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24
THE CRASHAW BROTHERS

players and receiving the expressions of good-will of some of the Fourth Form, when Payne and Blanchard and Bell came up to him. They broke through the more insignificant persons, and Payne seized Edward by the shoulders and said:—

“I’ve got you nailed down for a place on the nine next spring; and don’t you forget it.”

“Oh, do you think so?” Edward’s face lighted up.

“Jing!” said Bell. “I never in all my life threw them in to such a slugger.”

“I don’t wonder your brother was peevish at your not going to St. John’s,” said Blanchard. “Now if you’re only as good at football—!”

Such praise was sweet to Edward’s ears. He was grateful to them for it, and to the fellows of his own form who crowded round him. The unkindness of the jeering crowd, the sting of being called fresh, of having an ignominious rhyme made on his name, all vanished. And then he suddenly remembered.