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211
THE BOAT RACE

way down we’ll drop them, I guess—stroke—stroke.”

“How far have we gone now?” breathed Durant, after a time.

“Just about a quarter of the course,” answered the coxswain.

“Fellows all look strong?”

“Fine,” said Gardner.

“All right; we’ll keep right on,” murmured the captain.

They reached the mile mark, the halfway point; the coxswain continued to report, “They’re hanging on, just where they were; we don’t shake ’em off.” His voice was getting more excited, more anxious. The shouts of the distant spectators came faintly to their ears—the shouts from both shores blending and indistinguishable. The pull was beginning to wear on Durant’s crew; Edward was breathing hard, and he heard Davis’s measured grunts behind him.

Durant muttered something to the coxswain; the coxswain through the megaphone strapped to his mouth interpreted it to the crew.