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Frank Merriwell, Junior's, Golden Trail or, The Fugitive Professor   By: (1866-1945)

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New Tip Top Weekly

No. 11; October 12, 1912.





"Look here, you fellows," cried Ballard, "if I don't get this out of my system I'm going to explode. It will only take a minute or two, and "

"Go on and explode," cut in Clancy unfeelingly. "Can't you see that Chip and I are busy?"

"But this dream was a corker, Red, and I "

"For the love of Mike, Pink, I wish you'd cork . Wait till the work out there is wound up and then you can wow! How was that for a tackle, Chip?"

Three separate and distinct times, there in the grand stand, Billy Ballard had tried to tell his chums, young Frank Merriwell and Owen Clancy, of a dream he had the night before. It seemed to have occurred to suddenly, for the forenoon and part of the afternoon had slipped away without any attempt on Ballard's part to rehearse the fancies that had afflicted him in his sleep. But now he was feverishly eager, and the rebuffs he took from the annoyed Clancy only exasperated him.

It was hardly an opportune moment, however, to talk dreams and omens. Merry was wrapped up in a practice game of football, and was alternately scrutinizing players and hastily jotting down notes with a pencil. Clancy was not making any memoranda, but snappy work on the gridiron was claiming his full attention. With a sigh of resignation, Ballard bottled up his remarks and sat back on the hard boards.

Only Merry and his two chums were in the grand stand. The practice game was between the regular Ophir Athletic Club eleven and a scrub team. It had been put on for Frank's exclusive benefit.

For two straight years the O. A. C. had gone down to inglorious defeat before their rivals from Gold Hill thirty six to nothing on last Thanksgiving Day and the sting of those defeats had made Ophir pessimistic and their eleven a joke. Another Thanksgiving Day was less than two months ahead, and the Ophir fellows were turning to Merriwell for help. They felt that if any one could pick an eleven from the club members and round them, into winning form, it was he, and he alone.

This was not the first practice game staged for Merriwell. The first one had degenerated into a farce, for the spirit of fun had taken untimely grip of the players and a promising exhibition had gone to pieces on a reef of horseplay. Spink and Handy, for the club, had waited upon Merry and tendered apologies, and a second game had been arranged. Circumstances over which Merry had had little control had kept him away from that second game; and now, four days later, the Ophir eleven were gallantly retrieving themselves.

The two teams had ranged themselves across the field, and a scrub foot had booted the oval well down toward the regulars' goal. A nervous full back waited to receive that opening kick, while his teammates rushed at him to form their flying screen of interference. The ball evaded the arms that reached for it, while another back fell on it and kept it clear of the clutches of a scrub end.

Frank scrawled a note on the paper that lay on his knee. "That's Leversee," he remarked, "but I think he'll steady down."

"That scrub end is faster than a streak of greased lightning, Chip," commented the admiring Clancy. "Good material, what?"

Presently came the first scrimmage, and a regular half back, all beef and brawn, went down in a flurry. The scrub defense was like a stone wall. It was the second down and four yards to gain. The regular interferers dashed to get around one end of the line, but were flung to right and left, and the runner, dropped more than a yard short of the required distance.

The regular full back retreated for a punt. Fast and far the ball sailed into the scrub field, which proved that the back's feet were not nervous, no matter if his hands and arms had been a trifle unsteady.

"Bully!" muttered Frank, and scrawled another notation.

The scrubs, going up against the regulars' defense, found it impossible to make any decisive gains... Continue reading book >>

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