“Rather! I must find some one to see to the traps, though.”
“I’ve commandeered young Grim,” said Jim, “and he’ll see to them.”
“Provident beggar! Here you are, Grim. Put mine into Taylor’s cart, and here’s a shilling for you.”
Grim, who felt rather injured at being lagged by Cotton so early in the term, just at the moment, too, when he had caught sight of Wilson staggering along with a heavy hat-box, etc., seized Jim’s and Gus’s effects. Todd’s modest douceur, however, took off the rough edge of his displeasure.
After tea, Cotton and Todd strolled about, and finally came to anchor behind the nets, where some of the Sixth were already at practice.
“Phil Bourne’s good for a hundred at Lord’s,” said Jim, critically, watching Phil’s clean, crisp cutting with interest.
“There’s Acton out, too.”
“Raw,” said Jim. “Biffen’s beauty has never been taught to hold his bat, that is evident. Footer is more his line, I take it.”
“Are you going to have a try for the eleven, Jim, this year?”
“I’ll see how things shape. If Phil Bourne gives me the hint that I have a chance, I’ll take it, of course.”
“Will he give Acton the hint, think you?”
“I shouldn’t say so,” said Jim, as Acton’s stumps waltzed out of the ground for the fourth time. “He can’t play slows for toffee.”
“Rum affair about the footer cap,” said Gus.
“Rather so. But I believe Phil Bourne is as straight as a die. I’m not so sure of Acton, though. I fancy there’s something to be explained about the cap. By the way, Gus, are you going to loaf about this term as usual? Taylor’s house side really does want bigger fellows than it’s got.”
“No!” said Gus. “I’m no good at cricket, nor croquet, nor any other game; nor do I really care a song about them. All the same, I’m not going to loaf.”
“What is the idea?” said Jim, curiously.
“I’m going to have a shot for the history medal, and I mean to crawl up into the first three in the Fifth.”
“And you’ll do ’em, Toddy,” said Jim, admiringly. “You’re not quite such an ass as you once were.”
“Well, I’ll work evenly and regularly, and, perhaps, pull off one or other of them.”
“I go, you know, at midsummer. Then I’m to cram somewhere for the Army. Taylor’s been advising a treble dose of mathematics, and I think I’ll oblige him this time.”
“Taylor’s not half a bad fellow,” said Gus.
“Oh, you’re a monomaniac on that subject, Gus! Once you felt ill if you met Taylor or Corker on your pavement.”