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203
THE BOAT RACE

think you can back me up in it. Thirty-eight to the minute to begin with, and never lower than thirty-six.”

“That’s all right,” said Edward.

It was not altogether a surprise to him, the announcement of these tactics; in the last week of practice Durant had been testing his crew pretty severely, and they were all hoping that he would let them attempt this very thing; they were all confident of their strength and of their ability to row St. John’s down. Whereas, if they did not take the aggressive at the outset and maintain it, but let their opponents set the pace, they might not have at the end the sprinting power of the lighter and—from what news had come to them—the more finished crew. So now that the word was passed round that it was to be a row-down from the start, they were all elated.

“Besides,” said Davis, pointing to the trees which were swaying in the wind, “it looks like St. Timothy’s weather.”

“Yes,” said Durant. “A little rough water will be a good thing.”