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Page:Stanwood Pier--Crashaw brothers.djvu/207

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187
THE PINCH HITTER

He stepped out of the batter’s box and waited for the throw in; and then for the first time he glanced over at the St. John’s crowd.

He saw his brother standing a step in advance of the others, his hands thrust into his coat-pockets, his eyes fixed on him with an expression of intent anxiety; and suddenly a thought flashed into Edward’s mind: “He’d be just as glad to see me hit the ball as I was to see him shoot that goal!”

Waiting for the ball to be returned, he felt excitement tightening his muscles, so he lowered his bat and swung his arms freely, limbering them up. Then it was time for him to step up to the plate again.

The next ball was too high; he let it pass. Then came one that promised to be good, and Edward swung at it, but it curved out so far that he reached it only with the tip of his bat, and it fizzled off along the ground,—another foul.

“Strike two!” called the umpire. And St. John’s shouted then as if the game were won.