Nothing, Not Out
This may not be cricket, but when Onesime Doucet keeps the straight bat, by gosh, he keeps the straight bat
WITHIN THE widely sprawling boundaries of the metropolitan city of Montreal. I know of no more pleasant place to be on a warm Saturday afternoon than the old campus of McGill University. I mean the old campus. Two or three steep blocks up the hill is the comparatively modem Percival Molson Stadium, where they play raucous football games, hold track meets, and similar passionate and violently competitive athletic events. The old campus in its day has harbored those turbulent carryings-on too. Now it has retired from active service. It is a campus emeritus, and like a pensioned professor it drowses tranquilly through the years, holding loosely to an amiable association with the life of the university it adorns, but no longer concerning itself with that institution’s more febrile affairs.
But the old campus has not been relegated to the dolorous limbo of things entirely forgotten. As you enter through the main gate there are tennis courts to the east, on your right. Westward, on your left, a broad expanse of smooth turf is spread, upon which in bygone days McGill’s football heroes achieved mighty deeds of derring-do against upstart invaders from Varsity and Queen’s. This grassy plain in these more recent summertimes is devoted on Saturday afternoons to the performance by polite athletes of the meticulous rites associated with the historic game of cricket. Gentlemen, some young, some not so young, immaculate in white flannels, bat and bowl and field in rigid adherence to the precepts and precedents laid down for them by the Marylebone Cricket Club.
One of the Elysian fields, surely, is the old campus of McGill on a hot summer Saturday. Towering wineglass elms border the roadway bisecting its green acreage. Their broad boles are pleasingly caloric against thinly clad shoulders, their farspread foliage bestows wide areas of refreshing shade. Before the eyes is shown the gratifying spectacle of a lot of other chaps dashing hither and yon in the hot sun. Felicitous sounds caress the sleepy ears. At regular intervals a fellow in a long white coat, looking like a butcher about to give a side of beef what for or an eminent surgeon going to town on a recreant appendix, raises a solemn hand and cries, "Oh-vah!” Occasionally the resonant smack of a bat against a ball is heard, followed by ecstatic yelps of, "Well hit, sir, well hit!” and a courteous spatting of applauding palms. A lovely, peaceful, serene place is the old campus of McGill University where they play cricket on summer Saturday afternoons.
That’s what I thought.
A VOICE, a deeply growling, querulous, complaining, critical voice, but a familiar voice withal, spoke from the grass beside me. shattering the exquisite calm.
" ’E will be bowl, that fellow,” grumbled my friend Onésime Cleophas Doucet. " ’E does not keep the straight bat.”
1 was shocked into instant wakefulness. My mouth fell open, permitting a coik-tipped cigarette to fall into the lap of my new fawn sports trousers, where it burned a round hole the size of a nickel which later cost me two dollars and sixty-five cents to have woven at one of those invisible mending places. I jerked my head up sharply—another mistake, for I banged the back of my skull painfully against the trunk of the tree behind me.
Out on the field, a straight ball with not a thing on it save perfect length, took the batter’s middle stump cleanly.
Now this was amazing. Not that the flannelled fool at the wicket should have sufferet! the fate he so richly deserved, but that Onésime Cleophas Doucet, French-Canadian of ancestry dating back to L’Intendant Talon’s courettrs-de-bois, old-time lacrosse and hockey player, presently skilled conditioner of professional athletes, that Onésime Cleophas should suddenly appear from nowhere, exhibiting an erudite knowledge of the innermost profundities of so essentially esoteric a game as cricket, that was amazing.
French Canadians do not, as a rule, take kindly to cricket. It is too placid a pastime for their mercurial temperament. They choose rather the obviously passionate conflicts of hockey, lacrosse and baseball. As a race they relish greatly an opportunity to shout names at umpires, referees and opponents, but they find small and pallid satisfaction in clapping hands and remarking, “Oh, well caught, sir, well caught,” in conversational tones when the lad at silly point snares what appears to them as a simple pop fly.
Nevertheless, heie was Onésime Cleophas Doucet, sharing with me the warm trunk of an elm on the old campus, watching a McGill eleven struggle to overcome a twentyrun lead with only two wickets to fall. Here he was—and he certainly had not been there before -spraddled at length on the soft grass, puffing great clouds of acridly aromatic smoke from the black bowl of a huge pijx? stuffed with rouge quesnel. Here he was, most astounding of all, uttering grieved words of accurate and expert criticism at the back of the crestfallen cricketer now walking with bowed head away from his ravaged wicket. It was a bit as though ex-King Zog had suddenly bobbed up with the solution of Canada's railway problem; or as though a partnership of saucer-lipped Ubangis had been discovered presiding over a beauty parlor on St. Catherine Street.
Our discourse opened on a snarky note. Occupied with the hole in my trousers and the knob on my head, 1 askea Onésime Cleophas crossly where in time he had come from and what he meant by scaring me that way. He replied with soft answers, saying that he had been there all afternoon, had observed my entrance and had moved over to enjoy my company, but, he said, I had been asleep, an accusation I hotly denied. He shrugged, then sat up quickly, smacked his horny palms together and cried, “Ah, a good hit. m’sieu, a good hit,” as an annoyed McGill batsman slashed one to the boundary. That brought me to my senses. When a French-Canadian spectator remains calm and decorous in moments of excitement at any contest, something lies beneath.
But I know my Onésime. He responds to the goad. Coax him and you get only words. Too many words. I gave him the eye of scorn.
“Nuts to you,” I said. “What do you know about cricket?”
He rose to the gibe like a Miramichi salmon leaping to a lure.
“This cricket, I have play,” he announced with much dignity. “At Cosmos Creek, when I am young fellow, me. I make the score of nothing, not out.”
“That must have been a lot of help to your side.”
“But certainly. I keep the straight bat and we win those game.”
“Phooey ! You’re making it up as you go along.”
YOU ARE mistake, mon vieux (said Onésime Cleophas Doucet). Attend to me and I will tell you some things most strange. I have told you before about Mr. Marty Wayne that own that hotel in Cosmos Creek where I work as clerk before the War, and play defense and am captain of that hockey team that Mi. Marty Wayne owns also.
He is one smart fellow that Mr. Marty Wayne, what you call a hot sport and always up to some things. Also, he is engage to make marriage with Miss Teresa Connor. But this springtime, so many years ago that I am speaking of, they have quarrel, those two.
And for why should they quarrel like that? Ah, my friend, that has arrive because of some things that have happen the winter before, when those Port Pacome Pirates have won that hockey championship from us Cosmos Creek Indians by one goal in overtime.
Those Port Pacome Pirates are owned by Mr. Cornelius Rafferty that runs the general store at Port Pacome and those post office also. He has one big farm and many square miles of those timber rights, and I think, me, he is the most rich man in all those district. He has make marriage with Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty that has teach in the school and is —how you say that?—much stuck upon herself. She has glasses for the eye that are not like any other glasses for the eye in Cosmos County, I bet. They are fix at the end of a long handle, and when Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty looks at you through those funny glasses you think there is a bad smell some place, and maybe it is you, by gosh. She has the hauteur that one, for sure.
So. you see, Miss Teresa Connor she does not like verymuch that Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty, because Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty is all the time making—how you say that?—the crow over Mr. Maity Wayne and Miss Teresa Connor. But, certainly, Miss Teresa Connor thinks, if we win that championship from Mr. Cornelius Rafferty’s Port Pacome Pirates, then it will be Miss Teresa Connor’s turn to make the crow over Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty. Only that thing does not come out that way, because we lose that game in overtime, and Mr. Marty Wayne has lost five hundred dollar to Mr. Cornelius Rafferty, and Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty is make the crow more than ever over Miss Teresa Connor, by gosh.
So, you see, Miss Teresa Connor has quarrel with Mr.
Marty Wayne. 1 tell you everybody in Cosmos Creek feel pretty bad about that. She has told him he has got to fix some things so that Miss Teresa Connor can make the crow over Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty. But what would you? This is the springtime, and you cannot play hockey in the springtime or in the summer, by gosh. Mr. Marty Wayne is most sad all the time, and he is think always about what to do so Miss Teresa Connor can make the crow over Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty, only there is not one thing he can do.
Then, by gosh, all of a sudden those thing she get worse. There is one English fellow comes to Port Pacome and he is staying in the big house of Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty. I tell you there is much excitement like everything at Port Pacome and at Cosmos Creek also, because at first those peoples are saying this fellow is a English milord. Only he
is not a real English milord, but by gosh, he is the son of a English milord. His name is the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington . .
“Whoops!” I interrupted him. “Now you are making it up. Grove-Torrington, my eye. He’s big time. His father died and now he’s Lord ...”
“Lord Ashgrove.” M. Doucet concluded my sentence for me without batting an eye. “Did I not told you I know about those thing?”
“But, suffering cats, man ! ...”
Onésime Cleophas held up a huge and callused palm with great dignity.
“My friend,” he rebuked me. “Is it permitted that I tell my small tale in my own fashion? If you jilease. Everything arrives.”
“It jolly well better had arrive.” I told him darkly.
I tell you (Onésime Cleophas took UJI his little tale again) my heart is most sad for Mr. Marty Wayne when Miss Teresa Connor brings him all those news alxiut this English fellow that is the son of a milord. Miss Teresa Connor is now more mad than she has been, by gosh, but she has all those news and she tells it all over again to Mr. Marty Wayne, because now she says Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty will have the crow over her even more than before, you see.
This fellow, the Honorable George Augustus GroveTorrington, Miss Teresa Connor says, has come from England to Port Pacome to make some deals maybe for those timber of Mr. Cornelius Rafferty. He is a dark fellow with a big black mustache, and he has gone fishing with Mr. Cornelius Rafferty, and Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty is driving him all over those place in a new buggy with rubber-tire wheels, and she is calling him “George.” Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty has got some more of those funny glasses for the eye on a handle, Miss Teresa Connor says, only this time that handle she is solid gold. And what are you going to do about that? Miss Teresa Connor asks Mr. Marty Wayne.
By gosh, that is one tough sjxit for Mr. Marty Wayne to be in. I tell you that summer it looks like we do not have no luck at all in those Cosmos Creek Hotel.
VWBLL, my friend, this Eng* V iish fellow, George, has been in Port Pacome staying at the big house of Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty for one week, maybe
ten days, when one evening a English fellow gets off those Montreal train and come over to that hotel and sign that register, "Mr. J. Smith.” He is a nice young fellow with fair hair that curls, and he has those blue eyes and many baggage. He says to me that he has come from Montreal for a holiday and to catch some of those gros gris—what you call lake trout—maybe. So I tell this to Mr. Marty Wayne, and Mr. Marty Wayne talks to this English fellow, and the next day they go fishing together. Mr. Marty Wayne says he might as well go fishing with one Englishman as hang around that hotel thinking up ways to murder another, but he is only making those joke, of course, you see.
By this time, I tell you, it is end of May coming in June, and those fish, she is bite like everything. So this fellow, Mr. J. Smith, is most happy alxiut everything, and he goes out for those fish every day with Mr. Maity Wayne for maybe three-four days. Then, by gosh, one evening they come back from those fishing with three of those gros gris and one of them weigh better than twelve jxiund, which is most nice for everyone; but me, I am very please to see that Mr. Maity Wayne is happy once more, because he is laugh out loud, and he has one smile on his face, by gosh, I bet it is most as wide as that fish she is long.
And the next day Mi. Marty Wayne he have me harness the little mare and he diive away along those road to Port Pacome, and he is take Miss Teresa Connor with him. By gosh, I am most surprise fellow in Cosmos County when they come back and Mr. Marty Wayne calls me into his private parlor, and Mr. J. Smith and Miss Teiesa Connor is there, laughing like everything, and Mr. Marty Wayne says to me, Onésime, what do you know about those game called cricket?
Well, I do not know me cricket, only those kind you call in English the grasshopper, but Mr. Marty Wayne tells me that Mr. J. Smith is one great cricketer in England, and this English fellow, the Honorable George Augustus GroveTorrington, that is make visit with Mis. Cornelius Rafferty, is one great cricketer in England also.
So, by gosh, Mr. Marty Wayne has made challenge to Mr. Cornelius Rafferty that we fellows from Cosmos Creek will play a game of that cricket against those fellows from Port Pacome on St. Jean Baptiste Day, that is June twenty-four and one big holiday all over those Province Quebec.
Mr. Marty W’ayne says he is send to Montreal for those bats and balls and wickets, and Mr. J. Smith is going to teach us Cosmos Creek fellows how to play those game of cricket, and Mr. Marty Wayne wants I should get those hockey fellows and those fellows that play base pelote— what you call baseball—the next evening, and Mr. J. Smith will show us what we have to do to learn those cricket game.
Me, I think this is crazy notion, but because Mr. Marty Wayne is most hapjiy about everything, I do like he says, you see. I get all those fellows together and we cut that grass, and make the wicket like Mr. J. Smith tells us. and we begin to learn that game, in the lower pasture that belongs to Mr. Marty Wayne.
By gosh, that game of cricket she is not like any game I have ever seen before, not like hockey or la crosse, or base pelote even, although maybe she is more like that base pelote than any of those others.
But, I tell you, that Mr. J. Smith is one swell fellow. He make those jokes and laugh al! the time, and he say we will take those fellows that are pitchers in that base pelote and teach them to be bowlers in the cricket game; and we will take that base pelote catcher and make him to keep those wickets, and we have all got to learn to keep that bat on the ground in that cricket game, and not carry him on our shoulder like in base pelote.
So we fellows have a most good time learning to play that cricket, except for those pitchers that are Narcisse Ladou and Hector Dufour, because those fellows they want to throw that ball and make those curve, not bounce her on those ground, and that catcher, that is Eusèbe Desjardin, he want to wear his mask, and all those fellows they w-ant to wear their gloves to field that ball, you bet. But, no, that Mr. J. Smith he says such things are not done in cricket, so all us fellows try to please Mr. J. Smith, because he is a nice fellow, foi English, and we want most to beat that Port Pacome team at that cricket game.
XTOW, by gosh, I tell you some thing that is imjxirtant, becauseof what hajijxin afterward. You see, that Mr. J. Smith is going fishing every day for those gros gris, and Mr. Marty Wayne he is most busy all the time making those arrangement for St. Jean Baptiste Day, so it is up to me, Onésime Cleophas Doucet, to go fishing for those gros gris with Mr. J. Smith, and Mr. J. Smith he tell me all those things about that cricket game in England and how she is play. So, one day Mr. J. Smith, he says to me, Onésime, you are one fine fellow, and I can trust you, and I am going to tell you some things. Me, I have a plan, Mr. J. Smith say to me, for to make us win that game of cricket for sure. Me, I can—how' you say that?—put the collar on any bowling they can show us, including that fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington. but there is no use for me to put the collar on that bowling, if all those other fellows are going to chuck their wickets away with that bat on their shoulder, thinking they are playing base pelote. I have got to have one man I can depend on, Mr. J. Smith says, to keep a straight bat, and I think you are that fellow. So from now on, Mr. J. Sm.th says, I am going to teach you how to keep that straight bat and not do no other thing, you see.
But certainly, my friend, I work most
hard with Mr. J. Smith every day after that and, by gosh, I learn how to keep that straight bat like everything. So Mr. J. Smith says that is fine, Onésime, and when you are my partner you remember that straight bat, and I will do all the hitting for both of us, you see. He is one fine fellow that Mr. J. Smith, and I try most hard to please him so we can win that game of cricket from those Port Pacome fellows. So, I tell you. all those peoples in Cosmos Creek and in Port Pacome is most excited like everything about that cricket game on St. Jean Baptiste Day, because there has never been no affair like that in Cosmos County ever before, by gosh. On that Friday before the game Mr. J. Smith, he goes to Montreal and comes back on Monday with two fellows that are to be umpires in that cricket game, because, by gosh, there is nobody in Port Pacome or Cosmos Creek either that knows enough about that cricket game to be umpires, except Mr. J. Smith and that fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-1 or: rington, and those fellow will be playing
anyway. All this time, I tell you, Mr. i Marty Wayne is most busy making those plans for that game, and he is most happy also, like a fellow that has-—how you say that?—one ace in his sleeve. Me, I don’t know. I think maybe we win that game,
\ but, gosh, I think maybe we lose, too; but ! Mr. Marty Wayne he is laugh all the time,
; so I think maybe he is up to some things.
By gosh, me, I am the most surprise fellow in Cosmos County on the night before that St. Jean Baptiste Day when Mr. Marty Wayne calls me into his private parlor with Mr. J. Smith, to tell me some things. First they tell me I am to be captain of that Cosmos Creek cricket team, because Mr. J. Smith does not want to be captain and he says the captain should be a local fellow and not a stranger. Then Mr. J. Smith talks a great deal about those cricket in England, and he says it is a game with many old traditions, and I will show you one of those traditions now.
So then he turn his back for one moment, and, by gosh, when he turn round again,
I was most surprise, me, to see that he is wearing a great many whiskers and those whiskers are red like everything. Mr. Marty Wayne is laughing a great deal, but j Mr. J. Smith, he does not laugh at all. Then he tells me about one of those big cricket players in England that is name Dr. W. G. Grace, that always had much whiskers and was maybe the best of all those cricket players in England. Mr. J. Smith says that when he plays that cricket game he always wears these whiskers in honor of that Dr. W. G. Grace. Me, I think that is crazy notion, but if Mr. J. Smith wants to play cricket wearing red , whiskers, that is okay by me, and I promise Mr. J. Smith and Mr. Marty Wayne that I will not say nothing to nobody, and then we go to bed.
T TELL you, mon vieux, there never was in Cosmos County, nor I guess in the whole Province Quebec also, so strange an affair as those game of cricket we play that St. Jean Baptiste Day in the lower pasture of Mr. Marty Wayne at Cosmos Creek. Those peoples come from all over. From Cosmos Creek and Port Pacome and Mont Laurier. I bet some peoples come from St. Jerome, by gosh. Some of those peoples come in buggies and some in farm wagons, and they have chairs in those wagon and they sit in those chairs to watch those cricket. Mr. Marty Wayne has got a big tent from Montreal, and he is serve refreshments in that tent for any peoples that have hunger watching those cricket, and he have little chairs that fold up that he get from the Société des Pompes Funèbres—what you call the undertaker— for those ladies to sit upon
Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty is there, looking through those glasses for the eye on a handle, like there was a bad smell some place, and Mr. Coinelius Rafferty also, looking like he thought this was one crazy business and he wished it was time for I those hockey games once more. There was ! Miss Teresa Connor also most pretty and excited and talking most sweet to Mrs.
; Cornelius Rafferty, like those ladies do j when they have most hate for each other.
I That English fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, has come with Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty, and he is wear white pants and shirt and a blue coat with some funny sort of picture on those pocket. I tell you, everything was
most how you say that?— in the top hole.
You see, my friend, in those cricket game they have innings like in base pelote also. Sometimes they have twro innings, and sometimes only one, because in that cricket when a fellow make a run he does not go away from those home plate, but start all over again to make some more runs, so that game last a long time, by gosh. It has been arrange that we play only one innings in that cricket game, unless everybody gets himself put out most fast.
Me, Onésime Cleophas Doucet, am captain of that Cosmos Creek cricket team, and I make the toss with that English fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, and I win that toss, and I say that Port Pacome should bat first. All this, you see, Mr. J. Smith has told me to do, because Mr. J. Smith says we got to know what we got to shoot at. Mr. J. Smith does not come out from behind the big tent until we go out on those field, and all those Cosmos Creek fellows are most surprise to see that he has those big whiskers, so I tell them about that tradition and that Dr. W. G. Grace, and they do not laugh very much, because I tell them if any fellow laugh or get funny,
I will hit him on the nose. I put Mr. J. Smith to play in that deep field like he has told me, and nobody makes much bother about him except Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty looks at him through those funny glasses for the eye and says goodness gracious, is that your Mr. Smith? to Miss Teresa Connor, like Mr. J. Smith was something that maybe got lost from one zoo.
DY GOSH, I bet there never was no cricket game like that not any place before. Me, I have look at that cricket many times since then, like this afternoon, and now I understand better that we were fellows the most ignorant of that game. She is a funny game, that one, but certainly.
At first those Port Pacome fellows that are batting try to do like they have been told by the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, and keep those bat on the ground, and not on the shoulder, like in base pelote. But pretty soon, by gosh, they forget all those things and they take those great big swing at everything that comes up to those wicket.
Those pitcher fellows, Narcisse Ladou and Hector Dufour, are make that bowling for us, and they do pretty good in the beginning, making that ball bounce okay. But when those Port Pacome fellows start swinging, Narcisse Ladou and Hector Dufour, they start throwing those ball right down that middle, like in base pelote. So, by gosh, here is Narcisse Ladou and Hector Dufour pitching curve balls and those Port Pacome fellows are hitting home runs in that cricket game.
That lower pasture of Mr. Marty Wayne is a field more narrow than she is long, so we have arrange for two boundai ies, one for six and one for four. By gosh, w'hen those Port Pacome fellow's she smack one of those pitches with that flat heavy bat, I tell you, my friend, that ball she is going some place in one big hurí y. It look like there is nobody going to be bowl while those fellows Narcisse Ladou and Hector Dufour are pitching those ball, and it look like all those run are going to be boundaries, also. Only we got some smart fellows in that outfield, and pretty soon there is nobody fielding close to the wicket except Eusèbe Desjardin, that wicketkeeper. All those fellows are out in that deep field making chase after those hits to the boundary.
So, by gosh, we get six of those Port Pacome fellows caught out, but they have got sixty runs for those six wicket, and now' that fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, is come to bat, and I think, me, by gosh, this does not look so good for Cosmos Creek, and I ask Mr. J. Smith will he bowl to this fellow, but he shake his head and say for me to wait.
I tell you that was one funny sight. This big fellow Narcisse Ladou is bowl to that English fellow. Narcisse wind up like one corkscrew, and when he let go, that ball fly past that fellow’s head “whoosh!” like the fast train goes through Cosmos Creek station. That fellow he fall flat on his face, and when he gets up he is most angry. The next ball, she is low but wide too, and that hit those fellow on the foot, so he pick up his foot in his hand and hop around like a crane in a swamp on one leg.
Then that Narcisse Ladou he throw a wide which is count a run for Port Pacome, and then the umpire call over, and the field she is change, and I talk with that Narcisse Ladou and tell him to remember what Mr. J. Smith has taught him, and make that ball so she bounce on the ground and not pitch curves at that English fellow because that is against the rules.
That other Port Pacome fellow he’s hit a home run to that boundary for four, and then the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington is face by face with Narcisse Ladou again, and 1 make signs to Narcisse Ladou to remember what I tell him.
By gosh, that English fellow have one good time for himself for one minute. The first ball he hit to square leg for two. Then he sneaks one thiough those slips and that is two also, because our fellows are all out in that deep field looking for those high flies. And the third ball that fellow hits again to square leg, and this time it goes to the boundary for another four.
I tell you, Narcisse Ladou is most angry. He give me one look, and shakes his head, and then he throw' his fast ball with that hop on it straight at those wicket. That one, she does not bounce at all, but, by gosh, she hits those wickets in the middle and bust them all over Mr. Marty Wayne’s lower pasture.
That fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, he is most angry. He say Narcisse Ladou is not play fair. Those umpire, he say it is the same for everybody, and that fellow goes back to that tent; but he is mad like everything.
So now, Mr. J. Smith says to me that he will make those bowling, and I send Narcisse Ladou back to his field and Mr. J. Smith goes to make the bowling. But that score now is seventy-six runs for Port Pacome, and I do not feel so good, you see.
Well, I tell you, it is all over in five minutes. Those Port Pacome fellows they cannot remember to keep the straight bat, and by gosh, when Mr. J. Smith is making the bowling you had better keep the straight bat or look out, by gosh.
The first man, he bowl with the first ball. That fellow has his bat on his shoulder andhemakeonegreat swing, “whoosh,” and that ball does not rise two inches from those pitch, and that near stump she is lie flat on her back. The second man has seen this and he hold his bat straight, and Mi. J. Smith throw him a little bit of a slow ball, and that fellow hit at it some way, he does not know how, and it goes straight up in the air and Mr. Smith, he catch him with one hand. That third Port Pacome fellow is nervous like anything. First, he put that bat on the ground, very firm. Then he pick that bat up again and put him on his shoulder. Then Mr. Smith bowls very fast, right down that middle, and that fellow is caught with his bat halfway between his shoulder and the ground, and, by gosh, Port Pacome is all out for seventy-six, and Mr. J. Smith has perform what they call in those cricket, the hat trick, for Cosmos Creek.
T TELL you, my friend, we feel pretty
good for a time; but then we do not feel so good, because that fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, is making that bowling for Port Pacome at one end, and our fellows do not remember to keep the straight bat. We get some runs, just like those other fellows, hitting home runs to the boundary when those Port Pacome pitchers have the over, but that English fellow, by gosh, he is almost as good as Mr. J. Smith, and he make us fellows look most foolish sometimes. So, my friend, it arrives that we have score
only fifty-two runs for seven wickets when Mr. J. Smith goes in to bat. It is arrange that I follow Mr. J. Smith, and I do not have long for to wait, because Eusèbe Desjardin that was in with Mr. Smith he steps back to get one good cut at a high pitch from one of those Port Pacome bowlers and he walks right into those stumps. So he is out for hitting the wicket, which is one of the rules of that game, you see.
By gosh, I do not feel so good when I make that walk to that wicket. There is Miss Teresa Connor and Mr. Marty Wayne making cheers for me in English, and all those other fellows from Cosmos Creek making cheers for me in French, also. Because I am captain, you-see. But me, all I got on my mind, I tell you, is to keep the straight bat so Mr. Smith can make up those runs.
Ah, mon vieux, I tell you, when Onésime Cleophas Doucet has learn some thing, he does^not forget. Like those elephant. For all those weeks now, Mr. J. Smith has teach me about the straight bat. Okay, my friend. Now I make the straight bat, by gosh. I put that bat down in front of that wicket like Mr. J. Smith has show me, and I do not pick her up again, not for anything, so long as I am at that wicket.
Mr. J. Smith, he’s cut those ball through slips, lie’s drive that ball through mid-on, he’s hit that ball to square leg. That score goes up. Cosmos Creek has got sixty runs, sixty-five runs, seventy runs, by gosh, and Mr. J. .Smith, he is make them all. Me, I keep the straight bat. That fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, is made like everything. He bowl me fast ones and slow ones, and little easy ones, to make me try to hit at that red ball, but I do not hit. Me, Onésime Cleophas Doucet, I keep the straight bat.
So, we win that cricket game for Cosmos Creek, by gosh. Those score is Cosmos Creek 77 for eight wickets, Port Pacome, 76 all out. And on that score card she’s read like this: J. Smith not out,
twenty-five. O. C. Doucet, not out, nothing. You see?
ONESIME Cleophas halted his talk, and banged the bowl of his pipe against the tree at his back.
“Yes,” I told him. “I see, but it is through a glass darkly. What about Grove-Torrington? What about Miss Teresa Connor’s feud with Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty? Why did Mr. J. Smith wear red whiskers? Come, come, Onésime.”
The English (Onésime Cleophas went on, after restoking and lighting his pipe) are, but certainly, crazy. They have no patience. I have come to that part of my little tale. Please permit me to continue as I wish.
We all go back to the hotel of Mr. Marty Wayne, you see. I go to my room to change my clothes and wash. When I come down those stairs again, I am most surprise to see that fellow, the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington, getting into a buggy in those back yard, and those umpire fellows are with him, one of them holding his arm. Next thing I have observe is Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty and Mr. Cornelius Rafferty driving away from those hotel most fast, and both have faces very red. Then, by gosh, Mr. Marty Wayne comes out of his private parlor laughing very much and he calls me in. Mr. J. Smith and Miss Teresa Connor are there also. They tell me this story most strange, my friend. In little pieces, one saying some things, then another saying some more. I will make those things they tell me in order for you.
Mon vieux, Mr. J. Smith was not Mr. J. Smith at all. Nor was the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington that fellow that was make visit with Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty. That was a fellow named Benny that had been a—how you say that?—footman in the house of Lord Ashgrove in England. He was a bad fellow, that Benny. He steal money and many important papers from Lord Ashgrove. Then he come to Canada, and to Montreal. He— how you say that?— forge the name of Lord Ashgrove to many papers and he get much money by making pietense that he is the son of Lotd Ashgrove. What would you? He has papers. He knows all about those Ashgrove family, certainement. It is a neat job of swindle, no?
But, my friend, this word is gone back to England. And the Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington is angry. That is the real one, you see. So he come to Canada himself to find this Benny and to make him arrest. In Montreal this fellow Benny is trace to those Laurentian Mountains. The Honorable George Augustus Grove-Torrington is follow him. That is our Mr. J. Smith.
Now you see, mon lieux, when he gets here, Mr. Smith that is not Mr. Smith, has an affection for Cosmos Creek, where there is good fishing, and he likes Mr. Marty Wayne also. He has observe, too, that Mr. Marty Wayne is unhappy, and after one or two days Mr. Marty Wayne tells him all about Miss Teresa Connor and all those things. ík» they make those plan for that cricket game. Those umpires, they are private detectives. That fellow Benny first of all is made one fool of in the cricket game, then he is made arrest and taken to Montreal: and never again in all her life will Mrs. Cornelius Rafferty be able to make the crow over Miss Teresa Connor.