"And what if I do, you pickpocket?"
"I will give you the thumb right now, and we will get on with the game of baseball that these people have paid good money to come out here today to see."
"They didn't come out to see no baseball game, you idiot—they come out to see me?
"I will run you out of here just the same."
"Try it!" laughed Gil, waving toward the stands where the Greenback fans were already on their feet, whooping like a tribe of Red Indians for Mike the Mouth's scalp. And how could it be otherwise? The rookie had a record of fourteen wins and no losses, and it was not yet July. "Go ahead and try it," said Gil. "They'd mob you, Masterson. They'd pull you apart."
"I would as soon be killed on a baseball field," replied Mike the Mouth, "as anywhere else. Now why don't you go out there and pitch. That's what they pay you to do."
Smiling, Gil said, "And why don't you go——in your shoes."
Mike looked as though his best friend had died; sadly he shook his head. "No, son, no, that won't do, not in the Big Time." And up went the right thumb, an appendage about the size and shape of a nice pickle. Up it went and up it stayed, though for a moment it looked as though Gamesh, whose mouth had fallen open, was considering biting it off—it wasn't but an inch from his teeth.
"Leave the field, son. And leave it now."
"Oh sure," chuckled Gil, recovering his composure. "Oh sure, leave the field in the middle of pitchin' to the first batter," and he started back out to the mound, loping nonchalantly like a big boy in an open meadow, while the crowd roared its love right into his face. "Oh sure," he said, laughing like mad.