"Except chess," said Peckover.
"That can't be," said Silk.
"Oh yes, sir. Except chess," said Peckover.
"That's impossible," said Silk.
"My dear man," said Peckover in rising tones. "You are speaking to an international authority on the subject. Do you know how many Russians play chess? Do you know how many Englishmen play cricket? Sir, I would be willing to bet you �100 right this minute...." And off he went, explaining to Silk that people who have no interest, etc. "have very small minds." The crowd that had been attracted by the strength of Peckover's voice was gently dispersed. The discussion was ended.
In cricket the players have a refreshment break, a lunch break, another refreshment break, a tea break and another refreshment break before "the light fails" and everybody goes home. Observing these many intermissions one day when he visited Lord's, the famous cricket ground in London, Will Rogers said, "Hell, this ain't a game. It's a banquet."
After lunch the crowd, about 300 people now, was treated to the play of Everton Weekes, a 43-year-old West Indian batsman of world renown. Weekes is stocky and powerful, with skin of mahogany and a pencil mustache. It was plain to see the special charisma he held for the crowd.
Weekes scored 33 runs, including two booming sixes (a six is more or less a home run). After the MCC had finished its innings and the Staten Island team was up, two American-born members of the American club spoke of how they happened to start playing cricket. Dr. Donald Snider, 28-year-old resident surgeon in New York, said he had gone to school in Kent but learned the game at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He liked it, he said, because it was relaxing and comfortable. He also said that he never met a man in cricket he didn't like. Will Rogers must have had more influence on cricket than one would imagine.
The second man, Al Garcia, who is an actor and model, said he had been born in Yoakum, Texas. A man born of Mexican parents in Yoakum, Texas who plays cricket is a major upset. "Any umpire who calls me out up at the bat, I stab him in the back," said Garcia. He said that it was an old Mexican tradition, stabbing in the back. Garcia is pretty funny.
"I learned the game in Australia," he said. "I was down there with a road company. I saw these men in white come onto this beautiful green, and a hush came over the crowd. It stayed like that the whole afternoon. They had tea. The hush stayed. Such grace and peace in the game. It was beautiful. 'This game,' I said, 'I must play.' "