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This is the story which Uncle Jack told to the children about the Army-Navy football game:*
Out on Franklin Field [Philadelphia] thousands and thousands of Americans, from the President of the United States down, waited impatiently for the excitement of the day to begin.
On each side of the field some hundreds of seats were still left vacant. The music of a band now floated out, proclaiming that one set of seats was soon to be filled. Then in through a gate marched the Military Academy band at the head of the corps of cadets. Frantic cheers broke loose on the air, and there was a great fluttering of the black and gray banners carried by the Army's supporters in the audience. Gray and steel-like the superb corps marched across the field, and over to the seats assigned to them.
*From “Dave Darrin's Fourth Year at Annapolis” by H. Irving Hancock. Copyright by Henry Altemus Co., the publishers, and used by their permission.
Barely had the Army band ceased playing when another struck up in the distance. It was now the turn of the fine Naval Academy band to play the brigade of midshipmen on to the field. Again the air was filled with the loyal cheers that greeted the middies. ...
“All out for practice!” called Wolgast (the middy captain). Team men and subs. bunched, the Navy players trotted on to the field, amid a tempest of wild cheering. .
No sooner had Dave Darrin halted for an in-: stant, than he broke into a whirlwind of sprinting speed. Dan Dalzell tried to keep up with him, but found it impossible.
“Good old Darry!” yelled a hoarse voice from one of the grandstands. “That's the way you'll go around the end to-day!”
Some of the other Navy players were kicking a ball back and forth. The Army team was not yet on the field, but it came, a few moments later, and received a tremendous ovation from the solid ranks of its own friends.
This time Darrin barely glanced at any of the Army players. He knew that Prescott and Holmes were not there [two of the best players on the West Point team, who were not permitted
to play). Whoever else might be interested, he was not.
Only a very few minutes were allowed for practice. During this exercise the Army and Navy bands played alternately.
Then the referee signaled the bands to stop.
Tr-r-r-rill! sounded the whistle, and Army and Navy captains trotted to the center of the field to watch the toss of the coin. Wolgast won, and awarded the kick-off to the Army.
Then the teams jogged quickly to places, and in an instant all was in readiness.
Over the spectators' seats a hush had fallen. Even the Army and Navy cheer leaders looked nearly as solemn as owls. The musicians of the two bands lounged in their seats and instruments had been laid aside. There would be no more noise until one team or the other had started to do real things.
Quick and sharp came the signal. West Point kicked and the ball was in play.
Navy's quarterback, after a short run, placed himself to seize the arching pigskin out of the air. Then he ran forward, protected by the Navy interference. By a quick pass the ball came into Dave Dar
rin's hands. Dalzell braced himself as he hit the strong Army line.
It was like butting a stone wall, but Darrin got through, with the aid of effective interference. · Army men bunched and tackled, but Dave struggled on. He did not seem to be exerting much strength, but his elusiveness was wonderful.
Then, after a few yards had been gained, Dave was borne to the earth, the bottom of a struggling mass, - until the referee's whistle ended the scrimmage.
Annapolis players could not help shooting keen glances of satisfaction at each other. The test had been a brief one, but now they saw that Darrin was in form, and that he could be depended upon to-day, unless severe accident came to cripple him.
Again the ball was put in play, this time going over to Farley and Page on the right end.
Only a yard did Farley succeed in advancing the ball, but that was at least a gain.
Then again came the pigskin to the left flank, and Dave fought it through the enemy's battle line for a distance of eight feet, ere he was forced to earth with it.
By this time the West Point captain was beginning to wonder what ailed his men. The cadet players themselves were worried. If the Navy could play like this through the game, it looked as though Annapolis might wipe out, in one grand and big-scored victory, the memory of many past defeats.
“Brace up, Army!” was the word passed through West Point's eleven.
“Good old Darry!” chuckled Wolgast, and, though he did not like to work Darrin too hard at the outset, it was worth while to shake the Army nerve as much as possible. So Wolgast signaled quarterback to send the ball once more by Midshipman Dave.
Another seven yards was gained by Darrin. The West Point men were gasping, more from chagrin than from actual physical strain. Was it going to prove impossible to stop these mad Navy rushes?
Then Wolgast, as he saw Dave limp slightly, decided, much against his will, upon working Page and Farley a little harder just at present. So back the ball traveled to the right flank.
Even while the line-up was making, however, the Navy cheermaster started a triumphant yell, in which nearly eight hundred midshipmen joined with all their lung power.
Of course, the Army cheermaster came back with a stirring West Point yell, but one spectator,