Lester Chadwick.

Baseball Joe in the world series; or, Pitching for the championship online

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as to get the full benefit of the breeze.

Several minutes passed, and Joe began to won-
der that they had not reached the yacht where
McRae was waiting for him.



A HOLE IN THE WEB 171

"How far out did you say the yacht was?" he
asked casually of the man who was steering.

The man grunted, but made no intelligible
reply.

"I asked you how far out the yacht was," Joe
repeated, a vague uneasiness beginning to take
possession of him.

At this, a huge figure detached itself from the
group forward and came toward him. It was
Hennessy, a sour and evil smile upon his weather-
beaten face.

"I never heard the old hooker called a yacht
before," he grinned, u but if you must know, it's
quite a tidy way down the bay before we come
to it."

"Why, Mr. McRae said it was lying just off the
wharf!" exclaimed Joe.

"Perhaps Mr. McRae says more than his
prayers," was Hennessy's surly reply.

The words, with all they implied, struck Joe
with the force of a blow. Like a flash, the warn-
ing of Louis Anderson that morning came to his
mind.

"Look here!" he cried, starting to his feet.
"What does this mean? What game are you up
to?"

"You'll And out soon enough, my bucko," an-
swered Hennessy. "In the meantime you'd better
take my tip and keep a civil tongue in your head.



172 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

My temper's rather short, as those who have
sailed with me can tell you."

"Don't threaten me!" warned Joe, all his fight-
ing blood coming to the surface.

At his menacing attitude, the men in front rose
to their feet and moved forward. There were
three of them, which made the combined force
five in number, counting Hennessy and the man
at the wheel.

Joe cast a swift glance around. There were
no boats near at hand which could be reached by
a shout. Nor did he have a ghost of a chance
against the husky figures standing about him. For
the moment the advantage was with the enemy.

An agony of self-reproach overwhelmed him.
Why had he so lightly taken it for granted that
it was McRae at the telephone? Why had he let
the warning of Anderson slip from his mind?

He had fallen into a trap! Where were they
taking him ? What was their object ? He thought
of Mabel and his family. Into what dread and
consternation they would be plunged by his dis-
appearance! And his comrades on the team!
What would they think of him?

Hennessy had been watching him keenly.
"Easy does it," he remarked. "If you want a
rough house you can have it, but take a fool's
advice and don't go to starting it. We're too
many, for you."



A HOLE IN THE WEB 173

There was sound sense in the advice, unpalat-
able as it was, and Joe recognized it. He must
temporize. He wanted to dash his fist into the
ugly face before him, and he promised himself
that luxury later on. But just now he must de-
pend on that nimble wit of his that had so often
helped him to outguess an opponent.

He sank back in his seat with an affected resig-
nation that was calculated to put his enemy off
guard. It did so in the present case, as Hen-
nessy chose to consider the action as a surrender.

"Now you're acting sensible," he grunted.
"There ain't no use butting your head against a
stone wall."

"Where are you taking me?" asked Joe in a
lifeless tone.

"I don't know as there's any harm in telling
you, now that we've got so far," Hennessy an-
swered. "I'm taking you on board my ship, the
Walrus."

"What for?"

"Just to give you a little sea air," grinned Hen-
nessy. "Your folks thought it would do you good
to take a short v'yage down the coast."

"Down the coast?"

"South American coast," replied the captain
shortly. "You're on your way to Rio Janeiro."

Rio Janeiro ! Joe's heart thumped violently.

"You say my folks are in on this," he said, try-



174 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

ing to keep his voice calm. "Just what do you
mean by that?"

"Oh, I've heard all about that gang you're run-
ning with and those phony checks, and the like of
that," answered Hennessy.

"Phony checks?" gasped Joe.

"Don't be playing innocent," growled Hen-
nessy roughly. "You know well enough what I
mean."

"But you've got the wrong man," persisted Joe.
"I don't know what you're talking about. I never
ran with a gang or handled bad checks. You've
picked me up, thinking I was somebody else. I'm
a baseball player, a member of the New York
Giants."

"They told me you'd probably say something
like that," retorted Hennessy placidly. "But you
can't pull any wool over my eyes. I'm too old a
hand for that."

The man was obdurate, and Joe ceased his use-
less efforts to convince him. But he knew now
that his case was desperate, and he summoned all
his coolness to cope with the situation. One pro-
ject after another raced through his brain, to be
dismissed as useless.

While they had been talking, the motor boat
had made rapid progress. But now a heavy haze
was settling over the water and the engine slowed
down a little.




JOE JUMPED ON THE RAIL AND LEAPED FOR THE PIER, SIX

Page 175



FEET DISTANT.
Baseball Joe in the World Scries.



A HOLE IN THE WEB 175

"Look out, you swab !" shouted Hennessy an-
grily to the steersman as the end of a pier loomed
up before them. u Do you want to smash the
boat?"

The man veered off. But in that instant Joe
had acted.

His fist shot out, knocking Hennessy off his seat.
Like lightning, Joe jumped on the rail and leaped
for the pier, six feet distant.

It was a long jump from an unstable footing,
but Joe made it and clutched one of the spiles.
It was slimy and slippery, but he held on with all
the strength of his trained muscles. His feet,
swinging wildly about, touched the rung of a lad-
led. In another moment he swarmed up it, and
stood panting and breathless on the wharf.

"Back her! Back her!" screamed Hennessy
from the fog. "Don't let him get away!"

Joe chuckled, as he heard the wild splashing of
the water and the pounding of the screw.

"Good-bye, Captain!" he sang out. "Hope I
didn't spoil your beauty. Give my regards to Rio
Janeiro."



CHAPTER XXIII



TAKING THE LEAD



Baseball Joe wasted little time in reaching the
end of the pier. He hailed a cab at the first
thoroughfare he came to and was soon once more
at the hotel.

He found his party ready to start and wonder-
ing where he had gone.

"Where on earth have you been, Joe?" asked
Mabel. "We were beginning to get worried about
you."

"Oh, I was just called away by a telephone mes-
sage," Joe parried.

He had no desire to let the women of the little
group know that he was being made the victim of
any hostile machinations. They would have mag-
nified the danger and worried without ceasing.

"Well, it's all right as long as you are here
now," Mabel said brightly, flashing Joe one of the
dazzling smiles that always made his heart beat
more quickly.

There had been a tenderer note in her voice
ever since he had rescued her from the reckless

176



TAKING THE LEAD 177

ride on which Fleming had taken her. She
blushed when she remembered how she had taken
refuge in his arms in her first paroxysms of relief.
It had been instinctive, and she had fled to them
as naturally as she would have gone to those
of her brother in similar circumstances. How
strongly those arms had held her and how abso-
lutely safe they had made her feel !

Barclay had been looking curiously at Joe ever
since the latter had returned. He had been more
alarmed than he would have cared to confess by
his unexplained absence. Knowing his chum so
well, he could see that even now he was laboring
under repressed excitement. But his chance for
an explanation did not come until some time later.
It was only after they had bestowed their charges
in their Pullman car and had said good-night and
had gone forward to the car in which the Giants
were quartered, that Jim was able to relieve his
impatience.

"Come on now, old man, and tell me all about
it," he demanded.

U A11 about what ?"

"You know well enough. Quit your stalling and
come across with the story. Where did you go?
Who called you up? Get it off your chest.'*

Joe readily complied. There was very little he
ever kept from Jim, and just now he felt espe-
cially the need of a confidant.



178 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

Jim listened with growing excitement and in-
dignation.

"The hounds !" he exclaimed hotly.

"That doesn't begin to express it," said Joe.
"It was about as dirty a piece of business as I
ever heard of. It's worthy of a reptile like
Fleming."

"I'd like to have him here this minute," cried
Jim. "I'd repeat the dose you gave him yester-
day."

"What puzzles me is as to who was in cahoots
with him," mused Joe. "He couldn't have put a
thing like that through alone. Think of the wires
that had to be pulled to carry out the plan."

"I suppose the big fellow that Anderson heard
talking with Fleming was at the bottom of that,"
conjectured Jim. "It surely was smooth work."

"Oh, it was all prearranged carefully enough,"
agreed Joe. "There wasn't anything left to
chance."

"It was pretty slick, using McRae's name to
get you there, too," commented Jim. "They
knew you'd do anything he asked that was reason-
able. What beats me is how they could counter-
feit his voice so that you were taken in by it."

"Well, you know how it is," Joe replied.
"When any one at the telephone gives you his
name you take it for granted. It sounded a little
strange, but it was a pretty good imitation at that.



TAKING THE LEAD 179

Probably they've rung in some actor who's accus-
tomed to mimic voices. He could easily have hung
around the hotel and listened to Mac talking, till
he got a pretty good line on his voice. Where I
blame myself is that I hadn't kept Anderson's
warning in mind. But I was thinking of other
things "

"Yes," interrupted Jim dryly. "You'd just been
walking with a charming young lady. I under-
stand."

He grinned quizzically, and Joe made a friendly
thrust toward him which he adroitly ducked.

"Well, 'all's well that ends well,' " Joe quoted.

"If it is ended," said Jim seriously. "They
may cook up something else, now that this has
failed."

"I guess they've shot their bolt," replied Joe
lightly. "This will probably discourage them, and
they'll give it up. But it gives me the cold shivers
to think how nearly they put this scheme of theirs
across."

"It was just touch and go," agreed Jim. "You
did some mighty quick thinking, old man," he
added admiringly.

"It was a case of must," answered Joe. "I just
had to think quickly, or it would have been all up."

"By the way, are you going to say anything to
McRae about this?"

"What's the use?" returned Joe. "There's



180 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

nothing he could do. It would only worry him
and make him hopping mad, and he's got enough
on his mind as it is. Besides, I couldn't tell him
the whole story without bringing Mabel's name
into it, and I'd rather cut off my hand than do
that."

Just at that moment McRae came through the
car. He was in high spirits, and greeted them
cordially as he sat down by them.

"Wouldn't you boys better have your berths
made up?" he inquired. "It's getting pretty late
and I want you to be in good shape for to-mor-
row. We'll want that game badly, too. It isn't
enough to have evened up. We want to jump
right out into the lead."

"I suppose you're going to pitch Markwith to-
morrow," said Joe, after having signaled the por-
ter and told him to prepare the berths.

"I'm not sure yet," answered McRae thought-
fully. "He certainly pitched pretty good ball in
those last three innings to-day, and I'll see how
he warms up to-morrow before the game. But
just at this present moment I'm inclined to pitch
Barclay."

Jim's heart began to thump. He had not ex-
pected to figure in the Series, except perhaps as
a relief pitcher. It was his first year in the big
league and though he had shown some "cracker-
jack stuff," he was not supposed to be seasoned



TAKING THE LEAD ^i

enough to work a full game at such a critical time.

To tell the truth, he would not have had a
chance of taking part if it had not been for the
accident to Hughson. McRae was famous for the
way he stuck to his veterans, and though he be-
lieved in "young blood," he always took a long
time in developing his new pitchers before he
would trust them in a game on which a great deal
depended. Sometimes he kept them on the bench
for a year or two, absorbing "inside stuff" and
watching the older players before he considered
them ripe for "a killing."

But he was hard put to it now to handle his
crippled staff to the best advantage. He did not
dare to use Joe too often for fear of hurting his
effectiveness by overwork. Markwith was bril-
liant but unreliable. Sometimes he would pitch
superbly for the better part of a game. Then
all too often there would be a fatal inning when
he would lose his "stuff" entirely, and before he
could be replaced the game would have gone to
pieces.

"I may pitch Jim to-morrow," McRae went on
reflectively. "If he wins, we will have the edge
on the Sox, and I can take a chance on Red for
Friday's game. Then I'll have you, Joe, to put
the kibosh on them in the final game on Saturday.

"But if Jim loses to-morrow the Sox will have
three games tucked away and only need one more.



1 82 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

In that case, Joe, I'm going to pitch you Friday
to even up and Saturday to win. Think you can
stand two games in succession and win out?"

"I'd work my head off to do it," replied Joe
earnestly.

"It'll put a big strain on your head and arm
too," said the manager, "but you'll have all win-
ter to rest up in afterwards, and we may have
to chance it."

He chatted with them a minute or two longer,
and then, as the berth had been made up, he left
them.

"Gee whiz, Joe!" ejaculated Jim, as he crept
into the upper berth, his teeth chattering in his
excitement. "To think of me pitching a game in
the World Series before that whale of a crowd
at the Polo Grounds !"

"It's the chance of your life, Jim," responded
Joe. "You're made as a pitcher if you win. And
you will win, too. I'm sure of it. You had those
fellows right on your staff in that inning or two
you pitched at Boston."

"Well, here's hoping," murmured Jim, getting
in between the sheets. "If I don't, it won't be for
lack of trying."

It was, indeed, a "whale of a crowd" that
greeted the Giants on their victorious return. All
New York was jubilant, and comments were rife
everywhere on the gameness of their pets in the



TAKING THE LEAD 183

fight they were making against accident and hard
luck.

The team was cheered singly and collectively
as they came on the field and scattered for pre-
liminary practice. McRae and Robson paid espe-
cial attention to the warming up of the pitchers,
for up to the last minute the manager was unde-
cided as to whom he should play.

Both Jim and Markwith seemed to have plenty
of "smoke" as they sent their slants and benders
over. But the older pitcher was inclined to be
wild, while Jim's control was all that could be
asked. So with many inner quakings McRae
finally decided that Jim should do the twirling.

The crowd was somewhat startled when they
saw the young "second string" pitcher going on
the mound. They were well aware of McRae's
predilection for his old players, and they won-
dered at his willingness to-day to take a chance.

But whatever may have been their misgivings,
there was nothing but the heartiest applause for
the youngster. If generous rooting and backing
would help him to win, he should have them.

There was a host of Princeton men there, too,
and they gave the old college yell that Jim had
heard so often when as an undergraduate he had
twirled for the Orange and Black.

But, perhaps, if the truth were told, Jim's
greatest incentive came from the fact that Clara



1 84 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

was watching him from a box in the upper stand,
her pretty face flushed and her bright eyes spark-
ling. It was astonishing how much that young
woman's approbation had come to mean to Jim
in the short time he had known her.

He was a little nervous at the start, and
Cooper, the first man up, drew a base on balls.
He was nipped a moment later, however, in an
attempt to steal, and with the bases again empty
Jim fanned Berry and made Loomis chop a
grounder to Larry that resulted in an easy out at
first.

"Bully for you, old man!" cried Joe, encour-
agingly. "You got through that inning finely.
The first is usually the hardest because you're find-
ing your bearings. Besides, you've got rid of the
head of their batting order."

Fraser was in the box for the Red Sox, and it
looked at the start as though he were going to
prove fully as good as in the first game. For four
innings he turned back the New Yorks, who
seemed to have lost all the hitting ability they had
shown the day before.

"What's the matter with the boys?" growled
McRae, uneasily. "It would help Barclay a lot
if they handed him something to go on."

The New Yorks gave him that lead in the fifth.
Denton and Willis singled, and Denton scored
when Cooper, the right fielder, lost Becker's fly



TAKING THE LEAD 185

in the sun and it went for a double. Becker was
forced at third on Iredell's bouncer to Girdner,
and both Willis and Iredell scored when Berry
made a wild throw of a sharp hit by Curry.

This ended the scoring for the inning, but those
three runs, in the words of Robson, looked very
"juicy."

The lead, of course, was very gratifying to Jim.
It seemed to put him on "easy street." But at
the same time it was dangerous, because it was
calculated to give him, perhaps, too much confi-
dence. And over-confidence was a perilous thing
to indulge in when the Bostons happened to be
one's opponents.

Jim waked up to this fact in the very next inn-
ing, when Walters straightened out one of his in-
curves with a mighty wallop to the fence on which
he easrly circled the bases. Two more hits sand-
wiched in with a pass yielded one more run, and
McRae began to look uneasy. A rattling double
play got Jim out of what had begun to look like
a bad hole, and the rally was choked off then and
there.

It had been a bad inning for him, but Jim was a
thoroughbred, and he braced.

In the next three innings they only garnered
four more hits, and of these only two were "Simon
pure." Loomis got a hit past Denton when the
latter was running to cover the base. Then Stock



1 86 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

chopped one to the box that took a puzzling bound
and went for a single. Girdner lined out a
scorcher to center in the eighth and Walters sent
one to the same place in the final frame. But this
was the sum total of their endeavors and the
Giants had no need of playing out their half of
the ninth.

It was a very creditable victory for the "kid"
pitcher of the Giants. Once more the New Yorks
had the upper hand in the desperate fight for the
Series. Jim had won his spurs and could count
hereafter on taking his regular turn in the box.

The roars of the crowd were like music in Jim's
ears. Still more grateful were the praise and con-
gratulations from his comrades on the team. But,
perhaps, he treasured more than all the shy tribute
that came that evening from the lips of a remark-
ably pretty girl.

"You were just splendid to-day, Mr. Barclay,"
said Clara, her eyes shining brightly. "Just splen-
did!"



CHAPTER XXIV

PLOTTING MISCHIEF

The feeling in Boston was in marked contrast
to that in the metropolis, when the news was
flashed over the wires that for the second day in
succession the Red Sox had lost.

To be sure they were by no means out of it, and
a victory the next day would leave the clubs even
up. But the odds now were on the New York side,
especially as it was certain that Baseball Joe would
pitch in one of the games.

The Red Sox stood in no particular fear of
Markwith, although his ability was freely recog-
nized. Still he could be handled. But they had
the profoundest respect for Joe, not to say dread,
and they had begun to share the feeling that he
had the game won when he appeared upon the
mound.

Perhaps by none was this conviction felt more
keenly than by two men who sat at a table in a
cafe. A groan had just arisen from a throng sur-
rounding the ticker and in that groan the two men
read defeat.

187



1 88 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

"That makes three games the Giants have
won," growled Connelly. "One more and the
Series is theirs. "

"But they haven't won that other one yet," sug-
gested Fleming, whose face by this time had re-
newed more nearly its usual appearance, "and it's
up to us to see that they don't."

"That sounds good," growled Connelly. "But
so did our other plan sound good. But you see
what came of it."

"It not only sounded good but it was good,"
replied Fleming. "You know as well as I do that
we only missed putting it over by an eyelash."

"I haven't got over wondering yet how Matson
slipped out of that net," Connelly ruminated. "It
seemed a dead open and shut certainty that we had
him."

"He's a slippery customer," said Fleming, "but
because we didn't get him once doesn't say that
we won't the next time. But whatever we do, we'll
have to do in a hurry. He's to be in Boston only
one more day."

"What was it you were telling me about that
Hartley?" asked Connelly.

"I don't know how much there may be in that,"
answered Fleming, thoughtfully. "The fellow's
fearfully sore on Matson for some reason or other
that I can't just make out. He'd like well enough
to do him a personal injury, too, if he could.



PLOTTING MISCHIEF 189

"I got him away from the gang he was ranting
to and had a little talk with him. But I wouldn't
dare trust him to do any rough work. He's half
full all the time; and then, too, I think he's a lit-
tle crazy. He'd be apt to spill the beans in any-
thing he might undertake.

"There's only one thing, though, in which he
may be of some help to us. He's on to the sig-
nals used by the Giant pitchers and he offered to
give them away. That might help some in a close
game."

"It might," reflected Connelly. "But it isn't
sure enough. The pitchers might tumble to the
game and change their signals. Still, we'll use
him, on the off chance that it may help if we don't
think of anything better."

"The only sure way of beating Matson," ob-
served Fleming, "is to see that he doesn't go on
the field at all."

Connelly looked up quickly.

"Nothing like that," he grunted. I've told you
already that I wouldn't stand for any rough stuff.
America wouldn't be big enough to hold a man
who'd do that."

"Hold your horses," retorted Fleming. "Who's
talking about injuring or killing him? I'm no
more anxious to go to the electric chair than you



are."



"Well, what's the game then?" asked Connelly.



190 BASEBALL JOE IN WORLD SERIES

"Here's the dope," answered Fleming. "You
see by the score that Barclay pitched for the New
Yorks to-day?"

"Yes," agreed Connelly.

"That gives McRae a little margin to go on,"
continued Flemkig. "He could afford to lose to-
morrow's game and still be even on the Series.
Then he'd still have Matson as his ace for Satur-
day's game in New York.

"Now suppose it works out that way. Mark-
with pitches, we'll say, and loses."

"I'm listening," said Connelly.

"Then the deciding game will be played on Sat-
urday at the Polo Grounds. The Giants will be
before their home crowd. Matson goes in to
pitch. What's the answer?"

"A victory for New York," replied Connelly,
grinding his teeth.

"Probably," agreed Fleming. "Now there's
just one thing to be done. When the Giant team
leaves Boston to-morrow night for New York,
Matson mustn't go with them."

He almost hissed the last words, all the venom
he felt toward Joe showing in his eyes.

Connelly thumped the table with his ponderous
fist.

"You mean that he must be kidnapped?" he ex-
claimed. "You think we may put it over better
on land than we did on the water?"



PLOTTING MISCHIEF 191

"That's rather an ugly word," warned Flem-
ing, looking around to see that they were not
overheard, u and perhaps it would be better not
to use it. What I mean is that in some way he
must be kept from taking the train late Friday
night or the early train Saturday morning. After
that it doesn't matter what he does.

"You see," he went on, "there wouldn't be any
come-back in a thing like that. There'd be no
need to hurt him. The whole thing would only
cover about twelve hours. After nine o'clock on
Saturday morning he could be set at liberty and
be free as air. But he'd be in Boston and he


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