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Left Guard Gilbert by Ralph Henry Barbour

No blabbing to Tim Otis or Clint Thayer or anyone else


"What

fellows say or think won't hurt me a mite, thank you, and I'm not afraid of you or any of your friends, Gilbert. Wait a minute now. We're not through yet."

"I am, thanks," replied Don, moving toward the door.

"Oh, no you're not. You may feel heroic and all that and too mad to give in just now, but you're not considering what it will mean if you make me squeal to faculty. Why, we wouldn't have a ghost of a show with Claflin!"

"I thought you considered yourself quite as good a guard as me, Walton," answered Don.

"I do, old man. But I don't think I'm able to take the places of all the other fellows who would be missing from the team."

Don turned, with his hand on the door-knob, and stared startledly. "What do you mean by that?" he asked.

"I thought that would fetch you," chuckled Harry. "I mean that you're not the only one who would quit the dear old school, Gilbert. You haven't forgotten, I suppose, that there were three other fellows mixed up in the business?"

"No, but faculty would have to know more than I'd tell them before they'd find out who the others were."

"Oh, you wouldn't have to tell them, old man."

"Meaning you would? You don't know, Walton."

justify;">"Don't I, though? You bet I do! I know every last one of them!"

"You told me----"

"Oh, I let you think I didn't, Gilbert. No use telling everything you know."

"I don't believe it!" But, in spite of the statement, Don did believe it and was trying to realise what it meant. .

"Don't be a fool! Why wouldn't I know? If I could see you why couldn't I see Clint Thayer and Tim Otis and Tom Hall? You were all as plain as daylight. Of course, Tom's out of it, anyway, but I guess losing a left tackle and a right half-back a week before the game would put rather a dent in our chances, what? And that's just what will happen if you make me go to Josh with the story!"

"You wouldn't!" challenged Don, but there was scant conviction in his tone. Harry shrugged his shoulders.

"Oh, I'd rather not. I don't want to play on a losing team, and that's what I'd be doing, but you see I've sort of set my heart on playing right guard a week from Saturday, Gilbert, and I hate to be disappointed. Hate to disappoint my folks, too."

"They must be proud of you!"

"They are, take it from me." Harry's smile vanished and he looked ugly as he went on. "Don't be a fool, Gilbert! You'd do the same thing yourself if you had the chance. You're playing the hypocrite, and you know it. I've got you dead to rights and I mean to make the most of it. If you don't get off the team inside of two days I'll go to Josh and tell him everything I know. It isn't pretty, maybe, but it's playing your hand for what there is in it, and that's my way! Now you sit down again and just think it all over, Gilbert. Take all the time you want. And remember this, too. If I keep my mouth shut you've got to keep yours shut. No blabbing to Tim Otis or Clint Thayer or anyone else. This is just between you and me, old man. Now what do you say?"


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