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Title: A Book of Bryn Mawr Stories
Author: Lee, Elva, Kidder, Anne Maynard, Hardy, Cora Armistead, Crawford, Harriet Jean, MacIntosh, Marian T., King, Georgiana Goddard, Edith Campbell Crane., Giles, Ellen Rose, Vail, Clara Warren, L. S. B. S. & G. E. T.
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 "A Book of Bryn Mawr Stories" ***

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of the Digital Library@Villanova University
(http://digital.library.villanova.edu/))



  A BOOK OF
  BRYN MAWR
  STORIES

  EDITED BY

  MARGARETTA MORRIS AND
  LOUISE BUFFUM CONGDON

  [Illustration]

  =PHILADELPHIA= GEORGE W JACOBS
  AND COMPANY =ANNO DOMINI MCMI=



  Copyright, 1901, by
  GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO.



A Book of Bryn Mawr Stories



Preface


In compiling a volume of Bryn Mawr stories, the editors have been
conscious that such a book could never adequately represent the college
life. Its strong subtle character that commands the devotion of every
Bryn Mawr student is something difficult if not impossible to depict.
Yet there comes a time in the life of a college, as of an individual,
when self-expression is inevitable. Such a time, the editors believe,
has come for Bryn Mawr. And this conviction has induced them to bring
out the present volume.

Until now the literary efforts of the students have concerned themselves
with external matters rather than with introspection. Perhaps this is
due to an instinctive reticence we Bryn Mawrtyrs have wherever our
feelings are deeply stirred. We can joke about ourselves and our
traditions as we do in _The Fortnightly Philistine_. But when we come to
speak seriously to the outside world, as in _The Lantern_, we confine
ourselves for the most part to subjects of general literary interest,
practically ignoring the college atmosphere. At last, however, the ice
is broken, and Bryn Mawr talks about herself.

In the earliest days, when the college had only two buildings and
forty-four students, even in that first year it had a character and a
spirit all its own. And fifteen years of rapid growth have seemed but to
strengthen its individuality. To show the college unity in diversity the
editors have carefully chosen authors from the older and younger alumnæ
and from the undergraduates. They hope that in this way a truer
impression of the college life may be given than would be possible if
the whole book were written by one person.

Some readers may ask which of the many heroines in these tales is the
typical Bryn Mawr girl. The reply is no one, but all. Bryn Mawr students
come from all parts of the country, from all sorts of different
surroundings, and on entering college they do not, popular prejudice to
the contrary, immediately drop their individuality and become samples of
a type. We have among our number the pedant, the coquette, the athlete,
the snob, the poser, the girl who loves dress and prettiness, and she
who affects mannish simplicity, the all-round girl, the serious-minded,
and the frivolous. Yet none of these is the Bryn Mawr girl _par
excellence_. That mythical personage can be known only by comparing and
contrasting her various incarnations.

This book is an attempt to show some of her incarnations and some
typical scenes of Bryn Mawr life. College life is not dramatic and
college stories have no great dramatic interest, unless they introduce
elements foreign to the campus. Those who look to these stories,
therefore, for entertainment may be disappointed, since most of them are
serious in tone, and in their appeal to the reader depend largely upon
the charm of local colour.

If in the mind of any one the spirit portrayed in this book is unworthy,
if it falls short of the ideal of what college life should be, let it be
remembered that this is a first attempt, and let the expression be
blamed but not the Bryn Mawr spirit.

All of the following stories are new, and were written for this book,
except _Studies in College Colour_, which are reprinted from _The
Lantern_ of 1893. One of these studies, the description of Chapel, has
appeared also in _Cap and Gown in Prose_. For permission to use this
last the editors are indebted to the courtesy of Messrs. L. C. Page &
Company.

                                                      _M. M. 1900._
                                                      _L. B. C. 1900._



Contents


  HER MASTERPIECE,              _Marian T. MacIntosh, '90_

  IN MAYTIME,                  _Anne Maynard Kidder, 1903_

  WITHIN FOUR YEARS,                       _Elva Lee, '93_

  FREE AMONG THE DEAD,       _Georgiana Goddard King, '96_

  STUDIES IN COLLEGE COLOUR,
                  _L. S. B. S., '93, and G. E. T. S., '93_

  EPOCH MAKING,                _Cora Armistead Hardy, '99_

  A REMINISCENCE,                 _Clara Warren Vail, '97_

  CATHERINE'S CAREER,        _Harriet Jean Crawford, 1902_

  THE APOSTASY OF ANITA FISKE,     _Ellen Rose Giles, '96_

  A DIPLOMATIC CRUSADE,       _Edith Campbell Crane, 1900_



_HER MASTERPIECE_


I

For the first time in many years Ellen Blake was conscious of inability.
Of course she could not have expected that her good fortune would last
forever. And yet, it must be confessed, that her helplessness coming, as
it did, when she had every reason to feel confident, had been altogether
a surprise, had, indeed, taken her at a cruel disadvantage. She was the
more disconcerted at finding herself unable to do what she had promised
when she thought of the serious responsibility resting upon her. It was
wholly natural that she should be looking at the predicament with the
eye not of an ordinary being but of a personage, whose failure would be
a public calamity,--no mere personal misfortune. Intellectual
distinction, natural eloquence, and the personal charm that made her so
marked and attractive a figure, had brought her into prominence as a
leader among progressive women. If she seemed inclined to take herself a
trifle seriously, no one could wonder, for the demands made upon her
were neither few nor slight. And while a more selfish person might have
shown a nice discrimination in the choice of duties, Ellen, in her
gracious readiness to be of service, accepted as obligations all the
greatnesses thrust upon her. Constantly importuned for utterances, she
felt bound to answer all requests for opinions, till at last, her sense
of humour grew weak in conflict with her strenuousness, she had become
an oracle on all matters that were or ought to be of interest to women.
And so it happened that when she had been asked to make a speech at the
Women's Convention in Indianapolis, on _The Educational Value of College
Life_, she had unhesitatingly consented. But in this instance her fame
and her conscience had brought her face to face with failure, for on a
subject peculiarly suited to her, she could find no words for feelings
or ideas.

She was in despair, for not to make the speech would be to play the
traitor to the cause of Woman, and to show the basest ingratitude to
Bryn Mawr, the place that had fitted her for her life work. Taking
herself to task had no effect. She wrote some sentences, read them over,
found them vague and inaffective, gushing indeed. She continued to write
almost feverishly only to reject sheet after sheet. At length she
decided that she had no exact information, neither facts nor figures.
That was the trouble. In the discussion of so weighty a matter both were
important. Then, almost as an inspiration, it seemed to her, came the
thought of Katherine Brewster, also a Bryn Mawrtyr, also interested in
woman.

"She is certainly just the person," said Ellen, and she was soon
standing on the Brewsters' doorstep. A very systematic maid opened the
door and showed Ellen to a small room at the end of the hall.
Katherine's quarters had always met with her approval,--the little room
in which she waited, communicating as she remembered with a larger room
beyond, had about it an air of business and privacy. Though it had for
seats only the stiffest of chairs, and for reading matter only the
dullest of reports, Ellen's mood led her to envy the uncomfortable and
repellent atmosphere. By force of contrast it reminded her of many
miserable occasions, when she had tried to feel at ease, while
interviewing some ardent reformer in the presence of her humourous if
sympathetic family.

She forgot for the time being, what she could not but perceive in her
less absorbed moments, that the distinction and notoriety of Katherine
was the distinction and notoriety of the Brewster family; and that, in
sacrificing the general comfort to the convenience of one, they were
exchanging insignificance for importance; while she, however conspicuous
personally, was also the daughter of Chief Justice Blake, and was "the
image of her mother, the beautiful Polly Meredith." "Not so good-looking
though," sighed many an old gentleman, as his thoughts reverted to the
triumphs of that beauteous maid in the days when girls broke hearts,
rather than conventions.

Wealth and social distinction, good-breeding and beauty were hers
without an effort, without a college education; yet she knew well that
there was something in her that was due to Bryn Mawr. In striving to
express this she had come to Katherine Brewster, sure that from her she
would get the explanation.

She had hardly sat down before the door between the rooms opened
energetically and the brisk young owner appeared, cheerful and
businesslike in manner.

"Oh, Ellen! How do you do? I shall be at leisure," drawing out her watch
and considering a moment, "in six or seven minutes."

Without waiting for an answer, Katherine turned back to the other room.
She left the door behind her open and Ellen could not but see what was
going on. Her disused sense of the ridiculous stirred slightly as she
took in the details. Katherine was talking, or rather giving facts, to a
young man who was dotting down her words in shorthand. From the scraps
of the conversation that reached her, Ellen received a confused
impression of myriads of facts marshalled in excellent order. She
congratulated herself that she had indeed come to the right person and
would find valuable assistance in the clear brain of Katherine Brewster.

At length she caught the words, "I have now given you all the
information at my command, and shall trust you to make it interesting to
the general public and so prepare the way for our reform." The young man
could not linger in face of the finality in her manner, and before he
was well out of the door Katherine had turned to her next visitor with
brief friendliness.

"I'm glad to see you, Ellen, and can just fit you in between the
Committee of Councils and the reporter, who was anxious to get my
opinion on the new system for the disposal of garbage. I should like to
tell you all about it. It is so absorbing."

"I am afraid I shall have to hold you down to another subject. I need
enlightenment as well as the reporter. I have to tell the Women's
Congress the value of life in a woman's college. I was sure this
subject was one on which I was well informed, till I came to think what
I might say,--and lo! commonplaces are all I can utter. I was at a loss
what to do,--loath to break my promise, and helpless in my stupidity.
Now, can't you give me an idea? I hate to bother you, you are so busy.
But it isn't for myself only."

"Well, Ellen, I think I can help you," answered Katherine with the
utmost seriousness, "but you will need pencil and paper," rising to get
them, "or suppose you sit here," sweeping aside the papers littered over
the desk and pointing to the chair in front of it. "I shall have to deal
in figures and you might not remember them all."

Then followed a maze of numbers reeled off with surprising readiness,
now and then authenticated by a glance at one of the many pigeon-holes.
Ellen felt somewhat dazed; but she was conscious that the bewilderment
was her contribution for the figures were arranged with
precision,--_Health of College Women_, _Matrimonial Prospects of College
Women_, _The College Woman and the Problem of Domestic Service_, _The
Economic Results of College training for Women_. Valuable facts were
quoted from them, facts bristling with suggestions for the capable young
woman so utterly mistress of them, but a trifle unmanageable for Ellen
till she should have time thoroughly to conquer them.

She was not altogether ungrateful when the servant announced the
Committee of Selectmen, and she hastened to show her deference to the
fathers of the city by immediate withdrawal.

Katherine's good-bye took the form of advice, "I should certainly deal
with the practical value of college life, taking up some line of thought
that will show its power to make women effective citizens in the broad
sense of the word."

There was no use in going directly home, for she could make nothing of
facts so dull, Ellen decided, as she left the house. Besides she had no
time to get down to work. It was now four o'clock, and she had promised
to be at Edith Warrington's for tea at five. She could go directly
there; or, better still, she might find Sara Ford and Augusta Coles at
home. Their flat was near by. They would be sure to give her some ideas.

Sara was alone when Ellen reached their rooms, and gave her a warm and
ready welcome, of the sort that tempted to friendly chat rather than to
weighty discussion. Sara was slight and frail in appearance, and made an
immediate appeal to most persons by the wistful expression of her eyes.
But for all her seeming delicacy, she was full of nervous strength, and
was besides very earnest, almost anxious in her devotion to her duty and
in her attitude toward the responsibilities of a college woman.

There was in the room an effect of collision, of an effort to combine
the possessions of a gentle, ease-loving nature, with those of one given
overmuch to austerity. The room itself, sunny and old-fashioned, went
far to reconcile the hostile elements, and the result was inviting, if
not harmonious.

Sara had settled Ellen comfortably on the broad window-seat, and was
solicitously tucking pillows behind her back, apologizing the while for
Augusta's absence. "She has gone to see an authority on labor," Sara
explained. "She wanted his opinion on public ownership. She won't be
gone long, though."

"How does Augusta excite herself over such questions?" wondered Ellen.
Sara smiled absent-mindedly, and then as though pondering, without a
shade of remonstrance in her manner, said, "Augusta has the keenest
insight into everyday subjects, and the most wonderful grasp of them
that I have ever known. I never dare to be amused at Augusta. I can do
nothing but admire her. But now, Nell," she continued, drawing her chair
nearer the window where Ellen was sitting, "tell me about yourself. You
are always doing interesting things. Certainly the world ought to be
convinced of the value of college education by the work of such women as
you and Augusta."

Ellen's mind was so firmly fixed on the object of her visit that she was
unembarrassed by the flattery lavished upon her, and noted only the
sympathy in the words. When she had explained her difficulties to Sara,
she met with instant comprehension.

"Why, Nellie dear, I know just how you feel," was the prompt response to
Ellen's statement. "You are conscious of an overwhelming desire to
honour Bryn Mawr, of a responsibility to woman's education, and you
would not by a word injure the one or retard the other."

"Of course, I feel that. But what am I going to do? I've thought and
thought till I haven't an idea left. Katherine Brewster has loaded me
down with statistics, but I need something more. Can't you give me a
hint? There is so much of the picturesque in the college life that is
not at all frivolous, and yet when I put pen to paper it is gone."

"I am always conscious of just that state of mind," assented Sara, "when
I try to express my feeling about college. The beauty of the place, the
glamour over everything! One can't describe it."

It was becoming evident to Ellen that Sara was but echoing her own
words, was giving sympathy rather than advice. She had just made up her
mind to be off, when the door opened to admit Sara's room-mate.

A cursory, modern greeting was all that Augusta Barneson Coles
vouchsafed her visitor.

"Is there anything I can do for you?" asked Augusta, drawing off her
gloves, and with the greatest precision pulling out the fingers. When
she had finished this operation she laid the gloves on the table.
Augusta maintained, against all comers, that neatness alone was to be
considered in dress, and showed herself consistent by appearing at a
formal dinner party in an immaculate shirt waist and short skirt. In the
obtrusive simplicity of the shapeless coat, the uncompromising hat, the
well-hung but skimped skirt, the severely arranged tie, the colourless
hair smoothed in defiance of the wind, the stout shoes and correct
stockings, you perceived the care of one who had a character to
preserve.

Ellen straightened herself and assumed a thrifty exactness in her
speech, setting aside preamble and apology; for in talk with Augusta she
felt that the amenities of life were worse than wasted, they were
insulting.

"Yes, Augusta, tell me what you can say for women's colleges, as
distinguished from other modes of training."

"They will redeem the world from its present deplorable condition by
teaching women to live by ideas," was the succinct if sweeping
assertion.

"I am afraid I don't understand," murmured Ellen.

"By removing them from the sordid pressure of the practical," Augusta
went on, "and that at a critical period in the mind's development and
bringing them into an atmosphere of pure ideas, till the concrete no
longer exists for them."

This statement seemed somewhat nonsensical to Ellen, but she had come
for information and persisted. "That's all very well, but to make it
more personal. I can't express what my college education has meant to
me. What has it meant to you?"

"Experience meetings of any sort are distasteful to me," answered
Augusta brusquely, "they make impossible abstract thought and result in
commonplaces of undisciplined sentiment. They bend the idea to the
individual, not the individual to the idea."

There was no doubt that Augusta had given all that was in her power and
that Ellen would only lose time by urging her to closer definition. So
far she had received opinions almost irreconcilable one with the other,
the practical views of Katherine and the abstractions of Augusta. She
was indeed amused rather than disappointed at the failure of her visit.
How absurd she had been to expect fertile suggestions from Sara, always
ready to reflect the mood of her companion--a quality often soothing and
endearing but hardly useful in moments of perplexity;--or from Augusta
with her futile theories and ridiculous jargon.

She had still one hope, Bertha Christie, who had gathered about her a
group of Bryn Mawr graduates, all anxious to indulge the scholastic
passion. Research and literature occupied them for the most part; but,
in the intervals of study, they cultivated self-consciousness and held
dress-rehearsals that they might perfect themselves in the parts
selected. Phrase-making was their pastime and tricks of face and manner
their delight. Their duty to themselves led them to withdraw from their
families, thus liberating themselves from the exigencies of an
unappreciative society. So sedulous were these artists in life to free
themselves from tyranny to the individual that they regarded all outside
demands as impertinent intrusions. They courted criticism and experience
and craved æsthetic satisfaction.

The only one of the band at home when Ellen was shown in, was Bertha
Christie. Had she been seen in the midst of commonplace surroundings,
dressed in a less studied fashion, she would in all likelihood have
passed unnoticed. But the clinging folds of her dress, exquisite in
colour and texture, the deliberately loosened hair, the poise of the
head, and the languid grace of motion as she moved forward to greet
Ellen, suggested something of the romantic, something of the ascetic,
with just a seasoning of coquetry. She had the artistic temperament, but
abilities critical rather than creative. She read poetry but measured
life by her intellect. Hers was a disposition susceptible to
impressions, but cruel in the analysis of them.

Her expression of indifference became one of scornful amusement as she
listened to Ellen's earnest setting forth of her errand. A skilled
fencer in words she succeeded in parrying the insistent queries, without
revealing the triviality of her ideas. The impression left on Ellen's
mind by this conversation was really disturbing. Up to this point she
had no doubts about the value of college life, but now she wondered if
there were not more to be said against it than for it. Was it not
responsible for the selfishness and affectation of Bertha Christie? She
looked at the clock on a near-by steeple and saw that she was already
late for her engagement with Edith. In her annoyance at her wasted
effort she was not sorry to think that at her next stopping-place she
might dismiss business from her thoughts and enjoy the consolation and
diversion she was sure to find.

It was significant of her attitude that, although she had meant all
along to drop in on Edith, on her way home, and knew besides that she
was certain to find one or two more of her college friends, she had no
thought of them in connection with her speech. She had unconsciously
drifted into imagining, as did all outsiders, that Augusta Coles and
Bertha Christie were the types and her own friends the anomalies among
college women. Her friendships and her activities were no longer brought
into contact. So long as Ellen was looking for companionship, she still
showed herself capable of appreciating wisdom as well as cleverness,
good sense as well as originality; but just so soon as she desired
enlightenment, she forgot that her own friends might hold opinions
worthy of consideration, and singled out the eccentric or visionary
among her acquaintances. In doing so she was not consciously seeking
singularity, she was rather showing her instinctive reverence for
experience. Having become something of a doctrinaire, she went for her
instruction to those more advanced than herself.

Had Edith Warrington been true to what seemed to Ellen the best in her,
she might have been set among the sages, but Edith had voluntarily
forfeited all right to be considered really earnest, for after she had
determined to devote her life to study, she had been turned aside by a
mere trifle. In the second year of her post-graduate study, she had had
a call from an old lady whom she had always found most entertaining and
had been bored with the random gossip so delightful hitherto.

"It's the last straw," she said, in talking to one of her friends of the
occurrence, "when Mrs. Astruther bores me there's something the matter.
I've noticed an indifference to everything but my work growing upon me
of late, but have ignored it. This shock has brought me to my senses and
shows me that I prefer people to things." She was urged not to
generalize too hastily, by the friends who were eager to see her fulfil
her promise as a scholar. She had now been married about five years,
and, because the memory of her scholarship was still fresh, she was
spoken of as one lost past recovery; for, though she never lost her
student ways, she was no longer called a student.

When Ellen came within sight of the house, she heard some one tap on the
pane and on looking up saw Edith signalling to her not to ring.

"Here you are at last, Nell," was her greeting. "I was looking for you.
What kept you so late? Some old committee?"

"Oh, I'm dead tired. I have had a miserable afternoon."

"You poor thing! Come along and be amused. Louise and Evelyn are here.
They're having a heated discussion about matrimony. It's a bit personal
and very funny."

"Louise and Evelyn? It must be absurd."

"Yes, they think they're talking on broad general principles, but
they're just talking about Dick Fisher and Mr. Brandon."

"You know him?" asked Ellen. "I've never met him and since Evelyn's
engagement was announced I've been curious about him."

"Oh, he is a very nice fellow--really charming."

"But not good enough for Evelyn, I'm sure."

"They never are, are they, Nell?" and Edith turned with an amused smile.

"No, not even Mr. Warrington," laughed Ellen. "I don't agree about him
yet."

When they reached the little study, Ellen nodded to the two girls
sitting near the window and flung herself into an easy chair by the tea
table, glad to rest her mind with a counter distraction. She knew the
disputants well and felt as much at home with them as with Edith.

Louise Fisher had been her room-mate at college, distinguished for her
common sense and independent ways and a warm advocate of the business
career for women, all women married or single. Many a satirical picture
had Ellen drawn in those days, of Louise's ideal of domestic happiness.
But Louise had become engaged before she graduated, to a man
immeasurably her superior in mental ability, and she had settled down to
echoing his opinions. Ellen often wondered if no ghosts sat opposite to
Louise at the breakfast table; but she could not disturb her by any
amount of banter.

Evelyn Ames, the other disputant, had been an enigma at college. She had
attracted many on first acquaintance; but had baffled them at the point
where acquaintance ripens into intimacy. No one dared call herself
Evelyn's friend, except such as were content with the formal
graciousness of her ways. And yet she had been a force in college life,
had shown both courage and enthusiasm at critical moments.

She had recently announced her engagement, and was naïve in her
disclosures of her own feelings in the present discussion. She was
thoroughly at her ease with her companions; for since she had left
college, she had surprised many, whom she had before held at a
distance, into very real friendships, taking them unawares by her
affection for Bryn Mawr and its associations. These three had discovered
that her inaptitude for fellowship at college was the result of a former
starvation of her affections. The daughter of a widow, a woman of small
means, of cold nature and social ambition, Evelyn had not been allowed
to find out the softer side of her nature, till she had been sent to
Bryn Mawr by a rich and domineering relative.

When Edith and Ellen joined them, Louise was saying, "The only way is to
try to divert his mind from his work."

"But that doesn't seem to me at all the nicest way," said Evelyn. "I
think you ought to be able to help a man in his work."

"At that rate," said Edith, as she poured out a cup of tea, "Ellen
should marry a public man and help him write his----"

"Yes," sniffed Louise contemptuously, "like Mrs. Jones, Dick says----"

"Oh, Nell," and Evelyn turned quickly to Ellen, "somebody told me about
the speech you're to make. What a splendid chance you've got."

"I don't know about that," answered Ellen, "it's the hardest thing I
ever had to do. I can't for the life of me----"

"But just think," interrupted Evelyn, "it means Bryn Mawr. That's what
we think of when we think of college. Oh! I wish I could just for once
say what I think of the dear place. But I never can talk about it in a
sensible way."

"Just as well," put in Edith, "it's one of the things it doesn't pay to
be sensible about."

"Edith, what do you mean?" interjected Louise, "when you speak in public
you can't talk twaddle. Dick says, common sense is the only thing that
holds people."

"He's faithful to his opinions anyway," answered Edith with a friendly
nod, "you've just as much as ever."

"But, Nell," asked Evelyn, leaning forward in her interest, "what are
you going to say?"

"That's what I don't know. I've gone from pillar to post trying to find
out and----"

"No wonder you're weary," said Edith, "wasting your time that way. Why
on earth didn't you ask us? Please tell us where you did go."

"Oh, to several places," answered Ellen evasively. "I never thought of
bothering you people, you have so many outside things to attend to."

"Yes to be sure, husbands and children and all the----"

"You know that isn't what I mean," objected Ellen, setting down her
teacup. "You always say you aren't interested in movements."

"Oh, no!" corrected Edith, "not movements."--

"Well, anyway I didn't succeed with the other people. 'College training
fits us to be citizens'; 'college teaches us to live by ideas'; 'college
is of value to none but those gifted with a susceptibility for the
exquisite refinements of the intellectual existence.' What am I to do
with that?"

Edith and Evelyn exchanged amused glances, while Louise looked scornful.
Ellen continued, "I have to think how my words will affect Bryn Mawr,
and also how they will strike my audience."

"Don't forget yourself," said Edith. "You've a way of leaving a bit of
yourself behind when you get to work."

"Oh, it will come to you, don't fear," broke in Evelyn. "You do all that
sort of thing so well, you'll be sure to make a hit. You couldn't help
it talking about Bryn Mawr. If only I could do it. My four years there
made life worth living."

"Come now, Evelyn," said Edith teasingly, "it will never do for you to
say things like that, and you just engaged. Please think of poor Mr.
Brandon. He'll get to hate Bryn Mawr, and I won't blame him a scrap. You
must----"

"That has nothing to do with it," protested Evelyn, looking embarrassed,
"but I know nothing could have been at all as it is if I hadn't gone
there. With me the trouble wasn't so much a dearth of resources as a
lack of opportunity for devotion. When I got to college I found that the
thing demanded of me was devotion to Bryn Mawr. Every one expected it
and I gave myself up to serving the first thing that needed me."

"But that wasn't anything in Bryn Mawr," objected Louise, "that was
you."

"Don't you think," interposed Edith, "that the personal romance of our
lives takes the place of all impersonal romance of that sort in time?"

"Perhaps," assented Evelyn slowly, "but it is the one romance that
hasn't to rub up against realities. We lived there in a world of our own
creation--a land of dreams. Our dreams for Bryn Mawr may always be
realized; they are never shown to be impossible."

"Well, really," exclaimed Louise, "you seem to be getting very high
falutin, all of you. My feeling about college is that if it hadn't been
for my friends it would have been a hateful place--all hard work and
nothing else. It's the friendships you make there that count."

"To be sure they count," said Edith, "but you might say the same of
boarding-school. I know what it is. It's the student government."

"Now just listen to that," cried Ellen, "you're as bad as other people,
you don't agree at all. You, Edith, talk of self-government, but that
isn't general. And I can't tie myself down to Bryn Mawr. We all think
Bryn Mawr the best of----"

    "Twenty years hence this weather
       May tempt us from office stools;
     We may be slow on the feather,
       And seem to the boys old fools.
     But we'll still swing together
       And swear by the best of schools,"

sang a merry voice in the doorway and with one accord the girls sprang
to their feet to welcome the singer. But she continued serenely,--"The
same idea may be found in the lines of another well-known song:

    "'When the cares of life o'ertake us--'"

The last lines were lost in the vehemence with which Ellen and Edith
greeted the newcomer.

"You piece of absurdity," urged Edith impatiently, "stop your mimicry
and tell us how you got here."

"Without adventure, my excitable Edith, till I came upon this strange
gathering, perhaps the strangest gathering ever known to the
scientist,--for as Leuwenhoek says----" The change of voice in the last
words, and the immediate response from her listeners showed a
traditional joke. But she went on immediately, "I'm on my way to Bryn
Mawr and I dropped in to remind you that you've all promised to bear me
company. I was afraid you might forget. A trip there from Philadelphia
is less of an undertaking than one from Emmonsville, Montana. And I'm
going to pass the night with you, fair Ellen. I wrote to you warning you
of my intention about two weeks ago. My trunk is already at your house,
and I have been there; but was sent to bring you home. Your mother was
afraid you would forget you were to dine with Mrs. Boughton and help her
with a Dean or a Bishop,--something architectural and impressive."

"I had forgotten all about it and I haven't a minute to lose," said
Ellen, as she and Marjorie hurried off amid the protests of the others.

Ellen begged Marjorie to come upstairs with her and amuse her while she
dressed; but Marjorie refused to talk, insisting on hearing all about
Ellen's visits of the afternoon. She passed her comment on the
characters in the narrative, comment genial, friendly, sympathetic, till
Ellen came to Bertha Christie's part. On a sudden Marjorie's indignation
blazed out.

"Ellen, is it that you have failed to understand Bryn Mawr, or that you
have willfully misunderstood? You have accepted the judgment of the
outside world and have treated those freaks as representatives of Bryn
Mawr. Have you forgotten how they were ignored, jeered at, anything but
accepted by everybody but a few freshmen? They defied college spirit,
mocked at common sense and still do. And the world sets them down as
types! Bertha Christie with her menagerie of intimates intolerant of the
commonplace! I could pity them if people like you didn't make them of so
much importance."

"Intolerant, maybe I am," in answer to a feeble protest from Ellen, "I'm
rather proud of being intolerant of a set of sophisticated hermit-crabs,
a few puling nuns who've gone to school to the melancholy Jacques. No
wonder I hear queer things about Bryn Mawr when you go to them for ideas
and pass by Edith and Evelyn and a host of others. It's enough to make
one turn cynic. Tolerance! Tolerance of evil, breadth of mind it calls
itself, is the most discouraging thing I meet with. And yet how absurd
it all is. You, so well-balanced, so lofty in your aims, going to those
geese to learn wisdom----"

"They're not geese," protested Ellen at length, "they're unusually
clever girls."

"'A goose,' please remember," quoted Marjorie, regaining her temper with
the reassertion of her sense of humour, "is none the less a goose,
though sun and stars be minced to yield him stuffing! You'd better be
off or you'll have to apologize to the Bishop for keeping him from his
dinner."


II

Greatly to her astonishment Ellen found that she had fallen to the
Bishop's care at dinner. She was not, however, easily appalled by
distinguished people, and she chatted lightly to the stranger. His
beautiful face, benignant and merry, set her completely at her
ease,--the secure ease of the American woman, it seemed to him as he
made mental notes of the effect produced by the exquisite dress, the
vivacity and readiness, the almost boyish frankness, the worldly wisdom.
And all the time he wondered why there recurred to him the thought of a
serious nature, an intellectual nature, free from worldliness and
triviality.

Ellen was giving herself up to the enjoyment of the moment, giving her
best to a listener so responsive and stimulating and she was all the
more ready to do so because of the concentrated thought of the day. But
she was not to escape for long, for she heard her companion say, "You
have been a student at Bryn Mawr, they tell me, Miss Blake, and I have
been greatly interested in hearing so; for I think it a most lovely
spot, quite an ideal sort of place. Its airs of age are very clever too,
very deceptive. It impressed me as an old place. An almost reverential
feeling stirred me, so marked was the sense of dignity. It is in a word
academic. Everywhere one may see that bewildering mixture of history and
aspiration."

"We can't help feeling a little proud that after so few years of
existence it should begin to be impressive as well as beautiful," said
Ellen, who hardly welcomed the return to the subject that had engrossed
her thoughts so long, though she could not resist the enthusiasm of one
familiar with the English universities.

"Of course, in this country one never wonders at rapidity of growth, but
I must confess that æsthetic charm does not always accompany it. That
delightful president of yours has secured both."

"She is a worker of wonders. She has plans for the place now that exceed
all our dreams."

"Of course years may mellow the ugliest spot and association endear it,
but after all 'virtue is loveliest in lovely guise.' The gift of beauty
is not to be despised. Even the most casual visitor must acknowledge a
spell in that college of yours altogether independent of the mysterious
charm that you who know it intimately find for yourselves,--to some
degree what I am sure people would find in my own university were they
to go there ignorant of its wealth of history. But they are outsiders,"
he continued musingly, almost as though he had forgotten the existence
of the girl to whom he was talking, "they see only the outward show,
they are forever shut out from a share in that spirit that is the
immortal part of the university, that persists in spite of change."

The old man's memories awoke at these words, and in his reminiscences he
unfolded for Ellen picture after picture of that old world school, and
flattered her with a sight of the thing her Alma Mater might become. For
she listened to tales that made distant things seem real and present to
her, stories of the frailties of men whose names had been beacons to her
intellect. Her emotions were stirred by the tender humour that summoned
up for her the personalities that had touched his own boyhood, and had
left their impress on the life of Oxford.

The bishop's attention was challenged by a gentleman across the table
with a question on South Africa, and for the rest of the evening Ellen
shared her friend with the other guests.

Before she left she found a chance to tell Mrs. Boughton how delightful
her companion had been. "Well, Ellen, to be candid," with an indulgent
smile at the girl whom she liked in spite of her brains, "I should not
have honoured you so much had he not asked to have you for a neighbour.
But you needn't lay the credit to your attractions. I was running over
the people he would meet this evening and when I came to you, that he
might not expect an angel, I mentioned your only faults,--that you had
been to college and spelled woman with a large W. But I told him that as
a rule you kept these peculiarities in the background. However it was
your having been to college that interested him, for he wanted to see
what sort of women Bryn Mawr turned out. Of course I told him he
couldn't judge by you--you were an exception--that he would have to see
a few specimens like your friend Miss Christie or Augusta Barneson
Coles."

As she drove home Ellen's thoughts turned to Marjorie Heywood and her
plans for the next day. The talk at dinner had decided Ellen to go with
the others. Though she lived so near, she found little pleasure in going
out to Bryn Mawr nowadays, for everything seemed changed and she felt
nothing but resentment that the past should have been so easily
forgotten, its ways so quickly superseded.

Her careless reading of Marjorie's letter had made her arrival a
surprise, and Ellen experienced a sense of relief at Marjorie's
appearance. Her relief showed how apprehensive she had been of the
changes possible in ten years' time, and above all in a ten years so
trying as those that Marjorie had passed through. Just when she had
seemed well started in her chosen work she had had to give up everything
and care for a worthless brother. She had had to fight poverty for
herself and him, and for him disease and evil. The cheerful letters that
had come to Ellen now and then, had brought her little satisfaction,
they were so impersonal. It had been in vain that Edith reminded her
that Marjorie had always been impersonal, reticent. Putting herself into
everything she did and said was her way of talking about herself. It had
been in vain too that Edith contended that Marjorie's enthusiasm for
righteousness and humorous freshness of mind were her safeguard against
old age. "Marjorie will be just the same," she maintained, "when she is
a hundred years old." To-night for the first time, Ellen believed her.
Ten years! Could it be ten years? And Marjorie still the same, the old
spirit of raillery gleaming in her eyes, the irresistible quiver at the
corners of the mouth?

Ellen found her mother and Marjorie in the full swing of a good talk.
They had been linked in their sympathetic understanding of one another
since early in freshman year, when Marjorie had spent a Sunday with
Ellen. And to-night they had no remembrance of the interval that had
passed since they had last been together. Ellen longed to throw herself
into one of the easy chairs and share in the ardour of conversation; but
she remembered her speech.

"If I am to fall in with your plan, and I am afraid I am too weak to
defy your indomitable will, I must write that wretched speech to-night.
I don't dare trust myself to write it at Bryn Mawr with you to beguile
me," was her answer to Marjorie's entreaties that she should stop and
tell them all about her evening.

"Oh, sit up all night, if you'll get to Bryn Mawr by doing it," answered
Marjorie with a nod to Mrs. Blake who was about to remonstrate. "I'll
assist you by the subtle influence of my presence and read the while.

"What do I want to read? Oh, anything at all, thank you, Mrs.
Blake,--something that will keep me from interrupting Ellen. Yes, that's
just the thing," and she took the book that Mrs. Blake handed her and
started upstairs.

As the girls reached the room Ellen said, "I've a good mind to give the
whole thing up. I'm perfectly hopeless about it."

"You'll do nothing of the kind," asserted Marjorie. "You'll just sit
down there and write."

"It will be a perfunctory business at that rate," objected Ellen, "I
don't feel as though I could write a word."

"Never mind that," retorted Marjorie, "but just see that you get through
with it to-night. A body can't get any good of you with it on your mind.
And that's one of the things I came on for."

With that Marjorie opened her book and Ellen sat down to her task. It
went slowly at first. She wrote little and that with constant reference
to her notes. But after a time she seemed to find the thoughts coming
more quickly.

Marjorie's book did not seem to hold her attention. Her thoughts seemed
borne beyond it, and her eyes wandered about the room, noting the
restfulness of the golden brown on the walls, the preponderance of
etchings--landscapes for the most part--the low bookcase stretching the
full length of the wall, the ornaments, obviously the choice of one more
susceptible to form than to colour. There was in the room nothing
brilliant, nothing conspicuous. Taking in the details, her glance came
at length to rest on Ellen herself as she bent over the old-fashioned
desk. She was turned so that Marjorie could see a little more than her
profile. And Marjorie's expression was one of affectionate amusement as
she watched the serious, almost stern lines of the face, the gravity in
the eyes, when they were occasionally raised.

For some time Marjorie observed her closely and then broke in upon the
silence with,--"I'm drifting irresistibly to conversation or drowsiness,
I don't know which, but in any case I'd much better away to bed. So
good-night and good luck."

Then just as she reached the door she turned laughingly to Ellen and
said, "Your hair is just as nice as ever; but I'm afraid you've got the
world tied to your little finger."

But Ellen merely nodded and smiled at the sound of Marjorie's voice, not
hearing one word of the taunt.


III

Marjorie had had her way and the five friends were now spending the last
day of their visit to Bryn Mawr, as they had spent the others, picking
up old threads and discovering new ones.

The changes since their day were many and to Marjorie, seeing them for
the first time, they seemed like personal affronts, rousing in her that
passion of resentment which is the lunacy of the graduate. The old gate
was done away with. The old road no longer existed. A long stretch of
buildings struck her eye unfamiliarly. Taylor had shrunk itself among
the trees and its dear ugliness was retired from the gaze of approaching
visitors. But the alterations were so skillful that the alumnæ soon felt
an admiring ownership in them and quickly embraced the changes.

Almost the only familiar figures to be seen were those of college
servants there since the beginning, one of whom, William, once well-nigh
universal in his activities, was now so highly differentiated that he
seemed to do nothing but carry the mails. He was a repository of
traditions, and he delighted forlorn alumnæ by his air of proprietorship
in the past as well as in the present. Small wonder that, when they
found their doings sunk into a mere tradition and marked the shortness
of memory and self-importance of the undergraduates, they turned for
cheer to William's flattery and refused to consider its ambiguities.

"No, no, miss, none of our young ladies now are like the young ladies
when you were here. In your time they certainly was young ladies.

"And your name, miss? It's the same I suppose, I'm afraid to call any of
you by name, there's so many married, you see, and they might be
offended if I didn't remember the gentleman's name, you see. I keep
track of you all by reading the list of names and who's dead and
married. Talking of marriages, miss, so Dr. ---- is married. Well, he's
the last of our professors I'd a thought of marrying. Well, changes is
changes, miss, when all's said and done."

On this their last afternoon, Susan Everett and Beatrice O'Hara had
joined the five where they were sitting under the cherry tree in front
of Taylor. Their talk was of the undergraduates and the zest with which
they listened to tales of those first days.

"Their seeming disregard of us and our doings is the result of
ignorance, not of indifference," Edith was saying, "but their curiosity
is now thoroughly aroused."

"Oh, yes indeed," groaned Marjorie, "they've decided they'll collect the
traditions and if you've the age of Methuselah and the memory of
Macaulay, they wind you up and you can be doing nothing at all but
telling them stories. And you've to stop and explain to them who the
Polyglot is and the Gifted, and even I can't quite make clear to them
those treasures of individuality. All you get for your pains is, 'Oh
yes! one of the professors.'"

Her plaint seemed to be justified, for across from Pembroke some girls
came running and when they saw the group under the tree, one of them
called out,--"Oh, here you are, Miss Heywood! May we not come and learn
some more history?"

And as though Marjorie's consent were a foregone conclusion, they sat
down on the grass at her feet and settled themselves as children will
for the treat in store.

"Come, Tommie, tell us a story and play the fool for us, as you used to
do," said Susan Everett lapsing into the old name and desirous that
Marjorie should assume her old character.

"I should have drifted naturally into my accustomed rôle, had you kept
still a moment; but introductory remarks are death to spontaneity. And,
like Amanda Jones, I want my little fun spontaneous.

"Now, you never knew Amanda Jones," she continued to the undergraduates,
"but by that historic utterance she deprived you of a custom. Did you
ever think why you never had a class-day at Bryn Mawr? You know you
never have had one, and if you ever do the ghost of Amanda Jones will
haunt the campus.

"It was the year we graduated, and we," indicating her companions, "had
been sitting up into the small hours arranging for a class-day. The
first class had gone out in solemn dignity, but we craved something
more; we would have a class-day. We had an elaborate program made out,
amusing, but academic, without doubt the cleverest entertainment that
has ever been or ever will be. We had written an inimitable parody of
the _Clouds_,--so funny, so much funnier than anything Aristophanes ever
did. Humour so subtle was never heard. We couldn't read it ourselves
without weeping with laughter. Well, the parts were assigned, the
costumes half made, the invitations sent out, when of a sudden a class
meeting was called at Amanda's request. As soon as preliminaries were
over she arose, made a telling arraignment of class-day, referred
touchingly to former graduations at Bryn Mawr, and then she, who had
never even gone to an entertainment, much less invented one, paused
dramatically, and slowly enunciated, 'we've always had our little fun
spontaneous!' She carried the day, and still carries it, and there is no
such thing as class-day at Bryn Mawr."

"Amanda wasn't about when we were practicing for our comb-orchestra,"
laughed Beatrice. "Poor Amanda! She didn't know that the deliberations
beforehand were half the fun."

"Do you remember," asked Ellen, "the evening we spent sitting in the
trunk-room in Merion, helping Alice Marston write the _Professor_?"

"Dear me, I had forgotten," sighed Louise, "and I don't think anything
has ever seemed really funny since that."

"The sad part of it is," continued Evelyn, "that the warning in the
motto we used would now be a necessity. Who but ourselves would
understand those jokes? What was the motto?" to an inquiring freshman,

    "Quae jocum suspiciet, eam oportet ridere;
     Quae non, oportet aliis ridentibus ridere.
              Ne lacrima!
            Quot intellixistis?"

"Don't apologize for talking Latin, Evelyn," said Marjorie, with a
comical glance at the group, "it's like our mother tongue."

"That was the way the Latin lecture used to begin," explained Ellen, for
the benefit of the undergraduates. "You see we used to have lectures in
Latin as a sort of elective."

"That sounds impressive; it did to me when I first heard it," responded
Marjorie, "but those Latin lectures were the most humorous things you
could imagine. You watched the Polyglot's face, and you knew when to
laugh and when to weep, and you were a little dull if you didn't
understand enough to raise your hand when he called out 'Quot
intellixistis?'

"Do you remember the one on Irish bulls? In your honour wasn't it, Pat?"
turning to Beatrice O'Hara, whose vaunted Irish blood was evident in her
speech.

"I wish I'd kept a record of Pat's bulls," remarked Susan. "I often feel
as though one of them was just the tonic I needed."

"Never mind," answered Beatrice, good-humouredly, "I once saw through
one all by myself. That time I told you I was carrying a stool with me
because I had to stand up."

"I often think of the way the Gifted chuckled, because you would say
'whenever a man died,'" added Ellen.

"I didn't deserve his ridicule; for I was the only person capable of
understanding what he meant by his favourite 'on a mutual hand,' or of
appreciating the beautiful idea of his 'tell all that you don't know
about this subject.'"

"Oh, Marjorie," exclaimed Edith, "have you forgotten how you disgraced
yourself just because you thought you noticed the joke introducing
expression on a learned lecturer's face? You would go to the German
lecture on Ulfilas, thinking it wise to make the most of all
opportunities for getting up your German for your orals."

"Not a bit of it," interrupted Marjorie, "I came to myself to find the
distinguished guests and the members of the Faculty gazing at me as
though I were crazy, and you pinching me black and blue. And all because
I had worked myself into hysterics of laughter over the Lord's Prayer in
Gothic."

"Wasn't it queer in those days when everything was new?" inquired one of
the audience.

"My dear child there never was a time when everything was new, and I
know what I'm talking about, for I was the first freshman that ever
spent a night in Bryn Mawr, and I then learned that Bryn Mawr already
had a history that was venerable, customs that were inviolable. That
first night I learned the Manus Bryn Mawrensium and the Maid of Bryn
Mawr. I was early taught the tradition of the sacredness of the Harriton
family cemetery, taken there by two sponsors, who felt the necessity of
impressing us, the newcomers, with the past.

"In that stretch of woodland," here her voice took on a sentimental
tone, "known as the Vaux woods, and still frequented by Bryn Mawr
students, there lies nestling among the trees a secluded burying
ground. Grey walls of ancient date bound it within narrow compass. The
masonry sturdily defiant of time, has been mellowed by a growth of moss
and lichen. To any eye a picturesque spot! In its calm but cheerful
solitude, no inhospitable resting-place! You feel in a sense possessors
of that place; you are aware that in some subtle manner it belongs to
you; but fully to comprehend your own feelings you must hear the droll,
though sentimental reminiscence of the first class of Bryn Mawr; you
must picture to yourselves a group of students on the worn steps and the
nervous, enthusiastic figure of that 'learned doctor,' as he walks up
and down in front of them, declaiming ore rotundo and with all possible
expression, the parting of Hector and Andromache. Yes, he taught us
Horace," answering a question from one of the groups on the grass. "Oh,
you have no such classes now. I couldn't imagine college without his
Horace class."

"How we had to work in it, though," sighed Louise.

"Oh yes, but you know we always had his permission to shirk all other
work that we might do his," came from Beatrice.

"And at last we had to protest," continued Edith. "Had we done all that
was expected of us, we should never have gone to bed. Our protests
passed seemingly unheeded, till one day just before Thanksgiving, the
Polyglot entered the room, one shoulder heaved on high with the great
pile of books he held under his arm. Having as usual begun his lecture
in the corridor, he was saying as he came inside the door, 'I have with
me a most interesting find, a manuscript Latin poem, unexpectedly come
into my possession. I shall write it on the board and then ask some one
to volunteer with a translation.' Then standing on tiptoe, at times
jumping so that he might write at the very top of the blackboard, he
began to copy some verses, but long before he had finished, the class
was convulsed with laughter. For it was a graceful little apology for
overworking us."

"When I think of Bryn Mawr," said Marjorie, "few things have left so
vivid an impression on my mind as his class-room. I was under the spell
of literature from the moment I heard him give out his first parallel
passage. There was in his classes a magical exhilaration never to be
forgotten. And to think you poor things don't know anything about it!

"It must seem very different to you now," put in a senior,
sympathetically.

"To be sure it does, and I think nothing strikes me more than the
light-hearted way in which you do things that we didn't dare to do for
fear of bringing down rules on our heads. Like our ancestors we were
constantly 'snuffing tyranny.'"

"Hadn't you self-government then?" asked a freshman in amazement.

"We had no government of any sort, and no despotism could have been more
compelling than the nameless fear that hung over us, that we might some
day do something that would lead some one to take away our liberty."

"I have always regretted the establishment of self-government," said
Elizabeth Gordon, a graduate who was to receive her Ph. D. the next day.

"Not at all, not at all," Marjorie hastened to declare. "You were always
so immersed in work that you never bothered with other people; but those
of us that thought it our duty to keep an eye on the freshmen found our
hands full. Why the trips that I have made with my Memorabilia under my
arm to administer sugar-coated pellets of college-spirit have cost me
many a good mark."

The reminiscences had filled the afternoon, and now the college-bell
rang out, warning the various groups that dinner-time was at hand. With
an apologetic laugh Marjorie started up, saying as she walked along,
"Six o'clock, and I've talked almost all afternoon! Well! Well! 'Tis but
a sign of age."

"Age, you goose," laughed Edith, "weren't you always the 'garrulous
particle'?"

"Well, weakness then, and a mistaken notion that there is no place like
Bryn Mawr."


IV

The beauty of the long June evening was not to be resisted, and as soon
as dinner was over, the students hurried out of doors. An air of
relaxation was everywhere noticeable. Those fagged out by examinations
gained cheer and liveliness from the more careless, or loitered about in
unregarded lassitude not disturbed by any sense of obligation as
contributors to the brimming talk of their companions. It was the
perfection of easy intercourse where every sentence is a free-will
offering.

However far the little knots of good company might wander, they sooner
or later gathered about the steps of Taylor Hall to listen to the senior
singing. The effect was almost like a stage setting in its perfection,
the grey buildings, the intense green of the grass, the blossoms on the
trees, the dresses of the girls, the group upon the steps, with the
rays of the setting sun falling full upon it. This custom of singing on
the steps was an innovation on the manners of the first years, but an
innovation picturesque and pathetic. Its pathos touched the group of
alumnæ standing at a little distance from the steps. Throughout the
afternoon they had almost fancied themselves students again; now they
had stepped aside and had become mere spectators, while the seniors were
making the most of their last days.

Before the singing stopped darkness had crept upon the scene. Taking
advantage of it Ellen slipped away unnoticed and wandered down the
hillside. As she heard the strange voices singing the old songs, she
suddenly perceived how far she had drifted away from her college
days--from all that had been revived by the chatter of the afternoon.
She could not but feel that Marjorie's power of awakening those trifling
memories, and Edith's quick response to her whims and sallies, her
humorous allusions indicated not a less, but a greater share in all that
was vital and permanent than any she could claim for all her
seriousness. A passionate regret rushed over her, aware now that in her
hurry, her business, her very faithfulness, she had lost, almost past
recovery, many of the privileges that had been hers; that, in her
pursuit of ends, worthy enough to be sure, she had made no demands on
the really precious things in her experience at college. For in this
moment of reflection, those trivial and petty reminiscences, mere
accidents in their student-life, became for her the summons to an act of
recollection.

She had strolled across the daisy field and was standing on the brow of
the hill looking out toward the west. The moon had risen. Seen in its
light the sweep of landscape seemed to her more picturesque, fuller of
appeal to the imagination. Details were lost sight of, contrasts of
light and shade emphasized. The slope before her lay in the full
moonlight. Beyond it a clump of trees showed dark against the lucent
sky. In the farther distance the hills were wrapped in a soft mist,
brightened here and there by the gleams from the clustered houses. The
familiar scene was full of remembrances, but remembrances for the most
part of her friendship for Marjorie and Edith. Long tramps across those
hills had been their favourite exercise through the winter. The daisy
field, the haunt of idle moments in the warm days of spring or autumn,
had also been for them a special sort of study, reserved for choicest
reading. Toward it too they had always wandered after the Sunday evening
meeting. As they walked along their talk would drift from the subject
of the evening to things more personal, closer to their hearts, their
individual perplexities, their individual faiths. Each one was then at
her best, in the light of sympathy, showing herself as good or as noble
as she really was. Those conversations, assumed to her kindled
imagination, an actuality, a power, hitherto unperceived, becoming not
only the record of their preferences in all matters great or small,
their criticism of the activities and the thoughts of their own little
world, but also the measure of their share in it. The little world thus
recalled to her, had, she was beginning to remember, its care for
holiness, for truth, for courage, and it had too its care for
orderliness and beauty in its very frivolities--and there had been a
discipline really stimulating even in that. The genius of the place
expressing itself in this care showed itself in light-hearted frolic no
less than in scholastic endeavor, for it determined the way in which
things were done rather than actual achievements, thus uniting in
voluntary submission to its influence those whom individual powers
separated from one another, informing them with its spirit, till it
became a part of them, not to be changed without the loss of something
individual.

How vivid it all was, how persistent, yet how baffling its secret! Why
could she not penetrate this secret and possess it? But as before she
could neither arrest nor depict the ideas that were passing to and fro
in her mind. Her thoughts flew to her speech. In it she had ignored
everything but the definite, the tangible, and in so doing she had
failed. Yet, even if she could seize the sentiment and translate it into
words, she dreaded misapprehension--she could not forget her audience.

"Oh, here you are, Ellen," Marjorie broke in on her reverie, "I've just
been singing your praises. It seems there are difficulties in the way of
self-government, and I thought I'd help them by giving them a bit of our
experience. So I told how you brought us through that bitter time, when
we so nearly lost our liberties. As I told them I realized as never
before how impossible it is to pass on experience. I could see before me
the faces of the girls so drawn, so stern, with that pitiful sternness
that only young faces catch; and then I seemed to hear Dr. Rhoads in
chapel that next morning, reading to us that chapter about Grace and
Law; and I could remember just how he stopped and looked at us after he
read the words,--'_For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are
not under the law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we
are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid_,'--and then went on
to tell us that he believed that those words expressed our spirit and
that as long as that spirit guided us we could be trusted to govern
ourselves. It seems strange that while the impression of that time will
never fade from our minds, we can pass on nothing but the tradition.
There is no Dr. Rhoads now," she continued after a pause, "and I think I
miss him more than I do any one else. He always used to gather up the
events of our life here and put them into their proper relations."

"Yes, he entered with all his heart into the college spirit just as
though he were one of us," agreed Edith.

"And for that very reason," said Ellen, "no part of his influence is
lost. That spirit is the touchstone for all of us. However variable it
is the one thing that persists and, so far, it has been as he understood
it. Each student, whatever her gifts, must make it her own if she is
ever to be anything but an alien here."

"It always needs Ellen to give the finishing touch," said Edith.

"If it had not been for you and Marjorie," insisted Ellen, "I should
still have taken counsel of the cynical outsiders."

"Listen a moment," interrupted Marjorie, "that's it after all."

A band of girls was coming toward them through the moonlight and as they
came they sang:

    "_Thou Gracious Inspiration
     Our Guiding Star,
     Mistress and Mother, All Hail Bryn Mawr._"


V

One morning some days later, Ellen was looking out upon a delightful
garden in Indianapolis. The day was fine, if warm, and in the garden the
roses were in full bloom. She was in the highest spirits; but her gayety
of mood was a thing of the past five minutes and had nothing to do with
the sunshine or the flowers. She was reviewing the occurrences of the
last week and entertaining herself greatly.

Her speech had been made the day before with really brilliant success.
It had been the most important event in a series of notable meetings and
had been received in a way that might well have roused her to fresh
endeavour. Yet in the moment of her greatest success she had shown
herself strangely indifferent to her manifest duty. This was the result
of her having discovered, just as she had begun to accept the fact of
her triumph and the rewards that lay before her, that it was all due to
a surprising mishap, something altogether beyond her control. She
showed that she felt the importance of the occurrence by thinking of it
steadily for the rest of the day and well on into the night. This was
not because she wanted to think of it particularly; indeed she had made
every effort to dismiss her preoccupation; but she could not rid herself
of the idea that an accident was responsible for her triumph. In her
perplexity she went over the whole thing time and again.

There had been an inspiring audience, so much she acknowledged, casting
her mind over it. She had observed it in the moments before the meeting
was called to order. Looking at the impressive throng she had been
annoyed to think that she might have to use her notes. As she rose and
moved toward the desk there had been a sudden hush and concentration of
attention upon the platform, of so much she had been distinctly
conscious. She had felt too that after she laid her notes on the table
and began to speak, the intelligent interest which had greeted her
opening sentences soon gave way to an eager, fixed intentness and
breathless silence. Then all was a blank, till the restrained enthusiasm
broke forth.

As soon as the meeting was over she had been overwhelmed by
congratulations. Her one desire had been to escape, and she felt it
difficult to be gracious to her admirers. She had managed at length to
get away, and handing her notes to a reporter, had hurried to the door.
There she had been stopped by an old gentleman, who, though an utter
stranger to her, greeted her as an old friend.

"Now, Miss Blake, you'll come home with us. You'll not stop another
minute at the hotel. No, I'll not hear a word. I won't take a refusal.
Nobody has as good a right to you as I, your father's old friend, Ned
Cartwright." Then he had grasped her warmly by the hand, exclaiming
delightedly,--"My dear young lady! My dear young lady! It was your
father over again, Harry Blake, Prince Hal we used to call him. And is
that the way you girls feel about college? Bless me, I'd never have
believed it. I have heard so much solemn nonsense talked about what you
do and say and think. But I'll never believe it again. Why, you might
have been talking about my own college days, and your father's
too,--Prince Hal we used to call him. I'll never forget how we stole the
clapper, he and I. And they do it still, my dear, just as we used to,
and you steal your clappers too, and, bless me,--I'll send every girl I
can to college, if that's the way you all feel about it. That's
education! It isn't all books,--never was and never will be. Just ask
your father and he'll tell you so too. Yes, I give you my word, every
one of them shall go. I'll see to it. I'd as soon shut them off from
fairy stories and Walter Scott, and falling in love, because they were
girls. It's romance, that's what it is and they've a right to their
romance; for I'm an old man, my dear, and perhaps you'll take my word
for it, it's the romance of life that counts,--for the girls as well as
the boys."

While he was still talking Mrs. Cartwright had come up with a welcome as
hearty as his. Their hospitality had been irresistible, and Ellen,
powerless before it, was soon walking with them to the carriage. But
just as she had been about to get in she had been stopped once more.

"Pardon me, Miss Blake," some one had said, and there had stood the
reporter with her manuscript.

"I think there must be some mistake," he had gone on to say, "the paper
you gave me deals with the practical value of college life and you
talked this morning on what you called 'the Poetry of College Spirit.'"

Then, as in a flash, Ellen had seemed to understand the sense of
something strange and bewildering in the experience of the past hour,
for she then remembered that when she had stood facing her audience in
the moment before she began to speak, she had seemed to forget her
notes, her listeners and herself, and to apprehend the meaning of her
four years at Bryn Mawr so clearly that it came to have for her a sort
of personal identity. Carried beyond herself by her delight in the
assurance of something actual, she had spoken unpremeditated thoughts.
One might almost say, she thought, that the memories revived by the
visit to Bryn Mawr, then crowded out by her intense preoccupation in the
business of the convention had, as in revenge, taken possession of her,
forcing all other thoughts from her--had almost as it were expressed
themselves. Much that had puzzled her in Major Cartwright's criticism
was now explained. A trick of memory accounted for all--even her
triumph. But she could recall nothing of her speech. The words were
forever lost.

She had been overwhelmed by the strangeness of it all, and, do what she
would, she could not keep her thoughts from wandering from the Major's
eager questions of her father's doings to her own perplexing experience.
At one moment she had seemed to be on the point of remembering the
speech, to have the words on the tip of her tongue; the next to lose
them more surely than ever. Though the Major was constantly bringing it
to mind she was none the wiser for his references. That he had thought
well of it she could not doubt, but she wanted to know what she had
said. Long after she had gone to her room that night she had sat
thinking. The poetry of college spirit! What had she said about it?
Perhaps she had said something absurd, had made her subject ridiculous.
It hardly seemed so from what she had heard. And yet,--could she think
that the inspiration of that moment of discovery had lasted through an
hour of unconsciousness? How much more probable that the shadowy
something she had tried to define had been so real to the memory or the
imagination of her hearers that the mere mention of it had for them an
instant fascination.

And now this morning, finding herself the first downstairs, she had
picked up the paper. She would find out at last. A few moments ago she
had finished reading, and throwing the paper aside with the impatience
of disappointment, had stepped out on to the porch. In those five
minutes she had come to view the whole thing with a lively enjoyment.

There was a column about it in the paper, but no outline, nothing but
praise and the hope that she would make her speech fully effective by
publishing it. Was there perhaps a touch of malice in that suggestion?
Had the reporter grasped more of the situation than she had chosen to
tell? With that thought amusement overpowered her,--amusement at herself
above all. That she of all persons should be at a loss to know how she
had done precisely what she desired to do--please everybody--seemed to
her the perfection of irony. Her comic imagination, once kindled, swept
everything before it, her self-importance, her views, even her
curiosity. Then a delightful feeling of irresponsibility came upon her.
The speech was none of hers.

"Well now, what an early riser you are. I hope you are not used up by
the excitement of yesterday," came in cordial tones from the doorway and
Major Cartwright came out to bid her good-morning.

"What, all alone!" looking about him. "Haven't you seen Mrs. Cartwright
yet? She's been down a long time. I suppose she's out among the roses.
We'll go on without her if you don't mind. She likes to take her time
and cut all the roses before the sun gets hot, but it worries her to
think she is keeping me waiting. So I humour her and myself too."

"Well, you'll not be asked to wait this morning, my dear Edward, I've
got them all gathered." And Mrs. Cartwright came up from the garden with
a basket of roses on her arm. "Come away to breakfast now. I'll arrange
these afterward," leading the way to the dining-room.

The Major picked up the paper in passing, and looked at it.

"Oh here's all about your speech!" he cried, "I hope they didn't garble
it very much."

"Far from that," laughed Ellen, "they don't attempt to tell what I
said."

"What? You don't mean it. Nothing at all about it?"

"Oh, yes, compliments enough to turn my head. But the thought was
evidently too much for----"

"Just listen to this, Lucy!" interrupted the Major after a glance at the
criticism. "I don't believe you know what a distinguished young lady we
have with us this morning,--'Indianapolis has heard much of the
eloquence of Miss Blake, but Indianapolis was not prepared for the
glowing words of yesterday.'" He read to Ellen's great amusement. "'It
would be folly to attempt an abbreviated report of that splendid piece
of oratory. Instead we take pleasure in printing extracts from an
article on a more practical phase of college life, confident that any
words on woman's education from so able an exponent will be of the
highest interest to our readers.

"'The speech made yesterday we predict, without hesitation will never be
surpassed by Miss Blake,--it will be remembered as her masterpiece.'"

While he was reading Mrs. Cartwright had been watching Ellen and had
decided that she had been blind the night before, for she had missed
much of the attraction in her face. Just now Ellen's eyes twinkling with
fun were fixed on the major's face, and Mrs. Cartwright watched her with
a pleased smile.

"Your masterpiece he calls it," she exclaimed, as her husband finished;
"isn't that just like a reporter? How does he know you'll never surpass
it?"

"Bless me, I don't see how she could surpass it," ejaculated the Major,
"I'll not call the fellow a false prophet yet."

"I don't believe you'll have the chance--ever," retorted Ellen. "I
haven't an idea what I said and by the time I make my next speech no one
else will remember."

"What do you mean, my dear young lady?" he asked astonished. "It was
never in the world extempore."

"That or nothing." And Ellen, sensitive to a genial change in herself,
though, perhaps but dimly conscious of it, told the whole story with so
keen a relish for the satiric elements in it, that her listeners were
delighted. Her unconcern met with no protest from companions too
unfamiliar with her ways to reproach her for not being quite herself.
Elsewhere she might not have dared to disregard the imperious demands of
what was expected of her; but here she was not coerced by any
preconceived notions of what she was likely to do.

"And it's all gone from you?" said Mrs. Cartwright.

"Yes, just as completely as if the thing had never happened. It's just
as though you had done something very clever in a dream, and found when
you tried to do the same thing after you were awake that you had
forgotten the most important part of it."

"But the fellow ought to have attended to his business better," said
Major Cartwright. "What was he there for if not to report?" He took up
the paper again. "The man's a fool. A plea for the higher education!"

"That's what it was meant for," murmured Ellen.

"It converted you, anyway," contended Mrs. Cartwright, nodding at him.

"Never heard anything so absurd," he went on disregarding them. "Where
did he get all this stuff about the practical value of the higher
education?"

"From me, I am afraid. You see when he found he couldn't have the best,
he decided to take the next best, and asked me for the notes of the
speech I intended to make. I tried very hard indeed to catch my thoughts
about Bryn Mawr and pin them down for inspection as my views on college
life. But they escaped me, I'm glad to say."

"I can't believe it of you. Why when you got through you had stirred in
me afresh the enthusiasms of years ago."

"That's not so much of a compliment as it seems, my dear," interrupted
Mrs. Cartwright. "His enthusiasm on some subjects is perennial. It needs
only the word 'college' to set him going. But come along and help me
with the roses. If we go on like this, we'll begin to think you just
made an ordinary speech after all."

"And I do want to think it my masterpiece," said Ellen, rising to follow
her. Then she turned to the Major with a humorous diffidence that hid a
feeling too strong to show itself. "Perhaps it is just as well that I
have to stand on my attainment. If it were down in black and white some
critical person would be sure to discover how much I owe to the eloquent
ears of my audience."

                                           _Marian T. MacIntosh, '90._



_IN MAYTIME_


I

Timothy Trask was an eminently correct young man. His dress, his speech,
his manners were all the most correct of their kind. If he discovered
that anything was the proper thing to do, he always did it, even to the
extent of playing very poor golf in an irreproachable pink coat. He was
a great lover of the antique, which is in itself a very correct thing to
be at the present time, and he possessed a collection of ancient armour,
which was hung about on the walls of his wide front hallway, a grim line
of swords and battle-axes, and great round shields.

Large as this collection was, in the mind of the fastidious Timothy it
was incomplete without a certain Crusader's dagger, exposed to view in a
New York dealer's window. Timothy had stood looking at this dagger with
longing contemplation, for once unconscious of his pose before the
public gaze. His imagination had conjured up an enticing scene in which
Timothy Trask figured as the centre of an admiring throng of
acquaintances, all watching with breathless eagerness while he told the
story of the ancient dagger and pointed out its jewelled hilt and the
fine gold chains attached to each end. Then he had counted over his
railway stocks, his mortgages and government bonds, and had sadly taken
the train back to Philadelphia.

The dagger continued to fill an unobtrusive place in the New York
window, and an altogether too prominent place in the mind of poor
Timothy. All his antiques grew tiresome and commonplace in comparison
with this one little jewelled hilt. At last one evening he decided that
he must have it if it ruined him. With a sudden burst of confidence he
told the whole story to three friends in his smoking room, and announced
his intention of going to New York the next day.

Unlucky confidence for Timothy! A look of subtle meaning passed from one
to another of the friends. One of them, in spite of warning glances from
the others, picked up a copy of the _Ledger_ from the table, and
nonchalantly pointed to a full-page account of a May-day fête, reviving
the Elizabethan plays and dances, to be given the next day at Bryn Mawr.

"Here's a lot about the learned ladies. Going to give some sort of show
or other. Elizabethan! Hm! Reading extracts from history, I suppose,
perhaps all dressed up, like a Dickens reading. It says something about
'correct costumes.' I wonder if Tim's cousin is to be in it. Look here,
Tim, when are you going to take us out to see that pretty cousin of
yours?"

"I have not seen Marion Hall since she was a child, and have no desire
to make her acquaintance," said Timothy icily.

Because Timothy was so correct, he particularly detested and disapproved
of college girls. They represented to his mind a mixture of spectacled
phenomena of learning, and of cheering, basket-ball playing New Women.
In either capacity he found them peculiarly objectionable. He often said
of them, with a fervent horror he might have expressed towards wild
Indians, "I sincerely trust it will never be my misfortune to meet one."

His feeling towards college girls was well known to these friends and it
had occurred to one of them that it would be delightful to see Timothy
at the May-day festivity, surrounded by hordes of college girls on their
native heath. The incongruity of the picture was so pleasing to the
others that the idea had been instantly seized upon, and they
determined, by some hook or crook to get Timothy to Bryn Mawr.

Now the avowed trip to New York gave them their opportunity. One of them
could meet him at the station and manage in some way to lead him astray.

The victim serenely played into their hands. When the conspirators
appeared Timothy was just in the agony of trying to hide his
near-sightedness and at the same time discover which was his gate. All
the officials seemed occupied at that moment, and he had no time to go
back to the bureau of information.

"Hello, Jenks, where are you bound for? I have just two minutes. Can you
see which is the New York gate?"

"Over there," replied Jenks, unblushingly pointing to the sign "Bryn
Mawr special," under which was a hurrying crowd in holiday attire.
Timothy noted the throng and bustle of an express, and pushed through
the gate just in time to get a seat.


II

    "To the May-pole let us on,
     The time is swift and will be gone!"

The blue sky, the green campus, the laughter, echoing on every side,
repeated the invitation of the song, while the sun poured gayly through
the windows, and the voices without mingled with those within. A
breakfast party was in progress on the fourth floor of Merion. It was
not the first time such a function had been held there, but this morning
the fantastic costumes of the guests, the piles of gay cheese-cloth
heaped in a corner, the swords and plumed caps lying on top of
notebooks, gave the party an unusually festive and holiday appearance.

A herald clad in yellow and white, adorned with rampant lions before and
behind, was scrambling eggs by the window-sill, and a forester in a
brown jerkin was making coffee in one of the egg-shaped coffee-pots so
apt to turn upside down when least expected. A marshal had just set fire
to her blue and red coat-of-arms, and was kneeling in front of the
divan, engaged in carefully pasting on a patch.

Every now and then a knock announced a newcomer whose costume was
greeted with laughter and eagerly examined. Presently a forester
appeared, in Lincoln green jerkin and smock. Her arms were full of
many-coloured banners, which she proceeded to hang out of the window,
flaunting an expanse of purple lions and gilded dragons upon the spring
breeze. Then she procured a plate of eggs and potatoes, and a cup of
coffee, and sat down on the floor.

"We have been indulging in a little archery practice this morning," she
said, laughing softly at the remembrance. "It is going to be very
picturesque shooting down that avenue of trees, but it is singularly
fortunate that the target is safely out of sight!"

"Don't be discouraged! Wait till you hear the heralds striving to sound
their horns," said the sword-dancer, who was sitting on a perilous
rocking-chair without a back, while her hair was being turned up beneath
her collar. "There, listen to them now!"

There came through the open window a feeble noise, ending abruptly in a
squeak, followed by shouts of laughter. Looking out they saw a herald
standing with her head thrown back and her trumpet raised to her lips,
her tall, young figure, in its white and yellow, silhouetted against the
green campus. A motley but appreciative audience paused in the task of
putting up May-pole streamers to applaud her.

While the others were so engaged, the forester came and sat down on the
floor by the marshal, and watched her put the finishing touches to the
damaged costume.

"Will you do something for me?" she asked, a trifle shyly.

"With pleasure," said the marshal, outlining her coat-of-arms with black
paint.

"Don't say you will so quickly. I had a letter from some one, the other
day, saying he was coming to May-day. I wrote him that I didn't want
him, but--I am afraid he will come anyway, and I don't want to see him."

"Oh!" said the marshal, looking up.

"I can't make up my mind," said the other girl. "I wish I could, but I
can't, and I simply won't see him till I do."

"Oh!" said the marshal again. "I suppose you want me to keep him out of
your way?"

"If you only would," assented the forester, with a pleading gaze.

"But my dear young innocence, there are going to be a few thousand
people here, more or less. How am I to find one unattached young man?"

"Oh, I only mean, in case you happen to hear of his asking for me.
People will come to you, you know. Don't have him too much on your
mind."

"I will try not to," said the marshal, dryly. "If you will hear my
advice, I think you had better see him for yourself, and settle it, yes
or no, one way or other."

"You don't know how hard it is," murmured the forester, with a little
sigh.

The marshal rose to her feet with a grim expression, which indicated
that she would like the chance of settling it. And with an inward remark
upon the nuisance of having men mixed up with college functions, she
went to the oval mirror and put on her coat-of-arms.

"The rehearsal is at ten," she announced. "Now, please be on time, every
one, so that it need not take _quite_ the whole morning to form the
procession. Don't forget the cloaks for the band, Elizabeth,--and do all
of you remember that _no one_ is to wear patent leather shoes!"

She seized her marshal's staff and departed.


III

When Timothy arrived at the Bryn Mawr station, that afternoon, he found
himself in the centre of a dense crowd, which was surging up the road.
He had no liking for crowds, and avoided them on all occasions. It
annoyed him intensely to be surrounded by indiscriminate numbers of
chattering people, pushing against him, and pressing him along with
them. In spite of his efforts to maintain his usual dignified carriage,
he was swept along at a fairly rapid pace, through a gateway, and up a
long path to the side of a low stone arch; through which appeared a
vista of gleaming white road and green trees.

At Haverford when the familiar Cricket Club came in sight, Timothy had
come to a sudden realization of the trick his friends had played him.
And when every one trooped out of the train at Bryn Mawr, he had decided
to yield to curiosity and make the best of a bad situation. But it was
in no genial mood that he approached the college. And now he almost
wished he had taken the next train back, to vent his anger on those
three friends.

He was sandwiched in between two stout ladies, one of whom poked him in
the neck with her parasol, while the other explained the details of
Mary's costume, just completed the day before, by the maternal
sewing-machine. Timothy correctly protected his necktie from the
parasol's advances. Taking out his eyeglass, he assumed his most extreme
expression of bored indifference, hoping to indicate to every one around
him that he, at least, was not here willingly for a day's holiday, and
anticipated no diversion whatever from anything forthcoming. The thought
of himself, Timothy Trask, inside a woman's college, waiting by the
roadside for a circus procession, was enough to make him grit his teeth,
and swear at the three idiots who had been instrumental in sending him
there.

Suddenly a hush fell upon the expectant crowd. With a blast upon their
shining trumpets, eight heralds appeared in Pembroke archway, dressed in
white and gold, with the Pembroke coat-of-arms emblazoned upon their
breasts. Behind came lumbering along four oxen, great, patient beasts,
decked out with leaves and branches, dragging the May-pole. Some mighty
forest-giant had been sacrificed to these revels. It was painted white,
and festooned with garlands. A line of flower girls trooped along on
either side, flowers in their arms, on their short gay-coloured skirts,
and adorning their wide hats.

Laughter rippled down the line of spectators, as through the archway
came nine donkies, one behind another, solemnly bearing the famous _Nine
Worthies_ of Old English pageant. Odds, my life, we find ourselves in
high company! Here is Julius Cæsar, clad in scarlet, with a truly Roman
nose, and behind him King Solomon, in all his purple glory, while Sir
Godfrey de Bouillon, that virtuous knight, brings up the rear on a most
restive steed. Next, mounted on a high cart, came the maidens of Spring,
fighting their old battle with grey-coated Winter. That is right, pelt
him with flowers, and cover his snowballs. He has no place to-day.

It seemed as if Pembroke Arch were a gateway to the past, and jovial Old
England were pouring through it.

Now came the ring of horses' hoofs upon the stone paving. Make way,
there, for Maid Marian, the Queen of the May, with Robin Hood, that
gallant and sturdy rogue, riding by her side! There followed all his
merry men, come from the shades of Sherwood to join in the revels, for
what true yoeman will not trip a measure with a pretty maid, when the
sun shines on May-day? Behind came the fool, in motley red and yellow,
bells upon his two long ears, bells upon every point of his skirt and
cape, bells upon the sceptre which he shook above his head. Happy fool,
with light feet and lighter heart! Treading close on his heels the
Hobby-horse was showing his paces. For the most part he walked along,
sedately enough, saving his breath to curvet and prance, later on, in
the _Revesby Sword Plaie_.

With music and laughter the pageant moved on, a train of shepherds with
softly bleating sheep, milkmaids, peddlers, ballad-mongers, and last of
all, mounted upon a float, a strange company indeed. They were dressed
in classic Grecian folds prepared to act in _The Excellent Pastoral of
The Arraignment of Paris_. Cupid is proverbially abroad on May-day, but
here he stood, in actual guise, and Pan, too, playing his pipes, and
stately Minerva, with her snaky shield.

The pageant wound in and out, around the grey stone buildings, a long
thread of living colour. Before Timothy well knew what he was doing, he
found himself pressing eagerly on with the crowd to the May-pole green.
The flower-crowned pole was loosed from behind the patient oxen, and
borne upon eager shoulders to the centre of the green. It was raised
aloft in the air, tottered for an instant, a great cheer went up, and it
sank into its socket. Then struck up the fiddles and pipes, the dancers
hastened to their May-poles, and holding aloft the gay streamers began
the dance with a bow and a courtesy.

    "All fair lasses have lads to attend 'em,
     Jolly, brave dancers who can amend 'em."

They wound the coloured ribbons about the four poles, while the rest of
the merrymakers danced at will and to the lilt of the gay tunes, in twos
and threes, as their fancy led them.

Timothy watched two flower-girls, tripping a measure with a forester,
smiling at him over their shoulders, and finally giving him each a hand
and dancing away into the crowd. He felt his pulses beat the time as
they had never done in a ballroom. It was the open air, and the gay
costumes, and the spirit of Old England, which had somehow taken
possession of him. Here was nothing but sunshine and feasting and
dancing all day; and after sundown, rest under a hawthorn bush. Timothy
even longed to give a hand to that dainty shepherdess and join in the
dance.

    "Come together, come, sweet lass,
     Let us trip it on the grass."

Presently the music ceased and the dancers scattered to their separate
plays. Timothy suddenly bethought him of his cousin. For the moment his
desire to claim acquaintance with an Old Englander got the better of his
hatred of college girls, and he asked one of the nearest groups where he
might find Miss Hall. A tall marshal standing near heard the question,
and turned around with a start.

"Did you ask for Miss Hall?" she said. "I will be glad to direct you if
you will come with me."

Now Timothy was unaccustomed to having young women, with golden hair,
and shining, eager eyes, hold out their hands to him, and say, "Come
with me!" He was so taken by surprise that with a mumbled, "Much
obliged, I'm sure," he followed her meekly through the crowd towards
Dalton Hall.

"It is most unusual," he told himself with misgiving, "for her to
address me, a complete stranger, in this way. It must be the policy of
the college to propitiate outsiders. I wonder if she would do it to
every one."

Then, quite irrelevantly, he wondered if he had on his most becoming
shape of collar. For some reason he felt very tolerant towards this
girl's naïve eagerness.

Presently she turned back to him, and said: "Would you not like to come
over here and see _The Ladie of the Maie_? It is such a pretty little
play."

"After all," thought Timothy, "no one knows me here."

He followed her submissively to the very front row of spectators, and
sat down on the grass, a thing he had not done before for at least ten
years. While they watched, the marshal explained that these shepherds
and shepherdesses were all grave seniors, and in one more month would be
Bachelors of Arts in fur-trimmed hoods. She told him all the old oral
jokes, and Timothy, to whom they were quite new, was much diverted. In
return he raked up his almost forgotten college tales. They were not
new to the marshal, but she appreciated them so sweetly that Timothy
thought they must be even more amusing than he had fancied.

The shepherds departed with their flocks of white, softly-bleating
sheep, but before the audience had time to wish them back, a gay,
rollicking ditty struck up, and the chimney-sweeps came running in,
Jack-o'-the-Green leading. They joined hands and danced around him in a
circle, still to the same rollicking measure, while Jack-o'-the-Green,
peering through his covering of branches and leaves, bowed to each one
in turn. The music stopped with a quick chord, the chimney-sweeps
dropped to their knees and pointed their brooms at the figure in the
middle. Then the music began again, and with their brooms in front of
them, they ran out.

Timothy and his guide stood up, and moved onward with the crowd. He
began to feel that there was no immediate necessity of finding Marian
Hall. He could just as well take a later train back to town. The marshal
was very courteous, and he did not wish to appear rude by leaving her
too unceremoniously. He even wished something would happen to detain
him.

"I want to take you to the _Saint George Plaie_," said his guide. "It is
very funny, and the grads. do it with a great deal of spirit."

Timothy's heart beat fast as he suddenly realized that the marshal was
purposely lengthening her task, that she was no more anxious to find
Miss Hall than he was. Yet she had known him but half an hour! It made
him feel strangely humble.

"Do you know," he said, "I have not even been introduced to you?"

"Let me introduce myself," said the girl, gaily. "Sir Marshal, at your
service."

"And I am Sir Lancelot," he declared, modestly, "just returned from the
Crusades, and glad to be back in merry England."

"Then, fair Sir Knight," said the marshal, "let me guide you to where
Saint George is slaying the unbeliever in sport, as you have so often
slain him in reality."

With more of such agreeable foolery, they made their way to where Saint
George was indeed slaying every one around him, to the diversion of the
spectators. For years afterwards the thought of the Dragon, with rainbow
snaky locks, writhing in the throes of death, would bring to Timothy a
smile of retrospective amusement.

It was a staging fit for _A Midsummer Night's Dream_. Pembroke was in
the background, its grey walls overhung with ivy. A green elm spread its
branches on one side of the open space, and on the other was a
cherry-tree, a mass of pink blossoms, its soft petals carpeting the
grass beneath.

There was no further question of finding Marian Hall. Sir Knight and his
guide wandered about everywhere, and Timothy's friends would surely have
doubted their eyes, could they have seen him taking in everything with
the air of a happy child, while he stated his theories on Old English
dances, and masques, and costumes.

At last he said: "Where is that fellow, Robin Hood, whom I saw in the
procession? He must be shooting his arrows somewhere about the green."

"I believe he is," said the marshal, without enthusiasm, adding to
herself, "How vexatious if I cannot keep him away from there. He will
see her, of course, and my day's work will have gone for nothing."

"I should like to see him immensely," observed Timothy.

"It is a long walk," objected the marshal.

"Not _too_ long, surely," said Timothy, with a glance, adding
persuasively, "I should hate to go alone."

"I should hate to have you," cried the marshal, with unmistakable
sincerity.

"Ah!" said Timothy, intoxication mounting to his brain. He wanted to
grasp some one by the hand and tell him what an altogether pleasing and
agreeable world this was. "Ah!" he said again, "we will go together."

The marshal flushed and murmured, "Idiot!" Then she grew pinker than
ever with vexation, while Timothy watched her confusion with an
agreeable thrill.

"If he _will_ go," thought the marshal, "I must certainly go too, to see
that he doesn't get within speaking distance."

So they walked on, past Taylor Hall, and across the May-pole green, down
to the hill below Radnor, where Robin Hood's men were holding forth. The
crowd of people surged and eddied past them. All the wide expanse of
campus was covered with moving throngs, and dotted with the brilliant
May-day dresses. Banners of purple and gold and crimson were flaming
from every window.

"I have stepped right out of America," remarked Timothy. "This place
must be rather like a May-day fête, even on ordinary occasions."

"I hope not," thought the marshal, wearily.

"Those grey stone buildings, with all that ivy, are like feudal castles.
I should think that the girls wandering about must be rather decorative,
if they wear their caps and gowns."

"Thank you," murmured the marshal.

"I feel like a trespasser," continued Timothy. "The place just suits
your costumes. We have no business here. Why did you let us in?"

"I don't know what object there would have been in getting it up, if we
didn't let you in," said the marshal, striving not to be bored.

Timothy was still in the clouds as they pushed their way into the inner
circle of the crowd, just in time for the finish of a bout at
quarter-staff between Robin Hood and Little John. Then Robin Hood ran to
the top of the hill, and blew a shrill blast upon his horn. A shout
answered him, and his band of merry men, all clad in Lincoln green, came
pouring over the brow of the hill. Long ago, when Timothy was a child,
Robin Hood had been his hero. He had procured a bow and arrow, and was
wont to strut about the back-yard, pretending to shoot the dun deer.
Here he was face to face with the famous outlaw, and the old glamour
gathered about him. After the familiar scene of Little John's
christening, the drinking-horns were filled, and the band threw
themselves down upon the soft grass, covered with violets. All listened
while the minstrel touched his harp, and the beautiful voice of
Allan-a-Dale sang the plaintive old ballad _Islington_.

Timothy was still hearing the echoes of the song when his guide said to
him, "It is all over. That is the last of the day."

"I should like to see it over again," sighed Timothy.

The girl laughed impatiently. "If you are going back to town to-night, I
am afraid you will have to go at once. The train leaves in about ten
minutes. Good-night," and she held out her hand to him.

"Good-night," said Timothy. "Do you know," he said, "I have to thank you
for one of the pleasantest days of my life."

"I am very glad," said the marshal, not knowing what else to say.

"I am going home to write a love-story," declared Timothy, "all about
Old England and May-day, and you shall be the heroine!"

"Thank you very much," said the marshal. "It is getting very late, Sir
Knight. I must really say good-bye."

"Good-bye, good-bye, Sir Marshal--till next May-day," cried Timothy. He
stood still, looking after her tall, erect figure, as she made her way
through the dwindling crowd.

Darkness had fallen quickly, and the space about him was almost
deserted. The great grey buildings loomed up dimly in the twilight. A
group of girls strolled past him, singing _Islington_, and the wind
brought back the sweet, plaintive notes. Timothy still saw beside him
the quaint figure of the marshal, the curls flying out from beneath her
rounded cap, her eyes looking up at him as she explained the May-day
sights and sounds. It seemed hardly possible that she was not a reality,
that he could stretch out his hand and not touch her. But he would see
her again; Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr were not far apart. The distant
train whistled, and gave a few warning puffs, which rapidly increased in
number as it drew out of the station. Timothy leaned against a tree and
indulged in dreams.

Two foresters were standing near by, talking eagerly. But it was some
time before Timothy realized the purport of their words.

"It was the funniest thing you ever heard of," one of them was saying.
"Poor Eleanor! I saw her with him some time ago, and now she has just
told me what happened. You see I asked her to take care of Jack for me,
and keep him from finding me--why, yes, of course I had my reasons--and
somehow she got hold of the wrong man. She has kept this creature with
her all the afternoon, _all the afternoon_, my dear, thinking he was
_Jack_! And she says he is the most awful stick, and has bored her to
death, poor dear! Isn't it a joke on her? It is a good joke on me, too,
because I was so sure that Jack would come. I wonder why he didn't!"

Lights were beginning to twinkle in the windows. The chorus of
_Islington_ still came back on the breeze, but it sounded quite
different to Timothy. Somehow everything had suddenly become
commonplace.

"I think," he said, with a deep breath, "it was a pretty good joke on
me."

Then he pulled down his hat, buttoned his coat, and set off towards the
station, with all possible speed.

                                          _Anne Maynard Kidder, 1903._



_WITHIN FOUR YEARS_


In the dry, warm darkness of a May evening two girls lay on the grass
near the tennis-courts north of Taylor. It was in the days when the
present athletic field was only a roadway and a damp hollow where
dog-tooth violets grew. Radnor and Merion loomed across the campus,
their few lighted windows betraying how little the spirit of study
possessed the hour. All the light and brilliancy of the college seemed
concentrated in Denbigh dining-room, whence, through wide open windows,
came the laughter and songs of the supper the juniors were giving the
seniors.

There were sound and movement, too, in the obscurity under the windows.
Now and then a hand and arm, or a head, rose from the shuffling,
murmuring mass, and for a brief moment came into relief against the
bright oblong of the window, the hand in its withdrawal seeming always
to carry with it something very like a cup or a plate, which was
received below with shrieks or even some boldly distinct remarks.

One of the girls on the grass sat up suddenly, a stiffness of
disapproval apparent in her attitude, even in the dim light from the
library windows.

"That is all a disappointment to me." She supplemented her remark by a
quick movement of one arm in the direction of Denbigh.

"Why?" The other girl turned, resting her head on her curved arm.

"To think that college girls can be so frivolous, so silly. It isn't at
all what I expected before I came."

"You didn't suppose we talked in Greek all the time, did you, Lilian?"

"Of course I didn't think absurdities, Clara. But I did think college
girls would be dignified and serious, and wouldn't act like a rabble of
street boys. And _that_, I think is immoral." She rose with her back to
Clara, as from Denbigh came, full and strong, reënforced by the voices
of the freshmen under the windows, the chorus:

    "Then here's to Bryn Mawr College,
     Drink her down, drink her down----"

Clara West clasped her arms around her knees and rested her cheek on
them, murmuring in a sort of ecstasy, "I love it all."

Clara West was a quiet girl with odd impulses. One of these had been to
ask Lilian Coles to sit with her for a while on the campus, as they
happened to leave the library together. The oddity in this case was not
that Clara was a sophomore and Lilian a freshman--class lines were then
very loosely drawn. But Lilian was not the sort of girl every one would
choose to sit on the grass with under the stars and listen to college
songs. Lilian had accepted only because she was waiting for a reference
book she wanted. It was this she now went in quest of, after bidding
Clara a rather impatient good-night.

As she stopped by the half-open door of one of the first floor studies
in Merion, a tall girl with smooth, red-brown hair parted in a straight
white line, swung herself around from her desk and smiled.

"Oh, Miss Coles! You have come for the 'Augustan Poets'? I have just
finished."

She wore a pretty organdie gown, for she was as scrupulous in
maintaining the tradition of dressing for dinner as in every other
detail of her well-ordered existence. The study seemed rather bare, but
there were a few rich rugs on the floor and on the flat couch, and large
photographs of Greek sculptures on the walls. A tea table by the hearth
was loaded with cups and saucers, cakes and sandwiches; and thin steam
was beginning to come from a kettle hanging on an iron tripod.

"Won't you stay and have some tea?" Edith Dareham asked, as Lilian
turned away with the book. "Some of the girls are coming in to talk over
our play for the freshmen next fall."

"No, thank you, I don't drink tea, and--I don't believe in plays." With
this bomb-like deliverance Lilian disappeared. Edith looked bewildered
and rather pained.

"The people evidently don't want your 'panis et circenses,'" mocked a
voice close at hand, and a pretty head thrust itself beyond one of the
bedroom portières.

"Oh, Blanche dear, are you there? Won't you come out and help me make
the tea?"

Lilian hurried out of Merion, meeting groups of freshmen and sophomores.
A few of them nodded indifferently to her, but the majority seemed not
to heed her. As she crunched over the gravel toward Radnor, where more
lights were appearing, she had a sharp feeling of discomfort, unrelieved
by any sense of heroism. She was well constituted for martyrdom, but
just now the performance of duty seemed a very ungracious task.

Lilian was a victim of a world-old opposition, taking form in her in a
conflict between a habit of thought imposed by training, and certain
essential, though still latent, qualities of her nature. She was in a
stage of intense admiration for Edith Dareham, unconsciously influenced
by much in Edith that appealed to the undeveloped side of her character,
though attributing her admiration wholly to the obvious traits revealed
in Edith's fine conscientious work. Yet she felt an antagonism toward
the fact that Edith gave encouragement, or at least tolerance, to
certain features of college life that seemed very reprehensible to
Lilian, according to the peculiar tenets of the religion in which she
had been trained.

Her father was a member of a small religious sect, most numerous in the
West, whose creed would seem, to the uninitiated, to be wholly negative,
in its exclusion of all that makes for the brightness of life. The sect,
though small, was vigorous in proselytism, and Lilian's father had been
sent out as a missionary, first to Germany, then to Switzerland. Here
had been for Lilian a vast increase in the chances for education; and
with a natural aptitude and a child's facility she acquired a good
knowledge of French and German. The leaders of this sect had established
a small so-called college--really a school for the study of the Bible,
with their doctrinal interpretations--because, in the anticipation of
an imminent ending of the world, they deemed time too short to be spent
on any other line of study.

At about the time of Lilian's return to America, the school had been
placed in charge of a man of good academic training, but of a difficult
temper that had driven him from place to place till he had accepted this
position as almost a last resort. When Lilian was placed in the school
he quickly discovered the possibilities of her mind, and for three years
gave her a rigorous training. He then advised her father to send her to
college. Mr. Coles was not blind to some of the advantages shrewdly
presented by the little instructor. He laid the matter before a
committee of elders of the society, and consent was finally given.
Before her departure, Lilian was called into the presence of the elders,
and her opportunities for witnessing to the "light" in a new field, her
duty of non-compliance, were solemnly, almost threateningly impressed
upon her. The college was chosen by the instructor. The question of
money presented difficulties at first, but was finally arranged, and
Lilian went on for the examinations with a confidence born of her
teacher's encouragement, and justified by her success.

To-night, as she went through Radnor, she could hear laughter, singing,
rustling and skurrying,--all the relaxations of a Friday night, with
festivity in progress. There was something almost greedy in the haste
with which she lighted her lamp, closed her door, and drew down the
window shade. Her unworded thought was that others might so waste their
time if they chose; she could not afford to. Something of Lilian's
reaction to her present environment might have been divined from her
face. The forehead was of good shape, but too full for the thin, refined
lower features. At her temples the veins were very distinct.

She studied until after the seniors and juniors returned from their
supper. Her thoroughness in work was largely temperamental. She still
looked upon her opportunities in college simply as means to greater
efficiency in the missionary work she had been chosen to do--work that
was in fact the propagation of certain peculiar theories. To her simple
thinking, it was a sacrifice of herself to make the world better. Her
anxiety over the approaching examinations was great.

The next morning she would gladly have gone to the library immediately
after breakfast, but it was characteristic of her that she went instead
for a two mile walk which she did not in the least enjoy. The Gulph
road, behind the college, was a green cathedral aisle, starred with the
white flowers of the dogwood. She did not know it. The rhododendrons
were in brilliant bloom on the well-kept lawn of a country-place near
the pond. She did not see them. But when she came in she was sure that
she could not fail on Grimm's law.

Lilian's marks at the mid-year examinations had been good, but not high
enough to be striking, and as she left college as soon as the May
examinations were finished and thus escaped the inevitable comparing of
marks, no one knew how high were the grades she received. The excellence
of her work, however, unperceived during her first year, save by very
few, could not fail of notice as her sophomore year went on, and after
the result of the February examination was known, aroused a dim
uneasiness among some very devoted friends of Edith Dareham's. The
general rough grading of the members of the class during the first year
is apt to be accurate, and, with a little shifting, is accepted as
permanent in the second year. Edith Dareham was now the recognized
European Fellow of the class of '9--.

"You don't suppose there is any danger, do you?" was the query put to a
group in a cozy Denbigh study one February afternoon before dinner. It
was growing dark with a gathering storm, and the wind was whirling
clouds of snow across the campus. In the room the gas was lighted, a
coal fire was glowing in the grate, and two alcohol lamps were steadily
burning. The querist was Katherine Leonard, "a junior by courtesy," she
frankly qualified herself. Indeed a degree for her did seem at least
problematical, not so much through neglect of hard work as through a
perverse inclination to interest herself ardently in courses of reading
quite foreign to her majors. She was absorbed in literature and
philosophy while painfully struggling with mathematics and physics, and
as these latter subjects scarcely permit a divided allegiance even to
minds most gifted in that direction, the issue threatened to be
disastrous for Katherine. But when urged to change her majors she simply
shook her head. She needed the discipline, she said.

"Danger of what?" demanded Blanche Merrill, Edith Dareham's roommate,
with an abrupt turn to Katherine.

"That Lilian Coles may take the fellowship from Edith."

"Of course not! How absurd!" replied Blanche superbly.

"Don't be too sure, Blanchette, dear," interposed a tall girl who was
writing at a table under the gas. She was copying a lecture from her
hostess's notebook into her own, and kept on while she was talking.

"Don't use that absurd name, Clothilde, any one would think I was a
Trouville donkey. You might as well say 'Papillon.'"

"Thank you, I will. But _revenons_--the fellowships are very uncertain
certainties, and who can say what will happen with a girl who gets high
credit in the gym."

"Then Edith may as well give up." Katherine's small form yielded to a
spasm of laughter at the recollection of Edith's doing two hours a day
in the gymnasium in order to avoid a condition.

"Yes," commented Blanche, "when Edith went to the gym before breakfast,
Katherine would go and hold Thucydides up before her, so that Edith
could put a last polish on her translation while she was doing chest
weights and quarter circle."

"That isn't really true, you know," Katherine coolly joined in the
laughter of the others. "That is, it's true only to the spirit, not to
the fact. I would have done it if it had been necessary. But really it
would be unjust to the college to give the fellowship to a girl who
won't go to a tea."

"Is Miss Leonard here?" In response to a low rap some one had opened the
door to Lilian Coles who stood a little bewildered at the contrast
between the still unlighted hall and the bright room. Katherine freed
herself from the group on the floor.

"Oh, you have brought that book. I wish you hadn't. I'll have to read it
now. Come up, and I will give you the other. I haven't read it. I have
been skating all the afternoon. Mabel, please hand me my skates."

"Won't you come in and have a cup of cocoa? It is so cold outside,"
Lilian was temptingly urged by the fair-haired girl who was nominally
mistress of the study, though both she and her roommate were usually
obliged to work in the library, so thoroughly did a reputation for
hospitality characterize their room. Lilian wanted to go in, but without
hesitation declined and started away with Katherine.

"Wait a moment," Katherine touched Lilian's arm and turned back to the
open door. Two girls had begun to sing, in response to the guitar of a
third,

    "Drink to me only with thine eyes."

While Katherine listened to the song, Lilian's eyes rested curiously
first on the sensitive face, then on the black sweater, short corduroy
skirt and heavy boots that made up Katherine's skating costume.

"I am glad I am not so conscientious as Helen Arnold," Katherine said,
at the close of the song. "When her aunt wanted to take her to Bayreuth
last summer, she wouldn't go, because, not having an intellectual
appreciation of music, she couldn't, forsooth, permit herself so much
emotional enjoyment." Lilian looked puzzled yet stern. She could not but
approve the action, though the motive seemed to her unnecessarily
refined.

Katherine's rooms were on the second floor. When the two girls entered,
the study was in the shadowy dimness of grey twilight cheered by a warm
fire. Katherine lighted an old Venetian lantern and some red-shaded
candles, then drew the sash curtains which were of dark red silk with
arabesques of fine gold lines. Above the mantel hung two carbon
photographs of Fra Angelico angels in vellum frames; and at one end
stood a bronze of the Flying Mercury, at the other a cast of the
Olympian Hermes. On the walls were photographs of Matthew Arnold,
Christina Rossetti, and Cardinal Newman; also some prints that Katherine
fondly believed to be original Dürers. These objects had not the
interpretative value for Lilian that they might have had for another;
but the whole suggested luxury to her, and her eyes turned away
disapprovingly to fall with a sort of startled horror on the recess left
between two bookcases, where, against a dark background, hung an
exquisite ivory crucifix. Lilian's attitude toward Catholicism was of
the original Puritan inflexibility, strengthened by the exaggerated
hatred of the class of people among whom she had lived. And she knew
nothing of any concessions due to the opinions of others. The crucifix
represented merely a sympathy, not a tendency on Katherine's part. But
this fact, even if it had been known to Lilian, would have served none
the less to intensify in her a feeling of radical difference between
Katherine's governing ideals and her own.

When she entered Radnor on her return, two girls were coming slowly down
the stairs, absorbed in confidential chat. They smiled at Lilian as she
passed, but she knew that she had no share in the friendship expressed
even by the touch of Clara's hand on Ethel's shoulder. She drew herself
up sharply, remembering her longing to enter Florence Baker's bright,
gay study.

Her way to her room took her past the single suites. The door of one was
open, and within were trunks and signs of packing.

"Are you going away?" she paused to ask. Gertrude Elbridge, a pretty
little freshman, came forward and drooped against the door.

"Yes, you know I have been ill since the examinations, and papa has sent
for me."

"I am sorry." This was true, as Lilian had a mild fondness for the
child, despite the fact that, through evenings of loud and prolonged
hilarity, Gertrude and her friends had made life a burden to Lilian, and
with direct consequence, to the members of the Executive Board of
Self-Government. Lilian went on to her room, indignation possessing her.
She knew why Gertrude was going away. Before each examination Gertrude
had studied all night, her head bound in a wet towel. The towel really
bothered her, but she knew that was what her brother did. She had kept
awake on strong tea and coffee supplied by sympathizing friends. But
evidently even these frantic efforts had not proved redemptive.

"Why," Lilian asked herself, "did not the stronger girls of the college
bring a pressure of sentiment to bear against these follies, instead of
encouraging them by their own customs?" Was it not her duty to make some
protest? An unavailing one it would doubtless be, but surely it is only
a lukewarm reformer that considers results rather than principles.

She had returned to college in the fall with a strengthened antagonism
to what her father called the worldliness of college life. His influence
was still dominant with her. His vision was crude, and he denounced,
with a solemnity appealing to the girl's native earnestness, all the
joyous innocent froth of amusement that danced over the current of the
real, serious life of the college.

In truth, Lilian had departed further from her father's beliefs than she
realized. She had already gained an historical perspective and a certain
habit of cool unbiased judgment that were forcing her to see in what
ignorance and narrowness of mind those beliefs were conceived and
accepted. At the same time the studies that had modified her views,
tended to increase her sense of the preciousness of time, of the
seriousness of life. Her loyalty to her father's teachings was stirred
by an unanalyzed appreciation of the change in herself. And now, in the
failure of Gertrude Elbridge she seemed to find a justification of the
rigidly prohibitive lines her father would throw around all conduct. She
could not see, yet, that the weak have their hard lessons to learn in
the opportunities of the strong.

Unfortunately opportunity was not lacking Lilian Coles for that word of
protest she felt bound to utter. She always attended the Sunday evening
meetings, though little in sympathy with their spirit. The next Sunday
she went early. Into the dimly lighted gymnasium came the girls, eyes
sparkling and cheeks red from the clear cold air without. Nearly all
were wrapped in shawls, but one girl wore a hat and coat and carried a
bag. There was a big bunch of violets on the lapel of her coat, and she
smiled rather consciously at some comments of the girls she joined. In
the first row of chairs were some dignified seniors whom Lilian rather
feared, and a junior who at once attracted and repelled her. She was, in
spite of herself, fascinated by a cleverness that manifested itself in
every department of the college, that would be a force in literature
some day, so every one said; and at the same time she had a feeling that
there was nothing the girl would not sacrifice to ambition.

At last Helen Arnold, who was to lead the meeting, came in accompanied
by Edith Dareham. Helen was the girl who had refused to go to Bayreuth.
She busied herself with great care in arranging the books and lamp on a
little table. Her friends knew that she was embarrassed. She was a
frail-looking girl, one who set a high value on things that were still
unapprehended by Lilian, in their real nature.

She began with a short quotation and took, as a point of departure, the
lines:

    "That thread of the all-sustaining beauty
     Which runs through all and doth all unite."

With well-chosen words she modestly brought out her thought of the duty
of each one to seek for this thread of beauty in all things. Then she
spoke, with a little more insistence, of the beautiful in art and in
nature, which, she believed, demanded for its true appreciation the
highest cultivation not only of mind and age, but of soul as well.

After a short silence, Elizabeth Carrington, Helen's roommate, spoke,
weaving Helen's thought into the larger one of that endeavor toward
perfection sacredly enjoined upon us. With an impatience born of the
incomprehension of her mood, Lilian had listened to Helen. She did not
hear Elizabeth, who had scarcely finished speaking, when Lilian rose.
The girls looked surprised; but after the consecrated formula--"It seems
to me"--various expressions replaced the surprise. Some of the listeners
looked coldly bored or contemptuous, a few were amused, but the majority
sat ill at ease with pained faces. Lilian was arraigning them for so
much time spent in idle conversation, and in "feasting"--she fiercely
put it. She denounced them for their plays, their dancing. In her
excitement she assumed the tone and phraseology of the denunciations
she had been accustomed to hear from childhood and she went farther than
she intended. She said their pursuit of knowledge was only for its vain
shows. The nature of the silence into which her words fell should have
warned her, but some confused association of ideas carried her on to a
bitter allusion to Catholicism. She was recalled to herself by the
indignant protest on Helen's face. Clothilde and one or two others
present were Catholics. Lilian choked and stopped.

"Shall we not sing?" suggested Helen. Clothilde started the hymn. There
was no more speaking. Lilian was the first to leave the meeting. She
went out with unseeing eyes and hot cheeks, alone. There are times when
even the kindest hearts are cold, and for the moment there could be
nothing but alienation from one who had found tongue against the college
spirit--for they felt that the attack was really against this vague,
shadowy, stern, beloved thing of many hues and many forms--the spirit of
the college.

Outside, the moon had risen in a clear star-powdered sky, and was
silvering the crusted snow and the ice sheaths that rain and frost had
left on every twig and branch of the trees. The sparkle and splendour of
the night only smote Lilian as a part of that whole body of beauty
which, it seemed to her excited thinking, had been presented that
evening as of equal importance with goodness and morality.

There is little tea drinking on Sunday evening. Many girls are away. It
is the time for writing home letters, or doing a little quiet reading.
The rooms never seem so warm or the lights so bright as on other nights.
The halls are still and everybody goes to bed early. But this night
there was a little more excitement as girls stopped to talk with
indignation, amusement or indifference of Lilian's outburst. Katherine
Leonard found several girls in Edith's room when she stopped, after an
errand in Radnor. She sought each face questioningly, then dropped on
the couch. "How awfully _funny_--how dreadful it was!"

"I can't understand the state of mind that would lead to that," said
Alice Warburton. "Where has such narrow-minded egotism been fostered?
Such injustice! What an arid life she must have known."

"I admire her!" said Elizabeth Carrington decisively. "I was near enough
to her to-night to see how tightly she clung to the chair in front of
her. Her knuckles were all white and shiny. It was real heroism. I doubt
if any one of us will ever show as much."

"I should hope not!" Blanche commented energetically.

There was a girl lying on the couch who had been reading _Diana of the
Crossways_, all this time. She occasionally made notes on the margins.
Now she looked up. "For my part, I prefer goodness to cleverness," was
all she said. Then she went on reading again. The girls all laughed a
good deal. Then there was silence, and some of them laughed again--a
little. Some of them were very much of Lilian Coles' opinion in regard
to this girl, who was the junior Lilian had noticed in the gymnasium.

"She has greatly relieved my mind, at any rate," said Katherine. "She
can never hope for the fellowship now."

"You have no right to say that." Edith was a little sharp. She was
somewhat troubled within herself. She liked the serene state of mind
that her usual conduct of life granted her, and hated a mean feeling
with an intensification of the disgust that any contact with uncleanness
gave to her physical fastidiousness. In the dissatisfaction that she had
occasionally felt of late, it had occurred to her that she might settle
issues with herself by some plan involving sacrifice on her part. But
injustice was no dearer to her than selfishness. She fell asleep that
night with the healthy resolve not to be troubled by what she could not
help.

Meanwhile Lilian Coles was lying on her bed, in the dark, with
wide-open eyes. She was restless with a shamed sense that she had
violated her finest instincts. She continually wondered how she _could_
have done such a thing. Then all the questionings that had been forming
in her deeper consciousness for nearly two years, came forward,
insisting on a hearing. Helen Arnold's talk that evening passed through
her mind with a new meaning and force, but she was too much exhausted
then to come to any conclusions. She finally fell asleep, hoping that
every one would be too busy to remember her speech very long.

One Saturday morning in the spring Lilian started downstairs. It was
late, she was tired and vexed at her slothfulness. She had gone to bed
the night before so tired that one night's rest was wholly insufficient.
As she reached the foot of the stairs a girl came out of the bathroom
with a kettle of water. She nodded to Lilian, went on, then turned.

"Miss Coles, you are sure not to find anything hot for breakfast. Won't
you come into my room? We are going to have breakfast there."

Lilian hesitated. Something, perhaps an animating suggestiveness in the
spring air that was sweeping through the windows, perhaps the mere
yielding of tired flesh to kindly human influences, moved her to
accept.

Hester Grey's room looked over the fields and low hills. Two study
tables had been put together and were covered with white embroidered
cloths. A bowl of violets was on one table and a dish of strawberries on
the other, while the more substantial provisions for the breakfast were
on a side-table. This separation was due to an arbitrary distinction of
Hester's, food taking precedence in her ideas according to its appeal to
the eye.

There were two girls in the window-seat and another in a steamer-chair.
This one sprang up and insisted on giving Lilian the chair, tucking the
pillow behind her with an unceremonious friendliness very grateful to
Lilian.

Then she began cutting bread, urging that some one else pass Lilian the
olives.

"Do you think you will want more sugar in your cocoa?" Hester asked
Lilian. "Of course she will," said one of the girls in the window,
without looking up from her book. "You never make it sweet enough."
Lilian thought this was very rude, but Hester didn't seem to notice it.
She carried a cup to Lilian, who looked at her curiously. Lilian had
always had a thought of scorn in her opinion of this girl, whose erratic
work, spasmodic brilliancy and general idleness were known to the whole
college. Lilian knew that she would sit for hours on the stone wall of
the Harriton burying ground doing nothing, even if examinations began
the next day. No one ever seemed to be able to foretell whether she
would get High Credit or a condition in any examination. Lilian had seen
her absorbed in _Treasure Island_ the day before the English essays were
due. Hester's essay on Keats was written in one night, so rumour said.
It received the only High Credit. Lilian had read it, with something
like astonishment at the feeling aroused in herself by the revelation of
another girl's mind. She had come to have a feeling like reverence for
this girl, realizing at last that some gifts of the spirit are not to be
measured by so many hours of study, so many hours of exercise. And now
this same girl was apparently concentrating her whole mind on the amount
of sugar to be added to each cup.

Then Lilian had to think a little about the other girls in the room.
They had always seemed to her commonplace, doing but indifferent work.
At least they had won no distinction. She knew that the five were close
friends, that they couldn't have the fullest enjoyment with her in the
room, yet they were unaffectedly genial and hospitable to her. While
she, with a perversity which shocked her, did not care if they did enjoy
themselves a little less on her account. She wanted what they were
giving her.

It is a truism that some actions most important to ourselves or others
often seem but pure whim. Hester could have given no reason--in fact, it
was not her habit to await reasons--for asking Lilian Coles to take a
walk with her that morning. And Lilian, to whom even tying her shoe was
often occasion for a mental inquisition, did not care to explain to
herself why she accepted the invitation with eagerness. She had intended
to spend the morning in making a tabulation and synopsis of some second
year English reading. But the pain of that unforgettable Sunday evening
had wrought in Lilian a distrust of her own valuations, and she went
with Hester willingly.

The morning freshness was still in the air. Hester took Lilian through
the woods where the starting leaves wreathed the grey tree-trunks and
slim branches like trails of green smoke; to a wide bed of spring
beauties; past the pond fringed with willows; across the fields to a
stream that flung itself over the rocks with a sparkling abandon to the
joy of spring. Lilian saw all these things; and she saw, too, the
contrast between the rich black of new ploughed fields and the vivid
green of winter wheat. She heard a bluebird singing above them. They
went on to an old ruined mill, shadowed by tall dark pines whose roots
were washed by a wide, shallow creek. Across the stream, there were
woods. Here the girls sat under the pines and Hester read aloud from
_Undine_. Gradually the wash and splash of the creek were transferred
from Lilian's outward to her inward hearing and seemed to be singing to
her of a spirit that was in the water. Suddenly she had a vision of the
meaning of the old pagan ideals. She lay back on the grass and let her
eyes look very far into the blue above the pines. It occurred to her
that she would take some books home in vacation and read all the poems
noted on the margins of her Horace. She understood now, she thought,
something of the delight in that year's work which all the others in the
class had expressed and which she had, in some way, missed.

They stopped to rest again on the stone wall of the old burying ground
in the woods, and Hester read from Chaucer following her own liking
wholly. Lilian went back to her room with a new sense of the beauty of
nature, and of the dignity of free, wholesome joyous human life.

There was no time before luncheon for the intended tabulation of ballad
poetry, and in the afternoon she turned at once to the assigned reading
in Wordsworth and Coleridge. Before coming to college Lilian had been
allowed to read very little. Even her study of the Bible had been
scarcely more than a search for texts and illustrations in support of
the beliefs of her sect. All through this year the reading presented to
her had been stimulating her imagination and perception. But partly from
habit and partly from the fact of having detected a pleasure in the
exercise of these faculties, she had continued to read mechanically and
blindly. Now for the first time she permitted herself to read with
something more than a desire to go over so many pages in a given time.
As she finished the _Hymn of Chamouni_ she caught her breath as one
whose spirit has been lifted to an unknown height.

The twofold process of growth, of putting off the old and acquiring the
new went on in Lilian with alternations of pain and pleasure, the latter
increasingly predominating. When she entered college and for sometime
after, she had her father's contempt for what he called "mere learning."
But she was led to a very different way of thinking by a better
understanding of what scholarship means--of its untiring zeal and care
for truth, and of its outlook beyond the fact to the including law. She
even came to accept an opinion that, later on, she found thus
expressed: "... our deeper curiosity. There is a sense in which it is
all superfluous. Its immediate results seem but vanity. One could surely
live without them; yet for the future, and for the spiritual life of
mankind, these results are destined to become of vast import." Lilian's
nature was such, however, that she must always care chiefly for the
immediate practical application of the idea.

During her junior year she did some elective work in sociology which
completely revised her ideas of philanthropy. She saw how very
inadequate were the measures that she had once thought essential to
doing good in the world. Her hope of being a missionary was too much a
part of herself to be given up easily, yet she knew that she could not
represent her former views. She became greatly interested in college
settlement work but she found no time to give to it, for she gave to
tutoring all the time that she could spare from her regular work. The
mental submission and the claim upon her future involved in the
arrangement by which her expenses were paid had become impossible to
her, and she wished to become self-supporting as soon as possible.

One Saturday morning she was sitting in the biological laboratory,
carefully correcting her drawings of nitella, when Miss Hardy, a
graduate student with whom she had done some work in sociology, came in
and bent over her.

"Should you not like to go into town with me this evening to one of the
social meetings of a working-girls' club which has been organized
recently? I think you would be interested."

After a moment's thought Lilian decided to go. A girl whom she tutored
every Saturday afternoon was ill and that time could be given to the
usual Saturday evening work.

When they reached the Broad Street Station, Lilian was surprised to find
Helen Arnold, who had been spending the afternoon in town, waiting for
them. The clubhouse was in the lower part of the city. After their
arrival there, Lilian spent an hour in eager inspection of the small
library, the schedule of classes, and the furnishings of the rooms.
Helen had disappeared. Lilian asked for her, and Miss Hardy explained,
"She comes every Saturday if she can find any one to go to and from the
station with her. She is teaching two or three girls who can have better
positions as soon as they can write and spell better. This is the only
time they have."

Then they went into a large, brightly-lighted room with a waxed floor.
There was a piano at one end, and some one was beginning to play. The
girls, most of them neatly and prettily dressed, were gathered near the
piano, while a few young men, with very smooth hair and rather
conspicuous ties, stood in stiff self-consciousness near the door.

"Young men of good character are invited in once a month," whispered
Miss Hardy.

A half-grown girl, in heavy shoes, a crumpled red dress, with a soiled
ribbon knotted around her neck, crossed the room and stood in front of
Lilian. Her open scrutiny was beginning to be embarrassing when Helen
came in. She touched the girl on the arm, and was soon leading the
clumsy shoes lightly through a waltz. After two or three turns Helen
sought some one else, and the girl returned to Lilian.

"Say, ain't she sweet?" she said, looking after Helen with eager eyes.
"She teaches somethin' here, and I'm go'ne to learn it. And I want some
white ties like she wears."

It was still early when they started for the station, but on the streets
Lilian saw one or two things that made her glad to think of the many
girls they had left in the simple pleasures of the carefully-guarded
clubrooms.

A slight delay caused them to miss their train, and they had to spend
half an hour in the waiting-room. Miss Hardy found some evening papers.
Helen declined the one offered her, and drew a book from her
shopping-bag.

"What reading is this, Helen?" Miss Hardy laughingly questioned. Helen
blushed a little. "It is really only the third." On the train the book
happened to lie for a moment in Lilian's lap. She noted the title. It
was _Marius, the Epicurean_, and at her earliest opportunity she
procured the book and read it.

She read it with intense interest. Here were a care for life--for its
pleasures--and a consecration of time that found no necessary detail too
small for perfection. The charm of the book was upon her--its flawless
form, its sanity, its strenuousness. There was something of the old
defiance in her attitude toward this epicureanism, though the character
of it was so exalted and pure. But at the close, when Marius simply puts
himself aside and accepts death that his dear friend may live--happy in
a love denied Marius--she put the book down very softly. By the profound
stirring of her sympathies she felt how absolute was her acceptance of
the whole character--as consistent with itself in sacrifice as in
æsthetic enjoyment.

The constantly increasing deference given Lilian because of the quality
of her work contributed much to her contentment. The freer play of her
intelligence was making itself felt. By the beginning of their senior
year Lilian Coles and Edith Dareham were undoubted rivals for the
European Fellowship. But the real excitement over the fellowship was not
apparent until after the mid-year examinations. Then the strain began to
be wearing on the two girls and their friends.

"I wish the Faculty would come to a decision," said Katherine Leonard
one evening in Clothilde Barry's room. She was on the window-seat
between a big palm and a pile of notebooks. "If they don't very soon,
I'll not get a degree in June. I love this place but I don't want to
stay here all my life. It would be hard to fix my affections on another
class. But I can't study till I know."

"I think that possibility would stimulate them, if they only knew--"
began Blanche.

Just then the door was flung open and Alice Warburton came in
impetuously--her usual manner, but some dramatic quality in this present
haste must have made itself apparent, for the other girls assailed her
breathless silence with questions. What she finally said was: "There is
a Faculty meeting in Taylor." After a moment of comprehending silence,
Blanche went out quickly. Katherine followed her.

"Blanche, if you find out before the doors are locked, won't you come
and tell me?"

"I don't know how it will be." Blanche looked anxious and wouldn't stop.
Katherine went back to Clothilde's room, and after she had tipped over
the palm and broken the jardinière was advised by Clothilde to go home
and go to bed. In her own room she took a physics laboratory book and
made a feeble attempt to put order into its chaos, but only succeeded in
dropping ink over two important calculations. Then she took down a
volume of Mazzini's writings in which she had lately become much
interested. At the end of half an hour she became aware that she had not
turned a page. She left her room and went down to the parlour. All the
lights were out, even in the rooms. Over in Taylor there was a dim light
in a second floor window. It had no connection with the Faculty meeting,
but she chose to consider that it had, and crouched, shivering, in the
window until it went out. Then she went stiffly to bed and slept badly.
The next morning Blanche came to her soon after breakfast. "Edith wants
to see you."

"Oh, Blanche?" But Blanche was already backing out of the door. "I can't
tell you anything. Edith hasn't told me anything." Every line of her
face was non-committal.

Edith was sitting at her desk writing when Katherine entered. She looked
over her shoulder and smiled, but she was very grave. "I have it,
Katherine."

Katherine sat down on the window-seat, and bending over pressed her
forehead down on Edith's shoulder. Edith turned about and lifted
Katherine's face. She was crying--Katherine, in whom the repressions of
stoicism had been the least fleeting of many moods. After a while
Katherine said, "We were afraid at one time, Blanche and I--that you
might do something--rash." It was not necessary for Edith to ask what
she meant. She hesitated before speaking. "I have felt troubled. It
isn't reasonable, but I haven't been able to get rid of an uncomfortable
feeling about Lilian Coles. I _could_ go to Europe without the
fellowship, and I suppose she can't. But--I wanted it. I did try to
think of some way of helping her when I heard last year that there was
danger of her having to leave college. But even if I had had the
money--that's a sort of thing it is almost impossible to do. It might
have seemed a generous thing for me to let my work go a little, but I
could not be sure that she wouldn't do better than even my best. And,"
Edith gripped the desk hard, "it would have seemed to me a simply wicked
sentimentalism to do poor work deliberately for any reason whatever."

Katherine released the sleeve of Edith's gown that she had held crumpled
in her hand. "I am so glad you felt just that way."

Blanche came in then to gather up her notebooks.

"How did you find it out, Blanche?" Katherine asked.

"Oh. I found the note under her door when I came down from Ethel's room
last night"--Ethel was Blanche's sister--a freshman. "We had been
sitting up watching. But Edith was sleeping like a baby. I lit a candle
and roused her and gave her the note. I must say she was rather excited
until she got the note open and read it." Blanche stopped. "Did she tell
you then?" prompted Katherine.

"She hasn't told me yet. That honour was reserved for you. She lay down
again and I kissed her and covered her up and told her to be a good
fellow. Then she laughed and so did I, as silly as two loons. She went
to sleep. I went upstairs and awakened Helen and Elizabeth. I did not
tell them anything, but they understood, and we talked until two in the
morning. Imagine Elizabeth and Helen sitting up till two!"

Katherine was popular enough in college, but that did not account for
the way numerous groups, from seniors to mid-year freshmen, obstructed
her going from Merion to her own room, and thence to Taylor. They asked
her unimportant questions, and eyed her curiously. Her face was
impassive. The chapel was unusually full. Edith's friends had gathered
around her in her usual seat, well forward.

"But that doesn't mean anything," whispered a high freshman voice,
"they'd be there just the same anyway."

Lilian's chief supporters were among the graduate students. Those from
other colleges looked rather defiant. A few members of the Faculty came
in and sat in the back seats. After the short exercises, the
announcement was very quickly made. During the storm of applause that
greeted Edith's name Lilian sat apparently unmoved. Her hands were very
cold, but no one knew that. And no one would ever know how much she had
wanted that fellowship. She had been having a very bad quarter of an
hour since Clara West, who was back as a graduate student in Greek,
managed to find out and let her know that the decision had been made.
Three times before, Lilian had heard a similar announcement made, and
each time she had thought that the applause would have been just as
loud if the other possible girl had been named. Now she knew that there
would not have been the same gladness on the faces or the same
heartiness in the hand-clappings if she had been the one instead of
Edith. She could have made more friends, she believed, but she had
thought that she knew a better use for her time. A keen heart-longing
was mingled with her disappointment.

A few weeks later the presence of the students in chapel was again
specially requested, and more announcements were made, among them, that
the Fellowship in History had been given to Lilian Coles.

"I am so glad!" repeated Clara West that evening, strolling with Lilian
about the campus. That Lilian was strolling was not without its
significance. It was a misty evening after a rainy day. All about them
were the tender, yet vivid, colours of early spring--the fields beyond
the edge of the campus, and the distant uplands, were veiled in green
mist. Near Taylor the Judas-tree was in purple bloom, and further away
the Japanese cherries lifted pink sprays against a soft grey sky. Lilian
was moved to an appreciation that did not exclude a quality the picture
received from the dignity of the buildings, or even from the well-kept
condition of turf and walks. She turned to Clara. "No one can ever
know," she said, "how glad I am to come back."

It was the day before commencement. Lilian Coles was in the library,
selecting some books to take away for the summer. She went to a window
that looked toward Rosemont and Villa Nova. She had come to have a sense
of wide distances from this window. For the moment, with a swift,
scarcely-conscious recognition of new ideals, new standards of life, she
felt in herself something of the triumphant onward rush of the Winged
Victory dominating this end of the library. This morning the sky was
deep blue with a few white clouds. The air was fresh, the trees and
grass very green. The slope beyond the tennis-courts was white with
daisies. Some professors, in white flannels, were playing tennis on the
nearest courts. Girls in white duck or fluffy muslins were moving toward
the gymnasium. The college breakfast was to be there at twelve o'clock.
Lilian was going. She had refused all invitations until her examinations
were over. Then she went to several teas, to a picnic luncheon and to
the class supper. She intended to go to the alumnæ banquet Thursday
evening.

Lilian found her place at one of the long tables in the gymnasium beside
Clara West and opposite Hester Grey. The balustrade of the
running-track had been transformed into a frieze of mountain laurel.
Laurel and ferns decorated the tables.

The breakfast was nearly over, and the black waiters were serving the
ices.

"Can you see Lilian Coles?" Blanche bent around an intervening neighbour
to ask Katherine. Katherine, happy in the fact that she would get a
degree on the morrow, looked across the tables just as Lilian touched
glasses with a freshman, her lips moving in the chorus,

    "Here's to Bryn Mawr College!"

It was Hester Grey who saw a solemn look on Lilian's face as they rose
to join in "Manus Bryn Mawrensium." But at that moment it seemed to
Lilian herself, that of all the "lætissimæ puellæ" she, in her way, was
the most joyful.

                                                      _Elva Lee, '93._



_FREE AMONG THE DEAD_


I

A quick step came down the hall and stopped. There was a rustle of silk;
the step died away in the direction from which it came. Esther raised
her head, carefully laying her little clay tablet on its bed of
jeweller's cotton as she wheeled around an instant to smile:

"They're a bit shy of us to-night, Sydney. Haven't you finished with
Marius?"

Sydney Lodge, who had swung round also and met her eye, answered:

"No wonder they are; I know I'm shy of myself. If only for once we lived
in Denbigh! Then we might at least see the Faculty coming down past the
staircase window and the lights going out in Taylor and know when the
meeting was over." The castors complained as she pushed back her chair,
then the sash went up and the breath of the night that came in and
rattled Esther's papers tasted like deep well water, wonderfully pure
and cool and dark. Esther wrapped her gown about her, for since dinner
she had been working in the library, and crossing the study with the
very light step of a very strong person leaned out the window behind her
friend.

There was no moon, and the enormous star-sown hemisphere whose horizon
fell below their feet, was tonight a faint blur of pearl-grey. Almost as
faint and illusory was the ground, and the other halls were denoted by
pinkish spots and splashes. From many of these, and in especial from the
great windows of the library, ran bands of moonlight-coloured light,
like a search-light seen transversely, but filmier. A step rang along
the board walk, crunched the gravel, dying away muffled and uneven on
grass; voices blew up to them from somewhere and a far-off singing that
sounded sweet. Sydney Lodge shivered a little and was drawn in to the
fire.

"Lie down and scorch your fuzzy head, young Shelley. The ten o'clock
bell hasn't rung and they won't agree for hours yet."

"They never take long over the graduate fellowships,--they put them off,
as last year; still, I admit the senior one is hard to settle,"
acknowledged Sydney, mischievously.

Esther answered with joyful appreciation: "This is quite the most
picturesque situation we were ever in. If you don't get it I shall be
comforted by its being Hilda----"

"--and if Hilda misses it we've all three the satisfaction of knowing
the honour is yours--all three, mark you; for it is an honour, you know.
And one of us must get it," finished Sydney with conviction.

At the door a knock made both girls turn pale, but as it opened appeared
a mermaid-head with knotted and dripping tresses, just from the
swimming-pool, to beg Sydney's company and her violin below on the
second floor. The invitation declined, the two were silent awhile.


II

Sydney, on the grey furry rug, trailed her slim length closer to the
fire like a pale-green enchanted caterpillar.

"Did you hear Hilda on Marius at dinner?" she inquired drowsily. "She
said if he hadn't stopped to bury his dead----"

"She's quite right. He is very beautiful but all wrong, you know. The
supreme end of living----"

"Is fullness of life," cut in Sydney. "That's an axiom, like the being
of a feeling is its being felt, and that other, about the _esse_ of a
thing's being _percipi_. Anyway, he had it, fullness of life. But it
lands you in the Uebermensch, all the same, and _he_ is a fearful
brute."

Mechanically Esther murmured: "Nonsense, the Uebermensch is the
Magnanimous Man, essentially."

"He's not a bit. Anyway, I don't believe you can work equations like
that," replied Sydney, stretching up one hand pink against the fire. "I
don't think the Magnanimous Man is the opposite of Marius and I know he
isn't the same as the Uebermensch, even temperamentally. He risked
greatly for great ends: Marius of course never risked at all but the
Uebermensch is always chancing it for no particular reason. He doesn't
go in for final causes, does he? Please, between them I prefer the
Aristotelian,--but not to know personally. It's bound to end in
hardness."

"In the last analysis, your soul's your own," declared Esther with a
habitual gesture of wrapping her gown about her, but the other broke in
with a little cry:

"Ah, but it isn't! It's every one's else, in the last analysis."

"But it is not really so good in the long run even for the other people,
that _Tristem Neminem Fecit_. Remember Jane Barry, what she gave up for
her people; they hadn't a thing against the man, but they couldn't
spare her. Now they have an invalid, and when I was there at Christmas I
noticed a very real hardness, which wasn't in the least pretty."

Sydney answered with a candour almost noble: "Really, of course, one
should only make great renouncements on one's deathbed."

"Do you suppose that if Marlowe came by to-morrow and said: 'Chuck the
degree, chuck Sydney there on the hearthrug, and come for a walk around
the world,' I shouldn't go?"

"I suppose you would go, 'still climbing after knowledge infinite.' But
then you've no ties," finished Sydney, strong in the recollection of a
father, a mother and several brothers and sisters.

"Don't you call yourself a tie?" laughed Esther.

"I believe you would go," Sydney repeated with a note of regretful
admiration. "Now I pray I should have grace to reply: 'Thank you kindly,
sir, but I'm bespoke.' I mean, if you had broken your back, for
instance, or gone blind."

In an old oval mirror on the opposite wall Esther Lawes regarded for an
instant her own fair strength, and the large grey eyes a little too
clear and bright and round; from year to year they used to give out.

"I believe you would," she echoed, gazing down with her usual pleased
sense of Sydney's beauty. Never did girl better match than Sydney Lodge
her gracious name, radiant, the very sound of it, with sylvan and
romantic suggestions. Her slimness had the graceless grace of
Shakespeare's disguised heroines; her curls, of hair the most golden
red, prompted the quaint Elizabethan epithet of "gold wires"; and her
academic gown sat as straightly on her as the Oread's coat of sycamore
bark.

"God forbid," said Sydney Lodge solemnly. "The Powers have a trick now
and then of taking us at our word, and our answered prayers are fruit
bitter in the eating."

While she spoke they became conscious that the great bell was ringing,
with strokes that sounded now near, now far distant, from every quarter,
rhythmic in their pulse; the first distinct enough yet echoing
familiarly, as though it were the second or third, the last in like
manner seeming a faint intermediate one, whose successors the ear had
lost. And like the wind awhile before, so the bell had a tang of
darkness and the great spaces outside.


III

In the house there were movements, and voices cut short by banging
doors. Sydney had picked up a lamp and disappeared into her bedroom in a
sphere of radiance, like a glow-worm. The dimmed room, which seemed
yellower, took a new look: the whole Italian Renaissance, very
adequately represented by the pictures on the walls, withdrew into
itself and darkness. Esther stared absently from the long steamer chair
at the faintly yellowed walls, at the pink bed of coals, and two Tanagra
figurines above,--the lady who binds up her hair and the other lady
carrying a wide basin in her slender hands, who forever bends over it to
watch her own reflected face.

The girl was disturbed more by this fellowship business than even to her
close friend she could betray. Not wanting the fellowship for herself,
she did crave it for Sydney. Moreover, they could then go abroad
together. She had longed that day to hint as much to a professor that
was, she thought, disposed to overvalue her own rather advanced work
along a very narrow line as against Sydney's all-round brilliancy. And
while she heard the other opening drawers and rustling in her wardrobe,
Esther pursued her misgiving a step further than it had ever before
taken her, although at no time was she a fancier of illusions.

Their alliance, hers and Sydney's, ran back at least a dozen years, away
into childhood, and was rooted in all sorts of mutual dependencies. Both
moreover were fastidious and constant in their personal affections,
making indeed few acquaintances but giving up fewer, and although Sydney
had besides what the other called the goose-brigade, a succession of
waddling and hissing creatures of both sexes that passed for swans, yet
these never got farther than, so to speak, the common outside her
windows. Esther herself, without near relatives and secure of a tiny
income on which one could starve at least comfortably, having come to
college in the interest less of culture than of pedantry, had in the
interest of amusement supplemented her Greek with English, and her
Hebrew, by way of serious study, with Assyrian and kindred tongues. But
Sydney, positively, had gone through as many stages and as well-defined
as a silk-worm. Once her violin was the be-all and the end-all; her
masters had advised a professional training, urged the expediency of
having a career up one's sleeve. Esther felt that it was she who had
unconsciously lopped off that possibility, in her own enthusiasm for the
college which she was then about to enter, to which she whirled off her
friend, plumping her down mentally breathless in a field of Latin and
Greek. For the past year or two years, however, the classical
prepossessions had been yielding to a keener preoccupation with English
and a kindling ambition along the line of what the Sunday papers call
literary work. This was furthered partly by Esther's own growing delight
in the same matters and partly by the influence of other members of
their class, notably Hilda Railton.

It was in the _argot_ of their own vanishing here and now, of course,
that they had been talking, using counters precisely as the poker-player
does, to stand for an immense amount, or at any rate for an indefinite
amount. Sydney was wonderful at catching not merely the turn of a
phrase, but a turn of thought: she was _simpatica_.

"Do you know," said the voice from the inner room, "I can't get that
Japanese thing of Hilda's out of my head. Don't you think I might look
for one at that same Fifth Avenue place when I am at home at Easter, and
try it over my table?"

Hilda's Japanese print! There you were. After all, one did recognize the
type; it wasn't the superficial nor yet the parasite, but there was
about it something of the chameleon nature. It was the ominous unruffled
pool that brought Narcissus to his death. With all her brilliancy, all
her charm, she was in essence simply the magical mirror.

Esther was convinced that neither Sydney herself knew this, nor any of
her neighbours. She was far and away too clever. There was just one
pathetic chance that somebody in the Faculty might be of so
inconceivable a cleverness as to have spied the unscholastic fact.

For the third time that evening steps came to the door, and a knock.
Esther waited for Sydney and the girls moved together to the threshold,
opening on the mistress who held out an envelope. She offered it to
Esther.


IV

Is there any place in the world, Esther Lawes often in graduate days
asked her friends, where the evening light lies so long and so delicate
as at Bryn Mawr? The campus, snow-piled, prolongs a pale dusk at
tea-time; in spring the afternoons grow longer slowly until they are
forgotten in the softness of the lengthening evenings; the great
cherry-tree, black against grey Pembroke but afoam and aflutter with
exquisite whiteness, merges its sharp perfume into the softer odour of
the crowded flushed apple-trees and the pungent flavour of their
neighbours the green-tufted larches. The misty woods back of Merion
become denser aloft and under foot; and beyond the Roberts Road the
meadow fills up across the brook with pale shapely violets striped at
the heart by threads of purple; the long avenue of maples shakes out its
heavy leafage under which all day the girls with their rugs and
cushions make yellow and scarlet splashes. After dinner, on the dense
short turf in front of Denbigh, she would watch the undergraduates
quadrilling--comely figures in faint blues and lavenders, ribbons and
ruffles all afloat. She stopped awhile on one of these bland nights in a
late and sudden spring, to scan the half-familiar types, the sleek heads
and white arms, in the waxing twilight, smiling to herself at her
content with them and with the swirl of voiceless swallows about one of
the high stone chimneys of Taylor Hall. Gathering up her own filmy dress
she moved through the deep-green grass that began to dull and chill her
slippers, to the shadowed postern door in the graduate wing and up to
her own study. She had not dreamed of such content, she remembered, her
first night in the room.


V

All the days on the steamer she had misdoubted the return to college
after two years' absence, and the surprise and foreboding that sprang up
when her closest gaze at the dock failed to show her Sydney Lodge,
increased the mistrust. There was nothing for which to stay over in New
York since Sydney, according to the friends who did show up to greet
her, was still twenty miles off at the seashore, and since Esther had
cabled to engage the graduate suite of rooms for themselves at college
there was a place prepared and probably a letter awaiting her there.
Tired with the bustle of the custom house, she scarcely noticed the
sunburnt country north of Philadelphia, but from the moment of pulling
out from the city westward, found vague forgotten recollections stirring
like indistinguishable odours.

Strong enough at last even to satisfy her was the sense of a glad
home-coming and the sudden contraction of her throat at particular
perceptions: the first glimpses of the bell-tower above the trees, the
stillness of the wind-swept air, the fresh and quiet beauty of the grey
buildings and green turf.

As a simple mood she welcomed the feeling, prompt of course to pass, but
equally prompt to return and supplant in time inevitable regrets for the
other life now finally renounced.

It looked very gay, soft, desirable, that other life, while she surveyed
the ungarnished and spotless emptiness of the bare study. On one table
lay a pile of letters, the topmost directed in Sydney's hand so oddly
like her own: a letter puzzling for the first sheet, then plain enough
in its shamefaced announcement that the writer was engaged to be
married--had been, indeed, for a month past but for some inexplicable
reason had not wished Esther to learn before sailing. "H'm," thought
Esther, "pity I didn't know this!" She looked around at the two
study-tables, two lamps and two armchairs, almost the whole furniture of
the room, and began to laugh. The stupid chair butting its nose against
the table as maids always will leave study chairs, taunted her with the
unnecessary assurance that Sydney would never occupy it.

The man in question, curiously enough, Esther had once known rather
well. Her brother had been in the same class at Harvard, since whose
death some years before she had scarcely seen him. But she had not heard
of his meeting Sydney. He was a politician by trade, a lawyer by
profession. He belonged in the Middle West.

Esther felt rather sick and very angry; Sydney at least needn't have
made a fool of her! Still, she _could_ see the comedy.

"Hello!" rang up a fine, strong voice below, and turning in the
window-seat she saw on the grass brown sturdy Hilda Railton springing
off her bicycle, rather warm and very pleased to see her. "I'm coming
up. My room is down the hall. Let's have some tea!"

When the kettle had boiled Hilda remarked, as she shovelled in the tea:
"So you're going in for the Ph. D. after all? I had dreamed you were
strong-minded enough to resist the prevailing superstition. O Ichabod,
Ichabod!"

Esther, laughing, echoed the _Ichabod_ so sincerely that Hilda was
prompted to change her ground and while she cut cool odorous slices of
lemon to ask:

"So Sydney came back after one winter? I knew she would."

Esther answered rather dryly: "Yes, her family couldn't spare her."

"Sydney's family!" laughed Hilda, recognizing the object of hostility.
"We all know it. 'Twas a pretty good year, wasn't it?"

"Ah, a golden year!"

"I had a notion from your letters last spring you were staying over
there indefinitely. Then wasn't there a plan about Sydney's going back?"

"Yes. I needed more time. Last year my eyes played me a horrid trick and
I couldn't work at all. Not even write letters," said Esther grimly. She
had fancied it was because of her inability to answer that Sydney had
written so seldom. "I had in another way almost as good a year idling
about Berlin and Paris. My dear girl, you've no notion of the
possibilities of idleness! So I quite thought of staying at the British
Museum this winter, even alone, and finishing what I was at."

"Assyrian cylinders still?"

"Always cylinders." This with a sudden sense of coldness. "The Deluge,
and others. But I changed my mind." Never should any one, her former
roommate least of all, know what had changed her mind. Actually this was
a letter from Sydney Lodge, written in July and saying in effect, "I
need you rather badly. How soon are you coming?" She had explained on a
post-card that certain bricks and cylinders ought first to be deciphered
and in the meantime had cabled for the rooms. She knew--it was one of
the discoveries of this extraordinary afternoon--she knew Sydney's ways
even to the point of prediction; that if she should say: "But my dear
child I wrote you I had engaged the suite for us both," the young lady
would answer with a brilliant smile of privilege and a new note--was it
the sentimental?--in her voice: "Did you really? Well, I must have been
thinking of something else when I read the letter." It was impossible
not to laugh, but Esther covered the laughter with a sudden inspiration:

"Oh, I say, don't you want to share my study?"

"But Sydney?" cried poor Hilda, setting down her flowered teacup.

"Sydney's engaged. One Lewis Mason."

"Oh, dear!" Hilda answered flatly. "I'm rather sorry. I always believed
in her, you know. She might have done things."

"Presumably one can do things with a husband. He is supposed to help,"
replied Esther, throwing forward her general convictions in the
grotesque struggle for loyalty.

"Ah, she can't. And," added the girl, conclusively, "he won't."

"How's that?"

Hilda returned violently: "I know the beggar. She stayed a Sunday with
Helen when I was there this summer and--he called in the evening. He's
in politics, but quite respectable. I don't know why I shouldn't come,
if you really want me: I'm taking my Ph. D., too, you know. Think it
over. He's what they called," said Hilda with an explicit vagueness,
"'_le parfait gentleman_.'"


VI

Esther looked around, when she went back to the emptiness, almost with a
little shiver. This was the end then: _après tant de jours: après tant
de fleurs_. She had just for a little while known the unacademic world,
people who had seen something different in her face, something rather
sweet and rather sensitive.

How far all the things seemed and all alike how dim: the socialist
meetings in Berlin, the cheap dinners at a droll _crêmerie_ in Paris
frescoed all around with the history of the Queen of Hearts and the
immemorial tarts; even the soft after-dinner hour when she was staying
with her cousins down in Leicestershire; even a delicious painter-boy
who had just got into the Salon--all alike out of reach. The life before
her looked poor and thin: books to be sure were at hand and one could
hurry up to New York two or three times in a winter for the opera, and
go abroad every summer with a companion chosen, like Hilda, expressly
for her impersonality, one year to Greece, another time for the French
cathedrals and _châteaux_.

Hilda--"she's impersonal as a Velasquez," she had written in the first
week--proved for the aggrieved young woman the Griselda of companions.

Even to herself Esther would only admit a few grounds of grievance.
Sydney did well to marry, though there were elements of pain in the
shock and the strangeness of her elected husband, but she, or somebody
else, might have sounded a note of warning. That faint sigh of amorous
trouble and the consequent precipitate response! Esther found herself in
the position of one running at full speed who stops short, consciously
red-faced and rather blown. The picture made her angry and undigested
anger made her sick and spoiled her work.

There was even a sense of participation in Sydney's guilt, a secret
confession of some dawdling in Paris, some philandering, that provoked
to wholesome laughter. She had moments of saying to her inward
interlocutor that it was rather absurd to chafe at the loss after all of
only a few months, in June she would go back to London, to Paris, to the
great glad world. But these conversations shared more or less the
chimerical character of the thoughts when one lies awake at night and in
the bodily warmth and darkness and the inner blaze of the overheated
brain, one's perceptions, one's values are all monstrous. At last she
saw that she had in truth been only playing with the thought of the
straight, brown-bearded young artist in his little round cap like a
Holbein drawing. Him she had not left behind without annoyance, though
certainly she would not have wished to bring him along; but she could
not even for Sydney have left behind her lexicons and manuscripts, and
comical little bricks done up in pasteboard jewel boxes.


VII

The moon plainly was coming up in a hurry behind Dalton as Esther paused
at the entrance to her room, for though still invisible it filled with
light the air outside all the windows. Against this pale-blue background
Hilda on the sill was making coffee in a tall green porcelain pot. The
air was full of the spicy steam.

"_Dégenérée!_" laughed Esther. "Didn't you have coffee for dinner?"

"Dinner was a long time ago," replied Hilda sententiously. "Besides, I
didn't have enough. Where have you been? Your frock is clammy."

"In the Harriton family graveyard, first, sitting on the steps over the
wall and listening to a woodthrush. Did you ever have enough?" Esther
added, lighting a lamp as she spoke, while the brass teakettle winked in
the soft light and the outside earth vanished. "Hilda, it's a good
world."

"A well-enough world," answered Hilda crossing the yellow patch to get
the delicate cups. As she returned with them Esther studied her black
serge skirt and caught it up.

"Cat-hairs!" she affirmed. "How was Helen?--I've not seen her for a long
time. And how was Pasht? He has a black soul."

"He's uncommonly beautiful. If you go to Chapel to-morrow," said Hilda
irrelevantly, "you will hear the President announce that I am appointed
a Reader in English for next year. Pretty good, isn't it, for a Canadian
who is Scotch?"

"That's all right, Doctor Railton," murmured Esther congratulating her
and adding, "Then I'm sure of you here next year." This was before the
days of Low Buildings, and Readers lived in the Halls where and how they
could.

Esther lay back in her chair, admiring the tarnished frame of a quaint
oval mirror that reflected a really admirable Japanese water-colour of
Hilda's. She was glad the study would be unchanged another year, and
quiet. She thought, too, with a little shudder of the hot bad air of
crowded rooms, the loud noise of voices, the indecorous bustle of a life
made up of many acquaintances.

"I am going to Spain this summer to look at some Arabic manuscripts,"
she said at length. "You'd better come too. If we cross cheaply and
don't travel we can live on nothing. Berenson says the Spanish galleries
are full of wonderful pictures, practically unknown."

"My dear, I've a family," laughed Hilda ruefully.

"Didn't you say last night that they were going to the winds of heaven
this year and that you didn't know what to do? Represent to them,
moreover, that one shouldn't lose so superb a chance of _doing_ me.
Seriously, I shall take a whole stateroom, not having forgotten the
seasick German girl I came home with last time, and you'd much better
occupy the other berth. Indeed, I can't travel alone in Spain, you
know."

Her eyes were fixed on eighteen square inches of pinkish brocade pinned
against the wall--her Christmas present to Hilda and a ruinous
extravagance. A chance word, from a lecture, she had caught up and
fancied once, came back: "Nobody frames the multiplication table and
hangs it on the wall." But surely that was because the multiplication
table was shallow and petty and strikingly untrue: there were tracts of
knowledge infinite and unfathomable where one would never tire.

The things, she realized, which one does not ask too much of--and the
people--are the things which are forever surprising one with unguessed
possibilities.

"Curiosity, after all, is the only insatiable emotion," said Esther out
of her experience, and there were always more little bricks: one might
even in time when one had read all the rest, go and dig some up with
one's own hands.

                                        _Georgiana Goddard King, '96._



_STUDIES IN COLLEGE COLOUR_


The great bell clangs out through the morning air--through the
snowflakes that thicken it, sending its summons over the white-crusted
campus. The slippery walks are crowded with black figures moving towards
Taylor Hall, single, in groups of twos and threes, wrapped close with
shawls and hoods, half of them umbrellaless. Voices fall as they enter
and amid friendly jostling around the bulletin board and in the
cloak-room whispered greetings are exchanged. Then upstairs to the
silent chapel, with its white windows made whiter by the frost; a
stillness seeming to fold it round. The black mortar-boards nod their
tassels in cheery greeting; subdued talk between neighbours fills the
room with a low hum. A sudden hush; the talk stops; the heads are still;
a moment's pause and the service has begun. All are together for once in
the day, with no distinctions of class or grade. All are alike children,
and children of Bryn Mawr. At the close of the prayer another moment's
silence. Then a sudden movement. The bell clangs out again. A general
rush to classes, to the office, to one's room. The day has begun.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sunlight is streaming in through the broad windows. It dances among
the leaves of the red geraniums on the window-sill and falls upon the
carpet in bright spots and bands. The bookcase and the two shelves of
the little mahogany desk are crowded with a confusion of much worn,
many-coloured volumes. Over the Dresden inkstand and disordered files of
papers and pencils a small brass dragon mounts guard. Dainty cups shine
on the white tea-table, which bears for its motto the words of the March
Hare:

"_It's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the tea things between
whiles._"

On the Turkish scarf which drapes the mantel stands a ginger-jar full of
yellow roses. Across the rocking-chair is thrown a college gown, while
tennis balls and rackets strew the floor. The divan is filled with
flowered cushions innumerable, and half-buried among them is the
mistress of all this colour and confusion. She is reading "The
Republic."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a warm afternoon in May. The shadows were lengthening on the
campus, and the air had all the stillness of midsummer. On the grass
near the gravel walk a robin was hopping and pecking. Two black-gowned
figures had just passed slowly by, and now all was still again. A
sparrow who had been hovering for several minutes over head alighted
close by the robin.

"Ah!" said the robin, "could you but fancy what you have lost! Two
seniors conversing together. Did you not perceive them?"

The sparrow would gladly have concealed his ignorance on such classic
ground, yet, constrained by curiosity, with hanging head he asked, "What
may seniors be?"

"Seniors," replied the robin. "Do you not know, then, that seniors are
the sovereigns of this place? Indeed, I assure you, it is true. We have
their own confession for it. Listen while I tell you the words of these
two as they passed by.

"'Well, it is almost over,' said one. 'And next year what do you suppose
will become of the college?'

"'It is too dreadful to think of,' said the other. 'Some of our class
may come back as graduates. That is the only hope.'

"'And even then they cannot help the Undergraduate Association. And they
will be too few to manage Self-Government. Oh, this dear old college!
It is too terrible to think of leaving it to go to rack and ruin. And
just when everything is in the best condition possible! Imagine the
Editorial Board without some member from '93! And the standard of class
work is sure to fall next year.'

"'And the gymnasium, too. To be sure most of us are making up conditions
in the gym, but then----'

"'Oh, there is no help for it! The college is sure to go down now. And
it has been rapidly rising for four years! It is too cruel!'"

The robin paused. Then he hopped confidingly towards the sparrow and,
cocking his head on one side, whispered, "If you will take the trouble
to listen you will hear conversations like that every spring on this
campus. Now you know what seniors are."

                                  _L. S. B. S., '93; G. E. T. S.,'93._



_EPOCH MAKING_


The morning after the freshman play found the gymnasium looking somewhat
forlorn. The portable stage had lost part of the discreet drapery that
masked its front below the footlights, and now recklessly displayed its
crazy supports to the public eye; the footlights themselves were a mass
of blackened tallow in their battered tin sockets; the faded green
canton-flannel curtains which had served as a forest background for the
last act of _Prince Otto_, and been torn from half their rings at its
end when Seraphina and the prince tried to make a simultaneous entry in
response to applause, trailed limply from their remaining supports, and
seemed to beg for the friendly shadows of the property-room to hide
their rents and tatters. In the corners of the stage, the groups of
branches which had simulated the primeval forest drooped their withered
heads in mournful wise against their too evident props, and like the
grey cambric rocks and tin-foil rivulet which occupied the centre of the
scene, were hardly recognizable as parts of last night's fairy
woodland.

Even less recognizable, but scarcely so forlorn, the actors in the
performance soon began to drop in, at first one by one, and then in
little groups of two or three. They came in fresh and smiling and full
of misdirected zeal for the work of clearing up; most of the later
arrivals came from the basket-ball field, and flung down their
gayly-coloured golf-capes just where they would be most in the way; and
all of them, as they went about pulling down the decorations, and piling
borrowed properties into bewildering heaps for return to their owners,
chattered incessantly of last night's great success.

The November sunlight fell in yellow, dusty shafts through the high
windows above the running track, spilling its pale brightness on the
cluttered floor and stage, and spread even into the alcove where the
horizontal bars jostled the horse and the rowing-machines in ignominious
confusion and with a general shamefaced air of being huddled out of the
way. The position of the yellow rays indicated ten o'clock, and the busy
workers, having accumulated rugs, curtains, costumes, bric-a-brac, a
number of potted plants, and the fragments of a pasteboard fireplace, in
heterogeneous piles on every side, were beginning to wonder if they
could ever straighten them out again, when the arrival of three or four
fresh recruits gave them an excuse for resting while they reported
progress.

Their labours, indeed, spoke for themselves. Peggy Dillon, the class
chairman, who headed the reinforcements, opened her round blue eyes
aghast at the dusty chaos which greeted her, and found herself bereft of
speech by the look of modest pride which beamed from all the faces
before her; but one of her companions, a handsome girl with a certain
air of authority about her, was equal to the occasion.

"Dear me, how enterprising you all are!" she exclaimed, coming forward
with a comprehensive smile; "there is really a great deal accomplished
already. (Don't look so utterly overcome, Peggy, if you can help it.)
You must have worked like beavers to get all those curtains down."

The workers, hot, dirty, and dishevelled, beamed with redoubled
brightness upon the speaker, and upon the havoc they had wrought, and
tasted all the sweetness of being appreciated. Pauline Van Sandford was
a tall girl who carried her head rather high, and spoke with a
good-humoured imperiousness. Perhaps these things added weight to her
remarks. With a very creditable show of gratification, she went on,

"And nearly all the properties in piles!" Here a gasp from Peggy, who
had just discovered her pet cast in one of the said piles under a
section of the stage-steps, warned her to hasten her climax; she worked
up her remarks to quite an enthusiastic close, and then, apparently
consumed with anxiety for the workers' fatigue, she fell upon the
helpful band, and fairly swept them from the gymnasium upon a wave of
appreciative solicitude.

"Do go home and lie down, all of you--no, it's really too much to
expect--no, don't think of staying, we can do all the rest--no, you are
too good, and we are awfully grateful, but--there!" She slammed the door
upon the bewildered objects of her gratitude, and then, falling back
against it, exchanged looks of despair with her companions.

"Who would ever have thought they'd get at it so early!" wailed Peggy,
on her knees beside a particularly hopeless-looking heap of articles;
"will some one help me to rescue my poor Clytie? Shirley, lend a hand
with these steps."

Shirley Nairn, a slender girl with a big, soft, dust-brown pompadour,
brown eyes, and a firm little chin which half contradicted their
gentleness, began cautiously to lift away the boards. She had a
fluttering grace in all her movements like that of a bird just lighting.
"Rescue is the word," she said; "there is still hope for most of the
things, but unless we do a lot before lunch, those Vandals will be back
again, and next time there will be nothing left but chips."

In spite of the discouraging outlook, an hour or two of hard work did
wonders. Curtains and costumes went to the property-room, the faded
forest hid its head in a corner, the borrowed chairs and rugs and
rubber-plants found themselves grouped in something like order, and the
rescue party sank at last upon a mattress in the alcove to wipe its
heated brow, and survey results.

"There is less damage done than you would think," observed Katharine
Holland; she was a girl of that ineffectual type that must always appeal
to some one, and she now turned her long brown face and mournful eyes
towards Shirley. "Except for Peggy's Clytie, and a few smashed pots, and
that long tear in Miss Meredith's leopard-skin, most things seem to have
been miraculously spared. There is a special Providence that watches
over idiots."

Still inspecting her very grimy hands, Shirley said, "They aren't really
idiots, but you can't leave them to themselves. We should have had a
committee."

"It's all my fault; I neglected it," began Peggy meekly.

"We are all just as bad," Pauline interrupted in a decided tone; "Louise
is stage manager, and I am business manager, and look at our behaviour:
we have both been wasting valuable time on our essay appointments when
we should have been attending to business."

As self-accusation seemed the order of the day, each of the small party
came forward to blame herself, and did it thoroughly and at some length.
When a soothing pause came at last, Shirley said meditatively,

"I heard Miss Meredith say the other day that women couldn't work
together effectively, because woman isn't a political animal."

Charlotte Meredith's masters degree and undisputed cleverness gave no
small weight to her opinion among the undergraduates, but Pauline, as
her cousin and protégée, stood less in awe of her than most of the
freshmen; she had even dared to christen her, quite openly, "the Cynic."
It was Pauline, therefore, who now voiced the meeting's dissent from
Miss Meredith's dictum. Woman could be a political animal, if she chose,
and was properly directed. All that the class of '9-- needed was to be
taught to think before they acted.

Louise Ferguson, a small bustling girl with red hair, wanted to know how
you were going to teach them to think. They might be able to do it
separately, but when you took them in the mass, they were just like a
flock of sheep, and class meetings merely a game of follow-my-leader. No
matter how clever and sensible the individual girl was, a class of
sixty-three girls was capable of any idiocy on the spur of the moment.
"Look at the number of classes who elect their presidents, and then hate
them ever after. Look at the case of the class who barred out their
temporary chairman, and then spent the rest of their college career
wishing they had elected her. They never know what they want, or if they
do, they don't know enough to get it."

"Thanks awfully," crowed Peggy; "all the bouquets are coming my way.
'9-- made me chairman, therefore they did not want me. Q. E. D. Thanks
ever so much!"

As Louise and Peggy were roommates, their differences could be left for
private settlement. Louise therefore took no notice of this
interruption, beyond a threatening scowl at the speaker, and, sticking
bravely to her point, appealed to Pauline for support. In Pauline's
opinion class politics were usually unintelligent, but she did not agree
that there was no help for it. When the spirited discussion which this
remark brought on had run its rather ineffectual course to no
conclusion, the two disputants fell silent, and four of the little group
found themselves looking shyly at Shirley Nairn.

Three of the girls had come up together from the Airlie School in New
York, and Pauline Van Sandford was their leader; Peggy Dillon was a
Philadelphia girl who had chanced upon a room in the "Airlie corridor"
of Pembroke East, and whose short-lived ascendency in '9--'s affairs had
declined, very early in her chairmanship, into dependence upon Pauline;
but Shirley Nairn lived in Merion, and the four knew very little about
her, except that her schoolmates from the Briony School of New Haven
counted on her to win the class presidency from the Airlie candidate. So
now they eyed her sideways, and waited for her views on class politics
as expressing class intelligence; and the pause was just beginning to be
uncomfortable when she lifted her head.

"We might try to better things in our own case," she said tentatively;
"there ought to be a way to make class politics intelligent, but we can
only prove it by doing it."

"How?" asked Louise, while Pauline rapidly decided that Shirley Nairn
did not have that square chin for nothing. Then, taking the floor
herself, Pauline opined that the whole trouble lay in too hasty action.
"We women," she said, rather grandly, and with her usual air of decided
conviction, "we women make up our minds before we think; we look at a
few arguments, listen to our friends' opinions, leap to a conclusion
(usually all wrong), and score another foolish vote."

Peggy's groan of mock despair, which followed this speech, and was meant
to preface a lively protest, was robbed of effect by the sudden sound of
Taylor bell, ringing for lunch-time; and the parliament of five
forthwith dissolved. But as they dispersed, Pauline pledged them all to
come to her room that evening for further discussion of the subject.
They met there accordingly, with a few other high souls who were ripe
for reform; they discussed; and from their discussion there grew a plan.

When the class of '9-- assembled a few days later in Denbigh Students'
Parlour, they expected to nominate and forthwith elect their permanent
officers; but on the latter point a considerable surprise was in store
for them. After the nomination votes for president were cast and
counted, and the result announced--Shirley and Pauline far in the lead,
and very close together, Peggy a modest third, and a few other names
straggling hopelessly in the rear--the chairman rose to tell them that a
change in the usual order of proceedings was proposed. The nominations
for president were now before them; the election was postponed, by order
of the chair, until that day week, in order that during the interval the
class might weigh well its measures before taking the final--Peggy's
tone almost implied, the fatal--step. In the stupefied silence which
followed this announcement, she went on to give the arguments in favour
of the new course. It would give them time to look into the
qualifications of the candidates and form their decision intelligently;
it would prevent mistakes which they might deplore hereafter;
and--superbly--it would mark the beginning of a new epoch in class
politics. The candidates were bound in honour not to canvass for
themselves, or to allow others to do so, and the final ballot was to be
cast according to each voter's conviction of what would be best for the
class. No haste in deciding, no prejudice, no regard to personal
influence; but careful consideration, and final action on the highest
and most disinterested grounds--that was the idea.

When the other nominations were in, and the meeting adjourned, the class
of '9-- went its various ways homeward sorely bewildered. It does not
do, as a rule, to call upon a freshman class for too much disinterested
consideration when it is just recovering from the effects of a freshman
play; but the undergraduate mind will usually rise to a hook that is
baited with the word "epoch-making." So the members of '9-- eager to
make an epoch, fell very earnestly and ardently to work at the business
of weighing and comparing the two chief candidates before them; Peggy's
name was very little under discussion, for her chances were hardly to be
considered seriously, and, as interest centred in the presidency, the
candidates for other offices got very little attention. But concerning
the merits and demerits of Shirley and Pauline, the course of debate ran
high and warm; during the seven days assigned them, the freshmen talked
of little else, and strove hard to prove, by quite a heated exhibition
of partisan spirit, that they were political animals after all, while
the two principal nominees affected an Olympian indifference to the
result, and used a dignified reserve when greeting each other in the
corridors of Taylor. And amused upper classmen made laughing guesses as
to the outcome of the campaign.

But the new plan did not work exactly as its framers had expected, and
in a day or two there were rumours that things were going wrong. By the
middle of the week these rumours had gathered such strength that
Charlotte Meredith, M. A., and Fellow of Bryn Mawr College, felt called
upon to visit her freshman cousin, and hear the news. Accordingly she
knocked at the door of 39 Pembroke East on the afternoon of the fifth
day following the nominations. Charlotte Meredith, whom Pauline called
the Cynic, was a tall, slight girl, pale and clean-looking, with
quantities of very black hair; she had bright, near-sighted grey eyes
behind her glasses, and walked with a stoop; her usual expression was
one of whimsical boredom. There was probably no one in the world whom
Pauline would have cared less to see at her door that afternoon, but she
welcomed the unexpected guest with almost her usual readiness, and tried
to cover the real hollowness of her greeting by eager hospitality in the
line of tea and jam. Peggy was there, too, spreading crackers with a
worried air; and both girls seemed somewhat harassed by Charlotte's
questions as to the outlook for the election, delivered with her
habitual slight drawl and air of fatigued politeness.

"I take a lively interest in it," she told them, in a tone expressive of
anything rather than liveliness, as she stirred her tea; "and I hope you
won't let the fact that you are both candidates embarrass you. This
impersonal campaign of yours is highly novel, and your effort to elevate
class politics into a thing of moral beauty smacks delightfully of
altruism, but may I ask how the thing is likely--in the vulgar
phrase--to pan out?" She nibbled her cracker appreciatively, and gave
the discomfited pair a questioning smile. Peggy squirmed a little, and
said nothing; but Pauline burst out,

"The whole affair is too miserable and humiliating for words, and has
panned out like--like--Charlotte, it is literally past speech! I am
ashamed of belonging to such a small-minded sex, for the girls have
acted abominably."

Charlotte smiled benignly. "As I understand that your reform is in part
a crusade against a statement of mine that woman is not a political
animal, would you mind telling me whether their abominableness throws
any light on that point?"

"Political animals?" cried Pauline; "I should say they were! If we have
a rag of reputation left by the end of the week, I shall be surprised."

"And by 'we' you mean----"

"Shirley Nairn and myself; Peggy seems to have been spared."

"Yes," Peggy assented with the utmost affability, "they are after bigger
game, thank Heaven!" And then, the flood-gates being opened, Charlotte
was favoured with a full, if not very coherent account of '9--'s
enormities. Events had taken a course which was not to be wondered at.
In the ranks of '9--, deliberation had brought on discussion, discussion
had led to dispute; and in the clash of warring factions, each side had
brought so many charges of unfitness against the opposing candidate that
Pauline declared her own character, as well as Shirley's, blackened for
life.

"That is doing fairly well for a purely impersonal campaign not yet five
days old," was Charlotte's grim comment; "I suppose you do not lack for
friends to keep you posted on the state of public opinion."

"My dear Miss Meredith," responded Peggy genially, "the only reason that
the door is not at this moment besieged with news from the seat of war
is that the rest of the class are at freshman drill, which Pauline and I
are sinfully cutting. Only think, Polly, how their tongues are wagging
even now! And how----"

A resounding knock at the door cut her short.

"There!" she groaned resignedly, "drill must be over. Come in!" And as
the three turned towards the door, Pauline said savagely, "Here come all
my dearest friends!"

But it was Shirley Nairn who pushed the door open, and at sight of
Charlotte stopped doubtfully on the threshold. Over her shoulder, they
saw the frightened face of Katharine Holland. Shirley was looking at
Pauline.

"I have something rather important to say," she said; "it concerns us
both, and"--she hesitated for a barely appreciable second--"and no one
else. Except Miss Holland," frigidly, with a glance over her shoulder.

"Oh, come in, come in!" cried Pauline, "and if it is about this wretched
election, let us have it out. Charlotte and Peggy know the worst, I
think. Come in."

Shirley advanced, and Katharine shrinkingly followed her; the uneasy air
of the latter, and her apprehensive looks, made Charlotte sit up with an
expression of interest.

"The plot thickens," she soliloquized to her teacup; and Pauline,
hearing her, knit her brows impatiently.

"Well?" she said rather shortly to Shirley. Her tone brought a flush to
the other's cheek; she hesitated for another moment, and then said
coldly,

"Miss Holland will explain."

Upon being brought thus abruptly into prominence, Katharine Holland
silently besought them all for mercy with her shamed eyes; then, urged
by a monitory look from Shirley, who leaned beside the table in frozen
silence, she brought out a foolish and pitiable tale. It was simply an
account of various silly slanders, some directed against Shirley, and
others against Pauline, with which she confessed she had regaled a
company of upper classmen, apparently only to amuse them; and she
interrupted her confession with weak excuses, like a guilty child. In
her humiliation she made an uncomfortable spectacle, but Shirley said
sternly, "Finish."

"Oh, let her be!" cried Pauline, impatient of the scene; "who cares to
hear all this? We know it already."

"There is one thing yet," said Shirley, "but I will tell it myself; I
made her tell all the rest, so that you might know whether you ought to
take her word against me. She has accused me of going about to ask for
votes." The speaker's tone was stout enough, but she leaned heavily on
the table, "so I brought her here to retract it."

Stung by a generous indignation, Pauline sprang to her feet. "Would you
have believed that of me?" she cried. "She need not trouble to retract
it." Then, turning to Katharine, "That is quite enough, Miss Holland,"
she said, and the penitent stumbled to the door.

As the door closed upon her, Charlotte, who had finished her tea in
silence, put down her cup with an air of decision, and turning to
Shirley, said suddenly,

"Wasn't it a little hard on her, Miss Nairn?"

"To punish her for telling a campaign lie?" demanded Shirley.

"Please leave the campaign out of the question for a moment. She doesn't
seem particularly venomous; don't you think she deserved a little
mercy?"

"She is a poor creature," said Shirley setting her lips, "and deserves
nothing."

"She is a poor creature," Charlotte assented in her easy drawl, "whom
you have made poorer by the loss of her self-respect. Why?"

"Because she lied about us," retorted Pauline, rushing in to defend
their joint position.

"Would you even have given her lies a thought," asked her cousin with a
little more animation, "if they hadn't interfered with your precious
campaign? You have just made her pay for your own mistake in attempting
the impossible; you began by trying impersonality in politics, and you
have ended by humiliating a classmate for indulging in a few exaggerated
personalities at your expense. Is it very consistent?"

Struck dumb by surprise at this attack, Pauline did not answer, but
Shirley broke in, with hot cheeks,

"It was a case of self-defence, Miss Meredith."

Charlotte, as she rose to go, smiled complete comprehension into the
younger girl's troubled eyes; it was easy to see that the rivals already
valued each other's good opinion beyond the votes of the class, and she
scented fresh developments. "They won't be a bad team," she decided on
her way home.

Her departure left the other three somewhat at a loss for words, but
Shirley, with an evident effort, broke the uncomfortable silence.

"We've made a mistake somewhere," she said hopelessly, "and everything
has gone miserably wrong; but I hope you will believe that I meant well,
even in bringing Katharine Holland here." And she turned towards the
door.

"Don't go," said Pauline; "sit down, and have some tea." Then seeing
that the other hesitated, "You know that I don't care a rap about those
tales, and I know that you don't either," she said, stoutly. "I am glad
that you came. Won't you please stay?"

Peggy, who had been absorbed in circumventing the treacherous tendencies
of her jam-sandwich, emerged victorious from the struggle to say
soothingly,

"Nobody ever believes campaign lies, anyway."

"Except the voters," was Shirley's dry response, as she dropped into a
chair.

During the next half-hour, both Pauline and Shirley announced their
unalterable intention of withdrawing from the race; each declared that,
for the good of the class, the other ought to be president, but neither
would consent to her rival's retiring, so that, as Peggy said, the only
way out was for both to stay in. The debate ended in a decision to abide
the issue, and ignore the slanderous tongues, whereupon they parted much
uplifted in spirit, and were very solemn at dinner that night, as
befitted noble-hearted victims who suffered for their efforts to elevate
their kind.

On the evening before the election, Charlotte Meredith caught Shirley in
the act of waylaying an Airlie freshman in the hall. Her victim, in
gymnasium dress, with her mask and foil, was evidently overdue at a
fencing-lesson, and anxious to be off, but Shirley was pitiless, and
pinned her to the spot, while she discoursed at length.

"The impersonal campaign is still on, I see," murmured Charlotte, as she
passed.

Shirley's face blazed. "I was telling her the truth as to some lies
about Pauline," she flashed out, and then looked as if she could have
bitten her tongue for speaking.

The freshman, grateful for an interruption, escaped.

"You needn't have told me that you were canvassing for Pauline, any more
than Pauline needed to tell me this morning, when I met her coming out
of a Briony girl's room, that she was canvassing for you. A fine
consistent pair you are! But it won't make any difference," she added,
darkly, with a return to her usual whimsical manner.

The evening of the election buried the reform fathoms deep; for Peggy
was elected president. When the little band of reformers entered the
students' parlour, where the class was already assembled, they received
the impression of a huddled flock of sheep, with lowered heads at bay.
The evening's proceedings deepened this impression. The class of '9--
was worried and bewildered and disgusted; it had travailed in the throes
of indecision until it sickened of both alternatives, and fell, like
many another, upon the middle course. That course was the choice of
Peggy, astonished Peggy, by an overwhelming majority in the good old
follow-my-leader fashion; while Pauline and Shirley watched their airy
fabric of reform topple to ruin, and then talked of other things during
the counting of the votes.

Charlotte Meredith laughed over the result with the rest of the
on-lookers, but, rather surprisingly, took the part of the would-be
reformers, after a subtle fashion of her own. "After all," she remarked,
with an air of elaborate deference to a loudly critical sophomore, "even
you and I, Miss West, were freshmen once." And Miss West turned a slow
red, and refrained from speech.

It was Charlotte's custom to have her freshman cousin at most of her
small teas, so Pauline found nothing remarkable in the appearance, about
this time, of a small card on her table, reading, "Tea at five. C. M.";
but it was embarrassingly unusual to find in her cousin's study, not the
expected circle of graduates, with a senior or two, but only Charlotte
herself and Shirley Nairn. The two guests were duly regaled with tea and
bonbons by Miss Meredith, who, ignoring late events, tried to put them
at their ease. In her whimsical way, she liked them both. There was,
however, a spark of covert amusement in her eyes as she passed the
teacups; and Pauline, writhing inwardly under this satirical
observation, finally came out with:

"I suppose you were pleased with the result of our campaign."

"Naturally," said Charlotte blandly. "One likes to have a guess
confirmed--and I was sure of the result; in that way I was pleased. And
you?"

Pauline, playing with her teacup, remarked that people weren't usually
pleased with having made fools of themselves. Her tone asked for a
contradiction, but it did not come, and the three sat silent, listening
to the singing of the kettle over the spirit-flame, until Shirley said
abruptly:

"Miss Meredith, you were right about the political animals."

Charlotte raised her eyebrows enquiringly, but was perhaps not surprised
by what she heard; she may have already reflected that defeat, always
hard to bear, comes in its most unbearable form when it makes its
victims ridiculous. Shirley and Pauline, having been baulked by very
small means in a project of mighty import, had a galling sense of the
absurdity of their position, and were bitterly ready to turn on their
ungrateful classmates. Therefore Charlotte had the satisfaction of
seeing them come over to her point of view with exaggerated enthusiasm.
They could not put too strongly the impossibility of any attempt to
educate women politically; they thought that a few--a very few, they
sadly added--might be trusted for public-spirited and disinterested
action; but the mass of women were not large-minded enough to rise
above personal considerations.

"What other considerations did the poor things have, in your case?"
asked their hostess. "A class president's duties are not so weighty that
she needs any distinguished qualifications, and the choice is simply a
matter of personal liking. You insisted on a week's analysis of personal
likes and dislikes, and the natural result was exaggeration and
slander."

The freshmen sat in crestfallen silence. They had acknowledged their
defeat; must they now acknowledge that it was deserved? Putting down her
plate and leaning a little forward in her chair, Charlotte regarded them
earnestly.

"Let me tell you something," she said; "I have not lived in college six
years for nothing; I have learned a great deal in that time; but it did
not take me six years to learn not to waste my energy on trifles. In
this campaign of yours, you have used up an amount of force which would
have accomplished wonders in a serious cause. Has it paid?"

"I'm afraid not," they said.

"It is an odd thing, too," said Charlotte, in a casual tone, "to notice
that in nine cases out of ten the popular instinct is a safer guide than
the popular reason. Your class reasoned itself into a frenzy, and then,
by instinct, did the right thing."

At this unexpected tribute to their conqueror, the two vanquished
leaders looked a bit blank; perhaps they had nursed a faint egotistical
hope of some day seeing the class brought to a realizing sense of its
mistake in electing Peggy, and Charlotte's view was a blow. She saw the
effect of her words.

"They did the right thing," she repeated, "in choosing a girl who will
be an excellent figurehead for--a coalition--" Charlotte smiled, a
little self-complacently; she rather prided herself on the sensitiveness
of her feeling for things that were in the air--"a public-spirited,
disinterested----"

"Oh, don't!" pleaded Shirley; "I am sick of it. We have been talking
awful cant, haven't we?"

"Suppose we talk about that," said Charlotte.

And they did. They talked about it until the late sunlight faded, and
twilight came down on the little study; and then, in the gathering
gloom, they talked about it still, and all the more freely. The older
girl, who had tilted with windmills in her time, opened her heart to
these young Quixotes, fresh from their first fall, on the difference
between cant and college spirit; and the two freshmen, sitting in the
twilight with tingling cheeks, pledged themselves silently to the larger
vision.

As they wended their way homeward across the dusky campus, they were
very silent; when Pauline spoke once, it was only to say, "I am sorry I
called her the Cynic."

And Charlotte, watching their dark receding forms as she leaned from her
open window, hoped that she hadn't been preaching. It was the old, old
antithesis between enthusiasm and experience; and after all there was
much to be said for enthusiasm. Those two youngsters had brought
something out of their mischance, if it was only their liking for each
other. "I wish I were a freshman again," sighed Charlotte to the stars.

                                          _Cora Armistead Hardy, '99._



_A REMINISCENCE_


We had met, after two years or so out in the "wide, wide world" of which
we had sung so dolefully, the last weeks of senior year. I discovered
that Evelyn had substituted soft "fluffs" for the stiff collars she had
clung to tenaciously through four years of college, and she admitted
that after the first shock she quite liked the new way I did my hair.
Later she also admitted that she made a practice of carrying a parasol,
or even of wearing a hat, when it was excessively sunny. Emboldened by
the confession, I ventured to produce some embroidery and went to work
as if such femininity had always been my pose. Then we talked, and
exchanged various bits of news about the members of the class who had
wandered so far since our separation.

"Wasn't it sad about Janet?" I asked at last. And then as Evelyn kept
silent, I went on, "you knew, didn't you?--She died last November just a
little while after her engagement was announced. It was typhoid fever.
I thought you knew, of course."

"Yes, I knew," said Evelyn, and went on examining the bookcase.

"I think I'll tell you about it," she exclaimed at last. "It won't do
any good. But I think I'd like to tell you. You know Janey and I were
awfully good friends while she was at college. We even thought of
rooming together, but we were both so well satisfied with our single
suites that we decided not to. We were almost like roommates, though.
Janet always saw that I was registered when I went home and I always
stole rolls for her when she was locked out from breakfast. We wore each
other's clothes indiscriminately. I have one of her handkerchiefs yet.
You know how it was. We were just awfully good friends."

"I know--Janet would do anything under the sun for any one she liked--go
on."

"Well, then she left college. She didn't like it--one bit. She was
perfectly frank and said she wanted to come out before she was twenty.
Do you know how it is in those western towns? They think a girl is
antique when she's twenty-one. She came out and was a great success, I
believe. You know how she stopped writing to first one, then another of
us, and we were all rather hurt about it."

"Well, she _was_ a disappointment. I had always thought her so superbly
loyal, and we heard that she said college was 'such a bore.'"

"Yes, I believed that too, but not until I had written several letters
after she had stopped. Finally I gave up and thought I'd never hear from
her again. I felt pretty bitter about it. At last she wrote me and told
me of her engagement. Just the real old Janey, it was--called me by some
absurd nickname she'd invented, confessed that she'd been horrid about
not writing, and then said that although the engagement wasn't to be
announced immediately, she wanted me to be one of the first to know, and
would I congratulate her?"

"When was this?" I asked, after a pause. Evelyn had seized my scissors
and seemed to be too much interested in snipping ends of embroidery silk
to remember Janet or me, or any one else. She dropped the scissors and
took up a book of college kodaks. I repeated my question, just to remind
her that I was still there.

She turned her back and went on. "That was some time in May. It came to
me at a most unpropitious time. Some member of the family had been ill
and I was tired and cross and feeling unjustifiably righteous. So I sat
down then and there and told poor old happy Janet how nice and
high-minded I had been about writing and how unfriendly she had been. I
said of course I hoped she would be happy and all that but of course
after this long hiatus we could never be friends in the same old way.
Oh, it was an icy letter, just as politely nasty as I could make it! I
sent it off and afterwards I felt just exactly the way I used to when I
was a small child and had been naughty and wanted to make up. But I
didn't. I tried to forget it. I was very busy and had a lot of people
visiting me, last summer. So the thought of Janet didn't come into my
head very often and when it did I mentally changed the subject. Of
course I never heard from her again.

"One day, after we came back to town I was reading, not thinking of
anything but the book--Janey least of all. Nothing in that book could
have reminded me of her. I read it over afterwards to see. I looked up
all of a sudden, thinking of Janet--thinking of her as if I had been
with her an hour before. I dropped the book and felt as if I had just
seen her, standing at the door in a familiar kimono, and heard her
addressing me for the first time by that ridiculous nickname that she
had just invented. I had heard through some people from her town that
she was going to be married soon. My pride simply vanished. I dashed up
and wrote her in the good old friendly way, told her what a nice lady
she was and how often I thought of her, what I had been doing, and all
sorts of natural old things, as if I had been writing to her regularly
for years. I sent that letter off wondering if she would answer. Two
days later I heard somehow that she had typhoid fever, but I thought
that if she got my letter she would surely answer somehow, though she
had been ill for days then."

Evelyn turned and showed me a photograph of herself and Janet laughing
and entwined in an attitude of exaggerated affection.

"The next thing I heard of Janey," she continued, "was the news of her
death and I shall never know whether she received my letter."

                                             _Clara Warren Vail, '97._



_CATHERINE'S CAREER_


"Now, Jack, please don't be sentimental. You know how I hate it. Besides
you have interrupted me just when I was convincing you that education
will solve the race problem, and that is annoying." Poor Jack! Catherine
little imagined what courage that interruption had taken. Nor did she
realize how unheeding he had been as she rolled forth her arguments.
(She had just been reading an article in _The North American Review_.)

"But, you know, I have been wanting to speak for..."

"I thought you knew better, too," Catherine continued a little
sorrowfully, "a person of my ambitious aspirations" (Catherine lived for
ambitious aspirations), "isn't going to be happy settling down into a
general entertainer and housekeeper for mankind, always sweet and pretty
and dainty, standing every evening on the little porch all tumbling over
with honeysuckle, dressed in white with a red rose tucked in my belt
(that's your ideal, isn't it?) and a hand stretched forth in undulating
curves to welcome you. This way." Catherine stood up, balanced herself
and nearly fell down. "No, I can't even do it. And then I'm not 'sweet
and lovely.' I hate 'sweet and lovely' girls. Why, every girl who hasn't
any looks, or any brains, or anything else, is considered 'sweet and
lovely.'"

"I never said you were 'sweet and lovely.'"

"Oh! then you consider me horrid and disagreeable, do you? Well, that's
flattering. No, I can't marry you. Such a catastrophe has never once
entered my head." Catherine grew pensive. "I can't imagine anything more
frightful than playing the piano, arranging flowers, and being charming,
to eternity." Jack had jumped up from his seat by the piano and stalked
over to the window where he stood biting his lips and beating the floor
with one foot, gazing out into the black night with an impatiently
reflective air. When Catherine finished, he spoke half to himself and
half to the night.

"Just what Charlie Dickenson warned me would happen. 'See here, old
chap,' he said, 'if you don't want to be the laughing stock of the whole
club you'd better steer clear of Catherine Neville. Those college girls
are chock full of notions. I suppose she does like you in a way,
because you listen to her theories. But it is a ticklish business.
Remember poor Harry Cockran, the trouble he had!' ... I thought she
liked me. But I see now that one can't expect anything sensible from
them." Catherine did not appear to listen. She was playing a series of
changing chords on the piano. But the chords grew louder and louder and
gradually passed into the minor key, until at the last word she spun
round on the stool.

"Sensible?" she exclaimed. "That depends upon the point of view. I think
we are extremely sensible. For we can be reached only through our minds,
not through our emotions. Any girl can fall in love. But few have the
strength of mind to see that they are needed for loftier careers. We
have ideals, aims, purposes."

"Exactly. You long to be strong-minded, to take to platforms, stand up
for poor oppressed womankind, and generally make a lot of trouble. Why
all the men say that nothing would induce them to marry college girls.
They think it's ruination of a nice, pretty, sensible girl to send her
to college, and let her head get filled with all sorts of ideas. I tell
you it ruins them with the men. But I had rather hoped you were an
exception, or at least above the average."

"You men are too exasperating. You inherit from your grandfathers poor,
foolish, worn-out ideas that stick in your stubborn, narrow-minded
little brains. No amount of eloquence on my part could convince you of
anything else. I might talk myself blue in the face, and there you would
sit, placid and serene in the error of your judgment. Nothing could
change you, except, perhaps, a change of grandfathers. I suppose you
consider it woman's place to--bask in your radiance. Well, I sha'n't
argue with you. What's the use? I hate a quarrel. Why don't you go?
Don't you see that I have had enough of you? Don't you see that I am
annoyed with it all?" Catherine was walking impatiently up and down the
room, tearing the roses at her belt--his roses--and flinging the petals
on the floor. "I hope I shall never see you again." Then, in a lower
tone, "(No, I can never love him. I am thoroughly convinced of that.)
What are you waiting for? No, I shan't say good-bye. I shouldn't feel
it. I am thoroughly miserable. I thought you were such a good friend of
mine, too. I can't be polite. I'm tired of being polite when I feel
rude. I am tired of hearing all this twaddle about marrying college
girls. I think you might have had more tact." Catherine rushed from the
room and upstairs.

Jack Livingston heard the door at the top of the stairs shut, not quite
gently.

Catherine Neville was a junior at Bryn Mawr. Most people considered her
proud because of a certain haughty reserved exterior, but her intimate
friends who had pierced the reserve knew her to possess a really genial
nature, and on occasions to become quite mellow and entertaining. But it
was only with a favoured few that she descended to jocosity. She was
conceited, too. There is no doubt about it, but who that ever amounts to
anything isn't? at least just a little bit. Perhaps she was spoiled. But
if that was the case, it was scarcely her fault, because she was an only
child, and had always been pampered and praised and led to consider
herself a really remarkable young person. As a small child her mother
had looked upon her as a budding genius, and had cherished and retailed
to forcedly enthusiastic friends her various idiosyncracies--undoubted
signs of genius. But when she grew a little older, and scorned dolls and
"_The Five Little Peppers_," things had gone too far. "A little genius
is all very well, but a great deal is so conspicuous," Mrs. Neville used
to say. (The Nevilles belonged to a very old Philadelphia family.) The
last straw in a long line of disappointments came, however, when
Catherine announced her intention of going to college. "A daughter of
the Nevilles in college! Preposterous! It is all very well for a girl
who has her own living to make. But a Neville!" And Mrs. Neville and
Mrs. Neville's friends held up their hands in indignant, old-fashioned
horror. Catherine had also indelicate aspirations toward a career. But
she kept these to herself until she was safely launched upon her
freshman year. Even then her plans were very misty. She thought perhaps
she would consent to being considered a second Mrs. Browning, or
possibly a George Eliot. It was a dreadful blow to Mr. and Mrs. Neville
when Catherine passed all her examinations. Up to that time they had
kept themselves happy with the thought that Catherine might fail. Of
course Catherine was very clever, but they had always heard that it took
a monstrosity to pass the Bryn Mawr entrance examinations. Mr. and Mrs.
Neville were especially vexed because their plans had all been upset,
and they had formed such delightful ones, too. She was to have a "coming
out" tea in November, followed by a series of dinners, culminating in a
ball early in January--with a possible wedding at Easter. What more
could a girl wish? But Catherine was undoubtedly peculiar. She refused
to be trotted out at teas and put through her paces at the Monday
evening dancing class. She said that dinners bored her, and balls were a
frightful nuisance, and she didn't want to be married off. And so it
was that Catherine never "came out," but passed into that atmosphere of
social depravity and advanced ideas that old-fashioned conventionality
has associated with a woman's college.

Is it to be wondered at that Catherine had lost her self-control just a
little bit this evening? College with her was a very tender subject.
Nevertheless as she stood upstairs with her head near the crack of the
slammed door waiting to hear the front door latch, she felt desperately
ashamed of herself. But how could she be expected to give up the pet
dreams of her youth--all at once and for a man? She didn't like him
much, anyway, and she still longed for her career. In fact she quite
expected it and such an emergency as falling in love had never once
entered her mind. Of course she had seen a great deal of Jack, but he
had never been anything to her, at all. Yet he was quite nice,
infinitely nicer than the rest of the men. They bored her. The conceited
little idiots thought every girl they saw in love with them, and that
all they had to do was to sit and be adored. But Jack somehow was
different. He had so much more to him. He was so big and fine, so noble
looking. He had such good-looking shoulders. Somehow she liked to see
them around. She might have stood him for his shoulders, at least,
until the end of the Christmas vacation. But it did make her furious to
hear men run down college girls and say that they didn't want to marry
them. Just as if the college girls were pining for them! Men would be
much nicer if they didn't consider themselves charmers. "Still it will
be frightfully dull now for the last few days at home," Catherine
thought as she fixed her hair. She was used to seeing him about. And now
no one would ask her to go skating. She didn't want to go skating with
any one else. And they used to have such interesting talks together too!
Well, it was all over now. She might as well go to sleep. So she
snuggled up in the down comfortable and said she would make her mind a
blank. But there was always a little something there, edging her on to
the forbidden subject with most annoying insistence. Jack was always
mixed up in her thoughts, and she kept wondering if he really cared for
her. Of course it was nothing to her. But it is nice to be liked, and
somehow it worried Catherine dreadfully to think that perhaps he didn't
care for her. "Oh, but he must care or he never would have spoken as he
did," Catherine exclaimed out loud. And then, frightened at her own
voice, she muffled her head in the bedclothes.

       *       *       *       *       *


Catherine's thoughts wandered off to her freshman year and that
afternoon early in spring when she had received the telegram from her
father--

     "Mr. Livingston will call at eight o'clock.

                                                      "W. D. NEVILLE."

Catherine had read it slowly for the second time and wondered who on
earth "Mr. Livingston" was and what she had done that deserved this
punishment. She finally decided that Mr. Livingston was a friend of her
father's, some nice old gentleman who took an interest in the higher
education of women, and wanted to be taken around the college. "Night's
a bad time," she reflected, and speculated happily on the chances of
$10,000 toward the library building. Nevertheless she did not feel quite
comfortable until she was safely at dinner with the doors closed. One
never knows what elderly men interested in the higher education of women
may do. They are always so intensely interested. He might come out in
time for dinner, just for the beneficial experience of seeing how this
strange product of the human race eats, and whether or not, as has been
said, it lives exclusively on fish. "He is probably of a deeply
enquiring nature and will want statistics," Catherine mused. "I must
review mine. Let me see. There are sixty-seven 'grads,' one hundred and
nine freshmen, and----" But, alas! these were all she knew. Well, she
could at least explain the "Group System." A complexity of that sort
would be something for the old gentleman to gloat over. She knew it
quite well now. She had just had some lessons on it from the sophomore
next door. And then, of course, there was the seventeen per cent.
statistic. How stupid in her to forget that! She had heard it often
enough, at least twice a month since she entered. "Yes, that will make a
very good beginning," and Catherine sprinkled her beef so vigorously
with salt that she was forced to send for a second supply.

Dinner had just reached the salad stage, when the maid whispered to
Catherine, in mysterious tones, that there was a gentleman in the hall
who wished to see her. "Mr. Livingston!" she gasped, and rushed out.
"How fortunate that dinner is almost over! But perhaps the poor man is
starving. Oh! but I can't have him in. I'll be hard-hearted. I'll hope
that he had a chicken sandwich and a glass of milk at Broad Street
Station. But what a strange man for father to send!" Catherine thought
as she cordially grasped the hand of a beery object in the dark corner
of the hall. "I beg yir pardin, miss, but I'm Jim Maloney, and me wife
as does yir laundree is very poor, en has siven childrin en wants to be
paid." The man held toward her a soiled, rumpled half sheet of lined
paper. "One dollar and twenty-nine cents," Catherine read between the
blots, and remarked to herself that there were only five children last
week. But supposing there had been twins, she ran singing upstairs and
munificently raised the amount to one dollar and thirty cents. "The
dollar and a quarter is easy, but four cents is such a difficult
amount!" she said, excusing her extravagance, while taking her seat at
the dinner table again. "One always has to hunt through all one's coat
pockets, stamp boxes, and various trays and receptacles on the bureau,
and do at least fifty cents' worth of nervous worry and scurry, perhaps
even then not finding the four cents." Catherine was happy again, for
she still had forty minutes of liberty, ample time in which mentally to
run through a possible conversation with an inquisitive elderly
gentleman and arrange all her material in paragraphs with a suitable
introduction and conclusion. She felt as if she were going to make an
address, and had a wild desire to begin. "Esteemed elderly gentleman, it
gives me great pleasure to expound to you this evening the--etc." But of
course that would never do.

At exactly five minutes after eight Mr. Livingston's card was handed to
Catherine. "Elderly and investigating gentlemen are exasperatingly
prompt," she murmured. "He has evidently taken the 7:15 train from the
city and has killed time about the campus or been lost for ten minutes,"
she thought, as she glided downstairs, settling the bow of her ribbon
collar primly in front. "Yes, Mr. Livingston," she rehearsed, "the
freshman class contains one hundred and seven girls, average age,
eighteen; average height, five feet five inches; average weight---- Oh,
dear me! I've forgotten my average weight, and that was to have led to
such interesting discussions of the comparative amount of nutriment in
the different preferred foods."

Just at this moment Catherine reached the door of the reception-room,
gave her belt a last little twitch straight and walked in. From the
least brilliantly lighted corner of the room arose a tall,
broad-shouldered man of twenty-five. Poor fellow! He had shrunk there
from pursuing pairs of eyes! "Dear me, it isn't the inquisitive, elderly
gentleman after all," Catherine pouted disappointedly as she and Mr.
Livingston took their seats at the extreme ends of a long sofa. "Now, my
plans are all upset." Catherine wanted to say, "Who are you, anyway? Why
aren't you inquisitive and elderly? That type is so interesting!" But
that didn't seem polite, and he looked harmless, so she spoke of the
weather, and the walk from the station, the ride out in the train, and
the people one sees in Broad Street Station, and hoped that time would
unfold the mystery. Just then the top of a head and two eyes rose
perpendicularly above the window-sill in front of them, remained
stationary for a few seconds, and then sank slowly, followed by a
suppressed giggle and the sound of fleeing footsteps. They both saw the
eyes, and both being interested in proceedings outdoors, forgot for a
moment the absence of conversation.

"Yes, Mr. Livingston," Catherine finally droned forth absent-mindedly.
"There are one hundred and seven in the freshman class, average age,
eighteen, average height, five feet five inches, average weight, two
hundred and eighty pounds, and only seventeen per cent. will marry! At
least----"

"How extraordinary!" interrupted Mr. Livingston, while Catherine awoke
with a start and wondered if a little fresh air would not be beneficial
to both of them. Another pair of eyes arose above the window-sill. There
was a second pause and Mr. Livingston said that he thought it would be
delightful to look at the grounds. They waited a moment just to satisfy
the curiosity of a third pair of eyes and then wandered out on to the
campus. It was deliciously balmy, but as it was nine o'clock on a
moonless night their horizon was limited. Still by peering industriously
they could distinguish a few dark objects that Catherine explained to be
trees, and by means of her descriptive powers (she never knew she had
any until that night), Mr. Livingston was enabled to enjoy the distant
prospect of Rosemont and the rolling hills beyond. When they returned to
the reception-room, Catherine felt quite recovered from her little
attack of absent-mindedness and hoped that the air had been equally
beneficial to her uncommunicative visitor. "I have been talking too
much," she thought as she watched the careful descent of eyes number
four. "Poor Mr. Livingston has not had a chance to enlighten me on the
subject of his personal history. I must be silent." A fifth pair of eyes
appeared at the window, and the silence was unbroken for such a long
time that Catherine in desperation launched forth upon Political Economy
theories. (Political Economy and History were her majors, and she always
turned to them in times of need.)

And so it continued all evening. Catherine was still ignorant of her
visitor's history, but she had counted twenty-seven pairs of eyes. She
wondered if Mr. Livingston's and her count agreed. She had counted hers
on her fingers, but had a dreadful feeling that she had made a mistake
of a hand somewhere and was five too many. Mr. Livingston looked
mathematical. She longed to ask him how many he had seen. Finally the
witching hour of ten arrived. There was a scampering of footsteps
through the hall and a long tolling of Taylor bell. A maid wandered
uneasily up and down before the reception-room door. Catherine knew it
was time to put the lights out, but somehow said nothing, for she had
noticed certain symptoms of uneasiness in her visitor, and felt they
were about to culminate in the "good-bye" that had been worrying him
since half-past nine. They did culminate, at twenty minutes after ten,
when he at length departed. Catherine wondered why men stay two hours
and a quarter when they come for a half-hour call. Perhaps they think
that they don't appear to be enjoying themselves if they leave before
their two hours and a quarter is up. The substance of the letter that
Catherine had mailed to her father that night briefly stated would read:
"Who on earth is Mr. Livingston? Please restrain him from calling
again."

       *       *       *       *       *

Gradually Catherine returned to the present. She didn't see how Jack
could care very much. Then she bounced over on to the cold side of the
bed and held her eyes tight shut. Still her thoughts rambled on.

The next day Catherine looked pale and wan. Her mother thought she had
better stay in bed and rest because there were only four days left of
the vacation and she mustn't go back to college all worn out. But
Catherine thought she needed air. The house oppressed her, so she
decided to go for a walk in her most becoming clothes. Jack always went
to the office between nine and half-past. Perhaps she might meet him.
But what could she do if she did meet him? Bow stiffly? That would not
be especially satisfactory, but what else could she do? She couldn't
appear sorry for what she had said last night. And yet she would like to
have him find it out--indirectly. No, she wouldn't go to walk. It
wouldn't look well. She would take her mother's advice after all, and go
to bed.

Jack in the meantime felt like a culprit. He had spoiled everything by
his inane lack of judgment. He ought to have known better. He should at
least have remembered the career. It was all up with him now. But he
felt sure she liked him. If he had only made a few pretty speeches,
complimented her a little and broken the ice gently! He feared he had
been a little abrupt. But it wasn't his fault if he couldn't talk. He
meant a lot more than the other fellows who have it all at their
fingers' ends. But girls never can appreciate fine men. Anything does,
if it is only well-dressed. And yet Catherine had really shown a great
deal of discretion. In fact she had openly preferred him to the other
men. Somehow she had always evinced much pleasure in his conversation.
Perhaps it was because he listened to her theories and the other men
wouldn't. Oh, but it couldn't have been that! Anyway, he had enjoyed
hearing her talk. He couldn't bear the chatter of most girls. Yes, she
was a fine girl, always well groomed and a thoroughbred, the kind of
girl with whom a man liked to be seen walking down the street. Perhaps
she hadn't meant it all. He thought he ought to call again, but he
didn't exactly care to go where he wasn't wanted. Still he decided to
throw aside his pride and call that evening at the Nevilles, just as if
nothing had happened.

But all his hopes were shattered when the maid informed him at the door
that Miss Catherine could not see any one that evening. "A polite way of
asking me not to call again," thought Livingston, as he hurried off. He
was really annoyed now and vowed never to go near the place again. The
maid forgot to tell Catherine about the call.

John Livingston had recently been admitted as junior partner into the
firm of W. D. Neville & Co. His rise had been rather phenomenal. Five
years ago, in the summer time, three weeks after receiving his A. B., he
started out bravely to work his way up in the world from the very
beginning, and having entered the steel and iron works as an ordinary
labourer, he had come to be a foreman of the shops. It was then that he
attracted attention by his remarkable industry and popularity among the
workmen, and thus came to Mr. Neville's notice. Mr. Neville at once
appreciated his clear business head and knack of getting along well with
men and pushed him on, so that he passed from one position of trust to
another until he was finally admitted into the firm as a junior partner.

Worldly people might have imagined that Mr. Neville had designs when he
sent Jack Livingston out to call on his daughter at Bryn Mawr, and when
he encouraged his coming to the Neville house, especially during the
holidays. Frequently--two or three times a week--Jack was asked to dine
until it became such an expected event that he always stayed to dinner
without being asked. But any one who knew the family at all well would
laugh at the worldly idea, for Mr. Neville well knew the fruitlessness
of forming designs upon Catherine's future. In fact no one realized so
well as Mr. Neville that Catherine had no time for anything except her
career and that she didn't care for men. All she wanted was peace and a
name for herself. Perhaps Mr. Neville was dubious about Catherine's
ability to become a Mrs. Browning or a George Eliot. (He was an
exceedingly practical man.) "Of course Catherine is exceptionally
clever," he used to say. Nevertheless he felt or at least hoped that her
mind was well balanced, and doubted the arrival of those expected bursts
of genius on which she built so many castles in the air.

During the four days that remained of the Christmas vacation, Jack
persistently refused to come to the Neville house to dinner. He was
always busy packing or something. This was a bad sign. To be sure Jack
was going to Chicago in a week, but every one knows that a man never
starts his packing until eleven o'clock on the night before his
departure. He goes into the first store he sees on the day of his
arrival, buys all the things he has forgotten and never again mentions
the subject. Therefore Mr. Neville was a little worried, but he kept
quiet and reassured himself by thinking that Jack's shunning the Neville
house was merely a phase in an ultimately satisfactory love affair. He
did not tell Mrs. Neville his plans or his woes. He knew her too well,
and never confided delicate little matters like this to her
kind-hearted, bungling management. Poor Mrs. Neville! with the best
intentions in the world, she always ruined everything.

Catherine, in the meantime, was not at all like herself. She moped,
scolded, and was generally irritable and unpleasant. Her mother could
not imagine what had happened. Catherine was so changed; she sat around
and looked mysterious and gloomy and absolutely refused to go anywhere.
To be sure she had never been riotous in her pursuit of pleasure, but
still she had always gone about a good deal, and had really seemed to
enjoy things in a characteristically unbending way. But now all was
different. Mrs. Neville was in despair and promptly jumped to the
conclusion that Catherine was suffering from nervous prostration brought
on by overwork at college. Mrs. Neville had always said she would have
it, and really there was nothing else that could make her act so
queerly. "Catherine is so energetic," she told her friends when they
came to console. (They all felt sorry for Bessie Neville. Her daughter
was such a disappointment. Their own daughters all did embroidery in the
morning, and went to teas with their mothers in the afternoon.)
"Catherine must be in everything," she said, "and never is satisfied to
do things half-way. No wonder the child has broken down. I shan't let
her go back. No," and she set her mouth firmly, "health after all is the
first thing to consider." Nevertheless their old family physician
persuaded her that there was nothing like work for nervous prostration,
so Catherine, in spite of the firmly set mouth, appeared at college just
in time to register. However, she was loaded down with pills, tonics and
strict injunctions to write all developments of symptoms.

Catherine was glad to get back. She had never spent such a disappointing
holiday. Yet though she felt horribly mournful and wandered about with
the gloomy, tragic expression of a person with a past, she hoped she
could fight it down, work and forget everything. She would either have
to do that or be wretched always. For she knew Jack would never come
near her again. Of course she did not want to see him. She was simply
annoyed at his neglect. Why, from what her mother said, it seemed as if
Jack had absolutely planned his "good-bye" call at the house to miss
her, and had then apologized as if he hadn't known. Well, everything had
happened for the best. She was really becoming too much interested in
Jack Livingston. But now she could forget it all, and work and make
something out of her life.

With mid-years, a twenty-four page essay, Latin and English private
reading and all sorts of unfinished odds and ends of labour, one's
previous misfortunes vanish behind the rapidly accumulating wretchedness
of the four weeks after the Christmas vacation. This is the period at
Bryn Mawr when one wonders what on earth became of the first part of the
semester, and one firmly resolves this time at least to keep good
resolutions and never again be guilty of such improvident idleness; this
is the period when one wakes up on bright, crisp mornings to the
wretched realization that an examination is due next day in a subject of
which one knows or feels that one knows absolutely nothing; this is the
period when, after struggles too painful to describe, one turns up on
the fatal morning pallid but resolute, armed with a pen and scraggy
blotter and with Tennyson's immortal words "theirs but to do or die,"
ringing in one's ears; this is the period when after seizing the
examination questions one thrills or congeals in proportion to the
number of intimate friends, bowing acquaintances or total strangers
there enrolled. Nevertheless one survives even the worst, though in a
more or less battered condition, and after two weeks punctuated with
these periods of violent searching thought and despairing drains on the
imagination, one at length emerges into the happy serenity of the
middle of February.

So Catherine having passed through the wear and tear of mid-years had
almost recovered from her attack of nervous prostration. One day she was
sitting on the floor in her study chatting happily with some friends.
They had finished their chocolate, and the empty cups had been pushed
just wherever it was most convenient to put them and most inconvenient
for them to be, when Emily Ashurst broke into the general talk with, "By
the way, Catherine, I had a letter this morning from a friend of mine in
Chicago, which I think will probably interest you. You know Jack
Livingston, don't you?" Catherine nodded, and grew a little pinker than
usual. "You know, he went to Chicago early in January on business
connected with some steel works out there. Well, he was quite popular
and taken around a lot and now they say he is engaged to a girl there, a
Miss Lyla--oh, bother!--well she is exceedingly pretty--just the sweet,
piquant marrying kind that a man adores. They say it was a most romantic
affair. Sort of love at first sight. He is perfectly devoted and her
friends are delighted with the match. Mr. Livingston has taken them all
by storm." But Catherine was not particularly enthusiastic, so the
conversation drifted on to basket ball possibilities for the spring.
Catherine, however, was not in the least interested in basket ball now,
though she was considered one of the most promising forwards. She felt
awfully tired, and was secretly relieved when there was a general
uprising from the floor and all her guests departed in a flock. Then she
was left to her own unhappy thoughts and the concentration of chocolate
cups in the one spot that always appealed most strongly to the naturally
sympathetic disposition of the maid when she came to straighten up in
the morning.

"Jack didn't care at all then," she said, and swallowed a pill. She felt
that her nervous prostration was returning, and the pills were the least
objectionable of the medicines. "If he had cared he never would have
become engaged within six weeks," she sighed. But she didn't see why
_she_ should care. He was nothing to _her_. But her father would be so
disappointed. He was interested in Jack and didn't approve of men under
thirty getting married. And then it really was most inconsiderate after
the way he had spoken to her. "I suppose I shall have to write and
congratulate him. That's a bore! I never know what to say to engaged
people, anyway. Yet I should like to write to him, just to show that
there is no ill-feeling, and that I am really quite pleased to hear
that he has at last persuaded some one to take him. I'll make the letter
rather stiff and formal. Yes, I must write. But suppose he isn't engaged
after all, wouldn't it seem as if I were forcing myself into a
correspondence with him? No, it wouldn't appear well to write, at least,
until the engagement was confirmed." Catherine glowed with newly
awakened hope. She was glad she had decided not to write, for she
dreaded to involve herself in any more awkward predicaments. They were
so wearing on the mind.

In the meantime the day was drawing near when Catherine's story must be
handed in for _The Lantern_. But nothing seemed to have developed. On
several occasions she had sat down, well provided with white receptive
sheets of paper, ready to pour out her soul. She had gnawed her pencil
and looked bored for half an hour, and then had jumped up and rushed
outdoors for some fresh air. Each time she had been expectant and eager
to jot down the ideas she thought would crowd into her mind. (One never
knows what may happen when one is actually provided with pencil and
paper.) But somehow nothing had come, and she really felt now that she
was altogether too wretched for ideas.

In desperation she decided to prune and nourish a little love story
based on her own affair. It would amuse her, and no one need know that
it was not purely imaginary. You can make things so much more real and
vivid when drawing from your own feelings and experiences. Of course she
would exaggerate a great deal and make it more interesting. And in her
story the heroine could write a letter of congratulation to the hero in
Chicago, a letter meant to be cold and formal, but into which had crept,
in spite of herself, a plaintive, sorrowful strain. (Catherine thought
that part quite romantic.) The hero on receipt of the letter could be
very much mystified. He was not engaged and had no intentions of
becoming engaged, though there had been a rumour. But reading between
the lines he should see the heroine's love for him--this part of course
could be entirely imaginary--pack his dress-suit case and take the first
train for Philadelphia. He should then rush out to Bryn Mawr and throw
himself at the heroine's feet, and all would end happily. (Catherine
sighed deeply.)

The end, however, presented difficulties, for where should she have the
hero throw himself at the heroine's feet? The reception-room was such a
public place. (She thought of the pursuing pairs of eyes that hunt one
out of the darkest corners of reception-rooms.) Finally she fixed upon
the Vaux woods. It was such a picturesque spot, she knew Jack would
have liked it. "Yes," she said to herself, "he must restrain his
feelings until the heroine has bowed him into a portion of the Vaux
woods, where they will be uninterrupted by giggles."

The story was handed in, and toward the end of May made its appearance
in the pages of _The Lantern_.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the meantime Jack Livingston, on the shores of Lake Michigan, was
becoming desperately tired of going to dinners and looking out for the
Chicago interests of the firm. He wanted to see some one who really
cared for him, some one who would ask him out to dinner, even if he did
not represent W. D. Neville & Co., of Philadelphia. He wanted to be
asked out, fondled and admired a little for himself. Perhaps he was
homesick. At any rate he decided to shirk social duties and spend an
evening quietly with the Hammersleys. There was such an air of
homelikeness and happiness about their evenings. Charlie Hammersley had
been an upper classman of his at college, who had married a Bryn Mawr
girl a few months before. And now they had a cozy little box just within
the margin of respectability of the North End. They were still at dinner
when Jack arrived. So he threw himself into an armchair by the library
table and reached out for a magazine. The first he threw aside; he was
tired of actresses' pictures, and hated novelettes. But something
prompted him to investigate the next, though it was unfamiliar. "_The
Lantern_, Bryn Mawr," he gasped in pleasant surprise, while he ran his
eye eagerly down the table of contents for a certain well-known name.
Before long he was buried in Catherine's little love story.

When the Hammersleys came in from the dining-room, they found Jack
standing with one arm against the mantelpiece and a far-away expression
in his eyes. He started when he saw them with an, "Oh! ... awfully glad
to find you in ... You see I've just dropped in to say good-bye before
starting for Philadelphia, to-morrow morning."

"Philadelphia?" Mrs. Hammersley asked in surprise. "You're an old fraud.
I won't believe a word of it. You know you said you never wanted to see
the place again. Besides you sent word by the maid that we mustn't hurry
because you had come to spend one of those old-fashioned eight-to-eleven
evenings with us. Shall it be whist or hearts to-night? Lyla, you'll
make a fourth? ... Let's have hearts to-night. I don't feel strong
enough for whist."

"No, really, I can't. You know, I should like it above all things. But I
have my trunk to pack and arrangements to make. I'm going rather
suddenly. You see I've just decided." Jack wished he was not clutching
_The Lantern_ so tightly in his left hand.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Bryn Mawr finals were over and the "'Varsity" had been picked, so
that all excitement was now centred in the alumnæ game. After years of
success, the undergraduates had got into the way of looking upon this
game as a walk-over. (It is hardly the fault of the alumnæ if one or
more years of leisure do not add to their agility!) But now that the
alumnæ had the last year's seniors, the champions of the college, to
choose from, the under-graduates secretly trembled.

For this reason there was unusual excitement over the game, and the
greater part of the college was sitting cross-legged around the basket
ball field cheering excitedly, while a few rushed importantly up and
down, flourishing lemons and towels. It was the beginning of the second
half, and neither side had scored. The undergraduates felt weak, while
the small group of alumnæ at one corner of the field were clutching each
other excitedly. Every one was too much interested in the game to
notice a tall, broad shouldered man who had just joined the outskirts of
the crowd and was anxiously following with his eyes every movement of
the 'Varsity's most graceful forward. But two minutes of play remained,
the ball seemed rooted in the alumnæ territory and the undergraduates
were pale and heaving with suppressed woe, when the alumnæ lost the ball
and it passed quickly down the field into the hands of the 'Varsity's
tall, graceful forward. For one silent second she aimed, and then amid
shrieks of joy the ball spun cleanly into the basket, while, with a
little gasp of pain, Catherine Neville, the 'Varsity's pet forward, sank
fainting upon the ground. Her ankle was badly sprained. When Catherine
recovered consciousness, the tall, broad shouldered man from the
outskirts of the crowd, was leaning over her, a most distressed
expression in his eyes. In spite of her pain, Catherine gave a little
gasp of pleasure. "He does care for me after all," she murmured under
her breath. Her eyes grew dim and she felt herself going off again into
unconsciousness.

Another summer had passed by and the juniors were now seniors, but one
of the most popular members of the class was missing. Catherine Neville
was to be married in November. As she said to one of her friends, she
was satisfied, and Jack was satisfied, and they didn't see why they
should wait. Anyway, Jack was awfully lonely out in Chicago, all by
himself, and it was her duty to go out and cheer him up.

Catherine had decided upon her career. She had found her purpose in
life.

                                        _Harriet Jean Crawford, 1902._



_THE APOSTASY OF ANITA FISKE_


I

Anita Fiske was no longer wholly absorbed in the student life. This was
all she herself understood. Any one else would have seen only generosity
on the part of the Fates in the pleasant passing for her of busy days;
that is, were it not customary to refer to the interposition of the
Fates chiefly on occasions of dire calamity or of some especially
flagrant instance of human incompetence or indolence--and indolent or
incompetent Anita was not.

The right to be described by very different adjectives would have been
granted to her by the most captious critic in her college world. There
is a lack of finality in the judgment of this world; even members of it
could be brought to agree, if you specifically raised the point, to the
truism about the test through the larger issues in the world outside.
They could indeed justly claim that their estimate of capability was a
very decently fair one; also their estimate of capacity for enjoyment;
but, unfortunately for the final value of their opinion, sometimes
later on the fortunate possessor of these excellent capabilities and
capacities may insist on turning to pursuits calling for another set of
capabilities which she does not possess; on the other hand, since she is
obviously very young, her capacity for enjoyment may remain as great and
yet insist on a change of diet and she remain hungry while trying to
satisfy herself with once fancied dainties. Such a double falling away
as this from the true faith may even occur before the close of her
college days. But--there are some perversions merely temporary of the
true and correct inclinations.

This fact might comfort the critic in certain cases, perhaps in that of
Anita Fiske, should any of the above considerations be held to apply to
her. Her world would certainly have dismissed summarily such foolish
speculations. For where, it would say, could you find one more obviously
and conspicuously fitted to the grave charm and still, harmonious
activity of the student life?

Anita was the daughter of a clergyman who, after years of conscientious
if not over-successful care for the spiritual welfare of a country town,
was accused of ultra-liberal tendencies and to avoid vain discussion had
resigned his pulpit and moved to New York. The family migration had
occurred but a few months before Anita entered college; she was a New
Yorker in name only,--she avowed this somewhat sadly, for a passionate
affection for this city of her adoption was one of the anomalies in her
character. So at least her friend Isabel Oakley felt, for Isabel was a
born New Yorker, a younger member of the most light-hearted of families.
The Student and the Gayety Girl their companions nicknamed the two
friends, calling them after characters in a play given two years
earlier.

One grey February afternoon Isabel roused Anita who sat looking out with
wide eyes on the still winter country.

"Come, you lazy object, you dream too long. Is it of the life history of
a root?--a Gothic root, I fear--with due respect to your preference for
mould over mere modern earth. I insist upon--well, not snow-balling," as
she looked from her goodly height down on the slender figure, "but at
least on a race when we have left the proprieties of the village
behind."

"Very well--but I scorn your insinuation in regard to roots. Look at
this."

She drew her friend down beside her and pushed the yellow curtains more
wide apart. The pale light of a winter afternoon fell across long
stretches of snow and on burdened trees, bending down heavy branches as
though to rest their weight on the firm earth; and sometimes a little
mass of feathery snow slipped noiselessly from its uncertain bed and
roughened where it fell the smoothness of the white ground.

In a few minutes the two were going down the walk and out through the
old entrance between low walls, now mere shapeless mounds in their
covering of tangled, snow-laden vines. Anita seemed even more slender,
though perhaps a trifle taller, than one would have imagined seeing her
crouched on the window-seat. She had quick mouselike movements and
walked with sudden little starts as if she feared to lag behind, and
from her grey eyes all dreaminess was gone. The other girl moved
smoothly and easily with the swinging gait of a strong young animal and
held her head high to the cold wind that came over the open valley from
the hills in the west. Strands of bright hair blew over her forehead and
were tossed back as they threatened to blind her quick brown eyes.

On the bridge over the railroad the wind cut sharply. It poured along
the black road below, between high banks the whiteness of which was
beginning to grow dim in the unequal contest with smoke and cinders. A
woolly St. Bernard leaped from a neighbouring garden to greet Isabel as
the two hesitated for a moment; when they started again he fell in
behind and trudged patiently on, with only an occasional gambol which
resulted in much floundering, the snow being deep and his paws at their
clumsiest age.

Beyond the last houses of Rosemont village the girls bent to a long,
slow hill and, in spite of quickened breath, refreshed themselves after
the long silences of the morning and early afternoon, and the ordered
speech of the classroom, by wandering remarks, quick question and answer
and an admiration for the fretwork of trees against the sky more freely
expressed but less interjectional than is perhaps the custom among other
more frankly emotional girls.

Their talk instinctively drifted back to the work they cared for, though
with avoidance of detail of necessary drudgery or the friction in
routine. Truly original work only Anita had; but Isabel's interest in
original work was as deep as her own and perhaps more free from the jar
of conflicting desires. This interest of hers would have been another
cause of perplexity to a self-appointed critic of the two. Isabel was a
society girl by birth and tradition, and at college, through the impetus
of all her previous associations and also through the adaptability
which gained her immediate wide acquaintance, she was confirmed in her
destiny--popularity. But, though the instinct for much intercourse with
one's kind and the superabundance of animal spirits may close to their
possessors the gates within which the still scholar lives, yet even such
may truly care for those quiet places and look almost with reverence on
the things which there stand first. In this fashion Isabel regarded the
work in which Anita was already noteworthy--in their small world--and in
which it was possible that she might stand above the rank and file even
in the world of research outside, if the promise of these first years
should be fulfilled.

The talk turned to an Icelandic saga on which Anita was working.

"Have you tried doing it in verse as that bit was done in an English
magazine last winter?" Isabel asked, "or did it ring better in
prose--but I am afraid of the excellences of prose. Of course the
original I can only respect from afar,--but that German professor's
version--what was his name?--had, I know, sacrificed the real spirit to
a monumental accuracy. Now please don't tell me you too prefer his
version, as you do the Revised, for that same sordid reason."

"Most excellent Churchwoman! you object to change in the Authorized
nearly as much as you would to a change in the Prayer Book. But really
that piece that came out lately--of the saga, not the Prayer Book,--was
quite inaccurate," Anita musingly added. "I am puzzled. I should care
immensely about doing the whole thing as you have wanted me to. Bits go
well. I confess I have done several when the spirit moved too hard. I
could go on now I know." She raised her voice to be heard in a sudden
gust. "It was written, or sung rather, to such a tune,--but up in the
Seminar room the passion for accuracy falls on me and a sense of pride
comes when I detect the accurate Professor Wirthau in an error. I quite
despise that piece in English you spoke of. But now, come, I am in the
other mood. Let us go into partnership. You have a turn for verse. I
supply dry fact and you transform it into poetry. Let a few of your
friends work for you and drop from some one committee--or will this have
to wait till next year?"

"Next year!" Isabel smiled at her friend. "You are an institution here,
Nita, no one would dream of breaking your work off, but mine, such as it
is, comes this year to its natural end in an A. B. and next year I shall
be disporting myself among--well, not Norse sea kings. My little sister
is to come out with me, you know, and as mamma is not strong I believe
my superior age and learning are to serve all but the formal needs of a
chaperon."

"You a chaperon!" And Anita looked with amusement at her friend.

"I assure you I should make an excellent one. You mistake my character.
It is almost portentously tempered with gravity. Will you race me from
the church," she looked up at the deserted and lonely Church of the Good
Shepherd they were then passing, "to the other, the cathedral?"--to St.
Thomas of Villa Nova, she meant.

"Poor Mr. Clumsy-paws," Anita stopped panting, "he is far behind."

After the tired dog had caught up with them, looking reproachfully, they
left behind the bleak church which lifts its golden crosses with
uncompromising directness to the winter sky.

Through the fantastic snow twilight an hour later, they climbed the
winding hill road to the college. Yellow lights shone steadily in
ordered array--a few dark figures passed by somewhere--then a bell rang
out suddenly and they hurried in. Yet before turning to the serious duty
of preparing for dinner Anita let herself again be caught by her more
alert friend idling at the window.

"Another problem, is it? in addition or subtraction?"

"Subtraction," she turned from the cool stars and rushing wind to the
staid greeting of books and manuscript, "but what I am subtracting is,
perhaps, no such loss after all--an unknown quantity, you see."


II

Anita had just received her father's answer to her letter. Letters are
notoriously liable to different interpretations according as one
confines oneself to the desires and emotions expressed therein or to
those not expressed therein,--not to the uninitiated, that is. Parents
are not likely to be the initiated: they have dealt too long in obvious
literalness with their children. So, when Anita in her letter laid undue
stress on her father's need of her and several other needs classed as
domestic, he saw only an overdevelopment of the female conscientiousness
in matters household--and a spirit of sacrifice which he duly admired.
"Quite heroic, for her heart is set upon staying on at college," the old
gentleman had remarked half aloud as he smoothed out her letter.

She read his answer as she sat before a cheerful little fire, a quaint
figure in a red and blue flowered kimono. It was the interval between
dinner and the time to dress for a college reception. Gay little noises
came from the corridors as, by bright coloured screens, soft pillows and
stiff potted plants, these were changing from mere means of
communication into places of refuge for those who preferred to satisfy
their social needs with a lesser degree of illumination and crowding
than the large dining-hall, now reception-room, afforded.

Anita fingered her letter. She found it conclusive. She also found
herself uncertain as to just the sentiments with which to regard it. His
need of her was quite ignored. That annoyed her; but obviously in this
she misunderstood him as completely as he had misunderstood her. The
letter spoke of the vocation of the scholar and the sacrifice to it of
the lesser things. To this she agreed, or thought she did, but had any
one seen the grey eyes as they looked fixedly into the fire, he would
have seen in these eyes a hunger which was not perhaps wholly for
scholarship. Anita had, at the time with full conviction of sincerity,
suggested a plan for going on with her work in New York. There were
libraries there for the books needed--if one travelled a good many
miles. Her father, most wisely and clearly, as she recognized somewhat
wearily, spoke of the difficulty of concentrating one's mind on serious
work among the distractions of a great city. He himself had once dreamed
of a scholar's retirement.

She watched a blue flame curl over the edge of an unburned coal and die
down again. She well understood this desire and had even felt it
herself. A few years before in Oxford, where she had stayed a month
during her one trip abroad, she had longed for just such a life. She
remembered how, on one of those summer afternoons in the long vacation,
she had sat on the coping of a deserted quad and looked across the tall
sunlit grass to a flowering white rosebush which clung and climbed over
the grey stone tracery, and then had turned back to the worn
inscriptions on the wall behind her in memory of those who had worked
there many years before. For her the oak stairways up from the cloisters
led to anchorites' cells where men worked through endless, still, summer
days. She was very young then and only in Oxford during the long
vacation. On her return she first saw Bryn Mawr and then she said, with
entire conviction, that to be there would be very well. The long low
buildings half covered with creepers suggested, as she saw these also
deserted and on a summer day, her dream of life at Oxford.
Disillusionment, since then, of course there had been. She had objected,
more than a healthy girl with steady nerves should object, to the sounds
of girlish talk and laughter, to the many mechanical details of college
life, and only found the dream again when night had long come down in
quietness and she saw the outline of halls and campus trees soft and
still in the moonlight, all signs of newness gone and only a few lights
here and there to suggest the silent student. Of late she had shrunk
less from the rush and gayety of noise, her objection lying now more
against a certain crudity in enjoyment which seems unavoidable at some
stages--in either sex.

And now as she sat in the bright kimono and watched the little flame
curl and die and half heard the sound of gayety outside her door, Oxford
was no longer her dream city. The bored dweller in towns who echoes the
praise of rural life and poses a martyr to the weariness endured in the
city, may smile at her for a foolish maiden, yet true it was that now
she longed for nothing more vague and unknown, nothing more romantic and
delightful than simply New York. She longed not merely to see it as now
occasionally for a few brief days but to live there, to breathe its
heavy air, whether that be tainted or pure, to hear the clamour of its
streets. To watch it there, would give for her an added charm to the
coming spring, to see it as it touches the city square making this fresh
and green in a frame of busy walls with patterned beds of daisies and
pansies or early blooming crocuses and a springing fountain in the
midst. Here every one knew her. She wished the wish most familiar, but
for that as urgent, to go day after day down in the streets, one in the
changing mass of passers-by, and watch strange faces till the sense of
personality was swept away and forgotten. She wished to feel again at
night the fascination of a city then most spectacular yet most itself,
as one watches it perhaps from a train and, along side streets, one sees
in sudden long flashes the streaming white lights. What these lights
were, lights of restaurant or theatre or lights of music hall--where she
might go or where she might not,--she cared little now, she wanted the
picture and the sound. In time she would want more, the dinner, the
play,--this, however, was all she now saw in the fire; but of this she
wanted her fill.

A voice, she knew it for Isabel's, spoke just outside the door. She
would never tell her all these idle wishes, for Isabel had, or at least
would soon have, herself the reality of all of them and seemed to hold
it lightly. She, Anita, had once spoken with a bit of impatience of some
excellent phase of college life and Isabel's eyes had grown troubled as
though the light words were almost a sacrilege. How very much mistaken
their little world was in its opinion of the two! Anita's lips curled up
in a little satirical smile and Isabel entered the room.

"Not ready, Nita? A kimono, however charming, is unfortunately not the
recognized costume for social occasions in this benighted land,--except
for our fellow-students of Japanese persuasion, so haste you into frills
and furbelows."

       *       *       *       *       *

There was a party like any other,--bright lights, gay dresses, a little
music and a Distinguished Person,--only a little more movement, groups
of girls drifting about together and watching rather than making a part
of it; a party taken, perhaps, not very seriously; one, also, which
broke itself up into many little ones, these, in some cases, subdued
groups of victims gathered in for the amusement of another person's
unfortunate importation,--in other cases, guests discreetly chosen from
those not utter strangers to each other; and one heard, here the accents
of a southern town, there the soft "thee" of those who, small in number,
have yet made their own a city's nickname; a party on the whole not
homogeneous, restless and shifting, with a disproportion even greater
than usual between the lightness of pale fabrics and the sombreness of
men's dress, a disproportion tending, even, it might seem, to social
joy--to judge by the greater gayety in purely feminine groups.

On a stiff settee under the broad stairway Anita was established in the
midst of a group of Isabel's friends. It was one of the wisely chosen
little parties. All included in it belonged, in effect, to one set in
the city that counts numberless sets courting recognition and as many
more courting the opposite. There was among those around Anita a lady
with presence, also a man who had, curiously, refused to be a slave to
his bank account and, at forty-five, was causing many misgivings to his
friends--and much solid content to himself--through this emancipation.
The lady with presence was not his wife, else the emancipation would
still have been unaccomplished. There were several strong clear-eyed
young men who were still revelling in the untroubled joy of the first
years of an independent income; and they took life too seriously to
enter quickly into the serfdom which follows after. Now they were
preoccupied with buying much pleasant experience in this country and
others. A few of them might, in addition to pleasant living, do
something worth while, one had already done it, all were rather worth
knowing.

Anita's face was a little flushed and she was talking more than usual,
though the air of habitual stillness yet clung to her and her hands lay
quiet on her lap, half covered by the soft deep ruffles of her blue
gown. That she was a student of excellent promise was not known to
those about her and Isabel, from long experience, avoided, when within
earshot of her, the smallest reference to even the least of her friend's
attainments. They did see only a very pretty girl who was talking gayly
of all sorts of things in New York with a delight which was charmingly
out of place, it seemed to them, among these surroundings; for they
could not forget behind the mask of party dress the fact, almost a
menacing one to them, of its being a woman's college. As they were New
Yorkers by inheritance and much more by education Anita was
unconsciously giving them subtle flattery, especially as what she asked
about and evidently cared for was not merely the teas and dances uptown
but the work and play down among the tall buildings. Isabel sat smiling
at Anita's beauty--she gave the word unreservedly that evening--and
wondering at her animation among these people who she had feared would
bore her friend sadly.

An allusion, a name, suggested a plan for the following winter and they
turned to Isabel.

"You are to be with us then?"

"Yes," she answered, "I leave here in a few months." The note of regret
was almost evident.

"And Miss Fiske?"

"Ah! she is fortunate," Isabel answered quickly for her. "She has other
things to fill her days. No, I refrain from untimely allusions but we
all envy her life next year and the year after--for it is all planned,
is it not?"

"Yes," Anita replied after a little pause, "I shall only be a few days
in New York. I am to be very busy."

The flush died off her face and, as she herself was silent, the talk
drifted away from her: when Isabel looked at her next she saw again the
quiet face as she knew and liked it best with a gravity which well
avoided seriousness,--the eyes a little larger and darker than usual
under the bright lights.

                                              _Ellen Rose Giles, '96._



_A DIPLOMATIC CRUSADE_


Sunday after Mid-Years. A grey biting February afternoon, with a promise
of snow in the eager air, was darkening over the deserted campus. The
examinations, which had finally dragged their slow length to an end on
Friday, seemed to have left a peculiar haze in the mental atmosphere;
for throughout the college, whence all who could possibly do so had
departed for a brief rest, there was a subdued and slightly melancholy
air, as though no one had yet realized that another four months must
elapse before the agony of having her knowledge investigated would again
rack mind and body.

Eleanor Mertoun, deep in the comfort of her cushioned window-seat,
alternately mused on the contrast between her busy Thursday self and her
lazy Sunday self, and wished for the return of her roommate, who was
spending the Saturday and Sunday in Philadelphia. It was certainly the
time and place in which to enjoy the retrospect of work done. The red
glow of a quiet little coal fire in the grate mingled pleasantly with
the fading cold light from without, and lit up warmly the dark green
walls of the study, and its polished floor. An antique oval mirror in a
dull old gilt frame dimly gave back the double of a graceful sword fern
which spread its long fronds over the end of a well-filled bookcase
below. Eleanor, being in a contemplative mood, stared hard at the fern
and reflected that _it_ toiled not and was very beautiful. Before she
could go on to the philosophic consequences of her meditation, the door
was swung open vigorously, and in came a tall figure in hat and ulster.

"Why, it's Marjorie Daw herself," exclaimed Eleanor, springing up to
greet the longed-for roommate. "I thought you weren't coming back till
to-morrow? You're just in time to save me from acute melancholia, but I
can't believe you had any premonition of that!"

"I'm _gefrohren_--give me a cup of hot tea, for the love of--Me, and
then I'll tell you," answered Marjorie Conyngham, as she threw off hat
and coat, sat down on the rug by the hearth, and held out both hands
towards the fire.

Eleanor dashed out to fill the kettle, and soon had a steaming cup and a
"jammed" cracker ready for Marjorie. Then she put a "Busy" sign on the
outside of the door to guard against too attentive friends on borrowing
bent, sat down beside the newcomer, clasped her hands around her knees,
and commanded, "Go on."

"I had an unusual and severe attack of piety that prevented me from
cutting Pol. Econ. in the morning. It was brought on, I think, by the
idea of having to copy six pages of lecture notes on the social state of
the indigent Indians."

Eleanor interrupted her. "Oh, I don't in the least care what brought
you, now that you're here. I meant, I want to know all about the
Atkinsons, what you did and said,--and how many times you upset your
glass at table."

Marjorie passed over this insulting thrust, and irrelevantly remarked:
"Isn't it a pleasant thought that exam. time is over, and so Betty Hall
no longer goes down the corridor warbling 'Earth is my resting place,
Heaven is my home,' or 'I'm a pilgrim and I'm a stranger, I can tarry, I
can tarry but a night'?"

Eleanor laughed at the remembrance. "It is, surely. Poor old Betty!
Doesn't she suffer more from the fear of being flunked out than any
upper-classman you ever saw?--and she makes elaborate preparations for
going home at every exam. time. But come back from this digression and
stick to the manuscript. Marge, conversationally you're a tramp!"

"About the Atkinsons? They're very well, thank you.--Oh, don't break my
head with the tongs and I will be good! I have a lovely tale to tell
you, really, Eleanor. I met a man----"

"Impossible!" interjected Eleanor.

"Who's digressing now?" demanded Marjorie.

A meek small voice from the gathering darkness said "Little Ellie," and
then Marjorie went on; "a man whom you know quite well in the general if
not in the particular--a handsome, well-groomed, middle-aged man with
iron grey hair, serenest confidence in his own judgment and estimate of
things, and--here you may perceive the rub, Lee--unconquerable prejudice
against the essentially modern woman--in the abstract."

"Ah!" breathed Eleanor, scenting the battle from afar.

"In the concrete, I confess, she shows him to be 'not impregnable as a
bulwark of archaism,' as Dr. Phillips would say." Marjorie was smiling
at the fire, which was only half lighting the corner of the dim study.
"Eleanor, from the moment that I first heard that man speak and open
fire on the kind of thing the modern girl is going to become, I marked
him for my prey. Oh! it was lovely," laughed she suddenly, rocking back
and forth in an ecstasy of delighted amusement, "it was lovely to see
the mighty fall."

"Do tell me how it happened! What did you use on the poor man?" asked
the eager Eleanor.

"It wasn't force, hardly even force of argument. He did not know I was a
Bryn Mawrtyr at first, and so he was led into jesting with me just as he
would have with any mere society girl who was ready for badinage. When
he fathomed my real character his face was an entertaining spectacle--a
mixture of regret, astonishment, and--well,--annoyance, such as one is
not always privileged to see. I saw he was preparing for driving me out
of college by hot argument, so I got out my strategic tools and turned
the conversation.

"You know we have threshed this all out before so many times, and raged
to each other about the quarter of the population who take us, without
looking, for mannish boarding-school girls, as empty-headed as the women
of ten centuries ago, but more silly because we pretend to be what we
are not; and about the other quarter, who look upon us as grinds and
blue-stockings, star-gazers impossible and undesirable to touch with a
pole of any length! This man had a smattering of both those ideas, and
was--is--bringing up his daughter on principles impossible to classify.
He told me all about his plans for her before I quite got the
conversation turned from the explosive topic, and I feel sure the poor
child will find herself an anachronism in ten years.

"I knew it would shock him fearfully if I talked politics; but besides
being anxious to shake him up a bit, I really wanted to do battle with
Mr. Atkinson (as usual) about England's policy in South Africa. And so I
launched on that perilous undertaking, making as gallant a defence of
Oom Paul and all Boerdom as I knew how. To my huge delight, the man (his
name is Ballantyne) had to acknowledge that he disagreed with Mr.
Atkinson and agreed with me! Point No. 1.

"Just then Teddy Atkinson began talking music. You know he is very
enthusiastic--goes to the Symphony concerts, all the operas, and that
sort of thing. He asked about the Glee Club at college, and wanted to
know if I were still Leading-Grand-High-Soprano-in-Alt, or something
equally foolish. You should have seen Mr. Ballantyne's face--looked as
if he thought music and political science mutually exclusive terms. I
plunged in at once and talked 'technical' all I knew how. Don't think me
a horrid _poseuse_, Lee, though I was playing to the gallery in a way. I
didn't pretend to very much more than I knew, and besides it was all a
part of my deep-laid plot for bringing down that man."

"You! posing!" was Eleanor's sole comment. "Go on."

"You see my scheme? To let no subject of conversation escape; whether it
was anything Mr. Ballantyne had ever heard of or not makes no
difference. The point was to convince him, as thoroughly as was possible
in one short evening, that I, in the character of college woman, was
neither a bit of thistle-down nor a fearful prig. The next thing was--oh
yes!--domestic affairs. Mrs. Atkinson, without knowing it, helped me
immensely there. She began the topic, and though my knowledge of it was
so theoretical that if I had been an angel I should have feared to tread
on that subject, I rushed in. Fortunately, I had gathered enough
information from running the house last summer while mother was away to
talk without utter nonsense. I told them about the cook who said, when I
went down and criticised some of the products of her skill: 'It's
yersilf I'll set on the stove if yez do be afther interferin' in _my_
bisnis!' And I thought Mr. Ballantyne's amusement rather excessive for
one who disapproved so heartily of me and my college. Perhaps he took it
as a welcome proof that I couldn't manage cooks. It proved a good
transition anyway; for Mr. Atkinson was reminded of one of his delicious
stories, which made me think of some lovely tales we heard from Betty
Hall and the frivolous-minded Dorothy at the fudge party after
Philosophy exam. on Friday; and then of course the Ballantyne had one to
tell, so that the table cheered up markedly. I could see now that he
began to think me amusing if peculiar, and I gained an inch whenever I
could.

"After that we went on talking about all sorts of things, for Teddy
Atkinson couldn't have played better into my hands if he had been an
accomplice, and suggested the most diverse known subjects. College
settlement was closely followed by wireless telegraphy, yacht races, and
golf, especially at the Merion Cricket Club; and though I had to be wary
of terms sometimes when it came to the second and third, I didn't back
down once--not once. Then Mr. Ballantyne and I had a bit of a talk
together, in which I tried to introduce 'a current of new and fresh
ideas' into his mind, and gently remove some others already there. I
think his capitulation would have come very soon if he had stayed
longer, for when he rose to go he said that he did not know whether he
would find it best for his daughter to go to Bryn Mawr, but he hoped she
would prove as many-sided as he had found a college woman might be.
Wasn't that worth working hard for?"

Eleanor, leaning over and spanning Marjorie's forehead with her hands,
murmured "Undue cerebral enlargement----"

"Lee--you idiot!" cried Marjorie, "do you imagine for one moment that I
would have spent a laborious, uncomfortable, self-conscious evening to
make any living person like me on my own account? I didn't care what Mr.
Ballantyne thought of _me_--I wanted to make him like the college girl
in me, and show him how utterly he was mistaken in his baseless notions
of what college makes a woman."

Marjorie was roused now, and in earnest, and the light carelessness was
gone out of her manner. Her wide grey eyes, Eleanor could see by the
fire-glow, were shining with an eager light and her usually pale cheeks
were richly flushed. She rose from the hearth rug, and leaning with one
arm along the mantel, forcefully punctuated her words by tapping her
finger-tips upon it.

"Lee," she said in her clear voice, "we're at a sort of crisis now, I
think--not the same ring that there was, well, about twenty years ago,
when the question was, shall women go to college? That has been
answered, and the answer is, yes, because they _will_. But now there are
quantities of people, just like Mr. Ballantyne who think the fact that
women will do it adds a most unfortunate complexity to modern life; and
the burden of proof that college is the right thing for us lies with us.
I don't mean that we are to claim more for it than it can do, or pretend
to more than we have, but to be so broad-spirited and alert and
interested in everything, that we shall simply convince these people
that college training is the best thing that ever happened to
women--especially Bryn Mawr training. _I'm_ going on a crusade against
all infidels of the genus Ballantyne. Will you go along?"

Eleanor took Marjorie's outstretched hand and laid her other on her
roommate's shoulder. "Of course I will, Marge, as far as I can. But I'm
not capable like you, and can't do half----"

"Yes you are--yes you can," was Marjorie's confused answer. And she went
on dilating upon Eleanor's being "a shark at Major English" and many
other delightful things, until that embarrassed young woman sought a
brief respite in a tour of investigation for the match box, an article
of furniture which seemed bent upon disproving the theory of the
conservation of matter, for it was rarely to be found. This evening, by
some strange chance, it was discovered on the bookcase, and Eleanor
seized it with alacrity. Just then it was useful to her as a diversion
rather than as a light-producing agent, but she struck a match from it,
lighted a candle, and handed it to Marjorie, saying, "There, take that
and go to your room. Your hair looks frumpish with so much excitement,
and if you don't hurry to do it you will be locked out, for the bell
rang ages ago. Think what it would be to miss Sunday evening supper!"

Marjorie vanished behind the portière and continued her flow of
flattery, which Eleanor by singing "Ancient of Days," rendered
inaudible. Then they discovered they had but one minute in which to get
to the dining-room, and fled down the corridor with other late
stragglers to reach the goal of their desires before a dark and cruel
hand should bar them thence.

Marjorie's cause could have found no better champion, no one more fitted
to illustrate her theory of the influence of college training on women,
than herself. She was one of those healthy inspiring people, becoming
ever more numerous especially among college women, who do everything
well, if not all things equally well; and who show how invaluable is the
discipline which has given them largeness of view and a certain ready
grasp of affairs often lacking in those who have missed the same
training. She saw life steadily, this senior of twenty-two, (though she
could not as yet see it whole) and therefore she was neither
scatter-brained nor priggish. The ideals of balance, proportion,
symmetry, self-control, had been growing clear and attractive to her all
her four years, but they had crystallized in her thought only in the
last.

As she had said to Eleanor, they had "threshed it all out before," and
the occasion of their so doing had been this:

Marjorie, aspirant for athletic as well as academic and social success,
practiced basket-ball at every opportunity; and after winning her class
numerals by playing as substitute in a match game in junior year, was in
a fair way to make the senior team. One rainy November afternoon,
Marjorie, in default of an outdoor game, was throwing and catching ball
in the gymnasium with the senior captain and a junior. As she ran across
the floor after a muffed ball (which brought down upon her much reviling
by the captain) she noticed a spellbound freshman standing in the
doorway--a freshman whom she knew slightly. It was a friend's friend
whom Marjorie had been asked, as upper classmen are every year, to "look
up"; and when she had done so had found a rather repressive young
person, of serious-minded intent to study, and do nothing else. When
Marjorie saw her "little freshman friend," as Eleanor called Marian
Coale, with her eyes glued to the white numerals on Marjorie's dark
basket-ball suit, she nodded to her, and later, when they all stopped
playing, walked off with Marian, as she had to stop at Radnor Hall,
where the latter lived.

"I didn't know you played basket-ball," the freshman had said suddenly.

"Too awkward?" asked Marjorie with a quizzical expression in her shining
grey eyes. "Or a weakling--which?"

The freshman was visibly embarrassed. "I didn't mean that, you know,"
she stammered, "but I didn't think you belonged to the set that cares
for--that sort of thing." She was gaining confidence now, and went on
somewhat loftily, "It's rather a waste of time, don't you think? just as
so many teas and plays and things of that sort are. I think we come here
to work." She glanced at the senior stealthily as she delivered this
startling opinion, and was a little annoyed to find her smiling broadly.

"Of course that's what we come here for," cried Marjorie, "but you'll
find that you do your work about forty times better if you do something
else as well." Then she had spent a few moments expounding her views to
the serious-minded freshman, leaving her slightly bewildered and
semi-convinced that there were some things she had not fathomed in her
month of college life.

Marjorie had met before several girls who had gone through and out of
college with similar aims; but she had not found the type a prevailing
one, for, happily, at Bryn Mawr there exists not only strong adherence
to the high intellectual standard, but likewise a healthy tendency
towards general culture and breadth of interests. Marian Coale was one
of that minority whose ideal is only knowledge, not wisdom. She bade
fair to become a bookworm--of high order, it is true, but yet a
bookworm, and a bookworm, as a factor in life, is, by common consent,
less desirable, admirable, and useful than a woman.

Marjorie's attack upon her theories, coming as it did from so well
recognized a student, was from the right quarter, and was well-timed to
give the freshman a new outlook even in her first year. "I hope I didn't
inculcate too much frivolity," said Marjorie as she was telling Eleanor
of this _rencontre_. "I tried to make her see that I did not mean quite
being a Jack-at-all-trades, and missing the kernel of college by running
every organization to the exclusion of lectures. But I toiled to show
her that the opposite sort of mistake is nearly as fatal in the end. I
am hopeful of having her try to make the Glee Club, and perhaps write
for the 'Philistine'! If she turns out a swan in the literary line
shan't I deserve a vote of thanks from the editorial board?"

"You won't get it unless you warn Caroline Brandes beforehand that 'M.
C.' signed to any copy means Marian Coale as author and Marge Conyngham
as inspirer and motive power," answered Eleanor in her dry unsmiling
way. "What started you ramping like a lion against the greasy grinds,
Marjorie Daw?"

"I shouldn't have done it before the end of senior year anyway, Lee, and
probably not then if I had not come across so very inviting a grind as
Marian. You see she is one of the Coales of Hampstead, who are friends
of the Dorsets, and so I have heard of her very often. There is so much
possibility for all sorts of fine things in her that I can't bear to see
her shutting everything but one out of her life, even though that one be
books. Be a good friend to her, Lee, by showing her that even the
president of Self-Government and the next European Fellow----"

Eleanor's strong hand shut off Marjorie's speech, for not even by her
roommate would she suffer her chances for carrying off this, the highest
of undergraduate honours, to be discussed. She now informed Marjorie
that if she wished to go on telling about her schemes for Relieving
Socially Indigent Freshmen, she (Lee) would listen with joy; but
approaches to any other topic would be instantly punished. And so
Marjorie returned to her tale.

It was _à propos_ of this episode that Marjorie and Eleanor had
"threshed it all out," as the former said in discussing Mr. Ballantyne;
and during the process had been half-formed in Marjorie's mind the idea
which, though growing slowly during the long winter, reached its full
maturity only later when warmed and ripened by that gentleman's noble
rage against women's colleges. Marjorie saw that her crusade must be
carried on both within college and beyond its peaceful campus. "You see,
Eleanor," she said, "all the Marian Coales in the freshman class (I am
afraid it is too late to work with hardened upperclassmen) ought to be
given a good broad point of view on the question of what they are to get
out of college: and _then_ all the Ballantynes in the world outside are
to be convinced that such a point of view exists--is more common than
they think. What gives me most hope about the second half of the work is
that the Ballantynes of the world are nearly always people who have met
no college women, or few and unfortunate specimens of the race."

With a strong sense of the need of instructing people of the Coale and
the Ballantyne type in the way they should go, Marjorie began her last
Semester in college. That, however, was only one of a number of
conflicting ideas behind that broad, white brow of hers. For a senior's
last Semester, by reason of her desire to do her remaining work at least
well enough to merit that coveted title of Bachelor of Arts, and her
intention to spend more time than she has hitherto spent with the
soon-scattered members of the dear old class, (tramping with them about
the country to the Gulph, Valley Forge, and the Red Rose Inn, or
gathering congenial spirits about the hospitable chafing-dish)--by
reason of all this, a senior's second Semester is a time of great
physical activity and some confusion of mind. Marjorie worked
indefatigably at her beloved political science, took part
enthusiastically in Sheridan's _Critic_ when that delightful drama was
given for the benefit of the College Settlement Chapter, and when
basket-ball training began in mid-March, cheerfully forswore all sweet
things and "eating between meals," that she might, when the time came
for the inter-class match games, help to win the silver lantern for the
class of ----.

And as she worked and played her thoughts were never far from the
crusade she and Eleanor had undertaken. They told no one of their
efforts, but they were often amused by the way in which their friends
unconsciously forwarded their plans. Carroll Mayo, dubbed by Marjorie
the "Versatile Virginian," was a gallant supporter; for though her
record for scholarship was not so high even as Marjorie's, it was high
enough not to be despised by the respecters of intellect only, in
estimating her total strength. As for her power in other directions,
Carroll was considered by this somewhat remarkable group of seniors the
best "all round" girl among them. If Marjorie chanced to have a guest of
the Ballantyne type, (and it must be confessed that she laid traps for
many such by inviting them to dine or have afternoon tea) she generally
contrived that Carroll should sit on one side of him or her, and by her
unconscious charm help Marjorie banish the prejudice that was waiting to
be justified.

Then there were Betty Hall and Anne Aldridge, both of whom were
excellent though unconscious abettors of Marjorie and Lee. Betty, in
spite of the self-distrust that put her into a very real agony of
apprehension whenever examinations stared her in the face, and caused
her to announce beforehand that in a few short days she would be
"flunked out," was no mean student; and ever since freshman days of
Minor Latin had done clever work in the classics. She was likewise a
good actor of what she called "heavy female parts," and the owner of a
fund of most delightful stories.

And Anne? Everybody knew Anne. Underclassmen gazed upon her with awe
and rapture--for was she not captain of the senior basket-ball team,
whom as juniors she had led to the championship? Merry, kindly,
black-eyed, sweet-tempered, saucy, loyal, unassuming Anne Aldridge,
overflowing with infectious humour, and having a good word for every
one--never was any one so justly popular as she. And to describe her yet
further with a wild flight of far-fetched metaphor, she was one of the
brightest jewels in the crown of the biology professor!

Less considerable than the help given the two crusaders by these three
was that which Marjorie and Eleanor received from another unwitting
senior--Kate Murray. Kate, if she had not been thrown with such girls as
Marjorie, Eleanor, and her own roommate, Dorothy Van Dyke, might have
turned out pure grind; but the constant contact with the good friends
had bred in her a wholesome sense of the value of a well-rounded college
experience. Now, in senior year, although she had at times to be
forcibly dragged from work by the frivolous Dorothy, she was heard to
deliver herself spontaneously of the opinion that people ought to play
daily,--afternoon tea with the six, after a long tramp or basket-ball
being preferred as the form that play was to take. And so when outside
influence was used to make Kate take her own advice, she was an
admirable example to the delinquent freshman Coale.

That clever young person whom Marjorie had found so problematical, was
now, by the end of the second Semester, working herself out to a
satisfactory solution. The slight change which had already, under the
energetic training of Marjorie, taken place in her was remarked by many
who had known her in her freshest freshman days, even though they did
not know of the influence that had wrought it. She was more alert, more
sympathetic than she had been when first the senior started her upon a
course not laid down in the college program; but not being of an
introspective nature, she was hardly conscious of the utter difference
between her former and her present points of view.

Her attitude towards the question of the next European Fellow, (that
annual earthquake whose rumblings so agitate the entire college with
increasing violence until the shock of the final announcement rends it)
was a delightful index to Marjorie of her own success in crusading, and
of what she considered Marian's improved mental condition resulting
therefrom. They talked it over, as do any two Bryn Mawr girls who are
together for more than five minutes at this period of the year; and
Marian, somewhat diffidently because she was a freshman talking of
seniors, said she very much hoped that Carroll Mayo would be the choice
of the Faculty. Why? Oh, because she was the sort of person the college
might for every reason be proud to have represent it at a foreign
university.

Didn't she think other people were as promising candidates? Marjorie had
inquired. Oh, yes, but personally she wanted to see a girl as charming
and as "all-round" as Carroll win. She thought Eleanor Mertoun another
great person for the honour,--supposed Kate Murray had a show, but she
wasn't very enthusiastic about _her_.

In the meantime, the senior class, with the best possible right, was in
a state of ferment that was not to be relieved save by the knowledge of
which one of them was chosen for such well-nigh crushing honour. As
March advanced, all other topics of conversation at breakfast, lunch,
and dinner, during long walks, or strolls about the campus on the way to
lectures, or from the athletic field, were relegated to the forgotten
corners of the mental attic; and "who do _you_ think will have the
fellowship?" was the incessant question.

When the bulletin boards at last displayed the announcement that all the
students were requested to come to chapel on Tuesday morning, March
20th, like a leaping prairie fire spread the news that the European
Fellow's name was to be made public. At once discussion waxed the more
violent, that every one might say all she thought before the need for
speculation in regard to the chosen one should be past. Monday
afternoon, when the final Faculty meeting for deciding the matter was in
progress, was spent by the senior class in a state of restlessness that
kept them vibrating in a distracted manner between that portion of the
campus immediately under the windows of the President's office (as
though forsooth any information could trickle, like a welcome stream,
down to the thirsty ones below) and the rooms of different members of
the class who were so fortunate as to live facing that august building
where the fate of several people was being decided. Pembroke East, being
nearest Taylor was the favourite place for these indoor gatherings, and
Marjorie's and Eleanor's study, which faced the President's office
windows, was filled with a constantly changing crowd of eager seniors.
In the course of the afternoon, practically every one in the class was
suggested; for human nature, in such cases, does not thoroughly like
being surprised, and there was abroad a hardly culpable longing to be
able to say, "I told you so," in case some dark horse should prove the
winner. When the Faculty meeting was over, they knew would come, in
some mysterious manner, the official notice from the Secretary of the
Faculty to the chosen candidate. Then, in accordance with a wise
provision which prevents the spontaneous combustion of the new-made
fellow, she might tell one of her friends. And every one longed to be
sharer in the secret that was to be kept over-night.

As it happens every year, so too when the class of ---- were seniors,
the efforts at discovering the recipient of the Faculty note failed
utterly, and all but two seniors were therefore ignorant of the
long-desired name when the morning came on which the public announcement
was to be made. Speculation was rife, and breakfast, contrary to its
usual sleepy moroseness, was nearly as animated and "discussive"
(Marjorie's word) as dinner was prone to be.

At last Taylor bell begins to ring for chapel, and hardly has the first
stroke melted into the clanging monotone of the succeeding ones when on
all sides is displayed an unwonted eagerness for attending divine
service (not compulsory). From every hall flow long lines of students,
the black gowns of the more eager ones streaming straight out behind
them in the fresh March wind, like Alice's hair when the Red Queen ran
with her "faster! faster!" Followed by the slower comers, they hurry
into Taylor, up the staircase and into the chapel. There they scatter to
the excited though somewhat subdued groups that occupy the sections set
apart by unwritten law for different classes. In the middle front
writhes the senior class, forgetful of its usual stony impassiveness in
the face of anxiety. They are excited, for is it not one of themselves
that has been chosen? They are supported on the left by the loyal
juniors, who, because they have known the Fellow (whoever she may be)
three years, longer than any other class in college, are in turn justly
thrilled. The right flank is held by the devoted sophomore class,
excited because those from among whom the Fellow comes were once their
champions, when in freshman year they needed such. And behind the choir,
which is the rearguard of the seniors, sit the freshmen, excited because
they have never before come within hailing distance of the honour.

The clock is anxiously watched as the hands approach, oh! so slowly,
towards 8:45. Every probable, nay possible, candidate is being pierced
to the soul from all sides with glances compared to which a hawk's would
be careless and cursory. Now and again the wave of whispering and
laughter rises suddenly, until some conscience-pricked proctor silences
the throng. It begins again--a low bubbling noise that is alive with
anxious, suppressed excitement, and that threatens to engulf the
decorous Chapel in the rise of its un-religious tide.

The nervous twisting about to survey the crowd, the buzz of talk, the
ripple of laughter, cease suddenly. Then as the President and the
College Preacher, in their academic robes, enter the two upper doors and
ascend the platform, the mass rises, and led by the choir breaks into a
vigorous processional hymn. Then very quiet is the room while the words
of the strong King David are read, and it is only when the last sentence
of the prayer brings the students upright that the excitement breaks
forth again.

Across the rustle of readjustment, subduing it momentarily as a great
wind flattens the waves for an instant only to toss them the more
wildly, comes the voice of the President.

"Before we come to speak of the purpose for which we are gathered here
this morning," she begins, her smile expressing perfect appreciation of
the suspense that racks her audience, "I should like to make some
announcements of general interest to the students." The strained
attention of her hearers all over the Chapel breaks in hardly audible
catches of the breath. Those unheard announcements give time for
further speculation as to the candidate. Marjorie is eagerly leaning
forward, too impatient-looking for one who knows the Thing--so it can't
be Eleanor, decide the sagest critics. Kate Murray is abnormally
flushed, Carroll correspondingly pale. It must be Carroll--she looks so
subdued--so unexcited.

Those announcements are over. The President unfolds an innocent-looking
bit of paper. The honour list of ten, from whom the Fellow has been
chosen, is read. "Is it she?" is the tacit question of the crowd at each
name. Then----

"The decision has been difficult," says the President impressively.
"After long and earnest discussion the Faculty has nominated to the
Board of Trustees, as European Fellow for the coming year----"

A pause. The weighted silence seems to stifle one.

"Eleanor Whitcomb Mertoun!"

A roar shatters the air--or is it the roof?--a shout of generous
gladness mingled with the hearty clamour of hand and heel. The pent-up
eagerness to know is changed into the longing to honour the chosen
candidate, and it bursts forth and swirls tumultuously about Eleanor
like the Fundy tide. It rises, falls, rises again, twenty feet at a
leap.

Marjorie is meantime pounding Eleanor's knee, and exclaiming to every
one within reach, "I knew it! I knew it!" as though some especial credit
were due her for having been told the secret. Kate Murray, on the other
side, was dragging Eleanor down by the neck, as if she would unseat from
its firm base the head whose market value had risen 100% in five
minutes.

Decorum returns for a moment when the President dismisses the students
with the request that they sing the college hymn; and they sing it as
can only those that have felt the "gracious inspiration" of our
"Mistress and Mother." When it is over, there is a rush for Lee Mertoun
from all sides, for it is _de rigueur_ to shake the new Fellow's hand
very nearly to the maiming of that revered member. For ten minutes she
clasps hands, hardly recognizing their owners in the press; and then
gradually, as the bell rings for first lectures, the crowd melts out of
the chapel.

As Lee, Marjorie, Kate, and Carroll left the room Marjorie ran her arm
through that of the warm and red recipient of blushing honours and
facing her quickly about, pointed tragically with her pen at the almost
deserted confusion of chairs helplessly awry.

"There, woman," she said, "a picture of that might with great
plausibility be labelled 'Charleston after the Earthquake.' That is all
your fault, and it is what you have got to live up to."

Eleanor laughed. "If that were all!" she said.

"You are right--there is more," retorted Marjorie, putting her own
construction upon Eleanor's words. "You have to live this thing down as
well as live up to it. And that means you will have to work hard to
convince the infidels that you are still in the crusade, and that you
stand for something besides the midnight oil. Now if you have yourself
well in hand after all this agitation, let's go to Latin." So the four
seniors wended their way through the small groups that were still
"talking it over," Marjorie declaring that she simply must cut her own
lecture and go with Lee to Major Latin, in order to see how to treat a
Fellow.

As they passed into Room E closing the door behind them with the
peculiarly irritating, undecided rattle that particular door always
gives, suspended animation woke again in the lingering underclassmen,
who had ceased their talk to gaze after the person who had suddenly
become a Personage in the college world. A knot of freshmen talked in
low tones.

"Marian Coale is embittered for life because Marjorie didn't get it,"
suggested one teasingly.

"I'm not," protested the literal-minded accused. "Marjorie doesn't
deserve it----"

"Tut, tut, how disloyal!" murmured the tease.

"--so far as scholarship is concerned," she finished.

"What else would you base the choice upon?" was the astonished inquiry
from another.

"That is the first thing to consider, of course; but it is not all." And
Marian waxed eloquent upon the subject of the ideal European Fellow.

"Who told you all this?" asked she of the insatiable desire to annoy,
when Marian paused. "You didn't have it with you when you came to
college."

Marian's dark face reddened. "I am learning a few things in college,"
was the slow answer. "One is to value something beside pure intellect,
and to estimate people at more than the amount of grey matter they
happen to possess."

This was quite true. Marian's face-about was a matter of great
astonishment to the few who had known her at all well when she entered.
Most of them traced the change to her friendship with Marjorie, but no
one, least of all Marian herself, suspected that design on the part of
the senior had brought it about.

As to Marjorie, she hardly believed in the transformation of the
freshman, and kept furtively watching her convert for some signs of
flagging energy. But watch as she might she never saw in Marian any
indications of departure from the way into which she had been drawn. As
the spring advanced, and one was greeted upon going out of doors with
the faint, exhilarating scent of new-sprung grass, and the sight of a
green patch, like the broadcast promise of the prodigal summer, here and
there on the brown campus, Marjorie began to feel that the first part of
the "crusade" she had placed before herself that February day had been
carried out.

The second part, which concerned the extra-college world of men and
women she had in the meantime not neglected. Here, her efforts, though
not confined to Mr. Ballantyne, were yet centred in him. She dated her
spring, as do most Bryn Mawrtyrs, by the changes in field and tree, but
in this particular year she counted time also by her progress with the
"genus Ballantyne," and especially with him from whom it took its name.
In the time of cherry blossoms, when the black old trunks flung over
them a white splendour woven by the wind and the sun, she had broken
through the outer wall of prejudice that had been so weakened by her
first attack. When the wind began to whirl from the apple-trees the
full-blown petals, she felt that she was actually gaining ground, and
faster than she had hoped; and when finally the daisies whitened the
country-side, Marjorie received proof of complete triumph.

This pleasant reward for the labour of a Semester came to Marjorie one
Saturday afternoon in the latter half of May. The days had been warm
and, as the work piled up in its inevitable way towards the end of the
year, wearisome also. Dorothy Van Dyke, to celebrate the passing of the
week, persuaded Kate Murray that they two should give a "Ball" to the
other five under the big cherry-tree by Pembroke West. So it came about
that lemonade flowed freely there that afternoon, and every one of the
seven friends returning from a shopping expedition in town, from work,
or what not, was welcomed to rugs, cushions and the cool clink of ice
under the hospitable boughs. Marjorie was there, of course, helping
every one in her own particularly helpful way. It was restful, sitting
there in the golden-green afternoon shadows, while the breath of the
lilacs drifted along to them with the lazy air. The beauty of it all
silenced the little group more than once, and their love for campus and
halls rose breast-high--throat-high, and choked them oddly as they
thought of going away.

Dear grey, ivy-clad halls! curtained in April with rich, tender green
that is pierced to the heart with glorious sunlight, and that undulates,
rippling, in the sweet spring wind; reddened by your vines that burn,
lit by the sunset, in October; standing bare, proudly silent when the
shouting north wind whirls the white snow about you; roofed with silver
when the high moon dapples the grey road with the soft dim shadows of
your trees; stately but never cold, always beautiful and beloved; if you
but set upon your children as they go forth from you (groping their way
because their eyes are clouded) your hallmarks of strong intellect, high
honour, broad sympathy, and quick insight--who of all _Almæ Matres_ may
more truly rejoice in her noble race than Bryn Mawr?

A mood of contemplation could not but soon pass with such a group. The
irrepressible Dorothy shattered it now.

"Here's a man coming up the walk," she announced. "Does he belong to any
of you? Daughter is with him."

Every one turned to see if he "belonged" to her, and Marjorie seized
Lee's arm as she recognized the stately figure.

"Mr. Ballantyne--and Louise. What do you think that means, Lee?"

"Suppose you go to find out," suggested Eleanor. "He probably wants to
see you at all events." And Marjorie went.

When she came back half an hour later, after showing the delighted
father and daughter as much about college as was possible at that
unpropitious time of day, her face was glowing with pleasure.

"Marge," called Dorothy, as she came running across the grass from where
she had been speeding the parting guests, "we've decided to cut dinner
and stay out here until it's time for the Glee Club to sing on the
steps."

"Jolly," answered Marjorie, "who cares for dinner anyway?" She dropped
down beside Eleanor and seized her firmly by the shoulder. "Lee Mertoun,
Mr. Ballantyne brought Louise out to see her future Alma Mater. She goes
to Miss Stevens's school next fall for the last two years of prep.
work--then here to college. _Was denkst du?_"

Eleanor clapped her hands delightedly. "Good work, Marge! I knew it
would come about. Why, at this rate there won't be any of the genus left
in the city of Philadelphia--not an infidel to crusade on----"

Betty Hall's voice broke across the stream of congratulation. "Of
course, Carroll, I wouldn't mention it to her, but I think it shows
just a _little_ lack of breeding to discuss something we know nothing
about!"

The laugh that followed this expansive hint was joined in by Marjorie
and Lee.

"Do tell them about the crusade, Marjorie. It is time now, I think,
especially as you have met the enemy and made him yours, poetically
speaking. You don't know how I have been burdened by this ghastly
secret!"

And while the sun sank and the shadows melted into the one deepening
shadow we call twilight, and the circling bats flickered against the
sky, Marjorie told of the problem that had presented itself to her that
winter, and of her plans and efforts for its solution.

"Of course," she finished, "I don't mean to have it take all my time.
There are other things more important, and besides it is not the sort of
thing that can be done by constant conscious effort. But it seems to me
so very well worth while to convince people at large of the value of
college training, that I am willing to go out of my way sometimes to do
it. And if we _are_ going to do it, we have got to take care that we are
broad and sympathetic, and not merely 'cold, learned, dehumanized'----"

By senior year one's friends never let one's statements go
unchallenged. Kate Murray as might have been expected, now took up the
case for a hypothetical defendant.

"I don't agree with you at all, Marjorie. That's a one-sided way of
looking at the matter. You leave out of account, absolutely, the point
of view of the people who devote their lives to one particular side of
intellectual work, and accomplish the greatest masterpieces of the
world. Specialization is the only thing that brings about great results
in many cases; and where would be the great works that are above the
horrible level of mediocrity, if your doctrine of--of--universal
versatility (stop giggling. I'm not trying to be poetic or funny either)
were accepted by everybody?"

"See here, Kate," broke in Carroll, "it's you that are getting one-sided
now. I see what Marjorie is after and I think she is quite right.
Getting bloodless and thin-lipped _is_ one of the dangers of the college
woman."

Anne Aldridge's quick voice answered Carroll.

"That's all very well for the world at large, Carroll, but I think Kate
has made a very good point in bringing up the case of the great minds of
the world. I believe that genius is 'an unlimited capacity for hard
work' in more cases than you think. Now if people who have power of that
sort should let themselves be turned aside by a desire to be open to
impressions from all sides, the world would certainly be the loser by
it. I haven't genius even of the hard work description, and so I shall
never deny myself the pleasure of as much of your society as I can get,
merely to go on pegging away at the regeneration of the pharynx of the
earthworm! But if anybody has the power of doing something really great,
for the world's sake, don't preach versatility to that person. There are
few enough of us that can add to the sum of knowledge."

"That's a part of what I mean, Anne," struck in Marjorie eagerly. "There
are few of us that can do that, but there are quantities of people who
will never be able to do more than grind, and who yet abstract
themselves from the world of actual life as though they were hermit
geniuses. I say they have no right to do it, and that they owe as much
to their fellows as to their own brains. Don't you see that the
existence of such people among us is what gives people like Mr.
Ballantyne their opportunity to misjudge the college woman? I've thought
a good deal about both sides of this, and I think I have good grounds
for carrying on what Lee and I have called, rather as a joke, our
crusade. Please don't misunderstand me to mean that the women of really
great intellectual power are to let their remarkable work be interfered
with by turning that power aside to every little thing."

"So far as we ourselves are concerned," said Kate, "I think we may agree
with you, Marjorie; for probably none of us is a genius except our
European Fellow--of course she is. And so if we may be allowed to let
alone all those bearing the marks of genius, we may join the crusade
too. I am willing anyway to help in the attack on the large and
flourishing Ballantyne species, and convince it that not all college
women consist solely of massive intellect."

"And I too," said Anne.

"So am I," came from each of the others.

"Good children," said Marjorie gaily, as she threw an arm across the
shoulders of Anne and of Kate, on either side of her. It was all she
said but her satisfaction was deep.

Silence fell among them as it will when good friends sit together. A
late robin-song floated over to them from the apple-trees. The evening
star, like a sanctuary lamp, swung above the dying altar-fire of the
sunset. The cool, nameless fragrance of a spring night filled the air.
There under the old cherry-tree sat the seven with no word, until at
last the silence was broken by snatches of melody, vague talking, and
the laughter from strolling groups. Then, drawn back from their
dreaming, they rose and went away to join the singing on the senior
steps.

                                         _Edith Campbell Crane, 1900._



Transcriber's Notes:


Italics are represented with _underscores_, bold with =equal signs=.

Eliminated duplicate title headings before stories.

Normalized some inconsistent italics.

Some inconsistent hyphenation (e.g. roommate vs. room-mate) and
contraction (sha'n't vs. shan't) retained from original.

Retained some archaic spellings (e.g. "yoeman").

Page 87, changed "hawthorne" to "hawthorn."

Page 109, added missing close quote after "thine eyes."

Page 125, changed "philanthrophy" to "philanthropy."

Page 212, changed "insistance" to "insistence."

Page 233, removed unnecessary comma after "alumnæ."

Page 290, changed "recognzied" to "recognized."

Page 295, moved misplaced quote from behind "said Anne."





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