Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/206

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

taken over to introduce the American game to European soil. I was sanguine enough to believe that, once our English cousins saw our game, it would forthwith be adopted there, as here. I didn't know our English cousins then as well as I have come to know them since.

The preliminaries were not difficult of arrangement. I had already entered into a sort of conspiracy, in collusion with Father Chadwick and other writers for the sporting press, and very soon the scheme was so urgently fostered and so successfully promoted that "the magnates" were quite convinced, and I found myself en route to England, as the avant courier of such an undertaking.

I had been provided with so many excellent letters of introduction, that upon my arrival in Britain I was able to secure an early audience at the celebrated Marylebone Cricket Club, with a membership composed very largely of members of the nobility. Upon a date appointed, I was received with utmost courtesy, and was asked to state, in open meeting, the purpose of my mission.

It should be remembered that I was at that time a mere stripling, with very little experience in business or observation of society. It goes without saying that I had not been hobnobbing with "Dooks" on this side the Atlantic, and when I found myself suddenly in the presence of so much nobility it nearly took away my breath. However, I did the best I could. I explained to them that America had just developed a new form of outdoor sport, and that, because all the world knew that the home of true sportsmanship in all its phases was England, we