the Reverend Yalden was dawdling up the pitch in
his usual duck-footed progress when crossing from
one wicket to the other.
"Well, young man, you've got to look lively this
time/' he observed with intimidating jocosity. But
there seemed to be a twinkle of encouragement in
Seamark's light blue eye as I established myself in
Dixon played the first three balls carefully. The
fourth he smote clean out of the ground. The hit
was worth six, but "three all round and four over'5
was an immemorial rule at Butley. Unfortunately,
he tried to repeat the stroke, and the fifth ball shat-
tered his stumps. In those days there were only five
balls to an over.
Peter Baitup now rolled up with a wide grin on his
fringed face, but: it was no grinning moment for me
at the bottom end when Sutler gave me "middle-and-
leg" and I confronted impending disaster from
Crump with the sun in my eyes. The first ball (which
I lost sight of) missed my wicket by "a coat of varnish"
and travelled swiftly to the boundary for two byes,
leaving Mr. Yalden with his huge gauntlets above his
head in an attitude of aggrieved astonishment. The
game was now a tic. Through some obscure psycho-
logical process my whole being now became clarified.
I remembered Shrewsbury's century and became as
bold as brass. There was the enormous auctioneer
with the ball in his hand. And there I, calmly
resolved to look lively and defeat his destructive aim.
The ball hit my bat and trickled slowly up the pitch.
"Come on!" I shouted, and Peter came gallantly on.
Crump was so taken by surprise that we were safe
home before he'd picked up the ball And that was
the end of the Flower Show Match.