The lake widened, the shores grew more wooded; Edward relaxed all his muscles and closed his eyes. Gradually the talk of the others quieted; they were approaching the starting-point, and that meant a general tendency toward silence.
“Get ready, fellows,” said Durant at last.
Edward stood up with the others and with them let drop his blanket. They all stood there stripped to the waist, sixteen of them, brown and strong. The two coxswains, who were just as lightly clad, looked puny in the midst of them.
The St. Timothy’s crew brought their boat alongside first and got into it, then paddled off and waited for St. John’s. Pretty soon both boats were lined up for the start; the oarsmen slid forward with oars at the full reach and waited for the word.
“Ready, St. Timothy’s?” shouted the referee from the launch.
“Yes, sir,” replied Durant.
“I wish he’d hurry,” thought Edward; it was like sitting for the photographer to take