"Yes, and there's Hec Ross and Jimmie Ben," said Don, "and sure enough, Farquhar Begh. We'll be catching it to-day, whatever," continued Don, cheerfully.
"Pshaw! we licked as big men before. It isn't size," said Hughie, with far more confidence than he felt.
It was half an hour before the players were ready to begin. The rules of the game were few and simple. The play was to be one hour each way, with a quarter of an hour rest between. There was to be no tripping, no hitting on the shins when the ball was out of the scrimmage, and all disputes were to be settled by the umpire, who on this occasion was the master of the Sixteenth school.
"He's no good," grumbled Hughie to his mother, who was even more excited than her boy himself. "He can't play himself, and he's too easy scared."
"Never mind," said his mother, brightly; "perhaps he won't have much to do."
"Much to do! Well, there's Jimmie Ben, and he's an awful fighter, but I'm not going to let him frighten me," said Hughie, savagely; "and there's Dan Munro, too, they say he's a terror, and Hec Ross. Of course we've got just as good men, but they won't fight. Why, Johnnie 'Big Duncan' and Don, there, are as good as any of them, but they won't fight."
"What a pity! But why should they fight? Fighting is not shinny."
"No, that's what the master says. And he's right enough, too, but it's awful hard when a fellow doesn't play fair, when he trips you up or clubs you on the shins when you're not near the ball. You feel like hitting him back."