It was in vain. Both of the Twentieth men fell upon him, and the master, snatching the ball, sped like lightning down the ice.
"Get back! Get back there!" screamed Hughie to the mob crowding in upon the ice. "Give us room! Give us a show!"
At this moment Craven, cornered by Hec Ross and two of the Red Shirts, with Dan hard upon his heels, passed clear across the ice to Hughie. With a swift turn Hughie caught the ball, dodged Jimmie Ben's fierce spring at him, and shot. But even as he shot, Jimmie Ben, recovering his balance, reached him and struck a hard, swinging blow upon his ankle. There was a sharp crack, and Hughie fell to the ice. The ball went wide.
"Time, there, umpire!" cried the master, falling on his knees beside Hughie. "Are you hurt, Hughie?" he asked, eagerly. "What is it, my boy?"
"Oh, master, it's broken, but don't stop. Don't let them stop. We must win this game. We've only a few minutes. Take me back to goal and send Thomas out."
The eager, hurried whisper, the intense appeal in the white face and dark eyes, made the master hesitate in his emphatic refusal.
"Oh, don't stop! Don't stop it for me," cried Hughie, gripping the master's arm. "Help me up and take me back."
The master swore a fierce oath.