“Perhaps many miles,” suggested Hugh, “and then again he may be taking things as easy as ever over there at Sister Matilda’s cottage. It’s going to be a toss-up whether our game works as we hope, or falls flat to the ground.”
HOW JIM PETTIGREW FIXED IT
When Saturday morning came, the two chums of Scranton High met as per arrangement, and as Thad expressed it, made a “bee-line” downtown. They were fairly wild to get bold of the first copy of the Weekly Courier that was placed on sale.
As a rule, it was delivered to the several newsstands, and at the railroad station, around eight o’clock. Then the “printer’s devil,” who was also the carrier, delivering copies to most of the town folks who subscribed in that fashion, would start out with a first bundle in his bag, taking his time about leaving the same at different doors. Perhaps nowadays, however, when there was likely to be a baseball game in the afternoon to enliven things, the said boy might quicken his pace a bit, so as to get through, and have a chance to witness the struggle.
They were just in time to see a package delivered at the main news store, where sporting goods could also be purchased. Paul Kramer’s was a place most beloved among the boys of Scranton, for the small store held almost everything that was apt to appeal to the heart of the average youth. Besides, all baseball, and in due season, football paraphernalia, as well as hockey sticks, and shin guards, the old storekeeper always carried a well-chosen stock of juvenile fiction in cloth; and those fellows who were fond of spending their spare hours in reading the works of old favorites like Optic and Alger, as well as numerous more recent additions to the ranks of authors, were to be found poring over the contents of numerous book shelves and racks, deciding which volume they would squander their latest quarter for.
Then at Kramer’s “Emporium” there was always a huge stock of the latest music in cheap form; and the girls had also contracted a habit of dropping in to look this over, with an eye to adding to their lists. So that from early morning until nine in the evening, on ordinary occasions, if a boy could not be found anywhere else it was “dollars to doughnuts,” as Thad always said, that he was rummaging at Paul Kramer’s, and lost to all the world for the time being.
Eagerly, then, did Thad throw down a nickel, and snatch up the first copy of that week’s issue sold that morning. It was virtually “fresh from the press”; indeed, the odor of printers’ ink could easily be detected in the sheet.
There was no difficulty about finding the article they were most deeply interested in. It occupied a leading place on the front page. Jim Pettigrew had certainly seen to it that the head was next door to what is known as a “scare” head; for the type was black and bold enough to attract attention the first thing any one unfolded their copy of the Courier.