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Page:Stanwood Pier--Crashaw brothers.djvu/205

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185
THE PINCH HITTER

Jackson received the ball, twisted it in his hands, and then stood with his hands on his hips waiting for the next batter to advance. He looked at Keating, but Keating sat cross-legged on the ground.

Edward finished tying his shoe, threw off his white flannel coat, and picked out Payne’s bat—the bat which he had used when he had coached Keating. Then in his blue shirt and his spotless white trousers, with the red sash dangling at his waist, he walked to the plate.

For one moment there was on both sides an amazed silence. Then St. Timothy’s began to clap, and from clapping they turned to cheering, with Durant leading them,—nine rahs and then, "Crashaw!” at the end.

From St. John’s there came not a sound—not a jeer. The moment was too critical; and however inappropriate and absurd Edward’s costume appeared, there was something in his bearing as he stepped into the batter’s place that awakened their apprehension.

Jackson twisted the ball in his hands and studied this unexpected apparition who stood