The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dr. Jolliffe's Boys, by Lewis Hough This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Dr. Jolliffe's Boys Author: Lewis Hough Illustrator: Frank Feller and S. Thurdale Release Date: April 18, 2007 [EBook #21187] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DR. JOLLIFFE'S BOYS ***
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Lewis Hough "Dr. Jolliffe's Boys"
A Tale of Weston School. Weston versus Hillsborough. “Well cut, Saurin, well cut! Run it out! Four!” The ball was delivered again to the bowler, who meditated a shooter, but being a little tired, failed in his amiable intention, and gave the chance of a half-volley, which the batsman timed accurately, and caught on the right inch of the bat, with the whole swing of his arms and body thrown into the drive, so that the ball went clean into the scorer’s tent, as if desirous of marking the runs for itself. “Well hit indeed! Well hit!” The Westonians roared with delight, and their voices were fresh, for they had had little opportunity of exercising them hitherto. Crawley, the captain of their eleven, the hero in whom they delighted, had been declared out, leg before wicket, when he had only
contributed five to the score. Only two of the Westonians believed that the decision was just, Crawley himself, and the youth who had taken his place, and was now so triumphant. But he hated Crawley, and rejoiced in his discomfiture, even though it told against his own side, so his opinion went for nothing. Well, no more did anybody’s else except the umpire’s, who after all is the only person capable of judging. “Saurin has got his eye in; we may put together a respectable score yet.” “He is the best player we have got, when he only takes the trouble; don’t you think so?” said Edwards, who believed in Saurin with a faith which would have been quite touching if it had not been so irritating. “He thinks so himself at any rate,” replied the boy addressed, “and we are a shocking bad lot if he is right. Anyhow he seems to be in form to-day, and I only hope that it will last.” The batsman under discussion hoped so too. If he could only make an unprecedented score, restore the fortunes of the day, and show the world what a mistake it was to think Crawley his superior in anything whatever, it would be a glorious triumph. He was not of a patriotic disposition, and did not care for the success of his school except as it might minister to his own personal vanity and gain, for he had a bet of half-a-crown on his own side. But his egotism was quite strong enough to rival the public spirit of the others, and raise his interest to the general pitch. The match between Weston and Hillsborough was an annual affair, and excited great emulation, being for each school the principal event of the cricketing season. One year it was played at Weston and the next at Hillsborough, and it was the Westonians’ turn to play on their own ground on this occasion. Hillsborough went in first and put together 94 runs. Then Weston went to the wickets and could make nothing of it. There was a certain left-handed Hillsburian bowler who proved very fatal to them; it was one of his twists which found Crawley’s leg where his bat should have been. Result, eight wickets down for twenty, and then Saurin went in and made the 9 we have witnessed. Between ourselves the cut was a fluke, but the half-volley was a genuine well-played hit, which deserved the applause it got. The next ball came straight for the middle stump, but was blocked back half-way between the creases, and another run was stolen. “Over!” The new bowler went in for slows. The first, a very tempting ball, Saurin played forward at, and hit it straight and hard into the hands of long field on, who fumbled and dropped it, amidst groans and derisive cheers. Warned by this narrow shave he played back next time, and seemed to himself to have missed a really good chance. This feeling induced hesitation when the next ball was delivered, and the result of hesitation was that the insidious missile curled in somehow over his bat and toppled his bails off. Saurin was so much mortified as he walked back to the tent that he could not even pretend to assume a jaunty careless air, but scowled and carried his bat as if he would like to hit someone over the head with it. Which, indeed, he would. There was one consolation for him, he had made ten, and that proved to be the top score. For the first time within living memory Weston had to follow its innings!
Now when you consider that the presidents of Oxford and Cambridge Clubs kept an eye on this match with a view to promising colts, you may imagine the elation of the Hillsburians and the dejection of the Westonians when Crawley and Robarts walked once more to the wickets. Their schoolmates clapped their hands vigorously indeed, and some of them talked about the uncertainty of cricket, but the amount of hope they had would not have taken the room of a pair of socks in Pandora’s box. But Crawley was a bowler as well as a batsman, and Robarts was the Westonian wicketkeeper, so that both were somewhat fagged when they first went in, whereas they were now quite fresh. Again, the Hillsburian bowling champion found his dangerous left arm a little stiff, and his eyesight not so keen as it had been an hour before. One is bound to find a cause for everything, so these may be the reasons why the pair, after defending their wickets cautiously for an over or two, began to knock the bowling about in great style. “What a jealous brute that Crawley is!” said Saurin, sitting down by Edwards. “Awful!” replied Edwards, not at all knowing why, but following Saurin blindfold, as he always did. “I was the only one who made any stand in the first innings, and yet he does not send me in early. He will keep me to the last, I daresay.” The wonderful stand spoken of had not lasted two overs, but Edwards