Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: The Adventures of a Freshman
Author: Williams, Jesse Lynch, 1871-1929
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of a Freshman" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



scanned images of public domain material from the Google
Print archive.



The ADVENTURES
OF A FRESHMAN


By
JESSE LYNCH WILLIAMS

Author of "Princeton Stories" and "The
Stolen Story and other Newspaper Stories"


CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
153-157 Fifth Avenue :: New York



Copyright, 1899, by
Charles Scribner's Sons



To
HENRY MEADE WILLIAMS
A SUB-FRESHMAN



[Illustration: THE FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE SOPHOMORES
"You big, green Freshman from Squeedunk.... Well give you just five
seconds to take off that ugly hat, and if you don't----"]



CONTENTS


  Chapter                                                           Page
     I. The First Day at College                                       1
    II. The "Big, Green Freshman from Squeedunk"                       9
   III. The Great Sophomore-Freshman Rush                             19
    IV. Welcome and Unwelcome Visitors                                42
     V. Hazing                                                        56
    VI. Work--Play--"Procs"                                           66
   VII. The Last Hazing of "The Meek Butt of all Classes"             88
  VIII. How it Feels to be a Hero                                    110
    IX. A Question of Money                                          125
     X. How he Stayed in College                                     137
    XI. The Trouble with being a Hero                                153
   XII. Serving Two Masters                                          159
  XIII. The Last Chance                                              176
   XIV. "Home from College"                                          186
    XV. The End of it                                                198



ILLUSTRATIONS

_From drawings by Fletcher Ransom_

  The First Encounter with the Sophomores                 _Frontispiece_

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

                                                                  Facing
                                                                    page

  After the Rush                                                      40

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

  Hazing                                                              58

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

  The Hero of the Bell-Clapper                                        70

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

  "Meek Butt of all Classes!"                                        108

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

  "The Invincibles"                                                  118

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

  2 A.M.                                                             158

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

  The Meeting                                                        186

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



CHAPTER I

THE FIRST DAY AT COLLEGE


"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, 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.

"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 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 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.

"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 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 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.



CHAPTER II

THE "BIG, GREEN FRESHMAN FROM SQUEEDUNK"


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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
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.



CHAPTER III

THE GREAT SOPHOMORE-FRESHMAN RUSH


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 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 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_ 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----"

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 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, 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, 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!
                  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 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.

"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.

"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_, what_ever_ 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 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_!"

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.

"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. 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 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.

"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. 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.

"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.

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.

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 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 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.

[Illustration: AFTER THE RUSH.
In walked ... the little Sophomore, and behind him a very big Sophomore.
Young recognized him as the one....]

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.



CHAPTER IV

WELCOME AND UNWELCOME VISITORS


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.

"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 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 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 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 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?"

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.

"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 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 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 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."

"Why?"

"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----"

"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."

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 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.



CHAPTER V

HAZING


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."

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.

[Illustration: HAZING.
"Now both sit up on your haunches and chatter awhile."]

"That's pretty good," said Channing, as if 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.

"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."

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 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 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 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 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 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.



CHAPTER VI

WORK--PLAY--"PROCS"


  "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 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 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. 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 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.

[Illustration: THE HERO OF THE BELL-CLAPPER.
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."

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 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 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."

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

"All over the State."

"What!"

"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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.

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.

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 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.

"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:

"ATTENTION!
YE FOUL AND FOOLISH FREAKS
OF FRESHMEN!"

"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 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.



CHAPTER VII

THE LAST HAZING OF "THE MEEK BUTT OF ALL CLASSES"


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."

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 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.

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.

"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 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. 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. "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!'"

"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 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 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."

"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 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; 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 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 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,
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!"

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 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.

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. 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.

"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.

[Illustration: MEEK BUTT OF ALL CLASSES!

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

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 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.



CHAPTER VIII

HOW IT FEELS TO BE A HERO


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

[Illustration: "THE INVINCIBLES."
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.

"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 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 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 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. 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.



CHAPTER IX

A QUESTION OF MONEY


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. 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 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 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, 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;" 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).

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.

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_ 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 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 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 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.



CHAPTER X

HOW HE STAYED IN COLLEGE


"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 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 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 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 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 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.

"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:

"TO-MORROW, THE 12TH, AT NOON, BY THE CANNON."

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.

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 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 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 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
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 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."

"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 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 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.



CHAPTER XI

THE TROUBLE WITH BEING A HERO


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."

"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 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 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 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 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.



CHAPTER XII

SERVING TWO MASTERS


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.

[Illustration: 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, 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."

"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, 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 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, "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 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 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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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!"

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
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, borrowed              10.00
  Carey H. Lee, borrowed                25.00
  William Sinclair Drew                 23.35
  The class of Ninety-blank debt       117.20
                                      -------
  Total                               $176.30

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.



CHAPTER XIII

THE LAST CHANCE


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 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 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 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----"

"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.

"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.

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, 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 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 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.



CHAPTER XIV

"HOME FROM COLLEGE"


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 know it, and only
said, patting his cheek laughingly, "Why didn't you take better care of
yourself, child?"

[Illustration: THE MEETING
"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.

"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. "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?"

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 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."

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 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.

"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.

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 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 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.



CHAPTER XV

THE END OF IT


"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!"

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.

"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 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_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charles Scribner's Sons
153-157 Fifth Avenue
New York





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of a Freshman" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home