On the gridiron Westvale Grammar School and Hillton Academy were trying conclusions. On the grand stand all Hillton, academy and village, was assembled, and here and there a bright dress or wrap indicated the presence of a mother or sister in the throng. The Westvale team had arrived, accompanied by a coterie of enthusiastic supporters, armed with tin horns, maroon-colored banners, and mighty voices, which, with small hopes of winning on the field, were resolved to accomplish a notable victory of sound. On the side-line, with a dozen other substitutes whose greatest desire was to be taken on the first eleven, sat Joel. Outfield West was sprawled beside him with his caddie bag clutched to his breast, and the two boys were discussing the game. West had arrived upon the scene but a moment before.
“We’ll beat them by about a dozen points, I guess,” Joel was prophesying. “They say the score was twenty to nothing last year, but Remsen declares the first isn’t nearly as far advanced as it was this time last season. Just hear the racket those fellows are making! You ought to have seen Blair kick down the field a while ago. I thought the ball never would come down, and I guess Westvale thought so too. Their full-back nearly killed himself running backward, and finally caught it on their five-yard line, and had it down there. Then Greer walked through, lugging Andrews for a touch-down, after Westvale had tried three times to move the ball. There’s the whistle; half’s up. How is the golf getting along?”
“Somers and Whipple were at Look Off when I came away. I asked Billy Jones to come over and call me when they got to The Hill. I think Whipple will win by a couple of strokes. Somers is too nervous. I wish they’d hurry up. We’ll not get through the last round before dark if they don’t finish soon. You’ll go round with me, won’t you?”
“If the game’s over. They’re playing twenty-minute halves, you know; so I guess it will be. I hope Blair will let me on this half. Have you seen Cloud?”
“Yes; he’s over on the seats. Who has his place?”
“Ned Post; and Clausen’s playing at right. I’m glad that Blair is doing such good work to-day. I think he was rather cut up about getting beaten this morning.”
“Yes; wasn’t that hard luck? To think of his being downed by a cub of a junior! Though that same junior is going to be a fine player some day. He drives just grand. He had too much handicap, he did. Remsen didn’t know anything about him, and allowed him ten. Here they come again.”
The two elevens were trotting out on the field once more, and Joel stood up in the hope that Blair might see him and decide to take him on. But Joel was doomed to disappointment, for the second half of the game began with practically the same line-up. The score stood six to nothing in favor of Hillton. The playing had been decidedly ragged on both sides; and Remsen, as he left the team after administering a severe lecture, walked past with a slight frown on his face.