Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/555

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523
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

One day I was remonstrating with Kelly, who was the liveliest of the bunch, when he turned on me with:

"What are you running here? A Sunday School or a Base Ball club?"

I told him that while we were not exactly in the Sunday School business we would still like to have the boys reasonably clean in their habits. The subject was dropped for a while and then I began to get letters from the public. Some were from prominent citizens and patrons of the game; others were from personal enemies of some of the players; still others were anonymous; but all told stories of drunkenness and debauchery, in which, members of the White Stockings were implicated. These recounted scenes of revelry and carousing that were altogether reprehensible and disgusting. Finally the newspapers took it up and began to berate the management for the actions of the players.

Forbearance ceasing to be a virtue, I determined that something must be done; but what? As to myself, I could not charge the men with offenses I had not seen them commit. And yet I was reasonably certain of the existence of fire where there was so much smoke. I again interviewed Kelly and some of the others, telling them of rumors I had heard; but all denied the charges in toto—there was nothing to it, they insisted.

Meeting Billy Pinkerton' one day, I mentioned my troubles and asked him to put a man on the job, with instructions to ascertain the facts and make a full report. In a few weeks the report was ready, and when I got it I did not know what to do with it. It was on foolscap