University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA)

 - Class of 1896

Page 135 of 236

 

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1896 Edition, Page 135 of 236
Page 135 of 236



University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1896 Edition, Page 134
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back and drill the rest of the hour. I hate that drill; I never shall drill again if I can help it. And if this wasn ' t trouble enough for one day I had plenty more before night. After studying all the afternoon I felt hungry before supper time, and asked a fellow whom they call " Gormie, " who by the way seems to have very weak knees and always wears an awfully dirty sweater, where I could get a lunch. He said if I should go up to the peach orchard back of the plant-house they were always very glad to let the students have all the fruit they wanted. So I went up, and had just filled my pockets with peaches, when I looked behind and saw coming towards me on the run a man whom I recognized as " Shep. " The very sight of him scared me, and I started to run. As I ran I looked over my shoulder to see if he was gaining on me any, and as I did so I fell headlong into a ditch, and before I could recover myself he was upon me. I do not remember what he said; but although he talked very slowly, his words made me feel so badly that I am sure I shall not repeat the offence, whatever it was. The peaches had all fallen out of my pocket when I fell into the ditch, and so I went without any supper, as I was too much ashamed of myself to be seen at the Hash House. Well, I may as well go to bed, but I know I shall dream about that terrible Owl Club they have been telling me about all day. Oh, I wish I was home ! September 8. If I hadn ' t been so terribly hungry this morning I shouldn ' t have gone to breakfast at all. I couldn ' t eat any dinner because I heard a little dog barking in the kitchen, and then one of the sophomores said, " Ha ! we shall have dog for dinner. " As I had only studied four hours on the lessons given out yesterday, when we went round to recite I met with trouble at every point. It was terrible to think how the Pro- fessors talked to every one, and to me in particular. They seemed to think we could learn that forty-three pages of geometry by heart. Why, I hadn ' t read half of it through. I have been awfully lonesome and hungry all day. Visions of dog came before me every time I tried to eat anything at the Hash House. I didn ' t hear the dog bark at noon, so I supposed the sophomore must have been right. I walked all the way down town this afternoon on a fool ' s errand. The man they call the " Alderman " sent me after a gas- wick. The storekeeper seemed to be mad when I asked him for it, and said they never used such things, and wanted to know where I came from. Was I from Wayback ? I told him that mamma always made her own candles at home and got her wicks at the store. Then I went back up to college again, and every one seemed amused when I came around, especially the " Alderman. " It is only a little while since supper, but I am going to bed. I have been so homesick that I could not bear to think of writing home. They have been telling me those terrible Owl Club stories all day. All last night I dreamed of them. Oh, I am sure if they should ever come to me I should never live the night out. Later (11.30). I ' m not sure whether I am dead or alive. I couldn ' t have been asleep more than five minutes when I was awakened by voices outside the door. Then came a blinding flash followed by a deafening roar, and I thought they must have wheeled the 119

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breakfast Mr. Hayward told me lots of stories about what he did when he was a fresh- man. From what he said I think he must be a great man about college. He said there was a man that kept a hotel down at the foot of the stairs, where I could probably get dinner. He said they had more style at the Hammar House but less to eat. Here, he told me, they took in regular boarders, and had some tony ones too. Among the dis- tinguished guests was General Warren, of the Meteorological Department. This seems to be a land of hotels, if one only knows where to find them ; for there was one on the same floor with Hotel Hayward, called the " Lame Bear Cafe, " run by Ballou Bemis. But this was closed for the summer. After breakfast was over I told Mr. Hayward that papa and mamma would be very thankful to him, and that if he ever came down my way to call and try some of mamma ' s flapjacks. I felt good after this, and started to finish my examinations. The first one this morning was Geometry, thirty propositions to do in one hour. I had just finished two when Professor W. quietly remarked, " You have five and a quarter minutes more in which to finish your papers, gentlemen. " My heart came up in my throat, and it seemed the shortest five minutes T ever saw. I guess I didn ' t pass that examination. Then I had to take Physiology, Algebra, and finally Latin under Professor Mills, who seems like a nice, fatherly old gentleman. This finished the examinations ; and I hurried to write a letter home, telling papa and mamma that I had passed in all but one. I took this letter down town to post it, and on my way back I bought three sticks of candy, one of which I gave to Mr. Hayward on my way to my room. It has been a long day, and now I will go to bed. September 7. I was so tired last night that I couldn ' t go to the Hash House to supper, but took my first meal there this morning. How I longed for some of mamma ' s flapjacks and fried mush ! I guess no one will ever die of over-eating who lives at that place. About eight o ' clock I heard what I thought was a fire bell ringing, and rushed out to see what was the matter. Every one seemed to be going towards the little meet- ing-house. I went in with the rest, and was told to take a seat up front, which I did, but was quickly hustled out of there by the same fatherly old gentleman who had given me my Latin examination. After all had joined in singing a song, every verse of which ended up with the words, " Lead me on, lead me on, " the minister got up and prayed for everything and everybody in general but no one in particular. Being in church reminded me of Susie, for we always used to go to Sunday-school together, and then I wondered if they had Sunday-schools here. The rest of the morning was spent in going t o lessons and drill. This drill was the most terrible thing I ever saw. Why, one of those fellows they called Corporal M 1 had me and two other freshmen, giving us what he called " setting-up exercises. " He stood out in front of us and stretched out his arms and told us to do just as he did. I knew he was making fun of us, so I went to the man they call the Lieutenant and said to him, " Look here, mister, that chap over there is trying to make fun of me. " He didn ' t have a bit of sympathy for me, but spoke up real sharp, and made me feel so bad I cried a little. Then he made me go US



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cannon up the stairs and fired it through the door. I suppose the barricade which I had placed against the door must have been dislodged by the shock, and in a moment my room was filled with men or ghosts, I knew not which. I could smell the brimstone and hear the stamping of the cloven feet upon the floor. Then I saw their terrible horns glittering in the uncertain light which their leader carried. I knew that I must be in the presence of some of the inhabitants of the lower regions. Suddenly all was blank to me, and when I recovered my senses I found myself dripping wet by the side of the fountain. I hurried back to my room, trembling at every step as I groped my way through the darkness. I was too badly frightened to light a lamp at first, but sat thinking in the da rk. I found a match at last and lit the lamp, but am determined to sit up all night for fear they may come again. Never before has home seemed so dear to me. I have just got up from the bed where I have been laying for a few moments and gone to take a look at that dear lock of Susie ' s hair. This has reminded me of my diary ; so I have decided to write as best I can all that has happened to me in this terrible hour and a half. September 9. I am writing this on board the train. I do not know how I came to go to sleep last night, for I was fully determined to keep awake all night. It must have been half past eight or nine o ' clock this morning when I was awakened by a knock at the door, and before I had time to answer two men in full uniform entered. One of these I recognized as the lieutenant who had spoken so harshly to me the other day. He stopped in the middle of the floor and seemed astonished. I raised myself up in bed and said to him. " Ha ! you are the fellow that was up here last night and fired the cannon in my door. " He advanced a step or two and said, " I ' ll fire you through the door, young man, if I ever find you in bed another morning when I come round on inspection. What ' s the reason you are having your room in any such condition as this and a lamp burning side of your bed? " I jumped out of my bed in my night shirt. " Come to attention, there ! " he said, " what do you mean by such conduct as this any- how? " " I don ' t know, " I replied, " and I am going home today if I get a chance. " " Well, you had better ; you ' ll never amount to anything here if you can ' t get up before nine o ' clock in the morning. " Turning to the man who was with him, he said, " Give this man ten demerits. " Then he threw an angry scowl at me and went out. I dressed myself as quickly as possible, and without thinking of breakfast, packed my trunk, and had just time to catch the train for Gill. I don ' t know what papa will say, but I have made up my mind that I was not cut out for a college man. N. B. — This Freshman ' s hard luck was probably due more to his superabundant verdure, credulity, and lack of experience, rather than to any inherent spirit of malignity on the part of the professors or students. — [Eds.]

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