Quarter-Back Bates
(Kindle Edition)

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CHAPTER I
THE DEPARTURE OF A HERO

It cannot be truthfully said that Dick Bates was overwhelmingly surprised when he reached the railroad station that September morning and found fully a score of his schoolmates assembled there. Wally Nourse had let the cat out of the bag the day before. Wally was one of those well-meaning but too talkative youths such as we have all met. But Dick played the game perfectly this morning, descending from the carriage—Mr. Bates was one of the very few persons left in Leonardville who could afford an automobile and still drove horses—with an expression of questioning surprise. He realized that too much surprise would suggest that he knew the assemblage was there to do him honour; and if, as some said, Dick was conceited, at least he was always careful not to seem so.
Mr. Bates handed the lines to Hogan, the coachman, who had ridden in the back seat surrounded by Dick’s luggage, and followed his son to the platform with a satisfied smile on his seamed, good-humoured countenance. It pleased him that this younger son of his should be popular and sought after. To a certain extent he accepted it as a compliment to himself. Dick was already surrounded by the little throng of high school boys and girls—for the gentle sex was well represented, too—and his father heard him telling them in that pleasant, rather deep voice of his how unsuspected and undeserved it all was. Mr. Bates wasn’t deceived, however. Dick had confided to him on the way from the house that there might be a few of the fellows there to see him off. Instead, he chuckled to himself. “You can’t beat him at the diplomatic stuff,” he thought proudly. Then his smile faded. “Wonder if he isn’t a little too good at it!” Then Doris Ferguson had spied him and was clinging to his arm and telling him how mean and horrible he was to let Dick go away and leave them, and the other girls, seven in all, were chiming in, and everyone was talking at once. And that pleased Mr. Bates, too, for he liked Doris and, having no daughters of his own, wished he had a girl just like her. He patted her hand and beamed down at her from his six-foot height.
“Now don’t you take on so, young lady. Just you remember you’ve still got me. Course, I can’t play one of those half-portion banjos like Dick can, but I’m just as nice as he is other ways!”
Sumner White had drawn Dick apart. Sumner was this year’s football captain, and the other boys, watching and trying to appear not to be, felt that words of weight and wisdom were being exchanged over there by the baggage-room door, and wouldn’t have interrupted for worlds. What Sumner was saying just then may have contained wisdom, but certainly wasn’t very weighty.
“If you run across any real good plays or wrinkles, Dick, I wish you’d put me on, eh? I guess they play pretty near college football at Parkinson, and you know how it is here. If Murphy ever had a new idea he’d drop dead! Of course I wouldn’t give anything away. You can trust me to keep mum, old chap.”
“Why, yes, I will, Sum, if I can. But I may not get near the team, you know. I guess they have a raft of corking good players at Parkinson, and——”
“Oh, pickles!” jeered Sumner. “I guess they won’t have so many good quarters that you’ll be passed up! Bet you anything you’ll be playing on the Parkinson team before you’ve been there a week! Gee, I sort of wish you weren’t going, Dick. It’s leaving us in a beast of a hole. Say, honest, do you think Rogers could ever learn?”
“I think Sam’s the best we—the best you’ve got, Sum. All he needs is a whole lot of work. Of course you can try Littleton if you like, but you know my opinion of him.”

To be continue in this ebook..................................................................................

AuthorRalph Henry Barbour
BindingKindle Edition
Edition1
FormatKindle eBook
LanguageEnglish
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages174
Product GroupeBooks
Publication Date2014-10-21
PublisherGROSSET & DUNLAP
Release Date2014-10-21
StudioGROSSET & DUNLAP
Sales Rank716688

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