Kingsford, Quarter

DiscoverSports & FitnessKingsford, Quarter
Kingsford, Quarter

Author

Ralph Henry Barbour

About this book

"Kingsford, Quarter" is an early 20th-century novel about a fifteen-year-old football player's adventures at school. The author of this work was American novelist Ralph Henry Barbour, who wrote some celebrated works of sports fiction for boys in the early 1900s. His stories teach the significance of sports, teamwork, and school spirit.

Contents (24)

CHAPTER I EVAN HAPPENS IN
Currently reading
CHAPTER II THE BOY IN 32
CHAPTER III EVAN MAKES ACQUAINTANCES
CHAPTER IV MALCOLM WARNE
CHAPTER V EVAN IS WARNED
CHAPTER VI THE HAZING
CHAPTER VII UP THE MOUNTAIN
CHAPTER VIII ON TABLE ROCK
CHAPTER IX DINNER IS SERVED
CHAPTER X STORIES AND SLUMBER
CHAPTER XI JELLY CLIMBS A TREE
CHAPTER XII IN THE FOG
CHAPTER XIII EVAN RETIRES
CHAPTER XIV THE FOOTBALL MEETING
CHAPTER XV THE CONTRIBUTION-BOX
CHAPTER XVI ROB PLAYS A TRUMP
CHAPTER XVII THE INDEPENDENTS ORGANIZE
CHAPTER XVIII DUFFIELD TAKES HOLD
CHAPTER XIX DEVENS AGREES
CHAPTER XX INDEPENDENTS VS. SECOND
CHAPTER XXI DEVENS RESIGNS
CHAPTER XXII THE SCHOOL TAKES A HAND
CHAPTER XXIII THE INDEPENDENTS DISSOLVE
CHAPTER XXIV THE GAME WITH ADAMS

CHAPTER I EVAN HAPPENS IN

Evan climbed the second flight of stairs, pulling his bag heavily behind him. For the last quarter of an hour he had been wishing that he had packed fewer books in it. At the station he had stopped to telegraph to his family announcing his safe arrival at Riverport, and so had lost the stage to school and had walked a full mile and a quarter. That is ordinarily no task for a well-set-up, strong lad of fifteen years, but when he is burdened with a large suit-case containing no end of books and boots and other stuff that ought to be in his trunk, and when the last half-mile is steadily uphill, it makes a difference. Evan was aware of the difference.

At the top of the final flight he set the bag down and looked speculatively up and down the long, dim hallway. In front of him the closed door was numbered 24. At the office they had assigned him to 36 Holden. He had found the dormitory without difficulty, and now he had only to find 36. He wondered which way the numbers ran. That he wasn’t alone up here on the second floor was evident, for from behind closed doors and opened doors came the sound of much talking and laughter. While he stood there resting his tired arms, the portal of number 24 was flung open, and a tall youth in his shirt-sleeves confronted him. Behind the tall youth the room seemed at first glance to be simply seething with boys.

“Where is room 36, please?” asked Evan.

“Thirty-six?” The other considered the question with a broad smile. Then, instead of answering, he turned toward the room. “Say, fellows, here’s a new one. Come and have a look. It’ll do you no end of good.”

In a second the doorway was filled with curious, grinning faces. Perhaps if Evan hadn’t been so tired he would have accepted the situation with better humor. As it was, he lifted his suit-case and turned away with a scowl.

“He doesn’t like us!” wailed a voice. “Ah, woe is me!”

“Where’s he going?” asked another. “Tarry, stranger, and—”

“He wants 36,” said the tall youth. “Who’s in 36, somebody?”

“Nobody. Tupper had it last year; he and Andy Long.”

“Say, kid, 36 is at the other end of the hall. But don’t scowl at me like that, or I’ll come out there and give you something to be peevish about.”

Evan, obeying directions, turned and passed the group again in search of his room. He paid no heed to the challenge, for he was much too tired to get really angry. But he didn’t take the scowl from his face, and the boy in the doorway saw it.

“Look pleasant, kid,” he continued threateningly. He pushed his way through the laughing group and overtook Evan a little way down the hall. He was a big chap, good-looking in a heavy way, and seemed to be about seventeen years old. He placed a hand on Evan’s shoulder and with a quick jerk swung him around with his back to the wall. Evan dropped his bag and raised his hands defensively.

“What do you want?” he demanded.

“Didn’t I tell you to look pleasant?” growled his tormentor, with an ugly grin on his features. “Didn’t I? Well, do it!”

“You let me alone,” said Evan, the blood rushing into his cheeks.

“Of course I’ll let you alone, kid; when I get ready. Off with that scowl; do you hear?”

“You take it off!” answered Evan, pushing the other away from him.

“The new one’s game!” cried the tall youth. The others were flocking about them. Evan’s arms were beaten down swiftly and pinned to his sides in a strong grip, and a hand was passed roughly over his face, hurting so that, in spite of him, the tears rushed to his eyes. With an effort he shook off the other’s grip, stumbled over the suit-case, and staggered against a door. The next moment he was falling backward, the door giving way behind him. He landed on his back, his head striking the thinly carpeted floor with a force that made him see all sorts and sizes of blue stars and for an instant quite dazed him. Then he heard a drawling voice somewhere at the back of the room say:


“‘LOOK PLEASANT, KID,’ HE CONTINUED THREATENINGLY.”

“Welcome to my humble domicile.”

When he opened his eyes, his assailant was standing over him, and the group in the doorway held several anxious faces.

“Aren’t hurt, are you?” asked the cause of his mishap. “Give me your hand.”

Evan obeyed and was pulled to his feet. He had quite forgotten his anger. “I’m all right,” he said dully, feeling of the back of his head.

“That’s right,” said the other, with a note of relief in his voice. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. It was the door, you see.”

“Up to your tricks again, eh, Hop?”

It was the drawling voice Evan had heard a moment before, and its owner, a tall, somewhat lanky boy, came into view around the table. “You’ve got the keenest sense of humor, Hop, I ever met with. Why didn’t you drop him out of the window?”

“Oh, you dry up, Rob. I didn’t do anything to him. The door was unlatched, and he fell against it. It’s none of your business, anyway.”

“It’s my business if I like to make it mine,” was the reply. He pulled up a chair and waved Evan toward it. “Sit down and get your breath,” he directed. Evan obeyed, his gaze studying the youth called Hop.

“Now, then,” said his new acquaintance quietly, “all out, if you please, gentlemen. I’ll look after the patient. Leave him to me.”

The group at the doorway melted away, and Hop followed. As he passed out, he turned and found Evan’s gaze still on him.

“Well, you’ll know me, I guess, when you see me again,” he said crossly.

“I think I shall,” answered Evan, calmly.

His host chuckled as he closed and bolted the door. Then he came back and sank into a chair opposite Evan, his legs sprawling across the floor.

“Well?” he asked kindly. “Any damage?”

“No, I guess not. My head aches and I’m sort of dizzy, but I’ll be all right in a minute.”

“I guess so. Just come, did you?”

“Yes; I was looking for my room when that chap—”

“Frank Hopkins.”

“When he got mad because I scowled at him. We tussled, and I fell through the door.”

“That was partly my fault. I’m sorry. You see, I’d been fixing the latch so I could open it from bed, and I hadn’t quite finished when you bumped against the door. What’s your name?”

“Kingsford.”

“Mine’s Langton; first name Robert; commonly called Rob; sometimes Lanky. Glad to meet you. Nice of you to drop in so casually.”

Evan laughed.

“That’s better. Wait a minute.” Rob got up and went to the wash-stand and dipped a towel in the pitcher. “Put that around your head,” he directed. “It’s good for aches. Too wet, is it? Let me have it.” He wrung some of the water out on the carpet and handed it back. “There you are. What room have they put you into?”

“Thirty-six.”

“No good,” said Rob, with a shake of his head. “You’ll freeze to death there. The Gobbler had it two years ago, and he did something to the steam-pipes so that the heat doesn’t get around any more. He vows he didn’t, but I know the Gobbler.”

“Can’t it be fixed?”

“It never has been. They’ve tried dozens of times. I have an idea what the trouble is, and I told Mac—he’s house faculty here—that I could fix it if he’d let me. But he never would.”

“Well, I suppose I’ll have to live there just the same,” said Evan, with a smile.

“Oh, I don’t know. Where do you come from, Kingsford?”

“Elmira, New York.”

“Really? My home’s in Albany. We’re natives of the same old State, aren’t we? I guess we’ll get on all right. What class are you in?”

“Junior.”

“So am I. That’s another bond of sympathy. I call this great luck! I hate to live alone. Sandy Whipple was with me last year, but he had typhoid in the summer and isn’t coming back for a while. And now you happen in. Well, make yourself at home, Kingsford. It isn’t a bad room, you see. That’s your side over there.”

“But—this isn’t 36, is it?” asked Evan.

“Not a bit of it. This is 32. I told you, didn’t I, that 36 was no good?”

“But they’ve put me there! Won’t I have to go?”

“Of course not. I’ll settle it with the Doctor. You’re inclined to colds, you know, and 36 wouldn’t do for a minute. You leave it all to me. Any consumption in your family?”

“No. Why in the world do you ask that?”

“Well, if you had a consumptive uncle or cousin or something, it would help. I’d tell the Doctor that your lungs were weak and that your Uncle Tom had consumption. But never mind. I’ll fix it.”

“But—but do you really want me here?”

“Of course I do! Didn’t I just say that I was down in the mouth because I didn’t have a room-mate? Besides, I like your looks. And we’re both New Yorkers, and we’re both juniors. That ought to settle it, I should say.”

“Well, it’s awfully good of you,” said Evan, gratefully, “and I’ll be glad to room with you if they’ll let me. Only—”

“Only nothing!” said the other, decisively. “Fate threw you in here, and here you stay!”