Blenheim sat down and clasped his hands behind his head.
"She was a redhead. Big blue eyes. I can't describe her exactly, but she'd remind you of Moonbeam McSwine in the Li'l Abner cartoon strip. Of course, I have reference to her build. Unlike Moonbeam, this girl was neat as a pin. And she was smart. She knew something about her son's potentialities as a football player. She seemed quite unimpressed when I outlined an offer calling for free books and tuition, clothes, laundry, spending money, phonograph records, so on and so forth. No dice. I upped my ante and told her she could have her pick of any late-model used car at the local dealer's. No interest."
The old coach crossed his legs and bent over in a pretense of examining the high heels on his cowboy boots.
"Still," he said, "we got along fine. I used to walk her home evenings and soon I was calling her Flobelle and I asked her to call me Coach. One night I said, 'Fiobelle, let me take you out of all this. A girl like you shouldn't be working in a truck drivers' hangout. You come back to school with the boy and I'll get you a job waiting table in the coffee shop of the best hotel in town. And, furthermore, I'll guarantee that boy of yours will always have everything he needs.' "
The coach shuddered. "I'll never forget her words in reply to that proposition. She looked at me, son, with those baby-blue eyes and she whispered in that low, husky voice of hers. 'Coach,' she said, 'what that boy needs is a daddy.' "
Bob Wyczk took out a handkerchief and mopped his brow and moved forward to the edge of his chair. "Golly," he exclaimed, "what did you do then, sir?"
"Why," said the coach, "it set me back on my heels. I needed time to think things over. I made some excuse and hurried back to my hotel. But when I got to the entrance, I saw something that made me whirl right around and dash back to Flobelle's house!"
"What was it, sir?" cried Bob Wyczk.
"A car with an Indiana license," said the coach. "A Studebaker!"
"Studebakers are made in South Bend!" exclaimed Bob Wyczk. "Was Notre Dame after the boy?"