Making the Nine
MAKING THE NINE
Phil did not walk in from the field.–Page 321.
The cordial welcome given to FollowingThe Ball by boy readers and parents—severecritics both, though from very different standpoints—hasled to the writing of this secondstory, in which baseball has a sufficiently importantpart to suggest the title.
The author’s purpose in each case has beento produce a readable story true to the life ofa distinctly American school, true to athletics intheir better spirit and character, and teaching—notpreaching—a manly and reasonable ideal.If he has not succeeded in this, the failure cancertainly not be charged to lack of experiencewith athletics or school life or the ways of boys.
Hearty acknowledgments for expert advice onthe technicalities of baseball training and playare due to Dr. Edward H. Nichols of Boston,who, as player, head coach, and graduate adviser,has probably contributed more to Harvardvictories on the diamond than any other oneman. The play marking the climax of thegame described in Chapter XXVI is a historicone, borrowed from a Yale-Harvard contest.Its hero was Mr. George W. Foster, of a championHarvard nine.
ALBERTUS T. DUDLEY.
|I||An Unwelcome Proposition.||1|
|II||On the Ice.||13|
|V||A Tough Problem.||45|
|VI||A Western Solution.||57|
|VII||In the Baseball Cage.||71|
|VIII||A Transaction in Books.||82|
|X||Mr. Moore’s Theory.||98|
|XI||Flanahan strikes out.||110|
|XII||Varrell explains himself.||122|
|XIII||The Spring Running.||131|
|XIV||Under Two Flags.||146|
|XV||About Many Things.||156|
|XVI||Phil makes his Début.||168|
|XVII||A Nocturnal Mystery.||181|
|XVIII||A Spilled Pitcher.||191|
|XIX||The Coveted Opportunity.||200|
|XX||An Unexpected Blow.||218|
|XXI||A Gloomy Prospect.||232|
|XXII||The Decision of the Court.||243|
|XXIII||The Great Track Meet.||261|
|XXIV||The Hillbury Game.||282|
|XXV||On the Third Floor of Hale.||300|
|XXVI||A Double Assist.||314|
|Phil did not walk in from the field||Frontispiece|
|The Western contingent were established among the pines on the right||26|
|A Corner in Sands’s Room||70|
|He heard voices,—at first indistinct, then somewhat clearer||150|
|The Academy through the Trees||190|
|In the Campus Woods||242|
|He suddenly turned and pulled the ball down||292|
|The Main Street of Seaton||324|
AN UNWELCOME PROPOSITION
“How they do yell! Where’s your patriotism,Phil, to be hanging round in this gloomycrowd when all your friends are howling theirheads off outside? Don’t you know Yale wonthe game? Why aren’t you out there with therest?”
Philip Poole looked up with a smile, but didnot reply.
“He’s comforting the afflicted,” said DickMelvin, who shared with Poole the ownershipof the room. “You don’t want to gloat overus poor Harvardites, do you, Phil? Thank youmuch for your sympathy.”
“That isn’t the reason,” said the lad, after apause, with the sober look in his big, wide-openeyes that made him seem serious even whenhis feelings inclined in the opposite direction.“I just don’t see any cause for such a racket.A Yale football victory over Harvard is tooordinary an occurrence to get wild over.”
The chorus of hoots and groans that greetedthis explanation brought a smile of satisfactionto the boy’s face. He was the youngest of thecompany, only in his second year at Seaton;the others were mostly seniors. As Melvin’sroom-mate, however, and in a measure still underthe senior’s care, Poole was thrown as muchwith the older students as with his own classmates;and the intimacy thus developed hadserved both to sharpen his wits and to givehim practice in self-defence.
Melvin himself had not been at Seaton muchlonger than Phil. He had entered at the beginningof the Middle year, an unknown boy,green, sanguine, eager to win a scholarship andso relieve his father of some of the expense ofhis schooling. Soon, however, fascinated by footballand the glamour of the school athletic world,he had failed to subordinate his sport to the realobjects of school life. How he made the schooleleven and went down with it to defeat; how helost his scholarship; how the care of young Phil,suddenly offered him by the lad’s uncle, soberedand steadied him and enabled him to stay inschool; how he and John Curtis fought the longuphill fight to develop a strong team, and finallydefeated the rival school,—all this has alreadybeen told in another book, and can only be referredto very briefly here. The great gamewhich marked the climax of the struggle was stilla recent event.
“You didn’t take it so calmly when Seaton wonthe victory two weeks ago, and your belovedDick spent the afternoon kicking the ball overthe Hillbury goal-posts,” said Varrell, a tall, quietboy, with keen, restless eyes that followed the conversationfrom face to face.
“That’s different,” replied Poole. “I’m firstfor Seaton and afterwards for Yale. The collegecan wait until I get there—and that will be along time yet,” he added ruefully, “if what I wastold in the algebra class to-day holds true.”