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

“I’m sorry it happened, though,” returned Joel.

“Pshaw! don’t you be afraid of Cloud.  He’s all bluster.”

“I’m not afraid of him.  But I’m sorry he lost the team through me.  Of course I couldn’t have let him go by, and I don’t suppose it could have been helped, but I wish some one else had tackled him.”

“Of course, it couldn’t have been helped,” responded West cheerfully.  “And I’m glad it couldn’t.  My! isn’t Cloud mad!  I passed him a minute or two ago.  ‘You ought to try golf, Bart,’ said I. You should have seen the look he gave me.  I guess it was rather like ‘rubbing it in.’” And West grinned hugely at the recollection.

“How about the tournament, West?” asked Joel.

“Fine!  There are twelve entries, and we’re going to begin at nine in the morning.  I did the fourth hole this afternoon in two, and the eighth in three.  No one has ever done the fourth in two before; it’s the Bogey score.  Don’t forget that you have promised to go around with me.  They say Whipple is practicing every morning over in Turner’s meadow.  What with that and football he’s a pretty busy lad, I dare say.  Don’t forget, nine o’clock day after to-morrow.”

And Outfield West waved his hand gayly and swung off toward Hampton House, while Joel entered the gymnasium and was soon enjoying the luxury of a shower bath and listening to the conversation of the others.

“There’ll be a shake-up to-morrow,” observed Warren as he rubbed himself dry with a big, crimson-bordered towel.  “Mr. Remsen wasn’t any too well pleased to-day.  He’s going to put Greer on the scrub to-morrow.”

“That’s where you might as well be,” answered the big center good-naturedly.  “The idea of playing a criss-cross with your right end on the side-line!”

“We took two yards just the same,” replied Warren.

“We gave it to you, my lad, because we knew that if you lost on such a fool play your name would be—­well, anything but Thomas ‘Stumpy’ Warren.”  The reply to this sally was a boot launched at the center rush, for Tom Warren’s middle name was in reality Saalfield, and “Stumpy” was a cognomen rather too descriptive to be relished by the quarter-back.  Greer returned the missile with interest, and the fight grew warm, and boots and footballs and shin-guards filled the air.

In the dining hall that evening interest was divided between the golf match to be played on the following Saturday morning and the football game with the Westvale Grammar School in the afternoon.  Golf had fewer admirers than had the other sport, but what there were were fully as enthusiastic, and the coming tournament was discussed until Joel’s head whirled with such apparently outlandish terms as “Bogey,” “baffy,” “put,” “green,” “foozle,” and “tee.”

Whipple, Blair, and West all had their supporters, and Joel learned a number of marvelous facts, as, for instance, that Whipple had “driven from Purgatory to The Hill in five,” that Blair was “putting better than Grimes did last year,” and that “West had taken four to get out of Sandy.”  All of which was undoubtedly intensely interesting, but was as so much Sanskrit to Joel; and he walked back to his room after supper with a greatly increased respect for the game of golf.

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