Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

stinately the modest place in the class which to the world that it is the courage of the he had filled in college. It did not enter his commonplace which trains for the courmind that anything he had done could alter age of the crisis. And that's all I've got to his standing with the “fellows.” More- say, for the nation is saying the rest—exover he did not spend time considering cept three times three for the glory of the that. So he was one of two hundred Bus- class of — , for McLean of the Oriel mine, ter Browns who marched to Yale Field in the newest name on the honor roll of Yale." white Russian blouses with shiny blue belts, It is probably a dizzying thing to be in sailor hats with blue ribbons, and when snatched into the seventh heaven. Johnny the Triennials rushed tempestuously down McLean standing, scarlet, stunned, his eyes Trumbull Street in the tracks of the gray- glued on the iron fence between him and the beards of thirty-five years before, Johnny president, knew nothing except a whirling found himself carried forward so that he of his brain and an earnest prayer that he stood close to the iron fence which guards might not make a fool of himself. With the little yard from the street. There is al- that, even as the thunder of voices began, he ways an afternoon tea at the president's felt himself lifted, swung to men's shouldhouse after the game, to let people see the ers, carried forward. And there he sat in classes make their call on the head of the his foolish Buster Brown costume, with his University. The house was full of people; broken arm in its sling, with the white the yard was filled with gay dresses and patch on his forehead, above his roaring men gathered to see the parade. On the classmates. There he sat perspiring and high stone steps under the arch of the door- ashamed, and faced the head of the Uniway stood the president and close by him versity, who, it must be said, appeared not the white, light figure of a little girl, her to miss the humor of the situation, for he black hair tied with a big blue bow. Clus- laughed consumedly. And still they cheered ered in the shadow behind them were other and still his name rang again and again. figures. Johnny McLean saw the little Johnny, hot and squirming under the merry maid and then his gaze was riveted on the presidential eye, wondered if they were gopresident. It surely was good to see him ing to cheer all night. And suddenly everyagain; this man who knew how to make thing-classmates, president, roaring voices them all swear by him.

died away. There was just one thing on “What will he have to say to us,” Johnny earth. In the doorway, in the group be wondered. “Something that will please the hind the president, a girl stood with her whole bunch, I'll bet. He always hits it.” head against the wall and cried as if her

“Men of the class of — ," the Presi- heart would break. Cried frankly, openly, dent began, in his deep, characteristic in- mopping away tears with a whole-hearted tonations, “I know that there is only one pocket handkerchief, and cried more to name you want to hear me speak; only one mop away. As if there were no afternoon thought in all the minds of your class.” tea, no mob of Yale men in the streets, no

A hoarse murmur which a second's world full of people who might, if they growth would have made into a wild shout pleased, see those tears and understand. started in the throats of the massed men The girl. Herself. Crying. In a flash, by behind the class banner. The president the light of the happiness that was overheld up his hand..

whelming, he found this other happiness. “Wait a minute. We want that cheer; He understood. The mad idea which had we'll have it; but I've got a word first. A come back and back to him out there in the great speaker who talked to you boys in West, which he had put down firmly, the your college course said a thing that came idea that she had cared too much and not to my mind to-day. “The courage of the too little on that Tap Day four years ago commonplace,' he said 'is greater than the that idea was true. She did care. She cared courage of the crisis.'”

still. He knew it without a doubt. He sat Again that throaty, threatening growl, on the men's shoulders in his ridiculous and again the president's hand went up, clothes, and the heavens opened. Then the the boys were hard to hold.

tumult and the shouting died and they let “I see a man among you whose life has the hero down and to the rapid succession added a line to that saying, who has shown of strong emotions came as a relief another emotion-enthusiasm. They were cheering anyhow, this grand, glorious, big-hearted the president, on the point of bursting them- lot of chaps who would have done much selves into fragments to do it, it seemed. more in his place, every soul of them so There were two hundred men behind the Johnny McLean's thoughts leaped in time class banner, and each one was converting with his steps as they marched away. And what was convertible of his being into noise. once or twice a terror seized him for he was Johnny McLean turned to with a will and weak yet from his. illness—that he was going thundered into the volume of tone which to make "a fool of himself.” He rememsounded over and over the two short syll- bered how the girl had cried; he thought of ables of a name which to a Yale man's idea the way the boys had loaded him with honor fits a cheer better than most. The pres- and affection; he heard the president's voice ident stood, quiet, under the heaped-up speaking those impossible words about him honors of a brilliant career, smiling and —about himand he would have given a steady under that delirious music of his own large sum of money at one or two junctures name rising, winged with men's hearts, to to bolt and get behind a locked door alone the skies. Then the band was playing where he might cry as the girl had. But the again and they were marching off down the unsentimental hilarity all around saved him street together, this wonderful class that and brought him through without a stain on knew how to turn earth into heaven for a his behavior. Only he could not bolt-he fellow who hadn't done much of a stunt could not get a moment to himself for love or money. It was for love he wanted it. which he did not whole-heartedly forget. He must find her-he could not wait now. Till a shock brought him to. But he had to wait. He had to go into the The town was alive with bands and country to dinner with them all and be cheers and shouts and marching; the dislionized and made speeches at, and made tant noises rose and fell and fused and fun of, and treated as the darling child and separated, but kept their distance. When the pride and joy and—what was harder to one body of sound, which unnoticed by the bear-as the hero and the great man of the lovers had been growing less vague, more class. All the time growing madder with compact, broke all at once into loud proxrestlessness, for who could tell if she might imity-men marching, men shouting, men not be leaving town. A remnant of the singing. The two, hand tight in hand, class ahead crossed them and there was started, looked at each other, listened-and Brant, her brother. Diplomacy was not then a name came in a dozen sonorous for Johnny McLean-he was much too voices, as they used to shout it in college anxious.

[graphic][merged small]

days, across the Berkeley Oval. “Brant, look here," and he drew him “McLean! McLean!” they called. into a comparative corner. “Where is “Oh, Johnny McLean!” and “Come out she?".. Brant did not pretend not to un- there, Oh, Johnny McLean!” That was derstand, but he grinned.

Baby Thomas. “At the Andersons', of course.”

“By Jove, they've trapped me,” he said “Now?

smiling in the dark and holding the hand “Yes, I think so.”

tighter as the swinging steps stopped in “Fellows,” said Johnny McLean, “I'm front of the house of the garden. “Brant sorry, but I've got to sneak. I'm going must have told.” back to town."

“They've certainly found you,” the girl Sentences and scraps of sentences came said. Her arms lifted slowly, went about flying at him from all over. “Hold him his neck swiftly. “You're mine-but down”—“Chain him up"_“Going-tom- you're theirs to-night. I haven't a right to my-rot-can't go!” “You'll be game for so much of you even. You're theirs. Go." the round-up at eleven-you've got to be.” And she held him. But in a second she “Our darling boy-he's got to be," and had pushed him away. “Go.” she said. more language.

“You're theirs, bless every one of them." “All right for eleven," Johnny agreed. She was standing alone in the dark, “I'll be at head-quarters then-but I'm go- sweet garden and there was a roar in the ing now," and he went.

street which meant that he had opened the He found her in a garden, which is the door and they had seen him. And with best place to make love. Each place is the that there were shouts of “Put him up”— best. And in some mystical manner all the “Carry him”—“Carry the boy," and doubt and unhappiness which had been laughter and shouting and then again the gone over in labored volumes of thoughts measured tread of many men retreating by each alone, melted to nothing, at two or down the street, and men's voices singing three broken sentences. There seemed to together. The girl in the dark garden stood be nothing to say, for everything was said laughing, crying, and listened. in a wordless, clear mode of understanding,

“Mother of men!”which lovers and saints know. There was little plot to it, yet there was no lack of interest. In fact so light-footed were the

“Mother of men grown strong in giving- . swift moments in the rose-scented dark

Honor to him thy lights have led; garden that Johnny McLean forgot, as Rich in the toil of thousands living, others have forgotten before him, that time Proud of the deeds of thousands dead! was. He forgot that magnificent lot of fel

We who have felt thy power, and known thee,

We in whose lives thy lights avail, lows, his classmates; there was not a cir

High, in our hearts enshrined, enthrone thee, cumstance outside of the shadowy garden Mother of men, old Yale!”

[graphic]

Drawn and engraved by A. Lepère.

Notre Dame de Paris at sunset.
Reprinted from SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE, 1895.

- See "Field of Art," page 125.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic]

SEVERELHORTLY after daylight on so far that with its right resting on the rail

February 5 (1899), orders road the regiment could have every one of were received for the Twen- its three battalions on the line. Immeditieth Kansas to advance ately on our right we joined with the Third from the Lico road and oc- Artillery, which, it must be remembered,

cupy a line somewhat be- was serving as infantry, which in its turn yond the trenches captured on the preced- connected with the First Montana, occupying afternoon. It was not known whether ing the high ground near La Loma church. these had been reoccupied by the enemy or Six guns of the Utah Light Artillery Battalnot, but after a part of the regiment had ion under Major Richard W. Young and been deployed scouts were sent to work their two guns of the Sixth Artillery under Lieuway carefully to the front in order to report tenant Adrain Fleming were posted at adon the situation. These men stated that vantageous points along the line. During the enemy had not returned, so that there the day we could hear some firing far to our would be no necessity to fight in order to re- right, but there was little done on our own gain the ground given up. The regiment front, though the occasional crack of a rifle moved into its new position without inci- in the woods and the “zip" of a bullet furdent, and was soon intrenching. As the nished the necessary incentive to make the lagoons from the bay did not come in so men cautious about exposing themselves. close at this point, we had more room, and The left of the regiment fronted on dense it was found practicable to extend our left woods, where nothing could be observed, but

« НазадПродовжити »