After his customary moment of hesitation, he had at the Riptonian's neck. The Riptonian handed him off in a manner that recalled the palmy days of the old Prize Ring handing off was always slightly vigorous in the Ripton v. Wrykyn match and dashed over the line in the extreme corner. There was anguish on the two touch-lines. Trevor looked savage, but made no comment. The team lined up in silence.
Like a swarm of locusts they are down on it, and quickly every blade of grass disappears, "kicked off" as if by magic. Old walking-sticks, pieces of lath or old coats and waistcoats serve as goal-posts. Touch-lines they have none, one playing-ground runs across the other, and a dozen teams are soon hard at it. They have no caps to distinguish them, no jerseys or knickers of bright hues.
Who could think of lessons when any minute the County men might turn up? Who could be bothered with dactyls and spondees when goal-posts and touch-lines were far more to the point? And who could be expected to fix his mind on hexameters and elegiacs when the height of human perfection lay in a straight drop-kick or a fast double past the enemy's half-backs?
If one starts against the wind, it usually changes ends at half-time. Amidst a roar from both touch-lines and a volley of howls from the road, a Ripton forward kicked off. The ball flew in the direction of Stanning, on the right wing. A storm of laughter arose from the road as he dropped it. The first scrum was formed on the Wrykyn twenty-five line.
Touch-lines, corner-flags, twenty-five flags, and even upright posts, and the usual concomitants of the scientific game of to-day, were unknown. This leads me, then, to the point of tracing the rise and progress of the game in Scotland during the past dozen years, leaving its antiquity and origin, about which there are mere surmises, an "open question."