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A Quarter-Back's Pluck: A Story of College Football, p.1Lester Chadwick
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"Smash and hammer; hammer and smash!"]
A Quarter-Back's Pluck
A Story of College Football
BY LESTER CHADWICK
AUTHOR OF "THE RIVAL PITCHERS," ETC.
NEW YORK CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
BOOKS BY LESTER CHADWICK
=THE COLLEGE SPORTS SERIES=
THE RIVAL PITCHERS A Story of College Baseball
A QUARTER-BACK'S PLUCK A Story of College Football
(Other volumes in preparation)
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY NEW YORK
Copyright, 1910, by CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
A QUARTER-BACK'S PLUCK
Printed in U. S. A.
CHAPTER PAGE I MOVING DAY 1 II LANGRIDGE HAS A TUMBLE 10 III PHIL GETS BAD NEWS 20 IV FOOTBALL PRACTICE 31 V A CLASH 43 VI PROFESSOR TINES OBJECTS 52 VII THE FIRST LINE-UP 61 VIII LANGRIDGE AND GERHART PLOT 70 IX SOME GIRLS 77 X A BOTTLE OF LINIMENT 91 XI IN WHICH SOM EONE BECOMES A VICTIM 100 XII THE FIRST GAME 106 XIII SMASHING THE LINE 117 XIV "GIRLS ARE QUEER" 123 XV PHIL SAVES WALLOPS 131 XVI PHIL IS NERVOUS 138 XVII THE SOPHOMORES LOSE 144 XVIII A FIRE ALARM 155 XIX THE FRESHMEN DANCE 162 XX PHIL GETS A TELEGRAM 172 XXI STRANGE BEDFELLOWS 179 XXII A CHANGE IN SIGNALS 187 XXIII BATTERING BOXER HALL 195 XXIV GERHART HAS AN IDEA 210 XXV PHIL GIVES UP 217 XXVI SID IS BOGGED 224 XXVII WOES OF A NATURALIST 233 XXVIII TOM IS JEALOUS 239 XXIX A STRANGE DISCOVERY 246 XXX A BITTER ENEMY 254 XXXI "IT'S TOO LATE TO BACK OUT!" 260 XXXII TOM GETS A TIP 265 XXXIII "LINE UP!" 273 XXXIV THE GAME 280 XXXV VICTORY--CONCLUSION 287
A QUARTER-BACK'S PLUCK
Phil Clinton looked critically at the rickety old sofa. Then he glancedat his chum, Tom Parsons. Next he lifted, very cautiously, one end ofthe antiquated piece of furniture. The sofa bent in the middle, much asdoes a ship with a broken keel.
"It--it looks like a mighty risky job to move it, Tom," said Phil. "It'sbroken right through the center."
"I guess it is," admitted Tom sorrowfully. Then he lifted the head ofthe sofa, and warned by an ominous creaking, he lowered it gently to thefloor of the college room which he and his chum, Sid Henderson, wereabout to leave, with the assistance of Phil Clinton to help them move."Poor old sofa," went on Tom. "You've had a hard life. I'm afraid yourdays are numbered."
"But you're not going to leave it here, for some measly freshman to lieon, are you, Tom?" asked Phil anxiously.
"Not much!" was the quick response.
"Nor the old chair?"
"Nor the alarm clock?"
"Never! Even if it doesn't keep time, and goes off in the middle of thenight. No, Phil, we'll take 'em along to our new room. But, for the lifeof me, I don't see how we're going to move that sofa. It will collapseif we lift both ends at once."
"I suppose so, but we've got to take it, even if we move it in sections,Tom."
"Of course, only I don't see----"
"I have it!" cried Phil suddenly. "I know how to do it!"
"Splice it? What do you think it is--a rope ladder? You must be in love,or getting over the measles."
"No, I mean just what I say. We'll splice it. You wait. I'll go downcellar, and get some pieces of board from the janitor. Also a hammer andsome nails. We'll save the old sofa yet, Tom."
"All right, go ahead. More power to ye, as Bricktop Molloy would say. Iwonder if he's coming back this term?"
"Yep. Post graduate course, I hear. He wouldn't miss the football teamfor anything. Well, you hold down things here until I come back. If thenew freshmen who are to occupy this room come along, tell 'em we'll bemoved by noon."
"I doubt it; but go ahead. I'll try to be comfortable until your return,dearest," and with a mocking smile Tom Parsons sank down into an easychair that threatened to collapse under his substantial bulk. From thefaded cushions a cloud of dust arose, and set Tom to sneezing so hardthat the old chair creaked and rattled, as if it would fall apart.
"Easy! Easy there, old chap!" exclaimed the tall, good-looking lad, ashe peered on either side of the seat. "Don't go back on me now. You'llsoon have a change of climate, and maybe that will be good for your oldbones."
He settled back, stuck his feet out before him, and gazed about theroom. It was a very much dismantled apartment. In the center was pileda collection of baseball bats, tennis racquets, boxing gloves, foils,catching gloves, a football, some running trousers, a couple ofsweaters, and a nondescript collection of books. There were also acouple of trunks, while, flanking the pile, was the old sofa and the armchair. On top of all the alarm clock was ticking comfortably away, ashappy as though moving from one college dormitory to another was a mostmatter-of-fact proceeding. The hands pointed to one o'clock, when itwas, as Tom ascertained by looking at his watch, barely nine; but alittle thing like that did not seem to give the clock any concern.
"I do hope Phil can rig up some scheme so we can move the sofa,"murmured the occupant of the easy chair. "That's like part of ourselvesnow. It will make the new room seem more like home. I wonder where Sidcan be? This is more of his moving than it is Phil's, but Sid alwaysmanages to get out of hard work. Phil is anxious to room with us, Iguess."
Tom Parsons stretched his legs out a little farther, and let his gazeonce more roam about the room. Suddenly he uttered an exclamation, ashis eye caught sight of something on the wall.
"Came near forgetting that," he said as he arose, amid another cloud ofdust from the chair, and removed from a spot on the wall, behind thedoor, the picture of a pretty girl. "I never put that there," he wenton, as he wiped the dust from the photograph, and turned it over to lookat the name written on the back--Madge Tyler. "Sid must have done thatfor a joke. He thought I'd forget it, and leave it for some freshy tomake fun of. Not much! I got ahead of you that time, Sid, my boy. Queerhow he doesn't like girls," added Tom, with the air of an expert. "Well,probably it's just as well he doesn't take too much to Madge, for----"
But Tom's musings, which were getting rather sentimental, wereinterrupted by the entrance of Phil Clinton. Phil had under one arm someboards, while in one hand he carried a hammer, and in the other somenails.
"Just the cheese," he announced. "Now we'll have this thing fixed up injig time. Hasn't Sid Henderson showed up?"
"No. I guess he's over to the new room. He took his books and left sometime ago. Maybe he's studying."
"Not much!" exclaimed Phil. "I wish he'd come and help move. Some ofthis stuff is his."
"Most of it is. I'm glad you're going to help, or I'd never have thecourage to shift. Well, le
"Yes, we can. I'll show you."
Phil went to work in earnest. He was an athletic-looking chap, ofgenerous size, and one of the best runners at Randall College. He wasone of Tom Parson's particular chums, the other being Sidney Henderson.Tom and Sid, of whom more will be told presently, had roomed togetherduring their freshman year at Randall, and Phil's apartment was not faraway. Toward the close of the term the three boys were much together,Phil spending more time in the room of Tom and Sid than he did in hisown. In this way he became very much attached to the old chair and sofa,which formed two of the choicest possessions of the lads.
With the opening of the new term, when the freshmen had become more orless dignified sophomores, Phil had proposed that he and his two chumsshift to a large room in the west dormitory, where the majority of thesophomores and juniors lived. His plan was enthusiastically adopted bySid and Tom, and, as soon as they had arrived at college, ready for thebeginning of the term, moving day had been instituted. But Sid, afterhelping Tom get their possessions in a pile in the middle of the roomthey were about to leave, had disappeared, and Phil, enthusiastic aboutgetting his two best friends into an apartment with him, had come overto aid Tom.
"Now, you see," went on Phil, "I'll nail this board along the front edgeof the sofa--so."
"But don't you think, old chap--and I know you'll excuse my mentioningit," said Tom--"don't you think that it rather spoils, well, we'll saythe artistic beauty of it?"
"Artistic fiddlesticks!" exclaimed Phil. "Of course it does! But it'sthe only way to hold it together."
"One could, I suppose, put a sort of drapery--flounce, I believe, isthe proper word--over it," went on Tom. "That would hide the unsightlyboard."
"I don't care whether it's hid or not!" exclaimed Phil. "But if youdon't get down here and help hold this end, while I nail the other, Iknow what's going to happen."
"What?" asked Tom, as he carefully put in his pocket the photograph ofthe pretty girl.
"Well, you'll have a mob of howling freshmen in here, and there won't beany sofa left."
"Perish the thought!" cried Tom, and then he set to work in earnesthelping Phil.
"Now a board on the back," said the amateur carpenter, and for a fewminutes he hammered vigorously.
"It's a regular anvil chorus," remarked Tom.
"Here, no knocking!" exclaimed his chum. "Now let's see if it's stiffenough."
Anxiously he raised one end of the sofa. There was no sagging in themiddle this time.
"It's like putting a new keel on a ship!" cried the inventor of thescheme gaily. "A few more nails, and it will do. Do you think the chairwill stand shifting?"
"Oh, yes. That's like the 'one-horse shay'--it'll hold together until itflies apart by spontaneous combustion. You needn't worry about that."
Phil proceeded to drive a few more nails in the boards he had attachedto the front and back of the sofa. Then he got up to admire his work.
"I call that pretty good, Tom; don't you?" he asked.
The two chums drew back to the farther side of the room to get theeffect.
"Yes, I guess with a ruffle or two, a little insertion, and a bit of oldlace, it will hide the fractured places, Phil. It's a pity----"
"Here, what are you scoundrels doing to my old sofa?" exclaimed a voice."Vandals! How dare you spoil that antique?" and another lad entered theroom. "Say, why didn't you put new legs on it, insert new springs, andcover it over while you were about it?" he asked sarcastically.
"Because, you old fossil, we _had_ to put those boards on," said Tom."Where have you been, Sid? Phil and I were getting ready to move withoutyou."
"Oh, I've been cleaning out the new room we're going into. The juniorswho were there last term must have tried to raise vegetables in it,judging by the amount of dirt I found. But it's all right now."
"Good! Now if you'll catch hold here, we'll move the old sofa first. Therest will be easy."
Sid Henderson grasped the head of the couch, while Tom took the foot.Phil acted as general manager, and steadied it on the side.
"Easy now, easy boys," he cautioned, as they moved toward the doorleading to the hall.
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