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Page 29 text:
THE ORIOLE 25 we have to meet Caesar somewhere.” A shudder greeted this dread thought. By hard rowing the old obstacles were sur- mounted, so when we came to an expanse of water studded by igne- ous and metamorphic rocks we were surprised to hear that these were the dreaded Scientific Rocks. Emboldened by this we exclaimed boastfully, ‘‘Look, Mr. Pessimist, watch how easily we can get through this.” But, indeed pride does go before a fall, for many hard knocks and bumps were received before we reached Junior W harf. Oh, with what trepidations we started on the unknown Junior Waters, for now the river was wider and more treacherous; here there were sharp bends like angles, sand-bars were placed in every possible way, forming triangles, perpendiculars, and even circles; these had to be studied carefully by a handbook called “Plane Geometry,” before we could discover the secret passageway. W T e thought our troubles about ended when, horror of horrors! We heard a sound as if of Charybdis; we could only wait terror stricken, our oars lax in our hands, while the boats were pulled forward by some unseen force. We turned a bend in the river and saw before us an awe inspiring sight; a huge whirlpool, stretching from bank to bank, seething and foaming and drawing all things involuntarily into its clutches. Going around and around in it were boats, with their occupants left by some previous expedition. Their boats were drawn to the very center of the maelstrom, then with a convul- sive upheaval they were cast to the outer edge, then the perform- ance would be repeated. “Steer clear!” “Steer clear!” they shrieked at us. “Don’t get caught in Caesar Whirlpool.” Steer clear ? How we wished we were able. It was a useless exhortation; we could no more have steered clear than have sprouted wings. Irresistibly we were drawn forward into the pool. Out poor heads grew dizzy from out gyrations; round and round, would it never stop? Why should our hopes be raised so hopelessly by that fling to the outer circle? Now and then one or two would manage by hard work and skill! ul manage- ment to get outside. They would keep as close to the whirl- pool as they dared and help some of the rest to get over, but some could not be rescued so we were obliged to leave them. We were so dizzy and nerve wracked that we were hardly able to cope with a storm of Physics which arose immediately after- wards, but we got our bearings and were soon able to pass on- ward. During the faint gray hours of morning we anchored before the Senior Entrance Gates. We were tired and exhaust-
Page 28 text:
24 THE ORIOLE Class History H IGH SCHOOL RIVER looked very inviting, smooth, and clear; the sun, which was setting on our Grammar Grade lives, sparkled and played over the waters; the little boats which were destined for our journey down the river danced and tugged at their moorings as if they too wish- ed to be on their way. We hurried down to Freshman Dock, a laughing, chattering, merry crowd of boys and girls. Seeing that everything was ready for our departure on the way to Senior Land, we jumped into our boats, waving a laughing good-bye to the friends assembled to see us shove off. At first the boating was easy and the current carried us onward without rowing. Some one laughed, “I thought it was going to be hard. How silly we were.” Suddenly we came to English Shallows; there was not the tiniest wave or breath of air to carry us onward, but a bit of rowing carried us safely through, but alas, we had hardly emerged when crash! we struck the Reefs of Ancient History. Then you should have seen us plugging up the holes in our boats and bailing out the water. Sighs and groans were heard from every side, then a girl said, ‘‘We should have watched; if we had been studying the charts instead of playing we would have missed this altogether.” A boy replied, ‘‘Humph, now isn’t that just like a girl? I’ve never heard of any one getting by here unscathed.” A heavy mist fell over the river; night was coming on; we sensed rather than saw that we were going through some rapids. ‘‘Now, what on earth are we up against?” came a plaintive voice from out of the surrounding darkness. The reply from some one who had taken the advice and ‘‘studied the charts” was not cheer- ing: ‘‘Algebra Mists and Latin Rapids all i n one fell swoop.” The boats scraped against each other in the darkness; hard work was needed to keep them above the surface. Now and then a despairing voice was heard from the shore, ‘‘I’m going to quit. I won’t be caught in that mess again.” When at last we emerg- ed from the misty rapids into the moonlight our number was sadly depleted. Our sorrow was alleviated, however, by a happy sight — Sophomore Landing. Here we stopped for a short rest before we re-embarked for pur long journey. ‘‘Sophomore Stretch shouldn’t be so hard. It’s just like the Freshman,” said one optimist, hopefully. ‘‘Pshaw, you never can tell,” said the pessimist, ‘‘besides there’s Science and
Page 30 text:
26 THE ORIOLE ed but we were eager to see what lay beyond and hated the little time which elapsed before the gates were unlocked. At last the gates swung open; our boats shot forward as thoroughbreds going over the last hurdle. We were not able to keep this pace long however, for soon we ran into solids form- ed as prisms, cylinders, tetrahedrons, and other unpronounc- able things. What imagination we had left from Caesar Whirl- pool was expended in imagining the other sides to these figures, but at last we threaded our way through. Beyond us there was a rough expanse of water. “Now, what kind of storm was this?” was the query. “Irregular French Verbs,” was the reply. “No hope! No hope!” the waves seemed to moan in our ears. It did seem hopeless at first, but our endeavors were rewarded with victory. Some of our number complained of the Chemistry Falls, for here, so the tale was told, were acids whose fumes were chok- ing, chemicals which exploded and burnt one, and there was broken glass flying in the air and many other unendurable things. Now, however, there was only one more obstacle in our way, Examination Shoals, but the little craft stood even these. A faint light appeared in the east; the morning sun showed its rim above the horizon; the mists rolled away from the river, and the curtain of night faded. The heaven’s blue was scudded here and there by fleecy white clouds; a song, sweet and clear, was heard; our eyes looked upward; there was a flash of black and golden wings; the glorious sun smiled kindly as we earth bound mortals tried to do something worthy of The Oriole of ’22. Our very boats responded and darted forward under this stimulus, to the goal where we will receive our rewards — our Diplomas — and we will find ourselves on the Sea of Life, drawn forward b v the unseen threads of Fate to what storms or havens that Fickle Goddess alone can know. Mary E. Amburn, ' 22 .
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