“A good links?” suggested Remsen smilingly.
“Well, yes,” admitted Outfield, “that wouldn’t be a half bad idea. But now you two have gone and spoiled it all.”
“Well, I tell you, West,” suggested Remsen, “you come in with us and supply the picturesque element of the business. You might look after the golf cases, you know; injuries to bald-headed gentlemen by gutties; trespassing by players; forfeiting of leases, and so forth. What do you say?”
“All right,” answered Outfield cheerfully. “But it must be understood that the afternoons belong to the links and not to the law.”
So Stephen Remsen and Joel March sealed their agreement by shaking hands, and Outfield grinned approval.
One afternoon a few days later Outfield pranced into the room just as dusk was falling brandishing aloft a silver-plated mug, and uttering a series of loud cheers for “Me.” Joel, who had returned but a moment before from a hard afternoon’s practice, and was now studying in the window seat by the waning light, looked languidly curious.
“A trophy, Joel, a trophy from the links!” cried West. “Won by the great Me by two holes from Jenkins, Jenkins the Previously Great, Jenkins the Defeated and Devastated!” He tossed the mug into Joel’s lap.
“I’m very glad, Out,” said the latter. “Won’t it help you with the team?”
“It will, my discerning friend. It will send me to New York next month to represent Harwell. And Lapham says I must go to Lakewood for the open tournament. Oh, little Outie is some pumpkins, my lad! It was quite the most wonderful young match to-day. Jenkins led all the way to the fifteenth hole. Then he foozled like a schoolboy, and I holed out in one and went on to the Cheese Box in two.”
“I’m awfully glad,” repeated Joel, smiling up into the flushed and triumphant face of his chum. “If you go to New York it will be after the big game, and, if you like, I’ll go with you and shout.” Outfield West executed a war-dance and whooped ecstatically.
“Will you, Joel? Honest Injun? Cross your heart and hope to die? Then shake hands, my lad; it’s a bargain! Now, where’s my chemistry?”
The days flew by and the date of the Yates game rapidly approached. The practice was secret every afternoon, and the coaches lost weight eluding the newspaper reporters. Prince disappointed Joel by returning to the Varsity with his ankle apparently as well as ever, although he was generally “played easy,” and Joel often took his place in the second half of the practice games.
And at last the Thursday preceding the big game arrived, and the team and substitutes, together with the trainer and the manager and the head coach and two canine mascots, assembled in the early morning in the square and were hustled into coaches and driven into town to their train. And half the college heroically arose phenomenally early and stood in the first snow storm of the year and cheered and cheered for the team individually and collectively, for the head coach and the trainer, for the rubbers and the mascots, and, between times, for the college.