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Page 209 text:
SHALL we paint the picture as a splendid, rose-colored mirage seen by the yearling novice, or as it appears to the more sedate first classman whose acquaintance with hops has ripened into cherished friendship? Will it expose the inmost feelings of the enthusiastic maiden returning from her lirst hop, or will it be controlled by the soft-blended memories of the popular cadet-girl whose loyalty to the Grey is measureless?
Possibly the view-point will be that of the uncomplaining chaperon, who, as she watches the mingled procession of bell-buttons and flounces, has a wonderful opportunity for observation unbiased by sentiment or illusion. The experiences of the confirmed cadet stag and the bored-looking officer might also advance claims to recognition, but the one only half understands the true inwardness of the occasion, while the other has been so long out of a grey dress-coat that his opinion would scarcely be up-to-date. No, surely neither of these are competent guides. The scribe falters, mentally reaching out for help. Ah! Before him stands a care-free individual with one service stripe on his sleeve and a look of infinite superiority and wisdom on his face. Will he consent to be interviewed? Oh, ves! most assuredly. And. forthwith:—
“1 lops ? Say. they are a great invention after a year of plebedom. Remember my first one? Well, rather. Do you know, I d been waiting a whole year to take that femme to that hop. and when it came I was sure in paradise. Music? Yes, I guess there was. That balcony was certainly all to the good that night, though. Moonlight, and shady corners, and somebody in the distance yelled “Furlough,” and my informant raced away in the direction of the sound.
I turn back again to my page, and what do I see? Who is this solder-looking man with the retrospective eyes and the sergeant's chevrons? He doesn't wait for an invitation, but starts right in:
"Did you ever see so many unforgivable L. P.'s in one room before? I never did. And I’ve had a dance with most of 'em, too. Now I haven't a dance till twenty-seven, and 1 11 hang around and get . My collar's rough on the edge, and ray dress-coat's too tight. That ice-cream had hair-oil in it. Say, who's got the makings?''
A first class buck saunters up mopping his brow. “That orchestra sure plays waltzes like a general fire-alarm!" he pants.
“What can I tell you of hops? Yes, I guess I'm a good judge I've been to every one since June, and am going to all the rest. They’re the one real compensation I know of. Why, a man just exists through the week waiting to take the
Page 210 text:
Girl to the hop on Saturday night. Yes. she’s here to-night, and I am quite satisfied with the cold fess I made in Engineering this morning she was the sufficient cause thereof. I smoked and dreamed from the time the tac inspected last night, and told the instructor this morning that Bladensburg was the village in Germany where Napoleon with 59.000 men defeated the Austrian Lichtenstein with 88.000!" I glanced down at his ring-finger and found it quite bare. “Will you be glad to see Graduation Hop?" I asked.
“Yes, I guess so. But, say, when a file really gets past the seven-furlong post, and looks back along the track, do you know he sometimes wishes he could signal to somebody to decrease the gait. When you get along this far, there s a kind of funny feeling you begin to realize that the “never again" part of Graduation Hop is a lot less cheerful than the farewell part is sad. Yes, you can say of me, ‘He liked it all,’ too!"
I gaze about the crowded landing, trying to pick out a type of girl who can tell me their side of the story. Alas! the task is quite hopeless! The cadet-girl has a variety as infinite as it is sweet, and to attempt to find one representative of all. or to combine all in one, is utterly impossible. Here is the girl who darts a glance back over her shoulder at you as she passes (and you congratulate
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