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This old-fashioned game is played on a solitaire board. Seventeen geese occupy the upper part of the board lines, with the fox in the middle, thus:
The object of the game is to confine the fox in a corner, so that he cannot move. The geese march forward in straight lines, not on the diagonals; and whenever a goose is on the spot next the fox, the latter can take him, as in draughts, by jumping over to the vacant spot beyond. The fox can move backwards, forwards, or sideways on the straight lines; but the geese must go forward, and are not allowed to retreat. Properly played, the geese must win; but when the number of geese is reduced to six, it is impossible for them to confine the fox.
There are several ways of playing the game, by placing the fox and geese in other positions, or by insisting on the fox catching all the geese. In the latter case, the fox chooses his own starting place. The game may also be played with eight geese and a fox.
Another way of playing this game is on an ordinary draughtboard, with four white men for the geese, and a black king for the fox. The geese can only move forward, but the fox moves either way. The object of the geese is to pen up the fox so that he cannot move; the object of the fox is to break through the line of defence. If the game be properly played, the geese must win. Place them on the draughtboard thus:
The secret is to keep the geese in a line. The fox tries to prevent this, and if he can succeed in doubling the geese, or getting one to stand before the other, he is nearly sure to pa.s.s through them.
2594. The Royal Game of Goose.
In the old German game the figure of a goose is printed on a large sheet of paper, and divided into 63 squares or divisions. The object of the players,–any number of whom may join in the game–is to make 63 points by successive throws of two dice. A pool is made by equal contributions by the players, the first of whom gaining the required number wins. The players throw alternately and add each individual throw to that already made.
Each player’s position is shown on the goose by a counter, a wafer, or any small article. Any number beyond 63 sends the thrower back as many points as he exceeds 63. Thus if he were 58, and by a 6 and 5 he threw eleven he would go forward 5 squares to 63, and back 6 squares from 63. In addition to this, certain numbers on the goose are barred; and if the player make them he is fined two counters, which are added to the pool. The numbered goose is sold at most toy shops, but a numbered draughtboard will serve as well.
2595. Troco or Lawn Billiards.
This is a game that may be played by any number of persons in a field or open s.p.a.ce. The implements are wooden b.a.l.l.s and long-handled cues at the ends of which are spoonlike ovals of iron. In the centre of the Troco ground is fixed a ring of iron, which moves freely on a pivot, the spike of the ring being driven into a piece of wood let into the ground. The wooden ball is lifted from the ground by means of the spoon-ended cue, and thrown towards the ring–the object of the player being to pa.s.s the ball through the ring; and he who succeeds in making any given number of points by fairly ringing his ball, or canoning against the other b.a.l.l.s, wins the game.
Canons are made by the player striking two b.a.l.l.s successively with his own ball fairly delivered from his spoon. Thus (says the most recent writer on the game) a clever player may make a large number of points–five, seven, or more at a stroke: two the first canon, two for a second canon, and three for the ring. This, however, is very seldom accomplished.
Considerable skill is required in throwing the ball, as the ring, turning freely on its pivot, twists round on being struck. To “make the ring,” it is necessary, therefore, that the ball be thrown fairly through its centre. But in order to get nearer to it a judicious player will endeavour to make two or three canons, if the b.a.l.l.s lie within a convenient distance and at a proper angle to each other. If the ball be thrown with sufficient force, it will glance off from the ball struck in a line corresponding to its first or original line of projection.
i. Troco may be played by two or more persons, each of whom is provided with a ball and a cue. When more than two play, sides are chosen, and the side which first makes the requisite number of points wins the game.
ii. The players stand in a circle, in the centre of which is set up the pivot-ring.
iii. Each player starts from any portion of the circle distant not less than four yards from the ring. The first player lifts his ball with the spoon-cue, and throws it towards the ring; each of the others taking his turn alternately–the b.a.l.l.s remaining on the ground where they stop rolling.
iv. If the first player fail to “make his ring,” the next goes on, who may either throw at the ring or at the ball in the circle.
v. Partners may a.s.sist each other in getting near the ring; but no player, at starting, may step within four yards of the ring.
vi. _Two_ points are counted for every canon, and _three_ for every fairly-made ring; and successive points are reckoned for any number of rings or canons.
vii. Each player goes on till he fails to canon or ring his ball; when the next plays; and so on, till the required number of points are made.
viii. One point is taken off the player’s score for every foul stroke. Foul strokes are made by touching a ball with hand or person while it is in play; by playing with a wrong ball; by playing out of turn; by overturning the ring; and by making two or more steps while throwing the ball.
ix. Each player, after the start, must go on from the place at which his ball was left after the previous stroke.
x. All disputed points must be settled by the umpire, whose decision is final.
xi. No ball in-play must be removed from its position except by a stroke from another ball, and every ball is considered to be in-play while it is within the circle, which may be of any dimensions chosen by the players previous to the commencement of the game.
xii. Any player leaving a game before it is finished, loses it.
The game is played fifteen, twenty-one, or any other determined number of points. The b.a.l.l.s should be perfectly round and smooth. They are generally made of boxwood or lignum vitae, and weigh about three to five lbs. each; the b.a.l.l.s, cues, &c., are sold by most dealers in croquet implements.
2597. Habits of a Man of Business.
A sacred regard to the principles of justice forms the basis of every transaction, and regulates the conduct of the upright man of business.
The following statements afford a bird’s-eye view, as it were, of his habits, practice, and mode of procedure:
i. He is strict in keeping his engagements.
ii. He does nothing carelessly or in a hurry.
iii. He employs n.o.body to do what he can easily do himself.
iv. He keeps everything in its proper place.
v. He leaves nothing undone that ought to be done, and which circ.u.mstances permit him to do.
vi. He keeps his designs and business from the view of others.
vii. He is prompt and decisive with his customers, and does not over-trade his capital.
viii. He prefers short credits to long ones; and cash to credit at all times, either in buying or selling; and small profits in credit cases with little risk, to the chance of better gains with more hazard.
ix. He is clear and explicit in all his bargains.
x. He leaves nothing of consequence to memory which he can and ought to commit to writing.
xi. He keeps copies of all his important letters which he sends away, and has every letter, invoice, &c., belonging to his business, t.i.tled, cla.s.sed, and put away.
xii. He never suffers his desk to be confused by many papers lying upon it.
xiii. He is always at the head of his business, well knowing that if he leaves it, it will leave him.
xiv. He holds it as a maxim that he whose credit is suspected is not one to be trusted.
xv. He is constantly examining his books, and sees through all his affairs as far as care and attention will enable him.
xvi. He balances regularly at stated times, and then makes out and transmits all his accounts current to his customers, both at home and abroad.
xvii. He avoids as much as possible all sorts of accommodation in money matters, and lawsuits where there is the least hazard.
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