88 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
to the side of his opponent and is questioned by each one of them in turn.
A word that has a variety of meanings is chosen by two players to be the subject of conversation between themselves alone. The rest of the company listen attentively and try to discover what it is. Any one who guesses the word or thinks he knows it makes no announcement of his supposition, but joins in the conversation with the original pair, discussing the subject as if in the secret. If correct, he is accepted and contributes to the "light," to help the others to a solution. The quality of the light, it must be confessed, is open to criticism, as generally the knowledge is used to mislead, rather than to illumine.
One perhaps says :
"There is nothing in which society appears so attractive." And the others continue, "Yes, but there are so many accidents and college boys are so venturesome."
"The worst of all is when one hears it in the night, just as one is enjoying that semi-consciousness between sleeping and waking."
And so the chat goes on—one by one joining in as they discover that the word ball (bawl) is the chosen word.
The penalty for making a mistake and assuming to know the word is to have a handkerchief thrown over the face of the culprit, which may not be removed until the right word has been guessed.
The cleverness of this game consists in making conscious misstatements, to discover whether or not the