructor. "Dirty-five seconds, dat's bad. You ought to do it five seconds bedder!"

[Pg 120]

Frank grinned, thinking he was nicely out of the difficulty, for he argued with himself that in justice to his work he could not give the time necessary this year at least to go in for swimming.

But he reckoned without Max who stood squinting at him.

"Now," said the instructor, "vhen you've got your vind again I vant you to do dat over again. Und doan loaf along so much, move dose arms and legs a little bid faster."

Jimmy laughed, for he knew Frank was trying to get out of swimming training. But Frank was fairly caught now, and there was nothing for him to do but to swim the distance again. He perched on the edge of the pool end, and balanced for the start as Burton had shown him. He took the water as cleanly as a knife and using a graceful but powerful crawl shot down to the further end, turned half under water and came back with a quickening gait until his hand touched the pool end where Max stood with his eyes glued on the watch.

"Dirty seconds," said the instructor half to himself. And then to Frank. "Vhy didn't you dell me dat before? I vant you to come here[Pg 121] effery day and svim. Dis Freshman bunch of mine ain't no good. You'll help? Who showed you how to svim like dat anyway?"

"O, a fellow named Burton."


"Burton, one of your Yale captains."

"O, Burton, hey? Are you de fellar Armstrong dat svam down at Travers Island last summer?"

Frank nodded.

"Py jiminy, vhy didn't you dell me dat before? Dat settles it. Now you got to come and help out this Freshman bunch."

That was the end of Frank's resolution not to get mixed up in athletics until the baseball practice opened. Every day found him at the pool, and under the careful guidance of the instructor he improved steadily, and when the Freshman-Sophomore relay race came off he was selected as the man to swim the last relay for his class. This he did so well that, although starting with a handicap of ten feet, he beat out his opponent by the breadth of a hand, and won the event for the Freshmen.

Frank might have been induced to continue in the swimming game, for the love of it, but in the[Pg 122] last part of February the overpowering call for baseball candidates caught him, and he joined the uniformed crowd that daily haunted the cage in the rear of the Gymnasium; and through the afternoons, when recitations permitted, he took his share of batting, base-running, pitching, stopping grounders, and all that goes to the training of a Yale baseball player.

He was at first enrolled among the candidates for pitcher, but as there seemed to be a great plenitude of pitchers, he was relegated to the outfield, but glad to be on the squad on any position.

"What, our young Christy Mathewson out in the lots! Fie upon them!" exclaimed the Codfish when he heard.

"Even Napoleon had to begin," returned Frank. "Maybe they'll back me off the field before long. College baseball isn't school baseball, you know."

With the coming of warmer weather, the crocuses and chirp of the robin in late March, the baseball and track men forsook the cage for the open field, and there during the long afternoons the candidates were put through their paces by the different coaches.

[Pg 123]

Coach Thomas, who had been appointed by the 'Varsity captain to drill the Freshman nine, was a believer in hard work and gave his pupils plenty of it to do. Naturally, men from the larger preparatory schools, who had come to Yale with a reputation made in their school, had the first call. When they made good they held their positions. Armstrong and Turner, coming as they did from a school not among the half dozen prominent ones in the country, had to show their merit by hard fighting. But the coach played no favorites and when a player showed merit in the practice he had due consideration.

Turner and Armstrong, the former as catcher and the latter as pitcher, worked as a battery for some of the early practice. Frank's remarkable control stood him in good stead at first, but as the batters improved in their hitting of straight balls, Frank dropped behind in the race, and was now used only occasionally for batting practice. He was one of the half-dozen substitutes in the outfield. Turner fell into a more fortunate situation as catchers on the squad were scarce, and before two weeks of practice had elapsed, was in second place in the race for the position of backstop on the Freshman nine.

[Pg 124]


The fact that the Freshman diamond lies very close to the running track, and more particularly that the right field foul-line impinges on the back stretch of the track, by a peculiar circumstance had a very important influence on the college life of Frank Armstrong. And so do great things turn on small incidents.

On a particular day in May, Freshman baseball practice was in full swing. Frank was still an humble outfielder with little hope of a promotion to the pitcher's box, for three men of more experience were ahead of him. Thomas, however, attracted by the bearing of Frank, had held him on the squad in spite of the fact that he was not an exceptional fielder. He was attentive to instructions and because of his willingness and earnestness to do whatever was told him to do, held his place as a substitute right fielder.

"In these days," the coach told him, "no pitcher can get along without a good assortment of[Pg 125] curves. Your straight ball is fine, but they get to it. You can curve the ball but you can't get it over the plate when you do curve it."

"That's my trouble, but I'll learn if you'll show me," said Frank, "that is, I'll do my best to learn."

But Thomas was not a pitcher and therefore could not show him just how to get that puzzling break to the ball which assured a pitcher of success with even a moderately good control. So Frank languished in the outfield much to the disgust of Turner and the Codfish who thought he was being done an injustice.

A practice game was in progress between the First and Second nines, and the First nine was at bat. Frank was playing right field. Down along the first base line came a sizzling grounder just inside the base. An undercut to the ball caused it, when it struck the turf, to pull off into foul ground. At once the man on second shot for home. Frank started at the crack of the bat, while the batter set sail for first base with the evident intention of making second at least on the hit which seemed good for two easy bases.

Frank, who was playing closer in than he should have been, went for the grounder with all[Pg 126] his speed, but seeing no hope of intercepting it by ordinary means, leaped in the air to a point in the line of the rolling ball. His feet, as they struck the ground, formed a barrier which the ball struck and jumped into the air in easy reach of his hand. He recovered his balance, seized the ball and drove it like lightning to the plate, catching the runner. The catcher snapped the ball to second, completing the double.

It was a pretty play and brought forth hand-clapping from the two score of bystanders who were watching the game.

Now it chanced that the trainer of the track team, Johnny Black by name, was looking over his runners as they loped around the back stretch of the track. His eye for the moment was off his half-milers, and was attracted by Armstrong's leap for the rolling ball. He crossed the track to the Freshman outfield, searching for the mark of Frank's cleats when he left the ground. Having found the starting point, he searched carefully till he found the marks of his landing, which happened to be on a bit of ground bare of turf where the cleat marks showed plainly. A ball whizzed past his ear, but he paid no attention, and even the shout of the Freshman[Pg 127] coach that he was in the field of play apparently had no effect upon him. He measured the distance of Armstrong's jump with his eye, then stepped it deliberately.

"Hey, right-fielder," demanded Johnny, as Frank, the batting side having now been retired, trotted toward the plate, "what's your name?"

"Armstrong," shouted that individual over his shoulder.

"Come here, Armstrong," said the trainer in peremptory tones.

Frank halted and went back to him.

"You look to me like a jumper. What are you doing over here when you can jump 18 feet with baseball clothes on?" he demanded.

"Trying to play ball the best I know how."

"Any chance to make it?" said the trainer as he walked along toward the plate while the First team went to their places in the field.

"Not very good looking now," returned Frank. "I'm sort of a seventeenth sub-pitcher and outfielder."

"So! I want you over at the track for a day or two. You ought to jump a mile. Say, Thomas," this to the coach, "let me have Armstrong for a day or two. I'm in an awful hole[Pg 128] for jumpers and he ought to make one or I miss my guess. If he doesn't turn out right, you can have him back again. If he does, you'll never get him!"

"That's right, come and take my men away from me," grumbled Thomas. "But I can spare him just now as he is a pitcher and I've got three pretty good ones. Send him back here if he doesn't make good."

"All the work I'll ask him to do in training for the jump, if he has the goods, won't prevent him from working with you if he wants to, but I want him first."

"All right," said Thomas. "Armstrong, report to Black to-morrow afternoon, and when you have shown him how far you can't jump, come back here for what practice you can get."

"All right, sir," returned Frank.

"Two o'clock to-morrow at the track house. Bring a track suit with you and jumping shoes if you have them."

"All right, I'll be there," said Frank but he did not relish the change. His heart was set on baseball, and it was a great disappointment to him to be pulled into the track work. But his motto was to do the best that was in him without[Pg 129] question, which is the starting point for success in most things.

The coming of the Freshman jumper did not create much interest on the track squad. His jumping did not please the trainer.

"Your form is bad," Black told him. "In jumping, form is everything. You may get to twenty-one or twenty-two feet the way you are going, but that will be the end of it. You must get higher in the air at the take-off."

Frank worked hard to master the new style. In school he had jumped naturally and without much coaching, but felt himself that he was not getting his greatest distance. He redoubled his efforts but could not lengthen out beyond nineteen feet or a little better. Then he began to fall below that even.

"You're jumping like an old brindle cow," said Black one day. "Are your legs sore?"

"My shins feel as if they would crack every time I land in the pit," said Frank, feeling the offending legs gingerly.

"Why in thunder didn't you tell me that before? You can't work at the broad jump the same as you do at football or baseball. Lay off for a day or two and keep off your feet."

[Pg 130]

The rest did Frank a world of good for when he returned to the jumping pit he cleared over twenty feet in his first trial, much to the trainer's delight. Thereafter he was watched with the closest attention by Black. In the spring games which came the last week in April he won third place in the handicap broad jump; and after a hard fight succeeded in beating out Warrington, the Freshman jumper who had done the best work up to that time.

Two weeks later at the Princeton Freshman meet Frank won second place with a jump of 21 feet 5 inches, and first place in the Harvard Freshman games a week later, bettering his mark by three inches.

Armstrong was ineligible, of course, for the 'Varsity meets with Princeton and Harvard, but kept at work perfecting his form and watching closely the work of Hotchkiss, the Junior, who was a consistent performer around 22 feet 6 inches, and who occasionally approached 23 feet. But as Frank daily increased his marks, the interest of Hotchkiss waned.

The Intercollegiates came and went, and Hotchkiss maintained his position as Intercollegiate champion by winning the broad jump for[Pg 131] Yale at 22 feet 10 inches. But Armstrong never ceased his efforts. A trip to Cambridge for the finals in the Intercollegiates showed him the styles used by the greatest collegiate jumpers, and after returning to New Haven he put his observations to such good effect that he cleared 22 feet 4 inches.

"What's the use of keeping up that old grind at the track," said the Codfish one night. "Why don't you go over to the Freshman baseball squad? You may get a chance there yet."

"I'm after something," returned Frank, "and it's coming so fast that I don't want to let go."

"And that something?"

"Don't laugh, it's Hotchkiss. He's been so blamed cocky that I'd give my shoes to lick his mark in the Intercollegiates just for personal satisfaction. I'm too late to do anything with the baseball squad now anyway."

"Noble ambition," said the Codfish, "but what's the use? There's nothing more for the track men this spring."

"Just the same I'm going to keep at it."

"Go ahead then, jump your legs off, while Turner and I win the glory."

Turner had by steady improvement worked[Pg 132] himself into the position of first catcher on the Freshman team. The Codfish, leaving temporarily his ambition to break into the exclusive ranks of the Mandolin Club, had won the position of official scorer of the Freshman, a place which he filled with great credit.

"Another sit-down job," said Turner laughing. "Trust the Codfish to get something easy."

"Why not? I don't love violent exercise. If I hanker for the cool shade of the scorer's bench and can record the glorious deeds of our young catcher and ease up on him when he makes flub-dubs, who is to say me nay? But I'm a believer in hard work, just the same——"

"For the other fellow," broke in Frank.

"Sure, that's what gives Yale her prestige, doesn't it? If it becomes necessary for me to don the baseball suit to uphold the athletics of Yale, then I'll do it. Till then, with all you good workers around, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't take the shade."

"Noble youth," said Frank. "We'll keep on in the sun and let you take the shade," and nothing either the Codfish or Turner could say changed Frank's determination to keep everlastingly[Pg 133] at his jumping practice, uninteresting though it appeared to his roommates.

"Now I know why you stuck to the jumping," said the Codfish one morning as he scanned the first page of the News.

"Elucidate," said Frank.

"Here it is right in our lively little daily. Oxford and Cambridge-Yale-Harvard meet arranged. Teams about evenly matched. Sail for England July 2nd, and a whole string of likely candidates in which I see your name."

"O, but I'm a Freshman, and a Freshman can't compete in 'Varsity matches," said Frank, but his heart gave a bound just the same.

"You won't be a Freshman after June 17th, you bonehead," returned the Codfish joyfully, "provided you don't flunk your examinations. You'll be a jolly Sophomore with all the blackness of Freshman year behind you."

"But there's Hotchkiss. He's better than I am, and a Junior."

"He'll be a Senior, don't you savez, but that will make mighty little difference if you can outjump him. They will take only the best, or I'm a galoot."

[Pg 134]

"You generally are, Codfish, but I'll work my head off to make that team."

"You've nearly worked it off already, and you've got to make that team. Pictures in the papers, details of your early life, moving stories about your many virtues, weeping relatives at the dock as the ship sails out of the bay and all that sort of thing. I can see it all now."

Frank laughed at his enthusiastic friend. But his pulse quickened at the thought of the possibility of making the team which should represent America in this international contest. Turner, too, was wild with delight at the turn affairs had taken. "Now I wish I had been a jumper. We'll read the cable dispatches every day. You're bound to make it."

"Don't count your chickens," said Frank, "till they are safely hatched. You forget that Hotchkiss is doing nearly 23 feet."

Two days later a call in the News brought all the first string track men together in the trophy room of the Gymnasium, and Frank Armstrong was among them. Captain Harrington read the challenge from the English Universities, and told them what was expected of them.

"This is going to be a free field, and everyone[Pg 135] will have his chance. The team will be the best that Harvard and Yale can get together. Practice will be held at the Field every day as usual, and the trials will be at Cambridge a week before we sail. Only first place counts in this meet with the Englishmen so it will not be necessary to take any but the best men in each event. I want you to give the best in you. We must give a good account of ourselves here at Yale."

The captain got a rousing cheer at the end of his speech which was a long one for him, and the athletes clattered down the wide, marble steps in excited discussion of the coming event and Yale's possibilities.

"Armstrong," said the trainer next day at the field, "you have a chance to make this team. I want you to go to it as hard as you know how."

"I've been doing that for the last month."

"Well, you've improved a lot in that time. You've got to beat Hotchkiss to win out. It's up to you."

During the remainder of the college year Frank put every spare minute in the preparation for the final test for the team. Even in the trying time of examinations he managed to squeeze out half hours at the Field, and when it was not[Pg 136] possible to get out there, he studied the theory of broad-jumping, searched the library for information on the subject and found little enough. At Commencement a famous jumper of former years took him in hand and gave him some advice which helped him greatly. Steadily, if slowly, he continued to improve his marks, until one hot morning he raced down the runway and cleared 22 feet 10 inches, much to the discomfort of Hotchkiss who, in spite of his experience, did not relish the fact that the Freshman was drawing nearer and nearer to equality with him.

"Twenty-two feet ten inches," announced Black. "Hotchkiss, you've got to look out for your laurels. This Freshman will beat you out if you don't improve your jump."

Hotchkiss scowled and tried harder than ever, but he seemed to have reached his limit, and was unable to surpass his distance in the Intercollegiates.

That night Frank wrote to his mother: "Mother, I have a chance, only a chance, mind you, to make the team that is going to England to represent Yale and Harvard. If I win a place are you and dad willing to let me go?"

[Pg 137]

And the answer came back on the next mail: "Yes."

"That settles it," cried Frank, flourishing the letter above his head as he capered about the room. "I'll win out or die trying."

The Codfish spoke up: "Perhaps you don't know that I'm going too."

"For what?" inquired Frank.

"To see that you keep in strict training and out of mischief."

"You actually mean you would go across if I should make the team?"

"Bettcher life," came the quick answer. "I've got to do something this summer, and I can't imagine anything better than to see the Johnny Bulls properly tanned."

"Jimmy, how about you?" inquired Frank.

"I'm not a bloated bondholder like the Codfish. It's work for mine this summer. But I'll read all the cablegrams and pray for you!"

[Pg 138]


It was the day of the try-outs at Cambridge when the best that Harvard and Yale could muster were gathered to contest for a place on the team which should meet Oxford and Cambridge.

"One week more and we will be on the briny," observed Gleason confidently to Frank. The speaker, Jimmy and David had all journeyed to the big Stadium to see their classmate compete for a place.

"Gleason, if you talk like that much more, you'll hoodoo me. Don't forget that I'm a novice at this game. I've got about one chance in ten."

"You'll come through all right," said David Powers. "I've noticed that you do pretty well under pressure."

"As, for instance, football on the Yale Freshman team!—Go to, David, go to! I know what you fellows are trying to do. You're trying to keep up my sinking spirits. Much obliged."

[Pg 139]

Frank was dressing for the trials along with the point-winners of the 'Varsity track team, but he felt strange and shy with the older and more seasoned athletes. He was the only Freshman who had been taken with the Yale squad, and his three friends, David, Jimmy and the Codfish, had made it a point to be with him.

"I don't see any particular reason for anyone going over to represent us in the broad jump anyway," said Frank.

"How's that?" inquired someone.

"Didn't you see the morning papers? No? Well, Vare, that Oxford man, jumped 23 feet 5 in practice, and they think over there there's nothing but England to this coming meet. All the prophets have it settled."

"I've heard of prophets slipping before now," said the Codfish gaily.

"And Vare is a consistent jumper, better than 23 feet most of the time, from all I can learn," went on Frank. "Cambridge has a pretty good jumper, too, better than we have, but away behind Vare. So if the unexpected happens and I should win out, which doesn't look bright, I'd be nothing but an also-ran when it comes to the scratch over there."

[Pg 140]

Out on the track where the contestants were now hurrying, a crowd of officials and friends were gathered along the straightaway and the various jumping pits. Halloby had already won his place in the high hurdles and was receiving the congratulations of his friends as he walked smilingly back to the track house.

"Good boy, Halloby," came the greeting from all sides. A Yale man had been second. Both would be taken.

Hotchkiss was at the jumping pit when Frank reached there, and was engaged in marking with the greatest care the length of his strides just before the "take" of the jump so that he would get the best results. Up and down the runway he went, measuring and pacing. He gave Armstrong a curt nod as he walked to the jumpers' bench to the right of the runway.

Just as the quarter-mile ended, giving Harvard two men and Yale none in this event, the broad jumping contest was started with Hotchkiss leading off. On his first try, Hotchkiss overran the jumping block. McGregor, a Harvard man, cleared 21 feet 8 inches, another Harvard man 21 feet 6, and then it came Frank's turn.

"Now, Armstrong," said the trainer as he[Pg 141] walked down the runway toward the point where Frank had left his jersey as a starting mark. "Keep your head, get a breeze up in those last six strides and hit the block hard. Go ahead."

Frank loped down the runway for perhaps fifty feet, speeding up toward the middle of the run. Then within six or eight strides of the block he burst into full speed, hit the block squarely, and shot into the air. It looked like a magnificent jump but when he struck in the soft sawdust and loam of the pit he could not hold the full distance, and fell backwards, breaking the ground a good three feet to the rear of where his heels first touched. Naturally, the jump was measured from the block to the point where his hand broke the ground.

"Twenty feet four inches," sang out the judge of the event.

"This Yale Freshman isn't such a wonder, after all," whispered a Harvard competitor to another sitting next him on the bench. "If he could have held his distance, it would have been a peach, though."

"Your old fault, Armstrong," said Black coming over to him. "That jump was actually better than 23 feet. Now, try to stay up on your next."

[Pg 142]

As the trainer spoke, Hotchkiss came rushing down the runway. He got a perfect take-off, rose in the air, turned halfway round in his flight, but held the distance he had made on the jump, which was a moment later announced to be 22 feet 10 inches.

McGregor followed with a pretty jump of 22 feet 6, while his teammate did not better his first jump, which was not good enough even to be measured.

Again it was Frank's turn, and so well did he heed the coaching of Black that the judge gave him credit for 22 feet 8 inches, the second best jump of the afternoon. Hotchkiss still held the lead, however, and swaggered a little as he walked around. The jumpers followed each other in rotation. Frank's next try was a failure, but on the following one, gathering all his energies for a supreme effort, he sailed into the air like a bird.

"Twenty-two feet ten and three-fourths inches," called the judge, showing in his voice an awakening interest in the event.

Hotchkiss, stung at the thought that the Freshman had beaten his best mark, showed very plainly in his preparations for his trials that he[Pg 143] meant to wipe him out. He moved his marks a trifle, stepped the distance carefully, and then, seemingly satisfied, walked slowly to the end of the runway.

"He's peeved," remarked Turner.

"What difference does it make to him anyway, he's sure to be taken, isn't he?" inquired David.

"Hotchkiss is one of those chaps who hate to be anything but first."

"He has a head like a rhinocer-hoss," said the Codfish. As he spoke, Hotchkiss turned at the far end of the runway. Every eye was on him now, which was not at all displeasing to him. Down the runway he came like a race horse, his gaze fixed steadily on the take-off block where the supreme effort was to be made. But so great was his speed in his endeavor to eclipse all previous efforts that he struck the block badly, sprang in the air, lost his direction and landed partly in and partly out of the pit in an awkward straddle. Unable to keep his balance he fell over sideways on the hard ground and lay there groaning.

In an instant a half score of bystanders had run to the aid of Hotchkiss. He was picked up[Pg 144] and set upon his feet, half stunned, but when he attempted to take a step, he sank down groaning.

The trainer sprang to the side of the injured jumper. "Where is it?" he demanded.

"My ankle," moaned Hotchkiss. "I twisted it in some way. Here, let me try it again." But try as he might, he could not bear a particle of weight on the injured leg, and had to be carried to the Locker Building in the arms of two of his teammates.

Immediately a buzz of excited conversation rose.

"That hurts our chances in England, doesn't it?" inquired one of the officials.

"Yes, it does. Hotchkiss was good enough to win over the Cambridge man in case anything should happen to the Oxford man, Vare. He didn't have a chance to beat Vare because Hotchkiss has never done as well as 23 feet, while Vare is a consistent performer at several inches better."

"The broad jump is one of the events that we've got to count out, then, isn't it?"

"It certainly is now," said the trainer. "If Armstrong had a year more of experience he'd[Pg 145] give the Oxonian a good battle. Armstrong is a natural jumper, but has not perfected his form yet. It will take another year."

When the excitement over the injury to Hotchkiss had passed, the trials continued and Armstrong created a ripple of interest when on his last trial he came within an inch of the coveted 23-foot mark.

The result of the contest in the broad jump was that Armstrong, representing Yale, and McGregor, representing Harvard, were selected for the team. In all, twenty-six men were chosen that afternoon for the fourteen events to be contested in England, fourteen from Harvard and twelve from Yale. These men were the very flower of both teams. In the hammer and shot events only two from each college were selected since the best hammer throwers were also the best shot putters.

To say that it was a jubilant quartet of boys who tumbled off the train at Milton, would be expressing it in weak terms.

"Open up the cupboard," cried Frank after the home greetings were over. "You have four champion diners with you to-night."

"A little soup, slice of mutton and toast for[Pg 146] the athlete, Mrs. Armstrong. Frank isn't allowed to eat anything rich, you know, training table grub and all that."

"You chase yourself around the block, Mr. Codfish. The training table has a rest for a solid week—apple dumplings, strawberry shortcake and all the fixings belong to me."

"Seems as if you had earned it, son," said Mr. Armstrong.

"Grand little muscles, Mr. Armstrong," said the loquacious Codfish. "Nice, hard and knotty, warranted pure steel, made in Germany—just feel them, best set in Yale—delivery of goods guaranteed——"

The dinner gong cut the speaker's flow of language short, but at the table he kept the conversation moving at a lively pace.

"Well, boys," said Mr. Armstrong, edging into the torrent of talk, "do you like Yale as well now as ever?"

"Yale is great stuff," came the ready chorus.

"It would be better if we didn't have so many studies," added the Codfish.

"How's that?"

"Well, a fellow just gets settled down to doing something like baseball or football or track[Pg 147] athletics when the recitations break in. And the profs. get so peeved when a fellow isn't up to form that they have an unkind habit of flunking him."

"And do you flunk, Mr. Gleason?" inquired Mrs. Armstrong.

"Does he flunk! O, my!" laughed Jimmy.

"I hold the record in the class," said the Codfish proudly. "Four in one day. Such a successful flunker that I have three conditions for next year."

"Conditions, what are they?"

"O, just little attachments that they sometimes put onto Freshmen," laughed Frank.

"Have you any, Frank?" inquired his father.

"In athletics a fellow has to keep up to the scratch, you know. If he doesn't, he can't go into athletics. The Codfish is the free-lance."

"Yes, he's gone into everything," interjected Jimmy, "and so far hasn't won a battle."

"O, but he will," said Mrs. Armstrong.

"Thank you for your confidence," said that individual rising and making a sweeping bow. "'Familiarity breeds contempt,' so they say, and my familiar roommates fail to see the outcroppings[Pg 148] of genius as clearly as you do. I've nearly won several battles already."

And then Jimmy gave the history of the Codfish's unsuccessful onslaughts on the News, the Crew and the Mandolin Club to the amusement of the older members of the family.

"The difficulty is," said the Codfish, "that the individual has no chance at college. It is all for the development of the average man, like Jimmy there, for instance. Genius is frowned upon. I could have revolutionized the News if they'd given me a little longer chance at it."

"Demoralized it, you mean," said Frank. "Mother, give me another piece of that shortcake. My, but it tastes good after so much training table."

Training hours were broken that night, and for several nights to come, for the boys played with as much vigor as they worked. But Frank did not neglect his physical training. Swims at Seawall, where our friends foregathered for the first time several years before, rowing, and walks in the country, kept him in trim for the work which was to come.

[Pg 149]


Ten days after the trials at Cambridge, Frank, with the Codfish at his side, stood on the promenade deck of the great White Star liner Olympic, and waved good-by to his friends on the dock as the big boat moved slowly out into North River.

"Bring back their scalps, you Indians," shouted someone.

"Don't let the Johnny Bulls get your goats, you Yaleses!"

"Show them how they do it in Yankeeland, Harvard!"

To all of which the outgoing athletes, in a little group apart from the rest of the passengers, smiled and waved hands in acknowledgment.

"Gee whiz," said the Codfish as the big ship slipped swiftly down the bay, "I never thought of it before, but what if I should be seasick?"

"It doesn't make so much difference about[Pg 150] you," said Frank heartlessly, "but what if I should? That's the question!"

Fortunately, the ocean was calm and none of the team suffered in the slightest from the dreaded sickness. With the first meal on the ship the athletes were seated together, and soon Yale and Harvard lines were forgotten. The men from the two universities fraternized with each other and the team was neither Harvard nor Yale, but an American team with only one object in view,—victory from their English cousins.

Training regulations were established at once, and while the routine was not so strict as on land, the trainers saw to it that their athletes retired not later than 10:30 and that they were up at 7 in the morning for a jog around the decks before the passengers were about. The long decks of the Olympic made a surprisingly good training ground. A training stunt which amused the passengers was dancing, not in the ordinary sense of the word, but "standstill sprinting" as the Codfish called it, on a cork mat, on which the runners got practically the same leg action as they would running on the open track. A large cork mat was spread on the boat deck, and relays of men, four at a time, pranced merrily,[Pg 151] rested and pranced again. Then came a cold salt water shower and a rub-down. In the afternoon the dancing exercise would be repeated. Skipping the rope was another deck exercise which played a large part in keeping the men in good condition.

"Where do you keep yourself nowadays?" said Frank one evening after dinner. He had noticed that Gleason disappeared for long periods during the day.

"O, just sitting about and thinking. Can't think where you athletes are romping around. You make more noise than a bunch of magpies. I'm sick of athletic chatter, that so-and-so ought to do 10 seconds, and that Mr. Blinks of Harvard should win his half if he doesn't get too fast a pace in the first quarter, that Mr. Jenks of Yale is likely to pull a tendon, and so on and so on."

"So you sneak off and improve your mind?"

"Right-O, sonny. I'm doing that same."

But the next day Frank discovered the cause of the Codfish's long absences. The Codfish did not have his meals at the athletes' table but at a table nearby. Adjoining the table where he sat, Fate, in the person of the steward's assistant,[Pg 152] had placed Mr. and Mrs. Mortimore Hasbrouck, their daughter Marjorie and son William. Fate went a step farther than the location of the Hasbrouck family and undoubtedly had a hand in the business of seating Marjorie at this table where her bright face was in range of the Codfish's roving eyes.

Now, Marjorie was fair to look upon as the Codfish admitted to himself when she made her appearance in the dining saloon the first night at sea. "But she's only a kid," he said to himself, "just fresh out of some boarding school if I dope that pin on her shoulder right."

The Codfish looked and looked, but the eyes of Marjorie were on the athletes' table beyond him, and were not for him. Her gaze continually traveled over his head, and now and then he could hear the words "Harvard, Yale, track athletes——" for, of course, everyone knew that the teams were aboard even before the ship left the dock.

"She doesn't know I belong to the party," thought the Codfish, gloomily, "or she wouldn't waste all her looks at the next table. I've got to fix that!"

That night he made it a point to speak to[Pg 153] Billie, while the latter hung on the outskirts of the crowd of athletes, and Billie was, of course, overjoyed to be spoken to by a college man, for he was only in his third year in prep. school, and considered a collegian a kind of demigod.

"Are you one of the athletes?" inquired Billie.

"I'm one of the Yale men," said the Codfish feeling his chest expand.

Billie jumped to the conclusion that he was one of the competitors, and was duly elated at the fortunate acquaintance.

"Gee whiz, I'm glad to know you. I'm going down to Yale myself next year if I get through my exams. Should have been there this year but flub-dubbed the exams. Dad says if I don't make it next year it's good-night for mine."

"Stick to it, stick to it, my boy! A college life is a great thing,—training of the mind, associations, mental and physical development and all that sort of thing." As he talked he led the way up the deck in the direction of the Hasbrouck family chairs. The Codfish shot a look out of his eye and observed the object of his search, the fair Marjorie. But the expected didn't happen. Billie, glorying in the companionship of a Yale man and a member of the great[Pg 154] team of athletes, led his new-found friend up and down the deck half a dozen times to let the full weight of its significance sink into the family.

Getting impatient at last, and tired of the walking, the Codfish said: "Seems to me I've seen you and your sister before somewhere. Perhaps it was down at the game last fall."

"Wish I had been there, but nothing doing! Just at that time I got into trouble at school and the Pater shut down on me. Beastly luck. But, say, Mr.— Mr.——"


"Mr. Gleason, won't you come and meet the family? Sis will be delighted to know a Yale man."

Thus came the Codfish to the Hasbrouck family, where, being properly presented, he bowed low and with supreme dignity. When Marjorie offered him her hand he held it a trifle overtime and looked unspeakable things.

"What is your specialty, Mr. Gleason?" inquired Mrs. Hasbrouck.

"O, a little of everything," said the Codfish noncommittally.

"O, isn't that lovely," cried Marjorie. "He does everything!"

[Pg 155]

"Well, I try a few things," struggling to produce a modest smile and with indifferent success.

"Tell us about Yale, Mr. Gleason," said Mrs. Hasbrouck. "I'm so sorry John isn't here because William is going down to Yale next year, I hope. I went to a game there years ago, a football game I think it was, in June——"

"Baseball, I think," corrected Billie. "They don't play football in June."

"Well, baseball then. I thought it a wonderful place."

"O, it's a pretty good place," said Gleason, and then nothing loath to talk, particularly when Marjorie made the inquiries, he launched into a dazzling word picture of Yale and her glories. At the end of ten minutes he had made such progress with Marjorie that she readily accepted his invitation to take a promenade with him. From that moment the affairs of the Yale-Harvard track team, and even the more intimate concerns of his roommate began to decline from the zenith of his attentions. Marjorie was in the ascendency.

It was on the second day out that Frank Armstrong, noticing the Codfish's absence, had asked[Pg 156] him where he kept himself, and was not at all satisfied with the answer he got. "The Codfish sitting around, thinking! Never!" said Frank to himself. And shortly after, Frank had ocular demonstration as to the real trouble. He met Codfish and Marjorie, and the former was so much absorbed that he didn't even see his roommate.

"By Jove!" cried Frank. "Wait till I see him!"

When the Codfish turned up that night in the stateroom, Frank pounced upon him.

"So you've been sitting around, thinking, have you?"

"Sure thing, thinking what I'd do next. I say, Frank, she's a pippin. Billie's an awful bore, but his kid sister is a peach, believe me!"

"I thought you were an out-and-out woman-hater."

"I used to be in my younger days," said the Codfish, earnestly, "but this Marjorie girl has certainly got me going. Some eyes, boy, some eyes."

"So, that's why you've been neglecting your poor roommate, is it? I thought you came over here to see that I had good attention and kept in training. I might be at almost anything, even[Pg 157] enjoying a pipe in the smoking room with John Hasbrouck as far as you are concerned."

"I guess you will be all right looking after yourself. Now in Marjorie's case—" he had reached the point already of calling her "Marjorie," and he lingered a little over the name—"in Marjorie's case, it is different. She needs a strong arm to lean on," and the Codfish stretched his legs out luxuriously.

"And you are furnishing the arm?"


"And how about her father and mother and even her brother? They have no protecting arms, I suppose?"

"Frank, they don't understand her. She seems quite alone. This is in confidence, Frank,—she's going to go on the stage as soon as she's through school. She'd make a hit, I tell you! She has great ambition, that girl has!"

"And what does her mother say about the stage?"

"O, just laughs at her, has no conception of the depths of that girl's nature. I doped her out for myself soon as I saw her. Frank, old chap, I love her!" At this astounding piece of intelligence Frank howled with laughter.

[Pg 158]

"All right, go ahead and laugh, but I tell you this is serious. Say, Frank, you wouldn't mind if I went on to Paris with the Hasbroucks, would you? You won't need me for anything. I'll get back to London for the meet maybe."

"You'll get lost snooping around Paris all by yourself," said Frank as soon as he could regain the breath that Gleason's question had knocked out of him.

"O, but I'll not be alone. I'll travel with the Hasbroucks. My heart tells me to go."

"Very well then," said Frank. "If you have such an unreliable heart, there's nothing for it but to go I suppose. You may change your mind or your heart before we dock."

"Never!" said the Codfish. "This is a deep and lasting feeling I have. It has changed the whole course of my life. I came onto this boat a mere boy, now I feel I'm a man with all the responsibilities of a man."

Codfish's infatuation was too good a story to keep, and Frank took McGregor, the Harvard broad jumper, with whom he had struck up a friendship, into his confidence. "That friend of mine, Gleason, has a love attack and tells me he is going to desert and go on to Paris with the[Pg 159] fair charmer. How are we going to head him off?"

"Win his girl away from him," suggested McGregor.

"But he doesn't give anyone a chance," said Frank, laughing. "He sticks around from morning till night. He certainly has a terrible case."

"Get him up on the boat-deck for a game of shuffleboard," suggested McGregor, "and then we'll get someone to talk to Marjorie. When that fellow gets tired, we'll have someone else take up the relay and so on."

"Great," said Frank. "Let's try."

That afternoon, the Codfish, all unsuspecting, was led off for a try at the popular deck game, and in his absence one of the team, who was in the plot, contrived to get an introduction to Marjorie, took the vacant chair of her father, and began a lengthy conversation. When the Codfish, who had been detained at the game as long as possible, hurried back to his lady-love he found his place occupied. Back and forth he paced, casting longing looks in the direction of the Hasbrouck chairs, but Marjorie was deeply interested in the young man alongside of her, and did not even look in the Codfish's direction.[Pg 160] After half an hour of agony, the Codfish observed with joy that his rival was preparing to leave, but just at that moment, up strolled another of the athletes to the coveted chair, and being asked to sit down, did so and continued the conversation, while plotter No. 1 went on his way. For two mortal hours the Codfish was held at bay, pacing the decks and railing at his luck while the relays continued.

"How in the deuce did she come to know all these fellows?" growled the Codfish to himself. "Next time I'll not go playing shuffleboard and leaving her alone, so help me Bob!"

When finally the Codfish thought his inning was about to come, Marjorie tripped gaily off with the last of her suitors, and after a promenade around the deck, disappeared somewhere below to Gleason's great distress of mind.

That evening Marjorie was again carried off, this time by the Yale half-miler, and the only thing left for the Codfish was to occupy her vacant chair, which he did, and proceeded to make himself agreeable to Mrs. Hasbrouck, though his eyes followed Marjorie on her promenade up and down the deck.

"Mighty attractive girl, that Miss Hasbrouck,"[Pg 161] said Frank that night as the boys were preparing to retire. "She's made a great hit with the team, did you notice it?"

"Did I notice it?" cried the Codfish petulantly. "Yes, I noticed it. Where in the name of the Great Horn Spoon did she meet all those fellows?"

"Mutual attraction, I s'pose," said Frank. "I saw you holding forth with her mother most of the evening. Charming lady, eh?"

"O, yes, all right. Interested in philanthropy and all that sort of thing. Wanted me to help her raise something for the Widows and Orphans Fund for Sailors; subscription papers, and all that sort of thing."

"And you're for it?"

"O, yes, Marjorie's mother you see. Couldn't do anything else. I've got to stand in right with her mother."

"Noble youth," said Frank. "First catch the mother and the daughter will come easy. Is that it?"

"You have a glimmer of intelligence, Armstrong, a rare thing in your case."

"We have him on the run," said McGregor the next morning at breakfast. "I suggest a round-robin[Pg 162] letter to the young lady. How would this suit?" He hauled a letter from his pocket and handed it to Frank, who read it while a smile stole over his face.

"Will she take it all right, do you think?" said Frank as he handed the letter back to the conspirator.

"Sure thing. The Codfish cuts no figure now since she's had a taste of bigger game. I'll write it out and get everyone to sign it."

"Go to it," said Frank. "We must save our little Codfish."

That afternoon while Miss Hasbrouck was curled up in her deck chair with the Codfish in attendance, a deck steward handed a letter to her. A long list of signatures followed.

"A wireless?" inquired the Codfish, much interested.

"Too funny for anything," said the girl. "I wonder if I had better let you read it? It concerns you."

"Me?" said the Codfish in astonishment, reaching out for the letter.

"Promise not to get mad if I let you see it?"

"Cross my heart, hope to die if I do."

"All right, then, but remember your promise."[Pg 163] She passed the letter over to him, and this is what he read:

"Dear Miss Hasbrouck:—

"We have observed with growing anxiety the attention which one of our party has been paying to you. While we do not wish to alarm you, we feel you ought to know that this young man is afflicted with mental aberration. In other words, he is slightly off his head. As far as we know he has never had a dangerous spell, but you can never tell. Please pardon us for seeming to intrude, but we thought you ought to know."

Then followed a long list of signatures of practically every man on either team.

Gleason was just finishing the perusal of the note when McGregor pranced up to Miss Hasbrouck. "Take a walk around the deck?" he queried, and that young lady hastily jumped up without even excusing herself to the Codfish, and started off at a brisk pace with the young Harvard man.

"Nutty, am I?" said the Codfish. "I'll show them," gritting his teeth, "I'll show them. They're trying to queer me," and then to Mrs. Hasbrouck who had just come up from her stateroom: "O, Mrs. Hasbrouck, I'm going to help[Pg 164] you with that fund. Guess pretty nearly everyone of the two teams will subscribe to it."

"That's very sweet of you, indeed. It is a noble thing to do to help such a good cause to provide for the widows and orphans of the sailors who go down in the great deep."

"Sure thing," said the Codfish, enthusiastically. "All our fellows are very generous on such a thing as that. I never saw such a noble bunch of fellows as we have with us."

Mrs. Hasbrouck beamed over her spectacles. "I think we ought to collect as much of the fund as we can to-day; only a little more of our sea voyage is left, you know."

"'A bird in the hand is said to be worth two in the bushes!'" returned the Codfish. "I'll be back in a minute," he added. On the way down to the bulletin board in the companionway where were inscribed the signatures of those who were willing to help along the fund with contributions, he came upon Marjorie and McGregor, their heads together in deep conversation. Neither saw him or they pretended not to see him as he passed, and the fires of revenge burned the deeper in his heart. Five minutes later he was back at Mrs. Hasbrouck's chair.

[Pg 165]

"The names of pretty nearly every one of our fellows are down under that subscription paper," he informed her. "I've made a copy of them all and the amounts opposite each name."

"This is wonderful," said Mrs. Hasbrouck, enthusiastically as she ran through the list. "Mr. McGregor $25; Mr. Armstrong $25; Mr. Wallace $10; Mr. Burrows $10; why, this is really wonderful. You will certainly get your reward for your kindness. I'll call the steward's attention to this, and suggest that he ought to collect to-day, for to-morrow will be our last day on shipboard, you know."

"Yes, I think he ought to get after them to-day. So much hurry and scurry on the last day that he might miss some of the contributions."

A little later consternation was thrown into the "contributors" to the Widows and Orphans Fund. A very businesslike young steward armed with a list, began his collections. Two or three of the collegians paid up without protest for they supposed such collections were the regular thing, but when the collector reached McGregor, who was still holding the fort with Marjorie in the shade of one of the lifeboats, he met a refusal.

[Pg 166]

"Twenty-five dollars for the Widows and Orphans Fund! I never heard of it before!" protested the "contributor."

"There must be a mistake, sir," said the steward, "you must have forgotten, your name is one of those on the subscription paper in the companionway bulletin board."

"My name on the paper? Quit your kidding."

"O, but it is, sir. I made a careful copy myself, sir, of all the names, and I'm sure I'm right."

"Then I must have done it in my sleep," exclaimed the puzzled McGregor. "Where is the bulletin board?"

"I'll show you, sir," and the steward led the way to the saloon deck. Shortly they stood before the board in question. There were a number of notices on the board, but the steward pointed out the one in question. "There it is, sir, and there's your name," triumphantly.

"We, the Undersigned, subscribe to the Widows and Orphans Fund the amount set after each of our names:"

McGregor's jaw dropped as he read the notice. Then in amazement his eye traveled down the long list of signatures till it fell on his own.

[Pg 167]

"It is sure enough my signature and no forgery. But when in the name of Mike did I do it?" He gazed in helpless wonder at Marjorie who had accompanied him to the companionway.

"Seems to me I've seen that list before," said Miss Hasbrouck. "It looks like one that was attached to a letter I received to-day."

McGregor stepped up to the board, scrutinized the subscription paper closely, then took out the thumb tacks which secured it to the board itself. "Look," he said, displaying the back of the paper. "The Codfish has put one over on us. This list has been very neatly pasted onto the bottom of the Widows and Orphans Fund subscription paper, and as both were written on ship's paper the deception was a clever one."

"O, my, the wretch!" said Marjorie.

"The young runt," quoth McGregor in high dudgeon, "wait till I get at him!"

But he did not get at the Codfish just then for that individual kept himself out of sight until the next morning. The story went the rounds of the ship as might naturally be expected, and not a few of the team members, seeing that the Codfish had made a neat shift of the joke onto their[Pg 168] own heads, paid up their alleged subscriptions so that the Fund was a gainer in the end.

Sad to relate, however, the standing of the Codfish with the Hasbrouck family was gone, never to return. His best efforts next morning failed to draw even a look of recognition from Marjorie's bright eyes as she passed and repassed him during the deck promenade, tripping along gaily between two members of the team. Once he thought he caught the expression as she passed: "That horrid boy." From Mrs. Hasbrouck he could only draw a frigid nod.

"And that's all the thanks I get for boosting the old fund," said the Codfish to himself. "Well, never mind, women are fickle. I'll have no more of them in my whole life," and he went his way whistling a merry tune.

That afternoon as the ship was passing up Southampton Water the Codfish found Frank leaning on the rail watching the beautiful and ever-shifting panorama opening before him.

"Say, Frank, I guess I'll not go on to Paris."

"Changed your mind?" There was a hint of laughter in Frank's voice.

"Yes, I think I ought to stick around for the[Pg 169] practice and the games, don't you? Doesn't seem quite right to desert now."

"Good boy," said Frank. "I think you'll find England more congenial than Paris. It wouldn't be right to leave us anyway."

"That's what I think, too. I'll stick with the bunch."

[Pg 170]


The team with all its paraphernalia went through to London that night, and the next morning took train for Brighton about fifty miles south on the English Channel, where all were quartered at the Grand Hotel on the Esplanade facing the channel. Training quarters were established on the grounds of the Brighton Athletic Club which had been generously offered to the visitors by the Board of Governors.

It was an eager lot of athletes that tumbled out of the tally-ho at the Club that morning, for the trainers insisted that the practice should begin at once, and the men themselves, cooped up as they had been for a week, were no less anxious to get to work than the trainers were to have them.

Several scores of people, attracted to Brighton by the news that the Yale and Harvard teams would train there for the week previous to the match with Oxford and Cambridge, were in attendance when the Americans got into action.[Pg 171] "A likely looking lot," was the English comment.

After a light work-out, Armstrong and McGregor were called to the jumping pit.

"Try a few," said Trainer Black, "but make it easy and be careful you don't twist your ankles. We're badly enough off as it is."

After measuring out the runway and taking half a dozen practice runs, McGregor made a leap of something over 21 feet on his first try. Frank followed, but did not show anything impressive. Again he tried, but whether from the enforced idleness on the steamer or from physical condition, again fell far short of the jump he expected to make.

"You're not getting any lift at all," said Black, coming up at that moment. "Shoot high in the air when you strike that take-off."

Frank attempted to follow instructions, but his legs felt heavy and dead. He knew very well without information from the trainer that he failed to get his height. The more he jumped, the worse he got, but persisted until Trainer Black said: "That's enough, now. Jog around the track a couple of times and go in. You are off to-day but I guess it will be all right to-morrow."

[Pg 172]

But the next day, while there was a little improvement in his distance, Frank was far behind his American performances. McGregor jumped consistently at 22 feet and a half. The strange ground did not seem to bother him in any way, while with Frank either the straight runway, the different conditions of air or the week of partial idleness on shipboard had played havoc with his skill. Naturally, he began to worry, and this had its effect in keeping him back.

On the third day on English soil the whole team was taken up to London to the Queen's Club grounds so that the athletes might have an opportunity to try out the track. It proved to be a faster and better track than the one they were working on at Brighton and everyone was well pleased with the result of the day's work. Frank had improved a little on his jumps, but was still inches behind his Harvard mate. Several times he had succeeded in getting a good spring, but failed to hold the distance. It did not make him feel any happier to note that the English writers, after watching the performances of the two American jumpers, had counted them out of the contest entirely.

"Vare," wrote one sporting critic, "will have[Pg 173] no trouble in winning the broad jump for the American representatives are not in his class. It is unfortunate that their best jumper was unable to come across the water because of an accident in practice a few days before the Americans were to sail. But even with Hotchkiss, the injured Yale man, at his best he could not expect to measure up to the great Oxford jumper who has been doing 23 feet and over, consistently in practice, and has never yet been extended to his full limit to win in any event he has entered. With the broad jump a foregone conclusion for the Oxford-Cambridge team, the chances seem to favor the English athletes to carry off the meet."

Frank laid down the paper. "So, they've written us off, have they? Perhaps we may fool them yet," and he ground his teeth together, resolving that if he were beaten out it would not be because he did not try. But the next day's practice on the Brighton track yielded no better results. As he was walking slowly down the runway with feelings of disgust at his poor showing, he was accosted by a tall stranger whom he had seen talking with the captain a few minutes before.

[Pg 174]

"Do you mind if I give you a word of advice?" said the newcomer.

"Certainly not. If you can show me how to get out about a foot further, I'll be the happiest jumper in the United Kingdom."

The stranger smiled. "You are too anxious about this jumping business," he said, "and you're working too hard at it. You have plenty of speed and a good spring, but you don't get high enough at the take-off. Supposing we try a little experiment."

"I'll try anything," said Frank, eagerly.

"I used to jump a little myself," said the stranger, "and my trouble at first was very like what yours is now. I couldn't get up. So I tried an experiment which I'm going to try on you now." Stepping to the side of the track he picked up a high hurdle and placed it about four feet behind the jumping-block, in the pit itself. "Now," he continued, "I want you to clear the top of that hurdle by six inches or more. At your highest point of flight bring your shoulders and arms well forward, so you will hold all your distance when you strike. Try it."

Frank went back the full length of the runway, started at an easy lope and gathering full speed[Pg 175] fifty feet from the end of his run struck the block squarely, and sprang high into the air. He had the feeling that it was a good jump but was not prepared for what the measuring tape showed—22 feet, 8 inches.

"That's better," said the tall stranger. "But I want you to go even higher than that. Clear the hurdle by a foot or more if you can. Get your greatest speed right at the take-off and think high as well as go high."

Again Frank rushed down the runway and leaped with all his power, clearing the hurdle by a foot or more. By this time half a dozen of the members of the team were gathered by the jumping pit. Recognizing a good jump, one of them seized the tape and measured:

"Twenty-three feet, one-half inch," he sang out. "Well, maybe we have a chance for that jump yet. Good boy, Armstrong."

Twice more the stranger sent Frank down the runway and each time the jumper rose to expectations. On the last jump the tape showed 23 feet, 1½ inches.

"Now, we'll take the hurdle away, but you must think it is there," continued the coach. "Have it in your mind as you come up to the[Pg 176] block that you are going away above the imaginary mark. Jumping is a matter of brains as much as of legs. Try it without the hurdle."

This time Frank almost equaled his former jump, and as the figures were announced, his teammates crowded around him, congratulating him.

"That's the stuff, Armstrong," said Trainer Black. "You may throw a scare into these Englishmen if you keep up that gait."

"Who is that man coaching me?" inquired Frank, a little later.

"That, didn't you know? That's Princewell, an intercollegiate champion of ours a few years back, one of the best in the business in his day."

"He certainly knew what was the matter with me," said Frank, almost beside himself with happiness. "I'd give a leg to beat Vare."

"I don't expect that," said Black, "because Vare is a great jumper, one of the best in Great Britain. If you give him a good run for his money you will have done something we will all be proud of. We can win without the broad jump if our calculations are right."

But alas for Frank's high hopes, the next day saw him below 23 feet again, and work as he[Pg 177] might, he fell back steadily. Without the impetus given by Princewell, who had gone to London, he could not get within six inches of his best marks of the day before. Black finally ordered him to the clubhouse. "I don't want you to put on jumping shoes again before Saturday." Saturday was the day of the games.

"But I need the practice," Frank remonstrated, "I'm just getting the knack."

"Forget it," said the trainer, "and do as I tell you. I'll take the risk. You mustn't jump again before you go into your event. And I'd advise you to keep off your feet as much as you can. Rest, rest, man. That's the best thing you can do just now."

Frank turned away heartbroken. "If I could only keep at it, I'd get the trick back. I had it yesterday and I've lost it to-day."

"Keep off my feet," grumbled Frank that night to Gleason. "Rest and keep off my feet. I wonder if he intends to have me keep my bed."

"O, you're too nervous, that's all. A little country air would be good for you. Say, by Jove, I've got an idea, rest, recreation, off your feet, on the job and all that."

"Open up, my son."

[Pg 178]

"It's this. Let's hire a motor and see some of this blooming country. I don't suppose they object to your exercising your eyes."

"I'm with you if the captain hasn't any objection. We've been sticking pretty closely around here."

"It's a monumental idea and worthy of a great brain like mine."

The captain had no objection and was indeed glad of it since he felt it would take Frank's attention from the coming games.

"And how about the motor? I'm not a bloated bondholder like you, but I'll go my halves."

"Oh, run away. I've been aching to find an excuse to spend some money round here. I know where I can get a little pippin of a machine for ten shillings the hour. Ten shillings are $2.50 our money and cheap when it includes a dinky little chauffeur with a uniform. Watch me produce!" And away the Codfish dashed down the street. In twenty minutes he was back with a snappy little, high-powered runabout painted a flaming red color. "Couldn't get a blue one," he apologized.

Frank hopped in alongside the driver, and the Codfish perched behind in the rumble seat. For[Pg 179] two hours Frank forgot entirely about the Yale-Harvard-Oxford-Cambridge track meet, and his part in it. And those who have traveled in the beautiful lanes and highways of Sussex will understand his absorption. Again in the cool of the afternoon Gleason appeared for another "personally conducted" tour, this time to the west of Brighton, along the shore road. Eye-tired from watching the moving panorama of country and town, Frank Armstrong slept, free from the regular nightmare of broad-jumping competition in which he never could quite reach his best.

The great day of the contest came around at last and found the American athletes pitched to a high degree of excitement. A final trial of the Queen's Club track had given some very satisfactory performances, which more than hinted at an American victory. Burrows, the Harvard sprinter, had run the hundred in nine and four-fifths seconds, and seemed sure of not only this event but of the two hundred and twenty as well. With these two secure, the American athletes had a clear lead in the race for victory.

"This is the great day, boys," announced Trainer Black at the breakfast table. "Train leaves for London at 10:30. Games at two[Pg 180] o'clock. Put all the stuff you need in your suit cases. They will go up on the train with us."

"Do we lunch in London?" asked someone.

"No, we have a bite on the train which gets to London at a little before twelve. It's a half-hour's ride in taxis from the station to the Queen's Club grounds. We won't get there much before half past twelve or a quarter to one. That'll give us plenty of time to dress and be ready for the Johnny Bulls by two o'clock."

Frank finished his packing quickly, sent his suit case down to the hotel lobby, and began to fidget around. "I'm as nervous as a cat," he said to himself. "If they had only let me keep on working I'd have been a lot better off, but this waiting, waiting bothers me to death."

"Oh, there, you little jumping jack," came the hail from the street, "come and take a ride, guaranteed last appearance before breaking the world's record."

"Can't," said Frank. "Train leaves in less than two hours. Have you packed up?"

"Packed up, no. The valet will do that. Who wants to pack suit cases a morning like this? Come on, you short-skate, come on and forget Queen's Club."

[Pg 181]

"I'll go you for an hour," said Frank, "but that's the limit. I don't want to take any chances with a busted tire five miles from nowhere."

"This machine is guaranteed bust-proof. You can trust the old reliable. It is even fool-proof."

"I'd need that assurance with you around."

"And you're coming?"

"Yes, but only for an hour."

"Don't worry, I'll have you back, hope to die if I don't."

Away shot the little runabout on the Eastbourne road. As before, the chauffeur acted as guide and pointed out various objects of interest as they spun along the smooth road. "Just down there to the east about twenty miles the way we're heading is Hastings."

"That's where William the Conqueror had his little scrap one day some moons ago, isn't it?" inquired the Codfish.

"Yes, sir, he fought a bit of a fight there, and just over to the left there is the Duke of Buccleuch's estate. And down there in the field where you see that house in the trees I was born meself, sir."

"Good for you," said the Codfish, "fine place to be born, nice open spaces; a very good piece[Pg 182] of judgment. And the old folks still live down on the old New Hampshire farm?"

"Yes, sir, they are living there now. I say, would you mind stopping at the door, sir? My mother's been ailing, and I'd like to see her a minute."

"Dutiful and kind-hearted son, we'll be happy to stop for you. Better still, you give me the steering wheel and we'll drive on for a mile or two and pick you up on the way back."

"Can you drive?" asked the chauffeur dubiously.

"Can I drive? Can a duck float? I've driven a six-sixty Pierce Arrow through the White Mountains, but you wouldn't know what that means. Let's see," said the irrepressible Codfish, as he slipped into the driver's seat just vacated by the chauffeur and worked the shift lever as he spoke: "First speed inside ahead, second speed outside ahead, high, outside back. Reverse, inside back. I've got you, Steve. We'll be back here in fifteen minutes. Please be waiting at the church for we haven't too many spare minutes this morning."

"Be careful, sir," called the chauffeur, "it's a heavy penalty driving without a license."

[Pg 183]

"Same thing in our country, but we're hard to catch," the Codfish shouted back over his shoulder as, with motor speeding up, he dropped into high gear and fled up the road like a red shadow.

"This is what we should have done long before this," quoth Gleason, "a chauffeur is a clog on conversation."

"Yes, but he's handy to have along under certain conditions."

The boys drove along in silence for five minutes, when Frank, with his mind on train time, said: "Better turn now, old man. We've been out nearly thirty minutes, and thirty more makes an hour, my time limit."

"You're great on mathematics. Let's go up this road through the village there to our right and out back on the main road, pick up the gent who went to visit the old folks, and then I'll drop you in dear old Brighton in some few minutes. But first let us explore a little."

"I'd rather we explored some other time," Frank remonstrated.

But the Codfish was willful. He found a road leading to the left, circled the village and came back again to a highway. "Now, let's see, where[Pg 184] did we leave that chap?" he mused. "Right along here some place by the willows, wasn't it?"

Driving slowly, the boys scanned the roadside for their chauffeur, but no sight of him could they discover. "Well, it certainly was here somewhere, and if he hasn't the gumption to come back as per agreement, he can stay behind, eh, what?"

"Gleason, this doesn't look like the road we came on," said Frank, in alarm.

"Well, it's a good road, isn't it?"

"But no road is good unless it leads to Brighton. Remember your promise. That train leaves at ten-thirty and it is five minutes of ten now. And, moreover, we're lost."

"Lost, your eye! How can we be lost when I'm at the helm?" But, nevertheless, the puzzled look on the Codfish's face continued to grow deeper as the minutes passed away and nothing was seen of the chauffeur. "I say," he called to a passing farmer, "can you tell me if this is the road to Brighton?"

"Naw. Second turn to the right and then keep straight ahead."

"How far from here?"

"'Bout five mile."

[Pg 185]

"The country is saved. Now see the dust fly. Twenty minutes to do five miles. Oh, it's a cinch. That chauffeur can walk home. I'll settle."

Fifteen minutes later the Codfish drew up at the outskirts of a small village. "Is this the way to Brighton?" he inquired of a passer-by.

"This is Breyting," with an accent on the "is."

"What?" almost yelled the driver of the red car.

"This is Breyting, I tell you."

"How do you spell it?"

"B-r-e-y-t-i-n-g, Breyting."

"Oh, Lord, we want B-r-i-g-h-t-o-n, Brighton, down by the sea, where all the piers and pebbles are."

"Oh, why didn't you say so at first? Take the road to the left down about half a mile. It'll bring you down to the far end of the street that runs along the water."

"How far is it?" asked Frank in a despairing voice.

"'Bout twelve or thirteen miles."

"And fifteen minutes to do it in. This is awful!"

"Cheer up, cheer up," said the driver, making a great show of confidence which he didn't in the[Pg 186] least feel. "We may do it yet." Opening the throttle the car fairly leaped along the road. "It's exceeding the speed limit, but in a good cause," said the Codfish. "Lord, I hope the tires stand up."

He had hardly spoken the word when the right front shoe gave way with a loud bang. The car careened to the right sharply, crossed the shallow ditch with a lurch that nearly threw the boys out of their seats, and, finally, under control again, was steered back on to the road to fetch up with a violent jerk when the emergency brake was driven down hard.

[Pg 187]


"Well, I'm glad that's over," said the luckless Codfish, as he slipped from behind the steering wheel and hurried out in front to see what damage had been done. "Phew! we're lucky," he continued, "to be alive. If that shoe had gone and busted itself on the bridge half a mile back we would probably have been two bright little angels by now; gone and done for."

"By the looks of things, I'm done for anyway," said Frank. "We are lost some miles from Brighton and," looking at his watch, "the train starts in just seven minutes."

"Maybe they'll wait for you."

"Royal mail trains never wait, and that carries the mail. It's twenty minutes' work to put that shoe on."

"Shoe, nothing. I put no shoe on. We'll pick up some wayside garage and till that happens I'll drive on the rim. No damage is done on our[Pg 188] flight up the bank. Here we go, halting but steady."

Frank was silent. He was thinking of the effect his absence would have on his teammates. It hurt him to think that his captain would set his nonappearance down to carelessness, and so it had been in a way. He should not have gone so far. He should have insisted that Gleason keep away from the steering wheel. Perhaps the need for his presence would be desperate. His absence might mean, in some unaccountable way, the loss of the meet. These thoughts and many others pounded through his brain as the car limped along the road, but they all had the same refrain: "You've been a failure, you've been a failure."

Rounding a turn in the road, Gleason caught sight of a garage sign, and in a minute drew up at the door. "Ten shillings to put that tire on and put it on quickly," said he. Two workmen from the garage sprang at the wheel, but they had scarcely begun work when a clock in a neighboring church tower boomed the half-hour. The boys looked at each other.

"I know how you feel, Frank," said Gleason. "I was a double-barreled jackass to take you off[Pg 189] this morning, and seventeen times a fool for getting lost."

"I'm in very badly with everyone," said Frank, "but growling will not help matters. Maybe there'll be a later train which will get me there in time."

"I've got you into this, Frank, and I'll get you out of it somehow, don't worry. There must be another train."

With the new shoe on the front wheel and the garage men the richer by several shillings more than the Codfish promised, the red runabout was again headed for Brighton, this time at a more moderate pace. It was just eleven o'clock when the car drew up at the railroad station. Frank almost expected to see some of his teammates, but the platform and waiting-rooms were deserted. Inquiries at the ticket office brought the information that the next London train was at twelve-fifteen and did not reach London till one-fifty.

"One-fifty," groaned Frank. "I might as well take the next ship back to America. I've lost out. I'm disgraced." Both boys were the picture of gloom.

Suddenly Gleason's face lit with high resolve[Pg 190] "Look here, Armstrong, I'll take you to London in this machine."

"But it isn't ours, and you have no license to drive."

"It's ours as long as we pay ten shillings an hour for it, license or no license."

"You'd get lost again."

"No, no, it's a straight road. I looked it up once. You follow the railroad. Look here," he added in great excitement, "the thing can be done without a grain of doubt. Here it is a little past eleven. We can certainly average twenty-five miles an hour. That means that we can be there a little after one. Fortunately, the Club is but a little ways out of our course, over in West Kensington."

"I'm game for it," said Frank, "but just the same, I don't like the idea of your going off with a machine and no license. You'll get jugged for sure if anything goes wrong."

"Nothing's going wrong. I got you into this trouble and I'm going to get you out somehow. Climb in and hold onto your headgear, we are only going to hit the high places." He shot away from the station and swung into the great north[Pg 191] road, sign-marked "London," with the motor humming to the quickened pace.

"Nothing to it, Frank," boasted the confident chauffeur. "This is the way they all should have come up, plenty of ozone and action, no stuffy cars. We may even beat them to the club if we have luck," and he pushed the gas lever a few notches higher, and neatly dodged a dog curled up in the sand of the road.

Now that he was headed for London, even Frank's spirits rose. What seemed no chance half an hour ago had been transformed into a possibility. Well he knew that Gleason was exceeding the speed limit, but the time was so short a chance had to be taken with tires, road, police and everything else. The stake was worth it.

One cannot race along the roads of south-east England and race very far. So the inevitable happened. Ten miles outside of Brighton, when Gleason was doing something better than forty miles an hour, he pretended not to hear a hail from the side of the road, and kept straight on, but he could not help hearing the sharp spatter of a motorcycle behind him a minute later, and instinctively knew it was the police. He slowed[Pg 192] down till he was running at about fifteen miles an hour. The officer came alongside. He was plainly angry. "Why didn't you stop when I called to you?" demanded the officer.

"Oh, did you call?" asked the Codfish innocently.

"We are in a great hurry," explained Frank. "We have to be there by one o'clock or one-thirty at the latest."

"Now maybe you will and maybe you won't. Turn that car around and come along with me."

"Look here, this chap here," indicating Frank, "is in that track meet up at Queen's Club at two o'clock this afternoon. He lost his train by accident and I promised to get him there. Now, let us go through."

"Can't be done. You Americans all try to tear through the country at break-neck speed. You can't do it here, I tell you. Let's see your license."

The Codfish began fumbling in his pockets. "Great Scott! I haven't got the thing anywhere about my jeans, the chauffeur must have it, bad luck to him."

"Another thing to explain to the magistrate. Come along now."

[Pg 193]

The Codfish reluctantly tacked the car around and followed his guide to the little hamlet where the officer first hailed him from the roadside.

To the disgust of the two American youths the magistrate could not be found, a piece of news imparted to them by the officer after a ten minutes' search around the little court building off the main street.

"Well, now, let us go along," insisted the Codfish. "We've made our call, the magistrate isn't in. We've done our duty, now let's call it off. When you come to America I'll get you a job on the police force of Syracuse. Come on, be a good scout and let's be hitting the gravel. This fellow here with me has to jump in the track games at Queen's Club grounds, and it will be a great disappointment to his friends if he can't be there, to say nothing about his own feelings. Think how it would be if he were your own offspring and was jumping for the English to help lick the Yankees." His cross-fire on the officer might possibly have had some effect if affairs had not taken a new and sudden turn for the worse. As the Codfish was making his arguments, a messenger came up and handed the officer a note. He[Pg 194] read it, looked over our friends who were still seated in the car and ran his eye over the car.

"You're a pretty slick young fellow," he said, "but both of you will stay with us for a while. You are in pretty deep."

"How so?" inquired Frank.

"As if you didn't know! Perhaps you never heard of this," and he read the message he had just received: "Stop and hold two young men in red runabout Number 1664B. Stolen from chauffeur near Brighton, known to have started for London shortly after eleven o'clock." The message was signed by the Chief of Police of Brighton.

"A lovely kettle of fish," commented Gleason. "Do you remember once of telling me that I could get into trouble in a desert island?"

"I do and it's true."

"It would be still true if I were alone in the middle of the Pacific. But there's one thing about this business which cheers me: you are now a member of the Criminal Club at Yale in good standing."

"I'd rather be in good standing up at Queen's Club. Do you realize that the team is at London now and we are in the lock-up?"

[Pg 195]

For the greater part of an hour Frank and Gleason were held in durance vile as automobile thieves, and as a secondary count, breaking the speed limit. But all things finally come to an end. The magistrate was found, and sat with great dignity on the case. One of his first acts was to fine Gleason the sum of five pounds for excessive speed and then to declare him still liable to the charge of theft. Fortunately for the Codfish and Frank, who momentarily expected to be thrown into the village jail, the chauffeur, who had been overcome with the desire to see his parents that morning and who had been the innocent cause of most of the trouble, appeared with the proprietor of the garage where the little red runabout had been obtained.

Explanations soon followed. The garage proprietor verified all that the boys said about their being a part of the American team and followers, and his hand being properly greased with American dollars from the plethoric purse of Gleason, was perfectly willing that the car should go on to London, driven by his own chauffeur.

"But remember," said the magistrate, "not over twenty miles an hour or you'll be brought in before you get to your journey's end."

[Pg 196]

"At twenty miles an hour," said Frank, "it is no more good to us than an ox-cart. It is nearly one o'clock now and two hours on the road would bring us there too late. I guess it's too late all right," and he turned away, deeply moved by the thought that his hard work, the three thousand-mile trip across the water, the ambitions of himself and of his friends, all went for naught. Tears of chagrin came to his eyes.

"Nothing on earth can save us now," acquiesced the Codfish. "O Lord, if I only had an aeroplane with about a hundred horse-power motor in it," he wailed.

"Guess they could accommodate you down at Burtside," said the officer who, now the incident was closed, showed a friendly interest in the two young men.

"What do you mean?" Frank burst out.

"Oh, there's a flyin' school down at Burtside, 'bout half a mile from here. Perhaps they'd rent one to you young chaps for the afternoon."

"Great Peter!" cried the Codfish, "let's try. Here's a chance. Here," to the returned chauffeur, "drive us down to that aeroplane place if you know where it is. I'm going to buy one."

"Yes, sir," said the chauffeur, thinking that[Pg 197] the young Americans had better be favored for they were very likely mad as March hares. How could they be otherwise, having first run away with his machine and then, being deprived of that, willing to buy an air craft to continue the journey. But he piloted the boys to Burtside which proved to be a flying school of some importance with biplanes and monoplanes in the hangars, and two or three beginners at the flying game, receiving instruction. The boys quickly explained their errand. They wanted to get to London in desperate haste, trains couldn't accomplish it, automobiles at the rate they let them run over English roads couldn't and there was no other way but the air. The director of the school was not sure whether it could be done or not. Money, Gleason told him, was no object, which played its part in the decision. By good fortune one of the aviators in the school was a young American who had been flying with great success in England for a year. He heard of the plight of his compatriots, and readily agreed to take Frank up. He would take one or the other, but not both.

"I'm willing to pay $200 if you will take Frank Armstrong to the Queen's Club, or as near to that[Pg 198] point as you can get, and I'll give you an equal amount not to take me."

"You needn't be afraid," said Butler, "I have no machine that will carry more than one passenger. It will have to be only one of you."

"That suits us both. Armstrong, here, wants to go and I don't, so we're all satisfied."

"Have you ever been up?" inquired Butler of Frank.

"Never, but I'm determined to get to London if I can, and I don't care how it is."

"All right," said Butler. "We have no time to lose. I'll get out the big biplane." The plane was run out of the hangar, examined closely by the attendants, looked over in a cursory manner by the aviator himself. "Now," he said to Frank, "hop up here alongside of me, to the right. Take hold of that wooden support and put your feet on this wire. Don't look down or you may get dizzy. I'm going about five hundred feet high. Keep your eyes straight ahead and forget you're flying."

"Good-by, old fellow," said the Codfish, half in fun and half in earnest, as Frank climbed to his precarious place alongside the aviator, and then to Butler, "Where do you come down?"

[Pg 199]

"One can never tell in this business, but I will try to land in Hendon, which is only about three miles from the Club."

"And how long will it take?"

"Somewhere about thirty minutes if the wind aloft is as steady and strong as it seems to be down here."

"Frank, that will get you to Hendon at one-forty-five, and a taxi will do the rest. I'll come as fast as I can in the motor, and if we don't get pinched again I may get to dear old London in time to see the finish."

"All ready," sang out Butler. A half dozen attendants clung fast to the trail of the big biplane while another spun the propeller. The engine immediately sprang into noisy life, the roar of the exhaust drowning out all human speech in the neighborhood. Gleason saw the hands of the aviator drop off the steering-wheel in a downward sweeping signal which meant "let go," a signal instantly obeyed by the attendants, who dropped flat on the ground while the great tail of the birdlike monster swept over their heads with an ever increasing rush. For fifty or sixty feet the running gear of the machine kept on the ground, but, as the velocity increased and Butler elevated[Pg 200] his plane, the machine gradually cleared the earth and soared aloft. The Codfish watched it as it rose and followed it in the vastness of the sky vault until there was but a mere dot against the fluffy clouds in the northern sky.

[Pg 201]


We will leave Frank Armstrong shooting Londonward in the largest passenger-carrying biplane in the Burtside School for Aviators, seated on a mere chip of a seat, holding on with a death grip to the slender upright of seasoned spruce, and turn our attention back to the morning at Brighton.

Contrary to what Gleason and Frank imagined as they sat in their disabled motor on the highway some miles outside of Brighton at the hour their train was scheduled to leave, they were not missed at first. In the hurry of leaving their temporary training quarters, the team managers and assistants had so much to do that they left the business of getting from the hotel to the station, a matter of only a few hundred yards, to the individuals themselves. No one happened to notice, as they left the hotel in straggling groups of three and four, that Armstrong was not with them. At the station half a dozen compartments[Pg 202] on the London train having been reserved in advance, the athletes tumbled aboard without even a thought of luggage, taking it for granted, with the usual cheerful carelessness of traveling athletes, that everything would be all right. Each was concerned only for himself. It was not to be thought of for a moment that any member of either team would be so foolish as to get himself left behind.

The ten-thirty on the London and Brighton was the vestibule and corridor type of train, not like the ordinary single compartment coach in common use on English and Continental railroads. It was therefore possible to pass from car to car and from compartment to compartment on this train much the same as on an American Pullman train, and visiting between team members shortly began. Trainer Black, going the rounds, discovered that Armstrong was missing.

At first it was thought that he, with his companion Gleason, had accidentally gotten into a wrong compartment, but a hasty search from end to end of the train disclosed the fact that he was not aboard at all.

"I don't remember having seen him after[Pg 203] breakfast," said the Yale captain. "Could he have gone up to London on the train ahead of us by any chance?"

"No," returned McGregor, "Armstrong is very conscientious and would not disobey orders which were explicit enough about this train."

"I'll bet a hat," said Halloby, "that his rattle-headed friend, Codfish Gleason, took him out for a ride this morning, and that something went wrong with the power-plant, and they are sitting on the road somewhere waiting for someone to tow them home."

And, as it proved, Hurdler Halloby wasn't so far out of the way, excepting that, instead of sitting on the road, they were at that moment falling with a loud report into the hands of the law. So, perhaps, it was well that no one on the American team knew their exact location.

"Come to think of it," said another, "I saw the chap they call Codfish swing around to the hotel this morning in a red runabout and a little later saw the runabout going off up the street, but didn't notice who was in it. But I do know that all three seats were full."

"That's enough," said Black. "Gleason thinks he is the sole and special guard of Armstrong's[Pg 204] health and happiness, and hired that automobile for the purpose of keeping the jumper's mind occupied with something besides jumping. I agreed to it myself. Now we lose a man on account of it."

"Thank goodness," broke in the captain, "we didn't have to depend on him for an event or we'd have been in a bad way. If he should get to the grounds in time after all, I'd feel like punishing him by not allowing him to jump," snapped the captain.

"He's punished already," said Black. "Probably eating his heart out somewhere. He's the most conscientious fellow I ever saw. It's his fool friend, the Codfish, who got him into any trouble that he's in."

"I'll telegraph him to come on the next train," said the captain.

"Will not do much good, I guess, the next train wouldn't get him there in time. But don't worry, he'll be there at those games if he hasn't met with a serious accident, or I miss my guess badly, but as for his doing any good, it's another matter."

"It's too bad," growled Captain Harrington. "The papers will throw the hot shot into us for[Pg 205] being careless. It makes us all look like dummies, confound the luck!"

"Don't worry about it, Captain. You have enough on your hands, and Vare is a certain winner anyway in Armstrong's event. You have your own troubles this afternoon in the quarter. So take it easy, and quit worrying about something that really doesn't matter a great deal as far as actual results go."

"I'm going to telegraph, just the same," returned the captain, "to the Grand. They would probably go there when they found we had gone, eh?"

"Go ahead, it will do no harm," admitted Black.

So Harrington sent off a telegram from a station fifteen miles or so from London. A bit peremptory the telegram was, but it relieved the captain's feelings. This was the telegram:

"Frank Armstrong, The Grand, Brighton. Come to London on next train, take taxi to Queen's Club immediately afterwards. Absolutely no excuse for missing team train."

But this telegram, as we have seen, never reached the man for whom it was intended.

At one o'clock taxicabs dropped the Yale-Harvard[Pg 206] athletes, attendants, and trainers at the south gate of Queen's Club. Already several thousand people had gathered in the stands, and a steady stream was pouring in the gates, not with the impetuosity that distinguishes an American crowd, but interested withal in the games they were shortly to see. The majority of the crowd was, of course, English, but the Americans made a brave showing. They gathered together, apparently for mutual support, halfway down the track stretch and at once selected a cheer leader who was now working up enthusiasm by an occasional yell, simply to let the enemy know that young America would be heard from in more ways than one. A surprising number of Americans had come together for the event. Not all were Harvard and Yale men, although members of these two institutions predominated. Students and graduates from universities all over the United States might have been seen in the crowd. It was not a Harvard-Yale affair to them, it was America against England, and everyone from the far side of the Atlantic was there to lend a shout for his countrymen. College lines were forgotten.

Along the track-side and in the grand stand[Pg 207] speculation was rife as to the outcome of the games. Experts had figured out just how the various men were to finish, and the figures had been printed in the morning papers and in the noon editions. All admitted, however, that the match would be an extremely close one with the chances slightly in favor of the visitors.

"Well," said one confident young man in the group of Americans, "we'll take the hundred, two-twenty and both the hurdles. I'd bet my last dollar on that. These Englishmen can't get their legs moving in a short distance."

"Ah, yes, but then when it comes to the longer distance we can't keep our wind going. That's where they have us."

"Oh, I don't know, there's Harrington, the Yale captain, who can certainly get away with the quarter. He's been doing under fifty seconds right along. He will give us the fifth event, and all we need to tie is one more, and to win, two more. Why, Dick, old fel, it's a cinch."

"And what are the other two events, please, Sir Prophet?"

"Shot for one, they can't beat old red-top McGinnis. These English chaps never learned how to put a shot anyway, and there's the high jump,[Pg 208] certainly ours; it's like taking money from a baby."

"Sounds like seven wins, the way you have it figured out."

"It is seven places or my training as to what five and two make is all to the bad. I tell you it's a cinch. I'd put up all my spare cash on it, and walk home cheerfully if I lost out. But, pshaw! we can't lose!"

Conversation was checked by the appearance of several athletes who had emerged from the Club locker-room doorway, and who were walking across the turfed stretch to the track. They were seen to be Americans, and a ringing shout went up from their supporters which brought smiles to the faces of the young athletes. The English spectators applauded the Americans with hand-clapping. By twos and threes the athletes made their appearance on the track before the hour set for the beginning of the games, for the day was bright and warm and the sun of more advantage to them than the shade and cool of the training quarters.

It is not our purpose to narrate in detail the doings of the half hundred athletes who struggled for the honor of their colleges and country[Pg 209] that afternoon nor how records fell and predictions of experts were set at naught, how the balance swung this way and that, how the mercurial American cheer-leader ruined the throats of his countrymen for the encouragement of the team striving desperately on field and track. We are more intimately concerned with Frank Armstrong whom we left a thousand feet more or less in the air, taking a last desperate chance to be in at the finish on the Queen's Club track.

Frank afterwards said that he experienced no fear of any kind as the flying machine glided upward from the earth. At first there was the sensation of great speed, though the machine was comparatively close to the ground, but as the height increased that sensation diminished. Instead of the machine seeming to rise, the earth seemed to drop away leaving the machine stationary. Below, the country revealed itself like a map, with the highways and lanes standing out sharply. To the south he got the glint of the English Channel, and to the north was a great black smudge which he took to be London with its smoke from tens of thousands of chimneys.

"Going higher," shouted Butler. "Bad currents down here." The words came faintly to[Pg 210] Frank through the roaring of the wind and the sharp crackle of the engine exhaust. The plane plunged and rocked in an air billow.

"Go ahead as far as you want to," shouted Frank, "but get me there." He had lost all sensation of fear and almost of interest in the flight. His mind was on Queen's Club. Steadily the machine climbed until the green of the trees and the grass all became as one, and the red tiles of the roofs showed only as a splash of color among the vast expanse of green. At the greater height of perhaps two thousand feet, where Butler found better currents, Frank thought the country below seemed more than ever like a map in one of his old school geographies. Twenty towns and cities lay within the range of his vision and, by turning his head slightly, he could distinguish, across the whole width of the Channel, the dim outlines of the shores of France.

The motor of the big biplane, which had been running with the precision of a well-timed clock for the space of half an hour, began to give evidence of something wrong with its internals. It skipped, stuttered in its rhythm for a moment and then went on, only to repeat in a moment. The aviator, helpless in this emergency, merely[Pg 211] jiggled his spark lever, but the stuttering of the motor continued, and then with a most disconcerting suddenness the motor stopped entirely.

"We've got to come down," shouted Butler, "but I'll make our fall as long as possible. Hold tight."

Frank needed no urging. He felt the death of the steady forward movement and the grip of gravity as the biplane began to drop with incredible swiftness toward the earth. But it was a drop which was controlled by the cool-headed Butler, and every foot of the drop took them nearer to their destination.

Five hundred feet below, Frank saw a little patch of green field entirely free from trees or shrubbery, and to this he rightly guessed the aviator was heading. It looked like a golf course from that height, and, indeed, proved to be. Now they were directly over the haven which Butler had picked out, and it seemed in a fair way to pass it, when the flyer banked hard to the left, almost pivoted on his left wing, brought the machine around over the golf links again and, with a final swooping spiral came to earth with a shock sufficiently hard to snap off at the hub one of the wheels of the biplane's running gear.

[Pg 212]


"Sorry," said Butler, "I couldn't land you where I promised, but this motor has played hob with me. She's been acting badly for a week."

A score of people came running up. "Hurt, hurt?" they cried.

"Hurt? no!" said Frank, "only disappointed. We were heading for Hendon. How far is it to Queen's Club grounds?"

"'Bout five miles," volunteered someone.

"Is there a taxicab place about here anywhere?" inquired Frank. "I've got to get to Queen's Club on the double quick." He looked at his watch. It showed three minutes of two. The games were about to begin!

"Butler, excuse me if I leave you," cried Frank.

"Go to it, boy," said Butler, "and the Lord bless you."

Heading in the direction of a taxicab stand, Frank started off on a sharp trot, but was doomed to disappointment as not a taxi was available at[Pg 213] that moment, and the man in the little office wasn't hopeful that any would be back right away. "They may come any minute, and there may not be a blooming one for half an hour. If you'll take the 'bus on the next street, it will take you within half a mile of Queen's Club grounds."

Scarcely waiting to hear the last words, Frank darted for the street mentioned, and, after a wait of five minutes, boarded an electric 'bus bound for West Kensington. Fortunately, he found a seat-mate who was well acquainted with what was going on at Queen's Club that day.

"Going to see the games, I suppose," he said. From him Frank learned that a short cut could be made which would be of considerable help as a time-reducer. Fixing the direction in his mind, he sprang from the 'bus at the street indicated, and started on a run in the general direction of the Club.

As he ran, the last instructions of Trainer Black came to his mind: "Take it easy till the games, and keep off your feet." He could not suppress a grim smile as he pounded along, running flat-footed to keep as much spring as possible in his toes if he ever reached the track and if he[Pg 214] was in time when he did reach there. Always he kept an eye out for a taxi, but fate was against him and he saw none excepting those with fares seated therein, and whirling along on their own business.

Losing his way, finding it again with the help of passers-by, and nearly but not quite despairing of there ever having been such a place in London as the Queen's Club, he was halted by a college yell, sharp and incisive, delivered comparatively near. Getting his bearings from the direction in which the yell came, he dashed through a short street and stood before the main gate of the Club.

"Is it over?" he panted to the officer at the gate. "The meet—is it over?"

"Who are you?" asked the officer, staring at the newcomer, whose eyes, fierce in their intensity, looked out from a face streaked with sweat and dirt.

"I'm one of the competitors," gasped Frank.

"Ho, ho!" laughed the officer, "you look it. Did you run all the way from New York?"

"I am one of the competitors," said Frank, emphasizing every word, "and through an accident[Pg 215] got left at Brighton. Please let me go to the training quarters of the American team."

"Well, 'ere's a rum cove. Comes up 'ere and wants to get passed into the gymes for nothink."

For a few minutes it looked as if, after all his trouble to get to the Club grounds, he was to be held up outside while his chance was lost. Finally, however, he induced the officer to send a messenger to the American quarters, and in half a minute he was snatched through the gate by an assistant trainer and stood in the presence of Captain Harrington, who was just going out for his quarter.

The captain looked him over with cold, hard eyes. "You're a little late," he said. "We don't bring men across the Atlantic to have them late for the beginning of a track meet. You are no value to us. We will not need you."

Frank opened his mouth to speak, but Harrington interrupted sharply with "I don't want to hear excuses," and passed on to the start of his event. Frank did not have the heart even to look at the race which was slated to go to the Americans through the superior ability of the Yale captain. Trainer Black looked up when he entered the building, but said nothing. Frank felt[Pg 216] as if he had been thrown into outer darkness. He ground his teeth in impotent rage and dropped into a chair, listening in a half-hearted way to the little volley of spontaneous cheering which drifted through the window.

"What's that?" cried Trainer Black, and dashed out the door. "Sounds like an English cheer!"

An English cheer it was, and it announced the victory of a Cambridge "dark horse" who had run the Yale quarter-mile champion off his feet in the stretch. A minute later Harrington staggered into the room, and threw himself face downward on a table.

"This loses us the meet," said a rubber in a whisper. "To think that Harrington should lose out, of all people. He loafed too much in the first part of the race and couldn't hold the sprint at the end. It was a foxy trick the Englishman worked, but a fair win enough."

"Where's Armstrong, where's Armstrong?" came the excited call by Trainer Black.

Frank stood up. "Here," he said simply.

"Get into your clothes," Black shouted. "Why are you sitting there like a dummy? Here, some of you fellows help him. Patsy, rub his leg muscles[Pg 217] a bit—Jack, help Patsy. Move lively!"

Frank tore off his clothes, and in half a minute his leg muscles were being slapped and kneaded by the two rubbers as if their life depended on doing a quick and thorough job.

"It's like this," said Black, coming over to the rubbing table. "Everything went about as scheduled until Harrington fell down in his quarter. That leaves us short an event we counted on."

"Did we get the shot?"

"No, confound it, that Rhodes scholar from Dakota beat our man out on the last try."

"So the Englishmen have now two more than we calculated?"

"Exactly, and there isn't a ghost of a chance of their losing the two-mile run unless their men choke."

"And the broad-jump?" inquired Frank, weakly.

"You've got to win that!" Black said it as if it was by no means an unusual request.

"Win it?" gasped Frank. "What has Vare done?"

"Took only three jumps the last of which was twenty-three feet, and hasn't jumped again. McGregor's been dragging his tries along, hoping[Pg 218] that you would turn up, but he hasn't been able to do better than twenty-two six. Armstrong, if you can turn the trick on Vare it will give us the meet. You've got to do it!" he added vehemently.

Frank rolled from the rubbing table, slipped into his scanty track suit, and, with the Yale manager, trotted quickly to the field. "I suppose you are in good shape," suggested the manager hopefully. "Were you resting and keeping off your feet?"

In spite of the seriousness of the situation, Frank could hardly restrain a grin. "Keeping off my feet!" he thought. "If they knew what I've been through to get here! Guess I'm all right," he said aloud.

McGregor greeted Frank enthusiastically. "Where in the name of Billy Patterson have you been?" and then, without waiting for an answer: "This Vare is a grasshopper. He has this event cinched, you and I are only ornaments, not real jumpers at all, and the Johnny Bulls have decided they've licked the Yankees for once in their lives—look! they're beginning to go!" Then to Frank: "For pity's sake, let out a link and make a good showing. I'm tied to the ground with a bag of lead in each heel."

[Pg 219]

Frank did not need any urging. The complacent attitude of the Englishmen, who were beginning to file out in groups of three or four, their faces showing the satisfaction of sure victory, added to his determination. He had made a desperate struggle to be where he was now, and he was not going to let it end there.

Measuring off the runway with more than ordinary care, Vare set his marks, and, after two or three practice runs, loped down the runway and made his first leap.

"Twenty-two feet, four inches," sang out the measurer.

Vare had walked to the jumping pit. A flicker of a smile crossed his face, he nodded cheerfully to his Cambridge jumping mate, and picking up his jersey swung it across his shoulder, and, without another look at the Americans, turned his face to the track house.

"His Lordship Vare de Vare has published to the world that it's all over, Frank," said McGregor. "I'd give a good right leg if I could beat him, he's so mighty superior. But I've only got one more jump, and it's not in me. If you don't want to see my poor busted heart cluttering up this field, go after him."

[Pg 220]

"It's now or never," said Frank to himself as he walked slowly down the runway. "What was it Princewell said—think high when you hit the take-off—think high—— I'll think a mile high if it will help!"

In spite of the difficulties he had undergone in getting to the Club, he was keyed to such a state of nervous excitement that he felt as if he were walking on air. The hard incidents of the morning were forgotten, the thrilling ride in the air machine, the abrupt landing, the killing run through torrid streets, the frigid reception of his captain. Now, with his opportunity at hand he became cool and calculating. He had a splendid reserve of strength to call upon, and he would call it to the last ounce.

Down the runway came Armstrong like a flash, first slowly, then with a great burst of speed. His eye was fixed on the take-off block, but his mind was on that four-foot hurdle supposed to be six feet out there in the pit. He struck the block perfectly and, with hands thrown high in the air and feet drawn up to clear the imaginary hurdle, he sailed up and forward, struck at last in the pit and held his full distance.

With a shout McGregor, recognizing a good[Pg 221] jump, sprang from the bench and ran forward to the jumping pit from which Frank was just stepping, brushing away the loam that clung to his ankles.

"Twenty-three feet, even," the announcer bawled.

Coming so unexpectedly, the announcement for a moment fell on deaf ears. Then, as the full significance became apparent, the Americans in the stand set up a piercing and spontaneous yell which startled and turned back the crowd already moving in larger and larger numbers in the direction of the gate.

"Y-e-a-a-a—Armstrong!" yelled McGregor in a frenzy of delight, and fell upon that individual like a long lost brother, beat him upon the back and capered about like a man bereft of his senses. "It means that old Claude Vare de Vare, Lord of Creation and Elsewhere, has got to come back and do it over again! We have a chance! Oh, Armstrong, it means we have a chance!"

Interest in the stand immediately became intense. People who were leaving returned to their seats.

"A ripping jump!" commented an Englishman as he reseated himself, "but Vare will take his[Pg 222] measure." Vare had been sent for, and was even now walking calmly across the track with an attitude which said plainly: "What's all this fuss about anyway? We'll settle this now once and for all."

A ripple of applause and hand-clapping ran through the stands as Vare turned to face the pit at the far end of the runway, and glanced down the narrow way now hedged with faces. He was a champion of champions, and would show them how a champion jumped. But not that time, for his best effort fell under twenty-three feet.

Surprised at his poor jump, he lost his composure and, against the advice of his friends, took a second jump without rest, and that, too, fell below his jump of twenty-three feet.

The news that Armstrong had equaled Vare's best jump spread to the locker rooms of the two teams, and excitement ran high. What had seemed like an event lost for a certainty to the Americans, had in a moment been turned into a possibility.

McGregor had taken his last jump without changing the situation in any way. Thereafter he devoted himself to encouraging Armstrong, whose magnificent leap had raised the hopes of[Pg 223] the whole American contingent. "You have him now, Frank," McGregor whispered as, with arm over Frank's shoulder, the two walked down the runway. "He let himself get cold, and I'll bet he can't reach twenty-three feet again."

But McGregor was mistaken. Vare, the champion, after he had had more life rubbed into his muscles, shot down the runway and cleared twenty-three feet, one inch and a half. A little scattering cheer from the Englishmen, and Vare sat down on the jumpers' bench, his face showing the relief he felt. "I'm all right now," he said to an anxious, inquiring teammate, "but I felt jolly well frozen those first two jumps, though."

"The meet," bawled the announcer, facing the grand stand, "now stands six events for America and six for England, with the broad-jump still to be decided. Vare, of Oxford, has the longest jump to his credit—twenty-three feet, one and a half inches, which he made in breaking the tie created by Armstrong, of Yale, with a jump of twenty-three feet, which is his best at present."

At this moment Captain Harrington came onto the track in street clothes. He walked up to Frank: "Armstrong," he said, "Jack told me all about your troubles getting here. I want to tell[Pg 224] you you made a game fight to correct the original mistake. I know you were personally not at fault. Here's my hand on it!"

Frank took the proffered hand. His captain had taken him back into the fold, and his heart swelled almost to the bursting point with sudden joy. If Frank needed anything to make him unbeatable that afternoon, the thing had come to pass. "I'll try to justify your faith in me," was all he said, but his eyes shone with a new light.

Coming down the runway with a surpassing rush of speed, he hit the take-off perfectly on his next trial, and soared into the air. Spectators, who saw him, said afterward that he seemed to take a step at the highest point of his flight, but it was only the first appearance of the famous "scissors hitch" used by other great jumpers before him, and which he had simply happened on, in his endeavor to get great distance. He struck squarely on his feet in almost a sitting posture, but his impetus carried him forward so powerfully that he pitched head-first into the soft loam of the pit. He held every inch of his great jump, however.

For it was a great jump. That could be seen by anyone, and the officials and trackmen gathered[Pg 225] around while a careful measurement was taken. The serene Vare was sufficiently stirred himself to crowd close to the pit.

"What is it, what is it?" snapped Harrington who could hardly await the rather deliberate speech of the man at the end of the steel tape, who was taking his time to make certain.

"Twenty-three feet, four inches!"

The cheer of the small group of men on the track itself was taken as a good omen by the Americans in the stand, and these latter at once delivered themselves of a full-grown yell, which echoed back from the brick dwellings which surround the field.

"Twenty-three feet, four inches!" came the announcement, bawled to all sides of the field through the megaphone, and again the American yells broke out.

In the storm of cheering which Frank's great jump had elicited, Vare was seen to rise to his feet and walk slowly to the start of the runway. Two of his teammates went with him, and at each of his important marks he stopped and scrutinized them carefully as if he was not sure in his own mind that they were just right. Twice he tried the full runway from the start to the[Pg 226] take-off block, making new marks for his guidance.

And now, being quite ready, he made his first of the three tries allotted to him. On the first he cleared twenty-three feet, two inches, and on the second bettered this mark by half an inch.

"Only an inch and a half behind you, Armstrong," said McGregor, in a nervous staccato, "but I'll eat my shoes, spikes and all, if he can equal that one of yours."

"If he does," said Frank, "it's all over, I'm afraid. How I came to get that far out is more than I can understand. It's a dream, don't wake me!"

Silence settled over the crowd as Vare faced the pit for his last trial. His face was drawn and white. Now he moves forward, crouching a little, with chin out and jaws tightly clenched. The loping run develops at half distance into a sweeping rush, the Englishman hits the take-off squarely, and leaps with every ounce of energy in his body—up, up, out, out, he goes, while the spectators at the track side hold their breaths. Now he has reached the full height of his jump, and is coming down. Will his drive carry him far enough to win? He is down in the pit, topped[Pg 227] over by the impetus of his rush, but the jump is clean, and the measurers are at work.

Carefully the tape is placed, carefully it is read, and then——

"Twenty-three feet, three and one-quarter inches," comes the announcement.

The Americans go mad now indeed, for the meet is won, since the Oxford champion has failed to equal Armstrong's magnificent jump by three-quarters of an inch, not much, it is true, but enough to make the difference between victory and defeat.

Just as the jubilation was at its height, a dusty, grimy youth, in what were once white flannels, rushed through the gate, and threw himself on Frank as the latter was being escorted like a young prince of the blood to the club house.

"I knew you would do it, you old lobster," cried the newcomer, who was none other than Codfish Gleason. "Sorry I couldn't get in at the death, but I was arrested three times for moving too fast for these Johnnies, and paid a five-pound fine every time. I couldn't have gone much further for my money was running short."

To say that Frank Armstrong was the hero of the occasion is to tell only a part of the truth.[Pg 228] The youngest man on either team had achieved the greatest glory, and his teammates were not slow in acknowledging the fact. At the dinner that night in London, given to members of the four teams, Frank was called on to make a speech, and it was the shortest on record: "I did the best I could," after which he sat down covered with confusion, amid loud applause.

The next day came the sight-seeing in London and some of the nearby towns, and then a generous and thankful management stood the expense of a trip for the American winners to Amsterdam, to Cologne, to Lausanne, where the song-birds of the party serenaded the girls' school there, and then to Paris, with many side trips. But, in spite of the beauties and wonders of the strange countries, Frank said afterward that the best sight of all was the shores of Long Island viewed from the deck of the homing Cunarder.

[Pg 229]


Frank Armstrong returned to college in the fall with a reputation. His remarkable jumping which won the deciding event of the meet at Queen's Club in London, and no less the picturesque manner in which he had made his way from Brighton that eventful day, had been spread widely in the newspapers, and no one within reach of the cable or telegraph but knew the details of the story.

But the publicity and adulation in no way disturbed Frank's balance. He was much too level-headed for that, and went about his work the most unassuming of his classmates. "Nothing to make such a fuss about," he used to say. "I simply had to do it. That's all there is to it."

The luck of the room drawings had landed our three friends in Connecticut Hall, that century and a half memorial to old Yale. "Comfortable and musty," was the Codfish's comment when he had heard the news. David Powers[Pg 230] had drawn a room in Welch Hall directly opposite. It was David's secret ambition to win a position on the Literary Magazine, and to this end he had applied himself industriously in the Freshman year. He succeeded in getting several essays and a poem accepted by the august editors. He had tried himself out, and was now going after the coveted honor with high determination.

Out on the football field the annual preparation for the great struggles with Harvard and Princeton was going on. James Turner and Frank Armstrong were enrolled as members of the squad, and took their daily medicine on the second eleven. Frank's lack of weight—he was still only about one hundred and fifty pounds—prevented him from competing on an even footing with ends twenty pounds heavier, with which the 'Varsity was well supplied that year. The quarterback position was so well filled that he despaired of winning his way there and the coaches, evidently of the same opinion, kept him where he had played on the Freshman team. Turner, on the other hand, had added weight and was in a fair way to win a place somewhere in the back field. Frank put in a great deal of time under the direction of the punting coach, and[Pg 231] made good progress at that department of the game, but at drop-kicking he had little opportunity.

"Drop-kicking isn't Yale's way of scoring," said Jimmy Turner one night when the day's work was being discussed in the Connecticut Hall room before a crackling fire of log-wood. "The coaches want a team that can carry the ball over the goal-line, not one that can boot it over the cross-bar."

"I know it looks better to have the force drive the other fellow back across his own goal, but since these new rules went into effect it's mighty seldom you ever see it in a big game. But I'm not knocking. I'll keep at the drop-kicking and hope for a chance."

But the chance for Frank did not come. In two of the smaller games he was called in the fourth quarter with a number of other substitutes, and when the team play was badly disorganized because so few regulars were in the line. He played at end in each case and was pulled back for the punting. Once with a good opportunity for a field goal on the opponent's twenty-yard line, a poor protection allowed a lineman to get through and block the ball—a[Pg 232] thing which very nearly resulted in a touchdown against Yale, for a free end picked up the loose ball and was not brought down until he was well into Yale's territory. While Armstrong was not at all to blame, the general crowd saw only that his kick was blocked and considered him unsafe as a drop-kicker.

Turner won his Y in the Princeton game when he was sent in to relieve Cummings, the right halfback, a few minutes before the final whistle, but Armstrong's chance didn't come. He sat through the four quarters and saw the Yale team win at the very end. A week later Armstrong was among the blanketed figures on the side-lines, who watched the struggle of Yale and Harvard up and down the gridiron, with hopes rising and falling as the tide turned one way or the other. At the very end of the game, with the score against Yale, a fumble in the Harvard back field gave Yale possession of the ball on Harvard's thirty-yard line. The Yale stand rose en masse and begged for a touchdown, but two assaults were stopped with scant advance. The coach ran down the line, looking among his substitutes.

"Armstrong, get ready to go in," he said in a quiet, tense voice, but even as Frank jumped[Pg 233] to his feet to obey the summons, the whistle blew and the game was over.

"Another year coming," Frank said quietly as Jimmy, with arm across his roommate's shoulder, on their way from the field, protested against the hard luck.

"You're pretty cheerful about it," commented Turner, "and you deserved the chance as much as I did."

"If I had been good enough, I'd have gone in before. The coaches know what they are about. If I ever get enough weight on me, I'll have a better chance to make the eleven."

"And then you'll not be able to jump twenty-three feet," said Turner; "for every compensation there's some setback. That's the way of life."

The Codfish was bitter in his condemnation of the entire coaching system which did not discover Armstrong's "supreme merit." "The idea of not using you, Frank, when they had every chance in that last quarter. I call it a murdering shame! They might have pulled out the game."

Frank laughed. "I recognize your talent as a musician and your loyalty as a friend and your virtue as a gentleman, but I still think the coaches[Pg 234] knew their jobs, and that when they didn't send me in they had good and sufficient reason for it. I'm not kicking. Anyway, I have two more chances, so what's the use of crying?"

The Codfish continued to growl about the "injustice" for several days, and then, like everyone else, forgot all about football and turned his attentions to the future.

Before the fall Frank had taken occasional dips in the pool when not overtired by the work at the Field. Max, foreseeing a recruit for his swimmers, took pains to encourage him, and, later, at the suggestion of Captain Wilson of the swimming team, Frank became a member of the squad. After the close of the football season, being well up in his studies and glad of the opportunity to take up a form of athletics which appealed to him strongly, he went at the work with great earnestness.

In the try-outs Armstrong won his right to a place on the team in the fifty and one hundred yards, having covered these distances in good time, and, when the intercollegiate meets came along, he did his share in point-winning for Yale.

"Armstrong," said Captain Wilson one afternoon[Pg 235] as the two were resting after a practice spin of one hundred and fifty yards, "did you ever try to swim a two-twenty?"

"Used to go more than that distance in open water, but never in the tank. Why?"

"Well, McGill, the Canadian university, is sending a team down here in February. They have two or three crackajacks up there and they are making a little southern trip. I've just wired them the date and I'd like to make as good a showing as possible."

"We ought to be pretty good excepting in the two-twenty," said Frank.

"And if you'll work for that distance we ought to be pretty good there, too. I'll take care of the hundred as well as I know how, and I'll let Hobbs swim the fifty."

"And who swims the two-twenty for McGill?"

"Hopkins, the Olympic champion."

Frank gave a long whistle. "And so you want me to be the goat? All right, Mr. Captain, I'll do my best and lead the goat right up to the altar to be sacrificed by the Olympic champion. But to do it gracefully, I ought to have some coaching in that distance."

"And you're going to get it. I've sent for[Pg 236] Burton to come up and give us a little advice. He was one of our best men at the distance as well as at the hundred."

"Yes, I know him. Taught me to swim."

"Really! Well, that's fine. He has the knack of teaching, and can tell you the tricks of the furlong if anyone can."

The McGill meet was only two weeks off, and Frank began his training in earnest. Twice a day he swam the furlong, first at a moderate gait and then quickening the stroke until he was traveling at good speed throughout the distance.

Burton came up from New York and spent a portion of two days with him, and, before the coaching was over, Frank had the satisfaction of beating out his old teacher of the crawl stroke.

"You're too good for me now," gasped Burton as he pulled himself out of the water at the end of the race. "I'll have to leave you to the tender mercies of Hopkins himself."

The night of the meet finally came around, and the building was all too small to hold the hundreds who crowded to the pool doors. Every seat was sold long in advance and standing room was crowded almost to suffocation. The attraction was, of course, Hopkins, who had been taking[Pg 237] the measure of every swimmer at his distance that he had met, and who was heralded as the greatest swimmer in the world over the furlong distance.

After Wilson had won the hundred and Hobbs had lost the fifty-yard contest, Hopkins sauntered carelessly from the dressing room, clad in a black silk racing suit. He proved to be a tall and powerful young man, heavily muscled. Alongside of him, as the two stood perched on the pool end, Frank looked very slender, but there was a suggestion of concealed strength in the latter's well-rounded limbs and of vitality and staying power in the deep chest.

"Two-twenty yards even!" sang out the referee. "Eight lengths and sixty feet. Hopkins, the Olympic champion on the left for McGill; Armstrong on the right for Yale. Ready! Get set! GO!"

At the word, both bodies shot through the air and hit the water like one. The champion used a long, rather slow but powerful trudgeon which was peculiarly mixed with the crawl in the leg action; Armstrong used a quicker crawl, in which the legs were scarcely bent at the knee, but were thrashed rapidly in a very narrow angle. The crowd expected the champion to pull away at[Pg 238] once, but when the two turned at the far end of the pool, they turned at exactly the same instant. Down to the starting point the swimmers came, moving with great speed, but still the Yale man stayed with his big opponent with grim determination, and even finished the fifty a fraction of a second in advance of his Canadian opponent, shooting away on the second fifty still in the lead. Twice more the swimmers covered the length of the tank without relative change in position.

And now the crowd, with nearly half the race over, seeing that their representative was holding his own, rose to their feet and delivered a wild yell which echoed among the high girders of the place, and from that time they did not cease to yell at the game fight waged in the water below them. At the one hundred and fifty-yard mark, Armstrong, putting on a burst of speed, led his great rival by five or six feet. Hopkins, who had never changed his steady drive for a moment, now quickened his thresh perceptibly, and in another length of the tank had almost overhauled the Yale man who was kicking along with every pound of energy in his body. Armstrong still led, but as they approached the two hundred-yard[Pg 239] mark, there was less than a yard separating them.

"Armstrong! Armstrong! Armstrong!" yelled the crowd.

But the boy who was causing all the excitement was not conscious of anything but a dull roaring in his head. The noise of the cheering came to him faintly, much more faintly than the splash, splash of Hopkins's arms just behind him, and, even as he looked out of the corner of a water-filled eye, the relentless Canadian drew up nearer and still nearer.

"Sixty feet to go!" Frank heard in a dull sort of way the official's voice. Could he do it, that impossible distance? His throat was parched and his chest seemed bursting with the strain of the pumping heart. Could he live for sixty feet more? It was a thousand miles. Summoning every last ounce of will pressure, he drove ahead blindly, following mechanically the swimming lines on the pool bottom with no help from smarting eyes. Somewhere near was Hopkins, he could feel the swirl of water from his powerful arm drives, but whether Hopkins was ahead or behind he could not tell. His arms were like lead, his legs paralyzed. A great weariness settled[Pg 240] upon him, a great and compelling burden which benumbed all the faculties of brain and body.

About fifteen minutes later Frank found himself lying on a couch in the room of the 'Varsity swimming team, with several anxious faces looking down at him, among them that of Hopkins.

"What's the matter?" he asked in a bewildered way.

"Nothing, 'cepting you drowned yourself," said Captain Wilson, "dead as a door nail."

"Did I finish?" he asked very weakly.

"You certainly did, you finished the race and yourself at the same time. Two of us had to go to the bottom for you," said the Captain. "You sank like a stone."

"That's where I went to sleep, then?"

"I guess so, you had us scared, I tell you."

"You gave me a great race, Armstrong," said Hopkins, "one of the hardest I ever had. It wasn't record time, but it was as fast as the two-twenty is generally done. I only won by a few inches, and mighty lucky to get it at that," admitted the Canadian generously.

"If I made you work, I'm satisfied," said Frank weakly. "I hadn't a ghost of a chance to win, but I set out to make you work for your victory."

"And you did," returned Hopkins laughing.

[Pg 241]


"Congratulations to our noble little pitcher," cried the Codfish. "I see you are drafted for honors on the Southern trip."

It was mid-March and the baseball work in the cage was over. The 'Varsity nine had been at work on the open field for nearly a week, and Frank Armstrong as well as Jimmy Turner were members of the squad. Frank had shown possibilities as a pitcher, while Turner was considered a substitute catcher in second or third place. The occasion for Gleason's congratulations was the announcement in the News that not only Turner but Armstrong as well was among those selected to make the trip always taken to the South by the 'Varsity nine for practice at the time of the Easter vacation.

Frank Quinton, a new graduate coach, who had taken charge of the baseball situation, had been attracted by Armstrong's earnestness and his peculiar ability to put the ball over the plate,[Pg 242] and had undertaken with some success to teach him the art of curving the ball and at the same time retaining his control. Under the new coach's guidance the pitcher had done particularly well, and it was no surprise to anyone that he was included among the twenty players who were slated to make the trip. His chief competitors were Gilbert, a Junior, and Martin, a Senior, both more experienced in the box, but neither of first class quality. Appleton, the pitcher of the 'Varsity the year before, had graduated, and on these three named the hopes of the Yale team centered.

"And is our old friend, the trouble maker, coming along with us?" inquired Turner.

"Bettcher life," returned the Codfish. "Things might run too smoothly if I stayed at home."

"You certainly can be depended upon to add a little dash of pepper wherever you are," said Frank laughing.

"You have no cause to complain, old fel," retorted Gleason. "If I hadn't got you two thousand feet in the air last summer you could never have won your broad-jump, nor have had the chance to have your picture printed in the papers with the story of your sweet young life."

[Pg 243]

"Perhaps all that excitement did help," said Frank, "but in the future we will take no more chances in an airship."

"I'll promise you that much anyway," returned the Codfish, "but just the same I think a good deal of credit is due to your humble servant for that victory last July. Of course, I don't expect any credit for it from the unthinking public or my selfish roommates, but I have my own congratulations anyway."

"And that's a lot," laughed Frank. "Do you go down with the team?"

"Yes, all arranged, tickets, Pullman, boat, everything. I'm one of that noble band of 'heelers' who brave everything to be a supporter and lend a yell in the hostile country when most needed."

"Bully for you, Codfish," cried Turner. "We may need you, but leave your automobile at home."

The itinerary of the southern trip included Washington, where the tour opened with a game with Georgetown; Charlottesville, Va.; Richmond and Norfolk. At the latter place three games were to be played, then was to follow a boat trip up the Chesapeake Bay to Washington, where a[Pg 244] second game was to be played with Georgetown.

Everyone was looking forward to the delights of warm sun and spring breezes in the land of flowers, for the March winds on Yale field had been anything but conducive to good ball playing. But spring was reluctant even in the south, and warm days were few and far between. Yale lost the first game with Georgetown with Martin in the box, and fared no better with the University of Virginia nine when Gilbert, who was supposed to be the most effective of the Yale staff of pitchers, went down before the fusillade of hits.

"You will start the game with the Norfolk League team to-morrow," said Coach Quinton to Armstrong as the players were leaving the dinner table at the hotel in Norfolk. "This will be one of the best games of the trip and I want to win it."

"All right, sir," returned Frank. "I'll do my best."

Frank won his game, but at heavy expense. For five innings he pitched great ball and kept the league hitters to two runs, while the Yale team, finding themselves, batted out seven runs by clean hitting and fast base-running. Then in[Pg 245] the sixth Frank began to slow up and the Norfolk batters reached his delivery frequently, but runs were cut off by superb playing of the Yale infield. Every ball he pitched sent a sting through his muscles with a pain almost unbearable, but he kept on to the end of the inning.

"What's the matter with you?" inquired the coach as he came to the bench. "Is your arm bothering you?"

"Yes, something seems to be wrong with it. Hurts like thunder."

Quinton knew only too well the symptoms. Armstrong had "thrown his arm out," a not uncommon thing in early spring baseball. His muscles, not sufficiently worked out, had been injured in the delivery of the speed ball he had been pitching.

Martin finished the game and held it safely, but Frank pitched no more that trip nor during the season for the 'Varsity. For a time after returning to New Haven he was worked in the outfield, but even there was at a disadvantage because he could not shoot the ball on a long throw from the outfield. So he was displaced by a weaker hitter, and shortly after went over to the track squad where he was received with open[Pg 246] arms by the trainer, who foresaw a certainty of added points in the coming track meets.

And he was not disappointed, for Frank, now out of baseball because of his accident, gave his entire time to the perfection of the broad jump, and won first place at the Harvard and Princeton dual meets. He took second place to the great Moffatt who made the trip across the continent from the University of California, and set a mark at twenty-three feet nine inches, which even Frank's unusual skill failed to equal, although on three different trials he had improved on his jump at the Queen's Club in London. Armstrong was now rated as one of the best jumpers in any of the colleges. But his ambitions in the direction of baseball and football had failed to materialize through accidents of one sort or another. He was the kind of a boy, however, who was willing to do as well as it was possible the thing that was available without repining about the things impossible.

During the stay at Norfolk the Codfish sustained his reputation as a friend of trouble. On the way down from Washington he had scraped acquaintance with a classmate named Chalmers, who had some acquaintances in Norfolk. The[Pg 247] party was hardly established at the hotel when Gleason hunted up his friend Chalmers and suggested that they take a ride in one of the snappy looking motor cars that stood in front of the hotel for hire. Chalmers pleaded poverty.

"Only four dollars an hour," said Gleason, "and we can look all over the town. Bully old place, all wistaria and pretty girls and happy darkies. Come on, don't be a tight wad!"

"Four dollars an hour would break me. At that price I could ride about ten minutes. Let's walk," suggested Chalmers.

"Oh, come on, let's show these southerners some speed. I have fifteen dollars in my inside pocket. There's a perfectly ripping blue car out front with a darky all fussed up to beat the band. It looks like a private rig and all that. One hour will do the trick, and I'll foot the bill."

That argument moved Chalmers, whose finances were low. Together the boys located the blue motor car with its snappy driver, immediately after lunch, and tumbled into the tonneau.

"Where do you-all want to go?" inquired the driver.

"Oh, just show us around," said the Codfish, with a wave of the hand. "Show us all the[Pg 248] flossy streets and the monuments, but I warn you now I don't climb any of them. Fire away."

Thus admonished, the driver headed his machine in the direction of Ghent, threading the streets of the quaint old town while the boys lay back luxuriously on the cushions of the tonneau.

"Gee whiz," said Chalmers, as the blue car rolled down Boissevain avenue, "there's Miss Smith or I'm an Injun."

"Where, who and what?" inquired the Codfish, immediately alert.

"Just coming down the steps of that white house over there."

"Know her?"

"Sure. Kid sister's roommate at school or something like that. Been at our house once. Promised Sis I'd look her up, but didn't expect to have time."

"Gee, but she's a pippin," said the Codfish, enthusiastically. "Let's ask her to take a ride in our pretty blue car!"

"And thereby kill two birds with one stone."

"Which two?"

"Keep my promise to Sis and do a humane act.[Pg 249] She lives miles from here I know. Probably been calling."

"Poor thing, we ought out of common courtesy ask her to ride home. I hate to see so pretty a girl walking with nothing better than a dog for company. Go ahead, be a gent; have a heart!"

By this time the car had traveled a block or so beyond where they had passed Miss Smith, whose steps were bent in the opposite direction to that in which the boys were headed. Chalmers was finally convinced by the persuasive Codfish that the automobile should be offered to the young lady, and the driver was ordered to turn around. The pedestrian was soon overtaken, and, hat in hand, Chalmers sprang from the car and intercepted the young lady.

"Miss Smith, I believe?" he said, advancing with a grin.

"Oh, Mr. Chalmers, I'm so glad to see you. Your sister wrote me you were coming down, but I never thought you would remember me."

"How could I ever forget?" said Chalmers, making his most elaborate, and what he considered fetching, bow. "This is my friend Mr. Gleason of Yale."

"So glad to meet Mr. Gleason," chirped the[Pg 250] young lady. "And you-all are down with the Yale team? Isn't that too lovely?"

Neither of the boys could see just how it was "too lovely," but they took it for what it was worth.

"Will you permit us to drive you home?" said the Codfish, waving his hand magnificently toward the blue motor car. "Chalmers says you live miles from here."

"Oh, that would be too lovely," gurgled Miss Smith. "I just adore motoring, and it is such a nice day, too. I live only a mile from here, but it would be sweet to ride that far in your car."

Miss Smith was escorted to the blue motor, and established in the middle of the rear seat while Chalmers and Gleason took seats on either side of her. The bull terrier, not nearly so much pleased with motoring as his mistress, spread himself over the floor and occasionally made frolicsome dashes at Gleason's Yale blue silk socks, a large expanse of which was showing.

"Get out, you little beast," cried Gleason, alarmed for the welfare of his beautiful socks. "Chew Chalmers over there, he's much better chewing than I am."

"O, don't mind him, Mr. Gleason, he just[Pg 251] adores blue. I simply can't keep anything blue around the house. Always eats it up."

"Well, he can't eat any of my blue stuff. He must be a Harvard dog; quit it, Fido," as the dog made another dash.

A few minutes' drive brought them to Miss Smith's house. "O, I simply don't want to get out," she said.

"Then why do you?" queried the Codfish. "It pains us to have you leave. We were just looking around, you know, and would like to have someone point out the sights of your gay and festive city."

"That would be too lovely, and I'll be so glad if you'll take Cousin Mary."

"Cousin Mary is on," said the Codfish. "Where does she live?"

"O, just around the corner. She loves motoring, too, and we poor people down here can't have automobiles of our own."

It was but a minute's trip to Cousin Mary's, and matters were facilitated by discovering the young lady in question standing in her doorway, hatted and gloved, with a camera in her hand. She was more than plump, she was decidedly fat[Pg 252] and had red hair. The Codfish decided he wasn't for Cousin Mary. Introductions were quickly made and the call explained. Cousin Mary was willing to ride anywhere so long as it was in a motor.

"Now where shall we go?" inquired the Codfish. "You tell us. This will be a personally conducted tour, you know."

"O, it would be just too lovely to drive to Virginia Beach," gushed Miss Smith.

Chalmers, who knew something of the geography of the territory, winced and tried to catch his companion's eye, but that individual failed to see the warning glance, and ordered—"Drive to Virginia Beach, James."

"All right, sah," and the machine shot off for the Beach. Chalmers very generously took the seat alongside the driver, leaving the Codfish with the girls in the tonneau, which was a disposition highly satisfactory to the latter. But he took care to put Cousin Mary on the far side of the seat.

As mile after mile was spun off, and still the destination was not reached, the Codfish began to wonder what the length of the drive might be, but his pride forbade him to ask. On and on[Pg 253] went the car at an easy pace. They had been out nearly two hours from the hotel, and the Codfish began to make mental calculations. "Two hours, that makes eight dollars," he calculated, "another hour and a half back, that makes fourteen. That makes some little bill. I can readily see I'm busted already!" His conversation began to halt, but the lovely Miss Smith was concerned only in the beauties of the landscape which she pointed out to her companion on the seat, who was not so deeply interested as he might have been had things been different.

At last the car drew up at the Beach. "How far do you call it down here, James?" inquired the Codfish, nonchalantly. He was still calculating.

"I reckon about twenty-five miles," said the driver. "Kaint make much time on these here roads."

"Yes, I noticed that," returned the Codfish dryly.

The young ladies were overjoyed to be at the Beach. They walked on the sands and took photographs.

"Cousin Mary just loves to take photographs," Miss Smith explained. Then the girls discovered[Pg 254] they had a call to make—would Mr. Chalmers and Mr. Gleason mind? A very dear girl friend whom they hadn't seen for a whole month was at the Beach. Would they come? No, then they would only be gone a few minutes. It was "too lovely" to have such a chance to call.

So the boys were left behind to wait impatiently. The minutes passed and then more minutes.

"And there's that blooming motor sitting there at four dollars an hour," growled the Codfish. "Three hours and fifteen minutes gone already. I'm bankrupt now and twenty-five miles to go back. I'll be entirely insolvent by the time we turn up in Norfolk."

Fifty minutes more passed and Miss Smith and Cousin Mary reappeared on the scene only to exhaust another reel of films photographing the car, the pavilion, a decrepit boat drawn up on the sands, and several sea views. "Cousin Mary is so artistic," explained Miss Smith. "You ought to see some of her sea views, they are just too sweet."

"I've enough sea views to last me the rest of my natural life," muttered the Codfish under[Pg 255] his breath. "I'm not much for sea views at four dollars an hour."

When everything necessary and unnecessary that the girls could think of had been done, the motor was turned in the direction of Norfolk, and set off at, a leisurely pace much to the disgust of the Codfish. The longer the driver took to cover the distance, the more money he made. Time was money to him with a vengeance.

On the outskirts of Norfolk, and just as dusk was beginning to settle, the rear shoe gave way with a loud explosion.

"How long?" inquired the Codfish, laconically.

"I reckon 'bout twenty minutes," replied the driver, at which Miss Smith set up a remonstrance. "We must be home. Mother will think something dreadful has happened. The trolley is only a few blocks from here. We can't wait that long for him to fix the old tire."

"All right, then," said the Codfish. "We'll all go, and James, you see us at the hotel after you get fixed up again." He was glad of the opportunity to have the automobile white elephant off his hands, and saw a chance of getting to the hotel and preserving his dignity before the girls. He could get the money he needed as soon[Pg 256] as he got back. But his luck was against him in the shape of the darky driver who was both obstinate and suspicious.

"Kaint do dat, sah," the driver protested, "last time I do dat, I done get stung. We done been out five hours and a half, dat makes twenty-two dollars, not countin' little something you gwine to give James."

"O, Mr. Gleason," cried Miss Smith. "I thought it was your own car." There was a note of reproach in her voice, and the speaker tossed her head. A ride in a hired car didn't seem so luxurious as in a private one.

A hasty conference between the two boys resulted in the pooling of all their cash in hand, which amounted to just $16.25. This amount the Codfish offered the driver, who refused it and loudly argued for his rights before a gathering crowd. He would not let his passengers out of his sight, so it was finally arranged that Chalmers should see the young ladies home while he, the Codfish, held as a hostage, hung around for another half hour while the shoe was replaced. He reached the hotel late for dinner, where he borrowed sufficient money to pay the driver.

[Pg 257]

Of course, the story got out, and the two participants never heard the last of it. It was even resurrected in the class day histories at the end of Senior year.

[Pg 258]


After college closed Frank Armstrong and Jimmy Turner joined a party of engineers and their assistants, whose work it was to survey a new railroad through the heart of New Brunswick, one of the Maritime provinces of Canada, and for two months they enjoyed the life of veritable savages in the open air. Following the pointing finger of the compass they burrowed through the tangled forests, sleeping sometimes rolled in blankets with a bunch of fragrant hemlock boughs for a pillow, and, only when the weather was bad, under the protecting service tents, several of which had been brought along for bad weather. Many nights, however, the tents were never set up at all, and the whole party of young men slept with only the stars for their roof. Frank made himself invaluable at river crossings, of which there were many, for bridges were few and far between. It was his duty to swim the barring river with the engineers'[Pg 259] "chains" which he did with such success that he was nicknamed "the torpedo." Later he was followed by other members of the party on homemade catamarans.

The life agreed with both the boys, and when the party finished its work and took train at the little station of Harcourt on the Intercolonial railroad, with clothing ragged from the rough caress of the tangled woods and shoes guiltless of blacking, they might well have been mistaken for young lumbermen instead of college students.

Ten days later they were in football clothes on Yale field, obeying the call for early fall practice before college opened. Frank had put on ten pounds during the summer, and for the first time felt himself strong enough to withstand the punishing work of the game. He was hard as nails, in perfect condition and eager for any work the coach might set him at. Again he was placed at end in practice by Coach Hanley, and made such good progress that in the middle of the first game he was called in to play the position, where he acquitted himself with such credit that he earned a word of praise from Captain Baldwin.

Through the long, hard grueling work of the[Pg 260] fall he fought for his place, alternating between the 'Varsity and the second eleven, learning something every day under the tuition of this or that coach for the purpose of helping Yale turn out a winning team. Turner was firmly established at right halfback, and gave promise of becoming a great player. His irresistible smashes earned many yards for Yale in the minor games of the season, and it was a common prediction that he would be first choice for the place in the championship games. He succeeded not by any great speed but by his instinct for the opening his linemen made and his almost uncanny ability to keep his feet and burrow for a gain through the worst tangle of human bodies. It was Turner who was always given the ball down near the goal line to carry it across, and he rarely failed to accomplish his end.

The uncertainty regarding who was to play right end was banished in the Brown game which preceded the Princeton game by one week. The game was a hard one, and neither side could score a touchdown. Frank was called in at right end to replace Saunders, and on the second line-up took a well delivered forward pass and scored with practically a free field. Twice again before[Pg 261] the game was over he proved his ability in this particular play. His baseball helped him in the handling of the football, and his speed and elusiveness in an open field added to his chances. It was therefore no surprise to anyone in the college when he was slated to go in the first line-up against Princeton.

"I'm putting you in, Armstrong," said Coach Hanley, "in spite of the fact that Saunders has had more experience. In other words, I'm taking a chance with you. Don't fall down. This Princeton team has a strong line and we've got to fox them with the forward pass. Keep cool, and use your head all the time."

The instructions sounded easy enough, but when Frank took his place at right end on the day of the game, under the eyes of thirty thousand people, to say that he was nervous expressed only a small part of his feelings. While the big Yale center placed the ball at midfield for the kick-off he lived, like other high-strung players before him, what seemed a whole year of his lifetime. He was almost overcome by the sudden fear that he might not be able to do what was expected of him, and the barking cheers from the Yale side of the field added to his nervousness[Pg 262] instead of encouraging him. Twice Biddle, the center, placed the ball, and twice the stiff breeze topped it over. Frank's heart was pounding, and he felt weak and ineffective, but at the shrill scream of the whistle, and as the ball rose in the air and soared off in the direction of Princeton's goal, his mind cleared like a flash. He regained his grip on himself, and sped off down the field like the wind, feeling a moment later the grim joy of shock and strain as his arms closed around the legs of the man with the ball, who came sweeping up the field, behind what seemed like a wall of interference. How he reached the runner, he never knew, but the fact that he had reached him seemed to give him the strength of ten men.

Twice the Princeton backs were shot at his end. Once he got the runner, and the second time he spilled the interference, leaving Turner to take the man with the ball, which he did with a jolting tackle that jarred the Princeton man's very being.

Up and down the field surged the tide of battle, while the stands under the urging of the cheer-leaders gave out on the one side or the other an almost steady roar of cheers. In spite[Pg 263] of their volume they seemed strangely far away to the players whose energies were engaged entirely with the matter in hand.

Once the new right end was drawn in, and a Princeton back slipped around him for fifteen yards. The sharp reprimand from the captain was not necessary for he was raging at himself, savage at being tricked. A moment later he was tricked again: the back made a feint at the end, went inside him and was stopped by Turner.

"That's the place," yelled a Princeton coach, "put it there again!" It looked like a weak place indeed, and the Princeton quarter, after making his distance on the other side of the line, again shot his catapult at right end.

This time Frank went through the interference, and tackled so viciously that there were hisses from a few in the Princeton stand. He was fighting mad, crazy to hurt and to be hurt. Again and again he hurled himself blindly against the Princeton onrush only to be borne backwards.

Suddenly he realized what the matter was. The coach's words came to him: "Keep cool, play your game and keep your head working." It was like a dash of cold water, and he was[Pg 264] immediately cool. He had a grip on himself in a moment, and he now smiled back into the mocking eyes of his opposing end where a moment before he had glared in hate. He had obtained the mastery over himself.

Again the play swung around to his end, but this time he met it coolly and deliberately, and checked it without the gain of a foot, while the Yale stand announced its approval with a mighty and spontaneous shout. Time after time the Princeton attack at the right end was met and turned back, and Saunders, who had been told to get ready to replace Armstrong, sat down again at the motion of Coach Hanley, and wrapped his blankets around his shoulders. This much Frank saw out of the corner of his eye, and a thrill of satisfaction went through him. He had learned his lesson and was making good.

It is not our intention to tell the story of Frank's baptism of fire, nor how the two evenly matched teams battled to a tie at the end of four desperately fought periods. Frank played through three of these periods, and although he played well and did all of his duty, he never had a clear chance at a forward pass. The ball was thrown either too far or not far enough on the[Pg 265] half dozen tries at the pass, or the attempt to throw was spoiled by the eager Princeton forwards who crowded through the line. At the end of the third quarter he was taken out weak and staggering from his exertions, and Saunders went in.

But the coach's "All right, Armstrong," was music to his ears as he came over to the side-line to be immediately wrapped in a big blanket by the trainer.

That night, while the team was dressing in the Gymnasium, the coaches gave the men the benefit of some advice. "You fellows forgot most of the time," said Hanley, "that you were a team. You were playing every man for himself. You should have licked that Princeton team, and the only reason you didn't was that you were not a Yale team. We don't want brilliant individual stuff. One must help the other. If you get together before next Saturday we can beat Harvard. If you play as you did to-day, Harvard will lick you out of your boots, because she has a great team and it is together. You are just as good, but you are not together." It was straight talk, and it sank deep.

Monday was a day of rest at the field, but on[Pg 266] Tuesday the final preparation for Harvard began. Behind locked gates under the urgings of the half a score of coaches who had hurried to New Haven, the previous practice and even the Princeton game were like child's play. Armstrong was at right end, a position which he had fairly won, but Saunders on the Second eleven fought tooth and nail to displace him. It seemed to Frank that the Second eleven coaches had a particular grudge at his end, for he was called upon to stop more than his share of attacks. But he was able to do what was expected of him, backed up as he was by the sturdy and omnipresent Turner who withstood everything with a never-failing energy.

Wednesday's practice, fiercer than the day before, if that could be, found Frank Armstrong still in possession of his place at right end, but it was with a sigh of relief that he heard the welcome "That's all," of Coach Hanley. He watched with interest the usual celebration of the Second eleven which marks the end of the year's practice.

On Thursday the 'Varsity, with substitutes, a score of coaches and heelers, took the afternoon train to the north, and were quartered at a hotel[Pg 267] just outside of Cambridge. A brief signal practice was held in the towering Stadium on Soldiers Field Friday, where the last instructions were given to the men. It would be too much to say, and not the truth, that the night was a peaceful one for most of the Yale eleven. Turner and Armstrong were quartered in separate beds in the same room. The former slept like a log, apparently free from all thoughts of the morrow. Frank, on the other hand, tossed and turned, got up in the night and sat at the window while his companion snored contentedly. In the early hours of the morning he finally dropped into a sleep which was disturbed by dreams of the Harvard runners slipping past just beyond his reach. How he got through the morning he never knew, but he did get through somehow, and finally found himself dressed for the fray and in the big 'bus with the rest of the eleven, headed for the Stadium.

"There go the Yaleses!" sang out an urchin.

"Dey won't look so nice as dat when de Harvards get through wit' dem," shouted his companion.

Occasionally the 'bus passed Yale sympathizers,[Pg 268] and then it got a cheer or: "Go to it, Yale, you're the boys who can do it!"

From every direction throngs of people were heading toward the great concrete structure whose huge gray bulk seemed to fill the horizon. Already thousands swarmed in its arches, and even at this hour little black specks of human beings were seen outlined on its upper heights against the sky. Progress became slower as the 'bus neared the field, and it finally took the combined efforts of a squad of police to break the crowd sufficiently to let the Yale players through to the Locker Building within the shadow of the Stadium walls.

The game was to be started at two o'clock, and at a quarter of that hour it would have been difficult to find a vacant place in all those towering tiers. Yale occupied the south and Harvard the north side of the field. The cheer-leaders were tuning up, as it were. Back and forth across the field were flung songs and cheers, and in this lull before the battle each applauded the other's efforts.

Five minutes before the hour the Harvard captain, with his red-jerseyed and red-stockinged warriors at his heels, dashed through the gate[Pg 269] at the northwest corner of the field. A great wave of crimson seemed to sweep the Harvard stand from end to end as the thirty thousand Harvard sympathizers rose to their feet, waving flags and red bandannas. A crackling cheer like musketry rolled across the field. While the Harvard cheer-leaders called for a cheer for the team, the Yale stand sat motionless. A minute later, however, it sprang into life as Captain Baldwin led his men onto the field through the same gate at a loping run. The Yale crowd was smaller, but what a noise it did make!

After a few minutes of signal practice, the two captains with the officials met at the center of the field and tossed for choice of sides. The coin which was flipped in the air by the referee fell heads, which was the side Captain Randall of Harvard, had called, and he indicated with a sweep of his hand that he would take the west end of the field. What little wind was then blowing at his back was the only advantage he had. Both elevens quickly dropped into their places, the whistle shrilled and the game was on.

That was a game which went down in history as one of the fiercest and hardest ever played between the two old rivals. It was clean and[Pg 270] free from bad feeling which sometimes marks close games, but intense from the first line-up to the last. Harvard, after receiving the ball on the kick-off, cut loose a smashing attack through the line, reeling off the yards with terrible, tremendous force, a force that Yale did not seem to be able to meet successfully.

Down over the white lines went the Harvard machine, plays timed to perfection and gaining wherever they struck, not much, but enough in three tries to carry them the necessary yards for a first down. A perfect roar of cheers boiled up from the Harvard side of the field while Yale seemed paralyzed. Only after the ball had been pushed well into Yale territory did her cheer-leaders begin to get something like a cheer of volume.

But Yale was learning, and before Harvard had progressed to the danger zone the advance was stopped, and Yale took the ball, an act that was approved by a mighty cheer.

Turner bored through for eight yards on the first play, and followed it up with enough to make a first down, but there the advance stopped. Porter, the Yale fullback, who was doing the punting, was hurried by the rush of the Harvard[Pg 271] forwards, and his kick almost blocked. It traveled diagonally across the field for a bare fifteen-yards gain, and was Harvard's ball.

"Now stop 'em right here! Take it away," commanded Captain Baldwin. "You can do it!"

But Harvard was not to be stopped just then. Playing like red demons, they fought their way foot by foot into Yale's territory, and threatened the Yale goal. Turner and Armstrong were on the bottom of every heap when the play came at their side, but the best they could do was to keep the gains down. They could not entirely stop them. But the gallant Yale line rallied less than ten yards from their goal, and again checked the crimson attack. So determined were the Harvard team to make a touchdown that they scorned to try a field goal, and depended on a forward pass to make the necessary distance.

Armstrong, alert for just such a move, intercepted the ball and again it was Yale's. Yale's rushing attack was stopped short and Porter was sent back to punt.

"Block it! block it! block it!" yelled the Harvard partisans but although the red line tried desperately to do this, Porter succeeded in getting his kick off, but the ball went high, was held[Pg 272] back by the wind which at that moment was blowing a stiff breeze, and it dropped into the Harvard quarter's hands a bare twenty yards back of his line of scrimmage. A groan went up from the Yale hosts as Harvard, for the third time, took up the march down the field.

[Pg 273]


Yale's defense stiffened and made her opponent's going become harder. With five yards to go for a first down, the Harvard quarter and his right end executed a neat forward pass which put the ball on Yale's twelve-yard line directly opposite the posts, and one smash at right tackle put it three yards nearer the goal line.

"Touchdown! touchdown! touchdown!" begged the Harvard stand.

"Hold 'em, hold 'em, hold 'em!" pleaded Yale, but the pleading was of no avail, for that splendid Harvard team, working like a well-oiled piece of machinery, drove on and over their opponents till the ball lay only three yards away from the goal. A touchdown seemed inevitable.

Captain Baldwin drew his men together in a little group and exhorted them to such good purpose that the next charge was stopped dead in its tracks. Again the lines faced each other, again came the crash of body meeting body. The Harvard[Pg 274] back with the ball tucked under his arm shot off to the left, slipped inside his own tackle and was clear of the first line of defense. But as he straightened up from his running crouching position, Turner met him with a bull-like rush, picked him clear off his feet and threw him with such violence that the ball flew from his grasp and bounced crazily along the ground in the direction of the goal. Man after man took a diving shot at it as it rolled until the turf was covered with sprawling figures. Finally the ball disappeared beneath a mass of bodies which the referee slowly dug apart and found—Frank Armstrong wrapped around the ball in a loving embrace!

"Yale's ball," was the silent announcement of the scoreboard, but never was an announcement before or since greeted with such a yell.

From that moment the tide of battle turned. Porter got off a long, low twisting punt which caught the Harvard backfield man napping. He made a desperate effort to reach it, but although he got his hands on the ball he could not hold it, and was swept away by a blue avalanche. When the smoke cleared away, Captain Baldwin was lying on the ball on Harvard's forty-yard line.[Pg 275] Before the teams could line up again, the whistle blew to end the quarter and the teams changed ends of the field.

Three minutes later the game was on again, this time with Yale the aggressor and Harvard on the defensive. Conditions of the first quarter were reversed and now it was Yale, the team fighting like one man, who was pushing her opponents steadily down the field. Held at the thirty-yard line with three yards to go for a first down, the Yale quarter sent a pretty forward pass to Armstrong who made a beautiful catch and was not downed till he was run out of bounds at the fifteen-yard line. Pandemonium reigned among the Yale hosts, and the cheer-leaders tried vainly to get a unison cheer. The crowd would not look but kept their eyes glued on the play.

Now it was Yale's turn to call for a touchdown, and the tiered thousands did it right lustily, but unfortunately, for their hopes, a bad pass on the next play lost five yards and Turner was stopped on the next attempt.

"Armstrong back!" cried the quarter.

Frank left his place at end and took up his position fifteen yards back of the line of scrimmage, measuring carefully the distance to the[Pg 276] goal posts, thirty-five yards away, while the crowd waited in breathless silence. The lines crouched tense and ready. The ball shot back from Biddle on a long pass to Frank but it came so low that he had almost to pick it from the ground. Quick as a flash he straightened up, dropped the ball to the ground, and drove his toe against it as it rose again. Away it spun on its course, while the eyes of forty thousand people strained after its flight. But luck was against Yale that day. The ball, traveling straight and true, had not been given quite enough power. It struck the cross-bar, bounced high in the air and fell back into the playing field where a Harvard back pounced upon it. Harvard punted on the kick-out over forty-five yards and after several exchanges without result, the half ended and the tired players tramped slowly off to the Locker House to be told by the coaches why they had not done their work just right.

Fifteen minutes later the game was on again, but not with its first fierceness. No human beings could continue the pace set in that first half, and the play settled into a punting duel between Porter and his opponent, with neither team able to[Pg 277] gain much by straight rushing. Both tried forward passes but with a few exceptions they failed for one reason or another. The quarter passed without either team threatening the other's goal, and predictions were beginning to be made that barring accidents the game would be a tie.

Five minutes after the fourth period began, a fumbled punt by the Yale quarter and a recovery by an alert Harvard end shifted the battle with jarring suddenness into Yale territory, with Yale on the defensive. Again the Harvard machine began to work with its first smoothness and down, down they drove the ball in spite of a desperate defense.

Held at the ten-yard line, the Harvard quarter, who in the early season had been heralded as a great drop-kicker but who had shown nothing of his ability in late games, dropped back ten or twelve yards behind his line and put the ball between the posts with neatness and dispatch. When the tumult, which the field goal had brought to pass in the Harvard stands, quieted down again Yale set out to win back the points lost. But it seemed like a hopeless task, for Harvard,[Pg 278] with victory in sight met every effort, and stopped it.

Time was flying, and many of the Harvard people, feeling assured of Harvard's victory, were filing out of the stands. Yale supporters stayed on, hoping against hope, for only five minutes were left to play.

Suddenly the Yale quarter changed his tactics. Catching the Harvard backs in a favorable position for the play, he snapped a forward pass to Armstrong who caught it and made the middle of the field on a dodging run, where he was brought down from behind. The gain brought hope back to drooping Yale spirits, and a cheer rattled across the field. Immediately on the heels of this successful pass, which drew out the Harvard defense, he sent Turner into the line and added another eight yards. The tide of Harvard departure was suddenly checked by this hostile demonstration, and seeing that the defense did not close up, the heady little quarter tried Turner again with such effect that it was a first down.

The Yale stands were cheering like mad, at this unlooked-for burst of speed when the team was supposed to be beaten. The captain himself,[Pg 279] with Turner clearing the way, lunged forward five yards and added two more a moment later. Again the Harvard defense crept in and the Yale quarter, seeing his opportunity, drove another forward pass to Armstrong who caught it cleanly and was off like the wind. He sidestepped the tackle by the opposing end, ran obliquely toward the side-line, stopped and let the rush of tacklers pass him, slipped out of what seemed an impossible position, and with a clear field, with the exception of one man, cut straight for the goal line with friend and foe thundering behind. Straight at the tackler, who waited with outstretched arms, he ran. The muscles, which had been crying for rest a moment before, were now like steel. Now he was within two steps of the Harvard back. He appeared to be running straight to certain disaster, but as the Harvard tackler lunged forward, Frank swung his body to one side, brought his forearm down with all his force on the outstretched arm nearest him, and was past. The momentary check, however, brought a fleet Harvard end up to him, who, unwilling to take a chance at the Yale man's flying legs, sprang full upon his back. The force carried Frank off his feet, staggering headlong.[Pg 280] Even with the burden on his back he managed to fall head-first toward the goal line, where he was instantly pinned to the ground by two tacklers with such force that he lay stunned.

He required the services of the trainer with sponge and water bottle before the play could be resumed. The ball lay exactly ten yards from the goal and in the face of the known defensive strength of Harvard, it seemed an impossible task to put it over from there.

Captain Baldwin took the ball two yards on the first try and then the red-headed Turner, like a maddened bull, drove through for four yards in a whirling mass of red and blue-legged players. Again Turner was called upon and when the pile untangled, he had laid the ball within two yards of the coveted white line which to cross meant glorious victory.

Captain Baldwin drew his men back for a conference while the stands stopped their cheering long enough to speculate whether he would attempt a goal from the field or risk defeat on an attempt to carry the ball across for a touchdown. Doubts were soon set at rest for the Yale team sprang back into regular formation and crouched for the signal.

[Pg 281]

You might have heard a pin drop in that vast crowd, so still they were as the two lines crouched, with swaying arms and tense bodies. Snappily came the signal, sounding high, clear and shrill in that amazing quiet, followed by the crash of meeting lines. Turner with his head down between his mighty shoulders, drove like a catapult into the struggling mass on the heels of his captain. There was a moment of squirming and grinding, then the whole mass fell in a sort of pyramid which refused to untangle itself even at the orders of the referee, and he was obliged to pull and dig to get at the bottom. And what he found at the bottom was Turner, bruised and bleeding, but joyfully happy with the ball hugged to his breast and across the goal line by four inches!

It was of no account that the kick-out (for the touchdown had been made well toward the corner of the field) was bungled. Yale had scored a touchdown and the lead. Two minutes afterward the whistle ended the game, and the wildest sort of celebration began. Every member of the Yale team was seized, protesting, and carried by the half-crazed students in a whirling march around the field. Hats were thrown over the[Pg 282] goal posts by the hundreds, the owners entirely indifferent as to whether they ever got their headgear back again. Many students went back to New Haven that night minus their hats, but little did it matter as Yale had won a glorious battle in the face of what seemed certain defeat. And the names of Turner and Armstrong were on every tongue.

That night Turner was elected captain and Frank cast his vote for his old friend although he himself had been nominated as a candidate.

[Pg 283]


When the spring of Junior year came around, Frank Armstrong enrolled himself in the baseball squad. The rest of nearly a year had apparently completely cured his arm, and he became at once one of the leading candidates for pitcher. Coach Quinton had engaged the services of a professional pitcher from one of the big leagues for the early practice, and from this man Frank learned much about the art of pitching. Quinton was careful, however, not to work him in cold weather, fearing a return of the trouble in his pitching arm. The result of this careful handling was that he rounded into form in mid-season, and was the mainstay of the nine in the box. Turner was the receiving end of the battery, and together they became the terror of opposing nines.

At the end of a season which was only partly successful, with a victory from Princeton and a defeat by Harvard, the latter caused by Yale's[Pg 284] inability to hit the ball with men on bases, Frank Armstrong was unanimously elected captain for Senior year.

"I think the way you two fellows are hogging the Ys and captaincies around here is disgraceful," complained the Codfish one night. "Armstrong ought to be ashamed. Turner is bad enough with football and baseball, but Armstrong is nothing short of a Y trust, with three different kinds of them. Why aren't you modest like I am?"

Frank laughed.

"Some are born Ys," paraphrased the Codfish, "some achieve Ys and some have Ys thrust upon them."

"You ought to be put out for that," said Frank. "But I say, how would you like to score for us next year?"

"To cover up your errors, eh?"

"No, just to keep you quiet."

"In that case, I'm on, but you need look for no favors in the scoring from me. I'm an impartial gink. No friends when I'm on the job. Do I get a southern trip?"

"Sure, you do. But you must keep away from hired automobiles."

[Pg 285]

"Forget it," said the Codfish, who didn't like to be reminded of the Norfolk experience.

Frank and Jimmy spent their summer together at Seawall, and renewed old acquaintances. Many hours the two boys spent together going over plans for their teams, while with swimming and rowing they kept themselves in the pink of physical condition.

"My ambition is to win both the Princeton and Harvard series," Frank said one evening as they sat on the veranda of the Armstrong cottage, their eyes wandering over the Bay with its twinkling lights. "And that's the reason I'm going to ask you to let me out of football work this fall."

"I don't like it at all, Frank," returned the football captain. "I need you. You've had the experience and I, too, have ambitions."

"Yes, but look at that bunch of Freshman material from last year's Freshman eleven. It would make a whole 'Varsity team in itself—Squires, Thompson, Williams, Weatherly and the rest. Great Scott, I wouldn't be in it with that bunch. You know you don't need me. I've got a lot of material to whip into shape, and with both of us out of the nine, Quinton wouldn't[Pg 286] be pleased. But I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll go out and work with my own team, and if you have to have me, I'll go over and take my medicine. But if you don't need me, then I'll keep on with my own work."

That was the arrangement the captains made between themselves, and although it was something of a sacrifice, Captain Turner, fortunately well supplied with end material, went through his season with flying colors, ending with two glorious victories over Yale's dearest foes, and writing his name, in the doing of it, large on Yale's page of football history.

When the spring of Senior year rolled around, it found Frank making progress with the team he hoped would be called a championship nine. The Easter trip was an unqualified success, with only one defeat recorded, and that by the Norfolk Leaguers. All the college games were won handily, and the nine returned to New Haven with a prestige for clever all-around play.

Through the season of preliminary home games, the nine acquitted itself well. Besides himself, Captain Armstrong had two pitchers, a man named Read and of only ordinary ability, and another, Whittaker, a big, raw-boned westerner,[Pg 287] who was a tower of strength in the box. On the latter Frank depended as his substitute in the championship series with Princeton and Harvard, for the games, owing to a combination of circumstances, ran so closely together that no one man could possibly pitch them all.

Four days before the first championship game, evidence was handed to the captain which made him doubt the amateur standing of Whittaker. The testimony was that Whittaker had played professional ball in a western town. The captain and coach called the pitcher over to the former's room for an explanation. The westerner admitted at once that he had pitched ball for money for three seasons before coming to Yale, but since he had used the money to defray his expenses it was not plain to him that he was not eligible.

"I'm mighty sorry," said Frank, "but you can't pitch any more for Yale. In any interpretation of the rules you are a professional, and not eligible for an amateur nine."

"Yes, but no one knows it at Princeton or Harvard, do they?"

"True, but that makes no difference. I say again, 'I'm mighty sorry but you can't pitch for[Pg 288] Yale,'" and while he said it, his heart sank for he well knew that Read would never be able to stem the tide of a championship match, and besides Read there was no one but himself. To make matters worse he had recently felt a twinge in his pitching arm when delivering certain curves. It might be a recurrence of the old trouble!

"That about settles us," said Frank after Whittaker had taken his departure, a sentiment which was echoed by the college men when it became known that Whittaker was ineligible.

"We'll pitch Read in the first Princeton game and take a chance," was Quinton's advice. "It will be the second game that's the teaser."

Fortune favored Captain Armstrong, for Princeton very kindly played away off-form, and allowed Yale to get such a lead in the early part of the game that even though Read began to weaken toward the end and was hit hard, Yale kept her lead without difficulty. Captain Armstrong played in right field, and was ready to go in at a moment's notice, but fortunately there was no need for it. Read, the second string man, had come through with credit, but the Princeton batters had given sufficient evidence[Pg 289] in the last inning or two what would be likely to happen to him if he faced them again.

"It seems to be up to you, Captain," said Quinton, "to clean this up at Princeton next Saturday. If you do, our chances are better for the Harvard series, for there will be a little time for rest. If you don't win, then there has to be a tie in New York, and that runs us right on top of the first Harvard game in Cambridge."

"I've been thinking it over," said Frank, "and you're dead right. That game at Princeton must be taken, and I'm going to take it if I can. You put that down in the book."

The college, well knowing the state of the pitching staff, but with great confidence in the hard-hitting and fast-fielding team and its captain, backed it loyally, and sent a thousand men to Princeton to cheer.

The game was an exciting one from start to finish, with a great deal of hitting on both sides. Captain Armstrong, who was in the box, pitched wonderful ball throughout, and kept hits well scattered. But it was noticed that he used very little but a straight ball, his effectiveness being due to a continual change of pace which baffled the Princeton batters. Now and then in a critical[Pg 290] moment, he put over a curve, but curves were the exception.

Coach Quinton watching narrowly from the bench, knew the significance of the captain's action. It was the old trouble.

Every man played his position like a veteran that day, and in spite of the strange ground and the boundless enthusiasm of the Princeton thousands back for Commencement celebration, Frank, before the sun went down, had accomplished half, at least, of his dearest ambition, a double championship for Yale, by beating Princeton with a margin of two runs.

The night before the team left for Cambridge to play the first game of the Harvard series, there was a long conference in the captain's room as to the best way of disposing of Yale's forces.

"I want to pitch Read in that first game," said Frank. "The chances are against us there anyway, and it would be better, I think, to let my arm rest for the second game in New Haven."

"You might start the game," suggested Coach Quinton, "or be ready to jump in if Read shows signs of blowing up, but it will depend on how you feel that day."

"I know how I'll feel," Frank replied, "and I[Pg 291] know how this old wing of mine feels now. I know that if I pitch in Cambridge, that's the end of me. I can't throw a ball hard enough now to break a pane of glass, and I'll be lucky to be able to stay in the game at all."

Quinton tilted back in the chair and rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

"Well, then, Read it will be for the game on Thursday, and he'll have to go through it, win or lose," he announced. "You will play in right field and lob them in if they come in your direction."

"I'd be glad to sit on the bench if you think Barrows could come through with a hit or two. He's a better fielder than I am. I want the strongest nine we can get in there on Thursday," said Frank.

"Not on your life," said Quinton with determination. "With one arm you are better than Barrows with three. He can't hit anything."

And so it was settled that the captain should play in the field and that Read should go into the box. It was the best thing to do under the circumstances.

For three innings, Read held the Harvard batters hitless, and hope began to grow in the team[Pg 292] and in the hearts of the team's supporters that he would last to the end. Turner's home run drive with a man on base put Yale in the lead with two runs, in the second inning. But in the fourth, Read, in trying to get a ball over the inside corner of the plate, hit a batter, and in the endeavor to retrieve his error by catching the man napping off first base, threw wild to the first baseman. The result was that before the ball was recovered the runner was perched, grinning, on third base.

The double error unsteadied Read, who in his endeavor to strike out the next two batters who were both good waiters, passed them both. The bases were filled with none out. Then came Harvard's hard-hitting catcher with a three-base hit which drove in three runs. That ended Read's efficiency. In the same inning he was hit for a single and two doubles in succession. The net result of this slaughter, coupled with a base on balls and two infield errors, gave Harvard six runs before the side was retired.

Yale added a run in the fifth, but Harvard, now hitting like demons, and with Read at their mercy, slammed the ball for three more runs. Yale continued to play with dogged determination against overpowering odds, striving to hold down[Pg 293] the score as low as it might be. The fielders worked faithfully, but Read was now being hit at will and many of the balls went safely.

"Let me go in and try to stop this," Frank suggested, as he came to the bench in the eighth inning.

"No use now," said Quinton. "It's Harvard's day and the game is gone. Stay where you are and we'll take this back again next Tuesday."

In the eighth and ninth, Read steadied down, but then it was too late, in spite of a dogged up-hill fight by Yale. The final score stood 14 to 5.

Read had no appetite that night at the training table.

"Never mind it, old fellow," said Frank, laying his hand on Read's shoulder. "That happens to the best of them once in a while; forget it; we'll get them next Tuesday. They had all the breaks of luck, anyway. It was their day."

"Yes, they had me; I was the best man on they had; I'm disgusted with myself," and the big pitcher hung his head.

"Forget it," said Frank, and nothing more was said; but in spite of the assumed cheerfulness it was a quiet lot of ball-players who took the train for New Haven.

[Pg 294]

During the next four days, the captain's arm was a subject for the careful attention of the trainers, who rubbed and kneaded the strained member at every possible opportunity. Nearly every known remedy was tried, for well everyone knew that on Armstrong depended the next game—the great Commencement game—which drew back thousands of graduates. The worried coach spent most of his time with Captain Armstrong, and when he had exhausted his own knowledge of arm treatments, went to old Yale ball-players who were flocking back to give what assistance they could in the crucial game. The newspapers deprecated Yale's chances, but the college was behind its team to a man.

"Armstrong has a glass arm," wrote the sporting writers in the daily prints. "Little hope for the Bull-dog; Harvard expects to clean up on Tuesday."

"We may fool 'em yet," said Frank, as he threw down a paper he had been reading, "eh, Turner? This old wing feels better to-night and I'm dying to get a chance at them."

"And we are with you," said Turner. "I want to get away from the memory of the fourteen to five business up at Cambridge."

[Pg 295]

The great day came. Although the game was not called till three o'clock, the big wooden stands at the Field were filled an hour before that time. The spectators had gathered early to watch the antics of the returning uniformed classes of graduates, whose parade behind a score of bands is always one of the features of the day.

Joyfully the long line of the parade wound around the field, the younger graduates capering to the ringing music of the bands, the older ones more sedate and garbed more soberly. Gradually the classes were ushered to their seats and half an hour before the game the grounds were cleared.

Harvard had a fast and snappy practice. When Armstrong led his men on to the diamond for the Yale practice, the cheer-leaders led the packed thousands in a tremendous ovation.

"They seem to be with us, anyway," said Frank, who was standing with Coach Quinton by the home plate.

"You can bet everything you own, they are," returned Quinton, "and we must give them what they are looking for—a victory."

"I'd give my arm to do it," said Frank. And he meant it.

All the preliminaries over, there was a hush as[Pg 296] the captains at the plate with the two umpires talked over ground rules. It was Harvard first to bat, and as the Yale team trotted to their positions in the field and the captain took up his place in the box, a roar swept the stands, while the cheer-leaders bawled through their megaphones: "Make more noise, you fellows, we can't hear you."

That was a game long to be remembered. The very first of the red-stockinged batters met squarely the first ball Captain Armstrong delivered, and drove it between left and center for three bases.

"Same old story," sang out the Harvard cheer-leader. "Give them a cheer; we'll make a dozen the first inning."

But he was mistaken. The next two batters, the strongest of the team, fell before Frank's shoots, and the third put up a foul fly which Turner captured close to the stand. This gave the Yale men a chance to let loose some enthusiasm.

In Yale's half of the inning, a single and an error put two men on bases with one out. But the necessary hits were not forthcoming, and although[Pg 297] the men reached third and second, the side was retired before a runner crossed the plate.

Nip and tuck, the teams played for five innings with no runs scored on either side. Armstrong was pitching brilliant ball. No one in the stands and but few on the team itself, knew the price he was paying. Slow and fast he mixed them up, with an occasional curve which sent twinges of pain from finger tips to shoulder. In tight places, he steadied his team and was always the Captain, inspiring and resourceful.

Coach Quinton well knew what Frank was going through. "Can you stick it out?" he said, when the game was more than half over.

"I don't know. I'm pitching and praying at the same time," was the answer.

The break came in the sixth, and it was in Harvard's favor. With one out, Kingston, the big Harvard first baseman, hit a liner to the pitcher's box, which Frank partly blocked with his gloved hand. The ball bounded to the left and fell dead twenty feet behind him, and before the second baseman, who had come in with all possible speed, could field it, Kingston had crossed first base. The next man up singled over second. With two on, Captain Armstrong tightened[Pg 298] up and struck out the following batter, while the stands roared their approval; but the next man hit a low liner to left field, which scored Kingston. Frank was pitching now slowly and deliberately. His arm was numb, but somehow he got over the third strike on the last man and saved more runs.

Yale fought hard to win the run back and got a man to third, but a stinging liner to short-stop was perfectly handled and the side was out. Nothing happened in the eighth for either side, and Harvard began the ninth, one run to the good, steady and confident.

Armstrong was pitching now on nerve alone. His arm, subjected to a hard strain through the preceding eight innings, was what the newspapers had called "glass," but the brain that directed it was cool and calculating. Fortunately for him, the first man fouled out to the third baseman on the second ball pitched, but the second batter caught one of the Yale pitcher's slow lobs and made a safe hit. The third bunted down the third base line and was also safe. It was now or never, and gathering up his fast waning forces, Frank struck out the next man, while the shooting[Pg 299] pains in his arm brought the cold sweat out on his forehead.

Confidently the last Harvard batter faced him, swinging his bat. Frank tried a curve which went outside the plate. A foul followed, and then a strike. Twice he threw high to tease the batter, and then with all the vigor he had left, he snapped over a straight ball, close to the knees. The batter swiped desperately at it.

"You're out," came the sharp tones of the umpire; and as the batter threw his bat wickedly towards the bench, the Yale stands rose en masse and yelled their approval.

"We've got to win it now," commanded Captain Armstrong at the bench. "It's our last chance. I can't pitch another ball."

At that command the team galvanized into action. The first man up bunted the ball of the hitherto invincible pitcher down the first base line, and was safe. Then came the reliable Turner, gritting his teeth and pawing the ground at the plate. Twice he let the ball pass on strikes, and then the Harvard man pitched one to his liking—a swift, straight ball at about the shoulder. Turner met it with all the force of his vigorous young body, well towards the end of the[Pg 300] bat, full and square. The ball started low, like a well-hit golf ball from the tee, rising as it traveled. Out and up it went, while the runner on first, after one look, scudded for home.

Just what became of that ball, no one ever knew. It was never found. Some say it struck an automobile on the far side of the outfield fence, and some even say it continued its flight on down to the river. But it did not matter. It was a clean home-run, Turner following his galloping teammate more leisurely, trotting across the plate with the winning run.

Down from the stands poured the thousands. They dashed on the field and swept up Captain Armstrong and his gallant warriors. Then when the first transports of joy were over, the classes broke into the zigzag step, arms on shoulders, to the crash of a score of bands. And no one thought the outburst extravagant, for Yale had won.

Four days later, after almost superhuman efforts to improve Captain Armstrong's arm, Yale again met Harvard on neutral grounds and again won, thus clinching the championship.

Thus was Frank Armstrong's hope of a double championship realized. His name is still pointed[Pg 301] to by admiring aspirants for pitching honors in the old college, and his skill and pluck are part of the traditions of baseball.

There is little left to tell of our story. The day after Captain Armstrong's great baseball victory at New Haven he joined in the imposing exercises of Commencement day. With others of the Senior class, he marched in solemn academic procession through the historic Campus and city common, and later took his degree from the hands of the President of the college on the broad platform of Woolsey Hall, crowded with black-robed dignitaries.

Undergraduate life was a thing of the past, and as our three friends walked slowly back to their room to begin packing for their departure, there was little joy in their bearing. Even the irrepressible Codfish was temporarily subdued.

"Well, was it worth it, eh, Frank?" said Turner as he began throwing things into his trunk.

"Was it worth it? Why, Jimmy, it is worth half a man's life to be here four years."

"My sentiments, too," broke in the Codfish.

"And mine," said a deep voice at the door. It was David Powers, one of the big forces in the undergraduate world, who had won his way to[Pg 302] prominence in literary work while his friends were climbing athletic heights.

"Let's pledge ourselves, then, to old Yale," said Frank, and the four boys grasped hands.

"We may never meet like this again, fellows, but let us not forget that wonderful old line——

"'For God, for country and for Yale.'"


Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

pg. 112   "de-demands" changed to "demands" (demands a Junior)
pg. 166   "campanionway" changed to "companionway" (in the companionway)
pg. 243   "Charlotteville" changed to "Charlottesville" (Charlottesville, Va.)