Dick Merriwell’s Trap - Burt L. Standish - ebook

Dick Merriwell’s Trap ebook

burt l standish

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Opis

In this story, all the main events take place on the football field. Dick on this day managed everything. He walked around one, then the other, and left another one in his path. He would have managed to score, but a collision with another player prevented him. He got injured. This book shows how you need to pass through obstacles.

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Liczba stron: 329

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Contents

CHAPTER I. A FARDALE VICTORY

CHAPTER II. DICK STOPS A RUNAWAY

CHAPTER III. HAPPINESS AND MISERY

CHAPTER IV. JUNE’S PROMISE

CHAPTER V. DICK KEEPS THE LOCKET

CHAPTER VI. A DOUBTFUL MATTER

CHAPTER VII. SOMETHING WRONG

CHAPTER VIII. FARDALE’S WAY

CHAPTER IX. DICK WINS AGAIN

CHAPTER X. A MASTER OF HIMSELF

CHAPTER XI. BOUND BY A PROMISE

CHAPTER XII. A WARM MEETING

CHAPTER XIII. THE PROMPTINGS OF CONSCIENCE

CHAPTER XIV. ARLINGTON SHOWS HIS HAND

CHAPTER XV. DETERMINED DICK

CHAPTER XVI. A FINE PAIR

CHAPTER XVII. DICK CONQUERS HIS ENEMY

CHAPTER XVIII. BUNOL HOLDS HIS GRIP

CHAPTER XIX. A CRY IN THE NIGHT

CHAPTER XX. DONE IN THE DARK

CHAPTER XXI. ON THE ACADEMY STEPS

CHAPTER XXII. ANOTHER VICTORY FOR FARDALE

CHAPTER XXIII. CHESTER FINDS A MASTER

CHAPTER XXIV. A LONG WORD

CHAPTER XXV. THE SPOOK APPEARS

CHAPTER XXVI. THINGS ARE MISSING

CHAPTER XXVII. DICK MAKES A DISCOVERY

CHAPTER XXVIII. A SLIPPERY TRICK

CHAPTER XXIX. THE MAGIC POWDER

CHAPTER XXX. THE TRAP SPRUNG

CHAPTER I. A FARDALE VICTORY

For a moment as he lay on the ground holding the ball for Dick Merriwell to kick the goal that must win the game with Hudsonville for Fardale Military Academy, Hal Darrell, the left half-back, was seized by a strong temptation to do wrong. How easy it would be to spoil that kick! A slight shifting of the ball just as the captain of the Fardale eleven kicked, and the attempt for a goal would be ruined.

There was bitterness in Hal’s heart, for he realized that Dick was covering himself with glory, while up in the grand stand sat June Arlington, a thrilled witness to everything that had occurred during that most thrilling game.

At first Hal Darrell had refused to play on the team during this game, but because June had urged him to reconsider his determination not to play, Hal had humbled his proud spirit and offered to take part in it. But even then, to his chagrin, he was left among the substitutes until Earl Gardner, who had been given his position when he withdrew from the team, was injured so badly that he could not continue in the game. Then Dick Merriwell thought of Hal Darrell’s desertion of the team and at first wanted to punish him for it by leaving him on the substitutes’ bench, but his better nature conquered and the spirit of forgiveness reigned triumphant.

Hal knew nothing of Dick’s temptation to call out another player to take Gardner’s place, which would have humiliated and infuriated Darrell to an unspeakable degree. Hal was not aware that Dick fought the temptation down, crushed it, conquered it, and did what he believed was best for Fardale, regardless of his own inclination and feelings.

So Hal had been given his old position as half-back and had played a steady game, contributing greatly to Fardale’s success, although he made no individual play of brilliancy that distinguished him above the others.

At the same time he had seen Dick make a great run down the field, had seen him leap clean over one tackler, and had witnessed a touch-down that tied the score between Hudsonville and Fardale. If Dick kicked the goal the game would be won.

If he failed it would most certainly remain a tie, as there was not enough more playing time to enable either side to score again, unless some amazing fluke should take place.

So as Hal lay on the ground, holding the ball, he was tempted. Under any circumstances Fardale would come out of the game with flying colors. During the first half she had been outplayed by the big Hudsonville chaps, who had secured two touch-downs and a goal. Her line had been weak, and she had seemed to have very little chance of making a point. It looked like a hopeless battle against overpowering odds.

But Dick had never given up for a moment. He had kept up the courage of his men. And all through the first half Obediah Tubbs, the fat boy who played center on Fardale, had continued to hammer at Glennon, the big center of the opposing team, until finally all the fight and sand had been taken out of the fellow, and the strongest point in Hudsonville’s line became the weakest.

The cadets took advantage of that weakness in the second half. The most of their gains were made through center. Glennon, limp as a rag, asked to go out of the game; but King, the captain, angrily told him to stand up to his work, knowing it would discourage the others to lose the big fellow, who had never yet failed to play through any game he had entered.

And when Dick Merriwell had been hurt and it seemed he must leave the field, Hal had seen June Arlington–forgetting appearances, remembering only that Dick was stretched on the ground and might not rise again–run out from the grand stand and kneel to lift his head.

Standing apart, his heart beating hotly, Darrell saw her give back to Dick a locket containing her picture–a locket she had given to him once before when he had risked his life to save her from some savage dogs which attacked her on a lonely road on the outskirts of Fardale, and then demanded again after her brother had told her some untrue tales about Dick.

“She would not let me have it when I asked her for it after she got it back,” thought Hal. “But now she gives it to him again! And she does not mind who sees her!”

It seemed very strange for a proud, high-bred girl like June Arlington to do such a thing before the assembled spectators. She had been governed by her heart, not her head. Had she paused to consider, she would have been dismayed; but she scarcely knew how she reached Dick, and she seemed to come to a realization of her position first as she knelt and held his head. Then she had courage not to lose her nerve, and she gave him the locket as a “charm” to restore his good luck.

It was after this that Dick made the run that set thirty “faithful” Fardale rooters howling mad with joy. He did it even though he reeled and could scarcely stand when he rose to his feet. He did it by casting off his physical weakness and calling to his command all the astonishing reserve force of a perfectly trained young athlete. But for his training and his splendid physical condition, he would have been carried from the field, done up.

In the moment of his temptation Hal realized that Dick had trusted him perfectly in calling him to hold the ball.

“But he’s made me help him win glory in her eyes!” was the stinging thought that followed.

However, he conquered the temptation. As Dick balanced himself, Darrell carefully lowered the ball toward the ground. The seam was uppermost and everything was ready for the kick that would decide whether the game should end a tie or Fardale should leave the field victorious.

Darrell’s hand was perfectly steady as Dick advanced quickly and kicked. Fairly over the middle of the bar sailed the ball, and the “faithful” shrieked and howled and thumped one another on the back and had fits.

But they were not the only ones who had fits. Apart at one side of the field Chester Arlington, June’s brother, and a student at Fardale, walked round and round in a circle, muttering and almost frothing at the mouth. Then he started for the grand stand.

“I’ll tell her what I think!” he grated.

But he stopped and stared at the field, where Hudsonville was making a listless pretense of playing during the few moments that remained. He seemed to go into a trance and stand there until the whistle blew and the game was over. He saw the “faithful” go tearing on to the gridiron and surround Dick, and he could bear to see no more.

“I believe I’ll have to kill him yet!” he snarled, as he turned away.

He walked blindly into the rail beyond which the spectators were slowly filing out from the enclosure. Some of them stared at him wonderingly, noting his wildly glaring eyes and hearing his incoherent mutterings.

“What ails that chap?” said a man.

“Gone bughouse,” intimated another. “Who is he?”

“Don’t know. Saw him with that pretty girl who ran out on the field when Merriwell was hurt.”

“He’s a Fardale boy?”

“Yes.”

“Must be crazy with joy. Can’t blame him after seeing his team win in that way.”

Chester crawled under the rail and bumped against a man.

“Get out of the way, you old fool!” he snarled.

“Who are you talking to?” demanded the man, in astonishment and anger. “Who are you calling an old fool?”

“You! you! you! You ran into me–me, son of D. Roscoe Arlington! Do you hear?”

“You’re a crazy ass!” said the man, and walked on.

Somehow those words seemed to bring Chester to his senses in a measure.

“Brace up, old man!” he muttered huskily. “Why, I wouldn’t have Merriwell see you like this for a fortune!”

He passed out through the gate with others and started away. Then he bethought himself and turned back to where a carriage, containing a driver, waited. He got into the carriage.

“Go on,” he growled.

“But the young lady, sir,” said the driver; “your sister.”

“Oh, yes!” mumbled Chester. “I had forgotten her. We’ll wait for her. Darrell is a thundering fool!”

“I beg your pardon, sir?” said the driver.

“Nothing that concerns you,” growled Arlington, and he sat like a graven image, waiting for June.

CHAPTER II. DICK STOPS A RUNAWAY

The sweat-stained, bruised, battered, triumphant Fardale lads peeled off their football armor in the dressing-room beneath the stand. Earl Gardner was there, barely able to walk, but supremely happy. Dick was happy, too. Scudder, partly recovered from a collapse, was shaking hands with everybody.

“It was a shame!” said Ted Smart in fun. “I hated to see us do it! They were so sure of the game that it seemed like robbery to take it.”

“By Jim! I’ll be sore to-morrer!” piped Obediah Tubbs. “Never got no sech drubbin’ before sence dad used to lay me over his knee an’ swat me with the razor-strop.”

“But you put Glennon on Queer Street,” smiled Dick. “And that was the finest thing I ever saw happen to a bruiser like him.”

“He! he! he!” came from the fat boy. “I kinder thought I might git called down fer some of that business, but the empire didn’t dast say a word.”

“I should opine not,” put in Brad Buckhart, the Texan. “He permitted Glennon to start the slugging-match, and he couldn’t say anything when it became too hot for the big tough.”

“Both umpire and referee were against us,” grunted Bob Singleton.

“But we won out against all odds, fellows,” said Dick cheerily. “And I am proud of you!”

“It’s us that sus-sus-sus-should be pup-pup-pup-proud of you!” chattered Chip Jolliby, his protruding Adam’s apple bobbing as it always did when he was excited and tried to talk fast.

“That’s right! that’s right!” cried the boys. “Captain Dick was the one who turned the trick and won the game!”

“No, fellows,” said Dick earnestly. “I did what I could, but to no one individual belongs the glory of this game. It was a victory won by the splendid courage and staying qualities of the whole team. It was the kind of courage that wins great battles. It showed that this team is made up of the right kind of stuff. We were stronger at the finish than at the start, while they were weaker. It’s staying power that counts.”

Dick was right. And it is “staying power” that counts in the great game of life, just the same as in football. A fellow may have ability and be brilliant in his accomplishments, but if he has not “staying power” he will be beaten out every time by the tireless, persistent, dogged plodder.

The boys were not able to bathe and be rubbed down there, so they hustled on their clothes and prepared to make for the hotel, where they might cleanse and refresh themselves after their successful struggle.

“Thunder!” moaned Tubbs. “How hungry I be! Don’t think I ever was so hungry before in all my life.”

Then it was that some of the faithful appeared with pies of various sorts, procured at a bakery in town, and delivered them to the fat boy, who was so fond of pies that he ate all he could even while in training, the one who presented them making a humorous speech.

When the boys piled into the big carryall that was to take them to the hotel Obediah had his lap full of pies. Holding one in each hand, he proceeded to devour them, a supremely happy look on his full-moon face. Along the route he was observed with amusement, and he laughed and waved his pies at those who laughed at him.

It seemed that almost half a hundred small boys were waiting for the Fardale team to appear, and they ran after the carryall, cheering and calling to one another.

“Well, we seem to have won favor with the kids, anyhow,” said Dick.

When the hotel was reached the boys leaped out and hurried in.

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