Jack Lightfoot's decision; or, The chestnut of "playing against ten men"

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Jack Lightfoot's decision; or, The chestnut of "playing against ten men"

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Jack Lightfoot's decision; or, The chestnut of "playing against ten men"
Series Title:
All-Sports Library
Stevens, Maurice
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New York
Winner Library
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1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Sports stories, American. ( lcsh )
Athletic clubs -- Fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )


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Volume 1, Number 34

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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A46-00022 ( USFLDC DOI )
a46.22 ( USFLDC Handle )
025837675 ( ALEPH )
76176581 ( OCLC )

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Publ shers' Note "Teacb tlle Amerfca11 boy flow to become an atbtete, a114 Jay the foa11aat1on for a Consttt11tlon greater tban a.at I of the U nited States."-Wise sayings from "Tip T o p There bas never been a t i m e when the boys of this great c o u ntry took so keen a n interest in all manly and bealtbgiving sports as the y do to-day. As proof of this witness the record-breakin g throng s that attend college struggles on the gridiron, as well as athletic and baseball games, and other tests of e n durance and skill. In a multitude of other channels this love for the "life strenuous is making itself manifest, so that, as a nation, we are rapidly fo rging t o the front as seekers of honest sport. Recognizing this "handwriting on the wall," we have concluded that the time bas arrived to give t h i s vast army o f young en thusiasts a publication devote d exclusively to invigorating out-door life. We feel we are justified in anticipating a from our 1turd7 American boys, who are sure to revel In the stirring phases of sport and adventure, through which our characters pass from week to w eek. ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY l1swed Wetllly. By S"fJs&njtu"' ta.so Pn-year. Enttretl to A&t 11/ i'n tlte year rqos, in tlte Of/ice 11/ IM L17Jrarian o/ Pnrn11, Wasl1ing1on, D. c., by THE WINNER LIBRARY Co., r 6 s W est Fifteenth S t New York, N. Y. No. 34. NEW YORK, September 30, 1905. Price Five Cents. JACK L16HTFOOT'S DECISION; The Chestnut of "Playing Against Ten Men." By MAURICE STEVENS. CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY. l Jack Lightfoot, the best all-round athlete in Cranford or vicinity, a lad clear of eye, clean of spee<0h, and, after he had conquered a few of his faults, possessed of a faculty for doing tlzingswhile others were talking, that by degrees caused him to be looked upon as the natural leader ir. all the sports Young America delights in-a boy who in learning to conquer himself put the power into his hands t o wrest victory from others. Tom Lightfoot, jack's cousin, and sometimes his rival; though their striving for the master?' was always of the friendly, generous kind. Tom was called the BookWorm" by his fellows, on account of his love for studying such secrets of nature as practical observers have discovered and published; so that he possessed a fund of general knowledge calculated to prove useful when his wandering spirit took him abroad into strange lands. Ned Skee n of impulsive, nervous temperament. Lafe Lampton, a big, hulking chap, with an ever present craving for something to eat. Lafe always had his appetite along, and p:oved a stanch friend of our hero through thick and thin. Phil K irtland, Jack's former rival, but by degrees began to admire the sterling qualities in the young fellow at whom be had once sneered. Nat Kimball, an undersized fellow, whose hobby was the study of jiu-jitsu, and who had a dread o[ germs. Brodi e Strawn, Wilso n Crane, Jubal Marlin, three members of the Cranford team. Reel Snodgrass, a young fellow from India, who hated Jack in the start, and never let a chance to do him a mean turn escape h im. Delancy Shelton, a rich man's son carel es:J alike of bi::; money and his reputation. Avery Rand, a member of the Highland baseball team, who was ready to win his game through foul means. Lily Li vingston, Dai s y Lightfoot, K ate Strawn and Nellie Conner, some of the girls at Cranford. CHAPTER I. TALKING IT OVER T he Cranford n i n e h ad s lip ped down a n other notch by l osing agai n t o Tidewa t e r in a h ot game, playe d on th e C r a n fo rd groun ds s h o rtl y after t he events re c o rded in t h e p r eced in g s t o r y, a nd th ey we r e n o t fe elin g very good ov er it. T hey h a d s tarted in at the b eg i n ning o f the s ea s on d et e rmin e d t o win the penna n t of th e Four-Town L eag ue. For a time ever ything s eemed t o come their way t h ey w alked to victo r y after v ictor y E n v i o u s per s on s s aid it was a case o f luck," and n o t m erit; there are so man y ch a nce s in base ball that even an inferi o r nine may s o me t imes "st ri k e a streak o f luck. T h e n Cranfoi;cl "slumped." The y l o st t wo games stra i ght-Dne with Tidewater and o ne with M ildale. A n d n ow they h ad l ost agai n t o Tidewa t e r O n l y two m o re gam es we re t o be pl aye d by the Cran-


LIBRA RY. ford nine in the league games of the season, and to gain the pennant they must win both of these games If they won the first, to be played with Highland, they would be one game ahead of Tidewater. After that, Tidewater would have a chance to make it even--or a tie. If Tidewater won and tied the stand ing, Tidewater and Cranford would have to play again, to decide the question as to which of the two was to be the pennant winner. These were the things that were exciting the Cran ford boys and filling the old gym over the carriage s hop with a buzz of conversation. "vVell, it was a case of luck," said Ned Skeen, ad dressing the crowd generally. "Luck was dead against us in that last game.". "How about that muff you made?" asked Nat Kim ball. "That let a man get first, when he shouldn't have done it, and later he came home. And then there was that error, when you overthrew to Brodie on' first. Brodie would have had to use a stepladder to get that. "Isn't that what I've been saying?" Ned howled get ting very red in the face. "\Nhen I overthrew, the ball slipped as I sent it. It got there in time but it was too high. But I'm not the only one who made errors in that game. Jack let the spit ball get away from him and slammed it into the grand stand. If ow was that for hard luck?"" "I don't call overthrowing to first bad luck," asserted Kimball, warmly. "Luck is something that happens by chance. That didn't happen by chance; it happened because you were excited and in too big a hurry." "\Vell, didn't other fellows make errors that day? I didn't play all the positions, did I? Didn't Tom Lightfoot make a bad fumble? And what about Lafe? Two of Jack's swift curves went right through him and men got bases on them. You remember that, don't you ?" Ned was apparently trying to offset his own short comings by pointing out that other members of the nine had made poor plays. "And vvhat right have you to criticise," he said to Nat, "when all you did was to sit in the benches and grumble when things went wrong?" "Oh, when you go to getting red-headed that lets me out! I started in to argue, not to fight." Nat turned away in disgust. "But ain't I right, fellows?" said Skeen, turning to some of the others. "Oh, you're right, all right ," grunted Lafe, lazily, from his seat against the 1vall. "V.,T e were a lot of hoboe : ; that day But what's the use of tearing your shirt about it? We lost the game, and that's all there is to it." "But we needn't have lost it, if it hadn't been for those errors. That's what I was saying-that we played in hard luck." "Isn't that about what every nine says when it's defeated? Jack asked. "Sure thing!" said Lafe "Whenever a nine gets it in the neck they always try to make out that some thing besides themselves was respon sible. Vv e were ,,,-hipped, and I'm ready to accept it and let it go at that. Take your medicine, fellows; what's the use of kicking? The question is-Is it going to happen again?" "Well, it will, if we don't do any better than before! cried Skeen. "All I'm trying to show is that I wasn't alone t o blame. "Who said you were ?" Jack demanded. "Well, didn t Nat Kimball just the same as say it?" "Of course I didn't," Nat shouted; "but you were as much to blame as anyone else!" 'T)id I let any runner get home on a throw of mine, when the ball was in my hands or near me? Answer that?" "No, you didn't," Jack made answer, though the que st ion had been fired at Kimball. "Well, didn't J ube throw from left field to the plate, and make so wild a throw that the ball went into the crowd and Lafe couldn't get it in time to shut off the runner? Oh, c ome off! I guess there were a l o t of errors made besides mine, and errors that were a good deal more serious." "Quit your kicking," said Jack, "and save your wind for the tug of war with Highland. what's the use of arguing about it?. We all made errors enough. If we'd played a perfect game of course we'd have won, but we didn 't. I'm willing to take my share of the blame. I don t think I ever pitched such rotten ball; but I didn't do it because I liked to, but because I couldn t help it." "Well, isn't that what you call bad luck?" "Hardly." "What do you call it? "Inability to deliver the good s said Jack laugh ing. "If a player could be always in tiptop conditi on," said Tom, "and always feel well and fit, and never make any errors, and be able to catch and field and bat every ball that came to him-well, he wouldn't be playing in the Cranford nine and in the Four-Town League; he'd either be put in a glass case for the


ALL-SPORTS LIBRi\RY. 3 curious to look at at siJ much a head, or he'd be getting a fortune a week as a salary in one of the big league team s But I don t think such a player ever lived, or ever will live." "\Vell said Jack, finally, there are just two more games in which we are t o play. The fir s t is against Highland to-m orrow, and we 've got to play it whether we feel fit or n ot. But I think we're in pretty good s hape. It's been nearly a week since we met Tide water, and we've been in practice every clay and have clo ne some good w o rk. I think our chance of winning t o -m o rrow is as good a s in any game we ve played this season." Jack's rea s on and common sense told him that this was so. Yet Jack had been plunged into one of his "blue fits" by that defeat, and had felt worse over it than he had ever acknowledged, or would ever acknowl edge. In going into that game with Tidewater he had hoped as strongly to win as he h o ped now to win against Highland, and he and his nine had gone down in de feat. There had been some ragged work right at the start, and Tidewater had then secured a lead which it had held up to and through the ninth inning. Jack felt that but for that ragged work in the beginning of the game that lead might n o t have been s ecured by Tide water and the result might have been different. But the poor work had been done, and the defeat had come. But when Jack, wallowing in this "Slough of Despond," took time to consider the wh ole situation, he began to see that there were some clouds with a silver lining. He knew that it was against reason to think that his nine could win games all the time. They were playing a g ainst some strong nines, a s s trong as any amateur nines to be found anywhere in the highs chool class. H e nce it w a s t o be expect e d that those nines would do go o d work and would win games. Jack saw, however, that there was still a fair chance for that pennant. If Cranford los t both of the games now to be played that would end its h o pes. Then the fight would be b e tween Tidewater and Highland. Mildale was out of the race, having dropped far behind; but the other three nines had each a fighting chance for the final victory. J a c k said a s much now t o th e b oys \Yho were s t e w ing in the gym. In saying it, he found that he had a further incr e a s e of his own courag e b e cause the expression of a reas o nable and honest hope has a s timulating effect. If Jack had said it and had not believed it, he would simply have been making a liar and hypocrite of him self, and would have felt no jnner strengthening. He had already thought the thing out at home, and as he went about the streets and that had assisted him, m a king him see that the chances were yet good; and this helped him still more, to look into the eyes of the h o nest fellows who accepted his leadership, and assure them that he believed with all his heart that they had more than a good show to win. "Of course, we'Ye got to play for all that's in us," he acknowledged speaking earnestly "It's not going to be any walkover; there isn t any toboggan slide downhill to an ea s y vi c t o ry. If we win we'll have to win because of good playing, and because we take ad vantage of every chance that comes our way and of all the errors the other nine makes. But, fellows, I believe we can do it! 'vVe're all in good condition, and right up to the handle with our ignal work. 'vVe may lose, of course; but I'm beginning to feel that we're going to win." "We've got to win both games, you know," said Skeen. "Yes, of course." "And you think we can do it?" "Why can't we? \Ve've defeated Highland oftener than they 've defeated us. Doesn't that make it seem that the chances are all in our favor?" "Yes, it does." "And there s one thing, fellows; and I'm proud of it, as the season draws to it s finish. Jack was speaking with deep seriousness. "We've done no dirty work. We've won a good many game s and have lost some; but we always won by fair, square pla y ing. We never tried to do any other nine dirt." "I don t th i nk that can be sa i d of the other nines," remarked \Vilson Crane. "By granny, not one o f 'em!" cried Jubal. "Some of them fellows air the big gest swindlers aout; they'd ought to be in the pen !" "But we've done high, old kicking against de cisions now and then,'' said Lafe, with a grin. "Oh, yes, of c o urse," Jack admitted. "And that Highland craowd is abaout the wust am ong 'em." "Not half as bad as Mildale," said Skeen. "That Mildale nine is a band of pirates." The boys were beginning to feel better. "We'll do some practice work in the morning," said


4 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Jack; to th e bases and the like of that, and I think we'll be in pretty good shape. Cranford ought to--" His remarks vvere cut short. From somewhere came a sepulchral voice: "Hurrah for Cranford-hurrah for Jack Lightfoot!" The boys who were sitting down jumped to their feet and all stared around. "Vias that somebody on the street guying us?" said Ned. Then again came the words : "Hurrah for Cranford-hurrah fo r Jack Light foot!" A strange look came across the homely face of Jubal Marlin. "By granny, I don't want tew be superstitious; but that saounds like the parrot, an' the parrot is dead r CHAPTER II. LILY LIVINGSTON'S P URCHASE. That the reader may kn ow in detail just wh y and how those words came to be heard in the gym at that particular time it will be nece ssa ry to go back a few days and conduct him to the city of New York, where Lily Livingston and her mother and Delancy Shelt o n bad gone for a brief shopping trip Lily desired some Hew summer gowns, her mother wished to make various purcha s e s for her s elf and D e lancy went with them because he had not been in the city for some time, and likewi s e because he liked th e society of the nut-brown maid whose h o me was now in Cranford. New York was a gay world, in which Delancy de lighted immensely But its pace wa s almost too fast for him to remain there a great w hil e at a time, unle ss he wanted to bring up in some sani tarium fo r gilded youths with wrecked nerves and ruined health. Miss Lily and her m ot h er had finished their shop ping, and in c o mpany with Delancy, we re idling al ong the street, when that cry was sq uawked at them fro m a doorway: "Hurrah for Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Light foot!" To hear that cry, a ghostly echo as it seemed from some ball field of the Four-Town League, was star tling enough there in the heart of the metropolis. Lily turned with an exclamation of excitement al}d surprise to the do orway, and saw that the interior was a bird store. Birds of man y hues were making a continual chatter. Near the door were some cages m which parrots perched. All of them looked sleepy enough, as if they were tired of the interminable roar of the city and longed for their homes and friends of the tropical forests. Lily and her mother, with Delancy just behind them looked into the store. Toward the further end were so me men one of wh o m began to walk toward them. "\\T hy, can I have been mistaken?" sai d Lily. "\Vas that just my imagination playing me a trick?" As if to answer her, o ne of the parro ts before her half opened its s lee py eyes an d squawked : "Hurrah for Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Light foot!" Lily' s tanned cheeks flushed, but a light of under standing came t o her eyes. "Why, it's this parrot!" "Bah J ov e don t y' know, that's funny! said De lancy, pulling at the few hairs he was trying to coax into a mustache. "It's the most ridiculou s thing I ever heard of!" ex claimed Mrs. Livingst on, staring at the bird. "Did it really say that Lily? "It really did. It was cheering for Cranford an d Jack Lightfoot." "But how impossible that is-how absurd! \\' e couldn t have understo o d what it said." The parrot rolled its yellow eyes at her and l ifted its green wmgs. "Ha! ha! ha! it cackled. "Hooray-hooroar Hurrah for Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Lightfoot! Hip, hip hoop-la! Ha! ha! ha! hah bah! hah haw! haw! h aw Hurrah for Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Li g htfoot!" lVIrs. Randolph Livingston was petrified with aston i s hment. She could not doubt what she heard; but still the thing seemed too absurd for belief. "\Vhy, I d on' t understand it!" she said. "How did that bird--" Lily was laughing with amusement. "Beats anything, don't y' know!" sal.d Delanc y, pulling at the fine hairs o n his lip and swinging his light cane. "It does, bah Jove!" The man came up. "Anything I can do for you?" he asked. Lil y Li v ing s t o n pointed to the bird. "That parrot! \Vhat is it worth?" "Twenty-five dollars. It's a very fair talker-very good Here, you--Cranford


' ALL SPORTS LIBRARY. He po k e d at the bird with his finger s Can yo u d o some telking for the ladies? Or whis tle a tune?" The parrot re s ented the indignity and snapped at his fingers ; and then, by its beak it left the p erch and climbed along the cage with beak and claws; r eturning, re s tle ss ly, t o the perch after this futile round. M i ss Lil y was s miling as if s he saw through a joke that w as s till hlind t o the others W h y do yo u call it Cran ford ?" she inquired of the m an. "Hurra h fo r Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Light foot!" s aid the parrot. "There i s y our an s wer. It keeps s aying it s name tha t way, yo u see. The other is probably the name of a former o wner." "How l o n g have you had it?" "One o r t wo months possibly." "And where did y o u get it?" "From a dealer. Vv e are buying and selling birds all t h e tim e "Do yo u kno w where he o btained it?" The man l ook ed at her qui zzi cally; fo r her question s were, t o say th e l eas t pecul i ar. He b eg an to wond e r if s he w e r e n o t the former owner of t he bird I hav en t the least idea where h e g o t it. \Ve never tro ubl e a b out s uch thin gs. But it' s been trained, y o u see and as it's a quick l earne r yo u c o uld probably te ac h i t a numbe r of \\' o r ds and s entences, and even son gs, wi t h out much t ro uble. It whi s tle s seve ral tune s H ere C r a n fo rd can you whistl e something for the ladie s ?" But "Cranford" seem e d to be in n o whistling mood th a t day. Lil y Liv ingst o n too k out h e r purs e "I'm g o in g t o b u y thi s bird!" M r s Rand olph Livings t o n elevated h e r patrician nose. "No, Lily, you must n' t d o a n y th i n g o f the kind ; what w ou ld w e d o with it? \ i\' hy, d o n t y o u understand, mamma ? "I understand that I don t want a parrot squawking round in my h o me." "It will n o t be in our home. "In whos e then pray?" "In the gym. D on't you see that this is the parrot the bas e b all b o )'.S l o st la t sp rin g an d hich th ey tho u ght had a n d e r e d out in t o th e field s and had died o r bee n kill ed? It mus t be the s a me." Mrs L i vingston put her glasses on her nose and stared at the bird with m o r e intere s t a nd DeiaHc "bah-J o ved several times unJer his breath. "Did you ever see that parrot?" she asked of Lily. "Never; but I've heard all about it; and this must be the s ame. How, otherwise, would it know to shout for Cranford?" "And for Jack Lightfoot, don't y' know?" said Delancy. "Yes, and for Jack Lightfoot?" "And you'd buy it and give it the baseball boys?" "Don' t y ou think that would be rather a pretty thing to do?" "Lily, said her mother, sharply, "I hope you won t purcha s e that disgusting bird! It may not be the same bird; and, anyway____.__" "But, mamma,., said Lily, and she took her mother's arm and drew her to one side, where she spoke in a low voice, while Delancy remained to talk with the bird dealer, "don' t you see how desirable it would be? "In what way, my dear? I see only a horrid, squawking parrot. Suppose it wa once the property of the baseball b o y s and of Jack Lightfoot, why should you trouble to buy it and return it to them?" don t you see, mamma, it would help us-both o f us?" The n Mrs. Livingston began to understand. "Certain things have happened y ou know mamma, which have rather hurt b ot h o f u s in Cranford. We've been a lit tle indi s creet in our attitude toward Jack Lightfoot. This \YO uld tend t o g ain hi s good will. It would show our don't you know; and all the baseball b o y s w o uld 1 ike it." "Indi screet" was a mild w ord for the acts of which Lily's mamrna es peciall y had b e en guilty. She had gross ly in s ulted Jack one day during a camping trip at L oo n Lake. and in man y ot her way s had shown her hau ghty arrogance and her sense of contempt for him, b e cau s e at the time she had felt that h e was so much ben eath her socially. But she had found that Jack Li g htfoot had many warm friends in Cra;1ford, and her treatment had not met with approval. She had dis c ov ered that Jack's family though fa r e n ough fr o m bein g wealthy, $toocl very high in Cranford, as high as the family of T o m Lightfoot, thou g h Tom's parents possessed a good deal of money and property. Mrs. Livingston had made the common mistake of pe o ple of her clas s in suppo s in g t hat { v o rthiness and wealth are synonymous terms only to find that the r e were s everal wealthy families in Cranford not nearly


6 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. so much respect ed as Jack Lightfoot and his mother and sister. Having taken that unwise step against Jack and dis covered their mistake too late, Mrs. Livingston and her daughter were anxious to retrace it, and the parrot had just given the nut-brown maid a happy idea. "If we return tlie parrot to the gyrp and present it as a gift to the boys, it will so please them that they'll forget some of the things that have happened,,. you know, Lily urged. "Jack will be particularly pleased, and so will all the others. I think it will be just great. They don't like Mr. Shelton; but that's no reason why they may not like me, and you, mamma; and. perhaps, Delancy will feel by and by that it's wiser to cultivate their good opinion than not to." A sort of hot feeling of indignation seemed to bub ble and boil in the bosom of Mrs. Randolph Livingston. It hurt her dignity and se1tse of importance to feel that it was necessary for her to try to win the good opinion of Jack Lightfoot. But Jack Lightfoot had been warmly championed by Kate Strawn-and the Strawns were among the social lights of the town. Mrs. Strawn was one of the leaders of the fashionable "set" in Cranford. The fact that Mrs. Strawn did not seem to like Jack particular!y made no difference; for Kate Strawn ruled her mother, in the opinion of Mrs. Livingston and her daughter. "If it wasn't for Kate!" said Mrs. Liv' ingston, as if she were biting nails. "Yes, I know; but she has to be reckoned with. Her mother thinks so much of her that Kate always has her own way; Kate, you know, invited Jack to that last reception, as well as to the camp at Loon Lake, and so as we're likely to be thrown with him a good deal in spite of ourselves I think we'd better try to get his good opinio.n, don't you?" "Oh, I suppose so; yes, we'll have to! But it makes my very blood boil !" Mrs. Livingston's blood seemed far enough from the boiling point as she turned back to the dealer with smiling face and informed him that she believed she woutd take the parrot. "Bah Jove, you don't mean it?" Delancy gasped. "It will be such fttn," said Lily; "such a surprise to the boys! I know it's their parrot-their mascot, they called it. You remember hearing the talk about it, Delancy?" "Oh, I heard that, y' know;' but it seems so deuced queer, don't y' know, to buy the parrot and give it back to them! I should think you'd rather send it further in the other direction?" Delancy was not as artful as Lily and her mother. "But it will please them so," Lily urged. "And, perhaps, it will help them to win games, to get their mascot back. They lost that last game, you know." She looked at Delancy demurely. ''Bah Jove, you're a funny girl! I wouldn't have thought of you doing such a thing. And as for them winning games, don't y' know, I don't care a a fig if they never win one." "I suppose you'd rather they'd lose them?" said Lily, slyly. Mrs. Livingston laughed, in what she intended to be a light and amused manner, but which sounded al most hysterical. She was not pleased with what she was about to do; she would much have preferred to slap Jack Lightfoot in the face and tell him he was a conceited youngsler in daring to think for a moment that he was anywhere near as good as she was. But that would not have been social diplomacy. "How are you going to get it up there, bah Jove?" Delancy gasped, when he saw Lily agam open her purse. Lily looked at the bird dealer. "We live in Cranford, up beyond Cardiff; you know where it is, I presume?" "I can find out, miss." "Yes, and-well, we want you to ship this bird to Cardiff." She gave him her card. "Ship it to Cardiff to-morrow, and notify me when you ship it, so that I can arrange to have it brought over to Cranford. Now, remember, I don't want it to go direct to Cranford. It was stolen from there, I don't doubt, for it used to be the property of the Cranford baseball nine, and they called it their mascot." "Oh, yes, I see!" The man nodded. "That's why it hurrahs for Cranford. Oh, yes, I see!" He took the money which Lily gave him "I want to surprise them by getting it back there un knmrn to them; so you will understand why I don't want it shipped by express direct to Cranford. Some one would see it there in the express office and tell about it, and then that would spoil the surphse. I'll arrange to have it brought quietly over from Cardiff, and then surprise them by returning it. It will be awfully jolly, I think, and will please them." "It ought to please them immensely." "And you'll ship it as I direct?" "Certainly, certainly; just as you say, and we'll start


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. it to-morro\\ afternoon. \Vould you like to look at so me other birds? We've got a great variety, and--" But Lily and her mother had turned back into the stree t and were hastening away. There was a flush of pleasure on the tanned cheek of the nut-brown maid. "Mamma, I think that is one of the luckiest things that ever us!" "\!Veil I'm sure I hope so," was the answer, given rather stiffly; but I'm sure it makes me feel as if I had l owered myself to even think of Jack Lightfoot and those horrid baseball hay s." "You don't mean all of them-you don t mean Brodie and Phil and some of the others?" "I mean merely Jack Lightfoot, my dear." "But how wonderfully popular he is !" "He's a cad, don't y' know!" said Delancy, striking t he pavement viciously with his cane. "He's a-a regular-;-goose !" CHAPTER rq, THE RETURN OF THE PARROT. "Ha! ha! ha' Hah hah hah Haw! haw! haw! Hurrah for Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Lightfoot. Hoop-la! Ha! ha! ha! Hurrah for--" ':By granny, if that ain't that gal-darned parrot, I'm a goat!" s houted Jubal Marlin. The boys had risen in surprise and were looking round the gym with much mystification, when that cackling roar broke out again, with those hurrahs for Cranfo rd and fo r Jack. "By gum, it's in the office!" Jubal and the othe r b oys scrambled toward the railed spac e in one corner of the gym which Jubal called hi s "office," and from which that shouting and shrieking issued, a pparently when they were astounded to see emerge from behind some curtains hanging there Miss Lily Livingston and Kate Strawn, accompanied by Kate's brother, Brodie. The boys stopped, staring in amazement. Jubal's homely face flushed to a deep red. "By hemlock, yeou was

8 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. And now I wish to present it to you; and I hope-we all hope"-she smiled, charmingly, showing her white teeth and her attractive it will lead you to victory in the game to-morrow, and in that other game you're to play with Tidewater." Jack Lightfoot \.Vas a generous youth. He caught up his cap and swung it round his head. "Fellows, three cheers for Miss Livingston!" The cheers were given with a will. "Miss Lily, you're a brick!" cried Lafe Lampton, en thusiastically. "Thank you; just so you don't think that I've got a heart of stone." "Ha! ha! ha!" the parrot broke in. "Hurrah for Cranford !" "By gum, I'm go in' to teach Polly to yell fer Miss Lily," cried Jubal. "Oh, that would be delightful !" She beamed on Jubal who was holding the cage aloft and fairly dancing in bis joy. "But I didn't get through with my little speech," she urged. "Hear, hear!" cried Lafe, stamping the floor. "I bought bird, as I said, down in New York, and then had it shipped to Cardiff, for I wanted to surprise you. I had it brought over there this afternoon and taken to Strawn's, where it was kept until a little while ago. I couldn't think ?f any good way to get it down here secretly, to make the surprise complete, until Kate suggested the plan we adopted. We got Brodie to come with us-girls can never do anything getting some boy to help them, you know!" She smiled bewitchingly as she said this. "And he came, like the good fellow he is. We thought we'd maybe have to take Jubal into our confi d ence, for he has the key; but Brodie had one that would fit, and so we let ourselves in, just before the rest of you began to come. But, really, I thought I should die, in that little place, with those curtains hanging down over my face, but we wanted to hear what you'd say, you know. I was just crazy to hear one of your meetings and see how you do. And is that the way you fight each other with words because you lose games sometimes? Well, it was funny, anyway!" Ned Skeen felt very warm and uncomfortable, as he wondered vainly if he had by any chance said anything to give offense to Brodie and his sister and Miss Lily. He knew he had said a good deal, and it trou bled him now to recall just what he did say. Others there were feeling somewhat like Ned; for, thinking no one but boys and members of the club and baseball nine were 111 the room, they had talked l oudly and freely "Well, eavesdroppers never hear any good of them selves! That's all I've got to say, if they did hear any thing!" That was the way Ned Skeen tried to comfort himself and cover up his uneasiness. "The parrot must have been stolen," said Jack. "And we thought it was dead!" cried Nat. "Oh, it was stolen, of course," Kate interjected. "Son1e one stole it from the gym, or found it outside somewhere and carried it off, and probably sold it in Cardiff." "Who do you suppose would do so mean a thing?" asked Bob Brewster. "Plenty of people," said Skeen. "Howling mack erels, fellows, this is a propitious sign! Say, I believe we're certain to win that game to-morrow now." "We just can't lose it!" yelled Jubal. Then he began to march round the room with the parrot, singing : "Glory, glory, halleluyah !" And a lot of other fellows joining him, they pro ceeded to turn the old gym into a pandemonium. The excitement keyed Polly up to the highest pitch, and she "hurrahed" and cackled and whooped in a manner lo please even her warmest admirer. "Oh, say this is great," yelled Jubal, "findin' the mascot jist before that game! By gum, if I had a bat in my hand and a ball was comin' tew me naow I eel's if I could land it over the moon." Finally, when Jubal and the other enthusiasts had about howled themselves out of breath and began to quiet down, Jack took his seat at the table and rapped with his knuckles for order. "Fellows," he said standing up and addressing the club members, "Miss Livingston has placed us under great obligations by returning to us our old mascot, and--" "What about Rex, now?" Kate interjected, with a laugh. "We'll have two mascots," cried Skeen; "half a dozen wouldn't hurt." "We need 'em!" said Lafe, grimly. "She has made us deeply her debtor, by returning to us our old mascot," Jack went on; "and we will want to thank her in some proper manner for it." Ned Skeen came to his feet like a jack-in-the-box popping into view. "Mr. President-Mr. President. I now move you


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 9 that the baseball nine and the athletic club give Miss Lily Livingston a vo te of thanks for what she has done, a nd refund to h e r out of our treasury the amount s he paid--" o n o no!" Lily cried, starting to her feet; "I couldn't think of anything of the kind Ned stammered and seemed at a l oss h o w to go on "I mean I make a moti on, Mr. President," he said, getting hi s bearings again, "that we give Miss Liv ingston our vote of thanks, and that the sa me be spread on the minutes, and a copy of the sa me be presented to her in due and proper form." Lafe tried to get on hi s feet t o se c o nd the motion, but moved t oo s l ow ly. at Kimball b o bbed up ahead of him. "I seco nd that moti o n," he cried, with enthusiasm. Then the m o tion was put and ca rri ed unanim o u sly by a rising vote. \Vhen it had been carri ed, Lily rose gravely enough, and said as sweet l y as she could, how h appy s he was to be able to do this thing, and how gratified and pleased she was that it gave s uch pleasure to the mem bers. "And those resolutions," s he exclaimed, "if you do give me a copy of them, I s h all k eep fo r eve r and ever!" "A long time!" Lafe grunted to him se lf. "You get a copy of the vote of thanks," sa id Jack. "\Ve '11 have the secretary make it out an cl g i ve it to you to-morrow. And in addition to this forma l vote of thanks, I know that everyone here feels grateful r for what you have clone, and all those who are absent will fee l the same as soon as they know of it." "Marnrna," said Lily that night, speak in g to h e r mother, "you'd o u ght to have been there! Oh, it was fun-fun! I a lm ost w i s h I was a boy, so that I c ould belong to a club like t hat. It's awfully j olly. You'd ought to have heard Ned Skeen scrapping away about the loss of that other game. But it was just the thing we needed to do, rnarnma. It smooths everything over, and the past will be all forgotten." She s t ood before her mirror, taking the pins out o f her brown hair. "And Jack Lightfoot is a nice fell ow, rnamrna-jus t as nice as he can be; he really made a beautiful speech, in thanking me for the return of the pa,rrot. The only trouble is, yoq know, that we didn't think he was so nice, and didn't understand how well he stands here in the town, simp ly bec a u s e we were str.angers; you know, and heard some rather derogatory talk about him by people who didn't like him." She meant Reel Snodgrass and Delancy Shelt o n, from "horn she h ad rec eived h e r first impress i o ns of Jack Lightfoot. Mrs. Livingston sniffed loftily. "I s till don't think he 's such a paragon, my dear!" "Not a paragon, no; but just a nice, sens i b l e young fellow. And I'm g l ad we ran across that par rot "Well, I am, too-or I'm willing to be, if it w ill hel p matters any." "Help matters, mamma? It's already helped matters. You'll see !" CHAPTER IV. A PAIR OF PLOTTERS. While Jubal and other member s of th e Cranford nine and gym club were c u t t ing up high jinks" and turning themselves into imitatio n wild Indians in the gym over the return of the parrot, a certain member of the Highland nine, who had come to C ran ford o n a s in ister mission bent, passed the gym o n his way uptown from the l ake He was wit h Reel Snodgrass, whom he had met d0\{ 111 at the academy boathouse. "\Vhat's the rovv ?" he inquired, when h e heard that out bu st of hilarious so und. "Th ey' r e celebrating the victory they're go in g to win over you fellows to-morrow, I suppose," Reel an swered "They'd better postpone their gayety until after they win the game!" "Jack Lightfoot and his gang belong to the cocksure crowd, you know. No doubt they've figured out the whole thin g, just how they're going to do you up." "I always put off my hilarity until I'm out of the woods!" "Yes, all sensible fellows do." The crowd in the gym was still whooping when they passed on up the st reet into the town. "You said you wanted to see me on some very par ticular business," said Reel. "Corne up to our rooms in the hotel; we'll have it quiet there. The rooms be l onged to Del ancy Shelton-that is, he paid for them-but Reel made himself as much at home in them as if he footed the bills When the light of the hotel lamp shone on his fa c e the fellow from Highland was re vea led to the clerk as A very Rand, first bagman for the Highlanders. The clerk merely l ook ed up as Rand's athletic figure, well-kn i t, strong, and rather handsome, vanished up the stairway with Reel Snodgrass. "You didn't see that game in whic;h Cranford was


I IO ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. licked by Tidew .ater ?" said Rand, dropping in t o an easy-chair, when they were in Delaney's room He was glad to see that Delancy was out, fo r his business was solely with Reel. "No, I didn't go. I thought they'd win, of course; and I was tired of that, you know. So I stayed at home." "Well, you missed something good. That game was a corker. They worried Jack Lightfoot for two bases on balls in the third inning, and then a solid drive sent the man from second flying home. They'd already got a lead, and they now held it. The Cranford boys saw that they were playing a losing game and they went all to pieces I never saw such rotten work." Reel's tanned face took on a look of delight. This sort. of talk pleased him. "Oh, they were hoboes !" Rand went on "They had only tw0 runs up to the eighth inning. Then an error by Ned Skeen, and a muff and a wild throw by that Yankee who was trying to play left field, let another nm in for the Tidewater boys. "In the ninth Cranford tried to make a rally Jack Lightfoot was wild. His face was as reel as fire. \Ve've got to do something, fellows!' he yelled. But Tidewater had the first half of the innin -, and they cracked out two more runs. "In Cranford's half, the head of their batting order came up, putting Tom Lightfoot at the stick. He went out on a fly; but Brodie Strawn, that black-faced tiger, who alway s looks as if he were chewing nails and they disagreed with his digestion, cracked out a double clown the right-field line. "Mack Remington got a base by being hit with the b!l, and Lafe Lampton fouled out. T hen Ned Skeen came up, and actually he was so ex c ited he c o uldn't see. It was one, two, three with little Neel, and the thing was over; and Cranford was th e w o r s t whipped nine that has played at Tidewater this season." He chuckled gleefully. "Hardly as badly whipped as you fellows were by Cranford not long ago, though," said Reel, rather viciously "You fellows got a clean whitewash." "Yes, we did, I admit; but we had a beastly rw1 of luck that day." "And the umpire was against you, you said?"' "The \Yorst of it is, we're to have the same umpire to-morrow-Sandy McLean He's said to be the fair est and best umpire in this section of the country, but I don't believe it. He certainly bore down hard on us iu t hat o ther He shoved his hands into his pocket s to hide hi s I nervousness. "And that's why I've come over to see you; on my own account, you know-strictly on my own ac count." He gave Reel a keen look to see if he \Vas in a re ceptive mood. Reel sat with the side of his face toward him, sm oking and looking toward the window. He had slipped well d own into his easy chair in a slouching attitude. He wore no vest; his blue coat wa s open showing his negligee shirt and blue tie, and his right leg-he w o re light-colored trousers-was thrown lazily over the arm of the chair. The light straw hat which he still sported, though the season was getting late for it, was pulled well down over his dark eyes. Hence, it was a very unsatisfactory glance that Avery Rand secured, and he could not tell whether Reel would like to help him or not. "What is it you want me to do?" said Reel at last. Avery Rand' s face flushed and he hesitated. "I-I didn't know but you might be able to suggest something. If Sandy McLean hands out decision s against us as he dicl before we're going to have a hard time of it to-morrow. And"-he bent toward Reel "we've got t o win that game!" "Yes, I suppose you'd like to." "You see, it's really our last chance for the pennant. If we're defeated to-morrow, then the pennant will go either to Cranford or to Tidewater. We've still got a chance. If we can beat Cranford and then can beat Tidewater we 'll be tied with Tidewater; and then if we can beat Tidewater again we win out." "So, you've got to win three games straight?" "Yes. "And Cranford has to win only two." "Yes, that's right; but we've a big chance. And we've got to win And that's why I came over t o see you. I know you don't like Jack Lightfoot's crowd, and I thought--" He sto pped in hesitation, again studying the side of Reel's face. Reel sat with his cigar in his mouth, still lo o king toward the window, and seemed to be thinking. And there was a good deal for Reel Snodgrass to r) think about now. when he had first appeared in Cranford he had b e en well received o r Jack and his friend s He had been put on the n i ne, and had been given a chance to sh o w what he could do. He liked sports, and particularly


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. II baseball, and when that chance came t o him he had been delighted. Then he had traitorously given the signals to the opposing captain, and for that had been kicked out of the Cranford nine But Reel knew-what Jack Lightfoot and his as sociates did not-that he had been really forced into that bit of treachery by Boralmo, the pretended Hindoo. Reel could not tell that in defense of himself, and so had to rest under the sigma of a treachery that had no redeeming features. Since then he had, in a spirit of revenge, set out to "do dirt" to Jack Lightfoot and his crowd He had tried innumerable tricks, some with the aid of Delancy; and at the end of all he had discovered that he had be en playing a losing game. Instead uf permanently injuring Jack Lightfoot, he had only injured him self; and now he began to see that he was regarded with something like contempt by many of the best people of the town. It was not a pleasant discovery. In addition to this, in his efforts to down Jack Lightfoot, and because at the time he was in a rage or drinking, Reel had severa l times commilted acts that might have sent him to prison. All these things came before him as he sat smoking quietly and looking at the window, and he was asking himself if the thing paid, and if he ought not to change about face before he had irretrievably ruined himself in the estimation of Cranford. Reel had a certain pride which made him wish to stand well, even though he did not deserve to. In Reel's catalogue of offenses, the greatest was the sin of being found out. And he knew he was being found out. "I don't see that I can do anything," he said, finally, throwing his leg off the arm of the chair, taking the cigar out of his mouth and turning round to face Rand. "I thought you might suggest something," said Rand. "You're mighty clever, you know!" That touched Reel's weak spot; for he thought, him self, that he was pretty clever. "I fell down in what I tried to do when Cranford played you that other time, you know," he reminded. Reel had hired a city thug named Neil Burdock to "thump the tar" out of Jack Lightfoot and Phil Kirtland, the pitcher and substitute pitcher of the nine thinking that if these tw o were put out of the game Cranford could not possibly win. The thing had been a miserable failure; for Rex, the collie, and Fighting Saul Messenger, not to mention almost every member of the nine had leaped on Burdock and the thugs who were with him, and had used them up pretty badly, after which they had been arrested and marched away to the station house. That was the way that p lan of Reel's had worked out. "I didn't know but you might give me some kind of a drug, you know, that would make some of them sick, or something like that?" Rand ventured, showing how villainous he vvas. "I've heard you're pretty wea up in those queer East Indian drugs." "Whose been telling you that?" "Oh, well, I heard it!" "That's an old scheme," said Reel, half contemptuously. "It's been tried hundreds of times, I suppose." "But it works, sometimes." "Yes, sometimes." "But the Cranford fellows are sharp as tacks," said Reel. "There's only one that I think a game of th2 t kind could be worked on, and that's that hog, Lafe Lampton. He'd eat anything that was set before hi11, and never ask a question "\i\Tell, he' s the catcher said Rand, eagerly. "That would bu' st the battery!" Reel sat staring at him. "I might

J'.2 ALL-SPORTS LIBR'. c'\RY. "Yes, I have it; if yo u can use that drug on Lafe L ampton.,. "I'll guarantee t o work that, all right." "Well, you know, if Lafe is knocked out the only man that can go behind the bat and do fair work there i s Phil Kirtland. Brodie might try it, or Tom, but Phil would be the boy for the place, and Jack would sure put him there. And he'd be pretty good; Phil's one of these all-round players who i s pretty good wherever you put him, but not really first-class in any position, though he thinks he is Not first-class, I mean, like Jack and Lafe." "Yes, I understand." "Yet he would still be a rather dangerous proposition behind the bat, and you might lo se your game with him there." "Yes, I see." "He's proud, you know, proud as Lucifer-stuck on him self, as I sa id. And becau se of that, and because he thinks he ought to have been captain of the niue this season, he's been feeling not just right toward Jack. I've seen that all along. Sometimes he even refoses to do what Jack orders, and makes trouble in the nine, just because of that." "Yes, I've heard of it." "Now, if some scheme could be worked to stir up rroub le between Jack and Phil, and so get Phil's mad up, he would refuse to play in that game, and there you'd have them, in my opinion, with Lafe out of the way. They might win against you, but I don't be l ieYe they could, if you played good ball." "That's the trick," sa i d Rand; "that's great ; but h ow' re you going to work it?" Reel rose from his chair and went over to a writing de$k, where he took from a drawer a letter. He opened it and read it; it was a short note from Jack Lightfoot which he had received some time before. After studying it closely he took a pen and paper and wrote a close imitation of Jack's handwriting, in these words: "PHIL: I'd thank you not to annoy my sister with your company so much. She doesn't like to say so, but j have no hesitancy in doing so It's not pleasing to any of us. JACK LIGHTFOOT." Having written this he brought it over for Rand's i n:spcction. "Jack's got a hummer of a sister-pretty as they make 'em, and Phil's been hanging around her a good deal lately, and has on that account been more friendly with Jack than he u se d to be. Now, if he gets a nnte like that, in handwriting he can't tell from Jack's to save him, he'll go right into the air. The first thing he 'll do will be to jump on Jack. Either that, o r he'll sulk and say nothing and refuse to go to Highland with the nine. I can get that to him this evening, for I know a boy who'll carry it and do all the lying that's necessary if he's well paid for the job." "Just the thing," said Rand, cheerfully. "If it will work." "Well, it's the best I can think of." "But it's forge ry, you know." "Hang the forgery! I'll risk that. If it's detected, I'll simply say I did it as a joke." "All right; try it. nd give me that drug." He looked at his watc h. "I've got to be starling for home pretty soon." Reel went to a clo set and pulled out his grip, and took from a case in it a s mall bottle of colorle ss liquid. "If you can dope his ice cream or. his coffee or a11y thing else with this it \\ ill make Lafe so sick he 'll think he's going to die, but it won't hurt him a particle otherwise.'' He secured a small phial and turned a few drops of the liquid into it. "Half of that is enough for the work." They talked for a few minutes longer after Rand had tucked the phial safely away in his pocket; and then they went down to the street together. CHAPTER V. HOW IT WORKED OUT. That same evening a boy brought a note to Phil Kirtland, a.nd the servant who received it at the door took it up to Phil's r oom. "No ans,ver," said the servant, and promptly retreated. Phil thought he recognized Jack's writing on the en velope, and when he opened il and read the note the blood rushed in a hot'wave to his face. "Why, the puppy!" he exclaimed. Phil had just returned from a v isit to Daisy Lightfoot, and as sbe was not feeling very well and so had not seem ed as lively as usual, a thing Phil ha

LL-SPORT S LIBRARY. 13 face And Phil was high-strnng and sensitive. H e nce it hurt him beyond measure, and humiliated him more than words can tell. Ordinarily Phil was not a fel low who would intrude his company where it was not desired. But Daisy Lightfoot had seemed pleased with his company. After walking nervously about the room, Phil came back to his chair, sat down, and took up the note to re-read it. "Well, I'll certainly not go there again," was his thought, "if she doesn't want me to; but why didn't s he speak a b out it, in s tead of Jack?" His humiliation and his anger grew side by side. Finally he l eft the room, and, not seei n g the servant, went down int o the hall. "See h ere, P l y mpton, he s aid, when he found the servant, "wh o gave you this n o te?" "It was brought by a boy; I didn t n ot ice who he was He said there'd b e no answer.'' P hil went back up the stairs fuming. "Wh y, I'm as good a s J a ck Lightfoot! This is an ins ult! I'll se e him about this and I'll find out if Daisy really thinks as he does. I can stay away from there, all right, if s he wants it." Yet he was hurt-

14 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Rand was coming for him again, and drove a sec ond blow at Phil's face. Phil was now too mad with rage to see who his as sailant was, and the light was also poor; he simply thought it was Jack, and he was as wild as an insane man. He dodged the blow aimed at his face, receiving it on his shoulder; then', with a scream of crazy anger bubbling from his lips, he leaped at Rand, and struck like a battering-ram. Rand got a portion of the force of that blow on the shoulder, and it fairly knocked him backward. He threw up his arm as a guard, for Phil was striking again; but the next blow caught him on the cheek and cut to the blood Rand dodged and ducked now, and scampered backward along the sidewalk, with Phil following him. "You struck me first, you puppy!" Phil shouted, as he thus pursued. Rand saw t .hat he had caught a Tartar. He stopped, when Phil had chased him as far as the corner. "Don't come any further!" he warned, putting up his arms. If Phil had not been in such a torrent of passion he might have noticed now that this was not the voice of Jack Lightfoot. "Take that, you whelp!" he screamed, and swung at Rand again. Rand stepped backward, evading the blow ; and then came at Phil, striking wildly. Phil warded off the blows, and almost laughed as he did so; then, finding an opening, he smashed his right into Rand's face, believing all the while that he was fighting Jack Lightfoot. It was a knockout blow, and Rand went over back ward, hitting his head on the brick pavement. He lay for a moment stunned; then began to get on his feet. "Let up!" he begged, seeing his danger. "I-I--" Phil was coming at him again; his rage was still beating within him like a churning volume of molten lava. He was, in truth, at the moment hardly respon sible for what he did. "Don't strike me again!" Rand begged, putting up his hands. "I-I thought it was-was some one else." "Oh, you did?" was the scornful answer. Phil stood before him, panting. "You-you don't know who I am,

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. r o, o f c o urse n o t.,, And y ou didn't think .I was Jack ?" Rand affected indignation. "I've told you that I thought you were une who wanted my roll. Phil swung round on the sidewalk and looked in the directi o n of the Lightfoot home. The hour was grow ing late and he saw no lights there. "I'll go uptown with you, and if you want a doctor I c a n take you to one." But when t.hey had gone a short distance Rand de clared that he would not need the services of a doc tor, and that he must start for Highland as soon as he could. Phil did not go back toward Jack Lightfoot's, but w alked on home. I believe that fellow was looking for Jack," was his c o nclusion. CHAPTER VI. JACK LIGHTFOOT'S DECISION. The next m o rning Phil Kirtland went down to Jack's h o u s e and called him out. Phil was a bit nervous, and showed it. That note res ted in his pocket. As Jack c a me out in answer to Phil's summons, he noticed the flushed look of Phil's face, and anticipated that there was something wrong, for he had had a goo d deal of trouble with him through the season. But to-day was the date of the ball game with High land. Everything depended on the winning of that game-their chance for the pennant rested on it. Hence, Jack had already decided that nothing should make him d o or say a word that would spoil the harmony now existing in the nine. So, though he saw Phil' s flushed face and felt that something unpleasant was probably in store, he hardened this decisi o n, a thing necessary for him to do, for Jack was a youth of quick temper, which blazed out sometimes like a sudden fire. "Hello, Phil!" he said, kindly, as he met Phil at the gate. Phil's face seemed to grow redder. "You notice my beauty spot?" he remarked, trying t o laugh, as he and Jack walked away from the gate t ogether t oward the outskirts of the town. He tapped the bluish sp o t o n his cheek-a souvenir of that blow, o f which h e had not been able to rid him s elf. "Why what does that mean?" Jack asked, with sympathy. "I thought last night that you gav e me t hat!" "What?" "l thought so at first, when the blow landed ; bu t I found out, after I'd licked the fellow, that it was A very Rand, of Highland." Phil could not hide his gratification; and he ha d a right to feel gratified by the manner in which he had met Rand's cowardly assault. "He attacked you?" Jack cried. "Sure thing ; right up there beyond the alley, a s T was walking down this way. It was dark. I thought it was you, and called to him, and when I came up he handed me that." He again put his fingers tenderly on the bruised spot. "Well, then, we had it hammer and tongs ; an d I gave him, I think, more than he'd bargained for. "Why in the world did he hit you?" "He said he thought I was a sneak thief; but h lied, and I believe now that he thought he was attack ing you. It was near your house, you see, and he w a s loafing by there, probably hopjng you d come al on g Well, he certainly got what was coming to him!" Jack was naturally overwhelmed witq surprise, bLiL when he had talked it over with Phil, he was ab mn of Phil's opinion, that Rand had probably meant t o kn o ck him clown and "beat hi,m to a pulp," so th a t h e would be useless in the game against Highland. That the thing had turned out as it did, and tha t Phil had been the one to meet and thwart the thin o was gratifying. It had pleased Phil, and Jack tho ught it would make Phil the more determined in his w o rk against the Highland nine that day "But there's another thing," said Phil, flushing yio lently. Jack saw that hot flush with some uneasiness. It made him fear what was comin g but again he hardened his decision to do nothing and sa y nothing, no matter what the provocation that w ould tend to make trouble between himself and Phil, for he valu ed Phil's work on the diamond, and that game must be won. Phil. faced round toward him, trembling, and too k the envelope out of his pocket. "Lightfoot, I didn't think you'd be sneak enough to do that-send a note of that kind to me in a cowardly manner, by a boy who ran aw a y like a cur as soon as he'd delivered it l Of course, if your sis ter feels that way, it's all right, and I shan t trouble h e r with my company, but--"


16 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Jack's heart had jumped under those words, af1d his face, too, had flushed to a deep reel. Yet he still remembered his decision, to permit noth ing to provoke him to a quarrel that day with Phil; and he didn't comprehend what Phil was talking about. At the same time he stared at the envelope which Phil had produced, for his own handwriting seemed to be on it. "I don't know what you mean?" he urged, keeping his voice down. "Why, just that!" Phil snapped, jerking the envelope open and tearing out the note, which he thrust at Jack. "That was cowardly! You sent that insulting note last night to me, by a secret messenger, who sneaked away as soon as he'd delivered it!" "Why, I didn't send you any note at all "Didn't you send me that note last evening?" "Certainly not. Jack took the note and opened it and saw what Reel Snodgrass had written. He was thunderstruck. "You sent me that la st evening!" sa id Phil, trembling. Jack looked at him steadily. "Phil, on m y honor, I never wrote that, :incl don't know anything about it?" "What?" "That's the truth!" "Then who did write it?" "I don't know." "It's your handwriting!" "It looks like it but it isn't mine, for I never wrote it Phil stared at him in surprise. "Do you mean that ?-honest, do you mean that?" At any other time the tone of doubt would h ave stirred Jack's quick temper into a blaze. But he re membered his decision. I mean it, honest. Why, Phil, that's a base for gery!" "Then, what does it mean?" Phil was bewildered; he had been so sure that Jack had written the note. "Some contemptible trick, to make us enemies, per haps. But I didn't write it P.hil. and we're not going to be enemies; we're going to try to be friends, you understand." Phil took the note in his shaking fingers and stared at it. It resembled Jack's handwriting remarkably, and he was wondering if Jack could have written it, chang11g hi s mind, now thought to lie out of it. But-that would no t be like Jack Lightfoot. With these thoughts were mi xed, of course, thoughts of Daisy Lightfoot. And. Phil began to wish he had not been so precipitate and so stormy with his words. Jack had been doing some thinking-wondering who had written that note, and he was wondering, too, what Daisy would thi11k about it. Phil was beginning to feel chagrined and ashanv:d of the whole thing. He began to feel that l:te had beiittled himself. "Jack," he urged, "if you didn't write that-and I'm bound to believe that you didn't and that it's a forgery -I'm sorry I showed it to you, or said anything about it. You'll understand why. But I thought you wrote it, and-well, it hurt me, and that's a fact!" "Jt's outrageous!" cried Jack. "It's an outrage on both of us "But who would do s uch a thing?" Phil queried, as if he s till doubted. "Who would be to make so good a forgery or your handwriting? And why would he want to? There must be a motive back of it. "There is," Jack agreed, "and I'll find out about it, if it can be clone." Phil. put the note in his pocket. "You-you won't say anything about this to Daisy?" he sa id, hesitating. "If you say not, I'll never mention it to her." "Well, you see, if it' s spo ken of, I'd rather do the telling myself; you can understand why." "I think I understand; yes." They walked on together, neither speaking for a moment or two. "Phil," said Jack, "you and I have had our troubles, which it's not necessary to speak of now, but I'm trying to forget them, and I want you to do the same. It strikes me that this was written through jealousy, or by some one who wanted to sti r up trouble between us. I'm glad you came straight to me with it, and so gave me a chance to deny it." "You think some one wanted to make trouble be tween us?" "Well, now, think it over: If Rand's attack was for the purpose of eliminating you or I from the game to-day, this might have been sent for some such rea son, too. Some one might have wanted to get us at loggerheads, hoping that it would hurt the game." Again they walked on in silence. "Jack, since the time I played an academy nine against a nine you picked from the high schoo l, last spring, haven' t I be e n fair and square? I told you, then, that if you defeated me I'd stop kicking about


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. you being captain of the Cranford nine. and that Brodie and I would stay in the nine and do all we could to help Cranford to win. We've done that, haven't we?" "You have; you've done the fair thing." "That's all; only I wanted to hear you say it." When tpey came back Phil seemed in an amiable mood, though he was still nervous; Jack's spirit of kindness, and his sturdy resolution to fight down anything and everything that might start a fire of anger and insubordination that day had won, and when he and Phil separated at the gate, and Phil went on up town, there was in Phil's face a wholly, different light. Shortly before the nine got ready to move against Highland Phil came to Jack again. "Jack," he said, "Brodie and I are going into the game this afternoon to win-we'll play for blood, as you'll see! And if we don't win, it won't be our fault." And that was the spirit that animated the whole nine, as they set out for Highland. Reel's shot had overreached the mark, and its result had been to fire the heart of Phil Kirtland against the Highlanders and against the secret enemy who had sent that note, and to make him determined to play against Highland that afternoon as he had never played in his life. Jack had never led his nine to any ball field when they were more thoroughly united and determined. It augured well for the result of the game. CHAPTER VII. "PLAY BALL." Lafe Lampton had apparently at last fallen a victim to his appetite; for after having his usual luncheon that day at the Highland restaurant, he was taken violently ill. Before the hour for the game he improved a little and insisted on being taken to the ball grounds, saying he believed he could pull himself together and go be hind the bat. While Lafe was being taken to the grounds in a car riage, Fighting Saul Messenger stumbled upon some fellows who looked to be hoboes, and found Avery Rand conferring with them. This was out behind the ball-ground fence Rand left the hoboes as soon as he observed Saul, and entered the grounds. Seeing Saul staring at them, the hoboes separated hastily and disappeared. "Well, now, what did that mean?" Saul asked himself. ..Some more fellows are being hired to' do up the nine or the umpire. I wish I could have slipped nearer and heard something." When he met Jack he reported the matter, and was told by Jack to keep his eyes open. Though Lafe was anxious to go behind the bat, he gave up just before the game \.Vas called, and, as Reel Snodgrass had anticipated, Phil Kirtland donned the pad and mask, at Jack's request, and became a part of the Cranford battery. The Highlanders were now jubilant, for, though A very Rand had thought it wise to keep his own coun sel for the present, and therefore they knew nothing of his scheme to put Lafe on the shelf, it pleased them to have so good a catcher as Lafe eliminated. "Kirtland's pretty good," Jack overheard Kit Carver saying, "but he isn't Lafe Lampton." Jack had an earnest talk with Phil before the game opened. "I'm going to trust all the signal work to you," he said. "You can see the whole field, you know, and you're quick and have a good head. Remember, we've got to win out to-clay!" This was to a certain extent a stroke of policy on Jack's part, for it flattered Kirtland s pride; yet it was sound baseball wisdom, too, as the catcher is the one who should look out for the signaling and for what is occurring on and beyond the diamond. The pitcher's back is to the field, but the catcher faces it and can see every movement of the runners and fielders. A great crowd had come out to witness the game, for it was known that it was the last game in which Cran ford and Highland were to cross bats this season, and that the winning of it meant almost everything to the fortunate nine. Cranford had sent over a band of shouting rooters, who sang songs to cheer the nine, and were generous with their applause even when, as sometimes happened, there was not much ta applaud. The Cranford girls were there, also-Daisy Lightfoot, Kate Strawn, Nellie Conner and a dozen others; and they sat in the grand stand, with a group of en thusiastic Cranford people, waving flags and cheering with the others. Saul Messenger-Fighting Saul-had taken posses sion of the Scotch collie, was, as usual, strung with ribbons-and kept the dog near him. Saul believed that there was wolf blood in Rex, for Rex had shown that he could fight like a wolf, or a bulldog, on occasion.


ALL-SPOETS LIB R ;\RY. T he b o ys sa id that there was c e rtainly "wolf blo od" in Fighting Saul. I'emembering the assault made on Phil in the previous game played at Highland, Saul was keeping his weath e r eye open for any signs of such a thing again. In addition, all the boys were suspicious and watchful, in view of the attack by Avery Rand on Phi l the night before in Cranford. Saul had pro mised to "hamrher' the fellow who ma d e the first mo v e toward any Cranford player or the umpire; and there was no doubt that Fightin g Saul would "make g_ood," if the chance but came his way. Happiest of all there, apparently was little Nat Kim ball for to him had been confided th e old masc o t, "Polly." He sat in the benches with the other players with Polly hoisted on his shoulder. This was after the Cranford nine and substitutes had mixed "war medicine" by marching in howling procession round the rubber, where Polly, hoisted on the end of Old Wagon Tongue, had "whooped it up" for them in great shape. This performance had been "as good as a circus" to most of the spectators, and brought thunderous applause. And somehow-it seems strange to say that it should !-it had filled the hearts of the Cranford boys to the brim with fighting enthusiasm. Sandy McLean smiled one of his wide smiles, that reddened J:iis sanely face and almost hid the fine, thin lines that stood for eyebrows, as he broke open the Spalding box and took out the new, white ball, which he held up daintily between thumb and fingers, before throwing it to the pitcher. Sandy was to umpire that day, and he was in his element. Highland was at the bat, with Jack in the pitcher's place and Phil Kirtland looking through the bars of the catcher's mask, when the white ball shot out of Sandy's hands, while the people howled their joy, and the game opened up. This was the batting order: HIGHLAND. Perlie Hyatt, cf. A very Rand, rst b. Tom Johnson, 3d b. Bill Miller, If. Kit Carver, p. Ben Yates, rf. Link Porte r, ss. Phin Hester, 2d b. Cale Y oung, c. CRANFORD. Tom Lightfoot, 2d b. Brodie Strawn, rst b. Mack Remin g ton, rf. Phil Kirtland, c. Ned Ske en, s s Connie Lynch, 3d b. Wils on Crane cf. Jubal M a rlin If. Jack Lightfoot, p. Jack struck out the first man up, but A very Rand, wh ose face still s hO\ved trace s of the hi t ti n g abili t y o f Phil Kirtland, s ecured a single. Perhaps Rand distrus ted the ability of Phil Kirtland. At any rate, he led out fro m fir st, as the ball came fro m the pitcher, and when it struck in Phil s mitt he wa s well out as if he meant to steal second. He hesitated there for just an instant; yet it w as fatal, for, with a snap throw from the wrist, Phil sent the whiz z ing to Brodie on first. Instead of taking chances to go to second, Rand tried to get back to first bag, but he was too s low, for Brodie had the ball. The 0heer which greeted thi s performance brought a flush to Phil's face, and he wa v ed his han d airily in his habitual way to the Cranford girls in the grand stand when he saw the enthusiastic fluttering of the i r little flags. "Good work!" said Jack. It was not until the fourth mnmg, when Cranford had three runs and Highland two, that a chance came for Highland to register a solid kick against Sandy McLean. Wilson Crane had come sailing home along the th ird base line, running as only vVils on could run, and then throwing himself in a great slide at the plate, just a s the ball came into the mitt of Cale Young and he leape d with a diving motion and put it against \Vilson's shoulder. "Out!" roared the Highland fans, standing up and screaming .the word. Sandy McLean had hovered by the plate sto o pin g and squinting. Now he stood erect, and swept out his right hand in a bland gesture. "You're all right!" he said, to vVilson. The Cranford fans cheered, and the Cranford mascot "hurrahed.'' It was another run for Cranford. The Highland players and fans went into the air. Cale Young swore a great oath at Sandy, and Kit Carver and the infielders came swarming in, making the air blue with their vociferations. Jack smiled, as he saw Saul Messenger thrusting his shock of yellow hair and his burning eyes into the midst of this mass of screaming protestants, ready for a fight if anybody jumped Sandy McLean. "Go back to your places," sa i d Sanely, sturdily. "But we prote s t again s t that decision!" y elled Carver. "Protests don't go here; when I make a decision it


r'\L L-"'PORTS LIBR;\RY. 19 stands. I was right here and sa w what I saw. Go back to your places." Sandy McLean's face had grown red again and the sandy lines of his eyebrows had lost themselves in the crimson Kit Carver and his crowd retreated, finally, but they continued to grumble, and at every chance they raised a kick. In the fifth inning another storm of protest arose against the umpire's decision, when he declared a batter out on a ball which was driven into center and caught by Wilson Crane. Wilson had to run in to get the ball, and he took it by a jumping dive just above the ground. The Highlanders asserted that he picked it up, but McLean decided that it was a fair catch and ordered the batter out, though he had gone to first and claimed to be safe. Wilson came in from outfield while the howling Highlanders surrounded the umpire. "I caught that ball!" he shouted, indignantly, thrusting his long nose into the crowd. "Oh, you'd catch it all right, if it had gone into a well and you had to scoop it up with a net one of the Highlanders shouted back at him. Again Saul Messenger was on hand, leading the col lie by a string, and he was spoiling for a fight. But the fight Saul hoped for did not come, for Sanely stood to his guns and the Highland players again went angrily to their places. Yet they had no reason to grumble. They had brought in two runs in that inning, and were now tied with Cranford, and one of those runs had been given on a decision which it seemed to the Cranford boys favored the Highla.nders But that was not enough. Highland was fighting for that game, and they hoped to win out by intimidating the umpire, if they could not win in any other way. But Sanely McLean was not an umpire who could be intimidated, as he showed by threatening to lay off Kit Carve.-, the pitcher, if he gave him any more of his "slack." CHAPTER VIII. THAT OLD CHESTNUT OF "PLAYING AGAINST TEN MEN." When, in the sixth inning, another close decision went against them, the Highlanders raised that old chestnut cry of "playing against ten men." They must have known that the umpire was not favoring anyb o dy, but they apparently tried to make themselves and the spectators helieve that he was l ean ing toward Cranford all the time When they lifted that cry the Highland fans took the cue and began to tell Sandy that he had "a b um eye," that he couldn't see anyt h ing but "strikes" w h en Jack was in the pitcher's place and nothing but b alls" when Carver was carving the corners, that he "wore green glasses," and many other unpleasant t hin g s all tending to irritate him. As a usual thing Sandy held in his tempe r pretty well, but now he turned to the bleachers, with his light gray eyes blazing and the thin lines of his eyebrows sunk into the red of his face, and yelled, drama t ically: "Howl, you dogs! Howl! But I'm the umpire of this game, and don't you fail to remember it; and m y decisions stand!" He turned back to the "kicking" players, his eyes still flashing. "Go back to your places!" he yelled. "I'm umpir ing this game, and I haven't asked for any assistance. The next man that comes up to me shaking his fist in my face and declaring that I'm a thief and a liar goes out of the game !" The very ferocity of his manner covved the Highlanders for the time But up in the bleachers, and in the grand stand, the fans continued to scream "thief," and "robber," and other epithets at him And they asked him how much h.e had received for "selling out to Cranford,'' and threatened to "do him up" when the game was over. Jn the seventh inning Cranford was still in the l ead, the score then being seven for Cranford and five for Highland. When the eighth inning opened, Perli e Hyatt, the head of the batting list, again became the first stick wielder. Jack sent an out-shoot, which he was sure crosse d the corner of the plate, but the .umpire announced it a "ball." Then Phil signaled for one close in, and H yatt, throwing himself into it, as Jack believed, was given: first. Jack almost began to fear now that the continued howling of the Highland fans was having its effect on Sandy; for it can be seen that even the fairest um pire does not want the spectators to think he is not giving any nine a square deal. It began to seem to Jack that Sandy in his desire to be "fair" to Highland, was now actually favoring the others. Nevertheless, when Hyatt tried to steal second, an

20 ALL-SPORTS LID RARY. Phil Kirtland sent the ball vvhist ling to Tom Light foot to cut him off and did so, the Highland fans again yelled "robber," and "thief," and so me even went so far as to rise in their places, as if they meant to c ome down into the diamond and settle the matter with the umpire according to the rules of the prize ring. Once more Fighting Saul's shock of yellow hair was seen near the center of clisturba .nce. It was like the white plume of Henry of Navarre, always seen where the fight was thickest or promised to rage hottest. "The runner is out!" yelled Sandy, repeating his de cision; and, after clinging to the bag as long as he could, seeming for a time determined to stay there, Hyatt came reluctantly back to the benches, where the other members of the nine and substitute s were "chew ing the rag." "Good work, Phil!'' said Jack; and Phil Kirtland waved his hand. In truth, it was good work, and Phil deserved all credit for his quickness and good throwing. A very Rand no w struck out. Tom Johnson, a heavy batter, let two strikes be called against him, then lifted one of Jack's drops and sent it over into left field. Jubal Jet the ball g04 through his fingers; but, when Johns on tried to gather in s econd bag on it, the Yankee lad lined the h orsehide like a bullet to Tom Lightfoot. Tom leaped into the air, caught it, and, whirling as his feet touched the ground, he tagged the runner. "Out on second !" said Sanely McLean. The frothing fans in the bleachers, who had been calling Sandy McLean a roboer, came scrambling now and out toward him. He faced them like a lion at bay attacked by a band of snarling and snapping jackals. "We'll settle with you!" yelled the foremost, making a lunge at Sandy. Crack! Fighting Saul was on hand, and his hard fist tum bled the man backward. The Cranford boys now swarmed out to protect Saul and the umpire, and for a minute it looked as if a fight of as large proportions as had taken place in the previous game was scheduled for immediate delivery. But the fiery fan who had been knocked down was dragged back by his friends, who saw what was com ing if they persisted, and after a lot of "hot air" the thing simmered down again. But they still c ont inued to howl at McLean, and to shout that he had joined the Cranford nine, and that I the Highland boys had "no s how" so l ong as t hey were forced to "play again t ten men." Two of the Highland players were out, when Bill Miller came to the bat; and it began to seem that Jack would strike him out and retire the side. But one of those strange "accidents" that are due about so ofte n in a game of baseball, and which make things interesting and keep the spe ctat ors gues s ing, came waltzing along now; for, when it seemed that the third strike would be made, Miller connected, and slammed a great liner against the ball-ground fence. The Highland fans rose e n masse, yelling as if they would burst their lungs, as Wilson Crane sprinted after that ball, which had gone over his head and Miller was flying along fairly tearing up the bases. He r eached third before Wilson could field in the ball. Then Kit Carver, the Highland pitcher, pick ed up the bat, as his name was called by the umpire. That great three-bagger had rattled" Jack. His face had gone to a brick-dust red antl his eyes began t o glitter feverishly. "Steady, old boy!" called Lafe from the benches, when he saw this. Jack tried to steady down. Then Kirtland, who also seemed to have been made nervous, let one of Jack s hot throws slip through hi s fingers. Miller came home, with the fans howling. Carver now cracked out a two-bagger, and was fol l owed by Ben Yates with a si ngle. With a runner on first and on third, Carver began to lead out daringly from third, to give the runner at first a chance to take second, or tease Phil into throw ing to second and thus give the runner at third a chance to come in. Phil steadied down and did not fall into the trap; and let the runner from first go to second rather than ri sk letting Carver come home. Then Jack again failed to "make good, and the bases were filled. The Highland fans were screaming. The y had forgotten to howl at Sanely McLean. "Steady, old boy!" Lafe warned, when he saw Jack's reel face grow apparently redder. Again Phil Jet a wild pitch get by him, and Carver came home, while the other runners advanced them selves each a bag. T,,.o runs had been brought in, after two men were out.


ALL-SPORTS LIER.<\ RY. 2! 'Keep it going yelled They "kept it going," for Jack no w went into the air; and both runners gained home, while another man was advanced to seco nd. But the run getting stopped there. Yet how had the face of things been changed Highland was now two runs ahead-the score stand-ing nine to seven in their favor. But the Cranford b oys "pull ed themselves together" in the seco nd half, and made it a tie-nine to nine. A nd then the ninth inning opened, with the excitement at fever pitch CHAPTER IX. THE NINTH INNING. The thing that had happened was discouraging eno u gh, and the manner in which Jack had "gone up in a balloon," was personally humiliating. Yet the fact that in their half of the eighth inning the Cranford nine h a d brought in two runs and tied the sco re had some features of encouragement. In a case of this kind it sometimes happens that the poorer elements of a team come to the front and play the game for a rally. And Jack wa s given time to think it over and to "coo l clown," while t hat half of t he inning was being played, for he did not come to the bat, but sat in the benches and saw ot her members of the team wield the sti ck and bring in tho se two runs. The thought that their hop es for the pennant hung on the work to be clone in the next inning enabled h im to pull hi s courage together. He saw that the Cranford n i ne had still as good hopes as Highland; in fact, their chance seemed to be better, for, up to the t ime that the "accident" occurred which started those humili ating plays by which High-, land had pulled four men acros s the rubbe r, Cranford had played the best ball. So J ack saw that the chances were s till with Cran ford and h e would not Jet himself g i ve way to the feelings that threatened to swamp his courage and m a ke him un:ible to do good wor k. T hat few minutes of c oo l thought in the benches did worlds of good for him and he had recovered hie; equanimity and his nerve before Cranford's half of the eighth inning ended. Then a thing happened which fairly flooded his soul with hope and fighting enthusiasm. Lafe leaned tow ard him in the benches and said : "Jack, I'm going behind the bat!" Phil was a good catcher, but he was not Lafe Lamp ton If Lafe could play Jack c o uld have shouted. "But are you able?" he asked, anxiously-so anx1 iously that he almost trembled. Lafe smiled. "I've just been trying .'em, and I find they taste good, and that's a sure sign with me!" The smile broadened, as he pulled out a peanut and clapped the knernels into his mouth. Jack had often cen s ured Lafe for hi s piglike appe tite, but when he saw that he c ould have hugged Lafe, he was so deligh ted I was sick enough to die for a while," sa id Lafe; "but it has all passed now, and I m good for one inning, anyway. I'm going to try it. got to win this game!" "We must win it!" "That's the ticket; and you and I can do it." Lafe was not a boaster-never was; it was just the expression of his honest belief Phil flushed when Jack told him that Lafe had asked to be put behind the bat in the ninth inning; yet, if he felt touched and his face showed that he did he contrived to keep his feelings out of sight otherwise. A wild yell went up from the Cranford fans and the nine when Lafe Lampton donned pad and mask, and, after a word with Jack went int o po s ition. Little Nat up, with Polly on his shoulder s ; and, liftin g her to the tips of his finger s he gav e an In dian war whoop, and :t:olly, s eated thus, a n d ex cited by Nat's yell, cackl ed out her old cry, taug-ht her Jong befpre by Jubal Marlin : "Ha! ha! ha! Hah! hah! bah! Haw! h aw haw! Hip, -hip, hip, hooray, ho oroa r, hooroar Hurrah for Cranford! Hurrah for Jack Lightfoot! Hip, hip, hooroar-hooroar Then the flags fluttered and the Cranford yell again I I


22 ALL-SPORTS LIBRA RY. banged t o the sky fr o m ble ach e r s and grand s t and, a nd the Cranford fans began t o sing : '' W e re b ou nd t o do up Highland, in th e b a ttl e o f t o -day! For w e arc m a r c hing on! Gl o ry glory halleluy a h e tc. Phil had gone back to his o ld place at third ba s e r et iring Co nnie Lynch t o the benche s a m o n g th e s ub s tit ute s Then the ninth inning o pened, with Polly sq u aw k ing and the fans singing, an d J a ck Li g ht foot, with hi s c o urage g oo d n o w and his re so luti o n hard e ned int o a d etermination to do o r die, sent in the fir s t pitched ball o f the ninth A very Rand was again at the bat, and J ack now had the supreme s ati s facti o n o f s triking him o ut, a performance that bro ught m o re yells fro m the fan s and m o re "hurrahing" fro m Polly Tom J o hns o n, th e be s t b atte r fo r Hig hl a n d, c a me ne x t, and he was a hard man t o handle--a hard prop osition for any pitcher. Johns o n was a "wa iter. Jack tried him with out curves and drop s in front o f the plate, a lternating with the swift spit ball ; and had o ne s trike a nd three ball:; called. Again Jack tried the spit ball, with that down-shoot just before it came up t o the rubber. It was a very hard ball to get but-Jo hn s on got it and he lifted it into the left field where Jubal wa s crouching in po s ition. It seemed a bad s t art, for J o hns o n t o ok two bags on that hit. "Bill Miller at the bat!" c a lled Sandy McLean. Jack tried the s pit ball again, alternating it with o rdinary s l ow a nd s wift cur v es, and Bill Miller went the way of A v ery Rand he s truck out. Two men were out, and but one man had s ecured a h i t -Tom Johnson, who was on second and crazy to b e o n his way to third. Kit Carver at the bat! Sa nd y had called the next name on the batting li st. Kit C a r ver knew that this wa s a critical time, and he c o uld not escape a share of ner v ousness. \i\Tith two men out and the s ore tied and thi s the Highland half o f the ninth inning, it was clearly "up to" Carver to do something. Carver w a s a good play er and a goo d batter, but he was n o tic e a b l y n e rvous. He struc k a t th e fast b all, and made a clear mis s To encourage him t h e Highla nd fan s b ega n t o cheer Littl e Nat, not t o b e o utd o ne p o pp e d Polly t o his s h o ulder where she "hurra hed" for Cranford and Jack Li ghtfoot. The e xci t e ment of the spe c tato r s wa s as fe verish as t hat o f th e pl ayers t h e m selves, and eve r ywhere, in bleachers and g ran d s t a n d, m en a n d wo m en were standin g up, th o u g h y elled a t b y o th e r s t o "si t down!" The s pit b all came in once m o re, a n d again Ca r ver fanned. "Two strike s !" s h o uted Sandy Mc L e an e l evating his voice t o m a ke it h eard in the mids t of th e u proar. Jac k Li g ht foo t f e lt him se lf trembling a s h e wo u nd up fo r th a t thi r d b all. L afe h a d s i g naled "Ste ady, o ld boy;" a nd his smile could be seen throu g h the bars of the ma s k. Crack! Carver connected. E v ery one of the s pectator s in the s eat s s eeme d t o ri s e to his feet a s that liner was crack e d o ut an d t h e yells that went up so un de d like a h oa r s e ro a r. It was a two-bagger, and T o m Johnson came h o m e fro m second. The Highland nine wa s a run in the lead now "Keep it up!" yelled the Hig hland player s a s Ben Yates w ent to the bat. Butit was "strike!" strike! strike And Yate s was out. The s pit ball had done the w ork. The Cranfo rd fan s flutt e red their flags a nd yelled, and once m o r e Polly w h oop e d thi ngs u p fo r the Cran fo r d nine under the c oaxing o f N a t K imb all. "Two runs' ll do it, n aow cri e d Jub a l w ith wi l d enthu s ia s m. "Ga l -da rned i f I didn"t kn ow we'd wm whe n the parrot c o m e ba c k t ew u s W e ha v en t wo n yet sa i d S keen n e r vo u s ly. "No, but we re go int e r. By grann y, I feet s if I c ould l i f t that ole ball ove r t h e m oon Jubal w a s first t o t11 e bat; and h e we n t into posi ti o n with hi s broad Yankee s mil e lugging two bats


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 23 and throwing one away as he came to the plate, so that Old Wagon Tongue wou ld seem lighter by compari son. Jubal was left-handed, and this fact was always an annoyance to a pitcher, for pitchers become more ac customed to throwing to right-handed men. "Right there, by granny!" said Jubal, holding up his bat and tapping it near the end. "If you'll send it right I'm gointer drive this ball right into the mouth o' the man in the moon." Jubal always talked that way, smiling down at the pitcher Kit Carver began to the corners," as the Highland boys called it; but they were too far out, and Jubal smilingly let them go by. "This ain't no gol-darned fish pole that I'm han dlin' !" he cried. "Gimme somethin' that I can get." Carver put them closer in; and Jubal, when it seemed he would strike out, lifted one for right fiel d, sending it over the head of the fielder. Jubal easily took first on that, and started for sec ond, but came back to his perch at first when he saw his danger. "Jack Lightfoot at the bat!" called Sanely McLean. Jack could hear his own heart beating as his name was called, and he took up the bat and stepped into position. Jubal began to dance almost recklessly off from first as if he hoped thereby to "rattle" Carver. Carver's face was red. He saw what he had to do if he kept Cranford from making a score, and he had to do that now to win out. Again he sent the balls wide, and had "balls" called against him; which started the Highland fans up again with that old cry of theirs, of "playing against ten men." They yelled in hoodlum tones at the umpire, denouncing his "bum eye," and asking him if he thought he could tell a "strike" if he saw one. The Cranford fans were again singing, and the parrot was "hurrahing" for Jack and for Cranford. There were times when this din would have been c o nfusing to Jack. But he was calm now; he had conquered his trem bling nerves by filling his heart with the assurance that the nine must win; and, though his face looked red, he was not trembling, but lifted the bat with steady hands as the ball came in. When three "balls" had been called, Carver put it over the rubber. Jack had been waiting for that. Crack! / A wild howl broke loose from the throats of the spectators, as the ball shot from the bat and went away into deep center; and Jack, driving Jubal ahead of.him, went clown to first and on to second, and then on to third. A pandemonium broke loose the like of which had never been seen on that diamond, when Jubal crossed the rubber and \Vas safe home, with Jack following him. The ball was coming in, with a great throw from center. Cale Young, the Highland pitcher, got in position to receive it. "Slide!" yelled Tom Lightfoot. "Slide-slide!" Jack pitched headlong at the plate. I "Smack!" went the ball in Young's mitt. But Jack was there first. "Safe!" shouted Sandy McLean, amid the denoun cing yells of the Highland fans. Then that hoarse cheer from the Cranford followers broke once more thunderously on the air. For Cranford had won, and Highland's hopes for the pennant had been trailed in the dust. CHAPTER X. THE HOBOES AGAIN. It was late-after dark, in fact-before the Cran ford nine set out for home, in the big wagon that had brought them to Highland. And they were late because of the "jubilations" they had indulged in after winning that hotly contested game. They had elevated Polly on the end of Old \Vagon Tongue, at the rubber, at the conclusion of the game, and, joined by a host of their friends, they had marched round her while she "hurrahed," and had sung their


24 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "war songs," while the fans, and the girls, led by Lily Livingston, grouped near, cheering and waving their flags. And Polly had seemed to think all this honor and glory was for her, to judge by the manner in which she fluttered her green wings and "hurrahed" and "hooroared" and yelled for Cranford .and for Jack. After that there had been a parade of the nine down into the town, with Polly on the bat, the bat on Saul Messenger's broad shoulder, and the nine and the fans bringing up the rear. Jubal had probably never yelled so much and so lustily before at one time in all his life. What delighted Jack as much as anything else was that Phil Kirtland was in a happy mood, pleased with the winning of the game and apparently in nowise sore over the fact ,that Lafe had been placed behind the bat in the ninth inning. Kirtland had certainly conducted himself rather handsomely that day. Nearly all of the fans and spectators from Crcmford had gone home long before the nine started in their wagon. They were still in a happy mood, and they sang {, songs and cracked jokes, and conducted themselves in a noisy manner, as they rumbled along the country roads. Then one of their horses stumbled and went lame, and the wagon careening into a hole at about the same time, it was discovered that in addition to a lame horse they had a broken wheel. They sought assistance at the nearest farmhouse; but all the farmer would clo was to grant them permis sion to stable their horses there that night. His own horses were tired, after a clay of heavy work, and he would not permit them to be used. Hence, was nothing left but for the boys to walk : home. This did not seem so first, even though the distance was considerable; and they continued to sing and "jollify," as they pla'dded thrnugh the darkness over the lonely roads, : until, their voices growing hoarse, and their strength being not so great as it had been, they subsided into conversational tones. Finally they struck the railroad which ran fro m C a r diff to Cranford, and began to "walk ties," for it offered a more direct route than the highway. As they thus plodded on, having quieted down, they beheld the sudden flash of a match ahead. It flared up for but a minute, but it revealed to them the faces of some tramps who were tugging at some thing which they appeared to be upon the track. There was a deep cut at this point, and the peculiar ity of what they had beheld aroused the b o ys su s picions. They recalled the hoboes who had been seen at Highland in the afternoon. All the boys stopped dead still, when they saw that match flare up, which went out as soon a s seen, leaving the road there in darkness. "Do you think they saw u s?" Ned Ske n a s k ed nervously. "Hardly likely," Jack answered. "It's pretty dark here and we weren t makin g any noise. If they had heard us they w o uldn t have s truck that light. "vVhat do you suppose they are up to?" queried Nat. "They were certainly dragging something up o n o r across the track." "By hemlock, seems tew me they may be gointer try tew wreck the next train," said Jubal. "If you fellows'll stay right here quietly, Tom and I will crawl up on those scamps and try to find out what it means." "And get yourselves into a pot of trouble!" Lafe objected. "There'll be no trouble, if we're quiet," said Tom. The boys sat down, all but Jack and Tom, and these two slipped away along the track. They used great caution right at the start, and increased this as they drew near the spot where the match had flashed, and heard there a grumbling under tone of voices. By cautious work Jack and Tom were able to ap proach to within less than a stone's throw of the men, whom they now knew t o be tramps, and no doubt the very ones who had been in Highland.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. The tramps were still indu striously at work, and were talking among themselves as they l abored. "They're building an obstruction on the track," whispered Jack, as he lay flat down for the purpose of getting the h oboes between him self and the s ky line "Sure thing," Tom assented. "And that means they intend t o wreck a train. "It looks it." They lay still now, liste nin g, and heard discon nected sentences of the talk. "On de fast freight!" "Dat rich peddler!" "In de caboose!" "A pot o' swag!" These were some of the things that floated t o the boys in concealment. The place selected b y the hoboes for their work was so l one ly that they seemed to have no fear of an interrupti on. When they had listened a while, J ack and Tom re treated as stealt hil y as they had adva nced and, reaching a point they deemed safe, they began to discuss the situation in w hispers: "They're to wreck the fast freight," was Jack's guess. "Yes." "I wonder what time it is?" "That freight is due in Cranford at ten-thirty. I can't see my watch, but it must be ten o'clock, or after." "Do you suppose that's the peddler we saw in High land?" "Shouldn't wo nder. Yes, I guess it -is. They've found out that he's to be on the fast freight, w hich will la\ld him in Cra nford at ten-thirty and to-morrow he 'll be peddling there. They got onto the fact that he was to go on the fast freight-in the caboose, and they fo un d out, too, that he h ad a l ot of money." "vVe'll have to get a move on u s." "That's right, too!" They retreated again, and a s soon as it was safe to hasten they hurried back to where they had left the "There are a bad l o t of tramps visit this section,., declared Jack. He had good cause to kn o w only too well that this was true, for on some previous occasions he had fallen afoul of these thugs and given some rough usage. "If we had a lantern ," said Lafe, "we could stop the train right here." "It's too far to go back to that farmhouse?" ven tured Skeen. "But we'll have to do something!" Jack urged. "If you fellows have matches, any of you, I can make a torch all right ," said Tom. "There must be so me grass of good length growing near here, dry enough for the purpose, and if I could find a birch tree and get some of the bark and twist it in with the grass it would make a fine light-good enough." Several of the boys including Jack, had matches, and Tom skirmished out into the darkness at the side of the road seeking material for an improvised torch When he came back, having found the things he wanted, Jack announced to him the conclusion the boys had reached in his absence. "If we stop the engine here," he said, "it will save the train, but it will let the hoboe s get away; and they ought to be pulled, if it can be done." "What's your plan? We'v e got very little time, I think." "We' ll try to creep clo s e up to them, and be ready to tackle them as soon as the train sees our signal and before they caq get away." "It will be risky, said Tom : "Yes, but don't you think it may be worth it, if we can s ucceed? And you see, even if they get away then, it will be no worse than if we stopped the train here and let them get away; only we 'll have the satis faction of having tried it." The boy s were much excited, for the thing they pro posed to attempt :1 ow held a big element of danger. other members of the nine. CHAPTER XI. There they related their discoveries and gave their FOILING THE 'HO BOES. conjectures as to what the h o b oes had planned to do. The darkness which had held cleared away almost as "The scou ndrel s said Lafe. if a great searchlight had been swept across the sky,


' 26 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. as the boys slipped into position at the side of the track not far away from where the hoboes were still at work. The banks of cloud which had hid the m oon rolled away like a curtain, bringing down upon the earth a flooding moonlight. Jack and his friends crouched low, doubling them selves close to the ground. There they lay and we re soon convinced they had not been seen by the tramps. Then they were confronted by a startling danger, for the trarrips having completed the work of placing an obstruction on the track ca1ne over to that side, and; creeping along, crouched down not six yards from where the boys lay in hiding. It was almost impossible to speak even in a whisper now without bringing danger of discovery. But the tramps talked loudly enough-or, so it seemed, in the silence that otherwise reigned. Jack fancied he could almost hear his heart beating; a nd he was sure he could hear the suppressed breath ing close beside him. "Good t'ing we got t'rough 'fore de light hit us," one of the tramps grunted, in a thick voice "Might somebody be comin along dat crossroads an seen us workin'.'' "Funny t'ing 'bout us workin', too!" growled an "First work I done sense I hit de road, and I don't like it.',. "What about

A L L -SPORTS LIBRARY. The e ngine flash e d o n to ward th em, l o om ing large now. Des perately Jack now scratched his match. His nerve s were s haking. The match flashed and flared, and h e applied it quickly t o the torch. Then, with a wild yell, h e leap e d o u t up o n the track and with the engine thundering toward him, he began to w a ve the t o rch. But he had n o t moved alone. Lafe and T 6 m and the other members of the mne had jumpe d o ut into v iew bein g cle arl y re\; ealed now, and clas hed t oward the t r amps. The l a tter had been so t a k e n una wa re s that the y se emed for the moment paralyze d b y a s toni s hment. Then th ey spr a n g to their feet. They trie d to run alon g the track and leap into the bushes bu t Lafe and T o m sprang up o n two of them, and a livel y fight began right ther e the tramps strug glin g t o get away, and the tw o b o y s endeavoring to make them pri s oners. But the engine was right at hand. Jack waved his torch wildly, the whistle screamed as if in fear, and the fa s t freight monster engine slowed up, with a grinding and creaking of brakes. The tramp s whom Tom and Lafe had tackled were de s perate n o w with fear, and they fought like fiends. The engineer threw him s elf out of the cab as soon as the engine c o uld be brought to a stop, and came running forward, while further behind came train men and la s t o f all the peddler whom the tramps had expected to rob. Jack threw down his torch, and went to the aid of his friends, as the other boys were already doing. The other tramps had e s caped. But these two, who proved to be the leaders of the dastardly attempt to wre ck the train, were brought into subject i o n, af ter they had been pretty badly used up. The e x citement of the train men was great, and their indignati o n w as warmly w o rd e d when the y be- h e ld that murderous ob s truction on the track, and r eali zed what it meant and how near they had come to a d i sas trous wreck. For a time it seemed that they would murder the two tramps who had been captured. But they did not go so far as that. Ropes were brought from the caboose, and the two hoboes were tied. Then they were conducted back to the caboose. The peddler, who was a German Jew, shook with fear, when he understood what the attempted ditching of the train had meant. "Gootness mine frients, he expostulated, throwing out his hand s in an expressive gesture of fear, "I haf no m o neys! Dis pettling is a loosing pizness mit me." I gue ss they would have found your money, all ri g ht, said Jack, in answer, "if they had got at you." The peddler continued to shake, now that danger was over, as if he were a bag of jelly. "But I haf no moneys!" he cried; "I cannot bay you for dis great kintness, mine frients." Then Jack and the other boys laughed. "Oh, we don t want any pay!" said Jack, to the peddler'.s relief. "'vVe just did this for fun. We do things like this every night or so, just for the amuse ment of it." "But the road will see that you're rewarded, all right, declared the conductor gratefully. "Never fear for that." "'vV e're not asking anything ," said Jack, sturdily. The obstruction had been removed from the track, and the fast freight now moved on toward Cranford the b o ys riding homeward in the caboose, with the two captured hoboes, and the peddler, who still shook fear. And this heroic; and successful attempt to prevent the wreck of the fast freight really brought the boys more praise than even their hard and successful fight against the Highland nine that day. THE END. Next week's issue, No 35, will be "Jack Lightfoot, Pennant Winner; or, Winding up the }'our-Town League." In this story is pictur e d the great game with Tidewater, the last of the series to be played for the pennant of the Four-Town League. It is a number you will not want to miss. You will find in it a great game of baseball, and some other things quite as lively.


A C HAT WITH YOU Under this gen e r al head we purpose each week to sit around the camp fire, and have a heart-to-heart talk with those of our young readers who care to gather there, answering such letter s as may reach us asking for information with regard to various healthy sports, both indoor and out. We should also be glad to he a r what you t hink of the leading characters in your favorite publication. It is the editor's desire to make this department one tha t will b e eagerly read from week to week by every admirer of the Jack Lightfoot stories, a nd prove t o be of valuable a ssist ance in building up manly, he althy Sons of America. All letters re ceive d will be answered immediately, bu t may not appear in print under five weeks, owing to the fact that the publication must go to press far in advance of the date of issu e Those who favor us with correspondence will please bear this in mind, ar.d exercise a little pati ence THE EDITOR. I would like you to tell me if you think my measurements are up to the mark for a boy of twelve. My height, 4 feet 80 inch es ; weight, 73 pounds; chest, 27)/, inches; waist, 26 inches; hi\)S, 27)/, inches; thighs, 15 inches; calf, 9 % inches. If you thmk m y measurements are not right for a boy of my age, I would thank you very much if you would tell me what to do. My ambition to become, an athlete is great, and that is t he r eason I like the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. ALL-SPORTS is the b est book o n the market in it s line Wis hing success to J ack Lightfoot and his chums, and hoping to see thi s in print soon I remain, CARL 1\1. KORNBLUM. Evansville, Ind. You are undersized, Carl, but doubtless the next two years will see a great change in your growth. We have known boys at fourteen to seem stunte d who at seventeen seemed young giants. D on't worry, b ut continue your athletic training. I have read nearly a ll of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARIES, a nd think they are about th e best wee klies that a r e published. I like Tom J ac k Lafe, Brodie. and all the rest except R ee l Snodgrass and that other cad, Shelton I lik e old Jerry, too. Saul Messenger gave R ee l all h e destrved when he lit into him on the grand stand and smashed his face. I like Nellie and Katie best. I think Lily likes Shelton and Reel too much. 1403 Pendleton S t reet Columbia S. C. HEilER REYNOLDS. You do us honor, dear Heber, when you go to the trouble of writing in order to tell us how you enjoy readin g ALL-SPORTS, and we thank you. Spread the gospel among your boy friends. I have just finished r eading No. 24 of the ALL-SPORTS, and 1 couldn't keep from w riti ng to you I haYe re;iJ every m1111-ber of the ALL-SPORTS, and a l though I have read a g reat J ot of other books, I think that it i s th e best set of stories for boys I ever read. My father does not like me to read most books of thi s style, but he has taken to reading them, and thinks they ,are a better class than the oth ers He looks for them as eagerly as I do each week. I i n tend to r ea d them to the end. I like J a ck best; then come s quiet Tom and hungry Lafe. with the others following after. Ben Birkett will probably end up the pen. Phil Kirtland m ay turn out as a good friend of Jack's. I don't like Reel S. Of the g irls, Nellie Connor takes my eye, an d I would like to see Jac k h a ve her for his sweetheart. H e cou ld1 all right. I don't lik e Lily Livingston. I h ope t hi s won't land m the wastebasket. A NEWTON REPRESENTATIVE. Newton, Kan. Your letter has t he right ring. We are very much pleased to know your father approves of our little sheet, and we intend that it shall conta in nothing at any time that might offend any parent. We hope to have their cooperation in buildin g up a weekly that will stand for e verything that is honest and manly in the life o f a n average, wide-awake, sport loving A m erican lad. I have just finished No. 23 of ALL-SPORTS LlBl\ARY. I happened to get hold of four of your books, Nos 1 8 a nd 19, 22 and 23, and am now after the other ones. I have been reading other weeklies, but they don t compare with ALL-SPORTS. Jack and Tom Lightfoot are heroes of the best type. Next comes Lafe, Skeen, Brodie, Mack, Wilson Crane, Marlin, Saul, Nat, and last, but not least, Connie Mack. 1 would like to see Conni e play third base ri ght along. Kirtl a nd lik es praise too well and grumbles too much, but there a r e wo r se boys than he. Katie a nd Nell i e are the best giris in the wairld I wish that Lily did not interfere with Jack about Delancy Shelton and Reel. I am the manager of a team of young b oys between fourteen and fifte e n years of age. Their names and po s ition s are: James C. Hanlon, catcher; Danny Leahy, pitcher; Edward Burke, first base (first sub pitcher); Ben Duatl, second base; Herman Lowell, third base; Mort Warren, shortstop (first sub catch); Fred Baker. right field (second s ub catcher); Cly de Wentworth, left field; Putchard, center field (second s ub catch) I am 14 years old, S feet 2r.4 inches in height and weig h I IO pounds. What i s the average of a boy of my age? Yours, Milford, N. H. H. A. LowE.I.L. Your weight i s just about right for a lad of your hei ght. I am a boy of thirtee n. and have five sisters, so me older and o ne .i ust a yea r and half you n ger. She and I are chums. be cause Bet likes all sorts o f things boys like. am\ can't bear to sew, o r play with dolls, o r do any sort of thing most girls take to Why, s h e u se d to p lay baseball with us, but mother stopped that. I'm telling you this becau e she enjoys your ALL-SPORTS just as much as I do. That's saying something, I guess, because I just dote on it. vVe r ead it together up in ou r d en. And Bet, she likes the ba seball s t ories very much indeed. You ought to see h e r thro w a ball for keeps. I guess there are few girls can d o i t so well. And she Jayes the woods, too, and talks of traveling all the time If I was camping out o r cruising in a canoe, I b e lieve I'd rather h ave m y s i ste r Bet alongthan any boy T kno w Sh e does n t seem to be afraid of anything except a mou se an d a spi d e r. I've tried her w i t h those, and the r eal gi rl showed up when s h e squea led and jumped on a c h air. Yet she kill ed a r a ttle sna k e as coo l as yo u plea se last summer, when we were up in Penn. And I've sren h e r take a stick and cha s e a big dog clown t h e street. father r eads your paper, too. He sa y s he does it because he wants to make sure there's nothing in it to hurt our morals. But it seems fonny to me that he reads it after we do. a nd eve n sent io r eve r y ba ck number, buying us a nice file to keep them in. I gness he like s the stories some, too, b ecause they rem in d him of the times when he was a boy. Well. I've written you quite a l ette r, but I only wanted to thank yo u for g i ving us s u c h splcndiJ, moral stories every week, and tell you how much ""e e n joy sa me. Please do not put in my narne-B1>1: might no t like it-hut let me sig n myself, Elizabe th, N. J. JACK LIGHTFOOT THE SECOND. Thank you, my boy for such a c harming l et t e r. It pleases u s more than we ca n tell to know that ALL-SPORTS is such a welcome weekly guest in your h ome Your parents are cer tainly of the ri ght sort to bring up a family. That fathe r of y ours is, we imagine, a bit of a wag, too. He evidently know a good thing when he sees it, and enjoys the stori es a bout as well as you do. Somehow, he r eminds us of the careful parent who is dragged t o the circus every summer by his young hopeful. And as to Bet, s h e must b e a j olly s i s ter, after the type o f Jo in "Little Wome n ." You w ill d o well to keep her as your "chum," and we r ather su rmi se th a t afte r a while, she will turn out to be a genius. That love for nature in a girl is apt to grow until it de ve lops the spirit of a great author or an artist. 1 have b ee n rf"ading t he ALL-SPORTS LrnRARY interest. It seems to me that in criticisin,g the author, as Philip Cu rtis did


ALL-SPORTS LIBR,\RY. in r o. 22, w h e n he said: "Mr. Stev e n s see m s to think a fellow must be a snive ler and a snea k because he h ap p e n s t o be b o rn well off," the writer s h ows that he h as failed t o understand the characters Brodie an d K ate Strawn and Tom Li gh tfoot are well off, a nd they a r e well spoke n of; and, on the other hand, o ne of the me anest a n d lowest boys in Cranford i s s h o wn by the author to be one of the poorest in a money sense-I mean Kick Flint, of th e Apache face and tiger heart. I think the author h as tried to make it clear that it is not wealth or socia l position, nor t he l ack of t he se, that counts, but t ru e manhood. Col umbu s, Ohio. X. Y. Z. \'Ve a r e glad you have written in this strain because there ha\ e been seve r a l complaints of this n ature, and what you say answe r s them fully as well as we could have done ourse l ves. I am a constant r ea d e r o f your -weekly, ALL-SPORTS, and I think they are the best that was eve r prin te d in th a t line of books I have r ea d them from No. I, therefore I take the libe rt y to ask a few questions. I am I6 years of age ; 5 feet 3 inches in h e ight; neck, inch e s ; ca lf I2Yi inches; chest, normal, 30 inches; expanded, 32 inches; thigh, 18)4 inch es ; waist, 27 inches ; weight, I 12 pounds; wri st, 6 inches. C a n throw twelve-pound s h o t twenty f eet I smoke c igarettes a great deal. What is a good remedy for this habit? Kindly l et me know my weak point s and h ow t o remedy them. Hoping to see this in print at your earlies t convenience, DUKE MULLER. g6 Montice llo Avenue, Jersey City, N. J ,Your weight is a bit above the ave r age for your size; you lack severa l inches of the required chest measurements while about the waist you excel. This is not right. It would be well for you to sto p the cigarette h abit entirely and pay attention to increasing your Jung ca pa c ity while you are still young. If you keep on smoking, there i s a se riou s po ss ibility of your going into a decline b efo re you a re twenty and p e rhaps consumption may take hold Above all things, drop the cigarette habit at once, for your good sense tells you th a t it is harmful. I have hee n re adi n g Ar.r.-SPORTS fro m the first number to the present. I th ink ALL-SPORTS is the best weekly, except the Tip Top W nkly. \'V ou ld you mind a n swe ring a few questions? Is the r e a r eal J a ck Lightfoot? How ol d is J ack? How tall i s Jack? Where is Cranford s ituated? I like Jack; next, Lafe, Tom, Skeen, Phil best. Hoping to see this in print, l r ema in, Beaumont, Tex. A \'VELL-WISHER. Really, now, it i s hardly fair to ask us such questions You must read the stories closely to find the answers to most of t h em. Doubtless Mr. Stever.s knows wh e re the originals of hi s clever characters m ay be found for h e is a New England man himself, an d quite at h o me in Maine. We thank you for your goo d opinion I h ave been reading ALL-SPORTS LrBRA!l.Y ever since it came out. I think it is t h e best book for a boy to read if he is look ing for exercise. Hoping that it will a lw ays be publi s hed, MESSENGER No. II, New Orleans La. National Postal Tel eg raph Company. 'Ve appreciate your words o f praise and hope you will benefit from the st orie s you enjoy so much. Having read Au.-SPORTS from No. I up to No. 27, and not having s een a letter from the c ity o n th e Merrimac, I th o u gh t I woul d w rit e a nd l e t you know tha t t h e boys of the old Bay State know a good thing when they see it I have just finished read i ng the Cha t co lumn in No. 27, a nd noticed two letters that i n te r ested me deeply. I felt that one of them, from "' G., Logansport, Ind., needed answering and I propose to sta rt t he b

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY HOW TO DO THING5 By AN OLD ATHLETE. Timely essays and hints upon various athletic s ports and pastimes, in which our boys are usually deeply interested, and told in a way that may be easily understood. Instructive article s may be found in back numbers of the ALL-SPURTS LIBRARY, ati follows : No. 14, "How to B e come a Batter." No. 15, "The Science of Place Hitting and Bunting." No. 16, "How to CoverFirstBase." No. 17, "Playing Shortstop No.18 "Pitching." No. 19, "Pitching Curves." No. 20, "The Pitcher's Team Work." No. 21, "Playing S econd Base." No. 22, "Covering Third Base." No. 23, "Playing the Outfield." No. 24, "How to Catch \I.) No. 25, "How to Catch." (II.) No. 26, "How to Run Bases. No. 27, "Coaching and the Coach." No. 28, "How to Umpire." No. 29, "How to Manage Players." No. 30, "Baseball Points." No. 31, "How to Make a Che ap Skiff." No. 32, "Archery." No. 33, "Cross-Country Running." THE GAME OF LACROSSE Lacrosse is steadily increasing in popularit y in the United States, and while it has long been c o nsidered almost the national game of Canada, as baseball is with us, some of our crack lacrosse teams have occasionally given our Canadian friends a hard tus sle. J;he Indians of the Northwest played a game greatly resembling lacro s se, and in fact, from which lacrosse is derived only their playing was cruder and rougher than the present-day game, the pla y ers oftentimes in a heated moment, whacking their opponents over the head or shins with their sticks. On a lacrosse team it is necessary for each man to play his particular position. 'When, before a game, the coach and captain pick the team, they select twelve men whom they think will make the strongest combination. The most trouble in this line is generally found in new attack men. They have no confidence in the ability of their defense to take care of itself, and insist on going clown to the help of the defense m e n when the ball stays down in that territory for any length of time. This is a great mistake. Keep your positions; because, if you go down, your opponent s defense will move out also, thus keeping the ball clown in your territory. Even if you should get it, you would possibly can:y it up the field about halfway, only to have it taken away from you because you have no one to help you and you are too tired to d o dge through a fresh defense field. So keep your positions. What is the use of keeping your opponents from scoring if you cannot put the ball in the net yourself? "The minute that a team brings an extra man down on its defense it is losing." THE LINE-UP Twelve m e n comprise a l a cro s se team, and the posi tions are nq.med as follows: Ins id e Home. Outs id e Home. Firs t Attack. S e c ond Attack. Third Attack. Center. Third D efe n se. Second Defense. First D efe n se. C over P o int. Point. Goal Keeper. G oa l Keep er. P o int. C o 1er Poi nt First D e fense. Second Dcf e n e. TLird Def ense C en t er. Third Atta ck. S eco nd Att ack. 1'i rs t Attack. O ut s ide H o me. Inside H o m e Two team s line up a g ainst each oth e r as s h o wn abov e ; the player's left side alwa\' S t o ward the goal he is at tacking. The attack sh o uld be in nearly a straight line from center to in-home. The defense must adapt itself to the position taken b y th e o pp o n ent's attack. There are two fundamental things upon which the s t y le of pla y h e r e de s cri be d i s ba s ed. First, a straight line i s th e s h ortes t distan ce betwe e n two p oints; secondly the oft e ner and the quick e r a b all ge t s to the opp o nents' goal th e b ette r are the chauce s for your team to scor e THE FACE-OFF. The ball is started from c ente r, or, in lacrosse parlance, y o u "face off." That is, the two opp o sing c e nters place their sticks back to back on the ground, and the ball is pl a c e d on the ground b e tween them. Neither man is all o wed to place his s tick so as to scrape the knuckles of his opponent on "facing the ball. To begin the game, each center must draw his s tick strai g ht toward h i mself, and the ball becomes the property of the side which manages to get it. HOW TO SHOOT GOALS. Every beginner in lacrosse thinks that when he can place the ball within the limits of the six-foot square which comprises a goal, be knows how to shoot a goal. Such is not the case. A man should at least be able to hit a twelve-inch square five out of six times. Experience has shown that a swift ball on a line with the goal man's waist worries him very much, because he cannot get his stick in place quick enough to stop it. The most goals however, are made in the top corners of the net. This is due to the fact that it is so much easier to drop the stick to the ground and intercept low Ones than raise it up in time for a ball around the head. Besides, it takes a more nervy man not to flinch at a swift ball buzzing by his head. Low balls, close to the goal keeper' s feet, are practically of little value; they are stopped with great ease. On the other hand, the ball which strikes the ground about three feet from the goal line and bounds up under the keeper's arms or over his shoulder is very effective. DODGING. The art of d6dging is a good thing when worked judiciously; but in team play it should be used only as a last resort-that is, when an attack player is left without assistance. The first step in dodging is to make a man hit at your stick. If he does this, it takes but little effort to go around him, because when he hits at your stick, you draw yourself away quickly, and the opponent, not m eeting the resistance he e x pected, practically loses his balance. When you buy lacrosse sticks, of course you should know that it is necessary to have something more than a mere curved stick, with some stringing of gut or hidethat is, you should know. There are as many different styles and shapes almost as there are players in the United States, and every one of them has some special claim that is put forward by the maker to help the sale of his special brand of sticks. Therefore, suit your indi vidual taste, and practice will show you what style is best fitted to your work. Some of the famous Iroquois tribe of Indians occa sionally make lacrosse sticks and the who can ob tain one of these is fortunate indeed. Next week we shall have something to say, by special r e quest, on the w ork o f the young n a turalist, and how he m ay w ith profit collect s pec im e ns of many strange things to be found in American forests and fields and waterafter that, look out for football, since it is in the air.


T E E Avt: LIBRA Y, SEA. This library represents an entirely new idea. It is totally different from any other now published The stories detail t h e adventures o f thr ee plu cky lads wh o set out to capture the notorious Captain Kidd. Every real boy has long ed to read more about the doings of this b old marauder of the seas and the opportunity is now given them. The stori es are of generous length and without equals i n thrilling adventure and interest. The best sea stories ever written. 4-Defying the Sea Wolf; or, Thad at Bay in t the Powder Magazine. 5-

. I BOYS, COJM:E GET THE ALL=SPORTS LIBRARY "Teach the American boy how to become an athlete and so lay the foundation of a constitution greater than that of the United States." -Wise Sayings from Tip Top YOU like fun, adventure and mystery, don't you? Well, you can find them all in the pages of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. As the name implies, the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY is devoted to the sports that all young people delight in. It has bright, h andsome, colored covers, and each story is of generous length. You are looking for a big five cents worth of good reading and you can get it here Ask your newsdealer for any of the titles listed below. He has them in stock. B e sure to get ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Like other good things it has its imitations. 1-J ack Light foot s Challenge; or, The Win ning of the Wager. 2-Jack Lightfoot's Hockey Team; or, The Ri v al Athletes of Old Cranford. 3-Jack Lightfo o t's Great Play; or, Surprising the Acad e my Boys. Lightfoot's Athletic Tournament; or, Breaking the Record Quarter Mile Dash. 5-Jack Lightfoot in the Woods; or, Taking the Hermit Trout of Simms Hole. 6-Jack Lightfoot's Trump or, The Wizard Pitcher of the Four-Town League. 7-Jack Lightfoot's Crack Nine; or, How Old "Wagon Tongue" Won the Game. S-Jack Lightfoot's Winning Oar; or, A Hot Race for the Cup. 9jack Lightfoot, The Young Naturalist; or, The Mystery of Thunder Mountain. 10-Jack Lightfoot s Team-Work; or, Pulling a Game Out of the Fire. II-Jack Lightfoet's Home Run; or, A Glorious Hit in the Right Place. 12-Jacl{ Lightfoot, Pacemaker; or, What Hap pened on a Century Run. 13-Jack Li g htfoot's Lucky Puncture; or, A Young Athlete Among the Hoboes. Lightfoot, the Magician; or, Quelling a Mutiny in the Nine. Lightfoot's Lightning Battery; or, Kid naping a Star Pitcher. 16-Jack Lightfoot's Strategy; or, Hare-and rHounds Over Cranford Hills. 17-Jack Lightfoot in the Saddle; or, A Jockey for Just One Day. 1S-Jack Lightfoot's Dilemma; or, A Traitor on the Diamond. 19-}ack Li g htfoot's Cyclone Finish; or, How Victory Was Snatched From Defeat. 20-Jack Lightfoot in Camp; or, Young Athletes at Play in the Wilderness. 21-Jack Lightfoot's Disappearance; or, The Turning-up of an Old Enemy. Lightfoot's "Stone Wall Infield; or, Making a Reputation in the League. 23-Jack Lightfoot's Talisman; or, The Only Way to Win Games in Baseball. 24-Jack Lightfoot's Mad Auto Dash; or, Speed ing at a Ninety Mile Clip. 2 5-Jack Lightfoot Afloat; or, The Cruise of the Canvas Canoes. 26-Jack Lightfoot's Hard Luck; or, A Light ning Triple Play in tbe Ninth. 27-Jack Lightfoot's Iron Arm; or, How the New "Spit" Ball Worked the Charm. 28--.Jack Lightfoot on the Mat; or, The Jiu Jitsu Trick that Failed to Work. 29-Jack Lightfoot's All Sports Team; or, How Lafe Lampton Threw the Hammer. 30Jack Lightfoot in the Box ; or, The Mascot that "Hoodooed" the Nine 31-Jack Lightfoot's Lucky Find; or, The New Man Who Covered "Short." 32-Jack Lightfoot, Archer; or, The Strange Secret an Arrow Revealed. 33-Jack Lightfoot's Cleverness; or, TY. Boy Who Butted In. 34-Jack Lightfoot's Decision; or, That Chest nut of "Playing Against Ten Men." Por Sale by all Newsdealers, or aent, postpaid, upoa receipt of price by publisher : : : WINNER LIBRARY CO., 165 West Fifteenth St NEW YORK


\ BUY IT AT ONCE many of our boys have bi c ycles, some have b o ats, others like fishing and shooting. A LL of these sports will be carefully dealt with in the All-Sports Library. The stories will deal "Tea cit th e Ame ri-with the adventures of plucky lads while indulging in healthy pastimes and should be read, there fore, by every boy who wants to learn all that to becomeanath7 l e t e aud s o lay t!te foundatz'on of a conis new in the various games and sports in which he is interestl!d. stitutz'on greate r than \(I) t It a t of th e Unite d State s." Wzs e sayings frOm Tip Top. ;;o LIKE all other good things T!t e All-Sports Library has its imitations. We warn our boys to be careful not to be taken in by these counterfeits. Be sure to get The All-Sports Library W E think that the o quotation from ous Tip Top Weekly tells, in a a s no other can compare few words, just what the All-Sports Library is attempting to do. We firmly believe that if the American boy dealers, or sent, by all news-of to-day can only be made to realize bow surely the All-Sports Library will give him an insight into all matters relating to athletics, our library will attain the mightiest circulation reached by any publication for boys """"' postpaid, by t foe '\. publishers upon receipt of prze e PRICE J T would be hard to find a boy who is not interested in athletics to some extent. All our schools have baseball, hockey, football and track teams and when these ..._t e _am_ s p l a y -th_ e i r r i v al s i n _te_ r e s t r u n s h i g h i 1 _1d_ e e d:""'. T h e n to o '_, TIIE WINNER LIBRARY COMPANY, 165 West Fif'teenth Street NEW YORK I


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