“And yet Tom didn’t. And it wasn’t his pin.”
“Of course not. But a lot of the fellows think he’s guilty. And Sam keeps his crowd on edge about it. He’s always referring to Tom as the ‘poisoner’ and so he keeps the thing alive, when, if it wasn’t mentioned, it might die out.”
“That’s right. The mean sneak! And yet I guess Tom would rather have it kept alive until he makes out his case, than to have it die down, and the suspicion still be against him.”
“Oh, of course. And yet it doesn’t seem as if he had a chance to make good.”
“Oh, you leave it to Tom,” said Bert. “He’s got pluck, and if he has any decent sort of luck he’ll pull out ahead.”
“Well, maybe. Tom Fairfield’s luck is proverbial you know. Look how he came out ahead in the shipwreck, and the finding of the treasure in the old mill.”
The two chums were still discussing the case of their friend when they entered their room, and saw our hero busy writing letters.
“Who’s the girl?” asked Jack, playfully.
“There doesn’t happen to be any particular one,” answered Tom with a smile. “I’m writing letters, trying to pick up a new clew to this mysterious case.”
“Still seeking clews?” asked Bert.
“Of course. I’m not going to stop until I get what I want. Anything new outside?”
“Nothing much, except our football stock has gone up a few more points. Everyone seems to think we’re going to do Holwell good and proper.”
“I hope so,” murmured Tom, as he bent over his writing. “I’m going to play my best, if they let me go in the game.”
“Oh, I guess they will,” said Jack; and then the silence in the room was broken only by the scratching of Tom’s pen.
IN THE STORM
“’Rah! ’Rah! ’Rah! Elmwood!”
“Three cheers for Holwell!”
“Now, boys, all together, give ’em the ‘Chase Down the Field!’ song!”
“Over this way, Elmwood. We’ll run through the signals again!”
“Over here, Holwell, for some snappy work!”
These were only a few of the many things heard on the Elmwood gridiron the Saturday of one of the big games. The grandstands were piling up with their crowds, many dashes of color being added by the hats and wraps of the girls, while the sweaters and cap-bands of their brothers—or perhaps other girls’ brothers—–increased the riot of color.
“Oh, what a fine looking lot of fellows the Elmwood Hall boys are,” confided one girl to her chum.
“Do you think so? I think they look small compared to the Holwell players.”
“Why Mabel, how can you say such a thing? There’s Billy over there. Isn’t he stunning? Did you see him kick?”
“Oh, there goes Fred with the ball!” and the other girl with her eyes on the Holwell contingent, never looked at her friend who had looks only for “Billy” who was lucky enough to play on Tom’s team.