The Half-Back eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about The Half-Back.

Nearer and nearer crept the five-yard line, nearer and nearer crept the pursuing full-back.  Then, and at the same instant, the scattered breadth of lime was gone, and a hand clutched at the canvas jacket of the Harwell runner.  Once more Joel called upon his strength and tried to draw away, but it was no use.  And with the goal line but four yards distant, stout arms were clasped tightly about his waist.

One—­two—­three strides he made.  The goal line writhed before his dizzy sight.  Relentlessly the clutching grasp fastened tighter and tighter about him like steel bands, and settled lower and lower until his legs were clasped and he could move no farther!  Despairingly he thrust the ball out at arms’ length and tried to throw himself forward; the trampled turf rose to meet him....

* * * * *

“The ball is over!” pronounced the referee.  It was a nice decision, for an inch would have made a world of difference; but it has never been disputed.

Then Dutton leaped into the air, waving his arms, Rutland turned a somersault, and the west stand arose as one man and went mad with delight.  Hats and cushions soared into air, the great structure shook and trembled from end to end, and the last few golden rays of the setting sun glorified the waving, fluttering bank of triumphant crimson!

CHAPTER XXV.

THE RETURN.

“Boom!  Boom!” thundered the big drum.

“Tootle-toot!” shrilled the fife.

“Tarum!  Taroom!” growled the horns.

The Harwell band marched through the archway and defiled on to the platform.  The college marched after.  Well, perhaps not all the college; I have heard that a senior living in Lanter was too ill to be present.  But the incoming platform was thronged from wall to track, so it was perhaps as well that he didn’t come, because there positively wasn’t room for him.

“What is it?” asked a citizen in a silk hat of a gayly decorated youth on the outskirts of the crowd.  The latter stared for full a minute ere the words came.  Then he cried: 

“Here’s a fellow who wants to know what we’re here for!” And a great groan of derision went up to the arching roof, and the ignorant person slunk away, yet not before his silk hat had been pushed gently but firmly far down over his eyes.  Punishment ever awaits the ignorant who will not learn.

     “Glory, glory for the Crimson,
      Glory, glory for the Crimson,
      Glory, glory for the Crimson,
        For this is Harwell’s day,”

sang the throng.

“Boom!  Boom!  Boom!” thundered the big drum.

“Tootle-toot!” shrilled the fife.

“Now, fellows, three times three, three long Harwells, and three times three!” shouted the master of ceremonies hoarsely.

“Rah-rah-rah, Rah-rah-rah, Rah-rah-rah, Harwell!  Harwell!  Harwell!  Rah-rah-rah, Rah-rah-rah, Rah-rah-rah, Harwell!” shrieked the crowd.

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The Half-Back from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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