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Page:Stanwood Pier--Crashaw brothers.djvu/230

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Edward, just behind Durant, was feeling all the exhilaration of a good start. The muscles that had seemed quivering and flabby just before the referee had raised the pistol were now working smoothly, strongly; already the pulse that had been beating too hard was quieting. He did not once take his eyes from Durant’s back. He wished he could look out and see what kind of a stroke Charles was setting, but he would not indulge that brotherly interest.

A humorous thought came to console him: “When we get far enough ahead I’ll be able to sneak a look.”

In spite of the cool breeze the perspiration was springing on his face and neck; the sun was beating down with a sudden surprising warmth; for all the intentness of his gaze at Durant’s sinewy brown back, he was conscious of the glare on the water. Gardner was chanting monotonously,—

“Stroke—stroke—they’re just where they were, fellows—stroke—stroke—they’re not gaining any—stroke—stroke—half-