SI Vault
Robert H. Boyle
December 24, 1962
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 24, 1962

Frank Merriwell's Triumph


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

"He will kill you!" she screamed. "Remember that one scratch from his teeth means sure death!"

"I know that!"

"Then run—run!"

"And leave you and these girls to be bitten by that beast! Not much! Better that he should bite one than a dozen."

As the dog pounces, Inza stops panting. " 'What a brave, noble fellow he is!' her white lips whispered. 'How terrible that he should give his life for me! How grand!' " Snodd arrives and shoots the dog as Merriwell grapples with it. Again shown up by Frank, Hodge retaliates by locking him in a cemetery vault so he'll miss the entrance examinations for Fardale. As Frank is trying to find a way out, he hears a rustling. Rats! ("Surely the situation was one to appall the stoutest heart.") Here the scene fades, opening next at Far-dale on the day of the exams. To the astonishment of Hodge, Merriwell bursts into the room. Foiled again. Witness to the dark deed, the loyal urchin had let Frank out. Hodge agrees to mend his ways, and he and Frank enter Fardale together. There, along with Barney Mulloy ("Begobs! Oi filt that Oi had to do it. Two min were oudt, an' it samed loike th' last chance!") and Hans Dunnerwurst ("By Shimminy! dot peen der pest gatch yr efer saw my whole life in!"), he becomes one of Frank's satellites.

Within a few months, the circulation of Tip Top Weekly was 75,000 copies. Eventually it reached 300,000. After further adventures at Fardale—Frank, of course, was the star of all the athletic teams—his uncle Asher Merriwell dies, and his will directs that Frank leave the academy "and begin a series of travels through the United States and other countries." Professor Horace Orman Tyler Scotch, nicknamed "Hot" Scotch, becomes his guardian and traveling companion. After a series of daring feats around the world, in issues 12 to 39, Frank announces he is going to try for Yale College. "Good," says Inza, "I know you will cut as much of a dash there as you did at Fardale."

And, of course, Frank does. He is no sooner in quarters on York Street with his spooneristic roommate, Harry Rattleton ("I seel filly—I mean, I feel silly"), than he gets into a hassle with Jack Diamond, a hotheaded Virginian who has been "drinking beer with the boys, and is in a mighty ugly mood." They fight, and Frank, who has the habit of laughing through a bout, wins. Diamond is so angry he keeps his roommate awake all night by grinding his teeth "at irregular intervals." At Billy's, a freshman hangout, he dashes champagne into Frank's face and challenges him to a duel with rapiers. "Merriwell smiled and wiped the champagne from his face with a white silk handkerchief." Unbeknownst to his Yale chums, he is an expert fencer. "At Fardale he had been champion of the school, and he had taken some lessons in France while traveling." Frank disarms Diamond twice, gallantly permitting him the retrieve. A faculty raid causes the lads to flee, but "from that hour there seemed to be a sort of truce between Merriwell and Diamond. It was a long time before they showed signs of friendliness, but they fought together against the sophomores and Bruce Browning."

Giant Bruce Browning is "the king of the sophomores," and he deems the freshmen impertinent. He gees into training to take care of Merriwell, but Frank can't care less. "Whenever anyone told him about it, he merely smiled." When they meet in the ring, Browning can do little. " Frank Merriwell continued to laugh, and it had been said at Yale that he was most dangerous in an encounter when he laughed." Frank gets the better of it, but the bout is sportingly declared a draw and Browning admits Merriwell "to be a comer."

Frank is busy on other fronts. He is one of "the best freshmen halfbacks ever seen at Yale." He not only strokes but coaches the freshmen crew ("something never attempted before—something said to be impossible") that defeats the sophomores. On the mound for the freshmen nine, he is a dazzler. The only way a Harvard batsman can get on is through an error. When Blossom, the Yale third baseman, fumbles a grounder, Frank says gently, "Steady, Bios, old boy! You are all right. The best of us do those things occasionally. It is nothing at all." Then he retires the side.

Frank does so well that he is invited to try out for the varsity nine by Pierson, the manager. Even Frank is surprised by this, and his heart gives a great jump. "On the regular team! Why, he had not dreamed of getting there the very first season. Was Pierson giving him a jolly?"

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9