It did not stick, however, and the catcher lost the only opportunity to stop the score. Harvard had scored at last! The Harvard cheer rent the air, and crimson fluttered on all sides. Frank struck out the next man, and then Yale came to bat, resolved to do or die. But they did not do much. Yedding was as good as ever, and the fielders gathered in anything that came their way.
Crowfield," said Miss Featherstone, "I never saw such little economists as your daughters; it is perfectly wonderful what they contrive to dress on. How they manage to do it I'm sure I can't see. I never could, I'm convinced." "Yes," said Jenny, "I've bought but just one new hat. I only wish you could sit in church where we do, and see those Miss Fielders.
At the same time, knowing Frank had batted to right field before, the fielders played over toward right. "So you are on to that, are you?" thought Frank. "Well, it comes full easier for me to crack 'em into left field if I am given an inshoot." Two strikes were called on him before he found anything that suited him.
At his last chance Ken was desperate. He knew the coach placed batting before any other department of the game. Almost sick with the torture of the conflicting feelings, Ken went up to the plate and swung blindly. To his amaze he cracked a hard fly to left-centre, far between the fielders. Like a startled deer Ken broke into a run.
I like three lumps of sugar in mine. Now," he continued, "the rout of the 'fielders' is about to begin. Of course it's 'woods. Why, I can see the word now in Milton's own handwriting, as I used to see it in the Library at Trinity." "I'm so sure it's 'fields," said Vernon, "that I declare myself willing to go without cake for tea if it isn't."
Willings turned and motioned the fielders back, and in obedience Satterlee, 2d, crept farther out toward the edge of the field. But presently, when a ball had been delivered to the batsman, Satterlee, 2d, quite unconsciously, moved eagerly, anxiously in again, step by step. Then came a strike and Carpenter tapped the plate with the end of his bat and waited calmly. Another ball.
There were four of them who made the start, Hugh, "Just" Smith, Horatio Juggins, and "K. K.," the Kinkaid boy. Three of the bunch had been fielders in the baseball nine that carried off the championship pennant of the three-town high-school league the preceding summer; and, having been known as great runners, it was only natural that they had felt impelled to enter for the long-distance race.
In the tent the principal and his associates forgot their dignity for an instant, and added their shouts to the general acclaim. The new pitcher, his eyes sparkling, retired to the bench. The fielders, as they joined him, shot curious and admiring glances toward him. Harris leaned over the bench and talked with him about the incidents of old college games.
This game, before being imported from England, long, long ago, was called "Rounders." In this game the bat and ball are both different from those used in baseball. There are corners instead of bases, and there is a "giver" instead of a pitcher. The fielders may be of any number, but they are not known by distinctive names. The greatest freedom is permitted in the choice of ball.
With an easy and graceful forward stroke, the batsman returns it sharply in the direction of the opposite wicket, and an almost imperceptible movement, like the releasing of a spring, takes place among the fielders. So begins the battle. "Twenty up!" had just been called from the pavilion when a sharp catch in the slips disposed of Parkes. "Never mind!" cried "Rats."