Dick Merriwell's Trap; Or, The Chap Who BungledBurt L. Standish / Young Adult
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DICK MERRIWELL'S TRAP
THE CHAP WHO BUNGLED
BURT L. STANDISH
Author of the famous _Merriwell Stories._
STREET & SMITH CORPORATION PUBLISHERS 79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York
Copyright, 1902 By STREET & SMITH
Dick Merriwell's Trap (Printed in the United States of America)
All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.
CHAPTER I--A FARDALE VICTORY CHAPTER II--DICK STOPS A RUNAWAY CHAPTER III--HAPPINESS AND MISERY CHAPTER IV--JUNE'S PROMISE CHAPTER V--DICK KEEPS THE LOCKET CHAPTER VI--A DOUBTFUL MATTER CHAPTER VII--SOMETHING WRONG CHAPTER VIII--FARDALE'S WAY CHAPTER IX--DICK WINS AGAIN CHAPTER X--A MASTER OF HIMSELF CHAPTER XI--BOUND BY A PROMISE CHAPTER XII--A WARM MEETING CHAPTER XIII--THE PROMPTINGS OF CONSCIENCE CHAPTER XIV--ARLINGTON SHOWS HIS HAND CHAPTER XV--DETERMINED DICK CHAPTER XVI--A FINE PAIR CHAPTER XVII--DICK CONQUERS HIS ENEMY CHAPTER XVIII--BUNOL HOLDS HIS GRIP CHAPTER XIX--A CRY IN THE NIGHT CHAPTER XX--DONE IN THE DARK CHAPTER XXI--ON THE ACADEMY STEPS CHAPTER XXII--ANOTHER VICTORY FOR FARDALE CHAPTER XXIII--CHESTER FINDS A MASTER CHAPTER XXIV--A LONG WORD CHAPTER XXV--THE SPOOK APPEARS CHAPTER XXVI--THINGS ARE MISSING CHAPTER XXVII--DICK MAKES A DISCOVERY CHAPTER XXVIII--A SLIPPERY TRICK CHAPTER XXIX--THE MAGIC POWDER CHAPTER XXX--THE TRAP SPRUNG
CHAPTER I--A FARDALE VICTORY
For a moment as he lay on the ground holding the ball for Dick Merriwellto kick the goal that must win the game with Hudsonville for FardaleMilitary Academy, Hal Darrell, the left half-back, was seized by astrong temptation to do wrong. How easy it would be to spoil that kick!A slight shifting of the ball just as the captain of the Fardale elevenkicked, and the attempt for a goal would be ruined.
There was bitterness in Hal's heart, for he realized that Dick wascovering himself with glory, while up in the grand stand sat JuneArlington, a thrilled witness to everything that had occurred duringthat most thrilling game.
At first Hal Darrell had refused to play on the team during this game,but because June had urged him to reconsider his determination not toplay, Hal had humbled his proud spirit and offered to take part in it.But even then, to his chagrin, he was left among the substitutes untilEarl Gardner, who had been given his position when he withdrew from theteam, was injured so badly that he could not continue in the game. ThenDick Merriwell thought of Hal Darrell's desertion of the team and atfirst wanted to punish him for it by leaving him on the substitutes'bench, but his better nature conquered and the spirit of forgivenessreigned triumphant.
Hal knew nothing of Dick's temptation to call out another player to takeGardner's place, which would have humiliated and infuriated Darrell toan unspeakable degree. Hal was not aware that Dick fought the temptationdown, crushed it, conquered it, and did what he believed was best forFardale, regardless of his own inclination and feelings.
So Hal had been given his old position as half-back and had played asteady game, contributing greatly to Fardale's success, although he madeno individual play of brilliancy that distinguished him above theothers.
At the same time he had seen Dick make a great run down the field, hadseen him leap clean over one tackler, and had witnessed a touch-downthat tied the score between Hudsonville and Fardale. If Dick kicked thegoal the game would be won.
If he failed it would most certainly remain a tie, as there was notenough more playing time to enable either side to score again, unlesssome amazing fluke should take place.
So as Hal lay on the ground, holding the ball, he was tempted. Under anycircumstances Fardale would come out of the game with flying colors.During the first half she had been outplayed by the big Hudsonvillechaps, who had secured two touch-downs and a goal. Her line had beenweak, and she had seemed to have very little chance of making a point.It looked like a hopeless battle against overpowering odds.
But Dick had never given up for a moment. He had kept up the courage ofhis men. And all through the first half Obediah Tubbs, the fat boy whoplayed center on Fardale, had continued to hammer at Glennon, the bigcenter of the opposing team, until finally all the fight and sand hadbeen taken out of the fellow, and the strongest point in Hudsonville'sline became the weakest.
The cadets took advantage of that weakness in the second half. The mostof their gains were made through center. Glennon, limp as a rag, askedto go out of the game; but King, the captain, angrily told him to standup to his work, knowing it would discourage the others to lose the bigfellow, who had never yet failed to play through any game he hadentered.
And when Dick Merriwell had been hurt and it seemed he must leave thefield, Hal had seen June Arlington--forgetting appearances, rememberingonly that Dick was stretched on the ground and might not rise again--runout from the grand stand and kneel to lift his head.
Standing apart, his heart beating hotly, Darrell saw her give back toDick a locket containing her picture--a locket she had given to him oncebefore when he had risked his life to save her from some savage dogswhich attacked her on a lonely road on the outskirts of Fardale, andthen demanded again after her brother had told her some untrue talesabout Dick.
She would not let me have it when I asked her for it after she got itback, thought Hal. But now she gives it to him again! And she does notmind who sees her!
It seemed very strange for a proud, high-bred girl like June Arlingtonto do such a thing before the assembled spectators. She had beengoverned by her heart, not her head. Had she paused to consider, shewould have been dismayed; but she scarcely knew how she reached Dick,and she seemed to come to a realization of her position first as sheknelt and held his head. Then she had courage not to lose her nerve, andshe gave him the locket as a charm to restore his good luck.
It was after this that Dick made the run that set thirty faithfulFardale rooters howling mad with joy. He did it even though he reeledand could scarcely stand when he rose to his feet. He did it by castingoff his physical weakness and calling to his command all the astonishingreserve force of a perfectly trained young athlete. But for his trainingand his splendid physical condition, he would have been carried from thefield, done up.
In the moment of his temptation Hal realized that Dick had trusted himperfectly in calling him to hold the ball.
But he's made me help him win glory in her eyes! was the stingingthought that followed.
However, he conquered the temptation. As Dick balanced himself, Darrellcarefully lowered the ball toward the ground. The seam was uppermost andeverything was ready for the kick that would decide whether the gameshould end a tie or Fardale should leave the field victorious.
Darrell's hand was perfectly steady as Dick advanced quickly and kicked.Fairly over the middle of the bar sailed the ball, and the faithfulshrieked and howled and thumped one another on the back and had fits.
But they were not the only ones who had fits. Apart at one side of thefield Chester Arlington, June's brother, and a student at Fardale,walked round and round in a circle, muttering and almost frothing at themouth. Then he started for the grand stand.
I'll tell her what I think! he grated.
But he stopped and stared at the field, where Hudsonville was making alistless pretense of playing during the few moments that remained. Heseemed to go into a trance and stand there until the whistle blew andthe game was over. He saw the faithful go tearing on to the gridironand surround Dick, and he could bear to see no more.
I believe I'll have to kill him yet! he snarled, as he turned away.
He walked blindly into the rail beyond which the spectators were slowlyfiling out from the enclosure. Some of them stared at him wonderingly,noting his wildly glaring eyes and hearing his incoherent mutterings.
What ails that chap? said a man.
Gone bughouse, intimated another. Who is he?
Don't know. Saw him with that pretty girl who ran out on the field whenMerriwell was hurt.
He's a Fardale boy?
Must be crazy with joy. Can't blame him after seeing his team win inthat way.
Chester crawled under the rail and bumped against a man.
Get out of the way, you old fool! he snarled.
Who are you talking to? demanded the man, in astonishment and anger.Who are you calling an old fool?
You! you! you! You ran into me--me, son of D. Roscoe Arlington! Do youhear?
You're a crazy ass! said the man, and walked on.
Somehow those words seemed to bring Chester to his senses in a measure.
Brace up, old man! he muttered huskily. Why, I wouldn't haveMerriwell see you like this for a fortune!
He passed out through the gate with others and started away. Then hebethought himself and turned back to where a carriage, containing adriver, waited. He got into the carriage.
Go on, he growled.
But the young lady, sir, said the driver; your sister.
Oh, yes! mumbled Chester. I had forgotten her. We'll wait for her.Darrell is a thundering fool!
I beg your pardon, sir? said the driver.
Nothing that concerns you, growled Arlington, and he sat like a gravenimage, waiting for June.