The Manoeuvres of Charteris
'Might I observe, sir--''You may observe whatever you like,' said the referee kindly. 'Twenty-five.''The rules say--''I have given my decision. Twenty-
!' A spot of red appeared on the official cheek. The referee, who had been heckled since the kick-off, was beginning to be annoyed.'The ball went behind without bouncing, and the rules say--''Twenty-FIVE!!' shouted the referee. 'I am perfectly well aware what the rules say.' And he blew his whistlewith an air of finality. The secretary of the Bargees' F.C. subsided reluctantly, and the game was restarted.The Bargees' match was a curious institution. Their real name was the Old Crockfordians. When, a few years before, the St Austin's secretary had received a challenge from them, dated from Stapleton, where their secretary happened to reside, he had argued within himself as follows: 'This sounds all right. OldCrockfordians? Never heard of Crockford. Probably some large private school somewhere. Anyhow, they'recertain to be decent fellows.' And he arranged the fixture. It then transpired that Old Crockford was a village,and, from the appearance of the team on the day of battle, the Old Crockfordians seemed to be composedexclusively of the riff-raff of same. They wore green shirts with a bright yellow leopard over the heart, andC.F.C. woven in large letters about the chest. One or two of the outsides played in caps, and the team to a mancriticized the referee's decisions with point and pungency. Unluckily, the first year saw a weak team of Austinians rather badly beaten, with the result that it became a point of honour to wipe this off the slate beforethe fixture could be cut out of the card. The next year was also unlucky. The Bargees managed to score a penalty goal in the first half, and won on that. The match resulted in a draw in the following season, and by thistime the thing had become an annual event. Now, however, the School was getting some of its own back. The Bargees had brought down a player of somereputation from the North, and were as strong as ever in the scrum. But St Austin's had a great team, and werecarrying all before them. Charteris and Graham at half had the ball out to their centres in a way which madeMerevale, who looked after the football of the School, feel that life was worth living. And when once it was out,things happened rapidly. MacArthur, the captain of the team, with Thomson as his fellow-centre, and Welchand Bannister on the wings, did what they liked with the Bargees' three-quarters. All the School outsides hadscored, even the back, who dropped a neat goal. The player from the North had scarcely touched the ball duringthe whole game, and altogether the Bargees were becoming restless and excited.The kick-off from the twenty-five line which followed upon the small discussion alluded to above, reachedGraham. Under ordinary circumstances he would have kicked, but in a winning game original methods often pay. He dodged a furious sportsman in green and yellow, and went away down the touch-line. He was almostthrough when he stumbled. He recovered himself, but too late. Before he could pass, someone was on him.Graham was not heavy, and his opponent was muscular. He was swung off his feet, and the next moment thetwo came down together, Graham underneath. A sharp pain shot through his shoulder.A doctor emerged from the crowd--there is always a doctor in a crowd--and made an examination.'Anything bad?' asked the referee.