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Title: The Diary of a Freshman

Creator: Charles Macomb Flandrau

Release date: February 12, 2014 [eBook #44888]

Language: English





Author of "Harvard Episodes"


Copyright, 1900, by
The Curtis Publishing Co.

Copyright, 1901, by
Doubleday, Page & Company

University Press
John Wilson and Son
Cambridge, U.S.A.

For Ever Panting and For Ever Young."

Courteous acknowledgment is here
made to the Saturday Evening
Post, Philadelphia, in which these
papers first saw the light.



Mamma left for home this afternoon. As I want to be perfectly truthful in my diary, I suppose I must confess that before she actually went away I sometimes thought I should be rather relieved when she was no longer here. Mamma has a fixed idea that I came to college for the express purpose of getting my feet wet by day, and sleeping in a draught by night. She began the furnishing of my rooms by investing in a pair of rubber boots,—the kind you tie around your waist with a string. The clerk in the shop asked her if I was fond of trout-fishing, and she explained to him that I had always lived in the West where the climate was dry, and that she did n't know how I would stand the dampness of the seacoast. Mamma thought the clerk was so interested in my last attack of tonsillitis I didn't have the heart to tell her that all the time he was looking sympathetic with his right eye, he was winking at me with his left.

Now that she is gone, however, I don't see how I could have thought, even for a moment, that I should be glad, and I 've been sitting here for an hour just looking at my room and all the nice things she advised me about and helped me to choose—wishing she could see how cosey it is late at night with the green lamp lighted and a little fire going. (It is n't really cool enough for a fire; I had to take my coat off for a while, the room got so warm—but I was anxious to know how the andirons looked with a blaze behind them.) I suppose she is lying awake in the sleeping-car thinking of me. She made me move my bed to the other side of the room, so that it would n't be near the window. I moved it back again; but I think now I 'll change it again to the way she liked it.

Of course I was disappointed last May when I found I hadn't drawn a room in one of the college buildings. I had an idea that if you did n't live in one of the buildings owned by the college you would n't feel, somehow, as if you "belonged." Before I arrived in Cambridge I worried a good deal over it. The old Harvard men at home were most unsatisfactory about this when I asked their advice. The ones who had lived in the Yard when they were in college seemed to think there was n't any particular use in going to college at all unless you could live either in their old rooms or some in the same building; and the ones who had lived outside as I am going to do (this year, anyhow) said the college buildings were nice enough in their way, but if I could only get the dear old place (which was pulled down fifteen years ago) where James Russell Lowell had scratched his name on the window-pane, and where somebody else (I 've forgotten who it was) crawled up the big chimney when the sheriff came to arrest him for debt and was discovered because he did not crawl far enough, I should be all right.

I don't see how the good times and the advantages of a place like this hold out for so long; everybody who has been here speaks as if he had about used them up.

Well, we found rooms pleading to be rented; every other house in Cambridge has a "Student's Room to Let" card in the window. Even some of the rooms in the Yard had been given up at the last minute by fellows who flunked their exams. Mamma said she felt very sorry for the poor boys; and after that the enormity of my having been conditioned in physics and solid geometry decreased considerably. The trouble (there were four days full of it) wasn't in finding a good place, but in trying to decide on some one place. For a while it looked as though I should either have to live in five separate houses—some of them over a mile apart—or give up going to college. We dragged up and down all the quiet side streets within a reasonable distance of the Yard, ringing bells and asking questions until the words "I should like to look at" and "What is the price of?" began to sound like some kind of a silly English Meisterschaft system. Several times when we were very tired we wandered by mistake into houses we had been to before. This made the landladies exceedingly peevish; but mamma said it was just as well, because now we knew what their true characters really were.

We found that we could rent some of the rooms lighted and heated; but most of them were merely "lit and het."

All the houses in Cambridge and many of the buildings in the Yard seemed to be disgorging roomfuls of old furniture and consuming cartloads of new, and everywhere we went we met strings of cheerful, energetic mothers with tired, rather cross-looking sons. I've seen only one fellow with his father so far, and they sort of apologized for the fact by being dressed in deep mourning.

At the end of three days we 'd picked out five rooms. Considered in a lump, they seemed fine; but tackling them separately, mamma could n't decide which one was least objectionable. One was in a part of town that "looked damp"—a man across the street unfortunately sneezed just as we were passing a stone wall covered with green moss. The second smelt of cooking. On the steps of the third a groceryman was waiting to deliver several gallons of gasoline (this one was almost struck off the list). The fourth was near the river (we had the bad luck to be in that part of town when the tide was out), and from the windows of the fifth there was a merry little view of a graveyard. We simply could n't make up our minds, and were standing in the middle of a narrow, rather shabby little street two or three blocks below the Square discussing the matter, when a door behind us opened and a mother and son (we turned to look) came out, followed by a gray-haired woman—evidently the landlady—who was doing the talking, in a very New England voice, for all three. The mother was slim and pretty, and had on a beautiful dress that went swish-swash-swish when she walked away, and the fellow looked like her; he was very handsome.

"Well, I 'm real glad to know you," the landlady said to the fellow's mother. "Jus' seems 's if I could n't rest till I knew the young men's folks; dustin' their photographs every day makes it sort of different. It do—don't it? Oh, yes—I 'll take care of him. They get real mad at me, the young men do, sometimes, for makin' them change their shoes when it's snow-in' and makin' them wear their rubber coats when it's rai-nin'. They 're in too much of a hurry, they are. That's what's the matter with them." She gave the fellow a roguish look, and he and his mother walked up the street laughing as if they were very much pleased.

"I think," said mamma (who had become strangely animated on hearing of the change of shoes)—"I think that before we decide on one of these five rooms we 'll go in there." So we went up to the gray-haired woman, who had lingered outside to talk baby talk to a cat that was making gothic arches of itself all over the piazza, and in about seven minutes by the watch we 'd signed the lease of the last vacant rooms in the house.

A short, steep staircase like the companionway of a ship leads up to a landing about the size of a kitchen table. The edges of the steps are covered with tin and are terribly slippery. The door on the left opens into my study, and at the end of that is my bedroom, and next to that is a great big bathroom (it's bigger than the other two) with a porcelain tub and a shower which I am to share with the fellow who lives just across the staircase on the right. Mrs. Chester, the landlady, says: "All the young men thinks an awful lot of that bathroom."

The study is so small that we did n't have to buy as much furniture as we expected to. I have an oak desk with a rolling top that makes a noise like some one shovelling coal when you open and shut it, and usually sticks half-way. Of course, when we finally got it out from town (Boston is about four miles from Cambridge, and it takes anywhere from three days to a week for an express wagon to make the trip), we found that it was much too large to go up the staircase. But Mrs. Chester said we could take out the back of the house and have it swung up to the room on ropes—the "young men" always did that when they wanted pianos or sofas, or desks like mine. I wasn't present at the operation, as I had to go in town to lunch with mamma, but it was successfully performed (by "a real handy gentleman from down Gloucester way, who used to be a fisherman and is a carpenter now"), for I found the desk in the room when I returned and the walls of the house looked about the same.

Besides the desk I have an oak chair with a back that lets up and down by means of a brass rod; its cushions are covered with gray corduroy. Then there is another chair, a revolving one (very painful), that goes with the desk. We bought a bookcase at a shop just off the Square, from an odious little man who put his hand on my shoulder and said to mamma, "They will grow up, won't they?" It looks rather bare, as there aren't any books in it yet; but mamma would n't let me fill it, although right next door to the place where we bought it there were loads of books in the window for five and ten cents apiece.

We got some Turkish rugs at an auction in town. The man said they never would wear out. When they arrived here and I saw them for the first time by daylight (they had gas at the sale) I knew what he meant. However, mamma darned them very nicely, and as everything else looks so new, perhaps it's just as well.

I 've put the photographs of mamma and papa, and the one of Mildred in the ball dress and big hat with white ostrich feathers, and the one of Sidney in his little cart with the two goats, on the mantelpiece. I 'm afraid I never cared much for the goats when I was at home, but to-night I 've been thinking of all the funny things they used to do and wondering if I'll ever see them again. They're such cute little beasts. Over the mantelpiece I have two crimson flags with the sticks crossed.

This evening while I was sitting in front of the fire trying to decide whether I ought to begin my diary now or wait until college opened to-morrow and things began to happen, the door downstairs suddenly rattled and slammed, and some one came clattering up the tin steps at a great rate. Then the door across the landing was unlocked, and I heard whoever it was falling over chairs and upsetting things in the dark; and all the time he kept roaring at the top of his voice: "Oh, Mrs. Chester! Ay-y-y-y-y, Mrs. Chester, where are you?" Mrs. Chester had told me a few minutes before that she was "just goin' to step up street to see how Mis' Buckson 's comin' along with them rooms o' hers," so I called out that she was n't at home. Then the voice answered, "Oh, thank you;" and after a few more things in the other room had fallen on the floor and smashed, the fellow who was making all the fuss came across and stood in my doorway.

I thought for a second that the reason he did n't come in was that he was so big he could n't. I knew that the ceilings of the house were low and that my study wasn't very large, but I had n't realized before how small it all was. The fellow blocked up the whole doorway; his shoulders, in a loose, shaggy gray coat, stretched clear across. His face was burned a deep brown, and his hair was very black and looked rather long, as it evidently had n't been brushed for a good while, and he wanted to know if I could let him have a match. I could see that he was taking in my room as he stood there, and I think he smiled a little at something; but then he seemed to be smiling anyhow (in a different way), so I was n't sure. I jumped up and got him a box of matches (somehow I knew at once that he wasn't the other Freshman who has rooms in the house, although I can't think why, as he did n't look old), and he thanked me, saying he was sorry to trouble me, and went back to his room.

I felt sort of excited and restless after that, and thought I would sit down and write mamma all about him; but just as I was beginning to he stopped humming (I don't think he can be a member of the Glee Club, as he only struck the right note once by accident; still I knew perfectly well what he was trying to sing) and began to laugh. Then he came over to my door again with his hands in his pockets and said,—

"You did n't happen to see an iron bedstead lying around the streets anywhere, did you? The good Chester has evidently spent the last three months in putting my rooms in order and I can't find a thing." I told him I had seen a bed in the back yard this afternoon, but that I did n't think it could be his. He asked me very seriously why not. And then all at once I got horribly rattled. I didn't like to tell him that the bed had n't looked nearly big enough for him (it was a little narrow thing), for I was afraid he might think me fresh. Then besides, I found that I had instinctively stood up when I saw him, and as there wasn't any particular reason why I should have done this, I got sort of confused.

"Of course it's a very nice little bed," I hastened to add. Whereupon he burst out laughing with a loud whoop.

"If it 's such a nice one it certainly can't be mine, and I 'd better go down and swipe it right away," he said at last, and clattered downstairs. I tried again to write to mamma, but he made such a noise coming upstairs with pieces of bed and running down again that I could n't fix my mind. Then, too, I kept wondering whether I ought to offer to help him. Finally I went out as he was coming up with a mattress on his shoulder and asked, "Was it your bed, after all?" which made him laugh again and say: "I wouldn't tell you for anything in the world. If you aren't too busy, though, I wish you would help me put the beastly thing together."

We tried for about half an hour to make the bed stand up. It looked simple enough, but whenever we got the sides firm and more or less parallel, the back and front would wobble and fall to the floor. Once we had all four pieces standing beautifully, but just as we put on the woven wire business and Mr. Duggie (that's what Mrs. Chester calls him—I don't think it 's his real name, though) exclaimed, "I have the honor to report, sir, that the allied forces have taken New Bedford," the whole thing collapsed and pinched his finger fearfully as it came down. After that we sat on the floor awhile. He smoked a pipe and glanced meditatively at the ruins of the bed every now and then, and at last turned to me and said, "Is this your first year here?" I didn't let him see how pleased I was that he had not discovered I was a Freshman, and merely answered, "Yes."

We talked a long time—about all kinds of things. I asked him a string of questions that had been on my mind for months: whether it is better to live in a private house, one of the big private halls, or in the Yard (I called it the "Campus," and he looked queer for a moment and said it was known as the Yard here); where would be a good place to eat; whether he thought my allowance was big enough (I told him how much I was going to have); and what was the best way to make friends and get on teams and clubs and musical societies and crews and papers. He answered everything, although once or twice he puffed at his pipe and looked at me a good while before speaking. I couldn't tell whether the questions had n't occurred to him before, or whether he didn't know just what to tell me. Of course I can't remember all he said, but it sounded so important that afterward I scribbled as much of it as I could in a notebook.



General Washington may have stabled his horse (the iron-gray that never put his front feet to the ground in the presence of an artist) in your bedroom.

When girls come out to vespers (Thursdays from November to May) and stop to look at the Yard, you can stop whatever you happen to be doing and look at them.

In May and June the morning and evening views from your windows are different from and more beautiful than anything in the world.

The Glee Club (weather permitting) sings under the trees; you lie on your window-seat in the twilight and wonder whether, after graduating, you will accept Fame or Fortune.

Proximity to lectures during the annual inundations of December, January, February, March, and April.


Too much effort involved in taking a bath. What ought to be an innocent pleasure becomes a morbid family pride.

Accessibility to bores who want to kill time while waiting for their next lecture. At first you think this is Popularity.

Enforced quiet after 9 P.M.—at which hour you usually close your books and feel like making a noise.

Enforced activity before 9 A.M.—until which hour you always close your eyes and try not to feel at all.

Necessity of burning a kind of coal that refuses to light (or to stay lighted) for anybody but the janitor, who is never in the basement, where you always firmly believe (in spite of your daily failure) that you are going to find him.


Mrs. Muldooney's is by all means the most desirable place. It is crowded, hot, noisy, expensive, and not particularly nourishing. Mrs. Muldooney is a tall, grim, steel-armored old cruiser of sixty-five, with dark-blue hair, who doles out eleven canned cherries to every man at luncheon and sends in word from the kitchen that there aren't any more. She tries to collect twenty-five cents when you have a guest; but as you promptly disown your guest, she is usually foiled. Her place, however, is always crowded with Freshmen, and I ought to go there.


My allowance is generous. It ought to satisfy my every need; but it won't.


Try enthusiastically but not too seriously to take part in everything. In this way you find out what kind of amusement really amuses you—which as you grow older is a source of great content.


Friends, in the true sense of the word, are divine accidents beyond all human control. You will probably meet with four or five such accidents in your college career. For the rest—be polite to everybody, and you will soon have the satisfaction of knowing that your position, both in the University and in the world, is, at least, unique.


Vide supra, under "Friends."

I was just going to ask him something else, when we heard Mrs. Chester exclaiming,—

"Land sakes, if it ain't Mr. Duggie! I saw the light from Mis' Buckson's parlor."

"Hello, you dear old buzzard! How dare you turn me out in the cold this way?" he called to her; and as she came in, he jumped up and took both her hands. "I 'm so glad to see you again." She gave him a little push, and looked pleased.

"Law, Mr. Duggie—how you talk! He's got real fleshy—ain't he?" she added, looking at me. She asked him where he 'd been all summer, and he told her he 'd been off shooting in the Rocky Mountains, and had brought her a breastpin made of an elk's tooth that she'd have to wear on Sundays when she went to see her married daughter in Somerville. I thought I ought to leave, but did not know how to interrupt them exactly; so I turned and examined some silver cups on the mantelpiece. There were five beauties, but I could n't make out the inscriptions on them.

"You 've had lots of visitors the last few days. They kept a-comin' to find out when you 'll be back. The Dean was here to-day—a real sociable gentleman, aren't he?—and he wants you to go right 'round and see him as soon as you can. And yesterday that little man—I forget his name—oh, you know, he's the President of the Crimson—came to find out about something. He said you were the only one who could tell him. And then there 've been lots of young men to see about the football—oh, my, just crowds of them, and they all left notes. I 'll run down and get them, and then I 'll put up your bed."

After she left, I said good-night. It's awfully late, and I have to get up early, to be in time to register.

I wonder who he is. I hope he didn't think I was fresh. I don't believe he did, though, for as I was going he said,—

"We 're such near neighbors, you must drop in when you haven't anything better to do."

Mamma's train must have passed Utica by this time.


Well, I 've learned a lot of things during the past week, that are n't advertised in the catalogue. If I 've neglected to make a note of them until now, it has been my misfortune, and not my fault.

We registered on Wednesday morning—Freshmen have to register the day before college really opens—and I confess I was a little disappointed at the informal way such an important act of one's life is done. In the first place, as you can drop in any time between nine A.M. and one P.M., you don't see the whole class together. Then the room we registered in might have been in the High School at home. I don't know what I expected exactly, but it certainly was n't a bare, square room, a desk on a low platform, some plaster casts, and a lot of plain wooden chairs arranged in rows on an inclined plane. However, when I think the matter over, I don't see what else they could have.

A dissatisfied-looking little man with a red necktie sat reading a newspaper at the desk when I went in, and near him—reading a book—was a younger fellow who looked as if he might be a student. There were piles of registration cards on the desk, and after I had stood there a moment, not knowing what to do, the little man looked up absently from his paper, handed me some cards with a feeble sort of gesture, and murmured in a melancholy, slightly trembling, and very sarcastic voice,—

"... This gentleman is come to me
With commendation from great potentates,
And here he means to spend his time awhile."

Then he yawned, and took up the paper again. The young man, without apparently thinking this remark in the least odd, closed his book on his thumb so as not to lose the place, and gave me another card, saying in a perfectly businesslike voice,—

"Please fill this one out, too." I sat down at a bench to write, and just then five or six other fellows came in. One of them was the good-looking chap (with the pretty mother) who rooms in the same house with me. I hadn't seen him since the day I signed my lease. I listened to hear if the little man at the desk would spring anything weird on them; but as they went right up to him, and took cards as if they knew all about it, and retreated to the back of the room, he didn't have time. They talked and laughed a good deal, and once they got into a scuffle, but the instructors didn't even glance up. I finished answering the questions on my cards, and was reading them over, when one of the fellows behind me said,—

"I'll ask him—we live in the same house;" and the handsome one came and sat down beside me. There was something they did n't understand in making out the cards, and the first thing I knew, they were all gathered around me examining mine. I felt quite important. But the next minute I felt equally cheap.

The cards that had been given us by the young man with the book had to be filled out with one's name and address and religion. When the good-looking one (whose name I 've since found out is Berrisford) came to it, he began to giggle, and after he had written on it he showed it to the man next to him, who burst out laughing, and passed it on to the others. They all laughed as soon as they saw it, and I was just about to hold out my hand to take it, when the young instructor closed his book, and said in a rather tired, dry tone,—

"By the way, unless you actually happen to be Buddhists or Hindus or Mohammedans, or followers of Confucius, kindly refrain from saying so on the card; only four men have indulged in that particular jest this morning, which, in comparison with former years, is really very few. I begin to feel encouraged; pray don't depress me."

I don't know what Berrisford had written, but he got very red while the instructor was speaking, and crumpled the card into a little lump which he afterward slipped into his pocket. The others pretended to be deeply absorbed in their writing just then; but one of them snorted hysterically.

If anything like that had happened to me, I think I should have expired with mortification; but Berrisford after a minute or two did n't seem to mind it at all. I almost think it encouraged him to do something even more idiotic.

There are two large, fine statues standing in the front corners of the room. One of them is a Greek athlete in the act of hurling something not unlike a pancake, and is called, I believe, The Discus Thrower. (We have a little one in the library at home.) The other is a venerable old man in flowing robes—probably Homer or Sophocles or some such person. Well, we had all gone up to the desk with our cards. Berrisford was first, and just as he got there he stopped (without giving his cards to the little man who reached out for them), and looked inquiringly from statue to statue. Berrisford has a beautiful, silly face with big, innocent eyes, and when he talks his manner is graceful—almost timid; you can't help liking it. I could see that he impressed the instructors just the way he did mamma and me the day we saw him with his mother. He looked at the statues a moment, and then said to the little man,—

"Would you mind telling me, please, which of these gentlemen is the President of the college?" His voice was so deferential, and there was something so eager and earnest and pure in his expression, I really believe that for a moment the instructor thought he was just a nice fool, and was on the point of kindly explaining what the statues represented. He didn't, though, for one of the fellows in the background tittered and ran out of the room, and the little man leaned back in his chair, examined Berrisford very deliberately, and then remarked in his queer, sarcastic way,—

"'Sir, thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; but it speeds too fast—'twill tire!'"

As soon as we got outside, Berrisford said,—

"What a disappointing little creature! I had an idea he would be very angry, and he was n't at all."

"Did you want him to be angry?" I asked, rather surprised.

"Why, yes, of course," he answered. "It's so interesting to watch them; there are so many different ways of losing a temper. Sea-captains are the most satisfactory, I think. I discovered that last spring on my way to Europe. I go up to them when they 're very busy—just getting out of a harbor or something—and exclaim, 'Oh, I say, Captain—shall I steer?' You can't imagine how furious it makes them." I said I thought I could, and we parted. He seems to have a great many friends; he has n't spent a night at home since college opened—a week ago.

Well, I went to see my adviser, who helped me select my studies for the year. That is to say, he hypnotized me into taking a lot of things I really don't see why I should know. However, as I don't seem to have what he called "a startling predilection" for anything (my entrance exams. divulged this), and as he was a pleasant young man who invited me to dinner next week, I allowed myself to be influenced by him. He gave me a lot of little pamphlets with the courses and the hours at which they come marked in red ink. I 've forgotten what some of them are, as we have n't had any real lectures yet—just rigmaroles about what books to buy.

For the first few days the whole college and all the streets and buildings near it seemed to be in such confusion that I couldn't walk a block without feeling terribly excited—the way I used to feel when I was a kid, and we were all going to the State fair or the circus, and mamma would insist on our eating luncheon although we did n't want a thing. Along the sidewalk in the Square there was a barricade of trunks so high that you could n't see over it, to say nothing of huge mounds of travelling bags and dress-suit cases and queer-shaped leather things, with banjos and mandolins and guitars and golf-sticks in them. And from morning till night there were always at least four or five fellows telling the expressmen that it was "perfectly absurd;" that they simply had to have their trunks immediately; that the service was abominable, and that the whole place was a hundred and fifty years behind the times, anyhow. All of which the expressmen may or may not have agreed with, for they hardly ever answered back, and just went on digging steamer trunks and hatboxes out of the ruins and slamming them into wagons to make room for the loads that kept arriving every little while from town.

It was very interesting to watch so many fellows of my own age or a little older hurrying about or standing in groups talking and laughing and looking glad to be here. But at the same time it was sort of unsatisfactory and hopeless. I didn't like to stay in my room much of the time, as I had a feeling (I have n't got over it yet) that if I did I might miss something. Yet, when I went out, I had so few things to do that, unless I took a walk—which of course leads one away from the excitement—there was n't much point in my being around at all. No one stuck his head from an upper window in the Yard and called out, "Ay-y-y-y-y, Tommy Wood, come up here," when I passed by; and no one slipped up behind me, and put his hands over my eyes and waited for me to guess who it was, because, with the exception of Mr. Duggie and Dick Benton and Berrisford, I didn't know a soul. I often saw Mr. Duggie in the Square, but as he was always with a crowd or striding along in a great hurry, and being stopped every few feet by some one who asked him questions that made him laugh and run away, I got a chance to speak to him only once. He nodded his head and smiled in a professional kind of way without in the least remembering who I was. Dick Benton I did n't have any hesitation in going right up to, as at home I had heard him solemnly promise mamma that he would look out for me and keep his eye on me. Of course I don't expect him to do this; but I confess I did feel sort of disappointed for a minute when he said: "Well, Wood" (he calls me Tommy at home), "when did you arrive? Getting settled? Got your courses picked out? Awful bore, is n't it? Well, here 's my car—going to meet some people in town and am late now. How 's Mrs. Wood? So glad. Hunt me up when you 're settled. So long." He swung himself on a passing car and I turned away and stared at a shop window. I must have stood there several minutes before I realized it was a bakery, and that there was absolutely nothing to look at behind the glass except three loaves of bread and a dish of imitation ice cream that had n't been dusted for weeks (it has just this minute occurred to me for the first time that I must have been homesick that day and the next. Isn't it queer, I didn't know what was the matter with me?) I bet I can describe every article in every shop window in the Square; for there was nothing for me to do the first few days except to walk up and down and pretend I was going somewhere. Of course I tried to get the books the various instructors told me about; but every time I asked for them at the three bookstores I found either that the last one had just been sold or that they had n't arrived yet.

Mrs. Muldooney's tables were unfortunately full when I applied and I have been eating around at the most ridiculous places—ice-cream parlors, and dairy restaurants where you sit on high stools and grab things, because you can't get over the feeling that a conductor will stick his head in the door pretty soon and say, "All Abo-urrrd."

On Bloody Monday night the Freshmen reception took place. I scarcely know how to touch on that event, as my part in it (or rather in what followed) was so unexpectedly prominent and terrible.

The old college men at home had let drop all kinds of mysterious hints about Bloody Monday. In their time, apparently, it was the custom for the upper-classmen to send grewsome notices to the Freshmen, telling them what would happen if they did n't have a punch in their rooms on that occasion. These warnings were written in blood and began and ended with a skull and cross-bones. Then in the evening there was a rush in the Yard between the Freshmen and Sophomores. The old graduates knew perfectly well that the punches had been given up long ago; but I don't think they liked to admit it even to themselves—although they do groan a good deal about college days not being what they used to be. From what they said I could not tell whether there really were such things nowadays or not, so I wrote a little note to Mr. Duggie and left it on the stairs, where the postman puts our letters, asking him what to do if I got a notice, and if there was going to be any rush. He answered: "The custom, I am sorry to say, is ausgespielt; it must have been great sport. As for the rush—theoretically we don't have it. By the way, my name (Mrs. Chester to the contrary notwithstanding) is not Mr. Duggie, but Douglas Sherwin."

At that time I did n't know what the second sentence of his note meant, but I understand now; it dawned on me during the speeches at the reception. In some mysterious, indescribable way it was communicated to me as I sat there in the crowded theatre. Whether it came to me most from my classmates—packed into the pew-like seats and standing in rows against the wall—or from the professors who spoke on the stage, I can't say. I simply became aware of the fact that something was going to happen—something that wasn't on the program. It was in the air—it made me restless, and I could n't help thinking of that sultry afternoon out West when the seven pack-horses stampeded just as we were about to start; I knew the little devils were going to do something and they knew it, too, for they all began to buck at the same instant. But I hadn't said anything about it—and neither had they.

It was just like that while the speeches of welcome were being made in Sanders Theatre. They were fine speeches; they really did make you welcome and part of it all—in a way you hadn't thought of before. You couldn't help being proud that you "belonged," and after the President had spoken and the fellow next to me yelled in my ear (he had to yell, the cheering was so loud), "He 's a great man, all right," I felt all over that he was a great man—everybody did. But nevertheless, there was something else tingling through the noise and excitement that we felt just as much. The professors themselves felt it. The elaborate way in which every one of them ignored the subject of Bloody Monday was almost pathetic. The Dean in his speech ignored it so radiantly that the audience actually laughed. Theoretically as (Douglas Sherwin had said) there would be no rush; the speeches made one quite ashamed to think of such a thing.

I was n't there when it started, for after the speeches I went with the crowd into the great dining-hall to be received. It would be nice, I thought, to be introduced to the distinguished men and to get to know some of my classmates. Every one was trying to move toward the further left-hand corner of the vast place, and I soon found myself hemmed in and carried—oh, so slowly—along with the tide. It was very hot, and as I am not particularly tall I would more than once have given a good deal to be out in the fresh night air; but the thought of shaking hands with the President and the gentleman who invented plane geometry (I did n't know whether he had anything to do with solid or not; I never studied it), and another gentleman (a humorist) who wrote a book and called it The Easy Greek Reader, cheered me up. I knew, too, that mamma would be glad to hear I had talked to these men. But when, after at least half an hour of waiting and pushing, I reached the corner of the room, I discovered that it was n't the distinguished men we had all along been gasping and struggling for; it was the ice cream. The distinguished men were lined up away across the room all alone; if it had been rumored beforehand that they were indisposed with the plague, they could n't have been much more detached. Every now and then some young fellow—probably an upperclassman—would snatch a Freshman from the throng, say something in his ear (it looked as if he were murmuring, "They 're all perfectly harmless—only you mustn't prod them or throw things in the cage)", and march him up to be introduced. I watched these proceedings awhile, and then, as the ice cream in the meanwhile had given out, I left and started to walk to my room by way of the Yard.

A sound of confused cheering reached me the moment I got outside, and when I passed through the gate I could see down the long quadrangle what seemed to be a battle of will-o'-the-wisps—a swaying, shifting, meeting, parting, revolving myriad of flickering lights and lurid faces. I ran until I reached the edge of the crowd, and stood for a minute or two staring and listening. The fellows were surging wildly up and down and across the Yard with torches in their hands, cheering and singing. Whenever enough men got together, they would lower their torches and charge the whole length of the Yard—amid a howl of resentment—like a company of lancers. Then by the time they had turned to plough back again, another group would have formed, which usually met the first one half-way with a terrible roar and a clash of tin torches,—a drench of kerosene and a burst of flame. Two German bands that never stopped playing the "Blue Danube" and the "Washington Post" were huddled at either end of the Yard. Now and then a sort of tidal wave of lights and faces and frantic hands would swell rapidly toward them, lap them up, engulf them, and then go swirling back again to the middle. But they never stopped playing,—even when they became hopelessly scattered and horribly reunited.

I saw two policemen fluttering distractedly on the brink—pictures of conscious inefficiency—and felt sorry for the poor things. As I was standing there wondering where I could get a torch, a slim middle-aged man with an iron-gray beard bustled up to them, and the three held a sort of hurried consultation. It ended by the iron-gray man's (he was a professor) suddenly leaving them and mounting the steps of University Hall. His expression as he turned to face the crowd was the kind that tries its best to be persuasive and popular and tremendously resolute all at once, but only succeeds in being wan and furtive. He filled his lungs and began to talk, I suppose, as loud as he could; yet all I heard was an occasional despairing "Now, fellows ... It seems to me, fellows ... Don't you think it would be better..."

No one paid any attention to him, however, and in an incredibly short time the crowd had crushed itself as far away as it could into the quadrangle's lower end. I made my way over there, and as I was pushing into the thick of things a man next to me exclaimed to no one in particular: "They've sent for Duggie Sherwin, the captain of the team, as a last resort—he's going to say something from the porch of Matthews." I saw I never could get near Matthews by trying to forge straight ahead; so, as I wanted to hear Mr. Duggie (I hadn't known until that minute what he was), I extricated myself and ran around the edge of the crowd. Even then I wasn't very near, and, although I could n't hear a word he said, I could see him—standing on a chair—towering above everybody and smiling a little as if he enjoyed it. I didn't know what he said; to tell the truth, I don't think anybody did, except perhaps the men right around him. Yet in about a minute two or three fellows began to yell, "All over," "The stuff is off," and "Now will you be good;" and the crowd fell back a little, attempting to spread out. The spell somehow was broken; for owing to Mr. Duggie's wonderful influence we would have dispersed quietly if it had n't been for that flighty idiot, Berrisford.

I had picked up a torch that some one had thrown away and was moving along with it when Berrisford dashed up to me with something round—about the size of a football—wrapped in a newspaper. One of the sleeves of his coat was gone; he was breathing hard and seemed to be fearfully excited.

"It's your turn now," he gasped, and thrust the parcel into my hand.

"Why—what is it?—what are we going to do? The rush is over," I answered, for I did n't understand.

"Of course the rush is over—stupid," he said hurriedly. "We're playing a game now—'The King's Helmet'—and you 're It. I was It—but I'm not any more; you are now. Hurry up, for Heaven's sake, or they'll get it. Here they come—run for all you 're worth; it may mean a lot for the class." This last and the fact of my catching sight just then of some men running toward me decided me. I clutched the parcel to my side and scudded down the Yard. Every one fell back to let me pass, and my progress was followed by screams of delight. I never had attracted so much attention before, and from the things that were shouted at me as I flew along I knew I was doing well. At the end of the Yard I ran smash into a building, but although somewhat dazed I managed to hang on to the parcel, turn, and look back. The only person pursuing me, apparently, was a bareheaded policeman—and he was alarmingly near. But I managed to pass him, and on my return trip I noticed that I received even a greater ovation than the one the fellows had given me at first. I did n't know what it all meant, and I was nearly dead, and suddenly tripped, staggered, and fell into the arms of a second policeman who handled me very roughly and seized Berrisford's package. It contained the helmet of the bareheaded one, who arrived in a moment exceedingly exhausted, but able, nevertheless, to shake his fist in my face.

The parade to the police station must have been several blocks long—I heard about it afterward. First there was me with an escort of two officers, all the muckers in Cambridge, and the Freshman class in a body, who started a collection on the way over with which to bail me out. Then there was a German band playing the "Blue Danube," and after that "a vast concourse" (as Berrisford called it) of Sophomores, upperclassmen, and law students with another German band playing the "Washington Post" in their midst.

I was almost paralyzed with fright, and my head ached dreadfully from the blow I had given it against the building; but although I did n't show it I could n't help feeling furious at Berrisford. He stayed right behind me on the way over and kept saying at intervals,—

"It's all right, old man. Don't worry—there's no use worrying; just leave everything to me."


Perhaps, after all, my troubles were for the best. It was not my fault that I fell into the hands of the law; nothing was further from my thoughts than a desire to be disorderly. Of course the teasing I have had to endure is pretty hard, and it is most annoying to acquire a nickname at the outset (everybody calls me "Trusting Thomas" or "Tommy Trusting"), and although I realize now that I was pretty "easy" to do what Berrisford told me to, my conscience has been untroubled from the first. That, after all, is the main thing.

Berrisford, I think, would have tried (as he said) "to smooth it all over" at the police station, but very fortunately the arrival of the Regent and my adviser and the iron-gray man at once took the matter out of his hands. I don't know what they did to the officers, but I was quickly transferred from the police station to the room of my adviser. It was more or less impossible to return the money that had been collected from the class to bail me out with, so just as I left a fellow with a loud voice proposed amid great cheering to give it to the Freshman Eleven.

There had been something spectacular and brilliant about my progress from the Yard to the lock-up that, terrified though I was, I could not help appreciating in an abject, wretched sort of a way. But the silent walk down a back street to the hall in which my adviser lives was just common or garden melancholy. The sidewalk was broad, so we swung along four abreast. No one followed us, of course, and we went the entire distance in almost unbroken silence. Once the Regent cleared his throat and said in hard, cheerful, deliberate tones,—

"I see by the evening paper that Japan will not accede to the request of the Powers." No one answered for about a minute, and I began to fear that neither my adviser nor the iron-gray man would take advantage of the opportunity to exclaim, "What a wonderful little people they are!" I was vaguely disappointed; for of course when the Japanese are mentioned one instinctively waits for somebody to say this. However, just as I was beginning to lose hope and had almost made up my mind to risk the comment myself, the iron-gray man burst out with, "What a remarkable little people they are!" and my foolish heart was reassured!

I must say that when we reached our destination and the inquisition began, they were—all three of them—mighty fair and square. The circumstances of my capture were decidedly against me, and my defence, I realized, sounded simply foolish. (At one point my adviser jumped up abruptly and closed a window; I think he was afraid he was going to laugh.) There was nothing for me to do but tell my story: how I had watched the rush from the bottom of the steps; how I had gone over to hear Mr. Duggie's speech, and how Berrisford (I didn't give his name, however) had come up to me with the helmet in a newspaper and told me we were playing a game and that I was It. I felt very earnest and tremulous when I began, but by the time I finished I could n't help wanting to shut a few windows myself. That—out of the whole howling mob—they had succeeded in seizing one miserable, little half-dead Freshman who had taken no part in the actual disturbance, struck me as being like something in an imbecile farce. It impressed the others, I think, in much the same way, although the iron-gray man, after a moment of silence, said: "Do you really expect us to believe all this?"

"No, sir," I answered; "I don't see how you conscientiously can." But they decided to believe it, nevertheless. My adviser asked me if I knew who gave me the helmet, and on learning that I did, he intimated that he would like to know the man's name. I preferred, however, not to tell; and they were very nice about that, too. (I shouldn't have told even if they had chosen to be disagreeable about it.)

As far as I am concerned I don't believe any action will be taken. There is no end, though, to the ominous rumors of what the Faculty will do in general. One day we hear that the two lower classes won't be allowed to play football this year, and the next, that all the Freshmen are to be put on what is called "probation;" everybody, in an indefinite sort of way, is very indignant. To tell the truth, I don't see why; but as all the rest are, I am, too.

Berrisford has been very nice ever since that Monday night. At first I think it was a desire to "make amends" that caused him to spend so much time in my room and ask me to do so many things with him and his friends; but of course he never put it that way. He was very much worried when I told him that my adviser and the Regent had tried to find out who had given me the helmet, and he wanted to rush and confess. It took me a good while to persuade him not to. In fact, I did n't persuade him exactly, but only got him to agree at length to let Mr. Duggie decide. Mr. Duggie thought the matter over for a moment, and said that as my refusal to tell hadn't, so far as he could see, made me a martyr on the altar of friendship, he thought it would be unnecessarily theatrical for Berrisford to give himself up.

One day Berrisford asked me where I ate, and when I told him I had been trying the places in and about the Square, he said: "Why, you silly thing—why don't you join my crowd at Mrs. Brown's?" He spoke as if the idea had just occurred to him, but that same morning when he introduced me to a man who came up to his room, the fellow said: "I hear you 're coming to our table. That's good." So it must have all been arranged beforehand. Berrisford 's awfully generous and impulsive and kind, only he's so scatter-brained and eccentric you never know what he 's going to do next.

I 've done no end of interesting things since I last wrote in my diary. I bought a song called "Love's Sorrow" at a music store, had the man play it for me five or six times, learned the words and then attempted to sing it at the trial of Glee Club candidates. I 'm sure I sang all the notes and I remembered the words without a mistake; but something was wrong. For after I stopped singing the fellow at the piano went on playing the accompaniment several minutes. And when I took my seat I heard one of the judges murmur as he wrote something on a slip of paper: "Fourth heat; Tommy Trusting shows heels to the bunch and wins in a canter." They told me I would see my name in the "Crimson" when they wanted me for rehearsal. It hasn't appeared yet and that was some time ago.

Then one morning I borrowed a jersey and some moleskins from a fellow at our table and went over to Soldiers' Field to try for the football team. First we lined up for short sprints of twenty yards or so; then they divided us into squads and made us practise falling on the ball (I found chloroform liniment very good for this; but Berrisford maintains that there's nothing like osteopathy). Afterward we practised place kicks, drop kicks and punts; candidates for tackle were lined up against one another and tried breaking through; quarter-backs and centre-rushes practised passing and snapping back the ball. I tried everything—even the dummy.

The dummy is an imitation man in football clothes, suspended by pulley from a wire stretched between posts twenty-five or thirty feet apart. It is weighted by sand in a bag that is supposed to slide up toward the pulley as you tackle the thing and grind its nose in the dirt; only it does n't. What actually happens is that some one pulls the dummy rapidly from one post to the other, and while the creature is spinning through the air you hurl yourself at it, cling to it desperately with your finger-nails and teeth for about the tenth of a second, and are then flicked off—like a drop of water from a grindstone—into the next lot. When you return, the coach says he thinks "that will do for this morning" and enrolls your name in "Squad H." The members of this squad—it's the largest—are told to report for practice when they see their names in the "Crimson." All the others have been out every day or so; but although I've read the "Crimson" carefully every morning I haven't seen Squad H notified once.

I 've got so that I don't have to look at the printed schedule any more to see the days and hours of my various lectures. I just go to the right one when the bell rings as if I had been doing it all my life. In fact the college world has settled down to a routine of lectures and recitations, pleasantly broken by football games on Wednesdays and Saturdays, dining in town now and then, and the theatre afterward. Come to think of it, I 've been to the theatre rather oftener than "now and then." At home there are only two; and the things we have there—except once in a long time—are pretty fierce. But here there are about seven or eight big ones, and all sorts of continuous performance places, dime museums and "nickelodeons" besides. You simply have to go pretty often or you miss something good that everybody 's talking about. Berrisford goes every night.

I know now what Mr. Duggie meant when he said my allowance would not be big enough. He said it was generous; there, however, I disagree with him. I 'm not in the least extravagant, but papa does n't seem to appreciate how many unexpected things happen that cost money. There was my new overcoat, for instance. Berrisford was having one made, and I realized when I saw him trying it on at the tailor's (it's a great, soft, loose thing; the kind all the fellows are wearing now) that my old one wouldn't do at all. In fact I had n't cared to put mine on, although the wind has been pretty sharp once or twice on the way home from town late at night. The tailor said that now was the time to get a coat like Berrisford's, as it would be much more expensive later in the season; so I ordered one. In a certain way it was real economy to do so. Then, I 've gone to town in the afternoon several times with some of the fellows who are at our table and stayed at the last moment to dinner and the theatre. I did n't have enough money with me to do all this and was n't going to at first; but I found that the others did n't, either, and expected to charge their dinners at the hotel. You can even charge theatre tickets if you get them from an agent and pay fifty cents more. It's very convenient. I bought a few pictures for my study—it looked so bare (Berrisford has all sorts of queer, interesting prints and embroideries on his walls that he brought back from abroad); and I simply had to get some more chairs. For I had only one (the whirligig in front of the desk doesn't count; it's too uncomfortable), which made it embarrassing when four or five men dropped in. Then I had a dozen shirts made at a place just off Tremont Street. The shirts mamma got me at home are very nice and all that; but they're not the kind the fellows are wearing here. Everybody has colored ones—pale pinks and blues, or white with a little stripe of something running through them. Mine were all white. I really did n't need more than six new ones, I suppose, but the man said they were cheaper by the dozen. He showed me some really beautiful neckties that had arrived that day from London. Against the materials I had picked out for the shirts they were stunning, and as they weren't dear—considering the duty, the originality of the designs and the heavy silks they were made of—I let him send me five of them. There were the prettiest old pair of brass andirons and a fender in the window of an "antique" shop on Beacon Street that I used to stop and covet whenever I went into town. They were just the things for my fireplace, which looked rather shabby—although comfortable. I didn't think I could afford them at first; but one day when I happened to be passing everything in the window was for sale at a discount of ten per cent. The man was very kind and obliging and let me charge them.

They let you do that at all the shops, it seems; but I do think they might have a little more decency about sending in their bills. The first of November is three days off—and yet I 've heard from every cent I 've spent. I don't quite know what to do about it, as my allowance—even when it comes—won't be nearly enough to pay for everything; and of course I 'll have to keep some of it for my board and washing and schoolbooks, and all the other little expenses one can't very well steer clear of. Before going to bed the last two nights I 've spent an hour or more in itemizing everything and adding it all up, and then checking off the people who have to be paid immediately, the ones who could wait a short time, and the ones about whom there is no particular hurry. This makes the financial outlook a little more possible, but not much. And yet Duggie had the nerve to say he thought my allowance generous!

Another matter that I try not to think of is the fact that very soon we are to be given what is called "hour examinations" in all our studies. I never imagined they would come so—well, abruptly; when we began it seemed as if we would take much longer to learn enough to be examined in. To tell the truth—with the exception of my English course—I haven't become deeply interested as yet in the lectures. After the first few times I gave up trying to take notes; everything I wrote seemed so unimportant. And I haven't done any of the reading, either. They expect you to do a lot of reading at home or in the library, and hold you responsible for it in the examination. The man Berrisford and I have in history is a dreamy old thing who goes into thoughtful trances every now and then in the middle of a sentence, while three hundred and fifty stylographic pens hang in mid-air waiting to harpoon the next word. One day, after telling us to read a certain work on the feudal system, he added in a kind of vague, helpless way,—

"We haven't the book in the library and I believe it is out of print, so I don't think you will be able to buy it anywhere; but it's a singularly perfect exposition of the subject and I strongly advise you all to read it." They say he knows more about fen-drainage in the thirteenth century than any other living person except one dreadfully old man in Germany who 's beginning to forget about it.

We were instructed to make ourselves familiar with another work that is in the library, and told that without a knowledge of it we could not expect to accomplish much in the examination.

"I don't suppose many of you will read every word of it," the old man said, "although it will do you a vast amount of good if you do." I privately made up my mind to plough through the whole thing—even if it were in two volumes; I thought it would please him. So, the other day as it was raining and there was n't anything in particular going on, Berrisford suggested that we run over to the library and glance through the book. We'd never been in the library before and had to ask one of the pages at the delivery desk where the history alcove was. He couldn't attend to us at first, as there was an angry old gentleman with a very red face prancing up and down in front of the desk exclaiming: "It's an outrage—an outrage! I shall certainly speak to the President about this before the sun goes down upon my wrath!" Several other pages were cowering behind the desk, and a terrified librarian was murmuring: "I can have it here the first thing in the morning, sir—the first thing; can you wait that long?"

"But I want it now!" the old gentleman declared; "I shall not wait until the first thing in the morning. You 're preposterous. It's an outrage!" He was so emphatic and peevish that some of the students in the big reading-room pushed open the swinging doors and stuck their heads in to see what the trouble was.

Well, Berrisford and I found out from the page that he is the greatest philosopher of modern times. He had come in to get a book that hadn't been asked for in fourteen years, and had just learned that it had been carted away to the crypt of Appleton Chapel to make room for something that seemed to be rather more universal in its appeal.

The page took us to the alcove we were looking for, and Berrisford found our book almost immediately. My back was toward him when he discovered it, and I turned around only because of his unusual and prolonged silence. He was standing petrified in front of eighteen fat, dog-eared volumes, with his big eyes blinking like an owl confronted by a dazzling light.

"Is that it?" I inquired after a moment in a cold, hushed voice. By way of answer he merely rolled his eyes and swallowed as if his throat were dry.

"It's a masterly little thing—isn't it?" he at length managed to say. Then without further comment we removed the volumes from the shelf and piled them on a table in the alcove. They almost covered it. When we had finished, Berrisford, with a grim look about his under lip, opened one of them and began to read. I did the same. It was just three o'clock. We read for an hour without speaking or looking at each other, and at the end of that time Berrisford took a pencil from his pocket and began to make calculations on the back of a letter. At last he looked up as if to demand my attention.

"I have read this book conscientiously—footnotes and everything—for an hour," he said; he was deliberate and there was an air of finality in his tone. "I find that I have completed five pages—the meaning of which has since escaped me. Now, as there are four hundred pages in this volume and as many, presumably, in every one of the other seventeen, it will take me one thousand four hundred and forty hours—sixty days, or two months—to 'familiarize' myself with the whole set. If we sit here night and day for the next two months without taking a second off to eat, sleep, or bathe, we shall have glanced through this superficial pamphlet and pleased the old man."

"I think it has stopped raining," I replied.

We have a new inmate at our house. I woke up one morning hearing such a strange, wild, sad little song coming from my study. At first I thought I must have dreamed it, but even after I sat up in bed and knew I was awake, the sound continued. It was the queerest, most barbaric little refrain, all in a minor key with words I could n't make out, and was the sort of thing one could imagine a "native" of some kind crooning to himself in the middle of a rice-field. I listened to it awhile—almost afraid to go in; but when it began to grow louder, and then was interrupted from time to time by the most horrible gurgling and strangling noises, I jumped up and opened my study door. At the same moment Berrisford and Mrs. Chester appeared at the other door. In the middle of the room was a bristling brown thing with pointed ears and muzzle and shrewd little eyes. It had absurdly big feet and looked like a baby wolf. Something that seemed to be a piece of leather was dangling from its mouth. Berrisford threw himself on the floor, exclaiming: "My darling—my Saga—what is it—speak to me!" and pulled gently at the piece of leather. The brute rolled his eyes, gagged a little, and let him have it. "Why, it's the thumb of a glove," Berrisford said, holding up his prize for us to look at, "and he dess tould n't eat it 'tause it had a nassy tin button wivetted on uzzer end, so he tould n't," he added to the animal.

"That doesn't seem to have stood in the way of his eating the other one," I remarked coldly, for there was enough of the chewed thing in Berrisford's hand to enable me to identify the remains of a pair of very expensive gloves I had bought two days before.

"Heavens!—do you suppose he really did?" Berrisford asked in great alarm. "Do you think it will hurt him?"

"Of course he ate it. I don't see it anywhere, and they were both together on that chair. I hope it will hurt him," I said.

"It is n't like you, Wood, to talk that way about a poor, lonely, foreign thing who 's never been in a house before in all his life," Berrisford muttered resentfully.

"Well, he certainly do make the most outlandish sounds," Mrs. Chester interposed.

"It isn't outlandish—it's Icelandic," Berrisford replied. "He came all the way from Reikiavik on a Gloucester fishing-smack. I bought him at Gloucester yesterday for a dollar—didn't I, my booful Saga; ess he did. And he dess chewed all de checks often de trunks in dat nassy old baggage car on de way up—didn't he, darlin'? And dat horrid baggage man was dess crazy 'tause he did n't know where to put off any baggage and had to delay de twain like evvysing." Berrisford became quite incoherent after this, so I returned to my bedroom and slammed the door.

I don't think it's right for any one man to inflict a whole community with a beast like Saga, and I 've told Berrisford so several times; but he always says: "You seem to forget that I suffer as much, if not more, than any one. Do you ever hear me complain when he wallows in the mud and then snuggles up in my bed? Was there any outcry when he ate my gloves and my patent leather shoes and my Russia leather notebook with hundreds of exhaustive, priceless notes on the first part of 'Paradise Lost'? Did I make a violent scene—the way you and Duggie do every day—when I gave the tea for my sister and found him just before the people came—behind the bathtub in a state of coma from having eaten thirty-six perfectly delicious lettuce sandwiches? You might at least admit that you think he 's just as distinguished and quaint-looking as he can be; because, of course, you do think so. You know you love him to follow you through the Square—with everybody turning to look—you know you do. Does n't he, mon tou-tou, mon bébé, mon chien de race?"

One of the fellows at the table invited us to dine at his house in town last Sunday evening. Berrisford was to meet me at a hotel in the Back Bay at a quarter past seven and we were to go together. I took a long walk that afternoon, and the air was so delicious and the autumn foliage in the country so beautiful that I didn't realize how late it was until I looked at a clock in a jeweller's window on the way back. I hurried to my room to dress, and as I opened the front door my heart suddenly sank—for upstairs I heard Saga chanting his terrible little refrain. We have all come to dread that sound at our house, for it invariably means the loss of a cherished object to somebody. Berrisford calls it the "Icelandic Hunger and Death Motif." I ran upstairs and found Saga eating one of the tails of my dress-coat which I had hung over the back of a chair in my study to get the creases out. He had apparently first torn it off, then divided it into small pieces, and was consuming them one by one as I came in. I was already late for dinner, and as it was Sunday evening there was no one in town from whom I could borrow another coat. For a moment I could n't decide whether to sit down and cry or to commit Sagacide.


Of course I went to the dinner—and what is more, I arrived almost on time. I can't give myself any particular credit for this achievement, however, as it was luck, pure and simple, that got me there. There is no doubt about it, I am marvellously lucky; I seem to have a knack of falling on my feet, and although Duggie has taken to worrying about my "shiftlessness" (as he is pleased to call it) in money matters, and the calmness with which I regard the approaching examinations and the academic side of college in general, I have a feeling that everything will come out all right somehow.

It would sound heartless, I suppose, to speak as if I thought it fortunate that Jerry Brooks had been stricken with appendicitis just in time to get me into the dinner, if it were n't for the fact that he is recovering so splendidly. (I went up to the hospital this afternoon to inquire.) But under the circumstances it is hard not to look upon his sudden seizure rather cheerfully—as I know he will enjoy hearing about it when he is well enough to see people. I was in despair that evening when his roommate came clattering up our tin steps and pounded on Berrisford's door; but the instant I ran into the hall and saw him my heart gave a great throb of hope. He had his dress clothes on; but he didn't look in the least like a person on the way to dine in town—and I felt with indescribable relief that, if this were the case, I could have his coat.

"Isn't Berrisford here? Has he gone?" he exclaimed excitedly. (I had never seen him before—although I knew his chum, Brooks, slightly.) "We were going to dine at the same house in town, but my roommate, Jerry Brooks, got sick just as I was starting and I can't go, and two doctors have taken him up to the hospital, and the Hemingtons haven't a telephone, and I thought I'd let Berrisford know, for, of course——"

Well, his coat didn't fit me in a way to make a tailor expire with envy exactly, but I was mighty glad to get it—and anyhow, I think people are inclined to take a dress-suit for granted. Berrisford attached no importance whatever to the fact that his beast had ruined my coat, but merely said reproachfully: "I hope you let him have the pieces to play with; he 'll be so lonely this evening with no one in the house except Mrs. Chester."

I have mentioned the fact that of late Duggie has given intimations of having me "on his mind." Of course when a man like Duggie finds time to care one way or the other about what he thinks you ought to do, it's a great honor. He is the busiest, hardest worked, and most influential person I ever knew. He belongs to no end of clubs, and besides being captain of the team he's at the head of a lot of other college things. Almost every day there's a reporter or two lying in wait for him out here to ask about the team, and whether he approves of the athletic committee's latest mandate, and what he thinks about all sorts of things in regard to which he hasn't any opinion whatever—and would n't express it even if he had. Besides all this he manages in some way to study awfully hard and to get high marks in everything he takes. Furthermore, he's in training most of the year, and just now he has to go to bed every night except Saturday at half-past nine or ten. He's almost always amiable and kind to people, and I think he's great. I can't help liking the fact that he drops into my room and sits down and talks the way he does. Some of the fellows at our table found him there the other day and were scared to death. But at the same time I have a feeling that he does n't think Berrisford and I are just what we ought to be. As if people could be different from the way they 're made! I know that sometimes he would like to say things that, after all, he never quite does.

Of Berrisford, I 'm sure, he doesn't approve at all. I don't, of course, believe for a moment that he was anything but amused at the way Berrisford conjugated the French verb for him the other day; but as it is the sort of thing that Berri takes an uncontrollable joy in doing, I think Duggie has an idea that he is n't good for anything else.

Duggie—I can't imagine why—has never studied French until this year. He enrolled in a class only a week or so ago, and though it's merely an extra course with him and he could get his degree just as easily without it, he goes at it as if it were all-important. Berrisford knows French as well as he knows English, and volunteered to help him with his exercises. The other afternoon Duggie ran into Berri's room and said: "I 've an idea that we're going to have 'je suis bon' in French to-day; I wish you would write out a few tenses for me so I can learn them on the way over—I simply have n't had a minute to myself for two days." Naturally Berrisford seemed delighted to help him, and gravely wrote something on a piece of paper that Duggie carried off just as the bell was ringing. When he got into the Yard and slowed up to look at it, this is what he found:

Je suis bon
Tu es bones
Il est beans
Nous sommes bonbons
Vous êtes bonbonniéres
Ils sont bon-ton.

Of course he did n't actually care; but I don't think the incident helped in Duggie's opinion to throw any very dazzling light on Berrisford's really serious qualities. Duggie regarded it, I 'm sure, as about on a par with the way we get out of sitting through our history lecture.

One day when the dreamy old gentleman who conducts the history course was trying to prove that Charlemagne either was or was n't surprised (I 've forgotten which) when the Pope suddenly produced a crown and stuck it on his head, a ripple of mirth swept gently across the room, very much as a light breeze ruffles the surface of a wheatfield. No one laughed out loud; but when between three and four hundred men all smile at once, it makes a curious little disturbance I can't quite describe. The old gentleman looked up from his notes, took off his spectacles, chose one of the other pairs lying on the desk in front of him (he has three or four kinds that he uses for different distances), and inspected the room. But by the time he had got himself properly focused there was nothing to see; the fellow who had made every one giggle by climbing out of the window and down the fire-escape was probably a block away. So, after a troubled, inquiring look from side to side, the dear old man changed his spectacles again and went on with the lecture.

Now, although it had never occurred to any one to crawl down the fire-escape until that day, every one in our part of the room has become infatuated with the idea, and three times a week—shortly after half-past two—there is a continuous stream of men backing out the window, down the iron ladder and into the Yard. In fact, the struggle to escape became so universal and there were so many scraps at the window and in mid-air on the way down over who should go first, that Berrisford evolved the idea of distributing numbers the way they do in barbershops on Saturday afternoon when everybody in the world becomes inspired with the desire to be shaved at the same time. It works beautifully; but of late the undertaking is attended by considerable risk.

At first Professor Kinde stopped lecturing and fumbled for his other spectacles only when he heard the class titter; I don't believe he in the least knew what was going on. But recently he has become extremely foxy. Although he has n't spoken of the matter, he realizes what is happening, and I think the ambition of his declining years is to catch somebody in the act of darting toward the window. At irregular intervals now, throughout his lectures, he—apropos of nothing—drops his notes, seizes a fresh pair of spectacles, makes a lightning change, and then peeks craftily about the room while the class tries hard not to hurt his feelings by laughing. Then, disappointed, but with an air of "I 'll-surely-strike-it-right-next-time," he changes back again and continues. The lectures have become so exciting and fragmentary that Berrisford and I are torn with the conflicting desires to stay and see what happens and to get out into the wonderful autumn weather. Usually, however, we leave, and the last time, just as I was preparing to drop to the ground, Duggie strode in sight. Berrisford, half-way down, happened to glance over his shoulder. When he saw Duggie he swung around, struck an Alexandre Dumas attitude, and exclaimed dramatically,—

"Sire, we have liberated the prisoners, cut away the portcullis and fired the powder magazine. Is 't well?" Duggie laughed.

"Powder magazines aren't the only things that get fired around these parts, monsieur," he answered as he passed on.

Now, there was nothing disagreeable either in the remark or the way Duggie made it; he seemed perfectly good-natured, and, although in a great hurry, very much amused. But, somehow, it was n't quite as if any one else had said it. I don't know what "reading between the lines" is called when there aren't any lines to read between; but anyhow that's what I couldn't help doing. Duggie's little thrust was made at Berri—but it was intended for me. And that 's what I mean when I say Duggie has me on his mind. He would have Berri there, too, if he liked him; but he does n't. I think he firmly believes that he regards us both with the utmost impartiality; yet I know (this is recorded in all modesty, merely as a fact) that he likes me, and that for poor Berri he has no use at all. Berrisford is tactless; he had no business, for instance, to tell Duggie about the watch.

One Saturday morning when Berrisford had finished his lectures for the day, and I found that a cut was to be given in my last one, we strolled along Massachusetts Avenue, without really meaning to go anywhere, until we came to the bridge across the Back Bay. We leaned over the rail awhile and watched the tide clutching viciously at the piers as it swirled out, and then, farther up, I noticed a flock of ducks paddling about in a most delightful little mud-hole left by the falling tide.

"I could hit one of those birdies if I had a shotgun," I said, closing one eye. (It just shows what a trivial remark may sometimes lead one into.)

"It wouldn't do you any good," Berrisford yawned; "you couldn't get it."

"I don't see why not. I could borrow a boat from the Humane Society and row out," I answered, rather irritated by Berrisford's languid scepticism.

"Well, what on earth would you do with the poor little beast after you did get him?" he pursued.

"What do you suppose?" I exclaimed. "What do people usually do when they shoot a duck?"

"I think they usually say that they really hit two, but that the other one managed to crawl into a dense patch of wild rice growing near by," Berrisford answered.

"I should have it cooked and then I 'd eat it," I said, ignoring his remark.

"What an extremely piggish performance! There would not be enough for any one but yourself. I would much rather go into town with somebody and have one apiece at the Touraine."

"Oh, Berrisford," I murmured; "this is so sudden!"

When we reached the other side of the bridge we got on a passing car, and after we sat down Berrisford said, "You 'll have to pay for me; I have n't any money either here or in Cambridge." As I had just eight cents in the world and had taken it for granted that Berri was going to pay for me, we jumped out before the conductor came around, and resumed our walk.

"If you have n't any money and I haven't any money, I 'm inclined to think the ducks will not fly well to-day," I mused; for the last time we had been to the Touraine the head waiter—a most tiresome person—told me we could n't charge anything more there until we paid our bills.

"I suppose you would just sit on the curbstone and starve," Berrisford sniffed. And as we walked along I saw that he had some kind of a plan. He took me through one of the queer little alleys with which Boston is honeycombed and out into a noisy, narrow, foreign-looking street, lined with shabby second-hand stores and snuffy restaurants,—the kind that have red tablecloths. At first I thought it was Berri's intention to get luncheon in one of these places, although I did n't see how even he could manage it very well on eight cents. However, I asked no questions. Suddenly he stopped and took off his sleeve-links. Then we walked on a few steps and went into a pawnbroker's.

It sounds absurd, but when I discovered what Berrisford was about to do I felt curiously excited and embarrassed. Of course I knew that lots of people pawn things, but I had never seen it done before, and like most of the things you can think about and read about in cold blood, I found that it made my heart beat a good deal faster actually to do it. In fact, I did n't care to do it at all, and told Berrisford so in an undertone; but he said,—

"Why not? There 's nothing wrong in it. You own something more or less valuable and you happen for the moment to need something else; why should n't you exchange them? If the soiled vampire who runs this place (what's become of him, anyhow?) would give me two small roasted ducks and some bread and butter and currant jelly and two little cups of coffee and a waiter to serve them, and a mediæval banquet hall to eat them in, and a perfectly awful orchestra behind a thicket of imitation palm-trees to play Hungarian rhapsodies while we ate—instead of five dollars and a half, I should be just as well pleased; because it will amount to about the same thing in the end."

Just then the proprietor of the shop emerged from behind a mound of trousers and overcoats and shuffled toward us very unwillingly, it seemed to me. But Berrisford said he was always like that.

"You can't expect a display of pleasing emotions for a paltry five per cent a month," Berrisford whispered in my ear. I don't think, however, that the pawnbroker could have looked pleasant no matter what per cent he got. He took Berri's beautiful sleeve-links (they 're made of four antique Japanese gold pieces), went into a sort of glass cage built around a high desk and a safe, and did all sorts of queer things to them. He scratched the under side of two of the coins with a small file; then he dabbed some kind of a liquid that he got out of a tiny bottle on the rough places and examined them through one of those inane spool things that jewellers hang on their eyeballs just before telling you that you 've busted your mainspring. Next he weighed them in a pair of scales that he fished out of a drawer in the desk, and finally he held up his claw of a hand with all the fingers distended, for us to inspect through the glass.

"Why, you dreadful old man!" Berrisford exclaimed indignantly. "You gave me five and a half last time. I wouldn't think of taking less."

For a moment I supposed that the game was up and we 'd have to walk all the way back to Cambridge and be too late for luncheon when we got there; for Berrisford took his sleeve-links and strolled over to the door, saying in a loud voice,—

"Come on, Tommy; there 's a better one across the street." But just as we were leaving, "the soiled vampire" made a guttural sound that Berrisford seemed to understand, and we went back and got the amount Berri considered himself entitled to.

"The quality of mercy is a little strained this morning," he said when Mr. Hirsch went into the glass cage again to make out the ticket. I always had an idea that a pawn ticket was a piece of blue cardboard—something like a return theatre ticket. But it is n't, at all. It's simply a thin slip of paper resembling a check—only smaller.

Well, we had a delightful luncheon. After luncheon we thought of going to the matinée and sitting in the gallery, but Berri all at once exclaimed, as if the idea were a sort of inspiration,—

"I 'll tell you what we 'll do; let 's economize. I 've always wanted to; they say you can be awfully nice and contented if you never spend a cent, but just think noble thoughts."

"We might go and look at the pictures in the Public Library and then cross over to the Art Museum," I suggested. "It's free on Saturdays, you know." Berri thought that would be charming, so we walked up Boylston Street, stopping at a florist's on the way to send some American beauties and some violets to Mrs. Hemington, at whose house we dined that Sunday night. (She was thrown out of a carriage the other day and sprained her thumb, and we thought we ought to take some notice of it, as she was very nice about asking us to come to Sunday luncheon whenever we wanted to.)

Berrisford did n't care much for the Puvis de Chavannes pictures in the library,—that is, after he found out that they were as finished as they were ever going to be. At first he was inclined to think them rather promising, and said that by the time they got the second and third coats of paint on they would no doubt do very nicely.

"But the artist is dead," I explained. "And anyhow, he always painted like that."

"Why did n't some one speak to him about it?" said Berri.

"There would n't have been any use; he painted that way on purpose. It was his style—his individuality," I said.

"Do you like it?" he suddenly demanded. He was looking at me very intently, and I did n't know just what to say; for although I 've gone to see the pictures several times, it never occurred to me to ask myself whether I really liked them or not. I supposed—as every one says they are so fine—that I did.

"I don't mean do you know how much they cost, or what people said about them in the backs of magazines when they were first put up. What I want to know is— Does looking at them give you great pleasure?"

"I think they 're simply preposterous," I said; and then we went outdoors again and over to the Art Museum.

We spent the rest of the afternoon there, sitting in front of a painting by Turner called The Slave Ship, and listening to what the people who passed by said about it. I did n't think there was very much to it—it's merely some small, dark brown legs in a storm at sea with a fire burning. But the people who came to look at it murmured all sorts of things in low, sad voices, and several of them read long extracts from a book that Berri said was by Ruskin. When I asked him how he knew, he answered that it could n't well be by any one else. (A great many people say that Berri's a fool, but I think he knows an awful lot.)

It makes one tired and hungry to criticise pictures all afternoon, and when we left the gallery Berri sat down on the steps and said he could never walk all the way to Cambridge in his exhausted condition; so once more we found ourselves confronted by famine.

Now, if mamma were only here I know I could explain everything to her, and she would n't think me so lacking in respect for my ancestors—so utterly lost—as she evidently does. But until she gets my letter (and perhaps even afterward) she will be unhappy over the crude, unqualified fact that I pawned my watch.

It belonged to my great-grandfather and is a fine old thing with a wreath of gold and platinum roses on its round gold face. I got twenty-five dollars on it. Nobody but Berri would have known, and there would n't have been the least fuss if Uncle Peter had n't come to town.

He was in Boston on business and appeared in my room one afternoon a few days afterward. I was ever so glad to see somebody from home, and I introduced him to Berri, who helped me show him the gym and Soldiers' Field and the glass flowers and pretty much everything open to visitors. He had a lovely time and asked us to dinner in the evening.

We had a pleasant dinner—only Uncle Peter kept glancing at his watch every few minutes (he was leaving on an early train). Finally he said: "What time is it, Tommy? I 'm afraid I 'm slow."

From force of habit I felt for my watch, and then, I suppose, I must have looked queer, for Berrisford began to chuckle, and Uncle Peter, after a moment of mystification, jumped hastily to a conclusion that, I am sorry to say, happened to be correct. He rubbed it in all through dinner and on the way to the station, and I suppose when he reached home he told mamma the first thing. For the evening of the day he arrived I got a telegram from mamma that said: "Redeem watch immediately. Keep this from your father; it would kill him."

Of course Berri had to elaborate the thing in his best style and keep Duggie awake for half an hour while he told him about it.

"I made it very graphic," he said to me gloomily, "but somehow or other it didn't seem to take."


The crash has come, and the Dean and my adviser, two or three instructors, some of the fellows at the table, and even Berrisford (this last is a little too much), have all taken occasion to inform me regretfully that they foresaw it from the first. This is the sort of thing that makes a man bitter. How did I know what was ahead of me? If they all realized so well that I was going to flunk the hour exams, why did n't they let me know then? It might have done some good if they had told me three weeks ago that they thought me stupid; but I fail to see the point of their giving me to understand at this stage of the game that they themselves all along have been so awfully clever. Yet, that's just what they've done; all except Duggie. And strangely enough it was Duggie that I most dreaded. As a matter of fact he has scarcely mentioned the subject. When I went into his room one night and stood around for a while without knowing how to begin and finally came out with,—

"Well, I suppose Berri 's told you that I didn't get through a single exam?"—he merely said,—

"That 's tough luck; I 'm darned sorry;" and then after a moment he added: "Oh, well, there 'll be some more coming along in February; it is n't as if they were n't going to let you have another whack at things."

"Of course I know it is n't my last chance," I answered drearily; "but I can't help feeling that the fact of its being my first makes it almost as bad. It starts me all wrong in the opinion of the Dean and my adviser and the college generally." Somehow I could n't bring myself to tell Duggie what I thought, and what, in a measure, I still think—namely, that the marks I got were most unjust. There 's something about Duggie—I don't know what it is exactly—that always makes you try to take the tone, when you 're telling him anything, that you feel he would take if he were telling the same thing to you. This sounds rather complicated, but what I mean, for instance, is that if he got E in all his exams and thought the instructors had been unjust, he would probably go and have it out with them, but he would n't complain to any one else. Of course it 's simply nonsense even to pretend, for the sake of argument, that Duggie could flunk in anything; but, anyhow, that 's what I mean.

However, I did n't have the same hesitation in saying to Berrisford that I considered myself pretty badly treated.

"I know, of course, that I didn't write clever papers," I told him, "but I at least wrote long ones. They ought to give me some credit for that; enough to squeeze through on, anyhow." Berri agreed with me perfectly that all the instructors were unjust, yet at the same time he said, with a peculiarly irritating, judicial manner that he sometimes assumes when you least expect it,—

"But I can understand—I can understand. It's most unfortunate—but it 's very human—very natural. As long as we employ this primitive, inadequate method of determining the amount of a man's knowledge, we must expect to collide every now and then with the personal equation." This sounded like a new superintendent addressing the village school board for the first time, but I did n't say anything, as I knew there was something behind it that Berri did n't care just then to make more clear. Berri has exceedingly definite ideas about things, but he "aims to please;" he finds it hard to express himself and at the same time to make everything come out pleasantly in the end.

"What you say is no doubt important and true," I answered; "but I don't know what it means."

"Why, I simply mean that in thinking the matter over one can't get around the fact that ever since college opened you 've been—what shall I say? People have been more aware of you than your size would seem to justify; you 've been, as it were, a cinder in the public eye." Berrisford stopped abruptly, and for a moment looked sort of aghast.

"Oh, I beg your pardon," he exclaimed, more in his natural tone; "I had n't any idea it was coming out that way; that's the trouble with metaphors."

"I don't see how I 've been more of a cinder than any one else—than you've been, for instance," I objected. "I 've seen more of you than I 've seen of any one, and I 've been seen more with you," I added.

"That's the frightful injustice of it," Berrisford put in triumphantly. "That's what I 'm trying to get at." (I don't believe he was at all, but I let him continue.) "We 've always done about the same things—but fate has ordained that in every instance you were to leave your impress upon the wax of hostile opinion, while I was as the house of sand, effaced by Neptune's briny hand. (Doesn't that last sound exactly like Pope at his worst?) You see, you got yourself arrested at the very beginning of things. Of course, socially speaking, it was a brilliant move; it simply made you. But on the other hand, I don't think it helped very much to—to—well, to bring you thoroughly in touch with the Faculty; and one has to look out for that. Then, you know, of all the hundreds that swarmed down the fire-escape during Professor Kinde's lectures, you were the only one who had the misfortune to be caught. This naturally made the fire-escape impossible from then on, and once more turned the garish light of publicity upon you. And to cap all—you were inspired to give Mr. Much the fine arts book. Why, my dear child, your name is a household word!"

The incident of the fine arts book, I confess, was enough to make a man just give up and turn cynical.

Mr. Much is a Boston architect who comes out from town twice a week to lecture on ancient art. They think a great deal of him in Boston. He stands at the head of his profession there, because, as he's never built anything, even the most critical have no grounds for complaint. Berri says there are lots of people like that in Boston,—painters and writers and musicians who are really very great, but think it more refined just to "live" their works. He meets them at his aunt's house, where they often gather to talk it all over. Well, at the first lecture Much told us to buy and read carefully a certain treatise on ancient art and always bring it to the lectures, as he would refer to it frequently. I acted on his advice to the extent of examining the book in the co-operative store one day; but it was large and heavy and the illustrations were rather old-fashioned, and it cost two dollars, so I decided I could get along without it. Most of the fellows did the same thing, and the impulsive few who actually bought it got tired after a while of lugging it to the lectures, as Much did n't show any intention of ever referring to it.

One morning as I was strolling over to hear him tell about the influence of Greek something or other on something else, and the deplorable decadence it had undergone later at the hands of the Romans, Hemington darted out of a bookstore in the Square and said: "If you 're going to Fine Arts, just take this book and give it to Bertie Stockbridge." (Bertie is his roommate.) "I 'm going to cut; I have to meet my father in town." I took the book and pursued my way.

Now, that morning, for the first time, Much, after lecturing for about half an hour, surprised every one by breaking off abruptly and saying,—

"There's a very helpful note on page eighteen of Geschmitzenmenger's Ancient Art that I wish you would all turn to." Then after a moment he added: "As some of us may have failed to bring the book this morning, I think I shall read the note in question aloud." He came to the edge of the platform and with a solicitous smile held out his hand; but no one in the front row had a book to lend him. His smile changed to an expression of mild disgust, and he glanced along the second row of seats. No one responded, however, and he swept the room with a look of annoyance, exclaiming, "Come—come," and snapping his fingers impatiently. Just then the fellow next to me murmured: "Will any lady or gentleman in the audience kindly lend me a high hat, three rabbits, and a dozen fresh eggs?" and I laughed. And as I laughed, I leaned over to hide my face—and there on my lap was Geschmitzenmenger's Ancient Art; after Hemington had given it to me I was so interested in whether he would catch his car or not that I had never looked at it at all.

"Is it possible that no one has provided himself with the book I requested you to procure?" Mr. Much was asking incredulously. I saw my chance to make a hit, and after a moment of impressive silence I arose and walked to the platform. There was a gust of dumfounded laughter, followed by prolonged applause. As I went back to my seat all the fellows who could reach me insisted on patting me on the back and grasping me by the hand. It was most embarrassing. But the really sickening part of it was to come.

Mr. Much made a little speech about me, saying, "I am glad that there is at least one, etc., etc., etc.," and when he had finished he opened the book with a flourish and found, as was quite natural, that none of the leaves had been cut. I suppose this was in the nature of a last straw, for he simply stood there a minute, fingering the pages helplessly and smiling the pitiful, philosophic smile of one who has lived long enough to have had even his most conservative illusions dispelled; then he turned the book around and held it open for every one to howl at, and finally he dismissed us with a hopeless gesture that expressed the unutterable. Whereupon I was seized by strong, willing hands and borne aloft all over the Yard, followed by the whole class hooting and jeering.

It was this that led Berri to say that my name had become a household word.

"You see," Berri went on, "when an instructor reads my examination book, for instance, the signature of the writer conveys nothing to him; but when he strikes yours—he stops and exclaims, 'Where have I seen that name before?' Then he sharpens his pencil to its finest possible point and gives you E."

"But you do agree with me that it's terribly unjust?" I asked him; for that, after all, seemed to be the main thing.

"Why, of course it's unjust," Berrisford answered decidedly. "It 's one of the worst cases that has ever come to my notice."

It did n't occur to me until afterward that, as these were our first examinations, Berrisford's "notice" had not been particularly extensive. For I felt so badly about the whole thing that it was agreeable to know that an intelligent person like Berrisford believed I had been shabbily treated. It was his moral support, I think, that gave me nerve enough to complain to my adviser.

My adviser is a young man and seems like an appreciative, well-disposed sort of person (he offered me a cigar after I had sat down in his study), so I did n't have any difficulty in telling him right off what I had come for.

"I 've heard from my hour examinations," I said, "and I find that I have been given E in all of them." (I was careful not to say that I had failed or flunked, or had n't passed, as that was not the impression I wished to convey.)

"We have met the enemy and we are theirs," he answered pleasantly. "Yes, I heard about that," he went on, "and I hoped you would come in to see me." Then he waited awhile—until the clock began to get noisy—and at last he glanced up and said,—

"What was it doing when you came in? It looked like snow this afternoon." But I had n't gone there to discuss meteorology, so I ignored his remark.

"I can scarcely think I could have failed in everything," I suggested.

"It is somewhat incredible, isn't it?" the young man murmured.

"I never stopped writing from the time an examination began until it stopped," I said.

"What did you think it was—a strength test?" he asked brutally.

"I told all I knew."

"Yes," he acknowledged; "your instructors were convinced of that."

"And I don't think I got enough credit for it. If I had the books here, I feel sure I could make this plain."

"Well, let 's look them over," he answered readily; and much to my astonishment he went to his desk and brought back all my blue-books.

I confess I had n't expected anything quite so definite as this, but I tried to appear as if I had hoped that it was just what might happen. We sat down side by side and read aloud—first an examination question (he had provided himself with a full set of the papers) and then my answer to it.

"'Explain polarized light,'" he read.

"'The subject of polarized light, as I understand it, is not very well understood,'" I began; at which my adviser put his hands to his head and rocked to and fro.

"If you don't mind," I said, "I think I'd rather begin on one of the others; this physics course is merely to make up a condition, and perhaps I 've not devoted very much time to it; it isn't a fair test." So we took up the history paper and read the first question, which was: "What was the Lombard League?" My answer I considered rather neat, for I had written: "The Lombard League was a coalition formed by the Lombards." I paused after reading it and glanced at my adviser.

"It was a simple question, and I gave it a simple answer," I murmured.

"I 'm afraid you depreciate yourself, Mr. Wood," he replied. "Your use of the word 'coalition' is masterly."

"But what more could I have said?" I protested.

"I don't think you could have said anything more," he answered inscrutably.

I read on and on, and he interrupted me only twice—once in the philosophy course to point out politely that what I constantly referred to as "Hobbe's Octopus" ought to be "Hobbe's Leviathan," and once in the questions in English Literature, to explain that somebody or other's "Apologia Pro Vita Sua" was not—as I had translated it—"an apology for living in a sewer." (I could have killed Berrisford for that—and it sounded so plausible, too; for any one who lived in a sewer would naturally apologize.) He let me proceed, and after a time I could n't even bring myself to stop and contest the decisions as I had done at first; for I dreaded the way he had of making my most serious remarks sound rather childish. So I rattled on, faster and faster, until I found myself mumbling in a low tone, without pronouncing half the words; and then I suddenly stopped and put the blue-book on the table and stared across the room at the wall. He did n't express any surprise, which, on the whole, was very decent of him, and after a minute or two of silence, during which he gathered up the evidence and put it back in his desk, we began to talk football and our chances of winning the big game. He said some nice things about Duggie, and hoped the rumor that he was overtrained was n't true. I told him that I lived in the same house with Duggie and knew him very well, and feared it was true. He seemed glad that I knew Duggie. I stayed for about fifteen minutes so as not to seem abrupt or angry at the way my visit had turned out, and then left. We did n't refer to the exams again, so I don't see exactly how I can ever right the wrong they have done me. If my adviser were a different kind of man, I could have managed it, I think.

I have n't seen very much of the fellows lately, except, of course, at meals—that is to say, at luncheon and dinner, for I can't stand their comments at breakfast. They greet me with "Hello, old man—what's this I hear about your trying for the Phi Beta Kappa?" "Is it true that you're going to get your degree in three years?" "I should n't go in for a summa cum if I were you; a magna is just as good;" and all that sort of thing. They evidently find it very humorous, for it never fails to make them all laugh. I 've taken to breakfasting at The Holly Tree, as I don't often meet any one I know there. I did one morning, however, come across the little instructor who had charge of the Freshman registration and made quavering remarks at me in a kind of Elizabethan dialect. He's a most extraordinary person. As he does n't say more than half he means, and as I don't understand more than half he says, I find conversation with him very exhausting. But I like him, somehow.

I was reading a newspaper when he came in and did n't realize that he was standing near me until I heard a slow, tremulous, reproachful voice saying,—

"Who's been sitting in my chair?" It seems that he always has his breakfast at the same table in the chair that I, in my ignorance, had taken. I jumped up, of course, and after he had sat down and leaned back, he murmured feebly, "I 'm an old man; but I know my place." I did n't know why he said this, as he is n't an old man at all; he can't be more than thirty-six or thirty-seven.

"I'm a young man, but I seem to know your place, too," I laughed, as I looked around for another chair.

"You clever boys chaff me so," he replied mournfully. "You mustn't chaff me; I'm only a simple villager." Just then the waitress appeared at a hole in the buff-colored fence that deludes itself into thinking it differentiates the kitchen from the dining-room, and the little man pounded softly and gently on the table, exclaiming,—

"What ho—Katy; some sack—some sack!" A request that Katy evidently understood better than I did, for she withdrew and came back in a moment with a cup of tea.

"How now, Sir John—is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?" the instructor inquired of me; which caused Katy—who had lingered to hear what we wanted for breakfast—to twist a corner of her apron around her finger and gurgle ecstatically,—

"Now, Mr. Fleetwood, you stop."

We sat there talking for more than an hour, and I don't know when I 've had so improving a conversation. We talked mostly about books and plays. Mr. Fleetwood seems to care a great deal about both and discussed them differently from the way most people do. At our table at Mrs. Brown's, for instance, a book or a play is always either "rotten" or a "corker." But Fleetwood has no end of things to tell about them. He seems to know all the people who do the writing and acting, and remembers all the clever remarks they 've made to him at various times, and the even cleverer ones he made in reply. Finally, when I got up to go he relapsed suddenly into his more doleful manner and said,—

"You will come to my Wednesday Evenings—won't you?" I felt as if I ought to have known what they were; but I 'd never heard of them, so I suppose I looked mystified.

"The lions roar at my Wednesday Evenings," he explained, turning on the tremolo in his voice, "but they won't hurt you—because they like me. They 'll like you, too, if you 'll come." I said I should like to come very much.

"When do you have your Wednesday Evenings?" I asked; for he was so dreadfully vague. He looked at me vacantly and then stared at the ceiling awhile, as if trying to think.

"On Wednesday evenings," he at last petulantly quavered; and I left, for I began to think I was losing my mind.

With the exception of Fleetwood that morning I have n't met any one else I know at The Holly Tree. To tell the truth, I haven't been very sociable of late. The result of the exams was rather depressing, and besides—I can't help realizing that solitude is inexpensive, if nothing else. I don't like to go in town unless I can pay my share, and, as I have n't been able as yet even to get my watch out of hock, in spite of mamma's urgent telegram, I don't see my way to going to the theatre and eating around at expensive hotels. Of course I could have the tickets charged—but they 're the least of it. And anyhow I owe so much already I hate to make it worse. Berri advised me to pawn the old-fashioned fob that belongs to my watch and get the watch back. (The fob has a huge topaz or some such thing in it that ought to bring a lot.) But I 'm tired of disposing of heirlooms.

I went to the first Symphony in Sanders' Theatre the other night. Duggie gave me his ticket, as the head coach, and the doctor who looks after the team told him he was n't feeling well and made him go to bed instead. It was a wonderful concert, and I enjoyed it very much, although I could n't help wondering all the time why I was enjoying it; for a man who looked like a Skye terrier played beautiful, sad things on the 'cello until I felt so lonely and homesick and as if I had wasted my life and broken my mother's heart, that I began to sniff; and the lady who was sitting next to me (she had a huge music book on her lap and was following every note with her finger and swaying from side to side like a cobra) turned and glared at me.

On Saturday afternoon they would n't let Duggie play in the game, and advised him to go home for Sunday. He came into my room where I was sitting by the fire feeling pretty blue, and after talking awhile said he wanted me to go with him. Berrisford came in while I was getting ready, and when he saw how little I was taking with me he exclaimed: "Good Heavens, man—you can't go that way! Duggie wouldn't mind, and neither would his family; but you must show some consideration for the servants. And you 'd better take a piece of bread in your pocket, to munch when nobody 's looking, as you 'll get there too late for tea, and they don't dine until sometime during the middle of the night." He made me pack my dress-clothes (they've been mended) and gave me his hairbrushes, as they have ivory backs with black monograms on them. I can't feel thankful enough that he warned me in time; for everything turned out just as he said. (Berri is clever; there's no getting around it.)

I can't write about my visit to-night; it's too late to do justice to the novel and delightful time I had. I enjoyed every minute of it; even the thing that Duggie told me on Sunday morning did n't spoil it. (Berri said he probably took me home with him in order to break the news gently.)

We had been sitting on the rocks in the sun, looking out to sea and listening to the lazy waves break over the beach about half a mile away (at that distance they looked like a flock of sheep playing on the sand), when Duggie told me in as nice a way as one possibly can tell disagreeable news that the Administrative Board had decided to put me on probation.


It's curious how little you know, after all, about the fellows here of whom you know most. As time goes on I suppose you gradually learn more—although I 've been told by upperclassmen that they 've seen certain fellows every day for years, and, while apparently intimate with them, have never taken the trouble to find out their real names—their first names, that is to say. And as for knowing what their families are like—what they 've been used to before they came to college—you can only guess; and you usually guess wrong. At least, I do. Berrisford, however, is very wonderful. He has a mind as comprehensive in its scope as the last seventy-five pages of an unabridged dictionary, and his talent for sizing people up and telling you all about them is really remarkable. He is the last person in the world, though, that I should have picked out as a citizen of Salem, and one day I told him so. He explained himself by saying that his mother had made an unfortunate marriage. I felt very sorry, as the only time I saw his mother I thought her lovely.

"He was very handsome and had a great deal of money, and was the best and most delightful man I ever knew," Berri went on.

"Well, I don't see anything so dreadfully unfortunate in all that," I ventured.

"Ah, but he was n't from Salem," Berri explained simply. "He didn't even have any cousins there, although for a time mamma's family tried to delude themselves into believing they were on the track of some. They traced him back to Humphrey de Bohun and Elizabeth Plantagenet, but there they lost the scent; and as mamma's people—perhaps you know—came from the King of Navarre and Urracca, Heiress of Arragon, why—of course—well, you know how people talk. It was all very sad. Naturally mamma never cared to live in Salem after that, and I think my grandparents were rather relieved that she preferred to stay most of the time in France. They used to come over and see us every few years, but of course no one in Salem ever knew about that; every one believed that grandfather had to take a cure at Carlsbad—at least that was what was given out whenever he went abroad. I suppose I can't help seeming somewhat crude now and then," he mused dismally; "dilute the strain and it's bound to show sooner or later. But there—I don't know why I've told you all this; it is n't the sort of thing one can discuss with everybody."

"All this" was intensely interesting and mysterious to me, but I don't think I can ever get on to it entirely; just when I 'm beginning to feel that I 've mastered the details I collide with a perfectly new phase and find I don't know anything at all. My ignorance has led to several discussions with Berri—the heated kind that always result in coldness. When I told him, for instance, that I 'd met Billy in town one morning and he 'd taken me home for luncheon, Berri said, "How nice," and proceeded to effect a union of his eyebrows and the top of his head.

"Now what on earth is the matter with Billy?" I exclaimed indignantly, for I 'd enjoyed my luncheon exceedingly, and the house was the biggest thing I had ever seen.

"Oh, Billy 's all right. He 's really very nice, I imagine—although, of course, I don't know him very well," said Berri. "Why do you ask?"

"Who wouldn't ask when you hang your eyebrows on your front hair that way at the mere mention of his name?" I demanded. "Why do you say 'of course,' and why do you always make a point of the fact that you don't know him well? Who cares whether you do or not?" I pursued, for I wanted to clear this mystery up once and for all.

"Well, you seem to care a good deal," Berrisford laughed.

"Oh, not personally," I assured him, "only in the interest of science."

We squabbled for an hour, and at the end of that time I had discovered that (1) Billy's family spell their name with an e—a most incriminating thing to do, apparently, and (2) their house is on the left-hand side of the street as you go up, which (3) makes it easier for a rich man to pass through the moat into Heaven than to draw a beam of recognition from the eye of his neighbor. It was all very confusing—especially as Berrisford insisted that no one had ever told him these things—he had known that they were so when he came into the world.

"Well, I don't see how you 've allowed yourself to be so friendly with me," I wondered sarcastically. "You 've been pretty reckless, it strikes me. How do you know what side of the street our house is on in Perugia, Wisconsin—or whether, indeed, we live in a house at all?"

"Oh, you 're different," Berri laughed.

"Different from what?"

"From everything; that's why I 'm willing to run the risk. You 're a strange, barbarous thing, and I like you immensely."

That was all the satisfaction I got. The reason I thought of this was because Duggie and I discussed it among other things that Sunday morning on the rocks.

It was perfectly evident that Duggie's family lived on the right side of the street, and didn't "spell their name with an e," although I should never have seen them in this light if Berrisford hadn't opened my eyes ("poisoned my mind," Duggie called it). Duggie's father resembles the Duke in Little Lord Fauntleroy, and his mother—well, his mother is like Duggie; one could n't say very much more than that. My impression of them is that they are between nineteen and twenty feet high, and when they and Duggie and his elder sister and two younger brothers were assembled, they looked the way family groups of crowned heads ought to look and don't.

The sister met us at the station with a cart and two ponies.

"They told me to take care of myself," Duggie said to her sort of doubtfully.

"He 's afraid of my nags," she explained to me as I clambered up beside her.

"I 'm afraid of your driving," Duggie answered. "I brought Jack Hollis down here to rest one Saturday and Sunday," he said to me, "and after she'd whirled him around the country for several hours on two wheels and run into a few trees and spilled him over a cliff, the poor thing went back to town with heart disease and has never been the same since."

Now, of course, Duggie merely meant to give me an exaggerated idea of his sister's driving, and she, of course, knew that his remark was quite innocent; but nevertheless she began to blush (it was then, I think, that I first noticed how pretty she was) and abruptly gave one of the horses a slap with the whip that sent us plunging and nearly snapped my head off.

"Hold on, Tommy," Duggie called to me. "This is what I go through every time I come home." Then, as a flock of terrified hens scuttled shrieking from under the ponies' feet, he added: "Tell them I was very brave and hopeful to the end and that my last words were about the team." But pretty soon the horses settled down into a fast, steady trot, and we bowled along the prettiest road I 've ever seen—between thick woods, and, farther on, great, uneven meadows marked off in irregular shapes with low fences of rough stone. The meadows to the right ran back to the woods, but the ones on the left stretched away ahead of us into a vast plain. It gave me a queer, happy feeling that I can't explain—as if I were going to soar out of the cart and over the meadows—straight on into space. I could n't imagine where such a sweep of luminous horizon led to—it seemed extraordinary to come across anything so much like a prairie in New England. The air, too, had a lot to do with the way I felt. It was wonderful air—not cold exactly, and not wet; although I thought every minute that it was going to be both. It had a peculiar smell to it that, without knowing why, I liked. I filled my lungs with it, and somehow it made me feel bigger than I usually do. Then all at once the ponies scampered over the top of a little incline, and, although Miss Sherwin was telling me something, I gasped out:

"Oh-h-h-h—it's the ocean!" and forgot what she was saying, and even that she and Duggie and the cart were with me at all. For I had never seen it before; and it was right there in front of me—brimming over in long, slow, green, pillowy things that rolled forward and slipped back, forward and back, until all at once they got top heavy and lost control of themselves and tumbled over the edge in a delirious white and green confusion that slid across the sand in swift, foamy triangles almost up to our wheels and made the ponies shrink to the other side of the road in a sort of coquettish dance. Then there was a very slim, refined-looking lighthouse on a gray rock bordered by a little white frill where it touched the water, and beyond that, putting out to sea, was a great ship with bulging sails, and a steamer that left a lonely trail of black smoke sagging after it for miles.

I don't know how long I stared at these things, or how long I should have kept on staring at them, if I had n't happened to glance up and see that Miss Sherwin was looking down at me and laughing. I think she expected me to say something, but I couldn't bring myself to come out with either of the only two things that occurred to me—one of which was that as it looked so exactly as I always thought it was going to, I did n't see why I felt almost like bursting into tears when we came over the hill-top and actually saw it; and the other was—that I should have very much liked to get down and taste it. However, Miss Sherwin had about all she could do to attend to the horses and did n't insist on an explanation; so we said hardly anything all the rest of the way, and just let the wind blow in our faces and watched the waves tumble across the hard sand for miles.

At first nothing at the Sherwins' seemed in the least real to me. Even Duggie struck me as altogether different, although he was, of course, just the same—only seen in unexpected surroundings.

First of all, when we arrived, a groom popped up from behind a hedge and took the horses; then two young men in dark green clothes with brass buttons and yellow waistcoats bustled down from the piazza to get our things out of the cart. They were rather handsome, but had very troubled expressions, and looked as if they worried a good deal for fear they shouldn't do it right. Duggie nodded to them over his shoulder, and I think they were secretly gratified at this—although I suspect them of having worried terribly for fear they might betray it. They helped us off with our coats and hats when we got inside, which is all well enough, and makes you feel as grand as you do in a barber-shop, but has its disadvantages, for they run away with everything you have, and lock them up somewhere in a safe, and when you want to go out to play with the dogs or take a walk and think it all over, you usually have to tell Vincent to tell Dempsey to tell Chamberlain that you would like a hat.

Miss Sherwin led me through some beautiful rooms, and as we walked along she turned to me and exclaimed,—

"Aren't you fearfully keen for your tea?"

I really don't care in the least for tea; in fact, I rather dislike it. But she seemed to take it so for granted that I should be in a sort of tea-guzzling frenzy by half-past five o'clock that I hated to disappoint her, and was going to say, "Oh, yes—fearfully," when it flashed through me that I could make my reply more elaborate and interesting than this, and thought it would be rather effective to murmur, "One gets so out of the habit in Cambridge." Then (all this took only about a second) it occurred to me that I 'd never in my whole life drunk a cup of tea in the afternoon with the exception of the time that Berrisford had some people out to his rooms. So I merely said—which was perfectly true: "I don't like tea; but I like those thin, round cakes that are brown at the edges and yellow in the middle." This made her laugh, and I was glad I had n't said the other thing, because she 's very pretty when she laughs.

One corner of the piazza is enclosed in glass, and we had tea out there where we could watch the sunset and the pink lights on the water as it rolled up almost to the lawn in the front yard. The two younger brothers came in—one of them has a tutor and the other goes to St. Timothy's—and while we were waiting for the tea things to be brought, Mr. and Mrs. Sherwin sauntered across the grass. I forget whether they had been gathering orchids in the conservatory or merely feeding the peacocks, but they were both exceedingly gracious and glad to see me. Yet their very way of taking me so for granted (just as Miss Sherwin had about the tea) made me uncomfortable at first. They could n't, of course, have asked me to explain myself—to tell them what right I had to consume cakes in their crystal palace and enjoy their sunset; but the mere fact that they did n't seem to expect me to justify myself in any way made me feel like an impostor.

The man who brought in the tea things had a good deal to do with this. I 'm quite sure that he disapproved of me from the first. He was older than the two who met us at the door, and I think he had probably long since ceased to worry on his own account; but he worried a lot over me. Later—at dinner—he just gave up all his other duties and stood behind my chair, mentally calculating the chances of my coming out even or behind the game in the matter of knives and forks. Whenever I used too many or too few (which I did constantly) he would glide away and remedy the defect, or craftily remove the damning evidence of my inattention. In writing to mamma about my visit I ended my letter by saying: "I had a delightful time—but it would take me years to get used to their butler." To which mamma replied: "I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, dear; they must live charmingly. But I simply can't see why they should n't have good butter. It's so easy to get it now almost anywhere. Perhaps they don't eat it themselves and don't realize that they are being imposed upon." (This will be one of the greatest triumphs of papa's declining years, as he is always blowing me up about my handwriting.) Whenever Dempsey (the other servants call him "Mr. Dempsey") came into the glass place I waited in a sort of trembling eagerness, half expecting him to announce "Lord and Lady Belgrave and Miss Muriel Fitz Desmond," but the only person who dropped in was an old man named Snagg, and although Dempsey made as much out of his arrival as any one possibly could—you can't, after all, do miracles with a name like Snagg. However, I was grateful to Mr. Snagg for coming, as it brought me back to earth again.

To tell the truth, before the evening was finished I began to get over the unreal sensation I had at first, and saw very plainly that whether or not I felt at home depended entirely on me. Duggie and his family—poor things—did n't have any idea that their Dempsey paralyzed me with fright, or that (just as Berri had predicted) by the time dinner was ready I was shaky in the knees with hunger. They assumed that a friend of Duggie's naturally would feel at home and know beforehand what was going to happen. This dawned on me when I realized that Duggie was exactly as he always is, and that the others were probably exactly as they always were, and I couldn't help appreciating after a time that if they took me so calmly, it was rather unreasonable of me not to feel the same way about them. No one made any effort to entertain me, which is very nice—after you get used to it. Mrs. Sherwin played solitaire after dinner, while Duggie and his sister (she was embroidering something) and I sat around a fire that Miss Sherwin said was built of driftwood from an old whaler, and Duggie declared was manufactured with chemicals by a shrewd person in Maine. I don't know who was right, but with the sea murmuring just outside the windows and coming down every now and then with a great thud on the little beach at the end of the lawn, I preferred to believe in the old whaler theory. Mr. Sherwin would appear every few minutes to read us something he had come across in a volume of literary reminiscences which reminded him of something entirely different that had happened to Thoreau or Emerson or Hawthorne or Margaret Fuller—all of whom he had, as a young man, known very well, indeed. He was delightful.

The next day was Sunday, and as no one awoke me, I found when I got downstairs that it was after ten o'clock and that everybody, with the exception of Duggie, had gone to church. Duggie had been up for hours taking a long walk with the dogs. He came into the glass place on the piazza, where I had breakfast, and read aloud about the game of the day before. Out-of-doors it was almost as warm as in summer, so we took some books and strolled along a cliff to a sheltered place on the rocks, and sat down in the sun. I did n't feel much like reading, although when you 're sitting out-of-doors in the sun I think it's rather pleasanter, somehow, to have a book on your lap. Duggie had a shabby little volume that he read for a minute or two at a time; then he would stop for five or ten and look at the sea swirling around a rock away below us. After a while I became curious to know what the book was, and the next time he closed it over his finger I reached out and took it. The name of it was M. Aurelius Antoninus, and it seemed to be a series of short, disconnected paragraphs with a great many footnotes. A good many of the paragraphs were marked. The only one I can remember went something like this,—

"Don't act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest—while it is in thy power, be good."

"I suppose you 're studying this for some course," I remarked after I had read the extract aloud. "It's so solemn I didn't think you could be reading it for fun," I added.

"I don't suppose I am reading it for fun exactly," Duggie laughed. "It isn't very funny to realize the force of that paragraph when there are so many things you hope to do."

"Well, of course I know I 'm not going to live ten thousand years, but it's so lovely down here that I don't feel a bit as if I were n't," I said, lying back in the sun and closing my eyes.

"That's why I read the book," answered Duggie; "it's tremendously easy to feel that way almost anywhere—down here particularly." He was more serious, I think, than he looked.

"Why should n't one?" I asked. But he only laughed and told me I 'd better read the book, too, and find out.

"It might be a short cut—a sort of revelation. It took me a good while to arrive at it by myself," he added. "Why, when I first went to Cambridge I had an idea that if a man's family were what's called 'nice,' and well known, and if he had good manners and knew a lot of other fellows whose families were nice and well known, and people went around saying that he 'd make the first ten of the Dickey, and be elected into some club or other—I had an idea that he really amounted to a great deal."

"Well, does n't he?" I asked boldly, for all that seemed to me pretty fine.

I think Duggie was going to answer rather sharply, but he must have decided not to, for after a moment he said:

"I suppose whether he does or not depends on the point of view."

"From yours, I take it, he doesn't?" I mused.

"He has a lot in his favor—all sorts of opportunities that other people have n't," Duggie admitted, "but I 've come to look at him as quite unimportant until he tries at least to take some advantage of them. Good Heavens! the wheels of the world are clogged with 'nice' people," said Duggie.

"But what on earth can a person do in a place like college, for instance?" I objected. "You 're there, and you know your own crowd, and you 're satisfied with it because it's awfully—awfully——" I hesitated.

"Awfully nice," Duggie laughed; "and you never see any one else, and they 're all more or less like you—and the rest of your class is composed of grinds, muckers, and 'probably very decent sort of chaps, but'——" Here Duggie reached over and gave me a push that nearly sent me into the sea. "But dontche care—I didn't mean to get started. And anyhow there 's plenty of time."

"Only ten thousand years," I replied.

"Fleetwood's Wednesday Evenings begin next week. If you want to remove your infamous towhead from its richly upholstered barrel for a minute, you 'd better come around," he suggested. "Fleetwood had his Wednesday Evenings on Friday last year because he thought it was more quaint—but I see he 's changed back."

"He told me if I came I should hear a lion roar," I said, trying to remember my talk with Fleetwood at The Holly Tree. At this Duggie lay back and shrieked aloud.

"That man will be found some day torn into small, neat shreds," he managed to say at last.

"Why?" I asked—for I knew he liked Fleetwood.

"Why, because I'm the lion," Duggie giggled.


It must be several weeks since I 've written a word in my diary. To tell the truth, I spend so much time writing other things—things that are printed and sold—actually—at the bookstores—that somehow my own every-day affairs don't seem so important as they did. In a word—I 've been made an editor of the Advocate. It seems so wonderful to be an anything of anything with my name in print on the front page just above the editorials—the editorials that, as Duggie says sarcastically, have made the President and the University what they are. Mamma was delighted at my success, and so was Mildred—although she tried to be funny over my triolet, When Gladys Sings, in the last number, and wrote me that, unless Gladys were the name of a quadruped of some kind, amputation here and there would have improved her. Even papa was pleased, I think, although my first story made him very angry and he wrote me a terrible letter about it. I had simply described, as accurately as I could remember it, the time he went as "The Silver-Tongued Orator from Perugia" to make a political speech in the country and took Mildred and me with him. I told about the people at whose house we stayed, described the house and recorded our conversations at dinner and supper. That was really all there was to it. I considered it quite harmless. The Crimson in criticising it said: "The Jimsons—a humorous sketch by a new writer—is the only ray of sunlight in a number devoted almost exclusively to battle, murder, and sudden death;" a Boston paper reprinted it in full, and papa was perfectly furious. He wrote to me saying (among several pages of other things): "While admitting that your description of my friends is photographic and, in an inexpensive and altogether odious fashion, rather amusing, I take occasion to call your attention to the fact—it seems to have escaped you—that they are, after all, my friends. Furthermore (passing from the purely ethical to the sternly practical), it is among just these people that you will, in the not very distant future, be engaged in making (or trying to make) a living. Kindly snatch a moment or two from your literary pursuits and think this over in some of its more grim possibilities." He also rather superfluously informed me that I would "be older some day" than I am now. (This remark, by the way, seems to have a peculiar fascination for men who have passed the age of fifty.) I showed the letter to Berri, and when he had finished it he said thoughtfully: "A few communications like this, and the keen edge of one's humor would become a trifle dulled."

My election to the Advocate came about in the most unexpected way possible. It's queer how things happen. Berri was sitting in my room one afternoon apparently reading by the fire. Suddenly he looked up and exclaimed:

"Do you realize, Tommy, that failure is staring us in the face?"

"Why, I was in hopes that it had begun to—to avert its gaze somewhat," I answered, for I thought of course he was referring to the hour exams—and I 've studied a little every day since that calamity. "Besides," I added, "I don't see why you need complain; you got through."

"Oh, I'm not talking about our studies," Berri said impatiently; "they 're a detail. I mean that we don't seem to be getting anywhere; we 're not turning our accomplishments to any practical account; we 're not helping the college any and making ourselves prominent—prominent in a lawful sense, I mean."

"But we haven't any accomplishments," I objected. "We both tried for the Glee Club and they would n't have us; and everybody agreed that we couldn't play football—although we went out and did everything they told us to. We can't play the banjo or mandolin, and it's too early in the year to find out whether we 're any good at rowing or track athletics or baseball; so there 's nothing left. What on earth can a person do who has n't any talent or skill or ability of any kind?" I demanded gloomily.

"He can always write," Berri answered, "and he can always be an editor."

"Oh! you mean we ought to try for the Crimson or something."

"Well, not the Crimson exactly," Berrisford mused; "they say you have to work like anything on the Crimson; they make you rush about finding out when things are going to happen, or why they didn't happen when they said they would. That would be awfully tiresome—because of course you wouldn't care whether they happened or not. I 'd just like to sit around and edit; any one could do that."

"I should think you 'd go in for the Lampoon," I suggested; for I remembered that one of the Lampoon men had drawn a picture of something Berri had done. Professor Snook, who knows such a lot about folk-lore, was going to give a lecture in Sever Hall on The Devil. It was announced on all the bulletin boards by means of printed placards that read like this: "Thursday, November 10, Professor John Snook will deliver a lecture on The Devil;" and under the one outside of University, Berri wrote in pencil: "The first of a series on personalities that have influenced me." If he got himself noticed by the Lampoon without trying, I thought there was no telling what he could do if he put his mind to it. We discussed the matter awhile without, however, deciding on any definite plan.

That night we went to Fleetwood's first Wednesday Evening, and there I was introduced to— But I 'm going too fast. I 'd better tell about the Wednesday Evening first.

When I suggested going Berri was n't particularly enthusiastic about it. He said he was afraid it would resemble one of his aunt's receptions where everybody was so cultivated that it was just like reading Half Hours with the Best Authors on a warm Sunday afternoon. I had an idea that it might be something like that myself, but I finally persuaded Berri to go with me notwithstanding.

I don't know what to make of myself sometimes. When I 'm with Duggie I 'm inclined to take things rather seriously; but when I 'm with Berri it all seems like a joke. They 're so different, and yet I feel as if I were so much a friend of both. When all three of us happen to be together I find it most uncomfortable. Of course Berri thought the Wednesday Evening highly amusing.

It was rather late when we arrived, and the room was crowded with fellows, very few of whom I had ever seen before. Fleetwood opened the door for us, with a Shakespearian quotation trembling aptly on his lips, and led us through the crowd to his inside room, where we left our coats and hats.

"You must come and meet my lions and hear them roar," Fleetwood said to us; and was about to take us across the study to where Duggie was standing against the wall with a semicircle of Freshmen in front of him drinking in his every word.

"Good gracious, man—you don't mean to say you got me away over here on a cold night to hear Duggie Sherwin drool about football," Berri exclaimed to me. Mr. Fleetwood laughed, and seemed to think this was very funny.

"Just look how glad of the chance all those others are, you unappreciative boy," he said reproachfully to Berri.

"Oh, well—he doesn't wake them up at a horrible hour every morning yelling like a fiend under a shower-bath," Berri explained. "You see, the lion and I occupy the same lair—or do lions live in a den? I never can remember."

"Perhaps Mr. Ranny knows," said Fleetwood to a tall, studious-looking fellow who had evidently planned his escape and was in the act of shyly carrying it out when Fleetwood detained him. Fleetwood introduced him to Berri and slid away to greet another man who had just opened the door. As I moved off to join Duggie's group, Berri gave me a queer look; but a few minutes later I happened to glance across at him, and as the tall fellow was laughing at everything Berri said I knew that Berri was enjoying himself.

Duggie shook hands with me and said good-evening just as if he had n't been in my room sprawling on the floor in front of the fire an hour and a half before, and then went on with what he was saying to the fellows nearest him—some polite looking little chaps; Freshmen, although I had never seen them before.

The talk was mostly about football; the games that had been played and the ones still to come—comparative scores and the merits and defects of players at other colleges. Of course Duggie could discuss only with the fellows just in front of him. I think he realized how embarrassing it would be to any of the others if he were to single them out and address remarks to them. Besides, it might have sounded patronizing. Yet every now and then, when whoever was talking happened to say something funny, Duggie somehow included the whole crowd in the laugh that followed. I think he managed it by catching everybody's eye at just the right time; I know that—although I was merely standing there looking on—whenever he caught mine, I felt as if I were right in the game. This often had the effect of causing a fellow to say something to the fellow next to him, and so it frequently happened that people who had joined the group merely to rubber in embarrassed silence at Duggie, found themselves making acquaintances and talking on their own account. I learned afterward that this was precisely what Fleetwood and Duggie counted on. It was Fleetwood's chief reason for having Duggie as often as he could at his Wednesday Evenings, and Duggie's only reason for going.

Across the room there was another centre of attraction in the person of a fine but rather pompous-looking old gentleman with a pink face and a snowy beard. His audience was more talkative than Duggie's, but not so large. It was n't composed entirely of Freshmen, either. As I was standing there making up my mind to slide through the intervening crowd and find out what he was talking about, Berri, who had been standing with a rapt expression on the outskirts of the second group, detached himself and came over to me. "You simply must come and listen to him; it's perfectly thrilling," he said.

"I was just going over to investigate," I answered. "What 's his specialty?"

"I don't know how to describe it exactly," Berri replied; "he's a kind of connecting link with the literary past; he 's what phonographs will be when we get them perfected. Dickens once borrowed his opera-glasses on the evening of the twelfth of June years ago, and some years later Thackeray stepped on his foot at a dinner-party. He remembers what they said perfectly, and gets asked out a lot. I 've heard him tell the Thackeray thing twice now, and he 's going to do it again in a minute if there 's enough of a crowd."

We went over and listened to him for ever so long, and although Dickens had borrowed his opera-glasses and Thackeray had stepped on his foot, he was n't in the least what Berri had led me to expect. I found him delightful and was sorry when he had to leave. (Berri insisted that he was driven rapidly to town to the Palace Theatre, where he was due to appear at 10.50—between a trick bicyclist and a Dutch comedian.)

When we had said good-by to him, Fleetwood came up bringing a pleasant-looking chap with spectacles. (I had often seen him in the Yard.)

"This is Mr. Paul," Fleetwood said to me, "and he wants to have words with you."

Mr. Paul talked about the old gentleman for a minute or two, and then said quite abruptly,—

"We 've been reading your stuff in English 83, Mr. Wood, and the fellows think it's darned good. I wish you 'd let us have some of it for the Advocate."

I was so astonished I just looked at him. Then he went on to say that he wanted to print two of my themes—The Jimsons, and a description of something I saw one night in town—and that if I wrote a third and it turned out to be good, they would make me an editor! He had said that the Monthly had designs on me (imagine), and that although the Advocate did n't often do things so hastily, it (I wonder if it's silly of me to write this down?) didn't want to lose me. I told him that I 'd never dreamed of getting on one of the papers and felt as if he were making fun of me. But he assured me he was n't.

Duggie and Berrisford and I walked home together, and when we reached my room Duggie and Berri began to squabble over Fleetwood's Wednesday Evenings, and talked and talked until Duggie, seeing how late it was, got undressed (talking all the time) and left his clothes on my floor, and continued the conversation even after he had gone into his own room, turned out the lights and got into bed.

Berri, of course, started out by saying,—

"Well, I don't see what 's the good of it," and Duggie immediately undertook to enlighten him. Whereupon Berri—fearing that the attempt might be successful—took another tack and exclaimed,—

"I should think you'd feel so ridiculous backed up there against the wall making conversation—or perhaps you enjoy being an object of curiosity." Duggie got very red, and I think he considered Berri unusually cheeky and impertinent, but he did n't snub him and I 'm sure Berri was disappointed; he loves to irritate people.

"I don't think my feelings in the matter are particularly important," Duggie answered. "I don't see why you haul them in."

"Oh! but they are," Berri insisted. "I was n't in the least interested in you when you were over there doing your stunts; but here, at home—in the bosom of the family, so to speak—you 're perfectly absorbing. Now, honestly, Duggie, don't you think that in the end it 'll do you a lot of harm—exhibiting yourself this way, and sort of saying to yourself: 'I am the only Duggie Sherwin; when Fleetwood tells the Freshmen that I am going to be there, the room is jammed'—and all that sort of thing. For of course that's what it amounts to."

Duggie threw back his head and laughed. Then he leaned forward and gave Berrisford (who was sitting on the floor with his hands clasped around his knees), a neat little push that rolled him back until he seemed to be standing on his neck and groping for the ceiling with his feet.

"Berrisford, sometimes you make me very, very sick," Duggie said to him.

"But own up like a man—isn't that the way you look at it?" Berri pursued after he had collected himself.

"Of course it is n't—idiot!" Duggie declared indignantly. "Fleetwood can't do the whole thing himself; he can't turn a lot of shy kids into a pen and say, 'Now talk and get to know one another.' So he asks other people to help him. Once in a while he asks me. To-night there were two of us."

"Two Little Evas—two Uncle Toms—two side-splitting Topsies," Berri giggled.

"Heaven knows I can talk about other things than football," Duggie went on, "but I like to talk about it, and they do, too—so why shouldn't we? And when they have enough of me they get to talking with some one else—some one in their own class, very likely—or maybe to two or three. Then they come back again next week, and after a few times they find that they 've made a lot of acquaintances, and perhaps some friends. And there you are! Their whole four years is probably changed for them and made infinitely more worth while, merely because Fleetwood takes the trouble to round them up and make them feel that somebody really wants them. It's perfectly natural that you should think his Wednesdays funny and boresome; you always had dozens of rooms to go to from the first day you came here, and some one in every room who was glad to see you when you went. But I tell you it isn't that way with everybody, and you 're not the kind that Fleetwood tries to get at."

"Why did he invite me, then?" Berri asked.

"Upon my soul, I don't know," Duggie declared sarcastically, "but I 'd be willing to bet that if I see him first he won't invite you again," he laughed.

Then Berri admitted that Fleetwood's idea was well enough in theory, but doubted if it really worked.

"That tall spook I jollied this evening for a while was exceedingly nice; but I sha'n't dash off and call on him to-morrow. I don't suppose I'll ever see him again," Berri said.

"No, probably not," Duggie assented, "but it's altogether likely that after time has healed the wound left by your indifference, he may find consolation in the companionship of some one else. You may not be able to grasp the fact, Berri, but it is a fact that 'there are others.'" It was in the midst of this that he began to get ready for bed.

"Why don't you open a salon yourself if you think they 're such 'life-sweeteners'?" Berri called after him when he went into his own room.

"When I come to the Law School next year, I'm going to," Duggie shouted back, "but you 'll never see the inside of it; I 'll tell you that right now."

I did n't join in the discussion at all, for I got to thinking how lucky I had been from the first. Mamma overheard an old woman on a piazza say that she made the "young men" change their shoes when it was "snow-in'"—and that was all there was to it. That chance remark led to my living in the same house with Duggie and Berri; and what a difference it has made! Without Berri I never in the world should have known such a lot of people in so short a time; and without Duggie—well, I think I understand what my adviser meant when he said he was glad I knew Duggie.

There has been one Advocate meeting since my election and I thought it was great. All the editors meet in the Advocate President's room on Tuesday evening to hear the Secretary read the manuscripts that have been sent in or collected from the English courses during the week. It took them a long time to settle down to business; in fact no one seemed to want to hear the manuscripts at all—although I secretly thought this would be very interesting—and several fellows made remarks and tried to interrupt (the poetry especially) all the time the Secretary was reading. But he read on in a businesslike voice and never paid any attention to them except once, when he grabbed a college catalogue from the table, and without looking away from the page shied it at a fellow who was repeating the verses the Secretary was trying to read—only repeating them all wrong and making them sound ridiculous. In the case of most of the contributions the fellows began to vote "no" before they had read them half through; but several of them were hard to decide on, and the board had a lively time making up its mind. After the reading we sat around the fire and had beer and crackers and cheese while (as several of the manuscripts expressed it) "the storm howled without."

A few afternoons ago the Secretary (he has such a queer name—it's Duncan Duncan), came to my room to see how much I had done on a story I was writing. It was a little after six o'clock when he got up to go, and as he was on his way to dinner at Memorial he asked me to dine with him. I had never been to Memorial at meal time and was glad of the chance to go. It's a very interesting experience, although I think I prefer the comparative peacefulness of Mrs. Brown's as a usual thing.

We were joined in the Yard by a friend of Duncan's who sits at the same table. Duncan is a thoughtful, rather dreamy kind of person (he writes a lot of poetry for the Advocate), and on the way over he told me how much he enjoyed living at Memorial—that he never got tired of looking up at the stained-glass windows and the severe portraits.

"Even with the crowd and clatter there 's always something inspiring about its length and height," he said. "It has a calmness and dignity that quite transcend the fact of people's eating there. It's so academic."

"It's so cheap," the other fellow amended; but Duncan did n't mind him and became almost sentimental on the subject.

Well, I felt sorry for Duncan. We had hardly begun on our turkey and cranberry sauce when two of the colored waiters got into the most dreadful fight and rushed at each other with drawn forks. All the men jumped up on their chairs and waved their napkins and yelled: "Down in front—down in front!" and "Trun him out!" As the newspapers say of the Chamber of Deputies, "A scene of indescribable confusion ensued." It was several minutes before the combatants were hustled off to the kitchen and we could go on with our dinner. Then a party appeared in the visitors' gallery—a middle-aged man, two women, and some girls. One of the girls was decidedly pretty and attracted everybody's attention the moment she leaned over the rail. The man, however, was what caused the demonstration in the first place. He didn't take his hat off, which Duncan says always makes trouble. I don't think anybody really cares one way or the other, but it furnishes an excuse for noise. A murmur of disapproval travelled across the room and grew louder and louder until the man with a genial air of "Ah—these boys have recognized me," came to the front of the gallery and bowed. He took off his hat, which produced a burst of applause from below, and then put it on again, which changed the clapping of hands to ominous groans. The poor thing looked mystified and embarrassed, and I don't know how it would have ended if the pretty girl hadn't just at that instant been inspired to pluck a big rose from her belt and toss it over the rail. It fell with a thud in the middle of our table and twenty-four eager hands shot out to seize it. I grabbed instinctively with the others, and with the others I 'm exceedingly ashamed of what happened. The tablecloth and all the dishes were swept off, and in the scrimmage that followed the table was overturned. I have a terrifying, hideous recollection of everybody in the world kneeling on my chest and of something warm and wet on my face and neck. Then Duncan was saying,—

"It's all right, old man—lie perfectly still; you 've cut yourself a little, but it doesn't amount to anything. Only don't exert yourself." He looked so scared and white that I began to be frightened myself and tried to get up. But he and some of the other fellows very gently restrained me, saying that I was all right in the peculiar, hurried fashion that, more than anything else, convinces you that you're all wrong. Duncan's friend and another fellow were mumbling somewhere near me; I caught these fragments of their conversation: "It must be an artery—eight or ten minutes if it is n't attended to—Doctor Banning and Doctor Merrick—telephoned—don't talk so loud—he might hear."

Then I lay quite still and closed my eyes and tried to think.


Looked at in one way, it was a humiliating thing to have happen; but on the other hand, after it was all over, I was able to derive considerable satisfaction from the fact that I had n't lost my presence of mind. The remarks I overheard as I lay on the floor of Memorial were anything but reassuring. I realized that in the scrimmage for the rose I had been submerged in china, glass, and cutlery,—that some of these things had severed one of my arteries and that the worst might happen. Of course I was very much frightened at first, and it was then that I tried to get up; but after they restrained me, I sank back and began to think of poor mamma. I was on the point of asking for writing materials, but on remembering that an accident of this kind was always attended by a sort of dreamy weakness, I became—actually—so languid that I recall telling myself that it would be of no use—I would n't have strength with which to write, even if a pen were thrust into my hand. So I went on thinking about mamma until suddenly a man with a pointed beard (I have since learned he was a medical student who happened to be dining with some friends at Memorial) dropped on one knee beside me and with rapid, skilful fingers began to open my shirt. Then he stopped very abruptly, and with the most disgusted expression I ever saw, turned toward the light and examined his fingers. After which he got up, brushed the dust from his knee, and said in a loud, peevish voice,—

"Tell that child to get up and go home and wash the cranberry-sauce off his face and neck and put on clean clothes," which I did as quickly as possible without even waiting to say good-bye to Duncan.

They don't call me "Tommy Trusting" any more. It became "Cranberry" for a day or two, then it was shortened to "Cranny," and now it's "Granny"—"Granny Wood." Berri says that it has a ring of finality to it, and that I 'll never be known by any other name.

Since the great game (I don't believe I 've touched upon the great game), the college seems to have settled down once more to an every-day sort of existence, with the Christmas holidays looming up now and then in letters from home. (As I was going out this morning, the postman met me at the gate and gave me four letters with the Perugia postmark. It 's funny how my feelings toward that poor man vary. When he hands me letters from home, I think he 's one of the nicest-looking persons I ever saw, but when he doles out a lot of bills, he seems to have a hard, cynical expression that I hate. I meet him at The Holly Tree occasionally, where he goes to snatch a nourishing breakfast of coffee and lemon-pie.)

I have n't alluded to the great game for several reasons—the chief one being that (as Berri says when people explain why they didn't pass certain exams), "I dislike post-mortems." I suppose it might have been, in various ways, a more distressing event than it actually was. The seats, for instance, might have collapsed and killed all the spectators; there might have been a railway collision on the way down; there might have been an earthquake or a tidal-wave. That none of these things happened is, of course, cause for congratulation—if not for bonfires and red lights on Holmes' Field. It is always well, I suppose, to have something definite to rejoice over. The long trip in the train back to Boston after the game, with every one hoarse and tired out and cross and depressed, was— But I had determined not to mention it at all.

Poor Duggie! I know it nearly killed him. He has tried to refer to it philosophically and calmly in my room once or twice since then; but he never gets very far. He knows what he wants to say and ought to say, but he 's so intimate with Berri and me that I don't think he altogether trusts himself to say it. I imagine he finds it easier to talk to comparative strangers. I was afraid at first that Berri was going to find in the subject a sort of inexhaustible opportunity for the exercise of his genius for making people uncomfortable; but instead of that, I 've never known him to be so nice. For the first time he has allowed himself to show some of the admiration for Duggie that, all along, I 've felt sure he really has, and Duggie appreciates his delicacy—although in one way it grates on him almost as much, I think, as if Berri were just as he always is.

The other day mamma said in one of her letters, "I often wonder how you spend your days; just what you do from the time you go out to breakfast until you go to bed at—I hesitate to think what o'clock." So when I answered her letter I tried to put in everything I did that day, and here it is:—

8.30 A.M.—Woke up in the midst of a terrible dream in which a burglar was pressing a revolver to my temple, and found that beast, Saga, standing by my bed with his cold, moist nose against my cheek. I threw shoes at him until he ran away yelping, which hurt Berri's feelings and made him very disagreeable to Duggie and me about the bathtub. He said we ought to let him have his bath first, as it took him so much longer!

9.15. Breakfast at The Holly Tree. Berri came with me, as he said he disliked last chapters, and it was Mrs. Brown's day for concluding her great serial story entitled "Corned Beef." At The Holly Tree we found Mr. Fleetwood, who hid coquettishly behind a newspaper when he saw us coming and exclaimed,—

"Go away,—go away, you unreverend, clever boy. You—you!" he added, shaking his finger at Berri. "I don't mind the other one—the little one," he went on when we had hung up our coats and hats and went over to his table; "but you have 'a tongue with a tang.' I sha'n't ask you again to my Wednesday Evenings." Of course this was perfect fruit for Berri, who sat down at once and implored Fleetwood with tears in his eyes to tell him what he had done, and begged him not to blight his (Berri's) career at the outset by denying him admission to the Wednesday Evenings. He vowed that he felt ever so much "older" and "broader" and "thoughtfuller," and all sorts of things that he never in the world will feel, just for going that once. But Fleetwood pretended not to listen to him, and went on reading the paper, interrupting Berri every now and then with: "Viper—viper!" or "Serpent—serpent!" I think he really likes Berri immensely, but is shrewd enough to know that he never can get at him by being serious. We had a very jolly breakfast, and Berri left declaring that he would n't rest until he had induced some famous man to step on his feet.

"Then I 'll be a lion myself and I sha'n't go to your Wednesday Evenings, no matter how much you ask me," he said. At which Fleetwood held his head with one hand and waved toward the door with the other, moaning,—

"Go away,—go away, both of you! You 've caused me to drink four cups of tea without knowing what I was doing. I think you want to drive me mad."

10.30. Neither of us had a lecture until eleven o'clock, and we were looking at some new books in a window on the Square when Hemington appeared. He touched us on the shoulders in a confidential kind of way, and then, looking furtively at the people who were waiting near by for a car, lowered his voice mysteriously, and asked us to go with him to his room.

"I have something over there that I don't mind letting you in on," he said. "Only you must n't of course speak of it; it might get us into a good deal of trouble with the government."

This sounded rather exciting, so we hurried to Hemington's room without talking much on the way over, as Hemington did n't communicate anything further and we, of course, could n't help wondering what he was going to show us. When we got into his study, he gave a peculiar rap on his bedroom door and out came a strange-looking little person,—short and plump, with black, curly hair and big black eyes and a sallow, almost dusky skin. A bright red handkerchief knotted loosely around his neck gave him a picturesque, a tropical air, that, considering we were in Hemington's prosaic study in Stoughton Hall, thrilled us from the first.

"This is Amadéo," said Hemington. (Hemi is taking Spanish I., and I think he enjoyed as much as anything pronouncing the name in a deep, rich, careless sort of way; he hauled it in every other second.) "It's all right, Amadéo," he went on, for although Amadéo smiled a most beautiful smile full of very regular and dazzling teeth, he turned to Hemington with a look intended to express inquiry and misgiving. "You can trust these men; they are your friends."

At this Amadéo flashed his teeth again and kissed Berri's hands. Berri looked exceedingly shocked, and I craftily put mine in my pocket.

"He 's a deserter," Hemington explained; for Berri began to rub his knuckles with a handkerchief, Amadéo looked hurt, and there was a moment of embarrassment all round. "He escaped from a merchantman that got in a few days ago from ——" (As I don't take Spanish I., it's impossible for me to give the luscious name of the island that Amadéo's boat had come from. It sounded something like Santa Bawthawthawthoth.) "The skipper was a brute—a regular old timer, and Amadéo could n't stand it any longer. He and a pal swam ashore with all their worldly possessions on their backs done up in tarpaulins (they were fired at six times when they were in the water), and his possessions" (here Hemington lowered his voice and Amadéo glanced sharply at the door) "consisted of three or four hundred of the best cigars you ever smoked in your life. He got them at Santa Bawthawthawthoth, and as he has n't a cent, of course he wants to sell them. He asks about a fourth as much as you have to pay for a perfectly wretched cigar at any place in town. They naturally did n't go through the custom house, and that's why you have to keep it all so quiet."

Amadéo went into Hemington's bedroom and returned with an oil-skin bundle that looked like those round, flat cheeses you see under cages of green wire in grocery stores. He untied it (glancing apprehensively at the door from time to time, and once clasping it to his breast when he heard a step in the hall outside), and disclosed the smuggled treasure. I have n't begun to smoke yet, but Berri and Hemington each took a cigar, and after puffing away for several seconds, Berri said his was simply delicious. It certainly smelled very good, and I was very sorry I had to run away in a few minutes to my eleven o'clock lecture, for Amadéo began to tell of some of his experiences on the merchantman, and they were pretty fierce. Berri cut his lecture, and I should have, if I were n't on probation. One of the penalties of probation is that you can't cut without an excuse that holds water at every pore.

11-12 M. Listened to a lecture—with experiments—on physics. The experiments did n't turn out well, and the instructor seemed much annoyed. I don't think he has the right idea. My experiments in the laboratory always give beautiful results. I find out first of all from the book what Nature is expected to do; and then I see that she does it. I 'm one of the most successful little experimenters in the class.

12 M. Ran back to Hemington's room. Amadéo had gone, but Berri and Hemington had bought all the cigars. Berri had learned a lot of Spanish in my absence, and could say "Amadéo" and "Santa Bawthawthawthoth" with almost as fluent a hot-mush effect as Hemington could. He packed his share of the cigars in Hemi's dress-suit case, and we took them over to our house.

1 P.M. Went to luncheon at Mrs. Brown's, and tried to borrow a shirt from everybody at the table, but without success. Duncan Duncan asked me to a tea in his rooms this afternoon to meet his mother and sisters and some girls from town. I promised to go, but Miss Shedd, my washerwoman, slipped on the ice and hurt herself and has n't been able to do my clothes for more than two weeks, and I discovered this morning that there were no more shirts in my drawer. Berri or Duggie would lend me one, but Berri unfortunately hasn't any, either, as Miss Shedd does his washing too, and of course anything of Duggie's on me is ridiculous. I wore a suit of his pajamas one night when I had a cold, as they 're thicker than mine, and the shoulders hung down around my elbows. Well, nobody would lend me a shirt—for no reason in the world except that they realized I simply had to have one and thought it would be amusing not to.

While we were at luncheon, Berri and Hemington gave every one two or three cigars, and Berri said knowingly: "I wish you fellows would try these and tell me what you think of them. I happened to get hold of them in a rather odd way; I can't tell you how exactly—at least not for a few days. They 're not the usual thing you buy at a store. They come from Santa Bawthawthawthoth."

We went on talking and forgot all about the cigars, until Berri, who is very sensitive to any kind of scent or odor, suddenly looked up and said,—

"What a perfectly excruciating smell! It's like overshoes on a hot register, only much worse. What on earth is it?" At this the rest of us at the table began to sniff the air, and I confess it was pretty bad. Bertie Stockbridge had finished his luncheon while we were still eating, and had taken his chair over to the window, where he was reading something for a half-past one recitation and smoking one of Amadéo's cigars. He was too absorbed in his book to hear the rest of us, but all at once he looked up with a very pained expression and exclaimed,—

"What a beastly cigar! I was reading and did n't notice how queer it was; it 's made me very sick." Then of course we all discovered at once where the hot rubbery fumes came from,—all but Berri and Hemington, that is to say; they refused to believe it. So everybody began to light cigars, and in a minute or two the room was simply unendurable. Stockbridge said they were like the trick cigars you see advertised sometimes; the kind that "explode with a red light,—killing the smoker and amusing the spectators." We dissected several of them; they seemed to contain a little of everything except tobacco. The fellows insisted on knowing all the details of the colossal sell, and although Berri and Hemington felt awfully cheap about their part in it, they finally told. Duggie says an Amadéo or a Manuele or a Luigi or an Anselmo appears in Cambridge every year at about this time, and invariably returns to Santa Bawthawthawthoth laden with Freshman gold.

1.25 P.M. Rushed home; got a shirt and took it to a Chinese laundry just off Mt. Auburn Street and implored the proprietor to wash it and have it ready for me by five o'clock. He seemed to think me somewhat insane, and said in a soothing, fatherly kind of way,—

"You come back day aftle to-mollel." Then I explained the situation and told him I would give him anything he asked if he would do me this favor. He made strange Oriental sounds, at which sleepy, gibbering things tumbled out of a shelf behind a green calico curtain, and from a black hole in the partition at the end of the shelf there began a tremendous grunting and snuffling, pierced by squeaks of rage and anguish. Then five Chinamen swarmed about my shirt, gesticulating murderously, and uttering raucous cries like impossible birds. I wanted to stay and see how it all turned out; but the bell had rung for my half-past one o'clock, and I hurried away.

The Oriental temperament is an impassive, deliberative, sphinx-like, inscrutable thing.

1.40-2.30 P.M. This hour I spent in class listening to a lecture on narration. I enjoyed it very much, and the hour went by so quickly that when the instructor dismissed us, I thought he had made a mistake. He gave us short scenes from various famous books in illustration of his points; and ended, as usual, by reading a lot of daily themes written by the class. Two of them were mine. He said they were good, but pointed out how they could have been better. One of his suggestions I agree with perfectly, but I think he 's all off in regard to the other. I 'll talk it over with him at his next consultation hour. Some of the fellows thought the whole thing perfect drool; but I confess it interested me very much. I never feel like cutting this course, somehow.

2.30. Went to my room with the intention of reading history until it was time to go for my shirt, and—if it was done up—get ready for the tea. I had read only part of a chapter when some fellows, passing by, yelled at my windows. I had made up my mind, when I began to read, not to answer any one, as it 's impossible to accomplish anything if you do. But of course I forgot and yelled back, and in a minute three fellows clattered up the stairs and I realized that they were good for the rest of the afternoon.

It's a queer thing about going to see people here. I don't think that any one ever goes with the intention of staying any length of time, or even of sitting down; you merely drop in as you 're passing by and happen to think of it. You would n't believe it if somebody told you you were destined to stay for several hours. But that's what usually happens. Another queer thing is that very few fellows admit that they 're studying when you come in, unless of course it's in the midst of the exams. If you find a man at a desk with a note-book and several large open volumes spread out before him, and you say to him, "Don't mind me—go on with your grinding," nine times out of ten he'll answer, "Oh, I wasn't grinding; I was just glancing over these notes." The tenth man fixes you with a determined eye and replies: "You get out of here, or take a book and go into a corner and shut up."

3.45. We all took a walk up Brattle Street past the Longfellow house as far as James Russell Lowell's place and back. It's a great old street, even with the leaves all gone—which makes ordinary places so dreary. Duggie pointed out the most famous houses to me one day and told me who had lived in them. I tried to do it this afternoon, but the fellows said they did n't care.

5. Got my shirt at the Chinaman's. It looked all right, but it was still damp in spots—wet, in fact. I went prepared to pay almost any price after all the excitement I had caused; but the proprietor was surprisingly moderate in his demands. I gave him something more than he asked, but he would n't take it until I accepted some poisonous-looking dried berries done up in a piece of oiled paper. He seemed to have grasped the idea of a tea, for he kept saying over and over again with a delighted smile: "You go see girl—you go see girl."

5.20. Went to Duncan's tea and "saw girl"—lots of them. They were very nice, and pretended they were dreadfully excited at being in a college room. They asked all sorts of silly questions, and the fellows replied with even sillier answers. Duncan had taken them to see the museums and the glass flowers and Memorial and the Gym, and had done the honors of Cambridge generally.

6.30. Went to dinner at Mrs. Brown's, but as I had just come from Duncan's, where I had drunk two cups of tea (I don't know why, as I hate it) and had eaten several kinds of little cakes, I had no appetite whatever. Somebody had put a chocolate cigar on Berri's and Hemington's plate,—the kind that has a piece of gilt paper glued to the large end. Berri and Hemington had to stand a good deal of guying during dinner, but were consoled by the fact that Amadéo's pal had worked precisely the same game on some other men we know slightly at the very moment that Amadéo himself was doing us.

7.15. Went to my room and made a big fire, as I had a curious kind of chill, although the house was warm and it was n't cold outside. I had just decided to stay at home and read, when I came across an Advocate postal card on my desk, and remembered that there was a meeting of the board in the Secretary's room at eight o'clock.

8.11. Listened to manuscripts and voted on them, and then sat around and talked afterwards. It's rather embarrassing sometimes when a story happens to be by one of the editors and isn't good. This evening we had a long, terribly sentimental passage from the life of a member of the board. We all knew who had written it, and although it was ever so much worse than the tale that had just been read (which had been most unmercifully jumped on), the criticisms were painfully cautious and generously sprinkled with the praise that damns. Of course it isn't always this way when the editors submit things; they 're often made more fun of than anybody else. But this man for some reason is n't the kind with whom that sort of thing goes down. He has been known to refer to writing for the Advocate as "My Art."

One thing that happened during the evening made a good deal of fun. The advertisers have kicked about our not having the leaves of the paper cut. They say that the subscribers cut the leaves of the reading matter only, and never get a chance to see the advertisements at all. We think it is ever so much nicer not to have it done by machinery, for when the subscribers do it themselves with a paper-cutter, the effect on the thick paper is very rough and artistic. Well, we discussed this for a long time, until some one exclaimed: "I don't see why we shouldn't have it done by hand. It would take a little longer, but the expense would n't amount to much, and in that way we could have our rough edges and appease the advertisers at the same time." So after some more talk it was voted on and carried unanimously. Then the President got up, and turning to a solemn person who had been very much in favor of the motion, said:

"It has been moved and carried that the leaves of the Advocate be cut henceforth by Hand. Mr. Hand, you will kindly see that the work is done on time; I think there are only eight or nine hundred copies printed this year."

11. On the way home from the Advocate meeting I saw the most gorgeous northern lights I ever imagined,—great shafts of deep pink that shot up from the horizon and all joined at the middle of the sky like a glorious umbrella. I ran upstairs to get Duggie and Berri, but neither of them was in; so, as I simply had to have some one to marvel with, I called Mrs. Chester. She and another old crone—Mis' Buckson—were having a cup of tea in the kitchen, and did n't seem particularly enthusiastic over my invitation to come out and see the display, but they finally bundled up in shawls and followed me to the piazza. We stood there a minute or two looking up in silence, and I thought at first that they were as much impressed as I was. Finally, however, Mrs. Chester gave a little society cough and remarked,—

"It's real chilly, aren't it?" and Mis' Buckson, drawing her shawl more tightly about her bent shoulders, jerked her chin in an omnipotent, blasé kind of fashion towards the heavens, and croaked,—

"That there's a sign o' war." Then they both limped back to the house.

11.30. Made a big blaze in the fireplace, as I was cold again and did n't feel well at all. I sat down to write to mamma, and was just finishing when Duggie came in on his way to bed. He 's not in training now and can stay up as long as he pleases. He asked me how often I wrote to mamma, and I told him that I had written twice a week at first because there was so much to tell, but that now since things had settled down and I did n't have so much to say, I write about once a week. He answered that there was just as much to say now as there ever was, and told me to write twice a week or he 'd know the reason why.

Then I went to bed and had a chill. And that's how a whole day was spent from half-past eight in the morning until half-past twelve at night.

The next morning I woke up with a very bad sore throat and a stiff neck and pains all over. Duggie and Berri made me send for a doctor, and signed off for me at the office. I can't imagine how I caught cold, unless, perhaps, it was from wearing that wet shirt.


I was very sick for about three days, and just sick for three or four days more. When Berri signed off for me at the office, the college doctor bustled around to my room at noon to see what was the matter. His motives in doing this are somewhat mixed, I believe. He has not only the health but the veracity of the undergraduate very much at heart. If you are laid up, of course he has to know about it; and if you are n't well enough to attend lectures but manage with a heroic effort to go skating,—well, he likes to know about that too.

"Of course you haven't measles," Duggie said when he came in a few minutes after Dr. Tush had gone, "but equally, of course, he said you had,—did n't he?"

"Yes, he did," I answered dismally; for he had told me this at considerable length, and I remembered that measles a good many years before had almost been the end of me.

"Well, that's a relief," Duggie went on cheerfully. "You may have all sorts of things, but it's a cinch that you have n't measles. Tush is a conservative old soul; he always gambles on measles, and of course every now and then he wins. It pleases him immensely. He usually celebrates his success by writing a paper on 'The University's Health,' and getting it printed in the Graduates' Magazine."

When the other doctor—the real one—came, he found that I was threatened with pneumonia.

Oh, I had a perfectly miserable time of it at first. The feeling dreadfully all over and not being able to breathe was bad enough, but I think the far-away-from-homeness and the worrying about mamma were worse. I was afraid all the time that she would hear (although I could n't imagine how that would be possible), and then in the middle of the night I lay awake hoping and praying that she would hear and leave for Cambridge by the next train. I don't suppose I realized just then how wonderfully good Duggie and Berri and Mrs. Chester were to me. Duggie and Berri took turns in sitting up all night and putting flannel soaked in hot mustard-water on my chest (ugh! how I loathe the smell of mustard), and when they had to go to lectures during the day,—I think, as a matter of fact, they cut a great many of them,—Mrs. Chester would come in and hem endless dish-cloths by the window. Berri says that he ceased to worry about me from the time I looked over at Mrs. Chester after about half an hour's silence and exclaimed,—

"Sew some more with the crisscross pattern; I 'm tired of those dingy white ones."

As I began to get better, I appreciated how much trouble I 'd given them all and tried to thank them; but Berri said,—

"Why, your illness has been a perfect god-send to me. I 've done more grinding lately between midnight and six in the morning than I ever thought would be possible. I 've caught up with almost everything." And Duggie stopped me with,—

"But if it had n't been Berri and I, it would have been someone else—which we're very glad it was n't."

Old Mrs. Chester is a jewel. I didn't pay much attention to her at first, but was just glad to know she was in the room. Later, however, when I began to want to get up and she devoted the whole of her marvellous art to keeping me amused, I appreciated her. She is wonderful. I was going to assert that she inspires the kind of affection one can't help feeling for a person who is all heart and no intelligence; but that, somehow, misses the mark. She has intelligence—lots of it—only it's different. And before my recovery was complete I began to wonder if it wasn't the only kind that is, after all, worth while. For it's the kind with which books and newspapers and "going a journey" and other mechanical aids have nothing to do. (Perhaps I should concede something to the influence of foreign travel, as there was a very memorable expedition "to Goshen in New York State" some time in the early sixties.) Mrs. Chester's intelligence gushes undefiled from the rock, and then flows along in a limpid, ungrammatical stream that soothes at first and then enslaves. Her gift for narrative of the detailed, photographic, New England variety positively out-Wilkins Mary, and I am to-day, perhaps, the greatest living male authority on what Berri calls la cronique scandaleuse of Cambridge. One of her studies in the life of the town forty years ago (it was a sort of epic trilogy that lasted all morning and afternoon and part of the evening with intermissions for luncheon and dinner) I mean to write some time for the Advocate. It all leads up to the New Year's Eve on which "old Mrs. Burlap passed away," but it includes several new and startling theories as to the real cause of the Civil War, an impartial account of the war itself, a magnificent tribute to the late General Butler, a description of Mrs. Chester's wedding,—the gifts and floral tributes displayed on that occasion together with a dreamy surmise as to their probable cost,—a brief history of religion from the point of view of one who is at times assailed by doubt,—but who doesn't make a practice of "rushin' around town tellin' folks who'd only be too glad to have it to say" (this last I assumed to be a thrust at Mis' Buckson),—a spirited word picture of the festivities that took place when Cambridge celebrated its fiftieth anniversary as a city, and at the end a brilliant comparison between Cambridge and "Goshen in New York State." There was, I believe, some mention of the passing away of old Mrs. Burlap on New Year's Eve, but of this I am not sure.

One thing I discovered that rather astonished me in this part of the world (a locality that Berri in one of his themes called "a cold hot-bed of erudition"), and that is—Mrs. Chester doesn't know how to read. I never would have found it out but for an embarrassing little miscalculation on her part, in the method by which until then she had delightfully concealed the fact. More than once while I was sick, she sat by the lamp apparently enjoying the evening paper that Duggie subscribes to, and I had n't the slightest suspicion that she was probably holding it upside down, even when I would ask her what the news was and she would reply,—

"Oh, shaw—these papers! They 're every one of 'em alike. They don't seem to be any news to 'em. I don't see why you young gentlemen waste your good money a-buyin' 'em."

Often on the way upstairs she takes the letters that the postman leaves between the banisters in the little hall below, and manages to distribute them with more or less accuracy.

"I 've got somethin' for you, and it 's from your mother too, you naughty little man, you," is her usual way of handing me a communication from mamma. I did n't realise until the other day that, as mamma's letters always came in the same kind of gray-blue envelopes, it doesn't take a chirographic expert to tell whom they are from. Nor did I recall that, when Mrs. Chester appears with a whole handful of things, she invariably stops short in the middle of the room and artlessly exclaims,—

"Well, now, if that does n't beat all! Here I 've climbed up them steep stairs again and forgotten my specs. Who 's gettin' all these letters anyhow?"

A few mornings ago, however,—when they let me sit up for the first time,—Mrs. Chester appeared with two letters. One of them was unmistakably gray-blue, but the other was white and oblong and non-committal. She paused at the door as if about to examine the address, and then suddenly,—

"If I ain't the most careless woman in the world," she said. "I 've gone and brought up the letters again, and forgotten—" But just at this point we both became aware that her steel-rimmed spectacles were dangling in her other hand. They not only dangled, but they seemed to me a moment later to dangle almost spitefully; for Mrs. Chester's worn cheeks became very pink. She looked at the spectacles and at the white envelope and at me. Then she said with a sort of wistful lightness,—

"Maybe you can make it out; your eyes are younger than mine. I never seen such a letter; it's so—so—it's so flung together like."

"It is—isn't it?" I agreed hastily, as I stretched out my hand, to receive a letter from papa with the address in type-writing.

Just as I thought would happen, mamma heard I was sick and was, of course, very much worried. Dick Benton—who has never come near me, and whom I 've only seen twice on the street since College opened—mentioned the fact of my illness in a letter home. (I suppose he did it in a despairing effort to make his sentences reach the middle of page two.) Of course Mrs. Benton had to throw a shawl around her meddling old back and waddle across the street to our house, to find out the latest news; and as there had n't been any news, mamma's letter to me expressed a "state of mind." But I fixed her (and incidentally Dick Benton) with a telegram.

By the way, I really must speak to mamma about her recent letters to me. Mildred has been away from home, and as mamma writes very regularly to both of us, she often refers to things she remembers having written to somebody, but without pausing to consider how maddening they are when the somebody doesn't happen to be myself. From her last, for instance, I gleaned these interesting items without having the vaguest idea what they belong to:—

"Your father and I have just got back from the funeral. I suppose, when one arrives at such a great age, death is a relief. But it is always solemn.

"Is n't it nice about the Tilestons? I don't know when—in a purely impersonal way—I 've been so pleased. They 've struggled so long and so bravely and now it seems as if their ship had come in at last. Of course, I should n't care to spend so much time in South America myself, (Guatemala is in South America, is n't it?) but they all seem delighted at the prospect."

Now would n't that jar you?

My acquaintances generally found out that I was sick about the time that Duggie and Berri and Mrs. Chester discharged me, so to speak, as well. I could n't go out, and the doctor made me stay in bed longer than was really necessary, as the bottom of the furnace fell to pieces one morning and it was impossible to heat the house for several days. But I felt pretty well. By that time, as I say, there was all at once a ripple of interest among my friends over the fact that I was sick. They were awfully kind, and came to my room from early in the morning—right after breakfast—until late at night, when they would drop in on their way back from the theatre. My desk was a perfect news-stand of illustrated magazines and funny papers, and I had left in my book-case, probably, the queerest collection of novels that was ever assembled outside of a city hospital. Duggie had a fit over them, and as he read out the titles one evening, he kept exclaiming, "What, oh, what are the children coming to!" The only volume that was n't fiction was a thing called "The Statesman's Year Book," and was brought by a queer sort of chap who is very much interested in sociology. I know him pretty well; so after I thanked him, I could n't help saying,—

"What on earth did you lug this thing up here for?—it looks like an almanac." To which he replied,—

"Well, it's darned interesting, I can tell you. Until I got it I never knew, for instance, how many quarts of alcohol per head were consumed annually in Finland."

Although Duggie did n't say anything, I don't think he was particularly pleased at the fellows dropping in so often and staying so long. They played cards a lot, and smoked all the time until you could hardly see across the room; and sometimes when night came I felt rather tired and my eyes and throat hurt a good deal. But I confess I liked it, even if Duggie and Mrs. Chester did n't.

Only one change of any importance took place while I was laid up: Berri's Icelandic dog—Saga—has been removed from our midst. I was aware that an unusual spirit of peace and order reigned in the house as soon as I began to be about once more, but I attributed it vaguely to the chastening influence of my illness. However, one morning, when on my way to a lecture I remembered that I had noticed my best hat lying on a chair in my study as I came away, and ran back to save it from being eaten, it occurred to me that I had n't seen Saga for days. So, while Berri and I were strolling home from luncheon, I asked him what had happened.

"He 's gone—gone, poor old darling!" said Berri; "I hate to speak of it."

"He was n't stolen or run over or anything, was he?" I asked sympathetically; for now that Saga was no longer an hourly source of anxiety and conflict, I felt reasonably safe in expressing some regret. "Did he run away?"

"No, he did n't leave me," Berri answered sadly; "I gave him up. You see—I found out that there is a law against bringing them into the State; they always go mad as soon as the warm weather comes. So I gave him to one of the little Cabot girls on her birthday. She was awfully pleased."

I am rather worried over something that I got into lately without stopping to think how much it might involve. Berri and that tall spook, named Ranny, that he met at Fleetwood's Wednesday Evening, struck up quite an intimacy not long ago, although I can't for the life of me see how they managed it. He isn't a Freshman, as we thought, but a Sophomore. Berri was waiting in a bookstore in town one day to go to a matinée with a fellow who did n't turn up; and while he was standing there, Ranny came in and began to drive the clerks insane over some Greek and Sanscrit books he had ordered weeks before and that no one had ever heard of. Berri looked on for a while, and, as his friend did n't come and it was getting late and he—Berri—did n't like to waste the extra ticket, he invited Ranny to go with him. Well, they not only went to the matinée, they dined in town together and went again to another show in the evening. Between the acts Ranny explained to him just wherein the wit of "The Girl from Oskosh" differed from the comedies of Aristophanes, and Berri says that before they parted he had learned all about the Greek drama from A to Izzard. Since then Ranny has been to our house several times, and although Berri likes him, he usually finds after about an hour that he isn't equal to the intellectual strain; so he lures Ranny into my room and then gracefully fades away.

Now I like Ranny too. He has, in his ponderous, bespectacled way, an enthusiasm for several bespectacled, ponderous subjects that is simply irresistible. One of them is Egyptology and the study of hieroglyphics. Of course I don't know anything about this, any more than Berri knew about the Greek drama,—not as much even; for he did, at least, pretend to play a pagan instrument of some kind in a play they gave at school once, while a Frenchman behind the scenes toodled away on a flute. But when Ranny gets to talking about dynasties and cartouches and draws fascinating little pictures of gods and goddesses named Ma and Pa, and explains how the whole business was deciphered by means of a piece of stone somebody picked up in the mud one day,—a regular old Sherlock Holmes, he must have been,—you simply can't help being carried away and wishing you could discover something on your own account. He talked so much about it and made it all seem so real and important that one day when he exclaimed,—

"And the mystery is that the University ignores this subject—ignores it!" I really felt that the Faculty was treating us rather shabbily and that we were n't, somehow, getting our money's worth. We talked the matter over very seriously, and decided at last that it could n't be stinginess on the part of the Corporation,—for why should it allow courses in higher mathematics and philosophy and Italian literature, to which only three or four fellows went, if it wanted to save the pennies? It was more likely just ignorance of the importance of hieroglyphics, and the growing demand for a thorough course of it.

"We probably could get a course all right if we showed them how some of us feel about it," Ranny mused. "There's a chap in Latin 47 who'd join, I think—you've seen that middle-aged man with the long sandy beard, have n't you? He tries almost everything."

The person Ranny referred to did n't seem very promising to me. We sleep next each other in a history course. He never wears a necktie, and the last time I saw him there were a lot of dead maple leaves tangled up in his beard. No one seems to know why he is here.

"Well, that makes three right away," Ranny declared enthusiastically. "Perhaps Berrisford will join; but even if he does n't three 's enough."

The very next morning after this Ranny appeared to say he was going to consult Professor Pallas about the new course, and wanted me to go along and put in a word now and then. This seemed a little sudden to me, and I said that perhaps I ought to consult my adviser before taking up a new study, as I had n't done particularly well in the old ones. However, Ranny said that my adviser ought to be thankful at my showing so much interest and public spirit. So we went over to Professor Pallas's little private room in Sever. He was very glad to see us, and when Ranny began to explain the subject of our coming, his old eyes just glittered. He kept smiling to himself and nodding his head in assent, and once, when Ranny paused for breath, he brought his fist down on the table, exclaiming,

"I predicted this—predicted it." Then he thrust his hands in his pockets and paced excitedly up and down the room. Ranny was of course tremendously encouraged, and I was somewhat horrified a moment later, to have him turn toward me and with a wave of his hand declare,—

"My friend, Mr. Wood, feels this weakness in the curriculum more, perhaps, than any of us; for long before he entered college with the purpose of specialising in the subject, he surrounded himself with a collection of Egyptian antiquities that far excels anything of the kind on this side of the British Museum." (He was referring in his intense way to a handful of imitation scarabs and a dissipated-looking old mummified parrot that Uncle Peter brought home from his trip up the Nile. I had indiscreetly mentioned them one afternoon.) "We are sure of four earnest workers, and there are, no doubt, many more."

Now the thing that worries me about all this is that Professor Pallas seemed so gratified and eager to help the cause. His attitude toward us was that of a scholar among scholars,—deep calling unto deep. He said that he would love to conduct a course in hieroglyphics himself, but feared he was n't competent, as he had merely taken up the subject as a kind of recreation at odd moments during the last six or eight years. He could n't recall any one in the United States who was competent, in fact, but he knew of a splendid authority in Germany,—just the man for the place,—and he would speak to the President about him at the next Faculty meeting. Ranny and I thanked him profusely, and that at present is where the matter stands. I wake up in the night sometimes, positively cold at the thought of having added hieroglyphics to my other worries. Think of a course for which you could n't buy typewritten notes,—a course the very lectures of which would be in German,—a course so terrible that no one in the United States would dare undertake to tutor you in it when you got stuck.

The Christmas holidays are almost here, but it has not been decided yet whether or not I am to spend them at home. Mildred is still gadding about, and papa may have to go to New York on business. If he does, mamma will, no doubt, go with him, and I'll join them there, and we'll all have thin slabs of Christmas turkey surrounded by bird bath-tubs at a hotel. Berri has invited me to spend the vacation with him (his mother is living in Washington this winter), but as he remarks dolefully every now and then that he has to stay in Cambridge to write a thesis that is due immediately after the holidays, I don't see how he means to manage. He's been putting off that thesis from day to day until I don't see how he can possibly do all the reading and writing and note-taking it necessitates. I 've tried to get him started once or twice, but he has merely groaned and said,—

"You 're a nice one to preach industry, are n't you?" So I've given up. Well, it's none of my business if he gets fired from the course.


I might have spared myself my anxiety in regard to the course in hieroglyphics. My adviser overtook me in the yard a day or so after our interview with Professor Pallas, and after walking along with me for a while he said,—

"Well, Wood, I 'm glad to see you looking about as usual; I had almost come to the conclusion that you 'd gone stark mad." I asked him what he meant, and it seems that old Pallas had made a speech at a Faculty meeting in which he declared that the deep and ever-growing interest throughout the undergraduate body in the subject of Egyptology had reached a climax that demanded a course of some kind. He was very eloquent, and caused a good deal of mild excitement. Then some one got up and asked who were concerned in the movement, and Pallas, after fumbling in his side pocket, finally produced a memorandum and said,—

"The names of those imbued with a spirit for serious archaeological research are many, but I think that the youth who by his zeal in collecting and preserving valuable antiquities has done more than any one else to further this study among his fellows is Mr. Thomas Wood, of the class of ——" But the poor old man did n't get any further, my adviser says, for everybody in the room began to roar and the meeting broke up in confusion. Well, that 's off my mind, anyhow; although I don't see why they should have taken it the way they did. There 's nothing so very extraordinary in acquiring a love for study when that's what you 're supposed to come here for.

Berri and I discovered the most fascinating little place the other evening. We had been in town all afternoon on the trail of an express package of Berri's that had been lost for days, and were running along Tremont Street on the way to the Cambridge car, when Berri suddenly stopped in front of a sort of alley and clutched me. From the other end came the sound of music,—a harp, a flute, and a violin playing one of those Neapolitan yayayama songs that always, somehow, make you feel as if you 'd been abroad, even when you 've never been nearer Naples than waving good-by to your sister from a North German Lloyd dock in Hoboken.

"Let 's go see what it is," Berri said. So we skipped to the other end of the alley, and found a brightly lighted little restaurant with the music wailing away in the vestibule. We stood listening for a time and watching the people who went in. They all stopped to peer through a glass door, and then after a moment of indecision passed on—up a flight of steep stairs. Berri, of course, could n't be satisfied until he had solved the mystery of the glass door, and it was n't long before we were doing just as every one else did. We saw a long, narrow room with three rows of little tables reaching from end to end. The walls were covered with gay frescos of some kind (I could n't make them out, the tobacco smoke was so thick); foreign-looking waiters were tearing in and out among the tables; flower girls were wandering up and down with great-armfuls of roses and carnations for sale, and everybody was laughing and gesticulating and having such a good time, apparently,—the music was so shrill and the clatter of dishes so incessant,—that Berri and I turned and gazed at each other, as much as to say, "After all these years we 've found it at last." But a moment later we realized why the people we had seen go in had, after a glance, turned away and climbed the stairs; all the tables were occupied. I think we must have looked as dissatisfied as the others, for we felt that nothing upstairs could equal the scene we had just discovered. And we were right. The upper rooms were comparatively empty and quiet and rather dreary. So we came down again and were about to take a farewell look and start for home, when Berri, with his nose flattened against the glass, suddenly exclaimed, "Saved! Saved!" and pushing open the door, made his way across the room. Who should be there but Mr. Fleetwood, dining alone at a table in the corner? Berri, after shaking hands with him, beckoned to me, and in a moment we had both seated ourselves at Fleetwood's table.

"This is almost as nice as if we 'd really been invited, isn't it?" said Berri, in his easy way. "You know we were just on the point of giving up and going home."

"Why didn't you go upstairs?" Fleetwood inquired. (He pretended all through dinner that we had spoiled his evening.) "It is n't too late even now," he suggested; "it's much nicer up there; there 's more air."

"There's plenty of air, but no atmosphere," Berri answered. "This is what we enjoy," he added with a wave of his hand.

"I 'm glad you like my Bohemia," Fleetwood quavered.

"Oh, Bohemia's all right," replied Berri. "Bohemia would be perfect—if it weren't for the Bohemians."

"What are 'Bohemians'?" I asked, for I 'd often heard people called that without understanding just what it meant.

"Bohemians?" Berri repeated. "Why, Bohemians are perfectly horrid things who exist exclusively on Welsh rabbits and use the word 'conventional' as a term of reproach. My aunt knows hundreds of them."

"I wrote a paper once on 'What is a Bohemian?'" Fleetwood put in. "If you would really like to know—but of course you would n't," he broke off sadly; "no one does any more. You clever boys know everything before you come."

"Oh, Mr. Fleetwood, please let us read your paper," we both begged him enthusiastically. I think he was a little flattered, for we would n't allow him to talk about anything else until he had promised to tell me where I could find his article. Berri, however, he refused absolutely, and made me promise, in turn, not to let him know where to look for it and never to quote from it in Berri's presence.

"I know him," he muttered dolefully; "I know these memories that 'turn again and rend you;' I 'm an old man; 'Ich habe gelebt' and ge-suffered."

Well, we had a most delightful dinner. Fleetwood, when he saw that he was n't going to get rid of us, cheered up and made himself very agreeable. He can be charming when he wants to be. He and Berri did most of the talking, although his remarks, as a rule, were addressed to me. The fact is, he likes me because I 'm sympathetic and a good listener, but Berri he finds vastly more interesting. Berri has travelled such a lot, and, besides, he has the knack (I haven't it at all) of being able to discuss things of which he knows nothing in a way that commands not only attention but respect. For instance, they got into a perfectly absorbing squabble over the novelist Henry James, in which Fleetwood deplored and Berri defended what Fleetwood called his "later manner." Fleetwood ended up with,—

"I 've read everything he 's ever done—some of them many times over—and I wrote a paper on him for Lesper's not long ago; but I could n't, conscientiously, come to any other conclusion." To which Berri replied, as he smiled indulgently to himself and broke a bit of bread with his slim brown fingers,—

"I often wonder if you people over here who write things about Harry James from time to time, really comprehend the man at all—notice that I say 'James the man,' not 'James the writer.' 'Le style c'est l'homme,' you know; is n't it Bossuet who tells us that?"

"No, it is n't," said Fleetwood, rather peevishly; "it's Buffon—and he probably stole it from the Latin, 'Stylus virum arguit.'" Fleetwood, of course, knows what he 's talking about. But, nevertheless, I could see that Berri's general air of being foreign and detached and knowing James from the inside—or rather from the other side—impressed him; and as for me, I was simply paralyzed. For I could have testified under oath that Berri had never read a word of Henry James' in his life, and that he 'd never laid eyes on the man. I spoke to him about it afterward and asked him how he dared to do such things.

"Have you ever read anything by James—have you ever seen 'Harry James the man,' as you called him?" I inquired.

"No; of course not," Berri answered. "What difference does it make?"

"But you went on as if you knew more about him than even Fleetwood; and I think that toward the end Fleetwood almost thought you did himself."

"Oh—that," Berri shrugged, after trying to recall the conversation. "That was merely what an old frump of a woman said at my aunt's one day when I dropped in for luncheon. She and Aunt Josephine gabbled and gabbled, and never paid the slightest attention to me, and although they were both unusually tiresome, I suppose I could n't avoid remembering some of the things they said. But it would have been impossible for me to dwell any longer on that particular topic with Fleetwood, even if my life had depended on it, because that day at luncheon, just as my aunt's friend got started on 'James the man,' I happened to glance up and notice that she was wearing an entirely different kind of wig from the ratty old thing she 'd flourished in before she went abroad. She had brought back a new one that was—why, it was an architectural marvel; it looked like the dome of a mosque, and covered her whole head, from eyebrows to neck, with little cut-out places for her ears to peek through. It hypnotized me all through luncheon, and I never heard a word about 'James the man,'—so of course when I got that far with Fleetwood I had to change the subject. Don't you remember that we began to discuss Bernhardt's conception of Hamlet rather abruptly? I 'll never trust that old woman again—after making the mistake about Buffon. Why, she's positively illiterate!"

Fleetwood told me a lot about Mazuret's—that 's the name of the restaurant—which made me glad that we had come across it accidentally,—found it out for ourselves. It's very famous. All sorts of people—writers and painters and actors and exiled noblemen—used to make a kind of headquarters of it and dine there whenever they happened to be in town. Fleetwood has been going there for years, and always sits at the same table. (That's the proper thing to do; you must have a favorite table, and when you come in and find it occupied, you must scowl and shrug and complain to the waiters in a loud voice that the place is going to the dogs. Then everybody in the room takes it for granted that you 're a writer or a painter, an actor or an exiled nobleman, and looks interested and sympathetic. We saw several performances of this kind.) But the place, of course, "isn't what it used to be." I'm seven or eight years too late, as usual. Some of the poets have become very successful—which means, Fleetwood says, that they 're doing newspaper work in New York; some of the painters and actors are beyond the reach of criticism—which means that they 're dead; and some of the noblemen are confident that their respective governments are about to recall them to posts of responsibility and honor—which means that they are in jail.

It was more entertaining, Fleetwood says, in the days of Leontine,—the shrewd, vivacious, businesslike Frenchwoman who, when Monsieur Mazuret became too ill, and Madame too old, used to make change and scold the waiters and say good evening to you, and whose red-striped gingham shirt-waists fitted her like models from Paquin. It was Leontine who brought back the wonderful wall-paper from Paris (through the glass door it looked like a painting) that represents a hunting scene, with willowy ladies in preposterous pink velvet riding-habits and waving plumes, and gentlemen blowing tasselled horns, and hounds and stags—all plunging through a perfectly impenetrable forest, whose improbable luxuriance Berri brilliantly accounted for by saying that it was evidently "Paris green."

"Attend now—I tell you something," Leontine used to say confidentially when the evening was drawing to a close, and but one or two stragglers were left in the dining-room.

"These peoples—they stay so long sometimes; I tell to them that they must go. But non—they will not go; and they stay, and they stay, and they stay. And all at once the—what you call?—the chasse—she begin to move! The horses—he gallop; the ladies—she scream of laughing; the gentlemen—he make toot, toot, toot, tooooo! The dogs—Ah-h h-h! The—the—cet animal-là—the deer?—the deer—Ah-h-h-h!" Carried away by these midnight memories, Leontine would become a galloping horse, a screaming lady, a master of hounds, a savage pack, and a terrified monarch of the glen—all at once. Then, overpowered by the weird horror of it, she would cover her face with her apron and run coquettishly as if for protection to another table.

There was another tale—the description of a thunderstorm—a regular cloud-burst, it must have been—that, one afternoon, overtook Madame and Leontine in the Place de la Madeleine, Leontine personifying the truly Gallic elements—the lightning (reels backward—eyes covered with hands)—the thunder (fingers in ears—eyes rolling—mouth open and emitting groans)—the rain hissing back from the asphalt in a million silver bubbles (skirts lifted—tip-toes—mon dieus—shrieks—hasty exit to kitchen)—Leontine bringing this incoherent scene vividly before one, was worth one's eating a worse dinner, Fleetwood says, than the dinner at Mazuret's. But Monsieur is dead, and Madame just dried up and blew away, and Leontine is married, and—although I don't know when I 've enjoyed a dinner so much—"the place isn't what it used to be."

While Fleetwood was telling me all this, I noticed that Berri called one of the waiters and spoke to him in French. I don't know what he said, as he talked very fast—and anyhow it did n't sound much like the kind of French I 've been used to. The waiter disappeared, and in half an hour or so a messenger boy came in and gave Berri a little envelope which he put in his pocket without saying anything. Then, when we had finished dinner and were just about to push away from the table, Berri exclaimed,—

"Now we 'll all go to the theatre."

"My dear young man, if you could see the work I have to do this night," Fleetwood protested with a gesture that seemed to express mountains of uncorrected themes, "you would realize, for once in your life, what work really is."

"But I have the tickets," Berri explained; and he brought forth the little envelope that the messenger boy had given him.

"No—no—no!" Fleetwood answered decidedly, and started for the door. But Berri detained him.

"By inflicting our company on you we 've spoiled the evening for you, I know; but you won't spoil it for me by depriving us of yours," he begged in his engaging way.

"'Sweet invocation of a child: most pretty and pathetical,'" Fleetwood laughed, and backed into the vestibule. We followed and surrounded him, so to speak, each taking hold of an arm. Then we all walked through the alley toward Tremont Street, Fleetwood quavering apprehensively from time to time, "Now you 'll take me to my car and then bid me adieu, like two good boys, won't you?" while we agreed to everything he said and clung to him like sheriffs. Berri was giggling hysterically, but although I thought the situation rather amusing, I did n't see anything so terribly funny about it until we got to the parting of the ways and Fleetwood stopped. Then I noticed that, in addition to the three great red roses that Berri had bought for our button-holes, Fleetwood had a fourth one, with a long, flexible stem, growing apparently out of the top of his head. He was so unconscious of the absurd, lanky thing nodding solemnly over him whenever he spoke, that when he held out his hand, exclaiming tremulously,—

"'And so,' in the words of Jessica, 'Farewell; I will not have my father see me talk with thee,'" and the rose emphasized every word as if it were imitating him, I gave an uncontrollable whoop, and Berri doubled up on a near-by doorstep.

"I only would that my father were alive at the present moment to see me talking with thee," Berri gasped. "I don't know anything he would have enjoyed more."

Fleetwood looked hurt and mystified and vaguely suspicious, and he stood there merely long enough to say,—

"'You break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not.'" Then, as Berri was still sitting on the doorstep and I was leaning against the wall, he made a sudden dash for the other side of the street. We caught him, of course, grasped his arms once more, and walked him off to the theatre, pretending all the time that we did n't notice his struggles and how furious he was at having to go with us. Berri kept up an incessant stream of conversation, saying things that, to an outsider, would have given the impression that the theatre-party was Fleetwood's, and that we were the ones who were being dragged reluctantly away from the Cambridge car. Just before we got to the theatre the solemn rose in Fleetwood's hat toppled over and dangled against his face. This also we pretended not to see, and as we had him firmly by the arms, he was unable to reach up and throw it away; so we made a spectacular entrance through the brightly lighted doorway, with Fleetwood ineffectually blowing at the rose and shaking his head like an angry bull. A party of four or five fellows—students—who had been unable to get tickets were turning away from the box-office as we appeared, and they naturally stopped to look at us.

This was in the nature of a last straw, for Fleetwood almost tearfully broke out with,—

"You dreadful, dreadful boys, my reputation is ruined; they 'll think I 've been drinking." Even Berri began to see that we had gone somewhat far, for he plucked the rose from Fleetwood's cheek, exclaiming,—

"Good gracious, man! where did you get this? You must n't go to the theatre looking that way. Just because Bernhardt plays Hamlet is no reason why you should undertake to do Ophelia;" and then he threw it on the floor. Fleetwood rolled his eyes hopelessly.

Well, we never got home until almost four in the morning. A man whose seat was behind ours at the play tapped Fleetwood on the shoulder as soon as we had sat down, and after a whispered conversation he got up and went away. Then Fleetwood told us the man was a dramatic critic—an acquaintance of his—who had been sent to write up the play for a morning paper, but that, as he did n't understand French and was n't much of a Shakespearian scholar and wanted to go to a progressive peanut party in West Roxbury anyhow, he had asked Fleetwood to do the thing for him. Fleetwood used to be on a paper himself, and was delighted to renew old times.

So all during the performance he made notes on the margin of his program and chuckled to himself. The occupation, I think, diverted his mind from Berri and me and helped him to forgive us.

Afterward we went to Newspaper Row and waited for hours in a bare, rather dirty little room while Fleetwood, standing at a high desk under an electric light in the corner, wrote his review. He spent much more time in groaning, "My facility is gone—my hand has lost its cunning," than in actual writing. By the time he was ready to leave we were all famished; so before catching the owl car from Bowdoin Square we stopped at an all-night restaurant that Fleetwood used to patronize when he was a reporter, and had buckwheat cakes and maple syrup. I 've never tasted anything so good.

The Cambridge car was interesting, but fearful. It was jammed with people, and I wondered where so many could have come from that hour of the morning. They could n't all have been dramatic critics. The majority of those who got seats went sound asleep, and as the conductor could n't very well wake them up at every street, he found out beforehand where they wanted to get off, and then hung little tags on their coats that told their destination.

When we were saying good-by to Fleetwood in the Square, Berri laughed and asked,—

"Have you decided yet what you 're going to do to me, Mr. Fleetwood? I know you would like to give me E on my thesis, but I don't think I deserve quite that." Instead of answering him, however, Mr. Fleetwood ran away, exclaiming,—

"Don't talk shop,—don't talk shop; good-night,—good-night!"

Berri has begun to get awfully scared about the thesis,—not that he's afraid that Fleetwood will give it a low mark, but because it does n't look at present as if there would be anything to mark at all. I found him in his room the other day with a pile of books and a scratch-block on his table. But he had n't taken a note, and his attitude was one of utter despair. Of course he can't possibly write it unless he stays here during the holidays, for they begin day after to-morrow.


I don't think I 've had a pen in my hand, except when I wrote a note to Berri, for more than two weeks. In the first place I left in such a hurry to meet the family in New York that, among the various things I forgot to pack at the last minute, my diary was one. (Even if I had taken it, I probably shouldn't have found time to record all we did.) Then, as I was with mamma and papa and Mildred during the entire vacation, there was no necessity for writing letters.

I did n't go to Washington with Berri for two reasons. The family naturally wanted me to spend the holidays with them, and I could n't help feeling that, if I refused Berri's kind invitation, he would be much more likely to stay, part of the time at least, in Cambridge and write his thesis. In a way I was right; for when I told him I simply could n't go with him, he said sort of listlessly,—

"Well, then I suppose I ought to stay here and finish that thing, oughtn't I?" which was an optimistic way of letting me know that it had n't even been begun. I did n't know what to answer exactly, because if I 'd agreed with him he would have thought me unsympathetic and looked hurt, and if I had advised him to let the whole matter slide, and forget about it, and have a good time (which was, of course, what he wanted me to do), I felt sure that he would eventually blame me for giving him bad advice. That's Berri all over. So I merely remarked, "You 'll have to be the judge; it 's too serious a matter for any one else to meddle with," and felt like a nasty little prig as I said it. He was restless and gloomy after that, and took a long walk all alone, during which I 'm convinced that he very nearly made up his mind to stay in Cambridge and slave. I say very nearly, because he didn't bring himself quite to the point of telling anybody about it. But the next afternoon (college closed with the last lecture of that day), when I turned into our street on the way to my room, there was a cab with a steamer trunk on it standing in front of our house; and as I opened the front door, Berri and a dress-suit case clattered down the stairs. He stopped just long enough to shake hands and exclaim, "Good-by, Granny—have a good time—I left a note for you on your desk. The train goes in less than an hour." Then he rushed out of the gate and jumped into the cab, slamming the door after him with that sharp, thrilling "Now they're off" clack that cabs, and cabs only, possess. That was the last I saw of him.

New York was a pleasing delirium of theatres and operas and automobile rides up and down Fifth Avenue, with just enough rows between Mildred and me, and papa and me and Mildred and mamma (the other possible combinations never scrap), to make us realize that the family tie was the same dear old family tie and had n't been in any way severed by my long absence. It took us three days to persuade mamma to ride in an automobile,—a triumph that we all lived bitterly to repent; for she ever afterwards refused to be transported from place to place by any other means,—which was not only inconvenient, but ruinous. She justified her extravagance by declaring that in an emergency she preferred to be the smasher to the smashed. I met lots of fellows I knew on the street, and some of them took me home with them to luncheon or to that curious five-o'clock-sit-around-and-don't-know-what-to-do-with-the-cup meal they call "tea." Meeting their families was very nice, and I felt as if I knew the fellows ever so much better than I did in Cambridge.

One incident might have ended in a tragedy if I hadn't happened to preserve a certain letter of mamma's. ("Never write anything and never burn anything—isn't it Talleyrand who tells us that?" as the friend of Berri's aunt would say.) It was the real reason of our spending the last two days of the vacation in Boston, and came about in the following way.

One day at luncheon (we were going to a matinée afterwards) I glanced at my watch to see how late we were, and mamma noticed, for the first time, that I was carrying a cheap nickel-plated alarm-clock sort of an affair instead of the gold-faced heirloom that has been reposing for lo! these many weeks in Mr. Hirsch's pawn-shop. Since our meeting she hadn't referred to this painful subject, and as I had become used to the dollar watch on the end of my chain, it never occurred to me to say anything about it. That day she looked at the watch and then at me, and finally she murmured, "Why, Tommy!" with the expression of one who seems to see the foundations of Truth, Respectability, and Honor crumbling to dust; and she finished her luncheon in silence, breathing in a resigned kind of way and studying the table-cloth with eyes like smitten forget-me nots. On the way upstairs I lagged behind, and Mildred said to me,—

"Mamma has on her early-Christian-martyr look. What on earth's the matter now?" But I was unable to enlighten her. Mamma had known from the first that the watch had been pawned; I could n't imagine why she was so upset.

All was explained, however, when I went to her room. Some time ago she had sent me a draft for thirty dollars. It came in a cheerful letter (no letter containing a draft for thirty dollars is sad) about nothing in particular. I remembered that at the time the postscript had puzzled me, for it said, "Of course I have told your father nothing about this," and there was no clew in the body of the letter to what "this" referred. The draft wasn't mentioned. It seems that mamma was under the impression she had written me several pages on the evils of extravagance, the horrors of debt, and the general desirability of redeeming one's watch as soon as possible,—which she hadn't at all. Not being a mind-reader, I assumed that her draft was a spontaneous outburst of maternal esteem, had it cashed with a loving grateful heart, and spent the money in three days. Therefore, when she caught sight of my tin timepiece (it keeps much better time, by the way, than the heirloom ever did), she had distressing visions of me indulging in a perfect carnival of embezzlement, and finally ending up with shorn locks, striped clothes, and a chain on my leg.

I never realized before that the human brain is perfectly capable, under certain circumstances, of harboring two distinct beliefs at the same time,—the truth of either one of which necessarily excludes the other. (There is probably a more technical way of stating this, but I haven't got that far in my philosophy course as yet.) Now, when I solemnly declared to mamma that she had never mentioned her check in connection with my watch or anything else in fact, I am sure she believed me. She said she believed me, and seemed greatly relieved. But, on the other hand, although she knew I was telling the truth, and rejoiced in the fact, I am certain that she was unable at the same time to abandon her equally strong conviction that she had written and sent precisely the letter she had intended to. I don't pretend to explain this mental phenomenon, and I discreetly refrained from discussing it with mamma, for in the midst of our talk I began to have a dim, delicious suspicion that her letter was at that moment reposing in my inside pocket. (When I am away from home, I always carry several plainly addressed letters in order that there may be as little trouble as possible in case anything should happen to me. I remembered having put the letter with the postscript into my coat-pocket instead of my desk, as I wished to refer to it when I next wrote home.) So, when mamma finally said, "Well, I believe you," and then added with an air of abstraction, "But I wish you had saved that letter," I thrust my hand into my pocket, glanced at several envelopes, and exclaimed dramatically as I showed her one of them,—

"Madam, your most idle whim is my inexorable law." Then we all went to the matinée.

But that wasn't the end of the watch. Mamma made me give her the pawn-ticket, and insisted on going home by way of Boston for the purpose of redeeming it herself. The reason of this change in the family plans was not explained to Mildred and papa; but they were docile, and seemed to think it would be very nice to see my rooms before leaving for home.

There was no opportunity to visit Mr. Hirsch when we arrived yesterday, as we spent most of the day in exploring Cambridge. But this morning (they all left for the West this afternoon), while Mildred was packing and papa had gone to see about tickets, mamma, with her head swathed in a thick black veil, and I slipped out to go to the pawnbroker's. I have an idea that by going herself instead of simply sending me mamma had a vague but noble belief that she was rescuing me somehow from moral shipwreck. And then, no doubt, the mere fact of one's venturing out incognito, as it were, to wrest ancestral relics from usurious fingers is not without a certain charm.

Well, of course we met papa at the door of the hotel. The ticket-office was just around the corner, and he had engaged berths and tickets with a rapidity that was as unfortunate as it was incredible, for he greeted us with, "Starting for a walk? I'm just in time," and proceeded to join the expedition with evident pleasure. Mamma lingered uneasily on the sidewalk a moment, and then said,—

"We 're not going for amusement, dear; we 're going to shop. You know how that always tires you." But papa, who was in good spirits at the prospect of leaving for home, quite unsuspiciously ignored the suggestion and replied cheerily,—

"Well, I think I 'll go along, I might want to buy something myself."

I exclaimed, "How jolly!" in a sepulchral tone, and we started.

Now, mamma in the role of a gay deceiver is sublime. The fact that she is trying to play a part and perhaps setting "an awful example" makes her miserable, although she sometimes succeeds in concealing the fact until afterwards. I saw that we were in for a delightful morning, and would probably end by missing the train. We loitered unscrupulously in front of shop windows, apparently entranced by everything from hardware to cigars. We sauntered in and out of countless dry-goods places in quest of dark-blue ribbon of such an unusual shade that Boston had never seen its like; we paused for half an hour, now and then, to inquire the price of diamond tiaras and alabaster clocks set with rhinestones; we bought a bouquet of frost-bitten roses (I had to carry it) from a one-armed man, and tarried to hear his reminiscences of life in a sawmill; we went to pianola recitals, phonograph exhibits, and assisted at an auction sale of bar-room furniture. And papa wearied not. Mamma and I were nearly dead, but he not only wasn't bored,—he seemed to be having the time of his life. We could n't devise anything too silly and futile and tiresome for him to enjoy, and as the time before the train left was beginning to grow ominously short, mamma at last resorted to heroic measures.

I don't think she had formed any definite plan when she abruptly led us into the subway; but our going there was probably not unconnected in her imagination with the boundless opportunities for losing oneself in the sewers of Paris and the catacombs of Rome. The subway may or may not resemble these historic places,—I'm sure I don't know,—but, at any rate, after we had been there five or six minutes we lost papa.

We all three had stood aimlessly watching the cars whizz up to the platform and away again into the subterranean dusk, until papa (this was his first sign of impatience) mildly remarked, "I think, dear, that as you and Tommy seem to be rather attached to this place, I 'll buy a newspaper." Then he strolled off, and mamma clutched me. We watched him approach the news-stand and pick up a magazine. His back was partly turned.

"It 's our only chance," said mamma hoarsely, with a half-guilty, half-affectionate glance towards the news-stand. I understood and, seizing her hand, ran with her to the nearest car. An instant later we were buzzing through the bowels of the earth in quite the opposite direction from the pawn-shop.

To tell the truth, the only thing I knew about the locality of Mr. Hirsch's establishment was that we should never reach it unless we got out and took a car going the other way. This we did, and when I thought we had gone far enough on the return trip and we emerged once more into the daylight, we seemed to be miles from the place—the only place—from which I could have found my way. So we jumped into a cab and told the man to drive as quickly as he could to that place. (I had to describe it at some length, as I don't as yet know the names of many streets here.) He was very intelligent, however, and it was n't his fault that, after we had jolted along for four or five blocks, the horse fell down. We left him lifting one of the poor thing's nervous hind legs in and out of the tangled harness. He looked as if he were trying to solve some kind of a gigantic, hopeless puzzle. We hurried on for about a quarter of a mile, and then I suddenly discovered that we had been in the right street all the time. It was one of those queer streets that never look familiar when you 're going the other way. I confess it took a great deal of courage to impart this discovery to mamma; but she appreciated the fact that we had very little time to lose, and did n't stop to point out to me that if I ever become a business man, I 'll be a failure. The horse was on his feet again when we got back to the cab, so we jumped in once more, and after an interminable drive (half of me was out of the window most of the time, like a Punch-and-Judy doll, directing the cabman) we finally drew up in front of the pawn-shop. It was then that we really distinguished ourselves.

"I've come for my watch," I said to Mr. Hirsch. He gave me the look of a bird of prey. It reminded me of an eagle I had seen once,—an eagle that had been stuffed by an amateur. He held out his hand and spoke a solitary, fateful word. Mamma's face—in the excitement of the moment she had pushed up her veil—became dim with horror; her features for an instant were positively incoherent.

"The ticket?" she whispered gropingly. "It's in the bottom of my trunk."

Mildred and papa and a group of porters, peering up and down the street like a concourse of Sister Annes, were on the curbstone in front of the hotel when we got back. The baggage was piled on a wagon, papa looked haggard and years older than when I had last seen him, and Mildred gave us a haughty stare as we alighted. Mamma was hustled wildly from the cab to the carriage, and I had time merely to peck hastily at their tense faces and gasp good-by. As the carriage swung around the corner, mamma appeared for a moment at the window, exclaiming, "I 'll send it to you in my first letter," and then sank from view. This afternoon, when I returned to my peaceful little abode in Cambridge, who should be in his room but Berri? He was at his desk, bending earnestly over a big pad of thesis paper.

"You've finished it, after all," I said, for the floor near his chair was littered with neat manuscript.

"Yes, it's finished,—fifty beastly pages of it," Berri answered, as he jumped up to meet me. I wanted to ask him all about it,—how he had managed to do it during the gayeties of Washington, and if it had taken much time. But he said rather wearily,—

"Oh, don't let's talk about it; I 'm so sick of it," and began at once to question me about my trip to New York. We chatted for about half an hour, and then I got up to go into my room and unpack my trunk. Thesis paper is n't like the ordinary paper on which themes are written; it has a margin on all four sides, and as I had never used any, I went over to Berri's desk to examine a sheet of his.

"Why, you 've had the thing type-written," I exclaimed; for there was a pile of type-written notes in front of the thesis paper. "Why don't you hand it in that way instead of copying it again? Your hand is so hard to read."

Berri wrinkled his forehead in a queer, annoyed kind of way; then he looked confused and blushed a little, and finally he gave an uncomfortable laugh.

"Oh, Granny, you 're so brutally guileless," he murmured. "Why can't you just see and understand things? It sounds so much worse than it really is, when you make me say it in so many words." Even then I didn't altogether grasp the situation.

"You mean that somebody helped you?" I asked. That did n't seem to me worth making such a fuss about, somehow.

"Well, that's a very refined and ladylike way of putting it," he answered. "I got a man in the Law School to write it for me, and paid him ten dollars for his trouble."

I had never thought much about this sort of thing, and it was impossible all at once to know just where I stood in the matter. I didn't know what to say, and I think I blurted out,—

"Oh, Berri, I 'm so sorry."

"Well, I 'm sorry you know about it," Berri mused drearily. "No, I 'm not, either," he added quickly, after a moment; "I 'm darned glad,—for now that you know, you can do what you like; I 'm not playing the hypocrite, anyhow. Only, don't talk to me about it. I 've thought the whole thing over from every point of view; it's the only thing I can do. I 'm willing to run the risks, and I 'm going to do it."

It was impossible to go back to other topics after that, so I went into my room and unpacked my trunk. I don't believe I ever unpacked so carefully and put everything away so neatly before. Mrs. Chester came in and complimented me as I was finishing. It must have been because I was thinking.

With all my thinking, however, I can't say that I 've got much farther than I was when Berri first told me. I simply know that he oughtn't to have done it, and am very, very sorry that he has. If he tried to defend himself in any way, I could have it out with him; but he does n't. When he finished copying the thesis, he came into my room and said, "I 'm going over to drop this through Fleetwood's door; do you want to go along?" and I went with him, hoping that at the last minute he might, in his unexpected way, change his mind. On the way over he did burst out with,—

"You see, it's this way: If I didn't know Fleetwood so well, I should n't do it; I shouldn't care. But he'll think, if I fail to hand in the written work, that I'm presuming on the fact that we 've breakfasted together at The Holly Tree and gone to the theatre and all that. I hate that kind of thing." I tried to make him see that Fleetwood would n't look at it in this way at all, and that even if he did it would be his fault, not Berri's. But Berri answered: "You need n't go on to tell me how dishonest it is,—I know all that. I 'm not worse than lots of other people, though;" and by that time we had reached Fleetwood's door. I put my hand on his arm as he was about to drop the thesis through Fleetwood's letter-slide and said, "Please don't, Berri; wait until to-morrow morning, anyhow;" but he pushed the roll through the door, and as it fell with a thud inside, he laughed and answered,—

"Too late. Now I'm going to forget about it." He went to town for dinner, and I had mine about an hour ago at Mrs. Brown's. I was the only one there. In a few minutes I have to go out again, as I promised——


Just as I had written that far, the front door opened and slammed and the tin steps clattered as they only do when Duggie is coming up. The loneliness of the house, and the feeling that college opened to-morrow, and Duggie on the stairs all took me back to my first evening in Cambridge. The only difference was that instead of going to his own room Duggie this time came bursting into mine.

"I came to say good-by," he exclaimed; and when I got over my astonishment, he went on to tell me that he had decided during the vacation to go away—to Europe—and stay until Class Day. He had never told me before that he had taken his degree in three years, and that it would n't have been necessary for him to come back this year at all if he had n't wanted to. He has been entitled to his degree for months; but of course he is anxious to graduate with his own class in the spring. He has n't talked to any one about going abroad, as he was n't sure of it until a few days ago.

"I 'm leaving on the midnight train to-night," he said, "and I came out here on the chance of your having got back. My family are all in the country, I left them this afternoon." I wanted to tell him how sorry I was that he was leaving us, and how glad I was that he could go; but somehow I don't think I showed what I really felt. The time was so short (I had promised Duncan Duncan to help him with some Advocate editorials at half past eight), and those things never seem to sound the way I should like to have them. But in a way I had an opportunity to let him know how I felt toward him, for while we were sitting there, he laughed and said,—

"As you won't stay and talk to me, I think you might at least do the next best thing. You know I 've always wanted to read this, and now that I 'm going away, you ought to let me." Then he took my diary from the mantelpiece and pretended to read the first page.

My first impulse was to ask him not to. If he had been going to stay in Cambridge, I should n't have let him, of course; but as he was leaving in a few hours and seemed anxious to read the thing, and as it really did n't make any difference whether he did or not, I finally let him.

"I don't see why you want to, and you probably won't get beyond the first few pages, but you may," I said.

So I left him by the fire with the diary in his hand. I thought perhaps I should find a note about it when I got back this evening, but I didn't.


Poor Berri! I felt so sorry for him. I do yet, in fact; for although things can't possibly turn out in the way he thinks they may, I can't tell him so, and he lives in a state of perpetual dread. But it won't last long now; Duggie's steamer must have almost reached Southampton by this time, and it won't take more than a week or eight days for Berri to hear from Duggie himself. I came very near giving the thing away at one time. It's hard not to, although I realize that Duggie was wise when he asked me to let matters take their course.

It just happened that the next day after Berri had delivered his thesis, the talk at luncheon turned on cheating at exams and handing in written work that is n't your own. The sentiment against cheating seemed to be strong, partly from a sense of honor and partly from a sense of risk. As a matter of fact, I don't see how fellows can very well manage to cheat here—during an examination, that is to say—even if they want to. There are always a lot of proctors prowling up and down the room, ready to jump on anybody who has suspicious-looking bits of paper on his desk, or who seems to be unduly interested in his lap or the condition of his cuffs. And then, besides, assuming that the instructor occasionally gets absorbed in a newspaper and the proctors stroll to the windows to watch the muckers throwing snowballs in the Yard, how could a student prepare himself for this rare opportunity? It may be different in courses that involve the exact sciences, where certain definite formulas copied on a small bit of paper might be of use; but in the sort of things I take, one would have to conceal upon oneself the Encyclopædia Britannica, Ploetz's Epitome of History, Geschmitzenmenger's Ancient Art, or the Dictionary of Biography, in order to accomplish any really effective deception.

With written work it seems to be easier. If a man hands in a theme or a thesis in his own hand, the instructors are more or less forced to accept it as original, unless of course it was taken outright from a book and they happen to be familiar with the book. From what the fellows at the table said, there must be more of this sort of thing done than I had imagined; although, since Berri opened my eyes, I could believe almost anything. One of the fellows told about a student—a Junior—he had heard of who succeeded in getting himself fired two or three years ago in a rather complicated way. He was engaged, and his lady-love sent him a poem in one of her letters, saying that she had written it for him. The letter arrived while he was struggling with a daily theme; so he murmured to himself, "Tush! I 'll copy Araminta's pretty verses and send them in as my own; as they have just gushed from her surcharged heart into her letter, no one will be the wiser." A few days later the omnivorous Advocate asked permission to print them, and as they had received words of praise from the instructor, and as the fellow by that time had no doubt begun to believe he had written them himself, he allowed them to be published under his name. Somebody sent a copy of the Advocate to Araminta, who replied with an indignant letter to her futur; and while he was trying to think up an explanation of the matter with which to pacify her, somebody else came out in the Crimson with a most withering communication, asking how the Advocate dared to print as original a poem that had been written by his grandfather, the late Donovan H. Dennison, whose complete poetical works ("Dan Cupid and other Idyls") could be found in the college library at any time. Whereupon the student, disgusted at his lady-love's dishonesty in palming off the late Donovan H. Dennison's verses as original, broke his engagement; and the college, disgusted with the student for precisely the same reason, "separated" him (to use the suave official phrase) from the University.

There was, as I said, a great deal of talk at luncheon that day about cheating. Some of the men seemed to think the presence of proctors during an exam was insulting; but, as Bertie Stockbridge remarked,—and this struck me as unanswerable,—"If you don't cheat yourself and don't want to, what difference does it make whether they 're there or not? And if you do cheat, why, of course, proctors are necessary." In the matter of dishonest written work the same honorable sentiments were expressed. Everybody was sincere, but I could n't help realizing a little that they could not have had very much temptation as yet. If it had n't been for Berri, I probably should have laid down the law as loudly as the rest. But he sat there eating in silence, irritated and oppressed by so much high-minded babbling, and I hated to hurt him by adding to it. Usually he is one of the last to leave the table. That day, however, he hurried through his luncheon and slipped away alone.

Oh dear! (How silly those two words look written down, and yet it was what was passing through my mind as I wrote them.) I suppose that what I really mean is, How tiresome it is that a person's acts don't begin and end with himself! There doesn't seem to be any limit to the reach of their influence. It would be so much more simple and easy if you knew just where the consequences of a mistake or an indiscretion, or whatever you choose to call it, began and ended. Now, for instance, take Berri and the thesis. Of course, I think it was all wrong, and was sorry he handed it in; but I wasn't going to let it make any difference in my feelings toward Berri. As far as I am concerned, I don't think it has made a difference. Yet the beastly thing cast a sort of gloom over the house. For Berri after luncheon that day rather avoided the table in general and me in particular. What his object was in doing this, I don't know. It was probably just a feeling on his part; but it made me feel as if I 'd been putting myself on a moral pedestal somehow, and that Berri saw in me a perpetual accusation. Our relations became indescribably changed and sort of formal, and I did n't see how I could make them different. What could I have done? There was nothing, under the circumstances, for me to say. He stopped in my room that night to warm himself for a minute before going to bed, but I don't think he said anything except that it was snowing outside.

The next day we had the blizzard. People here usually assume that in the part of the country I come from we have nine months of winter and three of cold weather. But nevertheless I had to come to the staid and temperate East to see the kind of a winter storm you read about in books,—the regular old "Wreck of the Hesperus" kind, in which the crew are "swept like icicles from the deck," and able-bodied men get hopelessly lost and are frozen to death in their own front yards. I was to have dined in town that night with Hemington, who had tickets for a Paderewski recital. But he did n't turn up, so I joined some fellows who found me in the restaurant eating alone, and afterwards went to the theatre with them. It was snowing when we left the restaurant; in fact, great, wet cottony flakes had been falling at intervals all day. (It reminded me of those marvellous paper weights I haven't seen for years and years,—glass globes filled with water in which a white, powdery sediment swirls and drifts and finally settles in the most lifelike way on a beautiful little tin landscape. What's become of them all, I wonder?) But there was no wind, and it was n't particularly cold, so I don't think that anybody suspected what was going to happen before the show was over.

It took an unusually long time to get out of the theatre that night; the people in the aisles hardly moved at all. But after we had forced our way through the crowd, and climbed over seats, and finally reached the narrow corridor leading to the entrance, we saw why it was. The ones who had got to the door first were afraid to leave. Within an hour or two the wind had risen and risen until it screamed through the streets, blasting up the fallen snow in wild bewildering spirals and then fiercely slapping it back again in slants of hard, biting cold. From the door of the theatre it was impossible to see beyond the curbstone, except when the half-obliterated lights of a cab lurched by over the drifts. The rumor went through the crowd that the wires were down and that all the cars had stopped. No one seemed to know quite what to do. Just as the people nearest the door would make up their minds to start bravely out, a thick hurricane would strike erratically in at them, causing the ladies to shrink back with little exclamations of dismay. Nobody's carriage had arrived, and the few cabs that appeared ploughed laboriously past us. Our crowd waited a few moments,—more to share the excitement of the others than for anything else; then we turned up our collars and plunged out.

Standing at the door of the theatre, the world outside had seemed to me to be in a sort of insane uproar; but as soon as we got away from the human babble, and I lifted my head and opened my eyes and deliberately relaxed my ears, so to speak, I found the city almost solemnly silent. Every now and then, when we came to a cross street or turned a corner, there was, it is true, a sudden shriek and a sort of rattle of fine stinging ice particles; but as long as I could keep myself from being confused inside of me, while we were floundering over drifts and burrowing with our heads through the walls of wind that blocked the way and seemed to be falling on us, I could n't help noticing the terrible muffledness of everything. It was as if the place were being swamped, blotted out, suffocated.

When we reached the hotel where we had dined earlier in the evening, the other fellows went in to have something to eat, but for several reasons I decided not to. In the first place, I promised papa that I would try to economize, and I had already unexpectedly squandered two dollars on a theatre ticket, owing to Hemington's failure to appear. Then I felt that if I did n't make a dash for Cambridge right away, I should n't get there at all. (As a matter of fact, I never did reach there until nine the next morning, but it was n't because I did n't try hard enough. The other fellows put up at the hotel.) So I just shouted that I was going on, and as we were all about half frozen, no one stopped to persuade me not to.

Well, I found a string of cars about a mile long that were rapidly turning into Esquimau huts, and was told by one of the conductors that something had broken down ahead, and that, as the snow-plough could n't get by, they probably would n't move again until morning. He thought, however, that the other line was running; and I started to grope my way to Bowdoin Square.

I would n't go through that experience again for gold and precious stones; and I can't imagine now why I did it in the first place, except that I had acquired by that time a kind of pig-headed determination to reach Cambridge, and did n't know what I was in for. It was n't so bad while I was staggering along by the side of the blocked cars; they were lighted, and I knew that if I changed my mind about going on, I could pop into one of them and be safe. But when I passed the last one and found myself after a while among back streets choked with drifts, and could n't see my way, and fell down twice, and got snow up my sleeves, and my face and hands and feet pained so with cold that I could n't help crying (actually), and I realized at last that I did n't in the least know where I was, I began to be panic-stricken. I 'm not the huskiest person in the world, and all at once the wind blew me smash against an iron railing and almost into a basement of some kind. I think I should have hunted for a door-bell and tried to get into a house if I hadn't a moment later collided with a policeman (fell down again), who helped me up and led me to a sheltered place behind a wall, where I managed to collect myself and tell him what I was looking for. He too was on his way to Bowdoin Square; so after that I just hung on to his coat most of the time, and tried to keep my legs in motion without really knowing much where he was leading me or whether we were making any progress. Once there was a rip-tearing crash over our heads. The policeman jumped aside, and then stopped to exclaim, "Well, I never seen the likes o' that." I think a sign had blown off a building through a plate-glass window. Farther on a dangling wire romped in the wind. It spat dazzling blue and purple at us until we retreated and went around another way, muttering strange Hibernian mutters. When I opened my eyes again, we were in front of the hotel in Bowdoin Square and the policeman was advising me through his frozen mustache not to go to Cambridge. He said the cars had stopped long ago. So I said good-by to him and was just stumbling into the café, when who should come out but Berri and a cabman? They had gone in to get warm before starting across the bridge.

"I 'm not sure that we can make it," Berri said, "but the man says he's willing to try. I 'll tell you why I don't want to stay at the hotel when we get inside. Look out—look out!" he cried to me, as I opened the cab door and was about to jump in. I drew back, expecting at least to be decapitated or electrocuted, and then Berri explained that he was afraid I might "sit on the pigeons." He entered the cab first, and removed some indistinguishable objects from the back seat to the narrow seat that lifts up in front. "That's why I can't very well stay at the hotel," he went on. "As soon as these poor exhausted little darlings begin to thaw, they 'll fly around and make a dreadful fuss. I 'd rather have them in my own room." He had picked up four half frozen pigeons in the street on his way to the Square, and had carried them—two in his pockets and two in the bosom of his overcoat—until he came across the cab. After we got started, he lighted matches every now and then to see how they were getting along, and we took turns at blowing on their pink feet, all shrivelled with cold. One of them, to Berri's grief, was dead, but by the time the cab stopped suddenly and for the last time in the middle of the bridge (it had been going slower and slower and tipping more perilously over mounds of snow as we proceeded), the other three looked scared and intelligent and began to feel warm under their wings.

The driver opened the door and said he could n't go on, as a fallen wire was sagging across the street in front of the horse's nose. We jumped out, and Berri was just about to seize the thing and try to lift it over the horse's head, when I remembered the murderous ecstasy of the other one and jerked him back. Ahead of us there was a drift almost as high as the cab itself, and the man said that even without the wire we never could drive over or through it. So, after a short consultation, he decided to blanket his nag and spend the rest of the night in the cab; the horse was "dead beat," he said, and he very much doubted if it could pull back to town against the wind even after turning around, which was a more or less impossible undertaking in itself. Berri and I packed up the pigeons—the dead one included, as Berri remembered having read in the paper that morning of a case of "suspended animation" somewhere in Texas—and pushed on to the waiting-station at the other end of the bridge.

That was a queer night. I was simply played out when I got inside the waiting-room, and I had n't been there more than a few minutes when I discovered that my ear was frozen. A kind, officious woman all but broke it off rubbing snow on it; but though it pained excruciatingly during the night and is still sensitive and has a tendency to stick out at right angles from my head, I think it will recover. There must have been fifteen or twenty people cooped up in the waiting-room and the cigar-stand (with hot soda-water and candy facilities) next door. Some of them were cross and unhappy, and some of them were facetious. One of them had a small dog. Berri's pigeons created a sensation. The cigar-man gave us a box to put them under, and Berri bought them popcorn for fear they might be hungry during the night. The warmth of the room revived them completely, all but the dead one.

We talked for a while; but as Berri remembered, now that the excitement was over, to be formal and impersonal once more, it was rather dreary. We could have slept, I think,—in fact we were asleep, when one of the facetious refugees woke us up to ask if we did n't want to join him "and some other gentlemen in a game of euchre." Disappointed at his unsuccessful efforts to interest people in this diversion, he chased the little dog about the room, declaring that he intended to tie a glass of chocolate around its neck and send it out in the storm to look for travellers who had lost their way. It was impossible after that to get to sleep again.

We had been sitting with our heads against the wall for almost an hour, waiting for daylight, when Berri, who hadn't said anything for ever so long, suddenly came out with,—

"Oh, Granny, I 'm so sorry I did it!" I knew what he meant at once, although the thesis had n't been in my mind at all, and I was just about to advise him to have a talk with Fleetwood and tell him everything, when he added that he would have to stand by himself now, as it was too late to draw back.

The worst of the storm was over, the cabman had come in to get warm and tell us that his horse had frozen to death, and the windows of the waiting-room had begun to look pale instead of black, by the time I convinced Berri that it wasn't too late, and that as soon as we got to Cambridge he ought to go to The Holly Tree and wait until Fleetwood came in for his breakfast. When he finally made up his mind to do this, I never saw any one in such a state of impatience. He could n't sit still, and kept running to the door every other minute to see if the snow-plough was coming over the bridge. Once he suggested that we should walk; but although the morning was clear and beautiful, I had had enough of struggling through mountains of snow the night before, and refused. The plough appeared at last, preceded by a whirling cloud and followed by a car. We set the pigeons free (Berri told them all to return with olive branches as quickly as possible) and watched them fly to the nearest telegraph-pole and proceed to make their toilets for the day.

It must have been about half an hour after I parted with Berri (he went on to The Holly Tree and I came to my room) that he bounded up the stairs, pale with excitement. He had met Fleetwood, and after a few preliminary remarks about the blizzard (the whole place was submerged) he had blurted out,—

"Mr. Fleetwood, I want to tell you something about my thesis; I did n't write it." To which the instructor replied almost indifferently,—

"Yes, I noticed that. What was the trouble?" Berri just looked at him in amazement.

"I said I did n't write it," he faltered.

"Well, I know that," Fleetwood replied a trifle sharply. He was inclined to be "peevish," Berri said, because the morning papers had n't been delivered.

"But I want to tell you how sorry I am," Berri added; the situation was much worse, Berri says, than it would have been if Fleetwood had seemed more impressed by his dishonesty. As a matter of fact, Fleetwood merely smiled.

"Oh, I never had the vaguest idea that you would write it," he remarked airily. "But if you don't care, I don't. It's much easier for me to give you an E for having failed to hand it in, than it is to read fifty or sixty pages of your impossible writing."

At this Berri said he almost reeled from his chair.

"Did n't I hand it in?" he asked, while his heart thumped painfully. Fleetwood glanced up from his oatmeal only long enough to say,—

"I wish you would go some place else to eat; you bother me." But Berri insisted.

"Dear Mr. Fleetwood," he pleaded eagerly, "please answer me just that one thing. Did n't you find my thesis pushed through your door?" At this Fleetwood put his hands to his head, as he always does when he 's pretending that we 're trying to drive him mad, and moaned,—

"First you tell me you have n't written your thesis and then you ask me if I 've picked it up on my floor. Oh, go away, go away! I shall never be able to finish my breakfast and get back through all that ghastly snow to my ten-o'clock lecture." Then Berri dashed out, forgetting to pay for his breakfast, and came to find me.

Fleetwood must think that Berri isn't quite right; for he followed the instructor around all day more or less, waiting for him at the doors of lecture halls, intercepting him in front of the Colonial Club at lunch-time, running after him in the Square, and calling on him twice at his room, to ask if the thesis had turned up yet. But of course it never had. At that time neither of us could account for its disappearance, and Berri can't yet. He is existing in a state of nervous dread for fear it "may have fallen behind something" in the dark vestibule and will eventually turn up. Well, it will turn up, but not in Fleetwood's room.

Berri spent most of the time in which he wasn't dogging Fleetwood's footsteps discussing the thing with me. But I could n't help him much beyond hoping that the thesis—like the love-letter or the lost will in dramas at the Bowdoin Square Theatre—wouldn't be found until the fifth act, after an elapse of twenty years.

I had to leave him alone part of the afternoon. Duncan Duncan sent me word that he was sick and that the Advocate was in dire need. So I floundered through the alley to the printing-office, and learned from the proof-reader that they had to have six inches of poetry immediately or the paper would be very much delayed. I did n't know what to do, as we had n't any poems of that length in stock, so to speak. While I was sitting there in despair, one of the printers gave me a piece of paper and a pencil, and said,—

"Here, hurry up and write a couple of sticks of po'try; I want to go home." He was quite serious; so I got to work, and in about fifteen minutes had written twenty lines about the pigeons in the blizzard; only I referred to them, for various technical reasons, as doves. There was a heavenly smell of printer's ink in the place which made it easier to write somehow.

No letters came that day from any direction on account of the storm. The next afternoon I met the postman on the steps. He stopped to chat, and I thought I should grab the letters from his hand before he finished, as I caught sight of one in Duggie's handwriting addressed to me. I thought of course that he had postponed his trip and had written to tell me why. The postman talked on and on, but he told me one tale that interested me in spite of myself.

One Sunday morning old Professor Pallas (my ally in the hieroglyphics course) went over to the post-office for his letters. He must have been thinking very deeply about recent discoveries or cuneiform inscriptions or some such thing, because when he went up to the window he could n't remember whose letters he had come for. So he said to the clerk,—

"Young man, do you know who I am?"

The clerk unfortunately was a new one, and had to confess, with regret, that he did n't. So Professor Pallas, after a moment or two of reflection, looked up and murmured through the window,—

"I ask you this because I am equally at a loss myself; but perhaps if I take a little walk it may come to me." Then he strolled away, and in about ten minutes returned, very much pleased, with a slip of paper in his hand.

"I remembered it all by myself," he exclaimed, "and wrote it down."

I got Duggie's letter at last, and ran upstairs to read it. This is what it said:—

DEAR GRANNY,—We are steaming slowly out of the harbor, and I am sitting in a sheltered corner of the deck writing you this note for the pilot to take back with him. My fingers are stiff with cold, but as the air down below is thick with what Mrs. Chester calls "floral tributes." I 'd rather stay here and say good-by to you and the Goddess of Liberty at the same time.

What I wish particularly to do, however, is to thank you for letting me read your diary last night (I have some things to say about it—the parts where I come in, I mean—but that can wait) and to make a confession. When I got to the last page, where the ink was scarcely dry, I dashed over to Fleetwood's room, although I had lingered so long in your room I did n't have any too much time in which to catch my train. Fortunately there was a light in Fleetwood's window. While I was talking to him I saw out of the corner of my eye the great pile of—is the plural "theses" or "thesises"?—on his desk, and when he went into his bedroom for a minute to get a book for me to read going over, I sniped Berri's performance from the top of the pile and stuck it in my pocket. I did it on the impulse of the moment, and I may have been all wrong—I don't know; the whole thing worries me. But don't say anything to Berri about it. I should n't care to get you and the diary into trouble. When I reach Southampton I 'll send the thing back to him with a letter. Good-by, Granny. Take care of yourself and write often.



Some day I 'm going to write a book about Boston, because it's the most wonderful place in the world. I suppose I really mean by this that it is so different from Perugia. Berri, of course, would have to help me,—that is, he would unless I lived here fifty or sixty years for the purpose of gathering notes. It would take about that long to understand everything and be able to write intelligently and sympathetically. Anybody, of course, may sojourn for a time among the Bostonians—just as he may among the Chinese or the strange races of the Pacific islands—and record his impressions of them. But I don't think his remarks would be more valuable than the ordinary travel book that tells you merely the things you could tell yourself if you were on the spot with a pencil and a strong right arm. Really to know the place you have to be born and brought up here; which in itself amounts to saying that Boston will never, never be understood. For the people who were born and brought up here know and won't tell,—"know and can't tell," Berri declares. "It would take a genius to do the thing properly," he says, "and Boston went out of the genius business some thirty or forty years ago."

Now, Berri was born in Paris ("Paa-is, France—or Paa-is, Kentucky?" as a Southern girl once asked him), and I don't suppose he's a genius, actually. But as he has, on his mother's side, more cousins and aunts and things in Boston than anybody I 'm ever likely to know so very intimately, and as he seems more like a genius than anybody I 've ever seen before, what he tells me always sounds somehow as if it were the real thing. He laughed, though, the other day—we were taking a long walk—when I said this to him, and answered that it was very evident I did n't know what the real thing was.

"I'm not," he added, "if for no other reason than that I am able, quite seriously at times, to consider going some place else to live after I finish with all this." And he fluttered his hand in the direction of Cambridge.

"Does n't anybody else?" I asked.

"Mercy, no—how you talk!" he exclaimed. "Why should they?"

"I suppose I was thinking of papa," I replied meekly. "He believes it's better for most young men to get away from home and start life for themselves as soon as they grow up; they 're always boys to somebody unless they do, he says. Then, besides, he has great faith in perfectly new places. He 's often told me that even Perugia was too old and crowded for a young man. Perugia was fifty-three years old last spring." Berri laughed.

"That's important, if true," he answered, "but what has it to do with Boston?"

"Why, I merely imagined that some one in this part of the world might have the same idea," I suggested. "Now, take Duggie, for instance. Don't you think that Duggie wants to get out and try to do something?"

"Oh, Duggie!" said Berri, with a shrug. "He thinks he does now, but he really doesn't. Of course Duggie is simply slopping over with strenuousness and that sort of thing. But he gets most of it out of books,—Fleetwood's books at that. And after all, as I say, he slops over; it 'll just run into the sand without making even a silly little hole. After a while, when he gets tired of reading, and thinking how unworthy everybody else is, it won't do even that. Duggie in college is stunning and a leader of men; but Duggie at forty will be leading nothing but a beautiful purple life down there at his country-place,—unless, of course, he gets fat; if he gets fat, he 'll be a stockbroker."

"Say, Berri, how old are you, anyhow?" I asked. I know he is older than I am, but he never will tell me how much,—he didn't this time,—he just laughs, and says his early education was grossly neglected over there in Europe, or he would have been classes and classes ahead of me. I did n't like what he said about Duggie, and told him so. He answered that I 'd brought it on myself, and I suppose I had.

"Maybe we'd better talk about Bertie Stockbridge," he added. "He's my third cousin, you know—but, dear me, if people begin to be loyal to third cousins, Boston would turn into a sort of gigantic asylum for deaf mutes. I don't mind what you say about Bertie. Besides, he 's a more perfect specimen than Duggie, because Duggie is passing through a phase. Even Bostonians sometimes pass through phases when they 're very young. It doesn't happen often, though. The truth is, Duggie can't decide whether to be a Greek god or a college settlement. He'd really rather be a Greek god, only it's so immoral. He 'll probably end, you know, by coming out of his trance some June morning and finding himself married. Then it will be too late to be either one or the other. But what was it we were talking about? Oh, yes—Bertie. Now, Bertie isn't passing through a phase. Not on your life. Bertie just rose Venus-like in a state of hopeless completion from the crystal waters of the Back Bay. He never disappoints."

"But I like Bertie," I protested; "not as much as I do Duggie, of course. But I do like him; he's so—so—sensible."

"Sensible!" Berri screamed. "Why, child, the Stockbridge family is all sense. With trousers bagging at the knee and Adam's apples rising and falling above their abashed collars, Bertie's ancestors came into a lovely foolish world and created sense. That's all they ever do now,—just create one another and sense. So, the next time you hear some old thing groaning about the scarcity of common-sense, you 'll know that it's because the Stockbridges have it all,—they and a few friends who live in the same street during the winter and share several thousand front feet of the Atlantic Ocean from May to November. But you mustn't think I don't like Bertie and his family,—perhaps I should simply say 'Bertie,' for Bertie is his family,—because I do, you know. I admire him very much," Berri added after a moment. "He radiates a sort of atmosphere of modest infallibility that makes me feel exactly as I should feel if I suddenly went into Appleton Chapel and found the Pope there reading the Boston Transcript. Calmly and without the slightest tinge of bitterness, I admit that Bertie is always right.

"You heard what he said to Bobbie Colburn, didn't you? It was after the hour exam in English 68, and we were all in Bobbie's room comparing notes. Now, Bertie had passed, of course, because he 'll always pass in everything, whether he has any talent for it or not; but he had n't passed particularly well. It takes a person of some imagination to get a good mark in that course. Bobbie Colburn, on the other hand, who apparently hadn't studied at all and who'd been having a fierce time the night before the exam, just sailed into the examination-room with a dress-suit on under his overcoat, and got through brilliantly, which worried Bertie to death. We 'd all made some comment on the matter, and finally Colburn, as if to end it, said in his breezy way, 'Well, you know the old proverb,—He laughs best who drinks most!' Whereupon Bertie fixed him with his fine gray eyes and remarked, 'That is n't the way it goes, Colburn; you 've got it mixed.' Then he repeated the words correctly,—not with triumph exactly, but with the cold joy of one whose life is spent in righting unimportant wrongs.

"And yet I can't help confessing," Berri mused, "that I 'm exceedingly glad to acknowledge my relationship to Bertie and his tribe. They madden me at times; they have such clear, narrow, unelastic, admirable intellects. Their attitude toward all questions, public or private, is so definite and uncompromising; they 're so dog-gonned right. Why, American history is just one glad, sweet testimonial to the fact that they 're never wrong. They 're not always on the popular side, or the successful; they 're merely right. Any other human beings would keep on trying to make use of such a splendid faculty. Years and years ago they did make use of it; but nowadays it's enough just to know that they have it, and pretty much all to themselves.

"But, as I was saying, I 'm secretly darned glad that Bertie and I belong to each other, so to speak. Is n't it funny—I'm not a bit loyal to Bertie, but he 's perfectly loyal to me. He does n't in the least understand me. I don't think he even likes me, although that disturbing thought probably has n't occurred to him yet; but there's no getting around the fact that I 'm one of his relatives, and he accepts me,—accepts me in a way he never will accept you, no matter how well he gets to know you and like you. There's something rather fine in that, don't you think? Of course, it might be a good deal of a bore if he took a fancy to me; but as he won't, it's really a great comfort. The fact that that plain, but healthy-looking, silent person in the very badly made dark gray suit accepts me and will always accept me, is equivalent to an illuminated address of welcome and the freedom of the city.

"You really can't imagine how it simplifies things," Berri continued. "It's such a relief, such an absolution! It leaves me, as some one says, 'with nothing on my mind but my hair and my hat;' and even they don't have to be brushed as long as people consider me a Stockbridge at heart. Why, if I didn't feel like it, I shouldn't have to be even polite. Of course I am polite. But it's a mere habit with me; I dare say I 'll get out of it. You've noticed, haven't you, how brusque and sort of primitive Bertie's manner is as a rule? Well, they 're all more or less like that. People who like them say it arises from shyness and simplicity, and people who don't like them declare that it's just common or domestic rudeness; but it really is n't one or the other, and I think I ought to know. The family manner comes from a curious conviction that politeness, grace, tact—the practice of making oneself agreeable free of charge, so to speak—has to do with the emotions; which is perfectly absurd. The habit of politeness is about as emotional as the habit of brushing one's teeth. But Bertie's tribe does n't think so; and emotion with them is simply another word for effeminacy. You see, they 're so sure of coming up to the scratch in the big things that they let the little ones slide. I think they always vaguely associate politeness with French waiters and Neapolitan cripples. So, in a way, they 'll rather expect it of you; they like all foreigners to seem foreign."

Bertie gabbled about no end of things that afternoon. He had what he calls a "dry jag," and hardly ever stopped talking from the time we left our house just after luncheon until we came down Brattle Street on the way back and went into Mrs. Brown's for dinner. Once he and a lot of kids coming out of a schoolhouse away across the river somewhere, pasted one another with snowballs (I joined them) until a policeman made us stop, and for a few minutes the torrent of talk was interrupted. But he made up for it by yelling every time he hit any one or got hit himself. He told me all sorts of tales, and I could n't help thinking how different everything was from Perugia.

It had never occurred to me before that Perugia was so happy-go-lucky and uncivilized. Why, out there we just seem to grow up like those great round weeds on the prairie that suddenly let go for no particular reason and then bound along in the breeze through the wide flat streets until they run against a fence or a house and, for a while, stick there. It does n't seem to me that anything much is decided for us in advance. I did n't know even that I was coming to college until about a year and a half beforehand,—which made it simply awful, as I had to study everything at once and did n't learn much of anything. Now, Berri says that, with the exception of himself, who was "grossly neglected" and never studied anything but French and German, his entire family for generations has lived by a sort of educational and social calendar from which they never deviate except in the event of a civil war. He says he should n't be a bit surprised to learn that there were certain definite, unalterable dates at which the little boys began and left off tin soldiers and the breeding of guinea-pigs, and the little girls began and left off paper-dolls and "dressing up." He declares that, providing the laws of nature are reasonably consistent, they all know exactly what they 'll be doing at any period of their lives; that even matrimony has ceased to be a lottery with them, as they go in for marrying, not individuals, but types. Isn't it perfectly wonderful?

"Now, take Bertie," he said. "Bertie knew who his classmates in college were going to be, at the age of five. They 're the same chaps he's been going to school with, and to the kid dancing-classes, you know, the Saturday Mornings and Thursday Afternoons or whatever they are, all these years. They go to the Friday Evenings this year, and next year they 'll go to the Saturday Evenings, and at all these morns and noons and dewy eves they dance with the same girls that two years from now they 'll meet in society and subsequently marry, just because it's part of the routine. After they get out of college they 'll all go abroad for a few months in groups of three and four, and when they get back they 'll be taken into the same club (their names will have been on the waiting list some twenty-odd years), and they 'll join a lunch club down town in order not to miss seeing one another every day at noon for the rest of their lives."

Then Berri told me about the girls. Really my heart bleeds for the girls, because apparently, unless they are terribly pretty or terribly clever or terribly rich, they must have a devil of a time. Berri says that although they all "come out," they don't all stay out; that after about a year or so a good many of them sort of slink in again by unanimous consent. (Imagine such a thing in Perugia! Why, every girl has a good time there for just as long as she wants to.) The pretty ones, however, never go in again; because, if you once get a reputation for beauty here, Berri says it never leaves you (the reputation, I mean), and that 's why an evening party in Boston often strikes a stranger as being so largely a matter of physical traditions. At a dance the rich plain girls, he says, have a good time too, but only for the first part of the evening. The men speak of them as "pills" (a quaint, chivalrous custom, is it not?), and try to dance with them as early in the evening as possible, because everybody else is trying to do the same thing and there isn't so great a chance of getting stuck for an hour or so. But later on they ask only the ones they really want to dance with, and the plain rich girl finds herself spending a cozy eternity with some one who is inwardly moaning because he delayed until the rush was over.

The girls too are born into a sort of rut, Berri says. It takes the form of sewing-circles. Berri can discourse for hours at a time on these institutions. His aunt Josephine has been going to the same one every week for fifty years. He said that once when he was a little child he heard an Englishman who had lived in India telling about the mysterious rapidity with which a piece of news spread among the natives of that country. Within half a day, this man declared, a rumor would sort of leap through the air from Calcutta to the most obscure villages on the Afghan frontier, and no one could explain how it was done. Berri used to fall asleep at night worrying over it. But now, even in India romance is dead, Berri says; he 's convinced that the whole thing was nothing but just sewing-circles.

"Why, Granny, if I were to lock myself up in my room in Cambridge and draw the curtains and stuff the keyhole and then murmur in a low voice that—well, for instance, that you and Sarah Bernhardt had been quietly married at the First Baptist Church in Somerville that afternoon, and then dash in to my aunt Josephine's as fast as a car could take me, she would greet me in the library with: 'My dear, have you heard! I 've just come from the sewing-circle, and they say—of course I don't believe it'—and so on. And this is n't any idle jest, either; it's a fact."

He was just beginning to tell me something else about them—I forget what—when we both realized that it was rather late, and that if we expected to get back in time for dinner we should have to find a shorter way or take the car. We neither of us knew where we were, although Berri said the place looked as if it might be called "Upper-West-Newtonville-Centre Corners." So we stopped a little girl who was trudging along with a pitcher of milk in her hand.

"Little girl, can you tell me where we are?" Berri asked her solemnly. She stared at us for a moment with great round eyes (Berri admitted afterwards that the question was a stupid one), and finally answered in a high, scornful little voice,—

"Main Street."

Berri refused to ask again after that, and we strolled about for a time until we caught sight of the tower of Memorial,—it suddenly appeared against the sky in quite the wrong direction,—and then of course getting home was easy enough.

We were rather confidential on the way back, and talked about the "Dickey," which we had never discussed before. The Dickey is the great Sophomore secret society. I don't remember just how the subject came up, but something reminded Berri of one night earlier in the year,—one of the nights on which the society takes on ten new members. They choose them from the Sophomore class always except late in the spring, just before college closes, when ten—the "First Ten"—are elected from among the Freshmen. However, by that time the Freshmen are almost Sophomores, so it amounts to about the same thing. When a ten is taken on, the whole club marches through the streets at about eleven o'clock at night, singing a song that has no words but "Tra la la la, la la, la la." It's a wonderful little tune; it's very short and simple, and after you 've heard it once it sticks in your head, you can't forget it. Unlike other catchy airs, though, you somehow don't get tired of it. I 've heard it over and over again since I 've been here,—on pianos as I passed under the windows of upper classmen, whistled by muckers in the Yard, and sung by the club at night,—and it always gives me a thrill; I suppose it 's because it means such a lot, and because you realize that no one (except the muckers) would play it or sing it or whistle it who was n't entitled to.

On the night that Berri referred to, the club must have been half a mile away when we first heard it. Berri was in my room reading, and I was writing a letter. My back was toward him, and we neither of us said anything when the vague musical "tra la la las" floated up from away down by the river somewhere. They were very faint, and after a minute or two stopped entirely. Then, just as I had forgotten about it, the song began again,—a little louder and more distinct this time and getting louder every second. Then it suddenly broke off once more. But I didn't forget it, for I knew that the club had stopped to take some one out of his room—some one who had just been elected—and march him along with the others, and I waited kind of nervously for the refrain to begin again; it never gets started quite evenly,—only a few voices at first, the rest joining in as the crowd turns away from the door of the "neophyte's" house and starts along the street. They came nearer and nearer,—the song grew louder and louder. Some of the fellows were singing a clear tenor that made the last few notes of every verse die away in a kind of high, sad wail. It seemed ridiculous for me to be sitting there pretending to write a letter, with Berri reading in such elaborate unconsciousness by the fire, when the ears of both of us were strained to catch every note, and the hoarse, fierce shouts that suddenly broke through the song as the Dickey turned into our street; but neither of us knew what to say exactly. At last, however, I could n't stand it any longer, and jumped up and blew out both the lamps. With the room dark we could stand at the window and not be seen. Freshmen are n't expected to show any particular interest in the proceedings of the Dickey; it's considered fresh. They were just tramping past our house when we leaned out,—a singing, shouting, irresistible mob,—and Berri and I looked down at them in silence. We were both excited, and I felt chilly all over—but that may have been on account of the open window. The crowd did not pass on, as we thought it would, but stopped at a house across the street a few doors down. Once more the song ceased; men formed in a double line that reached from the piazza to the street, and there were hoarse cries of "Pull him out—pull him out!" Then the front door burst open, and a fellow—he seemed to be half dressed—came hurtling through the air between the double row waiting for him. There was a moment of confusion and savage yells, during which it looked as if the whole crowd was trying to get its hands on him. We lost sight of him in the shuffle, and in another instant the song began, louder than before, and the Dickey swayed away into the darkness. We stood at the window until the clearness and energy of the "Tra la la la, la la, la la," faded to a thin, dim, uncertain rhythm,—a suggestion of tenor that all but lost itself in the pearly fog rolling up from the marshes.

I fumbled for a match when we turned at last to the room. But before I found one, Berri said, "I think I 'll go to bed, Granny," and by the time I got the lamp lighted he had slipped away. I don't know why exactly, but I was rather glad he hadn't waited. After that I tried to finish my letter, but I could n't make myself end the sentence I had been writing the way I had meant to end it in the first place. So I put the thing in the fire and sat there awhile, thinking, and then went to bed myself.


Well, as I said, something reminded Berri of that night, and as we were on a deserted road far from Cambridge, he referred to it,—indirectly at first, and afterwards right out in so many words. But he didn't talk in the same free and airy strain he had been talking in before, and although I wanted to hear what he said and ask questions and say a few things myself, I had a feeling all the time that perhaps we ought to change the subject; it made me uncomfortable. Then I thought of the way I had talked to Duggie the first evening, away back in September, and positively blushed when I remembered that I had asked him, outright, how one ought to go about getting on clubs. Why, that was enough to sewer me with almost anybody in the world but Duggie. Imagine my doing such a thing now! No one ever thinks of mentioning the clubs in general conversation. Of course once in a while some fresh kid who happens to live next door to one of them comes out with an allusion of some kind, and embarrasses everybody to death; and I 've had one or two upper classmen—Juniors or Seniors—who hadn't made the Dickey and didn't belong to a club talk to me quite freely about the whole matter in a tone that implied that such things were all very well, no doubt, but did n't interest them particularly. You can get a good deal of information from upper classmen of this kind,—fellows who are n't on clubs and have given up expecting to be; they don't think you fresh. But it would never do to ask for any from a Dickey man; that would be awful. Why, you 'd never be taken on if you did that.

Even Berri does n't seem to know much about the Dickey, or, if he does, he did n't tell me anything very definite. He said, though, that if you didn't make it, you might just as well pack up and go home; that Dickey men kind of flocked together and did n't go outside much for their friends, and that the fellows you wanted to know usually were on the Dickey. Then, too, he said that if a man did n't make the Dickey, he wasn't likely to be taken into a club. Berri seemed to know a lot about the clubs. I knew hardly anything at all; in fact, I thought the Dickey was a club, but he says it isn't,—that it's a society. The clubs, he says, are great. His uncle took him to one for breakfast once before he—Berri—got into college. (Of course he couldn't be taken to one now.) He said he did n't notice anything particularly secret about it; it was just like one of the good clubs in town. I found out the names of most of them from him—they seem to have Greek names, yet are called by queer nicknames as a rule—and where they are. This last, however, I knew pretty well before, but I did n't know which was which, and could n't ask exactly. I had often seen fellows going in and out of certain houses along Mount Auburn Street that did n't look like residences somehow, although they might have been, and wondered just what they were. At night, even with the shades down, they were always lighted from top to bottom. No matter how late it was, the lights were there, cheerful and inviting,—which in itself seemed remarkable when I considered how early Cambridge (the town, I mean) goes to bed. But one morning when I was hurrying to a lecture, two fellows came out of Claverly Hall, and one of them said to the other, "Hold up a minute; I left my note-book at the club," and dashed across the street. Then it suddenly dawned on me. Of course I never look curiously at them any more, but just walk right on with my eyes fixed on something in the distance as if they were ordinary houses. I can't help wondering, sometimes, whether anybody ever noticed me staring at them and at the fellows going in and out—before I knew. I hope not.

When I asked Duggie about getting into clubs that time, I remember he evaded the subject (which was darned good of him, it seems to me now) by saying something about being polite to everybody.

"That's all very well," Berri answered, when I laughed a little and told him about it, "but there's such a thing as being too polite. You see, there are fellows right now in our class—you know who they are and I do too—who are, even as early as this, being considered for the First Ten. If you suddenly turned in and tried to make yourself nice to them, why, everybody would say you were 'swiping;' and so you would be. The First Ten elects the Second Ten, you know."

"Duggie did n't mean that you ought to be polite only to the fellows you think are going to help you along," I answered. "It was exactly the reverse of that. What he meant was that you ought to be the same to everybody."

"I wonder if he was," Berri mused. "It's so easy, after you 've once got to the top yourself, to think you did it all with the help of the Scriptures. It's like these old vultures who 've stolen everything in sight ever since they were born, beginning their magazine articles on 'How to Get Rich' with: 'Honesty and Industry must be the motto of him who would attain wealth!'"

I refused to see any connection between Duggie and the old vultures, and tried to get back to the clubs. However, we did n't say much more about them, and squabbled most of the way home over the subject of popularity. It does seem queer that some fellows have so many friends, while others who start with about the same opportunities and even greater natural advantages now and then have so few. I suggested that when a fellow was tremendously popular and "in" everything—and I could n't see why it was exactly—he probably had very interesting or fascinating qualities that I had n't perhaps discovered. Berri, however, maintained that popularity was often nothing but an idiotic fashion, and mentioned several popular fellows he did n't like, to prove it.

"Now look at Tucker Ludlow," he burst out. "What is he? A dissipated little beast; you know he is, everybody knows he is. Not that I should mind his being dissipated and a beast, if he were ever anything else; but he isn't. He's stupid, and he 's ignorant, and he is n't even good-looking, yet he moves in a crowd,—a nice crowd too; and when he moves, the crowd moves with him. That's nothing but fashion. It is n't possible that anybody can really like the creature. But it amounts to the same thing; I 've already heard it kind of whispered around that he 'll be on the First Ten."

What Berri said interested me very much, for Ludlow and I had agreed, a few days before, to grind together on a course for the mid-year exams. I had intended to remind him of it, but now that Berri said he was spoken of for the First Ten I don't like to; people might think I was swiping. I don't care much for Ludlow myself; but he doesn't irritate me the way he does Berri, and I do think there must be something to him.

After the freaks of fashion, Berri seemed to think that the most popular men—in one's Freshman year anyhow—were the fellows whose opportunities for making friends were good to begin with, and who were n't in any way particularly startling,—athletics, of course, always excepted; athletes never lack a following. But it does n't do, he says, to be different, or to excel at first in much of anything else. You may with perfect safety have the reputation for knowing things or being clever, but that 's very different from really knowing or being. The man who actually knows or is, is doomed.

"What about Reggie Howard, then?" I asked. Everybody likes Howard, and yet he knows a fearful amount and is as clever as any one could be. I knew Berri thought so, and wondered how he would get out of it.

"Yes, Reggie's wise,—very wise," he admitted, "but with the exception of you and me, almost no one suspects it. He does n't object to my knowing, because he feels sure I don't mind; and you 're safe because you 're so kind. But he takes care that people generally don't get on to it. That's part of his wisdom."

One thing I 've learned here that surprised me a good deal, and that is—popularity has nothing to do with money. I always had an idea that people with money to throw to the birds could n't help being liked; but that evidently is n't the case. And Berri did n't have to tell me; I found it out for myself. Of course it's nice to be able to live in comfortable rooms and have plenty to eat and wear decent clothes. No one objects to that, and no one objects, apparently, to a fellow's doing more than that,—to spending, indeed, a good deal of money if he has it to spend. But the mere fact of a man's having a record-breaking allowance does n't seem to interest people in the least, and if some frightfully rich fellow comes to college with a flourish of trumpets in the Sunday papers about his father's income, and how many horses he intends to keep, and how much the furnishing of his rooms will probably cost, it 's decidedly against him. I was thinking, I suppose, of Tony Earle in our class. His father makes millions and millions out of safety-matches—I believe it is. Anyhow, everybody speaks of Tony as "His Matchesty," and has very little to do with him. The fellows are simply prejudiced against him because the papers said he had so much money. And he 's really a perfectly harmless, rather quiet sort of person who plays well on the piano. Berri and I spent an evening with him once. We were dining in town, and Earle was all alone across the room. He looked so dreary that Berri finally exclaimed,—

"For heaven's sake, why doesn't some one take pity on that poor wretched millionaire? It's positively pathetic!"

I suggested asking him to come over and have his dinner with us. But Berri, like every one else, objected.

"He 'd probably order nightingales or peacocks or some such thing, and then insist on paying for us," he said.

"Well, let's ask him and see," I urged. "We'll make that the test. If he tries to pay the whole bill, he won't do." So Berri went over and asked him to join us, and he turned out just as I said,—quiet and not especially interesting, but a good deal nicer than a lot of fellows who won't know him. When it came to paying the waiter, Berri kicked me under the table and spent an indecently long time in looking over the check. I think he was actually disappointed when Earle glanced across the table and merely said,—

"By the way, what's my share?"

When we got to Cambridge he asked us over to his rooms. They certainly are dreams; even Berri could n't find anything wrong with them. He bangs the box like a wizard.

"I was afraid he was going to say he was lonely, or something melodramatic like that, when we got up to leave and he asked us to come again," Berri remarked on the way home. "Of course he is horribly lonely, and it was very considerate of him not to spoil everything by saying so. I think we 'll have to go back. To-morrow at luncheon we can start a society for the prevention of cruelty to millionaires."

Well, if I 'm ever ostracized it won't be because people are scared at my allowance. Papa and I have been having an exceedingly brisk correspondence lately. Just after the family got back to Perugia, Mildred wrote me that papa had won an important lawsuit and was going to get an unusually large fee. So I bought some clothes and a few things I really needed on the strength of it and had the bill sent home, as he made me promise to let him know just what I spent. He replied at some length, declaring, among other things, that I reminded him of what Charles Lamb says of a poor relation; Lamb's remark being, "A poor relation is a preposterous shadow lengthening in the noontide of your prosperity." I expostulated, and told him about Willie Jackson. Willie's elder brother passed through Boston not long ago, and when Willie went in to see him he asked for money with which to buy a dress-suit case and some shoes he needed badly. No one knows exactly how it happened,—some think that Willie had been brooding over the Fine Arts course he is taking and the instructor's plea for more beauty in one's every-day environment. Anyhow, when Willie stepped off the car in Cambridge, he had—not the shoes and the dress-suit case, but a palm and a canary-bird.

To this papa replied that he didn't see why I had taken the trouble to record for his benefit the exploits of Willie Jackson, as he never for a moment had doubted that there were as many fools in college as elsewhere. That is where the matter rests at present.

As there is nothing doing now that you can watch in the afternoon as you can the football practice in the autumn and the baseball and crews in the spring, some of us at the table have become athletes on our own account. We go to the gym every day at about five, and work with chest-weights and dumbbells, and are put through all sorts of agonizing performances in a large class of hard students who never take any other kind of exercise. Then we run up North Avenue as far as the railway-station and back to our rooms. I don't know how far it is, but the return trip at first seemed to be about a hundred miles; it's a little shorter now, and gets shorter every day. After a hot shower-bath and then a cold one you feel eight or ten feet high, and walk through the Square to dinner, sticking out your chest. It's queer you don't catch cold, running in the icy wind with literally nothing on but a pair of tennis shoes, loose short cotton drawers, and a thin sleeveless undershirt; but you never seem to. The gym made me stiff all over for a day or two, but I feel fine now, and wonder why we never thought of it before. The muckers on the Avenue bother us a good deal with snowballs when we run. Hemington very foolishly chased one of them not long ago and washed his face with snow. The paternal mucker has since sued Hemi for assault and battery. Hemi is in a great state about it, and we are all looking forward to cutting a morningful of lectures and testifying in court.

The mid-years are almost here, and I feel as if it were only about the day before yesterday that I was failing in the hour exams. I simply must do well in the mid-years, for if I don't they will probably change my probation to "special probation" (as it is called), which is the limit, my adviser says, of everything obnoxious. I should have to report—to him most likely—every morning at half-past eight, just to show that I was up bright and early and "in sympathy with the work," so to speak. Then at ten or eleven in the evening I should have to drop in again, which of course would make it impossible to go to the theatre without permission. An extra-sharp lookout would be kept on my work, and altogether special probation is easily a consummation devoutly to be avoided. I suppose I 'll have to grind and grind night and day in order to get everything down cold. I wish now that I had kept on studying an hour or two every day, as I did for about a week after my encounter with the exams in October. I should n't be well prepared even then, but it would n't all seem so perfectly hopeless as it does now. It's so hard, though, to do anything regularly when the front door is unlocked most of the time, as ours is. And there 's no use in locking the door of my room, as the fellows don't knock once and go away, but pound and rattle and shout insulting remarks through the keyhole. All of which makes me feel disagreeable and rather affected,—locking myself up when other people get along so well without that sort of thing. I have n't done it more than once or twice.

Anyhow I 'll probably get a good mark in my English Composition. The instructor seems to like my themes and reads a good many of them in class. Lately, however, he has developed the unnecessary trick of pronouncing the words, when he is reading, exactly as they are spelled, which is extremely trying for me and not fair to the theme. It has made several really good ones sound ridiculous. Spelling is n't my strong point, I know; but I draw the line at Berri's guying me about it,—Berri, whose spelling, unless he digs every other word out of the dictionary, looks like some kind of absurd French dialect. He has recently taken to getting off a rigmarole (it's supposed to be about me) that begins something like this,—

"'Berri, how do you spell "parallel"?'

"'Why, p-a-r-a-l-l-e-l, of course.'

"'Thank you; that's the way I have it.' (Then nothing was heard but the scratching of a penknife.)"

I think they 're rather fussy about details here. On the back of my last theme the instructor wrote: "By the way, dotting one's i's and crossing one's t's are charming literary habits when once acquired."

However, I think I shall get a good mark in this course, notwithstanding. But life isn't all English Composition, and I have a terrible amount of work to do in the other things. Berri and I began, in a way, to prepare for the ordeal by going to the theatre for the last time until the mid-year period is at an end. We made an occasion of it, and ended by doing something that I had never dreamed we were going to do when we started out. It was foolish, I suppose, and I don't know exactly what mamma would think about it. I should like to tell her and find out, but I 'm afraid papa might get hold of it, and my idea of his opinion on the subject is somewhat less vague. What we did was to invite one of the girls in the show to supper.

Berri proposed it. We were sitting in the front row away to one side, and when the second act was about half over, he exclaimed to me,—

"There, she 's done it again; that's the third time." I asked him what he meant, and he replied that one of the girls on our side of the stage had winked at us. The attention, he explained, must have been meant for us. And for a variety of reasons it did n't seem as if it could have been intended for any one else. In the first place our seats were the last in the row. Behind us were some ladies, and on the other side of Berri was a very old man who sat half turned away from the stage, holding a great black tin trumpet to his ear, as if he were expecting the actors to lean over the footlights and pour something into it.

"I don't want to appear vain," Berri went on, "but as a mere matter of geographical position I think that we 're It." The comedian was singing a song in the middle of the stage, and on either side of him was a row of girls—convent girls they were supposed to be—who joined in the chorus at the end of every verse and shook their fingers at him reprovingly. They were all dressed in tights. This was n't the convent uniform (they had appeared in that during the first act), and was explained by the fact that they had been rehearsing for private theatricals when the comedian fell in through the window. The comedian was a burglar, and his tights were merely a clever disguise. He was making the girls believe that he was a professional actor hired by the mother superior to teach them how to sing and dance. This was the plot, and it was really rather complicated, for when they all decided to leave the convent with the burglar and spend the evening at a roof-garden, they rushed in dressed as policemen, pretending that they had come to arrest the burglar. The mother superior did n't recognize them, of course, and was naturally glad to have the burglar taken away. Then, at the roof-garden—in the third act—they appeared as waiters; all of which made it hard for me to keep track of them very well. But Berri could spot our girl every time, and by carefully examining the program and comparing the names of the chorus with the various changes of costume she went through, he managed in some way, by the end of the second act, to discover her name. It was Miss Mae Ysobelle. To tell the truth, I did n't think her particularly pretty. She was tall and not a bit graceful, and when she danced she looked as if it were hard work to move her arms and legs the right number of times and finish with the others. She smiled a great deal, but the moment she stopped dancing her mouth sort of snapped back to place as if it were made of stiff red rubber. I found, after watching her for a long time, that my own mouth got very tired. I told Berri this; also that her clothes looked as if they had been made for some one else. But Berri somehow seemed to think she might be unusually agreeable if one knew her.

"Very often, you know, really pretty people don't make up well at all; and as for her clothes looking as if they did n't belong to her, why, she can't help that, poor thing! they probably don't. She is a little knock-kneed, but you would n't notice that if she had a skirt on."

"Well, there doesn't seem to be any immediate danger of our seeing her with a skirt," I answered, for some of the convent girls—Mae Ysobelle among them—had suddenly changed their minds about being waiters and had decided to give the interrupted private theatricals right there on the roof-garden stage. They came prancing in dressed as jockeys, while the man in the orchestra who, as Berri says, supplies music with local color, slapped two thin boards together to imitate the crack of a whip.

"Oh, I don't know," Berri mused; "we might manage to meet her after the show,—ask her to supper or something. She seems friendly enough," he added; for, as he was speaking, the jockeys drew up at the edge of the stage, touched their caps, then leaned over, and all winked. Miss Ysobelle was unmistakably looking at us as she did it.

I did n't believe she would go with us even if we asked her, but Berri said we 'd rush out after the third act and buy her some flowers and send an usher behind the scenes with them. We ended by doing this—we got her a big box of roses—and writing a note asking her to meet us at the stage door when the performance was ended. Berri signed it "Front row—extreme left."

We did n't get an answer to it, at least not in words; but when the curtain went up again on a scene in the convent garden, Miss Ysobelle had one of our roses in her hair and another at her belt, and I began to feel excited at the prospect of meeting her. In fact, the whole last act had a personal interest for us that the others had not. It was almost like being on the stage and enjoying everything from the inside. I even felt rather sorry for the rest of the audience who were sitting there perfectly oblivious to the intrigue going on in the blaze of the footlights, before their unsuspecting eyes. One thing struck us both as rather odd at first. Miss Ysobelle, except for the roses, scrupulously ignored us through the entire act. She not only never winked at us, she never even looked at us. In fact, she gave us both the impression that she had become absorbed in something at the other side of the house. I could n't understand this, and neither could Berri, although he said there was probably some theatrical etiquette connected with her averted gaze, or perhaps the stage-manager had told her to be more dignified. We decided to ask her about it at supper. Well, we never got a chance to ask her, but we found out soon enough for ourselves.

As we had the last seats on the left side of the front row, we were naturally the last to get into the middle aisle on the way out, or, rather, we and the people who had the corresponding seats on the other side of the house were the last. We met them when we reached the end of our row, and had to stop a moment as they stood there putting on their overcoats and blocking the way. One of them I noticed particularly,—a great, big thug of a creature who had shiny black hair slicked up in front with a barbery flourish, and a very fancy waistcoat and cravat. They kept just ahead of us on the way out, and laughed a good deal. Berri and I were unusually silent.

We did n't go quite to the stage door, as the electric light fizzing right over it made everything in the little alley as bright as day. Neither of us was very keen to join the group loitering near by, so we stood a little back in the shadow and waited. Finally some men with their collars turned up came out; then two women with thick veils on. They seemed to be in a great hurry, and for a few seconds we were afraid that one of them might be Miss Ysobelle; but we remembered how tall she was and did n't run after them. Then more men came, and more girls,—some of whom were joined by men waiting at the door. It seemed at last as if the whole company must have come out, and Berri and I were beginning to think that Miss Mae Ysobelle must have left before we arrived, when the door opened once more and she appeared with our box of flowers in her arms. For a moment she stood on the step and looked around expectantly.

"I think we ought to go up," Berri murmured nervously; but I thought it would be better to wait and join her as she passed by.

Then a queer thing happened. Just as she decided to leave the step, who should go up to her but the big thug with the shiny hair and loud waistcoat? He lifted his hat and shook hands with her very cordially, then took the box of flowers—our flowers—and strolled away with her out of the alley to the street. As they passed by, we heard her exclaim, "Say, it was awful nice of you to send those Jacques. When Myrtle seen me open the box—" The rest of the sentence was lost in the rattle of a cab.

Berri and I waited a moment before coming out of the shadow. Then we looked at each other, and Berri shrieked with laughter. We laughed all the way back to Cambridge. The people in the car must have thought—I don't know what they could have thought. For a long time we could n't imagine why things had turned out as they had until Berri remembered that he had signed the note "Front row—extreme left." He had meant our left, but Miss Ysobelle no doubt thought that it referred to her left,—which was quite another matter.


I've been dead to the world for more than a month; it seems about a year. Yet when I came to look at the situation squarely, there wasn't anything else to do exactly. It was a case of getting the drop on my exams or letting them get the drop on me. Of course, I could have sort of fooled with them and thought I was learning something about them and then perhaps have scraped through in one or two and failed in the others. And this, as a matter of fact, was the way in which Tucker Ludlow and I did go at them at first. Tucker came up to my room two or three times, armed with some type-written notes on Greek architecture that he had bought at one of the book stores in the Square. The first time he came was rather late in the afternoon. He examined everything in my room, and we talked a good deal; he had been out West once, and seemed to know much more about that part of the country than I did. However, we finally got to work and had read about two pages of the notes when Hemington came in. He saw that we were grinding, and said he would n't sit down and interrupt us, especially as he ought to be in his own room, grinding himself. He did n't actually sit down, but leaned against the mantelpiece and smoked for a while, and then compromised by half sitting on the arm of a chair in a temporary way and swinging his leg. When at last he got up to leave, it was so near dinner that Ludlow went with him, and said he would continue some other time. He left the notes with me, and at first I thought I should study them alone, but as Ludlow and I had agreed to grind the course up together, there did n't seem to be any point in getting ahead of him; so in a few minutes I went to dinner myself.

The next time Ludlow came to study was in the evening. He proposed that I should read the notes aloud, as he found the architectural terms so hard to pronounce; we were to stop and talk over anything we did n't understand. I made myself comfortable in a chair near the lamp, and Ludlow drew up to the fire. After droning along for about ten minutes about triglyphs and epistyles and entablatures and all that sort of thing, I suddenly had a jealous feeling that he was getting more good from the performance than I was, for he had n't asked a question, while I had n't understood a single sentence. Finally, without looking up, I said,—

"Tucker, if you really know what 'pseudo-peripteral' means, I wish you would tell me." Tucker didn't answer, and I thought he was probably trying to get at a definition simple enough for me to grasp. But when I glanced over toward the fireplace, I saw that he was asleep with his mouth open. Well, I felt rather angry at first,—it all seemed such a waste of time; but it struck me, too, as being funny, so I did n't wake him. He must have slept for at least ten minutes longer (of course I did n't bother about reading aloud any more), and then he came to, exclaiming,—

"Read that about the ground plan once more; I don't think I quite got that." As the ground plan was almost the first topic mentioned, I suppose he had dozed off almost immediately. After that I made him do the reading, but he had n't stumbled through many pages before he put down the notes and said,—

"Granny, don't you think that if we tackled this beastly drivel in the daytime, our heads would be clearer?"

That was the end of our grinding together. He came to my room once more, but I was out. It was after this experience that I thought the matter over and decided I should have to do the thing differently, and for the most part alone. My most brilliant stroke was getting the key of Duggie's room from Mrs. Chester; I could lock myself up there and be perfectly safe. When fellows saw my own door wide open and no one at home, they went away at once without making a row. Of course I had to let Berri into the game; but as he began to be scared about some of his own exams, he was grateful for the refuge and did n't give it away.

I went to work at the whole business scientifically, determined not to leave a single thing, however unimportant, to chance. And I 'm convinced now that if I have the nerve always to do this, I can get through any examination I 'm ever likely to have,—not brilliantly, perhaps, but very respectably. First of all, I spent a day in the library and got hold of a lot of books that gave my various courses in their simplest, clearest form. For the Fine Arts course I found that a copy of the notes that Ludlow had was better than anything. They stated facts in a condensed way that made it possible to keep in your head a bird's-eye view of the entire course, as far as we had gone. Then I made a list of the number of pages of general reading we had to accomplish in every course, and split them up so as to be able to get through them all—taking notes as I read—by reading a certain number of pages a day. I left a margin at the end for review and in case of accidents. And finally, after I had made these preparations and collected as many of the necessary books as I could (I had to do some of my reading in the library), I locked Duggie's door one morning after breakfast, and sat down at his desk, and stayed there until luncheon; and after luncheon I went back and stayed until it was time to go to the gym and take a run; and after dinner I went back and stayed until bedtime. And I did this every day with very few interruptions until I could pick up any of the text-books, turn to the alphabetical index, and plough right through it, describing in detail every darned thing it mentioned; and an alphabetical index mentions a good deal. If I slipped up on anything, I would mark it with a pencil, go back and learn it. Oh, it was perfectly awful! I got so tired and discouraged and maudlin at times that I would have to lean back and close my eyes and let my bursting mind become a throbbing blank for a few minutes, in order to keep from screaming. But after the gym and the run and the shower-bath, I felt all right again,—just as if nothing had happened.

Two courses—the physics and philosophy—I had to tutor in for a while. There was no use pegging away at them by myself, for I simply did n't understand some of the experiments, and logic I could n't make head or tail of. A Senior who lived in College House explained them to me in simple golden words (three dollars an hour were his terms), and when I once saw through it all and had it down on paper in my own language, I could let it soak in at home. The other things—the ones I did understand, like History and Fine Arts—were merely a matter of incessant repetition and memory.

The night before the Fine Arts exam I went to what is called a "Seminar" in that subject. I could have got along very well without it after my days and days of slavery, but about every one I knew was going, and I wanted to see what it was like. There are several men here who make a business of boiling popular courses down to their most painlessly swallowable dimensions, and then giving the thing the evening before the examination in a kind of lecture, for which they charge an admittance fee of three or four dollars. This performance is a seminar,—a kind of royal road, if not to learning at least to passing examinations. They say that fellows who never look at a book or take a note in class often go to a seminar and, providing they have good memories, are able to answer enough questions on the exam paper the next morning to get through with colors flying. A certain number of questions on almost every paper simply have to deal with cold, isolated facts rather than with the generalities, comparisons, and discussions that necessitate a real knowledge of the subject, and it is with these facts—pounded in at a seminar—that one puts up a successful bluff. The authorities naturally object to all this. As Berri remarked about the seminar we went to,—

"After a professor has earnestly expounded a subject for half a year, it must make him rather sore to have a cheeky parrot get up and do the whole thing much better in four hours."

The Fine Arts seminar was held in a huge room, almost a hall, in a kind of office building near the Square. It was advertised to begin at half-past seven, and pretty much every one was there on time,—all the sports of the Freshman and Sophomore classes, some Juniors, and even a few Seniors. It was what the society reporter refers to as "a large and fashionable gathering." It certainly was a mighty nice-looking crowd of fellows; clean, well dressed, and (to quote Berri) "much more intelligent in appearance than we actually are, or we should n't be here at all." As every man came in, he was given a large sheet of stiff paper on which was printed a synopsis of the course, with all the subjects that had been touched on methodically arranged, and a list of definitions, simple and easily remembered, but adequate. It was Greek art in a nutshell,—a perfect marvel of clearness and condensation. The little folding chairs had been neatly arranged in a semicircle at first, but by the time the fellows had taken possession of them, they looked as if they had been thrown in at random. A good many men who were evidently old hands at the business arranged themselves comfortably in two chairs, leaning back in one with their legs stretched across another, as if prepared to spend the night. A lot of them took off their coats and waistcoats—the crowd and the gas made the already overheated room unbearably warm—and I 've never seen so many pretty shirts in my life as I did that evening.

After every one was settled, the man who was giving the seminar took a chair on a little platform in front of us, and began—not to talk exactly, but to drone. He had a harsh monotonous voice—une voix trainante, Berri called it—and spoke with painful slowness, as if trying not to emphasize any one topic to the exclusion of the others,—which had the effect of making his entire discourse, from beginning to end, horribly important. Except for this crawling sound, the room was absolutely silent; for once nobody seemed conscious of himself or of any one else. Even when the man on the platform pronounced Greek words in a novel fashion that was all his own, there was n't a smile. I don't think we realized the intense strain of attention we were undergoing until, at the end of an hour and three quarters, Tucker Ludlow, who had gone to sleep, fell off his chair. The second or two of relaxation that followed the crash was exquisite. We stretched our arms and swabbed our foreheads with our handkerchiefs, and then sank back again for another hour and fifteen minutes, until the bell in the tower of Memorial boomed out ten o'clock. This seemed to be the signal for a short vacation; for the fact-machine on the platform finished the sentence he had begun and then stood up.

There was a general shuffling of chairs and a babbling of voices, and the crowd divided into chattering groups. Some of the fellows did n't seem to know anybody, and they either went out and strolled up and down the corridor or sat studying the synopsis. The host of the evening had provided beer and ginger ale and cheese and crackers with which to sustain life until the ordeal was over. He could well afford it, as there were at least seventy-five men in the room, every one of whom would deposit three dollars and a half before he left.

While Berri and I and most of our table were talking in a corner, a fellow named Smith, a Sophomore, sauntered over to us. Berri and I were the only ones who knew him, so of course he must have come just to speak to us. I don't remember what he said exactly, as the conversation of the others sort of faded away when he approached, and Berri and I were fearfully rattled. He 's very prominent and belongs to everything. After we had stood there for a minute or two, Hemington and Bertie Stockbridge and the others drifted off, leaving us three together, and in a moment more Berri said, "I 'm going over to get another cracker," and also left us. I happened to notice that he did n't go near the crackers, and furthermore he never came back. This seemed so queer and unlike Berri that I spoke to him about it on the way home and asked him why he had done it. He answered by saying,—

"You don't have to be much of a fox to know when you 're wanted and when you 're not; and that happened to be one of the times when I wasn't." This struck me as absurd, and does still. Berri knew Smith every bit as well as I did, for the only other time he had ever spoken to us we happened to be together just as we were the night of the seminar. I reminded Berri of this; but he only laughed a little and replied,—

"Well, as Fleetwood says, 'I 'm an old man and I know my place.'" Since then Smith has joined me twice when I was walking through the Yard and seemed very friendly in a distant kind of way. I mean that his joining me at all was friendly; he is n't much of a talker, and I never know quite what to say to him. Of course it's very nice in him to do it, but it makes me rather uncomfortable; for both times we stopped a moment on the steps of Sever—the bell had n't rung yet—and although there were a lot of fellows I knew waiting to go in, they merely nodded to me and then looked away.

But I 'm forgetting about the seminar. We went back to our chairs again, and once more tuned our ears to the monotonous voice of the lecturer, that dragged on and on till midnight. It became harder and harder to take in everything he said. The air was heavy with the smoke of Egyptian cigarettes, and I counted nine men who were sound asleep. I suppose that, even though asleep, they were more likely to acquire a fact or two than if they hadn't been there at all. Just at the end—I can hear him now—the man on the platform leaned back wearily with closed eyes and chanted in the same hopeless tone,—

"Let me once more urge upon you the importance of expressing in your examination papers sympathy with the Greek life, the Greek art, and the Greek ideals of the best period. A page or two of sincere regret that we moderns do not possess the innate sense of beauty, the joy of life, civic pride, harmony, and all the other things that the Greeks went in for will help you to get a passing mark. Remember what I told you about [Greek: sophrosúne]. Refer to [Greek: sophrosúne] constantly. John Addington Symonds calls it 'that truly Greek virtue; the correlative in morals to the passion for beauty.' S-y-m-o-n-d-s, and there are two ds in Addington. If you get stuck, make use of the quotation I gave you from Goethe—G-o-e-t-h-e—it comes in well almost anywhere. Good-night and good luck." He stood at the door as we passed out, holding a box in his hand, into which every one dropped three Plunks and a half. I was tired when we got home and went right to bed. But Berri sat up almost until morning, studying the synopsis and going over his notes.

It must have been some time before this that Berri's thesis arrived from England one morning with a long letter from Duggie. I have kept a sort of lookout for it right along, but that morning Berri saw the postman from my window and ran downstairs to meet him. As he was coming up, he exclaimed in a surprised voice, "What on earth do you suppose—" and then broke off abruptly. He passed quickly through my room, dropping a bill on my desk as he went, and after that the house for about half an hour was very silent. I had so often wondered what Berri would do, what he would say, how he would take Duggie's letter when it came, that I instinctively knew it had at last arrived, and asked no questions.

He surprised me by neither saying nor doing anything; and for two days I had no reason to suppose that the thesis had wandered back to Cambridge at all beyond the feeling in my bones that it had. On the third day, however, Berri, who was just starting off to spend Sunday at his aunt's, stopped in my room with a letter in his hand. He looked at it doubtfully for a moment, as if making up his mind about something, and then tossed it into my lap.

"I got that from Sherwin the other day," he said; and then added, as he made for the door and I drew the letter from its envelope,—

"Well, it may be all for the best."

I don't think anybody could read Duggie's letter and not feel that it was for the best. Berri has n't said anything more about it, and neither have I. There really is n't anything to say.

I passed all my exams. My marks are n't anything to be stuck up about, but they let me through decently, and in three courses were even a little better than they actually had to be,—which is a comfort in a way. For my adviser says he thinks that in a few weeks it would n't do any harm to petition the administrative board (or whatever it is that has charge of such things) to let me off probation. He says he can't promise anything, of course, but that stranger things have happened; all of which seems to me rather to explode Berri's conviction that every adviser in college spends all his odd moments in devising fiendish schemes for the destruction of his Freshmen charges. But then Berri was unfortunate in his adviser. He is n't young and does n't try to be sympathetic like mine, and he annoys Berri extremely by glaring at him over a pair of steel-rimmed spectacles and exclaiming à propos of nothing,—

"You can't fool me—you can't fool me!"

My adviser has had me to dinner twice at the professors' club. He invites his Freshmen, four or five at a time, to dinner, in order, I suppose, to get to know them better. Of course, he never really does get to know us better by having these stiff little parties, but it's awfully kind of him to ask us, and he thinks he does; so it's all right. I dreaded the first one, but my dread was n't a patch on the dread with which I dreaded the second, because I 'd been to the first. Naturally I did n't dare refuse to go to either of them. Nobody does. The dinner itself is good, and my adviser not only lays himself out to be just as nice as possible,—he succeeds. Yet the fellows don't feel altogether at their ease somehow and are n't themselves. They want to be and try to be, and once in a while they put up a pretty good bluff at it, but they never quite are. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but when you can't help feeling that your host is sizing you up and talking only about the things he thinks you like to talk about—even if you do like to talk about them, why, you just can't. (I've read that sentence over six times and it means a little less every time.) After dinner he takes the fellows up to his room and asks them to smoke, and they never know which would be the better swipe,—to accept or to refuse. Some decide one way and some the other; but whether they want to smoke or not has very little to do with the decision. The best part of the evening comes when somebody gets up enough nerve to murmur that he is very sorry he has to say good-night, as he has a lot of studying to do. This usually makes the others laugh, and it always breaks up the party. Then the fellows get together in somebody's room—if they know one another well enough—and talk the thing over.

Oh, I wish spring would come! This seems to be the time of year when nothing much happens. As long as we were all grinding most of the day for the mid-years, I didn't think much about the weather, except that when it was bad there wasn't so much temptation to idle out of doors. Now, however, everybody wants the weather to be good, and it's vile. It always manages to do four or five different things in the course of a day, and the walking is unspeakable. To a certain extent, though, this is the fault of the town itself. Most of the residence streets have dirt sidewalks and curbstones that might be very picturesque in Egypt or some place where it did n't rain and snow and freeze and melt all in the course of a few hours; but here they turn into troughs full of mud and slush, and the curbstones keep the mixture from running into the gutter. I know I ought n't to criticise such a fine old town. So many great people have, all their lives, floundered uncomplainingly through Cambridge mud that I suppose it's cheeky of me to notice it. But in wet weather the sidewalks are really not nice. In front of a few houses the owners put down temporary wooden walks,—three boards wide, running lengthwise,—but you invariably meet a lady in the middle of them and have to jump gracefully into the nearest puddle, looking as if you considered this the dearest privilege of your young life.

The candidates for the track team are crazy to get out of doors and begin regular practice on the Soldiers' Field cinder track, but it 's too soft yet to be raked and rolled, and they have to keep working in the gym and on the tiresome old board track behind it. Dick Smith was talking about this not long ago when he joined me in the Yard. He says it's great on a warm spring morning to go across the river and sit on the bleachers and watch the fellows practise starting and short sprints.

Well, there's nothing like that now. I hardly know how the days go by.


I notice that when I last wrote in my diary I was wishing for spring, and here it is almost the end of June! Where did all those slow days I complained of go to so quickly, I wonder? How did I spend them, and why haven't I tried to tell about them? I don't know unless it was because they were so slow and did go so quickly. Nothing ever happened, really, until just at the end; but to-day with Cambridge sizzling hot (I can smell the asphalt on the main street even here in my room) and perfectly deserted, except for its inhabitants (who don't count) and the kids who have come to take their entrance exams, the last three months and a half seem like a dream. The spring is scarcely over, and yet I 've already begun to look forward to it again next year.

I liked it so much, I suppose, because in Perugia we don't, as a rule, have any. Out there it's very much like what you read about Russia: for a long time it's winter, and then you wake up some morning feeling as if you had spent the night in a Turkish bath, and know that it is summer; you know that the soda-fountains are hissing, that a watering-cart is jolting past, leaving behind it a damp, earthy sensation (something between an odor and a faint breeze), that an Italian is leaning over the fence languidly calling out, "Bananos—bananos," that a scissors-grinder is ding-donging in the distance, and that, of course, a lawn-mower is whirring sharply back and forth under your windows.

Here warm weather comes slowly and shyly, as if it could n't quite make up its mind to come at all. There are many days that from the other side of a pane of glass look all blue and white and gold, and tempt you to snatch up a cap and run out. You do this, and stand undecidedly on the sidewalk for a moment; then you go in again and put on your overcoat and gloves.

Somehow the leaves don't seem to burst out all at once, as they do with us. You notice first, on Brattle Street and in the Yard, that the trees have undergone a change. That is, you think they have; the change is so slight you aren't sure, and may have only imagined it, after all. But in a few days—I can't now remember how many—you know that you were right; the branches and twigs that have stood out so hard and definite against all the winter sunsets have blurred a little,—they are no longer altogether in focus. They blur more and more as the days go by, until—shall I ever forget it?—you cease to think of them as trees, and only know that over and beyond you there is a faint, uncertain mist of tenderest green,—so faint, so uncertain that you almost glance up to see whether it has drifted away on a slow, pungent gust from the marshes. But instead of doing that, it grows denser and greener against the rain-washed blue, until it is no longer a mist, but a cloud. Then at last there is a delicious crinkling, and the leaves have come. In May and June bleak, shabby Cambridge covers all its angles and corners. They are softened and filled with billows and jets and sprays and garlands,—green, gold, silver, mauve, and—what is the color of apple blossoms? They are such a tremor of white and pink that I never really know. The wind loses its bite, and then its chill. The air is moist and warm, and as you walk slowly through the quiet leafy streets at night, the damp, fresh lilacs stretch out to dabble against your face, and something—it may be the stillness and sweetness of it all, or it may be just the penetrating smell of the box hedges—something makes you very sad and very happy at the same time.

During the day, between lectures, we loafed a good deal,—on Brattle Street chiefly; and often in the afternoon, when we were beginning to think of thinking of grinding for the finals, Berri and I and occasionally Hemington used to take a book or some notes and go up to the vacant lot across the street from the Longfellow house. At the further end of this open space—a meadow during the poet's lifetime, but now, unfortunately, a rather ugly little park—there is a stone terrace with a short flight of steps and two broad stone seats against the wall below. Passionate pilgrims come there for a moment, once in a while, but as a rule it is deserted. We pretended to study here; but dates and formulas and Geschmitzenmenger's reflections on the building materials of ancient Rome always got mixed up in Hemington's tobacco smoke, or we forgot about them in watching the sun sparkle on the pools left by the falling tide. Berri said that even Italy had very little more to offer one than a stone bench soaked in sunlight and the delusion that one was accomplishing something. Now and then we strolled in Longfellow's garden. The family were out of town, and Berri inherits the privilege of doing this from his aunt.

I can't get away from the idea that although the days were getting longer and slower as Class Day drew near, they went ever so much more quickly than they had at first; notwithstanding, also, the fact that I got up earlier. I happened to do this the first time by accident. Bertie Stockbridge was the only person at breakfast, and when I asked him not to leave me alone, he said he had to or he would be late for Chapel. I had n't known before that he went to Chapel, but he told me he never missed a morning. I had n't been there myself at all, but that morning I went with him. It was very nice. The President was there, and the Dean, and several of the professors, and a good many students—some of whom I would n't have suspected of even knowing where the Chapel was. The music was fine; the little boys in the choir sang like angels,—the same little boys who used to paste us with snowballs during the winter. After that I went to Chapel almost every morning until college closed. It was a good way to begin the day, somehow. Berri began to go too after a while, but he said he did it to give him luck in his exams.

On Saturday afternoons and Sundays we bicycled a great deal when the roads began to get into shape. The whole table would start off and explore the park system, and once we made a historical tour of Lexington and Concord, which Berri wrote up for the Lampoon. I think Berri will make the Lampoon next year if he keeps on. His way of going about it is killing. He writes things, and then comes into my room with a solemn, anxious face, and says,—

"Do you think this is funny? Glance through it carelessly and tell me just how it strikes you. I think it's perfectly side-splitting myself,—I do really; but it mightn't strike anybody else that way."

Then there was Riverside, where the Charles all but loses itself between steep, cool, shady banks, under trees that peer over the edges all through the long, drowsy summer, or flows brimming across a meadow where a man ploughs a rich black border and talks to his horses and sings. It takes just the amount of effort you like to make, to follow in a canoe the course of this lazy stream. Riverside is another place to which you like to take all the essentials for study except the power of will.

As the board decided to let me off probation late in the spring, I could cut lectures once more without anything very terrible happening, and it was great on a warm morning to walk into town for luncheon and keep our hats off while we were on the bridge. There 's almost always a sea-breeze on the bridge.

I hardly know how to write of the surprising and wonderful thing that happened to me at the end of May. It came so unexpectedly that even now I sometimes stop to wonder if it ever happened at all, and if I can be really I. But when I think it all over carefully, remembering a few of the situations that led up to it,—trifling incidents that were inexplicable at the time and worried me very much,—I see now that I wasn't very intelligent in not suspecting a little what they meant. I never did, though, not in the least.

The thing that happened—how little the simple statement would mean to papa, for instance, and how much it really does mean!—the thing that happened was, that I made the First Ten of the Dickey.

As long ago as April, the First Ten began to be—well, it began to be very much on people's minds, although, of course, hardly anything was said about it. Berri and I used to talk about it a little; Hemington and I mentioned it once in a while; I suppose there are about four men in our class that I knew well enough to discuss it with. But naturally we spoke of it only when we were absolutely alone. If any one else came into the room, we began to talk about something else. Yet, although the subject could n't come up in general conversation, I often knew that it was there—in everybody's thoughts—in the atmosphere. Every day some little thing would happen that almost made you jump, as it suddenly brought the question into your mind, "Who is going to make the First Ten?" things, for instance, like seeing some one in our class walking through the Square with a Dickey man who was in the Sophomore class. That always looked as if it meant something, because—well, because it very often did mean something. One night Berri told me (in the strictest confidence, of course) that Phil Blackwood—an upper classman—had met a girl cousin of his in town at a tea, and had said to her that he liked Berri, and thought he was great fun to talk to. She had told this to Berri's aunt, who had repeated the remark to Berri, who was in a great state about it, and wondered how much importance he ought to attach to it. It really did sound to me as if something might come of it.

We made lists of names and bet on them, and then locked them up in our desks. I put Berri's name on my list; but whether or not he put mine on his, I don't know, for after the crash came, we forgot to compare notes.

As the time grew near, not only Berri, but a good many fellows I knew well began to treat me in a way I did n't understand and did n't like. I don't know just how to describe the gradual change in their manner toward me, because it was the sort of thing you feel without being able to put your finger on the cause, or even on the change itself, without seeming morbid and exaggerated. But I could n't help realizing that they treated me rather coolly. They stopped coming to my room as often as they had been in the habit of coming, they left me out of all sorts of little things I had always been in before as a matter of course, and more than once, as I took my seat at the table or went into somebody's room, I could see that my appearance made the fellows uncomfortable for a moment, or at least gave the talk a different turn. All this hurt my feelings terribly, and I tried to think what I could have done to make the fellows I liked best and considered my friends treat me this way. But I could n't think of a thing. I supposed I must have done something without appreciating what the consequences would be. It made me feel pretty badly, I can tell you, and several times I was on the point of demanding an explanation; but they were all so polite and distant and reserved that I never could bring myself to.

Of course, now I understand exactly why it was, and see how hopelessly stupid I must have been not to have suspected anything. The whole situation arose from the fact that there was a rumor in the class to the effect that I was being considered for the First Ten,—a rumor that was apparently given foundation by my being seen several times with Dick Smith. This made the fellows instinctively avoid me a little, from a feeling that I and the class generally might imagine that they were trying to swipe if they went around much with me. It seems to me now particularly dense on my part not to have had a glimmer of this, because it was just the way I felt myself toward Tucker Ludlow, who had gone to the theatre one night with Phil Blackwood, and two or three other men who were spoken of for the First Ten. Yet I never dreamed that any one could look at me in this way.

Well, things went on, getting more whispery and panicky and uncomfortable, until finally one night at the end of last month the crash came. Just how anybody really knew that the Dickey was having its great spring meeting for the purpose of electing the First Ten it would be impossible to say, for I can't believe that it was breathed in so many words, but we did know it, and we knew that it lasted for three days and three nights before the decision was reached. Then——

In the afternoon Dick Smith overtook me in the street, and after walking along for half a block, said abruptly,—

"By the way, Wood, stay in your room to-night," and then disappeared in a doorway.

I think my heart stopped beating. I did n't dare let myself dwell on the meaning of his words, but stumbled to my lecture and sat there, simply dazed. At the end of the hour I ran back to my room. When I heard Berri come in, I grabbed a book and stared at it blindly, without seeing a word; but Berri passed along the hall to his own study without so much as stopping at my open door. I did n't go to our table for luncheon; I slipped into The Holly Tree later instead. But I could n't eat anything; I was so excited and nervous and full of doubt and fright that I don't remember just how I got through the afternoon. I know I tried to sit in my room, but gave it up and buried myself for a while in one of the alcoves of the library. Later I walked in back streets, and then ran all the way home, when the light began to fade, fearing that something—I could n't bring myself to think just what—might happen in my absence. By that time I was painfully hungry, and managed to swallow a cup of tea and a piece of toast at The Holly Tree.

The evening was endless. I tried to read, but by the time I reached the end of a sentence I had forgotten the beginning of it. Then I tried to write a letter to mamma, but my hand trembled so that the writing scarcely looked like mine at all, and anyhow I couldn't think of enough to fill the first page. It was as if I were two distinct persons,—one trying to write a calm letter to mamma, and the other in an agony of apprehension and uncertainty. I don't know which was worse,—the feeling that the Dickey was coming for me, or the feeling that perhaps it wasn't. Could Dick Smith have merely meant that he might drop in to see me that evening? He had never been in my room, and it seemed unlikely that he should come in that way. His manner, too, of telling me to stay at home had been so odd, his leave-taking so abrupt. I turned these things over in my mind interminably; then I would glance at the clock and find the hands glued to the same old place.

To make things worse, Berri had come home almost as soon as I had, and was in his room with the door shut. I longed to go in, but the feeling that I wouldn't have anything to say if I did, kept me back. He made me even more nervous than I really was by walking up and down, up and down, and occasionally moving a chair as if he had run into it in his restless promenade and were pushing it viciously out of the way. If his manner hadn't been so strained and queer, I think I should have gone in anyhow and relieved my mind. I did n't intend to do quite this, but at the end of about two hours I could n't endure the lonely suspense any longer, and decided at least to knock on his door and borrow something—I did n't know what when I started. Mrs. Chester had forgotten to light the lamp in the hall, and as I was feeling my way through the darkness and deciding that a match would be the most plausible excuse for going in and then going out again almost immediately, I bumped into somebody coming the other way. We both jumped back, and I thought for a second that I was about to collapse at the knees.

"Oh, it's you!" Berri exclaimed in a voice that I just recognized as his. "Heavens! but you scared me. I was on my way to your room to borrow your—your—your—to borrow— Oh, Granny!" He broke off with a kind of gulp, and threw his arms around me. "Isn't this ghastly!" Then I knew that he had been told to stay in his room too, and had been suffering the same horrors. Ever since dinner he had been pacing the floor unable, just as I had been, to make up his mind as to the exact significance of the advice to be at home that evening. He could n't help feeling that it might have been a mistake, that something would go wrong; and that again, if nothing did go wrong, there was the hideous conjecture as to what would happen to you to look forward to.

We sat down in my study,—Berri on the edge of a chair, his hands folded with desperate calmness on his lap; I at my desk, where I found, after a minute or two of strained silence, that I had dug a great hole in my blotter and ruined a stylographic pen.

"If they do come," Berri at last whispered, "how do you think we ought to be found? I don't know that it would be altogether the thing to be so—so dressed and apparently waiting." Our extreme preparedness did seem rather assuming, now that he spoke of it; I was far from wanting to appear cock-sure of my election or of anything else to a fiendish mob such as we had watched from my window that night in the autumn.

"And yet," I answered, "if we took off very much, I don't suppose they would wait for us to dress; in fact, I don't think I could dress, and when I came in, it seemed to be getting cool outsi—"

"Ssssshh! I thought I heard something," Berri broke in. He leaned toward the window, and as the lamplight fell on his face, I saw for the first time how pale he was. We listened. The clock ticked with a queer little hum on two notes that I had never known it to make before; the student-lamp grumbled twice, and each time the flame rose and fell; I had never noticed this, either.

"I was perfectly sure," Berri whispered. His whisper was several times louder than his ordinary tone.

"How do you think it would do to take off our coats and neckties?" I suggested. "That would look as if we had begun to get ready for bed without any suspicion of—of—It; and at the same time we would have pretty much everything on."

"You talk now as if you had made up your mind that they were coming," Berri said nervously. "Do you think they are?" The fact of his asking me this dropped me back once more into all the sickening doubt from which for a minute or two I had been unconsciously lifted.

"I don't know," I faltered. "What do you think?" But instead of telling me Berri exclaimed,—

"Oh, this is awful!" and began to walk up and down the room. As he walked he took off his coat and threw it in a corner; then he gave the end of his necktie a jerk that not only undid the knot but ripped his shirt open from his neck to his shoulders, for he had forgotten that on one side the thing was pinned. I don't think he realized what he was doing, as he went on pulling and pulling until he had torn out a narrow strip of linen at least a foot and a half long. Berri, pacing the floor and tearing himself to pieces in a nervous frenzy as he paced, struck me all at once as the funniest thing I had ever seen, and I began, first to giggle, and then to laugh with the kind of laughter that takes possession of you all over and leaves you helpless.

I was leaning back in my chair, weak and hysterical, when Berri stopped as abruptly as if he had been shot, and stood petrified in the middle of the room. Away in the distance the chanting cry of the Dickey had begun to rise and fall, die with a tenor wail and begin again; my laughter died with it, and as I lay there, hypnotized by the sound, I think I must have forgotten to close my mouth, for when Berri spoke again, my throat was parched and rough. Perhaps he did n't speak—I think he just made a feeble motion with his hand that I interpreted as a sign to take off my coat and necktie. But I couldn't act on it; I could n't do anything but lean back with my eyes fixed, and listen to the approaching song. It grew louder and louder, clearer and clearer, fiercer and fiercer, until it broke all at once into a great roar, and I knew that they had turned the corner and were coming down our little street. Then I felt Berri's hand in mine,—it was cold and wet,—and he was saying incoherently,—

"Good by, Granny—I mustn't be found in your room—good-by—I must be found in my own room—reading a book—yes—reading a book—good-by." Then the exultant song and the heavy rhythm of feet under my window suddenly stopped; there was a moment almost of silence, followed by a hoarse yell from what seemed like a thousand savage throats. In the pandemonium my ears distinguished here and there the sound of my own name shouted and shrieked in various tones of impatient, unbridled, vindictive eagerness, and for a second my thoughts flashed back to the night Berri and I had seen some one else pulled out. That had thrilled me, but this reduced me to a quaking pulp.

The door downstairs crashed back—there was a deafening scramble on the tin steps—my own door burst open—the room was full of greedy hands and vengeful faces. I was lifted—hurled through the air out into the hall and down the stairs in two thuds—across the piazza, down the steps, along the walk, out of the gate between a double line of executioners into the hungry mob that dragged me this way and that, tore at my hair and clothes, rolled me in the dirt, and finally jerked me upright, linked my arms in those of some other neophytes (I could n't see who they were), and started me down the street with a kick. We swayed off—a million devils behind us—roaring the Dickey song, as we had been commanded to, at the top of our lungs.


[#] For obvious reasons, certain parts of Granny Wood's diary have not been printed. Of the passages that refer to the Dickey, only those describing the society's public practices have been retained.—The Editor.

Most of the time I was on my knees. There were only two moments of relief in the painful march; they came when the crowd stopped to pull out two other unfortunates and hurl them, as I had been hurled, from their respective front doors. For the time being (it was a very short time, however) the rest of us were neglected; but as soon as the arms of our fellow neophyte were linked in ours, the irresistible impetus from behind began once more and we continued our perilous way.

At last all ten of us were shoved—a dazed and gasping semicircle—up the steps of Claverly Hall, and our names were cheered in the order of our election. With the exception of Berri, I had n't known before who the others were. In the darkness and excitement it had been impossible to see. There was something ominous and depressing in the cheers they gave us. Berri said, in talking about it the week afterward, that it was as if the cannibal band should cheer the missionary. Then the crowd melted away with vague threats as to what was to come, and I was taken back to my room, weary and stupid, by Dick Smith. He was to be my guide and only friend during the week that was to follow. Before he left me, he told me the conditions of my servitude.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *

That week was the longest and most absolutely wretched of my life, I think; although now that it is over, I would n't give up the memory of it for almost anything. Even in the midst of it the idea of chucking the whole thing, as I suppose I might have done, never occurred to me. I could at times conceive of my giving out, but never of my giving up. The first day of my "running," as it is called, from six in the morning until ten o'clock at night, was one long embarrassment, mortification, and mental agony to me. I set my teeth and forced myself through it doggedly. The days that followed were just as bad,—even worse, perhaps,—but I did n't have to compel myself to do things. I went through them mechanically; where almost everything was a hideous nightmare, no one incident, after a time, had the power to overwhelm me as at first. I was too tired and dirty and unshaven and cowed to care particularly what they made me do, or to have a feeling of any kind, other than one of hopeless submission. In the morning after an early breakfast at The Holly Tree * * * * * * * * * * *

Then some one, usually three or four, would get hold of me and make me do perfectly awful things in the College Yard or on the streets. I had to perform so many crazy acts that I can't remember them all, or on what days they came, and, as I said, I grew perfectly indifferent to what I had to do or who saw me do it.

One warm afternoon they made me put on three soft, thick sweaters and then took me to a drug-store in the Square, where they poured over me half the contents of a long line of perfumery bottles on the counter,—white-rose, heliotrope, patchouly, musk, ylangylang, violet, bay-rum, and several kinds of cologne,—all the deadly scents that one investigates while waiting for a prescription to be put up. Then we got on an electric car,—the fellows who were running me at one end, and I at the other. They of course (after instructing me to snuggle up to my fellow passengers,—refined old ladies and peevish middle-aged gentlemen in particular) pretended to ignore me. But the other passengers did n't. Everybody I sat next to would turn, after about three seconds, look at me with a slight contraction of the nostrils, and then move away; in less than ten seconds more they would be on the other side of the car. It was not long before I had one side of the car all to myself. Then—this also I had been ordered to do—when we reached the edge of the bridge, I jumped up and, as a sort of climax, "threw a fit." Passengers in street cars always find this very trying, especially if you fall down in the aisle foaming at the mouth and clutch at their feet. Before my five days of running were over, I grew exceedingly expert at throwing fits. I certainly had enough practice at it. Well, when we got across the bridge I was hustled out of the car into a drug-store, where I recovered in time to catch the next car back—and do the whole thing over again.

It was on the evening of that day, I think, that they took me to the theatre—or, I should say, the theatres, as we visited several. (They had in the mean time taken off the perfume-soaked garments, not through consideration for my feelings, but for their own.) One might think that, under the circumstances, going to the theatre would have been a delightful rest. But it wasn't. I had a seat all to myself down in front, and the fellows who took me sat ten or twelve rows back. Beyond the fact that the first play we went to was a nice, staid performance that had attracted a large and very "dressy" audience, I have no recollection of it; for my thoughts were all centred on the dreadful thing that was going to happen at the end of the first act.

The curtain went down; there was a polite flutter of applause, and then, while the orchestra was getting ready and the house was perfectly quiet except for a murmur of talk, I stood up, facing everybody, and exclaimed in a loud, distinct voice,—

"This show is bum, and I want my money back."

The effect was electrical. All conversation stopped instantly, and I could actually hear the craning of necks from one end of the theatre to the other.

"This show is bum, and I want my money back," I declared again, louder than before. Some men near me began to laugh; the ladies looked scared to death, and from the gallery came a wild clapping of hands and yells of, "That's no lie," and "He's all right." Whereupon (as per instructions) I began to yell the thing over and over again at the top of my voice, and kept it up until four ushers skated down the aisle and threw me out, still yelling. I had visions, as I flew along toward the exit, of white-faced women indulging in hysterics. I did this at two other shows, and the fellows regretted very much that there didn't happen to be any five-act plays in town, for they said my technique got better and better as the evening went on.

Then I spent whole afternoons in creeping up behind the sparrows in the Square and endeavoring to put salt on their tails; in going from shop to shop trying to get the clerks to change a cent; in holding up baby carriages, kissing the occupants and then remarking that I was "passionately fond of animals." (I kissed fifty-six babies on Commonwealth Avenue in one afternoon.) I stalked Indians with a little bow and arrow in the Yard one morning between lectures (cutting lectures is n't allowed), craftily creeping from tree to tree, hiding a moment, peeping out warily, and finally exclaiming as I shot an arrow and dashed into the open,—

"Bang—and another red-skin bit the dust."

This was one of the few times (except in the evening) that I saw Berri during the entire week. He was walking up and down the stone parapet of Matthews with a silly little false red fringe of beard around his neck, proclaiming to all the passers-by,—

"Listen to me; I am a Berrisford of Salem."

In a pair of green tights and on horseback, I distributed armfuls of the "smuggled" cigars from Santa Bawthawthawthoth to the inhabitants of Cambridgeport, and when a great crowd had collected around me, delivered a lecture on the evils of smoking. I intercepted at various times many respectable old ladies on their way across the streets, for the purpose of confidentially whispering,—

"Madam, I regret to inform you that you are holding your skirts just a leetle too high."

I also had to stop car after car, put my foot on the step, tie my shoestring, and then stand back, saying to the conductor,—

"Thank you, you may go on now." This is an old game, but it's a great favorite.

Two things happened (and only two) that I liked. One was when I had to call on a girl in town—I had never seen her before—and write all my part of the conversation on a slate. She was very pretty and good to me; for instead of being disgusted at my appearance (she had every reason to be) and having me put out of the house, she made me sit down and ordered tea (I realized, for the first time, how nice tea could be) and was altogether a perfect peach. She said, among other things, that she had been at the theatre the night I made the row. I wrote on the slate, "Which one? The performance was given by special request at three different places," which made her laugh. I stayed talking, or rather writing, to her for more than half an hour. The fellows who had brought me to the door were very angry; for, thinking that I would be chased away by a husky footman at the end of a minute or two, they had n't told me how long to stay and were waiting outside to see what happened. When at last I got up to go, the pretty girl held out her hand very graciously and said,—

"We'll meet again someday, I'm sure," and I wrote on the slate,—

"It will not be my fault if we don't. Good-by!" She took the slate and the pencil, drew a line through the last word, and wrote under it,—

"Au revoir." Then I left. I did meet her again very soon afterwards, at the Beck spread on Class Day. She was the prettiest girl there. She 's going abroad in three days, and as papa let me engage passage for our trip (he and mamma and Mildred will be here to morrow), it did n't take me long to decide on the steamer. When he found that I had picked out, for no apparent reason, one of the old Cunarders sailing from Boston, he was perfectly furious. But it's too late for him to change now.

The other thing I enjoyed during my running was the day that Mr. Fleetwood stole me away from some fellows and took me up to his room overlooking the Yard. He is an old Dickey man himself, and had as much right to my services as any one. I embarrassed him at first, I think. Strangely enough, I appreciated this a little even then, when I had no business to be appreciating anything beyond the fact that I was a mere grovelling worm. He sat down, when we went into his room, and looked at me curiously, diffidently, for a moment, as if he did n't quite know how to begin. Then he said with something of an effort, as if he considered himself a little foolish to say anything,—

"What, pray, is your name?" I gave the required answer, at which he smiled—rather sadly, I thought; although I did n't see what reason he had to look that way. Then he asked me to do several things,—old, old things that neophytes probably had to do when the Dickey was first started; things that have become conventions; the kind of things you are always asked to do by fellows who have n't enough imagination to think of anything new. He gave his commands (with him, however, they became requests) slowly, as if he couldn't remember just how they went. And he didn't always express them the way the fellows do. I could n't help feeling that if Shakespeare had ever tried to torment a neophyte, he had done it in very much the same way. He scarcely noticed my attempts to do what he asked. He was interested, I think, not so much in discovering my feeble talents as in recalling the general situation. But he stopped doing even this in a short time, and got up and went over to the open window and looked out into the wilderness of elm leaves and down at the cool, shady stretches of grass and the yellow paths of the Yard.

I really think he forgot all about me, for I stood there an interminable time waiting for him to turn around. Just before he did turn, he yawned and said listlessly to himself,—

"Well, I suppose it's as it should be." He must have said this to himself, as he seemed surprised to find me standing patiently in the middle of the room where he had left me.

"My dear boy, sit down, sit down," he exclaimed,—"that is, unless you would rather go away." I answered that I should rather stay there if he did n't mind. It was so cool and quiet and safe in his room; I knew that no one could ever find me, and I was very tired.

"I have some themes to read," Fleetwood went on, "but you won't disturb me. Do whatever you want to, and if you feel like it, talk."

We did talk a little. Then I stretched out on his divan and tried to read; but before I had finished half a chapter I drifted away into the most blissful sleep I 've ever had. I can just remember the whispering sound of footsteps on the pavement under the windows, and the rustle of the crisp new leaves. When I awoke the room was dark. There was a sheet of paper pinned to my coat, and when I got into the lighted corridor I saw written on it,—

"In reply to any questions as to your disappearance, you may truthfully explain that you did a difficult and important bit of work for W. J. Fleetwood." I don't know yet what he meant. Some day next year I think I 'll ask him. I don't believe I know any one who is so very clever and so very kind.

The next night—the last—the night of the * * * * * * * * * * * *


It was only natural, I suppose, that for a week or so after we had become full-fledged Dickey men the First Ten should have stuck pretty close together. We had such a lot to talk about,—things that we could n't very well talk about to outsiders. To tell the truth, the rest of the class for a time seemed like outsiders to me. They had n't been through what we had, and I confess that I could n't help looking on our little crowd as something apart from the others and, taken all in all, rather extraordinary. I don't know that I thought this in so many words, but I did feel it; and it was Berri—of all persons—who brought me back to earth one day with a jerk. I forget just what I said to call forth his remarks, but it was something in the nature of a complaint that the fellows at the table did n't seem to have as much time for me, so to speak, as they once had. Berri puffed at his pipe for a while and stared at the ceiling, and finally said,—

"Of course, I see what you mean; but it's not them, you know—it's us."

"I'm sure I don't think—" I began defensively.

"No, I don't believe you do realize the true state of affairs," Berri interrupted. "Lots of fellows would, and then pretend all the time that they did n't; that's what I do. But you don't. You just have the big-head from pure delight, and go around swelled up like a hop-toad without in the least knowing it. Your old friends know it, though, and it naturally makes them a dash tired. And besides, what do you expect them to do, anyhow? Run after us? Of course they won't do that. In the first place, we 've both become rather obnoxious; I don't mind it in myself, but with you it's scarcely in character. And in the second place, none of the fellows at our table are swipes, and if any advances are made, well, they won't make them. So there you are!"

There was nothing much to say to this, because, after a few minutes of resentment, I felt all over that it was perfectly true. I did n't say anything, but you bet it was n't more than a day or two before the fellows seemed to me just the way they always had seemed. I think I had a pretty close call; I might have turned into a Dick Benton.

Three days before Class Day, who should blow in but Duggie? He literally did blow in, come to think of it, as he crossed from Cadiz in a sailing-vessel and was as brown as a Spaniard. He brought Mrs. Chester a black lace shawl, and told her that if she 'd drape it around her head and sit at her upstairs window some evening, he 'd come and serenade her. To which the old girl responded with one of her roguish little digs at Duggie's ribs, and exclaimed,—

"Land sakes, Mr. Duggie, you can't sing, and never could."

Duggie wanted Berri and me to dine with him that evening, but Berri's last examination was to come the next morning (I had finished all of mine) and he could n't. I did, though, and we walked out to Cambridge afterwards in the moonlight. He told me all about his trip, and when I let him know that we were going abroad for the summer and that Berri was going over with us to join his mother at Dinard, he said,—

"I had a letter from Berri in answer to mine. I don't often keep letters, but I 've kept his. I suppose you know I did n't think much of Berri at first, but I don't mind confessing that I sized him up all wrong."

It was such a beautiful night that when we got to our gate, it seemed like wasting something to go in the house. Berri had finished his grind and was leaning out of my window. He said that his brain felt like a dead jellyfish (I think that was the pretty simile), and told us not to go in, as he would put on his coat and come down to us. So we strolled, all three, over to the Yard, and sat on the steps in front of one of the Holworthy entries. It was very late, but the finals were not yet over, and the yellow of many windows blurred through the trees. The long quadrangle was flecked with moonlight, and little groups like our own were sitting in front of almost every doorway. The Yard, except on great occasions, is rarely noisy, and that night it seemed particularly quiet,—a kind of lull before the crash of Class Day and Commencement.

Duggie and Berri and I sat there talking until the air and the sky had changed from summer night to summer morning. Even then a few of the windows were still glowing.