"Come on, Harley," I said, grinning at him. "I lost 20 yards in five tries, fell down without anyone laying a hand on me, then had the ball stolen by Roger Brown, then threw the ball at least 10 feet over Jim Gibbons" head—that's pretty awful...."
Harley said, "You didn't do too bad...considering." He was very serious, really trying, consciously, to keep me from remembering and being humiliated.
"Harley," I said, "you're a poor judge of disasters."
The others on the porch kept after me for details, but Harley wouldn't let me discuss the subject. "It don't do any good dwelling on such things," he said.
"Aw, come on, Harley," they said.
"No sir!" he said.
So we humored him and talked about other things, and eventually I managed to tell them just enough about the game to satisfy them, though we waited until Harley was off the porch, out on the lawn with his children.
He drove me back to Cranbrook after a while. It had been a pleasant morning, and I told him so, standing in the driveway, hands on the car door, though Harley, inside behind the wheel, continued to look preoccupied. He was still worried about my state of mind. "The thing is not to fret on it," he said. "Your luck wasn't running too good. Just forget it, and get yourself going again."
"Listen, Harley," I said, "I really am grateful to you."
"When you wake up it'll be all right."