When play was called, Hughie, with Fusie immediately behind him, stood facing Dan in the center with one of the little Red Shirts at his back. It was Dan's drop. He made a pass or two, then shot between his legs to a Red Shirt, who, upon receiving, passed far out to Red Shirt number three, who flew along the outer edge and returned swiftly to Dan, now far up the other side. Like the wind Dan sped down the line, dodged Johnnie Big Duncan easily, and shot from the corner, straight, swift, and true, a goal.
"One for the Front!" Eleven shinny-sticks went up in the air, the bagpipes struck up a wild refrain, big Hec Ross and Jimmie Ben danced a huge, unwieldy, but altogether jubilant dance round each other, and then settled down to their places, for it was Hughie's drop.
Hughie took the ball from the umpire and faced Dan with some degree of nervousness, for Dan was heavy and strong, and full of confidence. After a little manoeuvering he dropped the ball between Dan's legs, but Dan, instead of attending to the ball, charged full upon him and laid him flat, while one of the Red Shirts, seizing the ball, flew off with it, supported by a friendly Red Shirt on either side of him, with Dan following hard.
Right through the crowd dodged the Red Shirts till they came up to the Twentieth line of defense, when forth came Johnnie Big Duncan in swift attack. But the little Red Shirt who had the ball, touching it slightly to the right, tangled himself up in Johnnie Big Duncan's legs and sent him sprawling, while Dan swiped the ball to another Red Shirt who had slipped in behind the master, for there was no such foolishness as off-side in that game. Like lightning the Red Shirt caught the ball, and rushing at Thomas, shot furiously at close quarters. Goal number two for the Front!
Again on all sides rose frantic cheers. "The Front! The Front! Murro forever!" Two games had been won, and not a Twentieth man had touched the ball. With furtive, uncertain glances the men of the Twentieth team looked one at the other, and all at their captain, as if seeking explanation of this extraordinary situation.
"Well," said Hughie, in a loud voice, to the master, and with a careless laugh, though at his heart he was desperate, "they are giving us a little taste of our own medicine."
The master dropped to buckle his skate, deliberately unwinding the strap, while the umpire allowed time.
"Give me a hand with this, Hughie," he called, and Hughie skated up to him.