Frank Roscoe’s Secret; Or, the Darewell Chums in the Woods

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Mary Meehan, and the Project
Online Distributed Proofreading Team


FRANK ROSCOE’S SECRET

Or, The Darewell Chums in the Woods

BY ALLEN CHAPMAN

AUTHOR OF “BART STIRLING’S ROAD TO SUCCESS,”
“WORKING HARD TO WIN,” “BOUND TO SUCCEED,”
“THE YOUNG STOREKEEPER,” “NAT BORDEN’S FIND,” ETC.

1908

CONTENTS
 
I.PLANNING A DINNER
II.A CONSPIRACY REVEALED
III.NED IS CAPTURED
IV.NED HEARS STRANGE TALK
V.SUSPICIONS AROUSED
VI.FRANK GETS A LETTER
VII.BREAKING UP A DANCE
VIII.FRANK IS WARNED
IX.A STRANGER IN TOWN
X.MR. HARDMAN’S QUEER ACT
XI.NEWS FOR FRANK
XII.THE LAZY RACE
XIII.VACATION AT HAND
XIV.THE TELEPHONE WIRE
XV.SEARCHING FOR FRANK
XVI.WHERE FRANK WENT
XVII.AN UNEXPECTED MEETING
XVIII.A CANOE TRIP
XIX.AT THE SANITARIUM
XX.THE INTERVIEW
XXI.FRANK LEAVES AGAIN
XXII.FRANK IS EMPLOYED
XXIII.PLANNING A RESCUE
XXIV.FRANK LOSES HOPE
XXV.FRANK’S SECRET DISCLOSED
XXVI.ARRANGING AN ESCAPE
XXVII.THE RUNAWAY DONKEY
XXVIII.THE RESCUE
XXIX.THE CURE—CONCLUSION

FRANK ROSCOE’S SECRET

CHAPTER I

PLANNING A DINNER

“That’s the way to line ’em out, Ned!”

“Go on now! Take another! You can get home!”

“Wow! That wins the game! Hurrah for Ned Wilding!”

Those were some of the shouts, amid a multitude of others, that came from scores of boyish throats as they watched the baseball game between the Darewell High School and the Lakeville Preparatory Academy. The occasion was the annual championship struggle, and the cries resulted from Ned’s successful batting of the ball far over the center fielder’s head.

It was a critical moment for the score was tie, it was the ending of the ninth inning, and there were two men of the High School nine out. It all depended on Ned.

But Ned was equal to the occasion. He had placed the ball well, and as soon as he heard the crack, when his bat struck it, he had darted for first. Then, running as he never had run before, he kept on to second. The encouraging shouts of his friends induced him to advance toward third, though by this time the center fielder had the ball and was throwing it to the baseman.

“Come on, Ned! Come on! Take a chance!” yelled Bart Keene, captain of the High School team.

Then Ned, from a baseball standpoint of safety, did what might be termed a foolish thing. He reached third base just an instant before the ball did. He heard it strike the baseman’s glove with a loud “plunk!”

A second later, stooping to avoid being touched, Ned sprang up and ran toward the home plate. It was a desperate chance in a desperate game, for the Lakeville players were cool and experienced hands, and Ned was almost certain to be put out. However, he had chanced it. It was too late to go back now. He was running straight for home, as though there was no such thing as a baseman with a ball close behind him, waiting for a good chance to throw to the catcher and put him out.

Right at the catcher Ned ran. The third baseman drew back his arm to throw the ball. The catcher put out his hands to grasp it. Then Ned jumped up into the air, springing as high as he could.

This disconcerted the aim of the third baseman and he had to throw higher than he intended, to get the ball over Ned’s head.

It was what Ned intended that happened.

The catcher was obliged to jump to reach the whizzing ball. He just missed it, the leather sphere grazing the tips of his fingers. Then it flew over his head, while there sounded a groan from the Lakeville supporters. The game was a High School victory.

An instant later Ned had passed the chagrined catcher and had touched the home plate, while the High School boys stood up on the bleachers and made themselves hoarse with cheers. Joining them came the shrill cries of the girls of Darewell, quite a throng of whom had come to see the game.

“Good, Ned!” cried Bart, as he ran up to grasp his chum by the hand.

“That’s the stuff!” exclaimed Fenn Masterson. “I knew you could do it, Ned!”

“That’s more than I knew myself,” Ned answered, panting from his home run.

“Three cheers for the Darewells!” called the captain of the preparatory school nine.

The tribute to victory was paid with a will.

“Three cheers for the Lakevilles!” shouted Lem Gordon, pitcher on the High School team.

The winners fairly outdid their rivals in cheering. Then the diamond was thronged with girls and boys, all talking at once, and discussing the various points of the game.

“It was a close chance you took, Ned,” remarked a tall, quiet youth, coming up to the winner of the game.

“I had to, Frank. I didn’t risk much in being put out, but it meant a lot if I could get home, and I took the chance.”

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