Project Gutenberg's The Adventures of a Freshman, by Jesse Lynch Williams

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Title: The Adventures of a Freshman

Author: Jesse Lynch Williams

Release Date: January 17, 2011 [EBook #34986]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Annie McGuire. This book was produced from
scanned images of public domain material from the Google
Print archive.





Author of "Princeton Stories" and "The

Stolen Story and other Newspaper Stories"


153-157 Fifth Avenue :: New York

Copyright, 1899, by

Charles Scribner's Sons





"You big, green Freshman from Squeedunk.... We'll give you just five seconds to take off that ugly hat, and if you don't——"


I.The First Day at College
II.The "Big, Green Freshman from Squeedunk"
III.The Great Sophomore-Freshman Rush
IV.Welcome and Unwelcome Visitors
VII.The Last Hazing of "The Meek Butt of all Classes"
VIII.How it Feels to be a Hero
IX.A Question of Money
X.How he Stayed in College
XI.The Trouble with being a Hero
XII.Serving Two Masters
XIII.The Last Chance
XIV."Home from College"
XV.The End of it


From drawings by Fletcher Ransom

The First Encounter with the Sophomores

"You big, green Freshman from Squeedunk.... We'll give you just five seconds to take off that ugly hat, and if you don't——"

After the Rush

In walked ... the little Sophomore, and behind him a very big Sophomore. Young recognised him as the one....


"Now both sit up on your haunches and chatter awhile."

The Hero of the Bell-Clapper

Lee was one of the most prominent and popular men in the class.

"Meek Butt of all Classes!"

Before curfew rang in Old North at the close of that day, the whole college was talking about it.

"The Invincibles"

They had a dignified negro waiter, and they dined in the evening and it all seemed very fine and luxurious.

2 a.m.

However, after saying good night ... he would sneak off to his room, tie a wet towel around his head, and pole....

The Meeting

"I don't know, mother," he said slowly, "I don't know...."

[Pg 1]



"Hi, there! you big Freshman, take off your hat—yes, we're talking to you—take off your hat to the class above you—stop, don't try to get by, my sober-faced young friend. That would not be nice of you."

At first the Freshman did not understand that he was the one addressed, and, when he did, his first startled impulse was to hurry by and pretend not to notice them.

But he could not now; the walk was blocked by this group of four fellows who were now calmly smiling at him in an amused way, as if he were a curious child,[Pg 2] though really he was as old as any of them. The only way he could avoid them was by turning back toward the street, and this he would not do. So he stood his ground and looked straight back at them.

"Well, you seem to enjoy looking; how do you like us, Freshman?" asked one of the Sophomores, taking his pipe out of his mouth. Three of them were smoking pipes and all four wore those queer striped-flannel coats of broad orange and black that had attracted his attention when he first got off the train. Afterward he learned that they were called blazers.

They were close beside him now and they were looking him up and down. One of them remarked to the others, "O, ye shades of Aaron Burr, but this is a green one. What's your name, Freshman?"

Then one of the others interrupted in a loud tone, "Take off your hat, Freshman."

It was the same high voice that had broken in upon him at the first. Its owner was the shortest of the lot, but he smoked the longest pipe.[Pg 3]

"Take off your hat," he commanded, "and don't look so sober. We aren't going to hurt you."

They were all looking at him. The Freshman felt himself blushing; he smiled and tried to look good-natured.

"I wouldn't smile if I were you," put in one of the others; "your teeth aren't even."

The others laughed at this, but the small Sophomore said, "Come, wipe away that smile and take off your hat, I tell you."

The Freshman stopped smiling and looked up across the campus instead. Two men were entering an old brown building, busily talking, their arms about each other's shoulders; they seemed very happy. He shifted from one foot to the other.

"See here, Freshman," cried the little Sophomore, in an amazed tone, "didn't you hear me tell you to take off your hat?" He had a large, sneering mouth, and he constantly tried to say sarcastic things. He held his chin elevated, as if to make himself a little taller, and the big Freshman, looking[Pg 4] down at him, thought how he would like to pick him up and spank him. The Freshman had no intention of taking off his hat.

Perhaps the Sophomore knew what he was thinking; at any rate, he stepped up close to him, and shaking a finger under his face, he snarled out, "You big, green Freshman from Squeedunk, you're the freshest one I've seen yet. We'll give you just five seconds to take off that ugly hat, and if you don't——"

"Look out—look out! there comes Matt," in a quick, scared voice, one of the others interrupted.

Matthew Goldie, the famous old proctor, was sauntering down the walk wriggling his fingers, as was his habit, and looking apparently in the other direction. This was also his habit.

Even in those days, before hazing was abolished by the undergraduate vote, when it was thought, even by the Faculty, that hazing had its redeeming features, it was a rather reckless proceeding for a crowd of Sophomores to take a Freshman in hand on[Pg 5] the front campus in broad daylight and in plain sight of the Dean's house.

The small Sophomore's pipe was not two inches from the Freshman's face when the warning was sounded and Matt Goldie was coming straight down the walk toward him, and yet, to the surprise of all, he went on in the same earnest manner, only now he was saying:

"I tell you, my dear sir, you will thank me all your life if you join Whig Hall. Why, there is no comparing the two literary societies. Now, just look at the records of the past years: In the first place, Whig Hall was founded by President James Madison when he was a student here"——and then the small Sophomore went glibly on with the arguments the Whig men usually employ when claiming superiority to their rival society, Clio Hall.

Matthew Goldie had approached, come even with the group and passed by, oblivious of its existence, apparently. But the Sophomores knew he was not so oblivious as he looked, so they began to move off.[Pg 6]

"Good-by, Freshman," they said, laughingly, "sorry we have to leave you so soon. Come on, Channing."

But Channing lingered a moment. "What's your name?" he demanded

The Freshman thought it was none of this fellow's business, but he wanted to show he was not afraid. "Young," he said.

"Your initials?"

"My name is William Young, if you want to know," answered the Freshman, decisively.

"Willie, eh?"

Those of the others who were near enough to hear laughed at this.

"Well, you are rather old to be called Young—Willie Young, especially. Hereafter you shall be known as 'Deacon Young.'"

"Aw, come on, Chan," called the others.

"All right," said Channing, but he turned to the Freshman as he started off and remarked, threateningly, "We'll meet again, you big, green Freshman."

"I hope so," promptly returned Young, "you little, mouthy Sophomore."

And this was the very worst thing he could[Pg 7] have said, as he was afterward taught, if he had wanted to avoid hazing. He did not know that the best way to get along with the Sophomores was to take their initiating—not humbly, which was almost worse than getting mad about it—but laughingly and good-naturedly, for as soon as he acknowledged the fact that he was only a Freshman and recognized that he belonged to the lowest of four grades of college importance, they would let him alone.

But Young was not of a sort readily to acknowledge subordination to anybody, and he had never been hazed and he knew very little about college custom and all that, because he had been a college man less than twenty-four hours and the tray of his trunk was still unpacked.

It was Wednesday afternoon, the first day of the term, and he was on his way to chapel to attend the opening exercises of the college year, the first real college duty of his life, and he had almost reached the quadrangle when he was interrupted by the Sophomores and the disagreeable voice which[Pg 8] called, "Hi, there, Freshman," at him, and which he thought he would never forget.

And now he went on up the stone walk under the tall elms, wiping his brow and telling himself that he was not homesick, but that he did not propose to let anybody talk to him that way, even if he was green and from the country, and he would show them.

He was from the country, to be sure, but that had nothing to do with it. He was guyed because he was a Freshman.

He was from the country, and he had come here to get a college education, and he had worked hard to come. He meant to make the best of his opportunities, and you could see that by the energetic way he strode through the quadrangle and up the broad path to chapel and took his place with two hundred others, who also were Freshmen and as green, many of them, as he was, and trying just as hard not to show it, though he did not know that. He thought they were upper-classmen and knew ever so much, and were looking at him.[Pg 9]



There were very important reasons why this particular Freshman had made up his mind to do well at college. He had done very well at the High School out at home, and it was one of the best in all Illinois. But that was not the reason, nor had he graduated first in his class, indeed; one of the girls did, as usual, though, to be sure, Young had done outside studying with the minister and that was a handicap. He had a different sort of reason for wanting to do well, now he was here at last.

He could recall, as vividly as though it were yesterday, how his father looked the time he said: "And I tell you now, once and forever, I ain't going to spend my hard-earned money making a dude of any son[Pg 10] of mine; and that's all I have to say about it. On the first of next month you're going to get to work in the bank; and you ought to be glad of it. Few farmers' sons have such chances."

Young remembered how sarcastic seemed his father's answer to the question, "Won't you just lend me the money, father? I'll pay it back with interest, in time?"

"Lend you money!—where's your collateral, hey?" and Mr. Young laughed.

"Then that is your final decision, father?"

"Final as I can make. If you go to college you pay your own way. Good-night. I guess that settles it."

Until this offer of the place in the bank came, just after Will's graduation from the High School, his father had only said, "What's the sense of going to college? You can't make any more money by it." And Will had quietly gone on with his Greek lessons, not doubting that his father would give his consent in the end. But now it was: "This is too good a chance to miss, Will—why, you'll soon make a rich[Pg 11] man of yourself. Of course, you must take it. What's the use of having your father a director of the Farmers' National Bank, any way? You'll soon get over your fool notions. Charlie hasn't any fool notions about 'higher education.' He's my right-hand man on the farm." And the farm was one of the most prosperous in the county.

Will knew his father and said nothing more, and on July 1st took the place in the bank and began to work at $5 a week. But he did not get over his fool notions.

You see, ever since Young could remember, he had dreamed and planned about going to college, and what is more he had put in a great many hours of good, solid study with the minister during the past years preparing himself for it, and in consequence it was often 'way after the dark by the time he had driven out home and had finished his "chores." And he did not propose to let all that work count for nothing. He had made up his mind to get a university education.

It was out of the question now to study all summer and enter the next fall, but the[Pg 12] minister told him he was still young; he could enter the following year.

"Your boy Will's catching on quicker than Henry Johnson or any of the young men that ever worked under me yet." That's what the cashier said to Mr. Young.

"That means he's getting over his fool notions," thought Mr. Young. Really it meant that he still had them. Will never mentioned the word college to his father again; and to those of his old friends who said, "Oh, so you aren't going East after all: why's that?" he merely replied in effect that that was his business, and bent over the ledger again.

He knew that most of the town was talking and laughing about him because from the time he first announced (with a somewhat superior air, perhaps) what he intended to do after leaving the High School, more than one of them thought, and said, that it was a queer idea for Will Young to go to college when he did not want to be a preacher or a professional man; not so very many[Pg 13] boys went to college from that part of the country.

But Will did not worry about that very much. He did not have time. He was working every day in the bank from eight o'clock in the morning until five or six in the evening—until nine or ten at night, sometimes, on the first of the month—and was besides doing all the chores for Miss Wilkins, with whom he boarded. And that was not all the work he did, either. Those who passed by Miss Wilkins's house late at night generally noticed a light in the little third-story window long after all the other boarders' rooms were dark. And the nights he was not studying in his room he was reciting at the minister's.

It is no easy thing to save money on $5 a week, and pay board and buy clothes and incidentals out of it besides. That was the reason he did the chores for Miss Wilkins. He got his board for that, and he earned it.

Out of the first month's salary Will saved $10. Fifty per cent of earnings saved is not[Pg 14] a bad proportion. Out of the second month's earnings he saved $25.

That may sound impossible, but you see they had raised his salary to $10 a week as they promised to do as soon as he had made himself worth it. Besides, Mr. Young was a director.

It was very slow and sometimes it seemed very discouraging, and he did not know how he could have succeeded if it had not been for the Sunday afternoon talks with his mother, who was with him from the start in the project; and for the minister, who used to say, "You seem to think a fellow must be a millionaire to go to college."

The minister had a frank, friendly unstilted manner of talking, that made some of the older people shake their heads and think him unclerical.

"Why, there are hundreds of fellows," the minister said, "paying their own way through every year, and if you can't do it I'm mistaken in you. That is one reason," the minister explained, "though not the most important one, why I advised you to go to a[Pg 15] large college. There are so many more ways of earning money. There are more eating-clubs to be managed (and all the manager has to do is collect a tableful of congenial fellows and then he gets his own board free). There are more men that want tutoring at a large institution, and the price of tutoring is better, too—(a man in my class in the seminary used to get $3 an hour); and there are more newspapers to correspond for and shoe-stores and steam-laundries and railroads to act as agents for—why, there are any number of ways to earn money if you only look out for them. And, as I told you before, the college authorities will remit your tuition if you show that it is necessary and if," said the minister, smiling, "if you can give testimonials of high moral character. All you have to do this year is to make enough to get started on, and that's what you are rapidly doing."

One day after Will Young had been working in the bank for nearly a year his father burst into the kitchen. "Mother," he shouted to his wife, almost excitedly, "what[Pg 16] do you think? Will is going to resign from the bank! I just now heard it in town."

"Yes," said Mrs. Young, gently, "I know."

"What does he mean by it! He has had his salary raised twice inside of a year. He'll be made assistant cashier soon. Why, the boy's a fool. Does he expect to get a better place up in Chicago?"

"No," said Mrs. Young. "He only went to Chicago on his vacation to take his examinations for college and——"

"For college! Chicago!"

"And to buy his clothes—yes, they hold the examinations all over the country." Then she went on, "You remember, father, you said Will could go if he earned his own money, and now——"

"When did I say that?" thundered Mr. Young; and then the storm broke. It was rather severe while it lasted, but it did not last as long as she had feared it would. Mr. Young was just, and he had to acknowledge, inwardly, that Will was right from his standpoint, though it was a sore disappointment:[Pg 17] and he saw no reason why Will should be forgiven.

"We'll see how long you stay there," was what Mr. Young said in bidding Will good-by. He knew about how much his son had been able to save.

"All right, sir," said Will, feeling sorry his father would not give his approval even now. "Good-by, sir." And he glanced at his mother once more and then looked away again, and the train pulled out. A moment later he had a last, distant view of the straight white farmhouse, as the cars dashed by, and of the big red barn with white trimmings, and the wind-brake of tall, straight poplars, to the north, in even row, planted by his father's own hand before Will was born; he saw their tops waving in the breeze as they were cut off from view—and all that seemed years and years ago, though, in reality, it was only Monday, the day before yesterday, and here he was at last, actually at college and sitting in chapel listening to the President's kind words of welcome; and feeling somewhat important at being one of those particularly[Pg 18] addressed by such a famous and learned man and feeling very proud at the thought that he was part of such an ancient and mighty seat of learning—and hoping that the small account he had opened at the Princeton Bank was going to tide him over till an opportunity for earning money turned up.

As he and his many classmates trooped forth into the sunny outdoors again some orange-and-black-bedecked Sophomores on the steps murmured, "right, left, right, left," in time to their footsteps, and then Will Young did not feel so proud and important.

But this big, green Freshman did not take off his hat to them as some of his classmates did. In fact his hat did not come off until the evening of the following day—and then not quite in the way you might expect.[Pg 19]



Freshman Young had an experience on the second night of his college course that he was never to forget. And few of those who shared it with him forgot it, and not many of the hundreds of other men that have been in college before and since have forgotten similar experiences of their own on the second or third night of college existence. Not one of them would care to miss it if he had it to do over again.

He was in his room going over for the fifth time the Latin passages in Livy, Book I. The recitation came the first thing in the morning. That meant at half-past eight, immediately after chapel.

His room was on the third story, back, of a queer, old-fashioned house in a still queerer, old, crooked street called Canal[Pg 20] Street, because, he supposed, it led down to the canal. The little room seemed quite bare and cheerless, but he did not mind that. He had got down to work as a "college man."

That day, for the first time, he had met his professors in the classroom along with the other Freshmen of his division. He was the last man of the last division, because his last name began with Y. Later on in the term, when they were to be divided according to rank, he would not be in the last division; he had made up his mind to that. So he was going over the Livy lesson for the fifth time, although he had worked it all out during the afternoon.

Perhaps there was another reason for keeping his mind so busy. The old white farmhouse with the well-trimmed lawn and the evergreen trees in front and the tall, straight wind-pump to the west, and beyond that the long, level sweeps of rich prairie acres, all seemed very far away to-night. "I'm not homesick—of course not," he told himself, but all the same he thought he could[Pg 21] study better if he could hear the old wind-pump go "kitty-chunk, kitty-chunk," as when he was studying his High School lessons on windy winter nights, long ago; so long that it all seemed like a different existence.

It was because he was thinking very hard about that previous existence that he started so when he suddenly heard a sound—away off in the distance. It was in the direction of the campus. It was someone singing. It was nothing to get excited over; men in the upper classes were all the time going around in groups lazily singing, laughing and talking, and looking as if they never thought of their studies. So he turned over the leaves of his book again. But after awhile this singing came nearer and nearer.

There were many voices, all singing in concert, if not all in tune, but Young did not notice that fault, for just then the singing stopped—the quick, short college cheer cut through the air, and on the end of the cheer the Freshman class numerals—his[Pg 22] class numerals. He waited a moment to make sure. Then it came again:

"Ray! Ray! Ray! Tiger! Siss-boom-ah! Ninety-blank!"

Then another one, a "long cheer" this time—the same as the other except that the Siss, the Boom, and the Ah were prolonged impressively: "Ray! Ray! Ray! Tiger—sisses! Boom-m! Ah-h-h—Ninety-blank!"

Now, it gives a freshman a peculiar thrill the first time he hears many voices shouting in concert for his class. Young's heart began to thump. "That's my class," he said to himself, and then he turned to his books again because he had not come to college to have a good time, but to study. But he sighed a little.

Now the voices began singing to the tune of "Balm of Gilead":

"Here's to Ninety—blank—Drink her down—drink her down—

"Here's to Ninety-blank—
Drink her down—drink her down,
Here's to Ninety-blank—
For she's always——"
[Pg 23]

something that rhymed with the other part of Ninety.

Young put down his book for a minute.

They were coming still nearer.

He could hear some of the individual voices now.

Up Dickinson Street they came.

They turned the corner at Canal Street.

Now they halted.

Then a shrill voice shouted, "Now then, altogether, fellows, Hip! hip!"

"Ninety-blank! this! way!!" the many shouted in unison. It made a great noise.

Young opened his window.

"Once more," cried the shrill voice.

The call was repeated.

Young stuck his head out.

"Now then, fellows, a good rousing cheer for the honor of your class. Let everybody talk. Hip, hip!"

And the cheer fairly shook the house.

"Now then," commanded the clear, shrill voice, "Ninety-blank this way again once more—Hip, hip!"

Young drew his head in from the window[Pg 24] and the next minute he was running downstairs three steps at a time. He could not help it.

Two other Freshmen joined him from neighboring houses on the way to the corner.

There, with the street light glaring dimly upon them, stood the Freshman class, or most of it, closely drawn up four abreast, cheering for itself with all its might. The Juniors were leading the cheers with energetic waving of the arms; other Juniors were marshalling the forces.

Young and his two unknown companions began to run as they drew nearer, and those in the rear ranks hearing their footsteps gave a yell of welcome. It sounded like a prolonged "Yea-a-a."

The three new-comers modestly fell in at the rear. A quick-stepping nervous Junior came down the line looking each row over as he came along. He wore glasses, Young noticed, and a faded orange-and-black blazer.

"Here, you big fellow, you'll do to go in front," he said, in a voice husky from cheering,[Pg 25] and with that Young was taken by the arm, led way up to one of the front rows, shoved in beside three other fellows, and the Junior said, "Now, Tommy, that row's complete."

The Freshman next to Young grabbed him by the coat-sleeve and locked an arm through his as if they had been comrades for four years instead of just about to be.

He had on a soiled canvas football jacket and was hatless. His hair was long. "How much do you weigh, old man?" he asked in an excited manner. There was a lull in the cheering; everyone seemed to be whispering and chatting nervously; some of those in the rear were laughing at what one of the Juniors was telling them.

"About one hundred and eighty-five pounds," said Young to his neighbor wondering who he was and what kind of a fellow.

"Good! I weigh a hundred and seventy-nine and a half, stripped, just now—go up, though, after training awhile. You play football, I suppose?"

Young had never seen real football played,[Pg 26] but he did not like to say so—and he did not have to, for just then another cheer was demanded and they both joined in with the rest of the class, shouting with all their might, and then the command to march was given, and the line started forward, irregularly at first and with much treading upon heels, until one of the Juniors shouted, "Spread out, fellows, spread out; you'll have" (laughing) "all the close rank work you want when you get on the campus," and then someone put them in step by saying, "Hep!... Hep!... Hep!" And when the column was in step, a Junior in the rear who had a high tenor voice started up the famous marching time of

"Hoorah! Hoorah!
The flag that set us free.
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The year of jubilee."

only the words they used were:

"Nassau! Nassau!
[Pg 27]Ring out the chorus free—
Nassau! Nassau!
Thy jolly sons are we.
Care shall be forgotten, all our sorrows flung away,
While we are marching through Princeton!"

"Oh, we'll do 'em!" remarked Young's comrade, excitedly, at the conclusion of the song.

Young wanted to say something in reply, but he did not know who "they" were or how they were to be done. So he only said, "Think so?"

"Dead easy—we outnumber them three to two."

Soon the main street, Nassau Street, was reached; and by that time, after much cheering and many "This ways," nearly two hundred Freshmen were in the ranks and shouting like good fellows.

The line turned down toward the main college gate.

Along both sides of the streets walked a crowd of onlookers: upper-classmen in flannel clothes seeming mildly interested in what was to them an old story; little town boys in short trousers shouting "Ray for de[Pg 28] Freshmans!" and looking forward with excitement to what was never an old story to them. The shopkeepers were standing in their doors to see them pass. Upstairs windows opened and heads stuck out.

In a pause between the verses of a song Young heard, far off in the distance, the quick eager: "Ray! Ray! Ray! Tiger, siss, boom, ah!" of the short cheer. It was much more sharply and crisply given than the cheers he had joined in, and on the end of it came the numerals of the Sophomore class.

Now, he had understood vaguely that there was to be some sort of contest between his class and the Sophomores, but this blatant, confident cheer away off somewhere in the distant, indefinite darkness, gave him a start; just for a moment he felt frightened. He was not the only one.

"Oh, we'll do 'em," said the man next to Young.

"Dead easy!" said Young, this time.

They had passed the first gate by the Dean's house and were marching in good order down the broad old street[Pg 29].

"Column right—wheel!" said the Junior in front, and they turned in at the carriage entrance.

Before he quite realized it Young found himself walking on the soft, green turf of the campus itself.

The singing had ceased. The talking stopped now. Nothing could be heard but the "tr'm, tr'm, tr'm," of many feet taking many steps at the same instant.

"Halt!" said one of the Juniors in a whisper. "Form close ranks—lock step." The long line began to concentrate.

Another of the Juniors went down the line saying, in a low voice, "Put your caps in your pockets, fellows—put your caps in your pockets, fellows." Many of them had already done so. Some only pulled theirs on tighter.

"Are you ready back there, Tommy?" asked one of the Juniors.

"Yes, Jack."

The man hugging Young's arm whispered, "That's Jack Stehman, the great tackle."

"Oh," said Young, looking admiringly at the powerful-looking football hero.[Pg 30]

"Now then, fellows," Stehman was saying to the Freshmen, "the Sophomores are lined up and waiting for you over by West College; one of our men has just come from there. You fellows are nearly fifty men stronger than they are. Stick together and you'll rush them dead easy."

At this four or five excited Freshmen started a faint cheer but it was crushed down by several vigorous "sishes!" "Keep your mouths shut," said one of the other Juniors.

"Now, follow me and, mind, stick together, whatever you do. Stick together!" This was big Jack Stehman again. Young admired him; hoped to become well acquainted with him some day.

The compact mass moved forward, their bodies close together and their legs and feet beneath taking quick short steps as best they could. It was like a huge dark centipede, except that centipedes probably do not step on so many of their heels at once.

On either side walked upper-classmen, some calmly smoking pipes as if there was nothing to be excited about, laughing lightly[Pg 31] and making remarks. The way they looked at Young and his companions reminded him of his father and the other farmers judging live stock at the county fair.

"Pretty good looking Freshman class, Harry," said one fellow whose face Young couldn't see in the dark.

"Um," said the one addressed, nodding. "There's a fellow, looks——" Young lost the rest of it.

Up the gravel driveway the black mass crept toward the opening between the dark Library and darker Dickinson Hall.

Young was grabbing tight hold of the Freshman in front of him and wondering what would come next.

They were just through the opening and were about to turn toward the quadrangle. Suddenly there was a rumbling sound, like distant thunder.

Then shouted Jack Stehman, the big Junior: "Here they come! here they come. Now then keep together, fellows, keep together, keep together—come at 'em hard!"[Pg 32]

Now the many feet of the Freshman column began to rumble. On they plunged, increasing their speed every second.

The spectators on either side sprang back. On came the Sophomores with still more momentum, showing a front row of hardened football men with football suits. A distant light shone on them and Young had a vivid glimpse of their determined faces.

Then, with the Juniors crying, "Come faster! come faster! stick together!" and the Seniors who coached the Sophomores shouting, "Rush 'em, rush 'em, rush 'em!" the two lines came together.

Young was conscious of a dull crunching "thrump." It sounded as if bones were breaking, though none was. Then he saw the two rows in front of him lifted up in mid-air. The front rows of Sophomores were squeezed up also. It was like colliding trains of cars. Young could see them up there struggling, could hear them straining and grunting and pushing and shouting while the distant light gleamed on their dishevelled hair.[Pg 33]

"Now! now! that's the way—now we're getting them!" one of the Juniors was shrieking.

"That's the way!" yelled another.

"Stick together!" roared Stehman, jumping in and shoving mightily himself. He seemed as strong and as regardless of his body as a mad bull, and yet he was as calm as a man loading hay.

"Rush 'em off the campus! Rush the Freshmen!" shouted the Seniors now becoming alarmed.

"Yea-a-! we're doing 'em," panted the well-built man beside Young. "Shove! shove! shove!"

Young was straining and shoving with his teeth set and he felt as if his ribs would soon break. But he had the exultant joy of victory. His feet were off the ground and he was being carried along by the force of those behind him.

The Sophomores had tried to take them by surprise before they got up the grade by the Library. If they had been successful they would have made short work of the Freshmen.[Pg 34] As it was they had more momentum, but in hurrying across the campus to accomplish their design their lines had become loose. The Freshmen, on the other hand, were solid through and through, and now the compact mass in the rear was beginning to tell. The Freshmen were shoving the Sophomores back. Young heard shouts of victory.

But at this point the usual and natural result took place. The lines were too long for their width, and so it was only for a moment that they kept straight head to head; the pushing from behind bent them and they doubled in upon themselves. The Freshmen 'way back there in the rear thinking the Sophomores had retreated rushed on hard, shouting for their class and their victory, while at the same time part of the Sophomores did the same thing on the other side. And so sections of each column passed each other shouting, "Rush 'em!" and the rest turned around on each other and got hopelessly mixed up and excited. In this mix there was much shouting and considerable[Pg 35] cap-grabbing and some rough work. And the confused, disorganized Freshmen did not know just what was going on until a sudden cry went up, "Look out! look out! Here they come again."

"Get in line—for Heaven's sake," hurriedly shouted a Junior, and "This way," roared big Stehman, "this way, I tell you, you fools!"

But it was too late. The rumbling was heard again, and from an unexpected direction, and before the huddling Freshmen could even get started, a compact mass of Sophomores came pounding down upon them, ploughed through them, knocked some of them over and came out solid on the other side.

Then there was great shouting among the Sophomores, with much blatant, exultant cheering.

Meanwhile the rallying cry of "Ninety-blank this way!" began ringing out again. It was over by the quadrangle and now the scattered Freshmen were scurrying over toward the sound of it.[Pg 36]

"Ninety-blank?" shouted a boyish voice in Young's ear not two feet away from it.

"Yes," said Young, excitedly, and took the owner of it by the arm and hurried along through the crowd toward their comrades.

Just then an unseen hand made a grab at Young's hat—off it went; and the grabber dodged out of sight in the crowd and darkness.

"There goes my hat," said Young.

"Mine went long ago," said his new-found comrade, meaning ten seconds before. He was a little fellow and seemed very young. "We oughtn't to have taken them out of our pockets." He was laughing excitedly as he ran along.

They hurried into line with the others by West College.

A Junior dressed in a conspicuous white flannel suit came running over, shouting, "The Sophs are just beginning to form over there by the cannon. Hurry and you can get them on the flank."

"All right," cried Jack Stehman, "come on, fellows. Never mind weights and sizes.[Pg 37] Now do something, do something for your class."

"Come on," called another, "this time we get the cannon!"

Without waiting for all the class to collect, or for perfect formation, the Freshman column dashed down at the thick of the Sophomores who now stopped giving "This-way" shouts and started forward to meet their opponents. They knew that to be caught napping meant to be rushed, and then the Freshmen would gain the coveted cannon.

Again the two columns met like two big waves, and like spray the front lines were dashed on high. Young was up there this time, literally face to face with the Sophomores. He could see them straining and grunting and pushing like himself. The little fellow that had fallen in rank beside him was up there too, being tossed about like a cork.

The Sophomores were only half prepared for the attack, and were being charged back; Young felt them giving way before him. It felt good.[Pg 38]

"Hold them, hold them, fellows!" shouted the Seniors, and some of them pitched in to help their allies, the Sophomores.

But they could not hold them, and the little fellow beside Young began screaming, "We're rushing 'em! we're rushing the Sophs," in the Sophomores' very faces.

A big Sophomore in the front rank got one arm free, reached up and struck the little fellow in the face, then got hold of his coat and began to jerk the little one down.

Young reached over, grabbed the big Sophomore's wrist and freed his little classmate. "Hi! Deacon!" cried a disagreeable voice somewhere in the rows of Sophomores before him. Young was devoting all his energy to the little fellow whose nose was now bleeding; this did not seem to bother the latter, for he wriggled around, nimbly clambered up on Young's big shoulders, then kneeling on them and having free play for his arms he began to strike right and left at the Sophomores beneath him as fast as he could, and he seemed to be able to strike both fast and hard.[Pg 39]

Seeing his pluck those behind him now plunged forward harder than ever.

"Yea-a-a—the cannon—the cannon, we've got it!" cried the little fellow.

Young felt himself brushing up against something hard and solid. Sure enough it was the big iron breech of the old cannon that he had seen standing muzzle down, in the centre of the quadrangle.

The little fellow jumped down from Young's shoulders upon it, and began to lead a cheer, though he did not know how to do it very well. But he waved his hands about his head and everyone yelled exultingly. They had won.

Then Jack Stehman, the Junior coach, hustled the little one off, jumped up on the cannon himself and led a cheer in the right way. The little fellow was out of sight now, but not out of memory. He was a hero.


In walked ... the little Sophomore, and behind him a very big Sophomore. Young recognized him as the one....

Meanwhile some of the other Sophomores had zealously rushed some of the other Freshmen off the quadrangle and were shouting themselves hoarse for their victory down by Clio Hall, but the Freshmen had the[Pg 40] cannon. That was what they were after all this time, as Young now learned.

"It's all over now. Go home, you fellows," said the hoarse-voiced Juniors, silencing the exuberant Freshmen.

"We rushed them, though, didn't we?" eagerly asked a Freshman with necktie gone and coat torn half off. Young saw it was his small comrade.

"'Course you did," said Jack Stehman, his voice sounding gruff and authoritative. "Go to your rooms as fast as you can; Sophs'll haze tar out of you if they catch you to-night. They expected to have an easy thing of it."

The little fellow had spied Young. "Good-night," he said, holding out his hand, "much obliged for what you did. My name's Lee."

"Young is my name." They shook hands. "Hope you aren't hurt," Young added, smiling.

"Nope; see you again. Good-night."

The Freshmen now began to scatter in all directions in the darkness, some of them[Pg 41] limping and some of them going slowly because out of breath; and some had fewer garments than when they left their rooms. But all had a great deal more class spirit, and that is the object of the cannon rush. There was not one among them who would have missed it for anything.

Young reached his room without adventure. He limped a little as he went upstairs, but he did not know it.

He had been in his room but a few moments when a knock came at the door. He had had no callers before this.

"Come in," said Young, cheerfully. He thought perhaps it was Lee.

In walked Channing, the little Sophomore, and behind him a very big Sophomore, dressed in a football suit. Young recognized him as the one that struck little Lee, and he seemed to recognize Young; at least he grinned and showed the place where a front tooth was gone.

And Channing wore Young's hat.[Pg 42]



Suppose you were a Freshman and hazing were still in vogue, and the first callers in your college course were two Sophomores, and each of them had reasons for wanting to humiliate you, and one of the fellows was a football player with muscles larger than your own; how would you feel if they strode into your room, looking arrogant?

You, possibly, might not mind it. If so, Will Young was different from you, for he felt very queer as he arose from his chair.

Channing said, "How do you do, Mr. Young?" Then, closing the door so the landlady might not hear, "Well, Deacon," with his sarcastic smile, "we've come for you."

Young said nothing. Instinctively he offered chairs.[Pg 43]

"This is Deacon Young of Squeedunk, the freshest man in the class, Bally. Bow, Freshman, to Mr. Ballard, of whom you have doubtless heard—the famous centre rush of the famous Sophomore football eleven that will do your futile Freshman team up so badly you can't see, later in the term."

"No, thanks," said the big fellow to Young, in a very big voice, "never sit on chairs." He had seated himself on Young's table, with one foot on a chair, and was looking around the room as Channing went on:

"We secured several of your charming classmates on the campus. They aren't far away from here now." Ballard chuckled at this. "But we missed you on the campus, Deacon. You must have run home after the rush."

The Sophomores both laughed at this, but Young said nothing, and wondered how Channing had found out where he roomed.

"You have given us some trouble. That is unfortunate for you. But you were kind enough yesterday to oblige me with your name; so I went to the registrar's office and[Pg 44] asked where my dear old friend Willie Young roomed. I told them I wanted to look you up and take care of you. We'll take care of you, all right—eh, Bally?"

Ballard laughed his loud laugh at this way of talking. He thought Channing very witty, and so did Channing.

Young was leaning against the mantelpiece.

"But we mustn't waste time here," Channing went on; "pick up your hat and come on like a good little boy; we're all going for a nice little stroll to the canal together."

Young had heard, since he last saw Channing, what the Sophomores did with Freshmen at the canal. He did not move.

"Oh, I forgot," said Channing, "you have no hat; you lost yours in the rush this evening, didn't you? Well, well, that was too bad. You will have to go bareheaded. However, Freshman," he added, patronizingly stern, "this will teach you a good lesson—two good lessons. In the first place, little Willie must wear a cap and not a big felt hat like this." He took Young's hat off his own head and[Pg 45] looked at it critically. "I suppose this is the latest thing out at Squeedunkville."

Ballard grinned. Young flushed and bit his lip.

"In the second place, you must always take it off when you meet your superiors and thus save us the trouble of taking it off for you; and," he added, looking out of the window in the direction of the canal, "and so save yourself some trouble also."

Ballard was now beginning to look interested. "I guess the Freshman's got another hat in his closet," he said, gruffly. Then he commanded, "Go get it, Freshman, and come on." Ballard was standing now.

Young did have a hat—a derby hat, the one he wore on the train and when he first arrived—in his closet, but he did not go and get it, and he did not come on.

"Didn't you hear what I said?" growled Ballard. "Come on." He let Channing do the guying, but he liked to take a hand in the bossing himself.

Apparently Young heard nothing; he had not said a word, and he was quietly looking[Pg 46] down at the carpet, but his heart was beating fast.

"Now, see here, Deacon," said Channing, "we don't want to have any trouble with you. Are you going to come along peacefully and have an easy time of it, or are you going to make a little trouble for us and a lot for yourself?"

Young did not speak or look up. He seemed to be moving his tongue about in his cheek.

Ballard approached him. "You won't come, eh?" he said, angrily. And with that he took him by the shoulder.

"Take your hands off me," said the Freshman, shrilly, and wrenched quickly away, backing up against the wall. He stood there breathing hard, and he glanced from one Sophomore to the other.

Now, it is not the easiest thing in the world for a big man and a little man to drag out of a room one very good-sized man who looks as if he had made up his mind to stay in it. At any rate, to do it without considerable noise is impossible. Therefore Channing[Pg 47] stepped across to the open window, stuck his head out, and gave a long, peculiar whistle. He waited a moment and then repeated it Then an answer came back from the distance.

"We'll soon fix you, Deacon," he remarked, nodding his head, as he returned from the window.

Young was still standing backed up against the wall. Ballard, braced against the door opposite to prevent the Freshman's escape, was scowling.

"They'll be here in a minute," said Channing.

He referred to the classmates he had signalled to. You see if they had all come in together it would have aroused the landlady's suspicions. As it was, Channing had been obliged to tell her that Ballard and himself represented the college Y. M. C. A., and that they wanted to ask Mr. Young to join it.

"When they whistle I'll tip-toe down and let them in," said Channing. "Listen! What's that?"[Pg 48]

Footsteps were heard coming up the stairs.

"They couldn't have gotten here so soon," said Ballard.

"I didn't hear any whistle," said Channing.

The footsteps came nearer.

"Is this the room?" said a voice just outside the door.

"Yes, that's the one," came the reassuring tones of the landlady below.

The Sophomores had stopped talking.

A knock.

No reply.

Another knock.

"Come in," said Young, defiantly.

Ballard stepped to one side.

The door opened.

"Is this Mr. Young?"

"That's my name," said Young. "Come in." He was still standing by the mantelpiece.

A dark-eyed, strong-faced, matured-looking man with rather long hair stood in the doorway. "I am Nolan," he said, "of the Junior class, and this is Mr. Linton," turning to a man behind him.[Pg 49]

"Hello there, Ballard," Nolan said, casually then suddenly taking in the situation and smiling, "sorry to spoil your fun," he said. "Hello, where's your young friend going in such a hurry?"

Channing was seen slipping out of the still open door. "I'll be right back," he said, grinning. The whistle had sounded while Nolan and Linton were entering the room, and Channing wanted to get down in time to—but it was too late. The Juniors had left the front door open when they entered, and now the other Sophomores were on the way up the second flight of stairs. "Where's the Freshman's room, Chan?" they said, in a loud whisper.

"Wait, there's no use coming now," began Channing.

But Linton was now at the head of the stairs saying, in an amused tone: "Oh, come right up; don't mind us." So, rather than seem afraid of the Juniors they trooped in, all six of them looking as if caught at something they were ashamed of.

Linton smiled drolly at one of the Sophomores[Pg 50] he happened to know personally. "Hard luck, Valentine," he said.

Nolan nodded gravely to one or two of them, and they said, "How do you do?" very respectfully.

No one said anything else for a moment.

"Don't let us interrupt you," said Channing, grinning.

"We had no intention of being interrupted," said Linton, without looking up. And Freshman Young noticed that the others seemed to consider this a good joke on Channing, and Channing noticed that Young noticed it, and this was one thing more to remember against Young.

"By the way," Linton went on in a lazy, matter-of-fact way, as he began filling a pipe, "perhaps it would be just as well if you fellows all got up and got out of here now. Billy and I came here to talk hall to this Freshman, and we have a number of others to call on, and Billy mustn't stay up late these days, you know."

"Billy" meant Nolan, the one with long[Pg 51] hair, and he was a university football man, and the training season had begun.

Linton made this remark in an ordinary tone, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to request seven or eight men to leave a room. He struck a match for his pipe as he finished speaking, and then lifted his feet up on the table and leaned back without looking at the under-classmen.

The Sophomores said, "All right," meekly arose, murmured, "Good-night," and smiling rather sheepishly departed.

Young looked on with mingled feelings. They outnumbered the Juniors seven to two, and yet the arrogant Sophomores did not even question the Junior's power. He was learning something about these traditions and customs; evidently the authority was not in bodily strength.

But the two upper-classmen, without waiting to see what became of the Sophomores, began forthwith to tell Young how different were the two secret literary societies, whose mysterious, Greek temples looked so much alike there side by side on the campus, and[Pg 52] to point out how superior was their own "hall," as they called it.

Nolan, who was a famous orator in this hall, did most of the talking. Linton only put in a word now and then, but he kept glancing at the Freshman in a queer, quizzical way as he blew smoke. When they arose to go Linton said, in a pleasant tone:

"I suppose the Sophomores are bothering you a good deal?"

Young wondered what made Linton say so. "No," he replied; "they tried to make me take off my hat yesterday, but I wouldn't do it."

He thought that would impress these upper-classmen.

Linton glanced at Nolan, who smiled.

"Say, Young," said Linton, kindly, "of course it's none of my business, but—well, I'd take off my hat if I were you."


"Oh, well, because you're a Freshman."

"But what right have they to make me take off my hat to them? They aren't any better than——"[Pg 53]

"Because they're Sophomores. Come on, Billy." He opened the door. "You think it over, Young. Good-night. Glad to have met you, Young."

Then on his way downstairs he added to his friend Billy Nolan, "I like that big, green Freshman, but he needs hazing."

"He is rather fresh. Do you think we'll secure him, Jim?"

"But you can hardly blame him for taking himself so seriously," Linton went on as they gained the street "You see he has always lived at home, didn't go away to prep. school, was never guyed or anything of that sort in all his innocent life, and he doesn't know how to take it. He was an important person at home—probably led his class at the High School—has a lot of little brothers and sisters that bow down to him; and they've told him that he is a great man so often that he thinks there must be something in it. His hands show he has worked on a farm, but the palms are soft now—I noticed that shaking hands—so he's probably clerked in a store or taught school; yes, he's probably taught school."[Pg 54]

Linton considered himself a student of human nature, and he did guess pretty well this time, though Young had no sisters and had never taught school.

"Anyway," he concluded, and in this he was right, perhaps, "college will be a great thing for him. No one ever made him realize his relative unimportance in the world."

"As we made big Bally realize it last year," interposed Nolan, smiling.

"Yes, and as we, too, were made to realize it the year before. My, what a big chump you'd have been, Billy, if you hadn't been hazed."

"And, oh, what a supercilious ass you'd have made, Jim. Do you remember that time——"

And these two walked on toward the campus with arms thrown carelessly about each others' shoulders, reminiscencing about days which, to hear them talk, you would have thought were half a generation ago; and so they were—half a college generation.

Meanwhile Young was doing what Linton had told him to do, thinking over what had[Pg 55] been said to him. Also he thought over what he had observed when the Juniors and Sophomores were in the room together, and he came to certain conclusions. Then he went to bed.[Pg 56]



The very next evening, as Young and a classmate named Barrows were on the way from supper, someone stepped out from behind a tree-box and said, "Here he is, fellows," and the next moment the two Freshmen, surrounded by a dozen Sophomores, were on their way to the canal.

Channing acted as ringmaster, as usual. To his surprise and, perhaps, disappointment, Young was not sullen or stubborn; he seemed rather good-natured about it.

"Take off your hat, Deacon."

"All right," said Young, smiling cheerfully, and lifted his hat.

"Do it again and don't smile."

He did it again and did not smile.

"Who said you could put it back on your head? Take it off and keep it off."[Pg 57]

Young held it in his hand.

"Put it on again," shouted Channing. And so it went.

"Now, Deacon, since you have taken off your cap and have shown how low you can bow, show us how the prairie-dogs run, out home on the farm." The group was getting beyond the houses now.

"But there aren't any prairie-dogs where I live in Illinois," returned Young, smiling.

"That doesn't matter," growled Ballard; "do it anyway."

So William Young, thinking of how the people out home were in awe of him because he had gone East to college, got down on all fours and ambled along the dusty road.

"Now you do it, you little Freshman with the big head."

Barrows gave his version of a prairie-dog's method of progress, laughing as if it were a good joke.

"Now both do it at once," said Channing.

The Sophomores laughed gleefully, especially at Young, he was so big and awkward.


"Now both sit up on your haunches and chatter awhile."

"That's pretty good," said Channing, as if[Pg 58] he were the exhibitor of trained animals. "Now both sit up on your haunches and chatter awhile."

Everybody laughed, Young included.

"Don't laugh," said Channing.

"Cork up your laughter," said Ballard.

Then they were made to crow like roosters and bark like dogs, and give other imitations, until they reached the tow-path of the canal. Here they were made to strip.

"Can you swim?" one of the fellows asked.

Both said they could.

"Then jump in and swim across. Be quick about it."

The water was cool, but it did not hurt them.

"Now swim back and get your clothes."

While dressing they were made to sing "Home, Sweet Home"—"in order to keep warm," Channing said.

"Now cheer for the illustrious class above you. Are you ready?—Hip—Hip!"

The college cheer was given with the Sophomore class numerals on the end.[Pg 59]

"I don't think I heard your sweet voice, Deacon Young," said one of the Sophs, a tall fellow with glasses. "Suppose you give us one all alone. Now then, Hip—Hip!"

Young kept silent.

"See here, you cheer, Deacon. Do as we tell you." This from Ballard, who bellowed.

Young looked around at the Sophomores—there were twelve of them—and then glanced at the canal; he did not want to go in there again; he was shivering already.

"Hip—Hip!" said Ballard. Young gave a feeble cheer.

The man with the glasses said: "H'm, you'll have to do better than that. Now then, a loud one."

Young cleared his throat and gave a loud, full cheer.

"That's the way to talk," they said, encouragingly.

"It won't hurt you, you see," said one of them, rather kindly, in a low voice.

"You are improving, Deacon Young," said Channing, patronizingly. "We'll make a man of you yet."[Pg 60]

Thus began a new epoch in the life of William Young. During the next week or so of his college course he was hazed perhaps more than anyone in his class, although from that first time he no longer resisted or tried to maintain his superiority.

Undoubtedly hazing, as Linton, the Junior, said, was a good thing for his system, as it is for any young man, but Young certainly did not need such severe doses nor so many of them.

Some of the fellows said so the third time he was taken to the canal. "The old Deacon is all right now," they said; "why d'you give it to him so hard?"

But Channing was one of these small men that love to get power over big men; he loved to haze and he hated to have anyone call him little or mouthy, and Young had called him both. The next night he and Ballard, who, as will be seen later, had much of the bully in him, would bring around a different crowd and Channing would take out his pipe, shake it at Young and say to the others, "Now this old jay Deacon is[Pg 61] innocent and meek enough to look at, but he is atrociously fresh at bottom—isn't he, Bally, you old horse?"

Young said nothing and took his hazing cheerfully and patiently, hoping they would soon get tired of it.

"I suppose," he said to himself, as he hurried back to his room to work until past midnight, in order to make up for lost time. "I suppose I must be very fresh, or they would not keep it up so long. I did not know I was so fresh."

But he told himself that if he were only well liked by his own classmates as he had expected to be, he would not care what his enemies thought of him. That he had not sprung into popularity, he decided, was due to that painful occurrence at his first recitation. It made him flush to think of it even now.

It was on the morning after the rush and after the Sophomores had been turned out of his room. He went in to the Livy recitation for which he had prepared himself so thoroughly—he went over it four and a half times, you may remember—and took his[Pg 62] seat, feeling strong and confident, and, "Mr. Young, please to translate," said the professor, before the class was hardly settled in its seats.

It was in a low voice. Young was in the back of the room. He was not dreaming of being called upon first anyway, and he wondered why the fellow next to him was nudging him with an elbow. Young turned and looked at him inquiringly.

"Get up," whispered the man.

"What for?" whispered Young.

"Isn't Mr. Young present?" said the professor in a tone loud and clear, and Young fairly jumped out of his seat, exclaiming, "Yes, marm—yes, sir, I mean."

He added it quickly but it was too late. Everyone had heard and everyone was laughing, and even the professor joined in, though he did not mean it unkindly, and then they all laughed still more. The walls fairly echoed with it. Even after the professor had rapped for order and the laughter had quieted down, someone in the front row tittered and that set them all off again. A[Pg 63] new class is always somewhat hysterical. Some of those in the front rows turned and stared at him in their laughter.

It was a natural mistake. This freshman had prepared for college at a high school, and most of the High School teachers were women. Young should have joined in the laughter, but he only stood there, scarlet and serious-looking and wishing he could disappear forever.

Finally the professor said, kindly, "Now then, Mr. Young."

But Mr. Young was confused, and though he had been over the passage until he had it nearly by heart, he now became all tangled up and excited and finally took his seat dripping with perspiration and wishing he had never come to college. Instead of being perfect his first college recitation was a flat failure. But the professor did not count this failure against him because he saw that the fellow was rattled and because the next time he came in he made the best recitation of the day.

But that was not the trouble. The fellows[Pg 64] would not forget it and would not let up on it. "Thank you, marm," they whispered as he arose to recite, and "Thank you, marm," they shouted to him on the crowded campus. The Sophomores took it up. It became a second nick-name.

The worst of it was—in fact the reason of it all was—that he took this as he did himself and everything else, with entirely too much self-importance. Instead of laughing or answering back he looked sullen and sedate when they said, "Thank you, marm," and naturally they said it then all the more.

It cut and hurt to have his own classmates—the men with whom he had stood shoulder to shoulder in the rush and at the class meeting—treat him thus. If they had known that he was taking it so seriously, they would have stopped. But they did not know it. How should they? Most people have to suffer before they learn to be sympathetic.

So, altogether, with the Sophomores who hazed and the classmates who guyed, Will Young decided that college life was not all[Pg 65] it was cracked up to be. But you may be sure he did not let this opinion get into the letters he wrote home. Because he was discouraged was no reason for making his mother discouraged too. But, oh, it would have helped a lot, if he had only somebody to talk to about it all. He did not know how to make friends with the others, and the others did not seem to care to make friends, thank you, marm, with the sober-faced old Deacon.

It was all very well for a fellow like Linton to say that something of this sort was a good thing for a fellow like Young. But Linton was a Junior, with friends that loved him; and Juniors forget. Besides, sometimes we get too much of a good thing, and then it becomes a bad thing. If it had kept on this way Young might have become meek and backboneless, and such an extreme would be even worse than that of self-importance.

But it did not keep on. It all stopped one day quite suddenly.[Pg 66]



"Princeton, N. J., Sunday.

"Dear Mother: Yes, the Sophomores have hazed me a good many times since I first wrote about it, but I do not mind it much now. Honestly I do not. They mean it all in joke. You must not worry. I ought not to have told you anything about it. I am seldom homesick, and am very happy here at college."

And so he was. For each hour of discomfort there were many other hours that were exceedingly comfortable and satisfactory, for he was working with all his might at what he had always wanted to work—he was getting a college education. And when all is said and done there is nothing like hard work and a good digestion to make a fellow happy. That is if the work is congenial and the food is good; and they were.

His work was so congenial that his recitations[Pg 67] sometimes made the fellows in the front rows turn and look at him, the same fellows that had turned and looked at him during that first frightful recitation; but their faces wore different expressions now. He was getting a reputation for being one of the "keeners" of his division.

And as for his food, it was good—and so were the table-mates, for now that the shyness was rubbing off he was beginning to enjoy meeting and sitting down at the table with those dozen classmates more than any part of the day, if only that long, thin fellow who was studying for the ministry would not say, solemnly, after Young had handed the bread, "Thank you, marm." However, he did not mind even that quite so much as at first, because he was learning how to take good-natured chaff now, and, more than that, to answer it. And that is something one is likely to be taught at college if he learns nothing else.

The letter continued:

"A Junior manages, or runs, our club; that is, he gathered in us twelve Freshmen during the first day or[Pg 68] two of the term, and brought us to Mrs. Brown's table. I told you how several club managers asked me to join their clubs the first day? Most of them were too expensive, though. This boarding system is a good bargain for the ladies who supply the tables, for they cannot collect the students themselves, and a good bargain for the managers, for they get their board free, and so save the largest item of expense at college."

Young was finding out that there were, as the minister had told him, a great many fellows at college who had to consider items of expense seriously, but he was surprised to find it so hard to tell which ones did and which did not.

"Everybody talks as if he were 'dead broke' all the time, and you would think all were, to look at them. It is not the thing to dress well here. A student is made fun of if he tries it. I wear the black cut-away coat only on Sundays, as I used to, instead of every day, as you thought I should have to do. I did not have to buy a new hat. I bought a flannel cap instead, such as all the fellows wear."

At first Young was rather shocked at the slouchy way these college men dressed, and he made up his mind that he would not wear corduroy trousers when he became an upper-classman.[Pg 69] But there were not only many long months, but a very serious problem to go through with, before he became an upper-classman, or even a Sophomore. However, he had money enough in the bank to scrape along for awhile; the term was only just begun, and things might turn up before it ended, and meanwhile he did not want to think about that, because it always reminded him of his father's attitude in the matter. "Huh! We'll see how long you stay there with those dudes."

A fellow does not like to feel that he is doing something his father does not approve of, no matter how old or independent he is. Mr. Young had not once written a line to Will at college, and through Mrs. Young had only sent the most formal messages. The Freshman concluded that his father hated him. There came a time when he found how mistaken he was.

One day, about a week after college opened—though it seemed to Young more like seven weeks than seven days, because he[Pg 70] had seen and felt so many new things and, though he was not aware of it perhaps, because he had developed so much—at any rate, one afternoon just one week from the time he had first met Channing and his crew, Young heard about another new thing. This, too, resulted in developing him a good deal.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, and he was on the way across the quadrangle after "English," no longer feeling lost or out of place on the campus, for he knew by this time nearly all its nooks and crannies and the names of most of the buildings. "There are 225 acres in the grounds," he had written home to Charlie in another cheerful sounding letter, "and we have over thirty buildings." And he told with pride something of the Revolutionary history of Nassau Hall, "the venerable brown building they called 'Old North,' once the largest building in this hemisphere and for a time the most important." But that was not the reason he felt so proud just now. It was because he was walking beside little "Lucky" Lee.

[Pg 71]


Lee was one of the most prominent and popular men in the class.

Lee was the class secretary and treasurer, and one of the most prominent and most popular men in the class. He had sprung into considerable class prominence when he sprang upon Young's shoulders that night in the rush. But the next night he climbed still higher and into greater fame by scaling the belfry of Old North at dead of night, where, with the aid of Stevens, his room-mate, he carried off the bell-clapper, "and that was a great thing, I tell you," Young wrote home.

"Of course, no Freshman class would be respected," Linton, the Junior, had explained the next time he and Nolan had come to "talk hall" with Will—who explained it to Charlie—"they'd be disgraced if they didn't steal the bell-clapper. The college authorities expect it to be done. They have a barrelful of new ones down in the cellar. When the rope is pulled and they find the bell doesn't ring, they simply fork out a new clapper and climb up and fasten it on, and then start in to ringing as though nothing unusual had happened."[Pg 72]

None the less it was a daring deed, and Lee and Stevens had come within a small margin of getting caught by stealthy Matt Goldie, the chief proctor. But they weren't, and the big heavy clapper was now in the city of Trenton, being melted down into many diminutive souvenir clappers (to be worn as watch-charms by the whole class) at this very moment, while Lee was walking across the campus and Young beside him was hoping that the fellows who called him "Thank you, marm!" could see him now.

Just then "Minerva" Powelton, the recently chosen captain of the class baseball team, joined Lee and Young, or rather he joined Lee; he paid little attention to Young. He had been brought up to keep away from boys whose family he knew nothing of, and he considered Young beneath him in every way. He got over it in time.

"Say, Lucky," he said in a low tone, putting his arm fawningly around little Lee, "the Sophs will be getting out the procs pretty soon. We'd better watch out."

"Naw," said Lucky, with the conviction[Pg 73] of superior knowledge. "Not till after Saturday's game, at the earliest. Why, in my brother's Freshman year they did not do it till after cane-spree."

"Well, we'd better keep our eyes peeled, all the same," said Captain Powelton.

Young looked sober and said nothing. To tell the truth, he did not know what they were talking about. Was it that the Sophs were going to turn the college proctors against them in some cowardly way? But what Saturday's baseball game between the two classes had to do with it he knew no more than what a cane-spree might be; and he walked home wondering.

That evening at the club one of the fellows—who, perhaps, had also overheard a conversation—said, in a pause, "I understand the Sophs will bring out the procs pretty soon."

Young was not so shy before his own crowd. "No, they won't," said he. "Not until after Saturday's baseball game."

"Why not, Young?" he was asked.

"What are the procs, anyway?" inquired[Pg 74] Barrows, at the foot of the table, who had been Young's champion on the first trip to the canal. He was a small, ingenuous fellow with a big head, and had taken a prize for passing the best entrance examinations from his State.

Young was about to laugh and own up that he did not know, when the Junior who ran the club cleared his throat and explained. He was fond of instructing these Freshmen. He had been very green himself two years before, and he knew how it felt. He also knew how impressive an upper-classman seems to the entering student.

"The two lower classes," he said, with a great deal of Junior dignity, "always get out proclamations on each other. It is one of the customs. The Sophs generally bring theirs out first; they are like big bill posters."

"What's on them?" asked Barrows.

"On them is printed a lot of nonsense in green type. They cast aspersions on you, call you fresh and green and heap ignominy on your prominent men and deride your eccentric characters."[Pg 75]

"Well, where do they put them?" asked the one who brought up the subject.

"All over the State."


"They paste them all over this town and its environs, on the blank walls and the sidewalks, and on every barn in the county, on wagons, on telegraph-poles, on freight-cars—not only that, but they go off to Trenton and New Brunswick and paste them all over the town and on freight-trains about to pull out."

"Well! what do we do all this time?" asked Young. Everyone was listening now.

"Pull them down," said the Junior, simply, "and soon afterward you get out a proc saying sarcastic things about them, which they pull down, feeling very indignant, and then they haze you worse than ever. Please hand me the butter."

"But I still don't see," said Barrows, the small fellow with the big head, "what Saturday's baseball game has to do with it?"

"They wait until after that," replied the Junior, smiling, "in order to write verses on[Pg 76] the score and jeer you on being so badly beaten."

"Maybe we won't be beaten," said Barrows.

"I sincerely hope you won't," said the Junior, benignantly.

The series of inter-class baseball games lasting a week had begun as usual on the Monday previous. They are played so early in the term because football soon absorbs all athletic interest of the fall.

The Freshman class, which was large and had had many aspirants to athletic honors, had barely had time to pick out its nine, who were, so said the Junior class baseball captain who was coaching the players, unusually good material, but quite lacking in team play. This was only natural, as only three of them had ever seen each other a week before.

However, they made a very good showing against the Juniors on Tuesday, and by Thursday they had improved so much that they beat the lazy Seniors. To tell the truth the latter had not put a very ambitious team in the field, and played horse throughout the[Pg 77] game. But this encouraged the Freshmen wonderfully, and confidence was just what they needed. After the practice on Friday afternoon the Junior coach said, "I think you fellows will win to-morrow—if you don't get rattled," he added, shaking his head and thinking of his own Freshman year.

The Sophomore-Freshman game is the concluding match of the week, and is always the special event of the series, owing to the intense rivalry between the two lower classes. It is advertised in the bill-posters in letters twice as large as the other games, and many alumni gather from New York and Philadelphia to witness it, which makes the two lower classes feel quite important.

Great was the excitement in the Freshman class, and great was the hope of victory. The Sophomores, though they did not show it, were also excited, but they were blatantly confident of winning. It would be a terrible disgrace if they lost to the Freshmen.

Soon after the mid-day meal on Saturday the Freshman class marched down to University Field in a body, and sat there cheering[Pg 78] for itself and its team all the afternoon.

Just before the game began the Sophomores, in a solid mass of orange and black, making a deafening lot of noise with college songs on kazoos, led by a big brass band, entered the field with banners waving, took possession of a solid section of the bleachers, derided the Freshmen, drowned out their cheers, guyed their batters, rattled their pitcher, and won the game by a score of 18 to 7. That night the country for miles round was scoured by faithful Freshmen. Not a proclamation was found.

The next night still a larger number of Freshmen lost half of their eight hours' sleep in the cause, and in vain.

The next afternoon Lucky Lee whispered to Young, coming out of mathematics: "The Sophomores get out their procs to-night, sure; they are being printed in Trenton—I have a detective down there who found out all about it. I want you to come up to my room in University Hall this evening after you have finished your 'poling'—I mean studying.[Pg 79] Wear your old clothes. You'll come, won't you?"

Young had not been engaged in the previous nightly searches, and he had not intended to join in this one. But it was Lee. "I'll come," said Young—"soon's I get through 'poling,'" he added, for he wanted young Lee to know that he too understood college slang, even though he was a quiet Freshman. There was something fascinating to Young about that bright-faced little fellow. Everybody liked him.

The territory to be covered and the men to cover it had been divided up beforehand among a number of leaders, and when Lee had said, in talking it over in Powelton's room, "I'm going to get that man Young, he's a big, strong fellow," Powelton had said, "What, that big, awkward poler from the backwoods?—the man everybody guys? Bah! he hasn't any more class spirit than my pipe."

Everyone at college is called a student, but a poler is one who studies to excess.

"Poler or no poler," answered Lee, "he's[Pg 80] got muscle all right, and he stood by me in the rush in great shape!"

Promptly at ten o'clock Young slammed shut his Homer and the Greek lexicon and started for University Hall, a big rambling place full of noisy, whistling students that scrape their feet along the wide carpetless corridors. He had done a good evening's work for himself; now he was going to work for Lee and for the class.

Some Sophomores at the foot of the third flight of stairs said, "Quack! quack! Freshmen!" as Young went by, but he did not mind that, and they did not dare do more because Sam, the night watchman, was downstairs in the main hall.

"Wasn't that Deacon Young?" said a man joining the group. "What did you let him go by for?"

It was Channing, of course, and he went hurrying upstairs after Young, to show off how bold he was.

"Channing certainly has nerve," said one of them.

By the time Channing caught up, Young[Pg 81] had turned down the narrow corridor which led to Lee's room.

"You'll have to come back," said Channing, in a matter-of-fact way, which made it all the more irritating. "Here! I said, 'come back.'"

Young might have done it ordinarily, but he had promised Lee to come to his room at ten o'clock and he was accustomed to keep his word; he did not even look around.

Channing, catching up with him, laid a hand on his arm, and said, sneeringly, "Come back, or it'll be worse for you," and called Young a name that he should have known better than to call anyone unless willing to fight in consequence.

For answer Young turned promptly about, grabbed the little Sophomore by the shoulders, then taking both wrists in one of his strong hands and shaking the other fist in his face, said, "You little reptile, you're too small for me to hurt, but I'll give you what I wanted to give you since I first laid eyes on you."

With that he quietly picked up the small[Pg 82] Sophomore, turned him over his left knee and gave him a good sound spanking with his big right hand.

"There," he said, holding Channing upon his knee a moment. "That's what I think of you. Now run and tell everybody." And he gave him a gentle push which was not as gentle as he meant it to be.

Channing got up from the floor hastily, looked about, saw that no one was near, and then sneaked around the corner in a hurry toward the stairs. He hadn't said another word. As he drew near his friends he slackened up and began to whistle carelessly. "Couldn't find him," he said, "the old cow must have heard me coming, and scooted into some room." Inwardly he was thanking his stars he had not been seen.

But he had been seen. The door of one of the rooms along the hall had been ajar; two upper-classmen within had just put out their lights to go to bed, the whole scene had been enjoyed, and before Channing was many days older the whole college was to know the story.[Pg 83]

Meanwhile Young had gone on to Lee's room, where he said nothing about what had happened. The room was full of Freshmen and when the door opened they were talking at a great rate about football in loud voices; but as soon as they saw it was not a Sophomore they began to talk in low tones about the procs again.

Lee said, "I don't know whether you know all these fellows," and began to introduce him in an informal way.

"Oh, yes, I know Young," said one of them. It was the football man who had been next to him in the rush. Others said, "I know your face—how are you, Young?" Some only nodded and then seemed to ignore him.

He felt a little constraint at first; some of these were prominent members of the class, and he felt that they had a poor opinion of him, but presently they all fell to talking about their plans so earnestly—and included Young in their glances occasionally—that soon he too began to get excited like the rest of them. He felt the thrill of a conspirator.[Pg 84]

But they did not talk much longer, for Lee said: "Young and I are going to bed. You fellows had better sneak off and get some sleep too." He had already begun to undress. "You are to sleep here, Young," he added; "my room-mate has gone to Trenton to start out early from there."

The others were leaving—not all at once, for that would excite suspicion if any Sophomores might be passing by. They left in ones and twos.

"Good-night, Lucky, we'll see you later, good-night." Some of them remembered to say good-night to Young, too. "Good-night, old man," said one of them, a jolly fat fellow.

Young did not sleep very much, but Lucky was quite worn out and dropped off immediately, and then sprang half out of bed when the muffled alarm clock went off under his pillow. It was four o'clock. They were to meet the others at a spot on the Theological Seminary grounds at 4.30. From there they were to work their way down toward Trenton on the old stagecoach[Pg 85] highway and meet Stevens (Lee's room-mate) and the others coming up.

It did not take long to slip out of the room and into the silent corridor. The lights were all out. It was dead dark.

"Take hold of my arm," said Lee, "I know these corridors as well as our own house at home."

Their footsteps seemed to echo and re-echo as they went down the three flights of stairs.

The big clock in the hall ticking loudly showed thirteen minutes after four. "We have plenty of time," whispered Young, as Lee opened the front door.

The outside air was cold and damp; Young shivered as it struck his face. He was glad he had put on his blue flannel shirt, the one he used to plough corn in. It was black outside except for a symptom of dawn in the East, which made the darkness even more ghastly. Someone was walking somewhere. They could hear the footsteps on the pavement.

They reached the corner.[Pg 86]

"What's that?" said Young.

"Where?" exclaimed Lee, in a whisper. He was one of the pluckiest men in the class, yet he jumped back a little.

"There," said Young, "on that tree-box. It's a proc."

"By George, you're right—the sneaks! They must have begun early."

It was too dark to make out anything but the first three lines in big letters:




"It hasn't been up long," said Young. "The paste is still wet." He began to tear it down.

"They must be near here," whispered Lee. "We'd better first go and meet——"

"Sist! who's that?" said a low voice in the darkness.

The two Freshmen stood motionless.

The voice now whispered, "Ninety-blank this way." It sounded friendly, but the thing for Young and Lee to do was not to wait[Pg 87] to see whether it was friend or foe but turn, and run in opposite directions and then bring up afterward at their appointed meeting-place where the others were. That indeed was Lee's impulse, but, "Wait, it's one of our fellows," said Young, innocently, and just then several figures darted in at them and before Young or Lee could do anything more they were surrounded on all sides, seized by the arms and held tight.

"No use scrapping, fellows," said one of them in Young's ear, triumphantly. "We've got you, we've got you."

Just then the first figure walked close up to Young, turned the slide of a detective's dark-lantern, and remarked, calmly, as the dazzling light shone on Young's blinking eyes: "Yes, this is the old Deacon; well, well, that's good! that's good!"

It wasn't necessary to see the face. Young recognized the disagreeable, sneering voice.[Pg 88]



It was all Young's fault that his little friend Lee was, like himself, in the embarrassing embrace of these Sophomores, and he knew it; and that worried him more than anything they might do to himself. This was a fine way to repay Lee for his kindness!

Channing was still sticking the lantern up close to Young's blinking eyes, and saying, mockingly, "Well, well, you poor old fool of a Deacon! you poor old pathetic fool."

If Young could only jerk himself free he thought he could snatch Lee away from the two Sophomores holding him and then in the darkness they could surely escape. There was everything to gain and nothing to lose in the attempt.

"Now," said Channing, "let's see who the other foolish Freshman is."[Pg 89]

Then through Young's mind there darted the thought: "Now's the time! Their attention is diverted." The dazzling light had been taken off his eyes. At the same instant, and as quick as the flash of the lantern, he neatly whisked his arms out of the hands that held them, sprang backward, throwing, as he did so, the two startled Sophomores forward by the shoulders, and wheeled around toward Lee.

Now little Lee, you may be sure, was watching for a chance to make a dash for liberty. Hearing the scuffle of feet in front of him he tried a similar trick. But his captors also had heard the scuffle; instinctively they tightened their grasps. Lee shook off but one of them, whirled around, and started off; the smaller of the two Sophomores was hanging like a bull-dog to his left arm.

Young, half-blinded in the change to darkness from dazzling light, bumped into Lucky, hurriedly grabbed him by the free hand and away they dashed. It was not quite two seconds from when Young made his first jump to the time he was going down Nassau[Pg 90] Street and making good speed considering that he was pulling Lee by the left hand, who in turn dragged unwillingly with the other hand the Sophomore whose knees were scraping the flagstones.

Of course, by this time the other Sophomores were after them—were now only a few yards behind and were gaining at every stride.

For about forty yards Young ran as he never ran before. The only hope was that the clinging Sophomore would get tired of sweeping Princeton pavements with his knees; a moment more and he would surely drop. "Stick to him," the other Sophomores were shouting in the dark. Two of the pursuers were almost up to them. Lee gave a furious wrench. It was a little too furious. He tripped and fell. Young slackened up and tried to pull Lee to his feet, but Lee purposely loosed his hand and cried, "I'm a goner, run!" At that instant two Sophomores dropped on him as they would on a rolling football and cut off his wind.[Pg 91]

But Young did not run—he turned around to try and free his friend—a third Sophomore running at full speed tackled him furiously, as football players tackle. They both tripped over the bodies on the ground. Lee felt two more men come tumbling down in a tangle upon those already on him.

"We got 'em both, fellows," screamed one of the Sophomores in the darkness to the others behind.

"Are you hurt, Lee?" asked a voice near the back of his neck.

"How'd you—get—in this?" Lee panted. "Thought you were—block 'way by—this time."

Young was panting, too, so he only said, "No—still here." He had got Lee into this mess and he meant to stick by him.

The Sophomores, keeping tight hold of Lee and tighter hold of Young, slowly arose, allowing their recaptured prisoners to stand up.

"I hope you're not hurt, Lee?" asked one of them in a somewhat sympathetic voice. He still kept tight hold of the Freshman, however.[Pg 92]

"Nope, I reckon not," said Lee, who hadn't been playing football since the age of twelve for nothing.

They all leaned against the fence and panted for a moment

Young made out nearly a dozen Sophomores in the half-dark.

Lee stopped panting and smiled. "Well, what are you going to do with us?" he asked, grimly.

"Shut up, Freshman, that's our business," said one of them. It was the same man that had asked Lee if he was hurt a moment before.

"So, Deacon," said Channing, "you wouldn't come back when we told you to, you old hay-seed Deacon!"

Young knew what he referred to, but only looked sober and said nothing, as usual.

"Well, well," went on Channing, "so you two proc.-hunters thought you'd get away, didn't you? Too bad, too bad; teaches Freshmen a good lesson: little boys must not be out at night. It's not nice."

"Well, Channing, where shall we put these[Pg 93] two foolish virgins?" asked a gruff voice. The dawn was coming in and Young and Lee saw that it was that big Ballard.

Now, it was customary on occasions of this sort to take all prisoners to some room, generally right there in University Hall, and lock them up for the rest of the night, and that's what the Sophomores would have done in this case but for Channing. "Put them!" replied Channing, indignantly, "we sha'n't put them anywhere until we have dealt out due chastisement for their rash impudence in trying to escape from their lawful lords and masters. Am I not right? They should make recompense for the trouble they have given us." It was Channing's usual vein.

"Aw, see here, Chan," said one of the others, "we've got a lot of work still to do and it's getting light already. We can't stop to do any hazing. Let's lock them up in George Black's room."

But Channing was not going to let this opportunity slip by for getting square for what Young had done only a few hours previous.[Pg 94] He did not know that there had been witnesses to the spanking—as yet. "Let the prisoners follow," he said, and he led the way back to the corner where the two parties had met.

Near by, on the ground beside the iron fence, stood a bucket of paste, a big brush, and a roll of proclamations. Young and Lee had not seen them before.

"Here are paste and proclamations," said Channing, "and here are strong hands and willing. What is to hinder the strong hands being set to work? Arise, Freshmen, gird up your loins and paste procs, for the day soon cometh when no man can paste."

"Right," said the others, smiling. "Kill two birds with one stone."

Little Lee fairly gasped to himself: "Going to make us paste procs—procs against our own class!"

Ballard, who had apparently just got the idea through his head, began to laugh, and said, "That's a good scheme, Chan, haw, haw, haw!"

"Don't laugh so loud," said Channing.[Pg 95] "Come on, Freshmen, that blank wall across the street is a good place to begin."

They were led across the street to the corner grocery store. A tight hold was kept on Young and Lee this time.

"Now, this is the way it is done." Channing quickly and rather daintily pasted up a proclamation.

By this time it was light enough for the letters to show green, and the Freshmen read the thing.

Up near the top Lee, the class secretary, was called "a puppy drum major" and "Mamma's blue-eyed baby boy, the little toy secretary." In the portion in finer type, beneath the slurs on the baseball team and the arrogant prohibitions against the wearing of the college colors and silk-hats and the smoking of pipes and carrying of canes, Young spied his own name.

"Next in the line of freaks," it said, "will amble that poor, meek butt of all classes, Deacon Young, the overgrown baby of Squeedunk, who always does everything you tell him to, and says 'Thank you, marm!'"[Pg 96]

"That means me," thought Young, scowling, as he remembered how important he had always been considered by everyone out at home. "What would they think of me now, I wonder?"

Channing had finished his work.

"Now then," he said, and unfolded another proc and advanced toward the Freshmen. "Don't all speak at once, children; will Little Willie Young show us how they handle the brush when they whitewash the fences on the farm?"

"Naw, let the class secretary do it first," interrupted Ballard, in his rough voice.

Though the crowd had often hazed Lee they had always found him such a bright, good-natured little chap that Ballard was never allowed to humble him as much as since the rush he had always wanted to. Here was a fine chance. Young could wait; it was not much fun to haze Young, anyway, he was so meek.

"Get to work there now, Secretary," Ballard shouted in his loud voice. He did not have brains enough, Young thought, to be[Pg 97] sarcastic, but he had plenty of lungs. "Close in around them, fellows."

Of course the Freshmen required the use of their hands if they were to paste procs, so the two were shoved in toward the wall and the dozen Sophomores with locked arms formed a semi-circle about them. It would be out of the question for the two to try and escape now.

Young and Lee were standing by the paste-bucket with their backs to the Sophomores, who were about twelve feet away from them.

"Come, get to work there, little boys," said Channing. "You and Young have nearly fifty more to paste before breakfast."

"Hurry up there," Ballard echoed, shouting in a tone to wake the neighborhood.

Just then a lazy voice was heard. "Heads out! Sophomores are making Freshmen paste procs! heads out—, everybody look!" It was a Senior leaning from an upstairs window of University Hall. He was in his pajamas.

Meantime, Ballard, who loved to show his[Pg 98] power, had stepped arrogantly into the ring saying, "Do you hear what I say, you little fool! Pick up that brush and get to work."

"Heads out, everybody, heads out! Lots of fun," cried the sleepy-looking Senior.

Windows began to open and frowsy heads and yawning faces to stick out from all over the University Place side of the big building.

Lee thought, with true loyal horror, of how, if he should do as Ballard said, the Sophomores would taunt him forever afterward. He fancied how his own classmates would feel about it when they heard that their secretary had aided in posting those scurrilous proclamations. But what was there to do? He had only one classmate with him and there were a dozen Sophomores about him—no, eleven, for the twelfth was now standing close beside him, shaking a big fist in his face and saying, "See here, you little fool, are you going to do what I tell you or not?"

Little Lee calmly looked up into Ballard's face and said, "No, and you can't make me."[Pg 99]

"You'll see whether I can make you or not," returned Ballard, and with that he grabbed the little fellow by the coat-collar and shaking him back and forth roared, "Now, you little fool, you paste that proc or I'll paste you on the jaw with this fist." Possibly he really meant to do it, but, at any rate, he did not, for just then Young cried: "No, you won't, Ballard! No, you won't! Don't you shake him that way; don't you lay hands on him; don't you touch him." The voice was very high and earnest.

"Yea-a. Good enough for you, big Freshman." The upper-classmen were becoming interested. By this time in the windows across the street were about twenty lookers-on. Ballard knew that, and he was a Sophomore. Young was a Freshman. He laughed scornfully. "What have you got to do with it, you big, overgrown baby?"

"I'll show you what I've got to do with, you big bully." Young's voice trembled. "Let go that boy," and much to everyone's astonishment the Freshman took hold of the[Pg 100] Sophomore very much as Ballard had hold of Lee.

At this, Ballard, in sheer astonishment that any Freshman should have the audacity to touch him, Ballard, the centre rush of the Sophomore team, dropped Lee, wrenched away from Young and whirled around toward him with fist drawn up in fighting position, dancing up and down, and saying, "You impudent pup of a Freshman, you impudent pup!"

["Yea-a! big scrap!" shouted those upstairs—"Aw! Freshman's afraid."]

Now, Young considered himself the better man, but all he wanted was to make Ballard let go of Lee, and he had succeeded.

["Aw! Freshman's bluffed out—too bad!"]

Ballard had turned once more toward Lee. "Get to work," he bawled.

Lee stood still.

Ballard drew back as if to demolish the little fellow. "Now," he began—but just then in ran Young. His unclenched hands were stuck out awkwardly in front of him;[Pg 101] it made the upper-classmen in the windows shout with laughter; some of the Sophomores in the ring giggled excitedly. Young did not hear it. He guarded off one blow, was struck on the chest by the second, dodged the third—and as he ducked, he plunged in and grappled.

They clinched and began to wrench and twist and scuffle about the ring; the rest of the Sophomores falling back to keep out of the way whenever the two big fellows came over too near the edge.

Now, Young was no boxer, but he had, like many another country boy, wrestled ever since he first put on trousers, and he had not forgotten all his tricks. He made a feint as if to try a hip throw, then slipped his arms down on Ballard, twisted his feet around, threw his chin and his weight forward, and down they both came, Young on top, while the voices up in University Hall yelled approvingly: "The Freshman is doing him! the Freshman is doing him!" This made Ballard beside himself with rage.

But Young having proved himself the better[Pg 102] man, released Ballard quickly, jumped up, stepped across to Lee, and in a sober manner was saying, "Now, Lee, I think——" when a staggering blow from Ballard's fist on the half-turned face nearly upset Young, who was entirely unprepared for this unexpected attack; he might have fallen but for Lee.

Up to this point Young, though very much in earnest, had been quite cool and deliberate. But now, with the cowardly blow stinging on his face, he became infuriated. He turned and charged at Ballard like one of the bulls on his father's farm, with his head down and regardless of consequences. His eyes were wide open and teeth set. His fury gave him double strength.

Paying no more attention to Ballard's blows than to so many raindrops, he dived down and grasped him around the middle, lifted him up, got him on the right hip, and whirled him over and down upon the ground between the sidewalk and the curbstone, a full, clean throw.

The men up in the windows were now[Pg 103] really excited, "Good enough, Freshman! good enough! Served him right! Do it again!"

That was just what Young, with teeth set and nostrils distended, was proceeding to do, though not because they told him to, for he was now oblivious to everything but showing Ballard that there was a limit to hazing and to Freshman meekness!

Up went Ballard's legs in the air once more with the enraged Freshman's long, strong arms locked tightly about him. And again he came down hard upon the ground. And he had barely got to his feet when in rushed the Freshman again with his head down, and for the third time Ballard was thrown flat and fair. This time it was in the gutter, and it was lucky for Ballard that it was full of leaves, for Young fell heavily on top of him.

Up to this point Ballard's classmates had been busy keeping out of the way of his whirling heels. Now they began to realize that they were becoming disgraced; something must be done. Channing was calling,[Pg 104] excitedly, "Get in there, somebody; don't let a Freshman do that, fellows," while he himself kept well out of the way.

Perhaps they did not admire Ballard for what he had done, but he was their classmate. One of the bigger fellows dashed in and got Young by the legs and began to pull. Quick as a flash little Lee ran in and immediately tripped him up. No one had been watching Lee. Another Soph. slipped in and pulled Lee off. A couple of them held him. Then the others began grabbing Young's arms and legs. He held on like a bull-dog. One man was sitting on his head. Two were on his body. Ballard was wriggling and swearing. He got one arm over Young's neck.

"Here, here, give the Freshman a show; give him fair play!" cried some authoritative voices. It was some Juniors and Seniors hurrying out from University Hall—some half-dressed and some not dressed at all.

They ran across the street and brushed Sophomores right and left, saying, "Get off there—get off there, I tell you!"[Pg 105]

Some Sophomores jumped up; others were pulled off.

"Ballard has hurt his ankle! Ballard has hurt his ankle—let him up." It was Channing's shrill voice.

"Well, if he's hurt let him up," said the Juniors. The Freshman was still on top.

"Get off, Freshman, you did him; Ballard has hurt his ankle."

Young jumped up quickly. "Is he hurt?" he asked, panting, and looking around; he was amazed to see so many people about him. He had an ugly bruise under his left eye, where Ballard had hit him; he didn't feel it now.

Ballard had hastily jumped up. He did not look at Young; he did not say a word. He was panting hard; he leaned on Channing's arm and limped quickly and quietly away. The other Sophomores followed behind; none of them looked back. There was a dramatic silence.

"He's not much hurt," said a Junior who knew Ballard of old, and he was right, for before the Sophomores quite reached the[Pg 106] corner Ballard had stopped limping and was walking as well as anybody. "Say, Channing," another upper-classman called after them, "how about that spanking?" and before the small Sophomore was out of earshot he had the pleasure of hearing the upper-classman begin a narration which was received with squeals and shouts of laughter.


Before curfew rang in Old North at the close of that day the whole college was talking about it.

Meanwhile Young, in the centre of another ring, was sitting on the curbstone panting like a good fellow. Lee was bending over him mopping his face with his own handkerchief and patting him on the back and laughing excitedly.

"Are you hurt, old man?" asked one of the Juniors.

Young shook his head.

"What's his name?" asked one of the others.

"Young's his name," answered little Lee, proudly, like the exhibitor of something rare.

"Well, he's a good one," said one of the new arrivals. Others were hurrying down the steps of University Hall and across the street every moment; they all asked questions.[Pg 107] Several of the first arrivals were telling the new arrivals all about it, with gestures.

"Tried to make the big fellow paste procs," one man was saying, while another was crying: "But you ought to have seen that beautiful spanking last night! Oh, dear! I'll never forget Channing's look when...."

The big roll of proclamations, by the way, which had been lying on the ground, had disappeared. Some of the new arrivals were Freshmen, and Lee, who had hidden it under his coat, gave it to them to carry away. First they tore down all the procs that were in sight. A Junior picking up a piece was reading aloud, "the meek butt of all classes."

"This is 'the meek butt of all classes,'" said Lee, laughing.

Young got up from the curbstone.

"Come on, Lucky," he said, "we'll have to hurry to meet those other fellows on the way from Trenton."

Lee tried to help him up; Young would not allow it. But as they started off Lee insisted on putting his arm about him.[Pg 108]

"What! that big, awkward-looking chap?" Young heard a new arrival ask one of the others. Then just as they reached the corner Lee and Young suddenly heard:

"Ray, ray, ray! Tiger, siss, boom, ah! 'Meek butt of all classes!'" It was the Juniors giving a cheer for him in the early dawn.

Lee turned around and waved his hand at them. Young blushed, but did not turn his head. Lee reached up and lifted Young's hat to them, which made the others laugh. It made Young laugh a little, too. Then they turned the corner and were out of the crowd.

Before curfew rang in Old North at the close of that day the whole college was talking about it: "Big green Freshman ... thought he didn't dare say his soul was his own.... That irrepressible little Channing, first ... worm turned ... yes, on the third floor of University—Bob Ellis saw the whole thing himself ... caught big Freshman this morning with Lee—yes, that nice little fellow.... Sophs undertook[Pg 109] to make him paste procs—no, Lee first.... Little one was game.... Big Bally—yes, went at Lee.... Big Freshman turned on Bally—Bally punched him—um, right up here, under eye, a nasty one—then big, meek Freshman.... Oh, my! lovely!——"

Only in the telling it became twenty or thirty Sophomores, and it was over a fence that Ballard was thrown.

Deacon Young was a hero now.[Pg 110]



Several weeks had passed since Deacon Young had become a class hero, and a great many things had happened.

The Freshmen had published and posted their own proclamations since then (with a good crack on a man named Ballard), and the Sophomores had torn them down, long ago. The Ninety-blank class football team had been started, and Young was trying for the position of right guard—and finding football not so much a matter of mere muscle as it looked; the class glee club had been organized; a great many friendships had begun; nearly everybody had joined Whig or Clio Hall (whether they cared to debate or not); and they were all becoming thoroughly accustomed to being at college and had begun to love it. But Freshman Young was not yet[Pg 111] accustomed to having people treat him with so much consideration, and he did not know quite what to make of it.

It was still amazing to him that such a comparatively small matter could make such a difference in the way he was regarded. One day he was the most obscure and despised man in the Freshman class, and the next day—he was the most talked of character on the campus. He did not wake up to find himself famous; he had become famous all in a minute, before he had a chance to go to sleep. Ever since, it had been, "How are you, old man," from the very ones who used to laugh and say, "Here comes 'Thank you marm.'" Prominent fellows in the class who formerly merely nodded to him, said, "You must drop up to my room some evening." The Sophomores bothered him no more; Channing and Ballard—somehow they were always looking in the other direction when Young met them on the walk. Even upper-classmen said, "Hello there, Young," condescendingly but pleasantly, and that fellow Linton stopped him one day and congratulated[Pg 112] him. "Only," he added, puffing his pipe, "only don't get stuck on yourself, Young."

"Hello-o-o, Deacon, hold up a minute," called Minerva Powelton one day on the way from Recitation Hall. "Say, Deacon, old man, come over to my room, I want to talk to you." He threw an arm carelessly over one of the Deacon's good shoulders.

"It's about something important," he said in an undertone as they passed between the Bulletin Elm and Old Chapel, where the crowd was always thickest. More than one Freshman, looking on, wished he could be on such familiar footing with Young. There were others who wished they could be thus sought out by Powelton.

It was right here, Young remembered, Powelton put this same arm in the same way about Lee that day he first heard about the proclamations. Powelton ignored Young that day. But that was before the Ballard episode.

"Deacon," said Powelton, when they had reached the latter's room—everyone called[Pg 113] him "Deacon" now, and he liked it—"a crowd of us fellows are getting up a new eating-club, so we can all be together; at present, you know, the gang is scattered all over town. We thought we'd go some place where we could have an extra room to loaf and read the papers in, like the upper-classmen clubs, besides getting better grub, even if we have to pay a little more for it. There'll be Lucky, of course, and Stevie and Todd—Polk would come, only he has been taken to the 'Varsity training table" (that was the football man who was next to Young in the rush), "and White, and, well the whole gang of us, you know, and we want you to join us. It's the best crowd in the class, all right enough, even if I do say it myself."

"Much obliged for asking me," Young interrupted, "but I can't afford it."

A few weeks ago Young would have given some other excuse, or would have blushed and hemmed and hawed before he got out this one. And a few weeks before, the other Freshman might not have known how[Pg 114] to reply to it: but they had both gained some new ideas since they came to college, and also had lost some old ones, which is equally important.

"Lucky told me you were hard up this year," Powelton said, as if he were often equally hard up himself. "As I was going on to ask, what would you say to managing the club—would you mind the bother? Then it wouldn't cost you a cent. It wouldn't be much bother. Somebody's got to run it, and we want somebody that's congenial. Come on, won't you?"

"Well, Minerva," said Young, finally, "I'll think about it and tell you."

"That's right. Think it over. You've got a week to make up your mind in. So long."

"Thank you for asking me. Good-by."

Young had no objections to managing a club; that was not the reason he hesitated. It was because he did not agree with Powelton that the fellows named were the best crowd in the class. In fact, he did not approve of most of them, and some of them[Pg 115] seemed not to realize what they had been sent to college for.

He walked on to his room, debating the matter, and finally wrote a letter to his mother.

"Dear Mother:

"... The sixteen fellows composing the proposed club are the most prominent men in the class. It is a great compliment to be asked to join them, I suppose, and what is more important, I should be saving money by it. But although they are all nice to me, I do not altogether like them—except that little fellow, Lee, I told you about, and one or two others.

"To be sure, I do not know much about them, but I know enough to know they do not study much—or 'pole,' as we call it—and more than that, some of them—well, I don't think you would like them. Now my friends at my present eating-club all study hard and have a definite aim in life. They are helpful and congenial friends. I should not like to leave them. They say they would hate to have me go, too. But they also say I would be foolish, for financial reasons, not to accept the offer."

When Mrs. Young read this letter, she at first wanted to say, "keep out of fast company, whatever you do!" But on second thoughts she saw that if Will did not embrace[Pg 116] this opportunity he might not be able to stay in college at all—and as for the new associates, she knew that her boy was no weakling. Finally she agreed with Will's friends that he would be foolish to let the chance go by, and wrote immediately, saying so. "And your own conduct will be a good example to the others," she wrote.

Will had already made up his mind that way before receiving this letter, and felt so glad and relieved about it that he played very well at right guard that day; twice he broke through and stopped the opposing quarter-back from passing the ball, and was duly applauded by those watching from the terrace behind Witherspoon Hall. He was commended even by Nolan, the Junior who coached the team. "Now that you're learning to use your weight," said Nolan, "you're improving a little. By next year you will know something about the game; by Junior year you might run a chance of making the 'Varsity." And this was a good deal for a reserved man like Nolan to say, and quite enough to make Young's[Pg 117] heart beat faster, though it was going pretty fast already from the hard exercise.

"Wait a minute, Young," said the Freshman captain, "we're going to let you stay at right guard. Come up to my room to-night and get measured for your suit." This meant that he was no longer trying for the Freshman eleven, but had earned his place upon it. So he dog-trotted back to his room, feeling exuberant and strong and hopeful, and very glad that he had determined to run the new club. "Well, it's beginning to look now as if I might get through the year," he said to himself as he jogged along. "Haven't any board to pay now, and if I get through this year, I guess I can manage as a Sophomore all right. There's the Freshman $200 prize—I run a chance at winning that at the end of the year; and I'll still have this club next year. I'll still have tuition remitted. Perhaps I can get one of those rooms in Old North: the rent is free there, and the rooms are big, too; and maybe I can get some newspapers to correspond for, or else I can get some tutoring. Oh, I'll manage[Pg 118] somehow, all right, if I'm careful. Then, what'll father say?"

Panting and perspiring he hurried upstairs to his room, sponged off and rubbed down with witch-hazel, put on dry clothes, and then walked over to the club—the old club still; the new one was not to begin till next week—glowing and glad to be alive.

They all shouted, "Yea-a-a, Deacon!" at him when he came in, and jumped up to congratulate him on making the team and pounded him on the back, for Barrows had overheard what the captain said. Young could tell from their manner that they were genuinely glad of his success.

After eating a huge meal with his congenial clubmates he returned to his room, spent a studious evening with Xenophon, went to bed and slept like a bear, or rather like a healthy young athlete that is in perfect condition and has a clear conscience. Oh, these were happy days!

The next day Young made the arrangements with a woman in Nassau Street who was famous for good cooking, secured two[Pg 119] fine front rooms, subscribed for a number of New York and Philadelphia daily papers, and showed Powelton, the president of the club, and the other members of the Board of Directors, how skilful he was in business affairs. His experience in the bank helped him here.


They had a dignified negro waiter, and they dined in the evening and it all seemed very fine and luxurious.

On the following Wednesday he took his place at the head of the table. "The Invincibles" the club called itself, and they had a dignified negro waiter and they dined in the evening, and it all seemed very fine and luxurious to Young. He missed Barrows and old Jim Wilson, the long, thin fellow who was studying for the ministry, and he felt a little abashed at first before these more noisy, jolly fellows. He was afraid they would think him very green.

But they respected him all the more for being quiet, and his soberness of mien, which had formerly made him ridiculous, now impressed these fellows as something fine. They were younger than he.

"He doesn't say much," one of them remarked after the first day at the new club.[Pg 120]

"No," said another, "but when the time comes he can act."

"He's matured, and has reserved strength and all that. You can see it in his face." That was Lucky Lee, who had reason for admiring Young's strength.

Naturally it was quite flattering to Young—and so it would be to you or me—to find these fellows of whom he had been half afraid, treating him as if they were half afraid of him. He could not help discerning how pleased some of the younger members were to find themselves walking to chapel or recitation with the right guard of the class team—"the man that did up Ballard." Nor could he help being pleased at it.

And, Young soon decided, they were not such a bad lot as he had at first thought. Undoubtedly they were not a poling crowd and perhaps some of them were "sporty," but not so many of them as he had feared. College was a great place to broaden your mind, he concluded.

However, as he remarked to some of his former clubmates, when they asked how he[Pg 121] liked the new crowd: "They may be doing a great many things when I'm not around that I don't know anything about. Sometimes at the other end of the table they make references to things, and they seem not to want me to understand. I know the other day when I came in late from football practice, I heard one of 'em say, 'Shut up, Billy, here comes the Deacon!'"

And this shows why Wilson, the man studying for the ministry, told Young, when alone, "Deacon, you have an excellent opportunity for exercising a steadying, sobering influence upon that set of gay, thoughtless fellows—they all respect you heartily."

The Divisional examinations came along soon after the organization of the club, and Young was in great demand by those taking the academic course like himself. Few of the Invincibles had studied conscientiously during the preceding weeks. They had rather prided themselves on not being "greasy polers" as they called fellows like Young's former clubmates, but now they[Pg 122] were all poling at a great rate themselves, and some of them declared they would not get through, though to Young's amazement they seemed not to care whether they were to be conditioned or not; they considered it a joke.

Perhaps one or two of them would not have passed, if it had not been for Young. "The old Deacon is a valuable man to have around," said Billy Drew. Most of them landed in the lower divisions, but one of them proved quite a wonder to Young. His name was Todd, and he had never opened a book, apparently, since the term began. To Young's knowledge he took long walks into the country—up over the hills to the north of town—every afternoon after examination instead of studying, and invariably he was the first to finish his paper and leave the examination-room. And yet when the lists of divisions were posted, much to everyone's surprise, Todd's name was in the First division—along with Young's.

They jokingly called him "Poler Todd," and made him treat the whole club to cigars[Pg 123] on the way back from dinner. Apparently he was as much surprised as anyone, but he seemed not to care very much, and the dignified Deacon did not know what to make of him. Young himself felt very much gratified over his success and wrote home to the minister about it, and confided to him, that he was going to try to capture the Freshman First Honor prize. The minister wrote back a fine, long letter, wishing him success and congratulating him on his progress, and also upon his making the team. Will had no idea the minister would be so pleased over athletic success.

So, every day now it was, "Deacon, how many lines of Homer do we have to-day?" "How do you demonstrate this, Deacon?"

At first he liked to have them appeal to him, but after awhile it became a little tiresome; not that he minded the trouble—it was no trouble; but he did not like to be thought of only as a man who always knew where the lesson was. He began to wish they would treat him more in the hail-fellow well-met way they treated each other.[Pg 124] With Todd, for instance, they were as familiar and free and easy as they were with Billy Drew, and yet Todd was a First division man, like Young. Sometimes he found himself watching them after dinner, and it was a matter of wonder to him how Todd could always answer Powelton back, with a witty piece of repartee, quick as a flash, without looking up from the dessert-plate at which he was aiming tobacco-smoke. Somehow, Will thought, he would like to be able to do that way.

The truth was they did not dare to be familiar with Young; they respected him too much. Sometimes he felt tired of cold respect and wanted warm liking.

You see he was a hero to these boys. You and I know that he was made of flesh and blood, and weakness and strength, like the rest of us.[Pg 125]



The great Yale-Princeton football game, which took place during the Thanksgiving holidays in New York, was now a matter of history—and of rejoicing, to one side. But as all those interested in football know which side won the championship that year, it is not necessary to recount the game and rub it into the losers.

Everyone, almost, had gone to see the great contest and to cheer for the team, and Princeton seemed as deserted as in mid-summer. The Invincibles secured a huge four-in-hand coach and were half frozen driving up Fifth Avenue to the game; but they had the privilege, granted to Freshmen on such occasions only, of wearing the sacred orange and black—yards of it, hung all over their hats, their clothes, the coach, the driver, and the horses.[Pg 126] They cheered themselves voiceless, and had a time they were never to forget.

The Freshman team had played the Columbia University Freshmen in the morning, and had no difficulty in defeating them by a large score. Right Guard Young put up a very fair, steady game, the critics said, but had no chance to make any brilliant play, as he had hoped.

But the Deacon felt very big and important when his exultant classmates ran out at the close of the game and carried him and the rest of the eleven off the field on their shoulders, cheering for each player by name.

He felt less important in the afternoon, when the great contest, the event of the day, took place; he wondered if many of those flocking in realized that he was Right Guard Young of the Freshman team; again he feared that he looked like the big green farmer that he did not want people to think he was.

The enormous grand-stands and bleachers, and the coaches and carriages, and even the neighboring houses were jammed with thousands[Pg 127] and thousands of eager human beings, wearing violets or chrysanthemums; and some of the old grads had come from as far as the Pacific coast to see this manly match, which was to decide the championship of the two best football teams in the western hemisphere. Young had never before seen so many people at once—"more than the population of the whole county you're in," he wrote to his brother Charlie—and never before had he been so thrilled as when long Jack Stehman made his famous tackle after that Yale half-back had dodged past all the rest of the Princeton team.... But the game and its noise and victory and defeat were all over now, and the two universities had returned to go on where each had left off before Thanksgiving.

Big Freshman Young had to go on along very pleasant lines, enviable lines they seemed to many a Freshman who longed in vain to be prominent and popular, and a member of the dashing Invincibles; but the Deacon had his worries. It had been very[Pg 128] fine at first to be looked up to and admired, but the novelty had worn off by this time, and he had been hoping and hoping that his table-mates would soon begin to act toward him in the same easy, familiar, good-fellow way they acted toward each other. Why they had not, he failed to understand; he knew it wasn't because he was poor and ran the club; he wondered if it was because he had not prepared for college at a large school, and hence was green and ignorant of the ways of the world. That was one of the things that had off and on worried him, but that was not the worst; that was not what was making him stay awake at night thinking. It was that alarming question of money bobbing up again.

He had supposed that with the club to run, which wiped out the largest item of expense, he would have enough to worry along with until something else turned up. But his account in the Princeton bank was slowly but surely being drained, and thus far nothing had turned up.

He had intended to be more economical,[Pg 129] but—well, for instance, the other Invincibles were always "blowing in" money for spreads in their rooms and all that; and Young did not like to accept favors without returning them. To be sure he might have declined their invitations occasionally, but he wanted to show them that the "dignified Deacon," as they called him, was not so terribly dignified and stiff, as they seemed to think. Then, too, when subscription lists were passed around for various purposes, and they came to him among the first as "one of the influential men of Ninety-blank," he felt that he ought to do his share; "it's my duty to the good old class," he said, "I hate stinginess, anyway."

As a matter of fact he had been doing more than his share, and it was the appearance of stinginess, possibly, that he hated even more than stinginess itself.

Now, he might easily have said: "Here, I can't afford this pace; you fellows get money from home—I have to earn mine, and so, much as I'd like to, I simply can't keep step with you—and that's all there is about it;"[Pg 130] he would have been liked none the less and respected all the more. "Why, certainly; you are dead right," they would have said. But he did not want to; he preferred to keep step, and did not like them to know how little money he had. It was nothing to be ashamed of, surely. It was not on account of money, as his own experience had shown him, that a man became popular or prominent.

More money had gone when he went to New York at Thanksgiving time. His expenses up and back were paid, of course, by the Freshman football fund, but Lucky Lee had invited him to stay over Sunday at his home there; and Young felt ashamed of his cut-away coat—though Lucky said, "Nonsense"—and so he bought something which he considered very magnificent at a large ready-made place on Broadway, together with some brilliant neckties, something like Billy Drew's, and a huge scarf-pin (but decided not to tell his mother how much they all cost, in the letter describing what a good time he had and how nice Mrs. Lee was).[Pg 131]

So, altogether, with the new term staring him in the face, and room-rent to pay, and books—though that was a small item compared to what he had "blown in" foolishly—it was beginning to look as if Deacon Young would have to hustle if he meant to stay in college much longer. "We'll see how long you stay there," his father had said.

"All right," thought Will, "we'll see! More fellows earn their way through college than the people out home have any idea of, and I think I'm as good as the next man. I'll talk to Barrows and Wilson and some of those quiet fellows about it."

But it was all very well to say: "Why, there's Dougal Davis in the Junior class who commands $2.50 an hour for tutoring, and there's Harris, the Senior, who sometimes makes as much as $20 in a week writing for the New York and Philadelphia papers;" it was easy enough to point out how many men made money in various other ways; no doubt many did; but that was just the trouble—so many did that all the opportunities seemed to be snapped up already.[Pg 132]

Now, a year hence, if he won the Freshman First Honor prize, he would not only have the $200 but, in consequence of his high stand, he could get all the tutoring he would want; but this year he was still a Freshman and there was no class below him to tutor. Next year, also, he would have some of those newspaper correspondences of Harris's. Young had already arranged for that—but this year Harris was still in college. Young might also get the agency for shoes, or athletic goods, or photographic supplies next year, or possibly the contract for issuing the programmes of the baseball and football and track athletic games; or, he might, as a Sophomore, publish syllabuses of the lecture courses (and sell them for a dollar each). In fact, now that he was on the field, he saw more ways of earning money while getting a college education than he had dreamed of—hundreds of ways, very good ways, if only he had hustled and availed himself of them at the beginning of the term. Other Freshmen had secured the jobs of distributing the Daily Princetonian[Pg 133] and The Nassau Literary Magazine and The Tiger, or had taken the agency for steam-laundries at Trenton, and so on, and so on, while he, who needed money more than most of them, had only spent it foolishly, had not earned a cent, had not done a thing for himself, but accept the club management which had, so to speak, been thrown into his lap—and this is what he kept telling himself as he walked to and from recitations, and repeated when he went to bed at night, and remembered when he awoke in the morning ... until—how time flies at college!—Christmas vacation was only a week off and still nothing had turned up. He couldn't go through another term this way.

Meanwhile what made it all the harder for Young was to watch the ease with which Lee and Powelton and the others with whom he sat down three times a day at the club, received their comfortable allowances from home.

"Ah!" they would say, cheerfully, when a check came fluttering out of a letter. All[Pg 134] they had to do to get money was to open envelopes and then sign their names. "You fellows," Young used to think as he watched them—"You fellows don't know how lucky you are." But of course he said nothing to them of what worried him. He was not that kind. They had great respect for his abilities and thought he could do anything. They did not guess what was going on in his mind these days, while they talked of the fun they were going to have during the holidays. "I can't bear to think of your being away from us at Christmas," wrote the Deacon's mother. "Perhaps," said Young to himself, "I sha'n't be away, after all."

Then he wondered what the fellows would think and what the people "out home" would say.

He knew just how his father would laugh at him, remarking, "I told you so," and how his mother, who kept everyone informed of how Will was getting on at college, would cry; for it would be as great a disappointment to her as to him. It would surprise[Pg 135] her, too, for he had not let her know how much he had spent, telling himself that it would only worry her unnecessarily, that when the time came he would pitch in and do something.

"Deacon," said Lucky Lee on the way to luncheon, "you're to come home with me for the holidays—at least mother says so in this letter. Course, I don't want you, but I'll obey my mother."

The sober Deacon laughed at the pleasantry, and thanked Lucky, but shook his head at the little fellow's repeated importunities. Young felt that he couldn't afford even to buy a ticket to New York and back.

His excuses were so lame, however, that the bright-eyed little Lucky suddenly got an inkling of what was the trouble. "Say, Deacon," he began when they were alone, "if you should ever get hard up, I hope you have decency enough to give your friends a chance to——"

Young blushed and shook his head.

"I don't mean particularly about this vacation," Lucky went on. "You're coming[Pg 136] home with me all right, if I have to carry you on my back all the way. I mean in general. For instance, if you—er—that is, well, blame it, we're good enough friends. If you are 'temporarily embarrassed,' as they say, when you come back after Christmas, you'll do what I would do if I were hard up, won't you? If you wouldn't you're no friend of mine."

"What would you do, Lucky?"

"I'd let you lend me some dough—naturally."

Young hesitated. "Lucky," he said, "I am hard up—don't tell anybody, but I'm mighty hard up. I'd rather leave college, though, than borrow money to stay here with."

But Young spent Christmas holidays with Lucky Lee in New York, and it turned out to be a very good thing that he did—not only on account of the temporary rest from worry.[Pg 137]



"Business is the systematic supplying of wants. When all visible wants are supplied, you must simply create new wants to satisfy. Patient willingness to do whatever turns up will only bring success when things turn up. Under the conditions of modern competition things seldom turn up of themselves."

Mr. Lee, Lucky's father, had said this one evening after dinner during the happy holidays; and Will remembered every word of it, not only because he had great respect for successful Mr. Lee's opinions, but because what he said seemed to apply to his own quandary. Mr. Lee seemed to have taken a fancy to Young, and talked to him frequently. Mrs. Lee liked him, too. She seemed to consider his preferring to eat his peas with a spoon a very small matter (though[Pg 138] Will himself blushed scarlet when he discovered his mistake). She said she was glad her son had chosen for one of his intimate friends a young man with so much maturity and character—this she said to Young himself—"And I know you will look after him," she said; "he's such an impressionable boy, but he admires you so much that you can influence him any way you desire."

The Deacon blushed and said he would try, but what Lucky's father said made more impression upon him at the time.

"When all the wants are satisfied you must simply create new wants." It seemed to Young that this ought to apply to the little world of college quite as well as to the big world of commerce of which Mr. Lee spoke. Every day as he walked to and from recitations through the campus, now muddy and monotonous after a wet snow, Young tried and tried and tried to think of some new want to satisfy.

Lucky said he was trying, too; but generally he forgot as soon as anyone yelled, "Hold up, there, Lucky!" and joined him[Pg 139] on the walk. It did not mean so much to him.

The Deacon was walking past Old Jimmy, the peanut-and fruit-vender, when the idea came to him. He suddenly stopped short, slapped his thigh, and said: "I've got it! I've got it!" That night he unfolded his scheme to Lucky, whose eyes grew big.

"Deacon, you're a dandy! But, say, are you sure it'll work?"

"Sure? No, I'm not sure it'll make much. But I'm sure I'll have to leave college, anyway, if I don't do something, and——"

"But why go to all the expense of the posters?"

"To advertise it, get 'em talking, create the want! That's the way to do business. And just now everything is dull in the college world—no athletics to distract attention."

"Well, I'll help you stick 'em up. It'll remind us of pasting procs, eh?"

One morning, a few days later, the whole University, on its way to and from recitations[Pg 140] and lectures, saw a poster on the Bulletin Elm. It had two black letters on it, C. C. There was nothing else there. They glanced at it, wondered what it meant, and passed on.

The next day a new one was there in letters twice as big, C. C. Again the college wondered what it meant; but this time some of them did not pass on until they had asked someone else, "What's that thing for?" "What's the meaning of that?" No one could answer.

A snow-storm washed it off during the afternoon.

A fresh one was put up the next morning.

"Here's that queer poster again," said the passers-by. "What's it for, anyway?"

"Nobody seems to know."

The next morning the same letters on larger-sized paper were found not only on the bulletin-board, but tacked up on all the available trees of the campus, and in the town on all the billboards, old barrels, tumble-down sheds, and stalled wagons. On the way to recitation, or lectures, every one saw C. C. half a dozen times. They saw it on[Pg 141] the tree-boxes along the street. When they took walks they saw it on old barns down toward Kingston.

Now at Princeton, what there is of a town is little more than a setting for the University. There are no outside distractions, such as theatres and the like, as at most large institutions of learning. The campus life is the only life, and the college students are dependent upon the college world for all their amusements and between-hour interests. Everyone keeps in touch with everything that is going on.

So when this poster with its brief legend continued to appear and reappear every day, and no one deciphered its meaning, the college began to get interested—all the more so because it was midwinter, and therefore neither football nor baseball was absorbing the undergraduate interest.

"What's going to happen?" everyone asked. "What's the meaning of this mystery?" And no one could answer.

The thing had now kept up for over a week. The Daily Princetonian commented[Pg 142] upon it. Even the faculty began to inquire, in a dignified way, as to "the meaning of those cabalistic symbols." The undergraduates had begun to make up words to fit, and rumors floated about the campus. "C. C.—college clowns," said someone; "it's to be a horse minstrel troupe."

"No, that's not it," said another, "it's Curious Customs:—a new book by a member of the faculty."

"What nonsense!" sneered a wise Senior, "it's only a hoax perpetrated by some under-classmen who think themselves funny; it isn't worth talking about," and he went on down to the club and talked half through dinner about it himself.

Those who considered themselves humorous began to make jokes about it. "Look, here," one would say, and the other would reply, "I C. C."

And now suddenly the posters disappeared. None could be found in any part of the town; Bronson, a Junior, paid half a dollar for one to put in his scrap-book. "What's become of it!" they asked.[Pg 143]

"C. C.—can't come," answered a funny man.

They were still talking about its disappearance when, a few days later, the posters again appeared, more of them than ever, and this time it was a poster to make the undergraduate world excited. It was in the college colors, for one thing, the paper being orange and the letters black. That alone was enough to lend fresh interest, but that was not the most important change. Under the letters C. C. were the words:


The Cannon is the centre of the front quadrangle and the hub of the campus life. At half-past twelve o'clock all the morning lectures and recitations of both upper and lower classes are over, and no one has anything immediate to attend to. The next day, by the time the bell in the Old North had finished announcing the noon hour, nearly the whole university found it convenient to be in the neighborhood of the Cannon.[Pg 144]

Old Jimmy Johnson, the ancient negro fruit-and peanut-vender, stood beside the Cannon, against which leaned his wheelbarrow heaped high with a mass of small orange-and-black objects, and over them waved an orange banner on which were two big black letters, C. C. That was all there was to look at; and old Jimmy was as silent and bored-looking as ever.

The crowd drew nearer. The orange-and-black things were small pasteboard boxes, shaped like miniature bricks. On one side of them was printed these words, "Made from the purest materials, in the most careful manner, by a secret receipt in the possession of Fraulein Hummel of New York." On the other side appeared the words, "Delicious College Caramels, five cents a box," and on either end, "C. C." Old Jimmy kept on looking solemn and silent.

At first the crowd seemed inclined to laugh—not at Jimmy or his load so much as at themselves, for being so worked up over a small affair. "Is that all it is?" everyone[Pg 145] thought, and some noisy Sophomores began to shout, in loud voices, "Sold!" "Leg-pull! Leg-pull!" "Let's go," said someone else; "all over!"

But curiosity had been whetted too strongly during the past fortnight not to have it satisfied as fully as possible. Besides, the boxes looked very neat, and the simple inscription on them sounded very attractive. Also it was several hours since breakfast; a number of fellows were observed to swallow something when reading the word "delicious."

First, three jocular Juniors, who prided themselves on always doing as they pleased, strode over to Jimmy's wheelbarrow, arm in arm, announcing to everybody as they did so, "We are going to have some C. C. We must have C. C.," and bought a box, which they proceeded to open, and the contents of which they ostentatiously and with much smacking of lips devoured before the assembled crowed.

"Oh, we like C. C.!" shouted the three Juniors. "Give us some more, Jimmy," and then they marched through the crowd[Pg 146] munching and saying, "We are the first to see C. C. We are the first to see C. C. Three cheers for C. C.!"

By this time several other Juniors, grinning to show they, too, were joking, went over to the wheelbarrow and put down five cents each.

Then other Juniors, then some of the Sophomores—who always like to do what Juniors do—and after that a few Freshmen, made bold to approach the wheelbarrow, and finally even a Senior or two, "just to see what they were like, anyway," sampled C. C., and they immediately stopped looking superior and remarked, "By Jove, they are good! Try them."

That was what everybody seemed to think, for within half an hour old black Jimmy, who almost turned white making change, found his wheelbarrow empty, and went toddling off to have it replenished; while the undergraduate body of the University of Princeton strolled off to its mid-day meal, chewing.

Two of the crowd who lagged behind[Pg 147] seemed pleased about something, and one was quietly punching the other in the ribs, and saying: "Well, well! Deacon, well, well! Your little scheme is certainly working, in spite of my prediction. I hope it will keep on working."

"Stop punching me, Lucky!" the Deacon said, but he laughed excitedly in spite of himself. "It'll keep on working all right, you see if it doesn't. There wasn't any good candy here, and all this needed was an introduction."

"Aren't you glad now you went home Christmas with me?" said Lucky, exultingly; "otherwise you wouldn't have heard us talking about that old woman and her bully caramels."

For a week or so C. C.'s were sold as fast as they could be supplied. They had become "the thing." Students munched them in their rooms, during their walks, on the way to lecture-rooms, and even inside. They sent them home to their sisters and to their roommates' sisters. They told the story in their letters, and their friends sent stamps and[Pg 148] requests for other packages of "those delicious things."

Of course the first boom died down, as Young knew it would; but there remained a good, steady, normal demand for them, and before long he had cleared, in all, $150.

"Now," thought Will Young, "I am going to lean back and enjoy life like Todd and the rest of them. Seems to me I have a right to."

Of course it had leaked out by this time, as such things always do, who was at the bottom of the C. C. business, and the college said: "What! that big, sober-looking green Freshman that did up Ballard? He's quite a boy, isn't he?"

Now, when this got around to the Invincibles, and so to Will Young, he only scowled and thought: "I don't see why they still call me green. I should think by this time"—then he looked down the table. "Are you coming up to get in the game this evening?" he heard Billy Drew murmur to Minerva Powelton.

They did not ask the Deacon, and for[Pg 149] some reason the Deacon resented it. Why? A few months ago he would have resented it if they had asked him.

One wet, muddy day toward the end of the winter two dignified Juniors, Jimmy Linton, the philosopher, and Billy Nolan, the football man, were walking across the quadrangle to a four o'clock lecture.

"Billy," said Linton, "a Freshman is a funny thing. You never can tell how they are going to turn out. See that fellow ahead there?"

"Why, that's Young the Freshman guard. Say, Jim, that boy's going to make the Varsity before he gets out of college."

Linton said, "He may make the team, but he's going to make a fool of himself first."

"How do you mean?"

"Oh, it's the same old story," Linton smiled. "He's in with a sporty crowd and is beginning to try to act the way they do. He's a Freshman."

Nolan shook his head. "You're stuck on your ability to size people up, but I don't believe Young's that sort of a fool."[Pg 150]

"No, and he doesn't, either. That's just the trouble. It's coming on him unconsciously. You see he's heard his table-mates talk so much about things he used to abhor that he's got accustomed to them, and he's ceased to abhor them. But he doesn't stop there; they seldom do, you know. You can tell by his walk that his way of looking at things has changed."

"But, Jim, Young's not such a kid."

"He wouldn't be, but, you see, he's had too much success in too many ways—it has dazzled and rattled the young man from the country. Success has turned his head. He's flattered at being taken up by these prominent young sporty Freshmen, and he doesn't know how to let well enough alone."

"You mean——"

"I mean that he wants to get clear 'in it.' He doesn't want to be considered a big, green giant. He wants to make himself like the rest of the—Invincibles, I think they call themselves. That is the way to be a college man, he thinks."

"Well," said Nolan, "can you account for[Pg 151] the way people in general, not only here in college, but in the big, outside world—people that ought to know better, people you'd never expect it of—can you account for their making fools of 'emselves to stand in with the crowd? Asses!"

Then these two moralizers changed the subject to baseball. Both thought of taking an early opportunity of giving the big Freshman a friendly tip, for they knew him well enough by this time. And both went off and forgot; and if it recurred to them, they put it off till they "felt more like it."

What had Deacon Young actually done? Oh, nothing at all, or next to nothing. Billy Drew one morning at breakfast was telling about his experience of the night before, and then stopped suddenly when Young entered the room.

"Go on, I want to hear the rest of it," said the Deacon, smiling broadly. "I heard the first part while I was taking off my coat in the hall. Go on." So Drew went on in the grinning, boastful way of a certain sort of Freshman, with his account of how he fell[Pg 152] upstairs, and how he tried to catch the bed as it whirled around.

Some of them began to chuckle. Lucky Lee looked at Young; so did one or two of the others. Young knew they were looking at him. Here was his chance to show them he was not so stiff and sober and green as they imagined. He leaned back in his chair and laughed heartily. Then Lucky Lee and the rest of the table laughed heartily.

And after that no one took pains to keep things away from the Deacon again. That seems a very little thing, but, as Linton said, he was not very likely to stop there.[Pg 153]



The winter, with its jolly long evenings about cosey fire-places, was over, and the Freshman-Sophomore snowball fight was almost forgotten. The University baseball candidates had left the "Cage" and were practising outdoors on the diamond. The glorious spring term had come, and the Seniors had begun twilight singing on the steps of Old North. The elms were putting on their new leaves; the undergraduates their new flannel trousers.

The Invincibles were on their way from the club, to stretch out under the old elms and hear the Seniors sing the old songs.

Powelton was saying: "I don't see why you are so anxious to put him up for any office. To tell the truth, the old chump has been disgusting me lately."[Pg 154]

"I'm not anxious," returned Todd, "but you see, he'll take with the poling element."

"But will he, now? He isn't such a gospel shark as we all thought at first."

"Of course, he's no saint, but they don't know anything about the Deacon, except his high stand and his serious-looking face, and the reputation he made with that C. C. business. Now, as we're running you and Ashley for president and vice-president, I think it would be foxy to put up somebody like the old Deacon for the secretary-treasurership." It was drawing near the time for the election of class officers for the next year, and Todd was somewhat of a politician.

"Maybe you're right, but I don't care to serve with him. He's so uncouth."

Powelton need not have worried about that; he did not have to serve with Young. Powelton was not elected; Young was the only nominee of the Invincibles that was.

The club had gained a reputation, not altogether deserved, for snobbishness. They were also considered, rightly perhaps, the[Pg 155] sportiest crowd in the class; and either of these is dangerous, and the two together are fatal to a crowd's chances when it comes to class elections. Besides, the Invincibles had been running class affairs long enough, and the class thought it would be just as well to distribute authority and prominence.

The Invincibles had made the error of taking it for granted that they would continue to run the class, and bitter was their chagrin when they found how very mistaken they were. They did not know how to take it; for several days nobody said very much at the table; they only looked glum and sour—except Deacon Young.

"Oh, cork up that tuneless whistle," growled Minerva Powelton; "you make too much noise." They were familiar with him now.

Young laughed noisily, but kept on whistling and looked about the table, as he had seen the others do. Then lighting a cigar, he arose, said, "So long, fellows—see you later," and walked up the street with his hands deep in his pockets, his body inclined[Pg 156] forward in a kind of slouch, like a certain upper-classman he admired.

"Look at him," said Powelton from the window. "My, but he makes me tired when he tries to do the dead-game act."

He made them all more or less tired, though most of them liked him somewhat still, but in a very different way now. He was not a hero any more.

He tried to make himself as much like them as he could, but he had only succeeded in seeming unlike himself. They had not expected or wanted him to be like them.

They laughed at him, behind his back and to his face.

He tried harder.

They laughed more. He did not realize why.

There were a great many things that he did not realize. When he was nominated for the secretary-treasurership, as Powelton now felt like telling him, it was not because they wanted him, but because the club wanted the office. And neither did he realize that he was elected chiefly because of his[Pg 157] good reputation, now undeserved, with the despised quiet fellows of the class.

All he realized was that he, William Young, who had started out a poor, ridiculed nonentity from the country, had conquered the famous bully of the Sophomore class, had won a place as right guard of the Freshman team, had been sought out by the Invincibles, had earned enough money to take him through the year, and, finally, had been elected the secretary and treasurer of the great class of Ninety-blank by popular vote. It was the very office formerly held by the admired Lucky Lee. It was ill that was needed to turn his head.

So he strutted about and looked patronizingly down on his old friends Barrows and Wilson, and blew smoke in their faces, telling himself how narrow-minded they were.

You see, he came to the Invincibles a hero dizzy with success. It is hard on anyone to be a hero, and success had proved too much for him. Instead of doing the Invincibles good, as he had intended, they had done him harm, as they surely never intended. It was[Pg 158] such a pity. He could have made a very different thing of the whole club if he had only used his influence in the right way.

But this was another thing he did not realize; at least not until a little later. And then he did not have the influence.[Pg 159]



Although Deacon Young was trying so hard to do the "dead-game act," the Freshman First Honor prize was still a matter of daily effort with him. He was really working exceedingly hard for it. He pretended that he was not working at all.

He was nearly always with the "crowd" in the evenings and was frequently seen wandering around as aimlessly as the rest of them during the day. That was the way he kept from being called a poler.

2 A.M. 2 A.M.

However, after saying good night ... he would sneak off to his room, tie a wet towel around his head, and pole....

However, after saying good-night yawningly to the other fellows, he would sneak off to his room, tie a wet towel around his head, and pole until 2 a.m. He utilized half-holidays when the others were reading or were off running hare and hounds, or taking long rambles across country, or canoeing up the Millstone, or shooting with the gun club,[Pg 160] or paying visits to the neighboring cities; also he had dropped out of literary Hall work entirely, took little exercise, and devoted to his curriculum studies even the spare time he had formerly put in at miscellaneous reading. That was the way he kept up his high stand in class.

So, as the fellows would see him with the idlers until bedtime at night, and then heard of his making recitations as good as "Poler" Barrows in the morning, it was no wonder that some began to think him a "phenomenon" like Todd. That was what Young wanted them to think. He thought a great deal about what others thought about him—a great deal too much, some of his more intimate associates decided one evening, while waiting for him in Minerva Powelton's room.

"No, don't begin yet," Powelton was saying. "I promised the Deacon we'd wait for him."

"I don't see why he is always so anxious to get in the game," said Billy Drew, inhaling cigarette-smoke. "I don't believe he really enjoys it very much."[Pg 161]

"The trouble with the Deacon," said Todd, "is that he is too much afraid of your opinion. If he hadn't got so bored when we called him dignified he wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place of trying to be a dead-game, you know. It isn't his style to be that, so he was guyed and laughed at. But instead of bracing up and being like himself, he sticks it on all the harder. He thinks to win favor that way. That's the plain English of it."

"Aw, you make me tired!" said Lee, good-naturedly. "Somehow, lately, you're always preaching. The Deacon wants a little recreation, like the rest of us. That's all. He has plenty of good stuff in him."

"Plenty," said Todd. "Trouble is, he doesn't let it out."

The door opened.

"Yea! Deacon," said the others.

"Been doing the poler act on the sly again, have you?" asked Powelton, throwing a sofa cushion at him.

"Naw. Hello there, Lucky! You here? Going to get in the little game this evening,[Pg 162] hey?" said Young, smiling. "Toddie, you are, aren't you?"

"No, thanks," said Todd, arising and stretching himself.

"'Fraid, are you?" asked Young.

Todd laughed contemptuously. "I'm not afraid to have you think I'm afraid, if it gives you any pleasure; it doesn't hurt me. Lucky, are you coming with me?"

"No," said Lee, looking at the Deacon, "I reckon I'll stay awhile."

"Come on, Lucky," Todd said.

Lee shook his head.

Todd turned, watched the others a moment, while they got out the cards and chips, and drew up their chairs to the table; then, smiling quizzically at Young, he took his hat and left the room.

Now Young may not have been poling just before he arrived, but together with late hours and lack of exercise, he looked as pale and haggard as the hardest poler in college. And by the strong light opposite him, as he sat playing at the table, a fellow like Linton might have fancied he saw other lines in his[Pg 163] face—unpleasant lines that meant something besides hard study and lack of exercise.

Somehow, at this game, he did not look like the same Deacon Young who trotted home from football practice last fall, glowing and glad to be alive.

The attitude of most of the club toward the class at large was very much what Young's was toward Barrows and Wilson and those fellows. The Invincibles had been frowned upon by the class for being "sporty"; consequently they hated the class. Instead of changing their conduct, they became "sportier" than ever, and they were fast gaining a reputation throughout the college world, and they considered themselves very dangerous.

The poker game went on. It was getting late, but nobody noticed that.

"Whose deal is it?"

"Mine," said Lucky, picking up the cards with a nervous hand; he began to shuffle them.

Powelton smiled in his superior way. "Look at Lucky's fingers twitch," he said. The others laughed, and Young added, indulgently,[Pg 164] "The little boy will get over that in time."

Lee was dealing, and he was too much excited to hear or reply to this sally; it was 1 a.m. of the first night he had ever played cards for money in his life, and with a beginner's luck he had been winning all evening.

"Can you open it, Tommy?" asked Lee, the dealer.

"Nope," said Stevens.

"I can't," said Powelton.

"Can you, Deacon?"

"No, of course not."

"Can you, Billy?"

Drew shook his head.

"No," said Jones, without waiting to be asked.

"Sweeten it up, then," said Powelton.

"Wait a minute," said Lee. "I can. Who's coming in?" He giggled excitedly.

Three of the six simply laid down their hands hopelessly. "I never saw such luck," one of them said.

Young hesitated a moment "I guess I'll[Pg 165] come in," he said finally. "Four cards please." He puffed on an extinguished cigar-butt.

"Well, well! the Deacon's got nerve," said Drew.

"Oh! he's getting to be an old hand," said Minerva Powelton, winking.

"See how coolly he picks up his cards," remarked Billy Drew.

Young paid no attention to these remarks. He was cool outwardly, but it was the coolness of desperation. He had been losing all the evening as steadily as Lucky had been gaining. But you see he was not a beginner now; he had played five or six times and felt himself, as they said, an old hand at it, and he too had laughed at Lucky's greenness—early in the evening. But now Lucky, who was never persuaded to play poker until the Deacon played, was winning away all his money.

Young did not know how much he had lost; he would not let himself think. But he knew it was more than he could afford, and he made up his mind that if he lost this time he would not give himself a chance to[Pg 166] lose again. He picked up the four cards he had drawn in place of the discarded ones, and looked at them. His heart gave a bound. He covered the cards for a moment, and then looked at them again.

"Yes, it's really true," he said to himself. "Surely this hand can't be beaten."

"Well, what do you do, Deacon?"

For answer Young simply laid down a large bet.

"Hully Gee!" whispered Powelton to Drew. "Big bluff the Deacon is throwing, eh?"

Lee overheard it. He meant to show the Deacon that he could not be bluffed out, even if he were a beginner. Besides, he had a hand he was willing to stake a good deal upon. He put down twice the amount of Young's bet.

"Hoho! the bluff didn't work," laughed Drew. "Now, then, Deacon, let's see what you can do."

"Shut up!" said Young. "Don't bother us!" He puffed on his cold cigar a moment, and then put down another large bet.

"I'm with you!" said Lucky Lee, and he[Pg 167] increased the stake again. His eyes were glistening.

For several minutes they kept on increasing the amount in the centre of the table, one thoughtfully, the other excitedly. The older players now left off making patronizing remarks, and became interested. Finally Young said, "No, I won't make it any higher. What have you got?"

Lee slapped down his cards. His voice trembled a little as he asked, confidently, "Can you beat that?"

"Yep," said Young, and he coolly laid down his victorious hand. The others all looked at it. "It's about time I was winning," he said, calmly enough; but his heart was thumping.

"Why didn't you keep on raising him?" asked Powelton, sneeringly.

"I wish I had," thought Young, as he gathered in what meant a large winning for one swoop. Lee was laughing loudly to show he did not care. He was excited, and would have gone on betting for a long time, Young thought.[Pg 168]

That was the turning-point. Had Young lost, he might have stopped; but to stop now would look mean, he reflected.

"The luck has turned," he whispered to himself. "I'll play a few more hands." And when the game broke up at dawn, he had lost his winnings, and more.

That night he tossed in his bed, and said: "I must stop; that's all there is about it; I must stop."

The next time they met to play, Young said, "Go ahead without me; I don't feel like it to-night."

"The Deacon hasn't any sporting blood. He's afraid of his own pupil," Powelton said, and the others laughed. Lucky laughed, too; he was the pupil. Young played.

That night Young won handily. He felt especially pleased to win that night. He thought, "I'll stop the minute I have won back what I lost." But he did not win back what he had lost, and so played on the next night, and on the next. And so it went until he was brought to a stop with a jerk.

It came near the end of the term and of the[Pg 169] year, shortly before the final examinations. The crowd had been playing nearly every night, and of late, somehow, Young had been losing nearly every time he played; but he said: "I can't afford to stop now. Surely this bad luck can't continue. I must win! I will win next time!" He could not stop. It is called "gambler's fever."

He could not sleep; he was neglecting his studies. He had used up all his allowance of "absences." He did not mind that, but he had within these few weeks lost—he would not allow himself to reckon how much! He had borrowed from the fellows, and he had been steadily drawing from the bank the precious money for which he had worked so hard, and which meant so much more to him than money meant to boys with monthly allowances from home. One morning he made out another check to his own order. "This is positively the last time," he said to himself. He had said that before, but this time it was true.

That night he began to lose with the first hand. He laughed, he played recklessly, he[Pg 170] lost. He went home, and found a letter in his pocket while undressing which he had forgotten to open, in hurrying to the game. This letter said, "We beg leave to call your attention to the fact that your account seems to be overdrawn to the amount of seventy-five cents." It was from the Princeton Bank.

This meant that William Young owned not a cent in the world, and was a debtor even to the bank besides owing various sums to his companions. He was bankrupt. It was pretty bad. But that was not the worst of it. That was not the reason he stood by the table letting his lamp smoke while he kept staring at the letter in his hand.

He had kept with his personal account the fund of his class, and every cent of it was gone with the rest. He had held it in trust as treasurer. It had amounted to something over one hundred dollars.

But he had drawn it out unconsciously? No; he knew he had used all his own money long ago.

But surely he had meant to return what[Pg 171] he had borrowed from the class fund? Oh, yes; but this kind of "borrowing" is called embezzlement—an ugly word. It really means theft and breach of trust combined.

Young could not take it all in at first. For awhile he stood there, saying to himself, "Isn't it funny this letter was in my pocket all the evening while I was playing—isn't it funny?"

Then he looked up, sniffed, and said, "That lamp is smoking." He turned it down, and stared at the flame for nearly a minute. Then suddenly he blew it out, and was alone in the darkness.

Oh, yes, it was all true. There was no way of getting out of it. He realized it all now vividly. He, William Young, a member of the church, son of honest old Farmer Young, was a gambler and—yes, he might just as well call it by its right name—a thief!

He was the one of whom the others at home used to stand in awe because he was going East for a higher education. He was the one for whom the minister predicted[Pg 172] such great things. He was the one who had his tuition remitted in consideration of "high moral character." He was the one whose letters from college were read aloud at the sewing society by a proud little mother, who thought he was the best son in the world.

Why hadn't he stayed at home and remained an honest man, working hard in the bank or as a plain farmer, like good little Charlie? Oh, how did he ever sink so low? If he only had a chance to do it all over again—if he could only wake up and find it all a dream—if he could only wipe it all out of existence, how joyous and sunny would be life and duty and hard work again!

But it wasn't a dream! It was all very real, indeed. None of it could be wiped out. It was all there and staring him in the face, real, horribly real. And that was not all; matters could not remain only as bad as this. He was an out-and-out embezzler, liable to be found out and exposed as such at any moment—and then what?

Leave college with a disgraced name—but[Pg 173] that would not be all. The news would go home; it would get there before he did. Everyone in the county would hear it, and talk about him. Some of them would laugh and sneer, and say, "Too bad!" and really be secretly glad.

Perhaps the authorities would send and—it made him weak and sick to think of it—have him arrested—by an officer of the law—and put in jail. This would kill his honest, old gray-bearded father. And as for his mother—but that hurt too much! He shut his eyes; he simply would not let himself think of that.

But what could he do? Time was flying. Just now he had heard Old North strike four in the dark, silent distance—good Old North, on whose steps he had hoped to sing as a Senior some day. Every moment brought him nearer to ruin. Something must be done.

He took hold of his head to quiet its buzzing. "It will do no good to think about it any more," he said aloud. "Act, act, act—you must!"[Pg 174]

First, he spent a few bitter moments on his knees by the bed It is no one's concern what he said to God. Then he arose, quite calmly struck a match, and with an almost steady hand lighted the lamp. Then very deliberately, in a matter-of-fact way, he drew up the rocking-chair so that the light would come over his left shoulder. He dragged over another chair to put his feet upon. He sat down. He did a little figuring at first on the envelope in his hand. Then he opened his trigonometry and studied furiously until chapel-time. There was, you see, good stuff in Will Young yet.

It would do no good to tell himself any longer how low he had fallen; but it would do a great deal of good to win the Freshman First Honor prize; and he had no time to lose.

To win was not a mere ambition now—it was a grim necessity. It was the one way of keeping from being disgraced in the eyes of the world as deeply as he was in his own and God's.

The prize would not come until commencement. Before that time the class[Pg 175] might vote to use its money. They might instruct their "honorable treasurer" to expend the funds on decorations and a brass band, as was sometimes done at the close of examinations to celebrate their Sophomorehood; and what would he do then! He decided that he must not let himself think about that now. It made his heart stop so short it fairly hurt; besides, it interrupted his work.

He had figured it all out in his neat businesslike hand on the envelope. On one side, under assets, he wrote, "Freshman prize, if won, $200;" on the other side the following list:

The Princeton Bank overdraw$0.75
Henry Powelton, borrowed10.00
Carey H. Lee, borrowed25.00
William Sinclair Drew23.35
The class of Ninety-blank debt117.20

Two hundred dollars would "square" him, and just leave enough to buy a ticket back to the old farm—that is, if he wanted to go there.[Pg 176]



Many times that huge, dark thing in the background of his thoughts jumped into the foreground and interrupted his work; but he accomplished a good deal. He felt a glow of hope. It was only ten days to the examinations, but it had only been during the past month of madness that he had neglected his studies. He could soon make that up.

Just as he started for chapel, he suddenly began to wonder if he had been mistaken about that prize. Wasn't it only $100 after all? He took down a catalogue and looked it up. He was right, the prize was $200.

"A prize of $200, part of the income of the J. S. K. fund;" but what was this?—"To be paid in quarterly instalments during the following year"! He had never noticed that before. For a moment it made him feel[Pg 177] sick at the stomach. Then he decided that it was not so bad after all, for if he only won the prize he could borrow money on the certificate of it that would be presented the winner at commencement.

For the first day or two the club guyed him for turning poler, and they thought his serious and grave demeanor was very funny when he declined to join with them in their pursuits. At first he paid no attention to their jeers; he had no time. Then came the day he got angry and said. "It makes no difference to me what you fellows think. I've quit my foolishness for good, and that's all there is to it. Now let me alone."

He struck the table a heavy blow, and looked as if he meant everything he said; and no one felt inclined to guy him again. He looked like the old Deacon who had done up Ballard.

"The Deacon must have an attack of R. E. Morse," Billy Drew said, as he left the room.

"I think he's pretty hard hit financially," said Lucky Lee, who had been pretty hard[Pg 178] hit of late himself. "He's working his way through college, you know. I wish he hadn't lost so much money."

"He had no business playing, then," said Powelton.

"I respect him for stopping, anyway," said Todd, who seldom played cards; recently he had not played at all; he had been doing some studying, "just for fun," he said.

"So do I," said Lee, in a low voice, and the others agreed—in lower voices.

Meanwhile, Young was studying as if his life depended upon it, and the strain was telling. He had lost twenty-four pounds since the football season.

The fellows saw nothing of him now except at meals, where he kept his white face turned down to the book beside his plate. They had left off guying him, and were worrying about him instead.

They began saying: "See here, old man, you've got to quit this. You'll kill yourself if you keep on this way. The prize isn't worth it." But it did no good. Finally a number of them came up to his room one[Pg 179] evening to see what they could do about it. They were headed by Lucky Lee.

"I wish you would let me alone," was all that Young would say. "I've simply got to win that prize."

"Why have you got to?" asked Lucky, in his nice, refined voice.

At that Young only smiled queerly, and turned to the table where his books were.

"See here, you old chump," said Lucky. "I believe you've got a notion—say, fellows, the Deacon's got a notion that just because he owes some of us a couple of dollars or so we are in a hurry to be paid back. If he thinks that, he's an old ass, isn't he, fellows?"

"Why, certainly," said Powelton.

"Thank you," said Young, curtly; "but as I said before, I intend to square up at commencement."

"Why, we can get along just as well till next fall," Lucky went on, although he had pawned some of his clothes as well as his bicycle last week. "In fact, if you're worrying about it, why—well—they were gambling debts, Will, and——"[Pg 180]

"Lucky," said Young, flushing, "that's no way to talk. I'm an honest man and"——then he stopped suddenly; he was not an honest man, and this was the first time he had been called "Will" since he left home, and home was what he hated most of all to think of in these days, and this was Lucky Lee, who never would have had gambling debts, if it had not been for him, and whose kind mother he had promised—— Altogether he felt very queer and wrought up, and for a wild moment he had a notion to tell them all about it, and make a clean breast of it.

If he had done so they might have helped him out and sworn secrecy; but Young was not the sort that could do it. "Please go away, fellows, and leave me alone. You're mighty good, but—you don't understand," he said.

They could see something was troubling him greatly. They did go away, and they did not understand, but they felt very sorry. After that Todd, without telling the reason, left off studying hard and took to rambling in the woods again.[Pg 181]

"Aren't you going to try for the prize, then?" they asked him.

"I wouldn't stand any chance against Young," he answered. But the others were not so sure about that.

Meanwhile every hour brought final examinations sixty minutes nearer, and Young, all alone in his little bake-oven of a room, was studying as probably no student had ever studied in that old room before. Sometimes he felt that even his powerful constitution would not stand the strain much longer; but he could not afford to break down or die until after commencement, until after disgrace had been averted from his family name. It was that thought which kept his heavy eyelids open.

Examination week was like a long, hideous nightmare.

There were tasks that seemed superhuman to perform, and with them the sickening dread that he could not perform them. When the last paper was finished and handed in he had a horrible conviction that he had lost the prize. He felt sure of it.[Pg 182]

But he could not be sure until commencement day itself, and before that came four days of preliminary commencement gayety. Each one of these contained for Young twenty-four hours of suspense, and these were worse than examination days—there was nothing to take his mind off what he did not want to think about. He could not sleep. His nerves were used up; and everybody else was so happy!

The campus was bright with hundreds of attractive girls in summer costumes, and alive with rollicking old graduates holding noisy reunions. But even at the baseball game, when the nine was beating Yale and everyone else was crazy with exultant joy, Young was saying to himself: "How should I break the news to mother? Should I let matters take their course, or—what are they all cheering for now? Oh, I see, Cap has made another hit!"

The worst of it was that he had no one to take him out of himself. Nearly all his classmates and all his intimates were packing up and going home, as Freshmen usually do,[Pg 183] without waiting for commencement. Luckily they had not voted to celebrate their Sophomorehood! He wandered about all alone; and all alone he went in to hear his fate decided on commencement morning.

Near the door he stood, squeezed in beside some graduates he had never seen before, who wondered why this long, gaunt undergraduate started so when the clerk of the Board of Trustees arose and began to announce the fellowships and prizes.

The awards were read from a long list in the clerk's hand, and after each announcement there was a cheer from the members of the literary society to which the victor belonged. It delayed matters so. Sometimes they cheered several times. Then the clerk cleared his throat and went on slowly.

At last he came down toward the end of the list.

"Now, then," said Young, bracing himself. "I know I am going to lose." He did not dare look up. Just in front of him sat a good-looking girl. He saw her put her pretty orange-and-black-bordered programme[Pg 184] to her lips and suppress a yawn while the loud, monotonous voice of the clerk said, "The Freshman First Honor prize awarded to J. Milton Barrows, of Pennsylvania."

Young stood perfectly still. He did not move a muscle. He heard the loud cheering. He heard a man behind him say, "Well! well!" He heard the band strike up a lively air. Still looking at the girl, he saw her begin to beat time to the music with her programme against her pursed lips.

Then he shut his eyes tight for a moment and asked himself: "What was it I was going to do? I cannot remember somehow. What was it? Shall—shall I telegraph——"

In a few minutes the valedictorian had finished his oration, then the benediction was pronounced, and the audience flocked out laughing and talking while the band played with all its might. Commencement was over, and the college year was a matter of history.

A few hours later Young was speeding across the country at the rate of ever so[Pg 185] many miles an hour toward the old prairie farm, toward the home he had disgraced.

He did not know why he was going home, unless it was because the watch he pawned brought just the right amount of money. Instinct made him do it, perhaps.

As the train started off down the grade he stood on the rear platform, and looked back at the green campus and the dear old brown building.

"Perhaps," he said to himself, "perhaps in time they'll forget that there ever was a fellow named 'Deacon' Young."

Then the car turned the curve, and the college was hidden from view.[Pg 186]



She was standing beside the neatly painted horse-block, waiting to welcome her boy. Will had spied her from the road.

As the buggy turned in through the gate he began to brace himself for meeting her. This was going to be harder, he knew, than had been the meeting at the railroad station a little while before, with his father, whose honest old eyes had looked at him so searchingly.

He was coming nearer and nearer. She was smiling. It was the same motherly smile he had known he would see. Now she was speaking his name. The next moment he was out of the buggy, and she was kissing him just as when he was an innocent little boy. She was frightened at her son's pale, haggard face, but she did not want him to[Pg 187] know it, and only said, patting his cheek laughingly, "Why didn't you take better care of yourself, child?"


"I don't know, mother," he said slowly, "I don't know...."

They were walking up the path. Will looked down at her. The tears were forming in the little mother's eyes. He looked away again. "I don't know, mother," he said, slowly, "I don't know why I didn't take better care of myself."

"There, don't talk. You must rest after your long journey. Keep still now. You can tell me all about everything later on." They opened the screen door and went in.

Even Mr. Young had been alarmed when he saw his son step off the train. At least he treated him very considerately and said, as he shook his hand: "I guess you've been studying too hard there at school, ain't you? 'All work and no play'—you know the rest of it."

Will dropped his eyes as he thought of the kind of playing he had been doing. Then he said, abruptly: "Well, I'll have plenty of time to get well in," looked up the street and remarked that everything seemed the same.[Pg 188]

"Yes, everything's the same with us," his father replied, unhitching the horse.

"Hello, Molly," Will said to the mare, "do you remember me?"

He was embarrassed in his father's presence, and Mr. Young seemed to notice it, for as they got into the buggy he said, in an uneasy manner: "Mother got your telegram, but I had to come to town anyway, so I thought I might just as well drive you out home myself. Had a pleasant trip?"

Indeed, his father, who had never once written him a letter during the nine months' absence, was the last one Will expected to meet at the station, but that was not what caused Will's constraint. It was the queer searching way he looked at him every now and then.

"Could he have heard about it!" Will kept asking himself. "No, he can't know. If he knew—if he knew, he would be taking me to jail instead of home. He would say it served me right for going against his wishes."

At supper-time his father and his brother Charlie came in from the cornfields together.[Pg 189] "Hope you'll bring us rain," said Mr. Young. "We need it." Charlie was brown and big, and he gave Will's hand a hearty grip and said, "Glad to see you back, Will, blamed if I ain't."

Charlie never had ambitions for higher education. "Lucky Charlie!" thought Will, remembering how he used to look down on him.

"They must make you study a lot, though!" Charlie added, looking at Will's face.

Mr. Young disappeared for a few minutes into the next room; when he returned he interrupted the conversation with, "By the way, mother, Will says he don't think he'll go back there to school any more."

Mrs. Young did not want the matter discussed just now, for she saw a pained look come over Will's face at the mention of it. "Whatever he does," she said, in her bright, quick manner, "he must get well and strong and happy again. Cheer up, Will, cheer up, look happy—my goodness! just see his face," she went on laughing. "Don't you know you're home, anyway, boy?"[Pg 190]

Yes, he was home, anyway. But what a way it was; not very much like the proud homecoming he had pictured long ago.

Mr. Young did not like to be switched off the subject. He went on, in a queer tone: "Yes, I thought you'd come around to my way of thinking. I thought you'd get tired of putting yourself through college, as you called it. I ain't surprised, not a bit."

Will did not feel piqued or indignant. He only asked himself how much longer he would wait before telling them all that he, William Young, son of his father, member of the church, and the boy who had his tuition remitted in consequence of a "high moral character," was a gambler and a thief, and was liable to be exposed as such at any moment. Even now at this hour somebody there in the East might be making inquiries as to his whereabouts.

This load was becoming more than he could bear. Why not tell them all, right then and there, and have it over with? "Listen, father," said Will, his voice breaking a little. "You little understand the[Pg 191] meaning of my actions. Listen, everybody. I have something important to say."

"Shissh, Will, keep quiet, you're nervous," interrupted his mother. "Father, don't let the poor boy try to talk. He's sick. He's all wrought up; look at him."

"But I must explain—I will explain. You all must know. Now listen: the reason I'm not going back—the reason I had to study so——"

"Keep still, Will," said his father, in a grave tone; "you needn't go on. I know all about it."

Will's heart stood still.

"You know all about it, father?"

"Yes, the minister told us how hard you were working for the prize. And we read in the Chicago papers that another boy won it——"

"Oh, you don't understand; you don't know why I needed to win it. You don't know anything about it—anything about it."

"Yes, yes, I do, Will," said Mr. Young, fumbling in his pocket for something, "yes, I do."[Pg 192]

Mrs. Young put in excitedly: "It was because you had to have the money to go back next year. That was the reason you worked yourself nearly into the grave and wrote such short, irregular letters home and——"

"Now, mother, keep still," interrupted Mr. Young, "I have something to say." He dropped his eyes as though ashamed. He had taken out of his pocket a slip of paper. There was some printing on it and some blank places filled in with writing. He cleared his throat in the way he was accustomed to do when he got up in prayer-meeting. "You had to have the money. It was a necessity. You worked hard for it, but you missed it. And I thought, seeing you missed the prize there at school, I would show my appreciation of your efforts there at school, that—now, Will, take this and stop looking at me in that way. You done your best. Now you won't have to change your plans. I hate to see people change their plans."

His father had put the slip of paper in his[Pg 193] hand. Will looked at it. It was a check drawn on the Farmers' National Bank. It said, "Pay to the order of William Young Two Hundred Dollars ($200)." What did it all mean?

It meant that the obstinate will of good old Farmer Young, that could not be budged by the arguments of the minister or bent by the coaxing of his wife, had finally been melted away by his own full heart at seeing this poor sick boy of his, who bore the marks of having struggled so pluckily and so discouragingly to earn for himself what his father had refused to grant. Also it meant that Will Young could lift his head once more, a free man.

"Why, where are you going, Will?" asked his mother. He had got up from the table.

"I'm not hungry," he said, in a strange voice; "I'm going up to my room. I'll be down soon." Then as he opened the door he said, without turning around: "I don't deserve this, father. I can't tell you just now how little I deserve it, but I'm going to take it." The door closed.[Pg 194]

"What on earth's the matter with the boy?" said Mrs. Young, sighing. "I suppose it's because he takes losing that prize so to heart. He's too conscientious. Don't deserve it!—nonsense!"

When Will came down he looked better.

"Did Charlie say he was going to drive to town," he asked.

"Yes," said his mother. "But you don't want——"

"No, but I've got some letters here I'd like to go East the first thing in the morning." And the next morning they were going East as fast as the United States mail-cars could carry them.

One of them was to the Princeton Bank, and it contained the check for $200, and an apology for overdrawing his account the month previous, which was "not likely to happen again," he said.

The other contained checks also, drawn on that very bank for various amounts to the order of Carey H. Lee and the rest, whose home addresses he had looked up in the college catalogue.[Pg 195]

And then he had the first calm full night's sleep in over a month and came down to breakfast singing "The Orange and the Black," and all the family thought it a "real pretty song," and did not know that Will sang it to a tune of his own.

He felt like a new man. Perhaps he was.

"Father," said Mrs. Young, "look at Will; he's better already. I knew my cooking and a little home comfort would do worlds for him. And I guess," she added, in Mr. Young's ear, "you cheered him up more by giving him that money, father."

Mr. Young felt that he had been pretty generous, but he only growled.

They did not know the real reason Will was so exuberant this bright sunny morning.

Was it necessary for them to know? That was one thing left to worry about: whether it would be right to overwhelm his parents by telling them of what their son had been through, or would it be wrong to keep on taking their love and sympathy (as it seemed he had received his father's check) on false pretences? He kept on being perplexed until[Pg 196] he finally confessed his whole story to the minister and asked him what to do about it.

The minister, in his straightforward way, asked, "Have you confessed it to God, Will?"

"Yes, sir," said Will, dropping his eyes.

"And has He forgiven you?"

Will paused a moment. "I think He has now."

"Then I think that is enough. In one sense it is certainly deceiving them not to tell them, but I think it is the lesser of two evils. It would do little or no good to tell your good old parents. It would only grieve them as much as it would amaze them. You can pay back what you owe your parents in love and kindness as well as in money. Don't you think so?"

Will thought so and he made up his mind to try.

It became a matter of comment among the neighbors the way Will Young, whom they were inclined to look at sceptically since "he went East to college," was pitching in and working harder than any hired man on[Pg 197] his father's place and, what was more surprising, seeming to enjoy it; they did not know quite what to make of it. He was paying back the $200.

It surprised his father also and pleased him, and so did Will's respectful manner and his simple boyish endeavors to carry out all his wishes. He was trying to pay back the other debt also.

When the fall came again Mr. Young hated more than ever to have him leave, but this time, as he told Will's mother, he would fix it, he guessed, so Will wouldn't have to work himself to a skeleton.[Pg 198]



"Hello, here comes Deacon Young with a brand new orange-and-black blazer on!"

"Yea-a-a," interrupted one fellow in a loud, shrill voice, and the others all joined in and yelled, "Yea-a, Deacon!" and ran at him and pounded him on the shoulders, jumped on his back and made other signs of pleasure at seeing a classmate once more, while they asked him what kind of a vacation he had had, and told him he looked as though he had been training for football all summer. Will laughed and told how he had trained.

"It must be great to work on a farm," said Lee, punching the Deacon's shoulders.

"Come on," one of them shouted, "we're taking a walk about the old place to see how everything looks. Let's gather a crowd—Ninety-blank this way!"[Pg 199]

They shouted the old cry in concert and started off together.

"What are you going to do this year, Deacon?" It was Todd who happened to be marching next to Young.

"How do you mean?"

"Well, are you going to pole or loaf or be a dead-game or what?"

"Well," answered Young, "I'm going to do some of the first and combine some football with it if I have good luck; but I am not going to try any more of the last. I don't know as I need tell you that, Todd." He wanted to say more, but only frowned as he thought of how hard it would be to accomplish what he had resolved to accomplish with the club this year.

Todd said, "I'm glad you told me, though. I think the whole club made a fool of itself last year. It needs to take a big brace."

Young turned and looked at him. Todd had spoken in his usual quiet, careless manner, but Young thought his words implied something.[Pg 200]

"Do you think—say, Todd, do you think there's much hope of its bracing?"

"Not unless they're made to," laughed Todd. "Perhaps," he said, looking the other way, "we can make 'em if we pull together. What do you say, Deacon?"

"Let's try," said Young. He held out his hand.

Todd took it in an embarrassed manner, and then shouted: "Hi, there, you fellows in front! Let's go down to meet the 2.17. There'll be a lot of the class in on that train. Start up a song, somebody."

They all marched off across the campus singing, with loud happy voices:

"Here's to Ninety-blank—
Drink her down—drink her down."

Arms were thrown carelessly over shoulders and perhaps they swaggered a little as they marched. But it feels very good to be a Sophomore, especially the first day.

And all this fraternal joyousness, together with the superabundance of orange[Pg 201] and black, greatly impressed one of the very green Freshmen who happened just then to be scurrying by with wonder in his eyes. And it happened to be at about the same spot in the walk that another Freshman had met another crowd of Sophomores and was called "Deacon" for the first time in his life. But that was a whole year ago.

Young had learned a good deal in that year, he was thinking. "Not all of what you are taught at college," he said to himself, "comes out of the text-books—especially in Freshman year."

By Jesse Lynch Williams

The Stolen Story

And Other Newspaper Stories

Illustrated. 12mo, $1.25

Charles Scribner's Sons, Publishers

"Mr. Williams has had the good fortune—it really seems largely a matter of luck in many cases—to treat his fresh material with a simplicity which imparts a sense of strong reality. The newspaper life has a lasting fascination for any one who has ever known it, and I think the most ignorant must feel something of its charm in these tales."—W. D. Howells in Literature.

"This is not, however, a volume of moral essays on journalism; it is first and last a collection of stories, told in a compressed, rapid style that carries you along with something of the zest that took possession of Billy Woods when he was on the track of a beat."—Droch in Life.

"Told with such fidelity and skill as to command the attention and favorable comment of the men who make newspapers."—Chester S. Lord, Managing Editor of the New York Sun, in the Book Buyer.

"Have not only taken the newspaper world by storm, but the reading world in general are turning to bestow more than a second glance at the work of this brilliant writer.... More than a quarter of the work is new matter, now appearing for the first time."—The Boston Courier.

By Jesse Lynch Williams

Princeton Stories

EIGHTH EDITION. 16mo, $1.00

"Here is the evanescent charm, the touch of poetry and sentiment that pervades a thousand unpoetic and rather reserved young men. You will find here the good-fellowship depicted without any rant about it. There isn't a prig in these stories ... that are well written and well constructed, judged from the standard of good American short-story writing."—Droch in Life.

"Beside being well constructed and well told, they breathe a spirit of commendable vigor and manliness. Princeton men are fortunate in having the life of their college so favorably presented to the outside world."—Atlantic Monthly.

"The stories are told with a naturalness and truthfulness that are very charming. The author ... enables the reader to find the real Princeton man of to-day, not as he ought to be, but as he is."—Boston Home Journal.

"No stories of American college life that have yet appeared are equal to 'Princeton Stories.'"—The Golden Rule.

"He has the real art of not saying the one word too much."—The Book Buyer.

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