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

“It’s awfully rough on a fellow, Out, but Professor Wheeler is only doing what is right, I suppose.  He can’t let the thing go unnoticed, you see, and as long as I can’t prove my innocence I guess he’s right to hold me to blame for it.”

“Tommyrot!” answered West explosively.  “The faculty’s just trying to have us beaten!  Why—­Say, don’t tell a soul, Joel, but Blair’s worried half crazy.  They had him up yesterday, and ‘Wheels’ told him that if he didn’t get better marks from now on he couldn’t play.  What do you think of that?  They’re not decent about it.  They’re trying to put us all on probation.  Why, how do I know but what they’ll put me on?”

Outfield hit his shoe violently with the driver he held until it hurt him.  For although Joel was debarred from playing golf there was nothing to keep him from watching West play, and this afternoon the two had been half over the course together, West explaining the game, and Joel listening intently, and all the while longing to take a club in hand and have a whack at the ball himself.

“That’s bad,” answered Joel thoughtfully.  “It would be all up with us if Blair shouldn’t play.”

“And that’s just what’s going to happen if ‘Wheels’ keeps up his present game,” responded Outfield.  “Who are those chaps in that shell, Joel?  One looks like Cloud, the fellow in front.”  Joel watched the approaching craft for a moment.

“It is Cloud,” he answered.  “And that looks like Clausen with him.  Why isn’t he practicing, I wonder?”

“Haven’t you heard?  He was dropped from the team yesterday.  Wills has his place.  Post says, by the way, that he’s sorry you’re in such a fix, but he’s mighty glad to get back on the first.  He’s an awfully decent chap, is Post.  Did you see that thing he has in this month’s Hilltonian about Cooke?  Says the Fac’s going to establish a class in bakery and put Cooke in as teacher because he’s such a fine loafer!  Say, what’s the matter down there?”

The shell containing Cloud and Clausen had reached a point almost opposite to where West and Joel were perched, and as the latter looked toward it at West’s exclamation he saw Cloud throw aside his oars and stand upright in the boat.  Clausen had turned and was looking at his friend, but still held his oars.

“By Jove, Joel, she’s sinking!” cried Outfield.  “Look!  Why doesn’t Clausen get out?  There goes Cloud over.  I wonder if Clausen can swim? swim?  Come on!”

And half tumbling, half climbing, West sped down the bank on to the tiny strip of rocks and gravel that lay along the water.  Joel followed.  Cloud now was in the water at a little distance from the shell, which had settled to the gunwales.  Clausen, plainly in a state of terror, was kneeling in the sinking boat and crying to the other lad for help.  The next moment he was in the water, and his shouts reached the two lads on the beach.  Cloud swam toward him, but before he could reach him Clausen had gone from sight.

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