Frances looked pale and fagged; she was not in the becoming white dress which she had worn during the first few days of Arnold's visit; she was in gray, and the gray was not particularly fresh nor cool in texture. "Fluff, I want to speak to you," she said. And she laid her hand on the girl's shoulder then her eyes followed Fluff's; she saw Arnold, and her cheeks grew a little whiter than before.
Upon the other side of the ground the Caterpillar was saying to his father, "I always said he was hairy at the heel." It was admitted afterwards that the Duffer's performance was the one really bright spot in Harrow's second innings. Being a bowler, he went in last but one. It happened that Fluff's brother was in possession of the ball.
The second bowler began his first over. He bowled slows. Desmond played the six balls back along the ground. A maiden over. And then that thick-set, muscular beast, for so Fluff regarded him, stared fixedly at Fluff's middle stump. Fluff glanced round. The wicket-keeper had a grim smile on his lips, for his billet was no easy one.
One or two women he had met, but they were not particularly worthy specimens of their sex; he had not admired them, and had long ago come to the conclusion that the only perfect, sweet, and fair girl in existence was Frances Kane. When he saw Fluff's tears he discovered that he was mistaken other women were sweet and gracious, other girls were lovable.
The first real cheer burst like a bomb. Desmond had cut the sixth ball to the boundary. Over! The new bowler was a tall, thin boy with flaxen hair. "That's Cosmo Kinloch, Fluff's brother," said John. "I wonder they can't do better than that. Even I knocked him all over the shop at White Ladies last summer." "He's come on, they tell me," said the Caterpillar.
"How can you say perhaps Frances loves you? Loves you! She is breaking her heart for you. Oh! I could cry when I think of Frances's pain!" "Dear little friend!" said Arnold. "Then if that is so God grant it, oh, God grant it Frances and I must turn to you to help us." Fluff's face brightened. "I will tell you my plan," she said. "But first of all you must answer me a question." "What is it?
He had made eleven runs, and kept up his wicket during a crisis. Harrow cheered him loudly. And then came the terrible moment of the morning. Scaife went in when Fluff's wicket fell. The ground had improved, but it was still treacherous. The fast bowler sent down a straight one. It shot under Scaife's bat and spread-eagled his stumps.
How about the dimity in the room which will be Fluff's? My dear Frances, what is the matter? I must ask you not to fidget so." Frances sprung suddenly to her feet. "Father, you must listen to me. I am going to say something which will startle you.
But when once she was told, he was conscious of a feeling of relief; for all his hard words to her, he had unbounded faith in this clever managing daughter of his; she had got him out of other scrapes, and somehow, by hook or by crook, she would get him out of this. Except for Fluff's rather hard words to him when he spoke to her about Frances, he had rather an agreeable day.
There are times when an honest oath becomes expedient. The Eton captain has cut the first ball into Fluff's hands, and Fluff has dropped it! Alastair Kinloch, from the top of the Trent coach, screams out, "Jolly well muffed!" The great Minister silently thanks Heaven that point is the Duke's son and not his.