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as he got there, the cage of six men, which T he papers told of the crowds gathered, had gone to the third level, had been drawn of the Red Cross, of the experts come to up after vague, wild signalling filled with consider the situation, of the line of patient six corpses. How, when the crowd had women, with shawls over their heads, waitseen that he meant to go down, a storm ing always, there at the first gray light, of appeal had broken that he should not there when night fell; the girl, gasping at throw his life away; how the very women her window, would have given years of life whose husbands and sons were below had to have stood with those women. The secclung to him. Then the paper told how he ond day she read that they had closed the had turned at the mouth of the shaft—the mouth of the shaft; it was considered that girl could see him standing there tall and the one chance for life below lay in smotherbroad, with the light on his boyish blond ing the flames. When the girl read that, a head. He had snatched a paper from his madness came on her. The shawled women pocket and waved it at arm's-length so that felt that same madness; if the inspectors every one could see. The map of the mine. and the company officials had insisted they Gallery 57, on the second level, where the could not have kept the mine closed longmen now below had been working, was close the people would have opened it by force; to gallery 9, entered from the other shaft a it was felt unendurable to seal their men quarter of a mile away. The two galleries below; the shaft was unsealed in twentydid not communicate, but only six feet of four hours. But smoke came out, and then earth divided them. The men might chop the watchers realized that a wall of flame through to 9 and reach the other shaft and was worse than a wall of planks and sand, be saved. But the men did not know it. .and the shaft was closed again. He explained shortly that he must get to For days there was no news; then the them and tell them. He would go to the first fruitless descent; then men went down second level and with an oxygen helmet and brought up heavy shapes rolled in canmust reach possible air before he was vas and bore them to the women; and "each caught. Quickly, with an unhesitating de- morning the Red Cross president, lifting cision, he talked, and his buoyancy put the curtain of the car where he slept, would courage into the stricken crowd. With see at first light, the still rows of those that a woman's voice lifted.
muffled figures waiting in the hopeless day"Don't go don't ye go, darlin',” it break." Not yet had the body of the young screamed. “'Tis no frinds down there. superintendent been found; yet one might 'Tis Terence O'Hara and his gang—'tis not hope because of that. But when one the strike-makers. Don't be throwin' afternoon the head-lines of the papers blazed away your sweet young life for thim.” . with a huge “Rescued” she could not read
The boy laughed. “That's all right. it, and she knew that she had hoped. Terence has a right to his chance.” He It was true. Eighteen men had been went on rapidly. “I want five volunteers brought up alive, and Johnny McLean was -quick. A one-mar chance isn't enough one. Johnny McLean carried out senseto take help. Quick-five.”
less, with an arm broken, with a gash in his And twenty men pushed to the boy to fol- forehead done by a falling beam as he low him into hell. Swiftly he picked five; crawled to hail the rescuers—but Johnny they put on the heavy oxygen helmets; McLean alive. He was very ill, yet the there was a deep silence as the six stepped girl had not a minute's doubt that he would into the cage, and McLean rang the bell get well. that signalled the engineer to let them A nd while he lay half-alive, the papers down. That was all. They were the last of the country rang with the story of what rescuers to go down, and the cage had he had done, and his father sitting by his been drawn up empty. That was all, the bed read it, through unashamed tears, but newspaper said. The girl read it. All! Johnny took no interest. Breathing satisAnd his father racing across the conti- fied him pretty well for a while.' There is nent, to stand with the shawled women at no need to tell over what the papers toldthe head of the shaft. And she, in this how he had taken the leadership of the sar-off city, going through the motions of demoralized band; how when he found living.
them cut off from the escape which he had planned he had set them to work building a well in three weeks. Your triennial in New barrier across a passage where the air was Haven is then." fresher; how behind this barrier they had “Holy-mackerel!” exploded the feeble lived for six days, by the faith and courage tones. “All right, Governor, I'll do it.” of Johnny McLean. How he had kept them busy singing, playing games, telling stories; had taught them music and put Somewhere in the last days of June, New heart into them to sing glees, down in their England is at its loveliest and it is comtomb; how he had stood guard over the mencement time at Yale. Under the tall pitiful supply of water which dripped from elms stretch the shady streets, alive eterthe rock walls, and found ways of saving nally with the ever-new youth of ever-comevery drop and made each man take his ing classes of boys. But at commenceturn; how when Tom Steele went mad and ment the pleasant, drowsy ways take on an tried to break out of the barrier on the fifth astonishing character; it is as if the little day, it was McLean who fought him and city had gone joyfully mad. Hordes of kept him from the act which would have men of all ages, in startling clothes, appear let in the black damp to kill all of them; how in all quarters. Under Phelps gate-way one it was the fall in the slippery darkness of meets pirates with long hair, with earrings, that struggle which had broken his arm. with red sashes; crossing the campus comes The eighteen told the story, bit by bit, as a band of Highlanders, in front of the New the men grew strong enough to talk, and Haven House stray Dutchmen and Japanthe record rounded out, of life and reason ese and Punchinellos and other flotsam not saved by a boy who had risen out of the expected in a decorous town; down College gray of commonplace into the red light of Street a group of men in gowns of white heroism. The men who came out of that swing away through the dappled shadows. burial spoke afterward of McLean as of an The atmosphere is enchanted; it is full inspired being.
of greetings and reunions and new beginAt all events the strike question was set- nings of old friendship; with the everytled in that week below, and Johnny Mc- day clothes the boys of old have shed reLean held the ring-leaders now in the hol- sponsibilities and dignities and are once low of his hand. Terence O'Hara opened more irresponsibly the boys of old. From his eyes and delivered a dictum two hours California and Florida, even from China after he was carried home. “Tell thim and France, they come swarming into the byes," he growled in weak jerks, "that Puritan place, while in and out through the if any of thim says shtrike till that Mc- light-hearted kaleidoscopic crowd hurry Lean child drops the hat, they'll fight- slim youngsters in floating black gown and O'Hara."
scholar's cap—the text of all this celebraDay after day, while the country was in tion, the graduating class. Because of them an uproar of enthusiasm, Johnny lay un- it is commencement, it is they who step conscious, breathing and doing no more. now over the threshold and carry Yale's And large engineering affairs were allowed honor in their young hands into the world. to go to rack and ruin while Henry McLean But small attention do they get, the graduwatched his son.
ating class, at commencement. The clasOn a hot morning such as comes in May, sic note of their grave youthfulness is a veteran fly of the year before buzzed drowned in the joyful uproar; in the clamabout the dim window of the sick-room and or of a thousand greetings one does not banged against the half-closed shutters. listen to these voices which say farewell. Half-conscious of the sound the boy's From the nucleus of these busy, black-clad father read near_it, when another sound young fellows, the folds of their gowns bilmade his pulse jump.
lowing about light, strong figures, the stern “Chase him out," came from the bed lines of the Oxford cap graciously at odds in a weak, cheerful voice. “Don't want with the fresh modelling of their facesany more things shut up for a spell.” down from these lads in black, the largest
An hour later the older man stood over class of all, taper the classes. A placard is the boy. “Do you know your next job, on a tree in the campus that the class of '51, Johnny?” he said. “You've got to get it may be, has its head-quarters at such a place; a handful of men with white hair are lunching together
—and that is a reunion.
In the afternoon of commencement day there is a base-ball game at Yale Field. To that the returning classes go in costume, mostly marching out afoot, each with its band of music, through the gay, dusty street, by the side of the gay, crowded trolley-cars loaded to the last inch of the last step with a holiday crowd, good-natured, sympathetic, full of humor as an American crowd is always. The men march laughing, talking, nodding to friends in the cars, in the motors, and carriages which fly past them; the bands play; the houses are faced with people come to see the show. The ampitheatre of
For days there was no news.—Page 51. Yale Field is packed with more than ten thousand. The seniors famous victorious crew of fifteen years are there with their mothers and fathers, back; with these march a dozen lads from their pretty little sisters and their proud little fourteen to eight, the sons of the class, sailbrothers—the flower of the country. One or-clad too; up from their midst as they looks about and sees everywhere high-bred reach the centre of the field drifts a flight of faces, strong faces, open-eyed, drinking in blue balloons of all sizes. Then come the this extraordinary scene. For there is men of twenty years ago stately in white nothing just like it elsewhere. Across the gowns and mortar-boards; then the Trifield where hundreds of automobiles and ennials, with a class boy of two years, coscarriages are drawn close—beyond that is tumed in miniature and trundled in a goa gate-way, and through this, at three cart by a nervous father. The Highlando'clock or so, comes pouring a rainbow. A ers stalk by to the skirl of bagpipes with gigantic, light-filled, motion-swept rainbow their contingent of tall boys, the coming of men. The first rays of vivid color re- sons of Alma Mater. The thirty-five-year solves into a hundred Japanese geishas; graduates, eighty strong, the men who are they come dancing, waving paper umbrellas running the nation, wear a unanimous suddown Yale Field; on their heels press den growth of rolling gray beard. Class Dutch kiddies, wooden-shod, in scarlet and after class they come, till over a thousand white, with wigs of peroxide hair. Then men have marched out to the music of sailors, some of them twirling oars—the bands, down Yale Field and past the great
circle of the seats, and have settled in brill- the costumes drift together and disappear iant masses of color on the “bleachers.” slowly in platoons; and the crowd thins and Then from across the field rise men's voices the last and most stirring act of the comsinging. They sing the college songs which mencement day drama is at hand. their fathers sang, which their sons and It has come to be an institution that after great grandsons will sing. The rhythm the game the old graduates should go, class rolls forward steadily in all those deep by class, to the house of the president of voices:
Yale, to renew allegiance. It has come to
be an institution that he, standing on the "Nor time nor change can aught avail,”
steps of his house, should make a short
speech to each class. The rainbow of men, they sing
sweeping gloriously down the city streets “To break the friendships formed at Yale.” with their bands, dissolves into a whirlwind
at the sight of that well-known, slight, digThere is many a breath caught in the nified figure on the doorstep of the modest crowded multitude to hear the men sing house—this is a thing which one who has that.
seen it does not forget; the three-minute Then the game—and Yale wins. The speeches, each apt to its audience, each classes pour on the field in a stormy sea of pointed with a dart straight to the heart of color, and dance quadrilles, and form long class pride and sentiment, these are a marlines hand in hand which sway and cross and vel. Few men living could come out of play fantastically in a dizzying, tremendous such a test creditably; only this master of jubilation which fills all of Yale Field. The men and of boys could do it as he does it. people standing up to go cannot go, but For each class goes away confident that the stay and watch them, these thousand chil- president at least shares its conviction that dren of many ages, this marvellous show of it is the best class ever graduated. Life light-heartedness and loyalty. Till at last might well be worth living, it would seem, to a man who should hear every year hun- “Gosh, Johnny McLean," Tim Erwin dreds of men's voices thundering his name remarked finally, “wake up and hear the as these men behind the class banners. birdies sing. Do you mean to tell me you
Six weeks after the disaster of the Oriel don't know you're the hero of the whole mine it was commencement day in New blamed nation?”. Haven and Johnny McLean, his broken And Johnny McLean turned scarlet and arm in a sling, a square of adhesive plaster replied that he didn't think it so particuon his forehead, was back for his Triennial. larly funny to guy a man who had attended He was mightily astonished at the greeting strictly to his business, and walked off. he got. Class mates came up to him and While Erwin and the others regarded him shook his hand and said half a sentence and astounded. stopped, with an arm around his shoulder; “Well, if that isn't too much!” gasped people treated him in a remarkable way as Tim. He actually doesn't know!” if he had done something unheard of. It “He's likely to find out before we get gratified him, after a fashion, yet it more through,” Neddy Haines, of Denver, jerked than half annoyed him. He mentioned over out nasally, and they laughed as if at a and over again in protest that he had done secret known together. nothing which “every one of you fellows So Johnny pursued his way through the wouldn't have done just the same,” but two or three days before commencement, they laughed at that and stood staring in a absorbed in meeting friends, embarrassed most embarrassing way.
at times by their manner, but taking ob