dropped. Flossie shrieked, "Faith and begorra, sir," and dashed away.
Mr. Evans threw an arm about Casey's shoulders, more as he would with a son
than with some roisterous ballplayer. "A real nice piece of dry goods,"
Mr. Evans said, winking at Casey, as they watched Flossie's trim ship sail
away. "A very nice piece of calico."
Two weeks later,
just before Memorial Day when Chester Drinkwater came by, Mr. Evans brought
Casey right into the parlor. After Flossie had served tea, Drinkwater came to
the point. "Mr. Evans, would it be possible for Flossie to come away with
Mr. Casey and myself—and my sister Maud, who'll chaperon, of course—and go down
to visit Nantasket Beach on Thursday?" he asked.
That week the
Mudvilles would exploit Memorial Day on Wednesday by playing a doubleheader.
But then they'd be off until Saturday, so Casey could get away to the beach.
"I've taken a keen liking to this young man," Drinkwater said, patting
Casey on the knee. "And the way baseball is taking hold, there may be a lot
of cranks out there who'd love to deal with Timothy if he were a salesman for
business," said Mr. Evans.
"It'd sure be
better than trying to lift that fat lady three times a day," Casey
Mr. Evans curled
his mustache, thinking. "Well, as long as she's chaperoned, and as long as
she can make up the time, working her off-afternoons, I can't see why Flossie
can't go to Nantasket."
you, sir," Casey whooped, and he bolted into the kitchen to tell Flossie
the good news.
Mr. Evans turned
back to his visitor. "You know, Mr. Drinkwater, I can't tell you what a
difference Casey has made to this town. Why he's not only changed the whole
spirit of Mudville, but he's got people going over to that old East Side again.
We haven't had any interest out there in years, but people go out to the
Grounds, see Casey wallop one, and...all of a sudden I've got a mortgage
application on my desk for property out there. It's amazing what a team can do
for a town. Something new in our modern society, I believe. Amazing. Had you
ever thought about that?"
"No, I never
had," Drinkwater said, lying through his teeth.
Day performance was as fine as a hitter could have: eight for 12, two homers,
11 runs batted in. And what crowds! SRO! Waving American flags! The children
hung from the trees, and all the bands from the Memorial Day parade reassembled
at the Grounds, so grumpy old Cyrus Weatherly let them sit inside the
centerfield fence—for two bits a head—and they played music all afternoon,
adding to the holiday air.