Part 3 out of 4
you did not promise not to tell about Hicks, if Bannister may be able
to use Hicks against Ballard--though I can't, by any stretch of the
imagination, figure how--then it is your duty to tell! I think I glimpse
the dark secret--Hicks possesses some sort of football prowess, goodness
knows what, and he lacks the confidence to tell Coach Corridan! Now, were
it only drop-kicking--"
"It is drop-kicking!" Theophilus burst forth desperately. "Hicks is a
drop-kicker, Butch, and a sure one--inside the thirty-yard line. He almost
never misses a goal, and he kicks them from every angle, too. He isn't
strong enough to kick past the thirty-yard line, but inside that he is
wonderfully accurate. With Thor out of the Ballard game, a drop-kick may
win for Bannister, and Deke Radford is so erratic! Oh, Hicks will be angry
with me for telling; but he just won't tell about himself, after all his
practice, because he fears the fellows will jeer. He is afraid he will fail
in the supreme test. Oh, I've betrayed him, but--"
"T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., a drop-kicker!" exploded the dazed Butch, who
could not have been more astounded had Theophilus announced that the sunny
youth possessed powers of black magic. "Theophilus Opperdyke, Tantalus
himself was never so tantalized as I have been of late. Tell me the whole
story, old man--hurry. Spill it, old top!"
Butch Brewster, by questioning the excited Human Encyclopedia, like a
police official giving the third degree, slowly extracted from Theophilus
the startling story. A year before, just as the Gold and Green practiced
for the Ham game, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., one afternoon, had arrayed his
splinter-structure in a grotesque, nondescript athletic outfit, and had
jogged out on Bannister Field. The gladsome youth's motive had been free
from any torturesome purpose. He intended to round up the Phillyloo Bird,
Shad Weatherby, and other non-athletic collegians, and with them boot the
pigskin, for exercise. However, little Skeet Wigglesworth, beholding him
as he donned the weird regalia of loud sweater, odd basket-ball stockings,
tennis trousers, baseball shoes, and so on, misconstrued his plan, and
believed Hicks intended to torment the squad. Hence, he hurried out,
so that when Hicks appeared in the offing, the football squad and the
spectators in the stands had jeered the happy-go-lucky Junior, and had
good-natured sport at his expense.
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., after Jack Merritt had drop-kicked a forty-yard
goal, made the excessively rash statement that it was easy. Captain Butch
Brewster had indignantly challenged the heedless youth to show him, and
the results of Hicks' effort to propel the pigskin over the crossbar were
hilarious, for he missed the oval by a foot, nearly dislocated his knee,
and, slipping in the mud, he sat down violently with a thud. However, so
the excited Theophilus now narrated, even as the convulsed students jeered
Hicks, hurling whistles, shouts, cat-calls, songs and humorous remarks at
the downfallen kicker, one of Hicks' celebrated inspirations had smitten
the pestersome Junior, evidently jarred loose by his crashing to terra
"Hicks figured this way, Butch," explained little Theophilus Opperdyke,
eloquent in his comrade's behalf, "nature had built him like a mosquito,
and endowed him with enough power to lift a pillow; hence he could never
hope to play football on the 'Varsity; but he knew that many games are
won by drop-kicks and by fellows especially trained and coached for that
purpose, and they don't need weight and strength, but they must have the
art, that peculiar knack which few possess. His inspiration was this:
Perhaps he had that knack, perhaps he could practice faithfully, and
develop into a sure drop-kicker. If he trained for a year, in his Senior
season, he might be able to serve old Bannister, maybe to win a big game.
So he set to work."
Theophilus hurriedly yet graphically narrated how T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
had made the loyal, hero-worshiping little Human Encyclopedia his sole
confidant. He told the thrilled Butch how the sunny youth, from that
day on, had watched and listened as Head Coach Corridan trained the
drop-kickers, learning all the points he could gain. Vividly he described
the mosquito-like Hicks, as he with a football bought from the Athletic
Association began in secret to practice the fine art of drop-kicking! For a
year, at old Bannister and at his dad's country home near Pittsburgh, Hicks
had faithfully, doggedly kept at it. With no one bat Theophilus knowing of
his great ambition, he had gone out on Bannister Field, when he felt safe
from observation; here, with his faithful comrade to keep watch, and to
retrieve the pigskin, he had practiced the instructions and points gained
from watching Coach Corridan train the booters of the squad. To his vast
delight, and the joy of his little friend, Hicks had found that he did
possess the knack, and from before the Ham game until Commencement he had
kept his secret, practicing clandestinely at old Bannister; he had improved
wonderfully, and when vacation started the cheery collegian had told his
beloved dad, Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., of his hopes.
The ex-Yale football star, delighted at his son's ambition to serve old
Bannister and joyous at discovering that Hicks actually possessed the
peculiar knack of drop-kicking, coached the splinter-youth all summer at
their country place near Pittsburgh. Under the instruction of Hicks, Sr.,
the youth developed rapidly, and when he returned to the campus for his
final year, he was a sure, dependable drop-kicker, inside the thirty-yard
line. As Theophilus stated, beyond that he lacked the power, but in that
zone he could boot 'em over the cross-bar from any angle.
"He's been practicing all this season, in secret!" quavered the little
Senior, "and he's a--a fiend, Butch, at drop-kicking. And yet, here it is
time for the last game of his college years, and--he lacks confidence to
tell you, or Coach Corridan. Oh, I'm afraid he will be angry with me for
betraying him, and yet--I just can't let him miss his splendid chance,
now that Thor is out and old Bannister needs a drop-kicker!"
Big Butch was silent for a time. The football leader was deeply impressed
and thrilled by Theophilus Opperdyke's story of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s
ambition. As he roosted on the Senior Fence, the behemoth gridiron
star visioned the mosquito-like youth, whom nature had endowed with a
splinter-structure, sneaking out on Bannister Field, at every chance, to
practice clandestinely his drop-kicking. He could see the faithful Human
Encyclopedia, vastly excited at his blithesome colleague's improvement,
retrieving the pigskin for Hicks. He thrilled again as he thought of the
bean-pole Hicks, who could never gain weight and strength enough to make
the eleven, loyally training and perfecting himself in the drop-kick,
trying to develop into a sure kicker, within a certain zone, hoping
sometime, before he left college forever, to serve old Bannister. With Thor
in the line-up at fullback, he would not have been needed, but now, with
the Prodigious Prodigy out, it was T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s big chance!
And Butch Brewster understood why the usually confident Hicks, even with
the knowledge of his drop-kicking power, hesitated to announce it to old
Bannister. Until Butch had told the Gold and Green football team of Hicks'
being in earnest in his ridiculous athletic attempts of the past three
years, no one but himself and Hicks had dreamed that the sunny youth meant
them, that he really strove to win his B and please his dad. The appearance
of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., on Bannister Field was always the cause of
a small-sized riot among the squad and spectators. Hicks was jeered
good-naturedly, and "butchered to make a Bannister holiday," as he blithely
phrased it. Hence, the splinter-Senior was reluctant to announce that he
could drop-kick. He knew that when tested he would be so in earnest, that
so much would hang in the balance and the youths, unknowing how important
it was, would jeer. Then, too, knowing his long list of athletic fiascos,
ridiculous and otherwise, Hicks trembled at the thought of being sent into
the biggest game to kick a goal. He feared he might fail!
"You are a hero, Theophilus!" said Butch, with deep feeling. "I can
realize how hard it was for Hicks to tell us. He would have kept silent
forever, even after his training in secret! And how you must have suffered,
knowing he could drop-kick, and yet not desiring to betray him! But your
love for old Bannister and for Hicks himself conquered. I'll take him out
on the gridiron, before the fellows come from class, and see what he
can do. Aha! There is the villain now. Hicks, ahoy! Come hither, you
Kellar-Herman-Thurston. Your dark secret is out at last!"
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., peering cautiously from the Gym. basement doorway,
in quest of the tardy Theophilus, who was to have accompanied him on a
clandestine journey to Bannister Field, obeyed the summons. Bewildered,
and gradually guessing the explanation from the shivering little boner's
alarmed expression, the gladsome youth approached the stern Butch Brewster,
who was about to condemn him for his silence. "Don't be angry with me,
Hicks, please!" pled Theophilus, pathetically fearful that he had
offended his comrade, "I--I just had to tell, for it was positively your
last chance, and--and old Bannister needs your sure drop-kicking! I never
promised not to tell. You never made me give my word, so--"
"It was Theophilus' duty to tell!" spoke Butch, hiding a grin, for the
grind was so frightened, "and yours, Hicks, knowing as you do how we need
you, with Thor hurt! You graceless wretch, you aren't usually so like ye
modest violet! Why didn't you inform us, then swagger and say, 'Oh, just
leave it to Hicks, he'll win the game with a drop-kick?' Now, you come with
me, and I'll look over your samples. If you've got the goods, it's highly
probable you'll get your chance, in the Ballard game; and I'm glad, old
man, for your sake. I know what it would mean, if you win it! But--now that
the 'mystery' is solved, what's that about your being a 'Class Kid,' of
"That's easy!" grinned T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., his arm across Theophilus'
shoulders, "I was the first boy born to any member of Yale, '96; it is the
custom of classes graduating at Yale to call such a baby the class kid!
Naturally, the members of old Eli, Class of 1896, are vastly interested in
me. Hence, my Dad wrote they'd be tickled if I won a big game for Bannister
with a field-goal!"
A moment of silence, Theophilus Opperdyke, gathering from Hicks' arm,
across his shoulders, that the cheery youth was not so awfully wrathful at
his base betrayal, adjusted his big-rimmed spectacles, and stared owlishly
"Hicks, you--you are not angry?" he quavered. "You are not sorry. I--I
"Sorry?" quoth T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., "Class Kid," of Yale, '96, with a
Cheshire cat grin, "sorry? I should say not--I wanted it to be known to
Butch, and Coach Corridan, but I got all shivery when I tried to confess,
and I--couldn't! Nay, Theophilus, you faithful friend, I'm so glad, old
man, that beside yours truly, the celebrated Pollyanna resembles Niobe,
weeping for her lost children."
HICKS--CLASS KID--YALE '96
Whoop-up! Parabaloo! Yale! Yale! Yale!
Hicks! Hicks! Hicks!"
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., swathed in a cumbersome Gold and Green football
blanket, and crouching on the side-line, like some historic Indian, felt a
thrill shake his splinter-structure, as the yell of "old Eli" rolled from
the stand, across Bannister Field. In the midst of the Gold and Green flags
and pennants, fluttering in the section assigned the Bannister cohorts, he
gazed at a big banner of Blue, with white lettering:
YALE UNIVERSITY--CLASS OF 1896
"Oh, Butch," gasped Hicks, torn between fear and hope, "just listen to
that. Think of all those Yale men in the stand with my Dad! Oh, suppose I
do get sent in to try for a drop-kick!"
It was almost time far the biggest game to start, the contest with Ballard,
the supreme test of the Gold and Green, the final struggle for The State
Intercollegiate Football Championship! In a few minutes the referee's
shrill whistle blast would sound, the vast crowd in the stands, on the
side-lines, and in the parked automobiles, would suddenly still their
clamor and breathlessly await the kick-off--then, seventy minutes of grim
battling on the turf, and victory, or defeat, would perch on the banners of
It was a thrilling scene, a sight to stir the blood. Bannister Field, the
arena where these gridiron gladiators would fly at each other's throats--or
knees, spread out--barred with white chalk-marks, with the skeleton-like
goal posts guarding at each end. On the turf the moleskin clad warriors,
under the crisp commands of their Coaches, swiftly lined down, shifted to
the formation called, and ran off plays. Nervous subs. stood in circles,
passing the pigskin. Drop-kickers and punters, tuning up, sent spirals, or
end-over-end drop-kicks, through the air. The referee, field-judge, and
linesmen conferred. Team-attendants, equipped with buckets of water,
sponges, and ominous black medicine-chests, with Red Cross bandages, ran
hither and thither. On the substitutes' bench, or on the ground, crouched
nervous second-string players; Ballard's on one side of the gridiron, and
Bannister's directly across.
A glorious, sunshiny day in late November, with scarcely a breath of
wind, the air crisp and bracing; the radiant sunlight fell athwart the
white-barred field, and glinted from the gay pennants and banners in the
stands! Here was a riot of color, the gold and green of old Bannister; in
the next section, the orange and black of Ballard. The bright hues and
tints of varicolored dresses, and the luster of the official flowers
all contributed to a bewilderingly beautiful spectacle! Flower-venders,
peddlers of pennants, sellers of miniature footballs with the college
colors of one team and the other, hawked their wares, loudly calling above
the tumult, "Get yer Ballard colors yere!" "This way fer the Bannister
flags!" Ten thousand spectators, packed into the cheering sections of the
two colleges, or in the general stands, or standing on the side-lines,
impatiently awaited the kick-off. At the appearance of each football star,
a tremendous cheer went up from the mass. Across the field from each other,
the two bands played stirring strains. The confident Ballard cohorts
cheered, sang, and yelled and those of Bannister, not quite so sure of
victory, with Thor out, nevertheless, cheered, sang, and yelled as loudly,
for the Gold and Green.
The sight of that vast Yale banner, so conspicuous, with its big white
letters on a field of blue, amidst the fluttering pennants of gold and
green, excited comment among the Ballard followers. The Bannister students,
however, knew what it meant; Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., and thirty
members of Yale, '96, were in the stand, ready to cheer Captain Butch's
eleven, and hoping for a chance to whoop it up for T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
if he got his big chance.
Two days before, when little Theophilus Opperdyke, after a terrible
struggle with himself, divided between loyalty to Hicks and a love for
his Alma Mater, had betrayed his toothpick class-mate to Captain. Butch
Brewster, that behemoth Senior had rounded up Coach Corridan, and together
they had dragged the shivering Hicks out to the football field. Here, while
the rest of the student body, unsuspecting the important event in progress,
made good use of the study-hour, or attended classes in Recitation Hall,
the Gold and Green Coach, with the team-Captain, and the excited Human
Encyclopedia, watched T. Haviland Hicks, Jr. show his samples of
drop-kicks. And the success of that happy-go-lucky youth, after his nervous
tension wore off, may be attested by the Slave-Driver's somewhat slangy
remark, when the exhibition closed.
"Butch," said Head Coach Patrick Henry Corridan, impressively, "what it
takes to drop-kick field-goals, from anywhere inside the thirty-yard line,
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., is broke out with!"
The proficiency attained by the heedless Hicks in the difficult art of
drop-kicking, gained by faithful practice for a year, aided by his Dad's
valuable coaching, was wonderful. Of course, Hicks possessed naturally the
needed knack, but he deserved praise for his sticking at it so loyally. He
had no surety that he would ever be of use to his college, and, indeed,
with the advent of Thor, his hopes grew dim, yet he plugged on, in case old
Bannister might sometime need him--and yet, but for Theophilus, he would
not have summoned the courage to tell! To the surprise and delight of the
Coach and Captain, Hicks, after missing a few at first, methodically booted
goals over the crossbar from the ten, twenty, and thirty-yard lines, and
from the most difficult angles. There was nothing showy or spectacular in
his work, it was the result of dogged training, but he was almost sure,
when he kicked!
[Illustration D: He was almost sure, when he kicked!]
"Good!" ejaculated Coach Corridan, his arm across Hicks' shoulders, as they
walked to the Gym. "Hicks, the chances are big that I'll send you in to try
for a goal tomorrow, if Bannister gets blocked inside the thirty-yard line!
Just keep your nerve, boy, and boot it over! Now--I'll post a notice for
a brief mass-meeting at the end of the last class period, and Butch and I
will tell the fellows about you, and how you may serve Bannister."
"That's the idea!" exulted Butch, joyous at his comrade's chance to get in
the biggest game. "The fellows will understand, Hicks, old man, and they
won't jeer when you come out this afternoon. They'll root for you! Oh, just
wait until you hear them cheer you, and mean it--you'll astonish the
Butch's prophecy was well fulfilled. In the scrimmage that same day, T.
Haviland Hicks, Jr., shivering with apprehensive dread, his heart in his
shoes, sat on the side-line. In the stands, the entire student-body,
informed in the mass-meeting of his ability, shrieked for "Hicks! Hicks!
Hicks!" Near the end of the practice game, the hard-fighting scrubs fought
their way to the 'Varsity's thirty-yard line, and another rush took it five
yards more. Coach Corridan, halting the scrimmage, sent the right-half-back
to the side-line, and a moment later, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr. hurried out
on the field with the Bannister Band playing, the collegians yelling
frenziedly, and excitement at fever height, the sunny youth took his
position in the kick formation. Then a silence, a few seconds of suspense,
as the pigskin whirled back to him, and then--a quick stepping forward,
a rip of toe against the leather, and--above the heads of the 'Varsity
players smashing through, the football shot over the cross-bar!
"Hicks! Hicks! Hicks!" was the shout, "Hicks will beat Ballard!"
That night, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., having crossed the Rubicon, and
committed himself to Coach Corridan and Captain Brewster, had dispatched a
telegraphic night-letter to his beloved Dad. He informed his distinguished
parent that his drop-kicking powers were now known to old Bannister, and
that the chances were fifty-fifty that he would be sent in to try for a
field-goal in the biggest game. On the day before the game, Mr. Thomas
Haviland Hicks, Sr., in a night-letter, had wired back:
Am on my way to New Haven for Yale-Harvard game. Will stop off at old
Bannister--bringing thirty members of Yale '96. We hope our Class Kid will
get his chance against Ballard.
On the morning of the Bannister-Ballard game, Mr. Hicks' private car the
Vulcan, with the Pittsburgh "Steel King," and thirty other members of
Yale, '96, had reached town. They had ridden in state to College Hill in
good old Dan Flannagan's jitney, where T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., proudly
introduced his beloved Dad to the admiring collegians. All morning, Mr.
Hicks had made friends of the hero-worshiping youths, who listened to his
tales of athletic triumphs at Bannister and at old Yale breathlessly. The
ex-Yale star had made a stirring speech to the eleven, sending them out on
Bannister Field resolved to do or die!
"My Dad!" breathed T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., crouched on the side line; as
he gazed at the Yale banner, he could see his father, with his athletic
figure, his strong face that could be appallingly stern or wonderfully
tender and kind. Like the sunny Senior, Mr. Hicks, despite his wealth,
was thoroughly democratic and already the Bannister collegians were his
"Here we go, Hicks!" spoke Butch Brewster, as the referee raised his
whistle to his lips. "Hold yourself ready, old man; a field-goal may win
for us, and I'll send you in just as soon as I find all hope of a touchdown
is gone. If they hold us back of the thirty-yard line, I'll try Deke
Radford, but inside it, you are far more sure."
The vast crowd, a moment before creating an almost inconceivable din,
stilled with startling suddenness; a shrill blast from the referee's
whistle cut the air. The gridiron cleared of substitutes, coaches,
trainers, and rubbers-out, and in their places, the teams of Bannister and
Ballard jogged out. Captain Brewster won the toss, and elected to receive
the kick-off. The Gold and Green players, Butch, Beef, Roddy, Monty, Biff,
Pudge, Bunch, Tug, Hefty, Buster, and Ichabod, spread out, fan-like,
while across the center of the field the Ballard eleven, a straight line,
prepared to advance as the full-back kicked off. There was a breathless
stillness, as the big athlete poised the pigskin, tilted on end, then
strode back to his position.
"All ready, Ballard?" The Referee's call brought an affirmative from the
Orange and Black leader.
"Ready!" boomed big Butch Brewster, with a final shout of encouragement to
The biggest game was starting! Before ten thousand wildly excited and
partisan spectators, the Gold and Green and the Orange and Black would
battle for Championship honors; with Thor out of the struggle, Ballard,
three-time Champion, was the favorite. The visitors had brought the
strongest team in their history, and were supremely confident of victory.
Bannister, however, could not help remembering, twice fate had snatched
the greatest glory from their grasp, in Butch's Sophomore year, when Jack
Merritt's drop-kick struck the cross-bar, and a year later, when Butch
himself, charging for the winning touchdown, crashed blindly into the
upright. Old Bannister had not won the Championship for five years, and
now--when the chances had seemed roseate, with Thor, the Prodigious
Prodigy--smashing Hamilton out of the way, Fate had dealt the annual blow
in advance, by crippling him.
"Oh, we've got to win!" shivered T. Haviland Hicks, Jr. "Oh, I hope I
don't get sent in--I mean--I hope Bannister wins without me! But if I do
have to kick--Oh, I hope I send it over that cross-bar--"
A second later the Ballard line advanced, the fullback's toe ripped into
the pigskin, sending it whirling, high in air, far into Bannister's
territory; the yellow oval fell into the outstretched arms of Captain
Butch Brewster, on the Gold and Green's five-yard line, and--"We're off!"
shrieked Hicks, excitedly. "Come on, Butch--run it back! Oh, we're off."
The biggest game had started!
THE GREATER GOAL
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., enshrouded in a gold and green blanket, and
standing on the side-line, like a majestic Sioux Chief, gazed out on
Bannister Field. There, on the twenty-yard line, the two lines of scrimmage
had crashed together and Bannister's backfield had smashed into Ballard's
stonewall defense with terrific impact, to be hurled back for a five-yard
loss. The mass of humanity slowly untangled, the moleskin clad players rose
from the turf, all but one. He, wearing the gold and green, lay still,
white-faced, and silent.
"It's Biff Pemberton!" chattered Hicks, shivering as with a chill. "Oh, the
game is lost, the Championship is gone. Biff is out, and the last quarter
is nearly ended. Coach Corridan has got to send me in to kick. It's our
very last chance to tie the score, and save old Bannister from defeat!"
The time keeper, to whom the referee had megaphoned for time out, stopped
the game, while Captain Butch Brewster, the campus Doctor, and several
players worked over the senseless Biff. In the stands, the exultant Ballard
cohorts, confident that victory was booked to perch on their banners, arose
en masse, and their thunderous chorus drifted across Bannister Field:
"There's a hole in the bottom of the sea,
And we'll put Bannister in that hole!
In that hole--in--that--hole--
Oh, we'll put Bannister in that hole!"
From the Bannister section, the Gold and Green undergraduates, alumni, and
supporters, feeling a dread of approaching defeat grip their hearts, yet
determined to the last, came the famous old slogan of encouragement to
elevens battling on the gridiron:
"Smash 'em, boys, run the ends--hold, boys, hold--
Don't let 'em beat the Green and the Gold!
Touchdown! Touchdown! Hold, boys, hold,
Don't let 'em win from the Green and the Gold!"
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., with a groan of despair, sat down on the deserted
subs. bench. With a feeling that all was lost, the splinter-like Senior
gazed at the big score-board, announcing, in huge, white letters and
4TH QUARTER; TIME TO PLAY--2 MIN.; BANNISTER'S BALL ON BALLARD'S 22-YD.
LINE; 4TH DOWN--8 YDS. TO GAIN; SCORE: BALLARD--6; BANNISTER--3.
It had been a terrific contest, a biggest game never to be forgotten by
the ten thousand thrilled spectators! Each eleven had been trained to the
second for this decisive Championship fight, and with the coveted gonfalon
of glory before them, the Bannister players battled desperately, while
Ballard's fighters struggled as grimly for their Alma Mater. For six years,
the Gold and Green had failed to annex the Championship, and for the past
three, the invincible Ballard machine had rushed like a car of Juggernaut
over all other State elevens; one team was determined to wrest the
banner from its rival's grasp, and the other fully as resolved to retain
possession, hence a memorable gridiron contest, to which even the alumni
could find none in past history to compare, was the result.
Weakened by the loss of Thor, whose colossal bulk and Gargantuan strength
would have made victory a moral certainty, presenting practically the same
eleven that had faced Ballard the past season and had been defeated by a
scant margin, old Bannister had started the first quarter with a furious
rush that swept the enemy to midfield without the loss of a first down.
Then Ballard had rallied, stopping that triumphal march, on its own
thirty-five yard line, but unable to check Quarterback Deacon Radford, who
booted a forty-three-yard goal from a drop-kick, with the score 3-0 in
Bannister's favor, and Deacon, a brilliant but erratic kicker, apparently
in fine trim, the Gold Green rooters went wild.
In the second half, however, came the break of the game, as sporting
writers term it. The strong Ballard eleven found itself, and with a series
of body-smashing, bone-crushing rushes, battering at the Bannister lines
like the Germans before Verdun, they steadily fought their way, trench by
trench, line by line, down the field. Without a fumble, or the loss of a
single yard, the terrific, catapulting charges forced back old Bannister,
until the enemy's fullback, who ran like the famous Johnny Maulbetsch,
of Michigan, shot headlong over the goal line! The attempt for goal from
touchdown failed, leaving the score, at the end of the third quarter,
And Deacon Radford, whose first effort at drop-kicking had been so
brilliant, failed utterly. Three times, taking a desperate chance, the
Bannister quarter booted the pigskin, but the oval flew wide of the goal
posts, even from the thirty-yard line. With his mighty toe not to be
depended on, with the Gold and Green line worn to a frazzle by Ballard's
battering rushes, unable to beat back the victorious enemy, the Bannister
cohorts, dismayed, saw the start of the fourth and final quarter, their
last hope. The forward pass had been futile, for the visitors were trained
especially for this aerial attack, and with ease they broke up every
attempt. And then, with the ball in Ballard's possession on Bannister's
twenty-yard line, came a fumble--like a leaping tiger, Monty Merriweather
had flung himself on the elusively bounding ball, rolled over to his feet,
and was off down the field.
"Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown!" shrieked old Bannister's madly excited
students, as Monty sprinted. "Go it, Monty--touchdown! Sprint, old man,
But Cupid Colfax, Ballard's famous sprinter, playing quarterback, was off
on Monty's trail almost instantly, and his phenomenal speed cut down the
Ballard end's advantage; still, by dint of exerting every ounce of energy,
it was on Ballard's forty-yard line that Monty Merriweather, hugging the
pigskin grimly, finally crashed to earth.
"Come on, Bannister!" shouted Captain Butch Brewster, as the two teams
lined down. "Right across the goal-line, then kick the goal, and we win!
Play the game--fight--Oh, we can win the Championship right now."
Then ensued a session of football spectacular in the extreme, replete with
thrilling plays, with sensational tackles, and blood-stirring scrimmage.
The Bannister players, nerved by Captain Brewster's exhortation, by sheer
will-power drove their battered bodies into the scrimmage. End runs,
line-smashing tandem plays, forward passes, followed in bewildering
succession, until the ball rested on Ballard's twenty-yard line, and a
touchdown meant victory and the Championship for old Bannister, Another
rush, and five yards gained, then, Ballard, fighting at the last ditch,
made a stand every bit as heroic and thrilling as that sensational march
in the first half. The Gold and Green's tigerish rushes were hurled
back--three times Captain Butch threw his backfield against the line, and
three times not an inch was gained. On the third down, Monty Merriweather
was forced back for a loss, so now, with two minutes to play and the ball
in Bannister's possession, with eight yards to gain, the play was on
Ballard's twenty-two-yard line!
And the biggest game had produced a new hero of the gridiron. Biff
Pemberton, left half-back, imbued with savage energy, had borne the brunt
of that spectacular advance; and now, he stretched on the turf, white and
"Hicks, old man," T, Haviland Hicks, Jr. turned as a hand rested grippingly
on his shoulder. Head Coach Patrick Henry Corridan, his face grim, had come
to him, and in quick, terse sentences, he outlined his plan.
"It's Bannister's last chance--" he said, tensely. "We can't make the
first down, the way Ballard is fighting, unless we take desperate odds.
Now, Hicks, it's up to you. On you depend old Bannister's hopes."
A great, chilling fear swept over T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., leaving him weak
and shaken. It had come at last-the moment for which he had trained and
practiced drop-kicking, for a year, in secret, that moment he had hoped
would come, sometime, and yet had dreaded, as in a nightmare. Before that
vast, howling crowd of ten thousand madly partisan spectators, he must
go out on Bannister Field, to try and boot a drop-kick from the
twenty-eight-yard-line, to save the Gold and Green from defeat. And he
thought of the great glory that would be his, if he succeeded-he would be a
campus hero, the idol of old Bannister, the youth who saved his Alma Mater
from defeat, in the biggest game! Then he remembered his Dad, inspiring
the eleven, between the halves, by a ringing speech; he heard again his
"--And to serve old Bannister, to bring glory and honor to our dear Alma
Mater, is our greater goal! Go back into the game, throw yourselves into
the scrimmage, with no thought of personal glory, of the plaudits of the
crowd--it is a fine thing, a splendid goal, to play the game and be a hero;
it is a far more noble act to strive for the greater goal, one's Alma
"Now listen carefully," Coach Corridan rushed on, "Biff is knocked out.
They'll start again soon, we are going to take a desperate chance; your Dad
advises it! A tie score means the Championship stays with Ballard. To win
it, we must win this game--and on you everything depends."
"But--how--" stammered Hicks, dazed--the only way to tie the score was by
a drop-kick; the only way to win, by a touchdown--did the Coach mean he was
not to realize his great ambition to save old Bannister by a goal, the
reward of his long training?
"You jog out," whispered Coach Corridan, hurriedly, for a stretcher was
being rushed to Biff Pemberton, "report to the Referee, and whisper to
Butch to try Formation Z; 23-45-6-A! Now, here is the dope: our only chance
is to fool Ballard completely. When you go out, the Bannister rooters, and
your Yale friends, will believe it is to try a drop-kick and tie the score.
I am sure that the Ballard team will think this, too, because of your
slender build. You act as though you intend to try for a goal, and have
Captain Butch make our fellows act that way. Then--it is a fake-kick; the
backfield lines up in the kick formation, but the ball is passed to Butch,
at your right. He either tries for a forward pass to the right end, or
if the end Is blocked, rushes it himself! Hurry-the referee's whistle is
blowing; remember, Hicks, my boy, it's the greater goal, it's for your Alma
In a trance, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., flung off the gold and green blanket,
and dashed out on Bannister Field. How often, in the past year, had he
visioned this scene, only--he pictured himself saving the game by a
drop-kick, and now Coach Corridan ordered him to sacrifice this glory! From
the stands came the thunderous cheer of the excited Bannister cohorts,
firmly believing that the slender youth, so ludicrously fragile, among
those young Colossi, was to try for a goal.
"Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Hicks! Kick the goal--Hicks!"
And from the Yale grads., among them his Dad, came a shout, as he jogged
across the turf:
But the Bannister Senior did not thrill. Now, instead, a feeling of growing
resentment filled his soul; even this intensely loyal youth, with all his
love for old Bannister, was vastly human, and he felt cheated of his just
rights. How the students were cheering him, how those Yale men called his
name, and he was not to have his big chance! That for which he had trained
and practiced; the opportunity to serve his Alma Mater, by kicking a goal
at the crucial moment, and saving Bannister from defeat, was never to be
his. Now, in his last game at college, he was to act as a decoy, as a foil.
Like a dummy he must stand, while the other Gold and Green athletes ran off
the play! Instead of everything, a tie game, or a defeat, depending on his
kicking, defeat or victory hung on that fake play, on Butch Brewster
and Monty Merriweather! So--the ear-splitting plaudits of the crowd for
"Hicks!" meant nothing to him; they were dead sea fruit, tasteless as
ashes--as the ashes of ambition. And then--
"--And to serve old Bannister, to bring glory and honor to our dear Alma
Mater, is our greater goal--no thought of personal glory--a splendid goal,
to play the game and be a hero; It is a far more noble act to strive for
the greater goal--one's Alma Mater--"
"I was nearly a traitor" gasped T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., his Dad's words
echoing In his memory, and a vision of that staunch, manly Bannister
ex-athlete before him. "Oh, I was betraying my Alma Mater. Instead of
rejoicing to make any sacrifice, however big, for Bannister, I thought
only of myself, of my glory! I'll do it, Dad, I'll strive for the greater
goal, and--we just can't fail."
Reaching the scrimmage, Hicks, whose nervous dread had left him, when
he fought down selfish ambition, and thirst for glory, reported to the
Referee, and hurriedly transferred Coach Corridan's orders to Captain
Butch Brewster; half a minute of precious time was spent in outlining the
desperate play to the eleven, for "time!" had been called, and then--
"Z-23-45-6-A!" shouted Quarterback Deacon Radford. "Come on, line--hold!
Right over the cross-bar with it, Hicks--tie the score, and save Bannister
The Gold and Green backfield shifted to the kick formation. Ten yards back
of the center, on the thirty-two-yard line of Ballard, stood T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr.; the vast crowd was hushed, all eyes stared at that slender
figure, standing there, with Captain Butch Brewster at his right, and Beef
McNaughton on his left hand-the spectators believed the frail-looking
youth had been sent in to try a drop-kick. The Ballard rooters thought
it, and--the Ballard eleven were sure of their enemy's plan--Hicks'
mosquito-like build, his nervous swinging of that right leg, deluded them,
and helped Coach Corridan's plot.
It was the only play, if Bannister wanted the Championship enough to try a
desperate chance; better a fighting hope for that glory, with a try for
a touchdown, than a field-goal, and a tie-score! The lines of scrimmage
tensed. The linesmen dug their cleats in the sod, those of Ballard tigerish
to break through and block; old Bannister's determined to hold. Back of
Ballard's line, the backfield swayed on tip-toe, every muscle nerved, ready
to crash through; the ends prepared to knock Roddy and Monty aside, the
backs would charge madly ahead, in a berserk rush, to crash into that slim
"Boot it, Hicks!" shrieked Deke Radford, and as he shouted, the pigskin
shot from the Bannister center's hands; the Gold and Green line held nobly,
but not so the ends. Monty Merriweather, making a bluff at blocking the
left end, let him crash past, while he sprinted ahead--Captain Butch
Brewster, to whom the pass had been made, ran forward, until he saw he was
blocked, and then, seeing Monty dear, he hurled a beautiful forward pass.
Into the arms of the waiting Monty it fell, and that Gold and Green star,
absolutely free of tacklers, sprinted twelve yards to the goal-line,
falling on the pigskin behind it! Coach Corridan's "100 to 1" chance,
suggested by Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., had succeeded, and--the
Biggest Game and the Championship had come to old Bannister at last!
Followed a scene pauperizing description! For many long years old Bannister
had waited for this glory; years of bitter disappointment, seasons when the
Championship had been missed by a scant margin, a drop-kick striking the
cross-bar, Butch Brewster blindly crashing into an upright. But now, all
their pent-up joy flowed forth in a mighty torrent! Singing, yelling,
dancing, howling, the Bannister Band leading them, the Gold and Green
students, alumni, Faculty, and supporters, snake-danced around Bannister
Field. A vast, writhing, sinuous line, it wound around the gridiron,
everyone who possessed a hat flinging it over the cross-bars. The
victorious eleven, were borne by the maddened youths--Captain Butch, Pudge,
Beef, Monty, Roddy, Ichabod, Tug, Hefty, Buster, Bunch, and--T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr. Ballard, firmly believing Hicks would try a field-goal, had
been taken completely off guard. Surprised by the daring attempt, it had
succeeded with ease, and the final score was Bannister--10; Ballard--6!
"At last! At last!" boomed Butch Brewster, to whom this was the happiest
day of his life. "The Championship at last. My great ambition is realized.
Old Bannister has won the Championship, and I was the Team Captain!"
After a time, when "the shouting and the tumult died," or at least quieted
somewhat, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., felt a hand on his arm, and looking down
from the shoulders on which he perched, he saw his Dad. Mr. Hicks' strong
face was aglow with pride and a vast joy, and he shook his son's hand again
"I understand, Thomas!" he said, and his words were reward enough for the
youth. "It was a big sacrifice, but you made it gladly--I know! You
gave up personal glory for the greater goal, and--old Bannister won the
Championship! You helped win, for the winning play turned on you. It was
splendid, my son, and I am proud of you! No matter if your sacrifice is
never known to the fellows, I understand."
A moment of silence on Hicks' part; then the sunny youth grinned at his
beloved Dad, as he responded blithesomely: "I'm Pollyanna, that old
Bannister and I won out, Dad!"
HICKS HAS A "HUNCH"
"Ladies and gentlemen, Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, human beings,
and--Freshmen! Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Jr., the Olympic High-Jump
Champion, holder of the World's record, and winner at the Panama-Pacific
International Exposition National Championships, in his event, is about to
high jump! The bar is at five feet, ten inches. Mr. Hicks is the Herculean
athlete in the crazy-looking bathrobe."
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., his splinter-structure enshrouded in that
flamboyant bathrobe of vast proportions and insane colors, that inevitably
attended his athletic efforts, shaming Joseph's coat-of-many-colors, gazed
despairingly at his good friend, Butch Brewster, and Track-Coach Brannigan,
with a Cheshire cat grin on his cherubic countenance.
"It's no use, Butch, it's no use!" quoth he, with ludicrous indignation,
as big Tug Cardiff, the behemoth shot-putter, through a huge megaphone
imitated a Ballyhoo Bill, and roared his absurd announcement to the
hilarious crowd of collegians in the stand. "Old Bannister will never
take my athletic endeavors seriously. Here I have won two second places,
and a third, in the high-jump this season, and have a splendid show to
annex first place and my track B in the Intercollegiates, but--hear
It was a balmy, sunshiny afternoon in late May. The sunny-souled,
happy-go-lucky T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., had trained indefatigably for
the high jump, with the result that he had won several points for his
team--however, he had not realized his great ambition of first place, and
his track letter.
As Hicks now exclaimed to his team-mate and Coach Brannigan, no matter,
to the howling Bannister youths, if he had won three places in the high
jump, in regularly scheduled meets; his comrades had been jeering at
his athletic fiascos for nearly four years, and even had Hicks suddenly
blossomed out as a star athlete, they would not have abandoned their joyous
habit. Still, those football 'Varsity players to whom good Butch had read
Hicks, Sr.'s, letters, and explained the sunny youth's persistence, despite
his ridiculous failures, though they kept on hailing his appearance on
Bannister Field with exaggerated joy, understood the care-free collegian,
and loved him for his ambition to please his Dad. Since Hicks had
absolutely refused to accept his B, for any sport, unless he won it
according to Athletic Association eligibility rules, the eleven had kept
secret the contents of the letters Butch Brewster had read to them, for
Hicks requested it.
The Bannister College track squad, under Track Coach Brannigan and Captain
Spike Robertson, had been training most strenuously for that annual
cinder-path classic, the State Intercollegiate Track and Field
Championships. The sprinters had been tearing down the two-twenty
straightaway like suburban commuters catching the 7.20 A.M. for the city.
Hammer-throwers and shot-putters--the weight men--heaved the sixteen-pound
shot, or hurled the hammer, with reckless abandon, like the Strong Man of
the circus. Pole-vaulters seemed ambitious to break the altitude records,
and In so doing, threatened to break their necks; hurdlers skimmed over
the standard as lightly as swallows, though no one ever beheld swallows
hurdling. The distance runners plodded determinedly around the quarter-mile
track, broad-jumpers tried to jump the length of the landing-pit. And T.
Haviland Hicks, Jr., vainly essayed to clear five-ten In the high-jump!
It was the last-named event that "broke up the show," as the Phillyloo Bird
quaintly stated, somewhat wrongly, since the appearance of that blithesome
youth in the offing, his flamboyant bathrobe concealing his shadow-like
frame, had started the show, causing the track squad, as well as a
hundred spectator-students, to rush for seats in the stand. The arrival
of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., to train for form and height in the high-jump,
though a daily occurrence, was always the signal for a Saturnalia of sport
at his expense, because--
"You can't live down your athletic past, Hicks!" smiled good-hearted Butch
Brewster. "Your making a touchdown for the other eleven, by running the
wrong way with the pigskin, your hilarious fiascos in every sport, your
home-run with the bases full, on a strike-out-are specters to haunt you.
Even now that you have a chance to win your B, just listen to the fellows."
The track squad's "heavy weight--white hope" section, composed of
hammer-heavers and shot-putters--Tug Cardiff, Beef McNaughton, Pudge
Langdon, Buster Brown, Biff Pemberton, Hefty Hollingsworth, and Bunch
Bingham, equipped with megaphones, and with the basso profundo voices
nature gave them, lined up on both sides of the jumping-standards, and
"All hail to T. Haviland Hicks!
He runs like a carload of bricks;
When to high jump he tries
From the ground he can't rise--
For he's built on a pair of toothpicks!"
This saengerfest was greeted with vociferous cheers from the vastly amused
youths in the stands, who hailed the grinning Hicks with jeers, cat-calls,
whistles, and humorous (so they believed) remarks:
"Say, Hicks, you won't never be able to jump anything but your
"You're built like a grass-hopper, Hicks, but you've done lost the hop!"
"If you keep on improving as you've done lately, you'll make a high-jumper
in a hundred more years, old top!"
"You may rise in the world, Hicks, but never in the high jump!"
"Don't mind them, Hicks!" spoke Coach Brannigan, his hands on the
happy-go-lucky youth's shoulders. "Listen to me; the Intercollegiates will
be the last track meet of your college years, and unless you take first
place in your event, you won't win your track B. Second, McQuade, of
Hamilton, will do five-eight, and likely an inch higher, so to take first
place, you, must do five-ten. You have trained and practiced faithfully
this season, but no matter what I do, I can't give you that needed two
"I know it, Coach!" responded the chastened Hicks, throwing aside his
lurid bathrobe determinedly, and exposing to the jeering students his
splinter-frame. "Leave it to Hicks, I'll clear it this time, or--"
"Not!" fleered Butch, whom Hicks' easy self-confidence never failed to
arouse. "Hicks, listen to me, I can tell you why you can't get two inches
higher. The whole trouble with you is this; for almost four years you have
led an indolent, butterfly, care-free existence, and now, when you must
call on yourself for a special effort, you are too lazy! You can dear
five-ten; you ought to do it, but you can't summon up the energy. I've
lectured you all this time, for your heedless, easy-going ways, and
now--you pay for your idle years!"
"You said an encyclopedia, Butch!" agreed the Coach, with vigor. "If only
something would just make Hicks jump that high, if only he could do it
once, and know it is in his power, he could do it in the Intercollegiates,
aided by excitement and competition! Let something scare him so that he
will sail over five-ten, and--he will win his B. He has the energy, the
build, the spring, and the form, but as you say, he is so easy-going and
lazy, that his natural grass-hopper frame avails him naught."
"Here I go!" announced Hicks, who, to an accompaniment of loud cheers from
the stand, had been jogging up and down in that warming-up process known to
athletes as the in place run, consisting of trying to dislocate one's
jaw by bringing the knees, alternately, up against the chin. "Up and
over--that's my slogan. Just watch Hicks."
Starting at a distance of twenty yards from the high-jump standards, on
which the cross-bar rested at five feet, ten inches, T. Haviland Hicks,
Jr., who vastly resembled a grass-hopper, crept toward the jumping-pit,
on his toe-spikes, as though hoping to catch the cross-bar off its guard.
Advancing ten yards, he learned apparently that his design was discovered,
so he started a loping gallop, turning to a quick, mad sprint, as though he
attempted to jump over the bar before it had time to rise higher. With a
beautiful take-off, a splendid spring--a quick, writhing twist in air, and
two spasmodic kicks, the whole being known as the scissors form of high
jump, the mosquito-like youth made a strenuous effort to clear the needed
height, but--one foot kicked the cross-bar, and as Hicks fell flat on his
back, in the soft landing-pit, the wooden rod, In derision, clattered down
upon his anatomy.
"Foiled again!" hissed Hicks, after the fashion of a "Ten-Twent'-Thirt'"
melodrama-villain, while from the exuberant youths in the grandstand,
who really wanted Hicks to clear the bar, but who jeered at his failure,
"Hire a derrick, Hicks, and hoist yourself over the bar!"
"Your head is light enough--your feet weigh you down!"
"'Crossing the Bar'--rendered by T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.!"
"Going up! Go play checkers, Hicks, you ain't no athlete!"
While the grinning, albeit chagrined T, Haviland Hicks, Jr., reposed
gracefully on his back, staring up at the cross-bar, which someone kindly
replaced on the pegs, big Butch Brewster, who seemed suddenly to have
gone crazy, tried to attract Coach Brannigan's attention. Succeeding,
Butch--usually a grave, serious Senior, winked, contorted his visage
hideously, pointed at Hicks, and sibilated, "Now, Coach--now is your
chance! Tell Hicks--"
Tug Cardiff, Biff Pemberton, Hefty Hollingsworth, Bunch Bingham, Buster
Brown, Beef McNaughton, and Pudge Langdon, who had been attacked in a
fashion similar to Butch's spasm, concealed grins of delight, and made
strenuous efforts to appear guileless, as Track-Coach Brannigan approached
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr. To that cheery youth, who was brushing the dirt from
his immaculate track togs, and bowing to the cheering youths in the stand,
the Coach spoke:
"Hicks," he said sternly, "you need a cross-country jog, to get
more strength and power in your limbs! Now, I am going to send the
Heavy-Weight-White-Hope Brigade for a four-mile run, and you go with them.
Oh, don't protest; they are all shot-putters and hammer-throwers, but
Butch, and they can't run fast enough to give a tortoise a fast heat. Take
'em out two miles and back, Butch, and jog all the way; don't let 'em loaf!
Off with you,"
The unsuspecting Hicks might have detected the nigger in the woodpile, had
he not been so anxious to make five-ten in the high-jump. However, willing
to jog with these behemoths, with whom even he could keep pace, so as to
develop more jumping power, the blithesome youth cast aside his garish
bathrobe, pranced about in what he fatuously believed was Ted Meredith's
style, and howled:
"Follow Hicks! All out for the Marathon--we're off! One--two--three--go!"
With the excited, track squad, non-athletes, and the baseball crowd, which
had ceased the game to watch the start, yelling, cheering, howling, and
whistling, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., drawing his knees up in exaggerated
style at every stride, started to lead the Heavy-Weight-White-Hope-Brigade
on its cross-country run. Without wondering why Coach Brannigan had
suddenly elected to send him along with the hammer-throwers and
shot-putters, on the jog, and not having seen the insane facial contortions
of the Brigade, before the Coach gave orders, the gladsome Senior
started forth in good spirits, resembling a tugboat convoying a fleet of
"'Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho! And over the country we go!'" warbled Hicks, as the squad
left Bannister Field, and jogged across a green meadow. "'--O'er hill and
dale, through valley and vale, Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho!'"
"Save your wind, you insect!" growled Butch Brewster, with sinister
significance that escaped the heedless Hicks, as the behemoth Butch, a
two-miler, swung into the lead. "You'll need it, you fish, before we get
back to the campus! Not too fast, you flock of human tortoises. You'll be
crawling on hands and knees, if you keep that pace up long!"
A mile and a half passed. Butch, at an easy jog, had led his squad over
green pastures, up gentle slopes, and across a plowed field, by way of
variety. At length, he left the road on which the pachydermic aggregation
had lumbered for some distance, and turned up a long lane, leading to a
farm-house. Back of it they periscoped an orchard, with cherry-trees,
laden with red and white fruit, predominating. Also, floating toward the
collegians on the balmy May air came an ominous sound:
"Woof! Woof! Woof! Bow-wow-wow! Woof!"
"Come on, fellows!" urged Butch Brewster. "We'll jog across old Bildad's
orchard and seize some cherries--the old pirate can't catch us, for we are
attired for sprinting. Don't they look good?"
"Nothing stirring!" declared Hicks, slangily, but vehemently, as he stopped
short in his stride. "Old Bildad has got a bulldog what am as big as the
New York City Hall. He had it on the campus last month, you know! Not for
mine! I don't go near that house, or swipe no cherries from his trees. If
you wish to shuffle off this mortal coil, drive right ahead, but I will
await your return here."
T, Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s, dread of dogs, of all sizes, shapes, pedigrees,
and breeds, was well known to old Bannister; hence, the Heavy-weights now
jeered him unmercifully. Old "Bildad," as the taciturn recluse was called,
who lived like a hermit and owned a rich farm, did own a massive bulldog,
and a sight of his cruel jaws was a "No Trespass" sign. With great
forethought, when cherries began to ripen, the farmer had brought Caesar
Napoleon to the campus, exhibited him to the awed youths, and said, "My
cherries be for sale, not to be stole!" which object lesson, brief as
it was, to date, had seemed to have the desired effect. Yet--here was Butch
proposing that they literally thrust their heads, or other portions of
their anatomies, into the jaws of death!
"Well," said Bunch Bingham at last, "I tell you what; we'll jog up to the
house and ask old Bildad to sell us some cherries; we can pay him when he
comes to the campus with eggs to sell, Come along. Hicks, I'll beard the
bulldog in his kennel."
So, dragged along by the bulky hammer-throwers and shot-putters, the
protesting T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., in mortal terror of Caesar Napoleon, and
the other canine guardians of old Bildad's property, progressed up the lane
toward the house.
"I got a hunch," said the reluctant Hicks, sadly, "that things ain't
a-comin' out right! In the words of the immortal Somebody-Or-Other, 'This
'ere ain't none o' my doin'; it's a-bein' thrust on me!' All right, my
comrades, I'll be the innocent bystander, but heed me--look out for the
THANKS TO CAESAR NAPOLEON
The Heavy-Weight-White-Hope-Brigade, towing the mosquito-like T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr., advanced on the stronghold of old Bildad, so named because he
was a pessimistic Job's comforter, like Bildad, the Shuhite, of old--like
a flock of German spies reconnoitering Allied trenches. Hearing the house,
with Butch and Beef holding the helpless, but loudly protesting Hicks, who
would fain have executed what may mildly be termed a strategic retreat, big
Tug Cardiff boldly marched, in close formation, toward the door, when the
portal suddenly flew open.
"Woof! Woof! Bow! Wow! Woof! Let go, Butch--there's the dog!"
Amid ferocious howls from Caesar Napoleon, and alarmed protests from the
paralyzed Hicks, who could not have run, with his wobbly knees, had he
been set free by his captors, old Bildad, towed from the house by Caesar
Napoleon, who strained savagely at the leash until his face bulged, burst
upon the scene with impressive dramatic effect! It was difficult to decide,
without due consideration, which was the more interesting. Bildad, a huge,
gnarled old Viking, with matted gray hair, bushy eyebrows, a flowing beard,
and leathery face, a fierce-looking giant, was appalling to behold, but so
was Caesar Napoleon, an immense bulldog, cruel, bloodthirsty, his massive
jaws working convulsively, his ugly fangs gleaming, as he set his great
body against the leash, and gave evidence of a sincere desire to make free
lunch of the Bannister youths. As Buster Brown afterward stated, "Neither
one would take the booby prize at a beauty show, but at that, the bulldog
had a better chance than Bildad!" T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., let it be
recorded, could not have qualified as a judge, since his undivided
attention was awarded to Caesar Napoleon!
"What d'ye want round here, ye rapscallions?" demanded Bildad, courteously,
holding the savage bulldog with one hand, and constructing a ponderous
fist with the other, "Hike--git off'n my land, y'hear? Git, er Caesar
Napoleon'll git holt o' them scanty duds ye got on!"
"We want to--to buy some cherries, Mr.--Mr. Bildad!" explained Bunch
Bingham, edging away nervously. "We won't steal any, honest, sir. Well pay
you for them the very next time you come to the campus with milk and eggs."
"Ho! Ho!" roared old Bildad, piratically, his colossal body shaking, "A
likely tale, lads--an' when I come for my money, ye'll jeer me off the
campus, an' tell me to whistle for it! Off my land--git, an' don't let me
cotch ye on it inside o' two minutes, or I'll let Caesar Napoleon make a
meal off'n yer bones--git!"
To express it briefly, they got. T, Haviland Hicks, Jr., not standing on
the order of his going, set off at a sprint that, while it might have
caused Ted Meredith to lose sleep, also aroused in Caesar Napoleon an
overwhelming desire to take out after the fugitive youth, so that Mr.
Bildad was forced to exert his vast strength to hold the massive bulldog.
Butch, Beef, Hefty, Tug, Buster, Bunch, Pudge, and Biff, a pachydermic
crew, awed by Caesar Napoleon's bloodthirsty actions, jogged off in the
wake of Hicks, who confidently expected to hear the bulldog giving tongue,
on his trail, at every second.
Another lane, making in from a road making a cross-roads with the one
from which they came to Bildad's house, ran alongside the orchard for two
hundred yards, inside the fence; at its end was a high roadgate. At
what they decided was a safe distance from the "war zone," the
Heavy-Weight-White-Hope-Brigade, and T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., the latter
forcibly restrained from widening the margin between him and peril, held a
council on preparedness.
"The old pirate!" stormed Butch Brewster, gazing back to where the vast
figure of old Bildad, striding toward the house, towered. "We can't let him
get away with that, fellows. I'll have some of his cherries now, or--"
"No, no--don't, Butch!" chattered Hicks, whose dread of dogs amounted to
an obsession. "He can still see us, and if you leave the lane, he will send
Caesar Napoleon after us! Oh, don't--"
But Butch Brewster, evidently wrathful at being balked, strode from the
path, or lane, of virtue, toward a cherry-tree, whose red fruit hung
temptingly low, and his example was followed by every one of the Brigade,
leaving the terrified Hicks to wait in the lane, where, because of his
alarm, he had no time to wonder at the bravado of his behemoth comrades.
However, finding that Bildad had disappeared, and believing he had taken
Caesar Napoleon into the house, the sunny Hicks, who was far from a coward
otherwise, but who had an unreasonable dread of dogs, little or big, was
about to wax courageous, and join his team-mates, when a wild shout burst
from Pudge Langdon:
"Run, fellows--run! Bildad's put the bulldog on us! Here comes--Caesar
With a blood-chilling "Woof! Woof!" steadily sounding louder, nearer,
a streak of color shot across the orchard, from the house, toward the
affrighted Brigade, while old Bildad's hoarse growl shattered the echoes
with "Take 'em out o' here, Nap--chaw 'em up, boy!" For a startled second,
the youths stared at the on-rushing body, shooting toward them through the
orchard-grass at terrific speed, and then:
"Run!" howled T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., terror providing him with wings, as
per proverb. Down the lane, at a pace that would have done credit to Barney
Oldfield in his Blitzen Benz, the mosquito-like youth sprinted madly, and
ever, closer, closer on his trail, sounded that awful "Woof! Woof!" from
Caesar Napoleon, who, as Hicks well knew, was acting with full authority
from Bildad! He heard, as he fled frantically, the excited shouts of his
"Beat it, Hicks--he's right after you--run! Run!"
"Jump the fence--he can't get you then--jump!"
"He's right on your trail, Hicks--sprint, old man!"
"Make the fence, old man--jump it--and you're safe!"
The terrible truth dawned on the frightened youth, as he desperately
sprinted: the innocent bystander always gets hurt. He had protested against
the theft of Bildad's cherries, and naturally, the bulldog had kept after
him! But it was too late to stop, for the old adage was extremely
appropriate, "He who hesitates is lost." He must make that road-gate, and
tumble over it, in some fashion, or be torn to shreds by Caesar Napoleon,
the savage dog that the cruel Bildad had sent after the youths.
Nearer loomed the road-gate, appallingly high. Closer sounded the panting
breath of the ferocious Caesar Napoleon, and his incessant "Woof-woof!"
became louder. It seemed to the desperate Hicks that the bulldog was at his
heels, and every instant he expected to feel those sharp teeth take hold of
his anatomy! Once, the despairing youth imitated Lot's wife and turned his
head. He saw a body streaking after him, gaining at every jump, also he
lost speed; so thereafter, he conscientiously devoted his every energy to
the task in hand, that of making the gate, and getting over it, before
Caesar Napoleon caught his quarry!
At last, the road-gate, at least ten feet high, to Hicks' fevered
imagination, came so close that a quick decision was necessary, for Caesar
Napoleon, also, was in the same zone, and in a few seconds he would
overhaul the fugitive. T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., realizing that a second
lost, perhaps, might prove fatal to his peace of mind, desperately resolved
to dash at the gate, and jump; if he succeeded even in striking somewhere
near the top, and falling over, he would not care, for the bulldog would
not follow him off Bildad's land. From his comrades, far in the rear, came
"Jump, Hicks! He's right on your heels!"
Like the immortal Light Brigade, Hicks had no time to reason about
anything. His but to jump or be bitten summed up the situation. So, with
a last desperate sprint, a quick dash, he left the ground--luckily, the
earth was hard, giving him a solid take-off, and he got a splendid spring.
As he arose In air, al! the training and practicing for form stayed with
him, and instinctively he turned, writhed, and kicked--
For a fleeting second, he saw the top of the gate beneath his body, and
he felt a thrill as he beheld twisted strands of barbed wire, cruel and
jagged, across it; then, with a great sensation of joy, he knew that he
had cleared the top, and a second later, he landed on the ground, in the
country road, in a heap.
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., that sunny-souled, happy-go-lucky, indolent youth,
for once in his care-free campus career aroused to strenuous action,
scrambled wildly to his feet, and forcibly realized the truth of
Longfellow's, "And things are not-what they seem!" Instead of the
ferocious, bloodthirsty bulldog, Caesar Napoleon, a huge, half-grown
St. Bernard pup gamboled inside the gate, frisking about gleefully, and
exhibiting, even so that Hicks, with all his innate dread of dogs, could
understand it, a vast friendliness. In fact, he seemed trying to say,
"That's fun. Come on and play with me some more!"
"Hey, fellows," shrieked the relieved Hicks, "that ain't Caesar Napoleon!
Why, he just wanted to play."
Bewildered, the members of the Heavy-Weight-White-Hope-Brigade of the
Bannister College track squad rushed on the scene. To their surprise, they
found not a savage bulldog, but a clumsy, good-natured St. Bernard puppy,
who frisked wildly about them, groveled at their feet, and put his huge
paws on them, with the playfulness of a juvenile elephant.
"Why, it isn't Nappie, for a fact!" gasped Butch. "Oh, I am so glad
that old Bildad wasn't mean enough to put the bulldog after us, for he is
dangerous. He scared us, though, and put this pup on our trail. He wanted
to play, and he thought it all a game, when Hicks fled. Oho! What a joke on
"I don't care!" grinned Hicks, thus siding with the famous Eva Tanguay.
"You fellows were fooled, too! You were too scared to run, and if it had
been Caesar Napoleon, I'd have saved your worthless lives by getting him
after me! I'll bet Bildad is snickering now, the old reprobate! Why, Tug,
are you crazy?"
Tug Cardiff, indeed, gave indications of lunacy. He marched up to the
road-gate, and stood close to it, so that the barbed wire top was even with
his hair; then he backed off, and gazed first at the gate, then at the
bewildered Hicks, while he grinned at the dazed squad in a Cheshire cat
"Measure it, someone!" he shouted. "I am nearly six feet tall, and it comes
even with the top of my dome! Can't you see, you brainless imbeciles, Hicks
"Wait for me here!" howled big Butch Brewster, climbing the fence and
starting down the road at a pace that did credit even to that fast
two-miler. The Brigade, In the absence of their leader, tried to estimate
the height of the gate, and Hicks, gazing at its barbed-wire top,
shuddered. The St. Bernard pup, having caused T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., for
once in his indolent life to exert every possible ounce of energy in his
splinter-frame, groveled at his feet, and strove to express his boundless
joy at their presence.
Butch Brewster, in fifteen minutes, returned, panting and perspiring,
bearing a tape-measure, borrowed at the next farm-house. With all the
solemnity of a sacred rite being performed, the youths waited, as Butch and
Tug, holding the tape taut, carefully measured from the ground to the top
of the barbed wire on the gate. Three times they did this, and then, with
an expression of gladness on his honest countenance, Butch hugged the
dazed T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., while Tug Cardiff howled, "Now for the
Intercollegiates and your track B, Hicks! You can do five-ten in the
meet, for Coach Brannigan said you could dear it, if only you did it
"Why--what do you mean, Tug?" quavered Hicks, not daring to allow himself
to believe the truth. "You--you surely don't mean--"
"I mean, that now you know you can jump that high," boomed Tug, executing
a weird dance of exultation, In which, the Brigade joined, until it
resembled a herd of elephants gone insane, "for you have done it--allowing
for the sag, and everything, that gate is just five feet, ten inches high,
and--you cleared it!"
"Ladies and gentlemen--Hicks, of Bannister, is about to high jump! Hicks
and McQuade, of Hamilton, are tied for first place at five feet eight
inches! McQuade has failed three times at five-ten! Hicks' third and last
trial! Height of bar--five feet ten inches!"
This time, however, it was not big Tug Cardiff, imitating a Ballyhoo
Bill, and inciting the Bannister youths to hilarity at the expense of the
sunny-souled T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.; it was the Official Announcer at the
Annual State Intercollegiate Field and Track Championships, on Bannister
Field, and his announcement aroused a tumult of excitement in the Bannister
section of the stands, as well as among the Gold and Green cinder-path
"Come on, Hicks, old man!" urged Butch Brewster, who, with a dozen fully
as excited comrades of the cheery Hicks, surrounded that splinter-athlete.
"It's positively your last chance to win your track B, or your letter in
any sport, and please your Dad! If they lower the bar, and you two jump off
the tie, McQuade's endurance will bring him out the winner."
"You can clear five-ten!" encouraged Bunch Bingham. "You did it once,
when you believed Caesar Napoleon was after you. Just summon up that much
energy now, and clear that bar! Once over, the event and your letter are
won! Oh, if we only had that bulldog here, to sick on you."
Sad to chronicle, the score-board of the Intercollegiates recorded the
results of the events, so far, thus:
HAMILTON ............35 BALLARD .............20 BANNISTER ...........28
It was the last event, and even did Hicks win the high-jump, McQuade's
second place would easily give old Ham. the Championship. Hence, knowing
that victory was not booked for an appearance on the Gold and Green
banners, the Bannister youths, wild for the lovable, popular Hicks to win
his Bs vociferously pulled for him:
"Come on, Hicks--up and over, old man--it's easy!"
"Jump, you Human Grass-Hopper--you can do it!"
"Now or never, Hicks! One big jump does the work!"
"Sick Caesar Napoleon on him, Coach; he'll clear it then!"
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., casting aside that flamboyant bathrobe, for what he
believed was the last athletic event of his campus career, stood gazing at
the cross-bar. One superhuman effort, a great explosion of all his energy,
such as he had executed when he cleared the gate, thinking Caesar Napoleon
was after him, and the event was won! He had cleared that height, it was
within his power. If he failed, as Butch said, the bar would be lowered,
and then raised until one or the other missed once. McQuade, with his
superior strength and endurance, must inevitably win, but as he had just
missed on his third trial at five-ten, if Hicks cleared that height on
his final chance, the first place was his.
"And my B!" murmured Hicks, tensing his muscles. "Oh, won't my Dad be
happy? It will help him to realize some of his ambition, when I show him my
track letter! It is positively my last chance, and I must clear it."
With a vast wave of determined confidence inundating his very being, Hicks
started for the bar; after those first, peculiar, creeping steps, he had
just started his gallop, when he heard Tug Cardiff's basso, magnified by
a megaphone, roared:
"All together, fellows--let 'er go--"
Then, just as Hicks dug his spikes into the earth, in that short, mad
sprint that gives the jumper his spring, just as he reached the take-off,
a perfect explosion of noise startled him, and he caught a sound that
frightened him, tensed as he was:
"Woof! Woof! Bow! Wow! Woof! Woof! Woof! Look out, Hicks, Caesar Napoleon
is after you!"
Psychology Is inexplicable. Ever afterward, Hicks' comrades of that
cross-country run averred strenuously that their roaring through
megaphones, in concert, imitating Caesar Napoleon's savage bark at the
psychological moment, flung the mosquito-like youth clear of the cross-bar
and won him the event and his B. Hicks, however, as fervidly denied this
statement, declaring that he would have won, anyhow, because he had
summoned up the determination to do it! So it can not be stated just what
bearing on his jump the plot of Butch Brewster really had. In truth, that
behemoth had entertained a wild idea of actually hiring old Bildad and
Caesar Napoleon to appear at the moment Hicks started for his last trial,
but this weird scheme was abandoned!
Fifteen minutes later, when T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., had escaped from the
riotous Bannister students, delirious with joy at the victory of the
beloved youth, the Heavy-Weight-White-Hope Brigade, capturing the
grass-hopper Senior, gave him a shock second only to that which he had
experienced when first he believed Caesar Napoleon was on his trail.
"Perhaps our barking didn't make you jump it!" said Beef McNaughton, when
Hicks indignantly denied that he had been scared over the cross-bar, "but
indirectly, old man, we helped you to win! If we had not put up a hoax on
"A hoax?" queried the surprised Hicks. "What do you mean--hoax?"
"It was all a frame-up!" grinned Butch Brewster, triumphantly. "We paid old
Bildad five dollars to play his part, and as an actor, he has Booth and
Barrymore backed off the stage! We got Coach Brannigan to send you along
with us on the cross-country jog, and your absurd dread of dogs, Hicks,
made it easy! Bildad, per instructions, produced Caesar Napoleon, and
scared you. Then, with a telescope, he watched us, and when I gave the
signal, he let loose Bob, the harmless St. Bernard pup, on our trail.
"The pup, as he always does, chased after strangers, ready to play. We
yelled for you to run, and you were so scared, you insect, you didn't
wait to see the dog. Even when you looked back, in your alarm, you didn't
know it was not Caesar Napoleon, for his grim visage was seared on your
brain--I mean, where your brain ought to be! And even had you seen it
wasn't the bulldog, you would have been frightened, all the same. But I
confess, Hicks, when you sailed over that high gate, it was one on us."
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., drew a deep breath, and then a Cheshire cat grin
came to his cherubic countenance. So, after all, it had been a hoax; there
had not been any peril. No wonder these behemoths had so courageously taken
the cherries! But, beyond a doubt, the joke had helped him to win his
B. It had shown him he could clear five feet, ten inches, for he had done
it--and, in the meet, when the crucial moment came, the knowledge that he
had jumped that high, and, therefore, could do it, helped--where the
thought that he never had cleared it would have dragged him down. He had at
last won his B, a part of his beloved Dad's great ambition was realized,
"Oh, just leave it to Hicks!" quoth that sunny-souled, irrepressible
youth, swaggering a trifle, "It was my mighty will-power, my terrific
determination, that took me over the cross-bar, and not--not your
"Woof! Woof! Woof!" roared the "Heavy-Weight-White-Hope-Brigade" in
thunderous chorus. "Sick him--Caesar Napoleon--!"
HICKS MAKES A RASH PROPHECY
"Come on, Butch! Atta boy--some fin, old top! Say, you Beef--you're asleep
at the switch. What time do you want to be called? More pep there,
Monty--bust that little old bulb, Roddy! Aw, rotten! Say, Ballard, your
playing will bring the Board of Health down on you--why don't you bring
your first team out? Umpire? What--do you call that an umpire? Why, he's
a highway robber, a bandit. Put a 'Please Help the Blind' sign on that
Big Butch Brewster, captain of the Bannister College baseball squad,
navigating down the third-floor corridor of Bannister Hall, the Senior
dormitory, laden with suitcases, bat-bags, and other impedimenta, as Mr.
Julius Caesar says, and vastly resembling a bell-hop in action, paused in
sheer bewilderment on the threshold of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s, cozy room.
"Hicks!" stormed the bewildered Butch, wrathfully, "what in the name of Sam
Hill are you doing? Are you crazy, you absolutely insane lunatic? This
is a study-hour, and even if you don't possess an intellect, some of the
fellows want to exercise their brains an hour or so! Stop that ridiculous
The spectacle Butch Brewster beheld was indeed one to paralyze that
pachydermic collegian, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., the sunny-souled,
irrepressible Senior, danced madly about on the tiger-skin rug in midfloor,
evidently laboring under the delusion that he was a lunatical Hottentot at
a tribal dance; he waved his arms wildly, like a signaling brakeman, or
howled through a big megaphone, and about his toothpick structure was
strung his beloved banjo, on which the blithesome youth twanged at times an
accompaniment to his jargon:
"Come on, Skeet, take a lead (plunkety-plunk!) Say, d'ye wanta marry
first base--divorce yourself from that sack! (plunk-plunk!) Oh, you
bonehead--steal--you won't get arrested for it! Hi! Yi! Ouch, Butch! Oh,
I'll be good--"
At this moment, the indignant Butch abruptly terminated T. Haviland Hicks,
Jr.'s, noisy monologue by seizing that splinter-youth firmly by the scruff
of the neck and forcibly hurling him on the davenport. Seeing his loyal
class-mate's resemblance to a Grand Central Station baggage-smasher, the
irrepressible Senior forthwith imitated a hotel-clerk:
"Front!" howled the grinning Hicks, to an imaginary bellboy, "Show this
gentleman to Number 2323! Are you alone, sir, or just by yourself? I think
you will like the room-it faces on the coal-chute, and has hot and cold
folding-doors, and running water when the roof leaks! The bed is made once
a week, regularly, and--"
"Hicks, you Infinitesimal Atom of Nothing!" growled big Butch, ominously.
"What were you doing, creating all that riot, as I came down the corridor?
What's the main idea, anyway, of--"
"Heed, friend of my campus days," chortled the graceless Hicks, keeping
a safe distance from his behemoth comrade, "tomorrow-your baseball
aggregation plays Ballard College, at that knowledge-factory, for the
Championship of the State. Because nature hath endowed me with the
Herculean structure of a Jersey mosquito, I am developing a 56-lung-power
voice, and I need practice, as I am to be the only student-rooter at the
game tomorrow! Q.E.D.! And as for any Bannister student, except perhaps
Theophilus Opperdyke and Thor, desiring to investigate the interiors of
their lexicons tonight, I prithee, just periscope the campus."
"I guess you are right, Hicks!" grinned Butch Brewster, as he looked from
the window, down on an indescribably noisy scene. "For once, your riotous
tumult went unheard. Say, get your traveling-bag ready, and leave that
pestersome banjo behind, if you want to go with the nine!"
Several members of the Gold and Green nine, embryo American and National
League stars, roosted on the Senior Fence between the Gymnasium and the
Administration Building, with, suitcases and bat-bags on the grass. In a
few minutes old Dan Flannagan's celebrated jitney-bus would appear in the
offing, coming to transport the Bannister athletes downtown to the station,
for the 9 P.M. express to Philadelphia. Incited by Cheer-Leaders Skeezicks
McCracken and Snake Fisher, several hundred youths encouraged the nine,
since, because of approaching final exams., they were barred by Faculty
order from accompanying the team to Ballard. In thunderous chorus they
"One more Job for the undertaker!
More work for the tombstone maker!
la the local cemetery, they are very--very--very
Busy on a brand-new grave for--Ballard!"
As the lovable Hicks expressed it, "'Coming events cast their shadows
before.' Commencement overshadows our joyous campus existence!" However, no
Bannister acquaintance of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., could detect wherein the
swiftly approaching final separation from his Alma Mater had affected in
the least that happy-go-lucky, care-free, irrepressible youth. If anything,
it seemed that Hicks strove to fight off thoughts of the end of his golden
campus years, using as weapons his torturesome saengerfests, his Beefsteak
Busts down at Jerry's, and various other pastimes, to the vast indignation
of his good friend and class-mate, Butch Brewster, who tried futilely to
lecture him into the proper serious mood with which Seniors must sail
"You are a Senior, Hicks, a Senior!" Butch would explain wrathfully. "You
are popularly supposed to be dignified, and here you persist in acting like
a comedian in a vaudeville show! I suppose you intend to appear on the
stage, and, when handed your sheepskin, respond by twanging your banjo and
roaring a silly ballad."
Yet, the cheery Hicks had been very busy, since that memorable day when,
thanks to Caesar Napoleon and the hoax of the Heavy-Weight-White-Hope-
Brigade of the track squad, he had cleared the cross-bar at five-ten,
and won the event and his white B! Mr. T. Haviland Hicks, Sr., overjoyed
at his son's achievement, had sent him a generous check, which the youth
much needed, and had promised to be present at the annual Athletic
Association Meeting, at Commencement, when the B's were awarded
deserving athletes, which caused Hicks as much joy as the pink slip.
With his final study sprint for the Senior Finals, his duties as team-
manager of the baseball nine, his preparations for Commencement, his
social duties at the Junior Prom., and multifarious other details
coincident to graduation, the heedless Hicks had not found time to be
sorrowful at the knowledge that it soon would end, forever, that he must
say "Farewell, Alma Mater," and leave the campus and corridors of old
Bannister; yet soon even Hicks' ebullient spirits must fail, for
Commencement was a trifle over a week off.
"Hicks, you lovable, heedless, irrepressible wretch," said Big Butch,
affectionately, as the two class-mates thrilled at the scene. "Does it
penetrate that shrapnel-proof concrete dome of yours that the Ballard game
tomorrow is the final athletic contest of my, and likewise your, campus
career at old Bannister?"
"Similar thoughts has smote my colossal intellect, Butch!" responded the
bean-pole Hicks, gladsomely. "But--why seek to overshadow this joyous scene
with somber reflections? You-should-worry. You have annexed sufficient B's,
were they different, to make up an alphabet. You've won your letter on
gridiron, track, and baseball field, and you've been team-captain of
everything twice! Why, therefore, sheddest thou them crocodile tears?"
"Not for myself, thou sunny-souled idler!" announced Butch, generously,
"But for thee! I prithee, since you pritheed me a few moments hence, let
that so-called colossal intellect of yours stride back along the corridors
of Time, until it reaches a certain day toward the close of our Freshman
year. Remember, you had made a hilarious failure of every athletic event
you tried-football, basketball, track, and baseball; you had just made a
tremendous farce of the Freshman-Sophomore track meet, and to me, your
loyal comrade, you uttered these rash words, 'Before I graduate from old
Bannister, I shall have won my B in three branches of sport!'
"I reiterate and repeat, tomorrow's game with Ballard is the last chance
you will have. There is no possibility that you, with your well-known lack
of baseball ability, will get in the game, and--your track B, won in the
high-jump, is the only B you have won! Now, do you still maintain that you
will make good that rash vow?"
"'Where there's a will, there's a way.' 'Never say die.' 'While there's
life, there's hope.' 'Don't give up the ship.' 'Fight to the last ditch.'
'In the bright lexicon of youth there is no such word as fail,'"
quoth the irrepressible Hicks, all in a breath. "As long as there is an
infinitesimal fraction of a chance left, I repeat, just leave it to Hicks!"
"You haven't got a chance in the world!" Butch assured him, consolingly.
"You did manage to get into one football game, for a minute, and you were a
'Varsity player that long. By sticking to it, you have won your track B in
the high-jump, thanks to your grass-hopper build, and we rejoice at your
reward! Your Dad is happy that you've won a B, so why not be sensible, and
cease this ridiculous talk of winning your B in three sports, when you
can see it is preposterously out of the question, absolutely impossible--"
It was not that Butch. Brewster did not want his sunny classmate to win
his B in three sports, or that he would have failed to rejoice at Hicks'
winning the triple honor. Had such a thing seemed within the bounds of
possibility, Butch, big-hearted and loyal, would have been as happy as
Hicks, or his Dad. But what the behemoth athlete became wrathful at was the
obviously lunatical way in which the cheery Hicks, now that his college
years were almost ended, parrot-like repeated, "Oh, just leave it to
Hicks!" when he must know all hope was dead. In truth, T, Haviland Hicks,
Jr., in pretending to maintain still that he would make good the rash
vow of his Freshman year, had no purpose but to arouse his comrade's
indignation; but Butch, serious of nature, believed there really lurked in
Hicks' system some germs of hope.
"We never know, old top!" chuckled Hicks, though he was sure he could
never fulfill that promise, as he had not played three-fourths of a season
on both the football and the baseball teams, "Something may show up at the
last minute, and--"
At that moment, something evidently did show up, on the campus below, for
the enthusiastic students howled in: thunderous chorus, as the "Honk!
Honk!" of a Claxon was heard, "Here he comes! All together, fellows--the
Bannister yell for the nine--then for good old Dan Flannagan!"
As Hicks and Butch watched from the window, old Dan Flannagan's jitney-bus,
to the discordant blaring of a horn, progressed up the driveway, even as it
had done on that night in September, when it transported to the campus
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., and Thor, the Prodigious Prodigy. Amid salvos of
applause from the Bannister youths, and blasts of the Claxon, old Dan
brought "The Dove" to a stop before the Senior Fence, and bowed to the
nine, grinning genially the while.
"The car waits at the door, sir!" spoke T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., touching
his cap after the fashion of an English butler, before seizing a bat-bag,
and his suit-case. "As team manager, I must attempt to force into Skeet
Wigglesworth's dome how he and the five subs, are to travel on the C. N. &
Q., to Eastminster, from Baltimore. Come on, Butch, we're off--"
"You are always off!" commented Butch, good-humoredly, as he seized his
baggage and followed the mosquito-like Hicks from the room, downstairs, and
out on the campus. Here the assembled youths, with yells, cheers, and songs
sandwiched between humorous remarks to Dan Flannagan, watched the thrilling
spectacle of the Gold and Green nine, with the Team Manager and five
substitutes, fifteen in all, squeeze into and atop of Dan Flannagan's
"Let me check you fellows off," said Hicks, importantly, peering into the
jitney, for he, as Team Manager, had to handle the traveling expenses.
"Monty Merriweather, Roddy Perkins, Biff Pemberton. Butch Brewster, Skeet
Wigglesworth, Beef McNaughton, Cherub Challoner, Ichabod Crane, Don
Carterson; that is the regular nine, and are you five subs, present? O. K.
Skeet, climb out here a second."
Little Skeet Wigglesworth, the brilliant short-stop, climbed out with
exceeding difficulty, and facing T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., he saluted in
military fashion. The team manager, consulting a timetable of the C. N.
&.Q. railroad, fixed him with a stern look.
"Skeet," he spoke distinctly, "now, get this--myself and eight regulars,
nine in all, will take the 9 P. M. express for Philadelphia, and stay
there all night. Tomorrow, at 8 A. M., we leave Broad Street Station for
Eastminster, arriving at 11 A. M. Now I have a lot of unused mileage on
the C. N. & Q., and I want to use it up before Commencement. So, heed: you
want to go via Baltimore, to see your parents. You take the 9.20 P. M.
express tonight, to Baltimore, and go from that city in the morning, to
Eastminster, on the C. N, & Q.--it's the only road. And take the five subs
with you, to devour the mileage. Now, has that penetrated thy bomb-proof
"Sure; you don't have to deliver a Chautauqua lecture, Hicks!" grinned
Skeet. "Say, what time does my train leave Baltimore, in the A.M., for
"Let's see." T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., handing the mileage-books to the
shortstop, focused his intellect on the C. N. & Q. timetable. "Oh, yes--you
leave Union Station, Baltimore, at 7:30 A.M., arriving at Eastminster at
noon; it is the only train, you can get, to make it in time for the game,
so remember the hour--7.30 A.M.! Here, stuff the timetable in your pocket."
In a few moments, the team and substitutes had been jammed into old Dan
Flannagan's jitney, and the Bannister youths on the campus concentrated
their interest on the sunny Hicks, who, grinning a la Cheshire cat,
climbed atop of "The Dove," which old Dan was having as much trouble to
start as he had experienced for over twenty years with the late Lord
Nelson, his defunct quadruped. Seeing Hicks abstract a Louisville
Slugger from the bat-bag, the students roared facetious remarks at the
"Home-run Hicks--he made a home-run--on a strike-out!"--"Put Hicks in
the game, Captain Butch--he will win it."--"Watch Hicks--he'll pull
some bonehead play!"--"Bring home the Championship, but--lose Hicks
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., as the battered engine of the jit. yielded to
old Dan's cranking, and kindly consented to start, surveyed the yelling
students, seized a bat, and struck an attitude which he fatuously believed
was that of Ty Cobb, about to make a hit; taking advantage of a lull in the
tumult, the lovable youth howled at the hilarious crowd:
"Just leave it to Hicks! I will win the game and the Championship, for my
Alma Mater, and--I'll do it by my headwork!"
T. HAVILAND HICKS, JR'S. HEADWORK
"Play Ball! Say, Bannister, are you afraid to play?"
"Call the game, Mr. Ump.--make 'em play ball!"
"Batter up! Forfeit the game to Ballard, Umpire!"
"Lend 'em Ballard's bat-boy-to make a full nine!"
Captain Butch Brewster, his honest countenance, as a moving-picture
director would express it, "registering wrathful dismay," lumbered toward
the Ballard Field concrete dug-out, in which the Gold and Green players
had entrenched themselves, while from the stands, the Ballard cohorts
vociferated their intense impatience at the inexplicable delay.
"We have got to play," he raged, striding up and down before the bench.
"The game is ten minutes late now, and the crowd is restless! And here we
have only eight 'Varsity players, and no one to make the ninth--not even
a sub.! Oh, I could--"
"That brainless Skeet Wigglesworth!" ejaculated T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
who, arrayed like a lily of the field, reposed his splinter-structure on
the bench with his comrades. "In some way, he managed to miss that train
from Baltimore! They didn't come on the noon C, N. & Q. train, and there
isn't another one until night. My directions were as plain as a German
war-map, and it beats me how Skeet got befuddled!"
Gloom, as thick and abysmal as a London fog, hovered over the Bannister
dug-out. On the concrete bench, the seven Gold and Green athletes, Beef,
Monty, Roddy, Biff, Ichabod, Don, and Cherub, with Team Manager T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr., stared silently at Captain Butch Brewster, who seemed in
imminent peril of exploding. Something probably never before heard of in
the annals of athletic history had happened. Bannister College, about to
play Ballard the big game for the State Championship, had lost a short-stop
and five substitutes, in some unfathomable manner, and it was impossible
to round up one other member of the Gold and Green baseball squad. True, a
hundred loyal alumni were in the stands, but only bona fide students, of
course, were eligible to play the game, and--the Faculty ruling had kept
them at old Bannister!
"Here comes Ballard's Manager," spoke Beef McNaughton, as a brisk,
clean-cut youth advanced, a yellow envelope in hand. "Why, he has a
telegram. Do you suppose Skeet actually had brains enough to wire an
"Telegram for Captain Brewster!" announced the Ballard collegian, giving
the message to that surprised behemoth. "It was sent in my care--collect,
and the sender, name of Wigglesworth, fired one to me personally, telling
me to deliver this one to Captain Butch Brewster, and collect from Team
Manager Hicks--he surely didn't bother to save money! I've been out of
town, and just got back to the campus; of course, the telegrams could not
be delivered to anyone but me, hence the delay."
Big Butch, thanking the Ballard Team Manager, and assuring him that the
charges he had paid would be advanced to him after the game, ripped open
the yellow envelope, and drew out the message. Like a thunder-storm
gathering on the horizon, a dark expression came to good Butch's
countenance, and when he had perused the lengthy telegram, he transfixed
the startled and bewildered T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., with an angry glare:
"Bonehead!" he raged, apparently controlling himself with a superhuman
effort. "Oh, you lunatic, you wretch, villain--you--you--"
To the supreme amazement and dismay of the puzzled Hicks, Beef, next in
line, after he had scanned Skeet's telegram, followed Butch's example,
for he glowered at the perturbed youth, and heaped condemnations on his
devoted head. And so on down the line on the bench, until Monty, Roddy,
Biff, Ichabod, Don, and Cherub, reading the message, joined in gazing
indignantly at their gladsome Team Manager, who, as the eight arose en
masse and advanced on him, sought to flee the wrath to come.
"Safety first!" quoth T, Haviland Hicks, Jr. "'Mine not to reason why, mine
but to haste and fly,' or--be crushed! Ouch! Beef, Monty--have a heart!"
Captured by Beef and Monty Merriweather, as he frantically scrambled up
the steps of the concrete dug-out, the grinning Hicks was held in the firm
grasp of that behemoth, Butch Brewster, aided by the skyscraper Ichabod,
while Cherub Challoner thrust the telegram before his eyes. In words of
fire that burned themselves into his brain--something his colleagues
denied he possessed--T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., saw the explanation of Skeet
Wigglesworth's missing the train from Baltimore that A. M. Dazed, the sunny
youth read the message on which over-charges must be paid:
"Hicks--you bonehead! The time-table of the C.N. & Q. you gave me was an
old one--schedule revised two weeks ago! Train now leaves Balto. at 6.55
A.M.! When we got to station at 7.05 A.M. she had went! No train to Ballard
till night! I and subs, had to wire Bannister for money to get back on!
You mis-manager--the head-work you boasted of is boneheadwork! Pay the
charges on this, you brainless insect! I'll send it to Butch, for you'd
never show it to him if I sent it to you! Indignantly--
"Mis-manager is right!" seethed Captain Butch, for once in his campus
career really wrathy at the lovable Hicks. "We are in a fix--eight players,
and the crowd howling for the game to start. Oh, I could jump overboard,
and drag you with me!"
"Bonehead! Bonehead!" chorused the Gold and Green players, indignantly.
"Gave Skeet an out-of-date time-table--never looked at the date! Let's drag
him out before the crowd, and announce to them his brilliant headwork!"
Captain Butch, "up against it," to employ a slightly slang expression,
gazed across Ballard Field. In the stands, the students responding
thunderously to their cheer-leaders' megaphoned requests, roared, "Play
ball! Play ball! Play ball!" Gay pennants and banners fluttered in the
glorious sunshine of the June day. It was a bright scene, but its glory
awakened no happiness in the heart of the Bannister leader, as his gaze
wandered to the somewhat flabbergasted expression on the cheery Hicks'
face. That inevitably sunny youth, however, managed to conjure up a faint
resemblance of his Cheshire cat grin, and following his usual habit of
letting nothing daunt his gladsome spirit, he croaked feebly: "Oh, just
leave it to Hicks! I will--"
"Play the game!" thundered Butch, inspired. "Beef, see the umpire and say
we'll be ready as soon as we get Hicks into togs-show him the telegram, and
explain our delay! I'll shift Monty from the outfield to Skeet's job at
short, and put this diluted imitation of something human in the field, to
do his worst. Come to the field-house, you poor fish--"
"Oh, Butch, I can't--I just can't!" protested the alarmed Hicks,
helpless, as the big athlete towed him from the trench, "I--I can't play
ball, and I don't want to be shown up before all that mob! It's all right
at Bannister, in class-games, but--Oh, can't you play the game with eight
"That is just what we intend to do!" said Butch, with grim humor.
"But--we'll have a dummy in the ninth position, to make the people believe
we have a full nine! Cheer up, Hicks--'In the bright lexicon of youth
there ain't no such word as fail,' you say! As for your making a fool of
yourself, you haven't brains enough to be classed as one! Now--you'll pay
dearly for your bonehead play."
Ten minutes later, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., as agitated as a prima donna
making her debut with the Metropolitan: Opera Company, decorated the
Bannister bench, arrayed in one of the substitutes' baseball suits. It
was too large for his splinter-structure, so that it flapped grotesquely,
giving him a startling resemblance to a scarecrow escaped from a cornfield.
With the thermometer of his spirits registering zero, the dismayed youth,
whose punishment was surely fitting the crime, heard the Umpire bellow:
"Play ball! Batter up! Bannister at bat--Ballard in the field!"
Hicks, that sunny-souled youth, had often daydreamed of himself in a big
game of baseball, for his college. He had vividly imagined a ninth inning
crisis, three of the enemy on base, two out, and a long fly, good for a
home-run, soaring over his head. How he had sprinted--back--back--and at
the last second, reached high in the air, grabbing the soaring spheroid,
and saving the game for his Alma Mater! Often, too, he had stepped up to
bat in the final frame, with two out, one on base, and Bannister a run
behind. With the vast crowd silent and breathless, he had walloped the
ball, over the left-field fence, and jogged around the bases, thrilling to
the thunderous cheers of his comrades. But now--
"Oooo!" shivered Hicks, as though he had just stepped beneath an icy
shower-bath. "I wish I could run away. I just know they'll knock every
ball to me, and I couldn't catch one with a sheriff and posse!"
However, since, despite the blithesome Hicks' lack of confidence, it was
that sunny Senior, after all, whom fate--or fortune, accordingly as
each nine viewed it--destined to be the hero of the Bannister-Ballard
Championship baseball contest, the game itself is shoved into such
insignificance that it can be briefly chronicled by recording the events
that led up to T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s, self-prophesied "head-work."
Without Skeet Wigglesworth at shortstop, with the futile Hicks in
right-field, and the confidence of the nine shaken, Captain Butch Brewster
and the Gold and Green players went into the big game, unable to shake off
the feeling that they would be defeated. And when Pitcher Don Carterson,
in his half of the frame, passed the first two Ballard batters, the belief
deepened to conviction. However, a fast double play and a long fly ended
the inning without damage, and Bannister, likewise, had failed to make an
impression on the score-board. In the second, Don promptly showed that he
was striving to rival the late Cy Morgan, of the Athletics, for he promptly
hit two batters and passed the third, whereupon, as sporting-writers
express it, he was "derricked" by Captain Butch.
Placing the deposed twirler in left field, Captain Brewster, as a last
resort, believing the game hopelessly lost, with his star pitcher having
failed, and his relief slabmen, thanks to Hicks, mislaid en route, sent
out to the box one Ichabod Crane, brought in from the position given to
Don Carterson. This cadaverous, skyscraper Senior, who always announced,
himself as originating, "Back at Bedwell Center, Pa., where I come from--"
was well known to fame as the "Champion Horse-Shoe Pitcher of Bucks
County," but his baseball pitching was rather uncertain; like the girl in
the nursery jingle, Ichabod, as a twirler, "When he was good, he was very,
very good, and when he was wild, he was horrid!" Like Christy Mathewson,
after he had pitched a few balls, he knew whether or not he was in
shape for the game, and so did the spectators. With terrific speed and
bewildering curves, Ichabod would have made a star, but his wildness
prevented, and only on very rare days could he control the ball.
Luckily for old Bannister's chances of victory and the Championship, this
was one of the elongated Ichabod's rare days. He ambled into the box, with
the bases full, and promptly struck out a batter. The next rolled to first,
forcing out the runner at home, while the third hitter under Ichabod's
regime drove out a long fly to center-field. Thus the game settled to one
of the most memorable contests that Ballard Field had ever witnessed, a
pitchers' battle between the awkward, bean-pole youth from "Bedwell Center,
Pa.," and Bob Forsythe, the crack Ballard twirler. It was a fight long
to be remembered, with hits as scarce as auks' eggs, and runs out of the
reckoning, for six innings.
At the start of the seventh, with the Ballard rooters standing and
thundering, "The lucky seventh! Ballard--win the game in the lucky
seventh!" the score was 0-0. Only two hits had been made off Forsythe, of
Ballard, whose change of pace had the Bannister nine at his mercy, and
but three off Ichabod, who had superb control of his dazzling speed. T.
Haviland Hicks, Jr., cavorting in right field, had made the only error of
the contest, dropping an easy fly that fell into his hands after he had run
bewilderedly in circles, when any good fielder could have stood still and
captured it; however, since he got the ball to second in time to hold the
runner at third, no harm resulted.
"Hold 'em, Bannister, hold 'em!" entreated Butch Brewster, as they went
to the field at their end of the lucky seventh, not having scored. "Do your
best, Hicks, old man--never mind their Jokes. If you can't catch
the ball, just get it to second, or first, without delay! Pitch ball,
Ichabod--three innings to hold 'em!"
But it was destined to be the lucky seventh for Ballard. An error on a hard
chance, for Roddy Perkins, at third, placed a runner on first. Ichabod
struck out a hitter, and the runner stole second, aided somewhat by the
umpire. The next player flew out, sacrificing the runner to third; then--an
easy fly traveled toward the paralyzed T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., one that
anybody with the most infinitesimal baseball ability could have corralled,
as Butch said, "with his eyes blindfolded, and his hands tied behind him!"
But Hicks, who possessed absolutely no baseball talent, though he made
a desperate try, succeeded in doing an European juggling act for five
heartbreaking seconds, after which he let the law of gravity act on the
sphere, so that it descended to terra firma. Hence, the "Lucky Seventh"
ended with the score: Ballard, 1; Bannister, 0; and the Ballard cohorts in
a state bordering on lunacy!
"Oh, I've done it now--I've lost the game and the Championship!" groaned
the crushed Hicks, as he stumbled toward the Bannister bench. "First I made
that bonehead play, giving Skeet an old time-table I had on hand, and not
telling him to get one at the station. How was I to know the old railroad
would change the schedule, within two weeks of this game? And now--I've
made the error that gives Ballard the Championship. If I hadn't pulled that
boner, Skeet would be here, and the regular right-fielder would have had
that fly. What a glorious climax to my athletic career at old Bannister!"
Hicks' comrades were too generous, or heartbroken, to condemn the sorrowful
youth, as he trailed to the dug-out, but the Ballard rooters had absolutely
no mercy, and they panned him in regulation style. In fact, all through
the game, Hicks expressed himself as being butchered by the fans to make a
Ballard holiday, for he struck out with unfailing regularity at bat, and
dropped everything in the field, so that the rooters jeered him, whenever
he stepped to the plate, and--it was quite different from the good-natured
ridicule of his comrades, back at old Bannister.
"Never mind, Hicks," said good Butch Brewster, brokenly, seeing how
sorrow-stricken his sunny classmate was, "We'll beat 'em--yet! We bat this
inning, and in the ninth maybe someone will knock a home-run for us, and
tie the score."
The eighth Inning was the lucky one for the Gold and Green. Monty
Merriweather opened with a clean two-base hit to left, and advanced to
third on Biff Pemberton's sacrifice to short. Butch, trying to knock a
home-run, struck out-a la "Cactus" Cravath in the World's Series; but the
lanky Ichabod, endeavoring to bunt, dropped a Texas-Leaguer over second,
and the score was tied, though the sky-scraper twirler was caught off base
a moment later. And, though Ballard fought hard in the last of the eighth,
Ichabod displayed big-league speed, and retired two hitters by the
strike-out route, while the third popped out to first.
"The ninth Inning!" breathed Beef McNaughton, picking up his Louisville
Slugger, as he strode to the plate. "Come on, boys--we will win the
Championship right now. Get one run, and Ichabod will hold Ballard one
Perhaps the pachydermic Beef's grim attitude unnerved the wonderful Bob
Forsythe, for he passed that elephantine youth. However, he regained his
splendid control, and struck out Cherub Challoner on three pitched balls.
After this, it was a shame to behold the Ballard first-baseman drop the
ball, when Don Carterson grounded to third, and would have been thrown
out with ease--with two on base, and one out, Roddy Perkins made a sharp
single, on which the two runners advanced a base. Now, with the sacks
filled, and with only one out--
"It's all over!" mourned Captain Butch Brewster, rocking back and forth on
the bench. "Hicks--is--at--bat!"
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., his bat wobbling, and his knees acting in a similar
fashion, refusing to support even that fragile frame, staggered toward the
plate, like a martyr. A tremendous howl of unearthly joy went up from the
stands, for Hicks had struck out every time yet.
"Three pitched balls, Bob!" was the cry. "Strike him out! It's all over but
the shouting! He's scared to death, Forsythe--he can't hit a barn-door
with a scatter-gun! One--two--three--out! Here's where Ballard wins the
Twice the grinning Bob Forsythe cut loose with blinding speed--twice the
extremely alarmed Hicks dodged back, and waved a feeble Chautauqua salute
at the ball he never even saw! Then--trying to "cut the inside corner" with
a fast inshoot, Forsythe's control wavered a trifle, and T. Haviland Hicks,
Jr., saw the ball streaking toward him! The paralyzed youth felt like a man
about to be shot by a burglar. He could feel the bail thud against him,
feel the terrific shock; and yet--a thought instinctively flashed on him,
he remembered, in a flash, what a tortured Monty Merriweather had shouted,
as he wobbled to bat:
"Get a base on balls, or--if you can't make a hit--get hit!"
If he got hit--it meant a run forced in, as the bases were full! That, in
all probability, would give old Bannister the Championship, for Ichabod was
invincible. It is not likely that the dazed Hicks thought all this out, and
weighed it against the agony of getting hit by Forsythe's speed. The truth
is, the paralyzed youth was too petrified by fear to dodge, and that before
he could avoid it, the speeding spheroid crashed against his noble brow
with a sickening impact.
All went black before him, T, Haviland Hicks, Jr., pale and limp, crumpled,
and slid to the ground, senseless; therefore, he failed to hear the roar
from the Bannister bench, from the loyal Gold and Green rooters in the
stands, as big Beef lumbered across the plate with what proved later to be
the winning run. He did not hear the Umpire shout: "Take your base!"
"What's the matter with our Hicks--he's all right!
What's the matter with our Hicks--he's all right!
He was never a star in the baseball game,
But he won the Championship just the same--
What's the matter with our Hicks-he's all right!"
"Honk! Honk!" Old Dan Flannagan's jitney-bus, rattling up the driveway,
bearing back to the Bannister campus the victorious Gold and Green nine,
and the State Intercollegiate Baseball Championship, though the hour was
midnight, found every student on the grass before the Senior Fence! Over
three hundred leather-lunged youths, aided by the Bannister Band, and every
known noise-making device, hailed "The Dove," as that unseaworthy craft
halted before them, with the baseball nine inside, and on top. However, the
terrific tumult stilled, as the bewildered collegians caught the refrain
from the exuberant players:
"He was never a star in the baseball game--
But he won the Championship just the same--
What's the matter with our Hicks--he's all right!"
"Hicks did what?" shrieked Skeezicks McCracken, voicing through a megaphone
the sentiment of the crowd. Captain Butch had simply telegraphed the final
score, so old Bannister was puzzled to hear the team lauding T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr., who, still white and weak, with a bandage around his classic
forehead, maintained a phenomenal quiet, atop of "The Dove," leaning
against Butch Brewster.
"Fellows," shouted Butch, despite Hicks' protest, rising to his feet on the
roof of the "jit."--"T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., today won the game and the
The vast crowd of erstwhile clamorous youths stood spellbound, as Captain
Butch Brewster, in graphic sentences, described the game--Don Carterson's
failure, Ichabod's sensational pitching, Hicks' errors, and--the wonderful
manner in which the futile youth had won the Championship! As little Skeet
Wigglesworth and the five substitutes, who had returned that afternoon, had
spread the story of Hicks' bonehead play, old Bannister had turned out to
ridicule and jeer good-naturedly the sunny youth, but now they learned that
Hicks had been forced by his own mistake into the Big Game, and had won it!
Of course, his comrades knew it had been through no ability of his, but the
knowledge that he had been knocked senseless by Forsythe's great speed, and