The Short-Stop

The Short-Stop

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by Zane Grey
     
 

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Zane Grey? Base-ball?

***

A selection from the first chapter:

ALLOWAY hurried out of the factory door and bent his steps homeward. He wore a thoughtful, anxious look, as of one who expected trouble. Yet there was a briskness in his stride that showed the excitement under which he labored was not altogether unpleasant.

In truth,… See more details below

Overview

Zane Grey? Base-ball?

***

A selection from the first chapter:

ALLOWAY hurried out of the factory door and bent his steps homeward. He wore a thoughtful, anxious look, as of one who expected trouble. Yet there was a briskness in his stride that showed the excitement under which he labored was not altogether unpleasant.

In truth, he had done a strange and momentous thing; he had asked the foreman for higher wages, and being peremptorily refused, had thrown up his place, and was now on his way home to tell his mother.

He crossed the railroad tracks to make a short cut, and threaded his way through a maze of smoke-blackened buildings, to come into a narrow street lined with frame houses. He entered a yard that could not boast of a fence, and approached a house as unprepossessing as its neighbors.

Chase hesitated on the steps, then opened the door. There was no one in the small, bare, clean kitchen. With a swing which had something of an air of finality about it, he threw his dinner-pail into a corner.

"There!" he said grimly, as if he had done with it. "Mother, where are you?"

Mrs. Alloway came in, a slight little woman, pale, with marks of care on her patient face. She greeted him with a smile, which faded quickly in surprise and dismay.

"You’re home early, Chase," she said anxiously.

"Mother, I told you I was going to ask for more money. Well, I did. The foreman laughed at me and refused. So I threw up my job."

"My boy! My boy!" faltered Mrs. Alloway.

Chase was the only bread-winner in their household of three. His brother, a bright, studious boy of fifteen, was a cripple. Mrs. Alloway helped all she could with her needle, but earned little enough. The winter had been a hard one, and had left them with debts that must be paid. It was no wonder she gazed up at him in distressed silence.

"I’ve been sick of this job for a long time," went on Chase. " I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. There’s no chance for me in the factory. I’m not quick enough to catch the hang of mechanics. Here I am over seventeen and big and strong, and I’m making six dollars a week. Think of it! Why, if I had a chance— See here, mother, haven't I studied nights ever since I left school to go to work? I’m no dummy. I can make something of myself. I want to get into business — business for myself, where I can buy and sell."

"My son, it takes money to go into business. Where on earth can you get any?"

"I’ll make it," replied Chase, eagerly. A flush reddened his cheek. He would have been handsome then, but for his one defect, a crooked eye. " I’ll make it. I need money quick — and I’ve hit on the way to make it. I — "

"How?"

The short query drew him up sharply, chilling his enthusiasm. He paced the kitchen, and then, with a visible effort, turned to his mother.

" I am going to be a base-ball player."

The murder was out now and he felt relief. His mother sat down with a little gasp. He waited quietly for her refusal, her reproach, her arguments, ready to answer them one by one.

"I won't let you be a ball player."

"Mother, since father left us to shift for ourselves I’ve been the head of the house. I never disobeyed you before, but now — I’ve thought it out. I’ve made my plan."

"Ball players are good-for-nothing loafers, rowdies. I won't have my son associate with them."

"They've a bad name, I'll admit; but, mother, I don't think it's deserved. I’m not sure, but I believe they’re not so black as they are painted. Anyway, even if they are, it won't hurt me. I’ve an idea that a young man can be square and successful in base-ball as in anything else. I’d rather take any other chance, but there isn't any."

"Oh! the disgrace of it! Your father would — "

" Now, see here, mother, you’re wrong. It's no disgrace. Why, it's a thousand times better than being a bar-tender, and I'd be that to help along. As for father," his voice grew bitter, "if he'd been the right sort we wouldn’t be here in this hovel. You 'd have what you were once used to, and I’d be in school."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014869225
Publisher:
OGB
Publication date:
08/12/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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