But, incredibly, the shots were dropping in. With an American member of the Paris team, Martin Feinberg, doing a whale of a job off the backboards, the visitors drew away to a 6-1 lead, stretched it to 24-12 before startled Lake Forest rallied to tie it at 30-30. But, again paced by Feinberg, Paris scored three baskets in rapid succession to lead 36-34 at the half. In the second half, the old-fashioned ways of the visitors and their possession tactics carried them to a 69-64 victory with the American Feinberg scoring 20 of the visitors' points.
But Martin Feinberg actually had done a great deal more than that. Son of a onetime Cleveland cab driver and now studying at the University of Paris under the GI bill, Feinberg had dreamed up the idea of an American tour for his team. A firm believer in the value of sports in international relations, he wrote to Dan Ferris and Lyle Foster of the AAU for help in lining up a schedule of games over here. They agreed and with six games scheduled, Feinberg got the players themselves to chip in $70 apiece, the University of Paris Club to underwrite a deficit up to $500. With their share of gate receipts, the tourists are almost getting by on an austere per diem allowance of $6. Still, the deficit is certain to be more than the $500 guaranteed back in Paris.
But last week came real hope for solvency. Mr. Foster of the AAU picked up a phone and found a State Department official named Edmund Thomas on the other end.
"You're giving away billions of dollars," cried Foster, "and here's the best example of international good will I've ever seen. I want you to pick these boys up in Baltimore, take them back to Washington and give them a royal good time. And don't let 'em go back on some boat—fly 'em over on a transport so they'll have that extra time here. They haven't even seen New York yet. If you don't, you're nuts."
Mr. Thomas said he thought he was not that nuts and promised that the State Department would do exactly what Mr. Foster suggested.
THE HOCKEY CROWD
It has its finest flowering at Montreal, home of Les Canadiens of the National Hockey League. There is no crowd exactly like it anywhere. At times every member of it appears to react at the same split second so that the crowd seems to speak or roar or moan with a single voice.
It is always a capacity crowd. On the afternoon of the crucial games, thousands fill the streets outside the Montreal Forum, hoping to buy standing room. There is a waiting list of thousands for season tickets, but there is rarely one to be had. Ticket holders provide in their wills for the disposition of their precious reservations.
It is a tidy crowd. It is not permitted to smoke and so it chews gum and sucks lozenges. No vendors roam the aisles. Between periods almost everyone (except for standees who do not wish to lose their places) files out for refreshments and cigarets below the stands. No beer is sold, but there is coffee and hot chocolate and soda and hot dogs.
It is a bilingual crowd. Announcements over the loudspeaker are made first in French, then in English. In the heart of the crowd, English predominates, but the cries from high in the gallery are exclusively French. During a lull in the action, a gallery voice rings out: "Grouille toi!" which is to say, "Move!" or, translating freely, "Get the lead out!" Another voice calls, "Patine! Patine!" to a slow-moving player, urging him to "Skate! Skate!" Still another cries, "Surveille ton homme!" or "Cover your man!" Among the standees in the lower stands there is a knot of French-speaking fans, and caught and held fast by them is a red-faced little man who is the image of Jiggs of the comic strips. Unable to move, the little man is stuck for the evening with comrades he is unable to understand, and every now and then he wails: "What happened?" and "Where is everybody?" It is obvious that he has not had a drop of hot chocolate this night which happens to be New Year's Eve.