Books > Old Books > Decent Fellows (1930)


Page 266

CHAPTER XVIII

Denis threw himself on the bully and drew back, waiting for the ball to come out. When Oliver cooled it towards long, he made a great pretence of charging down the kick. But his legs had a curious low gear on these occasions. However fast he ran, he was never quite in the forefront of the loose, and thus avoided many a painful blow on the nose. His tactics, however, did not escape notice.
After the game, Beckett came up to him. " I say, Bailey, would you like to captain the second sine this half? "
Denis thought for a moment. " Thanks very much, Beckett. I'd love to."
" Good. You must do better than last year, when you only won two games, I believe." Beckett smiled. " I wish you luck." Hurrah, thought Denis. Captain of the second sine. He need never play post again. He would be "short" or "long " for the rest of his life ; or occasionally " fly," if he felt sufficiently energetic. Of course the captainship of the second sine was purely an honorary position ; it was offered to people high up in the house, who were not good enough for their " shorts." But that did not matter. To reign in hell was better than being post in the very dubious heaven of Wren's house side.
" Congratulations," said Peter, when he heard. " I shall be your right-hand man."
" If you don't play for the house." " No fear."
" And we'll put Spencer-Mace post, if he tries to be offensive."
" And pray God there are some rouges scored against us."
" Only too likely," said Denis, " if it's anything like last year. But, Peter, the second sine has got to win this half ; Beckett said so."
" Easy. If we arrange with the other captain, why shouldn't each side win, and everyone go home happy and tell their captain of the games ? Nobody ever watches the second sine."
" That's an idea."

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