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- DescriptionThe friends of the sweep determined to retaliate upon the following day, and gathered so threateningly round the gate that, instead of the boys coming home in twos and threes, as was their wont, when playtime expired, they returned in a body. They were some forty in number, and varied in age from the little fags of the Under School, ten or twelve years old, to brawny muscular young fellows of seventeen or eighteen, senior Queen's Scholars, or Sixth Form town boys. The Queen's Scholars were in their caps and gowns, the town boys were in ordinary attire, a few only having flannel cricketing trousers. On first leaving the field they were assailed only by volleys of abuse; but as they made their way down the street their assailants grew bolder, and from words proceeded to blows, and soon a desperate fight was raging. In point of numbers the skies were vastly superior, and many of them were grown men; but the kwledge of boxing which almost every Westminster boy in those days possessed, and the activity and quickness of hitting of the boys, went far to equalise the odds. Pride in their school, too, would have rendered it impossible for any to show the white feather on such an occasion as this, and with the younger boys as far as possible in their centre, the seniors faced their opponents manfully. Even the lads of but thirteen and fourteen years old were t idle. Taking from the fags the bats which several of the latter were carrying, they joined in the conflict, t striking at their opponents' heads, but occasionally aiding their seniors, when attacked by three or four at once, by swinging blows on their assailant's shins. Man after man among the crowd had gone down before the blows straight from the shoulder of the boys, and many had retired from the contest with faces which would for many days bear marks of the fight; but their places were speedily filled up, and the numbers of the assailants grew stronger every minute. How well they fight! the cripple exclaimed. Splendid! isn't it, mother? But there are too many against them. Run, Evan, quick, down to Dean's Yard; you are sure to find some of them playing at racquets in the Little Yard, tell them that the boys coming home from cricket have been attacked, and that unless help comes they will be terribly kcked about. Evan dashed off at full speed. Dean's Yard was but a few minutes' run distant. He dashed through the little archway into the yard, down the side, and then in at ather archway into Little Dean's Yard, where some elder boys were playing at racquets. A fag was picking up the balls, and two or three others were standing at the top of the steps of the two boarding-houses. If you please, sir, Evan said, running up to one of the racquet-players, there is just a row going on; they are all pitching into the scholars on their way back from Vincent Square, and if you don't send help they will get it nicely, though they are all fighting like bricks. Here, all of you, the lad he addressed shouted to the others; our fellows are attacked by the 'skies' on their way back from fields. Run up College, James; the fellows from the water have come back. Then he turned to the boys on the steps, Bring all the fellows out quick; the 'skies' are attacking us on the way back from the fields. Don't let them wait a moment. It was lucky that the boys who had been on the water in the two eights, the six, and the fours, had returned, or at that hour there would have been few in the boarding-houses or up College. Ere a minute had elapsed these, with a few others who had been kept off field and water from indisposition, or other causes, came pouring out at the summons-a body some thirty strong, of whom fully half were big boys. They dashed out of the gate in a body, and made their way to the scene of the conflict. They were but just in time; the compact group of the boys had been broken up, and every one w was fighting for himself.
- Author(s)G a Henty
- Date of Publication25/01/2014
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectGeneral & Literary Fiction
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight327 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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