Part 4 out of 4
had suffered so that his college might score, thrilled them.
"What's the matter with Hicks?" thundered Thor, he who at one time would
have called this riot foolishness, and forgetting that the nine had just
chanted the response to this query.
"He's all right!" chorused the collegians, in ecstasy.
"Who's all right?" demanded John Thorwald, his blond head towering over
those of his comrades. To him, now, there was nothing silly about this
"Hicks! Hicks! Hicks!" came the shout, and the band fanfared, while the
exultant collegians shouted, sang, whistled, and created an indescribable
tumult with their noise-making devices. For five minutes the ear-splitting
din continued, a wonderful tribute to the lovable, popular youth, and then
it stilled so suddenly that the result was startling, for--T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr., swaying on his feet arose, and stood on the roof of the "jit."
With that heart-warming Cheshire cat grin on his cherubic countenance, the
irrepressible Hicks seized a Louisville Slugger, assumed a Home-Run Baker
batting pose, and shouted to his breathlessly waiting comrades:
"Fellows, I vowed I would win that baseball game and the Championship for
my Alma Mater by my headwork! With the bases full, and the score a tie, the
Ballard pitcher hit me in the head with the ball, forcing in the run that
won for old Ballard--now, if that wasn't headwork--"
BANNISTER GIVES HICKS A SURPRISE PARTY
"We have come to the close of our college days.
Golden campus years soon must end;
From Bannister we shall go our ways--
And friend shall part from friend!
On our Alma Mater now we gaze,
And our eyes are filled with tears;
For we've come to the close of our college days,
And the end of our campus years!"
Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., Bannister, '92; Yale, '96, and Pittsburgh
millionaire "Steel King," stood at the window of Thomas Haviland Hicks,
Jr.'s, room, his arm across the shoulders of that sunny-souled Senior, his
only son and heir. Father and son stood, gazing down at the campus. On the
Gym steps was a group of Seniors, singing songs of old Bannister, songs
tinged with sadness. Up to Hicks' windows, on the warm June: night, drifted
the 1916 Class Ode, to the beautiful tune, "A Perfect Day." Over before the
Science Hall, a crowd of joyous alumni laughed over narratives of their
campus escapades. Happy undergraduates, skylarking on the campus,
celebrated the end of study, and gazed with some awe at the Seniors, in cap
and gown, suddenly transformed into strange beings, instead of old comrades
"'The close of our college days, and the end of our campus years--!'"
quoted Mr. Hicks, a mist before his eyes as he gazed at the scene. "In a
few days, Thomas, comes the final parting from old Bannister--I know it
will be hard, for I had to leave the dear old college, and also Yale. But
you have made a splendid record in your studies, you have been one of
the most popular fellows here, and--you have vastly pleased your Dad, by
winning your B in the high-jump."
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s, last study-sprint was at an end, the final Exams.
of his Senior year had been passed with what is usually termed flying
colors; and to the whole-souled delight of the lovable youth, he and little
Theophilus Opperdyke, the Human Encyclopedia, had, as Hicks chastely
phrased it, "run a dead heat for the Valedictory!" So close had their
final averages been that the Faculty, after much consideration, decided to
announce at the Commencement exercises that the two Seniors had tied for
the highest collegiate honors, and everyone was satisfied with the verdict.
So, now it was all ended; the four years of study, athletics, campus
escapades, dormitory skylarking--the golden years of college life, were
about to end for 1919. Commencement would officially start on the morrow,
but tonight, in the Auditorium, would be held the annual Athletic
Association meeting, when those happy athletes who had won their B during
the year would have it presented, before the assembled collegians, by
one-time gridiron, track, and diamond heroes of old Bannister.
And--the ecstatic Hicks would have his track B, his white letter, won in
the high-jump, thanks to Caesar Napoleon's assistance, awarded him by his
beloved Dad, the greatest all-round athlete that ever wore the Gold and
Green! Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., en route to New Haven and Yale in
his private car, "Vulcan," had reached town that day, together with other
members of Bannister College, Class of '92. They, as did all the old
grads., promptly renewed past memories and associations by riding up to
College Hill in Dan Flannagan's jitney-bus--a youthful, hilarious crowd of
alumni. Former students, alumni, parents of graduating Seniors, friends,
sweethearts--every train would bring its quota. The campus would again
throb and pulsate with that perennial quickening--Commencement. Three days
of reunions, Class Day exercises, banquets, and other events, then the
final exercises, and--T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., would be an alumnus!
"It's like Theophilus told Thor, last fall, Dad," said the serious Hicks.
"You know what Shakespeare said: 'This thou perceivest, which makes thy
love more strong; To love that well which thou must leave ere long.' Now
that I soon shall leave old Bannister, I--I wish I had studied more, had
done bigger things for my Alma Mater! And for you, Dad, too; I've won a B,
but perhaps, had I trained and exercised more, I might have annexed another
letter--still; hello, what's Butch hollering--?"
Big Butch Brewster, his pachydermic frame draped in his gown, and his
mortar-board cap on his head, for the Seniors were required to wear their
regalia during Commencement week, was bellowing through a megaphone, as he
stood on the steps of Bannister Hall, and Mr. Hicks, with his cheerful son,
"Everybody--Seniors, Undergrads., Alumni--in the Auditorium at eight sharp!
We are going to give Mr. Hicks and T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., a surprise
party--don't miss the fun!"
"Now, just what does Butch mean, Dad?" queried the bewildered Senior.
"Something is in the wind. For two days, the fellows have had a secret
from me--they whisper and plot, and when I approach, loudly talk of
athletics, or Commencement! Say, Butch--Butch--I ain't a-comin' tonight,
unless you explain the mystery."
"Oh, yes, you be, old sport!" roared Butch, from the campus, employing the
megaphone, "or you don't get your letter! Say, Hicks, one sweetly solemn
thought attacks me--old Bannister is puzzling you with a mystery, instead
of vice versa, as is usually the case."
"Well, Thomas," said Mr. Hicks, his face lighted by a humorous, kindly
smile, as he heard the storm of good-natured jeers at Hicks, Jr., that
greeted Butch Brewster's fling, "I'll stroll downtown, and see if any of
my old comrades came on the night express. I'll see you at the Athletic
Association meeting, for I believe I am to hand you the B. I can't imagine
what this 'surprise party' is, but I don't suppose it will harm us. It will
surely be a happy moment, son, when I present you with the athletic letter
you worked so hard to win."
When T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s, beloved Dad had gone, his firm stride
echoing down the corridor, that blithesome, irrepressible collegian, whom
old Bannister had come to love as a generous, sunny-souled youth, stood
again by the window, gazing out at the campus. Now, for the first time, he
fully realized what a sad occasion a college Commencement really is--to
those who must go forth from their Alma Mater forever. With almost the
force of a staggering blow, Hicks suddenly saw how it would hurt to leave
the well-loved campus and halls of old Bannister, to go from those comrades
of his golden years. In a day or so, he must part from good Butch, Pudge,
Beef, Ichabod, Monty, Roddy, Cherub, loyal little Theophilus and all his
classmates of '19, as well as from his firm friends of the undergraduates.
It would be the parting from the youths of his class that would cost him
the greatest regret. Four years they had lived together the care-free
campus life. From Freshmen to Seniors they had grown and developed
together, and had striven for 1919 and old Bannister, while a love for
their Alma Mater had steadily possessed their hearts. And now soon they
must sing, "Vale, Alma Mater!" and go from the campus and corridors, as
Jack Merritt, Heavy Hughes, Biff McCabe, and many others had done before
Of course, they would return to old Bannister. There would be alumni
banquets at mid-year and Commencement, with glad class reunions each year.
They would come back for the big games of the football or baseball season.
But it would never be the same. The glad, care-free, golden years of
college life come but once, and they could never live them, as of old.
"Caesar's Ghost!" ejaculated T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., making a dive for his
beloved banjo, as he awakened to the startling fact that for some time he
had been intensely serious. "This will never, never do. I must maintain my
blithesome buoyancy to the end, and entertain old Bannister with my musical
ability. Here goes."
Assuming a striking pose, a la troubadour, at the open window, T.
Haviland Hicks, Jr., a somewhat paradoxical figure, his splinter-structure
enshrouded in the gown, the cap on his classic head, this regalia symbolic
of dignity, and the torturesome banjo in his grasp, twanged a ragtime
accompaniment, and to the bewilderment of the old Grads on the campus, as
well as the wrath of 1919, he roared in his fog-horn voice:
"Oh, I love for to live in the country!
And I love for to live on the farm!
I love for to wander in the grass-green fields--
Oh, a country life has the charm!
I love for to wander in the garden--
Down by the old haystack;
Where the pretty little chickens go 'Kick-Kack-Kackle!'
And the little docks go 'Quack! Quack!'"
From the Seniors on the Gym steps, their dignified song rudely shattered by
this rollicking saenger-fest, came a storm of protests; to the unbounded
delight of the alumni, watching the scene with interest, shouts, jeers,
whistles, and cat-calls greeted Hicks' minstrelsy:
"Tear off his cap and gown--he's a disgrace to '19!"
"Shades of Schumann-Heink--give that calf more rope!"
"Ye gods--how long must we endure--that?"
"Hicks, a Senior--nobody home--can that noise!"
"Shoot him at sunrise! Where's his Senior dignity?"
Big Butch Brewster, referring to his watch, bellowed through the megaphone
that it was nearly eight o'clock, and loudly suggested that they forcibly
terminate Hicks' saengerfest, and spare the town police force a riot call
to the campus, by transporting the pestiferous youth to the Auditorium,
for his "surprise party." His idea finding favor, he, with Beef and Pudge,
somewhat hampered by their gowns, lumbered up the stairway of Bannister,
and down the third-floor corridor to the offending Hicks' boudoir, followed
by a yelling, surging crowd of Seniors and underclassmen. They invaded the
graceless youth's room, much to the pretended alarm of that torturesome
collegian, who believed that the entire student-body of old Bannister had
foregathered to wreak vengeance on his devoted head.
"Mercy! Have a heart, fellows!" plead T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., helpless in
the clutches of Butch, Beef, and Pudge, "I won't never do it no more, no
time! Say, this is too much--much too much--too much much too much--I,
"To the Auditorium with the wretch!" boomed Butch; and the splinter-youth
was borne aloft, on his broad shoulders, assisted by Beef McNaughton. They
transported the grinning Hicks down the corridor, while fifty noisy youths,
howling, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow!" tramped after them. Downstairs
and across the campus the hilarious procession marched, and into the
Auditorium, where the students and alumni were gathering for the awarding
of the athletic B. A thunderous shout went up, as T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
was carried to the stage and deposited in a chair.
"Hicks! Hicks! Hicks! We've got a surprise for--Hicks!"
"Now, just what have I did to deserve all these?" grinned that
happy-go-lucky youth, puzzled, nevertheless. "Well, time will tell, so all
I can do is to possess my soul with impatience; old Bannister has a mystery
for me, this trip!"
In fifteen minutes, the Athletic Association meeting opened. On the stage,
beside its officers, were those athletes, including T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
who were to receive that coveted reward--their B, together with a number of
one-time famous Bannister gridiron, track, basketball, and diamond stars.
Each youth was to receive his monogram from some ex-athlete who once wore
the Gold and Green, and Hicks' beloved Dad--Bannister's greatest hero--was
to present his son with the letter.
There were speeches; the Athletic Association's President explained the
annual meeting, former Bannister students and athletic idols told of past
triumphs on Bannister Field; the football Championship banner, and the
baseball pennant were flaunted proudly, and each team-captain of the year
was called upon to talk. Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., a great favorite
on the campus, delivered a ringing speech, an appeal to the undergraduates
for clean living, and honorable sportsmanship, and then:
"We now come to the awarding of the athletic B," stated the President. "The
Secretary will call first the name of the athlete, and then the alumnus who
will present him with the letter. In the name of the Athletic Association
of old Bannister, I congratulate those fellows who are now to be rewarded
for their loyalty to their Alma Mater!"
Thrilled, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., watched his comrades, as they responded
to their names, and had the greatest glory, the B, placed in their hands by
past Bannister athletic heroes. Butch, Beef, Roddy, Monty, Ichabod, Biff,
Hefty, Tug, Buster, Deacon Radford, Cherub, Don, Skeet, Thor, who had
won the hammer-throw. These, and many others, having earned the award by
playing in three-fourths of a season's games on the eleven or the nine, or
by winning a first place in some track event, stepped forward, and were
rewarded. Some, as good Butch, had gained their B many times, but the fact
that this was their last letter, made the occasion a sad one. Every name
was called but that of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., and that perturbed youth
wondered at the omission, when the President spoke:
"The last name," he said, smiling, "is that of Thomas Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
and we are glad to have his father present the letter to his son, as Mr.
Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., is with us. However, we Bannister fellows have
prepared a surprise party for our lovable comrade, and I beg your patience
awhile, as I explain."
Graphically, Dad Pendleton described the wonderful all-round athletic
record made by Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., while at old Bannister, and
sketched briefly but vividly his phenomenal record at Yale; he told of
Mr. Hicks' great ambition, for his only son, Thomas, to follow in his
footsteps--to be a star athlete, and shatter the marks made by his Dad.
Then he reminded the Bannister students of T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.'s,
athletic fiascos, hilarious and otherwise, of three years. He explained how
that cheery youth, grinning good-humoredly at his comrades' jeers, had been
in earnest, striving to realize his father's ambition. As the spellbound
collegians and grads. listened, Dad chronicled Hicks' dogged persistence,
and how he finally, in his Senior year, won his track B in the high-jump.
Then he described the biggest game of the past football season, the contest
that brought the Championship to old Bannister. The youths and alumni heard
how T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., made a great sacrifice, for the greater goal;
how, after training faithfully in secret for a year, hoping sometime to win
a game for his Alma Mater, he cheerfully sacrificed his chance to tie the
score by a drop-kick, and became the pivotal part of a fake-kick play that
won for the Gold and Green.
"I have left Hicks' name until last," said Dad, with a smile, "because
tonight we have a surprise party for our sunny comrade, and for his Dad. In
the past, the eligibility rule, as regards the football and baseball B, has
been--an athlete must play on the 'Varsity in three-fourths of the season's
games. But, just before the Hamilton game, last fall, the Advisory Board of
the Athletic Association amended this rule.
"We decided to submit to the required two-thirds majority vote of the
students this plan, inasmuch as many athletes, toiling and sacrificing all
season for their college, never get to win their letter, yet deserve
that reward for their loyalty, we suggested that Bannister imitate the
universities. Anyone sent into the Yale-Harvard game, you know, wins his
H or Y. If one team is safely ahead, a lot of scrubs are run into the
scrimmage, to give them their letter. Therefore, we--the Advisory
Board--made this rule: 'Any athlete taking part, for any period of time
whatsoever, in the Ballard football or baseball game as a regular member of
the first team shall be eligible for his Gold or Green B. This rule, upon
approval of the students, to be effective from September 25!'
"Now," continued the Athletic Association President, "we decided to keep
this new ruling a secret until the present, for this reason: Many good
football and baseball players, not making the first teams, lack the loyalty
to stick on the scrubs, and others, not as brilliant, but with more
college spirit, give their best until the season's end. We knew that if we
announced this rule last fall, several slackers, who had quit the squad,
would come out again, just on the hope of getting sent into the Ballard
game, for their B. This would not be fair to those who loyally stuck to the
scrubs. So we did not announce the rule until the year closed, and then a
practically unanimous vote of the students made the rule effective from
September 25. So--all athletes who took part in the Ballard football game,
last fall, for any period of time whatsoever, are eligible for the gold B,
and the same, as regards the green letter, applies to the Ballard baseball
game this spring."
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., gasped. Slowly, the glorious truth dawned on the
happy-go-lucky Senior--he had been sent into the Bannister-Ballard football
game; the crucial and deciding play had turned on him, hence he had won his
gold letter! And thanks to his brilliant "mismanaging" of the nine, losing
shortstop Skeet Wigglesworth and the substitutes, he had played the entire
nine innings of the Ballard-Bannister baseball contest, and, therefore,
was eligible for his green B. In a dazed condition, he heard Dad Pendleton
"You remember how T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., was sent into the Ballard
game, and how the fake-play fooled Ballard, who believed he would try
a drop-kick? Well, knowing Hicks to be eligible for his football B, we
planned a surprise party. The Advisory Board kept the new rule a secret,
and not until this week was it voted on. Then, the required two-thirds
majority made it effective from last September--we managed to have Hicks
absent from the voting, and the fellows helped us with our surprise! So
instead of Mr. Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr., presenting his son with one
B, that for track work, we are glad to hand him three letters, one for
football, one for baseball, and one for track, to give our own T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr. And, let me add, he can accept them with a clear conscience, for
when the rule was made by the Advisory Board, we had no idea that Hicks
would ever be eligible in football or baseball,"
A moment of silence, and then undergraduates and alumni, thrilled at Dad
Pendleton's announcement, arose in a body, and howled for T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr., and his beloved Dad. Mr. Hicks, unable to speak, silently
placed the three monograms, gold, green, and white, in his son's hands, and
placed his own on the shoulders of that sunny-souled Senior, who for once
in his heedless career could not say a word!
"What's the matter with Hicks?" Big Butch Brewster roared, and a terrific
"He's all right! Hicks! Hicks! Hicks!"
For ten minutes pandemonium reigned. Then, regardless of the fact that, in
order to surprise Mr. Hicks and his son, other athletes, eligible under the
new rule, had yet to be presented with their B, the howling youths swarmed
on the stage, hoisted the grinning T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., and his happy
Dad to their shoulders, and started a wild parade around the campus and the
"Here's to our own Hicks--drink it down! Drink it down! Here's to our own
Hicks--drink it down! Drink it down! Here's to our own Hicks--When he
starts a thing, he sticks--Drink it down--drink it down--down! Down!
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., aloft on the shoulders of his behemoth class-mate,
Butch Brewster, was deliriously happy. The surprise party of his campus
comrades was a wonderful one, and he could scarcely realize that he had
actually, by the Athletic Association ruling, won his three B's! How glad
his beloved Dad, was, too. He had not expected this bewildering happiness.
He had been so joyous, when his sort earned the track letter, but to
have him leave old Bannister, with a B for three sports--it was almost
unbelievable! And, as Dad had said--there had been no thought of Hicks when
the Advisory Board made the rule, so Hicks had no reason to suppose it was
done just to award him his letter.
Then, Hicks remembered that rash vow, made at the end of his Freshman year,
a vow uttered with absolutely no other thought than a desire to torment
Butch Brewster, "Before I graduate from old Bannister, I shall have won
my B in three branches of sport!" Never, not even for a moment, had the
happy-go-lucky youth believed that his wild prophecy would be fulfilled,
though he had pretended to be confident to tease his loyal comrades; but
now, at the very end of his campus days, just before he graduated, his
prediction had come true! So the sunny Senior, who four years before had
made his rash vow, saw its realization, and suddenly thrilled with the
knowledge that he had a golden opportunity to make Butch indignant.
"Oh, I say, Butch," he drawled, nonchalantly, leaning down to talk in
Butch's ear, "do you recall that day, at the close of our Freshman year,
when I vowed to win my B in three branches of sport, ere I bade farewell to
"No, you don't get away with that!" exploded Butch Brewster, indignantly,
lowering his tantalizing classmate to terra firma. "Here, Beef, Pudge,
catch this wretch; he intends to swagger and say--"
But he was too late, for T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., dodging from his grasp,
imitated the celebrated Charley Chaplin strut, and satiated his fun-loving
soul. After waiting for three years, the irrepressible youth realized an
ambition he had never imagined would be fulfilled.
"Oh, just leave it to Hicks!" quoth he, gladsomely. "I told you I'd win
my three B's, Butch, old top, and--ow!--unhand me, you villain, you
"VALE, ALMA MATER!"
"Oh, it was 'Ave, Alma Mater--'
We sang as Freshmen gay;
But it's 'Vale, Alma Mater' now
As our last farewells we say!"
"Honk-Honk! Br-r-rr-r-Bang! Honk-Monk! Br-rr-rr-r--"
T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., big Butch Brewster, Beef McNaughton, Pudge Langdon,
Scoop Sawyer, and little Theophilus Opperdyke--late Seniors of old
Bannister--roosted atop of good old Dan Flannagan's famous jitney-bus
before Bannister Hall. It was nearly time for the 9.30 A. M. express, but
the "peace-ship" had inconsiderately stalled, and the choking, wheezing,
and snorting of the engine, as old Dan frenziedly cranked, together with
the Claxon, operated by Skeet Wigglesworth, rudely interrupted the Seniors'
chant. A vociferous protest arose above the tumult:
"Oh, the little old Ford--rambled right along--like heck!"
"Can that noise-we want to sing a last song, boys!"
"Chuck that engine, Dan, and put in an alarm clock spring!"
"Christmas is coming, Dan-u-el--we've graduated you know!"
"'The Dove' doesn't want us to leave old Bannister, fellows!"
Commencement was ended. The night before, on the stage of Alumni Hall,
before a vast audience of old Bannister grads, undergraduates, friends, and
relatives of the Seniors, the Class of 1919 had received its sheepskins,
and the "Go forth, my children, and live!" of its Alma Mater. T, Haviland
Hicks, Jr., and timorous little Theophilus had jointly delivered the
Valedictory, eight other Seniors, including Butch, Scoop, and the lengthy
Ichabod, had swayed the crowd with oratory. Kindly old Prexy, his voice
tremulous, had talked to them, as students, for the last time. The Class
Ode had been sung, the Class Shield unveiled, and then--Hicks and his
comrades of '19 were alumni!
It had been a busy, thrilling time, Commencement Week. There had been
scarcely any spare moments to ponder on the parting so soon to come; after
the memorable Athletic Association meeting, when T. Haviland Hicks, Jr.,
and his beloved Dad had been given a wonderful "surprise party" by the
collegians, and Hicks had corralled his three B's, time had "sprinted with
spiked shoes," as the sunny Hicks stated. Event had followed event in
bewildering fashion. The Seniors, dignified in cap and gown, had been feted
and banqueted, the cynosure of all eyes. Campus and town were filled with
visitors. Old Bannister pulsated with renewed life, with the glad reunions
of former students. There had been the Alumni Banquet, the annual baseball
game between the 'Varsity and old-time Gold and Green diamond stars, Class
Night exercises, the Literary Society Oratorical Contests, and the last
Class Supper; and, Commencement had come.
It was all ended now--the four happy, golden years of campus life, of glad
fellowship with each other; like those who had gone before, T. Haviland
Hicks, Jr., and his comrades of 1919 had come to the final parting. The
sunny-souled youth's Dad had gone to New Haven, to Yale's Commencement.
Alumni and visitors had left town; the night before had witnessed farewells
with Monty, Roddy, Biff, Hefty, and the underclassmen, with that awakened
Colossus, John Thorwald. All the collegians had gone, except the few
Seniors now leaving, and they had remained to enjoy Hicks' final Beefsteak
Bust downtown at Jerry's.
The campus was silent and deserted. No footsteps or voices echoed in the
dormitories, and a shadow of sadness hovered over all. The youths who were
leaving old Bannister forever felt an ache in their throats, and little
Theophilus Opperdyke's big-rimmed spectacles were fogged with tears. Three
times, in the past, they had left the campus, but this was forever, as
"I don't care if we miss the old train!" declared Scoop Sawyer, as the
jitney-Ford's engine wheezed, gasped, and was silent, for all of Dan's
cranking. "Just think, fellows, it's all over now--'We have come to the end
of our college days-golden campus years are at an end--!' Say, Hicks, old
man, what's your Idea. What future have you blue-printed?"
"Journalism!" announced T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., sticking a fountain pen
behind his ear, and fatuously supposing he resembled a City Editor, "In me
you behold an embryo Richard Harding Davis, or Ty--no, I mean Irvin Cobb.
I shall first serve my apprenticeship as a 'cub,' but ere many years, I
shall sit at a desk, run a newspaper, and tell the world where to get off."
"That is--If Dad says so!" chuckled Butch Brewster. "You know, Hicks, it's
the same old story--your father wants you to learn how to own steel and
iron mills, and when it comes to a showdown, you must convince Mr. Thomas
Haviland Hicks, Sr., that you'd make a better journalist than Steel King!"
"Nay, nay-say not so!" responded the happy-go-lucky alumnus of old
Bannister, as the perspiring" Dan Flannagan cranked away futilely. "My Dad
has a broader vision, fellows, than most men. He and I talked it over last
night, and he would never try to make me take up anything but a work that
appeals to me. While, as Butch says, he'd like to train me to follow in his
footsteps, he understands my ambition so thoroughly that he is trying to
get me started--read this:"
The lovable youth produced a letter, the envelope bearing the heading: "THE
BALTIMORE CHRONICLE;" Butch Brewster, to whom he extended it, read aloud:
"June 12, 1919.
"DEAR OLD CLASSMATE:
"I'd sure like to be with you, back at old Yale, next week, but I can't
leave the wheel of this ship, the Chronicle, for even a day. Give my
regards to all of old Eli, '96, old man.
"As regards a berth for your son, Thomas. The Chronicle usually takes
on a few college men during the summer, when our staff is off on
vacations. We always use undergraduates, and often, in two or three
summers, we develop them into star reporters. However, for old time's
sake, I'll be glad to give your son a chance, and if he means business,
let him report for duty next Friday, at 1 P.M., to my office.
Understand, Hicks, he must come here and fight his own way, without any
favor or special help from me. Were he the son of our nation's
President, I'd not treat him a whit better than the rest of the Staff,
so let him know that in advance. On the other hand, I'll develop him all
I can, and if he has the ability, the Chronicle long-room is the place
"Yours for old Yale,
"'Doc' Whalen, Yale, '96,
"City Editor--THE CHRONICLE."
"Here's my Dad's ultimatum," grinned Hicks, when. Butch finished the
letter. "I am to take a summer as a cub on the Baltimore Chronicle,
making my own way, and living on my weekly salary, without financial aid
from anyone. If, at the end of the summer, City Editor Whalen reports that
I've made good enough to be retained as a regular, then--Yours truly for
the Fourth Estate. If I fail, then I follow a course charted out by Mr.
Thomas Haviland Hicks, Sr.! So, it is up to me to make good--"
"You--you will make good, Hicks," quavered Theophilus, whose faith in the
shadow-like youth was prodigious. "Oh, that will be splendid, for I am
going to take a course at a business college in Baltimore. I want to become
an expert stenographer, and we'll be together,"
"It's work now, fellows!" sighed Beef McNaughton, shifting his huge bulk
atop of the jit "College years are ended, we're chucked into the world, to
make good, or fail! Butch and I have not decided on our work yet. We may
accept jobs as bank or railroad presidents, or maybe run for President
of the U.S.A., provided John McGraw or Connie Mack do not sign us up.
At that moment, the engine of old Dan Flannagan's battered "Dove" consented
to hit on two cylinders, and the genial Irishman, who was to transport
Hicks and his comrades, as collegians, for the last time, yelled, "All
aboard!" loudly, to conceal his emotion at the sad scene.
"We're off!" shrieked Skeet Wigglesworth, stowed away below, as the
jitney-bus moved down the driveway. "Farewell, dear old Bannister! Run
slow, Dan, we want to gaze on the campus as long as we can."
The youths were silent, as the 'bus rolled slowly down the driveway and
under the Memorial Arch, old Dan, sympathizing with them, and finding he
could make the express by a safe margin, allowing the jitney to flutter
along at reduced speed. From its top, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., his vision
blurred with tears, gazed back with his class-mates. He saw the campus, its
grass green, with stately old elms bordering the walks, and the golden
June sunshine bathing everything in a soft radiance. He beheld the college
buildings--the Gym., the Science Hall, the Administration Building,
Recitation Hall, the ivy-covered Library; the white Chapel, and the four
dorms., Creighton, Smithson, Nordyke, Bannister. One year he had spent in
each, and every year had been one of happiness, of glad comradeship.
He could see Bannister Field, the scene of his many hilarious athletic
And now he was leaving it all--had come to the end of his college course,
and before him lay Life, with its stern realities, its grim obstacles, and
hard struggles; ended were the golden campus days, the gay skylarking
in the dorms. Gone forever were the joyous nights of entertaining his
comrades, of Beefsteak Busts down at Jerry's. Silenced was his beloved
banjo, and no more would his saengerfests bother old Bannister.
A turn in the street, and the campus could not be seen. As the last vision
of their Alma Mater vanished, T. Haviland Hicks, Jr., smiling sunnily
through his tear-blurred eyes, gazed at his comrades of old '19--
"Say, fellows--" he grinned, though his voice was shaky, "let's--let's
start in next September, and--do it all over again!"