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Three Chums features a menage of youths, Ben Bright, Tom True and Dorothy Dare, in "the Adventures of Two Boys and a Girl." (I deleted spam with that subject line just this morning.) This issue's tale is sub-titled "Hot Times on the 'Gridiron,'" probably because the original sub-title, "Dorothy Dares Dallas," had copyright problems.

So far it's pretty straightforward lewd fare. The true artfulness is only evident in the caption: At that moment, Ben Bright got a free kick, and kicked a clean goal from the forty-five-yard line! Hey, that was cutting-edge euphemism in 1899. Apparently Dorothy had quite a set of uprights.

In fact, sports-related dime novels took sexual innuendo to new heights of baroque splendor.

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Text © 2005 Kris Andrews