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Left Guard Gilbert by Ralph Henry Barbour

Or else the druggist counted wrong


just tired," responded Don.

"Tired!" Tim was puzzled. "What for? You haven't worked since day before yesterday. What you've got is malaria or something. Tell you what we'll do, Don; we'll beat it over to the doctor's after supper, eh?"

But Don shook his head. "Danny's tonic is all I need," he said. "I dare say I'll be feeling great in the morning."

"You dare say you will! Don't you feel sure you will? Because I've got to tell you, Donald, that this is a plaguy bad time to get laid off, son. If you're not a regular little Bright Eyes by Monday Robey'll can you as sure as shooting!"

"I wouldn't much care if he did," muttered Don.

"You wouldn't much---- Say, are you crazy?" Tim stopped short on the walk and viewed his chum in amazement. "Is it your brain that's gone back on you? Don't you _want_ to play against Claflin?"

"I suppose so. Yes, of course I do, but----"

"Then don't talk like a piece of cheese! You'll come with me to the doctor after supper if I have to drag you there by one heel!"

And so go he did, and the doctor looked at his tongue and felt his pulse and "pawed him over," as Don put it, and ended by patting him on the back and accepting a nice bright half-dollar--half-price to Academy students--in

exchange for a prescription.

"You're a little nervous," said the doctor. "Thinking too much about that football game, I guess. Don't do it. Put it out of your mind. Take that medicine every two hours according to directions on the bottle and you'll be all right, my boy."

Don thanked him, slipped the prescription in a pocket and headed for school. But Tim grabbed him and faced him about. "You don't swallow the prescription, Donald," he said. "You take it to a druggist and he gives you something in a bottle. That's what you swallow, the stuff in the bottle. I'm not saying that it mightn't do you just as much good to eat the paper, but we'd better play by the rules. So come on, you lunk-head."

"Oh, I forgot," murmured Don.

"Of course you did," agreed the other sarcastically. "And, look here, if anyone asks you your name, it's Donald Croft Gilbert. Think you can remember that? Donald Croft----"

"Oh, dry up," said Don. "How much will this fool medicine cost me?"

"How much have you got?"

"About eighty cents, I think."

"It'll cost you eighty cents, then. Ask me something easier. I don't pretend to know how druggists do it, but they can always look right through your clothes and count your money. Never knew it to fail!"

But it failed this time, or else the druggist counted wrong, for the prescription was a dollar and Tim had to make up the balance. He insisted on Don taking the first dose then and there, so that he could get in another before bedtime, and Don meekly obeyed. After he had swallowed it he begged a glass of soda water from the druggist to take the taste out of his mouth, and the druggist, doubtless realising the demands of the occasion, stood treat to them both. On the way back Tim figured it that if they had only insisted on having ice-cream sodas they would have reduced the price of the medicine to its rightful cost. Don, though, firmly insisted that it was worth every cent of what he had paid for it.

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