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Full text of "Stover at Yale"

BOSTON 
PUBLIC 
LIBRARY 




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STOVER AT YALE 



Pp <£toen J ofmsion 

Lawrenceville Stories 

The Prodigious Hickey 
The Varmint 

The Tennessee Shad 
Skippy Bedelle 

Stover at Yale 
The Wasted Generation 
Blue Blood 
Children of Divorce 



STOVER AT YALE 



BY 



OWEN JOHNSON 



AUTHOR OF THE VARMINT, THE TENNESSEE SHAD, ETC. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY 



F. R. GRUGER 



ISl ON-REFER fl 




)WVAO-CHS 



BOSTON 
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 

1931 



- 






Copyright, iqii, by 

The S. S. McClure Co. 

Copyright, iqii, 191 2, by 

The McClure Publications, Inc. 



Copyright, 1912, 
By Little, Brown, and Company. 



All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign 
languages, including the Scandinavian 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OE AMERICA 






ILLUSTRATIONS 

"Together they went choking through the crowd " . 

Frontispiece 

FACING 
PAGE 

" 'Hello/ said Rogers' quiet voice. 'Well, what do 

you want ? ' : ....<, 20 

" 'I come not to stultify myself in the fumes of li- 
quor, but to do you good' " 90 

"The period of duns set in, and the house became a 

place of mystery and signals" 202 

"Oh, father and mother pay all the bills, and we have 

all the fun" 230 



" <t :r~» 



Life's real to those fellows ; they're fighting for 
something' " 254 

"Regan was his one friend" 286 

u 'Curse the man who invented fish-house punch' " . 292 



STOVER AT YALE 



STOVER AT YALE 



CHAPTER I 

DINK STOVER, freshman, chose his seat in the 
afternoon express that would soon be rushing him 
to New Haven and his first glimpse of Yale University. 
He leisurely divested himself of his trim overcoat, folding 
it in exact creases and laying it gingerly across the back 
of his seat ; stowed his traveling-bag ; smoothed his hair 
with a masked movement of his gloved hand; pulled 
down a buckskin vest, opening the lower button ; re- 
moved his gloves and folded them in his breast pocket, 
while with the same gesture a careful forefinger, unper- 
ceived, assured itself that his lilac silk necktie was in 
snug contact with the high collar whose points, painfully 
but in perfect style, attacked his chin. Then, settling, 
not flopping, down, he completed his preparations for the 
journey by raising the sharp crease of the trousers one 
inch over each knee — a legendary precaution which in 
youth is believed to prevent vulgar bagging. Each move- 
ment was executed without haste or embarrassment, but 
leisurely, with the deliberate savoir-faire of the complete 
man of the world he had become at the terrific age of 
eighteen. 

In front of him spasmodic freshmen arrived, strug- 
gling from their overcoats in embarrassed plunges that 
threatened to leave them publicly in their shirt sleeves. 

1 



£ STOVER AT YALE 

That they imputed to him the superior dignity of an upper 
classman was pleasurably evident to Stover from their 
covert respectful glances. He himself felt conscious of 
a dividing-line. He, too, was a freshman, and yet not 
of them. 

He had just ended three years at Lawrenceville, where 
from a ridiculous beginning he had fought his way to 
the captaincy of the football eleven and the vice-presi- 
dency of the school. He had been the big man in a big 
school, and the sovereign responsibilities of that anointed 
position had been, of course, such that he no longer felt 
himself a free agent. He had been of the chosen, and 
not all at once could he divest himself of the idea that 
his slightest action had a certain public importance. 
His walk had been studiously imitated by twenty shuf- 
fling striplings. His hair, parted on the side, had caused 
a revolution among the brushes and stirred up innumer- 
able indignant cowlicks. His tricks of speech, his favor- 
ite exclamations, had become at once lip-currency. At 
that time golf and golf-trousers were things of unthink- 
able daring. He had given his approval, appeared in the 
baggy breeches, and at once the ban on bloomers had 
been lifted and the Circle had swarmed with the gro- 
tesqueries of variegated legs for the first time boldly 
revealed. He had stood between the school and its 
tyrants. He had arrayed himself in circumstantial attire 
— boiled shirt, high collar, and carefully dusted derby — 
and appeared before the faculty with solemn, responsible 
face no less than three separate times, to voice the protest 
of four hundred future American citizens : first, at the 
insidious and alarming repetition of an abhorrent article 
of winter food known as scrag-birds and sinkers ; second, 
to urge the overwhelming necessity of a second sleighing 
holiday; and, third and most important, firmly to assure 



STOVER AT YALE 3 

the powers that be that the school viewed with indigna- 
tion and would resist to despair the sudden increase of 
the already staggering burden of the curriculum. 

The middle-aged faculty had listened gravely to the 
grave expounder of such grave demands, had promised 
reform and regulation in the matter of the sinkers, 
granted the holiday, and insufficiently modified the brutal 
attempt at injecting into the uneager youthful mind a 
little more of the inconsequential customs of the Greeks 
and Romans. 

The Doctor had honored him with his confidence, con- 
sulted him on several intimate matters of school disci- 
pline — in fact, most undoubtedly had rather leaned 
upon him. As he looked back upon the last year at 
Lawrenceville, he could not help feeling a certain whole- 
some, pleasant satisfaction. He had held up an honest 
standard, he had played hard but square, disdained petty 
ofTenses, seen to the rigorous bringing up of the younger 
boys, and, as men of property must lend their support 
to the church, he had even publicly advised a moderate 
attention to the long classic route which leads to college. 
He had been the big man in the big school; what new 
opportunity lay before him? 

In the seat ahead two of his class were exchanging 
delighted conjectures, and their conversation, coming to 
his ears clearly through the entangled murmur of the 
car, began to interest him. 

" I say, Schley, you were Hotchkiss, weren't you ? " 

" Eight mortal years." 

" Got a good crowd ? " 

" No wonder-workers, but a couple of good men for 
the line. What's your Andover crowd like ? " 

" We had a daisy bunch, but some of the pearls have 
been side-tracked to Princeton and Harvard." 



4 STOVER AT YALE 

"Bought up, eh?" 

" Sure," said the speaker, with the profoundest con- 
viction. 

" Big chance, McNab, for the eleven this year," said 
Schley, in a thin, anemic, authoritative sort of way. 
" Play football yourself ? " 

" Sure — if any one will kick me," said McNab, who 
in fact had a sort of roly-poly resemblance to the neces- 
sary pigskin. " Lord, I'm no strength-breaker. I'm a 
funny man, side-splitting joker, regular cut-up — didos 
and all that sort of thing. What are you out for ? " 

" A good time first, last, and always." 

" Am I ? Just ask me ! " said McNab explosively ; 
and in a justly aggrieved tone he added : " Lord, haven't 
I slaved like a mule ten years to get there ! I don't know 
how long it'll last, but while it does it will be a lulu ! " 

" My old dad gave me a moral lecture." 

" Sure. Opportunity — character — beauty of the 
classics — hope to be proud of my son — you're a man 
now — " 

" That's it." 

" Sure thing. Lord, we'll be doing the same twenty- 
five years from now," said McNab, who thus logically 
and to his own satisfaction disposed of this fallacy. He 
added generously, however, with a wave of his hand: 
" A father ought to talk that way — the right thing — 
wouldn't care a flip of a mule's tail for my dad if he 
didn't. And say, by gravy, he sort of got me, too — 
damned impressive ! " 

"Really?" 

" Honor bright." A flicker of reminiscent convictions 
passed over McNab's frolicking face. " Yes, and I made 
a lot of resolutions, too — good resolutions." 

"Come off!" 



STOVER AT YALE 5 

" Well, that was day before yesterday." 

The train started with a sudden crunching. A curi- 
ous, excited thrill possessed Stover. He had embarked, 
and the quick plunge into the darkness of the long tunnel 
had, to his keenly sentimental imagination, something of 
the dark transition from one world into another. Be- 
hind was the known and the accomplished; ahead the 
coming of man's estate and man's freedom. He was his 
own master at last, free to go and to come, free to ven 
ture and to experience, free to know that strange, 
guarded mystery — life — and free, knowing it, to choose 
from among it many ways. 

And yet, he felt no lack of preparation. Looking 
back, he could honestly say to himself that where a year 
ago he had seen darkly now all was clear. He had found 
himself. He had gambled. He had consumed surrepti- 
tiously at midnight a sufficient quantity of sickening beer. 
He had consorted with men of uncontrollable passions 
and gone his steady path. He had loved, hopelessly, 
madly, with all the intensity and honesty of which he 
was capable, a woman — a slightly older woman — who 
had played with the fragile wings of his boy's illusion 
and left them wounded ; he had fought down that weak- 
ness and learned to look on a soft cheek and challenging 
eye with the calm, amused control of a man, who in- 
vincibly henceforth would cast his life among men. 
There was not much knowledge of life, if any, that could 
come to him. He did not proclaim it, but quietly, as a 
great conviction, heritage of sorrow and smashing dis- 
illusionments, he knew it was so. He knew it all — he 
was a man ; and this would give him an advantage among 
his younger fellows in the free struggle for leadership 
that was now opening to his joyful combative nature. 

" It'll be a good fight, and I'll win," he said to himself, 



6 STOVER AT YALE 

and his crossed arms tightened with a quick, savage con- 
traction, as if the idea were something that could be 
pursued, tackled, and thrown headlong to the ground. 

" There's a couple of fellows from Lawrenceville com- 
ing up," said a voice from a seat behind him. " Mc- 
Carthy and Stover, they say, are quite wonders." 

" I've heard of Stover ; end, wasn't he ? " 

" Yes ; and the team's going to need ends badly." 

It was the first time he had heard his name published 
abroad. He sat erect, drawing up one knee and locking 
his hands over it in a strained clasp. Suddenly the 
swimming vista of the smoky cars disappeared, rolling 
up into the tense, crowded, banked arena, with white 
splotches of human faces, climbing like daisy fields that 
moved restlessly, nervously stirred by the same expectant 
tensity with which he stood on the open field waiting for 
his chance to come. 

" I like a fight — a good fight," he said to himself, 
drawing in his breath ; and the wish seemed but a simple 
one, the call for the joyful shock of bodies in fair combat. 
And life was nothing else — a battle in the open where 
courage and a thinking mind must win. 

" I'll bet we get a lot of fruits," said Schley's rather 
calculating voice. 

" Oh, some of them aren't half bad." 

"Think so?" 

" I say, what do you know about this society game ? " 

" Look out." 

"What's matter?" 

"You chump, you never know who's around you." 
As he spoke, Schley sent an uneasy glance back toward 
Stover, and, dropping his voice, continued : " You don't 
talk about such things." 

" Well, I'm not shouting it out," said McNab, who 



STOVER AT YALE 7 

looked at his more sophisticated companion with a little 
growing antagonism. " What are you scared about ? " 

" It's the class ahead of you that counts," said Schley 
hurriedly, " the sophomore and senior societies ; the 
junior fraternities don't count; if you're in a sophomore 
you always go into them." 

" Never heard of the sophomore societies," said Mc- 
Nab, in a maliciously higher tone. " Elucidate some- 
what." 

" There are three : He Boule, Eta Phi, and Kappa 
Psi," said Schley, with another uneasy, squirming glance 
back at Stover. " They're secret as the deuce ; seven- 
teen men in each — make one and you're in iine for a 
senior." 

" How the deuce did you get on to all this ? " 

" Oh, I've been coached up." 

Something in the nascent sophistication of Schley dis- 
pleased Stover. He ceased to listen, occupying himself 
with an interested examination of the figures who passed 
from time to time in the aisle, in search of returning 
friends. The type was clearly defined; alert, clean-cut, 
self-confident, dressed on certain general divisions, affect- 
ing the same style of correct hat and collar, with, as 
distinguishing features, a certain boyish exuberance and 
a distinct nervous energy. 

At this moment an abrupt resonant voice said at his 
side: 

" Got a bit of room left beside you? " 

Stover shifted his coat, saying : 

" Certainly ; come on in." 

He saw a man of twenty-two or -three, with the head 
and shoulders of a bison, sandy hair, with a clear, blue, 
steady glance, heavy hands, and a face already set in 
the mold of stern purpose. He stood a moment, holding 



8 STOVER AT YALE 

a decrepit handbag stuffed to the danger point, hesitating 
whether to stow it in the rack above, and then said : 

" Guess I won't risk it. That's my trunk. I'll tuck 
it in here." He settled in the vacant seat, saying: 
" What are you — an upper classman ? " 

Something like a spasm passed over the well-ironed 
shoulders of Schley in front. 

" No, I'm not," said Stover, and, extending his hand, 
he said : " I guess we're classmates. My name's 
Stover." 

" My name's Regan — Tom Regan. Glad to know 
you. I'm sorry you're not an upper classman, though." 

" Why so ? " said Stover. 

" I wanted to get a few pointers," said Regan, in a 
matter-of-fact way. " I'm working my way through and 
I want to know the ropes." 

" I wish I knew," said Stover, with instinctive liking 
for the blunt elemental force beside him. " What are 
you going to try ? " 

" Anything — waiting, to start in with." He gave him 
a quick glance. " That's not your trouble, is it?" 

" No." 

" It's a glorious feeling, to be going up, I tell you," 
said Regan, with a sudden lighting up of his rugged 
features. " Can hardly believe it. I've been up against 
those infernal examinations six times, and I'd have gone 
up against them six more but I'd down them." 

"Where did you come from?" 

" Pretty much everywhere. Des Moines, Iowa, at the 
last." 

" It's a pretty fine college," said Stover, with a new 
thrill. 

" It's a college where you stand on your own feet, all 
square to the wind," said Regan, with conviction, 



STOVER AT YALE 9 

"That's what got me. It's worth everything to get 
here." 

" You're right." 

" I wonder if I could get hold of some upper class- 
man," said Regan uneasily. 

That this natural desire should be the most unnatural 
in the world was already clear to Stover; only, some- 
how, he did not like to look into Regan's eyes and make 
him understand. 

" How are you, Stover ? Glad to see you." 

Dink, looking up, beheld the erect figure and well- 
mannered carriage of Le Baron, a sophomore, already a 
leader of his class, whom he had met during the summer. 
In the clean-cut features and naturally modulated voice 
there was a certain finely aristocratic quality that won 
rather than provoked. 

Stover was on his feet at once, a little embarrassed 
despite himself, answering hurriedly the questions ad- 
dressed to him. 

" Get your room over in York Street ? Good. You're 
in a good crowd. You look a little heavier. In good 
shape ? Your class will have to help us out on the eleven 
this year." 

Stover introduced Regan. Le Baron at once was 
sympathetic, gave many hints, recommended certain peo- 
ple to see, and smilingly offered his services. 

" Come around any time ; I'll put you in touch with 
several men that will be of use to you. Get out for the 
team right off — that'll make you friends." Then, turn- 
ing to Stover, he added, with just a shade of difference 
in his tone : " I was looking for you particularly. I 
want you to dine with me to-night. I'll be around about 
seven. Awfully glad you're here. At seven." 

He passed on, giving his hand to the right and left. 



10 STOVER AT YALE 

Stover felt as if he had received the accolade. Schley 
ahead was squirmingly impressed; one or two heads 
across the aisle turned in his direction, wondering who 
could be the freshman whom Le Baron so particularly 
took under his protection. 

"Isn't he a king?" he said enthusiastically to Regan, 
with just a pardonable pleasure in his exuberance. " He 
made the crew last year — probably be captain; sub- 
tackle on the eleven. I played against him two years ago 
when he was at Andover. Isn't he a king, though ! " 

" I don't know," said Regan, with a drawing of his 
lips. 

Stover was astounded. 

"Why not?" 

" Don't know." 

"What's wrong?" 

" Hard to tell. He sizes up for a man all right, but 
I don't think we'd agree on some things." 

The incident momentarily halted the conversation. 
Stover was a little irritated at what seemed to him his 
companion's over-sensitiveness. Le Baron had been 
more than kind in his proffer of help. He was at a loss 
to understand why Regan should not see him through 
his eyes. 

" You think I'm finicky," said Regan, breaking the 
silence. 

" Yes, I do," said Stover frankly. 

" I guess you and I'll understand each other," said 
Regan, approving of his directness. " Perhaps I am 
wrong. But, boy, this place means a great deal to me, 
and the men that are in it and lead it." 

" It's the one place where money makes no difference," 
said Stover, with a flash — " where you stand for what 
you are." 



STOVERATYALE 11 

Regan turned to him. 

" I've fought to get here, and I'll have a fight to stay. 
It means something to me." 

The train began to slacken in the New Haven station. 
They swarmed out on to the platform amid the return- 
ing gleeful crowd, crossing and intercrossing, caught up 
in the hubbub of shouted recognition. 

"Hello, Stuffy!" 

" There's Stuffy Davis ! " 

" Hello, boys." 

" Oh, Jim Thompson, have we your eye ? " 

" Come on." 

" Get the crowd together." 

" All into a hack." 

"Back again, Bill ! w 

" Join you later. I've got a freshman." 

" Where you rooming ? " 

" See you at Mory's." 

Buffeted by the crowd they made their way across the 
depot to the street. 

" I'm going to hoof it," said Regan, extending his 
hand. " Glad to have met you. I'll drop in on you 
soon." 

Stover watched him go stalwartly through the crowd, 
his bag under one arm, his soft hat set a little at defiance, 
looking neither to the right nor left. 

" Why the deuce did he say that about Le Baron ? " 
he thought, with a feeling of irritation. 

Then, obeying an impulse, he signaled an expressman, 
consigned his bag, and made his way on foot, dodging in 
and out of the rapidly filled hacks, where upper classmen 
sat four on the seat, hugging one another with bearlike 
hugs. 

" Eh, freshman, take off that hat ! " 



12 STOVERATYALE 

He removed his derby immediately, bowing to a 
hilarious crowd, who rocked ahead shouting back unin- 
telligible gibes at him. 

Others were clinging to car steps and straps. 

"Hello, Dink!" 

Some one had called him but he could not discover 
who. He swung down the crowded street to the heart 
of the city in the rapid dropping of the twilight. There 
was a dampness underfoot that sent to him long, waver- 
ing reflections from early street-lamps. The jumble of 
the city was in his ears, the hazy, crowded panorama in 
his eyes, at his side the passing contact of strangers. 
Everything was multiplied, complex, submerging his in- 
dividuality. 

But this feeling of multitude did not depress him. 
He had come to conquer, and zest was in his step and 
alertness in his glance. Out of the churning of the 
crowd he passed into the clear sweep of the city Com- 
mon, and, looking up through the mist, for the first time 
beheld the battlements of the college awaiting him ahead, 
lost in the hazy elms. 

Across the quiet reaches of the Common he went 
slowly, incredibly, toward these strange shapes in brick 
and stone. The evening mist had settled. They were 
things undefined and mysterious, things as real as the 
things of his dreams. He passed on through the portals 
of Phelps Hall, hearing above his head for the first time 
the echoes of his own footsteps against the resounding 
vault. 

Behind him remained the city, suddenly hushed. He 
was on the campus, the Brick Row at his left ; in the 
distance the crowded line of the fence, the fence where 
he later should sit in joyful conclave. Somewhere there 
in the great protecting embrace of these walls were the 



STOVER AT YALE 13 

friends that should be his, that should pass with him 
through those wonderful years of happiness and good 
fellowship that were coming. 

" And this is it — this is Yale," he said reverently, with 
a little tightening of the breath. 

They had begun at last — the happy, care-free years 
that every one proclaimed. Four glorious years, good 
times, good fellows, and a free and open fight to be 
among the leaders and leave a name on the roll of fame. 
Only four years, and then the world with its perplexities 
and grinding trials. 

" Four years," he said softly. " The best, the hap- 
piest I'll ever know! Nothing will ever be like them — 
nothing ! " 

And, carried away with the confident joy of it, he went 
toward his house, shoulders squared, with the step of a 
d'Artagnan and a song sounding in his ears. 



CHAPTER II 

HE found the house in York Street, a low, white- 
washed frame building, luminous under the black 
canopy of the overtowering elms. At the door there 
was a little resistance and a guarded voice cried: 

" What do you want ? " 

" I want to get in." 

"What for?" 

" Because I want to." 

" Very sorry," said McNab's rather squeaky voice — 
"most particular sorry; but this house is infected with 
yellow fever and the rickets, and we wouldn't for the 
world share it with the sophomore class — oh, no ! " 

A light began to dawn over Stover. 

" I'm rooming here," he said. 

"What's your name and general style of beauty?" 

" Stover, and I've got a twitching foot." 

" Why didn't you say so ? " said McNab, who then ad- 
mitted him. " Pardon me. The sophomores are getting 
so fidgety, you know, hopping all up and down. My 
name's McNab — German extraction. Came up on the 
train, ahead of you — thought you were a sophomore, 
you put on such a beautiful side. Here, put on that 
chain." 

"Hazing?" 

" Oh, no, indeed. Just a few members of the weak- 
ling class above us might get too fond of us; just must 

U 



STOVER AT YALE 15 

see us — welcome to Yale and all that sort of thing. I 
hate sentimental exhibitions, don't you ? " 

" Is McCarthy here ? " said Stover, laughing. 

" Your wife is waiting for you most anxiously." 

" Hello, is that Dink ? " called down McCarthy's ex- 
uberant voice at this moment. 

Stover went up the stairs like a terrier, answering the 
joyful whoop with a war-cry of his own. The next mo- 
ment he and McCarthy were pummeling each other, 
wrestling about the room, to the dire danger of furniture 
and crockery. When this sentimental moment had ex- 
hausted itself physically, McCarthy bore him to the back 
of the house, saying : 

" We don't want to show our light in front just yet. 
We've got a corking lot in the house — best of the An- 
dover crowd. Come on; I'll introduce you. You re- 
member Hunter, who played against me at tackle ? He's 
here." 

There were half a dozen loitering on the window-seat 
and beds in the pipe-ridden room. 

Hunter, in shirt sleeves, sorting the contents of his 
trunk, came forward at once. 

" Hello, Stover, how are you ? " 

" How are you? " 

No sooner did their hands clasp than a change came to 
Dink. He was face to face with the big man of the An- 
dover crowd, measuring him and being measured. The 
sudden burst of boyish affection that had sent him into 
McCarthy's arms was gone. This man could not help 
but be a leader in the class. He was older than the rest, 
but how much it would have been hard to say. He 
examined, analyzed, and deliberated. He knew what lay 
before him. He would make no mistakes. He was car- 



16 STOVER AT YALE 

ried away by no sentimental enthusiasm. Everything 
about him was reserved — his cordiality, the quiet grip of 
his hand, the smile of welcome, and the undecipherable 
estimate in his eyes. 

" Will you follow me or shall I follow you ? " each 
seemed to say in the first contact, which was a challenge. 

" How are you ? " said Stover, shaking hands with some 
one else; and the tone was the tone of Hunter. 

There were three others in the room : Hunter's room- 
mate, Stone, a smiling, tall, good-looking fellow who 
shook his hand an extra period ; Saunders, silent, retired 
behind his spectacles ; and Logan, who roomed with Mc- 
Nab, who sunk his shoulders as he shook hands and 
looked into Stover's eyes intensely as he said, " Awful 
glad; awful glad to know you." 

"Have a pipe — cigarette — anything?" said Hunter 
over his shoulder, from the trunk to which he had re- 
turned. 

" No, thanks." 

" Started training? " 

" Sort of." 

" Take a chair and make yourself at home," said 
Hunter warmly, but without turning. 

The talk was immediately of what each was going to 
do. Stone was out for the glee club, already planning 
to take singing lessons in the contest for the leadership, 
three years off. Saunders was to start for the News. 
Logan had made drawings during the summer and was 
out for the Record. Hunter was trying for his class 
team and the crew. Only McNab was defiant. 

" None of that for me," he said, on his back, legs in 
the air, blowing rings against the ceiling. " I'm for a 
good time, the best in life. It may be a short one, but 
it'll be a lulu ! " 



STOVER AT YALE 17 

" You'll be out heeling the Record, Dopey, iviside of a 
month," said Hunter quietly. 

" Never, by the Great Horned Spoon — never ! " 

" And you'll get a tutor, Dopey, and stay with us." 

" Never ! I came to love and to be loved. I'm a 
lovely thing; that's sufficient," said McNab, with a 
grimace to his elfish face. " I will not be harnessed up. 
I will not heel." 

" Yes, you will." 

Hunter's tone had not varied. Stover, studying him, 
wondered if he had marked out the route of Stone, 
Saunders, and Logan, just as he felt that McNab would 
sooner or later conform to the will of the man who had 
determined to succeed himself and make his own crowd 
succeed. 

Reynolds, a sophomore, an old Andover man, dropped 
in. Again it was but question of the same challenge, 
addressed to each : 

" What are you trying for ? " 

The arrival of the sophomore, who installed himself 
in easy majesty in the arm-chair and addressed his ques- 
tions with a quick, analytical staccato, produced some- 
what the effect of a suddenly opened window. Even 
McNab was unwillingly impressed, and Hunter, closing 
the trunk, allowed the conversation to be guided by Rey- 
nolds' initiative. 

He was a fiery, alert, rather undersized fellow, who 
had been the first in his class to make the News, and was 
supposed to be in line for that all-important chairman- 
ship. 

Inside of five minutes he had gone through the pos- 
sibilities of each man, advising briefly in a quick, busi- 
nesslike manner. To Stover he seemed symbolic of the 
rarefied contending nervousness of the place, a person- 



18 STOVERATYALE 

ality that suddenly threw open to him all the nervous 
panorama of the struggle for position which had already 
begun. 

On top of which there arrived Rogers, a junior, 
good-natured, popular, important. At once, to Stover's 
amused surprise, the rok was reversed. Reynolds, from 
the enthroned autocrat, became the respectful audience, 
answered a few questions, and found a quick opportunity 
to leave. 

" Let's go in front and have a little fun," said 
Rogers. 

Somewhat perplexed, Stover led the way to their room. 

" Light up," said Rogers, with a chuckle. " There's a 
sophomore bunch outside just ready to tumble." 

Rogers' presence brought back a certain ease; they 
were no longer on inspection, and even in his manner 
was a more open cordiality than he had showed toward 
Reynolds. That under all this was some graduated sys- 
tem of authority Stover was slowly perceiving, when all 
at once from the street there rose a shout : 

" Turn down that light ! " 

" Freshmen, turn down that light ! " 

" Turn it down slowly," said Rogers, with a gesture 
to McNab. 

" Faster ! " 

" All the way down ! " 

" Turn it up suddenly," said Rogers. 

An angry swelling protest arose : 

" Turn that down ! " 

" You freshmen ! " 

"Turn it down!" 

" The freshest of the fresh ! " 

" Here, let me work 'em up," said Rogers, going to the 
gas-jet. 



STOVER AT YALE 19 

Under his tantalizing manipulation the noise outside 
grew to the proportions of a riot. 

" Come on and get the bloody freshmen ! " 

" Ride 'em on a rail ! " 

" Say, are we going to stand for this ? " 

" Down with that light ! " 
, " Let's run 'em out ! " 

" Break in the door ! " 

" Out with the freshman ! " 

Below came a sudden rush of feet. Rogers, abandon- 
ing the gas-jet, draped himself nonchalantly on the couch 
that faced the door. 

" Well, here comes the shindy," thought Stover, with 
a joyful tensity in every muscle. 

The hubbub stormed up the hall, shot open the door, 
and choked the passage with the suddenly revealed fury 
of angry faces. 

a Hello," said Rogers' quiet voice. " Well, what do 
you want?" 

No sooner had the barbaric front ranks beheld the 
languid, slightly annoyed junior than the fury of battle 
vanished like a flurry of wind across the water. From 
behind the more concealed began to murmur : 

" Oh, beans ! " 

"A lemon!" 

"Rubber!" 

"Sold!" 

"Well, what is it?" said Rogers sharply, sending a 
terrific frown at the sheepish leaders. 

At this curt reminder there was a shifting movement 
in the rear, which rapidly communicated itself to the 
stammering, apologetic front ranks; the door was closed 
in ludicrous haste, and down the stairs resounded the 
stampede of the baffled host. 



20 STOVERATYALE 

" My, they are a fierce lot, these man-eating soph- 
omores, aren't they ? " said Rogers, giving way to his 
laughter. And then, a little apologetically, but with a 
certain twinkle of humor, he added : " Don't worry, 
boys ; there was no one in that crowd who'll do you any 
harm. However, I might just as well chaperon you tc 
your eating- joint." 

" Le Baron is going to take me out with him," said 
Stover, as they rose to go. 

" Hugh Le Baron ? " said Rogers, with a new interest. 

" Yes, sir." 

" I didn't get your name." 

" Stover." 

" Oh ! Captain down at Lawrenceville, weren't you ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Well, wish you good luck," said Rogers, with a 
more appraising eye. " You've got an opening this 
year. Drop in and see me sometime, will you? I mean 
it." 

" See you later, Stover," said Hunter, resting his hand 
on his shoulder with a little friendly touch. 

" Bully you're with us," said Stone. 

" Come in and chin a little later," said Logan. 

Saunders gave him a duck of the head, with uncon- 
cealed admiration in his embarrassed manner. 

McCarthy went with them. Stover, left alone, meas- 
ured the length of the room, smiling to himself. It was 
all quite amusing, especially when his was the fixed point 
of view. 

In a few moments Le Baron arrived. Together they 
went across the campus, now swarming like ant runs. 
At every step Le Baron was halted by a greeting. 
Recognition was in the air, turbulent, boyish, exagger- 
ated, rising to the pitch of a scream or accomplished in 



STOVERATYALE 21 

a bear dance; and through it all was the same vibrant, 
minor note of the ceaseless activity. 

It was the air Stover loved. He waited respectfully, 
while Le Baron shook a score of hands, impatient for the 
moment to begin and the opportunity to have his name 
told from lip to lip. 

" I'm going to be captain at Yale," he said to himself, 
with a sudden fantastic, grandiloquent fury. " I will if 
it's in me." 

" We'll run down to Heub's," said Le Baron, free at 
last, " get a good last meal before going into training. 
You look in pretty fit shape." 

" I've kept so all summer." 

" Who's over in your house ? " 

Stover named them. 

" They weren't my crowd at Andover, but they're good 
fellows," said Le Baron, listening critically. " Hunter 
especially. Here we are." 

A minute later they had found a table in the restaurant 
crowded with upper classmen, and Le Baron was glan- 
cing down the menu. 

" An oyster cocktail, a planked steak — rare ; order the 
rest later." He turned to Stover. " Guess we'd better 
cut out the drinks. We'll stand the gaff better to-mor- 
row." 

There was in his voice a quiet possession, as if he had 
already assumed the reins of Stover's career. 

"Are you out for the eleven again?" said Stover re- 
spectfully. 

" Yes. I'll never do any better than a sub, but that's 
what counts. We're up against an awfully stiff proposi- 
tion this year. The team's got to be built out of nothing. 
There's Dana, the captain, now, over at the table in the 
corner." 



22 STOVERATYALE 

" Where ? " said Stover, fired at the thought. 

Le Baron pointed out the table, detailing to him the 
names of some of the coaches who were grouped there. 

When Stover had dared to gaze for the first time on 
the face of the majestic leader, he experienced a certain 
shock. The group of past heroes about him were laugh- 
ing, exchanging reminiscences of past combats; but the 
face of Dana was set in seriousness, too sensitive to the 
responsibility that lay heavier than the honor on his 
young shoulders. Stover had not thought of his leader 
so. 

" I guess it's going to be a bad season," he said. 

" Yes ; we may have to take our medicine this year." 

Several friends of Le Baron's stopped to shake hands, 
greeting Stover always with that appraising glance which 
had amused him in Reynolds who had first sat in inquisi- 
tion. 

He began to be conscious of an ever-widening gulf 
separating him and Le Baron, imposed by all the subtle, 
still uncomprehended incidents of the night, which grad- 
ually made him see that he had found, not a friend, but 
a protector. A certain natural impulsiveness left him; 
he answered in short sentences, resenting a little this 
sudden, not yet defined sense of subjection. 

But the hum of diners was about him, the unknown 
intoxication of lights, the prevailing note of joy, the free 
concourse of men, the vibrant note of good fellowship, 
good cheer, and the eager seizing of the zest of the hour. 
The men he saw were the men who had succeeded — a 
success which unmistakably surrounded them. He, too, 
wished for success acutely, almost with a throbbing, 
gluttonous feeling, sitting there unknown. 

All at once Dana, passing across the room, stopped for 
a handshake and a word of greeting to Le Baron. 



STOVER AT YALE 23 

Stover was introduced, rising precipitately, to the immi- 
nent danger of his plate. 

" Stover from Lawrenceville ? " said Dana. 

" Yes, sir." 

The captain's eye measured him carefully, taking in the 
wiry, spare frame, the heavy shoulders, and the nervous 
hands, and then stayed on the clean-cut jaw, the direct 
blue glance, and the rebellious rise of sandy hair. 

" End, of course," he said at last. 

" Yes, sir." 

" About a hundred and fifty-four ? " 

" One hundred and fifty, sir, stripped." 

" Ever played in the back field ? " 

" No, sir." 

" Report with the varsity squad to-morrow." 

"Yes, sir." 

" There's a type of man we're proud of," said Le 
Baron. " Came here from Exeter, waited at Commons 
first two years ; every one likes him. He has a tough 
proposition here this year, though — supposing we dig 
out." 

In the room the laughter was rising, and all the little 
nervous noises of the clash of plate and cutlery. Stover 
would have liked to stay, to yield to the contagion, to 
watch with eager eyes the opposite types, all under the 
careless spell of the beginning year. 

The city was black about them as they stepped forth, 
the giant elms flattened overhead against the blurred 
mists of the night, like curious water weeds seen from 
below. 

They went in silence directly toward the campus. 
Once or twice Le Baron started to speak and then 
stopped. At length he said: 

" Come this way." 



24 STOVER AT YALE 

They passed by Osborne Hall, and the Brick Row with 
the choked display of the Coop below, and, crossing to the 
dark mass of the Old Library, sat down on the steps. 

Before Stover stretched all the lighted panorama of 
the college and the multiplied strewn lights against the 
mysteries of stone and brick — lights that drew him to 
the quiet places of a hundred growing existencies — af- 
fected him like the lights of the crowded restaurant and 
the misty reflections of the glassy streets. It was the 
night, the mysterious night that suddenly had come into 
his boyish knowledge. 

It was immense, unfathomable — this spectacle of a 
massed multitude. It was all confounded, stirring, 
ceaseless, feverish in its brilliant gaiety, fleeting, transi- 
tory, mocking. It was of the stage, theatric. It brought 
theatric emotions, too keenly sensitized, too sharply 
overwhelming. He wished to flee from it in despair of 
ever conquering, as he wished to conquer, this world of 
stirring ambitions and shadowy and fleeting years. 

" I'm going to do for you," said Le Baron's voice, 
breaking the charm — " I'm going to do what some one 
did for me when I came here last year." 

He paused a moment, a little, too, under the spell of the 
night, perhaps, seeking how best to choose his words. 

" It is a queer place you're coming into, and many men 
fail for not understanding it in time. I'm going to tell 
you a few things." 

Again he stopped. Stover, waiting, heard across from 
the blazing sides of Farnam a piano's thin, rushing 
notes. Nearer, from some window unseen, a mandolin 
was quavering. Voices, calling, mingled in softened 
confusion. 

" Oh, Charley Bangs — stick out your head." 

" We want Billy Brown." 



STOVER AT YALE 25 

« Hello, there!" 

"Tubby, this way!" 

Then this community of faint sounds was lost as, from 
the fence, a shapeless mass beyond began to send its 
song towards him. 

" When freshmen first we came to Yale 
Fol-de-rol-de-rol-rol-rol. 
Examinations made us pale 
Fol-de-rol-de-rol-rol-rol." 

" What do you know about the society system here ? " 
said Le Baron abruptly. 

" Why, I know — there are three senior societies : 
Skull and Bones, Keys, Wolf's-Head — but I guess that's 
all I do know." 

" You'll hear a good deal of talk inside the college, 
and out of it, too, about the system. It has its faults. 
But it's the best system there is, and it makes Yale what 
it is to-day. It makes fellows get out and work ; it gives 
them ambitions, stops loafing and going to seed, and 
keeps a pretty good, clean, temperate atmosphere about 
the place." 

" I know nothing at all about it," said Stover, per- 
plexed. 

" The seniors have fifteen in each ; they give out their 
elections end of junior year, end of May. That's what 
we're all working for." 

" Already?" said Stover involuntarily. 

"There are fellows in your class," said Le Baron, 
" who've been working all summer, so as to get ahead in 
the competition for the Lit or the Record, or to make 
the leader of the glee club — fellows, of course, who 
know." 



26 STOVERATYALE 

" But that's three years off." 

" Yes, it's three years off," said Le Baron quietly. 
" Then there are the junior fraternities ; but they're 
large, and at present don't count much, except you have 
to make them. Then there are what are called sopho- 
more societies." He hesitated a moment. " They are 
very important." 

" Do you belong?" asked Stover innocently. 

" Yes," said Le Baron, after another hesitation. " Of 
course, we don't discuss our societies here. Others will 
tell you about them. But here's where your first test will 
£ome in." 

Then came another lull. Stover, troubled, frowning, 
sat staring at the brilliant windows across which passed, 
"from time to time, a sudden shadow. The groups at the 
fence were singing a football song, with a marching 
swing to it, that had so often caught up his loyal soul 
as he had sat shivering in the grand-stand for the game 
to begin. It was not all so simple — no, not at all simple. 
It wasn't as he had thought. It was complex, a little 
disturbing. 

" This college is made up of all sorts of elements," said 
Le Baron, at last. " And it is not easy to run it. Now, 
in every class there are just a small number of fellows 
who are able to do it and who will do it. They form 
the real crowd. All the rest don't count. Now, Stover, 
you're going to have a chance at something big on the 
football side; but that is not all. You might make cap- 
tain of the eleven and miss out on a senior election. 
You're going to be judged by your friends, and it is just 
as easy to know the right crowd as the wrong." 

" What do you mean by the right crowd ? " said Stover, 
conscious of just a little antagonism. 

" The right crowd ? " said Le Baron, a little perplexed 



STOVER AT YALE 27 

to define so simple a thing. " Why, the crowd that is do- 
ing things, working for Yale; the crowd — " 

" That the class ahead picks out to lead us," said Stover 
abruptly. 

" Yes," said Le Baron frankly ; " and it won't be a 
bad judgment. Money alone won't land a man in it, 
and there'll be some in it who work their way through 
college. On the whole, it's about the crowd you'll want 
to know all through life." 

" I see," said Stover. His clasp tightened over his 
knees, and he was conscious of a certain growing un- 
comfortable sensation. He liked Le Baron — he had 
looked up to him, in a way. Of course, it was all said 
in kindness, and yet — 

" I'm frankly aristocratic in my point of view " — he 
heard the well-modulated voice continue — u and what I 
say others think. I'm older than most of my class, and 
I've seen a good deal of the world at home and abroad. 
You may think the world begins outside of college. It 
doesn't; it begins right here. You want to make the 
friends that will help you along, here and outside. Don't 
lose sight of your opportunities, and be careful how you 
choose. 

" Now, by that I mean don't make your friends too 
quickly. Get to know the different crowds, but don't 
fasten to individuals until you see how things work out. 
This rather surprises you, doesn't it? Perhaps you don't 
like it." 

" It does sort of surprise me," said Stover, who did 
not answer what he meant. 

" Stover," said Le Baron, resting a hand on his knee, 
"I like you. I liked you from the first time we lined up 
in that Andover-Lawrenceville game. You've got the 
stuff in you to make the sort of leader we need at Yale. 



28 STOVERATYALE 

That's why I'm trying to make you see this thing as it is. 
You come from a school that doesn't send many fellows 
here. You haven't the fellows ahead pulling for you, the 
way the other crowds have. I don't want you to make 
any mistake. Remember, you're going to be watched 
from now on." 

" Watched ? " said Stover, frowning. 

" Yes ; everything you do, everything you say — that's 
how you'll be judged. That's why I'm telling you these 
things." 

" I appreciate it," said Stover, but without enthusiasm. 

" Now, you've got a chance to make good on the 
eleven this year. If you do, you stand in line for the 
captaincy senior year. It lies with you to be one • of 
the big men in the class. And this is the way to do it: 
get to know every one in the class right off." 

" What ! " said Stover, genuinely surprised. 

" I mean, bow to every one ; call them by name : but 
hold yourself apart," said Le Baron. " Make fellows 
come to you. Don't talk too much. Hold yourself in. 
Keep out of the crowd that is out booze-fighting — or, 
when you're with them, keep your head. There are a 
lot of fellows here, with friends ahead of them, who can 
cut loose a certain amount; but it's dangerous. If you 
want to make what you ought to make of yourself, 
Stover, you've got to prove yourself ; you've got to keep 
yourself well in hand." 

Stover suddenly comprehended that Le Baron was ex- 
posing his own theory, that he, prospective captain of 
the crew, was imposing on himself. 

" Don't ticket yourself for drinking." 

"I won't." 

" Or get known for gambling — oh, I'm not preaching 
a moral lesson ; only, what you do, do quietly." 



STOVER AT YALE 29 

*' 1 understand." 

" And another thing : no fooling around women ; that 
isn't done here — that'll queer you absolutely." 

" Of course." 

" Now, you've got to do a certain amount of studying 
here. Better do it the first year and get in with the 
faculty." 

" I will." 

" There it is," said Le Baron, suddenly extending his 
hand toward the lighted college. " Isn't it worth work- 
ing for — to win out in the end ? And, Stover, it's easy 
enough when you know how. Play the game as others 
are playing it. It's a big game, and it'll follow you all 
through life. There it is ; it's up to you. Keep your head 
clear and see straight." 

The gesture of Le Baron, half seen in the darkness, 
brought a strange trouble to Stover. It was as if, at the 
height of the eager confidence of his youth, some one 
had whispered in his ear and a shadowy hand had held 
before his eyes a gigantic temptation. 

" Are there any questions you want to ask me?" said 
Le Baron, with a new feeling of affection toward the un- 
protected freshman whom he had so generously advised. 

" No." 

They sat silently. And all at once, as Stover gazed, 
from the high, misty walls and the elm-tops confounded 
in the night, a monstrous hand seemed to stretch down, 
impending over him, and the care-free windows sud- 
denly to be transformed into myriad eyes, set on him in 
inquisition — eyes that henceforth indefatigably, re- 
morselessly would follow him. 

And with it something snapped, something fragile — 
the unconscious, simple democracy of boyhood. And, as 
it went, it went forever. This was the world rushing in, 



30 STOVER AT YALE 

dividing the hosts. This was the parting of the ways. 
The standards of judgment were the world's. It was 
not what he had thought. It was no longer the simple 
struggle. It was complex, disturbing, incomprehensible. 
To win he would have to change. 

" It's been good of you to tell me all this," he said, 
giving his hand to Le Baron, and the words sounded hol- 
low. 

" Think over what I've said to you." 

" I will." 

" A man is known by his friends ; remember that, 
Stover, if you don't anything else ! " 

" It's awfully good of you." 

" I like you, Dink," said Le Baron, shaking hands 
warmly ; " now you know the game, go in and win." 

" It's awfully good of you," said Stover aimlessly. 
He stood watching Le Baron's strong, aristocratic figure 
go swinging across the dim campus in a straight, undevia- 
ting, well-calculated path. 

" It's awfully good of him," he said mechanically, 
" awfully good. What a wonder he is ! " 

And yet, and yet, he could not define the new feeling 
— he was but barely conscious of it; was it rebellion 
or was it a lurking disappointment? 

He stood alone, looking at the new world. It was no 
longer the world of the honest day. It was brilliant, 
fascinating, alluring, awakening strange, poignant emo- 
tions — but it was another world, and the way to it had 
just been shown him. 

He turned abruptly and went toward his room, 
troubled, wondering why he was so troubled, vainly seek- 
ing the reason, knowing not that it lay in the destruction 
of a fragile thing — his first illusion. 



CHAPTER III 

TOUGH McCARTHY was in the communal rooms, 
busily delving into the recesses of a circus trunk, 
from which, from time to time, he emerged with the loot 
of the combined McCarthy family. 

" Dink, my boy, cast your eye over my burglaries. 
Look at them. Aren't they lovely, aren't they fluffy 
and sweet? I don't know what half of 'em are, but 
won't they decorate the room ? And every one, 'pon my 
honor, the gift of a peach who loves me! The whole 
family was watching, but I got 'em out right under their 
noses. Well, why not cheer me ! " 

He deposited on the floor a fragrant pile of assorted 
embroideries, table-covers, lace pincushions, and filmy 
mysteries purloined from feminine dressing-tables, which 
he rapidly proceeded to distribute about the room accord- 
ing to his advanced theories on decoration, which con- 
sisted in crowding the corners, draping the gas-jets, and 
clothing the picture-frames. 

Stover sat silently, out of the mood. 

" Here's three new scalps," continued McCarthy, 
producing some cushions. " Had to vow eternal love, 
and keep the dear girls separated — a blonde and two 
brunettes — but I got the pillows, my boy, I got 'em. 
And now sit back and hold on." 

He made a third trip to the trunk, unaware of Stover's 
distracted mood, and came back chuckling, his arms 
heaped with photographs to his chin. 

61 



32 STOVERATYALE 

" One thousand and one Caucasian beauties, the pride 
of every State, the only girls who ever loved me. Look 
at 'em ! " 

He distributed a score of photographs, mustering them 
on the mantelpiece, pinning them to the already sus- 
pended flags, massing them in circles, ranging them in 
crosses and ascending files, and announced: 

" Finest I could gather in. Only know a third of 'em, 
but the sisters know the rest. Isn't it a beauty parlor? 
Why, it'll make that blond warbler Stone, downstairs, 
feel like an amateur canary." Suddenly aware of 
Stover's opposite mood, he stopped. " What the deuce 
is the matter ? " 

" Nothing." 

" You look solemn as an owl." 

" I didn't know it." 

"Well, how did you like Le Baron?" 

" He's a corker ! " said Stover militantly. 

" I've been arranging about an eating- joint." 

"You have?" 

" We're in with a whole bunch of fellows. Gimbel, 
an Andover chap, is running it. Five dollars a week. 
We can see if we can stand it." 

" Tough, go slow." 

"Why so?" 

Stover hesitated, looking at McCarthy's puzzled ex- 
pression, and, looking, there seemed to be ten years' 
experience dividing them. 

" Oh, I only mean we want to pick our friends care- 
fully," he said at length. 

" What difference does it make where we eat ? " 

" Well, it does." 

" Oh, of course we want to enjoy ourselves." 

Stover saw he did not understand and somehow, feel- 



STOVER AT YALE 33 

ing all the exuberant enthusiasm that actuated him, he 
hesitated to continue the explanation. 

" By George, Dink/' continued McCarthy comically 
solicitous of his scheme of decoration, " is there anything 
like the air of this place? You can't resist it, can you? 
Every one's out working for something. By George, I 
hope I can make good ! " 

" You will," said Stover. And in his mind was already 
something of the paternal protection that he had sur- 
prised in Hunter, the big man of the Andover crowd. 

" If I'm to do anything at football I've got to put on a 
deuce of a lot of weight," said McCarthy a little discon- 
solately. " Guess my best chance is at baseball." 

" The main thing, Tough, is to get out and try for 
everything," said Stover wisely. " Show you're a worker 
and it's going to count." 

" That's good advice — who put it into your head? " 

" Le Baron talked over a good many things with me," 
said Stover slowly. " He gave me a great many 
pointers. That's why I said go slow — we want to get 
with the right crowd." 

"The right crowd?" said McCarthy, wheeling about 
and staring at his room-mate. " What the deuce are you 
talking about, Dink ? Do you mean to say any one cares 
who in the blankety-blank we eat with ? " 

" Yes." 

" What ! Who the deuce's business is it to meddle 
in my affairs ? Right crowd and wrong crowd — 
there's only one crowd, and each man's as good as the 
other. That's the way I look at it." He stopped, 
amazed, looking over at Stover. " Why, Dink, I never 
expected you to stand for the right and wrong crowd 
idea." 

" I don't mean it the way you do," said Stover lamely 



34 STOVERATYALE 

— for he was trying to argue with himself. " We're 
trying to do something here, aren't we — not just loaf 
through? Well, we want to be with the crowd that's 
doing things." 

" Oh, if you mean it that way," said McCarthy 
dubiously, " that's different. I've been filled up for the 
last hour with nothing but society piffle by a measly- faced 
runt just out of the nursery called Schley. Skull and 
Bones — Locks and Keys — Wolf's-Head — gold bugs, 
hobgoblins, toe the line, heel the right crowd, mind your 
p's and qs, don't call your soul your own, don't look at a 
society house, don't for heaven's sake look at a pin in a 
necktie, never say ' bones ' or l fee-fie-fo-f um ' out loud 

— never — oh, rats, what bosh ! " 

" Schley is an odious little toad," said Stover evasively. 
A little vain of his new knowledge and the destiny be- 
fore him, he looked at the budding McCarthy with some- 
what the anxiety of a mother hen, and said with great 
solemnity : " Don't go off half cock, old fellow." 

" What ! Have you fallen for the bugaboo ? " 

" My dear Tough," said Stover, with a little gorgeous- 
ness, " don't commit yourself until you know the whole 
business. You like the feeling here, don't you — the 
way every one is out working for something ? " 

" You bet I do." 

" Well, it's the society system that does it." 

" Come off." 

" Wait and see." 

" But what in the name of my aunt's cat's pants," said 
McCarthy, unwilling to relinquish the red rag, " what in 
the name of common sense is the holy sacred secret, that 
it can't be looked at, talked about, or touched ? " 

" Don't be a galoot, Tough," said Stover, in a superior 
way ; " don't be a frantic ass. All that's exaggerated ; 



STOVERATYALE 35 

only little jack-asses like Schley are frightened by it. 
The real side, the serious side, is that the system is built 
up for the fellows who are going to do something for 
Yale. Now, just wait until you get your eyes open be- 
fore you go shooting up the place.' 5 

But, as he stood in his own bedroom, with no Tough 
McCarthy to instruct and patronize, alone at his win- 
dow, looking out at the sputtering arc lights with their 
splotchy regions of light and the busy windows of Pier- 
son Hall across the way, listening to the chapel sending 
forth its quarter hour over the half-divined campus — he 
was not quite so confident of all he had proclaimed. 

" It's different — different from school," he said to 
himself half apologetically. " It can't be the same as 
school. It's got to be organized differently. It's the 
same everywhere." 

He went to bed, to sleep badly, restless and uncon- 
vinced, a stranger in strange places, staring at the flicker- 
ing glare of the arc light against the window-panes, that 
light as unreal in comparison with the frank sunlight as 
the sudden bewildering introduction to the new, com- 
plex life was different from the direct and rugged sim- 
plicity of the unconscious democracy of school that had 
gone. 

He awoke with a start, to find McCarthy and Dopey 
McNab, in striped pajamas, solicitously occupied in ap- 
plying a lather to his bare feet. He sprang up with all 
the old zest, and, a free scrimmage taking place, wreaked 
satisfactory vengeance on the intruders. 

" Hang you, Stover," said McNab weakly, " if you'd 
snored another minute I'd have won my dollar from Mc- 
Carthy. If you want to be friends, nothing like being 
friendly, is there? Come on down to my rooms, we've 
got eggs and coffee right on tap. It's a bore going down 



36 STOVERATYALE 

to the joint. To-morrow we'll all be slaves of the alarm 
clock again. Hang compulsory chapel." 

They breakfasted hilariously under McNab's irresist- 
ible good humor. When at last Stover sauntered out to 
reconnoiter in company with McCarthy, a great change 
had come. The emotions of the night, the restless re- 
belliousness, had lost all their acuteness and seemed only 
a blurred memory. The college of the day was a different 
thing. 

The late arrivals were swarming in carriages, or on 
top of heaped express- wagons, just as the school used 
to surge hilariously back. The windows were open, 
crowded with eager heads ; the street corners clustered 
with swiftly assembling groups, sophomores almost en- 
tirely, past whom isolated, self-conscious freshmen went 
with averted gaze, to the occasional accompaniment of 
a whistled freshman march. Despite himself, Stover be- 
gan to feel a little tightening in the shoulders, a little 
uncertainty in the swing of his walk, and something in 
his back seemed uneasily conscious of the concentrated 
attack of superior eyes. 

They entered the campus, now the campus of the busy 
day. Across by the chapel, the fence was hidden under 
continually arriving groups of upper classmen, streaming 
to it in threes and fours in muscular enthusiasm. There 
was no division there. Gradually the troubled percep- 
tions of the night before faded from Stover's conscious- 
ness. The light he saw was the clear noon of the day, 
and the air that filled his lungs the atmosphere of life 
and ambition. 

At every step, runners for eating-houses, steam 
laundries, and tailors thrust cards in their hands, coaxing 
for orders. Every tree seemed plastered with notices of 
the awakening year, summons to trials for the musical 



STOVER AT YALE 37 

organizations and the glee club, offers to tutor, announce- 
ments of coming competitions, calls for candidates to a 
dozen activities. 

"Hello, Dink, old boy!" 

They looked up to behold Charley De Soto, junior over 
in the Sheffield Scientific School, bearing down upon 
them. 

" Hello, Tough, glad to see you up here ! " 

De Soto had been at Lawrenceville with them, a com- 
rade of the eleven, now prospective quarter-back for the 
coming season. 

" You've put on weight, Dink," he said with critical ap- 
proval. " You've got a bully chance this year. Are you 
reporting this afternoon ? " 

" Captain Dana asked me to come out for the varsity." 

" I talked to him about you." 

He asked a dozen questions, invited them over to see 
him, and was off. 

They elbowed their way into the Coop to make their 
purchases. The first issue of the News was already on 
sale, with its notices and its appeals. 

They went out and past Vanderbilt toward their eat- 
ing-joint. Off the campus, directly at the end of their 
path, a shape more like a monstrous shadow than a build- 
ing rose up, solid, ivy-covered, blind, with great, prison- 
like doors, heavily padlocked. 

" Fee-fi-fo-fum," said McCarthy. 

" Which is it ? " said Stover, in a different tone. 

" Skull and Bones, of course," said McCarthy de- 
fiantly. " Look at it under your eyelids, quick ; don't 
let any one see you." 

Stover, without hearing him, gazed ahead, impressed 
despite himself. There it was, the symbol and the em- 
bodiment of all the subtle forces that had been disclosed 



38 STOVER AT YALE 

to him, the force that had stood amid the passing classes, 
imposing its authority unquestioned, waiting at the end 
of the long journey to give or withhold the final coveted 
success. 

" Will I make it — will I ever make it ? " he said to 
himself, drawing a long breath. " To be one of fifteen 
— only fifteen ! " 

" It is a scary sort of looking old place," said Mc- 
Carthy. " They certainly have dressed it up for the 
part." 

Still Stover did not reply. The dark, weighty, mas- 
sive silhouette had somehow entered his imagination, 
never to be shaken off, to range itself wherever he went in 
the shadowy background of his dreams. 

" It stands for democracy, Tough," he said, as they 
turned toward Chapel Street, and there was in his voice 
a certain emotion he couldn't control. " And I guess 
the mistakes it makes are pretty honest ones." 

" Perhaps," said McCarthy stubbornly. " But why all 
this mumbo-jumbo business?" 

" It doesn't affect you, does it ? " 

" The trouble is, it does," said McCarthy, with a laugh. 
" Do you know what I ought to do ? " 

"What?" 

" Go right up and sit on the steps of the bloomin' old 
thing and eat a bag of cream-puffs." 

Stover exploded with laughter. 

" What the deuce would be the sense in that, you old 
anarchist?" 

" To prove to my own satisfaction that I'm a man." 

" Do you mean it? " said Stover, half laughing. 

McCarthy scratched his head with one of the old 
boyish, comical gestures Stover knew so well. 

" Well, perhaps I mean more than I think," he said, 



STOVER AT YALE 39 

grinning. " In another month I may get it as bad as that 
little uselessness Schley. By the way, he wants us over 
at his eating- joint." 

"He does?" 

" He's a horsefly sort of a cuss. You'll see, he'll 
fasten on to you just as soon as he thinks it worth while. 
Here we are." 

They pressed their way, saluted with the imperious 
rattle of knives and plates, through three or four rooms, 
blue-gray with smoke, and found a vacant table in a far 
corner. A certain reserve was still prevalent in the noisy 
throng, which had not yet been welded together. Im- 
mediately a thin, wiry fellow, neatly dressed, hair 
plastered, affable and brimming over with energy, rose 
and pumped McCarthy's hand, slapping him effusively on 
the back. 

" Bully ! Glad to see you. This is Stover, of course. 
I'm Gimbel — Ray Gimbel ; you don't know me, but I 
know you. Seen entirely too much of you on the wrong 
side of the field in the Andover-Lawrenceville game." 

" How are you, Gimbel ? " said Stover, not disliking 
the flattery, though perceiving it. 

" We were greatly worried about you," said Gimbel 
directly, and with a sudden important seriousness. 
" There was a rumor around you had switched to Prince- 
ton." 

" Oh, no." 

" Well, we're certainly glad you didn't." Looking him 
straight in the face, he said with conviction : " You'll be 
captain here." 

" I'm not worrying about that just at present," said 
Stover, amused. 

" All right ; that's my prophecy. I'll be back in a 
second." 



40 STOVERATYALE 

He departed hastily, to welcome new arrivals with 
convulsive grip and rolling urbanity, passing like a doc- 
tor on his hospital rounds. 

" Who's Gimbel ? " said Stover, wondering, as he 
watched him, what new force he represented. 

" Hurdler up at Andover, I believe." 

In a moment Gimbel was back, engaging them in eager 
conclave. 

" See here, there's a combination being gotten up," 
he said impersonally, " a sort of slate for our class foot- 
ball managers, and I want to get you fellows interested. 
Hotchkiss and St. Paul are going in together, and we 
want to organize the other schools. How many fellows 
are up from Lawrenceville ? " 

" About fifteen." 

" We've got a corking good man from Andover not in 
any of the crowds up there, and a lot of us want to give 
him a good start. I'll have you meet him to-night at 
supper. If you fellows weren't out for football, we'd 
put one of you up for secretary and treasurer. You can 
name him if you want. I've got a hundred votes already, 
and we're putting through a deal with a ShefT crowd for 
vice-president that will give us thirty or forty more. Our 
man's Hicks — Frank Hicks — the best in the world. 
Say a good word for him, will you, wherever you can. 
See you to-night." 

He was off to another table, where he was soon in 
animated conversation. 

" Don't mix up in it," said Stover quietly. 

"Why not?" said McCarthy. "A good old political 
shindig's lots of fun." 

" Wait until we understand the game," said Stover, 
remembering Le Baron's advice not to commit himself 
to any crowd. 



STOVER AT YALE 41 

" But it would be such a lark." 

Dink did not reply. Instead he was carefully studying 
the many types that crowded before his eyes. They 
ranged from the New Yorker, extra spick-and-span for 
his arrival, lost and ill at ease, speaking to no one ; to 
older men in jerseys and sweaters, unshaven often, lolling 
back in their chairs, concerned with no one, talking with 
all. 

The waiters were of his own class, who presently 
brought their plates to the tables they served and sat down 
without embarrassment. It was a heterogeneous assem- 
bly, with a preponderance of quiet, serious types, men to 
whom the financial problem was serious and college an 
opportunity to fit themselves for the grinding combat of 
life. Others were raw, decidedly without experience, 
opinionated, carrying on their shoulders a chip of some- 
what bumptious pride. The talk was all of the doings 
of the night before, when several had fallen into the 
hands of mischief-bent sophomores. 

" They caught Flanders down York Street and made 
him roll a peanut up to Billy's." 

" Yes, and the darned fool hadn't sense enough to gnu 
and bear it." 

" So they gave him a beer shampoo." 

"A what?" 

" A beer shampoo." 

" Did you hear about Regan ? " 

"Who's Regan?" 

" He's a thundering big coal-heaver from out the 
woolly West." 

" Oh, the fellow that started to scrap." 

" That's the man." 

" Give us the story, Buck." 

" They had me up, doing some of my foolish stunts," 



42 STOVER AT YALE 

said a fellow with a great moon of a face, little twinkling 
eyes, and a grotesque nose that sprang forth like a jagged 
promontory, " when, all at once, this elephant of a Regan 
saunters in coolly to see what's doing." 

" Didn't know any better, eh ? " 

" Didn't know a thing. Well, no sooner did the sophs 
spot him than they set up a yell: 

"'Who are you?' 

" ' Tom Regan/ 

" ' What's your class ? ' 

" * Freshman/ 

" ' What in the blankety-blank are you doing here ? ' 

" ' Lookin' on.' 

" With that, of course, they began just leaping up and 
down for joy, hugging one another ; and a couple of them 
started in to tackle the old locomotive. The fellow, 
who's as strong as an ox, just gives a cough and a sneeze, 
scatters a few little sophs on the floor, and in a twinkling 
is in the corner, barricaded behind a table, looking as big 
as a house. 

" ' Tom, look out ; they're going to shampoo you/ 
says I. 

" ' Is it all right ? ' he says, with a grin. 

" ' It's etiquette/ says I. 

" ' Come on, then/ says he very affably, and he strips 
off his coat and tosses it across the room, saying, ' It's 
>my only one ; look out for it/ 

" Well, when the sophs saw him standing there, licking 
his chops, arms as big as hams, they sort of stopped and 
scratched their heads/' 

" I bet they did ! " cried a couple. 

" They didn't particularly like the prospect ; but they 
were game, especially a little bantam of a rooster called 
Waring, who'd been putting us through our stunts- 



STOVER AT YALE 43 

" ' I'm going in after that bug myself/ said he, with a 
yelp. ' Come on ! ' " 

"Well, what happened, Buck?" 

" Did they give it to him? " 

" About fifteen minutes after the bouncers had swept 
us into the street with the rest of the debris, as the French 
say," said the speaker, with a far-off, reflective look, 
" one dozen of the happiest-looking sophs you ever saw 
went reeling back to the campus. They were torn and 
scratched, pummeled, bruised and bleeding, soaked from 
head to foot, shot to pieces, smeared with paint, not a 
button left or a necktie — but they were happy ! " 

"Why happy?" 

" They had given Regan the shampoo." 

Stover and McCarthy rose and made their way out 
past the group where Buck Waters, enthroned already as 
a natural leader, was tuning up the crowd. 

" I came up in the train with Regan," said Stover, 
thrilling a little at the recital. " Cracky ! I wish I'd 
seen the scrap." 

" We'll call him out to-night for the wrestling," said 
McCarthy. 

" He's a queer, plunging sort of animal," said Stover 
reflectively. " I wonder if he'll ever do anything up 
here?" 

Saunders, riding past on a bicycle, pad protruding from 
his pocket, slowed up with a cordial hail : 

"Howdy! I'm heeling* the News. If you get any 
stories, pass them on to me. Thought you fellows were 
down at our joint. Where the deuce are you fellows 
grubbing?" 

" We dropped into a place one of your Andover crowd's 
nin\" 
Who's that?" 



44 STOVERATYALE 

" Fellow called Gimbel. ,, 

Saunders rode on a bit, wheeled, came slowly back, 
resting his hand on Stover's shoulder. 

" Look here," he said, frowning a little. " Gimbel's a 
good sort, clever and all that ; but look here — you're not 
decided, are you?" 

" No." 

" Because we've been counting you fellows in with us. 
We've got a corking crowd, about twenty, and a nice, 
quiet place." He hesitated, choosing his words care- 
fully : " I think you'll find the crowd congenial." 

" When do you start in ? " said Stover. 

" To-morrow. Are you with us ? " 

" Glad to come." 

" Bully ! " He made a movement to start, and then 
added suddenly : " I say, fellows, of course you're not 
on to a good many games here, but don't get roped into 
any politics. It'll queer you quicker than anything else. 
You don't mind my giving you a tip ? " 

" Not at all," said Stover, smiling a little as he won- 
dered what distinction Saunders made to himself between 
politics and politics. 

" Ta-ta, then — perfectly bully you're with us. I'm 
off on this infernal News game — half a year's grind 
from twelve to ten at night — lovely, eh, when the snow 
and slush come ? " 

He sped on, and they went up to the rooms. 

" I thought we'd better change," said Stover. 

" This place is loaded up with wires — live wires," said 
McCarthy, scratching his head. " Well, go ahead, if you 
want to." 

" Well, you see — we're all in the same house ; it's 
more sociable." 

" Oh, of course." 



STOVER AT YALE 45 

" And then, it'll be quieter." 

" Yes, it'll be quieter." 

A little constraint came to them. They went to their 
rooms silently, each aware that something had come into 
their comradeship which sooner or later would have to 
be met with frankness. 



CHAPTER IV 

STOVER had never been on the Yale field except 
through the multitudinous paths of his imagination. 
Huddled in the car crowded with candidates, he waited 
the first glimpse as Columbus questioned the sky or De 
Soto sought the sea. Three cars, filled with veterans 
and upper classmen, were ahead of him. He was among 
a score of sophomores, members of third and fourth 
squads, and a few of his own class with prep school repu- 
tations who sat silently, nervously overhauling their suits, 
adjusting buckles and shoe-laces, swollen to grotesque 
proportions under knotted sweaters and padded jerseys. 

The trolley swung over a short bridge, and, climbing 
a hill, came to a slow stop. In an instant he was out, 
sweeping on at a dog-trot in the midst of the undulating, 
brawny pack. In front — a thing of air and wood — 
rose the climbing network of empty stands. Then, as 
they swept underneath, the field lay waiting, and at the 
end two thin, straight lines and a cross-bar. No longer 
were the stands empty or the breeze devoid of song and 
cheers. The goal was his — the goal of Yale — and, un- 
derfoot at last, the field more real to him than Waterloo 
or Gettysburg! 

He camped down, one among a hundred, oblivious of 
his companions, hands locked over his knees, his glance 
strained down the field to where, against the blue sweater 
of a veteran, a magic Y was shining white. For a mo- 
ment he felt a plunging despair — he was but one among 
so many. The whole country seemed congregated there 

46 



STOVERATYALE 47 

in competition. Others seemed to overtop him, to be 
built of bone and muscle beyond his strength. He felt a 
desire to shrink back and steal away unperceived, as he 
had that awful moment when, on his first test at school, 
he had been told that he must stand up and fill the place 
of a better man. 

Then he was on his feet, in obedience to a shouted com- 
mand, journeying up the field to where beyond the stands 
a tackling dummy on loose pulleys swung like a great 
scarecrow. 

" Here, now, get some action into this," said a fiery 
little coach, Tompkins, quarter-back a dozen seasons be- 
fore. " Line up. Get some snap to it. First man. 
Hard — hit it hard!" 

The first three — heavy linesmen, still soft and short 
of breath — made lumbering, slipping attempts. 

Tompkins was in a blaze of fury. 

" Hold up ! What do you think this is? I didn't ask 
you to hug your grandmother; I told you to tackle that 
dummy ! Hit it hard — break it in two ! If you can't 
tackle, we don't want you around. Tackle to throw your 
man back! Tackle as if the whole game depended on 
it. Come on, now. Next man. Jump at it ! Rotten ! 
Rotten ! Oh, squeeze it. Don't try to butt it over — 
you're not a goat ! Half the game's the tackling! Next 
man. Oh, girls — girls ! What is this bunch, anyhow — 
a young ladies' seminary ? Here ! Stop — stop ! You're 
up at Yale now. I'll show you how we tackle ! " 

Heedless of his street clothes, of the grotesqueness of 
the thing, of all else but the savage spark he was trying 
to communicate, he went rushing into the dummy with a 
headlong plunge that shook the ropes. 

He was up in a moment, forgetting the dust that clung 
to him, shouting in his shrill voice: 



48 STOVER AT YALE 

" Come on, now, bang into it ! Yes, but hold on to it ! 
Squeeze it. Better — more snap there! Get out the 
way! Come on! Rotten! Take that again — on the 
jump ! " 

Stover suddenly felt the inflaming seriousness of Yale, 
the spirit that animated the field. Everything was in 
deadly earnest; the thing of rags swinging grotesquely 
was as important as the tackle that on a championship 
field stood between defeat and victory. 

His turn came. He shot forward, left the turf in a 
clean dive, caught the dummy at the knees, and shook the 
ground with the savageness of his tackle. 

" Out of the way, quick — next man ! " cried the driv- 
ing voice. 

There was not a word of praise for what he knew had 
been a perfect tackle. A second and a third time he flung 
himself heedlessly at the swinging figure, in a desperate 
attempt to win the withheld word of approbation. 

" He might at least have grunted," he said to himself, 
tumbling to his feet, " the little tyrant." 

In a moment Tompkins, without relaxing a jot of his 
nervous driving, had them spread over the field, flinging 
themselves on a dozen elusive footballs, while always his 
voice, unsatisfied, propelling, drove them : 

" Faster, faster ! Get into it — let go yourselves. 
Throw yourself at it. Oh, hard, harder ! " 

Ten minutes of practise starts under his leash, and they 
ended, enveloped in steam, lungs shaken with quick, 
convulsive breaths. 

" Enough for to-day. Back to the gymnasium on the 
trot; run off some of that fatty degeneration. Here, 
youngster, a word with you." 

Stover stepped forward. 

" What's your name ? " 



STOVER AT YALE 49 

" Stover." 

To his profound disappointment, Tompkins did not 
recognize that illustrious name. 

" Where from ? " 

" Lawrenceville. Played end." 

Tompkins looked him over, a little grimly. " Oh, yes ; 
I've heard something about you. Look here, ever do any 
punting? " 

" Some, but only because I had to. I'm no good at it." 

" Let's see what you can do." 

Stover caught the ball tossed and put all his strength 
into a kick that went high but short. 

" Try another." 

The second and third attempts were no better. 

" Well, that's pretty punk," said Tompkins. " Dana 
wants to give you a try on the second. Run over now 
and report. Oh, Stover ! " 

Dink halted, to see Tompkins' caustic scrutiny fixed 
on him. 

" Yes, sir." 

" Stover, just one word for your good. You come up 
with a big prep school reputation. Don't make an ass 
of yourself. Understand; don't get a swelled head. 
That's all." 

" Precious little danger of that here," said Dink a little 
rebelliously to himself, as he jogged over to the benches 
where the varsity subs were camped. Le Baron waved 
him a recognition, but no more. It was as if the gesture 
meant : 

" I've started you. Now stand on your own feet. 
Don't look to me for help." 

For the rest of the practise he sat huddled in his 
sweater, waiting expectantly as each time Captain Dana 
passed down the line, calling out the candidates for trials 



50 STOVERATYALE 

in the brief scrimmages that took place. The afternoon 
ended without an opportunity coming to him, and he 
jogged home, in the midst of the puffing crowd, with a 
sudden feeling of his own unimportance. 

He had barely time to get his shower, and run into the 
almost deserted eating club for a quick supper, when 
Gimbel appeared, crying: 

" I say, Stover, bolt the grub and hoof it. We assem- 
ble over by Osborne." 

"Where's the wrestling?" 

" Don't know. Some vacant lot. Ever do any ? " 

" Don't know a thing about it." 

" We're going to call out a chap called Robinson from 
St. Paul's, Garden City, for the lightweight, and Regan 
for the heavy," said Gimbel, who, of course, had been 
busy during the afternoon. " Thought of you for the 
middleweight." 

" Lord ! get some one who knows the game," said 
Stover, following him out. 

" Have you thought of any one you'd like to run for 
secretary and treasurer ? " said Gimbel, locking arms in a 
cordial way. 

"No." 

" I've got the whole thing organized sure as a steel 
trap." 

" You haven't lost any time," said Stover, smiling. 

" That's right — heaps of fun." 

" What are you going to run for ? " said Stover, look- 
ing at him. 

" I ? Nothing now. Fence orator, perhaps, later," 
said Gimbel frankly. " It's the fun of the game interests 
me — the organizing, pulling wires, all that sort of thing. 
I'm going to have a lot of fun here." 

" Look here, Gimbel," said Stover, yielding to a sudden 



STOVERATYALE 51 

appreciation of the other's openness. " Isn't this sort of 
thing going to get a lot of fellows down on you ? " 

"Queer me?" said Gimbel, laughing. 

The word was still new to Stover, who showed his per- 
plexity. 

" That's a great word," added his companion. " You'll 
hear a lot of it before you get through. It's a sort of 
college bug that multiplies rapidly. Will politics ' queer ' 
me — keep me out of societies ? Probably ; but then, I 
couldn't make 'em anyway. So I'm going to have my 
fun. And I'll tell you now, Stover, I'm going to get a 
good deal more out of my college career than a lot of you 
fellows." 

"Why include me?" 

" Well, Stover, you're going to make a sophomore so- 
ciety, and go sailing along." 

" Oh, I don't know." 

" Yes, you do. We don't object to such men as you, 
who have the right. It's the lame ducks we object to." 

" Lame ducks ? " said Stover, puzzled as well as sur- 
prised at this spokesman of an unsuspected proletariat 
opposition. 

" ' Lame ducks ' is the word : the fellows who would 
never make a society if it weren't for pulls, for the men 
ahead — the cripples that all you big men will be trying 
to bolster up and carry along with you into a senior 
society." 

" I'm not on to a good deal of this," said Stover, puz- 
zled. 

" I know you're not. Look here." Gimbel, releasing 
his arm, faced him suddenly. " You think I'm a politi- 
cian out to get something for myself." 

" Yes, I do." 

" Well, I am — I'm frank about it. There's a whole 



52 STOVERATYALE 

mass of us here who are going to fight the sophomore 
society system tooth and nail, and I'm with them. When 
you're in the soph crowd you mightn't like what I'm say- 
ing, and then again you may come around to our way of 
thinking. However, I want you to know that I'm hiding 
nothing — that I'm fighting in the open. We may be on 
opposite sides, but I guess we can shake hands. How 
about it ? " 

" I guess we can always do that," said Stover, giving 
his hand. The man puzzled him. Was his frankness 
deep or a diplomatic assumption? 

" And now let's have no pretenses," continued Gimbel, 
on the same line, with a quick analytical glance. " You're 
going with your crowd; better join one of their eating- 
joints." 

Stover was genuinely surprised. 

" Have you already arranged it ? " said Gimbel, laugh- 
ing. 

" Gimbel," said Stover directly, " I'm not quite sure 
about you." 

" You don't know whether I'm a faker or not." 

" Exactly." 

" Stover, I'm a politician," said Gimbel frankly. " I'm 
out for a big fight. I know the game here. I wouldn't 
talk to every one as I talk to you. I want you to under- 
stand me — more, I want you to like me. And I feel 
with you that the only way is to be absolutely honest. 
You see, I'm a politician," he said, with a laugh. " I've 
learned how to meet different men. Sometime I'm going 
to talk over things with you — seriously. Here we are 
now. I've got a bunch of fellows to see. McCarthy's 
probably looking for you. Don't make up your mind in 
a hurry about me — or about a good many things here. 
Ta-ta!" 



STOVERATYALE 53 

Stover watched him go gaily into the crowd, distribu- 
ting bluff, vociferous welcomes, hilariously acclaimed. 
The man was new, represented a new element, a strange, 
dimly perceived, rebellious mass, with ideas that intruded 
themselves ungratefully on his waking vision. 

" Is he sincere? " he said to himself — a question that 
he was to apply a hundred times in the life that was be- 
ginning. 



CHAPTER V 

HELLO, there, Stover ! " 
" Stover, over here ! " 

" Oh, Dink Stover, this way ! " 

Over the bared heads of the bobbing, shifting crowd 
he saw Hunter and McCarthy waving to him. He made 
his way through the strange assorted mass of freshmen 
to his friends, where already, instinctively, a certain 
picked element had coalesced. A dozen fellows, clean- 
cut, steady of head and eye, carrying a certain unmistak- 
able, quiet assurance, came about him, gripping him 
warmly, welcoming him into the little knot with cordial 
acknowledgment. He felt the tribute, and he liked it. 
They were of his own kind, his friends to be, now and 
in the long reaches of life. 

" Fall in, fall in ! " 

Ahead of them, the upper classes were already in rank. 
Behind, the freshmen, unorganized, distrustful, were be- 
ing driven into lines of eight and ten by seniors, pipe 
in mouth, authoritative, quiet, fearfully enveloped in dig- 
nity. Cheers began to sound ahead, the familiar brek-e- 
kek-kex with the class numeral at the end. A cry went 
up: 

" Here, we must have a cheer." 

" Give us a cheer." 

" Start her up." 

" Lead a cheer, some one." 

" Lead a cheer, Hunter." 

" Lead the cheer, Gimbel." 

54 



STOVERATYALE 55 

" Lead the cheer, Stover." 

" Come on, Stover ! " 

A dozen voices took up his name. He caught the in- 
fection. Without hesitating, he stepped by Hunter, who 
was hesitating, and cried: 

" Now, fellows, all together — the first cheer for the 
class ! Are you ready ? Let her rip ! " 

The cheer, gathering momentum, went crashing above 
the noises of the street. The college burst into a mighty 
shout of acclaim — another class was born! 

Suddenly ahead the dancing lights of the senior torches 
began to undulate. Through the mass a hoarse roar 
went rushing, and a sudden muscular tension. 

" Grab hold of me." 

" Catch my arm." 

" Grip tight." 

" Get in line." 

" Move up." 

" Get the swing." 

Stover found himself, arms locked over one another's 
shoulders, between Schley, who had somehow kept per- 
sistently near him, and a powerful, smiling, blond-haired 
fellow who shouted to him : 

"My name's Hungerford — Joe Hungerford. Glad 
to know you. Down from Groton." 

It was a name known across the world for power in 
finance, and the arm about Stover's shoulder was taut 
with the same sentimental rush of emotion. 

Down the moving line suddenly came surging the 
xhant : 

" Chi Rho Omega Lambda Chi! 
We meet to-night to celebrate 
The Omega Lambda Chi!" 



56 STOVER AT YALE 

Grotesquely, lumberingly, tripping and confused, they 
tried to imitate the forward classes, who were surging in 
the billowy rhythm of the elusive serpentine dance. 

" How the deuce do they do it ? " 

" Get a skip to it, you ice-wagons." 

" All to the left, now." 

" No, to the right." 

Gradually they found themselves; hoarse, laughing, 
struggling, sweeping inconsequentially on behind the 
singing, cheering college. 

Before Dink knew it, the line had broken with a rush, 
and he was carried, struggling and pushing, into a vacant 
lot, where all at once, out of the tumult and the riot, a 
circle opened and spread under his eyes. 

Seniors in varsity sweaters, with brief authoritative 
gestures, forced back the crowd, stationed the fretful 
lights, commanding and directing : 

" First row, sit down." 

" Down in front, there." 

" Kneel behind." 

" Freshmen over here." 

" Get a move on ! " 

" Stop that shoving." 

" How's the space, Cap ? " 

In the center, Captain Dana waited with an appraising 
eye. 

" All right. Call out the lightweights." 

Almost immediately, from the opposite sophomores, 
came a unanimous shout: 

" Farquahar ! Dick Farquahar ! " 

"Come on, Dick!" 

" Get in the ring ! " 

Out into the ring stepped an agile, nervous figure, 
acclaimed by all his class. 



STOVERATYALE 57 

" A cheer for Farquahar, fellows ! " 

" One, two, three ! " 

"Farquahar! " 

" Candidate from the freshman class ! " 

"Candidate!" 

" Robinson ! " 

"Teddy Robinson!" 

" Harris ! " 

" No, Robinson — Robinson ! " 

Gimbel's voice dominated the outcry. There was a 
surging, and then a splitting of the crowd, and Robinson 
was slung into the ring. 

In the midst of contending cheers, the antagonists 
stripped to the belt and stood forth to shake hands, their 
bared torsos shining in high lights against the mingled 
shadows of the audience. 

The two, equally matched in skill, went tumbling and 
whirling over the matted sod, twisting and flopping, until 
by a sudden hold Robinson caught his adversary in a half 
nelson and for the brief part of a second had the two 
shoulders touching the ground. The second round like- 
wise went to the freshman, who was triumphant after a 
struggle of twenty minutes. 

" Middleweights ! " 

" Candidate from the sophomore class ! " 

" Candidate from the freshman ! " 

" Fisher ! " 

" Denny Fisher ! " 

The sophomore stepped forth, tall, angular, well knit 
Among the freshmen a division of opinion arose : 

" Say, Andover, who've you got ? " 

" Any one from Hotchkiss ? " 

" What's the matter with French? " 

" He doesn't know a thing about wrestling." 



58 STOVER AT YALE 

"How about Doc White?" 

" Not heavy enough." 

The seniors began to be impatient. 

" Hurry up, now, freshmen, hurry up ! " 

" Produce something ! " 

Still a hopeless indecision prevailed. 

" I don't know any one." 

"Jack's too heavy." 

" Say, you Hill School fellows, haven't you got some 
one?" 

" Some one's got to go out." 

The sophomores, seizing the advantage, began to gibe 
at them: 

" Don't be afraid, freshmen ! " 

" We won't hurt you." 

" We'll let you down easy." 

" Take it by default." 

" Call time on them." 

" I don't know a thing about it," said Stover, between 
his teeth, to Hungerford, his hands twitching impatiently, 
his glance fixed hungrily on the provokingly amused face 
of the sophomore champion. 

" I'm too heavy or I'd go." 

" I've a mind to go, all the same." 

McCarthy, who knew his impulses of old, seized him 
by the arm. 

" Don't get excited, Dink, old boy ; you don't know 
anything about wrestling." 

" No, but I can scrap!" 

The outcry became an uproar : 

" Quitters ! " 

" 'Fraid cats ! " 

" Poor little freshmen ! " 

" They're in a funk." 



STOVER AT YALE 59 

" By George, I can't stand that," said Stover, setting 
his teeth, the old love of combat sweeping over him. 
" I'm going to have a chance at that duck myself ! " 

He thrust his way forward, shaking off McCarthy's 
hold, stepped over the reclining front ranks, and, spring- 
ing into the ring, faced Dana. 

" I'm no wrestler, sir, but if there's no one else I'll 
have a try at it." 

There was a sudden hush, and then a chorus : 

"Who is it?" 

"Who's that fellow?" 

" What's his name ? " 

"Oh, freshmen, who's your candidate?" 

"Stover!" 

" Stover, a football man ! " 

" Fellow from Lawrenceville ! " 

The seniors had him over in a corner, stripping him, 
talking excitedly. 

" Say, Stover, what do you know about it ? " 

" Not a thing." 

" Then go in and attack." 

" All right." 

" Don't wait for him." 

" No." 

" He's a clever wrestler, but you can get his nerve." 

"His nerve?" 

" Keep off the ground." 

" Off the ground, yes." 

" Go right in ; right at him ; tackle him hard ; shake 
him up." 

" All right," he said, for the tenth time. He had heard 
nothing that had been said. He was standing erect, look- 
ing in a dazed way at the hundreds of eyes that were 
dancing about him in the living, breathing pit in which 



60 STOVER AT YALE 

he stood. He heard a jumble of roars and cheers, and 
one clear cry, McCarthy crying: 

"Good old Dink!" 

Some one was rolling up his trousers to the knee; 
some one was flinging a sweater over his bared back; 
some one was whispering in his ear : 

" Get right to him. Go for him — don't wait ! " 

" Already, there," said Captain Dana's quiet, matter- 
of-fact voice. 

" Already, here." 

"Shake hands!" 

The night air swept over him with a sudden chill as 
the sweaters were pulled away. He went forth while 
Dana ran over the rules and regulations, which he did not 
understand at all. He stood then about five feet ten, 
in perfect condition, every muscle clearly outlined against 
the wiry, spare Yankee frame, shoulders and the sinews 
of his arms extraordinarily developed. From the mo- 
ment he had stepped out, his eyes had never left Fisher's. 
Combat transformed his features, sending all the color 
from his face, narrowing the eyes, and drawing tense the 
lips. Combat was with him always an overmastering 
rage in the leash of a cold, nervous, pulsating logic, which 
by the very force of its passion gave to his expression an 
almost dispassionate cruelty — a look not easy to meet, 
that somehow, on the instant, impressed itself on the 
crowd with the terrific seriousness of the will behind. 

" Wiry devil." 

" Good shoulders." 

" Great fighting face, eh ? " 

" Scrapper, all right." 

" I'll bet he is." 

" Shake hands ! " 

Stover caught the other's hand, looked into his eyes, 



STOVER AT YALE 61 

read something there that told him, science aside, that he 
was the other's master; and suddenly, rushing forward, 
he caught him about the knees and, lifting him bodily in 
the air, hurled him through the circle in a terrific tackle. 

The onslaught was so sudden that Fisher, unable to 
guard himself, went down with a crash, the fall broken 
by the bodies of the spectators. 

A roar, half laughter, half hysteria, went up. 

" Go for him ! " 

" Good boy, Stover ! " 

" Chew him up ! " 

" Is he a scrapper ! " 

" Say, this is a fight ! " 

" Wow ! " 

Dana, clapping them on the shoulders, brought them 
back to the center of the ring and restored them to the 
position in which they had fallen. Fisher, plainly shaken 
up, immediately worked himself into a defensive posi- 
tion, recovering his breath, while Stover frantically 
sought some instinctive hold with which to turn him 
over. 

Suddenly an arm shot out, caught his head in chancery, 
and before he knew it he was underneath and the weight 
of Fisher's body was above, pressing him down. He 
staggered to his feet in a fury, maddened, unreasoning, 
and went down again, always with the dead weight above 
him. 

" Here, that won't do," he said to himself savagely, 
recovering his clarity of vision ; " I mustn't lose strength." 

All at once, before he knew how it had been done, 
Fisher's arm was under his, cutting over his neck, and 
slowly but irresistibly his shoulders were turning toward 
the fatal touch. Every one was up, shouting: 
" Turn him over ! " 



62 STOVER AT YALE 

" Finish him up ! " 

" Hold out, freshman ! " 

" Hold out ! " 

" Flop over ! " 

" Don't give in ! " 

" Stick it out ! " 

With a sudden expenditure of strength, he checked the 
turning movement, desperately striving against the cruel 
hold. 

" Good boy, Stover ! " 

"That's the stuff !" 

" Show your grit ! " 

"Holdout!" 

" Show your nerve ! " 

In a second he had reasoned it out. He was caught 
— he knew it. He could resist three minutes, five min- 
utes, slowly sinking against his ebbing strength, fran- 
tically cheered for a spectacular resistance — and then 
what? If he had a chance, it was in preserving every 
ounce of his strength for the coming rounds. 

" All right ; you've got me this time," he said coldly, 
and, relaxing, let his shoulders drop. 

Dana's hand fell stingingly on him, announcing the 
fall. He rose amid an angry chorus: 

" What the deuce ! " 

"Say, I don't stand for that!" 

" Thought he was game." 

" Game nothing ! " 

""Lost his nerve." 

" Sure he did." 

" Well, I'll be damned." 

" A quitter — a rank quitter ! " 

He walked to his seconds, angry at the misunderstand- 
ing. 



STOVERATYALE 63 

" Here, I know what I'm doing," he said in short, 
quick breaths, forgetting that he, a freshman, was ad- 
dressing the lords of creation. He was a captain again, 
his own captain, conducting his own battle. " 111 get 
him yet. Rub up this shoulder, quick." 

" Keep off the ground," said one mentor. 

" You bet I will." 

" Why the deuce did you give in so easily ? " 

" Because there are two more rounds, and I'm going 
to use my head — hang it ! " 

" He's right, too," said the first senior, rubbing him 
fiercely with the towel. " Now, sport, don't monkey with 
him until you've jarred him up a couple of times ! " 

" That's what I'm going to do ! " 

" Time ! " cried the voice of Dana. 

This time he retreated slowly, drawing Fisher unwarily 
toward his edge of the ring, and then suddenly, as the 
sophomore lunged at him, shot forward again, in a tackle 
just below the waist, raised him clear off the ground, 
spun him around, and, putting all his force into his back 
as a wood-chopper swings an ax, brought him down 
crashing, clear across the ring. It was a fearful tackle, 
executed with every savage ounce of rage within him, the 
force of which momentarily stunned him. Fisher, groggy 
under the bruising impact, barely had time to turn on his 
stomach before Stover was upon him. 

Dink immediately sprang up and back, waiting in the 
center of the ring. The sophomore, too dazed to reason 
clearly, yielding only to his anger at the sudden reversal, 
foolishly struggled to his feet and came staggering to- 
ward him. A second time Stover threw all his dynamic 
strength into another crashing tackle. This time Fisher 
went over on his back with a thump, and, though he 
turned instinctively, both shoulders had landed squarely 



64 STOVERATYALE 

on the turf, and, despite his frantic protests, a roar went 
up as Dana allotted the fall to Stover. 

This time, as he went to his corner, it was amid 
pandemonium : 

" You're a corker, freshman ! " 

"Oh, you bulldog!" 

" Tear him up ! " 

"You're the stuff!" 

" Good head, freshman ! " 

" Good brain-work ! " 

Several upper classmen came hurriedly over to his cor- 
ner, slapping him on the back, volunteering advice. 

" Clear out," said his mentor proudly. " This rooster 
can take care of himself." 

Fisher came up for the third round, visibly groggy and 
shaken by the force of the tackles he had received, but 
game. Twice Stover, watching his chance, dove under 
the groping hands and flung him savagely to the ground. 
Once Fisher caught him, as they lay on the ground, in 
a hold that might have been decisive earlier in the match. 
As it was, Stover felt with a swift horror the arm slip- 
ping under his arm, half gripping his neck. The wet heat 
of the antagonistic body over his inflamed all the brute 
in him. The strength was now his. He tore himself 
free, scrambled to his feet, and hurled Fisher a last time 
clean through into the scattering crowd, where he lay 
stunned, too weak to resist the viselike hands that forced 
his shoulders to the ground. 

Dana hauled Stover to his feet, a little groggy. 

" Some tackling, freshman ! Bout's yours ! Call out 
the heavyweights ! " 

Scarcely realizing that it was his captain who had 
spoken, Dink stood staring down at Fisher, white and 
conquered, struggling to his feet in the grip of friends. 



STOVERATYALE 65 

" 1 say, Fisher," he said impulsively, " I hope I didn't 
shake you up too much. I saw red ; I didn't know what I 
was doing." 

" You did me all right," said the sophomore, giving 
his hand. " That tackle of yours would break a horse 
in two. Shake ! " 

" Thank you," said Stover, flustered and almost 
ashamed before the other's perfect sportsmanship. 
" Thank you very much, sir ! " 

He went to his corner, smothered under frantic slaps 
and embraces, hearing his name resounding again and 
again on the thunders of his classmates. The bout had 
been spectacular; every one was asking who he was. 

" Stover, eh, of Lawrenceville ! " 

" Gee, what a fierce tackier ! " 

" Ridiculous for Fisher to be beaten ! " 

" Oh, is it? How'd you like to get a fall like that?" 

" Played end." 

" Captain at Lawrenceville." 

" He ought to be a wonder." 

" Say, did you see the face he got on him ? " 

" Enough to scare you to death." 

" It got Fisher, all right." 

While he was being rubbed down and having his 
clothes thrust upon him, shivering in every tense muscle, 
which, now the issue was decided, seemed to have broken 
from his control, suddenly a hand gripped his, and, look- 
ing up, he saw the face of Tompkins, ablaze with the fire 
of the professional spectator. 

" I'm not shaking hands on your brutal old tackling," 
he said, with a look that belied his words. " It's the 
other thing — the losing the first fall. Good brain-work, 
boy; that's what'll count in football." 

The grip of the veteran cut into his hand; in Tomp- 



66 STOVERATYALE 

kins's face also was a reminiscent flash of the fighting face 
that somehow, in any test, wins half the battle. 

The third bout went to the sophomores, Regan, the 
choice of the class, being nowhere to be found. But the 
victory was with the freshmen, who, knit suddenly to- 
gether by the consciousness of a power to rise to emergen- 
cies, carried home the candidates in triumph. 

McCarthy, with his arms around Stover as he had done 
in the old school days after a grueling football contest, 
bore Dink up to their rooms with joyful, bearlike hugs. 
Other hands were on him, wafting him up the stairs as 
though riding a gale. 

" Here, let me down will you, you galoots ! " he cried 
vainly from time to time. 

Hilariously they carried him into the room and dumped 
him down. Other freshmen, following, came to him, 
shaking his hand, pounding him on the back. 

"Good boy, Stover!" 

" What's the use of wrestling, anyhow ? " 

" You're it ! " 

" We're all for you ! " 

" The old sophomores thought they had it cinched. ,, 

" Three cheers for Dink Stover ! " 

" One more ! " 

" And again ! " 

" Yippi ! " 

McCarthy, doubled up with laughter, stood in front 
of him, gazing hilariously, proudly down. 

" You old Dink, you, what right had you to go out for 
it?" 

" None at all." 

" How the deuce did you have the nerve ? " 

" How ? " For the first time the question impressed 



STOVER AT YALE 67 

itself on him. ilc scratched his head and said simply, 
unconscious of the wide application of what he said : 
"Gee! guess I didn't stop to think how rotten I was." 
He went to bed, gorgeously happy with the first throb- 
bing, satisfying intoxication of success. The whole 
world must be concerned with him now. lie was no 
longer unknown ; he had emerged, freed himself from 
the thralling oblivion of the mass. 



CHAPTER VI 

STOVER fondly dreamed, that night, of his triumphal 
appearance on the field the following day, greeted 
by admiring glances and cordial handshakes, placed at 
once on the second eleven, watched with new interest by 
curious coaches, earning an approving word from the 
captain himself. 

When he did come on the field, embarrassed and re- 
luctantly conscious of his sudden leap to world-wide 
fame, no one took the slightest notice of him. Tomp- 
kins did not vouchsafe a word of greeting. To his 
amazement, Dana again passed him over and left him 
restless on the bench, chafing for the opportunity that 
did not come. The second and the third afternoon it 
was the same — the same indifference, the same forgetful- 
ness. And then he suddenly realized the stern discipline 
of it all — unnecessary and stamping out individuality, 
it seemed to him at first, but subordinating everything 
to the one purpose, eliminating the individual factor, 
demanding absolute subordination to the whole, sub- 
merging everything into the machine — that was not a 
machine only, when once accomplished, but an immense 
idea of sacrifice and self-abnegation. Directly, clearly 
visualized, he perceived, for the first time, what he was to 
perceive in every side of his college career, that a stand- 
ard had been fashioned to which, irresistibly, subtly, 
he would have to conform ; only here, in the free domain 
of combat, the standard that imposed itself upon him was 
something bigger than his own. 

68 



STOVER AT YALE 69 

Meanwhile the college in all its activities opened be- 
fore him, absorbing him in its routine. The great mass 
of his comrades to be gradually emerged from the blurred 
mists of the first day. He began to perceive hundreds 
of faces, faces that fixed themselves in his memory, rang- 
ing themselves, dividing according to his first impression 
into sharply defined groups. Fellows sought him out, 
joined him when he crossed the campus, asked him to 
drop in. 

In chapel he found himself between Bob Story, a 
quiet, self-contained, likable fellow, popular from the 
first from a certain genuine sweetness and charity in his 
character, son of Judge Story of New Haven, one of the 
most influential of the older graduates ; and on the other 
side Swazey, a man of twenty-five or six, of a type that 
frankly amazed him — rough, uncouth, with thick head 
and neck, rather flat in the face, intrusive, yellowish eyes, 
under lip overshot, one ear maimed by a scar, badly 
dressed, badly combed, and badly shod. Belying this 
cloutish exterior was a quietness of manner and the 
dreamy vision of a passionate student. Where he came 
from Stover could not guess, nor by what strange chance 
of life he had been thrown there. In front of him was 
the great bulk of Regan, always bent over a book for the 
last precious moments, coming and going always with the 
same irresistible steadiness of purpose. He had not been 
at the wrestling the opening night, he had not been out 
for football, because his own affairs, his search for work, 
were to him more important ; and, looking at him, Stover 
felt that he would never allow anything to divert him 
from his main purpose in college — first, to earn his 
way, and, second, to educate himself. Stover, with 
others, had urged him to report for practise, knowing, 
though not proclaiming it, that there lay the way to 



70 STOVER AT YALE 

friendships that, once gained, would make easy his prob- 
lem. 

" Not yet, Stover,'' said Regan, always with the same 
finality in his tone. " I've got to see my way clear ; I've 
got to know if I can down that infernal Greek and Latin 
first. If I can, I'm coming out." 

"Where do you room?" said Stover. 

" Oh, out about a mile — a sort of rat-hole." 

" I want to drop in on you." 

" Come out sometime." 

" Drop in on me." 

" I'm going to." 

" I say, Regan, why don't you see Le Baron ? " 

"What for?" 

" Why, he might — might give you some good tips," 
said Stover, a little embarrassed. 

" Exactly. Well, I prefer to help myself." 

Stover broke out laughing. 

" You're a fierce old growler ! " 

" I am." 

" I wish you'd come around a little and let the fellows 
know you." 

" That can wait." 

" I say, Regan," said Stover suddenly, " would you 
mind doing the waiting over at our joint? " 

" Why should I ? " 

" Why, I thought," said Stover, not saying what he 
had thought, " I thought perhaps you'd find it more con- 
venient at Commons." 

" Is that what you really thought ? " said Regan, with 
a quizzical smile. 

The man's perfect simplicity and unconsciousness im- 
pressed Stover more than all the fetish of enthroned up- 



STOVER AT YALE 71 

per classmen; he was always a little embarrassed before 
Regan. 

" No," he said frankly, " but, Regan, I would like to 
have you with us, and I think you'd like it." 

" We'll talk it over," said Regan deliberately. " I'll 
think it over myself. Good-by." 

Stover put out his hand instinctively. Their hands 
held each other a moment, and their eyes met in open, 
direct friendship. 

He stood a moment thoughtfully, after they had parted. 
What he had offered had been offered impulsively. He 
began to wonder if it would work out without embar- 
rassment in the intimacy of the eating-joint. 

The crowd that they had joined — as Gimbel had 
predicted — had taken a long dining-room cheerily 
lighted, holding one table, around which sixteen ravenous 
freshmen managed to squeeze in turbulent, impatient 
clamor. 

Bob Story, Hunter and his crowd, Hungerford and 
several men from Groton and St. Mark's, Schley and his 
room-mate Troutman made up a coterie that already had 
in it the elements of the leadership of the class. 

As he was deliberating, he perceived Joe Hungerford 
rolling along, with his free and easy slouch, immersed 
in the faded blue sweater into which he had lazily bolted 
to make chapel, a cap riding on the exuberant wealth of 
Mond hair. He broached the subject at once: 

" Say, Hungerford, you're the man I want." 

" Fire away." 

Stover detailed his invitation to Regan, concluding: 

" Now, tell me frankly what you think." 

" Have him with us, by all means," said Hungerford 
impulsively. 



72 STOVER AT YALE 

" Might it not be a little embarrassing ? How do you 
think the other fellows would like it ? " 

" Why, there's only one way to take it," said Hunger- 
ford directly. " Our crowd's too damned select now to 
suit me. We need him a darn sight more than he needs 
us." 

" I knew you'd feel that way." 

" By George, that's why I came to Yale. If there are 
any little squirts in the crowd think differently, a swift 
kick where it'll do the most good will clear the atmos- 
phere." 

Stover looked at him with impulsive attraction. He 
was boyish, unspoiled, eager. 

" Now, look here, Dink — you don't mind me calling 
you that, do you ? " continued Hungerford, with a little 
hesitation. 

" Go ahead." 

" I want you to understand how I feel about things. 
I've got about everything in the world to make a con- 
ceited, pompous, useless little ass out of me, and about 
two hundred people who want to do it. I wish to blazes 
I was starting where Regan is — where my old dad did ; 
I might do something worth while. Now, I don't want 
any hungry, boot-licking little pups around me whose 
bills I am to pay. I want to come in on your scale, and 
I'm mighty glad to get the chance. That's why my al- 
lowance isn't going to be one cent more than yours ; and I 
want you to know it. Now, as for this fellow Regan — 
he sounds like a man. I tell you what I'll do. I'll fix it 
up in a shake of a lamb's tail." 

" Question is whether Regan will come," said Stover 
doubtfully. 

" By George, I'll make him. We'll go right out to- 
gether and put it to him." 



STOVER AT YALE 73 

Which they did ; and Regan, yielding to the open cor- 
diality of Hungerford, accepted and promised to change 
at the end of his week. 

In the second week, having satisfactorily arranged his 
affairs — by what slender margin no one ever knew — 
Regan reported for practise. He had played a little 
football in the Middle West and, though his knowledge 
was crude, he learned slowly, and what he learned he 
never lost. His great strength, and a certain quality 
which was moral as well as physical, very shortly won 
him the place of right guard, where with each week he 
strengthened his hold. 

Regan's introduction at the eating-joint had been 
achieved without the embarrassment Stover had feared. 
He came and went with a certain natural dignity that 
was not assumed, but was inherent in the simplicity of his 
character. He entered occasionally into the conversation 
and always, when the others were finished and tarrying 
over the tobacco, brought his plate to a vacant place and 
ate his supper; but, that through, though often urged, 
went his purposeful way, with always that certain solitary 
quality about him that made approach difficult and had 
left him friendless. 

On the fourth afternoon of practise, as Stover, re- 
straining the raging impatience within him, resolved that 
at all costs he would not show the chafing, went to his 
place on the imprisoning bench, watching with famished 
eyes the contending lines, Dana, without warning, called 
from the open field: 

" Stover ! Stover ! Out here ! " 

He jumped up, oblivious of everything but the sudden 
thumping of his heart and the curious stir in the ranks 
of the candidates. 



74 STOVERATYALE 

" Here, leave your sweater," shouted Tompkins, who 
had repeated the summons. 

" Oh, yes." 

Clumsily entangled in the folds of his sweater, he 
struggled to emerge. Tompkins, amid a roar of laughter, 
caught the arms and freed him, grinning at the impetu- 
ousness with which Stover went scudding out. 

On the way he passed the man he was replacing, re- 
turning rebelliously with a half antagonistic, half appre- 
hensive glance at him. 

" Take left end on the scrub," said Dana, who was 
not in the line of scrimmage. " Farley, give him the 
signals." 

The scrub quarter hastily poured into his ears the 
simple code. He took up his position. The play was 
momentarily halted by one of the coaches, who was haul- 
ing the center men over the coals. Opposite Stover, 
Bangs, senior, was standing, legs spread, hands on his 
hips, looking at him with a look Stover never forgot. 
For three years he had plugged along his way, doggedly 
holding his place in the scrubs, patiently waiting for 
the one opportunity to come. Now, at last, after the 
years of servitude, standing on the coveted side of the 
line, suddenly here was a freshman with a big reputation 
come in the challenge that might destroy all the years 
of patience and send him back into the oblivion of the 
scrubs. 

Stover understood the appealing fury of the look, 
even in all the pitilessness of his ambition. Something 
sharp went through him at the thought of the man for 
whose position, ruthlessly, fiercely, he was beginning to 
fight. 

Five or six coaches, always under the direction of 



STOVER AT YALE 75 

Case, head coach, were moving restlessly about the field, 
watching for the first rudimentary faults. One or two 
gave him quick appraising looks. Stover, moving rest- 
lessly back and forth, his eyes on the ground, too con- 
scious of the general curiosity, awaited the moment of 
action. The discussion around the center ended. 

" Varsity take the ball," called out Dana ; " get into it, 
every one ! " 

The two lines sprang quickly into position, the coaches, 
nervous and vociferous, jumping behind the unfortunate 
objects of their wrath, while the air was filled with 
shrieked advice and exhortation. 

"On the jump, there, Biggs!" 

" Charge low ! " 

" Oh, get down, get down ! " 

" Break up this play ! " 

" Wake up ! " 

" Smash into it ! " 

" Charge ! " 

" Now ! " 

" Block that man ! " 

"Throw him back!" 

"Get behind!" 

"Push him on!" 

" Shove him on ! " 

" Get behind and shove ! " 

"Shove!" 

"Shove! Oh, shove!" 

Attack and defense were still crude. The play had 
gone surging around the opposite end, but in a halting 
way, the runner impeded by his own interference. 
Stover, sweeping around at full speed, was able to down 
the half from behind, just as the interference succeeded 



76 STOVERATYALE 

in clearing the way. At once it was a chorus of angry 
shouts, each coach descending on the particular object 
of his wrath. 

" Beautiful ! " 

" You're a wonder ! " 

" What are you doing, — growing to the ground ? " 

"What did I tell you?" 

" Say, interference, is this a walking match?" 

" Wonderful speed — almost got away from the op- 
posite end." 

" Say, Charley, a fast lot of backs we've got." 

" Line 'em up ! " 

Two or three plays through the center, struggling and 
squirming in the old fashion of football, were succeeded 
by several tries at his side. Stover, besides three years' 
hard drilling, had a natural gift of diagnosis, which, with 
the savagery of his tackling, made him, even at this 
period, an unusual end, easily the best of the candidates 
on the field. He stood on guard, turning inside the at- 
tack, or running along with it and gradually forcing his 
man out of bounds. At other times he went through the 
loose interference and caught his man with a solid lunge 
that was not to be denied. 

The varsity being forced at last to kick, Bangs came 
out opposite him for that running scrimmage to cover 
a punt that is the final test of an end. 

Stover, dropping a little behind, confident in his mea- 
sure of the man, caught him with his shoulder on the start, 
throwing him off balance for a precious moment, and 
then followed him down the field, worrying him like a 
sheep-dog pursuing a rebellious member of his flock, and 
caught him at the last with a quick lunge at the knees that 
sent him sprawling out of the play. Up on his feet in a 
minute, Stover went racing after his fullback, in time to 



STOVER AT YALE 77 

give the impetus of his weight that sent him over his 
tackle, falling forward. 

"How in blazes did that scrub end get back here?" 
shouted out Harden, a coach, a famous end himself. He 
came up the field with Bangs, grabbing him by the shoul- 
der, gesticulating furiously, his fist flourishing, crying: 

" Here, Dana, give us that play over again ! " 

A second time Bangs sought to elude Stover, goaded on 
by the taunts of Harden, who accompanied them. 
Quicker in speed and with a power of instinctive appli- 
cation of his strength, Stover hung to his man, putting 
him out of the play despite his frantic efforts. 

Harden, furious, railed at him. 

" What ! You let a freshman put you out of the 
play ? Where's your pride ? In the name of Heaven do 
something ! Why, they're laughing at you, Ben, — they're 
giving you the laugh ! " 

Bangs, senior society man, manager of the crew, took 
the driving and the leash without a protest, knowing 
though he did that the trouble was beyond him — that he 
was up against a better man. 

Suddenly Harden turned on Stover, who, a little apart, 
was moving uneasily, feeling profoundly sorry for the 
tanning Bangs was receiving on his account. 

" Look here, young fellow, you're not playing that 
right." 

Stover was amazed. 

" What's the first thing you've got to think about when 
you follow down your end ? " 

" Keep him out of the play," said Stover. 

"Never!" Harden seized him by the jersey, attack- 
ing with his long expostulating forefinger, just as he had 
laid down the law to Bangs. " Never ! That's grand- 
stand playing, my boy ; good for you, rotten for the team. 



78 STOVERATYALE 

The one thing you've got to do first, last, and always, is ta 
know where the ball is and what's happening to it. 
Understand?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" Now you didn't do that. You went down with your 
eyes on your man only, didn't you ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

" You never looked at your back to see if he fumbled, 
did you?" 

" No, sir." 

" And if he had, where'd you have been? If he holds 
it all right, knock over your end, but if he fumbles you've 
got to beat every one to it and recover it. You're one of 
eleven men, not a newspaper phenomenon — get that in 
your head. You didn't know I was trying you out as 
well as Bangs. Now let it sink into you. Do you get 
it?" 

" Yes, sir, thank you," said Stover, furious at himself, 
for if there was one thing that was instinctive in him it 
was this cardinal quality of following the ball and be- 
ing in every play. 

It was a day of the hardest, trying alike to the nerves 
of coaches and men, when the teams were driven without 
a rest, when tempers were strained to the snapping point, 
in the effort to instil not so much the details of the game 
as the inflaming spirit of combat. 

It was dusk before the coaches called a halt to the 
practise and sent them, steaming and panting, aching in 
every joint, back to the gymnasium for a rub-down. 

Climbing wearily into the car to sink gratefully into a 
seat, Dink suddenly, to his confusion, found himself by 
the side of Bangs. 

" Hello," said the senior, looking up with a grin, " I 
hope every muscle in your body's aching." 



STOVER AT YALE 79 

" It certainly is," said Stover, relieved. 

Bangs looked at him a long moment, shook his head, 
and said: 

" I wish I could drop a ton of brick on you." 

"Why?" 

" I've plugged away for years, slaved like a nigger at 
this criminal game, thought I was going to get my chance 
at last, and now you come along." 

" Oh, I say," said Stover in real confusion. 

" Oh, I'll make you fight for it," said the other, with 
a snap of his jaws. " But, boy, there's one thing I liked. 
When that old rhinoceros of a Harden was putting the 
hooks into me, you never eased up for a second." 

" I knew you'd feel that way." 

" If you'd done differently I'd slaughtered you," said 
Bangs. " Well, good luck to you ! " 

He smiled, but back of the smile Stover saw the cruel 
cut of disappointment. 

And this feeling was stronger in him than any feeling 
of elation as he returned to his rooms, after the late 
supper. He had never known anything like the fierce- 
ness of that first practise. It was not play with the zest 
he loved, it was a struggle of ambitions with all the heart- 
ache that lay underneath. He had gone out to play, and 
suddenly found himself in a school for character, en- 
chained to the discipline of the Caesars, where the test lay 
in stoicism and the victory was built on the broken hopes 
of a comrade. 

For the first time, a little appalled, he felt the weight 
of the seriousness, the deadly seriousness of the Ameri- 
can spirit, which seizes on everything that is competi- 
tion and transforms it, with the savage fanaticism of its 
race, for success. 



CHAPTER VII 

AFTER a week of grueling practise, the first game of 
the season came like a holiday. Stover was called 
out after the first few minutes, replacing Bangs, and re- 
mained until the close. He played well, aided by several 
fortunate opportunities, earning at the last a pat on the 
back from Dana which sent him home rejoicing. The 
showing of the team was disappointing, even for that early 
season. The material was plainly lacking in the line, and 
at full-back the kicking was lamentably weak. The 
coaches went off with serious faces ; throughout the col- 
lege assembled on the stands was a spreading premonition 
of disaster. 

Saturday night was privileged, with the long, grateful 
Sunday morning sleep ahead. 

" Dink, ahoy ! " shouted McNab's cheerful voice over 
the banister, as he entered the house. 

" Hello, there ! " 

" How's the boy wonder, the only man-eating Dink in 
captivity? " 

" Tired as the deuce." 

" Fine. First rate," said McNab, skipping down. 
" Forget the past, think only of the bright furniture. 
We've got a block of tickets for Poli's Daring-Dazzling- 
Delightful Vaudeville to-night. You're elected. We'll 
end up with a game at Reynolds'. Seen the Evening 
Register ? " 

" No." 

" My boy, you are famous," said McNab, brandishing 

80 



STOVER AT YALE 81 

a paper. " I'm lovelier, but you get the space. Never 
mind, I'll be arrested soon — anything to get in the pa- 
pers ! " 

While McNab's busy tongue ran on, Stover was gaz- 
ing at the account of the game, where, among the second- 
ary headlines, there stared out at him the caption: 

STOVER, A FRESHMAN, PLAYS 
SENSATIONAL GAME. 

The thing was too incredible. He stood stupidly look- 
ing at it. 

" How do you feel ? " said McNab, taking his pulse pro- 
fessionally. 

There was no answer Stover could give to that first 
throbbing sensation at seeing his name — his own name — 
in print. It left him confused, almost a little fright- 
ened. 

" Why, Dink, you're modest," said the irrepressible 
McNab ; and, throwing open the door, he shouted at the 
top of his voice : " I say, fellows, come down and see 
Dink blush." 

A magnificent scrimmage, popularly known as a 
" rough house," ensued, in which McNab was properly 
chastised, though not a whit subdued. 

McCarthy arrived late, with the freshman eleven, back 
from a close contest with a school team. They took a 
hurried supper, and went down a dozen strong, in jovial 
marching order. 

The sensations of the theater were still new to Stover, 
nor had his fortunate eye seen under the make-up or his 
imagination gone below the laughter. To parade down 
the aisle, straight as a barber's pole, chin carefully bal- 
anced on the sharp edge of his collar, on the night of his 



82 STOVER AT YALE 

first day as end on the Yale varsity, delightfully conscious 
of his own startling importance, feeling as if he over- 
topped every one in the most public fashion, to be abso- 
lutely blushingly conscious that every one in the theater 
must, too, be grasping a copy of that night's Evening 
Register, that every glance had started at his arrival and 
was following in set admiration, was a memory he was 
never to forget. His shoulders thrown up a little, just 
a little in accentuation, as behooved an end with a repu- 
tation for tackling, he found his seat and, dropping down 
quickly to escape observation, buried himself in his pro- 
gram to appear modest before the burning concentra- 
tion of attention which he was quite sure must now be 
focused on him. 

" Dobbs and Benzigger, the fellows who smash the 
dishes — by George, that's great ! " cried McNab, joy- 
fully running over the program. " They're wonders — 
a perfect scream ! " 

" Any good dancing?" said Hungerford, and a dozen 
answers came : 

" You bet there is ! " 

" Fanny Lamonte — a dream, Joe ! " 

" Daintiest thing you ever saw." 

" Sweetest little ankles ! " 

" Who's this coming — the Six Templeton Sisters? " 

" Don't know." 

" Well, here they come." 

" They've got to be pretty fine for me ! " 

Enthroned as lords of the drama, they pronounced 
their infallible judgments. Every joke was new, every 
vaudeville turn an occasion for a gale of applause. The 
appearance of the " Six Templetons " was the occasion of 
a violent discussion between the adherents of the blondes 



STOVER AT YALE 83 

and the admirers of the brunettes, led by the impression- 
able McNab. 

" I'm all for the peach in the middle ! " 

" Ah, rats ! She's got piano legs. Look at the fighting 
brunette at this end." 

" Why, she's got a squint." 

" Squint nothing ; she's winking at me." 

"Yes, she is!" 

" Watch me get her eye ! " 

Stover, of course, preserved an attitude of necessary 
dignity, gently tolerant of the rakish sentimentalities 
of the younger members of the flock. Moreover, he 
was supremely aware that the sparkling eyes under the 
black curls (were they real?) were not looking at Mc- 
Nab, but intensely directed at his own person — all of 
which, as she could not have read the Register, was a trib- 
ute to his own personal and not public charms. 

The lights, the stir of the audience, the boxes filled 
with the upper classmen, the gorgeous costumes, the 
sleepy pianist pounding out the accompaniments while ac- 
complishing the marvelous feat of reading a newspaper, 
were all things to him of fascination. But his eye went 
not to the roguish professional glances, but lost itself 
somewhere above amid the ragged drops and borders. 
He was transported into the wonders of Dink-land, 
where one figure ran a hundred adventures, where a hun- 
dred cheers rose to volley forth one name, where a 
dozen games were passed in a second, triumphant, daz- 
zling, filled with spectacular conflicts, blurred with frantic 
crowds of blue, ending always in surging black-hatted 
rushes that tossed him victoriously toward the stars ! 

" Let's cut out," said McNab's distinct voice. 
" There's nothing but xylophones and coons left." 



84 STOVERATYALE 

" Come on over to Reynolds's." 

" Start up the game." 

Reluctantly, fallen to earth again, Stover rose and fol- 
lowed them out. In a moment they had passed through 
the fragrant casks and bottles that thronged the passage, 
saluting the statesmanly bulk of Hugh Reynolds, and 
found themselves in a back room, already floating in 
smoke. White, accusing lights of bracketed lamps picked 
out the gray features of a dozen men vociferously rolling 
forth a drinking chorus, while the magic arms of Buck 
Waters, his falcon's nose and little muzzle eyes, domi- 
nated the whole. A shout acclaimed them : 

"Yea, fellows!" 

" Shove in here ! " 

" Get into the game." 

" Bartender, a little more of that brutalizing beer ! " 

" Cheese and pretzels ! " 

" Hello, Tough McCarthy ! " 

" Over here, Dopey McNab." 

" Get into the orchestra." 

" Good boy, Stover ! " 

" Congratulations ! " 

"Oh, Dink Stover, have we your eye?" 

The last call, caught up by every voice, went swelling 
in volume, accompanied by a general uplifting of mugs 
and glasses. It was the traditional call to a health. 

" I'd like to oblige," said Dink, a little embarrassed, 
" but I'm in training." 

" That's all right — hand him a soft one." 

For the first time he perceived that there was a per- 
fect freedom in the choice of beverage. He bowed, 
drained his glass, and sat down. 

"Oh, Dopey McNab, have we your eye?" 

" You certainly have, boys, and I'm no one-eyed man 



STOVERATYALE 85 

at that," said McNab, jovially disappearing down a mug, 
while the room in chorus trolled out: 

" Drink the wine divine 
As long as you can stand it. 
Hand the bowl around 
As long as you can hand it. 
Drink your glass, 
Drink your glass, 
Dri-i-i-i-ink — he's drunk it down." 

" Oh, Jim Hunter, have we your eye ? " 

Each new arrival in turn, called to his feet, rose and 
drained his glass to a hilarious accompaniment, while 
Stover, to his surprise, noted that fully a third of the 
crowd were ordering soft drinks. 

"Oh, Dink Stover, here's to you!" 

From across the table Tommy Bain, lifting his glass 
of ginger ale, smiled a gracious smile. 

" Same to you, Tommy Bain." 

The fellow who had addressed him was a leader among 
the Hotchkiss crowd, out for coxswain, already spoken 
of for one of the class managerships. He was a diminu- 
tive type, immaculately neat, black hair exactly parted 
and unflurried, well jacketed, turn-down collar embel- 
lished with a red-and-yellow four-in-hand, a rather large, 
bulbous nose, and thin eyes that were never quiet — 
shrewd, direct, inquisitive, always estimating. He was 
smiling again, raising his glass to some one else down 
the table, and the smile that passed easily over his lips 
had the quality of seeming to come from the heart. 

McNab and Buck Waters, natural leaders of the revels, 
arms locked, were giving a muscular exhibition of joint 
conducting, while the room in chorus sang: 



86 STOVERATYALE 

" Should fortune prove unkind, 
Should fortune prove unfair, 
A cure I have in mind 
To drive away all care." 

" By George ! " said Hungerford, at his side, laughing, 
" it's good to be in the game at last, isn't it, Dink ? " 

" It certainly is." 

" We've got a great crowd ; it's going to be a great 
class." 

" Who's Bain ? " said Dink, under his breath. 

" Bain — oh, he's a clever chap, probably be a class 
deacon. That's another good thing about this place : we 
can all get together and drink what we want." 

" Chorus ! " cried McNab and Waters, with a twin 
flourish of their arms. 

"Chorus!"' shouted Hungerford and Bain, raising 
their glasses in accompaniment. 

"For to-night we will be merry 
As the rosy wine we drink — 
The rosy wine we drink ! " 

"Yea!" 

" A little more close harmony ! " 

A great shout acclaimed the chorus and another song 
was started. 

Hunter and Bain were opposite each other, surrounded 
as it were by adherents, each already aware of the other, 
measuring glances, serious, unrelaxing, never unbending, 
never departing a moment from the careful attitude of 
critical aloofness. In the midst of the rising hilarity and 
the rebellious joy of newly gained liberty, the two rival 
leaders sat singing, but not of the song, the same placid, 
maliciously superior smile floating over the perfectly con- 



STOVER AT YALE 87 

trolled lips of Bain, while in the anointed gaze of 
Hunter was a ponderous seriousness which at that age is 
ascribed to a predestined Napoleonic melancholy. 

" Solo from Buck Waters ! " 

"Solo!" 

" On the chair ! " 

" Yea, Buck Waters ! " 

Yielding to the outcry Waters was thrust upward. 

" The cowboy orchestra ! " 

" Give us the cowboy orchestra ! " 

" The cowboy orchestra, ladies and gentlemen." 

With a wave of his hand he organized the room into 
drums, bugles, and trombones, announcing: 

" The orchestra will tune up and play this little tune, 

" ' Ta-de-dee-ra-ta-ra-ta-rata, 
Ta-de-dee-ra-ta-ra-ta-rata-ta ! ' 

" All ready ? Lots of action there — a little more cy- 
clonic from the trombones. Fine ! Whenever I give the 
signal the orchestra will burst forth into that melodious 
refrain. I will now give an imitation of a professional 
announcer at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and Con- 
gress of Rough Riders. Orchestra : 

" Ta-de-dee-rata-rata-rata 
Ta-de-dee-rata-rata-rata-ta! " 

While Waters, with his great comical face shining 
above the gleeful crowd like a harvest moon rising from 
the lake, continued endlessly drawling out his nasal imi- 
tations, the crowd, for the first time welded together, 
rocked and shouted out the farcical chorus. When he 
had ended, Buck Waters sat down, enthroned forever 
afterward master of song and revels. 



88 STOVER AT YALE 

Bain began to cast estimating glances, calculating on 
the moment to leave. At the other end Waters was 
fairly smothered under the rush of delighted comrades, 
patting him on the back, acclaiming his rise to fame. 
The tables settled down into a sentimental refrain led by 
Stone's clear tenor. 

Dink's glance, traveling down the table, was suddenly 
attracted by the figure of a young fellow with a certain 
defiant yet shy individuality in its pose. 

"Who's the rather dark chap just beyond Dopey?" 
he asked Hungerford. 

" Don't know ; ask Schley." 

" Brockhurst — Sidney Brockhurst," said Schley, not 
lowering his voice, " from Hill School. Trying for the 
Lit. Clever chap, they say, but a little long-haired." 

Stover studied him, his curiosity awakened. Brock- 
hurst, of all present, seemed the most solitary and the 
most self-conscious. He had a long head, high, thin 
cheeks, and a nervous little habit, when intent or con- 
scious of being watched, of drawing his fingers over his 
lips. His head was thrown back a little proudly, but 
the eyes contradicted this attitude, with the acute shyness 
in them that clouded a certain keen imaginative scrutiny. 

At this moment his eyes met Stover's. Dink, yielding 
to an instinct, raised his glass and smiled. Brockhurst 
hastily seized his mug in response, spilling a little of it 
and dropping his glance quickly. Once or twice, as if 
unpleasantly conscious of the examination, he turned un- 
easily. 

" He looks rather interesting," said Stover thought- 
fully. 

" Think so ? " said Schley. " Rather freaky to me." 

Suddenly a shout went up: 

"Come in!" 



STOVER AT YALE 89 

"Yea, Sheff !" 

"Yea, Tom Kelly!" 

The narrow doorway was suddenly alive with a boister- 
ous, rollicking crowd of Sheff freshmen, led by Tom 
Kelly, a short, roly-poly, alert little fellow with a sharp 
pointing nose and a great half-moon of a mouth. 

" Come in, Kelly ! " 

" Crowd in, fellows ! " 

" Oh, Tom, join us ! " 

" I will not come in," said Kelly, with a certain painful 
beery assumption of dignity. He balanced himself a mo- 
ment, steadied by his neighbors; and then, to the delight 
of the room, began, with the utmost gravity, one of his 
inimitable imitations of the lords that sit enthroned in the 
faculty. 

" I come, not to stultify myself in the fumes of liquor, 
but to do you good. Beer is brutalizing. With your 
kind permission, I will whistle you a few verses of a 
noble poem on same subject." 

"Whistle, Tom?" 

" The word was whistle," said Kelly sternly. Extend- 
ing his arm for silence, he proceeded, with great in- 
tensity and concentrated facial expression, to whistle a 
sort of improvisation. Then, suddenly ceasing, he con- 
tinued : 

" And what does this beautiful, ennobling little thing 
teach us, written by a great mind, one of the greatest, 
greatest minds — what does it teach us ? " 

" Well, what does it teach ? " said one or two voices, 
after Kelly had preserved a statuesque pose beyond the 
limits of their curiosity. 

" Ask me," said Kelly, with dignity. 

" Mr. Kelly," said McNab rising seriously, " what 
does this little gem of intellectuality, this as it were 



90 STOVERATYALE 

psycho-therapeutical cirrhosis of a paleontological state, 
— you get my meaning, of course, — that is, from the 
point of view of modern introspective excavations, with 
due regard to whatever the sixth dimension, considered 
as such, may have of influence, and allowing that a cer- 
tain amount of error is inherent in Spanish cooking if 
eggs are boiled in a chafing-dish — admitting all this, I 
ask you a simple question. Do you understand me ? " 

" Perfectly," said Kelly, who had followed this serious 
harangue with strained attention. " And, moreover, I 
agree with you." 

" You agree ? " said McNab, feigning surprise. 

" I do." 

" Sir, you are a congenial soul. Shake hands." 

But, in the act of stealing this sudden friendship, 
Kelly brought forth his hand, when it was perceived that 
he was tightly clutching a pool-ball, and, moreover, that 
his pockets were bulging like a sort of universal mumps 
with a dozen inexplicable companions. A shout went 
up: 

" Why, he's swallowed a frame of pool-balls ! " 

" He certainly has." 

" He's swiped them." 

" He's wrecked a pool-room." 

" How the deuce did he do it ? " 

" Why, Tom, where did you get 'em ? " 

" Testimonial — testimonial of affection," replied 
Kelly, " literally showered on me." 

" Tom, you stole them." 

" I did not steal them ! " 

" Tom, you stole them ! " 

"Tom, O Tom!" 

Kelly, who had proceeded to empty his pockets for an 
exhibition, becoming abruptly offended at the universal 



STOVERATYALE 91 

shouted accusation, repocketed the pool-balls and de- 
parted, despite a storm of protest and entreaties, carry- 
ing with him McNab. 

A number of the crowd were passing beyond control ; 
others, inflexible, smiling, continued in their attitude of 
spectators, Brockhurst because he could not forget him- 
self, Hunter and Bain because they would not. 

" Time for us to be cutting out," said Hunter, with a 
glance at his watch. " What about it, Stover ? " 

Dink was annoyed that he had not made the move 
himself. McCarthy, Hungerford, and one or two of the 
freshman candidates arose. A shout went up from the 
noisy end of the table. 

" Here ! no quitting ! " 

" Cowards ! " 

"Comeback!" 

" Shut up ; it's the football crowd ! " 

"Oh, football, eh?" 

" Right." 

" Splendid ! " 

Stover with a serious face, shook hands with Trout- 
man, a red-haired fellow with sharp advancing features 
who said impressively : 

" Mr. Stover, I wish to express for my friends the 
gratification, the extreme gratification, the extreme moral 
gratification w r e feel at seeing a football — a football can- 
didate showing such moral courage — moral — it's won- 
derful — it moves me. Mr. Stover, I'd like to shake youi 
hand." 

Dink laughed and escaped, seeing, in a last glance at 
the vaporous fitful room, Troutman solemnly giving his 
hand to Waters, whom he was congratulating on his ex- 
treme moral courage in remaining. 

Tommy Bain, in the confusion, slipped out unnoticed 



92 STOVERATYALE 

and joined them. The last swollen burst of the song 
was shut from them. They went back toward the campus 
in twos and threes, over the quiet, moist pavement, past 
the noisy windows of Mory's — where no freshmen need 
apply — to the Common, where suddenly, in the moon- 
lit shadow of a great elm, they found a vociferous group 
with Tom Kelly and McNab in the midst. 

At this moment something fell from the skies within 
perilous distance. 

" What the deuce is that?" said Hungerford, jumping 
back. 

" Why, it's a pool-ball," said Stone, stooping down. 

Another fell, just missing Hunter's shoulders. 

" It's Kelly," said Bain, " and he's firing at us." 

With a rush they joined the group, to find Kelly, de- 
termined and enthusiastic, solemnly discharging his 
ammunition at the great bulbous moon that was set 
lumberingly above them. They joined the group that 
surrounded him, expostulating, sober or fuddled: 

" Don't be an ass, Tom." 

" The cops are coming." 

" I say, come on home." 

" How many more has he got? " 

" Get him home, you fellows." 

" Stop him." 

Meanwhile, abetted by the admiring, delighted McNab, 
Tom Kelly, taking the most solicitous aim, was continu- 
ing his serious efTorts to hit the moon with the pool-balls 
which he had procured no one knew how. 

" I say, McNab," said Stover, drawing him aside, 
"better get him to stop now. Too many cops around. 
Use your influence — he'll listen to you." 

McNab's sense of responsibility having thus become 



STOVER AT YALE 93 

violently agitated, he wabbled up to the laboring Kelly, 
and the following historic dialogue took place: 

" I say, Tom, old fellow, you know me, don't you ? 
You know I'm a good sort, don't you — one of the fin- 
est?" 

" I know you, Dopey McNab ; I'm proud to know you." 

" I want to speak a word with you seriously." 

"What?" 

" Seriously." 

" Say on." 

" Now, seriously, Tom, do you think you can hit it?" 

" Don't know ; going to try's much as in me. BifT ! " 

" Hold up," said McNab, staying his hand. " Tom, 
I'm going to appeal to you as man to man." 

"Appeal." 

" You understand — as man to man." 

" Sure." 

" You're a man ; I'm a man." 

" The finest." 

" Now as man to man, I'm going to tell you the truth." 

"The whole truth?" 

" Solemn truth." 

" Tell on." 

" You can't hit it." 

"Why not?" 

" Tom, it's too — too far away ! " 

The two shook hands solemnly and impressively. 

" Can't hit it — too far away," said Kelly, with the 
pool-ball clutched tight. " Too far away, eh ? " 

" My dear Tom," said McNab, tearfully breaking the 
news, " it's too far — entirely too far away. You can't 
reach it, Tom; believe me, as man to man — you can't, 
you can never, never hit it." 



94 STOVER AT YALE 

" I know I can't, Dopey," said Kelly, in an equally 
mournful tone, " I know all that. All that you say is 
true. But, Dopey, suppose I should hit it, suppose I 
should, just think — think — how my name would go 
reeling and rocking down to fushure generations! 
Biff!" 

They left McNab overcome by the impressiveness of 
this argument, busily gathering up the pool-balls, re- 
solved that every opportunity should be given Kelly to 
rank among the immortals. 

Stover would have liked to stay. For the moment, 
almost a rebellion swept over him at the drudgery to 
which he had condemned himself in his ambition. He 
saw again the low table, through the smoke, and Buck 
Waters's jovial pagan face leading the crowd in lazy, 
care-free abandon. He felt that liberty, that zest of life, 
that wild spirit of youth for which he yearned and of 
which he had been defrauded by Le Baron's hand, that 
hand which had ruthlessly torn away the veil. Some- 
thing leaped up within him — a longing to break the 
harness, to jump the gate and go heels in the air, cavort- 
ing across unfenced meadows. He rebelled against the 
way that had been marked out for him. He rebelled 
against the self-imposed discipline, and, most of all, he 
rebelled against the hundred eyes under whose inspection 
he must now inevitably walk. 

Ahead of them to the left, across by Osborne, came 
the gay, defiant singing of a group of upper classmen re- 
turning to the campus : 

"For it's always fair weather 
When good fellozvs stand together. 
With a stein on the table 
And a good song ringing clear" 



STOVERATYALE 95 

The echo came to him with a certain grim mockery. 
There would be very little of that for him. It was to 
be four years, not of pleasure and inclination, but of 
seriousness and restraint, if he continued in his decision. 
For a moment the pagan in him prevailed, and he 
doubted. Then they passed across High Street, and at 
their sides the dead shadow of the society tomb suddenly 
intruded upon them. Which of the group at the end of 
the long three years would be of the chosen? Which 
would lead? 

" Well, fellows, we go this way," said Bain's meth- 
odical voice. " Drop around at the rooms soon. Good 
night." 

Stover, Hunter, and Bain for the moment found them- 
selves together, each striving for the same social honor, 
each conscious that, whatever an established system 
might bring to them, with its enforced comradeship, 
among them would always be the underlying contending 
spirit of variant ambitions. 

Stover felt it keenly, almost with a sharp antagonism 
that drove from him finally the slumbering rebellion he 
had felt all that night — the tugging at the bridle of con- 
sciousness which had been imposed upon him. This 
was a bigger thing, a thing that wakened in him the 
great instincts of combat. He would be a leader among 
leaders. He would succeed as success was reckoned. 

He gave a little laugh and held out his hand to 
Hunter. 

" Good night, Jim," he said. 

" Why — good night," said Hunter, surprised at the 
laugh and the unnecessary handshake. 

But the hand had been offered in challenge, and the 
laugh marked the final deliberate acceptance of all that 
"Le Baron had logically exposed to him. 



96 STOVERATYALE 

" I'll play the game, and I'll play it better than they 
will," he said, setting his lips. " I've got my eyes open, 
and I'm not going to throw away a single chance. We'll 
see who'll lead i " 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE intensity and seriousness of the football season 
abetted Stover in his new attitude of Napoleonic 
seclusion by leaving him little time for the lighter side 
of college pleasures. Every hour was taken up with the 
effort of mastering his lessons, which he then regarded, 
in common with the majority of his class, as a laborious 
task, a sort of necessary evil, the price to be paid for 
the privilege of passing four years in pleasant places 
with congenial companions. 

After supper he returned immediately to his rooms, 
where presently a succession of visiting sophomores, 
members of the society campaign committees, took up 
the first hours. These inquisitorial delegations, formal, 
stiff, and conducted on a basis of superior investigation, 
embarrassed him at first. But this feeling soon wore off 
with the consciousness that he was a subject of dispute; 
and, secure in the opportunity that would come to him 
with the opening of the winter-term period of elections, 
his interest was directed only to the probable selection 
among his classmates. 

By the middle of October the situation at Yale field 
had become critical. The earlier games had demon- 
strated what had been foreseen — the weakness and in- 
experience of the raw material in hand. Serious errors 
in policy were committed by Captain Dana, who, in the 
effort to find some combination which would bolster up 
the weak backfield, began a constant shifting of the posi- 
tions in order to experiment with heavier men behind 

97 



98 STOVERATYALE 

the line. A succession of minor injuries arrived to fur- 
ther the disorganization. The nervousness of the cap- 
tain communicated itself to the team, harassed and driven 
in the effort for accomplishment. That there was seri- 
ous opposition among the coaches to these new groping 
policies every man saw plainly; yet, to Stover's amaze- 
ment, the knowledge remained within the team, impreg* 
ttated with the spirit of loyalty and discipline. 

After three weeks of brilliancy at his natural position 
of end, buoyed up by the zest of confidence and success, 
he was abruptly called to one side. 

" Stover, you've played behind the line, haven't you ? " 
said Dana. 

" A couple of games at school, sir," he answered 
hastily, " just as a makeshift." 

" I'm going to try you at fullback." 

"At fullback?" 

" Get into it and see if you can make good." 

" Yes, sir." 

He went without spirit, sure of the impossibility of the 
thing, feeling only the humiliation and failure that all 
at once flung itself like a storm-cloud across his ambi- 
tion. A coach took charge of him, running over with 
him the elementary principles of blocking and plunging. 

When he lined up, it was with half of the coaching 
force at his back. 

" Come on, Stover ; get into it ! " 

" Wake up ! " 

" Get your head down ! " 

" Keep a-going ! " 

" Ram into it ! " 

" Knock that man over ! " 

"Knock him over!" 

He went into the line blindly, frantically, feeling for 



STOVERATYALE 99 

the first time that last exhausting, lunging expenditure of 
strength that is called forth with the effort to fall for- 
ward when tackled. Nothing he did satisfied. It was a 
constant storm of criticism, behind his back, in his ears, 
shrieked to his face: 

" Keep your feet — oh, keep your feet ! " 

" Smash open that line ! " 

" Rip open that line ! " 

"Hit it — hit it!" 

"Hard — harder!" 

" Go on — don't stop ! " 

A dozen times he flung his meager weight against the 
ponderous bodies of the center men, crushed by the im- 
pact in front, smothered by the surging support of his 
own line behind, helpless in the grinding contention, 
turned and twisted, going down in a heap amid the shock 
of bodies, thinking always : 

" Well, the darn fools will find out just about how 
much use I am here ! " 

When the practise ended, at last, Dana called on 
Tompkins. 

" Joe, take Stover and give him a line on the punting, 
will you ? " 

" I say, he's been worked pretty hard," said the coach 
with a glance. 

" How about it ? " said Dana quickly. 

" All right," said Stover, lying gloriously. At that 
moment, aching in every joint, he would have given every- 
thing to have spoken his mind. Instead he brought forth 
a smile distinguished for its eagerness, and said, " I'd 
like to get right at it, sir." 

" Fullback's the big problem," said Tompkins, as they 
started across the field. " Bangs can fill in at end, but 
we've got to get a fullback that can catch punts, and with 



100 STOVER AT YALE 

nerve enough to get off his kicks in the face of that 
Princeton line." 

" I'll do my best, sir," said Stover, with a sinking 
feeling. 

For twenty minutes, against the rebellion of his body, 
he went through a rigorous lesson, improving a little in 
the length of his punts, and succeeding fairly well in 
holding the ball, which came spinning end over end to 
him from the region of the clouds. 

" That'll do," said Tompkins, at last. 

" That's all ? " said Stover stoically, picking up his 
sweater. 

" That's all." Tompkins, watching him for a moment, 
said suddenly : " Stover, I don't know whether Dana'll 
keep you at full or not, but I guess you'll have to get 
ready to fill in. Come over to the gym lot every morn- 
ing for about half an hour, and we'll see if we can't work 
up those punts." 

" Yes, sir." 

They walked out together. 

" Stover, look here," said Tompkins abruptly, " I'm go- 
ing to speak straight to you, because I think you'll keep 
your mouth shut. We're in a desperate condition here, 
and you know it. There's only one man in charge at 
Yale, now and always, and that's the captain. That's 
our system, and we stand or fall by it ; and in order that 
we can follow him four times out of five to victory, we've 
got sometimes to shut our eyes and follow him down to 
defeat. Do you get me?" 

" I think I do." 

" No matter what happens, no criticism of the captain 
— no talking outside. You may think he's wrong, you 
may know he's wrong, but you've got to grin and bear 
it. That's all. Remember it — a close mouth ! " 



STOVER AT YALE 101 

But it required all Stover's newly learned stoicism to 
maintain this attitude in the weeks that arrived. After 
a week he was suddenly returned to his old position, and 
as suddenly redrafted to fullback when another game 
had displayed the inadequacy of the regular. From a 
position where he was familiar with all the craft of the 
game, Stover suddenly found himself a novice whom a 
handful of coaches sought desperately to develop by dint 
of hammering and driving. His name no longer figured 
in the newspaper accounts as the find of the season, but 
as Stover the weak spot on the eleven. It was a rude 
discipline, and more than once he was on the point of 
crying out at what seemed to him the useless sacrifice. 
But he held his tongue as he saw others, seniors, put to 
the same test and giving obedience without a word of 
criticism for the captain, who, as every one realized, face 
to face with a hopeless outcome, was gradually going to 
pieces. 

Meanwhile Dopey McNab was just as zealously con- 
cerned in the pursuit of his classic ideal, which, however, 
was imagined more along the lines of such historic 
scholars as Verdant Green, Harry Foker, and certain 
heroes of his favorite author, Charles Lever. 

The annoyance of recitations by an economical im- 
agination he converted into periods of repose and re- 
freshing slumber behind the broad back of McMasters, 
who, for a certain fixed portion of tobacco a week, agreed 
to act as a wall in moments of calm and to awake him 
with a kick on the shins when the summons to refuse to 
recite arrived. 

Having discovered Buck Waters as a companionable 
soul, congenially inclined to the pagan view of life, it was 
not long before the two discovered the third completing 
genius in the person of Tom Kelly, who, though a mem- 



102 STOVERATYALE 

ber of the Sheff freshman class, immediately agreed not 
to let either time, place, or conflicting recitations stand 
in the way of that superior mental education which must 
result from the friction of three such active imagina- 
tions. 

The triumvirate was established on a firm foundation 
on the day after Kelly's ambitious but unsuccessful at- 
tempt to hit the moon with a pool-ball, and immediately 
began a series of practical jokes and larks which threat- 
ened to terminate abruptly the partnership or remove it 
bodily to an unimaginative outer world. 

McNab, like most gentlemen of determined leisure, 
worked indefatigably every minute of the day. Having 
slept through chapel and first recitation, with an occa- 
sional interruption to rise and say with great dignity 
" Not prepared," he would suddenly, about ten o'clock 
in the morning, awake with a start, and drifting into 
Stover's room plaster his nose to the window and rest- 
lessly ask himself what mischief he could invent for the 
day. 

After a moment of dissatisfied introspection, he would 
say fretfully: 

"I say, Dink?" 

" Hello ! " 

"Studying?" 

" Yes." 

"Almost finished?" 

" No." 

" What are you doing, McCarthy?" 

" Boning out an infernal problem in spherical geo- 
metry." 

" I gave that up." 

"Oh, you did!" 



STOVERATYALE 103 

" Sure, it's too hard — what's the use of wasting time 
over it, then ? What do you say to a game of pool ? " 

"Get out!" 

" Let's go for a row up on Lake Whitney." 

" Shut up ! " 

" Come over to Sheffield and get up a game of poker 
with Tom Kelly." 

At this juncture, Stover and McCarthy rising in wrath, 
McNab would beat a hurried retreat, dodging whatever 
came sailing after him. Much aggrieved, he would go 
down the hall, trying the different doors, which had been 
locked against his approach. 

About this time Buck Waters, moved by similar im- 
pulses, would appear and the two would camp down on 
the top step and practise duets, until a furious uprising 
in the house would drive them ignominiously on to the 
street. 

Left to their own resources, they would wander aim- 
lessly about the city, inventing a hundred methods to ac- 
complish the most difficult of all feats, killing time. 

On one particular morning in early November, Mc- 
Nab and Buck Waters, being refused admission to three 
houses on York Street, and the affront being aggravated 
by jeers and epithets of the coarsest kind, went arm in 
arm on mischief bent. 

" I say, what let's do ? " said McNab disconsolately. 

" We must do something new," said Buck Waters. 

" We certainly must." 

"Well, let's try the old clothes gag," said McNab; 
" that always amuses a little." 

Reaching the thoroughfare of Chapel Street, McXab 
stationed himself at the corner while Waters proceeded 
to a point about half-way down the block. 



104 STOVER AT YALE 

Assuming a lounging position against a lamp-post, 
McNab waited until chance delivered up to him a super- 
humanly dignified citizen in top hat and boutonniere, 
moving through the crowd with an air of solid impor- 
tance. 

Darting out, he approached with the sweep of an 
eagle, saying in a hoarse whisper: 

" Old clothes, any old clothes, sir ? " 

His victim, frowning, accelerated his pace. 

" Buy your old clothes, sir, buy 'em now." 

Several onlookers stopped and looked. The gentle- 
nan, who had not turned to see who was addressing him, 
said hurriedly in an undertone: 

" No, no, nothing to-day." 

" Buy 'em to-morrow — pay good price," said McNab 
peevishly. 

" No, no, nothing to sell." 

" Call around at the house — give good prices." 

" Nothing to sell, nothing, I tell you ! " 

" Buy what you got on," said McNab at the psychologi- 
cal moment, " give you five dollars or toss you ten or 
nothinks ! " 

" Be off ! " said the now thoroughly infuriated victim, 
turning and brandishing his cane. " I'll have you ar- 
rested." 

McNab, having accomplished his preliminary role, re- 
treated to a safe distance, exclaiming: 

" Toss you ten dollars or nothinks ! " 

The now supremely self-conscious and furious gentle- 
man, having rid himself of McNab, immediately found 
himself in the hands of Buck Waters, who pursued him 
for the remainder of the block, with a mild obsequious 
persistency that would not be shaken off. By this time 
the occupants of the shop windows and the loiterers. 



STOVER AT YALE 105 

perceiving the game, were in roars of laughter, which 
made the passage of the second and third victims a pro- 
cession of hilarious triumph for McNab and Waters. 

Tiring of this, they locked arms again and, taking by 
hazard a side street, continued their quest for adventure. 

" Mornings are a dreadful bore," said McNab, pulling 
down his hat. 

" They certainly are." 

" Who was the old duck we tackled first ? " 

" Don't know — familiar whiskers." 

" Seemed to me I've seen him somewhere." 

" Say, look at the ki-yi." 

" It's a Shetland poodle." 

" It's a pen-wiper." 

Directly in front of them a shaggy French poodle, 
bearing indeed a certain resemblance to both a Shetland 
pony and a discarded pen-wiper, was gleefully engaged 
in the process of shaking to pieces a rubber which it 
had stolen. 

" If it sees itself in a mirror it will die of mortifica- 
tion," said Buck Waters. 

" And yet, Buck, Ee's happier than we are," said Mc- 
Nab, who had been unjustifiably forced to flunk twice in 
one morning's recitation. 

" I say, Dopey," said Waters in alarm, " quit that ! " 

" I will." 

" Look at the fireworks," said Waters, stopping sud- 
denly at a window, " pin-wheels, rockets, Roman can- 
dles." 

" What are they doing there this time of the year ? " 
said McNab angrily. 

" Election parade, perhaps." 

" That's an idea to work on, Buck." 

" It certainly is." 



106 STOVER AT YALE 

" We must tell Tom Kelly about that." 

" We will." 

" Why, there's that ridiculous ki-yi again ! " 

" He seems to like us." 

" I'm not complimented." 

At this moment, with the poodle sporting the rubber 
about fifteen feet ahead of them, they beheld an Italian 
barber lolling in the doorway of his shop, as profoundly 
bored by himself as they affected to be in conjunction. 

" Fine dog," said the barber with a critical glance. 

" Sure," said McNab, halting at once. 

The poodle, for whatever reason, likewise halted and 
looked around. 

" Looka better, cutta da hair." 

" You're right there, Columbus," assented Buck 
Waters. " His fur coat looks as though it came from a 
fire sale." 

" He ought to be trim up nice, good style." 

" Right, very, very right ! " 

" Give him nice collar, nice tuft on da tail, nice tuft 
on da feet." 

" Right the second time ! " 

" I clip him up, eh ? " said the barber hopefully. 

" Why not ? " said McNab, looking into the depth of 
Buck Waters's eyes. 

"Why not, Beecher?" said Waters, giving him the 
name of the President of the College Y. M. C. A. 
I " I think it an excellent suggestion, Jonathan Ed- 
wards," said McNab instantly. 

With considerable strategic coaxing, the dog was en- 
ticed into the shop, where to their surprise he became 
immediately docile. 

" You see he lika da clip," said the barber enthusiasm 
tically, preparing a table. 



STOVERATYALE 107 

" He's a very intelligent dog," said McNab. 

" You've done much of this, Columbus ? " said Waters 
with a business-like air. 

" Sure. Ten, twenta dog a day, down in da city." 

" Edwards, we shall learn something." 

The dog was induced to come on the table, and Waters 
delegated to hold him in position. 

" Something pretty slick now, Christopher," said Mc- 
Nab, taking the attitude a connoisseur should take. 
" Explain the fine points to us, as you go along." 

" Sure." 

" I like the way he handles the scissors, Beecher — 
Strong, powerful stroke." 

" He's got a good batting eye, too, Edwards." 

" My, what a nice clean boulevard ! " 

" Just see the hair fly." 

" It'll certainly improve the tail." 

" Clip a little anchor in the middle of the back." 

" Did you see that ? " 

" I did." 

"He's a wonder." 

" He is." 

" Columbus, a little more off here — oh, just a trifle ! " 

" First rate ; shave up the nose and part the whiskers ! " 

" Look at the legs, with the dinky pantalets — aren't 
they dreams ? " 

" I love the tail best." 

" Why, Columbus is an artist. Never saw any one 
like him." 

" Would you know the dog? " 

" Why, mother wouldn't know him," said McNab 
solemnly. 

" All in forty-three minutes, too." 

" It's beautifully done, beautifully." 



108 STOVERATYALE 

" Exquisite ! " 

The barber, perspiring with his ambitious efforts, with- 
drew for a final inspection, clipped a little on the top and 
to the side, and signified by a nod that art could go no 
further. 

" Pretta fine, eh?" 

" Mr. Columbus, permit me," said Waters, shaking 
frands. 

McNab gravely followed suit. The dog, released, gave 
a howl and began circling madly about the room. 

" Open the door," shouted McNab. " See how happy 
he is ! " 

The three stationed themselves thoughtfully on the 
doorstep, watching the liberated poodle disappear down 
the street in frantic spirals, loops and figure-eights. 

" He lika da feel," said the barber, pleased. 

" Oh, he's much improved," said Waters, edging a 
little away. 

"He fine lookin' a dog!" 

" He'll certainly surprise the girls and mother," said 
McNab, shifting his feet. " Well, Garibaldi, ta-ta ! " 

" Hold up," said the barber, " one plunk." 

" One dollar, Raphael ? " said Buck Waters in innocent 
surprise. " What for, oh, what for ? " 

" One plunk, clippa da dog." 

"Yes, but Garibaldi," said McNab gently, "that 
wasn't our dog." 

" Shall we run for it ? " said Waters, as they went 
hurriedly up the block. 

" Wait until Garibaldi gives chase — we must be digni- 
fied," said McNab, with an eye to the rear. 

" Dagos have no sense of humor. Here he comes 
with a razor — scud for it ! " 

They dashed madly for the corner, doubled a couple 



STOVERATYALE 109 

of times, joined by the rejuvenated friendly poodle, and 
suddenly, wheeling around a corner, ran straight into the 
dean, who as fate would have it, was accompanied by the 
very dignified citizen who had been the first victim of 
their old clothes act and upon whom the frantic poodle, 
with canine expressions of relief and delight, immediately 
cast himself. 

" Buck," said McNab, half an hour later, as they went 
limply back, " Napoleon would have whipped the British 
to an omelet at Waterloo if he'd known about that sunken 
road." 

" We are but mortals." 

" How the deuce were we to know the pup belonged 
to Professor Borgle, the eminent rootitologist ? " 

" Well, we paid the dago, didn't we ? " 

" That was outrageous." 

" I say, Dopey, what'll you do if they fire us ? " 

" Don't joke on such subjects." 

" Dopey," said Waters solemnly, " while the dean has 
the case under consideration, just to aid his deliberations, 
I think we had better — well, study a little." 

" I suppose we must flirt with the text-books," said 
McNab, " but let's do it together, so no one'll suspect." 



CHAPTER IX 

THE last week of the football season broke over 
them before Stover could realize that the final test 
was almost at hand. The full weight of the responsibil- 
ity that was on him oppressed him day and night. He 
forgot what he had been at end ; he remembered only his 
present inadequacy. It had been definitely decided to 
keep him at fullback, for three things were imperative 
in the weak backfield: some one who could catch punts, 
with nerve enough to get off his kicks quickly in the face 
of a stronger line, and above all some one on the last 
defense who would never miss the tackle that meant a 
touchdown. 

In the last week a great change took place in the senti- 
ment of the university — the hoping against hope that 
often arrives with the intensity of combat. At this time 
Harvard and Yale were still reluctantly estranged, due to 
a purely hypothetical question as to which side had begun 
a certain historic slaughter, and the big game of the sea- 
son was with Princeton, which, under the leadership of 
Garry Cockerell, Dink's first captain at Lawrenceville, 
had established a record of unusual power and brilliancy. 

Up to Monday of the last week, the opinion around the 
campus was unanimous that the day of defeat had ar- 
rived ; but, with the opening of the week and the flocking 
in of the old players, a new spirit was noticeable, and 
(among the freshmen) a tentative loosening of the purse- 
strings on news of extra-insulting challenges from the 
South. 

110 



STOVER AT YALE 111 

At the practise, the season's marked division among the 
coaches was forgotten, and the field was alive with 
frantic assistants. The scrimmage between the varsity 
and the scrub took on a savageness that was sometimes 
difficult to control. The team, facing the impossible, 
with eagerness to respond, had clearly overworked 
itself. Stover himself weighed a bare one hundred and 
forty, an unspeakable depravity which he carefully con- 
cealed. 

Still, the team began to feel a new impulse and a new 
unity, inspired by the confidence of the returned heroes. 
The grim silence of the past began to be broken by hope- 
ful comments. 

" By George, I believe there's something in those 
boys." 

" We've come up smiling before." 

" We may do it again." 

" Shouldn't be surprised if they gave those Princeton 
Tigers the fight of their lives." 

" Oh, they'll fight it out all right." 

One or two trick plays were perpetrated behind closed 
gates, and a thorough drill in a new method of breaking 
up the Princeton formation for a kick, under the instruc- 
tion of returning scouts. The team itself began to ques- 
tion and wonder. 

" That fellow Rivers certainly has stiffened us up in 
the center of the line," said Regan, between plays, in one 
of his rare moments of loquacity. " I've learned more 
in three days than in the whole darn season." 

" You've got to hold for my kicks," said Stover, sub- 
mitting to the sponge which Clancy, the trainer, was 
daubing over his face. 

" We'll hold." 

" What do you really think, Tom ? " said Stover as they 



112 STOVER AT YALE 

stood a little apart, waiting for the scrimmage to be re- 
sumed. " Do you think there's a chance ? " 

" I'm not thinking," said Regan, in his direct way. 
* Haven't any business to think. But we're getting to- 
gether, there's no doubt of that. If we can't win, why, 
we'll lose as we ought to, and that's something." 

Others were not so unruffled as Regan. The last days 
brought out all the divergent ways in which fierce, com- 
bative natures approach a crisis. Dana, the captain, was 
plainly on the edge of his self-control, his forehead 
drawn in a constant frown, his glance shooting nervously 
back and forth, speaking to no one except in the routine 
of the day. Dudley, at the other half, had adopted the 
same attitude. De Soto at quarter, on the contrary, 
radiated a fierce joy, joking and laughing, his nervous 
little voice piping out : 

" A little more murder, fellows ! Send them back on 
stretchers. That's the stuff. What the deuce is the 
matter, Bill, do you want to live forever? Use your 
hands, use your feet, use your teeth, anything! Whoop 
her up!" 

Others in the line were more stolid, yet each in his 
way contributing to the nervous electricity that sent the 
team tirelessly, frantically, like mad dervishes, into the 
breach, while behind them, at their sides, everywhere, 
the coaches goaded them on. 

"Oh, get together!" 

" Shove the man in front of you ! " 

" Get your shoulder into it ! " 

" Fight for that last inch there ! " 

" Knock him oft his feet ! " 

" Put your man out o' the play ! " 

" Break him up ! " 

No one paid any attention to the scrubs, fighting 



STOVERATYALE 113 

desperately with the same loyalty against the odds of 
weight and organization, without hope of distinction, 
giving every last ounce of their strength in futile, frantic 
effort, rejoicing when flung aside and crushed under the 
victorious rush of the varsity, who alone counted. 

Against the scrubs Stover felt a sort of rage. Time 
after time he went crashing into the line, seeing the 
blurred faces of his own comrades with an instinctive 
hatred, striking them with his shoulder, hurling them 
from the path of attack with a wild, uncontrollable fury 
at their resistance, almost unable to keep his temper in 
leash. The first feeling of sympathy he had felt so 
acutely for those who bore all the brunt of the punish- 
ment, unrewarded, was gone. He no longer felt any pity, 
but a brutal joy at the incessant smarting, grinding shock 
of the attack of which he was part and the touch of 
prostrate bodies under his rushing feet. 

Thursday and Friday the practise was lightened for 
all except for the backs. For an hour he was kept at 
his punting in the open and behind the lines, while the 
scrubs, reenforced by every available veteran, swarmed 
through the line, seeking to block his kicks. 

To one side a little knot of coaches watched the re- 
sult with critical anxiety, following the length of the 
punts in grim silence. 

Tompkins, behind him, from time to time, spoke 
quietly, knowing that his was a nature to be restrained 
rather than goaded on. 

" Watch your opposing backs, Stover. Keep your 
punts low and away from them so as to gain as much 
on the ground as you can. That's it ! Here, you center 
men, you've got to hold longer than that ! You're hurry- 
ing the kick too much. Get it off clean, Stover. Not 
so good. Remember what I say about placing your 



114 STOVER AT YALE 

punt. You're going to be out-kicked fifteen yards ; make 
up for it in brain work. All right, Dana? " 

" That'll do," said Dana, after a moment's hesitation. 

" All over ? " said Dink, dazed. 

"All over!" 

The scrubs, with a yell, broke up, cheering the varsity, 
and being cheered in turn. Stover, with a sinking, real- 
ized that the week of preparation had gone and that as 
he was he must come up to the final test — the final test 
before the thousands that would blacken the arena on the 
morrow. 

The squad went rather silently, each oppressed by the 
same thought. 

" We'll go out to the country club for the night," said 
Tompkins's shrill voice. " Get your valises ready. And 
now stop talking football until we tell you. Go out on 
the trot now ! " 

From the gymnasium he went back to the house. As 
he came up the hall he heard a hum of voices from his 
room. 

" Dink's got the nerve, but what the deuce can he do 
against that Princeton line ? Do you know how much he 
weighs? One hundred and fifty." 

Stover listened, smiled grimly. If they only knew his 
real weight! 

" Do you think he'll last it through ? " 

" What, Dink ? " said McCarthy's loyal voice. " You 
bet he'll last!" 

" Blamed shame he isn't at end ! " 

" By ginger ! he'd make the All- American if he was." 

"Yes, and now every one will jump on him for being 
a rotten fullback." 

" Dana be hanged ! " 

Stover went back to the stairs and returned noisily 



STOVER AT YALE 115 

At bis entrance the crowd sprang up instinctively. He 
felt the sudden focus of anxious, critical glances. 

" Hello, fellows," he said gruffly. " Tough, help me to 
stow a few duds in my valise." 

"Sure I will!" 

Two or three hurried to help McCarthy, in grotesque, 
unconsciously humorous eagerness ; others patted him on 
the back with exaggerated good spirits. 

" Dink, you look fine ! " 

" All to the good." 

" Right on edge." 

" Dink, we're all rooting for you." 

" Every one of us." 

" You'll tear 'em up." 

" We're betting on you, old gazebo ! " 

" Thanks ! " 

He took the bag which McCarthy thrust upon him. 
Each solemnly shook his hand, thrilling at the touch, and 
Hungerford said : 

" Whatever happens, old boy, we're going to be proud 
of you." 

Stover stopped a moment, curiously moved, and obey- 
ing an instinct, said brusquely: 

" Yes, I'll take care of that." 

Then he went hurriedly out. 

That night, after supper — a meal full of nervous 
laughter and assumed spirits — two or three of the older 
coaches came in, and their spirit of hopefulness some- 
how communicated itself to the team. Other Yale 
elevens had risen at the last moment and snatched a vic- 
tory — why not theirs? It lay with them, and during 
the week they certainly had forged ahead. Dink felt the 
infection and became almost convinced. Then Tompkins, 
moving around as the spirit of confidence, signaled him. 



116 STOVER AT YALE 

" Come out here ; I want a little pow-wow with 
you." 

They left the others and went out on the dim lawns 
with the lighted club-house at their backs, and Tompkins, 
drawing his arm through Stover's, began to speak: 

" Dink, we're in for a licking." 

" Oh, I say ! " said Stover, overwhelmed. " But we 
have come on; we've come fast." 

" Stover, that's a great Princeton team," said Tompkins 
quietly, " and we're a weak Yale one. We're going to 
get well licked. Now, boy, I'm telling you this because 
I think you're the stuff to stand it; because you'll play 
better for knowing what's up to you." 

" I see." 

" It's going to depend a whole lot on you — how you 
hold up your end — how badly we're licked." 

" I know I'm the weak spot," said Stover, biting his 
lips. 

" You're a darn good player," said Tompkins, " and 
you're going to leave a great name for yourself ; but this 
year you've had to be sacrificed. You've been put where 
you are because you've got nerve and a head. Now this 
is what I want from you. Know what you're up against 
and make your brain control that nerve — understand ? " 

" Yes, I do." 

" You've got to do the kicking in the second half as 
well as in the first. You've got to keep your strength and 
not break it against a wall. You won't be called on for 
much rushing in the first half ; you'll get a chance later. 
The line may go to pieces, the secondary defense may go 
to pieces ; but, boy, if you go to pieces, we'll be beaten 
thirty to nothing." 

" As bad as that ! " 

" Every bit." 



STOVER AT YALE 117 

" That's awful — a Yale team." He drew a long 
breath and then said : " What do you want me to do ? " 

" I want you to get off every punt without having it 
blocked; and that's a good deal, with what you're up 
against." 

" Yes, sir." 

" And hold on to every punt that comes to you — no 
fumbling." 

" No fumbling — yes, sir." 

" And kick as you've never kicked before — every kick 
better as you go on. Put your whole soul into it." 

" I will." 

" You won't miss a tackle — I know that ; but you'll 
have some pretty rum ones to make, and when you tackle, 
make them remember it." 

"Yes, sir." 

" But, Stover, above all, hold steadfast. Keep cool and 
remember the game's a long one. Boy, you don't know 
what it'll mean for some of us old fellows to see Yale 
go down, but out of it all we want to remember something 
that'll make us proud of you." He stopped, controlled 
the emotion that was in his voice, and said a little anx- 
iously : " I tell you this because a first game is a terrible 
thing, and I didn't want you to be caught in a panic when 
you found what you were up against. And I tell you, 
Stover, because you're the sort of fighting stuff that'll 
fight harder when you know all there is to it is the fight- 
ing. Am I right ? " 

" I hope so, sir." 

" And now, do a more difficult thing. Get right hold 
of yourself. Put everything out of your mind ; go to bed 
and sleep." 

This last injunction, though he tried his best to obey it, 
was beyond Stover's power. He passed the night in fitful 



118 STOVER AT YALE 

flashes of sleep. At times he awoke, full of a fever of 
eagerness from a dream of success. Then he would lie 
staring, it seemed for hours, at the thin path across the 
ceiling made by a street lamp, feeling all at once a weak- 
ness in the pit of his stomach, a physical horror of what 
the day would bring forth. The words of the coach 
framed themselves in a sort of rhythmic chant which went 
endlessly knocking through his brain: 

" Catch every punt — get off every kick — make every 
tackle." 

In the morning it was the same refrain, which never 
left him. He rose tired, with a limpness in every muscle, 
his head heavy as if bound across with biting bonds. He 
stood stupidly holding his wash-pitcher, looking out of 
the window, saying: 

" Good heavens ! it's only a few hours off now." 

Then he began feebly to wash, repeating: 

" Get off every kick — every kick." 

Breakfast passed like a nightmare. He put something 
tasteless into his mouth, his jaws moved, but that was all. 
The brisk walk to chapel restored him somewhat, and 
the consciousness of holding himself before the gaze of 
the crowd. After first recitation, Regan joined him, and 
together they went across the campus, no longer the 
campus of the University, but beginning to swarm with 
strangers, and strange colors amid the blue. 

" How are you feeling? " said Regan in a fatherly sort 
of way, as they went through Phelps and out on to the 
Common. 

" Tom, my shoes stick to the ground, my knees are 
made of paper, and I'm hollow from one end to the 
other." 

"Fine!" 

"Oh, is it?" 



STOVERATYALE 119 

" You'll be a bundle of fire on the field." 

" Let's not walk too far. We want to keep fresh," 
said Stover, feeling indeed as though every step was 
draining his energy. 

" Rats ! let's saunter down Chapel Street and see the 
crowds come in." 

" You old rhinoceros, have you any nerves ? " 

" Lots, but they're a different sort. By George, isn't 
it a wonderful sight ? " 

Side by side with Regan, a certain shame steadied 
Stover. They went silently through the surging, ar- 
riving multitude, all intoxicated with the joy and zest of 
the great game. In and out, newsboys howling papers 
with headlines and pictures of the team thrust their 
wares before their eyes, while a pestiferous swarm of 
strange pedlers shrieked: 

" Get your colors here ! " 

" Get your winnin' color." 

Suddenly Stover saw a headline — his name and the 
caption : 

STOVER THE WEAK SPOT 

" Let's get a paper," he said, nervously drawn to it. 

" No you don't," said Regan, who had seen it. " Come 
on, now, get out of here, some one might walk on your 
foot or stick a hatpin in your eye." 

"What time is it?" 

" Time to be getting back." 

" Tom, do you know how much I weigh ? " said Stover 
irrelevantly. 

" What the deuce ? " 

" I weigh one hundred and forty-one pounds," said 
Stover solemnly, as though imparting a State secret. 

" Go on, be loony if you want," said Regan. '" I've seen 



120 STOVER AT YALE 

bruisers before a fight act like high school girls. If you've 
got something on your mind, why talk it out, it'll do you 
good." 

" It's awful — it's awful," said Stover, shaking his 
head. 

"What's awful?" 

" It's awful to think I'm the weak spot, that if they 
only had a decent fullback there would be a chance. 
I've no right there — every one knows it, and every one's 
groaning about it." 

" Go on." 

" That's all," said Stover, a little angry. 

" Well, then come on, I'm getting hungry." 

" Hungry ! Tom, I'd like to knock the spots out of 
you," said Dink, laughing despite himself. 

" Dink, old bantam," said Regan, resting his huge paw 
on Stover's shoulder in rough affection, "you're all 
right. I say so and I know it. Now shut up and come 
00." 



CHAPTER X 

ALMOST before he knew it Stover was in the car 
and the wheels were moving at last irresistibly 
toward the field. There was no longer any pretense in 
those last awful moments that had in them all the concen- 
trated hopes and fears of the weeks that had rushed away. 
The faces of his own team-mates were only gray faces 
without identity. He saw some one's lips moving inces- 
santly, but he did not remember whose they were. Op- 
posite him, another man was bending over, his head hidden 
in his hands. Some one else at his side was nervously 
locking and unlocking his fingers, breathing short, hard 
breaths. He remembered only the stillness of it all, the 
forgetfulness of others, the set stares, and Charlie de 
Soto fidgeting on the seat and nervously humming some- 
thing irrelevant. 

Caught up in this unreasoning intensity of a young 
nation, filled, too, with this exaggerated passion of com- 
bat, Stover leaned back limply. Outside, the street was 
choked with hilarious parties packed in rushing carriages, 
blue or orange-and-black. Horns and rattles sounded 
like tiny sounds in his ears, and his eyes saw only gro- 
tesque blurred shapes that swept across them. 

" I'll get 'em off — they won't block any on me — they 
mustn't," he said to himself, closing his eyes. 

Then, on top of the draining weakness that had him 
in its grip, came a sudden feeling of nausea, and he knew 
suddenly what the man opposite him with his head in his 
hands was fighting. He put his arms over the ledge of 

121 



122 STOVERATYALE 

the door, and rested his head on them, too weak to care 
that every one saw him, gulping in the stinging air in 
desperation. 

All at once there came a grinding jerk and the car 
stopped. From the inside came Tompkins' angry, rasp- 
ing voice : 

" Every one up ! Get out there ! Quick ! On the 
jump ! " 

Instinctively obedient, the vertigo left him, his mind 
cleared. He was out in the midst of the bobbing mass 
of blue sweaters, moving as in a nightmare through the 
black spectators, seeing ahead the mammoth stands, hear- 
ing the dull, engulfing roars as one hears at night the 
approaching surf. 

Then they were struggling through the human barriers, 
and he saw something green at the bottom of a stormy 
pit, and a great growing roar of welcome smote him as 
of a descending gale, the hysterical cry of the American 
multitude, a roar acclaiming Yale. 

" All ready ! " said Dana's unrecognizable voice some' 
where ahead. " On the trot, now ! " 

Instantly he was sweeping on to the field and up 
along the frantic stands of suddenly released blue. All 
indecision, all weakness, went with the first hoarse cry 
from his own. Something hot and alive seemed to flow 
back into his veins, and with every stride the spongy turf 
underneath seemed to send its strength and vitality intc 
his legs. 

From the other end of the field, through the somber 
crowd, an orange-and-black group was trickling, flowing 
into a band and sweeping out on the field, while the 
Princeton stands were surging to their feet, adding the 
mounting fury of their welcome to the deafening uproar 



STOVERATYALE 123 

that suddenly bound the arena in the gripping hollow of 
a whirlwind. 

" Line up, you blue devils," came Charlie de Soto's 
raucous cry. " On your toes. Get your teeth into it. 
Hard, now. Ha-a-ard ! " 

He was in action immediately, thinking only of the 
signals, sweeping down the field, now to the right, now to 
the left, stumbling in his eagerness. 

" Enough," said the captain's voice, at last. " Get 
under your sweaters, fellows. Brown and Stover, start 
up some punts." 

Dana and Dudley went back to practise catching. 
Brown, the center, pigskin under hand, set himself for 
the pass, while Stover, blowing on his hands, measured 
his distance. Opposite, Bannerman, the Princeton full- 
back, was setting himself for a similar attempt. 

In the stands was a sudden craning hush as the great 
audience waited to see with its own eyes the disparity 
between the rival fullbacks. 

Stover, standing out, felt it all instinctively, with a little 
nervous tremor — the quick stir in the stands, the mut- 
tered comments, the tense turning of even the cheer 
leaders. 

Then the ball came shooting back to him. He caught 
it, turned it in his hands, and drove forward his leg with 
all his might. At the same moment, as if maliciously 
calculated, the great booming punt of Bannerman brought 
the Princeton stands, rollicking and gleeful, to their feet 
in a burst of triumph. 

In his own stands there was no answering shout. 
Stover felt on his cheeks, under his eyes, two hot spots 
of anger. What did they know, who condemned him, of 
the sacrifice he had made, of the far more difficult thing 



124 STOVER AT YALE 

he was doing? He remembered Tompkins' advice; he 
could not compete with Bannerman in the air. Delib- 
erately he sent his next punt low, swift, striking the 
ground about thirty yards away and rolling treacherously 
another fifteen feet before Dudley, who had swerved out, 
could stop it. This time from the mass almost a groan 
went up. 

A sudden cold contempt for them, for everything, seized 
possession of Stover. He hated them all. He stooped, 
plucked a blade of grass, and stuck it defiantly between 
his teeth. 

" Shoot that back a little lower, Brown," he said with 
a sudden quick authority, and again and again he sent 
off his fast, low-rolling punts. 

" That's the stuff, Dink," said Tompkins, with a pat on 
the shoulder, " but you've got to get 'em off on the instant 
— remember that. Here, throw this sweater over you." 

"All right." 

He did not sit down, but walked back and forth with 
short steps, waiting for the interminable conference of 
the captains to be over. And again that same sinking, 
hollow feeling came over him in the suspense before the 
question that would be answered in the first shock of 
bodies. 

The feeling he felt ran through the thousands gathered 
only to a spectacle. The cheers grew faint, lacking vital- 
ity, and the stir of feet was a nerve-racked stir. Dink 
gazed up at the high benches, trying to forget the interval 
of seconds that must be endured. It did not seem pos- 
sible that he was to go out before them all. It seemed 
rather that in a far-off consciousness he was the same 
loyal little shaver who had squirmed so often on the top 
line of the benches, clinging to his knees, biting his lips, 
and looking weakly on the ground. 



STOVERATYALE 125 

" All ready — get out, boys ! " 

Dana came running back. Yale had won the toss and 
had chosen to kick off. 

Some one pulled his sweater from him, struck him a 
stinging slap between the shoulders, and propelled him 
on the field. 

" Yale this way ! " 

They formed in a circle, heads down, arms locked over 
one another's shoulders, disputing the same air; and 
Dana, the captain, who believed in a victory, spoke : 

" Now, fellows, one word. It's up to us. Do you un- 
derstand what that means ? It's up to us to win, the way 
Yale has won in the past — and win we're going to, no 
matter how long it takes or what's against us. Now, get 
mad, every one of you. Run 'em right off their feet. 
That's all." 

The shoulders under Stover's left him. He went hazily 
to the place, a little behind the rest, where he knew he 
should go, waiting while Brown poised the football, wait- 
ing while the orange-and-black jerseys indistinctly scat- 
tered before him to their formation, waiting for the 
whistle for which he had waited all his life to release him. 

And for a third time his legs seemed to crumble, and the 
whole blurred scheme of stands and field to reel away 
from him, and his heart to be lying before him on the 
ground where he could lean over and pick it up. 

Then like a pistol shot the whistle went throbbing 
through his brain. He sprang forward as if out of the 
shell of himself, keen, alert, filled with a savage longing. 

Down the field a Princeton halfback had caught the ball 
and was squirming back. Then a sudden upheaval, and 
a mass was spread on the ground. 

" Guess he gained about fifteen on that," he said to him- 
self. " They'll kick right off." 



126 STOVER AT YALE 

Dana came running back to support him. Out of the 
sky like a monstrous bird something round, yellow, and 
squirming came floating toward him. He was forced to 
run back, misjudged it a little, reached out, half fumbled 
it, and recovered it with a plunging dive just as Cockerell 
landed upon him. 

" Get you next time, Dink," said the voice of his old 
school captain in his ear. 

Stover, struggling to his feet, looked him coolly in the 
eye. 

" No, you won't, Garry, and you know it. The next 
time I'm going back ten yards." 

" Well, boy, we'll see." 

They shook hands with a grim smile, while the field 
straggled up. He was lined up, flanked by Dana and 
Dudley, bending over, waiting for the signal. Three 
times De Soto, trying out the Princeton line, sent Dana 
plunging against the right tackle, barely gaining the dis- 
tance. A fourth attempt being stopped for a loss, Stover 
dropped back for a kick on the second down. 

The ball came a little low, and with it the whole line 
seemed torn asunder and the field filled with the rush of 
converging bodies. To have kicked would have been 
fatal. He dropped quickly on the ball, covering it, under 
the shock of his opponents. 

Again he was back, waiting for the trial that was com- 
ing. He forgot that he was a freshman — forgot every- 
thing but his own utter responsibility. 

" You center men, hold that line ! " he cried. " You 
give me a chance ! Give me time ! " 

Then the ball was in his hands, and, still a little hurried, 
he sent it too high over the frantic leaping rush, hurled 
to the ground the instant after. 

The exchange had netted Princeton twenty yards. A 



STOVER AT YALE 127 

second time Bannerman lifted his punt, high, long, twist- 
ing and turning over itself in tricky spirals. It was a 
perfect kick, giving the ends exact time to cover it. 

Stover, with arms outstretched, straining upward, cool 
as a Yankee, knew, from the rushing bodies he did not 
dare to look at, what was coming. The ball landed in his 
convulsive arms, and almost exactly with it Garry Cock-' 
erell's body shot into him and tumbled him clear off the 
ground, crashing down; but the ball was locked in his 
arms in one of those catches of which the marvel of the 
game is, not that they are not made oftener, but that they 
are made at all. 

" Come on now, Yale," shouted Charlie De Soto's in- 
flaming voice. " We've got to rip this line. Signal ! " 

Two masses on center, two futile straining, crushing 
attempts, and again he was called on to kick. The tackles 
he had received had steadied him, driving from his too 
imaginative mind all consideration but the direct present 
need. 

He began to enjoy with a fierce delight this kicking in 
the very teeth of the frantic Princeton rushes, as he had 
stood on the beach waiting for great breakers to form 
above his head before diving through. 

On the fourth exchange of kicks he stood on his own 
goal-line. The test had come at last. Dana, furious at 
being driven back without a Princeton rush, came to him 
wildly. 

" Dink, you've got to make it good ! " 

" Take that long-legged Princeton tackle when he comes 
through," he said quietly. " Don't worry about me." 

Luckily, they were over to the left side of the field. 
He chose his opening, and, kicking low, as Tompkins had 
coached him, had the joy of seeing the ball go flying over 
the ground and out of bounds at the forty-yard line. 



128 STOVER AT YALE 

The Princeton team, springing into position, at last 
opened its attack. 

" Now we'll see," said Stover, chafing in the backfield. 

Using apparently but one formation, a circular mass, 
which, when directly checked, began to revolve out toward 
end, always pushing ahead, always concealing the runner, 
the Princeton attack surely, deliberately, and confidently 
rolled down the field like a juggernaut. 

From the forty-yard line to the thirty it came in two 
rushes, from the thirty to the twenty in three ; and then 
suddenly some one was tricked, drawn in from the vital 
attack, and the runner, guarded by one inter ferer, swept 
past the unprotected end and set out for a touchdown. 

Stover went forward to meet them like a shot, frantic 
to save the precious yards. How he did it he never quite 
knew, but somehow he managed to fling himself just in 
front of the interferer and go down with a death grip 
on one leg of the runner. 

A cold sponge was being spattered over him, he was on 
his back fighting hard for his breath, when he again real- 
ized where he was. He tried to rise, remembering all at 
once. 

"Did I stop him?" 

" You bet you did." 

Regan and Dudley had their arms about him, lifting 
him and walking him up and down. 

" Get your breath back, old boy." 

" I'm all right." 

" Take your time ; that Princeton duck hasn't come to 
yet!" 

He perceived in the opposite group something prone 
on the ground, and the sight was like a tonic. 

The ball lay inside the ten-yard line, within the sacred 
zone. In a moment, no longer eliminated, but close to 



STOVER AT YALE 129 

the breathing mass, he was at the back of his own men s 
shrieking and imploring: 

"Get the jump, Yale!" 

" Throw them back, Yale ! " 

" Fight 'em back ! " 

" You've got to, Yale — you've got to ! " 

Then, again and again, the same perfected grinding 
surge of the complete machine: three yards, two yards, 
two yards, and he was underneath the last mass, desper- 
ately blocking off some one who held the vital ball, hoping 
against hope, blind with the struggle, saying to himself: 

" It isn't a touchdown ! It can't be ! We've stopped 
them ! It's Yale's ball ! " 

Some one was squirming down through the gradually 
lightening mass. A great weight went from his back, 
and suddenly he saw the face of the referee seeking the 
exact location of the ball. 

" What is it?" he asked wildly. 

" Touchdown." 

Some one dragged him to his feet, and, unnoticing, he 
leaned against him, gazing at the ball that lay just over 
the goal-line, seeing with almost a bull-like rage the 
Princeton substitutes frantically capering up and down 
the line, hugging one another, agitating their blankets, 
turning somersaults. 

" Line up, Yale," said the captain's unyielding voice, 
" this is only the beginning. We'll get 'em." 

But Stover knew better. The burst of anger past, his 
head cleared. That Princeton team was going to score 
again, by the same process, playing on his weakness, ex- 
changing punts, hoping to block one of his until within 
striking distance, and the size of the score would depend 
on how long he could stand it off. 

" Goal," came the referee's verdict, and with it another 



130 STOVER AT YALE 

roar from somewhere. He went up the field looking 
straight ahead, hearing, like a sound in a memory, a 
song of jubilation and the brassy accompaniment of a 
band. 

Again the same story : ten, fifteen yards gained on every 
exchange of kicks, and a slow retrogression toward their 
own goal. Time and again they flung themselves against 
a stronger line, in a vain effort to win back the last yards. 
Once, in a plunge through center, he found an opening, 
and went plunging along for ten yards; but at the last 
the ball was Princeton's on the thirty-five-yard line, and 
a second irresistible march bore Yale back, fighting and 
frantic over the line for the second score. 

Playing became an instinct with him. He no longer 
feared the soaring punts that came tumbling to him from 
the clouds. His arms closed around them like tentacles, 
and he was off for the meager yards he could gain before 
he went down with a crash. He no longer felt the shock 
of the desperate tackles he was called on to make, nor 
the stifling pressure above him when he flung himself 
under the serried legs of the mass. 

He had but one duty — to be true to what he had prom- 
ised Tompkins: not to fumble, not to miss a tackle, to 
get each punt off clean. 

All at once, as he was setting in position, a body rushed 
in, seizing the ball. 

"Time!" 

The first half was over, and the score was : Princeton, 
18; Yale, o. 

Then all at once he felt his weariness. He went slowly, 
grimly with the rest back to the dressing-room. A group 
of urchins clustering to a tree shrieked at them : 

" O you Yaleses ! " 

He heard that, and that was all he heard. A sort of 



STOVERATYALE 131 

rebellion was in him. He had done all that he could do, 
and now they would haul him over the coals, thinking 
that was what he needed. 

"Oh, I know what'll be said," he thought grimly. 
" We'll be told we can win out in the second, and all 
that rot." 

Then he was in the hands of the rubbers, having his 
wet, clinging suit stripped from him, being rubbed and 
massaged. He did not want to look at his comrades, 
least of all Dana. He only wanted to get back, to have 
it over with. 

" Yale, I want you to listen to me." 

He looked up. In the center stood Tompkins, preter- 
naturally grave, trembling a little with nervous, uncon- 
trollable twitches of his body. 

" You're up against a great Princeton team — the great- 
est I remember. You can't win. You never had a 
chance to win. But, Yale, you're going to do something 
to make us proud of you. You're going to hold that 
score where it is ! Do you hear me ? All you've got left 
is your nerve and the chance to show that you can die 
game. That's all you're going to do; but, by heaven, 
you're going to do that! You're going to die game, 
Yale! Every mother's son of you! And when the 
game's over we're going to be prouder of your second 
half than the whole blooming Princeton bunch over their 
first. There's your chance. Make us rise up and yell 
for you. Will you, Yale ? " 

He passed from man to man, advising, exhorting, or 
storming, until he came to Stover. 

" Dink," he said, putting out his hand and changing 
his tone suddenly, " I haven't a word to say to you. 
Play the game as you've been doing — only play it 
out." 



132 STOVER AT YALE 

Stover felt a sudden rush of shame ; all the fatigue left 
him as if by magic. 

"II Charlie'll only give me a few chances at the center. 
I know I could gain there," he said eagerly. 

" You'll get a chance later on, perhaps, but you've quite 
enough to do now." 

The second view of the arena was clear to him, even 
to insignificant details. He thought the cheer leaders, 
laboring muscularly with their long megaphones, strangely 
out of place — especially a short, fat little fellow in a 
white voluminous sweater. He saw in the crowd a face 
or two that he recognized — Bob Story in a group of 
pretty girls, all superhumanly glum and cast down. 
Then he had shed his sweater and was out on the field, 
back under the goal-posts, ready for the bruising second 
half to begin. 

" All ready, Yale ! " 

" All ready." 

Again the whistle and the rush of bodies. Dana caught 
the ball, and, shifting and dodging, shaking off the first 
tackier s, carried it back twenty yards. Two short, jam- 
ming plunges by Dudley, through Regan, who alone was 
outplaying his man, yielded first down. Then an attempt 
at Cockerell's end brought a loss and the inevitable kick, 

Instead of a return punt, the Princeton eleven prepared 
to rush the ball. 

" Why the deuce do they do that ? " he thought, biting 
his fingers nervously. 

Opening up their play, Princeton swept out toward 
Bangs's end, forcing it back for four yards, and immedi- 
ately made first down with a long, sweeping lunge at the 
other end. 

Suddenly Stover, in the backfield, watching like a cat, 
started forward with a cry. Far off to one side, a Prince- 



STOVERATYALE 133 

ton back, unperceived, was bending down, pretending to 
be fastening one of his shoe-laces. 

" Look out — look out to the left ! " 

His cry came too late. The Princeton quarter made a 
long toss straight across, twenty yards, to the loitering 
half, who caught it and started down field clear ot the 
line of scrimmage. 

A Princeton forward tried to intercept him, but Stover 
flung him aside, and, without waiting, went forward at 
top speed to meet the man who came without flinch- 
ing to his tackle. It was almost head on, and the 
shock, which left Stover stunned, instinctively clinging 
to his man, sent the ball free, where Dana pounced upon 
it. 

" Holy Mike, what a tackle ! " said Regan's voice. 
" Any bones broken ? " 

" Of course not," he said gruffly. 

Some one insisted on sponging his face, much to his 
disgust. 

" How's the other fellow ? " he said grimly. 

" He's a tough nut ; he's up, too ! " 

" He must be." 

The recovery of the ball gave them a short respite, but 
it served also to enrage the other line, which rose up and 
absolutely smothered the next plays. Again his kick 
seemed to graze the outstretched fingers of the Princeton 
forwards, and he laughed a strange laugh which he 
remembered long after. 

This time the punting duel was resumed until, well 
within Yale territory, Cockerell looked around and gave 
the signal for attack. 

" Now, Yale, stop it, stop it ! " Dink said, talking to 
himself. 

But there was no stopping that attack. Powerless, not 



134 STOVER AT YALE 

daring to approach, he saw the blue line bend back again 
and again, and the steady, machine-like rolling up of the 
orange and black. Over the twenty-five-yard line it came, 
and on past the twenty. 

" Oh, Yale, will you let 'em score again ? " De Soto 
was shrieking. 

" You're on your ten-yard line, Yale." 

"Hold them!" 

"Hold them!" 

Two yards at a time, they were rolled back with a 
mathematical, unfeeling precision. 

" Third down ; two yards to go ! " 

"Yale, stop it!" 

" Yale ! " 

And stop it they did, by a bare six inches. Behind the 
goal-line, Charlie De Soto came up, as he stood measuring 
his distance for a kick. 

" How are you, Dink? Want a bit of a rest — sponge- 
off?" 

" Rest be hanged ! " he said fiercely. " Come on with 
that ball." 

Suddenly, instead of kicking low and off to the right, 
he sent the ball straight down the field with every ounce 
of strength he could put in it. The punt, the best he had 
made, catching the back by surprise, went over his head, 
rolling up the field before he could recover it. A great 
roar went up from the Yale stands, fired by the spirit of 
resistance. 

Thereafter it had all a grim sameness, except, in a 
strange way, it seemed to him that nothing that had gone 
before counted — that everything they were fighting for 
was to keep their goal-line inviolate. Nothing new 
seemed to happen. When he went fiercely into a melee, 
finding his man somehow, or felt the rush of bodies about 



STOVER AT YALE 135 

him as he managed each time to get clear his punt, he 
had the same feeling: 

" Why, I've done this before." 

A dozen times they stopped the Princeton advance, 
sometimes far away and sometimes near, once within the 
five-yard line. Every moment, now, some one cried 
wearily : 

"What's the time?" 

The gray of November twilights, the haze that settles 
over the struggles of the gridiron like the smoke of a 
battle-field, began to close in. And then a sudden fumble, 
a blocked kick, and by a swift turn of luck it was Yale's 
ball for the first time in Princeton's territory. One or 
two subs came rushing in eagerly from the side lines. 
Every one was talking at once : 

"What's the time?" 

" Five minutes more." 

"Get together, Yale!" 

"Show 'em how!" 

" Ram it through them ! " 

" Here's our chance ! " 

Stover, beside himself, ran up to De Soto and flung 
his arms about his neck, whispering in his ear: 

" Give me a chance — you must give me a chance ! 
Send me through Regan ! " 

He got his signal, and went into the breach with every 
nerve set, fighting his way behind the great bulk of Regan 
for a good eight yards. A second time he was called on, 
and broke the line for another first down. 

Regan was transformed. All his calm had gone. He 
loomed in the line like a Colossus, flinging out his arms, 
shouting : 

" We're rotten, are we ? Carry it right down the field, 
boys!" 



136 STOVERATYALE 

Every one caught the infection. De Soto, with his 
hand to his mouth, was shouting hoarsely, through the 
bedlam of cheers, his gleeful slogan: 

" We don't want to live forever, boys ! What do we 
care? We've got to face Yale after this. Never mind 
your necks. We've got the doctors ! A little more mur- 
der, now ! Shove that ball down that field, Yale ! Send 
them back on stretchers ! Nineteen — eight — six — four 
— Ha-a-ard!" 

Again and again Stover was called on, and again and 
again, with his whole team behind him or Regan's great 
arm about him, struggling to keep his feet, crawling on 
his knees, fighting for every last inch, he carried the ball 
down the field twenty, thirty yards on. 

He forgot where he was, standing there with blazing 
eyes and colorless face. He forgot that he was only the 
freshman, as he had that night in the wrestling bout. He 
gave orders, shouted advice, spurred them on. He felt 
no weariness; nothing could tire him. His chance had 
come at last. He went into the line each time blubbering, 
laughing with the fierce joy of it, shouting to himself : 

" I'm the weak spot, am I ? I'll show them ! " 

And the certainty of it all overwhelmed him. Nothing 
could stop him now. He knew it. He was going to 
score. He was going to cross that line only fifteen yards 
away. 

" Give me that ball again ! " he cried to De Soto. 

Then something seemed to go wrong. De Soto and 
Dudley were shrieking out something, protesting wildly. 

"What's wrong?" he cried. 

u They're calling time on us ! " 

" No, no, it's not possible ! It's not time ! " 

He turned hysterically, beseechingly, catching hold 
of the referee's arm, not knowing what he did. 



STOVERATYALE 137 

" Mr. Referee, it isn't time. Mr. Referee — " 

" Game's over," said Captain Dana's still voice. " Get 
together, Yale. Cheer for Princeton now. Make it a 
good one ! " 

But no one heard them in the uproar that suddenly 
went up. Nature could not hold out ; the disappointment 
had been too severe. Stover stood with his arms on 
Regan's shoulders, and together they bowed their heads 
and went choking through the crowd. Others rushed 
around him — he thought he heard Tompkins saying 
something. He seemed lost in the crowd that stared at 
him, struggling to hold back his grief. Only one figure 
stood out distinctly — the figure of a white-haired man, 
who took off his hat to him as he went through the bar- 
rier, and shouted something unintelligible — a strangely 
excited white-haired man. 

All the way back to the gymnasium, through the jubi- 
lant street, Dink sat staring out unseeing, his eyes blurred, 
a great lump in his throat, possessed by a fatigue such as 
he had never known before. No one spoke. Through 
his own brain ceaselessly the score, strangely jumbled, 
went its tiring way: 

" Eighteen to nothing — to nothing ! Eighteen to six 
— it should have been eighteen to six. Eighteen to noth- 
ing. It's awful — awful! If I only could punt!" 

His ideal, his dream of a Yale team, had always been 
of victory, not like this, to go down powerless, swept 
aside, routed — to such a defeat ! 

Then he shut his eyes, fighting over again those last 
desperate rushes against defeat, against hope, against 
time, unable to believe it was over. 

" How many times did I take that ball ? " he thought 
wearily. "Was it seven or eight? If I'd only got free 
that last time — kept my feet ! " 



138 STOVERATYALE 

He remembered flashes of that last frenzy — the face 
of a Princeton rusher who reached for him and missed, 
the teeth savage as a wolf's and the strained mouth. He 
saw again Regan turning around to pull him through, 
Regan, the brute, raging like a fury. He remembered the 
quick, strange white looks that Charlie De Soto had given 
him, wondering each time if he had the strength to go 
on. Why had they stopped them? They had a right to 
that last rally ! 

" Eighteen to nothing. Poor Dana — I wonder what 
he'll do?" 

He remembered, in a far-off way, tales he had heard 
of other captains, disgraced by defeat, breaking down, 
leaving college, disappearing. He dreaded the moment 
when they should break silence, when the awful thing 
must be talked over, there in the gymnasium, feeling 
acutely all the misery and ache Dana must be feeling. 

" All right there, Stover? Let yourself go, if you want 
to." 

The voice was Tompkins', who was looking up at him 
anxiously, the gymnasium at his back. 

" All right,'' he said gruffly, raising himself with an 
effort and half slipping to the ground. 

"Sure? How's Dudley?" 

He realized in a curious way that others, too, had gone 
through the game. Then Regan's arm was around him. 
He did not put it from him, grateful for any support in 
his weakness. Together they went through the crowd 
of ragamuffins staring open-mouthed at a defeated team. 

" What's the matter with Dudley ? " 

" Played through all the last with a couple of broken 
ribs." 

"Dudley?" 



STOVERATYALE 139 

u Yes. Go as slow as you want, old bantam." 

"If we only could have had another minute, Tom — * 
He stopped, unable to go on, shaking his head. 

" I know, I know." 

" It was tough." 

" Darned tough." 

" I thought we were going to do it." 

" Now, you shut up, young rooster. Don't think of 
it any more. You played like a fiend. We're proud of 
you." 

" Poor Dana ! " 

Upstairs a couple of rubbers took charge of him, strip- 
ping him and rubbing him rigorously. Two or three 
coaches came up to him, gripping him with silent grips, 
patting him on the back. The cold bite of the shower 
brought back some of his vitality, and he dressed mechan- 
ically with the squad, who had nothing to say to one 
another. 

" Yale, I want to talk to you boys a moment." 

He looked up. In the center of the room was Rivers, 
coach of coaches, around whom the traditions of football 
had been formed. Stover looked at him dully, wonder- 
ing how he could stand there rilled with such energy. 

" Now, boys, the game's over. We've lost. It's our 
turn; we've got to stand it. One thing I want you to 
remember when you go out of here. Yale teams take 
their medicine!" 

His voice rose to a nervous staccato, and the sharp, 
cold eye seemed to look into every man, just as at school 
the Doctor used to awe them. 

" Do you understand ? Yale teams take their medicine ! 
No talking, no reasoning, no explanations, no excuses, 
and no criticism! The thing's over and done. We'll 



140 STOVERATYALE 

have a dinner to-night, and we'll start in on next year; 
and next year nothing under the sun's going to stop us ! 
Go out; take off your hats! A great Princeton team 
licked you — licked you well ! That's all. You deserved 
to score. You didn't. Hard luck. But those who saw 
you try for it won't forget it ! We're proud of that sec- 
ond half! No talk, now, about what might have hap- 
pened ; no talk about what you're going to do. Shut up ! 
Remember — grin and take your medicine." 

" Mr. Rivers, I'd like to say a few words." 

Stover, with almost a feeling of horror, saw Dana step 
forward quietly, purse his lips, look about openly, and 
say: 

" Mr. Rivers, I understand what you mean, and what's 
underneath it all, and I thank you for it. At the same 
time, it's up to me to take the blame, and I'm not going 
to dodge it. I've been a poor captain. I thought I knew 
more than you did, and I didn't. I've made one fool 
blunder after another. But I did it honestly. Well, 
that doesn't matter — let that go. I say this because it's 
right, too, I should take my medicine, and because I don't 
want next year's captain to botch the job the way I've 
done. And now, just a word to you men. You've done 
everything I asked you to do, and kept your mouths shut, 
no matter what you thought of it. You've been loyal, 
and you'll be loyal, and there'll be no excuses outside. 
But I want you men to know that I'll remember it, and 
I want to thank you. That's all." 

Instantly there was a buzz of voices, and one clear note 
dominating it — Regan's voice, stirred beyond thought of 
self: 

" Boys, we're going to give that captain a cheer. Are 
you ready ? Hip — hip ! " 

Somehow the cry that went up took from Dink all the 



STOVER AT YALE 141 

sting of defeat. He went out, head erect, back to meet 
his college, no longer shrinking from the ordeal, proud 
of his captain, proud of his coach, and proud of a lesson 
he had learned bigger than a victory. 



CHAPTER XI 

AFTER the drudgery of the football season he had a 
few short weeks of gorgeous idleness, during which 
he browsed through a novel a day, curled up on his win- 
dow-seat, rolling tobacco clouds through the fog of 
smokers in the room. He had won his spurs and the 
right to lounge, and he looked forward eagerly to the 
rest of the year as a time for reading and the opening 
up of the friendships of which he had dreamed. 

Old age settled down rapidly upon him, and at eighteen 
that malady appears in its most virulent form. Perhaps 
there was a little justification. The test he had gone 
through had educated him to self-control in its most dif- 
ficult form. He was not simply the big man of the class, 
the first to emerge to fame, but the prospective captain 
of a future Yale eleven. A certain gravity was requisite 
— moreover, it was due the University. To have seen 
the burning letters S-T-O-V-E-R actually vibrating on 
the front pages of metropolitan papers, to have gazed on 
his distinguished (though slightly smudged) features, 
ruined by an unfeeling photographer, but disputing never- 
theless the public attention with statesmen and champions 
of the pugilistic ring — to have felt these heavenly sensa- 
tions at the age of eighteen could not be lightly disguised. 

So he lay back among welcome cushions, book in hand, 
and listened with a tolerant ear to the rapid-fire comedy 
of McNab and Buck Waters. He stayed much in his 
own room, which became a sort of lounging spot where 
the air was always blue with smoke and a mandolin or 

142 



STOVER AT YALE 143 

guitar was strumming a low refrain or a group near the 
fireplace was noisy with the hazards of the national game. 

Pretty much every one of importance in the class 
dropped in oil him. The preliminary visiting period of 
the sophomore societies was nearly over. With the open- 
ing of the winter term the hold-ofls and elections would 
begin. He understood that those who were uncertain 
wished the advantage of being seen in his company — that 
his, in fact, was now the " right " crowd. 

He intended to call oh several men who interested him : 
Brockhurst, who had made his appearance with a story 
in the Lit which announced him as a possible future chair- 
man ; Gimbel, about whose opinions and sincerity he was 
in doubt ; and, above all, Regan, who genuinely attracted 
him. But, somehow, having now nothing to do, his after- 
noons and evenings seemed always filled, and he contin- 
ually postponed until the morrow what suggested itself 
during the day. Besides, there was a complacent delight 
in being his own master again and of looking forward to 
such a period of independent languor. 

The first discordant note to intrude itself upon this 
ideal was a remark of Le Baron's during one of the even- 
ing visits. These embassies were always conducted with 
punctiliousness and gravity. The inquisitorial sopho- 
mores arrived about eight o'clock in groups of three and 
four. As McCarthy was the object of attention from a 
different society, Stover, when the former's inspectors ar- 
rived, shook hands gravely, and shortly discovered that 
he had a letter to post at the corner. When the com- 
mittee on Stover appeared trimly at the door, McCarthy 
rose at once to return a hypothetical book, after which 
the conversation began with about as much spontaneity 
and zest as would be permitted to a board of alienists 
sitting in judgment on a victim. The sophomores were 



144 STOVER AT YALE 

embarrassed with their own impromptu dignity, and the 
freshmen at the constraint of their superiors. 

On one such occasion, after the committee of four had 
spent fifteen minutes in the grave discussion of a kinder- 
garten topic, and had filed out with funereal solemnity, 
Le Baron returned for a more intimate conversation. 

Since the night of his introduction to college, Stover 
had had only occasional glimpses of Le Baron. True, he 
was generally of the visiting committee that called every 
other night for perfunctory inspection, but through it all 
the sophomore had adopted an attitude of almost de- 
fensive aloofness and impartiality. 

" I want to talk over some of the men in the class," 
said Le Baron, falling into an arm-chair and picking up a 
pipe, while his manner changed to naturalness and equal- 
ity. Stover understood at once that the attitude was a 
notice served on him of the security of his own position. 

" Dink, I want to know your opinion. What do you 
think of Brockhurst, for instance?" 

"Brockhurst? Why, I hardly know him." 

"Is he liked?" 

" Why, yes." 

" Who are his friends ? " 

Stover thought a moment. 

" Why, I think he rather keeps to himself. He strikes 
me as being — well, a little undeveloped — rather shy." 

"Do you like him?" 

" I do." 

"And Schley?" 

The question was put abruptly, Le Baron raising his 
eyes to get his answer from Stover's face. 

" Schley ? " said Dink, considering a little. " Why, 
Schley seems to — " 

" Regan ? " said Le Baron, satisfied. 



STOVERATYALE 145 

" One of the best in the class ! " 

" He seems a rather rough diamond." 

" He's proud as Lucifer — but he has more to him than 
any one I know." 

" It's a question what he'll do." 

" I'd back him every time." 

" You are quite enthusiastic about him," said Le Baron, 
looking at him with a little quizzical surprise. 

" He's a man," said Stover stoutly. 

"Of course, the football captaincy will probably be 
between you two." 

" Regan ? " said Stover, amazed. 

" Either you or Regan." 

Stover had never thought of him as a rival for his 
dearest ambition. He remained silent, digesting the pos- 
sibility, aware of Le Baron's searching inquiry. 

"Of course, you have nine chances out of ten, but the 
race is a long one." 

" He would make a good captain," Stover said slowly. 

"You think so?" 

" I hadn't thought of it before," Stover said, with a 
sudden falling inside, " but he has the stuff in him of a 
leader all right." 

" I wish he weren't quite so set," said Le Baron. " He 
hasn't made a particularly favorable impression on some 
of the fellows." 

An involuntary smile came to Stover at the thought 
of Regan's probable reception of a committee of inspec- 
tion. 

" He doesn't perhaps realize the importance of some 
things," he said carefully. 

" He doesn't," said Le Baron, who was not without a 
sense of humor. " It's a pity, though, for his sake. 1 
wish you'd talk to him a little," 



146 STOVERATYALE 

" I will." 

Le Baron rose. 

" By the way, what are you going out for this spring? " 

"This spring?" said Stover, surprised. 

" Ever rowed any ? " 

" Never." 

" That doesn't make any difference. You learn the 
stroke quicker — no bad habits." 

" I'm light as mischief." 

" Oh, I don't know — not for the freshman. We want 
to stimulate the interest in rowing up here. It's a good 
example for a man like you to come out. Ever done 
anything in baseball or the track ? " 

" No." 

" Rowing's the stunt for you." He went toward the 
door, and turned. " Have a little chat with Regan. I 
admire the fellow, but he needs to rub up a bit with you 
fellows and get the sharp edges off him. By the way, 
when you start rowing I'll get hold of you and give you a 
little extra coaching." 

When McCarthy came grinning through the door, he 
found Dink, his legs drawn up Turkish fashion, staring 
rebelliously at the ceiling. 

" Hello ! In love, or what ? " said Tough, stopping 
short. " Recovering, perhaps, from the brilliant conver- 
sation?" 

" By George, I'm not going out for anything more ! " 
said Dink, between his teeth. 

" Heavens ! haven't you slaved enough ? " 

" You bet I have. I'll be hanged if I'm going through 
here — just varsity material. I'm going to be a little 
while my own master." 

" You think so ? " said McCarthy, with a short, incredu- 



STOVERATYALE 147 

lous laugh. " Every one's doing something." McCarthy 
was a candidate for the baseball nine. 

" Have you heard anything about Regan ? " said Stover, 
between puffs. 

"In what way?" 

" Have any of the sophomores been around to see 
him?" 

McCarthy exploded into laughter. "Have they? 
Didn't you hear what happened ? " 

"No. What?" 

" They spent half the night locating his diggings, and 
when they got them the old rhinoceros wouldn't receive 
them." 

"Why not?" 

" Hadn't time, he said, to be fooling with them." 

" The old chump ! " 

" Lucky dog," said McCarthy, between his teeth. " } 
wish I had the nerve to do the same." 

"What the deuce?" 

" It makes me boil ! I can't sit up and have a solemn 
bunch of fools look me over. I can't be natural." 

" It's give and take," said Dink, smiling. " You'll think 
yourself the lord of the universe next year." 

" I'm not so sure," said McCarthy, gloomily, 

"Rats!" 

" Oh, you — you've a cinch," said McCarthy. 
" They're not picking you to pieces and dissecting you. 
Half the crowd that come to see me have got some friends 
in the class they'd rather see in than me. I'm darned 
uncertain, and I know it." 

Stover, who believed the contrary, laughed at him. He 
rose and went out, determined to find Regan and make 
him understand conditions. 



148 STOVER AT YALE 

His walk led him along the dark ways of College Street 
into the forgotten street where, under the roof of a 
bakery, Regan had found a breathing-hole for five dollars 
a month. 

For the first time a little feeling of jealousy went 
through Stover as he swung along. Why should he help 
build up the man who might snatch from him his ambi- 
tion ? Why the deuce had Le Baron mentioned Regan as 
a possible captain ? No one else thought of such a thing. 
Compared to him, Regan was a novice in football knowl- 
edge and experience. Still, it was true that the man had 
a stalwart, unflinching way of moving on that impressed. 
There was a danger there with which he must reckon. 

He found Regan in carpet slippers and sweater, bend- 
ing grimly over the next day's Greek as if it were a rock 
to be shattered with the weight of his back. 

" 8-16-6-9-47," said Stover, in a hallo, giving the signal 
that had sent him through the center. 

Regan started up. 

" Hello, Dink, old bantam ; glad to hear your voice." 

Stover entered, with a glance at the room. A cot, a 
bureau, a washstand reenforced by ropes, a pine table 
scorched and blistered, and a couple of chairs were the 
entire equipment. Half the gas globe was left and two- 
thirds of the yellow-green shade at the window. In the 
corner was the battle-scarred valise which had brought 
Regan's whole effects to college. 

" Boning out the Greek ? " said Stover, placing a 
straight chair against the wall so that his feet could find 
the ledge of the window. 

" Wrestling with it." 

" Don't you use a trot? " said Stover in some surprise, 
perceiving the absence of the handy, literal short-cut to 
recitation. 



STOVERATYALE 149 

" Can't afford to." 

" Why not ? " said Stover, wondering if Regan was a 
gospel shark, after all. 

" I've got too much to learn," said Regan, leaning back 
and elevating his legs in the national position. " You 
know something; I don't. You can bluff; I'm a rotten 
bluffer. I've got to train my whole mind, lick it into 
shape and make it work for me, if I'm going to do what 
I want." 

" Tom, what are you aiming for ? " 

" You'd never guess." 

"Well, what?" 

" Politics." 

" Politics ? " said Stover, opening his mouth. 

" Exactly," said Regan, puffing at his corncob pipe. 
" I want to go back out West and get in the fight. It's 
a glorious fight out there. A real fight. You don't know 
the West, Stover." 

" No." 

" We believe in something out there, and we get up 
and fight for it — independence, new ideas, clean govern- 
ment, hard fighters." 

" I hadn't thought of you that way," said Stover, more 
and more surprised. 

" That's the only thing I care about," said Regan 
frankly. " I've come from nothing, and I believe in that 
nothing. But to do anything I've got to get absolute hold 
of myself." 

" Tom, you ought to get in with the fellows more. 
You ought to know all kinds," said Stover, feeling an 
opening. 

" I will, when I get the right," said Regan, nodding. 

" Why the devil don't you let the University help you 
out a while ? You can pay it back," said Stover angrily. 



150 STOVERATYALE 

" Never ! I know it could be done, but not for me," 
said Regan, shaking his head. " What I need is the 
hardest things to come up against, and I'm not going to 
dodge them." 

" Still, you ought to be with us ; you ought to make 
friends." 

" I'm going to do that," said Regan, nodding. " I'm 
going to get in at South Middle after Christmas and per- 
haps get some work in the Coop." He took up a sheet 
of paper jotted over with figures. " I'm about fifty dol- 
lars to the good; a couple of weeks' work at Christmas 
will bring that up about twenty more. If I can make a 
hundred and fifty this summer I'll have a good start. 
I want to do it, because I want to play football. It's 
bully ! I like the fight in it ! " 

" What sort of work will you do?" said Stover curi- 
ously. 

" I may go in the surface cars down in New York." 

"Driving?" 

" Sure. They get good pay. I could get work in 
the mines — I've done that — but it's pretty tough." 

" But, Tom, what the deuce do you pick out the hard- 
est grind for ? Make friends with fellows who only want 
to know you and like you, and you'll get a dozen open- 
ings where you'll make twice what you get at manual 
labor." 

" Well, there's this to it," said Regan ruminatively, 
" It's an opportunity I won't always have." 

" What the deuce do you mean ? " 

" The opportunity to meet the fellow who gets the 
grind of life — to understand what he thinks of him- 
self, and especially what he thinks of those above him. I 
won't have many more chances to see him on the ground 
floor, and some day I've got to know him well enough to 



STOVERATYALE 151 

convince him. See? By the way, it would be a good 
college course for a lot of you fellows if you got in touch 
with the real thing also." 

"Are you a socialist?" said Stover, who vaguely as- 
sociated the term with dynamite and destruction. 

" I may be, but I don't know it." 

" I say, Tom, do you go in for debating and all tha* 
sort of thing ? " 

" You bet I do ; but it comes hard as hen's teeth." 

Stover, who had waited for an opportunity to volunteer 
advice, finding no opening, resolved to take the dilemma 
by the horns. 

" Tom, I think you're wrong about one thing." 

"What's that?" 

" Holding aloof so much." 

" Particularly what ? " 

" I'm thinking about sophomore societies, for one thing. 
Why the deuce don't you give the fellows a chance to help 
you?" 

" Oh, you mean the dinky little bunch that came around 
to call on me," said Regan thoughtfully. 

" Yes. Now, why turn them out ? " 

" Why, they bored me, and, besides, I haven't time 
for anything like that. There are too many big things 
here." 

" They can help you like the mischief, now and after- 
ward." 

" Thanks ; I'll help myself. Besides, I don't want to 
get their point of view." 

"Whj not?" 

" Too limited." 

" Have you been talking to Gimbel ? " said Stover, 
wondering. 

"Gimbel? No; why?" 



152 STOVER AT YALE 

" Because he is organizing the class against them. j; 

" That doesn't interest me, either." 

" What do you make of Gimbel ? " 

" Gimbel's all right ; a good politician." 

" Is he sincere ? " 

" Every one's sincere." 

" You mean every one's convinced of his own sin 
cerity." 

" Sure ; easiest person in the world to convince." 

Stover laughed a little consciously, wondering for a 
brief moment if the remark could be directed at him. 
Curiously enough, the more the blunt antagonism of 
Regan impressed him, the more he was reassured that the 
man was too radical ever to challenge his leadership. 
He rose to go, his conscience satisfied by the half-hearted 
appeal he had made. 

" I say, Dink," said Regan, laying his huge paw on 
his shoulder, " don't get your head turned by this social 
business." 

" Heavens, no ! " 

" 'Cause there's some real stuff in you, boy, and some 
day it's coming out. Thanks, by the way, for wanting 
to make me a society favorite." 

Dink left with a curious mixture of emotions. 
Regan always had an ascendency over him he could not 
explain. It irritated him that he could not shake it off, 
and yet he was genuinely chained to the man. 

" Why the deuce did Le Baron put that in my head ? " 
he said to himself, for the tenth time. " If Regan beats 
me out for captain it'll only be because he's older and has 
got a certain way about him. Well, I suppose if I'm to 
be captain I've got to close up more; I can't go cutting 
up like a kid. I've got to be older." 

He resolved to be more dignified, more melancholy, 



STOVER AT YALE 153 

shorter of speech, and consistent in gravity. For the first 
time he felt what it meant to calculate his chances. Be- 
fore, everything had come to him easily. He had missed 
the struggle and the heartburnings. Now, suddenly, a 
shadow had fallen across the open road, the shadow of 
one whom he had regarded as a sort of protege. He had 
thoughts of which he was ashamed, for at the bottom he 
was glad that Regan would not be of a sophomore society 
— that that advantage would be denied him ; and, a little 
guiltily, he wondered if he had tried as hard as he might 
have to show him the opportunity. 

" If they ever know him as I do," he said, with a gen- 
erous revulsion, " he'll be the biggest thing in the class." 
York Street and the busy windows of Pierson Hall came 
into his vision. A group of sophomores, ending their 
tour of visits, passed him, saluting him cordially. He 
thought all at once, with a sharp rebellion, how much freer 
Regan was, with his own set purpose, than he under the 
tutelage of Le Baron. 

" I wonder what I'd do if no darn sophomore societies 
existed," he said to himself thoughtfully. And then, go- 
ing up the stairs to his room, he said to McCarthy as he 
entered : " I guess, after all, I'll get out and slave again 
this spring — might as well heel the crew. I'm just 
varsity material — that's all ! " 



CHAPTER XII 

THE first weeks of the competition for the crew 
were not exacting, and consisted mostly of elimina- 
ting processes. Stover had consequently still enough 
leisure to gravitate naturally into that necessity of run- 
ning into debt which comes to every youth who has just 
won the privilege of a yearly allowance ; the same being 
solemnly understood to cover all the secret and hidden 
needs of the flesh as well as those that are outwardly ex- 
posed to the admiration of the multitude. 

Now, the lure of personal adornment and the charm 
of violent neckties and outrageous vests had come to him 
naturally, as such things come, shortly after the measles, 
under the educating influence of a hopeless passion which 
had passed but had left its handiwork. 

About a week after the opening of the term, Stover 
was drifting down Chapel Street in the company of Hun- 
gerford and McCarthy, when, in the window of the most 
predatory haberdasher's, he suddenly was fascinated by 
the most beautiful thing he had ever seen adorning a win- 
dow. A tinge of masculine modesty prevented his re- 
maining in struck admiration before it, especially in the 
presence of McCarthy and Hungerford, whose souls 
could rest content in jerseys and sweaters; but half an 
hour later, slipping away, he returned, fascinated. 
Chance had been kind to him. It was still there, the 
most beautiful green shirt he had ever beheld — not the 
diluted green of ordinary pistache ice-cream, but the deep, 
royal hue of a glorious emerald ! 

154 



STOVERATYALE 155 

He had once, in the school days when he was blossom- 
ing into a man of fashion, experienced a similar sensa- 
tion before a cravat of pigeon-blood red. He peered 
through the window to see if any one he knew was pres- 
ent, and glanced up the street to assure himself that a 
mob was not going to collect. Then he entered non- 
chalantly. The clerk, who recognized him, greeted him 
with ingratiating unction. 

" Glad to see you here, Mr. Stover. What can I do 
for you ? " 

" I thought I'd look at some shirts," he said, in what 
he believed a masterly haphazard manner. 

" White lawn — something with a thin stripe ? " 

" Well, something in a color — solid color." 

He waited patiently, considering solicitously twenty in- 
consequential styles, until the spruce clerk, casually pro- 
ducing the one thing, said : 

" Would that appeal to you ? " 

" It's rather nice," he said, gazing at it. Entranced, he 
stared on. Then a new difficulty arose. People didn't 
enter a shop just to purchase one shirt, and, besides, he 
was known. So he selected three other shirts and added 
the beautiful green thing to them in an unostentatious 
manner, saying : 

" Send around these four shirts, will you ? What's the 
tax?" 

" Very pleased to have you open an account, Mr. 
Stover," said the clerk. " Pay when you like." 

Stover took this as a personal tribute to his public rep- 
utation. Likewise, it opened up to him startling possibil- 
ities, so he said in a bored way: 

" I suppose I might just as well." 

" Thank you, Mr. Stover — thank you very much ! 
Anything more? Some rather tasty neckties here for 



156 STOVER AT YALE 

conservative dressers. Collars? Something like this 
would be very becoming to you. We've just got in a 
very smart line of silk socks. All the latest bonton styles. 
Look them over — you don't need to buy anything." 

When Stover finally was shown to the door, he had 
clandestinely and with great astuteness acquired the green 
shirt on the following terms : 

One green shirt (imported) $5 

Three decoy shirts 9 

Four silk ties (to go with green shirt) 8 

One dozen Roxburgh turndown collars (to complete same) . . 3 

One dozen Gladstone collars (an indiscretion) 3 

One half dozen silk socks (bonton style) 12 

Total for one green shirt $40 

By the time he had made this mental calculation he was 
half way up the block. Then, his extravagance over- 
whelming him, he virtuously determined to send back the 
Gladstone collars, to show the clerk that, while he was a 
man of fashion, he still had a will of his own. 

Refreshed then by this firm conscientious resolve, he 
went down York Street, where he was hailed by Hunger- 
ford from an upper story, and went in to find a small 
group sitting in inspection of several bundles of tailoring 
goods which were being displayed in the center of the 
room by a little bow-legged Yankee with an open appeal- 
ing countenance. 

" I say, Dink, you ought to get in on this," said Hunger- 
ford at his entrance. 

" What's the game ? " 

" Here's a wonderful chance. Little bright-eyes here 
has got a lot of goods dirt cheap and he's giving us the 
first chance. You see it's this way: he travels for a 
firm and the end of the season he gets all the samples for 
himseif, so he can let them go dirt cheap." 



STOVER AT YALE 157 

" Half price," said the salesman nodding. " Half price 
on everything." 

" I've bought a bundle," said Troutman. " It's won- 
derful goods." 

" How much ? " said Stover, considering. 

" Only twenty dollars for enough to make up a suit. 
Twenty's right, isn't it, Skenk ? " 

" Twenty for this — twenty-two for that. You re- 
member I said twenty-two." 

" Let me see the stuff," said Stover, as though he had 
been the mainstay of custom tailors all his life. 

Now the crowd was a New York one, a little better 
groomed than their companions, affecting the same pre- 
dilections for indiscreet vests and modish styles that 
would make them appreciative of the supremacy of green 
in the haberdashery arts. 

" This is rather good style," he said, with a glance at 
Troutman's genteel trousers. " What sort of goods do 
you call it? " 

" Imported Scotch cheviot," said the salesman in a con- 
fidential whisper. 

Stover looked again at Troutman, who tried discreetly, 
without being seen by the unsuspecting Yankee, to con- 
vey to him in a look the fact that it was a crime to acquire 
the goods at such a price. 

Thus tipped off, Dink bought a roll that had in it a 
distinct reminiscent tinge of green, and saw it carried to 
the house, for fear the salesman should suddenly repent 
of the sacrifice. 

At half past eight that night, as he and Tough Mc- 
Carthy were painfully excavating a bit of Greek prose 
for the morrow, McNab came rushing in. 

" Get out, Dopey, we're boning," said McCarthy, reach- 
ing for a tennis racket. 



158 STOVERATYALE 

" Boys, the greatest bargain you ever heard," said Mc- 
Nab excitedly, " come in before it's too late ! " 

" Bargain ? " said Stover, frowning, for the word was 
beginning to cloy. 

McNab, with a show of pantomime, squinted behind 
the window curtains and opened the closet door. 

" Look here, Dopey, you get out," said Tough, wrath- 
fully, " you're faking." 

" I'm looking for customs officers," said McNab mys- 
teriously. 

"What! I say, what's this game?" 

" Boys, we've got a couple of Cuba libre dagos rounded 
up and dancing on a string." 

" For the love of Mike, Dopey, be intelligible." 

" It's cigars," said McNab at last. 

"Don't want them!" 

" But it's smuggled cigars ! " 

" Oh ! " 

" Wonderful, pure Havanas, priceless, out of a 
museum." 

" You don't say so." 

" And all for the cause of Cuba libre. You're for 
Cuba libre, aren't you ? " 

" Sure we are." 

" Well, these men are patriots." 

"Who found them?" 

" Buck Waters. They were just going into Pierson 
Hall to let the sophs have all the candy. Buck side- 
tracked them and started them down our row. Hunger- 
ford bought twenty-five dollars' worth." 

" Twenty-five ? Holy cats ! " 

"For the cause of Cuba libre! Joe is very patriotic. 
All the boys came up handsomely." 

"Are they good cigars?" said Dink who, since his 



STOVER AT YALE 159 

purchases of the day, was not exactly moved to tears by 
the financial needs of an alien though struggling nation. 

" My boy, immense ! Wait till you smoke one ! " 

At this moment there came a gentle scratching at the 
door, and a chocolate pair appeared, with Buck Waters in 
the background. 

" Emanuel Garcia and Henry Clay ! " said McNab ir- 
reverently. 

" They smuggled the cigars right through tne Spanish 
lines," said Waters who, from constant recital, had caught 
the spirit of unconquerable revolution. 

" How do you know ? " said McCarthy suspiciously, 
watching the unstrapping of the cigar boxes. 

" I speak French," said Waters with pride, and turn- 
ing to his proteges he continued fluently, " Vous etes 
patriots, vous avez battles, soldats n'est-ce-pas? You see, 
they have had a whole family chopped up for the cause. 
The Cuban Junta has sent them over to raise money — 
very good family." 

" Let's see the cigars," said Stover. " How much a 
box?" 

Curiously enough this seemed to be a phrase of Eng- 
lish which could be understood without difficulty. 

" Fourteen dollar." 

" That's for a box of a hundred," said McNab, who 
screwed up the far side of his face, to indicate bargaining 
was in order. 

" Of course," said Buck Waters, " everything you give 
goes to the cause. Remember that." 

" Try one," said McNab. 

The smaller Cuban with an affable smile held up a 
bundle. 

" Nice white teeth he's got," said Buck Waters en- 
couragingly. 



160 STOVER AT YALE 

" Don't let him shove one over on you," said Mc- 
Carthy warningly. 

Waters and McNab were indignant. 

" Oh, I say fellows, come on. They are patriots." 

" If they could understand you they would go right up 
in the air." 

" Nevertheless and notwithstanding," said McCarthy, 
indicating with his finger, " I'll take this one ; it appeals 
to me." 

" I'll worry this one," said Dink with equal astuteness. 

They took several puffs, watched by the enthusiastic 
spectators. 

"Well? "said McNab. 

Stover looked wisely at McCarthy, flirting the cigar 
between his careless fingers. 

" Not bad." 

" Rather good bouquet," said McCarthy, who knew no 
more than Stover. 

" Let's begin at eight dollars and stick at ten," said 
Dink. 

At that latter price, despite the openly expressed scorn 
of the American allies of the struggle for Cuban in- 
dependence, Stover received a box of one hundred finest 
Havana cigars — fit for a museum, as McNab repeated — 
and saw the advance guard of the liberators disappear. 

" Dink, it's a shame," said McCarthy gleefully. 
" Finest cigars I ever smoked." 

They shook hands and Stover, overcome by the look 
of pain he had seen in the eyes of the patriots on their 
final surrender at ten dollars, said, with a patriotic re- 
morse : 

" Poor devils ! Think what they're fighting for ! If 
I hadn't been so lavish to-day, I'd have given them the 
full price." 



STOVER AT YALE 161 

" I feel sort of bad about it myself." 

About ten o'clock they rose by a common impulse and, 
seeking out the cigars with caressing fingers, indulged in 
another smoke. 

" Dink, this is certainly living," said McCarthy, reclin- 
ing in that position which his favorite magazine artist 
ascribed to men of the world when indulging in extrav- 
agant desires. 

" Pretty high rolling, old geezer." 

" I like this better than the first one." 

" Of course with a well-seasoned rare old cigar you 
don't get all the beauty of it right at first." 

" By George, if those chocolate patriots would come 
around again I'd give 'em the four plunks." 

" I should feel like it," said Dink, who made a dis- 
tinction. 

The next morning being Sunday, they lolled deliciously 
in bed, and rose with difficulty at ten. 

" Of course I don't believe in smoking before break- 
fast, as a general rule," said McCarthy in striped red and 
blue pajamas, " but I have such a fond feeling for Cuba." 

" I can hardly believe it's true," said Dink, emerging 
from the covers like an impressionistic dawn. " Smoke 
up." 

" How is it this morning? " 

" Wonderful." 

" Better and better." 

" I could dream away my life on it." 

" We ought to have bought more." 

" Too bad." 

After chapel, while pursuing their studies in compara- 
tive literature in the Sunday newspapers, they smoked 
again. 

" Well ? " said Stover anxiously. 



162 STOVER AT YALE 

"Well?" 

"Marvellous, isn't it?" 

" Exquisite." 

" Only ten cents apiece ! " 

" It's the way to buy cigars." 

" Trouble is, Dink, old highroller, it's going to be an 
awful wrench getting down to earth again. We'll hate 
anything ordinary, anything cheap." 

" Yes, Tough, we are ruining our future happiness." 

" And how good one of the little beauties will taste 
after that brutalizing Sunday dinner." 

" I can hardly wait. By the way, I blew myself to 
a few glad rags," said Dink, bringing out his purchases, 
" I rather fancy them. How do they strike you ? " 

McCarthy emitted a languishing whistle and then his 
eyes fell on the cause of all the trouble. 

" Keeroogalum ! Where did you get the pea-soup ? " 

The expression did not please. However, Stover had 
still in the matter of his sentimental inclinations a cer- 
tain bashfulness. So he said dishonestly : 

" I had 'em throw it in for a lark." 

" Why, the cows would leave the farm." 

" Rats. Wait and see," said Dink, who seized the 
excuse to don the green shirt. 

When Stover's blond locks were seen struggling 
through the collar McCarthy exploded : 

" It looks like you were coming out of a tree. What 
the deuce has happened to you ? Are you going out for 
class beauty ? Holy cats ! the socks, the socks ! " 

" The socks, you Reuben, should match the shirt," said 
Stover, completing his toilet under a diplomatic assump- 
tion of persiflage. 

" Well, you are a lovely thing," said McCarthy, when 
the new collar and the selected necktie had transformed 



STOVERATYALE 163 

Stover. " Lovely ! lovely ! you should go out and have 
the girls fondle you." 

At this moment Bob Story arrived, as fate would have 
it, with an invitation to dinner at his home. 

" Sis is back with a few charmers from Farmington 
and they're crazy to meet you." 

" Oh, I say," said Stover in sudden alarm. " I'm the 
limit on the fussing question." 

" Yes, he is," said McCarthy maliciously. " Why, they 
fall down before him and beg him to step on them." 

" You shut up," said Stover, with wrath in his eye. 

"Why, Bob, look at him, isn't he gotten up just to 
charm and delight? You'll have to put a fence around 
him to keep them off." 

" In an hour," said Story, making for the doof . 
" Hunter and Hungerford are coming." 

" Hold up." 

" Delighted you're coming." 

"1 say—" 

" There's a Miss Sparkes — just crazy about you. 
You're in luck. Remember the name — Miss Sparkes." 

" Story — Bob, come back here ! " 

" Au reservoir ! " 

" I can't go — I won't — " But here Dink, leaning over 
the banister, heard a gleeful laugh float up and the sudden 
banging of the door. 

He rushed back frantically to the room and craned out 
the window, to see Bob Story sliding around the corner 
with his fingers spread in a gesture that is never any- 
thing but insulting. He closed the window violently and 
returned to the center of the room. 

" Damn ! " 

" Pooh ! " said McCarthy, chuckling with delight. 

" Petticoats ! " 



164 STOVER AT YALE 

"Alas!" 

" A lot of silly, yapping, gushing, fluffy, giggling, tee- 
heeing, tittering, languishing, vapid, useless — " 

" My boy, immense ! Go on ! " 

" Confound Bob Story, why the deuce did he rope me 
into this? I loathe females." 

" And one just dotes on you," said McCarthy, with the 
expression of a Cheshire cat. 

" I won't go," said Stover loudly. 

" Are you going in that green symphony ? " 

"Why not?" 

In the midst of this quarrel, Joe Hungerford entered, 
with a solemn face. 

" You're going to this massacre at Story's ? " 

" Don't I look like it? " said Dink crossly. 

" We'll go over together then," said Hungerford, with 
a sigh of relief. 

" I say, help yourself to a cigar, Joe," said McCarthy, 
with the air of a Maecenas. 

" Cuba Libre? " said Hungerford, approaching the box. 

" And a bas Spain ! " 

Hungerford examined the cigars with a certain amount 
of caution which was not lost on the room-mates. 

" How many of these have you smoked ? " he asked, 
turning to them with interest. 

" Oh, about three apiece." 

" How do you like 'em ? " 

" Wonderful ! " said Dink loudly. 

" Wonderful ! " said McCarthy. 

The three lit up simultaneously. 

" What did you pay for yours ? " said Hungerford, with 
a sort of inward concentration on the flavor. 

" Ten bright silver ones." 

" I paid twenty-five for two. How do they taste?" 



STOVER AT YALE 165 

" Wonderful ! " 

" Troutman only paid seven-fifty for his box." 

"What!" 

" And Hunter only five." 

" Five dollars ? " said McCarthy, with a foreboding. 

" But what I can't understand is this — " 

"What?" 

" Dopey McNab got a box at two-fifty." 

A sudden silence fell on the room, while, reflectively, 
each puffed forth quick, questioning volumes of smoke. 

" How do they smoke ? " said Hungerf ord again. 

" Wonderful ! " said McCarthy, hoping against hope. 

" They're not ! " said Dink firmly. 

He rose, went to the window, and cast forth the 
malodorous thing. Hungerford followed suit. Mc- 
Carthy, proud as the Old Guard, sat smoking on; only 
one leg was drawn up under the other in a tense, con- 
vulsive way. 

" They were wonderful last night," he said obstinately. 

" They certainly were." 

" And they were wonderful this morning." 

" Not quite so wonderful." 

" I like 'em still." 

" And Dopey McNab bought a hundred at two-fifty." 

This was too much for McCarthy. He surrendered. 

Dopey McNab, at this favorable conjunction, sidled into 
the room with his box under his arm and the face oJ 
a boy soprano on duty. 

" I say, fellows, I've got a little proposition to make." 

A sort of dull, rolling murmur went around the room 
which he did not notice. 

" I find I've been cracking my bank account — the fact 
is, I'm strapped as a mule and have got to raise enough 
to pay my wash bill." 



166 STOVER AT YALE 

" Wash bill, Dopey?" said McCarthy softly. 

" We must wash," said Dopey firmly. " To resume. 
As I detest, abhor, and likewise shrink from borrowing 
from friends — " 

" Repeat that," said Joe Hungerford. 

" I will not. But for all of which reasons, I have a 
little bargain to propose. Here is a box of the finest 
cigars ever struck the place." 

"A full box?" 

" Only three cigars out." 

" Three ! " said Hungerford with a significant look at 
Stover. 

" I could sell them on the campus for twenty, easy." 

" But you love your friends," said Stover, moving a 
little, so as to shut off the retreat. 

" Who will give me seven-fifty for it ? " said McNab, 
with the air of one filling a beggar with ecstasy. 

" Seven-fifty. You'll let it go at seven-fifty, Dopey? " 
said McCarthy faintly, paralyzed at such duplicity. 

" I will." 

" Dopey," said Dink, with a signal to the others, " what 
is the exact figure of that wash bill of yours ? " 

" Two dollars and sixty-two cents." 

" Will you take two dollars and sixty-two cents for 
it?" 

" You're fooling." 

" I am very, very serious." 

McNab struck a pose, while over his face was seen 
the conflict of duty and avarice. 

" Take it," he said at last, in a glow of virtue. 

" I didn't say I wanted it." 

" You didn't ! " 

" I only wanted to know what you'd really take." 

" What's this mean ? " said McNab indignantly. 



STOVER AT YALE 167 

"Dopey, would you sacrifice it at just a little less?" 
said Hungerford. 

But here McNab, suddenly smelling danger in the air, 
made a spring backwards. Hungerford, who was on 
guard, caught him. 

" Put him in the chair and tie him, ,, said Stover, sav- 
agely. 

Which was done. 

" I say, look here, what are you going to do with me? " 
said McNab, fiercely. 

" You're going to sit there and smoke a couple of those 
museum cigars, for our delectation and amusement." 

" Assassins ! " 

" Two cigars." 

" Never ! I'll starve to death first ! " 

" All right. Keep on sitting there." 

" But this is a crime ! Police ! " 

" There are other crimes, Dopey." 

" Hold up," said McNab, frantically, as he perceived 
the cigar being prepared. " I've got to dine over at the 
Story's at one o'clock." 

" So have we," said Hungerford, " but McCarthy will 
watch you for us." 

" I will," said McCarthy, licking his chops. 

" I've got to be there," said McNab, wriggling in a 
frenzy. 

" Smoke right up, then. You can smoke them in twenty 
minutes." 

" Police ! " 

" I say, Dink," said Hungerford, as McNab's head 
whipped from side to side like a recalcitrant child's. 
" Perhaps we'd better get in all the crowd who fell for 
the cigars — round 'em up." 

" I'll smoke it," said McNab instantly. 



168 STOVER AT YALE 

" I thought you would." 

They sat around, unfeelingly, grinning, while McNab, 
strapped in like a papoose, rebelliously, with much sput- 
tering and coughing, smoked the cigar that Dink fed him 
like a trained nurse. 

" Fellows, I've got to get to that dinner." 

"We know that, Dopey — but there's one thing you 
won't do there — tell the story of the Cuba libre cigar." 

" Say, let me off and I'll put you on to a great stunt." 

" We can't be bought." 

" I'll tell you, I'll trust you ! We're going to have a 
cop-killing over in Freshman row. We've got a whole 
depot of Roman candles. Let me off this second cigar 
and I'll work you in." 

"We'll be there!" 

" You bandits, I'll get even with you." 

" You probably will, Dopey, but you'll never rob us of 
this memory." 

" Curse you, feed it to me quickly." 

The cigar consumed to the last rebellious puff, McNab 
was released in a terrific humor, and departed hastily to 
dress, after remarking in a deadly manner : 

" I'll get you yet — you brutal kidnappers." 

" I think it's a rather low trick of Bob Story's," said 
Stover, considering surreptitiously in the mirror the 
effect of his new color scheme. 

" Ditto here," said Hungerford. 

Now Stover was in a quandary. He was divided be- 
tween two emotions. He firmly thought that he had 
never looked so transcendingly the perfect man of fashion, 
but he had numerous busy doubts as to whether the 
exquisite costume was as appropriate at a quiet Sunday 
dinner as it undoubtedly would have been in a sporting 
audience. Still, to make a change now, under the mali- 



STOVER AT YALE 169 

cious inspection of Tough McCarthy, would be to invite 
a storm of joyful ridicule, so he said hopefully 1 : 

" Think it all right to go in this? " 

"Why not?" 

As this put the burden of the proof on him, Stover 
remained silent, but compromised a little by exchanging a 
rather forward vest for one of calmer aspect. 

" Well," he said, at last, with something between a 
gulp and a sigh, " I suppose we'd better push along." 

" I suppose so," said Hungerford, who brought a 
strangle hold to bear on his necktie and shot a last look 
down at the slightly wavering line of his trousers. 

At the door, the vision of McNab, like a visiting Eng- 
lish duke, bore down upon them. 

K Where in the thunder did you get the boutonniere ? " 
said Stover, examining him critically. 

" Why, Dopey, you're a dude ! " said Hungerford disap- 
provingly. 

" Everything is correct — brilliant, but correct," said 
McNab with a flip of his fingers. " Come on now — 
we're late." 

Half way there, when the conversation had completely 
fizzled out, McNab said cheerily : 

" How d'ye feel ? Getting a little nervous, eh ? Get- 
ting cold feelings up and down your back? Fingers 
twitching — what ? " 

" Don't be an ass," said Hungerford huskily. 

" Chump," said Stover, feeling all at once the tightness 
of his vest. 

" 'Course you know, boys, you're dressed all wrong — 
in shocking taste. You know that, don't you ? Thought 
I'd better tell you before the girls begin giggling at 
you." 

" Huh ! " 



170 STOVERATYALE 

"Joe's bad enough in a liver-colored sack, but Dink's 
unspeakable ! " 

"lam! What's wrong ?" 

" Fancy wearing a colored shirt — and such a color ! 
You're gotten up for a boating party — not for a formal 
lunch. You're unspeakable, Dink, unspeakable! Look 
at me. I'm a delight — black and white, immaculate, im- 
pressive, and absolutely correct." 

By this time they had reached the steps. 

" Now, don't try to shine your shoes on your trousers. 
It always shows. Don't stumble or trip when you go in. 
Don't bump against the furniture. Don't stutter. Don't 
hold on to your hostess to keep from falling over. And 
don't, don't shoot your cuffs." 

McNab's malicious advice reduced Hungerford to a 
panic, while only the consciousness of his public im- 
portance prevented Stover from bolting as he saw McNab 
press the button. 

" Stand up straight and keep your hands out of your 
pockets." 

" Dopey, I'll wring your neck if you don't stop ! " 

" Ditto." 

" Say something interesting to every girl," continued 
McNab, in a solemn whisper. " Talk about art or litera- 
ture." 

The door opened, and they stumbled into the ante- 
room, from which escape was impossible. 

" Dink," said McNab in a last whisper. 

"What?" 

" Don't ask twice for soup, and stop shooting that cuff." 

The next moment Stover, who had been thrust forward 
by the other two, found himself crossing the perilous 
track of slippery rugs on slippery floors, and suddenly 
the cynosure of at least a hundred eyes. 



STOVER AT YALE 171 

Judge Story had him by the hand, patting him on the 
back, smiling up at him with a smile he never forgot — 
a little lithe man bristling with good humor and the genius 
of good cheer. 

" Stover, I'm glad to shake your hand. We did all we 
could for you in those last rushes. We rooted hard. My 
wife assaulted a clergyman in front of her, and my daugh- 
ter was found afterward weeping with her arms around 
the man next to her. I certainly am proud to shake your 
hand. I won't shake it too long, because " — here he 
looked up in a confidential whisper — " because the girls 
have been fidgeting at the window for an hour. Look 
them over and tell me which one you want to sit next 
to you, and I'll fix it." 

" Dad, aren't you awful ? " said a voice in only laughing 
disapproval. 

" My daughter," said the judge, passing joyfully on to 
Hungerford. 

" Indeed, I'm very glad to meet you." 

He shook hands, a trifle embarrassed, with a young 
lady of quiet self-possession, gentle in voice and action, 
with somewhat of the thoughtful reserve of her brother. 

He followed her, only half conscious of a certain float- 
ing grace and the pleasure of following her movements, 
bowing with cataleptic bobs of his head as the introduc- 
tions ran on : 

"Miss Sparkes." 

" Miss Green." 

" Miss Woostelle." 

" Miss Raymond." 

Then he straightened and allowed his chin to right itself 
over the brink of his mounting collar, smiling, but with- 
out hearing the outburst that went up from the equally 
agitated sex; 



172 STOVER AT YALE 

" Isn't the Judge perfectly terrible ! " 

" You mustn't believe a word he says." 

" Don't you think he's lovely, though? " 

" We really were so excited at the game." 

" Oh, dear, I almost cried my eyes out." 

" We thought you were perfectly splendid." 

" We did want you to score so." 

" I just hated those Princeton men, they were so much 
bigger." 

Hungerford and McNab coming up for presentation, 
he found himself a little to leeward, clinging to a chair, 
and, opening his eyes, perceived for the first time Hunter, 
with whom he shook hands with the convulsiveness of a 
death grip. 

Miss Sparkes, a rather fluttering brunette with dimples 
and enthusiastic eyes, cut off his retreat and isolated him 
in a corner, where he was forced to listen to a disquisition 
on the theory of football, supremely conscious that the 
unforgiving McNab was making him a subject of conver- 
sation with the young lady to whom he was rapidly suc- 
cumbing. 

The entrance of Mrs. Story and Bob, and the welcome 
descent on the dining-room, for a moment made hhr; 
forget the awful fact that he had perceived, on his en- 
trance, that the green shirt was, in fact, nothing short of 
a social outrage. 

" Every one sitting next to the person they want," said 
the Judge roguishly, his glance rolling around the table. 
" By George, if that body-snatcher of a Miss Sparkes 
hasn't bagged Stover — well, I never! Seems to me a 
certain party named Hungerford has done very well 
indeed. McNab, I perceive, is going to set the fashions 
for the class, but I certainly do like Stover's green shirt.'" 

At this a shout went up, and Stover's ears began to boil. 



STOVERATYALE 173 

" I don't see what you're ha-ha~ing about, Mr. McNab," 
continued the Judge, diverting the attack, " descending 
upon us, a quiet, respectable back-woods family, with a 
boutonniere! I think that's putting on a good deal of 
airs, don't you ? Now, boys, don't let these young society 
ladies from Farmington pretend they're too delicate to eat. 
You ought to see the breakfast they devoured. Every- 
body happy all right." 

In five minutes all were at ease, chattering away 
like so many magpies. Stover, rinding that his breath 
came easier, recovered himself and listened with a tol- 
erant sense of pleasure while Miss Sparkes rushed on. 

" The girls up at Farmington will be so excited when 
they hear I've actually sat next to you at the table. You 
know, we're all just crazy about football. Oh, it gets me 
so excited! Dudley's the new captain, isn't he? I met 
him last summer at a dance down at Long Island. I 
admire him tremendously, don't you? He has such a 
strong character." 

He nodded from time to time, replied in dignified mono- 
syllables, and became pleasurably aware that Miss Ray- 
mond, opposite, in disloyalty to her companion, had one 
ear trained to catch his slightest word, while Miss Green 
and Miss Woostelle, farther away, watched him covertly 
over the foliage of the celery. He was a lion among 
ladies for the first time — a sensation he had sworn to 
loathe and detest ; and yet there was in him a sort of warm 
growing feeling that he could not explain but that was 
quite far from unpleasant. 

"If Miss Sparkes, Mr. Stover, will stop whispering in 
your ear for just a moment," said the Judge, on mischief 
bent, " you can help Mrs. Story with the beef." 

" You'll get accustomed to him soon," said his hostess, 
smiling. " There, if you'll steady the platter I think we 



174 STOVERATYALE 

two can manage it. I am so glad to have you here. Bob 
has spoken of you so often. I hope you'll be good 
friends." 

There was something leonine and yet very feminine in 
her face, a quiet and restfulness that drew him irresistibly 
to her and gave him the secret of the reserve and charm 
that was in her children. 

Of all the delegation from school, Jean Story alone had 
not seemed aware of his imposing stature. She was sit- 
ting between Hungerford and Hunter, whom she called 
by his first name, and her way of speaking, unlike the 
impulsiveness of her companions, was measured and 
thoughtful. She had a quantity of ash-colored hair 
which, like her dress, seemed to be floating about her. 
Her forehead was clear, a little serious, and her eyes, 
while devoid of coquetry, held him with their directness 
and simplicity. 

He found himself only half hearing the conversation 
that Miss Sparkes rolled into his ear, watching the move- 
ments of other hands, feeling a little antagonism to Hunter 
and wondering how long they had known each other. 

Dinner over, he forgot his shyness, and went up to her 
with the quick direction which was impulsive in him when 
he was strongly interested. 

u I want to talk to you," he said. 

"Yes?" 

She looked at him, a little surprised at the bluntness 
of his introduction, but not displeased. 

" You are very like your brother," he said. She seemed 
younger than he had thought. 

" I am glad of that," she answered, with a genuine 
smile. " Bob and I are old friends." 

" I hope you'll be my friend," he said. 



STOVERATYALE 175 

She turned, and then, seeing in his face only sincerity; 
nodded her head slightly and said: 

" Thank you." 

He said very little more, ill at ease, a feeling that also 
seemed to have gained possession of her. 

Miss Raymond and Miss Woostelle came up, and he 
found himself restored to the role of a hero, a little piqued 
at Miss Story's different attitude, always aware of her 
movements, hearing her low voice through all the chatter 
of the room. 

He went home very thoughtful, keeping out of the 
laughing discussion that went on, watching from the cor- 
ner of his eye Hunter, and wondering with a little unex- 
plained resentment just how well he knew the Storys. 



CHAPTER XIII 

WITH Stover's return after the Christmas vacation 
the full significance of the society dominion burst 
over him. The night that the hold-offs were to be given, 
there was a little joking at the club table, but it was only 
lip-deep. The crisis was too vital. Chris Schley and 
Troutman, who were none too confident, were plainly 
nervous. 

Stover and McCarthy walked home directly to their 
rooms, and took up the next day's lessons as a convenient 
method of killing time. 

" You're not worrying? " said Stover suddenly. 

McCarthy put down the penitential book, and, rising, 
stretched himself, nervously resorting to his pipe. 

" Not for a hold-off — no. That ought to be all right." 

"And afterward?" 

" Don't speak about it." 

" Rats ! You'll be pledged about the eighth or tenth." 

" What time is it ? " said McCarthy shortly. 

" Five minutes more." 

This time each took up his book in order to be found 
in an inconsequential attitude, outwardly indifferent, as 
all Anglo-Saxons should be. From without, the hour 
rang its dull, leaden, measured tones. Almost immedi- 
ately a knock sounded on the door, and Le Baron ap- 
peared, hurried, businesslike, mysterious, saying: 

" Stover, want to see you in the other room a moment." 

Dink retired with him into the bedroom, and received 
his hold-off in a few matter-of-fact sentences. A second 

176 



STOVER AT YALE 177 

after, Le Baron was out of the door, rushing down the 
steps. 

" Your turn next," said Stover, with a wave of his hand 
to McCarthy. 

" Yes." 

The sound of hurrying feet and the shudder of hastily 
banged doors filled the house. 

" My, they're having a busy time of it," said Stover. 

" Yes." 

Ten minutes passed. McCarthy, staring at his page, 
mechanically took up the dictionary, hiding the fear that 
started up. Stover rose, going to the window. 

" They're running around Pierson Hall like a lot of 
ants," he said, drumming against the window. 

" How f ar's this advance go ? " said McCarthy in a mat- 
ter-of-fact tone. 

" End of page 152," said Stover. He came back frown- 
ing, glancing at the clock. It was seventeen minutes after 
the hour. 

All at once, outside, came a clatter of feet, and the door 
opened on Waring, out of breath and flustered. 

" McCarthy, like to see you a moment." 

Stover returned to the window, gazing out. Presently 
behind his back he heard the two return, the door bang, 
and McCarthy's voice saying: 

" It's all right, Dink." 

"All right? "he said. 

" Yes." 

" Glad of it." 

" He gave me a little scare, though." 

" Your crowd lost a couple of men ; besides, you give 
more hold-offs." 

" That's it." 

They abandoned the subject by mutual consent; only 



178 STOVERATYALE 

Stover remembered for months after the tension he had 
felt and the tugging at the heart-strings. If he could feel 
that way for his friend, what would be his sensations 
when he faced his own crisis on Tap Day? 

Fellows from other houses came thronging in with 
reports of how the class had divided up. Every one had 
his own list of the hold-offs, completing it according to the 
last returns, amid a bedlam of questions. 

"How did Story go?" 

" Did Schley get a hold-off? " 

" Yes, but Troutman didn't." 

" He did, too." 

"When?" 

" Half an hour late." 

" Brockhurst got one." 

" You don't say so ! " 

" Gimbel get anythin' ? " 

" No." 

"Regan?" 

" Don't know." 

" Any one know about Regan ? " 

" No." 

" How about Buck Waters? " 

" I don't know. I think not." 

" Damned shame." 

"What, is Buck left out?" 

" 'Fraid so." 

"What's wrong?" 

" Too much sense of humor." 

Stover, off at one side, watched the group, seeing the 
interested calculation as each scanned his own list, won- 
dering who would have to be eliminated if he were to be 
chosen. Story, Tommy Bain, and Hunter were in his 
crowd, as he had foreseen. 



STOVERATYALE 179 

He went out and across the campus to South Middle, 
where Regan was now rooming. By the Coop he found 
Bob Story, and together they went up the creaky stairs. 
Regan was out — just where, the man who roomed on his 
entry did not know. 

" How long has he been out ? " said Story anxiously. 

" Ever since supper/' 

"Didn't he come in at all?" 

" No." 

" Were they going to give him a hold-off ? " said Stover, 
as they went down. 

" Yes. They've been looking everywhere for him." 

" I don't think the old boy would take it." 

" Can't you make him see what it would mean to him ? " 

" I've tried." 

" I'm afraid Regan's queered himself with a lot of our 
crowd," said Story thoughtfully. " They don't under- 
stand him and he doesn't want to understand them. 
Didn't he know this was the night ? " 

" Yes ; I told him." 

" Stayed away on purpose ? " 

" Probably." 

" Too bad. He's just the sort of man we ought to 
have." 

" How do you feel about the whole proposition ? " said 
Stover curiously. 

" The sophomore society question ? " said Story frankly. 
" Why, I think there've got to be some reforms made ; 
they ought to be kept more democratic." 

"You think that?" 

" Yes ; I think we want to keep away a good deal from 
the social admiration game — be representative of the 
real things in Yale life ; that's why we need a man like 
Regan. Course, I think this — that we've all got too 



180 STOVERATYALE 

much this society idea in our heads ; but, since they exist 
it's better to do what we can to make them representative 
and not snobbish." 

Stover was surprised at the maturity of judgment in 
the young fellow, as well as his simplicity of expression. 
He would have liked to talk to him further on deeper 
subjects, but, as always, the first steps were difficult and 
as yet he accepted things without a clear understanding 
of reasons. 

He went up with Story for a little chat. There was 
about the room a tone of quiet good taste and thought ful- 
ness quite different from the boyish exuberance of other 
rooms. The pictures were Braunotypes of paintings he 
did not know, while bits of plaster casts mellowed with 
wax enlivened the serried contents of the book-shelves. 

" You've got a lot of books," said Stover, feeling his 
way. 

" Yes. Drop in and borrow them any time you 
want." 

While Story flung a couple of cushions on the state 
arm-chair and brought out the tobacco, Dink examined 
the shelves respectfully, surprised and impressed by the 
quality of the titles, French, German, and Russian. 

" Why do you room alone, Bob ? " he said, with some 
curiosity, knowing Story's popularity. 

" I wanted to." Story was opposite, his face blocked 
out in sudden shadows from the standing lamp, that 
accentuated a certain wistful, pensive quality it had. " I 
enjoy being by myself. It gives me time to think and 
look around me." 

" Are you going out for anything? " said Stover, won- 
dering a little at the impression Story had made already, 
through nothing but the charm and sincerity of his char- 
acter. 



STOVER AT YALE 181 

" Yes, I'm going out for the News next month, and 
besides I'm heeling the Lit" 

" Oh, you are ? " said Stover, surprised. 

" But it comes hard," said Story, with a grimace. " I 
have to work like sin over every line. It's all hammered 
t out. Brockhurst is the fellow who can do the stuff." 

" Do you know him at all ? " 

" He won't let any one know him. I've tried. I don't 
think he quite knows yet how to meet fellows. I'm sorry. 
He really interests me." 

" That's a good photo of your sister," said Stover, who 
had held the question in leash ever since his entrance. 

" So, so." 

" How much longer has she at Farmington ? " 

" Last year." 

" Going abroad afterwards? " said Stover carelessly. 

" No, indeed. Stay right here." 

" I like her," said Stover. " It's quite a privilege to 
know her." 

Story looked up and a pleased smile came to him. 

" Yes, it is," he said. 

" Bob, what do you think about McCarthy's chances? " 

Story considered a moment. 

" Only fair," he said. 

" Why, what's wrong with him ? " 

" He hasn't any one ahead pulling for him," said Story, 
" and most of the other fellows have. That's one fault 
we have." 

" It would knock him out to miss." 

" It is tough." 

They spoke a little more in a desultory way, and Stover 
left. He was dissatisfied. He wanted Story to like him, 
conscious of a new longing in himself for the friendships 
that did not come, and yet somehow he could find no com- 



182 STOVERATYALE 

mon ground of conversation. Moreover, and he rather 
resented it, there was not in Story the least trace of the 
admiration and reverence that he was accustomed to 
receive, as a leader should receive. 

The following weeks were ones of intrigue and nervous 
speculation. Pledged among the first, he found himself 
with Hunter, Story, and Tommy Bain in the position of 
adviser as to the selection of the rest of his crowd. 
Hunter and Bain, each with an object in view, sought 
to enlist his aid. He perceived their intentions, not duped 
by the new cordiality, growing more and more antagonistic 
to their businesslike ambitions. With Joe Hungerford 
and Bob Story he found his real friends. And yet, what 
completely surprised him was the lack of careless, indo- 
lent camaraderie which he had known at school and 
had expected in larger scope at college. Every one 
was busy, working with a dogged persistence along some 
line of ambition. The long, lazy afternoons and pleasant 
evenings were not there. Instead was the grinding of 
the mills and the turning of the wheels. How it was with 
the rest he ignored ; but with his own crowd — the chosen 
— life was earnest, disciplined in a set purpose. He felt 
it in the open afternoon, in the quiet passage of candi- 
dates for the baseball teams, the track, and the crew ; in 
the evenings, in the strumming of instruments from 
Alumni Hall and the practising of musical organizations, 
and most of all in the flitting, breathless passage of the 
News heelers — in snow or sleet, running in and out of 
buildings, frantically chasing down a tip, haggard with the 
long-drawn-out struggle now ending the fourth month. 

He himself had surrendered again to this compelling 
activity and gone over to the gymnasium, taking his place 
at the oars in the churning tanks, bending methodically as 
the bare torso of the man in front bent or shot back, con- 



STOVER AT YALE 183 

centrating all his faculties on the shouted words of advice 
from the pacing coach above him. 

He was too light to win in the competition of unusual 
material — he could only hope for a second or third sub- 
stitute at best; but that was what counted, he said to 
himself, what made competition in the class and brought 
others out, just as it did in football. And so he stuck 
to his grind, satisfied, on the whole, that his afternoons 
were mapped out for him. 

Meanwhile the pledges to the sophomore societies con- 
tinued and the field began to narrow. McCarthy's hold- 
off was renewed each time, but the election did not arrive. 

In his own crowd Story, Hungerford, and himself 
found themselves in earnest alliance for the election of 
Regan and Brockhurst. Regan, however, had so antag- 
onized certain members of their sophomore crowd that 
their task was well-nigh impossible. He had been pro- 
nounced " fresh," equivalent almost to a ban of excom- 
munication, for his extraordinary lack of reverence to 
things that traditionally should be revered, and as he 
had a blunt, direct way of showing in his eyes what he 
liked and disliked, his sterling qualities were forgotten 
in the irritation he caused. Besides, as the opening nar- 
rowed to three or four vacancies, Hunter and Bain, in 
the service of their own friends, arrayed themselves in 
silent opposition to him and to Brockhurst. 

About the latter, Stover found himself increasingly 
unable to make up his mind. He went to see him once 
or twice, but the visit was never returned. In his infal- 
libility — for infallibility is a requisite of a leader — he 
decided that there was something queer about him. He 
rather shunned others, took long walks by himself, in a 
crowd always seemed removed, watching others with a 
distant eye which had in it a little mockery. His room 



184 STOVERATYALE 

was always in confusion, as was his tousled hair. In a 
word, he was a little of a barbarian, who did not speak 
the ready lip language that was current in social gather- 
ings, and, unfortunately, did not show well his paces when 
confronted with inspection. So when the final vote came 
Stover, infallible judge of human nature, conscientiously 
decided that Brockhurst did not rank with the exceed- 
ingly choice crowd of which he was a leader. 

With the arrival of the elections for the managerships 
of the four big athletic organizations, positions in the past 
disputed by the candidacies of the three sophomore soci- 
eties, a revolution took place. The non-society element, 
organized by Gimbel and other insurgents ahead of him, 
put up a candidate for the football managership and 
elected him by an overwhelming majority, and repeated 
their success with the Navy. 

The second victory was like the throwing down of a 
gauntlet. The class, which had been quietly dividing 
since the advent of the hold-offs, definitely split, and for 
the first time Stover became aware of the soundness of 
the opposition to the social system of which he was a 
prospective leader. Quite to his surprise, Jim Hunter 
appeared in his room one night. 

" What the deuce does he want now ? " he thought to 
himself, wondering if he were to be again solicited in 
favor of Stone, who was still short of election. 

" I say, Dink, we're up against a serious row," said 
Hunter, making himself comfortable and speaking always 
in the same unvarying tone. " The class is split to 
pieces." 

" It looks that way." 

" It's all Gimbel and that crowd of soreheads he runs. 
We had trouble with him up at Andover." 

" Well, Jim, what do you think about the whole propo- 



STOVER AT YALE 185 

sition ? " said Stover. " The college seems pretty strong 
against us." 

" It's just a couple of men who are cooking it up to 
work themselves into office," said Hunter, dismissing the 
idea lightly. " You'll see, that's all there is to it." 

Somehow, Stover found that renewed contest with 
Hunter only increased the feeling of antagonism he had 
felt from the first. He was aware of a growing resist- 
ance to Hunter's point of view, guarded and deliberate 
as it was. So he said point blank: 

" I'm not so sure there isn't some basis for the feeling. 
We ought to watch out and make ourselves as democratic 
as possible." 

" My dear fellow," said Hunter, in the tone of amused 
worldliness, " these anti-society fights go on everywhere. 
There was a great hullabaloo six or seven years ago, and 
then it all died out. You'll see, that's what'll happen. 
Gimbel'll get what he wants, then he'll quiet down and 
hope to make a senior society. Don't get too excited 
over things that happen in freshman year." 

" Have you talked with Story ? " said Stover, resenting 
his tone. 

"Bob's got a curious twist — he's a good deal of a 
dreamer." 

" Then you wouldn't make any changes ? " 

" No, not in our crow d," said Hunter. " I think we 
do very well what we set out to get — the representative 
men of the class, to bring them together into close friend- 
ship, and make them understand one another's point of 
view and so work together for the best in the university." 

" You think the outsiders don't count ? " 

" As a rule, no. Of course, there are one or two men 
who develop later, but if there's anything in them they'll 
really make good." 



186 STOVER AT YALE 

" Rather tough work, won't it be ? " 

" Yes ; but every system has its faults." 

" What did you come in to see me about ? " said Stover 
abruptly. 

" To talk the situation over," said Hunter, not seeming 
to perceive the hostility of the question. " I think all 
of us in the crowd ought to be very careful." 

"About what?" 

" About talking too much." 

" What do you mean by that ? " 

" I mean, if you have any criticism on the system, keep 
it to yourself. Gimbel is raising enough trouble ; the 
only thing is for us to shut up and not encourage them 
by making the kickers think that any of us agree with 
them." 

" So that's what you came in to say to me ? " 

" Yes." 

" You're for no compromise." 

" I am." 

" Are there fellows in our crowd, or the classes ahead, 
who feel as Story does ? " 

" Yes ; of course there are a few." 

" And, Hunter, you see no faults in the system ? " 

" What other system would you suggest ? " 

Now, Stover had not yet come to a critical analysis of 
his own good fortune, nor had he any more than a per- 
gonal antagonism for Hunter himself. He did not an- 
swer, unwilling to let this feeling color his views on what 
he began to perceive might some day shape itself as a test 
of his courage. 

Hunter left presently, as he had come up, without 
enthusiasm, always cold, always deliberate. When he 
had gone, Stover became a little angry at the advice so 



STOVER AT YALE 187 

openly imposed on him, and as a result he decided on a 
sudden move. 

If the split in the class was acute, something ought 
to be done. If Hunter, as a leader, was resolved on 
contemptuous isolation, he would do a bigger thing in a 
bigger way. 

In pursuance of this idea, he suddenly set out to find 
Gimbel and provoke a frank discussion. If anything 
could be done to hold the class together and stop the 
rise of political dissension, it was his duty as a responsible 
leader to do what he could to prevent it. 

When he reached the room, it was crowded, and an 
excited discussion was going on, which dropped suddenly 
on his entrance. What the subject of conversation was 
he had a shrewd suspicion, seeing several representatives 
from Sheff. 

" Hello, Stover. Come right in. Glad to see you." 
Gimbel, a little puzzled at this first visit, came forward 
cordially. " You know every one here, don't you ? 
Jackson, shake hands with Stover. What'll you have, 
pipe or cigarette ? " 

Stover nodded to the fellows whom he knew on slight 
acquaintance, settled in an arm-chair, brought forth his 
pipe, and said with assumed carelessness : 

" What was all the pow-wow about when I arrived ? " 

A certain embarrassment stirred in the room, but 
Gimbel, smiling at the question, said frankly : , 

" We were fixing up a combination for the baseball 
managership. We are going to lick you fellows to a 
scramble. That's what you've come over to talk about, 
isn't it?" 

" Yes." 

The crowd, plainly disconcerted at this smiling passage 



188 STOVER AT YALE 

of arms, began to melt away with hastily formed ex- 
cuses. ♦ 

" Quite a meeting-place, Gimbel, you have here," said 
Stover, nodding to the last disappearing group. 

" Politicians should have," replied Gimbel, straddling 
a chair, and, leaning his arms on the back, he added, smil- 
ing : " Well, fire away." 

Each had grown in authority since their first meeting 
on the opening of college, nor was the question of war 
or peace yet decided between them. 

" Gimbel, I hope we can talk this thing over openly " 

" I think we can." 

" I'm doing an unusual thing in coming to you. YouVe 
a power in this class." 

" And you represent the other side," said Gimbel. 
" Go on." 

" You're going to run a candidate for the baseball man- 
agership." 

" I'm not running him, but I'm making the combination 
for this class." 

" Same thing." 

" Just about." 

" Are you fellows going to shut out every society man 
that goes up for a class election ? " 

" You're putting a pretty direct question." 

" Answer it if you want to." 

" Yes, I'll answer it." Gimbel looked at him, plainly 
concerned in emulating his frankness, and continued : 
" Stover, this anti-sophomore society fight is a fight to 
the finish. We are going to put up an outsider, as you 
call it, for every election, and we're going to elect him." 

"Why?" 

" Because we are serving notice that we are against a 
system that is political and undemocratic." 



STOVERATYALE 189 

"Whatgood'llitdo?" 

" We'll abolish the whole system." 

" Do you really believe that ? " said Stover, strangely 
enough, adopting Hunter's attitude. 

" I do ; I may know the feeling in the upper classes 
better than you do." 

" Gimbel, how much of this is real opposition and how 
much is worked up by you and others ? " 

" My dear Stover, why ask who is responsible ? Ask 
if the opposition is genuine and whether it's going to 
stick." 

" I don't believe it is." 

" That's not it. What you want to know is how much 
is conviction in me, and how much is just the fun of run- 
ning things and stirring up mischief." 

" That does puzzle me — yes. But what I want you 
to see is, you're splitting up the class." 

" I'm not doing it, and you're not doing it. It's the 
class ahead that's interfering and doing it. Now, Stover, 
I've answered your questions. Will you answer mine ? " 

" That's fair." 

" If you put up a candidate, why shouldn't we ? " 

" But you make politics out of it." 

" Do you ever support the candidate of another 
crowd ? " 

Stover was silent. 

" Stover, do you know that for years these elections 
have gone on with just three candidates offered, one each 
from your three sophomore societies? And how have 
they been run? By putting up your lame ducks." 

" Oh, come." 

" Not always. But if you think you can elect a weak 
member instead of a strong one, you trot out the lame 
duck. Why? Because at the bottom you are not really 



190 STOVER AT YALE 

social, but political; because your main object is to get 
as many of your men into senior societies as you can." 

"Well, why not?" 

" Because you're doing it at the expense of the class — 
by making us bolster up the weak ones with an office." 

" I don't think that's entirely fair." 

" You'll see. Look at the last candidates the sopho- 
mores put up. You haven't answered my questions. 
Why shouldn't we non-society men, six-sevenths of the 
class, have the right to put up our candidates and elect 
them?" 

" You have," said Stover ; " but, Gimbel, you're not 
doing it for that. You're doing it to knock us out." 

" Quite true." 

" That means the whole class goes to smash — that 
we're going to have nothing but fights and hard feelings 
from now on. Is that what you want ? " 

" Stover, it's a bigger thing than just the peace of mind 
of our class." 

" But what is your objection to us ? " said Stover. 

" My objection is that just that class feeling and har- 
mony you spoke of your societies have already de- 
stroyed." 

"In what way?" 

" Because you break in and take little groups out of 
the body of the class and herd together." 

" You exaggerate." 

" Oh, no, I don't ; and you'll see it more next year. 
You've formed your crowd, and you'll stick together and 
you'll all do everything you can to help each other along. 
That's natural. But don't come and say to me that we 
fellows are dividing the class." 

" Rats, Gimbel ! Just because I'm in a soph isn't going 
to make any difference with the men I see." 



STOVER AT YALE 191 

" You think so ? " said Gimbel, looking at him with 
real curiosity. 

" You bet it won't." 

" Wait and see." 

" That's too ridiculous ! " 

Stover, feeling his anger gaining possession of him, rose 
abruptly. 

" How can it be otherwise ? " said Gimbel, persisting. 

" Next year the only outsiders you'll see will be a few 
bootlickers who'll attach themselves to you to get pulled 
into a junior society. The real men won't go with you, 
because they don't want to kowtow and heel." 

" We'll see." 

" I say, Stover," said Gimbel abruptly, as Dink, for 
fear of losing his temper, was leaving. " Now, be square. 
You've come to me frankly — I won't say impertinently 
— and I've answered your questions and told you openly 
what we're going to do. Give me credit for that, will 
you ? " 

" I don't believe in you," said Stover, facing him. 

" I know you don't," said Gimbel, flushing a little, " but 
you will before you get through." 

" I doubt it." 

" And I'll tell you another thing you'll do before this 
sophomore society fight is ended," said Gimbel, with a 
sudden heat. 

"What?" 

" You'll stand on the right side — where we stand." 

"You think so?" 

"I know it!" 



CHAPTER XIV 

WHEN a freshman has been invited to dinner and 
in a rash moment accepted the invitation and lived 
through the agony, he usually pays his party call (always 
supposing that he has imbibed a certain amount of home 
etiquette) sometime before graduation. In the balance 
of freshman year the obligation possesses him like a 
specter of remorse; in sophomore year he remembers it 
by fits and starts, always in the middle of the week, in 
time to forget it by Sunday; in junior year he is tempted 
once or twice to use it as an excuse for sporting his newly 
won high hat and frock-coat, but fears he has offended 
too deeply ; and in senior year he watches the local society 
columns for departures, and rushes around to deposit his 
cards, with an expression of surprise and regret when 
informed at the door that the family is away. 

Dink Stover temporized, confronted with the awful 
ordeal of arraying himself in his Sunday prison garb and 
stiffly traversing the long, tricky, rug-strewn hall of the 
Story's, with the chance of suddenly showing his whole 
person to a dozen inquisitive eyes. He let the first Sun- 
day pass without a qualm, as being too unnecessarily close 
and familiar. On the second Sunday he decided to wait 
until he had received the suit made of goods purchased 
at a miraculous bargain from the unsuspecting Yankee 
drummer. The third Sunday he completely forgot his 
duties as a man of fashion. On the fourth Sunday, in 
a panic, he bound his neck in a shackling high collar, 

192 



STOVER AT YALE 193 

donned his new suit, which looked as lovely as everything 
that is new and untried can look, and went post-haste 
in search of Hungerford as a companion in misery and 
a post to which to cling. To his horror, Hungerford had 
paid his visit, and felt very doubtful as to the propriety 
of repeating it before having been again fed. 

Dink returned for McNab or Hunter as the lesser of 
two evils. They were both out. Being in stiff and cir- 
cumstantial attire, the afternoon was manifestly lost. 
With a sort of desperate hope for some miraculous eva- 
sion, he set out laggingly for the Story mansion, revolving 
different plans. 

" I might leave a card at the door," he thought to 
himself, " and tell the girl that my room-mate was des- 
perately ill — that I had just run in for a moment because 
I wanted them to know, to know — to know what ? " 

The idea expired noiselessly. He likewise rejected the 
idea of stalking the door Indian fashion, and slipping the 
card under the crack as if he had rung and not been 
heard. 

" After all, they might be out," he thought at last, 
hopefully. " I'll just go by quietly and see if I can hear 
anything." 

But at the moment when he came abreast the steps a 
carriage drove up, the door opened, and Judge Story 
and his wife came down. Stover came to a balky stop, 
hastily snatching away his derby. 

" Why, bless me if it isn't Mr. Stover," said the Judge 
instantly. " Dressed to kill, too. Never expected to 
see you until I went around myself, with an injunction. 
How did you screw up your courage ? " 

Mrs. Story came to his rescue, smiling a little at his 
tell-tale face. 



194 STOVER AT YALE 

" Don't stop on my account," said Stover, very much 
embarrassed. " It's a beautiful day for a ride, beau- 
tiful." 

" Oh, you are not going to get off as easily as that," 
said the Judge, delighted. " My daughter Jean is inside 
watching you from behind the curtains. Go right up 
and entertain her with some side-splitting stories. Be- 
sides, Miss Kelly is there with some important top-heavy 
junior who thinks he's making an awful hit with her. 
Go in and steal her right away from him." 

The maid stood at the open door. There was nothing 
to do but to toil up the penal steps, heart in mouth. 

" Is Miss Story in ? " he said in a lugubrious voice. 
" Will you present her with this card? " 

" Step right into the parlor, sah. You'll find Miss 
Jean there," said the colored maid, with no feeling at 
all for his suffering. 

He caught a fleeting, unreassuring glimpse of himself 
in a dark mirror, successfully negotiated the sliding rugs, 
and all at once found himself somehow in the cheery 
parlor alone with Miss Story, shaking hands. 

"Miss Kelly is here?" he said, perfunctorily stalking 
to a chair. 

" No, indeed." 

" Why your father said — " 

"That was only his way — he's a dreadful tease." 

Stover drew a more quiet breath, and even relaxed 
into a smile. 

" He had me all primed up for a junior, at least." 

" Isn't Dad dreadful ! That's why you came in with 
such overpowering dignity ? " 

Stover laughed, a little pleased that his entrance could 
be so described, and, shifting to a less painfully con- 



STOVERATYALE 195 

tracted position, sought anxiously for some brilliant open- 
ing that would make the conversation a distinguished 
success. 

Now, although he still retained his invincible determi- 
nation to keep his faith from women, he had during cer- 
tain pleasant episodes of the last vacation condescended 
to listen politely to the not disagreeable adoration of 
a score of hero-worshiping young ladies still languishing 
in boarding-schools. He had learned the trick of such 
conversations, exchanged photographs with the laudable 
intention of making his rooms more like an art gallery 
than ever, and carried off as mementos such articles as 
fans, handkerchiefs, flowers, etc. 

But, somehow, the stock phrases were out of place here. 
He tried one or two openings, and then relapsed, watching 
her as she took up the conversation easily and ran on. 
Ever since their first meeting the charming silhouette of 
the young girl had been in his mind. He watched her 
as she rose once or twice to cross the room, and her move- 
ments had the same gentle rhythm that mystified him in 
her voice. Yet he was conscious of a certain antagonism. 
His vanity, perhaps, was a little stirred. She was not 
flattered in the least by his attentions, which in itself was 
an incredible thing. There was about her not the slight- 
est suggestion of coquetry — in fact, not more than a 
polite uninterested attitude toward a guest. And, per- 
ceiving this all at once, a desire came to him to force 
from her some recognition. 

" You are very much like Bob," he said abruptly, " you 
are very hard to know." 

"Really?" 

M I really want to know your brother, but I can't. 1 
don't think he likes me," he said. 



196 STOVER AT YALE 

" I don't think Bob knows you," she said carefully, 
raising her eyes in a little surprise. " You're right ; we 
both take a long time to make up our minds." 

" Then what I said is true ? " he persisted. 

She looked at him a moment, as if wondering how 
frank she might be, and said after a little deliberation: 

" I think he's in a little doubt about you." 

" In doubt," said the prospective captain of a Yale 
eleven, vastly amazed. " How ? " 

"You will succeed; I am sure of that." 

"Well, what then?" he said, wondering what other 
standard could be applied. 

" I wonder how real you will be in your success," she 
said, looking at him steadily. 

" You think I am calculating and cold about it," hz 
said, insisting. 

She nodded her head, and then corrected herself. 

" I think you are in danger of it — being entirely ab- 
sorbed in yourself — not much to give to others — that's 
what I mean." 

" By George," said Dink, open-mouthed, " you are the 
strangest person I ever met in my life ! " 

She colored a little at this, and said hastily : 

" I beg your pardon ; I didn't realize what I was 
saying." 

" You may be right, too." He rose and walked a little, 
thinking it over. He stopped suddenly and turned to 
her. " Why do you think I'm not ' real ' ? " 

" I don't believe you have begun to think yet." 

"Why not?" 

" Because — well, because you are too popular, too 
successful. It's all come too easily. You've had nothing 
to test you. There's nothing so much alike as the suc- 
cessful men here." 



STOVER AT YALE 197 

" You are very old for your years," he said, plainly 
annoyed. 

" No ; I listen. Bob and Dad say the same thing." 

" You know, I wanted you to be my friend," he said, 
suddenly brushing aside the conversation. " You remem- 
ber?" 

" I should like to be your friend," she said quietly. 

" If I turn out as you want." 

" Certainly." 

He seized an early opportunity to leave, furious at what 
(not understanding that the instincts of a first antagonism 
in a young girl are sometimes evidence of a growing in- 
terest) he felt was her indifference. He did not go 
directly to his rooms, but struck out for a brisk walk up 
the avenue. 

" What the deuce does she think I'm going to turn 
out?" he said to himself, with some irritation. "Turn 
out ? Absurd ! Haven't I done everything I should do ? 
I've only been here a year, and I stand for something. 
By George, I'd like to know how many men get where 
I've gotten the first year." Looking back over the year, 
he was quickly reassured on this vital point. " If she 
thinks I'm calculating, how about Hunter? He's the 
original cold fish," he said. "Yes, what about him? 
Absurd. She just said that to provoke me." He sought 
in his mind some epithet adequate to such impertinence, 
and declared: "She's young — that's it; she's quite 
young." 

Suddenly he thought of Regan, who had intruded his 
shadow across the path of his personal ambition. Had 
he really been honest about Regan? Could he not have 
made him see the advantages of belonging to a sophomore 
society, if he had really tried? Whereupon Mr. Dink 
Stover began a long, victorious debate with his conscience, 



198 STOVER AT YALE 

one of those soul-satisfying arguments that always end 
one way, as conscience is a singularly poor debater when 
pitted against a resourceful mind. 

"Heavens! haven't I been the best friend he's had?" 
he concluded. " Perhaps I might have talked more to 
kirn about the sophomore question, but then, I know I 
never could have changed him. So what's the odds? 
I'm democratic and liberal. Didn't I go to Gimbel and 
have it out? I can see the other side, too. What the 
deuce, then, did she mean ? " 

After another long period of furious tramping, he an- 
swered this vexing question in the following irrelevant 
way : " By George, what an extraordinary girl she is ! 
I must go around again and talk with her. She brushes 
me up." 

And around he did go, not once, but several times. 
The first little antagonism between them gradually wore 
away, and yet he was aware of a certain defensive atti- 
tude in her, a judgment that was reserved; and as, by 
the perfected averaging system of college, he had lost 
in one short year all the originality and imagination he 
had brought with him, he was quite at a loss to under- 
stand what she found lacking in so important and suc- 
cessful a personage as Mr. John Humperdink Stover. 

Naturally, he felt that he was in love. This extraor- 
dinary passion came to him in the most sudden and con- 
vincing manner. He corresponded, with much physical 
and mental agony, with what is called a dashing brunette, 
with whom he had danced eleven dances out of a possible 
sixteen on the occasion of a house-party in the Christmas 
vacation, on the strength of which they had exchanged 
photographs and simulated a confidential correspondence. 
He had done this because he had plainly perceived it was 
the thing for a man to do, as one watches the crease 



STOVER AT YALE 199 

in the trousers or exposes a vest a little more daring 
than the rest. It gave him a sort of reputation among 
lady-killers that was not distasteful. At Easter he had 
annexed a blonde, who wrote effusive rolling scrawls and 
used a noticeable crest. He had done this, likewise, be- 
cause he wished to be known as a destructive force, as 
one who rather allowed himself to be loved. But he 
found the manual labor too taxing. He was cruel and 
abrupt to the blonde, but he consoled himself by saying 
to himself that he had restored to the little girl her peace 
of mind. 

On Sunday evening, then, according to tacit agreement, 
after a pipe had been smoked and the fifth Sunday news- 
paper had been searched for the third time, McCarthy 
stretched himself like a cat and said: 

" Well, I guess I'll dash off a few heart-throbs to the 
dear little things." 

" That reminds me," said Stover, with an obvious loud- 
ness. He took out the last heliotrope envelop and read 
over the contents which had pleased him so much on the 
preceding Tuesday. Somehow, it had a different ring — 
a little too flippant, too facile. 

" What the deuce am I going to write her ? " he said, 
inciting his hair to rebellion. He cleaned the pen, and 
then the ink-well, and wrote on the envelop: 

Miss Anita Laurence 

It was a name that had particularly attracted him, it 
was so Spanish and suggestive of serenades. He wrote 
again at the top of the page : 

"Dear Anita." 

Then he stopped. 

" What the deuce can I say now ? " he repeated crossly. 



200 STOVER AT YALE 

" By George, I've only seen her five times. What is there 
to say?" 

He rose, went to his bureau, and took up the photo- 
graph of honor and looked at it long. It was a pretty 
face, but the ears were rather large. Then he went back, 
and, tearing up what he had written, closed his desk. 

" Hello," said McCarthy, who was in difficulties. 
" Aren't you going to write Anita ? " 

" I wrote her last night," said Stover with justifiable 
mendacity. " I was writing home, but feel rather 
sleepy." 

As this was unchallengeable, he went to his room and 
stretched out on the delicious bed. 

"I wonder if I'm falling in love with Jean Story?" 
he said hopefully. " I'm sick to death of Anita calling 
me by my front name and writing as she does. I'll bet 
I'm not the only one, either ! " This sublimely ingenious 
suspicion sufficed for the demise of the dashing brunette 
from whom he had forced eleven dances out of a possible 
sixteen. " Jean Story is so different. What the deuce 
does she want changed in me? I wonder if I could get 
Bob to give me a bid for a visit this summer ? " 

The opening to the imagination being thus provided, 
he went wandering over summer meadows with a certain 
slender girl who moved as no one else moved and in a 
dreamy landscape showed him the most marked prefer- 
ence. In the midst of a most delightful and thoroughly 
satisfactory conversation he fell asleep. When he woke 
he went straight to his bureau, and, removing the photo- 
graph of Anita, consigned it to a humble position in the 
study amid the crowded beauties that McCarthy termed 
the harem. 

During first recitation, which was an inconsequen- 
tial voyage into Greece, his imagination jumped the black- 



STOVER AT YALE 201 

boarded walls and went wandering into the realm of the 
possible summer. A week on the river at the oars, how- 
ever, drove from him all such imaginings ; but at times 
the vexing question returned, and each Sunday, some- 
how, he found an opportunity to drop in and have a long 
talk with Judge Story, of whom he grew surprisingly 
fond. 

The period of duns now set in, and the house on York 
Street became a place of mystery and signals. McNab, 
naturally, was the most sought, and he took up a sort of 
migratory abode on Stover's window-seat, disappearing 
under the flaps at the slightest sound in the corridor. 
Stover himself began to feel the possibilities of vistas and 
the sense of lurking shadows. He was utterly disap- 
pointed in the material for a suit which he had bought 
from the unsuspecting Yankee. It had a yielding char- 
acteristic way about it that brought the most surprising 
baggings and stretchings, and he had a suspicion that it 
was pining away and fading in the sun. By the time the 
tailor's bill had been presented (not paid), the suit might 
have been on the fashion account of a prince. Then 
there were little notes, polite but insistent, from the 
haberdasher's whence the glowing green shirt, now sadly 
yellowed, had come. In order to make a show of set- 
tling, he went over to Commons to eat, and, being on an 
allowance for clothes, economized on such articles of 
apparel as were visible only to himself and McCarthy, 
who was in the same threadbare state. 

His candidacy for the class crew kept him in strict 
training, though he ranked no better than third substitute. 
His afternoons thus employed and his evenings occupied 
with consultations, he found his life as narrowed as it 
had been in the season of football. Every one knew him, 
and he had learned the trick of a smile and an enthusiastic 



STOVER AT YALE 

bob of the head to every one. He was a popular man 
even among the outsiders now more and more openly 
opposed to the sophomore society system. He was per- 
haps, at this period, the most popular man in his class; 
and yet, he had made scarcely a friend, nor did he under- 
stand quite what was the longing in him. 

With the end of May and the coming of society week 
for the first time the full intensity and seriousness of the 
social ambition was brought before him. The last elec- 
tions in his own crowd were given out, Regan and Brock- 
hurst failing to be chosen. In McCarthy's society the 
last place narrowed down to three men ; and Stone, who 
had made the News, won the choice. 

Stover was sitting alone with McCarthy on the critical 
night, when the door opened and Stone entered. One 
look at his face told McCarthy what had happened. 

" I'm sorry, Tough," said Stone, a little over-tense. 
" They gave me the pledge. It's hard luck." 

" Bully for you ! " There wasn't a break in Mc- 
Carthy's voice. " I knew you'd get it all along." 

" I came up to let you know right away," said Stone, 
looking down at the floor. " Of course, I wanted it my- 
self, but I'm sorry — deuced sorry." 

" Nonsense. You've made the News. You ought to 
have it." McCarthy, calm and smiling, held out his hand. 
u Bully for you ! Shake on it ! " 

Stone went almost immediately and the room-mates 
were left alone. McCarthy came back whistling, and 
irrelevantly went to his bureau, parting his hair with 
methodical strokes of the brush. 

" That was real white of Stone to come up and tell 
me," he said quietly. 

" Yes." 

" Well, we'll go on with that geometry now." 




is 



STOVER AT YALE 203 

He came back and sat down at the desk quite calmly, 
as if a whole outlook had not been suddenly closed to 
him. 

Stover, cut to the heart, watched him with a genuine 
thrill. He rose, drew a long breath, walked to the win- 
dow, and, coming back, laid his hand on his room-mate's 
shoulder. 

McCarthy looked up quickly, with a little flush. 

" Good grit, old man," said Dink, " darned good grit." 

" Thank you." 

" It won't make any difference, Tough." 

" Of course not." McCarthy gave a little laugh and 
said : " Don't say any more, Dink." 

Stover took his place opposi f e, saying: 

"I won't, only this. You take it better than I could 
do. I'm proud of you." 

" You remember what the old man said to you fellows 
after that Princeton slaughter?" said Tough solemnly. 
" ' Take your medicine.' Well, Dink, I'm going to swal- 
low it without a wink, and I rather guess, from what I've 
seen, that's the biggest thing they have to teach us up 
here." 

" It'll make no difference," said Dink obstinately. 

" Of course not." 

But each knew that for McCarthy, who would never 
be above the substitute class, the issue of the senior 
society was settled, once and for all. 

The excitement of being initiated, the outward mani- 
festation of Calcium Light Night and the spectacular 
parade of the cowled junior societies with their swelling 
marching songs, and the sudden arrival of Tap Day for 
a while drove from Stover all thoughts but his personal 
dreams. 

On the fateful Thursday in May, shortly after half 



204 STOVERATYALE 

past four, he and Tough went over to the campus. By 
the fence the junior class, already swallowed up by the 
curious body of the college, were waiting the arrival of 
the senior elections which would begin on the stroke of 
five. 

" Lots of others will take their medicine to-day," said 
McCarthy a little grimly. 

" You bet." 

Hungerford and McNab, seeing them, came over. 

" Gee, look at the way the visitors are on the campus," 
said McNab. 

" They're packed in all the windows of Durfee and 
over on the steps of Dwight Hall," said Hungerford. 
" I didn't know they came on like this." 

" If you want a sensation," said McNab, " just go over 
to that bunch of juniors. You can hear every one of 
them breathe. They're scared to death. It's a regular 
slaughter." 

Stover looked curiously at McNab, amazed to note the 
excitement on his usually flippant countenance. Then 
he looked over at the herd huddled under the trees by 
the fence. It was all a spectacle still — dramatic, but 
removed from his own personality. The juniors, with 
but a few exceptions, were only names to him. His own 
society men meant something, and Captain Dudley of 
next year's eleven, who, of course, was absolutely sure. 
He felt a little thrill as he looked over and saw the 
churning mass and thought that in two years he would 
stand there and wait. But, for the moment, he was only 
eagerly curious and a little inclined to be amused at the 
excessive solemnity of the performance. 

" Who do you think will be first tapped for Bones ? " 
said McNab, at his side. 

" Dudley," said Hungerford. 



STOVERATYALE 205 

" No; they'll keep him for the last place." 

" Well, Allison, captain of the crew, then." 

" I heard Smithson has switched over to Keys/* 

" They're both after De Gollyer." 

All four had tentative lists in their hands, eagerly com- 
paring them. 

" Dopey, you're all wrong. Clark'll never get it." 

" Why not." 

" Look at your Bones list — there's no place for him. 
You've got to include the pitcher of the nine and the 
president of Dwight Hall, haven't you? " 

" My guess is Rogers first man for Keys." 

" No ; they'll take some man Bones wants — De Goll- 
yer, probably." 

" Let's get into the crowd." 

" Come on." 

" It's ten minutes of five already." 

Le Baron, passing, stopped Stover, saying excitedly : 

" Say, Dink, watch out for the crowd who go Keys 
and let me know, will you? I mean the men in our 
crowd ? " 

" Sure I will." 

Stover was in the throng, with a strange, sharp memory 
of Le Baron's drawn face. It was a silent mass, waiting, 
watch in hand, trying stoically to face down the suspense 
of the last awful minutes. Men he knew stared past him 
unseeing. Some were carefully dressed, and others 
stood in sweater and jersey, biting on pipes that were not 
lit. He heard a few scattered voices and the brief, crisp 
remarks came to him like the scattered popping of mus- 
ketry. 

" What's the time, Bill?" 

" Three minutes of." 

" Did they ever make a mistake ? " 



206 STOVER AT YALE 

" Sure ; four years ago. A fellow got mixed up and 
tapped the wrong man." 

" Didn't discover it until they were half way down the 
campus." 

" Rotten situation." 

" I should say so." 

" Let's stand over here." 

"What for?" 

" Let's see Dudley tapped. He'll be first man for 
Bones." 

" Gee, what a mob ! " 

" Packed like sardines." 

Near the fence, the juniors, hemmed in, were con- 
stantly being welded together. Stover, moving aimlessly, 
caught sight of Dudley's face. He would have liked to 
signal him a greeting, a look of good will ; but the face 
of the captain was set in stone. A voice near him whis- 
pered that there was a minute more. He looked in a 
dozen faces, amazed at the physical agony he saw in 
those who were counted surest. For the first time he 
began to realize the importance of it, the hopes and fears 
assembled there. Then he noticed, above the ghost-like 
heads of the crowd, the windows packed with spectators 
drawn to the spectacle. And he had a feeling of indig- 
nant resentment that outsiders should be there to watch 
this test of manhood after the long months of striving. 

" Ten seconds, nine seconds, eight," some one said near 
him. Then suddenly, immediately swallowed up in a 
roar, the first iron note of the chapel bell crashed over 
them. Then a shriek : 

" Yea ! " 

" There he comes ! " 

" Over by the library." 

" First man." 



STOVERATYALE 207 

Across the campus, Dana, first man out for Bones, all 
in black, was making straight for them with the unre- 
lenting directness of a torpedo. The same breathless 
tensity was in his face, the same solemnity. The crowd 
parted slightly before him and then closed behind him 
with a rush. He made his way furiously into the center 
of the tangle, throwing the crowd from him without dis- 
tinction until opposite Dudley, who waited, looking at him 
blankly. He passed, and suddenly, seizing a man nearer 
Stover, swung him around and slapped him on the back 
with a loud slap, crying : 

" Go to your room ! " 

Instantly the cry went up : 

"It's De Gollyer!" 

" First man tapped ! " 

The mass parted, and De Gollyer, wabbling a little, tak- 
ing enormous steps, shot out for his dormitory, tracked 
by Dana, while about him his classmates shouted their 
approval of the popular choice. 

" Yea ! " 

" Rogers ! " 

" First man for Keys." 

" Rogers for Keys ! " 

Stover set out for a rush in the direction of the shout, 
tossed and buffeted in the scramble. At every moment, 
now, a cry went up as the elections proceeded rapidly. 
From time to time he found Le Baron, and shouted to 
him his report. He saw men he knew tearing back and 
forth, Hunter driven out of his pose of calm for once, 
little Schley, hysterical almost, running to and fro. At 
times the slap was given near him, and he caught the 
sudden realization, a look in the face that was not good 
to have seen. It was all like a stampede, some panic, a 
sudden shipwreck, when every second was precious and, 



208 STOVER AT YALE 

once gone, gone forever ; where the agony was in the face 
of the weak-hearted and a few stoically stood smiling at 
the waiting gulf. 

The elections began to be exhausted and the writing on 
the wall to stare some in the face. Then something hap- 
pened ; a cry went up and a little circle formed under one 
of the trees, while back came the rumor : 

" Some one's fainted." 

" Man's gone under." 

"Who?" 

"Who is it?" 

" Franklin." 

" No, no ; Henderson." 

" You don't say so ! " 

" Fainted dead away. Missed out for Bones." 

All at once another shout went up — a shout of amaze- 
ment and incredulity. A great sensation spread every- 
where. The Bones list had now reached thirteen; only 
two more to be given, and Allison of the crew, Dudley, 
and Harvey, chairman of the News, all rated sure men, 
were left. Who was to be rejected? Stover fought his 
way to where the three were standing white and silent, 
surrounded by the gaping crowd. Some one caught his 
arm. It was Le Baron, beside himself with excitement., 
saying : 

" Good God, Dink ! you don't suppose they're going to 
turn down Harvey or Allison ? " 

Almost before the words were uttered something had 
happened. A slap resounded and the sharp command : 

" Go to your room ! " 

Then the cry : 

" Harvey ! " 

" Harvey's tapped ! " 

" Only one place left." 



STOVER AT YALE 209 

" Good heavens ! " 

"Who's to go down?" 

" It's impossible ! " 

Dudley and Allison, prospective captains, room-mates 
from school days at Andover, were left, and between them 
balancing the fates. A hush fell in the crowd, awed at 
the unusual spectacle of a Yale captain marked for re- 
jection. Then Dudley, smiling, put out his hand and 
said in a clear voice : 

" Joe, one of us has got to walk the plank. Here's 
luck!" 

Allison's hand went out in a firm grip, smiling a little, 
too, as he answered : 

" No, no; you're all right! You're sure." 

" Here he is." 

" Last man for Bones." 

" Here he comes ! " 

The crowd massed at the critical point fell back, open- 
ing a lane to where Allison and Dudley waited, throwing 
back their shoulders a little, to meet the man who came 
straight to them, pale with the importance of the deci- 
sion that had been given him. He reached Dudley, 
passed, and, seizing Allison by the shoulder, almost 
knocked him down by the force of his slap. Pande- 
monium broke loose: 

" It's Allison ! " 

" No ! " 

" Yes." 

" What, they've left out Dudley? " 

" Missed out." 

"Impossible!" 

" Fact." 

" Hi, Jack, Dudley's missed out ! " 
* Dudley, the football captain ! " 



210 STOVERATYALE 

"What the devil!" 

" For the love of heaven ! " 

" Why, Dudley's the best in the world ! " 

" Sure he is." 

" It's a shame." 

" An outrage." 

" They've done it just to show they're independent." 

Across the campus toward Vanderbilt, Allison and the 
last Bones man, in tandem, were streaking like water 
insects. Le Baron, holding on to Stover, was cursing in 
broken accents. But Dink heard him only indistinctly; 
he was looking at Dudley. The pallor had left his face, 
which was a little flushed; the head was thrown back 
proudly; and the lips were set in a smile that answered 
the torrent of sympathy and regret that was shouted to 
him. The last elections to Keys and Wolf's-Head were 
forgotten in the stir of the incredible rejection. 

Then some one shrieked out for a cheer, and the roar 
went over the campus again and again. 

Dudley, always with the same smile and shining eyes, 
made his way slowly across toward Vanderbilt, hugged, 
patted on the back, his hand wrung frantically by those 
who swarmed about him. Stover was at his side, every- 
thing forgotten but the drama of the moment, cheering 
and shouting, seeing with a sort of wonder a little spec- 
tacled grind with blazing eyes shaking hands with Dud- 
ley, crying : 

" It's a crime — a darned crime ! We all think so, 
all of us!" 

For half an hour the college, moved as it had never 
been, stood huddled below Dudley's rooms, cheering it- 
self hoarse. Then slowly the crowd began to melt away. 

" Come on, Dink," said Hungerford, who had him by 
the arm. 



STOVER AT YALE 211 

" Oh, is that you, Joe? " said Dink, seeing him for the 
first time. " Isn't it an outrage ? " 

" I don't understand it." 

" By George, wasn't he fine, though ? " 

" He certainly was ! " 

" I was right by him. He never flinched a second." 

" Dink, the whole thing is terrible," said Hungerford, 
his sensitive face showing the pain of the emotions he 
had undergone. " I don't think it's right to put fellows 
through such a test as that." 

" You don't believe in Tap Day ? " 

" I don't know." 

Their paths crossed Regan's and they halted, each 
wondering what that unusual character had thought of it 
all. 

" Hello, Tom." 

"Hello, Joe; hello, Dink." 

"Tough about Dudley, isn't it?" 

"How so?" 

" Why, missing out ! " 

" Perhaps it's Bones's loss," said Regan grimly. 
" Dudley's all right. He's lucky. He's ten times the 
man he was this morning." 

Neither Hungerford nor Stover answered. 

" What do you think of it — Tap Day? " said Hunger- 
ford, after a moment. 

" The best thing in the whole society system," said 
Regan, with extra warmth. 

" Well, I'll be darned ! " said Stover, in genuine sur- 
prise. " I thought you'd be for abolishing it." 

" Never ! If you're going through three years afraid 
to call your souls your own, why, you ought to stand 
out before every one and take what's coming to you. 
That's my idea." 



212 STOVER AT YALE 

He bobbed his head and went on toward Commons. 

" I don't know," said Hungerford solemnly. " It's a 
horror; I wish I hadn't seen it." 

" I'm glad I did," said Stover slowly. " They cer- 
tainly baptize us in fire up here." He remembered Mc- 
Carthy with a new understanding and repeated : " We 
certainly learn how to take our medicine up here, Joe. 
It's a good deal to learn." 

They wandered back toward the now quiet fence. 
All the crowding and the stirring was gone, and over all 
a strange silence, the silence of exhaustion. The year 
was over; what would come afterward was inconse- 
quential. 

"I wonder if it's all worth it?" said Hungerford 
suddenly. 

Stover did not answer; it was the question that was 
in his own thoughts. What he had seen that afternoon 
was still too vivid in his memory. He tried to shake 
it off, but, with the obsession of a fetish, it clung to him. 
He understood now, not that he would yield to the emo- 
tion, but the fear of judgment that swayed men he knew, 
and what Regan had meant when he had referred to 
those who did not dare to call their souls their own. 

" It does get you," he said, at last, to Hungerford. 

" It does me," said Hungerford frankly, " and I sup- 
pose it'll get worse." 

"I wonder?" 

He was silent, thinking of the year that had passed, 
wondering if the next would bring him the same disci- 
pline and the same fatigue, and if at the end of the three 
years' grind, if such should be his lot, he could stand up 
like Dudley before the whole college and take his medi- 
cine with a smile. 



CHAPTER XV 

\T 7THEN Stover returned after the summer vacation 
▼ * to the full glory of a sophomore, he had changed 
in many ways. The consciousness of success had given 
him certain confidence and authority, which, if it was 
more of the manner than real, nevertheless was notice- 
able. He had aged five or six years, as one ages at that 
time under the grave responsibilities of an exalted leader- 
ship. 

A great change likewise had come in his plans. Dur- 
ing the summer Tough McCarthy's father had died, and 
Tough had been forced to forego his college course and 
take up at once the seriousness of life. Several offers 
had been made Dink to go in with Hungerford, Tommy 
Bain, and others of his crowd, but he had decided to 
room by himself, for a time at least. The decision had 
come to him as the result of a growing feeling of rest- 
lessness, an instinctive desire to be by himself and know 
again that shy friend Dink Stover, who somehow seemed 
to have slipped away from him. 

Much to his surprise, this feeling of restlessness domi- 
nated all other emotions on his victorious return to col- 
lege. He felt strangely alone. Every one in the class 
greeted him with rushing enthusiasm, inquired critically 
of his weight and condition, and passed on. His progress 
across the campus was halted at every moment by ac- 
claiming groups, who ran to him, pumping his hand, 
slapping him on the back, exclaiming: 

" You, old Dink Stover ! " 
213 



214 STOVER AT YALE 

" Bless your heart." 

" Put it there." 

" Glad to see you again." 

" How are you ? " 

" You look fit as a fiddle ! " 

" The All-American this year ! " 

" Hard luck about McCarthy." 

" Ta-ta." 

His was the popular welcome, and yet it left him un- 
satisfied, with a strange tugging at his heart. They were 
all acquaintances, nothing more. He went to his room 
on the second floor in Lawrence, and, finding his way 
over the bare floor and the boxes that encumbered, 
reached the window and flung it open. 

Below the different fences had disappeared under the 
joyful, hilarious groups that swarmed about them. He 
saw Swazey and Pike, two of the grinds of his own class, 
men who " didn't count," go past hugging each other, 
and their joy, comical though it was, hurt him. He 
turned from the window, saying aloud, sternly, as though 
commanding himself : 

" Come, I must get this hole fixed up. It's gloomy as 
the devil." 

He worked feverishly, ripping apart the covers, rang- 
ing the furniture, laying the rugs. Then he put in order 
his bedroom, and, whistling loudly, fished out his bed- 
clothes, laid the bed, and arranged his bureau-top. That 
done, he brought forth several photographs he had taken 
in the brief visit he had paid the Storys, and placing 
them in the position of honor lit his pipe and, camping 
on a dry-goods box, like Scipio amid the ruins of Car- 
thage, dreamily considered through the smoke-wreaths 
the distant snap-shots of a slender girl in white. 

He was comfortably, satisfactorily in love with Jean 



STOVERATYALE 215 

Story. The emotion filled a sentimental want in his 
nature. He had never asked her for her photograph or 
to correspond, as he would have lightly asked a hundred 
other girls. He knew instinctively that she would have 
refused. He liked that in her — her dignity and her 
reserve. He wanted her regard, as he always wanted 
what others found difficult to attain. She was young 
and yet with an old head on her shoulders. In the twc 
weeks he had spent in camp, they had discussed much 
together of what lay ahead beyond the confines of college 
life. He did not always understand her point of view. 
He often wondered what was the doubt that lay in her 
mind about him. For, though she had given him a meas- 
ure of her friendship, there was always a reserve, some- 
thing held back. It was the same with Bob. It puz- 
zled him; it irritated him. He was resolved to beat 
down that barrier, to shatter it some way and somehow, 
as he was resolved that Jim Hunter, whose intentions 
were clear, should never beat him out in this race. 

He rose, pipe in mouth, and, taking up a photograph, 
stared at the laughing face and the quiet, proud tilt of 
the head. 

" At any rate," he said to himself, " Jim Hunter hasn't 
got any more than this, and he never will." 

He went back to the study, delving into the packing- 
boxes. From below came a stentorian halloo he knew 
well: 

" Oh, Dink Stover, stick out your head ! " 

" Come up, you, Tom Regan, come up on the jump ! " 

In another moment Regan was in the room, and his 
great bear clutch brought Stover a feeling of warmth 
with its genuineness. 

" Bigger than ever, Tom." 

" You look fine yourself, you little bantam ! " 



216 STOVER AT YALE 

" Lord, but I'm glad to see you ! " 

" Same to you." 

" How'd the summer go ? " 

" Wonderful. I've got four hundred tucked away in 
the bank." 

" You don't say so ! " 

" Fact." 

Stover shook hands again eagerly. 

" Tell me all about it." 

" Sure. Go on with your unpacking ; I'll lend a hand. 
I've had a bully summer." 

"What's that mean?" said Stover, with a quizzical 
smile. " Working like a slave ? " 

" No, no ; seeing real people. I tried being a conductor 
a while, got in a strike, and switched over to construction 
work. Got to be foreman of a gang, night shift." 

" You don't mean out all night ? " 

" Oh, I slept in the day. You get used to it. They're 
a strange lot, the fellows who work while the rest of you 
sleep. They brushed me up a lot, taught me a lot. 
Wish you'd been along. You'd have got some educa- 
tion." 

" I may do something of the sort with you next sum- 
mer," said Stover quietly. 

" They tell me Tough McCarthy's not coming back." 

"Yes; father died." 

" Too bad. Going to room alone ? " 

" For a while. I want to get away — think things over 
a bit, read some." 

" Good idea," said Regan, with one of his sharp ap- 
praising looks. " If a man's given a thinker, he might 
just as well use it." 

Hungerford and Bob Story joined them, and the four 
went down to Mory's to take possession in the name of 



STOVER AT YALE 217 

the sophomore class. Regan, to their surprise, making 
one of the party, paid as they paid, with just a touch of 
conscious pride. 

The good resolves that Dink made to himself, under 
the influence of the acute emotions he had felt on his 
return, gradually faded from his memory as he felt him- 
self caught up again in the rush of college life. He 
found his day marked out for him, his companions 
assigned to him, his standards and his opinions inherited 
from his predecessors. Insensibly he became a cog in 
the machine. What with football practise and visiting 
the freshman class in the interest of his society, he found 
he was able to keep awake long enough to get a smatter- 
ing of the next day's work and no more. 

The class had scattered and groups with clear ten- 
dencies had formed, Hunter and Tommy Bain the center 
of little camps serious and ambitious, while off the 
campus in a private dormitory another element was pur- 
suing mannish delights with the least annoyance from 
the curriculum. 

The opposition to the sophomore societies had now 
grown to a college issue. Protests from the alumni be- 
gan to come in ; one of the editors of the Lit made it 
the subject of his leader, while the college, under the 
leadership of rebels like Gimbel, arrayed itself in uncom- 
promising opposition and voted down every candi- 
date for office that the sophomore societies placed in the 
field. 

That the situation was serious and working harm to 
the college Stover saw, but, as the fight became more 
bitter, the feeling of loyalty, coupled with distrust of the 
motives of the assailants, placed him in the ranks of the 
most ardent defenders, where, a little to his surprise, he 
found himself rather arrayed with Tommy Bain and Jim 



218 STOVERATYALE 

Hunter in their position of unrelenting conservatism, 
fighting the revolt which was making head in the society 
itself, as Bob Story and Joe Hungerford led the demand 
for some liberal reform. 

However, the conflict did not break out until the close 
of the season. The team, under the resolute leadership 
of Captain Dudley, fought its way to one of those almost 
miraculous successes which is not characteristic of the 
Yale system as it is the result of the inspiring guidance 
of some one extraordinary personality. 

Regan went from guard to tackle, and Stover, back 
at his natural position of end, developed the promise of 
freshman year, acclaimed as the All-American end of the 
year. Still the possibility of Regan's challenge for the 
captaincy returned constantly to his mind, for about the 
big tackle was always a feeling of confidence, of rugged, 
immovable determination that perhaps in its steadying 
influence had built up the team more than his own indi- 
vidual brilliancy. Dink, despite himself, felt the force 
of these masterful qualities, acknowledging them even 
as, to his displeasure, he felt a rising jealousy ; for at the 
bottom he was drawn more and more to Regan as he 
was drawn to no other man. 

About a month after the triumphant close of the foot- 
ball season, then, Stover, in the usual course of a thor- 
oughly uneventful morning, rose as rebelliously late as 
usual, bolted his breakfast, and rushed to chapel. He 
was humanly elated with what the season had brought, 
a fame which had gone the rounds of the press of the 
country for unflinching courage and cold head-work, but, 
more than that, he was pleasantly satisfied with the diffi- 
cult modesty with which he bore his honors. For he 
was modest. He had sworn to himself he would be, 
and he was. He had allowed it to make no difference in 



STOVER AT YALE 219 

his relations with the rest of the class. If anything, he 
was more careful to distribute the cordiality of his smile 
and the good-natured " How are you? " to all alike with- 
out the slightest distinction. 

" How are you, Bill ? " he said to Swazey, the strange 
unknown grind who sat beside him. He called him by 
his first name consciously, though he knew him no more 
than this slight daily contact, because he wished to em- 
phasize the comradeship and democracy of Yale, of 
which he was a leader. " Feelin' fine this morning, old 
gazabo ? " 

" How are you ? " said Swazey gratefully. 

"Tough lesson they soaked us, didn't they?" 

" It was a tough one." 

" Suppose that didn't bother you, though, you old 
valedictorian." 

" Oh, yes, it did." 

Stover, settling comfortably in his seat, nodded genially 
to the right and left. 

"I say, Dink." 

"Hello, what is it?" 

" Drop in on me some night." 

" What ? " said Stover surprised. 

" Come round and have a chat sometime," said Swazey, 
in a thoroughly natural ,vay. 

"Why, sure; like to,' said Stover bluffly, which, of 
course^ was the only thing to say. 

"To-night?" 

" Sorry ; I'm busy to-night," said Stover. Swazey, 
of course, being a grind, did not realize the abhorrent, 
almost sacrilegious, social break he was making iv invit- 
ing him on his society evening. 

" To-morrow, then ? " 

" Why, yes ; to-morrow," 



220 STOVER AT YALE 

" I haven't been very sociable in not asking you be- 
fore," said Swazey, in magnificent incomprehension, " but 
I'd really like to have you." 

" Why, thankee." 

Stover, entrapped, received the invitation with perfect 
gravity, although resolved to find some excuse. 

But the next day, thinking it over, he said to himself 
that it really was his duty, and, reflecting how pleased 
Swazey would be to receive a call from one of his im- 
portance, he determined to give him that pleasure. Set- 
ting out after supper, he met Bob Story. 

" Whither away ? " said Story, stopping. 

" I'm going to drop in on a fellow called Swazey," said 
Stover, a little conscious of the virtue of this act. " I sit 
next to him in chapel. He's a good deal of a grind, but 
he asked me around, and I thought I'd go. You know — 
the fellow In our row." 

" That's very good of you," said Story, with a smile 
which he remembered after. 

Stover felt so himself. Still, he had the democracy 
of Yale to preserve, and it was his duty. He went swing- 
ing on his way with that warm, glowing, physical delight 
that, fortunately, the slightest virtuous action is capable 
of arousing. 

With Nathaniel Pike, a classmate, Swazey roomed in 
Divinity Hall, where, attracted by the cheapness of the 
rooms, a few of the college had been able to find quar- 
ters. 

" Queer place," thought Dink to himself, eyeing a few 
of the divinity students who went slipping by him. 
" Wonder what the deuce I can talk to him about. Oh ; 
well, I won't have to stay long." 

Swazey, of course, being outside the current of college 
heroes, could have but a limited view. He found the 



STOVER AT YALE 221 

door at the end of the long corridor and thundered his 
knock, as a giant announces himself. 

" Come in if you're good-looking ! " said a piping voice. 

Stover entered with strongly accentuated good fellow- 
ship, giving his hand with the politician's cordiality. 

" How are you, Nat ? How are you, Bill ? " 

He ensconced himself in the generous arm-chair, which 
bore the trace of many masters, accepted a cigar and 
said, to put his hosts at their ease: 

" Bully quarters you've got here. Blame sight more 
room than I've got." 

Pike, cap on, a pad under his arm, apologized for going. 

" Awful sorry, Stover ; darned inhospitable. This 
infernal News grind. Hope y'will be sociable and stay 
till I get back." 

" How are you making out ? " said Stover, in an en- 
couraging, generous way. 

Pike scratched his ear, a large, loose ear, wrinkling 
up his long, pointed nose in a grimace, as he answered : 

" Danged if I don't think I'm going to miss out 
again." 

" You were in the first competition ? " said Stover, sur- 
prised — for one trial was usually considered equivalent 
to a thousand years off the purgatory account. 

" Yep, but I was green — didn't know the rules." 

" Lord, I should think you'd have had enough ! " 

" Why, it's rather a sociable time. It is a grind, but 
I'm going to make that News, if I hit it all sophomore 
year." 

"What, you'd try again?" 

"You bet I would!" 

There was a matter-of-fact simplicity about Pike, un- 
couth as was his dress and wide sombrero, that appealed 
to Stover. He held out his hand. 



222 STOVERATYALE 

" Good luck to you ! And say — if I get any news 
I'll save it for you." 

" Obliged, sir — ta-ta ! " 

" Holy cats ! " said Dink, relapsing into the arm-chair 
as the door banged. " Any one who'll stick at it like that 
gets all I can give him." 

" He's a wonderful person," said Swazey, drawing up 
his chair and elevating his hobnailed shoes. " Never saw 
anything like his determination. Wonderful! Green as 
salad when he first came, ready to tickle Prexy under the 
ribs or make himself at home whenever a room struck 
his fancy. But, when he got his eyes open, you ought to 
have seen him pick up and learn. He's developed won- 
derfully. He'll succeed in life." 

Stover smiled inwardly at this critical assumption on 
Swazey's part, but he began to be interested. There was 
something real in both men. 

" Did you go to school together ? " he said. 

" Lord, no ! Precious little school either of us got. 
I ran up against him when I landed here — just bumped 
together, as it were." 

"You don't say so?" 

" Fact. It was rather queer. We were both up in the 
fall trying to throttle a few pesky conditions and slip in. 
It was just after Greek prose composition — cursed be 
the memory! — when I came out of Alumni Hall, kick- 
ing myself at every step, and found that little rooster 
engaged in the same process. Say, he was a sight — ■ 
looked like a chicken had been shipped from St. Louis 
to Chicago — but spunky as you make 'em. Never had 
put a collar on his neck — I got him up to that last spring ; 
but he still balks at a derby. So off we went to grub, 
and I found he didn't know a soul. No more did I. So 
we said, * Why not ? ' And we did. We hunted up 



STOVER AT YALE 

these quarters, and we've got on first-rate ever since. 
No scratching, gouging, or biting. We've been a good 
team. I've seen the world, I've got hard sense, and he's 
got ideas — quite remarkable ideas. Danged if I'm not 
stuck on the little rooster." 

Stover reached out for the tobacco to fill a second pipe, 
all his curiosity aroused. 

" I say, Dink," said Swazey, offering him a match, 
"this college is a wonderful thing, isn't it?" He stood 
reflectively, the sputtering light of the match illuminating 
his thoughtful face. " Just think of the romance in it. 
Me and Pike coming together from two ends of the coun- 
try and striking it up. That's what counts up here — 
the perfect democracy of it!" 

" Yes, of course," said Stover in a mechanical way. 
He was wondering what Swazey would think of the 
society system, or if he even realized it existed, so he 
said curiously: 

" You keep rather to yourselves, though." 

" Oh, I know pretty much what I want to know about 
men. I've sized 'em up and know what sorts to reach 
out for when I want them. Now I want to learn some- 
thing real." He looked at Stover with a sort of rugged 
superiority in his glance and said : " I've earned my 
own way ever since I was twelve years old, and some of 
it was pretty rough going. I know what's outside of this 
place and what I want to reach. That's what a lot of 
you fellows don't worry about just now." 

" Swazey, tell me about yourself," said Stover, sur- 
prised at his own eagerness. " By George, I'd like to 
hear it ! Why did you come to college ? " 

" It was an idea of the governor's, and he got it pretty 
well fixed in my head. Would you like to hear? All 
right." He touched a match to the kindling, and, his 



224 STOVER AT YALE 

coat bothering him, cast it off. " The old man was a 
pretty rough customer, I guess — he died when I was 
twelve; don't know anything about any one else in the 
family. I don't know just how he picked up his money; 
we were always moving ; but I fancy he was a good deal 
of a rum hound and that carried him off. He always 
had a liking for books, and one set idea that I was to be 
a gentleman, get to college and get educated ; so I always 
kept that same idea in the back of my head, and here I 
am. 

" You said you'd earned your living ever since you 
were twelve," said Stover, all interest. 

" That's so. It's pretty much the usual story. Selling 
newspapers, drifting around, living on my wits. Only 
I had a pretty shrewd head on my shoulders, and wher- 
ever I went I saw what was going on and I salted it away, 
I made up my mind I wasn't going to be a fool, but i 
was going to sit back, take every chance, and win out 
big. Lord of mercy, though, I've seen some queer cor- 
ners — done some tough jobs! Up to about fifteen I 
didn't amount to much. I was a drifter. I've worked 
my way from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, 
stealing rides and hoofing it with tramps. I've scrubbed 
out bar-rooms in Arizona and Oklahoma, and tended cat- 
tle in Kansas City. I sort of got a wandering fit, which 
is bad business. But each year I tucked away a little 
more of the long green than the year before, and got a 
little more of the juice of books. About four years ago, 
when I was seventeen — I'd saved up a few hundreds — 
I said to myself : 

" ' Hold up, look here, if you're ever going to do any- 
thing, it's about time now to begin/ So I planted my 
hoof out in Oklahoma City and I started in to be a useful 
citizen." 



STOVER AT YALE 

The pipe between Stover's lips had gone out, but he 
did not heed it. A new life — life itself — was suddenly 
revealing itself to him ; not the guarded existences of his 
own kind, but the earnest romance of the submerged 
nine-tenths. As Swazey stopped, he said impulsively, 
directly : 

" By George, Swazey, I envy you ! " 

" Well, it's taught me to size men up pretty sharply," 
said Swazey, continuing. " I've seen them in the raw, 
I've seen them in all sorts of tests. I've sort of got a 
pretty guess what they'll do or not do. Then, of course, 
I've had a knack of making money out of what I touch — 
it's a gift." 

" Are you working your way through here ? " said 
Stover. All feeling of patronage was gone ; he felt as 
if a torrent had cleared away the dust and cobwebs of 
tradition. 

" Lord, no," said Swazey, smiling. " Why, boy, I've 
got a business that's bringing me in between four and 
five thousand a year — running itself, too." 

Stover sat up. 

"What!" 

" I've got an advertising agency, specialties of all sorts, 
seven men working under one. I keep in touch every 
day. Course I could make more if I was right there. 
But I know what I'm going to do in this world. I've 
got my ideas for what's coming — big ideas. I'm going 
to make money hand over fist. That's easy. Now I'm 
getting an education. Here's the answer to it all." 

He drew out of his pocketbook a photograph and 
passed it over to Stover. 

"That's the best in the world; that's the girl that 
started me and that's the girl I'm going to marry." 

Dink took the funny little photograph and gazed at it 



226 STOVERATYALE 

with a certain reverence. It was the face of a girl pretty 
enough, with a straight, proud, reliant look in her eyes 
that he saw despite the oddity of the clothes and the arti- 
ficiality of the pose. He handed back the photograph. 

" I like her," he said. 

" Here we are," said Swazey, handing him a tintype. 

It was grotesque, as all such pictures are, with its 
mingled sentimentality and self-consciousness, but Stover 
did not smile. 

" That's the girl I've been working for ever since," 
said Swazey. " The bravest little person I ever struck, 
and the squarest. She was waiting in a restaurant when 
I happened to drop in, standing on her own feet, asking 
no favor. She's out of that now, thank God! I've sent 
her off to school." 

Dink turned to him with a start, amazed at the mat- 
ter-of-fact way in which Swazey announced it. 

" To school — " he stammered. " You've sent her." 

" Sure. Up to a convent in Montreal. She'll finish 
there when I finish here." 

" Why ? " said Stover, too amazed to choose his meth- 
ods of inquiry. 

" Because, my boy, I'm going out to succeed, and I 
want my wife to know as much as I do and go with me 
where I go." 

The two sat silently, Swazey staring at the tintype with 
a strange, proud smile, utterly unconscious of the story 
he had told, Stover overwhelmed as if the doors in a 
great drama had suddenly swung open to his intruding 
gaze. 

" She's the real student," said Swazey fondly. " She 
gets it all — all the romance of the big things that have 
gone on in the past. By George, the time'll come when 
we'll get over to Greece and Egypt and Rome and see 



STOVER AT YALE 227 

something of it ourselves." He put the photographs in 
his pocketbook and rose, standing, legs spread before the 
fire, talking to himself. " By George, Dink, money isn't 
what I'm after. I'm going to have that, but the big 
thing is to know something about everything that's real, 
and to keep on learning. I've never had anything like 
these evenings here, browsing around in the good old 
books, chatting it over with old Pike — he's got imagi- 
nation. Give me history and biography — that inspires 
you. Say, I've talked a lot, but you led me on. What's 
your story ? " 

" My story ? " said Stover solemnly. He thought a 
moment and then said : " Nothing. It's a blank and 
I'm a blank. I say, Swazey, give me your hand. I'm 
proud to know you. And, if you'll let me, I'd like to 
come over here oftener." 

He went from the room, with a sort of empty rage, 
transformed. Before him all at once had spread out the 
vision of the nation, of the democracy of lives of striving 
and of hope. He had listened as a child listens. He 
went out bewildered and humble. For the first time 
since he had come to Yale, he had felt something real. 
His mind and his imagination had been stirred, awak- 
ened, hungry, rebellious. 

He turned back, glancing from the lights on the campus 
to the room he had left — a little splotch of mellow mean- 
ing on the somber cold walls of Divinity, and then turned 
into the emblazoned quadrangle of the campus, with its 
tinkling sounds and feverish, childish ambitions. 

" Great heavens ! and I went there as a favor," he said. 
" What under the sky do I know about anything — little 
conceited ass ! " 

He went towards his entry and, seeing a light in Bob 
Story's room, suddenly hallooed. 



STOVER AT YALE 

" Oh, Bob Story, stick out your head." 

" Hello, yourself. Who is it?" 

" It's me. Dink." 

" Come on up." 

" No, not to-night." 

"What then?" 

" Say, Bob, I just wanted you to know one thing." 

u What?" 

"I'm just a plain damn fool; do you get that?" 

"What the deuce?" 

" Just a plain damn fool — good-night ! " 

And he went to his room, locked the door to all visitors, 
pulled an arm-chair before the fire, and sat staring into 
it, as solemn as the wide-eyed owls on the casters. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE hours that Dink Stover sat puffing his pipe be- 
fore the yellow-eyed owls that blinked to him from 
the crackling fireplace were hours of revolution. His 
imagination, stirred by the recital of Swazey's life, re- 
turned to him like some long-lost friend. Sunk back in 
his familiar arm-chair, his legs extended almost to the 
reddening logs, his arms braced, he seemed to see through 
the conjuring clouds of smoke that rose from his pipe the 
figures of a strange self, the Dink Stover who had fought 
his way to manhood in the rough tests of boarding-school 
life, the Dink Stover who had arrived so eagerly, whose 
imagination had leaped to the swelling masses of that 
opening night and called for the first cheer in the name 
of the whole class. 

That figure was stranger to him than the stranger in 
his own entry. Together they sat looking into each 
other's eyes, in shy recognition, while overhead on every 
quarter-hour the bell from Battell Chapel announced the 
march toward midnight. Several times, as he sat 
plunged in reverie, a knock sounded imperiously on the 
locked door; but he made no move. Once from the 
campus below he heard Dopey McNab's gleeful voice 
mingling with the deep bass of Buck Waters: 

" Oh, father and mother pay all the bills, 
And we have all the fun. 
That's the way we do in college life. 
Hooray!" 

229 



230 STOVERATYALE 

For a moment the song was choked, and then he heard 
it ring in triumphant crescendo as the two came up his 
steps, pounding out the rhythm with enthusiastic feet. 
Before his door they came to a stop, sang the chorus to a 
rattling accompaniment of their fists, and exclaimed: 

" Oh, Dink Stover, open up ! " 

Receiving no response, they consulted* 

" Why, the geezer isn't in." 

" Let's break down the door." 

" What right has he to be out? " 

"Is there any one else we can annoy around here?" 

" Bob Story is in the next entry." 

" Lead me to him." 

" About face ! " 

" March ! " 

" Oh, father and mother pay all the bills, 
And we have all the fun: 
That's the way we do — " 

The sound died out. Upstairs a piano took up the 
refrain in a thin, syncopated echo. From time to time a 
door slammed in his entry, or from without the faint 
halloo : 

" Oh, Jimmy, stick out your head." 

Dink, shifting, poked another log into place and re- 
turned longingly to his reverie. He could not get from 
his mind what Swazey had told him. His imagination 
reconstructed the story that had been given in such bare 
-detail, thrilling at the struggle and the drama he per- 
ceived back of it. It was all undivined. When he had 
thought of his classmates, he had thought of them in 
a matter-of-fact way as lives paralleling his own. 

"Wonder what Regan's story is — the whole story ? ,y 



STOVERATYALE 231 

he thought musingly. " And Pike and all the rest of — " 
He hesitated, and then added, " — of the fellows who 
don't count." 

He had heard but one life, but that had disclosed the 
vista of a hundred paths that here in his own class, hidden 
away, should open on a hundred romances. He felt, with 
a sudden realization of the emptiness of his own life, a 
new zest, a desire to go out and seek what he had ignored 
before. 

He left the fire suddenly, dug into his sweater, and 
flung a great ulster about him. He went out and across 
the chilly campus to the very steps where he had gone 
with Le Baron on his first night, drawing up close to 
the wall for warmth. And again he thought of the other 
self, the boyish, natural self, the Dink Stover who had 
first come here. 

What had become of him? Of the two selves it was 
the boy who alone was real, who gave and received in 
friendship without hesitating or appraising. He recalled 
all the old schoolmates with their queer nicknames — the 
Tennessee Shad, Doc MacNooder, the Triumphant Egg- 
head, and Turkey Reiter. There had been no division 
there in that spontaneous democracy, and the Dink Stover 
who had won his way to the top had never sought to 
isolate himself or curb any natural instinct for skylark- 
ing, or sought a reason for a friendship. 

" Good Lord ! " he said, almost aloud, " in one whole 
year what have I done? I haven't made one single 
friend, known what one real man was doing or thinking, 
done anything I wanted to do, talked out what I wanted 
to talk, read what I wanted to read, or had time to make 
the friends I wanted to make. I've been nothing but 
material — varsity material — society material ; I've lost 
all the imagination I had, and know less than when I 



232 STOVERATYALE 

came ; and I'm the popular man — ' the big man ' — in 
the class ! Great ! Is it my fault or the fault of things 
up here?" 

Where had it all gone — that fine zest for life, that 
eagerness to know other lives and other conditions, that 
readiness for whole-souled comradeship with which he 
had come to Yale? Where was the pride he had felt in 
the democracy of the class, when he had swung amid 
the torches and the cheers past the magic battlements of 
the college, one in the class, with the feeling in the ranks 
of a consecrated army gathered from the plains and the 
mountains, the cities and villages of the nation, conse- 
crated to one another, to four years of mutual under- 
standing that would form an imperishable bond wherever 
on the face of the globe they should later scatter ? And, 
thinking of all this young imagination that somehow had 
dried up and withered away, he asked himself again and 
again : 

"Is it my fault?" 

Across the campus Buck Waters and Dopey McNab, 
returning from their marauding expedition, came singing, 
arm in arm: 

" Oh, father and mother pay all the bills, 
And we have all the fun. 
That's the way we do in college life. 
Hooray!" 

The two pagans passed without seeing him, gloriously, 
boyishly happy and defiant, and the rollicking banter 
recalled in bleak contrast all the stern outlines of the 
lives of seriousness he had felt for the first time. 

At first he revolted at the extremes. Then he consid- 
ered. Even their life and their point of view was some- 



STOVERATYALE 233 

thing unknown. It was true he was only a part of the 
machine of college, one of the wheels that had to revolve 
in its appointed groove. He had thought of himself 
always as one who led, and suddenly he perceived that 
it was he who followed. 

A step sounded by him, and the winking eye of a 
pipe. Some one unaware of his tenancy approached the 
steps. Stover, in a flare-up of the tobacco, recognized 
him. 

" Hello, Brockhurst," he said. 

" Hello," said the other, hesitating shyly. 

" It's Stover," said Dink. " What are you doing this 
time of night ? " 

" Oh, I prowl around," said Brockhurst, shifting from 
one foot to the other. 

" Sit down." 

" Not disturbing you? " 

" Not at all," said Stover, pleased at this moment at 
the awe he evidently inspired. " I got sort of restless ; 
thought I'd come out here and smoke a pipe. Amusing 
old spot." 

" I like it," said Brockhurst. Then he added tenta- 
tively : " You get the feeling of it all." 

" Yes, that's so." 

They puffed in unison a moment. 

" You're hitting up a good pace on that Lit competi- 
tion," said Dink, unconscious of the tone of patronage 
into which he insensibly fell. 

" Pretty good." 

" That's right. Keep plugging away." 

" Why ? " said Brockhurst, with a little aggressiveness. 

" Why, you ought to make the chairmanship," said 
Dink, surprised. 

"Why should I?" 



234 STOVER AT YALE 

"Don't you want to?" 

" There are other things I want more." 

"What?" 

" To go through here as my own master, and do myself 
some good." 

"Hello!" 

Stover sat up amazed at hearing from another the 
thoughts that had been dominant in his own mind ; 
amazed, too, at the trick of association which had put 
into his own mouth thoughts against which a moment 
before he had been rebelling. 

" That's good horse sense," he said, to open up the 
conversation. " What are you going to do ? " 

" I'm going to do the best thing a fellow can do at our 
age. I'm going to loaf." 

" Loaf ! " said Dink, startled again, for the word was 
like treason. 

" Just that." 

" But you're not doing that. You're out to make the 
Lit. You're heeling something, like all the rest of us," 
said Stover, who suddenly found himself on the opposite 
side of the argument, revolting with a last resistance at 
the too bold statement of his own rebellion. 

"I'm not 'heeling' the Lit," said Brockhurst. His 
shyness disappeared; he spoke energetically, interested 
in what he was saying. " If I were, I would make the 
chairmanship without trouble. I'm head and shoulders 
over the rest here, and I know it. As it is, some per- 
sistent grubber who sits down two hours a day, thirty 
days a month, nine months of the year for the next two 
years, who will regularly hand in one essay, two stories, 
a poem, and a handful of portfolios will probably beat 
me out." 



STOVER AT YALE 235 

"And you?" 

" I ? I write when I have something to write, because 
I love it and because my ambition is to write." 

" Still, that's not exactly loafing." 

" It is from your point of view, from the college point 
of view. It isn't what I write that's doing me any good." 

" What then ? " said Stover, with growing curiosity. 

" The browsing around, watching you other fellows, 
seeing your mistakes." 

" Well, what are they ? " said Dink, with a certain 
antagonism. 

" Why, Stover, here are four years such as we'll never 
get again — four years to revel in ; and what do you 
fellows do? Slave as you'll never slave again. Why, 
you're working harder than a clerk supporting a family ! " 

" It's a good training." 

" For a certain type, yes, but a rather low type. 
Thank you, I prefer to go my own way, to work out my 
own ideas rather than accept others'. However, I'm a 
crank. Any one who thinks differently here must be a 
crank." 

While they were talking the hour of twelve had struck, 
and presently across the campus came a mysterious line 
of senior society men, marching silently, two by two, 
returning to their rooms. 

" What do you think of that? " said Stover, with real 
curiosity. 

" That. A colossal mumbo- jumbo that has got every 
one of you in its grip." He paused a moment and gave 
a short laugh. " Did you ever stop to think, Stover, that 
this fetish of society secrecy that is spread all over this 
Christian, democratic nation is nothing but a return of 
idol-worship ? " 



236 STOVERATYALE 

This idea was beyond Stover, and so, not comprehend- 
ing it, he resented it. He did not reply. Brockhurst, 
perceiving that he had spoken too frankly, rose. 

" Well, I must be turning in," he said. " So long, 
Stover. You go your way and I'll go mine; some day 
we'll talk it over — four years out of college." 

" The fellow is a crank," said Dink, going his way. 
" Got some ideas, but an extremist. One or two things 
he said, though, are true. I rather like to get his point of 
view, but there's a chap who'll never make friends." 

And he felt again a sort of resentment, for, after all, 
Brockhurst was still unplaced according to college stand- 
ards, and he was Stover, probable captain, one of those 
rated sure for the highest society honors. 

When he awoke the next morning, starting rebelliously 
from his bed, his head was heavy, and he did not at first 
remember the emotions of the night, as sleepily struggling 
through his sweater he ran out of his entry for a hurried 
cup of coffee. Bob Story hailed him: 

" Hold up, you crazy man." 

"What's the matter?" 

" What the deuce got into you last night ? " 

" Last night ? " said Stover, rubbing his eyes. 

" You hauled me out of bed to shout out a lot of 
crazy nonsense." 

" What did I say ? " said Dink, trying to open his eyes. 

" Nothing new," said Bob maliciously. " You said you 
were a plain damn fool, and were anxious for me to 
know it." 

" Oh, I remember." 

"Well?" 

"Well what?" 

" Explanations ? " 

Stover did not feel in the mood ; besides, the new ideas 



STOVER AT YALE 237 

were too big and strange. He wanted time to understand 
them. So he said: 

"Why, Bob, I just woke up, that's all. I'll tell you 
about it sometime — not now." 

" All right," said Story, with a quick look. " Drop 
in soon." 

The following night Stover again went over to 
Swazey's rooms. It being Saturday, one or two men 
had dropped in: Ricketts, a down-East Yankee who 
recited in his divisions, a drawling, shuffling stripling with 
a lazy, overgrown body and a quick, roving eye ; Joe 
Lake, a short, rolling, fluent Southerner from Texas ; 
and Bud Brown, from a small village in Michigan, one 
of the class debaters who affected a Websterian deport- 
ment. 

" I brought my pipe along," said Stover genially. " Got 
a place left where I can stow myself? Hello, Ricketts. 
Hello, Lake. Glad to shake your hand, Brown. How's 
the old News getting along, Pike? By the way, I'll give 
you a story Monday." 

" Right in here, sir," said Lake, making room. 

A couple of stout logs were roaring in the fireplace, 
before which, propped up with cushions, the majority of 
the company were sprawling. Stover took his place, 
filling his pipe. His arrival brought a little constraint; 
the conversation, which had been at fever pitch as he 
stood rapping at the door, dwindled to desultory remarks 
on inconsequential things. 

" Well, I certainly am among the fruits of the class," 
thought Stover, eyeing the rather shaggy crowd, where 
sweaters and corduroys predominated and the razor had 
passed not too frequently. 

In the midst of this hesitation, Regan's heavy frame 
crowded the doorway, accompanied by Brockhurst. Both 



STOVER AT YALE 

were surprised at Stover's unaccustomed presence, 
Brockhurst looking at him with a little suspicion, Regan 
shaking his hand with new cordiality. 

"Have you, too, joined the debating circle?" he 
said, crowding into a place by Stover and adjusting the 
fire with a square-toed boot. 

" Debating circle ? " said Stover, surprised. 

" Why, this is the verbal prize ring of the college," 
said Regan, laughing. " We settle everything here, from 
the internal illnesses of the university to the external 
manifestations of the universe. Pike can tell you every- 
thing that is going to happen in the next fifty years, and 
so can Brocky — only they don't agree. I'm around to 
get them out of clinches." 

" Reckon you get rather heated up yourself, some- 
times, Tom," said Lake. 

" Oh, I jump in myself when I get tired of listening." 

Swazey, Lake, Ricketts, and Brown in one corner in- 
stalled themselves for a session at the national game, 
appropriating the lamps, and leaving the region about the 
fireplace to be lit by occasional gleams from the fitful 
hickories. 

Brockhurst, the champion of individualism, was soon 
launched on his favorite topic. 

" The great fault of the American nation, which is the 
fault of republics, is the reduction of everything to the 
average. Our universities are simply the expression of 
the forces that are operating outside. We are business 
colleges purely and simply, because we as a nation have 
only one ideal — the business ideal." 

" That's a big statement," said Regan. 

" It's true. Twenty years ago we had the ideal of the 
lawyer, of the doctor, of the statesman, of the gentleman, 
of the man of letters, of the soldier. Now the lawyer 



STOVERATYALE 239 

is simply a supernumerary enlisting under any banner 
for pay; the doctor is overshadowed by the specialist 
with his business development of the possibilities of the 
rich ; we have politicians, and politics are deemed impos- 
sible for a gentleman; the gentleman cultured, simple, 
hospitable, and kind, is of the dying generation ; the sol- 
dier is simply on parade." 

"Wow!" said Ricketts, jingling his chips. "They're 
off." 

" Everything has conformed to business, everything 
has been made to pay. Art is now a respectable career 
— to whom? To the business man. Why? Because a 
profession that is paid $3,000 to $5,000 a portrait is no 
longer an art, but a blamed good business. The man 
who cooks up his novel according to the weakness of 
his public sells a hundred thousand copies. Dime novel ? 
No; published by our most conservative publishers — 
one of our leading citizens. He has found out that 
scribbling is a new field of business. He has convinced 
the business man. He has made it pay." 

" Three cards," said Swazey's voice. " Well, Brocky, 
what's your remedy ? " 

" A smashing war every ten years," said Brockhurst 
shortly. 

" W r hy, you bloody butcher," said Regan, who did not 
seize the idea, while from the ca:-'d-table came the chorus : 

" Hooray, Brocky, go it ! " 

" That's the way ! " 

" You're in fine form to-night ! " 

" And why a war ? " said Pike, beginning to take 
notice. 

" A war has two positive advantages," said Brockhurst. 
" It teaches discipline and obedience, which we pro- 
foundly need, and it holds up a great ideal, the ideal of 



240 STOVERATYALE 

heroism, of sacrifice for an ideal. In times of war joung 
men such as we are are inspired by the figures of mili- 
tary leaders, and their imaginations are stirred to uoble 
desires by the word ' country.' Nowadays what is held 
up to us ? Go out — succeed — make money." 

" That's true, a good deal true," said Regan abruptly. 
"And the only remedy, the only way to fight the busi- 
ness deal, is to interest young men in politics, to make 
them feel that there are the new battle-fields." 

" Now Tom's in it," said Lake, threshing the cards 
through his fingers. At the card-table the players began 
to listen, motioning with silent gestures. 

" I am off," said Regan, bending forward eagerly and 
striking his fist against his open hand. " That's the one 
great thing our colleges should stand for; they ought to 
be great political hotbeds." 

" And they're not," said Brockhurst shortly. 

" The more's the pity," said Regan. " There I'm with 
you. They don't represent the nation : they doiv't repre- 
sent what the big masses are feeling, fighting, striving 
for. By George, when I think of the opportunity, of 
what this place could mean, what it was meant to mean ! 
Why, every year we gather here from every State in the 
Union a picked lot, with every chance, with a wonderful 
opportunity to seek out and know what the whole coun- 
try needs, to be fired with the same great impulses, to go 
out and fight together — " He stopped clumsily in the 
midst of a sentence, and flung back his hair, frowning. 
" Good government, independent thinking, the love of 
the fight for the right thing ought to begin here — the 
enthusiasm of it all. Hang it, I can't express it ; but the 
idea is immense, and no one sees it." 

"I see it," said Pike. "That's my ambition. I'm 



STOVER AT YALE 241 

going back; I'm going to own my own newspaper some 
day, and fight for it." 

" But why don't the universities reflect what's out 
there ? " said Regan with a gesture. 

" Because, to make it as it should be, and as it was, 
a live center of political discussion," said Brockhurst, 
" you've got to give the individual a chance, break through 
this tyranny of the average, get away from business 
ideas." 

" Just what do you mean when you say we are noth- 
ing but a business college?" said Stover, preparing to 
resist any explanation. He understood imperfectly what 
Regan was advocating. Politics meant to him a sort of 
hereditary division; what new forces were at work he 
completely ignored, though resolved on enlightenment. 
Brockhurst's attack on the organization of the college 
was personal, and he felt that his own membership in 
the sophomore society was aimed at. 

" I mean this," said Brockhurst, speaking slowly in 
the effort to express a difficult thought. " I hope I can 
make it clear. What would be the natural thing? A 
man goes to college. He works as he wants to work, 
he plays as he wants to play, he exercises for the fun 
of the game, he makes friends where he wants to make 
them, he is held in by no fear of criticism above, for 
the class ahead of him has nothing to do with his stand- 
ing in his own class. Everything he does has the one 
vital quality: it is spontaneous. That is the flame of 
youth itself. Now, what really exists? " 

As he paused, Stover, unable to find an opening for 
dissent, observed with interest the attitudes of the lis- 
teners : Pike, his pipe forgotten in the hollow of his 
hand, was staring into the fire, his forehead drawn in 



242 STOVERATYALE 

difficult comprehension; Regan was puffing steady, me- 
thodical puffs, nodding his head from time to time. In 
the background Swazey's earnest face was turned in their 
direction, and the cards, neglected, were moving in a 
lazy shuffle; Brown, the debater, man of words rather 
than ideas, was running his fingers nervously through 
his drooping hair, chafing for the chance to enter the 
fray; Lake, tilted back, his fat body exaggerated under 
the swollen rolls of his sweater, from which from time 
to time he dug out a chip, kept murmuring: 
" Perfectly correct, sir ; perfectly correct.'* 
Ricketts, without lifting his head, arranged and rear- 
ranged his pile of chips, listening with one ear cocked, 
deriving meanwhile all the profit which could be gained 
from his companions' divided attention. Two things 
struck Stover particularly in the group — the rough, un- 
hewn personal exteriors, and the quick, awakened light 
of enthusiasm on their faces while listening to the ex- 
pounding of an idea. Brockhurst himself was trans- 
formed. All the excessive self -consciousness which 
irritated and repelled was lost in the fervor of the 
thinker. He spoke, not as one who discussed, but as 
one who, consciously superior to his audience, announced 
his conclusions; and at times, when most interested, he 
seemed to be addressing himself. 

" Now, what is the actual condition here ? " He rose, 
stretching himself against the mantel, lighting a match 
which died out, as did a half-dozen others, unnoticed on 
his pipe. " I say our colleges to-day are business col- 
leges — Yale more so, perhaps, because it is more sen- 
sitively American. Let's take up any side of our life 
here. Begin with athletics. What has become of the 
natural, spontaneous joy of contest? Instead you have 
one of the most perfectly organized business systems for 



STOVER AT YALE 243 

achieving a required result — success. Football is driv- 
ing, slavish work ; there isn't one man in twenty who gets 
any real pleasure out of it. Professional baseball is not 
more rigorously disciplined and driven than our ' ama- 
teur' teams. Add the crew and the track. Play, the 
fun of the thing itself, doesn't exist ; and why ? Because 
we have made a business out of it all, and the college 
is scoured for material, just as drummers are sent out 
to bring in business. 

" Take another case. A man has a knack at the banjo 
or guitar, or has a good voice. What is the spontaneous 
thing? To meet with other kindred spirits in informal 
gatherings in one another's rooms or at the fence, accord- 
ing to the whim of the moment. Instead what happens? 
You have our university musical clubs, thoroughly pro- 
fessional organizations. If you are material, you must 
get out and begin to work for them — coach with a pro- 
fessional coach, make the Apollo clubs, and, working on, 
some day in junior year reach the varsity organization 
and go out on a professional tour. Again an organiza- 
tion conceived on business lines. 

" The same is true with the competition for our papers : 
the struggle for existence outside in a business world 
is not one whit more intense than the struggle to win 
out in the News or Lit competition. We are like a beef 
trust, with every by-product organized, down to the last 
possibility. You come to Yale — what is said to you? 
' Be natural, be spontaneous, revel in a certain free- 
dom, enjoy a leisure you'll never get again, browse 
around, give your imagination a chance, see every one, 
rub wits with every one, get to know yourself.' 

" Is that what's said ? No. What are you told, in- 
stead ? ' Here are twenty great machines that need new 
bolts and wheels. Get out and work. Work harder 



244 STOVER AT YALE 

than the next man, who is going to try to outwork you. 
And, in order to succeed, work at only one thing. You 
don't count — everything for the college.' Regan says 
the colleges don't represent the nation; I say they don't 
even represent the individual." 

" What would you do ? " said Brown. " Abolish all 
organizations ? " 

" Absolutely," said Brockhurst, who never recoiled. 

" What ! Do you mean to say that the college of 
1870 was a bigger thing than the college of to-day? " 

" My dear Brown, it isn't even debatable," said Brock- 
hurst, with a little contempt, for he did not understand 
nor like the man of flowing words. " What have we 
to-day that is bigger? Is it this organization of external 
activities? We have more bricks and stones, but have 
we the great figures in the teaching staff? I grant you, 
this is purely an economic failure — but at the bottom 
of the whole thing compare the spirit inside the campus 
now and then. Who were the leaders then? The men 
of brains. Then the college did reflect the country ; then 
it was a vital hotbed of political thought. To-day every- 
thing that has been developed is outside the campus ; and 
it's so in every college. This is the tendency — develop- 
ment away from the campus at the expense of the 
campus. That's why, when you ask me would I wipe 
out our business athletics and our professional musical 
and traveling dramatic clubs, I say, yes, absolutely. I 
would have the limits of college to be the walls of the 
campus itself, and we'd see, when men cease to be 
drafted for one grind or another, whether they couldn't 
begin to meet to think and to converse. However, that 
brings up the whole pet problem of education, and, I'm 
through talking. Go on, Pike; tell us that we are, after 
all, only schools for character." 



STOVER AT YALE 245 

" Brocky, you certainly are a radical — a terrific 
one," said Pike, shaking his head. Regan, smoking, said 
nothing. 

"A sort of red-shirt, eh?" said Brockhurst, smiling. 

" You always go off on a tangent." 

" Well, there's a good deal in what Brocky says," said 
Regan, nodding slowly, " about bringing us all back into 
the campus and shutting out the world. It's the men 
here, all sorts and conditions, that, after all, are big 
things, the vital thing. I'm thinking over what you're 
saying, Brocky — not that I follow you altogether, but 
I see what you're after — I get it." 

Stover, on the contrary, was aware of only an antag- 
onism, for his instinct was always to combat new ideas. 
There were things in what Brockhurst had said that 
touched him on the quick of his accepted loyalty. Then, 
he could not quite forget that in the matter of his sopho- 
more society he had rejected him as being a little " queer." 
So he said rather acidly: 

" Brockhurst, one question. If you feel as you do, 
why do you stay here ? " 

Brockhurst, who had withdrawn after his outburst, a 
little self-conscious again, flushed with anger at this 
question. But with an effort he controlled himself, 
saying : 

" Stover has not perceived that I have been talking 
of general conditions all through the East; that I am 
not fool enough to believe one Eastern university is dif- 
ferent in essentials from another. What I criticize here 
I criticize in American life. As to why I remain at 
Yale, I remain because I think, because, having the ad- 
vantages of my own point of view, I can see clearer 
those who are still conventionalized." 

" But you don't believe in working for Yale," persisted 



246 STOVERATYALE 

Stover, for he was angry at what he perceived had been 
his discourtesy. 

"Work for Yale! Work for Princeton! Work 
for Harvard ! Bah ! Sublime poppycock ! " exclaimed 
Brockhurst, in a sort of fury. " Of all drivel preached 
to young Americans, that is the worst. I came to Yale 
for an education. I pay for it — good pay. I ask, first 
and last, what is Yale going to do for me? Work for 
Yale, go out and slave, give up my leisure and my inde- 
pendence — to do what for Yale? To keep turning the 
wheels of some purely inconsequential machine, or strive 
like a gladiator. Is that doing anything for Yale, a seat 
of learning? If I'm true to myself, make the most of 
myself, go out and be something, stand for something 
after college, then ask the question if you want. Ridic- 
ulous! Hocus-pocus and flap-doodle! Lord! I don't 
know anything that enrages me more. Good night; I'm 
going. Heaven knows what I'll say if I stay ! " 

He clapped his hat on his head and broke out of the 
door. The chorus of exclamations in the room died 
down. Ricketts, still shifting his victorious pile, began 
to whistle softly to himself. Regan, languidly stretched 
out, with a twinkle in his eyes kept watching Stover, 
staring red and concentrated into the fire. 

"Well?" he said at last. 

Stover turned. 

"Well?" said Regan, smiling. 

Dink rapped the ashes from his pipe, scratched his 
head, and said frankly: 

" Of course I shouldn't have said what I did. I got 
well spanked for it, and I deserve it." 

" What do you think of his ideas ? " said Regan, nod- 
ding appreciatively at Stover's fair acknowledgment. 

" I don't know," said Stover, puzzled. " I guess I 



STOVERATYALE 247 

haven't used my old thinker enough lately to be worth 
anything in a discussion. Still — " 

"Still what?" said Regan, as Dink hesitated. 

" Still, he has made me think," he admitted grudg- 
ingly. "I wish he didn't quite — quite get on my nerves 
so." 

" There's a great deal in what he said to-night," said 
Pike meditatively ; " a great deal. Of course, he is 
always looking at things from the standpoint of the indi- 
vidual ; still, just the same — " 

" Brocky always states only one side of the proposi- 
tion," said Brown, who rarely measured swords when 
Brockhurst was present in the flesh. " He takes for 
granted his premise, and argues for a conclusion that 
must follow." 

"Well, what's your premise, Brown?" said Stover 
hopefully, for he wanted to be convinced. 

" This is my premise," said Brown fluently. " The 
country has changed, the function of a college has 
changed. It is now the problem of educating masses and 
not individuals. To-day it is a question of perfecting a 
high average. That's what happens everywhere in col- 
lege : we all tend toward the average ; what some lose 
others gain. We go out, not as individuals, but as a 
type — a Yale type, Harvard type, Princeton type, five 
hundred strong, proportionately more powerful in our 
influence on the country." 

" Just what does our type take from here to the na- 
tion ? " said Stover ; and then he was surprised that he 
had asked the question that was vital. 

"What? What does this type stand for? I'll tell 
you," said Brown readily, with the debater's trick of 
repeating the question to gain time. " First, a pretty 
fine type of gentleman, with good, clear, honest stand- 



248 STOVER AT YALE 

ards; second, a spirit of ambition and a determination 
not to be beaten ; third, the belief in democracy." 

" All of which means," said Regan, " that we are sim- 
ply schools for character." 

"Well, why not?" said Pike. "Isn't that a pretty 
big thing?" 

" You're wrong on the democracy, Brown," said 
Regan, with a snap of his jaws. 

" I mean the feeling of man to man." 

" Perhaps." 

Stover at that moment was not so certain that he 
Would have answered the same. The discussion had so 
profoundly interested him that he forgot a certain 
timidity. 

" What would Brockhurst answer to the school-for- 
character idea ? " he said. 

" I calculate he'd have a lovely time with it," said 
Ricketts, with a laugh, " a regular dog-and-slipper time 
of it." 

" In all which," said Swazey's quick voice, " there is 
no question about our learning a little bit." 

A laugh broke out. 

" Lord, no ! " 

"That doesn't count?" 

" Why the curriculum ? " 

" That," said Regan, rising, " brings up the subject of 
education, which is deferred until another time. Ladies 
and gentlemen, good night. Who's winning? Ricketts. 
That's because he's said nothing. Good night, every- 
body." 

Stover went with him. 

" Tom," he said, when they came toward the campus, 
" do you know what I've learned to-night? I've learned 
what a complete ignoramus I am." 



STOVER AT YALE 249 

" How did ycu happen in ? " said Regan. 

Stover related the incident without mincing words. 

" You're a lucky boy," said Regan, at the conclusion. 
*■ I'm glad you're waking up." 

" You know I know absolutely nothing. I haven't 
thought on a single subject, and as for politics, and what 
you men talk about, I don't know the slightest thing. I 
say, Tom, I'd like to come around and talk with you." 

" Come," said Regan ; " I've had the door on the latch 
for a long while, old rooster." 



CHAPTER XVII 

'TT*HE next afternoon Stover passed Brockhurst going 
■*■ to dinner. 

" Hello," he said, with a cordial wave of the hand. 

" Hello," said Brockhurst, with a little avoidance, for 
he had a certain physical timidity, which always shrank 
at the consequences of his mental insurgency. 

" I was a chump and a fool last night," said Stover 
directly, " and here's my apology." 

" Oh, all right." 

" Drop in on me. Talk things over. You've started 
me thinking. Drop in — I mean it." 

" Thanks, awfully." 

Brockhurst, ill at ease, moved away, pursued always 
by a shackling self-consciousness in the presence of 
those to whom he consciously felt he was mentally su- 
perior. 

One direct result came to Stover from the visit to 
Swazey's rooms. Despite the protests and arguments, 
he did not report for the competition for the crew. 

" Stay in for a couple of months," said Le Baron. 
" We want the moral effect of every one's coming out. ,r 

" Sorry ; I've made up my mind," said Dink. 

"Why?" 

" Want time to myself. I've never had it, and now 
I'm going to get it." 

Le Baron of the machine did not understand him, and 
he did not explain. Stover was essentially a man of 
action and not a thinker. He did not reason things out- 

250 



STOVERATYALE 251 

for himself, but when he became convinced he acted. 
So, when he had thought over Brockhurst's theories and 
admitted that he was not independent, he determined at 
once to be so. He began zealously, turning his back on 
his own society crowd, to seek out the members of his 
class whom he did not know, resolved that his horizon 
should be of the freest. For the first time he began 
to reason on what others said to him. He went often 
to Swazey's rooms, and Regan's, which were centers of 
discussion. Some of the types that drifted in were in- 
congruous, bizarre, flotsam and jetsam of the class; but 
in each, patiently resolved, he found something to stir 
the imagination ; and when, under Regan's quickening in- 
fluence, he stopped to consider what life in the future 
would mean to them, he began to understand what his 
friend, the invincible democrat, meant by the inspiring 
opportunity of college — the vision of a great country 
that lay on the lips of the men he had only to seek 
out. 

Dink was of too direct a nature and also too confident 
in the strength of his position to consider the effect of 
his sudden pilgrimage to what was called the " out- 
siders." Swazey and Pike, at his invitation, took to 
dropping into his room and working out their lessons 
with him. Quite unconsciously, he found himself con- 
stantly in public companionship with them and other 
newly discovered types who interested him. 

About two weeks after this new life had begun, Le 
Baron stopped him one day, with a little solicitous frown, 
saying : 

" Look here, Dink, aren't you cutting loose from your 
own crowd a good deal ? " 

" Why, yes, I guess I am," Dink announced, quite un- 
consciously. 



252 STOVER AT YALE 

" I wouldn't get identified too much with — well, with 
some of the fellows vou've taken up." 

Stover smiled, and went his way undisturbed. For 
the first time he felt his superiority over Le Baron. Le 
Baron could not know what he knew — that it was just 
these new acquaintances who had waked him up out 
of his torpor and made a thinking being of him. Others 
in his class, mistaking his motives, began to twit him: 

" I say, Dink, what are you out for ? " 

"Running for something?" 

" Getting into politics ? " 

" Junior Prom, eh ? " 

He turned the jests aside with jests as ready, quite 
unaware that in his own crowd he was arousing a little 
antagonism; for he was developing in such deep lines 
that he did not perceive vexing details. 

All at once he remembered that it had been over a 
fortnight since he had called at the Storys' and he ran 
over one afternoon about four o'clock, expecting to stay 
for dinner ; for the Judge kept open house to the friends 
of his son, and Stover had readily availed himself of 
the privilege to become intimate. 

Although Bob Story was bound to him by the closest 
social ties, Dink felt, nor was he altogether at fault in 
the feeling, that the brother was still on the defensive 
with him, due to a natural resentment perhaps at Dink's 
too evident interest in his sister. 

When he arrived at the old colonial house set back 
among the elms, Eliza, the maid, informed him that no 
one was at home. Miss Jean was out riding. But im- 
mediately she corrected herself, and, going upstairs to 
make sure, returned with the welcome information that 
Miss Story had just returned and begged him to wait. 

He took the request as a meager evidence of her inter- 



STOVER AT YALE 253 

est, and entered the drawing-room. Waiting there for 
her to come tripping down the stairs, he began to think 
of the new horizon that had opened to him, and the new 
feeling of maturity ; and, feeling this with an acute real- 
ization, he was impatient for her to come, that he might 
tell her. 

It was a good ten minutes before he turned suddenly 
at a rustling on the stairs, and saw her, fresh and flushed 
from the ride. 

" It's awfully good of you to wait," she called to him. 
" I did my best to rush." 

Arrived on the landing, she gave him her hand, look- 
ing at him a little earnestly. 

" How are you ? You're a terrible stranger." 

" Have I been very bad ? " he said, holding her hand. 

" Indeed you have. Even Bob said he hardly saw 
you. What have you been doing ? " 

She withdrew her hand gently, but stood before him, 
looking into his face with her frank, inquiring eyes. 
Stover wondered if she thought he'd been a trifle wild; 
and, as there was no justification, he was immensely 
flattered, and a little tempted dramatically to assume an 
attitude that would call for reform. He smiled and said : 

" I've been on a voyage of discovery, that's all. You'll 
be interested." 

They sat down, and he began directly to talk, halting 
in broken phrases at first, gradually finding his words as 
he entered his subject. 

" By George ! I've had a wonderful two weeks — a 
revelation — just as though — just as though I'd begun 
my college course; that's really what it means. All I've 
done before doesn't count. And to think, if it hadn't 
been for an accident, I might have gone on without ever 
waking up." 



254 STOVER AT YALE 

He recounted his visit to Swazey's rooms, drawing a 
picture of his self-satisfied self descending en prince to 
bestow a favor; and, warming out of his stiffness, drew 
a word picture of Swazey's telling his story before the 
fire, and the rough sentiment with which he brought 
forth the odd, common little tintypes. 
i " By George ! the fellow had told a great story and he 
didn't know it; but I knew it, and it settled me," he 
added with earnestness, always aware of her heightened 
attention. " It was a regular knockout blow to the con- 
ceited, top-heavy, prancing little ass who had gone there. 
By Jove, it gave me a jar. I went out ashamed." 

" It is a very wonderful life — simple, wonderful," she 
said slowly, thinking more of the relator than of the 
story. " I understand all you felt." 

" You know life's real to those fellows," he continued, 
with more animation. " They're after something in this 
world; they believe in something; they're fighting for 
something. There's nothing real in me — that is, there 
wasn't. By George, these two weeks that I've gone 
about, looking for the men in the class, have opened up 
everything to me. I never knew my own country be- 
fore. It's a wonderful country! It's the simple lives 
that are so wonderful." 

She had in her hand a piece of embroidery, but she 
did not embroider. Her eyes never left his face. For 
the first time, the roles were reversed: it was he who 
talked and she who listened. From time to time she 
nodded, satisfied at the decision and direction in his 
character, which had answered the first awakening sug- 
gestion. 

"Who is Pike?" she asked. 

" Pike is a little fellow from a little life in some 
country town in Indiana; the only one in a family of 




life's real to those fellows; they're fighting for 
something' -' ' —Page 254. 



STOVER AT YALE 255 

eight children that's amounted to anything — father's a 
pretty even sort, I guess; so are the rest of them. But 
this fellow has a dogged persistence — not so quick at 
thinking things out, but, Lord! how he listens; nothing 
gets away from him. I can see him growing right under 
my eyes. He's interested in politics, same as Regan; 
wants to go back and get a newspaper some day. He'll 
do it, too. Why, that fellow has been racing ahead ever 
since he came here, and I've been standing still. Ricketts 
is an odd character, a sort of Yankee genius, shrewd, 
and some of his observations are as sharp as a knife. 
Brockhurst has the brains of us all ; he can out-think us 
every one. But he's a spectator ; he's outside looking on. 
I can't quite get used to him. Regan's the fellow I want 
for a friend. He's like an old Roman. When he makes 
up his mind — it takes him a long while — when he does, 
he's right." 

He recounted Regan's ideas on politics — his enthu- 
siasm, and his ideal of a college life that would reflect 
the thought of the nation. 

Then, talking to himself, he began to walk up and 
down, flinging out quick, stiff gestures : 

66 Brockhurst states a thing in such a slap-bang way — 
no compromise — that it hits you at first like a blow. 
But when you think it over he has generally got to the 
point. Where he's wrong is, he thinks the society sys- 
tem here keeps a man wrapped in cotton, smothering 
him and separating him from the class. Now, I'm an 
example to the contrary. It's all a question of the in- 
dividual. I thought it wasn't at one moment, but now 
I know that it is. You can do just what you want — 
find what you want. 

" But we do get so interested in outside things that 
we forget the real; that's true. Brockhurst says we 



256 STOVERATYALE 

ought to bring the college back to the campus, and the 
more I think of it the more I see what he means. The 
best weeks, the biggest in my life, are those when I've 
realized I had an imagination and could use it." Sud- 
denly he halted, gave a quick glance at her, and said: 

" Here I'm talking like a runaway horse. I got 
started." 

" Thank you for talking to me so," she said eagerly. 

He had never seen in her eyes so much of genuine 
impulse toward him, and, suddenly recalled, in this mo- 
ment of exhilaration, to the personal self, he was thrilled 
with a strange thrill at what he saw. 

" You remember," he said, with a certain new bold- 
ness, " how impudent you used to be to me, and how 
furious I was when you told me I was not awake." 

" I remember." 

" Now I understand what you meant," he said, " but 
then I didn't." 

She rose to order tea, and then turned impulsively, 
smiling up to him. 

" I think — I'm sure I felt it would come to you ; only 
I was a little impatient." 

And with a happy look she offered him her hand. 

" I'm very glad to be your friend," she said, to make 
amends ; " and I hope you'll come and talk over with 
me all that you are thinking. Will you ? " 

He did not answer. At the touch of her hand, which 
he held in his, at the new sound in her voice, suddenly 
something surged up in him, something blinding, intox- 
icating, that left him hot and cold, rash and silent. She 
tried to release her hand, but his grip was not to be 
denied. 

Then, seeing him standing head down boyishly unable 
to speak or act, she understood. 



STOVERATYALE 257 

" Oh, please ! " she said, with a sudden weakness, 
again trying to release her fingers. 

" I can't help it," he said, blurting out the words. 
" Jean, you know as well as I what it is. I love you." 

The moment the words were out, he had a cold horror 
of what had been said. He didn't love her, not as he 
had said it. Why had he said it? 

She remained motionless a moment, gathering her 
strength against the shock. 

" Please let go my hand," she said quietly. 

This time he obeyed. His mind was a vacuum ; every 
little sound came to him distinctly, with the terror of 
the blunder he had made. 

She went to the window and stood, her face half 
turned from him, trying to think; and, misreading her 
thoughts, a little warm blood came back to him, and he 
tried to think what he would say if she came back with 
a light in her eyes. 

" Mr. Stover." 

He looked up abruptly — he had scarcely moved. 
She was before him, her large eyes seeming larger than 
ever, her face a little frightened, but serious with the 
seriousness of the woman looking out. 

" You have done a very wrong thing," she said slowly, 
" and you have placed me in a very difficult position. I 
do not want to lose you as a friend." She made a rapid 
movement of her fingers to check his exclamation. "If 
what you said were true, and you are too young to have 
said such solemn words, may I ask what right you had 
to say them to me?" 

" What right ? " he said stupidly. 

" Yes, what right," she repeated, looking at him stead- 
ily with a certain wistf ulness. " Are you in a position 
to ask me to be your wife ? " 



258 STOVER AT YALE 

" Let me think a moment," he said, drawing a breath. 

He walked away to the table, leaning his weight on 
it, while, without moving, she followed with a steady- 
gaze, in which was a little pity. 

" Let me help you," she said at last. 

He turned and looked up for the first time, a look of 
wretchedness. 

" It would be too bad that one moment should spoil 
all our friendship," she said, " and because that would 
hurt me I don't want it so. You are a boy, and I am not 
yet a woman. I have always respected you, no more so 
than to-day, before — before you forgot your respect 
toward me. I want always to keep the respect I had for 
you." 

" Don't say any more," he said suddenly, with a lump 
in his throat. " I don't know why — what — why I for- 
got myself. Please don't take away from me your 
friendship. I will keep it very precious." 

" It is very hard to know what to do," she said. 
Then she added, with a little heightening of her color: 
" My friendship means a great deal." 

He put out his hand and gently took the end of a scarf 
which she wore about her shoulders, and raised it to his 
lips. It was a boyish, impulsive fantasy, and he inclined 
his head before her. Then he went out hurriedly, with- 
out speaking or turning, while the girl, pale and with- 
out moving, continued to stare at the curtain which still 
moved with his passing. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

STOVER went rushing from the Storys' home, and 
away for a long feverish march along dusky avenues, 
where unseen leaves came whirling against him. He 
was humiliated, mortified beyond expression, in a panic 
of self-accusation and remorse. 

" It's all over," he said, with a groan. " I've made a 
fool of myself. I can never square myself after that. 
What under the shining stars made me say that? What 
happened? I hadn't a thought, and then all at once — 
Oh, Lord!" 

A couple of upper classmen returning nodded to him, 
and he flung back an abrupt " Hello," without distin- 
guishing them. 

"Why did I do it? — why — why! " 

He went plunging along, through the dark regions 
that lay between the spotted arc lights that began to 
sputter along the avenue, his ears deafened by the rush 
and grind of blazing trolley cars. When he had gone 
breathlessly a good two miles, he stopped and wearily 
retraced his steps. The return no longer gave him the 
sensation of flight. He came back laggingly, with re- 
luctance. Each time he thought of the scene which had 
passed he had a sensation of heat and cold, of anger and 
of cowardice. Never again he said to himself, would 
he be able to enter the Storys' home, to face her, Jean 
Story. 

But after a time, from sheer exhaustion, he ceased to 
think about his all-important self. He remembered the 

259 



260 STOVERATYALE 

dignity and gentleness with which the young girl had met 
the shock of his blunder, and he was overwhelmed with 
wonder. He saw again her large eyes, filled with pain, 
trouble, and yet a certain pity. He recalled her quiet 
voice, the direct meeting of the issue, and deep through 
all impressions was the memory of the woman, sweet, 
self-possessed, and gentle, that had been evoked from her 
eyes. 

He forgot himself. He forgot all the wretchedness 
and hot misery. He remembered only this Jean Story, 
and the Jean Story that would be. And feeling the re- 
vealing acuteness of love for the first time, he said im- 
pulsively : 

" Oh, yes, I love her. I have always loved her ! " 
And silently, deep in his heart, a little frightened almost 
to set the thought to words, he made a vow that his life 
from now on should be earnest and inspired with but 
one purpose, to win her respect and to win the right to 
ask her for his wife. 

With the resolve, all the fret and fever went from 
him. He felt a new confidence and a new maturity. 

" When I speak again, I shall have the right," he said 
solemnly. " And she shall see that I am not a mere boy. 
That I will show her soon ! " 

When he came again into the domain of the college, 
he suddenly felt all the littleness of the ambitions that 
raged inside those self-sufficient walls. 

" Lord, what have I been doing all this time — what 
does it count for? Brocky is right; it isn't what you do 
here, it's what you are ready to do when you go out. 
Thank Heaven, I can see it now." And secure in the 
knowledge that the honors he rated so lightly were his, 
he added : " There's only one thing that counts — that's 
your own self." 



STOVERATYALE 261 

It was after the dinner hour, and he hesitated ; a little 
tired of his own company, longing for the diversion an- 
other personality would bring, and seeking some one as 
far removed from his own point of view as possible, he 
halted before Durfee, and sent his call to the top stories : 

" Oh, Ricky Ricketts, stick out your head." 

Above a window went up, and a fuzzy head came curi- 
ously forth. 

"Wot'ell, Bill?" 

" It's Stover, Dink Stover. Come down." 

"Somethin' doin'?" 

" You bet." 

Presently, Ricketts's bean-stalk figure came flopping 
out of the entry. 

"What's up, Dink?" 

" I'm back too late for supper. Come on down with 
me to Mory's and keep me company, and I'll buy you a 
drink." 

" Did I hear the word " buy ' ? " said Ricketts, in the 
manner then made popular by the lamented Pete Dailey. 

" You did." 

" Lead me to it." 

At Mory's, two or three men whom he didn't know 
were at the senior table. Le Baron and Reynolds, pros- 
pective captain of the crew and chairman of the News, 
respectively, men of his own society, gave him a hearty, 
" Hello, Dink," and then stared curiously at Ricketts, 
whose general appearance neither conformed to any one 
fashion nor to any two. Gimbel, the politician, was in 
the off room with three of the more militant anti-soph- 
omore society leaders. The two parties saluted in regu- 
lation style. 

" Hello, you fellows." 

" Howdy, there." 



262 STOVER AT YALE 

Stover, sitting down, saw Gimbel's perplexed glance 
at his companion, and thought to himself : 

" I've got Gimbel way up a tree. I'll bet he thinks 
I'm trying to work out some society combine against 
him." 

The thought recalled to him all the increasing bitter- 
ness of the anti-sophomore society fight which had swept 
the college. There was talk even of an open mass meet- 
ing. He remembered that Hunter had mentioned it, and 
for a moment he was inclined to put the question direct 
to Gimbel. But his mood was alien to controversy, and 
Louis, with sidelong, beady eyes, and a fragrant aroma, 
was waiting the order. 

Ricketts had, among twenty Yankee devices for greas- 
ing his journey through college, a specialty of breaking 
in new pipes, one of which he now produced, with an 
apologetic : 

" You don't mind, do you, if I crack my lungs on this 
appetizing little trifle ? " 

" I say, Ricketts," said Stover, trying to keep off his 
mind the one subject, " is that all a joke about your 
breaking in pipes ? " 

" Straightest thing in the world." 

" What do you charge ? " 

" Thirty-five cents and the tobacco." 

" You ought to charge fifty." 

" I'm going to next year. You think I'm loony ? " said 
Ricketts. 

" I'm not sure." 

" Dink, my boy, I'll be a millionaire in ten years. You 
know what I'm figuring out all this time? I'm going at 
this scientifically. I'm figuring out the number of fools 
there are on the top of this globe, classifying 'em, looking 



STOVER AT YALE 263 

out what they want to be fooled on. I'm making an 
exact science of it." 

" Go on," said Dink, amused and perplexed, for he 
was trying to distinguish the serious and the humorous. 

" What's the principle of a patent medicine ? — adver- 
tise first, then concoct your medicine. All the science 
of Foolology is: first, find something all the fools love 
and enjoy, tell them it's wrong, hammer it into them, 
give them a substitute and sit back, chuckle, and shovel 
away the ducats. Bread's wrong, coffee's wrong, beer's 
wrong. Why, Dink, in the next twenty years all the 
fools will be feeding on substitutes for everything they 
want ; no salt — denatured sugar — anti-tea — oiloline 
— peanut butter — whale's milk — et cetera, et ceteray, 
and blessing the name of the fool-master who fooled 
them." 

" By Jingo," said Stover, listening to this jumble of 
words, entranced, " I believe you're right. And so 
you've reduced it to a science, eh — Foolology ? " 

Ricketts, half in earnest, never entirely in jest, abetted 
by newly arriving tobies, was off again on his pet theories 
of business imagination, disdaining the occasional gibes 
that were flung at him from Gimbel's table. 

When Le Baron and Reynolds passed out, with curi- 
ous glances, Stover was weak with laughter. Later 
arrivals dropping in joined them, egging on the inventor. 

Stover, who had been busily consulting his watch, 
left at half-past eight on a sudden resolve. The farcical 
interruption that had temporarily drawn him out of him- 
self, had cleared his head, and brought him a sudden 
authoritative decision. 

He went directly to the Storys', and, entering the 
parlor, found a group of his crowd there, dinner finished, 
trying out the latest comic opera chorus. 



264 STOVERATYALE 

He came in quite coldly self-possessed, shook hands, 
and immediately jumped into the conversation, which 
was all on the crisis in the sophomore societies. Jean 
Story was at the piano, a little more serious than usual. 
At his entrance, she looked up with sudden wonder and 
confusion. He came to her, and in taking her hand 
inclined his head in great respect, but did not speak to 
her. He had but one desire, to show her that he was not 
a boy but a man, and that he could rise to the crisis 
which he had brought on himself. 

Hunter and Tommy Bain had been arguing for no 
compromise, Bob Story and Hungerford were of the 
opinion that the time had come to enlarge the member- 
ship of the societies, and to destroy their exclusiveness. 

On the sofa, the little Judge, a spectator, never in- 
timating his opinion, studying each man as he spoke, 
appealed to Stover : 

" Well, now, Judge Dink, what is your learned opinion 
on this situation? Here is the dickens to pay; three- 
fourths the college lined up against you fellows, and a 
public mass meeting coming. Jim Hunter here believes 
in sitting back and letting the storm blow over; Bob, 
who of course can regulate it all, wants to double the 
membership and meet some objections. Now what do 
you say? Mr. Stover has the floor. My daughter will 
please come to order." 

Jean Story abruptly turned from the piano, where 
her fingers had been absent-mindedly running over the 
keys. 

" Frankly, I haven't made up my mind just yet," said 
Stover. " There are a great many sides to it. I've 
listened to a good many opinions, but haven't yet chosen 
mine. Every one is talking about the effect on the col- 
lege, but what has impressed me most is the effect on the 



STOVER AT YALE 265 

sophomore society men themselves. If the outsiders only 
knew the danger and handicap they are to us ! " 

" Hello," said the Judge, shifting with a little interest 

" What do you mean ? " said Hunter aggressively. 

" I mean we are the ones who are limited, who are 
liable to miss the big opportunities of college life. We 
have got into the habit, under the pretense of good 
fellowship, of herding together." 

" Why shouldn't we ? " persisted Hunter. 

" Because we shut ourselves up, withdraw from the 
big life of the college, know only our own kind, the kind 
we'll know all our life ; surrender our imagination. We 
represent only a social idea, a good time, good friends, 
good figure-heads on the different machines of the col- 
lege. But we miss the big chance — to go out, to mingle 
with every one, to educate ourselves by knowing opposite 
lives, fellows who see things as we never have seen them, 
who are going back to a life a thousand miles away from 
what we will lead." He expressed himself badly, and, 
realizing it, said impatiently : " Here, what I mean is 
this. It's not my idea, it's Brockhurst's, it's Tom 
Regan's. The biggest thing we can do is to reflect the 
nation, to be the inspiration of the democracy of the 
country, to be alive to the fight among the people for 
real political independence. We ought to get a great 
vision when we come up here, as young men, of the big- 
ness of our country, of the privilege of fighting out its 
political freedom, of what American manhood means in 
the towns of Georgia and Texas, in the little manu- 
facturing cities of New England, in the great West, and 
in the small homes of the big cities. We ought to really 
know one another, meet, discuss, respect each other's 
point of view, independence — odd ways if you wish. 
We don't do it. We did once — we don't now. Prince- 



266 STOVER AT YALE 

ton doesn't do it, Harvard doesn't do it. We're over- 
organized away from the vital thing — the knowledge of 
ourselves." 

" Then you'd abolish the sophomore societies ? " said 
Hunter, crowding him to the wall. 

" I don't know. Sometimes I've felt it's the system 
that is wrong," said Stover frankly. " Lately, I've 
changed my mind. I think we can do what we want — 
at least I know I've gone out and met whom I wanted 
to without my being in a sophomore society making the 
slightest difference. I say I don't know where the trou- 
ble is; whether the whole social system here and else- 
where is the cause or the effect. It may be that it is the 
whole development of America that has changed our 
college life. I don't know; those questions are too big 
for me to work out. But I know one thing, that my own 
ideas of what I want here have taken a back somersault, 
and that I'm going out of here knowing everything I 
can of every man in the class." Suddenly he remem- 
bered Hunter's opposition, and turning, concluded: 
" One thing more ; if ever I make up my mind that the 
sophomore society system or any other system ought to 
be abolished, I'll stand out and say so." 

When he had finished, his classmates began talking all 
at once, Hunter and Bain in bitter opposition, Bob Story 
in warm defense, Hungerford, in his big-souled way, 
coming ponderously to his assistance. 

Stover withdrew from the conversation. He glanced 
at Jean Story, wondering if she had understood the rea- 
son of his return, and that he had spoken for her ears 
alone. She was still at the piano, one hand resting on 
the keyboard, looking at him with the same serious, half- 
troubled expression in her large eyes. He made an ex- 
cuse to leave, and for the second that he stood by her, 



STOVER AT YALE 267 

he looked into her eyes boldly, with even a little bravado, 
as though to ask: 

" Do you understand ? " 

But the young girl, without speaking, nodded her head 
slightly, continuing to look at him with her wistiul, a 
little wounded glance. 



CHAPTER XIX 

IT was only a little after nine. He had left in the 
company of Joe Hungerford, who had ostensibly 
taken the opportunity of going with him. 

" I say, Dink," he began directly, in the blustering, 
full-mouthed way he had when excited, " I say bully for 
you. Lord, I liked to hear you talk out." 

" It's all simple enough," said Stover, surprised at the 
other's enthusiasm. " I suppose I wouldn't have said all 
I did if it hadn't been for Hunter." 

" Oh, Jim's a damned hard-shell from way back," 
said Hungerford good-humoredly, " never mind him. 
I say though, Dink, you really have been going round, 
haven't you, breaking through the lines ? " 

" Yes, I have." 

" I wish you'd take me around with you some time," 
said Hungerford enviously. 

" Why the deuce don't you break in yourself ? " 

" It doesn't come natural, Dink," said the inheritor of 
millions regretfully. " I never went through boarding- 
school like you fellows. By George, it's just what I 
want, what I hoped for here ! and, damn it, what I'm not 
getting!" 

" You know, Joe," said Dink suddenly, " there 
wouldn't be any society problem if fellows that felt the 
way you and I do would assert themselves. By George, 
there's nothing wrong with the soph societies, the trouble 
is with us." 

" I'm not so sure," said Hungerford seriously. 
268 



STOVER AT YALE 269 

"Rats!" 

" You know, Dink," said Joe with a little hesitation, 
* it is not every one who understands you or what you're 
doing." 

" I know," said Stover, laughing confidently. " Some 
have got an idea I've got some great political scheme, 
working in with the outsiders to run for the Junior Prom, 
or something like that." 

" No, it's not all that. I don't think some of our 
crowd realize what you're doing — rather fancy you're 
cutting loose from them." 

" Let them think," said Stover carelessly. Then he 
added with some curiosity : " Has there been much 
talk?" 

" Yes, there has." 

" Any one spoken to you ? " 

" Yes." 

" I know — I know they've got an idea I'm queering 
myself — oh, that word ' queer ' ; it's the bogey of the 
whole place." 

" You're right there ! But, Dink, I might as well let 
you know the feeling ; it isn't simply in our set, but some 
of the crowd ahead." 

"Le Baron, Reynolds?" 

" Yes. Haven't they ever — ever said anything to 
you?" 

" Bless their simple hearts," said Stover, untroubled. 
" So they're worrying about me. It's rather humorous. 
It's their inherited point of view. Le Baron, Joe, could 
no more understand what we are thinking about — and 
yet he's a fine type. Sure, he's stopped me a couple of 
times and shaken his head in a worried, fatherly way. 
To him, you see, everything is selective; what he calls 
the fellow who doesn't count, the ' fruit,' is really out- 



270 STOVERATYALE 

side what he understands, the fellows who are in the 
current of what's being done here. I must talk it out 
with him sometime. We've come to absolutely opposite 
points of view. And yet the curious thing is, he's fond 
as the deuce of me." 

" Yes, that's so," said Hungerford. He did not in- 
sist, seeing that Stover was insensible to the hints he 
had tried to convey. Not wishing to express openly a 
point of view which was personally unsympathetic, he 
hesitated and remained silent. 

" Coming up for a chin ? " said Dink, as they neared 
the campus. 

" No, I've got a date at Heub's. I say, Dink, I'm 
serious in what I said. I want to wake up and get 
around. Work me in." 

" You bet I will, and you'll meet a gang that really 
have some ideas." 

" That's what I want. Well, so long." 

" So long, Joe." 

Dink, turning to the right, entered the campus past 
Battell. He had never before felt so master of himself, 
or surer of a clear vision. The thought of his instinct- 
ive return to the Storys', and the knowledge that he had 
distinguished himself before Jean Story, gave him a cer- 
tain exhilaration. He began to feel the opportunity that 
was in his hands. He remembered with pleasure Hun- 
gerford's demand to follow where he had gone, and he 
said to himself: 

" I can make this crowd of mine see what the real 
thing is — and, by George, I'm going to do it." 

As he delayed in the campus, Le Baron and Reynolds 
passed him, going toward Durfee. 

" Hello, Dink." 

" Hello there." 



STOVER AT YALE 271 

He continued on to his entry, and, turning, saw the two 
juniors stop and watch him. Without heed he went up 
to his room, lit the dusty gas-jet, and went reverently 
to his bureau. He was in his bedroom, standing there 
in a sentimental mood, gazing at the one or two little 
kodaks he had displayed of Jean Story, when a knock 
sounded. He turned away abruptly, singing out: 

" Let her come." 

The door opened and some one entered, and, emerging 
from his bedroom, he beheld to his surprise Le Baron 
and Reynolds. 

" Hello," he said, puzzled. 

" Anything doing, Dink ? " said Le Baron pleasantly. 

" Not a thing. Make yourself at home," he said 
hastily. " Take a seat. Pipe tobacco in the jar — 
cigarettes on the table." 

Each waved his hand in dissent. Reynolds seated 
himself in a quick, business-like way on the edge of his 
chair; Le Baron, more sociable, passed curiously about 
the room, examining the trophies with interest. 

" I wonder what's up now," thought Dink, without 
uneasiness. He knew that it was the custom of men in 
the class above about to go into the senior societies to 
acquaint themselves with the tendencies of the next class. 
" That's it," he said to himself ; " they want to know if 
I'm heeling Bones or Keys." 

" You've got a great bunch of junk," said Le Baron, 
finishing his inspection. 

" Yes, it's quite a mixture." 

Le Baron, refusing a seat, stood before the fireplace, 
a pocket knife juggling in his hands, seeking an opening. 

" Here, I'll have a cigarette," he said finally, with a 
frown. 

Reynolds, more business-like, broke out: 



272 STOVER AT YALE 

" Dink, we've dropped in to have a little straight talk 
with you." 

" All right." 

He felt a premonition of what was coming, and the 
short note of authority in Reynolds's voice seemed to 
stiffen everything inside of him. 

" We've dropped a few hints to you," continued Rey- 
nolds, in his staccato manner, " and you haven't chosen 
to understand them. Now we're going to put it right 
to you." 

" Hold up, Benny," said Le Baron, who had lit his' 
cigarette, " it's not necessary to talk that way. Let me 
explain." 

" No, put it to me straight," said Stover, looking past 
Le Baron straight into Reynolds's eyes. An instinctive 
antagonism was in him, the revolt of the man of action, 
the leader in athletics, at being criticized by the man of 
the pen. 

" Stover, we don't like what you've been doing 
lately." 

"Why not?" 

" You're shaking your own crowd, and you're identi- 
fying yourself with a crowd that doesn't count. What 
the deuce has got into you ? " 

" Just shut up for a moment, Benny," said Le Baron, 
giving him a look, " you're not putting the thing in the 
right way." 

" I'm not jumping on any one," said Reynolds. " I'm 
giving him good advice." 

Stover looked at him without speaking, then he turned 
to Le Baron. 

"Well?" 

" Look here, Dink," said Le Baron conciliatingly. " A 
lot of us fellows have spoken to you, but you didn't seem 



STOVER AT YALE 

to understand. Now, what I'm saying is because I like 
you, and because you are making a mistake. We're 
interested personally, and for the society's sake, in see- 
ing you make out of yourself what you ought to be, one 
of the big men of the class. Dink, what's happened? 
Have you lost your nerve about anything — anything 
wrong ? " 

" Wait a moment — let me understand the thing," said 
Stover, absolutely dumbfounded. Reynolds's purely un- 
intentional false start had left him cold with anger. 
" Am I to understand that you have come here to inform 
me that you do not approve of the friends I've been mak- 
ing?" 

" Hold up," said Le Baron. 

" No, let's have it straight. That's what I want, too," 
he said quickly, facing Reynolds. " You criticize the 
crowd I'm going with, and you want me to chuck them. 
That's it in plain English, isn't it ? " 

A little flush showed on Reynolds's face. He, too, 
felt the physical superiority in Stover, and the antago- 
nism thereof, and, being provoked, he answered more 
shortly than he meant to: 

" Let it go at that." 

" Is that right ? " said Stover, turning to Le Baron. 

" Now, look here, Dink, there's no use in getting hot 
about this," said Le Baron uneasily. " No one's forcing 
j anything on you. We are here as your friends, telling 
you what we believe is for your own good." 

" So you think if I go on identifying myself with 
the crowd I'm with that I may ' queer ' myself ? " 

" That's rather strong." 

" Why not have it out ? " 

" This is true," said Le Baron, " that the men in your 
own crowd don't understand your cutting loose from 



274 STOVER AT YALE 

them, and that no one can make out why you've taken up 
with the crowd you have." 

The explanation which might have cleared matters 
was forgotten by Stover in the wound to his vanity. 

" You haven't answered my question." 

" Well, Dink, to be honest," said Le Baron, " if you 
keep on deliberately, there is more than a chance of — " 

" Of queering myself ? " 

" Yes." 

" Being regarded as a sort of wild man, and missing 
out on a senior election." 

" That's what we want to prevent," said Le Baron, be- 
lieving he saw a reasonable excuse. " You've got every- 
thing in your hands, Stover, don't waste your time — " 

" One moment." 

Stover, putting out his hand, interrupted him. He 
locked his hands behind his back, twisting them in 
physical pain, staring out the window, unable to meet 
the suddenness of the situation. 

" You've been quite frank," he said, when he was able 
to speak. " You have not come to me to dictate who 
should be my friends here, though that's perhaps a 
quibble, but as members of my sophomore society you 
have come to advise me against what might queer me. 
I understand. Well, gentlemen, you absolutely amaze 
me. I didn't believe it possible. I'll think it over." 

He looked at them with a quick nod, intimating that 
there was nothing more to be discussed. Reynolds, say- 
ing something under his breath, sprang up. Le Baron, 
feeling that the interview had been a blunder from the 
first, said suddenly: 

" Benny, see here ; let me have a moment's talk with 
Dink." 



STOVERATYALE 275 

" Quite useless, Hugh," said Stover, in the same con- 
trolled voice. " There's nothing more to be said. You 
have your point of view, I have mine. I understand. 
There's no pressure being put on me, only, if I am to go 
on choosing my friends as I have — I do it at my own 
risk. I've listened to you. I don't know what I shall 
answer. That's all. Good night." 

Reynolds went out directly, Le Baron slowly, with 
much hesitation, seeking some opportunity to remain, 
with a last uneasy glance. 

When Stover was left to himself, his first sensation 
was of absolute amazement. He, the big man of the 
class, confident in the security of his position, had sud- 
denly tripped against an obstruction, and been made to 
feel his limitations. 

" By Heavens ! If any one would have told me, 
I wouldn't have believed it — the fools ! " 

The full realization of the pressure that had been 
exerted on him did not yet come to him. He was an- 
noyed, as some wild animal at the first touch of a rope 
that seems only to check him. 

He moved about the room, tossing back his hair impa- 
tiently. 

" That's what Hungerford was trying to hint to me," 
he said. " So my conduct has been under fire. What 
I do is a subject of criticism because I've gone out of the 
beaten way, done something they don't understand — the 
precious idiots ! " Then he remembered Reynolds, and 
his anger began to rise. " The little squirt, the impu- 
dent little scribbler, to come and tell me what I should 
or shouldn't do! How the devil did I ever keep my 
temper ? Who is he anyhow ? I'll give him an answer ! " 

All at once he perceived the full extent of the situation, 



276 STOVERATYALE 

and what a defiance would mean to those leaders in the 
class above, men marked for Skull and Bones, the soci- 
ety to which he aspired. 

" No pressure ! " he said aloud, with a grim laugh, 
" Oh, no ! no pressure at all ! Advice only — take it or 
leave it, but the consequences are on your head. By 
Heavens, I wouldn't have believed it." It hurt him, it 
hurt him acutely, that he, who had won his way to lead- 
ership, should have sat and listened to those who were 
the masters of his success. 

" Hold up, hold up, Dink Stover," he said, all at once. 
" This is serious — a damn sight more serious than you 
thought. It's up to you. What are you going to do 
about it?" 

All at once the temper that always lay close to his 
skin, uncontrollable and violent, broke out. 

" By Heavens — and I stood for it — I stood there 
quietly and listened, and never said a word! But I 
didn't realize it — no, I didn't realize it. Yes, but he 
won't understand it, that damned little whipper-snapper 
of a Reynolds; he'll think I've kow-towed. He will, 
will he? We'll see! By Heavens, that's what their 
society game means, does it! Thank Heaven, I didn't 
argue with them. At least I didn't do that." 

He strode over quickly, and seizing his cap clapped it 
on his head, and stopped. 

" Now or never," he said, between his teeth. 

He went out slamming the door; and as he went, 
furiously, all the anger and humiliation blazed up in a 
fierce revolt — he, Dink, Dink Stover, had stood tamely 
and listened while others had come and told him what 
to do, told him in so many words that he was " queering " 
himself. He went out of the entry almost at a run, with 
a sort of blind, unreasoning idea that he could overtake 



STOVERATYALE 277 

them. By the fence he almost upset Dopey McNab, who 
called to him fruitlessly: 

" Here — I say, Dink ! What the devil ! " 

He reached the center of the campus before he 
stopped. He had quite lost control of himself ; he knew 
what he would say, and he didn't care. Suddenly he 
recalled where Reynolds roomed, and went hot-foot for 
Vanderbilt, with a fierce physical longing to be provoked 
into a fight. 

He arrived at the door breathlessly, a lump in his 
throat, never considering the chances of finding them out. 

Le Baron and Reynolds were before the fireplace in a 
determined argument. He shut the door behind him, 
and leaned against it, digging his nails into his hands 
with the effort to master his voice. 

The two juniors, struck by the violence of his en- 
trance, turned abruptly, and Le Baron, a little pale, 
started forward, saying: 

"I say, Dink—" 

" Look here," he cried, flinging out a hand for silence, 
" I don't know why I didn't say it to you there — when 
you spoke to me. I don't know. I'm a low-livered cow- 
ard and a skunk because I didn't ! But I know now what 
I'm going to say, and I'll say it. You came to me, you 
dared to come to me and tell me what I was to do — 
to heel — that's what you meant; to cut out fellows I 
know and respect — oh, you didn't have the courage to 
say it out, but that's it. Well, now, I've just got one 
thing to say to you both. If this is what your society 
business means, if this is your idea of democracy — I'm 
through with you — " 

" Hold up," said Le Baron, springing forward. 

" I won't hold up," said Stover, beside himself, " for 
you or for any one else, or whatever you can do against 



278 STOVERATYALE 

me ! Here's my answer — I'm through ! You and the 
whole society can go plumb to Hell ! " 

And suffocating, choking, blinded with his fury, he 
thrust his hand into his breast, and tore from his shirt 
the pin he had been given to wear, and flung it on the 
floor, stamped upon it, and bolted from the room. 



CHAPTER XX 

FOR an hour, bareheaded, he went plunging into the 
darkness, a prey to a nervous crisis, that left him 
shaking in every muscle. He knew the extent of his 
passions, and the anger which had swept over him left 
him weak and frightened. 

" It's lucky that runt of a Reynolds held his tongue," 
he said hotly. " By the Lord, I don't know what I would 
have done to him. Here, I must get hold of myself. 
This is terrible. Well, thank Heaven, it's over." 

He controlled himself slowly, and came back, limp and 
weak ; yet beyond the physical reaction was a liberated 
soaring of the spirit. 

"I'm glad I did it! I never was gladder!" he said 
solemnly. "Good-by to the whole society game, Skull 
and Bones, and all the rest. But I take my stand from 
now on, and I stand on my own feet. I'm glad of it." 
Then he thought of Jean Story, and he was troubled. 
"I wonder if she'll understand? I can't help it. I 
couldn't do anything else. Now, I suppose the whole 
bunch will turn on me. So be it." 

It was long after midnight when he came back gloom- 
ily to the light still staring from his window, and toiled up 
the heavy steps. When he entered the room, Le Baron, 
Bob Story, and Joe Hungerford were sitting silently, 
waiting for him, and in Story's hand was the pin 
bruised by his furious heel. 

He saw at once the full strength of the appeal that was 
to be made to him, and he closed the door wearily. 

279 



280 STOVER AT YALE 

" I don't want to talk about it," he said slowly. ~" The 
whole thing is done and buried." 

Bob Story, agitated and solemn, came to him. 

"Dink, this is awful — the whole thing is awful," he 
said earnestly. " You've got to talk it out with us." 

" Do you understand, Bob," Stover said suddenly, 
"just what happened in this room?" 

"Yes, I think I do." 

" I don't believe it." 

" Dink, I want you to listen to me a moment," said 
Le Baron. " It's been rotten business, the whole 
wretched thing. I can understand how you felt. 
Reynolds and you got on each other's nerves. You each 
said what you didn't mean. It was damned unfortunate. 
He put things to you like a fool, and I was telling him 
so when you broke into the room. He was all up on 
edge from something that had gone before." 

" Oh, I lost my temper," said Stover. " I know it." 

" I'd have done the same," said Hunger ford openly. 

" Now, Dink, there isn't one of us here that doesn't 
like you, and look up to you," said Story, with his irre- 
sistible charm. " We know you're every inch a man, 
and what you do you believe in. But, Dink, we're all 
friends together, and this is a terrible thing to us. We 
want you to take back your pin, and shut up this whole 
business. Will you ? " 

" I'd do a great deal for you, Bob Story," said Stover, 
looking him in the eyes, " more than for any one else, but 
I can't do this." 

He said it calmly, with a little sadness. The three 
were impressed with the finality of the judgment. 
Story, standing with the cast-off pin in his hand, turning 
and twisting it, said slowly: 

" Dink, do you really mean it ? " 



STOVER AT YALE 281 

" I do." 

" It's a serious thing you're doing, Stover," said Le 
Baron, with the first touch of formality, " and I don't 
think it should be done in anger." 

" I'm not." 

" Remember that you are judging a whole society — - 
your own friends — by what one man happened to say to 
you in a moment of irritation." 

" I don't want to talk of what's done," said Stover 
slowly, for his head was throbbing. " I know myself, 
and I know nothing is going to make me go back on 
what I've said. I'm only going to say a word, and then 
I'm going into my room and going to bed. Le Baron " — 
with a sudden rise of his voice he turned and faced the 
junior — " don't think I don't understand what it means 
that I'm giving up. I get what you mean when you 
start in calling me Stover. I know as well as I'm stand- 
ing here that you and Reynolds will keep me out of 
Bones, whether I make captain or not. And that'll hurt 
me a good bit — I admit it. Now don't let's quibble. 
It isn't the way Reynolds said what he did — though that 
did rile me — it's what was told me, indirectly or directly 
— it's the same thing; you men in sophomore societies 
would limit my freedom of choice. There you are. I'm 
against you now, because for the first time I see how 
the thing works out, because you're wrong! You're a 
bad influence for those who are in, and a rotten influ- 
ence for the whole college. Now I've made up my mind 
to just one thing. I'm going to finish up here at the head 
of my own business — my own master ; and I'm not going 
to be in a position to be told by any one in your class 
or my class what I'm to do." 

" One moment." Le Baron rose as Stover moved 
towards the bedroom. " There's another side to it." 



STOVER AT YALE 

"What other side?" 

" Whatever you decide, and I won't take your answer 
until the morning," said Le Baron solemnly, " I want 
you to give me your word that what's happened to-night 
remains a secret." 

" I won't give my word to that or anything else," said 
Dink defiantly. " I shall do exactly what I think is right 
to be done, and for that reason only. Now you'll have 
to excuse me. Good night." 

He went to his bedroom, shut the door, and without 
undressing tumbled on the bed, and, still hearing in a 
confused jumble the murmur of voices, dropped off to 
sleep. 

He was startled out of heavy dreams by a beating in 
his ears, and sprang up to find Bob Story thundering on 
his door. He looked at his watch. It was still an hour 
before chapel. 

When he entered his dim study, Story was waiting, 
and Hungerford uncoiling from the couch where he had 
passed the night. 

" Have you fellows been here all night ? " said Stover, 
stopping short. 

" Dink, we want a last chance to talk this over," said 
Story solemnly. " We've aH had a chance to sleep it out. 
Le Baron isn't here, just Joe and myself — your friends." 

" You make it hard for me, boys," said Dink, shaking 
his head. 

Hungerford rose with the stiffness of the night, and 
coming to Stover, took him by the shoulders. 

" Damn you, Dink," he said, " get this straight, we're 
not thinking about the society, we're thinking about you 
— about your future. And I want you to know this: 
whatever you decide, I'm your friend and proud to be 
it." 



STOVERATYALE 283 

" What Joe says is what I feel," said Story, as Stover, 
much affected, stood looking at the ground. " We're 
sticking by you, Dink — that's why I'm going to try once 
more. Can't you go on in the society, make no open 
break, and still fight for what you believe in — what Joe 
and I believe in, too ? " 

" But, Bob, I think they're wrong through and through 
— you don't understand — I'm for wiping them out 
now." 

" That whole question's coming up, and coming up 
soon," continued Story earnestly, " and a lot of our own 
crowd will line up for you. Work inside the crowd, if 
you can see it that way, Dink. There are only five of 
us know what's happened, and no one else need 
know." 

" Wait a moment, Bob, old fellow," said Dink, stop- 
ping him. " You two have got down under my skin, 
and I won't forget it. Now I'm going to ask you fel- 
lows a couple of questions. First: you think if I stick 
to my determination that most of the crowd'll turn on 
me?" 

" Yes." 

" That I have as much chance of being tapped for 
Bones as Jackson, the sweep ? " 

" Yes, Dink." 

" Now, boys, honest, if I took back my pin for any such 
reason as that, wouldn't I be a spineless, calculating little 
quitter?" 

Neither answered. 

" What would you think of me, Joe — Bob ? " 

" Damn the luck," said Hungerford. He did not 
attempt to answer the question. Neither did Bob 
Story. They shook hands with Stover, and went out 
defeated. 



284 STOVERATYALE 

Just how big a change in his college career his renun- 
ciation would make, Stover had not understood until in 
the weeks that succeeded he came to feel the full effects 
of the resentment he had aroused in the society crowds, 
now at bay before a determined opposition. 

The second morning, as he went down High Street to 
his eating-joint, Hungerford was loafing ahead of him, 
ostensibly conning a lesson. Stover joined him, unaware 
of the friendly intent of the action. They went inside, 
laughing together, to where a score of men were rubbing 
their eyes over hasty breakfasts. Four-fifths of them 
belonged to sophomore societies. 

" Morning, everybody," said the new arrivals, in uni- 
son, and the answer came back: 

" Hello, Joe." 

" Hello, Dink." 

" Shove in here." 

At their arrival a little constrained silence was felt, 
for the news had somehow passed into rumor. Oppo- 
site Stover, Jim Hunter was sitting. He nodded to 
Hungerford, and then with deliberation continued a con- 
versation with Tommy Bain, who sat next to him. 

Stover perceived the cut instantly, as others had per- 
ceived it. He sat a moment quietly, his glance concen- 
trated on Hunter. 

" Oatmeal or hominy? " said the waiter at his back. 

" One moment." He raised his hand, and the gesture 
concentrated the attention of the table on him. " Why, 
how do you do, Jim Hunter? " he said, with every word 
cut sharp. 

There was a breathless moment, and a nervous stir- 
ring under foot, as Hunter turned and looked at Stover. 
Their glances matched one another a long moment, and 
then Hunter, with an excess of politeness, said : 



STOVERATYALE 285 

" Oh, hello — Stover." 

Instantly there was a relieved hum of voices, and a 
clatter of cutlery. 

" I'll take oatmeal now," said Stover calmly. Story, 
glancing over, saw two spots of scarlet standing out on 
his cheeks, and realized how near the moment had come 
to a violent scene. 

" Dink, old gazabo," said Hungerford, as they walked 
over to chapel, " what are you going to do ? You can't 
go about the whole time with a chip on your shoulder." 

" Oh, yes, I can," said Dink between his teeth. " I'll 
stick right where I am. And I'd like to see Jim Hunter 
or any one else try that again on me ! " 

Hungerford shook his head. 

" You know, Dink, you must see both sides. Now 
from Hunter's side, you've smashed all traditions, and 
given us a blow that may be a knockout, considering the 
state of feeling in the college. Hunter's a society man, 
believes in them heart and soul." 

" Then let him come to me and say what he thinks." 

" Are you quite sure, Dink," said Joe, with a glance, 
" that there isn't some other reason for the way you two 
feel about each other ? " 

"You mean jealousy?" said Dink, flushing a little. 
" Bob's sister ? Yes, there's that. But from the first 
we've been on opposite sides." He hesitated a moment, 
and then asked : " I say, Joe, what does Bob think 
about what I've done? Tell me straight." 

" Of course he respects you," said Hungerford care- 
fully, " more now than I think he did last year, but — 
Bob's a society man — all these Andover fellows are 
brought up in the idea, you know — and I think it's kind 
of a jolt." 

" I suppose it is," said Stover, with a little depression. 



286 STOVER AT YALE 

He would like to have asked Hungerford to state his 
case to Jean Story, but he lacked the courage of his boy- 
ish impulse. The thought of Jean Story, as he sat in 
chapel, came to him like a temptation. The Judge was 
of the Skull and Bones alumni, Bob was sure to go ; all 
the influences about her were of belief in the finality of 
that judgment. 

" Yes, and Hunter will go in with sailing colors ; 
he'll never risk anything," he said bitterly, " and I'll stand 
up and take my medicine, for doing what? For show- 
ing I had a backbone. But no one will ever know it out- 
side. They'll think it's something wrong in my char- 
acter — they always do. Stover, Yale's star end, misses 
out for Bones! That's the slogan. Cheating at cards 
or bumming. I wonder what she'll think ? Lord, that's 
the hard part ! " 

For a week, proud as Lucifer, on edge for an oppor- 
tunity, he stuck it out at the eating-joint, knowing the 
hopelessness of it all — that what he wanted had gone, 
and no amount of bravado could make him wink the 
fact, that in the midst of his own crowd, where he had 
stood as a leader, he was now regarded as an outsider. 

In the second week he gave up the useless fight, and 
went to Commons, to the table where Regan, Gimbel, and 
Brockhurst ate. They forebore to ask him the reasons 
of the change, and he gave no explanation. That some- 
thing had happened which had caused him to break away 
from his society was soon a matter of common rumor, 
and several incorrect versions circulated, all vastly to his 
credit. His influence in the body of the class was corre- 
spondingly increased, and Gimbel once or twice ap- 
proached him with ofTers to run him for manager of the 
crew or the Junior Prom. 

One day, about a month after his withdrawal, when, 




-fTr^iwc^i 



'REGAN WAS HIS ONE FRIEND"— Page 288. 



STOVER AT YALE 287 

bundled up in his dressing-gown, he went shuffling into 
the basement for a cold tub, he had quite a shock, that 
brought home visually to him the realization of the price 
he had paid. 

It had been the practise from long custom to inscribe 
on the walls tentative lists of the probable selections 
from the class for the three senior societies. On this 
particular list his name had stood at the head from the 
beginning, and the constant familiar sight of it had 
always brought him a warm, secure pleasure. 

All at once, as he looked at it, he perceived a leaden 
blur where his name had stood, and the names of Bain 
and Hunter heading the list. 

" I suppose they've got me down among the last now," 
he said, with a long breath. He searched the list, his 
name was not even on it. This popular estimation of 
what he himself believed had nevertheless power to 
wound him deeply. 

" Well, it's so — I knew it," he said ; but it was said 
in bitterness, with a newer and keener realization. 

He began indeed to feel like an outsider, and, rebelling 
against the injustice of it all, to set his heart in bitterness. 
Hungerford and Bob Story, Dopey McNab often, tried 
to keep up with him, but, understanding their motives, 
he was proudly sensitive, and sought rather to avoid them. 

Meanwhile the opposition to the sophomore societies 
reached the point of open revolt, and a mass meeting was 
held, which, as had been planned, caused a stir through- 
out the press of the country, and brought in from the 
alumni a storm of protest. 

Stover, himself, despite his inclination to come for- 
ward in direct opposition, after a long debate, remained 
silent, feeling bound by the oath he had given at his initi- 
ation. 



STOVER AT YALE 

Shortly after the news spread like wildfire that the 
President, taking cognizance of the intolerable state of 
affairs, had summoned representatives of the three sopho- 
more societies before him, and given them a month to 
deliberate and decide on some scheme of reform that 
would be comprehensive and adequate. 

Rightly or wrongly, Stover felt that these develop- 
ments intensified the feeling of the society element 
against him. A few weeks outside the boundaries, de- 
spite all his bravado, had brought home to him how much 
he cared for the companionship of those from whom he 
had separated. 

Regan was his one friend ; Brockhurst stimulated him ; 
and in the intercourse with Swazey, Pike, Lake, Ricketts, 
and others he had found a certain inspiration. But after 
all, the men of his own kind — Story, Hungerf ord, and 
others, whom from pride he now avoided — were largely 
the men of the society crowd. They spoke a language he 
understood, they came from a home that was like his 
home, and their judgment of him would go with him out 
into the new relations in life. 

It was a time of depression and bitter revolt at what 
he knew was the injustice of his ostracism, forgetting 
how much was of his own proud choosing. 

He wandered from crowd to crowd, rather taciturn and 
restless, seeking diversion with a consuming nervousness. 
The new restlessness of spirit drove him away from the 
conferences in Regan's and Swazey's rooms to the com- 
pany of idlers. For a period, in his pride and bitterness, 
he let go of himself, flung the reins to the wind, and 
started down hill with a gallop. 

In pursuance of his policy of open defiance, he chose 
to appear at Mory's with the wildest element of the class. 
His companions were a little in awe of his grim, concen- 



STOVERATYALE 289 

trated figure; when he sat into a game of poker or joined 
a table of revelers, he did it with no zest. He never 
joined in the chorus, and if he occasionally broke out into 
a boisterous laugh, there was always a jarring note to it, 
that caused his companions to glance at him uneasily. 
With the impetuousness of his nature, he outstripped his 
associates, plunging deeper and deeper, obstinately re- 
solved, into the black gulf of his cynicism. In a week 
his excesses became college gossip, and, unknown to 
Stover, the subject of many long conferences among his 
friends. 

One Friday night, as, straying aimlessly from room to 
room, he set out for Mory's in quest of Tom Kelly and 
a group of Sheff pagans, he was trudging along the hard 
way* in front of Welch Hall, fists sunk in his pockets, 
head down under a slouch hat, when he chanced on Tom 
Regan coming out of the Brick Row. 

" Hello there, bantam," said Regan, with the preroga- 
tive of his size. 

" Hello, Tom," he said, but without enthusiasm, for 
he had rather avoided him in company with the rest of 
his old friends. 

" That's a deuced cordial greeting ! Where are you 
bound, stranger ? " 

" Mory's." 

" Mory's," said Regan, appearing to consider. " Good 
idea. I've got a hankering after a toby of musty ale and 
a rabbit myself. Wait till I stow these books and I'll 
join you." 

Stover stood frowning, suspicious and rebelling, for at 
that age it is a point of honor, when a man of the world 
resolves to run his head against a stone wall, that any 
interference from a friend is regarded as an unwarranted 
insult. 



290 STOVERATYALE 

" He thinks he'll try the big brother act on me," he 
said, scowling. He was not in a particularly good 
humor, nor was his head clear from several nights that 
had gone their reeling way. 

When they entered Mory's, Tom Kelly, Dopey McNab, 
and Buck Waters were already grouped in the inner 
room. 

" Well, old flinthead, how do you feel after last 
night ? " said Kelly, making room for them. 

" Fine," said Dink mendaciously, secretly pleased at 
the tribute to his sporting talents before Regan. 

" More'n I can say," said Dopey, affectionately feeling 
of his head. " Curse the man who invented fish-house 
punch." 

" Get home all right ? " continued Kelly. 

" Sure." 

" I had a little tiff with a cop. If he'd been smaller, 
I'd have taken his shield away. He was most impudent. 
Never mind, I beat him in a foot race." 

" Cocktails," said Stover, resolved that Regan should 
be well punished. " Make it two for me, Louis, I'll have 
to catch up." 

" I'll stick to a toby and a rabbit," said Regan, without 
a change of expression. 

" Cocktail, Dopey ? " continued Stover, with a million- 
aire gesture. 

" I never refuse," said Dopey, who planned to gc 
through life on that virtuous method. 

With such a beginning, matters progressed with re- 
markable facility. Stover, taciturn and in an ugly mood, 
constantly hurried the rounds, matching drink for drink, 
secretly resolved to prove his supremacy here as else- 
where. Regan, after two tobies, withdrew from the 



STOVERATYALE 291 

contest, sitting silently puffing on his huge pipe, but with- 
out attempt at interference. Bob Story and Hungerford 
came in, and went away with a glance at Stover's clouded 
face and Regan's stolid, unfathomable expression. 
When midnight arrived, and Louis came in with apolo- 
gies to announce the closing, there was quite a reckoning 
to be paid. 

Stover was the best of the lot, doggedly resolved to 
show no effects of what he had taken. He felt a hazi- 
ness in his vision, and words that were spoken seemed 
to be whirled away without record, but his legs stood 
firm, and his head was still under control. Buck Waters 
and a Sheff man took Tom Kelly home by a circuitous 
route to avoid either a wrestling match or a foot race 
with too zealous members of the New Haven police 
force ; and Stover had the fierce pride of showing Regan 
that he could take charge of the hilarious but wabbly 
Dopey McNab, who, moved by the finest feelings of the 
brotherhood of man, was determined to scatter his super- 
fluous change among his brother beings. 

With great dignity and impressiveness, Stover, sup- 
porting one side, continued to give foggy directions to 
Regan on the other, until, come to McNab's quarters, 
they delivered that joyously exuberant person into his 
bed, propped up his head, opened the window, locked the 
door and left the key outside, to insure the termination 
of the night's adventure. 

Stover went down the steep, endless stairs with great 
deliberation and minute pains. 

" Dopey's got weak head — no good — stand noth- 
ing," he said seriously to Regan. 

" Well, we've fixed him up for the night," said Regan 
cheerily. " You've got a wonderful top, old sport." 



292 STOVERATYALE 

" I'm pretty good — Dopey's got the weak head," said 
Stover, taking his arm. " I'm good, I can put 'em under 
the table — all under the table." 

" Good for you." 

" Tom, you aren't — aren't in critical at-attochood, are 
you?" said Dink, with all feeling of resentment gone. 

" Lord, no, boy." 

" 'Cause it does me good — this does me good. I feel 
bad — pretty bad, Tom, about some things. You don't 
know — can't tell — but I feel bad — this does me good 

— forget — you understand." 
" I understand." 

" You're a good friend, Tom. They don't understand 

— no one else understands. I'd like to shake hands. 
Thank you. Good night." 

They had come opposite the Brick Row, and Regan, 
knowing the other's true condition, would have preferred 
to see him along to his room. But he knew of old the 
danger of making mistakes, so he said: 

" Feel all right, old bantam? " 

" Fine." Stover took a step or two, and then re- 
turned. "I put 'em to bed, didn't I?" 

" You certainly did." 

" Never 'fects me." 

" You're a wonder." 

" I thank you for your company." 

" Good night." 

Stover, intent only on making his entry, a hundred 
yards away, felt a roaring in his ears, and sudden jumble 
and confusion before him. 

" Must get there — self-control — that's it, self-con- 
trol," he said to himself, and by a supreme effort he 
reached his entry, pushed open the door, and, stumbling 
in out of Regan's vision, sat heavily down on the steps. 




CV^»G 



' 'CURSE THE FELLOW WHO INVENTED FISH-HOUSE PUNCH' " 

— Page 290, 



STOVERATYALE 293 

Some indistinct time after he beheld before him a little 
spectacled figure in pink pajamas. 

" Who are you ? " he said. 

" Wookey, sir." 

"What's your class?" 

" Freshman, sir." 

" Very well. All right. You can help me — help me 
up. You know me ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

The pink pajamas approached, and with an effort he 
rose, and, grasping the proffered shoulder, tumbled up 
the steps. When he reached his room his mind seemed 
to clear a moment, like the sudden drifting to and fro 
of a fog. 

" Who are you ? " he said, frowning. 

" Wookey, sir." 

" Where do you room ? " 

" On the first landing, sir." 

" Why do you wear pink ones ? " 

The little freshman, hero-worshipper, face to face with 
his first great emotion, the conduct of an intoxicated 
man, blurted out : 

'"' Don't you like 'em, sir? " 

" Keep 'em on," said Stover magnanimously. " So 
you're a freshman." 

" Yes, sir." 

Suddenly he felt impressed with his duty, his obvious 
duty to one below him. 

" Freshman," he said thickly, " I want you listen to 
me. Never drink to excess — understand. You beg-in- 
ning college — school of character — hold on yourself — 
lead a good life — self-control's the great thing — take 
it from me — understand ? " 

" Yes, sir," said Wookey, awed and a little frightened 



294 STOVER AT YALE 

at the service he was rendering to the great Dink Stover. 

" That's all," said Stover benignly. " Is — is my bed- 
room still there ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" You may lead me to it." 

When he had been brought to his bed he recalled the 
pink pajamas, and said : 

" I thank you for your courtesy and your kindness." 
Then he said to himself : " It does me good — forget — 
happy now." 

A moment later the fog closed over his consciousness 
again and he was asleep. 



CHAPTER XXI 

NIGHT after night, Wookey, the little freshman 
from a mountain village of Maine, the shadow of 
a grind, whom no one knew in his class, and who would 
never know any one, waited over his books the hour of 
twelve and the arrival of the great man gone wrong, 
whose secret only he possessed. Sometimes at the clat- 
ter on the stairs, when he went out eagerly, the hero 
would be in control, and would say: 

" Hello, Wookey, how are you to-night ? " 

" All right, sir," he would answer, shifting from foot 
to foot, afraid to volunteer assistance. 

" All right myself," Stover would answer. " See you 
to-morrow. Good night." 

Gradually, however, to his delight, Stover grew to like 
the strange meetings, and permitted him to accompany 
him to his room to open the window, draw off the boots 
and disappear with the promise to thunder on his door in 
time for chapel. In the daytime they never met. 

Stover never failed to thank him with the utmost cere- 
mony. Often the dialogue that ensued was farcically 
humorous, only little Wookey, solemn as an owl, never 
laughed. 

One night Stover, draped in difficult equilibrium on 
the mantelpiece, suddenly, in his new parental solicitude 
for the freshman, bethought himself of the curriculum 

" Wookey." 

" Yes, sir." 

295 



296 STOVER AT YALE 

" One thing must speak about — meant speak about 
long time ago." 

" What, sir? " said Wookey, looking up apprehensively- 
over his spectacles. 

" Study," said Stover, with terrific solemnity. " Want 
you be good scholar." 

" Oh, yes, sir." 

" Want you be validict — you understand what mean ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Wookey, college life serious, finest thing in it's study, 
don't neglect study, you understand." 

" Yes, sir ; I do study pretty hard." 

" Not enough," said Stover furiously. " Study all 
time ! What 'cher do to-day ? Recite in — in Greek, 
Latin, eh?" 

"Yes, sir — all right." 

" Good, very good — proud of you, Wookey," said 
Stover, satisfied. " Must be good influence — under- 
stand that, Wookey. Going to ask every night." 

" Yes, sir." 

" All right. Go an' study now. Study lot more." 

This feeling of the influence he was exerting for 
Wookey's academic betterment was so strong in Dink 
when the hour of midnight had passed that shortly 
after he brought McNab home with him to witness his 
works. 

When Wookey appeared, something displeased Stover. 
His protege was not as he should be presented. Sud- 
denly he remembered — Wookey was not in the pink 
pajamas! 

" Wookey," he said sternly. 

"Yes, sir." 

" The pink ones," he said solemnly. 

" Very well, sir." 



STOVER AT YALE 297 

" Hurry." 

" Yes, sir." 

" Study's better in pink " said Stover wisely to McNab, 
who was trying to exceed him in dignity. " Most be- 
comin'." 

" Aha ! " 

" Make him study, Dopey," continued Stover. " I 
make him study." 

" Want hear 'm reshite," said McNab, unconvinced. 

When Wookey, in changed costume, came puffing 
upstairs, books under his arm, McNab, who had been 
exhorted by Stover, viewed the pink pajamas with 
deliberation, and said: 

" Like you in pink, Wookey ; always wear 'em. Want 
to hear you reshite." 

" Reshite," said Stover. 

"Hold up," said Dopey, scratching his head. 

"What's matter?" 

" Where going to sleep ? " 

" Wookey, suggestions ? " said Stover, who added in a 
thundering whisper to McNab, " Always leave such 
things to Wookey." 

The freshman busily took down the cushions from the 
window seat, piled up the pillows at one end before the 
fire, and brought up a rug. 

" Thank Mr. Wookey," said Stover severely. 

" Mr. Wookey, I thank you," said McNab, who sat 
down tailor fashion, and, staring at a book of geometry 
open on his lap, said : " I'm most — interested — most, 
very fond of Horace — reshite." 

Wookey in the pink pajamas, seated in a sort of spinal 
bend, overwhelmed by the terrifying delight of being 
admitted to the company of Olympians, began directly 
to translate an ode of Horace. 



298 STOVER AT YALE 

McNab, staring at the geometry, turned a casual page, 
remarking from time to time severely: 

" What's that ! — oh, yes, h'm — quite right — free, 
rather free, Dink — not bad, not bad for freshman." 

" Is it all right ? " said Stover anxiously. 

"All right." 

" All my influence," said Stover. 

" Wookey," said McNab, as a judge would say it, 
" very fortunate, sir, have such good infloonce. Con- 
grath-ulate you." 

Wookey, whether deceived by their drunken assump- 
tion of sobriety, or to conciliate dangerous men, remained 
in his corner, his book closed, blinking out from his wide 
glasses. 

McNab, remembering the beginning of a discussion 
in which he had engaged with serious purpose, suddenly 
began, shaking his head : 

" Dink, you ought be better infloonce than y'are." 

Stover chose to be offended. 

"Why you say that?" 

" 'Cause 'm right ; y'oughtn't drink, not a drop ! " 

" What right you got to say that ? " 

" Every right — every," said McNab, trying to remem- 
ber what was the original destination of his argument. 
" I'm bad example 'n you're good infloonce, there's diff, 
see ? " 

" Ratsh ! " 

" I remember," said McNab all at once. " I know 
what I want say. I'm going to leave it to Wookey. 
Wookey'll be the judge — referee — y'willin' ? " 

" WillinV 

" 'M going to give moral lecture," said McNab rapidly, 
then paused and considered a long while. " I'm fond of 
Stover, Wookey, very fond — very worried, too, want 



STOVERATYALE 299 

him to stop drinking — bad for him — bad for any one, 
but bad for him ! " 

Stover, who could still perceive the argument, laughed 
a disagreeable laugh. 

" He's laughin' at me, Wookey," said McNab in a 
grieved voice. " He means by that insultin' laugh that 
I sometimes drink excess. I admit it ; I'm not proud of 
it, but I admit it. But there's a difference, and here's 
where you ref'ree, judge. When I take 'n occasional 
glass, I drink to be happy, make others happy — y'under- 
stand, excesh of love for humanity, enjoy youth an' all 
that sort of thing, you know. That's the point — you're 
ref'ree. When Stover drinks he goes at in bad way, no 
love humanity, joy of youth. That's the point, y'under- 
stand. I want him to stop it, 'cause he's my friend, he's 
good infloonce — I'm bad example." 

" You're my friend ? " said Stover, overcome. 

" You're besh friend." 

" Shake hands." 

" Shure." 

" Dopey, I tell you truth — confide in you," said Stover, 
slipping down beside him. " Swear." 

" Swear." 

" Never tell." 

"Never!" 

" I'm unhappy." 

"No!" 

" Drink to forget, y'understand." 

" Must stop it," said McNab, firmly closing one eye, 
and gazing fearfully at the yellow owls in front. 

" Going to shtop it," said Stover, " soon — stop soon — 
promise." 

"Promish?" 

" Promise ! Y'understand, want to forget." 



300 STOVER AT YALE 

" Must stop it," repeated McNab, turning from the 
yellow-eyed owls to Stover. 

" Promish," repeated Stover solemnly. A moment 
later he said sleepily : " I shay." 

" Shay it." 

"What — what I going to stop?" 

" What you, what — " McNab frowned terrifically at 
the owls. " Stop — must stop — promish — what — 
what stop?" 

The question being transferred to Stover, he in turn 
scratched his head and sought to concentrate his memory. 

" I promished," he said slowly, " remember that — stop 
— promish stop. Wookey ! " 

" Yes, sir." 

The pink pajamas approached with reluctance, and 
waited at a safe distance. 

"'Wookey! What — what's this all about? What's 
it?" 

Wookey, facing the crisis of his life, hesitated between 
two impulses; but at this moment the two took solemn 
hold of each other's hands, vacillated and rolled over on 
the cushions. Wookey, in the pink pajamas, covered 
them over with the rug, and stole out, like a thief, carry- 
ing away a secret. 

But despite McNab's more sober remonstrances and 
his own proclamation, Stover did not cease his headlong 
gallop down the hill of Rake's Progress. He still avoided 
his old friends — he had not been to the Storys' home for 
weeks. Regan occasionally forced himself upon him, but 
never offered a suggestion. The truth was, Stover began 
to have a horror of his own society, of being left alone. 
What he did, he did without restraint. At the card 
tables to which he wandered he was always clamoring for 



STOVER AT YALE 301 

the raising of the limit ; always ready to eat up the night. 
Even the most inveterate of the gamblers in his class per- 
ceived what McNab perceived, that there was no pleasure 
in what he did, but a sort of self-immolation. They 
were a little in awe of him, uneasy when he was around. 
He wandered over into Sheff, and among a group of 
hard livers in the Law School, getting deeper and deeper 
into the maelstrom. Several times, returning unsteadily 
late at night, he had met Le Baron, who stood aside, and 
watched him go with difficulty towards the haven of his 
own entry, for Stover always made it a point of pride to 
reach home and Wookey unaided. He never was offen- 
sive or quarrelsome. On the contrary, his struggle was 
always for self-control and an excess of politeness. 

The climax arrived one Friday night when, having 
outlasted the party, he had put Tom Kelly to bed, and 
was returning from Sheff alone. He was very well 
pleased with himself. He had delivered Tom Kelly to 
his friends and gone away without assistance. 

" Weak head, all weak head," he said to himself val- 
iantly, " all but Stover, Dink Stover, old Rinky Dink. 
Self-control, great self-control. That's it, that's the 
point. Never taken home — walk myself — self-con- 
trol." He began to laugh at the memory of Tom Kelly, 
who had insisted on going to bed with one boot under 
the pillow and his watch on the floor. The excruciating 
humor of it almost made him collapse. He clung to the 
nearest tree and wept for joy. 

" Never hear end of it — Tom Kelly — boots — won- 
derful — poor old Tom — 'n I walkin' home — alone." 

Some one on the opposite sidewalk, seeing him clinging 
hilariously, stopped. Stover straightened up instantly, 
adjusted his hat and started off. 

" Mustn't create false impression — all right ! Street 



302 STOVER AT YALE 

corner — careful of street corner." He crossed with a 
run and a leap, and continued more sedately. " Know 
just what 'm doin'. 

** Oh, father's mother 
Pays all the bills, 
'N I have all the fun." 

Suddenly he remembered he was passing Divinity Hall, 
and broke off abruptly, raising his hat in apology. 

" 'Scuse me, no offense." 

Then he considered anxiously: 

" Mishtake — nothin' hilar-ious — might be Sunday." 
He tried to remember the day and could not. He stopped 
a laborer returning home with his bundle, and said cere- 
moniously : 

" Beg your pardon, don't mean insult you, can you 
tell me what day the week it is ? " 

" Sure, me b'y," said the Irishman. " It's to-morrow." 

" Thanks — sorry trouble you," said Stover, bowing. 
Then, pondering over the information, he started hur- 
riedly on his way. " Knew it was late — must hurry." 

When he came to the corner of the campus he raised 
his hat again to the chapel. 

" Battell — believe in compulsory chapel — Yale de- 
mocracy." He passed along College Street, saluting the 
various buildings by name. " Great inshtoostion — 
campus — Brocky's right — bring life back into campus, 
bring it all back. Things wrong now — everything's 
wrong — must say so — must stop an' fight, good fight. 
Regan's right 'n Swazey's right — all right. Hello, Don- 
nelly. Salute ! " 

The campus policeman, lolling in the shadow of 
Osborne Hall, said: 



STOVERATYALE 303 

" So there you are again, Dink. A fine life you're 
leadin'." 

Stover felt this was an unwarranted criticism. 

" Never saw any one take me home," he said. " Al- 
ways manage get home. That's the point, that's it — 
see?" 

" Go on with you," said Donnelly. " You ought to be 
ashamed of yourself — you who ought to be captain of 
the team." 

Stover approached him. 

"Bill — captain?" 

"What?" 

" I'm goin' to stop. Solemn promish." 

He went into the campus and steadied himself against 
an elm, gazing down the long dim way to where in the 
shadow of the chapel was his entry. 

" I see it — see it plainly — perfect self-control. 
What's that ? " The trees seemed swollen to monstrous 
shapes, and the fagades of the dormitories to be set on 
a slant, like the leaning tower of Pisa. He laughed cun- 
ningly : " Don't fool me — might fool Dopey — Tom 
Kelly — weak head — don't fool me — illushion, pure 
illushion — know all 'bout it. Worse comes worse, get 
down hands knees." 

" Well, Dink, pickled again," said the voice of Le Baron 
from an outer world. 

He straightened up, his mind coming back to his con- 
trol, as it always did in the presence of others. 

" All right," he said, leaning up against the cold, hard 
side of Phelp's, " bit of a party, that's all." 

" Look here, Dink," said Le Baron, who was ignorant 
of the extent of the other's condition, " let's have a few 
plain words — man to man." 



304 STOVER AT YALE 

Stover heard him as from a distance, and nodded his 
head gravely. 

" Good." 

" We've had our break, but I've always respected you. 
You thought I was a snob then, and a damned aristocrat. 
Well, was I so far wrong? I believe in the best getting 
together and keeping together. You've chucked that and 
tried the other, haven't you? Now look where it's 
brought you." 

Stover, his back to the wall, heard him with the clarity 
that sometimes comes. His head seemed to be among 
whirling mists, but every word came to him as though 
it alone were the only sound in a sleeping world. He 
wanted to answer, he rebelled at the logic, he knew it 
could be answered, but the words would not come. 

" You're going to the devil, that's it in good English 
words," said Le Baron, not without kindness. " You 
ought to be the biggest thing in your class, and you're 
headed for the biggest failure. And it's all because 
you've cut loose from your crowd, Dink — from your 
own kond, because you've taken up with a bunch who 
don't count, who aren't working for anything here." 

Suddenly Stover revolted, saying angrily: 

"Hugh!" 

" I don't want to hit you when you're down," said Le 
Baron quickly. " But, Dink, man alive, you're too good 
to go to the devil. Brace up — be a man. Get back to 
your own kind again." 

" Hugh, that's enough ! " 

He said it sharply, and there was a finality about it. 

" I say, Dink." 

"Goodnight!" 

He stood without moving until he had compelled Le 
Baron to leave, then he set out for his room. A great 



STOVERATYALE 305 

anger swept over him — at himself, at the Dink Stover 
who had betrayed the cause, and given Le Baron the 
right to say what he did. 

" It isn't that," he said furiously, " it's not for break- 
ing 'way — democracy — standing on m J own feet, no ! 
It's a lie, all a lie. It's m' own fault — damn you, Dink 
Stover, you're quitter ! " 

He marched into his entry, his head on fire, but clear 
with one last resolve, and thundered on Wookey's door. 

"Come out!" 

The pink pajamas flashed out as by magic. The little 
freshman, perceiving Stover's fierce expression, drew 
back in alarm. 

" Go'n to help you up to-night — able to do it," said 
Dink, the idea of assistance to another mingling in some 
curious way with his great resolve. 

He took Wookey firmly by the arm and assisted him 
up the stairs. Once in his room he motioned him to a 
chair. 

" Sit down — somethin , to say to you ! " 

Wookey, frightened, calculating the chances to the 
door, huddled in the big arm-chair, his toes drawn up 
under him, his large eyes over the spectacles never daring 
to deviate from the imperious glance of Stover. 

"Studied to-day?" 

" Yes, sir." 

" Good. Wookey, listen to me. I'm a quitter, you 
understand. I've fought fight — good fight — big fight 
— real democracy — 'n then I lost nerve. I'm wrong ; 
I'm all wrong. I know it. Fault's with me, not what 
fought for. Wookey, listen to me. Le Baron's wrong, all 
wrong, you understand; doesn't know — realize — see." 

" Yes, sir," said Wookey, in terror and complete in- 
comprehension. 



306 STOVER AT YALE 

" I'm fool — big fool, but that's over, y'understand. 
Never give Le Baron chance say again what he did to- 
night. 'M going fight again — good fight. An' no one's 
ever going say saw me like this again, y'understand." 

" Yes, sir," said the freshman weakly, terrified at the 
passion that showed in Stover, rocking before the mantel- 
piece. 

" Last time they ever get me this way ! " 

The green shaded lamp was burning on the table be- 
fore him. 

" The last time — by God," he said, and lifting his fist 
he drove it through the shattering glass, reeled, and 
stretched insensible on the floor. 

On the following night, a Saturday, Kelly, Buck 
Waters, and McNab at Mory's set up a shout of wel- 
come as Stover came in quietly : 

"Good old Dink!" 

" Hard old head." 

" What is it, old boy ? — get in the game." 

" A toby of musty, Louis," he said, quietly sitting 
down. 

McNab glanced at him, aware of something new in 
the sharp, businesslike movements, and the old deter- 
mined lines of the lips. 

" My round," said Buck Waters presently. 

" Another toby for me," said Stover. 

A little later Kelly rang on the table : 

" Bring 'em in all over again." 

" Not for me," said Stover. " I guess two'll be my 
limit from now on." 

There was no protest. McNab surreptitiously, while 
the others were in an argument, leaned over and patted 
him on the knee. 



CHAPTER XXII 

WHAT Stover in his fuddled consciousness had said 
to little Wookey on that last wild night returned 
to him with doubled force in the white of the day. He 
had given his opponents the right to destroy all he had 
stood for by pointing to his own example. He had been 
a deserter from the cause, but the sound of the enemy's 
bugle had recalled him to the battle. 

He took the first occasion to stop Le Baron, for he 
wanted the latter to make no mistake about him. 

" Hugh, I was rude as the devil to you the other 
night," he said directly. " I was drunk — more than you 
had any idea. What I want you to know is this. You 
put the question right up to me. You've forced me to 
take my stand, and I've done it. You're all wrong on 
the argument, but I don't blame you. Only after this 
you'll never have the chance to fling that at me again. 
You and I'll never agree on things here, we're bound to 
be enemies, but I want to thank you for opening my eyes, 
putting it squarely up to me." 

He left without waiting for an answer, having said 
what he wished to. For several days he kept by himself, 
taking long walks, disciplining the ship that had sailed 
so long in mutiny. Then he turned up in Regan's room, 
and holding out his hand, said : 

" Well, Tom, it's over. How in blazes did you keep 
from telling me what you thought about me all this 
time?" 

307 



308 STOVER AT YALE 

Regan, unruffled and undemonstrative, said through 
the cloud of his pipe: 

" Well, I've seen men go through it before. You 
never were very bad." 

" What ? " said Stover, who felt rather annoyed at this 
tame estimate. 

" It's not a bad thing when you've licked the devil 
four ways to election," said Regan. " You know what 
you can do, and that's something." 

" Ever been through it ? " said Stover, still a little 
piqued. 

" Ye-es." 

" Really, Tom ? " said Dink amazed. 

" Ran about six months," said Regan, crossing his legs 
and dreaming. " I wasn't nice and polite like you — 
used to clean up the place — rather ugly time, but I 
pulled out." 

" You've never told me about yourself," said Stover 
tentatively. 

Regan rose, reaching for the tobacco. " No, I never 
have," he said. " My story is one of those stories that 
isn't told. Come on over to Brocky's; he's got a debat- 
ing scheme you'll be interested in." 

" You damned unemotional cuss," said Stover, looking 
at him a little defiantly. 

" Are you coming with me this summer to see a little 
real life — get a little real education ? " said Regan 
irrelevantly. 

" If you'll take me." 

" Good boy." 

He rested his hand on Stover's shoulder a moment, 
and gave him a little tap, and the touch brought a gen- 
uine thrill of happiness to Dink. 



STOVER AT YALE 309 

" Lord, what a leader he'd make," he thought. " Why 
is it, and what's the story the old rhinoceros can't tell, 
I wonder ? " 

The old crowd was at B rocky 's, the crowd which had 
first stirred his imagination. His return produced quite 
a sensation. Nothing was said, but the grip in the hand- 
shakes was different, and the diffident, hesitant little ex- 
pressions of relieved good-will that came to him touched 
him more than he would have believed. 

Brockhurst began to expound his scheme, speaking 
nervously, in compressed sentences, as he always did in 
the beginning of an argument. 

" Here's what I'm trying to say. We've all been sit- 
ting round and criticizing — I mean I have — things up 
here. Now why not really suggest something — worth 
while ? " He frowned, and becoming angry at his own 
difficulty in expressing himself, gradually became more 
fluent. " We all feel the need of getting together and 
having real discussions, and we all agree that debating 
here has died out, become merely perfunctory. The de- 
bates take place in a class-room, and everything is cold, 
stiff, mechanical. Now that all is unnecessary. What 
we want is something spontaneous, informal and with 
the incentive of a contest. This is my scheme. To take 
a certain number — say twenty — of the men in the 
class who really have ideas, and believe in expressing 
them ; form a club to meet one night a week in some room 
over a restaurant where we can sit about tables, smoke, 
have beer and lemonade, a bit to eat if you want, every- 
thing natural, informal. Divide the club up equally into 
two camps, each camp to have a leader for each debate, 
who opens the discussion and sums it up — the only 
formal, perfunctory speeches. Every one else speaks as 



310 STOVER AT YALE 

he feels like it, right from his table. Have in an out- 
side judge, and keep a record. At the end of the year 
the side that loses sets the other up to a banquet." 

Stover was interested at once. He saw an instrument 
at hand for which he had been looking — something to 
bring the class together. 

" Look here, it's bigger than that, B rocky," he said 
earnestly. "I'm not criticizing — I like the idea, the 
whole thing, you know. But here's what we can do. 
Make the club, say, forty, and get into it all the repre- 
sentative elements of the class — make it a real meeting 
place. Get the fellows who are going to be managers 
and captains. They've all got to speak — the fellows on 
papers, the real debaters — and you'll have something 
that'll bring the class together." 

" What would you debate ? " said Swazey, while the 
others considered Stover's suggestion. 

" College subjects every one has an opinion about at 
first," said Regan. " And then get into red-hot politics." 

" Of course Stover's idea is a social one — democratic 
if you will," said Brockhurst perplexed. " My idea was 
for a more intimate crowd, all alike, trying to discuss 
real things." 

" Brocky, I don't believe you can do it," said Stover. 
" My experience is that the big discussions, the ones 
worth while, always are informal, just as they've been 
in this crowd, and the crowd mustn't be too large." 
Several nodded assent. " The other thing is something 
we need in the class. We've been torn to pieces, all at 
loggerheads, and I believe, outside of the debating, this 
is the first step to getting together. Moreover, I think 
you'll find all crowds will jump at the chance. Let me 
talk it around." 



STOVERATYALE 311 

" I think Dink's got the practical idea, Brocky," said 
Regan. " And, moreover, he's the man to work it." 

As they went out together they were met with the sen- 
sation of the campus — the sophomore societies had been 
abolished ! 

Stover stopped McNab, who was hurrying past. 

" I say, Dopey, is it true ? " 

" Sure thing." 

"How'd it happen?" 

" Don't know." 

Gimbel came up with the full news. 

" The President gave them a certain time, you remem- 
ber, to submit a plan of reform. They reported they 
couldn't agree, so he called the committee together and 
said: 

" ' Well, gentlemen, I gave you the opportunity to con- 
form to public sentiment, you haven't been able to do 
it, you are now abolished.' " 

" Who'd have thought it ! " 

" You don't say so ! " 

"Abolished!" 

" I know you're glad, Dink, old man," said Gimbel, 
shaking his hand with a confidential look. " We all 
know how you stood." 

" It's for the best," said Stover slowly ; then he added : 
" But Gimbel, the fight's over ; the big thing now is for 
the class to get together — be careful how you fellows 
take it." 

Strangely enough, in the hour of defeat the instinct 
of caste came back to him — he was again the sophomore 
society man. He walked over to his rooms with a curi- 
ous feeling of resentment at the rejoicing on the campus, 
where the news was being shouted from window to win- 



312 STOVERATYALE 

dow. Bob Story, leaving the fence, came over and took 
him by the arm. 

" Dink, old fellow, I've been waiting to see you." 

" I've just heard the news," said Stover, when they 
reached his room. 

" That's not what I came about," said Story, " though 
it fits in all the better. Dink, you won't mind our clear- 
ing up a little past history ? " 

" I wish you would, Bob," said Stover earnestly. " I 
know you never saw things my way." 

" No, I didn't. I don't say you were wrong. It was 
a question of different temperaments. You did a braver 
thing than I would have done — " 

"Oh, I say—" 

" Yes, I mean it. Of course I think it was all a 
rotten mistake, and that if you'd talked the matter out 
as you've done with me, Le Baron and Reynolds would 
have seen your side." 

" Perhaps so." 

" I felt that Reynolds had acted like an ass, and you 
very naturally had lost your temper — the result being 
to put the society in the position as a society of dictat- 
ing a man's friendships. I don't believe that was justi- 
fied." 

" Indirectly, Bob, it worked out that way." 

" There I believe you're right, Dink," said Story 
openly. " I've come to see it, and I admit it now. I'm 
glad the system has gone. I'm for the best here. Now, 
Dink," — he hesitated a moment — " I know you've been 
through a rotten time ; you've felt every one was against 
you unjustly. I know all that, and I know you've got 
hold of yourself again." 

" That's true." 

" What I want to talk over with you now is this. 



STOVERATYALE 313 

Don't let what has passed keep you away from any one 
in the class." 

" But, Bob," said Dink, amazed, a how can I help 
it? The soph crowd must be down on me — particu- 
larly now." 

" Rats, they all know pretty well the circumstances, 
and they all respect your nerve, that's honest. We like 
a good fighter up here. Now, Dink, more than ever, 
we need a real leader here to bring us together again. 
Don't leave the field to Bain and Hunter — they're all 
right in their way, but they can't see things in a big way. 
Gc right out where you've always gone, twice the man 
you used to be, and make us all follow you. Don't make 
apologies for what you did — go out as though you were 
proud of it, and the whole bunch will rise up and follow 
you." 

" I get what you mean," said Stover solemnly. 
" That's horse sense, Bob — you've always got that. I 
wish you'd said it before." 

" I wish I had." 

Stover looked at him wondering, but not daring to 
ask if some one else had prompted him to the act. 

" It's strange you came just now, Bob," he said. 
" You've put words in my mouth that were already there. 
I've just been talking over a scheme that I think's a big 
idea. It's Brockhurst's." 

He detailed the plan and his own suggestion. Story 
was enthusiastic. They talked at length, drawing up a 
list of possible members, with the enthusiasm of pioneers. 

" I say, Dink, there's one thing more," said Bob, as he 
started to go. " I've been thinking a lot lately about 
things here, and what I want for the next two years — 
this is about ended. I'd like to propose something to 
you." 



314. STOVER AT YALE 

" Propose it." 

" What do you say to you and me, Joe Hungerford, and 
Tom Regan, all rooming together another year ? " 

" Tom ? " said Stover, surprised a moment. " The 
very thing if he'd do it." 

" The four of us are all different enough to make just 
.he combination we need. I'm tired of bunking alone. 
1 want to rub up against some one else." 

" There's nothing I could have thought of better, Bob, 
You're right, we four ought to be friends — real friends 
— and stand together. Here's my hand on it." 

" Bully. I've spoken to Joe, and he's going to see 
Regan. I say, Dink, drop in soon." 

" Sure thing." 

" I mean at the house." 

" Oh, yes." A little constraint came to him, and then 
a flush of boyish hope. " I'm coming round." 

" Because — the family have been wondering." 

When Bob had gone, Stover stood a long while gazing 
at the excited groups about the fence, retailing the all- 
important news. 

" By George, I'll do it," he said at last. " I'll not leave 
it to Tommy Bain or Jim Hunter. It may be a fight, 
but I'm going out to lead because I can do it, and because 
I believe in the right things." Then he thought over 
all the incidents of Bob's visit, and he fell into a musing 
itate with sudden wild jumps of the imagination. ' 1 
wonder — did he come of his own accord — I wonder if 
she knew ! " 

With one of his old-time sudden resolves, he went 
that very night to the Storys'. The struggle he had come 
through iri victory showed in a new, abrupt self-confi- 
dence. He felt older by a year than at his last visit. 

Jean Story was at the piano, Jim Hunter on the wide 



STOVER AT YALE 315 

seat beside her, turning over the leaves of her music. 
He saw it from the hall in the first glance. 

The Judge, surprised, came to him, delighted. 

" Well, if here isn't Dink in the flesh. How are you ? 
Thought you'd eloped somewhere. Glad to see you ; tar- 
nation if I'm not glad to shake your hand." 

Hungerford, Bain, Bob Story, and Stone were pres- 
ent; a little difference in their several greetings. 

" Well, we're holding a sort of wake here," said the 
Judge cheerily. " Bain seems the most afflicted." 

" It's a hard moment," said Stover calmly, knowing 
that any expression of opinion from him would be re- 
sisted in certain quarters. " I felt quite upset myself 
to-day when I heard the news, despite the stand I've 
taken." 

Hunter looked up and then down, but said nothing. 

" It's for the best," said Hungerford, not wishing him 
to stand alone. " Best for the college as a whole." 

" That remains to be seen," said Bain. " I passed 
Gimbel coming over, and his crowd. It wasn't very 
pleasant." 

" Well, it's over," said Dink in a matter-of-fact tone. 
" No post-mortem ! The great thing now is to recognize 
what exists. The class to-day is shot to pieces. We 
want to get together again. One half our time's up, and, 
wherever the fault, we've done nothing but scrap and get 
apart." 

" I've been telling them a little about your scheme, 
yours and Brockhurst's," said Story. 

Stover launched into an enthusiastic argument in its 
support. Bain and Hunter followed, instinctive in their 
opposition, each perceiving all the superiority that would 
derive to Stover from its success. 

" May I ask," said Hunter finally, in a tone of icy 



316 STOVER AT YALE 

criticism, " What is the difference between knocking 
down the sophomore society and putting up this organ- 
ization ? " 

" Very glad to tell you, Jim," said Stover, assuming 
an attitude of careful good-will. " The difference is that 
this is an open organization, drawing from every ele- 
ment of the class, to meet for the sole purpose of doing 
a little thinking and getting to know other crowds. The 
sophomore society was an organization drawn f r« >m one 
element of the class, consciously or unconsciously for the 
purpose of advancing the social ambitions of its mem- 
bers at the expense of others. One is natural and 
democratic, and the other's founded on selfishness and 
exclusiveness." 

The Judge, fearing the results of a controversy, broke 
in, switching the conversation to safer channels. 

" By the way, Jim," said Stover, in an interlude, 
" we're counting on you and Tommy Bain to go into 
this thing and make it a success. Is that right ? " 

Despite their reluctance at so prompt an espousal, 
Hunter and Bain were too far-seeing to set themselves 
in opposition. But the acceptance was given without 
enthusiasm, and, not relishing this sudden renewal of 
authority in one whom they naturally held at fault, they 
soon broke up the party. 

Hungerford and Bob went into the billiard room for 
a game, and presently the Judge disappeared upstairs 
to run over some routine work. 

Stover took the seat vacated by Hunter, with perhaps 
a little malicious pleasure, saying: 

"Aren't you going on playing?" 

The young girl hesitated a moment, turning the leaves 
aimlessly 



STOVER AT YALE 317 

" I don't know," she said. " Do you want me to very 
much?" 

" I'd much rather talk." 

She closed the music, turning to him with a little re- 
proachful seriousness. 

" You've been away a long while." 

" Yes." He admitted the implied accusation with a 
moment's silence. " A crazy spell of mine. Bob was 
over this afternoon and we had a long talk." He said 
it point blank, watching her face for some indication he 
hoped to find there of her complicity. " Did he tell 
you?" 

" He was speaking of it at the dinner table/' she said 
quietly. 

" Did you blame me," he said impulsively, " for what 
I did about getting out of my society? " 

" No." 

" Bob did, at least for a while," he said, looking 
eagerly into her eyes. 

" I did not agree with him there." 

She rose. 

" If we are going to talk, let's find more comfortable 
chairs." 

He followed her, a little irritated at the sudden closing 
on this delightful prospect. They took chairs by the 
window. Through the vista of open rooms could be 
seen the glare of the brilliant lights, and the figures of 
the two young fellows moving at their game. 

Suddenly, with a return of the old-time feeling of 
camaraderie between them, he burst out: 

" You know I've got into such a serious point of 
view ! I don't quite know how it happened. Sometimes 
it seems to me I'm missing all the fun of college life." 



318 STOVERATYALE 

He made a gesture toward the billiard room. " Even 
fellows like McNab, good for nothing, jovial little 
loafers, according to Yale standards, do seem to be 
getting something wonderful out of these years. I don't. 
It's been all work or fighting." 

" That's because they are going different ways in life 
ithan you are," she said quickly. " Tell me more about 
this new organization. It seems a big idea. Whom will 
you take in ? " She added suddenly : " Take charge 
yourself, do it all yourself. It's just what you should 
do." 

He was too much interested in the expounding of the 
idea to notice the solicitude she showed him. After a 
while the conversation drifted to other topics. He spoke 
of the summer. 

" Joe wants me to go on a cruise, and Bob wants me 
to run up to your camp for a visit, but I've about de- 
cided to do neither." 

She looked up. 

"Why not?" 

" I am going with Regan for the summer — slumming 
it, I suppose some would call it; Tom calls it getting 
real education. We're going down to work among men 
who work, to know something of what they think and 
want — and what they think of us. It appeals to me 
tremendously. I want to have an all-around point of 
view. There are so many opportunities coming now, 
and I want to grasp them all — learn all I can. What 
do you think ? " 

" It is a splendid idea, just the thing for you now. It 
will broaden you," she said, with a determined bob of 
her head. " Why doesn't Bob ever bring Regan around ? 
He sounds interesting." 

" Don't know — he sticks by himself. You can't 



STOVERATYALE 319 

move him. Bob's told you about the four of us rooming 
together ? " 

" Yes." 

"I wonder—" 

" What ? " she asked as he stopped. 

" Did you suggest to Bob what he said to me this 
afternoon ? " he said point blank. 

She looked at him troubled and undecided, and he 
suddenly guessed the reason. 

" Oh, won't you trust me enough to tell me," he said 
boyishly, " if you did? " 

She looked into his eyes a moment longer. 

" He was afraid you wouldn't like it," she said sim- 
ply. " Yes, I told him to go." 

A dozen things rushed to his lips, and he said nothing. 
Perhaps she liked his silence better than anything he 
could have said, for she added: 

" You will do the big things now, won't you ? You 
see, I want to see you at your biggest." 

When he went home that night, he seemed to walk 
on air. He had taken no advantage of her friendship, 
tempted almost beyond his powers as he had been by the 
kindness in her voice and her direct appeal. He had to 
tell some one, not of the interest he felt she had shown 
him, but of his own complete adoration and supreme 
consecration. So he hauled Hungerford up to his room, 
who received the information as to Stover's state of mind 
with gratifying surprise, as though it were the most in- 
credible, mystifying, and incomprehensible bit of news. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

WHEN Stover returned to college as a junior, he 
showed the results of his summer with Regan. 
He had gone into construction gangs, and learned to obey 
and to command. He had had a glimpse of what the 
struggle for existence meant in the stirring masses; and 
he had known the keenness of a little joy and the reality 
of sorrow to those for whom everything in life was real. 

He had long ago surrendered the idea of entering 
Skull and Bones over the enmity of Reynolds and Le 
Baron, and this relinquishing somehow robbed him of all 
the awe that he had once felt. He had returned a man, 
tempered by knowledge of the world, distinguishing be- 
tween the incidental in college life and the vital oppor- 
tunity within his grasp. 

The new debating club, launched in the previous 
spring, had been an instant success, and its composition, 
carefully representative, had become the nucleus of a 
new comradeship in the class. With the one idea of 
proving his fitness to lead in this new harmonizing de- 
velopment, Stover made his room a true meeting-place of 
the class, and, loyally aided by Hungerford and Story, 
sought to restore all the old-time zest and good-will to 
the gatherings about the sophomore fence. His efforts 
were met by a latent opposition from Hunter and Bain, 
on one side, who never outgrew their wounded resent- 
ment, and from Gimbel on the other, who, though en- 
thusiastically seconding him in the open, felt secretly 
that he was being supplanted. 

320 



STOVERATYALE 321 

But, as Story had foreseen, Stover had the magnetism 
and the energy to carry through what no other leader 
would have accomplished. Once resolved on the accom- 
plishment, upheld by a strong sentimental devotion, 
Stover went at his task with a blunt directness that dis- 
dains all objections. 

Each Saturday night was given over to a rally of the 
class en masse at the Tontine. Certain groups held off 
at first, but soon came into the fold when Stover, who 
was no respecter of persons, would find occasion to say 
publicly : 

" Hello there, what happened to you last night ? Get 
out of that silk-lined atmosphere of yours! Wake up! 
You're not too good for us, are you ? " 

" Well, why weren't you there ? It's no orgy — you 
can get lemonade or milk if you want. There are bad 
men present, but we keep 'em from biting." 

" I say, forget your poker game for one night. We 
all know you're dead game sports. That's why we want 
you — to give us an atmosphere of real life." 

The remarks were made half in jest, half in earnest, 
but they seldom failed of their object. At the Saturday 
night rallies it was the same. Stover was everywhere, 
saying with his good-humored, impudent smile what no 
one else dared to say, sometimes startling them with his 
boldness : 

" Here now, fellows, no grouping around here. We 
want to see a sport and a gospel shark sitting arm in arm. 
Come on, Schley, your social position's all right — 
there's only one crowd here to-night. No one here is 
going to boost you into a senior society. Percolate, fel- 
lows, percolate. We've scrapped like Sam Hill, now 
we're tired of it. No more biting, scratching, or gou- 
ging. Don't forget this is a love feast, and they're going 



322 STOVERATYALE 

to be lovelier. Now let's try over that song for the 
Princeton game. Bob Story perpetrated it — pretty 
rotten, I think, but let's hit it up all the same." 

The rallies jumped into popularity. The class gasped, 
then laughed at Stover's abrupt reference to the late 
unpleasantness, and with the laugh all constraint went. 
The class found itself, as a regiment returns to its pride 
again. It went to the games in a body, it healed its dif- 
ferences, and packed the long room at the Tontine each 
Saturday night, shouting out the chorus which Buck 
Waters, McNab, Stone, and the talent led. 

Many, undoubtedly, marvelling at the ease with which 
Stover had inspired the gathering, admired him for what 
they believed was a clever bid for society honors. But 
the truth was that he succeeded because he had no under- 
lying motive, because he had achieved in himself absolute 
independence and fearlessness of any outer criticism, and 
his strength with the crowd was just the consciousness of 
his own liberty. 

By the fall of junior year, he was the undisputed 
leader of the class, a force that had brought to it a com- 
munity of interest and friendly understanding. Un- 
known to him, his classmates began to regard him, 
despite his old defiance, as one whom a senior society 
could not overlook. Stover had no such feeling. He 
believed that the hatred in what remained of the soph- 
omore society organization was, and would continue, un- 
relenting, and this conviction had determined him in a 
course of action to which he was impelled by other 
reasons. 

He went through the football season as he had gone 
through the previous season, with a record for distin- 
guished brilliancy, acclaimed by all as the best end in 
years, the probable captain of the next year. He wanted 



STOVER AT YALE 323 

the position, as he had desired it on his first arrival at 
Yale, and yet he surrendered it. Hunter had developed 
into a tackle and made the team. In the class below 
were two men of the defunct sophomore societies. 
Stover had vividly before him the record of Dana, his 
captain of freshman year, and the memory of the ordeal 
after the game, when he had stood up and acknowledged 
his lack of leadership. 

That this still resentful society element in the eleven 
would follow him with distaste and reluctance, despite 
all traditional loyality, he knew too well. Moreover, 
sure that he was destined to be passed over on Tap Day, 
he felt perhaps too keenly the handicap of such a rejec- 
tion. Then, at the bottom, reluctantly, he knew in his 
heart that Regan was the born leader of men, and what 
once he had rebelled against he finally acknowledged. 

So when at the end of a victorious season the members 
of the eleven gathered for the election of the next year's 
captain, he stood up immediately and stated his views. 
It was a difficult announcement to make, both on the 
score of seeming sentimentality, and from the danger of 
seeming to refuse what might not be offered him. 

But during the tests of the last year the self -conscious- 
ness which would have prevented Brockhurst's express- 
ing himself had completely gone. Determined on one 
course of action, to be his own master, to do what he 
wanted to do, and to say what he wanted to say, in abso- 
lute fearlessness, he spoke with a frankness that amazed 
his comrades, still under the fetish of upper-class su- 
premacy. 

" Before we begin," he said, " I've a few words I want 
to say. I suppose I am a candidate here. I don't say 
I shouldn't be crazy to have the captaincy. I would — 
any one would. What I say is that I have thought it 



324 STOVER AT YALE 

over and I withdraw my name. Even if you hadn't in 
Tom Regan here the best type of leader you could get, 
it would be very unfortunate for our chances next year 
if I were chosen. I'm quite aware that in a certain 
element of the team, due to the open stand I felt forced 
to take in the question of the sophomore society, there 
is a great deal of resentment against me. I can under- 
stand that; it is natural. But there should be no such 
division in a Yale team. We've got a tough fight next 
year, and we need a captain about whom are no enmities, 
who'll command every bit of the loyalty of the team — " 
he paused a moment — " and every bit of help he can 
get from the college. I move that Tom Regan be 
unanimously elected captain." 

There was quite an outcry at the end of his declara- 
tion, especially from Regan, who was utterly surprised. 
But Stover held firm, and perceived, not without a little 
secret resentment, that the outcome came with relief not 
only to the team but to the coaches. 

When they returned, and Regan was still protesting, 
Stover said frankly: 

" Look here, Tom, we don't split hairs with one an- 
other. If I had thought it was right for me to stand 
for it I would have. I wanted it — like hell. You re- 
member Dana? I do. It's an awful thing to lead a 
team into defeat, and say I was responsible. I don't 
care to do it. Besides, you are the better man — and 
I'm of such a low, skulking nature I hate to admit it. 
So shut up and buy me a rabbit at Mory's. I'm hungry 
as a pirate." 

He had said nothing of his determination to any one. 
He had been tempted to talk it over with Jean Story, 
but he had refrained, feeling instinctively that in her 
ambition for him, and in her inability to judge the depth 



STOVER AT YALE 325 

of certain antagonisms towards him, she would oppose 
his determination. 

The four friends had gone to Lyceum together- — 
Swazey and Pike were in the same building. There 
was a certain flavor of the simplicity and ruggedness of 
old Yale in the building that gave to the meetings in their 
rooms a character of old-time spontaneity. 

By the opening of the winter term, Stover, the en- 
thusiast, had begun to see the weakness of movements 
that must depend on organization. The debating club, 
which had started with a zest, soon showed its limita- 
tions. Once the edge of novelty had worn off, there 
were too many diverting interests to throng in and de- 
plete the ranks. 

When, following Regan's suggestion, they had at- 
tempted a new division on the lines of the political 
parties, the result was decidedly disappointing. There 
was no natural interest to draw upon, and the political 
discussions, instead of fanning the club into a storm of 
partizanship, lapsed into the hands of perfunctory de- 
baters. 

Regan himself took his disillusionment much to heart. 
They discussed the reasons of the failure one stormy 
afternoon at one of their informal discussions, to which 
they had returned with longing. 

" What the devil is the matter ? " said the big fellow 
savagely. " Why, where I come from, the people I see, 
every mother's son of them, feed on politics, talk noth- 
ing else — they love it! And here if you ask a man if 
he's a Republican or a Democrat, he writes home and 
asks his father. A condition like this doesn't exist any- 
where else on the face of the globe. And this is America. 
Why?" 



326 STOVER AT YALE 

When he had propounded the question, there was a 
busy, unresponsive puffing of pipes, and then Pike 
added : 

" That's what hits me, too. Just look at the questions 
that are coming up ; popular election of senators, income 
tax, direct primaries; it's like building over the govern- 
ment again, and no one here cares or knows what's doing. 
I say, why ? " 

" There may be fifty-two reasons for it," said Brock- 
hurst, in his staccato, biting way. " One is, our colleges 
are all turning into social clearing houses, and every 
one is too absorbed in that engrossing process to know 
what happens outside ; second is the fact that our univer- 
sities are admirably organized instruments for the pre- 
vention of learning ! " 

" Good old Brocky," said Swazey with a chuckle. 
" Just what I like ; stormy outside, warm inside, and 
Brocky at the bat. Serve 'em up." 

Brockhurst, who was used to this reception of his 
pointed generalizations, paid no heed. He, too, had 
grown in mental stature and in control. A certain 
diffidence was over him, and always would be ; but when 
a subject came up that interested him, he forgot himself, 
and rushed into the argument with a zeal that never 
failed to arouse his listeners. 

Brockhurst turned on Swazey with the license that was 
always permissible. 

" Well, what do you know ? You've been here going 
on three years. You are supposed to be more than half 
educated. And you're not a fair example either, because 
you really are seeking to know something." 

" Well, go on," said Swazey, thoroughly aroused. 

" What do you know about the Barbizon school, and 
the logical reasons for the revolt of the impressionists ? " 



STOVER AT YALE 327 

Instantly there was an outcry: 

" Not fair." 

" Oh, I say." 

" That's no test." 

" Finishing your third year, gentlemen," said Brock- 
hurst triumphantly, " age over twenty ; the art of paint- 
ing is of course known to the aborigines only in its' 
cruder forms. Well, does any one know at least who 
Manet is, or what he's painted ? " 

There was an accusing silence. 

"Of course you've an idea of the Barbizon school — - 
one or two of you. You remember something about a 
Man with a Hoe or the Angelus — that's Sunday supple- 
ment education. Now let me try you. Please raise 
hands, little boys, when you know the answer to these 
questions, but don't bluff teacher. I'm not contending 
you should have a detailed knowledge of the world in 
your eager, studious minds. I am saying that you 
haven't the slightest general information. I'll make my 
questions fair. 

" First, music : I won't ask you the tendencies and 
theories of the modern schools — you won't know that 
such a thing as a theory in music exists. You know the 
opera of Carmen — good old Toreadore song. Do you 
know the name of the composer? One hand — Bob 
Story. Do you know the history of its reception? Do 
you know the sources of it? Do you know what Bach's 
'influence was in the development of music? Did you 
ever hear of Leoncavallo, Verdi, or that there is such 
a thing as a Russian composer ? Absolute silence. You 
have a hazy knowledge of Wagner, and you know that 
Chopin wrote a funeral march. That is your foothold 
in music ; there you balance, surrounded by howling 
waters of ignorance. 



STOVER AT YALE 

" Take up architecture. Do you know who built the 
Vatican ? Do you know the great buildings of the world 
— or a single thing about Greek, Roman and Renaissance 
architecture? Do you know what the modern French 
movement is based upon? Nothing. 

" Take up religion. Do you know anything about 
Confucius, Shintoism, or Swedenborg, beyond the names? 
Of course you would not know that under Louis XVI 
a determined movement was made to reunite the Cath- 
olic and Protestant branches, which almost succeeded. 
That's unfair, because of course it is the forerunner of 
the great religious movement to-day. Do you know the 
history of the external symbols of the Christian religion, 
and what is historically new? Darkness denser and 
denser. 

" Take literature. You have excavated a certain 
amount of Shakespeare, and grubbed among Elizabeth- 
ans, and cursed Spenser. Who has read Taine's His- 
tory of English Literature, or known in fact who Taine 
is? Only Bob Story. And yet there is the greatest 
book on the whole subject; you could abolish the English 
department and substitute it. Beside Story, who else 
has had even a fair reading knowledge of any other lit- 
erature — Russian, Norwegian, German, French, Italian ? 
Who knows enough about any one of these writers to 
look wise and nod; Renan, Turgeniev, Daudet, Bjornson, 
Hauptman, Suderman, Strindberg? Do you know any- 
thing about Goethe as a critic, or the influence of Poe 
upon French literature? What do you know? I'll tell 
you. You know Les Miserables and The Three Mus- 
keteers in French literature. You know Goethe wrote 
Faust. You're beginning to know Ibsen as a name, and 
one may have read Tolstoi, and all know that he's a very 
old man with a long white beard, who lives among his 



STOVERATYALE 329 

peasants, has some queer ideas, and has started to die 
three or four times. The papers have told you that. 

" Take another field, of simple curiosity on what is 
doing in a world in which by opportunity you are sup- 
posed to be of the leading class. What do you know 
about the strength and spread of socialism in Germany, 
France and England? In the first place no one of you 
here probably has any idea of what socialism is ; you've 
been told it's anarchy, and, as that only means dynamite 
to you, you are against socialism, and will never take the 
trouble to investigate it. What do you know about the 
new political experiments in New Zealand? — nothing. 
What do you know about the labor pension system in 
Germany, or the separation of the church and state in 
France? — all subjects dealing with the vital develop- 
ment of the race of bipeds on this earth of which you 
happen to be members. 

" Now here is a catch question — all candidates for 
the dunce-cap will take a guess. The Botticelli story is 
such a chestnut now that you all know that it isn't a 
cheese or a wine — credit that to ridicule. I'm going 
to give you a few names from all the professions, and 
let's see who can tag them. What was Spinoza, Holman 
Hunt, Dostoiefski, Ambrose Thomas, Savonarola (if 
you've read the novel you'd know that), Bastien Le Page, 
Zorn, Bizet, Bossuet! Unfair? — not at all. These 
things are just as necessary to know to a man of educa- 
tion and culture as it is to a man of good manners to 
realize that peas are not introduced into the mouth by 
being balanced on a knife." 

" Help ! " cried Hungerford, as Brockhurst went rush- 
ing on. " Great Scott, what do we know ? " 

" You know absolutely nothing," said Brockhurst 
savagely. " Here you are ; look at yourselves — four 



330 STOVER AT YALE 

years when you ought to learn something, some inform- 
ing knowledge of all that has developed during the four 
thousand years the human race has fought its way to- 
ward the light, four years to be filled with the marvel 
and splendor of it all, and you don't know a thing. 

" You don't know the big men in music ; you don't 
know the pioneers and the leaders in any art; you don't 
know the great literatures of the world, and what they 
represent; you don't know how other races are working 
out their social destinies; you've never even stopped to 
examine yourselves, to analyze your own society, to see 
the difference between a civilization founded on the unit 
of the individual, and a civilization, like the Latin, on 
the indestructible advance of the family. You have no 
general knowledge, no intellectual interests, you haven't 
even opinions, and at the end of four years of education 
you will march up and be handed a degree — Bachelor of 
Arts! Magnificent! And we Americans have a sense 
of humor! Do you wonder why I repeat that our col- 
leges are splendidly organized institutions for the pre- 
vention of learning? No, sir, we are business colleges, 
and the business of our machines is to stamp out so many 
business men a year, running at full speed and in com- 
petition with the latest devices in Cambridge and Prince- 
ton ! " 

" Brocky, you are terrific," said Swazey in admira- 
tion. There was too much truth in the attack, violent as 
it was, not to have called forth serious attention. 

" I feel a good deal the way you do," said Bob Story, 
and Stover nodded, " only it seems to me, Brocky, a good 
deal of what you're arguing for must come from outside 
— in just such informal talks as this." 

" That's true," said Brockhurst. " If the stimulus in 
the college life itself were toward education all our meet- 



STOVER AT YALE 331 

ings would be educational. It's true abroad, it isn't here. 
You know my views. You think I'm extreme. I'm 
getting an education because I didn't accept any such 
flap-doodle as, ' What am I going to do for Yale ? ' but 
instead asked, ' What has Yale got to offer me ? ' I'm 
getting it, too." 

Stover suddenly remembered the conversation they had 
together the year before, and looking now at Brockhurst, 
revealed in a new strength, he began to understand what 
had then so repelled him. 

" The great fault," continued Brockhurst, " lies, how- 
ever, with the colleges. The whole theory is wrong, 
archaic and ridiculous — the theory of education by 
schedule. All education can do is to instil the love of 
knowledge. You get that, you catch the fire of it — you 
educate yourself. All education does to-day is to develop 
the memory at the expense of the imagination. It says : 
' Here are so many pounds of Greek, Latin, mathematics, 
history, literature. In four years our problem is to pass 
them through the heads of these hundreds of young 
barbarians so that they will come out with a lip knowl- 
edge.' " 

" But come, we do learn something," said Hungerford. 

" No, you don't, Joe," said Brockhurst. " You've 
translated the Iliad — you've never known it. You've 
recited in Horace — you have no love for him. 
You've excavated the plays of Shakespeare, a couple of 
acts at a time; you don't know what Hamlet means or 
Lear, the beauty of it all has escaped you. You've 
recited in Logic and Philosophy, but you don't under- 
stand what you're repeating. You're only repeating all 
the time. Your memory is trained to hold a little knowl- 
edge a little time — that's all. You don't enjoy it, you're 
rather apologetic — or others are." 



STOVER AT YALE 

" Well, what other system is there ? " said Regan. 

" There is the preceptorial system of England," said 
Brockhurst, " where a small group of men are in per- 
sonal contact with the instructor. In French universi- 
ties, education is a serious thing because failure to pass 
an examination for a profession means two extra years 
of army service. Men don't risk over there, or divide 
up their time heeling the News or making a team. In 
Germany a man is given a certain number of years to 
get a degree, and I believe has to do a certain amount 
of original work. 

" But of course the main trouble here is, and there is 
no blinking the fact, that the colleges have surrendered 
unconsciously a great deal of their power to the growing 
influence of the social organization. In a period when 
we have no society in America, families are sending their 
sons to colleges to place themselves socially. Some of 
them carry it to an extreme, even directly avow their 
hope that they will make certain clubs at Princeton or 
Harvard, or a senior society here. It probably is very 
hard to control, but it's going to turn our colleges more 
and more, as I say, into social clearing houses. At pres- 
ent here at Yale we keep down the question of wealth 
pretty well; fellows like Joe Hungerford here come in 
and live on our basis. That's the best feature about 
Yale to-day — how it will be in the future I don't know, 
for it depends on the wisdom of the parents." 

" Social clearing house is well coined," said Hunger- 
ford. " I think it's truer though of Harvard." 

" That's perhaps because you see the mote in your 
neighbors' eyes," said Brocky rising. " Well, discussion 
isn't going to change it. Who's always talking about 
school for character — Pike or Brown ? We might as 
well stand for that — but it would not be very wise to 



STOVER AT YALE 

announce it to the American nation, would it ? — we 
might be dubbed a reformatory. Fathers, send your sons 
to college — reform their characters, straighten out the 
crooks. At the end give 'em a degree of — of, say — 
G. B." 

" What's that, Brocky ? " said Swazey, grinning with 
the rest. 

" Good Boy," said Brockhurst, who departed, as he 
liked, on the echoes of the laugh which he had inspired. 

" Whew ! " said Hungerf ord, with a comical rubbing 
of his head. " What struck me ? " 

" And I expect to make Phi Beta Kappa," said Swazey, 
with an apologetic laugh. 

" What a dreadfully disconcerting person," said Bob 
Story. 

" By George, it takes the conceit out of you," said 
Stover ruthfully. " Shall we all start in and learn some- 
thing ? W T hat's the answer ? " 

At this moment a familiar slogan was heard below, 
increasing in riotous, pagan violence with the approach 
of boisterous feet. 

u Oh, father and mother 
Pay all the bills, 
And we have all the fun. 
Hooray! 

That's the way we do in college life — 
In college life." 

The room burst into a roar of laughter. 
" There's one answer," said Regan rising. 
The door slammed open, and McNab and Buck Waters 
reeled in arm in arm. 

" I say, fellows, we've cornered the sleigh market," 



STOVER AT YALE 

said Dopey uproariously. " We're all going to beat it to 
the Cheshire Inn, a bottle of champagne to the first to 
arrive. Are you on ? " 

Half an hour later, Stover at the reins was whirling 
madly along the crusty roads, in imminent danger of 
collision with three other rollicking parties, who packed 
the sleighs and cheered on the galloping horses, singing 
joyfully the battle hymn of the pagans: 

" Oh, father and mother 
Pay all the bills, 
And we have all the fun. 
Hooray! 

That's the way we do 
In college life." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

ONCE Stover had reconciled himself to the loss of 
a senior society election, he found ample com- 
pensation in the absolute liberty of action that came to 
him. It was not that he condemned this parent system ; 
he believed in it as an honest attempt to reward the best 
in the college life, a sort of academic legion of honor, 
formed not on social cleavage, but given as a reward of 
merit. In his own case, he believed his own personal 
offending in the matter of Le Baron and Reynolds had 
been so extreme that nothing could counteract it. 

So he gave himself up to the free and untrammelled 
delights of living his own life. His fierce stand for abso- 
lute democracy made of his rooms the ante-room of the 
class, through which all crowds seemed to pass, men of 
his own kind, socially calculating, glad to be known as 
the friends of Regan, Hungerford and Story, all rated 
sure men, and Stover, about whom they began to wonder 
more and more, as a unique and rebellious personality, 
which, contrary to precedent, had come to bear down 
all opposition. Gimbel and Hicks, elected managers for 
the coming year, came often, willing to conciliate the 
element they had fought, in the hopes of a favorable 
outcome on Tap Day. Men who worked their way 
dropped in often on Regan; Ricketts, with his drawling 
Yankee astuteness, always laughing up his sleeve ; twenty 
odd, lonely characters, glad to sink into a quiet corner 
and listen to the furious discussions that raged about 
Brockhurst, Story and Regan. 

335 



336 STOVER AT YALE 

It was seldom that Stover talked. He learned more 
by listening, by careful weighing of others' opinions, than 
in the attempt to classify his own thoughts through the 
medium of debate. At times when the discussion wan- 
dered from vital sources, he would ask a question, and 
these sharp, direct remarks had a pertinency and a 
searching trenchancy that sometimes upset an elaborate 
argument. 

Regan brought him to the romance of commonplace 
things, to a genuine interest and study of political con- 
ditions; Brockhurst irritated and dissatisfied him, and 
so stimulated him to reading and self-analysis; Story, 
with his seriousness and fairness, recalled him always to 
a judicial point of view and an understanding of others ; 
Hungerford, with his big, effusive nature, always dis- 
satisfied and eager for realities, was akin to his own 
nature, and they grew into a confidential intimacy. In 
a community of splendid barbarians, their circle was 
exceptional, due to the pronounced individuality of their 
several rebellious minds. 

Despite the abolition of the sophomore societies, other 
groups still maintained their exclusiveness, and kept alive 
the old antagonism, as the approach of Tap Day in- 
tensified the struggle for election and the natural cam- 
paigning of friend for friend. 

As Brockhurst had prophesied, the chairmanship of 
the Lit Board went to Wiggin, a conscientious, thorough 
little plodder, who had never failed to hand in to each 
number his numerically correct quota of essays, two 
stories, a hammered-out poem and two painful portfolios. 

On the night of the election, Stover heard from his 
room in Lyceum the familiar: 

" Oh, you Dink Stover — stick out your head." 



STOVERATYALE 337 

" Hello there, Brocky ; come up," he said anxiously. 
"Who got it?" 

" Wiggin, of course. Come on down, I want a ram- 
ble." 

It was the first time that Brockhurst had shown a 
longing for companionship. Stover returned into the 
room, announcing: 

" Poor old chap. Wiggin got it. Isn't it the devil ? " 

" Wiggin — oh, Lord ! " said Regan. 

" Why, he's not fit to tie Brocky's shoe-strings," said 
Hungerford, who fired a volley of soul-relieving oaths. 

" I'm going down to bum around a bit with him," 
said Stover, slipping on his coat, " cheer the old boy 
up." 

" Well, he knew it." 

* Lots of difference that makes ! " 

Below Brocky, muffled to the ears, brim down, was 
whistling in unmusical enthusiasm. 

" 'Tis a jolly life we lead, 

Care and sorrow we defy — " 

" Hello, that you, Dink ? " he said, breaking off. 
" Come on for a tramp." 

At that age, being inexperienced, the undergraduate 
in questions of sympathy wisely returns to the instincts 
of the canine. Stover, without speaking, fell into* his 
stride, and they swung off towards West Rock. 

" Wiggin is the type of man," said Brockhurst, medi- 
tatively puffing his pipe, " that is the glorification of the 
commonplace. He is a sort of sublime earthworm, 
plodding along and claiming acquaintance with the rose 
because he travels around the roots. He is really by 



#38 STOVER AT YALE 

instinct a bricklayer, and the danger is that he may con- 
tinue either in literature or some profession where the 
cry is for imagination." 

" You could have beaten him out," said Stover, as a 
solace. 

"And become an earthworm?" said Brockhurst. 
" The luck of it is, he made up his mind to heel the Lit. , 
With his ideas he would have made leader of the glee 
club, president of the Phi Beta Kappa, chairman of the 
News, or what not." 

" Still, give him credit," said Stover, smiling to him- 
self, for he felt that he saw for the first time the human 
side of Brockhurst. 

" I did ; it was quite an amusing time." 
"What happened?" 

" Why, the little grubber came up to me and said, 
6 Brocky, old man, you ought to have had it.' " 
" Why, that was rather decent," said Stover. 
" Rubbish. All form," said Brockhurst impatiently. 
" Showed the calibre of his mind, — the obvious ; nothing 
but the obvious. He thought it the thing to say, that's 
all." 

"Well, what did you answer?" said Stover wonder- 
ing. 

" I said, ' Well, why didn't you vote for me then ? ' : 

Stover burst out laughing, and Brockhurst, who had 

lost a coveted honor, was a little mollified by the tribute. 

"Of course he stammered and looked annoyed — 

naturally; situation his imagination couldn't meet, so I 

said: 

" ' Come, Wiggin, no stuff and nonsense. You didn't 
think I ought to have it, and I know damn well, now that 
you've won out, you'll get a Skull and Bones to wear, 
pose in the middle of the photograph for the Banner, and 



STOVERATYALE 339 

be thoroughly satisfied at our board meeting to sit back 
and listen while I do the talking.' " 

Stover broke into a laugh. 

" Brocky, you scandalized him." 

" Not at all. He thought I was joking — the last 
thing that occurs to the grubber is that wit is only a polite 
way of calling a man an ass." 

" Brocky, you're at your best, don't stop." 

Brockhurst smiled. It was turning a defeat into a 
victory. He continued : 

" After all, Wiggy is interesting. I'll be revenged. 
I'll put him in a book some day. He represents a type 
— the mathematical mind, quantity not quality. He set 
out for the chairmanship as a man trains for a long- 
distance run. Do you know the truth? He rose every 
morning and took a cold shower, fifty swings to the left 
with the dumb-bell, fifty to the right, ate nothing heavy 
or starchy for his meals, walked the same distance each 
afternoon, and worked his two hours each night, ham- 
mering out divine literature." 

" Oh, I say ! " said Dink, a little in doubt. 

Brockhurst began to laugh. 

" He may have for all I know. Now I'll bury him. 
He will be eminently successful — I like that word 
eminently. You see he has no sense of humor, and es- 
pecially no imagination to hinder him." Brockhurst, in 
one of his quixotic moods, began to gesture to the stars 
as he abandoned himself to the delights of his conceit 
" Oh, that's a wonderful thing, to have no imagination — 
the saving of commonplace minds. If Wiggin had an 
imagination he would never have written a line, he would 
have perceived the immense distances that separated him 
from the Olympians. Instead he read Stevenson, 
Dumas, Kipling, and, unafraid, wrote little Steven- 



340 STOVERATYALE 

son echoes of Dumas, capsule Kiplings. He'll go out 
in the world, nothing will frighten him. He will 
rebel against nothing, for he hasn't an idea. He will 
choose the woman he needs for his needs, persuade him- 
self that he's in love, and then persuade her. And he'll 
believe that's a virtuous marriage. He'll belong to the 
conservative party, the conservative church, and will be a 
distinguished subordinate, who will stand for tradition, 
institutions, and will be said to resemble some great man. 
Then he'll die, and will be pointed to as a great example. 
Requiescat in pace." 

" Off with his head," said Stover appreciatively. 
" Now he's finished, own up, Brocky, that you are furious 
that you did not buckle down and beat him out." 

" Of course I am — damn it," said Brockhurst. " I 
know I did right, but no one else will ever know it. And 
the strange thing is, Dink, the best thing for me is to 
have missed out." 

" Why, in Heaven's name ? " 

" If I had made the chairmanship, I should probably 
be tapped for Bones — one of the successful. I might 
have become satisfied. Do you know that that is the 
great danger of this whole senior business ? " 

"What?" 

" The fellow who wears his honors like a halo. He's 
made Bones or Keys, he's a success in life. Nothing 
more awaits him. * I was it.' " 

" Still, you would have liked it." 

" Sure ; I'm inconsistent," said Brocky, with a laugh. 
" It's only when I don't get what I want that my beauti- 
ful reason shows me I shouldn't have had it." 

" Well, there's no danger of either of us disappearing 
under the halos," said Stover shortly. 

" I'm not so sure about you," said Brockhurst. 



STOVERATYALE 341 

The casual doubt aroused strange emotions in Stover. 

" I thought you didn't believe in them," he said 
slowly. 

" I don't. I don't believe in organizations, institutions, 
traditions — that's my point of view," said Brockhurst. 
" But then I'm in the world to be in revolt." 

" You once spoke of the society system — the whole 
thing as it exists in America — " said Stover, " as a sort 
of idol worship. I never quite understood your mean- 
ing." 

" Why, I think it's quite obvious," said Brockhurst 
surprised. " What was idol worship ? A large body of 
privileged charlatans, calling themselves priests, im- 
pressed the masses with all the flummery of mysterious 
ceremonies, convenient voices issuing from caves or 
stone idols. What was an idol ? An ordinary chunk of 
marble, let us say, issuing from the sculptor's chisel. 
When did it become sacred and awe-inspiring? When 
it had been placed in an inner shrine of shrines, removed 
from the public, veiled in shadows, obscured by incense, 
guarded by solicitous guards ; the stone is still a stone but 
the populace is convinced. Look into a well in daylight 
— commonplace ; look into it at night — a great mystery ; 
black is never empty, the imagination fills it." 

" How does this apply ? " said Stover, impatiently. 

" Cases are parallel. A group of us come together for 
the purpose of debate and discussion; no one notices it 
beyond a casual thought. Suddenly we surround our- 
selves with mystery, appear on the campus with a sensa- 
tional pin stuck in our cravats, a bat's head or a gallows, 
and when, marvellously enough, some one asks us what 
the dickens we are wearing, we turn away; instantly it 
becomes known that something so deadly secret has be- 
gun that we have sworn to shed our heart's blood be- 



342 STOVER AT YALE 

fore we allow the holy, sacred name of Bat's Head or 
Gallow's Bird to pass our lips ! " 

" It's a little foolish, but what's the harm ? " 

" The harm is that this mumbo- jumbo, fee-fi-fo-fum, 
high cockalorum business is taken seriously. It's the 
effect on the young imagination that comes here that is 
harmful. Dink, I tell you, and I mean it solemnly, that 
when a boy comes here to Yale, or any other American 
college, and gets the flummery in his system, believes in 
it — surrenders to it — so that he trembles in the shadow 
of a tomblike building, doesn't dare to look at a pin that 
stares him in the face, is afraid to pronounce the holy, 
sacred names ; when he's got to that point he has ceased 
to think, and no amount of college life is going to 
revive him. That's the worst thing about it all, this 
mental subjection which the average man undergoes here 
when he comes up against all this rigmarole of Tap 
Day, gloomy society halls, marching home at night, et 
cetera — et ceteray. By George, it is a return of the old 
idol-worship idea — thinking men in this twentieth cen- 
tury being impressed by the same methods that kept 
nations in servitude to charlatans three thousand years 
before. It's wrong, fundamentally wrong — it's a crime 
against the whole moving spirit of university history — 
the history of a struggle for the liberation of the human 
mind." 

" But, Brocky, what would you have them do — run as 
open clubs ? " 

" Not at all," said Brockhurst. " I would strip them 
of all nonsense ; in fact that is their weakness, not their 
strength, and it is all unnecessary. This is what I'd do: 
drop the secrecy — this extraordinary muffled breathless 
guarding of an empty can — retain the privilege any club 
has of excluding outsiders, stop this childishness of get- 



STOVER AT YALE 343 

ting up and leaving the room if some old lady happens 
to ask are you a Bones man or a Keys man. Instead, 
when a Bones man goes to see a freshman whom he 
wants to befriend, have him say openly as he passes the 
chapter house: 

" ' That's my society — Skull and Bones. It stands as 
a reward of merit here. Hope you'll do something to 
deserve it.' 

" Which is the better of the two ideas, the saner, the 
manlier and the more natural? What would they lose 
by eliminating the objectionable, unnecessary features — 
all of which you may be sure were started as horse play, 
and have curiously enough come to be taken in deadly 
earnestness ? " 

" I think you exaggerate a little," said Stover, un- 
willing to accept this arraignment. 

" No, I don't," said Brockhurst stubbornly. " The 
thing is a fetish; it gets you; it's meant to get you. It 
gets me, and if you're honest you'll admit it gets you. 
Now own up." 

" Yes, I suppose it does." 

" Now, Dink, you're righting for one thing up here, 
the freedom of your mind and your will." 

" Why, yes," Stover said, surprised at Brockhurst's 
knowledge of his inner conflicts. " Yes, that's exactly 
what I'm fighting out." 

" Well, my boy, you'll never get what you're after 
until you see this thing as it is — the unreasoning harm 
done, the poppycock that has been thrown around a good 
central idea — if you admit such things are necessary, 
which of course I don't." 

" You see," said Stover stubbornly, " you're against all 
organization." 

" I certainly am — inherited organizations," said 



SU STOVER AT YALE 

Brockhurst immediately, " organizations that are im- 
posed on you. The only organization necessary is the 
natural, spontaneous coming together of congenial ele- 
ments." 

They had returned to the campus, and Brockhurst, by 
intent leading the way, stopped before the lugubrious 
bu!k of Skull and Bones. 

" There you are," he said, with a laugh. " Look at it. 
It's built of the same stone as other buildings, it has in 
it what secret? Go up, young Egyptian, to its mystery 
in awe and reverence, young idol worshiper of thirty 
centuries ago." 

" Damn it, Brocky, it does get me," said Stover with 
a short laugh. 

" Curious," said Brockhurst, turning away. " The 
architecture of these sacred tombs is almost invariably 
the suggestion of the dungeon — the prison of the human 
mind." 

Stover's conversation with Brockhurst did not at first 
trouble him much. Curiously enough the one idea he 
retained was that Brockhurst had spoken of him as a 
possibility for Tap Day. 

" What nonsense," he said to himself angrily. " Here, 
I know better ! " 

But the next afternoon, the thought returning to him 
with pleasure, all at once, following a boyish whim, he 
passed into his old entry at Lawrence, and, going down a 
little guiltily into the region of the bath-tubs, came to 
the wall on which was inscribed the lists of his class. 

On the Bones list, third from the top, the name Stover 
had been replaced and heavily underlined. 

It gave him quite a thrill; something seemed to leap 
up inside of him, and he went out hastily. Then all at 



STOVER AT YALE 345 

once he became angry. It was like opening up again a 
fight that had been fought and lost. 

" What an ass I am," he said furiously. " The deuce 
of a chance I have to go Bones — with Reynolds and Le 
Baron. Can the leopard change his spots? About as 
much chance as a ki-yi has to go through a sausage 
machine and come out with a bark." 

But, as he went towards Jean Story's home, thinking 
of her and what she would want, the force of what 
Brockhurst had said began to weaken. 

" Brocky is impractical," he said artfully. " We 
must deal with things as they are, make the best of them. 
He exaggerates the effect on the imagination. At any 
rate, no one can accuse me of not taking a stand." 

He saw the old colonial home, white and distinguished 
under the elms, and he said to himself, hoping against 
hope: 

" If I were tapped — it would mean a good deal to 
her. I'll be darned if I'll let Brocky work me up. I'm 
not going up against anything more! I've done enough 
here." 

He said it defiantly, for the courage of a man has two 
factors, his courage and the courage of the woman he 
loves. 



CHAPTER XXV 

WHEN he had returned to the college after the 
summer, he came to his first call on Jean Story 
with a confident enthusiasm, eager for the first look in 
her eyes. He had not corresponded with her during the 
summer. He had not even asked for permission to 
write, confident though he was that her consent would 
now be given. He was resolved, as a penance for his 
first blunder, to hold himself in reserve on every occa- 
sion. Bob had written the news, always pressing him 
to take two weeks off for a visit to the camp, but Dink, 
despite the tugging at his heart, had stuck to Regan, 
perhaps a little secretly pleased to show his earnestness. 

Now, as he came swinging impatiently toward the 
glowing white columns under the elms, he realized all at 
once what was the moving influence in his struggle for 
growth and independence. 

" Here is the horny-handed son of toil," he said, hold- 
ing out his hand with a laugh. 

She took it, turning over the firm palm with a little 
curiosity, and looked at him sharply, aware of a great 
change — they were no longer boy and girl. The vaca- 
tion had made of the impetuous Dink Stover she had 
known a new personality that was strange and a little 
intimidating. 

He did not understand at all the sudden dropping of 
her look, nor the uneasy turning away, nor the quick 
constraint that came. He was hurt with a sudden sharp 
sting that he had never known before and the ache of 

346 



STOVERATYALE 347 

unreasoning jealousy at the bare thought of what might 
have happened during the summer. 

" I'm awfully glad to see you," she said, but the words 
sounded formal. 

He followed her into the parlor puzzled, irritated by 
something he did not understand, something that lay 
underneath everything she said, and seemed to interpose 
itself as a barrier between them and the old open feeling 
of camaraderie. 

" Mother will be so glad to see you," she said, after a 
little moment of awkwardness. " I must call her." 

This maneuver completed his bewilderment, which 
increased when, Mrs. Story joining them, suddenly the 
Jean Story of old returned with the same cordiality and 
the same enthusiasm. She asked a hundred questions, 
leading him on until he was launched into an account of 
his summer experiences, the little bits of real life that 
had brought home to him the seriousness of the world 
that waited outside. 

He spoke not as the Stover of sophomore year, rilled 
with the enthusiasm of discovery, but with a maturer 
mind, which had begun to reflect and to reason upon what 
had come into his knowledge. 

Mrs. Story, sunk in the old high-backed arm-chair near 
the fire, followed him, too, aware also of the change in 
the boy, wondering what lay in the mind of her daugh- 
ter, camped at her knee on the hearth rug, listening 
so intently and yet clinging to her as though for in- 
stinctive protection. 

Stover spoke only of outward things ; the thoughts that 
lay beneath, that would have come out so eagerly before 
the girl, did not appear in the presence of another. As 
he understood nothing of this sudden introduction of a 
third into the old confidential relationship, he decided 



348 STOVERATYALE 

to be more formal than the girl, and rose while still his 
audience's attention was held by his account. 

" It's been awfully jolly to see you again," he said 
with a perfect manner to Mrs. Stover. 

" But you're going to stay to dinner," she said, with a 
little smile. 

" Awfully sorry, but I've got a dozen things to do," 
he said, in the same careful, matter-of-fact tone. " Bob 
sent word he'd come later." 

Jean Story had not urged him. He went to her with 
mechanical cheeriness, saying: 

" Good-by. You're looking splendidly." 

She did not answer, being in one of her silent moods. 
Mrs. Story went with him towards the door, with a few 
practical housekeeping questions on the menage that had 
just begun. As they were in the ante-room, Jim Hunter 
entered and, greeting them, passed into the salon. 

Stover, deaf to anything else, heard her greeting: 

" Why, Jim, I am glad to see you." 

Mrs. Story was asking him a question, but he did not 
hear it. He heard only the echoes of what seemed to 
him the joy in her laugh. 

" If you need any rugs let me know," said Mrs. Story 
in patient repetition. 

" I beg your pardon," he stammered. " Yes — yes, of 
course." 

She looked at him with a little maternal pity, knowing 
the pang that had gone through him, and for a moment 
a word was on her lips to enlighten him. But she 
judged it wiser to be silent, and said: 

" Come in for dinner to-morrow night, surely." 

This invitation fitted at once into Stover's scheme of 
mislogic. He saw in it a mark of compassion, and of 
compassion for what reason? Plainly, Jean was inter- 



STOVERATYALE 349 

ested in some one else, perhaps engaged. In ten minutes, 
to his own lugubrious satisfaction, he had convinced him- 
self it was no other than Jim Hunter. But a short, 
inquisitive talk with Joe Hungerford, who magnani- 
mously appeared stupidly unconscious of the real motives, 
reassured him on this point. So, after the hot tempest 
of jealousy, he began to feel a little resentment at her 
new, illogical attitude of defensive formality. 

Gradually, as he gave no sign of unbending from his 
own assumption of strict politeness, she began to change, 
but so gradually that it was not for weeks that he per- 
ceived that the old intimate relations had returned. This 
little interval, however, had brought to him a new under- 
standing. With her he had lost the old impulsiveness. 
He began to reason and analyze, to think of cause and 
effect in their relationship. As a consequence the ini- 
tiative and the authority that had formerly been with 
her came to him. All at once he perceived, to his utter 
surprise, what she had felt immediately on his return: 
that he was the stronger, and that the old, blind, boyish 
adoration for the girl, who was companion to the stars, 
had steadied into the responsible and guiding love of a 
man. 

This new supremacy brought with it several differ- 
ences of opinion. When the question of the football 
captaincy had come up he did not tell her of his deci- 
sion, afraid of the ambition he knew was strong in her 
for his career. 

When he saw her the next night, Bob had already 
brought the news and the reason. She received him 
with great distance, and for the first time showed a little 
cruelty in her complete ignoring of his presence. 

" You are angry at me," he said, when finally he had 
succeeded in finding her alone. 



350 STOVER AT YALE 

" Yes, I am," she said point blank. " Why didn't you 
tell me what you were planning ? " 

"I didn't dare," he said frankly. "You wouldn't 
have approved." 

" Of course I wouldn't. It was ridiculous. Why 
shouldn't you be the captain ? " 

" There were reasons," he said seriously. " I should 
not have had a united team back of me — oh, I know 
it." 

" Absurd," she said with some heat. " You should 
have gone out and made them follow you. Really, it's 
too absurd, renouncing everything. Here's the Junior 
Prom; every one says you would have led the class if 
you'd have stood for it." 

" Yes, and it's just because a lot of fellows thought 
they knew my whole game of democracy that I wouldn't 
stand for it." 

She grew quite angry. He had never seen her so 
stirred. 

" Stuff and nonsense. What do you care for their 
opinion? You should be captain and chairman of the 
Prom, but you renounce everything — you seem to de- 
light in it. It's too absurd; it's ridiculous. It's like 
Don Quixote riding around." 

He was hurt at this, and his face showed it. 

" It's something to be able to refuse what others are 
grabbing for," he said shortly. " But all you seem to 
care for is the name." 

The flash that was in his eyes surprised her, and the 
sudden stern note in his voice that she had never heard 
before brought her to a quick realization of how she 
must have wounded him. Her manner changed. She 
became very gentle, and before he went she said hur- 
riedly : 



STOVER AT YALE 351 

" Forgive me. You were right, and I was very petty." 
But though he had shown his independence of her 
ambitions for him, and gained thereby, at heart he had 
a foolish longing, a senseless dream of winning out on 
Tap Day — just for the estimation he knew she held of 
that honor. And, wishing this ardently, he was influ- 
enced by it. There were questions about the senior 
societies that he had not put to himself honestly, as he 
had in the case of the sophomore. He knew they were 
way back in his mind, claiming to be met, but, thinking 
of Jean, he said to himself evasively again and again: 

" Suppose there are bad features. I've done enough 
to show my nerve. No one can question that ! " 

With the passing of the winter, and the return to 
college in the pleasant month of April, the final, all- 
absorbing Tap Day loomed over them only six weeks 
away. It was not a particularly agreeable period. The 
contending ambitions were too keen, too conflicting, for 
the maintenance of the old spirit of comradeship. The 
groups again defined themselves, and the " lame ducks," 
in the hopes of being noticed, assiduously cultivated the 
society of what are called " the big men." 

One afternoon in the first week in April, as Dink 
was returning from the gymnasium, he was suddenly 
called to from the street. Chris Schley and Troutman, 
in a two-seated rig, were hallooing : 

" Hello there, Dink." 

" Come for a ride." 

" Jump in — join us." 

The two had never been of his intimates, belonging 
to a New York crowd, who were spoken of for Keys. 
He hesitated, but as he was free he considered : 

"What's the game?" 



352 STOVER AT YALE 

" We're out for a spin towards the shore. Tommy 
Bain and Stone were going but had to drop out. Come 
along. We might get a shore supper, and toddle back 
by moonlight." 

" I've got to be here by seven," said Dink doubtfully. 

" Oh, well, come on ; we'll make it just a drive." 

" Fine." 

He sprang into the front seat, and they started off 
in the young, tingling air. Troutman, at the reins, was 
decidedly unfamiliar with their uses, and, at a fervent 
plea from Schley, Stover assumed control. Since fresh- 
man year the three had been seldom thrown together. 
He remembered Troutman then as a rather overgrown 
puppy type, and Schley as a nuisance and a hanger-on. 
He scanned them now, pleasantly surprised at their trans- 
formation. They had come into a clean-cut type, affable, 
alert, and if there was small mark of character, there 
was an abundance of good-humor, liveliness, and so- 
ciability. 

" Well, Dink, old chap," said Troutman, as he passed 
along quieter ways, " the fatal day approaches." 

" It does." 

" A lot of seniors are out buying nice brand-new 
derbies to wear for our benefit." 

" I'll bet they're scrapping like cats and dogs," said 
Schley. 

" They say last year the Bones list wasn't agreed upon 
until five minutes before five." 

" The Bones crowd always fight," said Schley, from 
the point of view of the opposite camp. " I say, Dink, 
did you ever think of heeling Keys ? " 

" No, I'm not a good enough jollier up for that 
crowd." 



STOVER AT YALE 853 

" They say this year Keys is going to shut down on 
the sporting life and swipe some of the Bones type." 

" Really ? " said Stover, in disbelief. 

" Sure thing ; Tommy Bain has switched." 

" I heard he was packer," said Stover, not particularly 
depressed. In the college the rumor had always been 
that the Keys crowd had what was termed a packer in 
the junior class, who helped them to pledge some of their 
selections before Tap Day. 

" Sure he is," said Troutman, with conviction. 

" Wish he'd stuck to Bones," said Schley. " Yours 
truly would feel more hopeful." 

" Why, you fellows are sure," said Stover to be polite. 

" The deuce we are ! " 

Schley, tiring of the conversation, was amusing him- 
self from the back seat by well-simulated starts of sur- 
prise and a sudden snatching off of his hat to different 
passers-by, exclaiming : 

" Why, how do you do. I remember meeting you be- 
fore." 

He did it well, communicated his good spirits to the 
pedestrians, who took his banter good-naturedly. 

All at once his mischievous eye perceived two girls of 
a rather noticeable type. Instantly he was on his feet, 
with an exaggerated sweep of his hat, exclaiming: 

" Ladies, accept my carriage, my prancing horses, my 
groom and my footman." 

The girls, bursting into laughter, waved to him. 

" Yes, it's a lovely day," continued Schley, in imita- 
tion of McNab. " Mother's gone to the country, aunty's 
visiting us now, Uncle John's coming to-morrow — he'll 
be sober then. Too bad, girls, you're going the other 
way, and such lovely weather. Won't you take a ride? 



354 STOVER AT YALE 

What ? Oh, do now. Here, I say, Dink — whoa there ! 
They're coming." 

" Rats," said Troutman, glancing uneasily up the 
street. 

" Sure they are. Whoa ! Hold up. We'll give 'em 
a little ride, just for a lark. What's the diff ? " 

He was down, hat off, with exaggerated Chesterfield 
politeness, going to their coming. 

" Do you mind ? " said Troutman to Stoven 
" Schley's a crazy ass to do this just now." 

" I wouldn't take them far," said Stover, who did not 
particularly care. He had no facility for bantering of 
this sort, but it rather amused him to listen to Schley. 
He saw that while they were of an obvious type one was 
insipid, and the other rather pretty, dark with Irish 
black eyes. 

" Ladies, I wish to make you acquainted with my 
friends," said Schley, as he might speak to a duchess. 
" The ill-favored gent with the vermilion hair is the 
Reverend Doctor Balmfinder; the one with the padded 
shoulders is Binks, my trainer. Now what is this little 
girl's name? " 

" Muriel," said the blonde, " Muriel Stacey." 

" Of course, I might have known it. And yours of 
course is Maude, isn't it ? " 

" My name is Fanny Le Roy," said the brunette with 
a little pride. 

" Dear me, what a beautiful name," said Schley. 
" Now girls, we'll take you for a little ride, but we can't 
take you very far for our mammas don't know we're out, 
and you must promise to be very good and get out when 
we tell you, and not ask for candy ! Do we promise ? " 

Schley sat on the rear seat, chatting along, a girl on 
either side of him, while Troutman, facing about, added 



STOVERATYALE 355 

his badinage. It was not excruciatingly witty, and yet 
at times Stover, occupied with the driving, could not 
help bursting into a laugh at the sheer nonsense. It in- 
terested him as a spectator ; it was a side of life he knew 
little of, for, his nature being sentimental, he was a little 
afraid of such women. 

" What's our real names ? " said Troutman in reply 
to a demand. " Do you really want to know ? We'll 
send them to you. Of course we've .met before. In 
New York, wasn't it, at the junior cotillion?" 

" Sure I saw this fellow at the Hari-gori's ball," said 
Fanny, appealing to her companion. 

" Sure you did." 

" If you say so, all right," said Troutman, winking at 
Schley. " Fanny, you have beautiful eyes. Course you 
don't know it." 

" You two are great jolliers, aren't you ? " said Fanny, 
receiving the slap-stick compliment with pleasure. 

" They think we're easy," said Muriel, with a look at 
Schley. 

" I think the fellow that's driving is the best of the 
lot," said Fanny, with the usual method of attack. 

" Wow," said Troutman. 

" Come on back," said Schley, " we don't count." 

Stover laughed and drove on. The party had now 
passed the point of interest. He had no desire for a 
chance meeting that would require explanations, but he 
volunteered no advice, not caring to appear prudish in 
the company of such men of the world. 

They were in the open country, the outskirts of New 
Haven just left behind. For some time Fanny Le Roy 
had been silent, pressing her hand against her side, 
frowning. All at once a cry was wrung from her. The 
carriage stopped. All turned in alarm to where the 



356 STOVERATYALE 

girl, her teeth compressed, clutching at her side, was lying 
back against the seat, writhing in agony. 

Troutman swore under his breath. 

" A devil of a mess ! " 

They descended hurriedly and laid the girl on the 
grass, where her agony continued increasingly. Schley 
and Troutman were whispering apart. The other girl, 
hysterically bending over her companion, mopped her 
face with a useless handkerchief, crying: 

" She's got a fit ; she's got a fit ! " 

" I say it's appendicitis or gripes," said Troutman, com- 
ing over to Stover. His face was colorless, and he spoke 
the words nervously. " The deuce of a fix Chris has got 
us into ! " 

" Come, we've got to get her back," said Stover, real- 
izing the gravity of the situation. He went abruptly to 
the girl and spoke with quick authority. " Now stop 
crying; I want you to get hold of yourself. Here 
Schley, lend a hand; you and Troutman get her back 
into the carriage. Do it quickly." 

" What are you going to do ? " said Troutman, under 
his breath. 

" Drive her to a doctor, of course." 

" Couldn't we go and fetch a doctor here ? " 

"No, we couldn't!" 

With some difficulty they got the suffering girl into 
the carriage and started back. No one spoke ; the banter 
had given place to a few muttered words that broke the 
moaning, delirious tones of the stricken girl. 

"Going to drive into New Haven this way?" said 
Troutman, for the second time under his breath. 

" Sure." 

" Hell ! " 

They came to the city streets, and Stover drove on 



STOVER AT YALE 357 

hastily, seeking from right to left for a doctor. All at 
once he drew up at the curb, flung the reins to Trout- 
man, and rushed into a house where he had seen a sign 
displayed — " Dr. Burke." He was back almost immedi- 
ately with the doctor at his heels. 

" I say, Dink, look here," said Schley, plucking him 
aside, as the doctor hurriedly examined the girl. " This 
is a deuce of a mess." 

" You bet it is," said Stover, thinking of the sufferer. 

" I say, if this gets out it'll be a nasty business." 

" What do you mean ? " 

" If we're seen driving back with — well, with this 
bunch ! " 

" What do you propose ? " said Stover sharply. 

Troutman joined them. 

" See here, leave her with the doctor, I'll put up all 
the money that's necessary, the doctor'll keep a close 
mouth ! Man alive, you can't go back this way ! " 

"Why not?" 

" Good Lord, it'll queer us, — we'll never get over it." 

" Think of the papers," said Schley, plucking at his 
glove. 

" We can fix it up with the doctor." 

At this moment Dr. Burke joined them, quiet, business- 
like, anxious. 

" She has all the symptoms of a bad attack of appendi- 
citis. There's only one thing to do; get her to the 
hospital at once. I'll get my hat and join you." 

" Drive to — drive to the hospital ? " said Troutman, 
with a gasp, " right through the whole city, right in the 
face of every one ? " 

" Don't be a fool, Dink," said Schley nervously. 
" We'll fix up Burke ; we'll give him a hundred to take 
her and shut up." 



358 STOVER AT YALE 

Stover, too, saw the danger and the inevitable scandal. 
He saw, also, that they were no longer men as he had 
thought. The thin veneer had disappeared — they were 
boys, terrified, aghast at a crisis beyond their strength. 

" You're right, it would queer you" he said abruptly. 
" Clear out — both of you." 

"And you?" 

" You're going to stay ? " said Schley. Neither could 
face his eyes. 

" Clear out, I tell you ! " 

When Burke came running down the steps he looked 
at Stover in surprise. 

" Hello, where are your friends ? " 

" They had other engagements," said Dink grimly. 
" All ready." 

" I've seen your face before," said Dr. Burke, climbing 
in. 

" I'm Stover." 

" Dink Stover of the eleven? " 

" Yes, Dink Stover of the eleven," said Stover, his face 
hardening. " Where do I drive ? " 

" Do you want to go quietly ? " said Dr. Burke, with a 
look of sympathetic understanding. 

From behind the girl, writhing, began to moan: 

" Oh, Doctor — Doctor — I can't stand it — I can't 
jtand it." 

" What's the quickest way ? " said Stover. 

" Chapel Street," said the doctor. 

Stover turned the horses' heads into the thoroughfare, 
looking straight ahead, aware soon of the men who saw 
him in the full light of the day, driving through the 
streets of New Haven in such inexplicable company. 
And suddenly at the first turn he came face to face with 
another carriage in which were Jean Story and her 
mother. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

WHEN Stover returned to his rooms, it was long 
after supper. 

" Where the deuce have you been? " said Hungerford, 
looking up from his books. 

" Went for a drive, got home late," said Stover shortly. 
He filled the companionable pipe, and sank into the low 
arm-chair, which Regan had broken for comfort. Some- 
thing in his abrupt procedure caused Bob Story to look 
over at Regan with an inquiring raise of his eyebrows. 

"Got this psychology yet?" said Hungerford, to try 
him out. 

" No," said Stover. 

"Going to get it?" 

" No." 

" The thinghood of a thing is its indefinable somewhat- 
ness," said Hungerford, with another slashing attack on 
the common enemy, to divert Stover's attention. " What 
in the name of peanuts does that stuff mean ? " 

Dink, refusing to be drawn into conversation, sat en- 
veloped in smoke clouds, his eyes on the clock. 

" Hello, I forgot," said Story presently. " I say, Dink, 
Troutman and Schley were around here hallooing for 
you." 

" They were, eh ? " 

" About an hour ago. Wanted to see you particularly. 
Said they'd be around again." 

" I see." 

At this moment from below came a bellow: 
359 



360 STOVER AT YALE 

" Oh, Dink Stover — hello above there ! " 

" That's Troutman now," said Joe Hungerford. 

Stover went to the window, flinging it up. 

''Well, who's there?" 

" Troutman and Chris Schley. I say, Dink, we've got 
to see you. Come on down." 

" Thanks, I haven't the slightest desire to see you now 
or at any other time," said Stover, who closed the win- 
dow and resumed his seat, eyeing the clock. 

His three friends exchanged troubled glances, and 
Regan began to whistle to himself, but no questions were 
asked. At nine o'clock Stover rose and took his hat. 

" I'm going out. I may be back late," he said, and 
went down the stairs. 

" What the devil ? " said Hungerford, closing his book. 

" He's in some scrape," said Regan ruthf ully. 

" Oh, Lord, and just at this time, too," said Story. 

Stover went rapidly towards the hospital. The girl 
had been operated on immediately, and the situation was 
of the utmost seriousness. He had been told to come 
back at nine. When he arrived he found Muriel Stacey 
already in the waiting-room, her eyes heavy with fright- 
ened weeping. He looked at her curiously. All sugges- 
tion of the provoking impertinence and the surface 
allurement was gone. Under his eyes was nothing but 
an ignorant boor, stupid and hysterical before the awful 
fact of death. 

"What's the news?" he asked. 

" Oh, Mr. Stover, I don't know. I can't get anything 
out of them," the woman said wildly. " Oh, do you 
think she's going to die ? " 

"Of course not," he said gruffly. " See here, where's 
her family?" 

" I don't know." 



STOVERATYALE 361 

"Don't they live here?" 

" They're in Ohio somewhere, I think. I don't know. 
Ask the doctor, won't you, Mr. Stover? He'll tell you 
something." 

He left her, and, making inquiries, was met by a young 
intern, immaculate and alert, who was quite communica- 
tive to Dink Stover of the Yale eleven. 

" She's had a bad case of it ; appendix had already 
burst. You got her here just in time." 

"What's the outlook?" 

" Can't tell. She came out of the anaesthetic all right." 
He went into a technical discussion of the dangers of 
blood poisoning, concluding : " Still, I should say her 
chances were good. It depends a good deal on the re- 
sistance. However, I think your friend's family ought 
to be notified." 

Stover did not notice the " your friend," nor the look 
which the doctor gave him. 

" She's here alone as far as I can find out," he said. 
" Poor little devil. I'll call round about midnight." 

" No need," said the doctor briskly, " nothing'll de- 
velop before to-morrow." 

Stover sent the waiting girl home somewhat tran- 
quilized, and, finding a florist's shop open, left an order 
to be sent in to the patient the first thing in the morning. 
Then, thoroughly exhausted by his sudden contact with 
all the nervous fates of the hospital, he walked home and 
heavily to bed. 

The next morning as he went to his eating-joint with 
Regan and Hungerford, the newsboy, who had his papers 
ready, gave them to him with a hesitating look. All at 
once Joe Hungerford swore mightily. 

" Now what's wrong, Joe ? " said Regan in surprise. 

" Nothing," said Hungerford hastily, but almost im- 



362 STOVER AT YALE 

mediately he stopped, and said in a jerky, worried way: 
" Say, here's the devil to pay, Dink. I suppose you 
ought to know about it. Damn the papers." 

With his finger he indicated a space on the front page 
of the New York newspaper he was reading. Stover 
took it, reading it seriously. It was only a paragraph, 
but it rose from the page as though it were stamped in 
scarlet. 

DINK STOVER'S LARK 
ENDS SERIOUSLY. 

Below followed in suggestive detail an account of the 
drive with friends " not exactly in recognized New 
Haven society," and the sudden seizure of Miss Fanny 
Le Roy, with an account of his drive back to the hospital. 

" That's pretty bad," he said, frowning. " What do 
the others say ? " 

One paper had it that his presence of mind and prompt 
action had saved the girl's life. The third one hinted 
that the party had been rather gay, and said in a short 
sentence : 

"It is said other students were with young Stover, 
who prefer not to incur any unnecessary notoriety." 

" It looks ugly," said Stover grimly. 

" Who was with you ? " said Hungerf ord anxiously. 

" I prefer not to tell." 
, " Troutman and Schley, of course," said Regan sud- 
denly, and, starting out of his usual imperturbability, he 
began to revile them. 

" But, Dink, old man," said Hungerford, drawing his 
arm through his, " how the deuce did you ever get into 
it?" 

" Well, Joe, what's the use of explanations ? " saic* 



STOVER AT YALE 36S 

Stover gloomily. " Every one'll believe what they want 
to. It's a thoroughly nasty mess. It's my luck, that's 
all." 

" Is that all you can say ? " said Hungerf ord anxiously. 

" All just now. I don't feel particularly affable, Joe." 

The walk from his eating- joint to the chapel was per- 
haps the most difficult thing he had ever done. Every 
one was reading the news, commenting on it, as he passed 
along, red, proud, and angry. He felt the fire of amazed 
glances, the lower classmen looking up at the big man of 
the junior class in disgrace, his own friends puzzled and 
uncomprehending. 

At the fences there was an excited buzz, which dropped 
perceptibly as he passed. Regan was at one side, Hun- 
ger ford loyally on the other. At the junior fence Bob 
Story, who had just got the report, came out hurriedly 
to him. 

"I say, Dink, it — it isn't true?" he said. "Some- 
thing's wrong — must be ! " 

" Not very far wrong," said Stover. He saw the in- 
credulity in Bob's face, and it hurt him more than all the 
rest. 

" Even Bob thinks I'm that sort, that I've been doing 
things on the sly I wouldn't stand for in public. And 
if he thinks it, what'll others think ? " 

" Shut up, Bob," he heard Regan say. " It may look 
a nasty mess, and Dink may not tell the real story, but 
one thing I know, he didn't scuttle off like a scut, but 
faced the music, and that's all I want to know." 

Stover laughed, a short, nervous, utterly illogical 
laugh, defiant and stubborn. He would never tell what 
had happened — let those who wanted to misjudge him. 

Several men in his class — he remembered them ever 
after — came up and patted him on the back, one or two 



364 STOVER AT YALE 

avoided him. Then he had to go by the senior fence 
into chapel with every eye upon him, watching how he 
*>ore the scandal. He knew he was red and uncom- 
fortable, that on his face was something like a sneer. 
He knew that what every one was saying under his 
voice was that it was hard luck, damned hard luck, that 
it was a rotten scandal, and that Stover's chances for 
Skull and Bones were knocked higher than a kite. 

Then something happened that almost upset him. In 
the press about the chapel doors he suddenly saw Le 
Baron's tall figure across the scrambling mass. Their 
glances met and with a little solemnity Le Baron raised 
his hat. He understood; they might be enemies to the 
end of their days, but the hat had been raised as the 
tribute of a man to a man. Once in his seat he looked 
about with a little scorn — Troutman and Schley were 
not there. 

After first recitation he went directly to the hospital, 
stubbornly resolved to give no explanations, stubbornly 
resolved in his own knowledge of his right to affront 
public opinion in any way he chose. The news he re- 
ceived was reassuring, the girl was out of danger. 
Muriel Stacey not yet arrived, for which he was phys- 
ically thankful. 

He returned to his rooms, traversing the difficult 
campus with erect head. 

" Now, boy, see here," said Hungerford, when he had 
climbed the stairs, " I want this out with you. What did 
happen, and who ran away ? " 

" You've got the story in the papers, haven't you ? " 
said Stover wearily. " The New Haven ones have in a 
couple of columns and my photograph." 

"Is that all, Dink, you're going to tell me?" 

" Yes." 



STOVER AT YALE 365 

" Is that all you're going to let Jean Story know ? " 
said Hungerford boldly. 

Stover winced. 

" Damn you, Joe ! " 

"Is it?" 

" She'll have to believe what she wants to about me," 
said Stover slowly. " It's a test." 

" No, it isn't a test or a fair test," said Hungerford 
hotly. " I know everything's all right, boy, but I want 
to stop anything that might be said. You're hurt now 
because you know you're misjudged." 

" Yes, I am hurt." 

" Sure ; a rotten bit of luck has put you in a false posi- 
tion. That's the whole matter." 

" Joe, I won't tell you," said Stover shortly. " I am 
mad clear through and through. I'm going to shut up 
on the whole business. If my friends misjudge me — 
so much the worse for them. If some one else — " He 
stopped, flung his hat on the couch, and sat down at the 
desk. " What's the lesson ? " 

But at this moment Regan and Story came in, bolting 
the door. 

" Well, we've got the truth," said Story. He came 
over and laid his hand on Dink's shoulder. 

" What do you mean ? " 

" Tom and I have had it out with Schley and Trout- 
man. They've told the whole thing, the miserable little 
curs." His voice shook. " You're all right, Dink ; you 
always were, but it's a shame — a damn shame ! " 

" Oh, well, they lost their nerve," said Stover heavily. 

" Why the devil didn't you tell us last night? " 

"What was the use?" 

" We could have stopped its getting into the papers, 
or had it right." 



366 STOVER AT YALE 

" Well — it all comes down to a question of luck some- 
times," said Stover. " I was just as responsible as they 
were — it was only fooling, but there's the chance." 

" Dink, I've done one thing you may not like." 

"What's that?" 

" I've written the whole story to your folks at home — 
sent it off." 

" No — I don't mind — I — that was rather white of 
you, Bob — thank you," said Stover. He drew a long 
breath, went to the window and controlled himself. 
" What are Troutman and Schley going to do ? " 

" They're all broken up," said Story. 

" Don't wonder." 

" They won't face it out very long," said Regan, with- 
out pity. 

" Well, it was a pretty hard test," said Stover, coming 
back — and by that alone they knew what it had meant 
to him. 

Despite the giving out of the true story, the atmos- 
phere of scandal still clung to the adventure. His 
friends rallied stanchly to him, but from many quarters 
Stover felt the attitude of criticism, and that the thing 
had been too public not to affect the judgment of the 
senior societies, already none too well disposed toward 
him. 

Stover was sensitively proud, and the thought of how 
the story had traveled with all its implications wounded 
him keenly. He had done nothing wrong, nothing for 
which he had to blush. He had simply acted as a human 
being, as any decent gentleman would have acted, and 
yet by a malignant turn of fate he was blackguarded to 
the outer world, and had given his enemies in college a 
chance to imply that he had two attitudes — in public and 
in secret. 



STOVERATYALE 367 

The next morning came a note to him from Jean Story, 
the first he had ever had from her — just a few lines. 

"My Dear Friend: 

" You are coming in soon to see me, aren't you ? I 
shall be very much honored. 

" Most cordially, 

" Jean Story." 

The note brought a great lump to his throat. He 
understood what she wished him to understand, her 
loyalty and her pride in his courage. He read it over 
and over, and placed it in his pocket-book to carry al- 
ways — but he did not go at once to see her. He did 
not want sympathy; he shunned the very thought. Be- 
fore, in his revolt, he had come against a college tradition, 
now he was face to face with a social prejudice, and it 
brought an indignant bitterness. 

He called every day at the hospital ; out of sheer 
bravado at first, furious at the public opinion that would 
have him go his way and ignore a human being alone and 
suffering, even when his motives were pure. 

At the end of a week he was told that the girl wanted 
to see him. He found her in a cot among a row of other 
cots. She was not white and drawn as he had expected, 
but with a certain flush of color in her face, and lazy 
eyes that eagerly waited his coming. When he had ap- 
proached, surprised and a little troubled at her pretti- 
ness, she looked at him steadily a long moment until he 
felt almost embarrassed. Then suddenly she took his 
hand and carried it to her lips, and her eyes overflowed 
with tears, as an invalid's do with the strength of any 
emotion. 

The nurse motioned him away, and he went, troubled 



£68 STOVER AT YALE 

at what his boyish eyes had seen, and the touch of her 
lips on his hand. 

" By George, she can't be very bad," he thought. 
" Poor little girl ; she's probably never had half a chance. 
What the devil will become of her ? " 

He knew nothing of her life — he did not want to 
know. 

When she left the hospital at last he continued to see 
her, always saying to himself that there was no harm in 
it, concealing from himself the pleasure it gave him to 
know himself adored. 

She would never tell him where she lived, always giv- 
ing him a rendezvous on a certain corner, from which 
they would take a walk for an hour or so. Guessing 
his desires, she began to change her method of dress, 
leaving aside the artifices, taking to simple and sober 
dress, which brought a curious, girlish, counterfeit charm. 

" I am doing her good," he said to himself. " It means 
something to her to meet some one who treats her with 
respect — like a human being — poor little girl." 

He did not realize how often he met her, leaving his 
troubled room-mates with a curt excuse, nor how rapid- 
ily he consumed the distance to their meeting place. He 
had talked to her at first seriously of serious things, then 
gradually, laughing in a boyish way, half tempted, he 
began to pay her compliments. At first she laughed with 
a little pleasure, but, as the new attitude continued, he 
felt her eyes on his face constantly in anxious, wistful 
scrutiny. 

One night she did not keep her appointment. He 
waited troubled, then furious. He left after an hour's 
lingering, irritable and aroused. 

The next night as he approached impatiently, half 
afraid, she was already at the lamp-post. 



STOVER AT YALE 369 

" I waited an hour," he said directly. 

" I'm sorry ; I couldn't come," she answered troubled, 
but without volunteering an explanation. 

" Why ? " he said with a new irritation. 

" I couldn't," she said, shaking her head. 

He felt all at once a new impulse in him — to wound 
her in some way and make her suffer a little for the 
disappointment he had had to undergo the night be- 
fore. 

" You did it on purpose," he said abruptly. 

" No, no," she said frowning. 

" You did." Then suddenly he added : " That's why 
you stayed away — to make me jealous." 

" Never." 

"Why, then?" 

" I can't tell you," she said. 

They walked along in silence. Her resistance in with- 
holding the information suddenly made her desirable. 
He wondered what he might do with her. As they 
walked still in silence, he put out his hand, and his fingers 
closed over hers. She did not draw them away. He 
gave a deep breath and said : 

"I would like—" 

" What ? " she said, looking up as his pressure made 
her face him. 

He put out his arms and took her in them, and stood 
a long moment, looking at her lips. 

" Forgive me — I — " he said, stepping back suddenly. 
"I — I didn't mean to offend you." 

" No — you couldn't do that — never," she said 
quietly. 

" You — you're so pretty to-night — I couldn't help 
rt," he said. To himself he vowed he would never let 
himself be tempted again — not that night. 



370 STOVER AT YALE 

" I'm going to take you to your home," he said, when 
after small conversation they returned. 

" Sure." 

He was surprised and delighted at this, but almost 
immediately to be generous he said : 

" No, no, I won't." 

" I don't care." 

They had reached their corner. 

" To-morrow." 

" Yes." 

" At eight." 

" Yes." 

He resisted a great temptation, and offered his hand. 
She took it suddenly in both of hers and brought it to 
her lips as she had done in the hospital. 

" You've been white, awful white to me," she said, and 
flitted away into the engulfing night. 

When he left her, her words came back to him, and 
brought an unrest. He had almost yielded to what he 
had vowed never to do, he, who only wanted her to feel 
his respect. Yet the next day seemed endless. He re- 
gretted that he had not gone to where she lived, for then 
he could have found her in the afternoon. 

A shower passed during the day, leaving the streets 
moist and luminous with long lances of light and star 
points on the wet stones. He went breathlessly as he 
had never gone before, a little troubled, always reasoning 
with his conscience. 

" It was only a crazy spell," he said to himself. " I 
don't know what got into me. I'll be careful, now." 

When he reached the lamp-post another figure was 
there, Muriel Stacey, painted and over-dressed, and in 
her hand was a white letter, that he saw half-way up the 
block. He stopped short, frowning. 



STOVER AT YALE 371 

"Where's Fanny?" 

" Here's a note she sent you," said the girl *, " she's 
gone." 

"Gone?" 

" This morning." 

He looked at the envelope ; his name was written there 
in a childish, struggling hand. 

" All right ; thank you," he said suffocating. He left 
hurriedly, physically uncomfortable in the presence of 
Muriel Stacey, her friend. At the first lamp-post he 
stopped, broke the envelope, and read the awkward, 
painfully written script. 

" I'm going away, it's best for you and me I know it. 
Guess I would care too much and I'm not good enough 
for you. Don't you be angry with me. Good luck. 
God bless you. 

" F." 

He slipped it hurriedly in his pocket, and set off at a 
wild pace. And suddenly his conscience, his accusing 
conscience, rose up. He saw where he had been going. 
It brought him a solemn moment. Then he remembered 
the girl. He took the letter from his pocket and held 
it clutched like a hand in his hand. 

" Good God," he said, " I wonder what'll become of 
her?" 

He had found so much good that the tragedy revolted 
him. So he went through the busy streets with their 
flare and ceaseless motion, in the wet of the night, watch- 
ing with solemn, melancholy eyes, other women pass 
with sidelong glances. All the horror and the hopeless- 
ness of a life he could not better thronged over him, and 
he stood a long while looking down the great bleak ways, 
through the gates that it is better not to pry ajar. 



372 STOVERATYALE 

Then in a revulsion of feeling, terrified at what he 
divined, he left and went, almost in an instinct for pro- 
tection, hurriedly to the Story home, white and peaceful 
under the elms. He did not go in, but he stood a little 
while opposite, looking in through the warm windows at 
the serenity and the security that seemed to permeate 
the place. 

When he returned to his rooms, Joe and Regan were 
there. He sat down directly and told them the whole 
story, showing them her letter. 

" She went away — for my sake," he said. " I know 
it. Poor little devil. It's a letter Til always keep." 
Solemnly, looking at the letter, he resolved to put this 
with the one, the first from Jean Story, and reverently 
he felt that the two had the right to be joined. 

" What's terrible about it," he said, talking out his 
soul, " is that there's so much good in them. And yet 
what can you do? They're human, they respond, you 
can't help pitying them — wanting to be decent, to help 
— and you can't. It's terrible to think that there are 
certain doors in life you open and close, that you must 
turn your back on human lives sometimes, that things 
can't be changed. Lord, but it's a terrible thing to 
realize." 

He stopped, and he heard Regan's voice, moved as he 
had never heard it, say : 

" That's my story — only / married." 

Suddenly, as though realizing for the first time what 
he had said, he burst out : " Good God, I never meant 
to tell. See here, you men, that's sacred — you under- 
stand." 

And Dink and Joe, looking on his face, realized all at 
once why a certain gentler side of life was shut out to 
him, and why he had never gone to the Storys'. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

ONE result of Stover's sobering experience with 
Fanny Le Roy was that he met the problem of the 
senior elections with directness and honesty. What 
Brockhurst had said of the injurious effect of secrecy 
and ceremony on the imagination had always been with 
him. Yet in his desire to stand high in the eyes of Jean 
Story, to win the honors she prized, he had quibbled 
over the question. Now the glimpse he had had into 
the inscrutable verities of human tragedy had all at once 
lifted him above the importance of local standards, and 
left him with but one desire — to be true to himself. 

The tests that had come to him in his college life had 
brought with them a maturity of view beyond that of his 
fellows. Now that he seriously debated the ques- 
tion, he said to himself that he saw great evils in the 
system : that on the average intelligence this thraldom to 
formula and awe at the assumption of mystery had unde- 
niably a narrowing effect, unworthy of a great university 
dedicated to liberty of thought and action. He saw that 
while certain individuals, such as Hungerford and 
Regan, laughed at the bugbear of secrecy, and went their 
way unconcerned, a great number, more impressionable, 
had been ruled from the beginning by fear alone. 

With the aims and purposes of Skull and Bones 
he was in thorough sympathy — their independence of 
judgment, their seeking out of men who had to contend 
with poverty, their desire to reward ambition and indus- 
try and character — but the more he freely acknowl- 

373 



374 STOVER AT YALE 

edged their influence for democracy and simplicity at 
Yale, the more he revolted at the unnecessary fetish of 
it all. 

" They should command respect and not fear. By 
George, that's where I stand. All this rigmarole is 
ridiculous, and it's ridiculous that it ever affected me; 
it is of the middle ages — outgrown." 

Then a problem placed itself before him. Admitting 
that he had even the ghost of a chance of being tapped, 
ought he to go into a senior society feeling as he did 
about so many of its observances, secretly resolved on 
their elimination? Finally, a week before Tap Day, he 
decided to go to Judge Story and frankly state his case, 
letting him know that he preferred thus to give notice of 
his beliefs. 

When he arrived at the Story home the Judge was 
upstairs in his study. Jean, alone in the parlor, looked 
up in surprise at his expressed intention to see her 
father. Since her letter they had never been alone. 
Stover had avoided it with his shrinking from sympathy, 
and, perhaps guessing his temperament, she had made 
no attempt to go beyond the safe boundaries of formal 
intercourse. 

" Yes, indeed, Dad's upstairs," she said. Then she 
added a little anxiously : " You look serious — is it a 
very serious matter ? " 

He hesitated, knowing instinctively that she would 
oppose him. 

" It's something that's been on my mind for a long 
time," he said evasively; and he added with a smile, 
" It's what you call my Quixotic fit." 

" It's about Skull and Bones," she said instantly. 

" Yes, it is." 

" What are you going to say ? * 



STOVER AT YALE 375 

'"' I'm going to tell him just where I stand — just what 
I've come to believe about the whole business." 

"And what's that?" 

" That Skull and Bones, which does a great good here 
— I believe it — also does a great deal of harm; all of 
which is unnecessary and a weakness in its system. In 
a word, I've come to the point where I believe secrecy is 
un-American, undemocratic and stultifying; and, as I 
say, totally unnecessary. I should always be against it." 

" But aren't you exaggerating the importance of it 
all ? " she said hastily. 

" No, I'm not," he said. " I used to silence myself 
with that, but I see the thing working out too plainly." 

" But why speak about it ? " 

" Because I don't think it's honest not to. Of course," 
he added immediately, " I have about one chance in a 
thousand — perhaps that's why I'm so all-fired direct 
about it." 

" I wish you wouldn't," she said, rising and coming 
towards him. " It might offend them terribly ; you 
never know." 

He shook his head, though her eagerness gave him a 
sudden happiness. 

" No, I've thought it out a long while, and I've de- 
cided. It all goes back to that sophomore society scrap. 
I made up my mind then I wasn't going to compromise, 
and I'm not now." 

" But I want to see you go Bones," she said illogically, 
in a rush. " After all you've gone through, you must 
go Bones ! " 

He did not answer this. 

" Oh, it's so unnecessary," she said. " No one but 
you would think of it ! " 

" Don't be angry with me," he said, a little troubled. 



376 STOVER AT YALE 

" I am — it's absurd ! " she said, turning away with 
a flash of temper. 

" I'm sorry," he said, and went up the stairs. 

When he returned, after an interview which, needless 
to say, had somewhat surprised the Judge, he found a 
very different Jean Story. She was waiting for him 
quiet and subdued, without a trace of her late irritation. 

" Did you tell him ? " she said gently. 

" Yes." 

"What did he say?" 

" I didn't ask for an answer. I told him how I felt, 
and that I would rather my opinions should be known. 
That's all." 

" Are you going ? " she said, as he made a move- 
ment. 

" I didn't know — " he said, hesitating and looking at 
her. 

" I am not angry," she said a little wistfully. " You 
were quite right. I'm glad you did it. You are much 
bigger than I could be — I like that." 

" You were the first to wake me up," he said happily, 
sitting down. 

" Yes, but you have gone so far ahead. You do things 
without compromise, and that sometimes frightens me." 
She stopped a moment, and said, looking at him steadily : 
" You have kept away a long while. Now you see you 
are caught. You can't avoid being alone with me." 

" I don't want to," he said abruptly. 

" You are so proud, Dink," she said softly, using his 
nickname for the first time. " I have never seen any 
one so proud. Everything you do I think comes from 
that. But it must make you suffer terribly." 

" Yes, it does." 

They were in the front parlor, dimly lit, sitting on the 



STOVER AT YALE 377 

window-seat, hearing from time to time the passing chug 
of horses' feet. 

" I knew how it must have hurt you — all this pub- 
licity," she said slowly. " Why didn't you come when 
I wrote you ? Were you too proud ? " 

" Yes, I suppose so — and then it didn't seem fair to 
you — after all the talk." 

" I was proud of you," she said, raising her head a 
little. She put out her hand again to his, leaving it in 
his for a long time, while they sat in silence. The touch 
that once had so disturbed him brought now only a gen- 
tle serenity. He thought of the other woman, and what 
might have been, with almost a hatred, the hatred of man 
towards whatever he wrongs. 

" You are right about me," he said slowly. " Most 
people think I don't care what happens, that I'm sort of 
a thick-skinned rhinoceros. How did you know ? " 

" I knew." 

She withdrew her hand slowly, without resistance on 
his part; only when he held it no longer he felt alone, 
abandoned to the blackness of the street outside. 

" I've kept my promise to you, Jean," he said a little 
unsteadily, " but don't make it too hard." 

She rose and he followed. Together they stood in the 
shadows of the embrasure, half seeing each other. Only 
he knew that her large eyes were looking out at him with 
the look of the woman that he had first called forth when 
he had wounded the pride of the girl. 

" I am glad you didn't listen to me just now," she said 
slowly. 

"When?" 

" When you went upstairs to Dad. You will never 
weaken, I know." She came a little towards him, and 
understanding, he took her gently, wonderingly, in his 



378 STOVERATYALE 

arms. " It's going to be very hard for you," she said, 
" Tap Day — to stand there and know that you may be 
misjudged. I should be very proud to announce our 
engagement, then — that same day." 

Then he knew that he held in his arms one who had 
never given so much as her hand lightly, who came to 
him in unflinching loyalty, whose only interest would be 
his interest, who would know no other life but his life, 
whose joy would be the struggle that was his struggle. 

Tap Day arrived at last, cloudy and misty. He had 
slept badly in fits and starts, nor had the others fared 
better, with the exception of Regan, who had rumbled 
peacefully through the night — but then Regan was one 
whom others sought. The morning was interminable, a 
horror. They did not even joke about the approaching 
ordeal. No one was so sure of election but that the pos- 
sible rejection of some chum cast its gloom over the 
day. 

Dink ran over a moment after lunch with Bob for a 
last word with Jean. She was going with her father 
and mother to see the tapping from a window in Durfee. 

" I shall only see you," she said to him, with her hands 
in his, and her loyal eyes shining. " I shall be so proud 
of the way you take it." 

" So you think I won't be tapped," he said slowly. 

" It means so little now," she said. " That can't add a 
feather's weight to what you are." 

They went back to their rooms, joining Hungerford 
and Regan, who were whiling away the time playing 
piquet. 

" Here," said Tom in relief when they entered, " one 
of you fellows keep Joe entertained, the darn fool has 
suddenly made up his mind he's going to be passed over." 



STOVER AT YALE 379 

Regan, relinquishing his place, went back to his book. 

" Why, Joe, you fluffy ass," said Story affectionately, 
"you're the surest of the lot. Shut up — cheer us up 
instead." 

" Look at that mound of jelly," said Hungerford 
peevishly, pointing to Regan. " Has he any nerves ? " 

" What's the use of fidgeting? " said Regan. 

An hour later Hungerford stretched his arm nervously, 
rose and consulted the clock. 

" Four-fifteen ; let's hike over in about twenty min- 
utes." 

" All right." 

" Say, I don't mind saying that I feel as though I were 
going to be taken out, stuck full of holes, sawed up, 
drawn and quartered and boiled alive. I feel like jump- 
ing on an express and running away." 

Stover, remembering Joe's keen suffering at the spec- 
tacle back in freshman year, said gravely: 

" You're sure, Joe. You'll go among the first. Come 
back with smelling salts for me. I've got to stand 
through the whole thing and grin like a Cheshire cat — 
that's de rigueur. Do you remember how bully Dudley 
was when he missed out? Funny — then I thought I 
had a cinch." 

" If it was left to our class, you would, Dink," said 
Bob. 

" Thanks." 

Stover smiled a little at this unconscious avowal of 
his own estimate, rose, picked out his favorite pipe, and 
said: 

" I don't care so much — there's a reason. Well, let's 
get into the mess." 

The four went together, over toward the junior fence, 
already swarming. 



380 STOVER AT YALE 

" Ten minutes of five," said Hungerford, looking at 
the clock that each had seen. 

" Yes." 

Some one stopped Stover to wish him good luck. He 
looked down on a diminutive figure in large spectacles, 
trying to recall, who was saying to him : 

"I — I wanted to wish you the best." 

" Oh, it's Wookey," said Stover suddenly. He shook 
hands, rather troubled. " Well, boy, there's not much 
chance for me." 

" Oh, I hope so." 

" Thanks just the same." 

" Hello, Dink, old fellow." 

" Put her there." 

" You know what we all want ? " 

He was in another group, patted on the back, his arm 
squeezed, listening to the welcome loyalty of those who 
knew him. 

" Lord, if they'd only have sense enough." 

He smiled and made his way towards his three friends, 
exchanging salutations. 

" Luck, Dink." 

" Same to you, Tommy Bain." 

" Here's wishing." 

" Back to you, Dopey." 

" You've got my vote." 

" Thanks." 

He joined his room-mates under the tree, looking over 
the heads to the windows of Durfee where he saw Jean 
Story with her father and mother. Presently, seeking 
everywhere, she saw him. Their eyes met, he lifted his 
cap, she nodded slightly. From that moment he knew 
she would see no one else. 

" Let's keep together," said Regan. " Lock arms." 



STOVExt AT YALE 381 

The four stood close together, arms gripped, resisting 
the press that crushed them together, speaking no more, 
hearing about them the curious babble of the under- 
classmen. 

" That's Regan." 

" Story'll go first." 

" Stand here." 

" This is the spot." 

" Lord, they look solemn enough." 

" Almost time." 

" Get your watch out." 

" Fifteen seconds more." 

" Five, four, three, two — " 

"Boom,!" 

Above their heads the chapel bell broke over them with 
its five decisive strokes, swallowed up in the roar of the 
college. 

"Yea!" 

" Here he comes ! " 

" First man for Bones ! " 

" Reynolds ! " 

From where he stood Stover could see nothing. Only 
the travelling roar of the crowd told of the coming 
seniors. Then there was a stir in the crowd near him, 
and Reynolds, in black derby, came directly for them; 
pushed them aside, and suddenly slapped some one be- 
hind. 

A roar went up again. 

" Who was it ? " said Story quickly. 

" Hunter, Jim Hunter." 

The next moment Hunter, white as a sheet, bumped 
at his side and passed, followed by Reynolds; down the 
convulsive lane the crowd opened to him. 

Roar followed roar, and reports came thick. 



882 STOVER AT YALE 

" Stone's gone Keys." 

" Three Wolf's-Head men in the crowd." 

" McNab gets Keys." 

" Hooray ! " 

" Dopey's tapped ! " 

" Bully." 

" Wiggins fourth man for Bones." 

Still no one came their way. Then all at once a Bones 
man, wandering in the crowd, came up behind Bob 
Story, caught him by the shoulders, swung him around 
to make sure, and gave him the slap. 

Regan's, Hungerford's, and Stover's voices rose above 
the uproar : 

" Bully, Bob ! " 

"Good work!" 

" Hooray for you ! " 

Almost immediately Regan received the eighth tap for 
Bones, and went for his room amidst the thundering 
cheers of a popular choice. 

" Well, here we are, Dink," said Hungerford. 

" You're next." 

About them the curious spectators pressed, staring up 
into their faces for any sign of emotion, struggling to 
reach them, with the dramatic instinct of the crowd. 
Four more elections were given out by Bones — only 
three places remained. 

" That settles me," said Stover between his teeth. 
"If they wanted me I'd gone among the first. Joe's go- 
ing to get last place — bully for him. He's the best 
fellow in the class." 

He folded his arms and smiled with the consciousness 
of a decision accepted. He saw Hungerford's face, and 
the agony of suspense to his sensitive nerves. 



STOVER AT YALE 

" Cheer up, Joe, it's last place for you." 

Then another shout. 

" Bones or Keys ? " he asked of those around him. 

" Bones." 

" Charley Stacey." 

" Thirteenth man." 

" I was sure of it," he said calmly to himself. Then 
he glanced up at the window. Her eyes had never left 
him. He straightened up with a new defiance. " Lord, 
I'd like to have gotten it, just for Jean. Well, I knocked 
against too many heads. I don't wonder." 

Suddenly Hungerford caught his hand underneath the 
crowd, pressing it unseen. 

" Last man for Bones now, Dink," he said, looking 
in his eyes. " I hope to God it's you." 

" Why, you old chump," said Stover laughing, so all 
heard him. " Bless your heart, I don't mind. Here's 
to you." 

Above the broken, fitful cheers, suddenly came a last 
swelling roar. 

" Bones." 

" Last man." 

The crowd, as though divining the election, divided a 
path towards where the two friends waited, Hungerford 
staring blankly, Stover, arms still folded, waiting stead- 
ily with a smile of acceptation on his lips. 

It was Le Baron. He came like a black tornado, 
rushing over the ground straight toward the tree. Once 
some one stumbled into his path, and he caught him and 
flung him aside. Straight to the two he came, never 
deviating, straight past Dink Stover, and suddenly 
switching around almost knocked him to the ground 
with the crash of his blow. 



384 STOVER AT YALE 

" Go to your room ! " 

It was a shout of electrifying drama, the voice of hi? 
society speaking to the college. 

Some one caught Stover. He straightened up, trying 
to collect his wits, utterly unprepared for the shock. 
About him pandemonium broke loose. Still dazed, he 
felt Hungerf ord leap at him, crying in his ears : 

" God bless you, old man. It's great, great — they 
rose to it. It's the finest ever ! " 

He began to move mechanically towards his room, 
seeing nothing, hearing nothing. He started towards 
the library, and some one swung him around. He heard 
them cheering, then he saw hundreds of faces, wild-eyed, 
rushing past him; he stumbled and suddenly his eyes 
were blurred with tears, and he knew how much he 
cared, after the long months of rebellion, to be no longer 
an outsider, but back among his own with the stamp of 
approval on his record. 

The last thing he remembered through his swimming 
vision was Joe Hungerford, hatless and swinging his 
arms as though he had gone crazy, leading a cheer, and 
the cheer was for Bones. 

That night, even before he went to the Storys', Stover 
went out arm in arm with Hungerford, across the quiet 
campus, so removed from the fray of the afternoon. 

" Joe, it breaks me all up," he said at last. " You and 
I waiting there — " 

" Don't speak of it, old fellow," said Hungerford. 
" Now let me talk. I did want to make it, but, by 
George, I know now it's better I didn't. I've had every- 
thing I wanted in this world; this is the first I couldnt 
get. It's better for me ; I know it already." 

" You were clean grit, Joe, cheering for Bones." 



STOVER AT YALE 385 

" By George, I meant it. It meant something to feel 
they could rise up and know a man, and you've hit pretty 
close to them, old boy." 

" Yes, I have, but I've believed it." 

" It shows the stuff that's here," said Hungerford, 
" when you once can get to it. Now I take off my hat to 
them. I only hope you can make your influence felt." 

" I'm going to try," said Stover solemnly. " The 
thing is so big a thing that it ought not to be hampered 
by bug-a-boo methods." 

Brockhurst joined them. 

" Well, the smoke's rolled away," said Brockhurst, 
who likewise had missed out. " It's over — all over. 
Now we'll settle down to peace and quiet — relax." 

" The best time's coming," said Hungerford. " We'll 
live as we please, and really enjoy life. It's the real 
time, every one says so." 

" Yes," said Brockhurst, rebel to the last, " but why 
couldn't it come before, why couldn't it be so the whole 
four years ? " 

" Well, now, old croaker," said Hungerford with a 
little heat, " own up the old college comes up to the 
scratch. We've surrendered the sophomore society sys- 
tem, and the seniors showed to-day that they could 
recognize honest criticism. That's pretty fine, I say." 

" You're pretty fine, Joe," said Brockhurst to their 
surprise. " Well, it's good enough as it is. It takes an 
awful lot to stir it, but it's the most sensitive of the 
American colleges, and it will respond. It wants to do 
the right thing. Some day it'll see it. I'm a crank, of 
course." He stopped, and Stover felt in his voice a little 
note of bitterness. " The trouble with me is just that. 
I'm impractical; have strange ideas. I'm not satisfied 
with Yale as a magnificent factory on democratic busi- 



386 STOVER AT YALE 

ness lines ; I dream of something else, something vision- 
ary, a great institution not of boys, clean, lovable and 
honest, but of men of brains, of courage, of leadership, 
a great center of thought, to stir the country and bring 
it back to the understanding of what man creates with 
his imagination, and dares with his will. It's visionary 
■ — it will come."