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had at first annoyed her, and told herself that she was growing broad-minded. They were, she knew, the girls who had been loudest in condemning her as snobbish; they were of the class who are never prouder than when they can come home from church and boast that they didn't hear a word of the sermon; but still, they were good enough in their way. They were generous and, to a large extent, sincere. Even if some motives for entering college were more commendable than others, those who came for “the life” were surely not to be blamed. At least they were consistent, for they manifested a beautiful indifference to flunks and low grades. As the weeks went on and Katherine grew more intimate with them, she neglected her own class work more and more, and developed an extraordinary proficiency in the art of guessing.
October passed, and Elizabeth Hodges did not call. Katherine tried to make herself think that she was relieved, but she did not succeed, for she was uncomfortably conscious that a junior president does not necessarily make it her first duty to call on freshmen.
Elizabeth, on her part, had given up all idea of making the call. She had been a little surprised by Katherine's manner toward her, and, concluding that the interview would not be particularly enjoyed by either, had put the matter out of her mind. It was recalled to her one evening when, in the parlors of one of the college houses, she was presented to a celebrity who had just been lecturing in Assembly Hall.
“Miss Hodges, from Hamilton, Professor Roland," some one had said. “I believe you have friends there."
“From Hamilton, Miss Hodges? Then I've just come from your home. I was staying with Judge Hayes ; you know him, of course ?”
“I know who he is,” Elizabeth replied.
“Then I suppose you know his daughter? She's up here,” he said. “Charming little girl; I was disappointed not to find her at home.”
“ I'm afraid I can't say I know Katherine very well. I imagine she's better known in her own class; she's a freshman."
“Oh, yes, yes, to be sure. I should say she'd be very popular. Just the kind of girl to fit in here. Self-possessed, but not too much so; really a charming manner.
“She will be better known later, I'm sure," answered Eliza
beth, with some hesitation. There really did not seem to be anything to say about Katherine; her making such an impression on the professor was decidedly puzzling. To her, Katherine's manner had seemed anything but charming. But while Professor Roland was reconciling his impressions of Katherine with Elizabeth's non-committal attitude by that generality which seems to the masculine mind of universal application, that all women are jealous, Elizabeth was beginning to realize the truth concerning Katherine's position. "The poor child must feel simply lost in this place,” she said to herself. Not popular with her own class,' they say ; that's pretty hard. I believe I'll take the risk, after all, and go and see her.”
One afternoon early in November, Katherine was feeling particularly blue. In this mood she felt that her companions were worse than unsatisfying, and that at the same time there was no escape for her while she remained in the house. She seemed to herself to have no center of gravity, and to achieve, by each motion that she made, an entirely unexpected result. Removed from her family and social life, she was out of her orbit. She wandered hopelessly amid conditions where, as it were, the algebraic signs familiar to her former life represented totally different quantities. In her sanguine moods she felt that some day she should discover what these signs stood for, and then solve the problems about her as the other students seemed to do; but to-day nothing desirable seemed possible. The college experience to which she had looked forward so ambitiously was degenerating into a series of more or less creditable and successful attempts at “having fun.” The fun was tempered by the knowledge that those in the community for whose opinion she most cared either noticed her not at all, or referred to her somewhat scornfully as “one of that crowd.” In desperation she felt that her feet were irreversibly set upon the downward path, and that she was never meant for college life. For the intangible spirit of the place had no fellowship with the seeking of pleasure for its own sake; other things were sought, and the pleasure came with them, so it seemed, and came abundantly. If the two prominent sophomores who roomed next to her occasionally pulled down each other's hair, it did not necessarily follow that they watched the clock with strained nerves during the next day's recitations. Why was it that their apparently incessant tenuis and basket-ball were no such impediment to their college work as was in Katherine's case the lounging in and out of her friends' rooms? There was something mysterious in the matter, something radically wrong ; and she felt blind and powerless. And then, to think of Elizabeth Hodges being junior president!
It was just then that Elizabeth Hodges knocked at the door. Katherine rose cordially as she entered, for she bad resolved to be at least courteous the next time they met.
“It was ever so good of you to come, Miss Hodges," she said. “You must be a very busy person.
“I'm only sorry I couldn't come before," answered Elizabeth, seating herself with a self-possession and a graciousness which surprised Katherine and made her wonder whether, after all, the president of the junior class might not be well worth cultivating. This idea deepened into a conviction before her visitor left. There was a magnetism about Elizabeth which caused Katherine to un bend to her more than she had to any one since her arrival. She seemed an embodiment of the college spirit, and when she went she left a breath of it behind. Together with a feeling of shame at her misunderstanding and misuse of all that was around her, there came upon Katherine the dawning of a great love. And she saw that she had only to put out her hand and take of the plentiful harvest that was waiting to be gathered. This stimulant, tender, comprehending atmosphere, of which she suddenly began to realize the existence,—could it be the result of the association in this place of girls like Elizabeth Hodges? If she could but begin again!
Then all at once she smiled. Who was she, that she could not begin again ? Did any one outside of her house know her ? Were there not many paths she had left quite untrodden, many channels into which she could pour herself, and forget the past ? The mortifying realization that she was less than nothing to those about her clothed itself in happiness.
The beginning again was not wholly easy. She found that she was better known than she had supposed ; but in the end this did not militate against her. She threw herself heartily into her class work, and was surprised to find that she was really interested, and that, apart from the appreciation shown by her instructors, there was an inspiration in it. At first she felt that Elizabeth deserved the entire credit for pulling her out of her Slough of Despond ; later, when she studied psychology, she began to meditate upon the matter from an impersonal standpoint, and to realize that from the time of her arrival the college spirit had been working upon her, and that she had merely not recognized it until it presented itself visibly and tangibly in the form of Elizabeth Hodges. Seeing what the prize was, she had desired it. Seeing that the starting-point was not Hamilton, but the campus, she had set her feet upon the right path.
Katherine never achieved college fame. She redeemed herself wholly in the eyes of those who had known her at first, and she made many friends. But she was not captain of her class team, or editor of the Monthly, or even senior president ; in short, she was not the typical college heroine. Yet, as the college had opened her eyes, and had given her the chance to develop from an importunate child into the woman she was meant to be, so, in the fullest sense of the words, she was a college success.
ELLEN GRAY BARBOUR.
When Nature's tears have made the whole world sad,
In joy that cometh with a radiant morrow.
And every earthly thing doth figure bright
ELISABETH SCRIBNER BROWN.
“Benjamin U. Huff, Fine Confectionery,
Choice Assortment of Cigars and Tobacco." "Yaas, thet's sartainly better than A Woman's Way the old sign. It's worded neat, an' thet's what summer folks apprecirate." Mr. Huff smiled contentedly around his little store; he looked with pride at the new glass cases that covered his "choice assortment." "The slides shove back just as handy," he chuckled, pushing them open for the fortieth time to adjust a "30 cts a lb." sign that was stuck into a pile of chocolates, like a rakish tombstone. An' it ain't only a terbaccer an' candy store nuther; it's the only place on the beach thet sells pails an' shovels an' noospapers,―an'-bathin'-suits," he added doubtfully, looking at the scanty flannel suit that had hung for three seasons on a hook outside the door. "Thet suit never did sell”.
His soliloquy was interrupted at this point by the sound of his wife's footsteps on the stairs.