“Fine and dandy!” uttered Dick, his eyes glowing.
“One’s for your mother,” hinted Mr. Pollock teasingly. “But who’s the girl?”
“Two girls,” Dick corrected him, unabashed. “My mother never uses hair-curlers.”
“Two girls?” cried Mr. Pollock, looking aghast. “Dick! Dick! You study history at the High School, don’t you?”
“Yes, sir; of course.”
“Then don’t you know, my boy, how often two girls have altered the fates of whole nations? Tremble and be wise!”
“I haven’t any girl,” Dick retorted, sensibly, “and I think a fellow is weak-minded to talk about having a girl until he can also talk authoritatively on the ability to support a wife. But there’s a good deal of social life going on at the High School, Mr. Pollock, and I’m very, very glad of this chance to cancel my obligations so cheaply and at the same time rather handsomely.”
So Laura and Belle had each received, that Christmas morning, a present that proved a source of delight.
“Yet I didn’t expect the foolish boys to send me anything like this,” Laura told herself, rather regretfully. “I’m sure they’ve pledged their pocket money for weeks on this.”
When Belle called, it developed that she had received an identical gift.
“It’s lovely of the boys,” Belle admitted. “But it’s foolish, too, for they’ve had to use their pocket money away ahead, I’m certain.”
Dick and Dave had sent their gifts, as had the girls, in both names.
Christmas was a day of rejoicing among all of the High School students except the least-favored ones.
Fred Ripley, however, spent his Christmas day in a way differing from the enjoyments of any of the others. A new fever of energy had seized the young man. In his fierce determination to carry away the star pitchership, especially from Dick Prescott, Ripley employed even Christmas afternoon by going over to Duxbridge and taking another lesson in pitching from the great Everett.
FRED PITCHES A BOMBSHELL INTO TRAINING CAMP
“One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four!
“Attention! Overhead to front and back. Commence! One, two, three, four!”
Coach Luce’s voice rang out in a solid, carrying tone of military command.
The baseball squad was hard at work in the gymnasium, perspiring even though the gym. was not heated above fifty degrees.
Dumb-bell drill was going off with great snap. It was followed by work with the Indian clubs. Then, after a brief rest, the entire squad took to the track in the gallery. For ten minutes the High School young men jogged around the track. Any fellow in the lot would have been ashamed to drop out, short of breath.
As a matter of fact, no one was out of breath. Mr. Luce was what the boys called a “griller,” and he certainly knew all about whipping a lot of youngsters into fine physical shape.