Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/207

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177
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

turned naturally to their country to exploit our game. They had been for years sending their splendid cricketers to America, and now we would like to bring over a couple of Base Ball teams, and give a few exhibitions. Of course I knew that there would be no use to come without the favor and patronage of the great Marylebone Cricket Club, but even that honor, in the interests of sport, I hoped might be forthcoming. I talked at some length and with great earnestness, because I began to feel the responsibility of my position. It was no longer a question of my personal picnic; but a sort of international problem, with the sportsmen of Great Britain possibly inviting sportsmen of America to visit them and exhibit to the old nation the new nation's adopted game. I think, in my ardor to win out, I made mention of the fact that we had some cricketers among our players, and might be able to do something in the national games of both countries.

At last I finished. I knew my face was red with the oratorical effort, and I could feel the perspiration trickling down my spinal column. Then, just as I supposed all was over except the fireworks, I saw approaching me an attenuated old fellow, of about eighty, bearing in his hand an ear trumpet as big as a megaphone. I could tell by the deference paid to the old gentleman that he was "classy," and I awaited his approach with some trepidation. He came, took a seat beside me and asked:

"Young man, will you kindly repeat to me what you have been saying to the others?"

Please remember that the Marylebone Cricket Club