Frank Armstrong at College, p.1
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The Yale quarter drove another forward pass toArmstrong who caught it cleanly and was off like the wind.--_Page279_]
FRANK ARMSTRONG AT COLLEGE
By MATTHEW M. COLTON
"Frank Armstrong's Vacation," "Frank Armstrong at Queens," "Frank Armstrong's Second Term," "Frank Armstrong, Captain of the Nine," "Frank Armstrong, Drop Kicker."
A. L. BURT COMPANY Publishers New York
Printed in U. S. A.
Copyright, 1914, BY HURST & COMPANY
MADE IN U. S. A.
I. THE FRESHMAN RUSH 5
II. A BRUSH WITH THE POLICE 18
III. THE CODFISH CREATES NEWS 35
IV. MAKING THE ELEVEN 49
V. FRANK LEARNS TO TACKLE THE DUMMY 65
VI. THE GREAT FRESHMAN BATTLE 79
VII. A WRECK AT THE HARBOR 95
VIII. FUN AT THE THEATER 110
IX. A JUMP IN BASEBALL AND THE RESULT 124
X. THE TRY-OUTS AT CAMBRIDGE 138
XI. A VOYAGE TO LONDON 149
XII. THE CODFISH LOSES HIMSELF 170
XIII. THE FLYING MACHINE TO THE RESCUE 187
XIV. PROGRESS AND A WRECK 201
XV. THE MATCH AT QUEEN'S CLUB 212
XVI. MAKING THE 'VARSITY NINE 229
XVII. THE SOUTHERN TRIP 241
XVIII. FOOTBALL IN JUNIOR YEAR 258
XIX. THE HARVARD-YALE GAME 273
XX. HOW ALL THINGS CAME OUT AT LAST 283
Frank Armstrong at College.
THE FRESHMAN RUSH.
It was the evening of a day in late September and a noticeable chillin the air hinted at the near approach of fall. Through the whole ofthat day and for several days previous to the opening of our story,incoming trains had deposited their burden of enthusiastic younghumanity in the old town of New Haven.
From mountain, shore, city, town and country came the throng ofstudents like an army of youth, to take up the work of the collegeyear at Yale, which opened her doors to them on the morrow. Men fromall classes were in that motley throng which surged and billowedaround the corner of College and Chapel streets, for this night wasthe night of "the rush," which tradition says shall be the firstevent of the college year. There were Seniors, in their new-founddignity of seniority; Juniors, nearer by a year to the coveted goalof a degree; Sophomores, who by the passage of time coupled with anadequate stand escaped from the ignominious position of the youngestclass, and last, but not least, the Freshmen who, to-night, begantheir existence as a class. But the Freshmen kept themselves alooffrom the upper class-men, perhaps for reasons of offense and defensefor they were to be tried out later on, and did not want to be foundlacking.
Bronzed giants whose bulk proclaimed them to be at least "footballmaterial" shouldered their way through the crowd and the air wasfilled with the chatter and hum of many voices. Greetings between menwho had been separated for the summer were heard on every side.
"Hello, Dick. Mighty glad to see you!"
"Glad to see you again. It's great to be back, eh?" and the speakers,with a hearty hand-grip would pass on and repeat the formul? withlittle variation, to other friends.
Suddenly the blare of a brass band cut through the chatter. Marshalssprang to the work of getting the parade in order, for a paradealways precedes and has come to be part of "the rush." These men,conspicuous by their long-handled kerosene torches and the 'VarsityY emblazoned on sweaters (for only men who have won the covetedletter are eligible for the position of marshals,) began to separatethe groups.
"Seniors, this way!" was the shout.
"Juniors, this way!"
"Sophomores, this way!" And, quickly following the command, thevarious groups, in the order named, dropped into line and, led by themarshals with torches swinging, went dancing down Chapel street tothe compelling melody of a popular college marching song.
"Freshmen, this way!" And to the shout, which was caught up andechoed up and down the line, the new-comers to the halls of Yaledropped in behind the Sophomores, feeling themselves, for the firsttime, a class instead of merely a huddled group without a bond ofany kind. Dancing as merrily as their predecessors to the strains ofthe band, the Freshmen went swinging down the street imitating tothe best of their ability the zigzag sweep of their elders. Handsof strangers touched for the first time and arms were thrown overstrange shoulders and the feeling was good.
In the middle of that swaying mass of Freshmen it does not take longto discover our three friends, Frank Armstrong, Jimmy Turner and lastbut not least the irrepressible Codfish, clad immaculately as usual.To-night he wore a delicate gray Norfolk suit with a vivid blue tieand socks to match, a tribute to the colors of the college he hadadopted.
"You are a brave one to appear in that Paris model," laughed Frank,who had arrayed himself in the oldest clothes he could find inanticipation of rough times before the evening was over.
"Merely trying to uphold the reputation of the class and inject alittle beauty into the occasion," returned the Codfish. "Look at ourfriend James. He has the ear-marks of a hobo!"
Jimmy was far from being a beauty, it is true.
"Safe and sane, sonny. Safe because the attentive Sophomores won'ttake a second look at me and sane because I need my good ones when Igo calling," retorted Jimmy.
"I think this Sophomore scare is pure bunkum," the Codfish suggested."A fellow told me to-night that hazing at Yale has been given up.Someone was hurt a while ago in the merry pranks and the Facultystopped it, eh?"
He wasn't quite certain about it, and wanted verification.
"You're safe," said Jimmy, "they never trouble the lady members of aclass. Hello, what's the matter?" he went on as the parade came to asudden halt at the corner of Church and Chapel streets.
"Scrap, I guess," said Frank. "Bunch of town fellows trying to mussup the leaders. Always do that, they say. There they go across thestreet, and here we go!" as the band, which had stopped for a momentwhile a gang of young rowdies tried to cut the line of parade andwere worsted in the attempt, began again and the merry zigzag went on.
Around the central Green or square of the city tramped the jollyhundreds, occasionally giving voice to the chorus of a song theband was playing or a cheer in which the Freshmen joined as well asthey were able, but in spite of their desire to be real Yale men,stumbling badly on the nine "Yales" at the end.
Up Elm street, lined with hundreds of townsfolk glad to see thecollege once again in full swing, their faces lit up by the red fireand Roman candles in the hands of the marchers, swung the leaders.At High street the procession turned and entered the Campus. Thegang of town boys and young men which had trailed the processiontried to force themselves into line, but were summarily thrown out,and without further molestation the marchers circled the Campus orcollege yard, and, opposite the Library, finally halted at a spot ofgreen sward previously selected for the wrestling.
The instant the leaders stopped there was a grand rush of thehundreds behind to gain a vantage p
"Get back, get back," yelled the torch bearers, and emphasized theircommands by pushing the lighted torches under the noses of thosecomposing the living wall. Of course, there was only one thing to doand that was to go back with all haste. Pushing the ever-wideningcircle of spectators back with threatening fury, the marshals made acircle of sufficient capacity to carry on the wrestling bouts, whichwere the climax of "the rush."
"Down!" howled the chief marshal, at which the front rank of thatsqueezed and straining wall squatted on the ground, but so great wasthe pressure of the hundreds behind that a score of the second rowwere shot clear over the heads of the first row and into the ring.
"Out with the intruders," yelled a marshal, and the unfortunates wereseized and thrown bodily into outer darkness over the heads of thefirst rows and were lost to view in the ruck.
"Now I know why it is a good thing to put on your old duds," Frankgasped to Turner as they bored their way toward the center ofactivity. Our three friends had left the ranks of their class withmany others when the head of the parade reached the Campus, anddashed over to a point where they were told the wrestling usuallytook place, on a chance that it would be in that spot this time.
Their guess was right and for a moment they were actually within thecoveted circle, but when the marshals made their onslaught on thecrowd in order to expand the ring they were whirled into outer ranksand had only, after a desperate effort and "under a pressure of ahundred pounds to the square inch" as Turner expressed it, succeededin digging their way back to the third or fourth tier in that circleof human faces. They were more fortunate than the hundreds whoprowled around outside without a chance of a glimpse at the wrestling.
"We've lost the Codfish," exclaimed Frank. "Oh, Gleason," he called,but there was no answering voice.
"Lost in the shuffle," said Turner. "He was with us a minute ago buthe'll turn up. He won't miss any tricks, don't you forget it."
"He isn't much for this kind of a scramble game," returned Frank. "Ithought he was holding back a bit when we struck in this last time,but----"
"Sophomores, bring out your candidates," roared a big man who worethe football Y on his blue sweater.
"Who is that whale of a man?" asked Frank.
"That's Howard, the football captain," volunteered a boy just infront of them, who had overheard the question. The speaker held anotebook in his hand and they afterward learned he was a news-heelergetting a story for the _News_, the official college paper.
"Freshmen?" inquired the heeler, looking our friends over.
"That fellow, yelling for a Freshman lightweight candidate, is thecrew captain," went on the heeler; "and over there to his left isDunnelly, the chap who kicked the goal against Princeton last yearand saved us the game." The heeler pointed out the celebrities asthey prowled around the ring, calling loudly for wrestling champions.
"You see," explained the heeler, "there are wrestling bouts in thethree weights,--light, middle and heavy, between the Sophomore andFreshmen for the class championship. Three bouts in each event."
"O, you Freshmen, show your sand, trot out a candidate!" bawled oneof the men within the ring. The crowd outside clamored for candidatesfrom the Freshmen.
"We want a Sophomore lightweight!" roared another, and the crowdtook up the cry and repeated it. "Sophomore lightweight, Freshmanlightweight, don't be quitters, come across with the champions!"
"Sophomore lightweight, Sophomore lightweight!"
"Don't be quitters!"
"Show your sand, Freshmen!"
Suddenly there was a commotion on one side of the ring, and amidyells and the shaking of torches, the living wall opened and aslender, blond-haired youth stepped into the ring.
"Who is he?"
"What's his name?"
"Sophomore or Freshman?"
"Sophomore," said the boy.
"Your name," demanded a marshal.
"One twenty-nine, stripped."
Immediately two Juniors volunteered to second him, and fell to workstripping him to the waist, the traditional custom for the friendlycombat.
Meanwhile the calling for a Freshman lightweight went on withoutsuccess, and the crowd was throwing red-hot taunts at the youngestclass for shirking their duty. The Freshmen had pushed one of theirnumber into the ring, but he proved to be over the required weightand was cast out without ceremony.
A commotion on the outside of the ring started anew the calls for aFreshman lightweight, and the call was unexpectedly answered by theappearance of a young man in delicate light gray clothes with bluenecktie and socks to match, who was passed unceremoniously over thehands of the crowd and deposited right-side-up on the green grass ofthe enclosure.
Jimmy gasped. "The Codfish, or I'm a Hottentot!"
"No one else, for sure. How did they get him?" exclaimed Frank.
The Codfish was greeted by a rattling cheer, followed by much advice.
"Well done, Freshman!"
"Take off those pretty clothes!"
"He certainly is a Yale man, look at that tie!"
"Good work, Freshman, eat him up!"
The referee, the Captain of the Yale Wrestling Team, strode over tothe Codfish, and looked him up and down.
"You are not a very promising specimen," he said. "Ever wrestlebefore?"
"Never," said Gleason. "All I know about wrestling wouldn't hurtanyone."
"What's your name and weight?"
"Gleason, and I weigh one twenty-five."
"Stripped or with those clothes on?"
"Clothes and all," said the Codfish with a grin, and his eyeswandering around the sea of faces, chanced to light on his twofriends, Armstrong and Turner. He waved an airy salute to them, andbegan with his seconds, two Seniors, to divest himself of his coat,shirt and undershirt.
"He really means to wrestle," gasped Frank. "Can you beat it?"
"He certainly has his nerve with him," returned Jimmy.
"His middle name is nerve."
The preliminaries over, Ballard and the Codfish faced each other inthe flickering light of the torches, shook hands, and at the shrillscream of the referee's whistle, rushed at each other. Neither wasversed in the art of wrestling, but both were about the same size.Down they went on the ground, Gleason underneath, the Sophomorestruggling to pin the shoulders of the Freshman to the ground, whichmeant victory. But just at the moment when things looked bad forthe under-dog, he slipped out of the hold, squirmed free and threwhimself with all his force against the Sophomore, bearing him oversideways. The assault was so sudden that Ballard was taken unawares,and before he could gather himself, Gleason sprang on the prostrateboy and shoved his shoulder points on the grass. A resounding slap onthe back by the referee testified to the success of the attack, andit was the Freshmen's turn to cheer, which they did right lustily.