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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

pink shirt and grey trousers; and Peter Baitup, the
ground-man (whose face is framed in a "Newgate
fringe") wearing dingy white trousers with thin green
stripes, and carrying his cap in his belt while he bowls
his tempting left-hand slows. But things were differ-
ent in those days.

In the meantime Bill Crump has taken his guard
and is waiting with watchful ease to subjugate the
first ball of the match, while Peckham, a stalwart
fierce-browed farmer, takes a final look round the
field. Peckham is a fast bowler with an eccentric
style. Like most fast bowlers, he starts about fifteen
paces from the wicket, but instead of running he walks
the whole way to the crease, very much on his
heels, breaking his aggressive stride with a couple of
systematic hops when about half-way to his destina-
tion. Now lie is ready. Seamark pronounces the
word "Play!" And off he goes, walking for all he is
worth, gripping the ball ferociously, and eyeing the
batsman as if he intended to murder him if he can't
bowl him neck and crop. On the ultimate stride his
arm swings over, and a short-pitched ball pops up
and whizzes alarmingly near Crump's magnificent
moustache. Ned Noakes receives it rapturously with
an adroit snap of his gauntlets. Unperturbed, and
with immense deliberation, Crump strolls up the
pitch and prods with his bat the spot where he has
made up his mind that the ball hit the ground on its
way towards his head. The ground-man scratches
his nose apologetically. "Don't drop 'em too short,
Frank," says Dodd mildly, with an expostulatory
shake of his bristly grey cranium. Thus the match
proceeds until, twenty-five years ago, it is lunch time,
and Rotherden has made seventy runs with three
wickets down. And since both Crump and Bishop