The Silver Streak

A dramatic story of divided loyalty and a gangster s victory that was won on the gridiron

Louis ARTHUR CUNNINGHAM December 1 1930

The Silver Streak

A dramatic story of divided loyalty and a gangster s victory that was won on the gridiron

Louis ARTHUR CUNNINGHAM December 1 1930

The Silver Streak

Louis ARTHUR CUNNINGHAM

A dramatic story of divided loyalty and a gangster s victory that was won on the gridiron

GEE, this is Borne swell joint, believe me!” Jim Silver never crossed the Varsity campus without giving utterance to some such sentiment. He never looked up at the ivied walls, the Gothic spires, never passed beneath the ancient rustling elms or under the grey stone arches of the old college but what he swelled with a pride, vast and consoling. His own school and university had been Toronto’s waterfront, the lake boats, the fishback barges of the Erie Canal. But his kid brother, young Tony Silver, went to Varsity, and it was Jim —Jim, who strode, shoulders squared and head held high, across the campus this September day—who sent him there, who paid the bills.

A crowd of students loitered outside one of the halls, sturdy, clean-looking lads in sweaters and grey flannels. Jim Silver liked to be among them; liked, too, the knowledge that his own black pencilstripe suit, tan shirt and tie, were quite as collegiate as anything they might wear. It was great to think of a Silver being one of these fellows; a university man. Jim’s hands, plunged deep in his trousers pockets, clenched and tingled; he felt as if he were walking on air. He had been a dockside rat, a second-rate gangster, a no account, now he was one of a big liquor and gambling ring—but his kid brother, Tony, went to Varsity. His kid brother was something splendid, and he had helped make him so.

Someone, as he passed, said with bated breath, in a low voice that the wind helped Jim to hear: “That’s the Silver Streak’s brother. Looks something like him, don't you think?”

Oh, boy! The Silver Streak's brother! That was something. Jim Silver’s steps grew lighter, crisper. Here lived the kid, Varsity’s best football player, a kicking, running marvel on the gridiron, idol of the student body the Silver Streak!

Jim took the dark stairs of Tony’s hall three at a time. He felt quite at home here, felt he had a right here the Silver Streak’s brother. Sure, everyone knew him. Hadn’t that prof in the black kimono and funny mortarboard hat smiled at him, probably mistaking him for one of the students?

“Boy, if only I'd had the breaks,” mused Jim, landing breathless, delighted, in front of Tony’s oak. “I’d sure have made the most of them and made something of myself into the bargain—just like Tony’s doing. Sure glad 1 can give the boy a hand, and I know he’ll never find out how I earn the money. Great idea of mine, having my headquarters in Windsor, telling him I’m in the brokerage business when the only thing I ever broke was bottles. lie’s class, the kid is; a thoroughbred.”

Jim knocked almost timidly at the kid’s door, admiring the neat card engraved in old English letters —Tony Silver. Class. Everything aJjout this school and about Tony breathed of class. Once Tony had presented Jim to some of the girls he knew. That had been at a hockey game last winter; girls who tossed thousand-dollar fur coats around like nobody’s business.

“Hello, kid!"

'THE brothers grasped hands, shook heartily, giving grip for grip. They grinned at each other. Both were dark, wiry, hawk-eyed, with rugged jaws and fighting, handsome faces; but Tony was taller, wider of shoulder than Jim, and Tony’s face was much more youthful, more fresh, unmarked about the eye corners, unlined at the lips. Jim’s mouth was thin and hard at times and his lithe body seemed strung on wires through which a potent current of electricity passed. Young Tony moved slower, with the smooth, feline, restrained grace that had won for him on the gridiron and oil the title of Silver Streak.

“Decent of you to come, Jim. Oh, yes—” Tony swung about. There were two other fellows in the room, husky, unembarrassed chaps. Jim at once liked them, wanted to be friends with them. "This is George Melford, football captain, and Alan Burghley

“Runner-up at bridge,” grinned Burghley, who was one of the Dominion’s crack shot-putters. “We’re awfully glad to meet the Silver Streak’s brother after hearing his praises sung from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof.”

“Glad to know you,” said Jim, gripping their hands

strongly, feeling the thrill of physical equality as his own grip matched theirs.

And so the kid had been telling them about him, boasting about the kind of fellow he was. A swift stab of fear, of shame, smote him. What would these fellows think of him, of Tony, if they knew the truth; knew how he made his money, the shady racket he was in? It would just about kill Tony, finish him here at Varsity. But common sense told Jim Silver that no one could ever know. He was a big shot; one of the leaders in the ring. No one had anything on him; lesser lights did the actual dirty work; he just cam ein on the split-up when they made a killing.

“You’ll have some tea with us, Jim?” asked Tony.

Jim Silver drinking tea at five in the afternoon, eating cakes and bread and butter! If Wop Abruzzi or Nick Sloman or Terry Lynn, the men he was associated with, could see him now! To the devil with those roughnecks, he thought fiercely. Thi .as life, this was the real thing. Outside the Gothic windows of Tony’s study the campus was Hooded yellowly with autumn sunlight that mellowed the ivied walls and was reflected on stainedglass windows and slated spires. Jim Silver had read about these places in his boyhood, had loved them,

longed to see them; wished sadly, painfully, that he could go to them like other boys, live those splendid four years of rich beauty, with books, with tobacco, with more than friends, with all the glories of the ages of wisdom.

Not for him; not ever. Petty pilfering around warehouses, stolen voyages on lake boats; cards, pool, the racetrack, the big-money racket. And this—why, this was heaven to him, gangster though he was. This thrilled him, gladdened him as nothing else in life had done.

“Rather quiet today, Jim,” chided Tony. “Enjoying myself. Honest, kid, this is great.” They seemed to understand perfectly, those other two.

“Tony has been telling us how you had to dig in, Silver,” said Melford. “And how decent you’ve been to him.”

Jim was exquisitely uncomfortable, even while he glowed with pride at this tribute.

“It’s nothing at all,” he said deprecatingly. “No, I didn’t get.the chance of coming here. I wish I had, fellows.”

They nodded understandingly.

“The name Silver will stick here,” said Burghley. “That’s something.”

“Sure is,” muttered Jim, addressing his teacup. Yes, the name would endure. Varsity men for years to come would talk of the Silver Streak. Jim Silver, hard-boiled, seasoned, wise as the world, felt a strange fullness in his breast, a choking sensation in his throat. Life was pretty good to a fellow after all. It handed him some rotten breaks, and then, by a moment such as this, it made up for everything. There was honest pride in Jim’s steelgrey eyes; eyes that had the indomitable fierceness of the tiger lurking behind their ordinarily casual expression. He was proud of Tony, proud of Tony’s friends, proud to be Tony’s brother, to be received as an equal among these fellows whose world was not his.

They talked about football, about the team’s strength and its weakness. It looked, they agreed, like a clean sweep for Varsity this year. Queen’s was pretty well crippled, McGill was strong but lacking in the individual stars that, with excellent team work to back them, go to make a great football squad.

Jim Silver drank it all in. He had followed football carefully for two years, ever since Tony first began to break into the headlines. He knew plenty about the game and could discuss it keenly. Presently the two visitors gracefully took their leave and the brothers were left alone.

For a moment or so there was an embarrassed pause. The Silvers were not a talkative family. Tony was a very silent chap and there were times when wild horses couldn’t make him talk. Jim, more loquacious, was often at a loss when with this brother whom he idolized. Tony had been brought up by an aunt in Sarnia; they had not been much together.

“Well, looks like your big year, kid,” said Jim at last. “I think it’s going to be great for you. All set for the battle?”

“I think so.” Tony grinned, stared at his clasped hands. “It surely has been a wonderful four years.

I . thanks, Jim.”

“Oh, forget it. What you goin’ to do when you get your degree?” There was sheer idolatry in Jim’s voice, in his eyes. A degree; the kid would have a degree; his brother!

“Promise me you won’t ride me, Jim, and I’ll tell you the first thing I’m going to do.”

“Spill it.”

“Get married.”

“No!” Jim almost leaped out of his chair. He came, eager, intensely interested, to Tony’s side. “You’re kidding me, youngster.”

“I’m not. Remember those girls you met last winter at the hockey game? Remember one—a little goldenhaired girl with big blue eyes—Sara Hart?”

“I’ve never forgotten her. Doesn’t her dad own a railway or something?”

“I think so. I’m going to work for him. Don’t think it’s a soft job either.”

“You’re going to marry that little broad!” Jim shook his head, a gesture of utter inability to grasp the wonders of this world. “Tony, I think that’s the greatest I’ve ever heard. All the luck there is, old man.”

Awkwardly he put an arm about Tony’s muscular shoulders. That little girl—sure he remembered her, her sunny hair and great eyes, her dazzling ermine coat. She was a knockout. And he thought of the women whom he knew—slightly.

He pursed his lips, shook his head again, to show hopelessness this time. ^ man could never marry a girl of the sort that he knew.

“It’s swell, kid,” he said again. “Gee, I’m proud of you!”

Y\ rOP ABRUZZI had eyes as small, as beady and as W wicked as a snake’s. A bad actor, Wop. His exquisite grey flannel suit, blue shirt and black-andwhite shoes couldn’t make him anything other than what he was; a gorilla. That strangely expressive new usage of an old word described Wop Abruzzi perfectly. His forehead was low, his jetty brows met at the place where his nose—a squat, wide-nostrilled affair—should have begun. A gorilla. But he was no match for the tiger that was Jim Silver.

They sat in an obscure restaurant, in its most obscure corner. Jim Silver was expectant, on the defensive, ready to meet the Italian’s attack and turn it back on him. Abruzzi hated him, had tried in a dozen ways to get him. Jim was too smart. He could outthink the Wop easily. His wits were always more than a match for the ponderous brain of Wop Abruzzi.

“We’ll clean up big this fall,” remarked the Wop, toying with his glass, squinting from the amber-colored liquor up into Silver’s unwavering grey eyes. “Big money, Jim.”

"Yes? How?”

“Betting.”

“The ponies, eh? That’s no new racket for you. We’ll probably clean up as much as last fall.”

“Not the ponies this time,” said the Wop coolly. “You know there’s been big money bet on the football games.”

“Football! You mean the Varsity games? Why, you’re crazy! You can’t do any funny business there, and I’m not such a sap as to think you’re betting on anything that isn’t fixed beforehand.”

The Wop smiled, an oily, flashing smile that was calculated to hide the biting hatred he had for this slender, selfpossessed man who in all their dubious undertakings seemed to preserve a certain sense of decency, of what should and what should not be done.

“Any game can be fixed,” said the Wop, spreading his hands flat.

“Ever hear of any that couldn’t?

These rah-rah boys will be pie. I can see where we make ten grand on the big game.”

“Count me out,” said Jim sharply, his hands clenched. “And if you’ll take a tip from me you’ll keep your dirty paws off the boys’game. I mean it!

You try any tricks like that and something will happen to you, swift and sudden.”

The Wop’s mouth twisted in a snarl.

“What you mean? A swell pal you are. Nick and Terry an’ me kinda figured on your help in this racket. You’re the guy who could give us a big lift.”

•“Quit beating about the bush. What you got to say?”

“Allright! All r-r-r-

right!” The Wop waved a pacifying hand and grinned slyly. “Ain’t you got a brother who’s the big noise on the Varsity? Couldn’t you show him how the right thing to do would be to get sick or—”

Jim Silver was out of his chair and around the table in such time as would have made the admirers of young Tony’s speed shift their allegiance at once. The Wop rose to meet him, and met instead a straight left that lashed out with a power and velocity almost inhuman. Hard knuckles cracked against the Wop’s simian jaw. He rocked, swayed, his arms limp, then he went crashing to the floor. Jim Silver, his face a hard, taut-drawn masque, stood above him, waiting.

No one came into the back room where they were. No doubt the noise had been heard, but in that place it occasioned even less comment than the pop of a cork in more select circles. Jim Silver waited for a moment, then picked up a jug of water and dashed it on the distorted face.

Slowly the Wop revived. He groaned, rolled clear of the chair that entangled his thick legs. He sat up, feeling his jaw. Slowly memory returned to him.

“You were saying,” suggested Jim Silver levelly, “that it would be a good idea to keep your hands off college football and stick to the grafts you have.”

“The devil I was!” gritted Abruzzi. “I’ll show you, you double-crossing rat—”

“You’ll show me nothing. Is it going to be hands off, or am I going to smash you? I’d like to,” Jim finished with grim earnestness. “I’d like nothing better.”

“Don’t think we’re not wise to you,” muttered the Wop. “Playing the big stuff, eh? Visitin’ at the college, playin’ around with society. WTe ain’t kickin’ about that, see? But we’re not goin’ to let it stand in the way of business.”

“Get up and take it then,” said Jim Silver. “You got a lot coming to you yet.”

He reached down and gripped the Wop's coat, pulling him to his feet, holding him with one hand, the other fist drawn back.

“Allright! All r-i-i-ght !” The Wop gave in suddenly. “If you say so, Jim, we’ll call it off for this year. Maybe we understand. Sure we do. You like the kid, the Silver Streak. We understand.”

“Sure,” grinned Jim. “Not so thick after all, are you? So it ends here then?”

“Yeah,” said the Wop. “Right here.”

But long after Jim had gone Abruzzi sat at the table, chin held in his cupped hands, nursing the dull ache in his jaw, shaking his head like a dog out of water to try to drive away the pain that lingered there. The Wop’s teeth, white, rodent-like, bit into his full red lips and he muttered to himself.

JIM SILVER’S business kept him in Detroit until the day before the McGill-Varsity game. But it wouldn’t keep him any longer. He made up his mind to that. He was checking out that night. So he thought. An automatic revolver in the steady hands of Wop Abruzzi was the first thing that told him his plans might have to be altered.

“You stay right here, Jim,” said the Wop with mock cordiality. “We couldn’t think of letting you go right now. You’re our guest.”

“What’s the game, Wop?” Jim fought down the sudden chill of dread, the mad impulse to throw himself on the Wop and risk it. But Nick Sloman stood behind the Wop and there was an evil grin on Nick’s pockmarked face.

“The game,” said the Wop, “is football. We have some twelve thousand dollars up on it, Jim. And we’re not going to let you queer it. We spent two thousand to fix it—but then you Silvers always did value your services pretty high, eh?”

“You’re a dirty liar—!”

“Yeah?” The Wop gestured to Nick Sloman. A paper was thrust under Jim Silver’s eyes, and he read: “In view of certain considerations, I agree to throw the Varsity-McGill football game—Tony Silver.”

There was no mistaking Tony’s boyish scrawl, no mistaking the triumph in the Wop’s beady eyes.

“You see,” grinned the Wop. “I told you any game could be fixed, and every man has his price. Now, we’re not taking any chances of letting you go there and queer the works. You camp right here in this palatial suburban residence. You can hear the game over the radio and learn what the Silver Streak does. I guess Yellow Streak would be better, though.”

Jim Silver’s face was ghastly. He could find no words. The kid had turned out like that.; a cheap, smalltime grafter, a crook like himself. Well, why not? Probably it was in the blood. But the memory of his afternoon in Tony’s room, the fellows he had met, Tony telling him about his marriage with that little red-head, Sara Hart, still was with him.

“I’ll get you for this, Wop,” he said evenly.

The Wop shrugged.

“It’s just business. Unfortunate that your brother should happen to be the whole team. We had to get him. We’re going now. We’ll leave Mike Leary to keep an eye on you. No use trying to get out. You know what the windows are in this room. And Mike’s quick on the draw. So long.” They went, the gorilla and his henchman. Jim Silver flung himself into a chair under the inscrutable eyes of Mike Leary, an ex-Chicago gunman, antf gave himself over to the bitterness, the sickening disappointment, that gripped him.

The kid had turned heel, had gone the easy way. The kid had sold out for money; a measly two thousand.

“The Judas!” muttered Jim Silver. “I’ll kill him! With every chance in the world, with a girl like that, he does this. Scum !”

Far into the night Jim strode up and down the room. Mike Leary looked in on him every once and a while, told him to lie down and forget about it all. To Mike it was all in the day’s work, but the look Jim Silver gave him made even his calloused spirit quail.

What to do? If only he could get out, get to Toronto, get his hands on Tony. Only a kid, was all Tony was.

He didn’t realize what this meant. It looked big to him, Jim supposed; a pile of money. In time he’d realize the rotten thing he’d done, but then nothing could make up for it.

Throughout the night airplanes passed overhead. The

drumming of their propellers, loud and monotonous, was maddening to Jim Silver, a prisoner in the Wop’s house and headquarters, on the outskirts of Detroit. If only—

A flash of hope, a mere chance, hut it shot new life into him. Mike Leary wouldn’t be back for a while. It was a break! He knew how the Wop worked. They used planes in their business, and often in this very room Jim had seen the Wop do what he was now about to try.

He tiptoed to the cupboard, opened it, fumbled about on the shelves, found what he sought —long, cigar-shaped objects that were flares for giving planes a location as they circled overhead at night. He took them to the fireplace, knelt down, gazed up at the faint square of blue at the head of the wide chimney. He waited patiently. Odd, the drumming sound seemed to have been in his ears all evening, but now there was only a discouraging silence.

He waited, and, as best he knew how, prayed. A half-hour passed. He heard Mike Leary’s measured tread, and resumed his own monotonous pacing up and down. The door opened a crack, Mike looked in for a moment, then went away.

Faintly, growing steadily louder, Jim heard the noise of a plane. He ran to the fireplace, waited, gauging the time when the sound was almost overhead. He lit one of the flares, another, another, till all were gone. Then, with sheer nervous exhaustion, he threw himself into a chair.

It seemed silly now; futile; a waste of time. What if someone had seen the flares? What would they make of them?

They’d be curious naturally, but they would not be likely to do anything. The dragging hours seemed to bear out his fears.

Nothing happened. Mike Leary appeared with the regularity of a watchman compelled to punch a clock. No planes passed overhead now. Jim looked at his watch. It was past two o’clock.

A few more hours and it would be light, and his imprisonment would become still more unendurable as the time of the game drew near.

He lay down on the couch, slept fitfully, his nerves raw and refusing to be quieted. Over and over in his throbbing head he turned the cycle of his life; his own thwarted youth, the chance he had given to Tony, his pride in Tony, the girl Tony was going to marry. And now this!

“If only I could get out!” It was almost a prayer. But day came and Jim’s chances of escape, if ever he hud had any, were minimized. Mike Leary brought his breakfast. He drank the coffee, leaving the food untasted. The morning, infinitely galling to Jim Silver, stretched out toward noon. The house was silent with the silence of a tomb. Then, thrillingly, abruptly, he heard voices, a scuffling in the hall below, heavy steps coming up.

“Try this door,” said someone, and a key turned in the lock.

The door opened. Jim Silver saw a blue uniform, and for perhaps the first time in his life welcomed the sight of it. There were two other men in plain clothes.

“Thanks,” said Jim.

They stared at him, puzzled, speculative.

“Are you the guy was settin’ off the fireworks last night? Whatsa idea?”

"I’m the guy,” said Jim impatiently. “I want to get out of here. I’ve been locked up.”

“Where’d you want to go, and why?”

“To the football game in Toronto.”

The trio scowled.

“Say,” growled the spokesman, a short, roly-poly fellow. “Are you tryin’ to give us a good time? We been scoutin’ around all day to find where those signals came from. We knew the bird who owns this dump ain’t up to much good, so we took a chance on cornin’ jn. And it’s only some nut who wants to go to a football

game. Now tell us what did you get locked up for?”

“I can’t tell you,” said Jim desperately. “But let me go. I’ll give you my name, give you anything, and if you want me I’ll come back. I have to see that game. I’ll hire a plane to get there.”

The detectives looked still more amazed and very dubious about it all; but there seemed to be nothing much they could do. Jim Silver left the house with them and took a cab to the flying field. Mike Leary they took to headquarters on general principles, having failed to wring a word from him.

ÜREE! Jim sat bolt upright in the cab, urging it on L with unconscious movements of his body. Fortu nately, they’d left him his money, even his ticket for the game. Probably the Wop had thought it would add to his misery to feel that bit of pasteboard in his pocket, mocking at him.

The flying field. The cab turned in at a clip that made people stare. Yes, there was a plane about to take off for Toronto. Could he get there for the game? Hardly; he might make it about half-time or later, barring accidents.

Jim Silver climbed in. The getting under way of the ship seemed to him like the agonizingly languid movements of a slow-motion picture; its furious speed when high in

air was only a crawl. The country far below him unfolded slowly, slowly. But he was on his way now, he’d get there in time to do something. He must get there!

The game was in its final quarter when Jim Silver reached the field. McGill was two goals up. With the uncanny quickness of excitement, of fevered nerves, Jim found things out. A word here, a word there, overheard as he found his way to his seat in a row near the front: “Silver's not there today. Silver’s a washout. Time they yanked the Silver Streak out of there; he’s tarnishing.”

As Jim reached his seat there was a lull in the game

while a substitution was made. Tony stood near the side lines. Jim Silver’s steel-hued eyes were not good to see, and his jaw was grim.

Resolutely he got up from his seat, vaulted over the rail, ran to Tony.

“Jim !”

The kid’s grimy, sweat-streaked face turned ashen. People in the stands were looking curiously at the brothers, seeming to sense the unusual, the dramatic. But none could guess at the terrible tenseness of that moment.

“I’m wise,” gritted Jim. “Wise, see? You’re a rat.

I didn’t think it of you. Now, look . . . you get out there and play. Play till you drop. Fight till they kick the guts out of you. Play, or by heaven, brother or not, I’ll get you . . . right here on the field!”

There was an ominous bulge in Jim Silver’s pocket where his hand was. His eyes bored into Tony’s.

“You goin’ to play, kid?”

“I—I’ll play, Jim. I’ll ...”

There were calls, urgings from all quarters, the game must go on. It had been a lifeless, uninteresting affair up to now. There was no punch in the Silver Streak’s playing. He was erratic, uncertain; he fumbled easy passes. But no one said the ugly things that surely some of them thought. It was not to be credited that a Varsity man would throw the game. Something was bothering Silver, that was all; something that his conference with the pale, wild-eyed man whom they did not know was his brother had settled.

The Silver Streak played. Out of the maelstrom of struggling, kicking bodies, he took shape, writhing his way, tigerish, terrible. They tried to get him and down him. He seemed to joy in the impact of their bodies against his own. The Silver Streak—dodging, leaping, seeming to melt away from the madly outstretched hands that sought to grasp him —ran down the field.

The crowd was on its feet now, hushed, breathless. This was what they wanted to see— that lone, fleeting figure, the rest of the field strung out behind him, a discouraged full-back alone barring his way. A quick swerve, a sudden dive, his body seemed to shoot along the

ground clear of the obstructing

hands, seemed to come instantly erect.

Touchdown !

The crowd cut loose, went berserk, hats by the hundred leaped into the air, the sky

seemed to shake with the

thunderous roar that went up from the stands. The Silver Streak was back again, the game wasn’t lost. They had forgotten the man who crept quietly back to his place, there to sit, watchful, unsmiling, tense, even when Tony Silver looked his way.

Again, a pass that seemed to be going nowhere but found, on completing its swift arc, the Silver Streak beneath it. Again that zig-zag, unbeatable run up the field, again the Silver Streak’s name shouted to high heaven.

The game was won in the final quarter, put on ice. Jim Silver relaxed in his seat, gave way to the terrible strain of the night and morning. The kid had come through, but only because he had made him do it. Only fear, fear of what he saw in his brother’s eyes, had made Tony Silver fight and win. The victory was a hollow,one for Jim Silver. Varsity had won, his brother’s name was clean, but that wasn’t what he wanted. He had loved Tony; believed in him.

“Jim !”

Tony had broken away from the mob that sought to enthrone him. Wearily he climbed into the seat next his brother, and with a beseeching look sent the lingering spectators on their way.

“Jim; speak to me!”

“I spoke to you,” muttered Jim. “I told you what

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The Silver Streak

Continued from page 14

you were, didn’t I? I thought you had guts. And then you turn around and take money from the Wop. You agreed to throw the game.”

The kid’s eyes were hurt, beseeching.

“Jim, you’re crazy! I didn’t take money from them; not a cent. They told me about you; how you were in the racket with them. They said they could jail you or, if not that, then they’d put you on the spot and bump you off. That’s what they told me. I believed them. I lost my head; agreed to anything if only they’d let you go.”

Jim Silver’s jaw sagged slightly. His hand gripped the kid’s arm.

“You tvere goin’ to throw the game to ... to save my skin?”

“I don’t know. I just couldn’t play. I didn’t deliberately fumble a pass or anything. Then you came and—well, I had to play.”

For a moment Jim Silver was speechless. Then: “Tony, I’m through; through with the racket. I’m going to work. They can’t touch me. I got their history written down and salted away with a lawyer who has instructions to release it if I don’t get up for breakfast some fine morning. So it’ll be O.K.”

“That’s wonderful,” said Tony.

There was an awkward silence. At length:

“You played a great game, kid,” said Jim.

“I was frightened—the way you looked at me—the gun in your pocket.”

Jim Silver grinned, pulled his hand I from his pocket, holding a straightI stemmed briar pipe.

“Yeah?” he grinned. “Believe me, kid, I never carried a gun in my life. But if you’d lost that game, I’d have given you the worst licking you ever got—with these.” He held out his hands.

Tony, worship in his eyes, nodded. Jim Silver put an arm about his shoulders, pulled him roughly close to him, said:

“Gee, I’m proud of you, kid!”