Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/209

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179
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

is composed of gentlemen. They didn't shout or scream with laughter at my plight, as a company of my fellow countrymen would have done, and as I felt perfectly assured that they would do, but even they were unable to entirely control their risibilities, for, as I began the trying task of retelling my story to His Lordship, the Deaf, I could detect here and there a smile struggling with the facial muscles of my well-bred hosts.

Next day I was officially notified that the Marylebone Cricket Club would be very pleased to welcome the American Base Ball clubs, would arrange grounds for their exhibitions, and would be delighted to schedule games of Cricket to be played between American and British Cricketers. I saw that I had been too previous perhaps in suggesting the cricket contests, and when I began to "work" the newspapers, in my capacity as press agent, I found that the cricket end was altogether most attractive from their viewpoint.

Mr. Charles W. Allcock, the recognized cricket authority of England, upon whom I most depended for help along publicity lines, was especially enthusiastic about the cricket. The fact is, he didn't know an earthly thing about Base Ball, and he knew that he would be out of ammunition in a short time so far as our game was concerned. Therefore, when we arrived, late in the season, with eighteen American ball players, we found the British public thoroughly advised of the forthcoming cricket matches and only slightly informed about the exhibition ball games.

Now, it happened that, aside from Harry and George