“Give it up, old fellow. But I tell you what I can do. You remember that baseball bat of mine that’s been lying over here so long? I’ll carry it home now, and save you the trouble, thank you,” nodded Paul.
“Bully! a good idea. Here it is behind the door. And Paul, don’t spare the measly bunch; but whack ’em good and hard.”
SUCH GLORIOUS LUCK
Paul walked down the street, swinging the baseball bat carelessly, and softly whistling to himself.
He left the street on which his chum’s house fronted, and presently came to his own thoroughfare.
“H’m!” he said to himself, as he boldly turned in here; “looks kind of half dark for a fact; but that always suits fellows up to a mean dodge. I musn’t hit too hard, for this is an awful tough old bat, that has brought me in more than a few home-runs. Well, it’s helping me make one now,” and he actually snickered at the conceit.
As he advanced he braced himself for the expected fray. Of old he knew Ted Slavin was a muscular fellow, capable of enforcing obedience from his slavish followers.
What was that? He certainly heard the sound of voices a little further along. And somehow one of them seemed to give Paul a strange feeling; for he was positive that it was a girl’s tones; and he recognized them too!
Ward Kenwood was taking Arline home; and for some unknown reason chose to select this very street as a part of his route, although it was a little out of the way.
How strange that they should all come together just at that very identical spot, where the trio of ambushed boys were crouching, ready to spring out.
Ah! Paul caught sight of something moving close by. He felt sure that it must be the concealed fellows, launching their boom. Yes, now he could make out their figures as they emerged from the bushes on the jump.
Some one screamed. It must be Arline, frightened by the appearance of these ugly, uncouth forms dancing upon the pavement.
Instantly the greatest confusion existed, with the ambushers attacking Paul, to shout in consternation when he began to thump them heartily on the legs and backs with his baseball bat; and the girl standing there trying to shut out, with her clasped hands, the strange sight, seen so dimly in the half darkness.
The patter of feet down the street told only too well where her protector had gone; but he was valiantly calling lustily for help as he ran.
Met by such a determined opposition, overwhelmed by the shower of punches and whacks that seemed to be freighted with painful reminders; and startled by the cries of the fleeing Ward, not to mention the little shrieks of Arline, the three boys who had been the cause of all this excitement soon had enough.
“Skip out, fellers!” roared Ted, as he almost doubled up when the swinging bat came with considerable force against his ribs.