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BOARD OF EDITORS.
Local Editors. R. B. SANFORD, '97, 0. H. SMITH, '96,
Alumni Editor. J. D. TILLINGHAST, '95, Divinity School Editor. O. F. Lewis, '96,
Business Manager. W. S. Parks, '97,
Subscription Agent. M. C. WARD, '96,
December 5, 1894.
Editorials. It not infrequently happens that Tufts men, who are present at foot-ball
games, fraternity gatherings, and such assemblages where students from other colleges are in attendance, remark upon the importance of devising some college yells that shall be “ catchy” and appropriate for such occasions. The regular college cheer is all right and cannot be given too often, and the “ Bully for you,” etc., is good enough to be used at times, but many more are needed before Tufts men will ever be able to assert themselves very forcibly in the line of cheering. This lack of suitable cheers has been very noticeable at times, when Tufts men have been at gatherings with men from other colleges who have been able to win favor and applause by clever yells. It is not well, either, to underestimate the value of good cheers that can put life into the men who give them, and draw a smile from the countenances of those who hear them. The yell has its place, and the college that has the best cheers gets credit for them and attracts attention by them. Now, plenty of good yells have been heard on class days at Tufts, but they have never, for some reason, come down in college history and become common property. Cannot some ingenious Tufts man devise some good yells and submit them to the students through the columns of the TUFTONIAN?
We have just been speaking of enthusiasm as manifested by good cheering; we come now to speak of enthusiasm of a broader sort, that which can be displayed in every line of college activity, from the class room to the athletic field. We are led to mention this subject because of the apparent lack of enthusiasm which some men show about their college work, and because of their apparent indifference to opportunities and their devotion to the idea that a college course is presented for the purpose of testing a man's ability to yet through it somehow and at some time. In this respect it would be hard to find fault with the men in the Theological and Medical Schools, for it is perfectly apparent to any one who has been in a class with men from these departments that the majority of them are enthusiastic workers, manifesting a spirit that is worthy of emulation. Men in the regular academic courses ought to enter into their work with the same zeal and spirit that the men in the professional schools exhibit. No man can ever hope to get any good out of his work if he does not throw himself into it, if he does not sacrifice something to get interested in what he is doing and to get rid of the idea that this or that course is something that he must approach with a spirit of natural hostility and from which if he can only emerge successfully, he accomplishes his object. President Capen said, in his conference with the students, that the arrangement of courses at Tufts was designed to remedy the evil of forcing uncongenial work upon students, and that the result was in a measure satisfactory. It undoubtedly is; but no course, however freely chosen, can exact good work from a student who does not enter upon his duties with an enthusiasm that will make him eager to do something and to accomplish results. If the average college man would take a more lively interest in his class work, his society, his athletic sports, would concentrate his attention on what he is doing, and spend less time in dreaming of what he expects to do when he gets a little spare time, college life would mean more and the lessons of the class room and athletic field be better learned and of more lasting value.
Since the great foot-ball match at Springfield, between Harvard and Yale, a protest, to a large degree unwarranted, has arisen from the press and the pulpit against the brutality of the great college game, a protest which was of such weight that at the Yale-Princeton match in New York City the superintendent of police took the precaution to have on hand an extra force of two hundred and fifty officers to interfere in case of any brutality on the part of the players. All this,
, too, in spite of the fact that not a single serious injury occurred at Springfield ! One who is interested in foot ball and sees in it a healthy means of physical and moral development cannot fail to regret that the game has been placed in such an unfavorable light before the eyes of the American public and yet the reaction that will undoubtedly result will be on the whole, favorable for the future of the game, in that the rules will be modified so as to preclude the probability of accident, and in that the present rules in regard to rough playing will be enforced more strictly than they have been. But the fault, if there is any, does not seem to lie in the game. Contests that have taken place on hundreds of American college grounds
show that, rightly played, foot ball has a right to rank at the very front of college athletics. The trouble appears to be that opportunity is given a player for purposely injuring an opponent. If at times this opportunity is used, the blame must be laid at the doors of the individual players, and not of the game itself.' It remains for participants in the great matches to demonstrate what players in the smaller games have proved, - that it is possible, in the stress of a contest, not to take an unfair advantage of an opponent. If this can be done, the game will be vindicated as successful, not alone as a physical but as a moral developer.
Jim Long's large, square, barn-like building, which serves both as a hall and a church
for Turner's Corner. Under its shadow nestles a little box of a school
house, and across the way is the country store and post-office combined. These comprise the public buildings at Turner's Corner, but, as old Josh Harding of that place used to tell his summer boarders, “ If they ain't so very many, they 're good as far 's they go, 'n they 're all paid for.”
One afternoon in early November, Bert Taylor, postmaster and merchant, stood behind his little counter in the post-office building, wrestling with his cash account. This was no unusual thing for him, for never having taken a course in book-keeping, and being, withal, not over methodical, his private method of balancing his books was sometimes not an easy task. To-day he was so absorbed in his work that he did not notice when one man after another dropped in, and, missing the customary reply of the postmaster to his greeting, sank silently into one of the chairs by the stove with a significant nod toward the counter. At last, however, Mr. Taylor, having run
his long, bony fingers absent-mindedly through his thin locks for the last time, completed his work to his satisfaction, shut his ledger up with a snap, and looked up. “ Evenin', gents,” he said shortly ; “ heard the news ?”
“ Naw,” drawled a long, lanky fellow with close-cropped iron-gray hair, who sat sprawled out in front of the stove. “ Drive ahead, Bert.”
“ Jim Long's comin' back to-night.” « Get aeout !”
“ Fact, though,” responded the postmaster. “ His mother was down 'ere this aft'noon 'n she said she expected him on to-night's stage.”
“ Wonder how his mother 'll feel to have him back," queried Deacon Jones, a pinched-up, miserly-looking fellow on the further side of the stove. “'F I had a son comin' back hum that had just served two years for robbery, strikes me I should n't feel happy over it.”
“Darned cur’us your son ain't in prison,” muttered the first speaker under his breath. “What's that, Bill Watkins?” asked Jones, sharply. “ Nuthin' much. I was thinkin' that Jim was darned lucky to get off as easy as he did.”
“ Waal, I dunno,” said a man who had not spoken as yet. “ I'm thinkin' there was others in that scrape besides Jim Long, 'n ’t was their luck that they got off.”
“ You 're older 'n most of us, Deacon Brown,” answered Jones,“ but it don't foller because a man's hair 's white thet he 'll always hit a thing right; 'n I tell you, Jim Long was the only feller mixed up in that business, 'n thet he war n't punished 's hard's he orter been."
“I wonder,” said Bill Watkins, as he accurately squirted a stream of tobacco juice through the open draft of the stove,“ what Jim lays to do when he gets back.” “ Callates to work out, I presume,” said some one of the group.
“ Hain't no farm of his own to work.”
“Waal, he won't get no work from me,” snapped Deacon Jones.
“I should n't be surprised if I sh’ld give him a job if he came to me open 'n square-like 'n acted 's if he wanted to do better,” said Deacon Brown, mildly.
“ N’r I, neither," assented two or three others.
Here the sound of wheels outside interrupted the conversation, and the group about the stove adjourned outdoors as the old stage turned the corner and rolled heavily down the street, until Bob Marshall, the stage-driver, pulled up his horses in front of the post-office and Aung down the mail-bag with a flourish worthy of a royal mail-carrier in King George's day. The on-lookers watched eagerly as Bob stepped around and opened the door of the coach, but the disappointment they felt was manifest in their faces as the only person to step out was old Mrs. Gregory, who had been for a two weeks' visit at her son-in-law's in the next county.
“ Thought Jim Long was comin' to-night, Bob.”
“ Waal, he did come part way,” replied the stage-driver, clambering back into the seat and gathering up the reins; “but he said he reckoned he'd walk over from the Centre, so I dropped him back there.” The old stage lumbered away, and the farmers, after getting their mail, separated and went home in the fast-gathering twilight.
The last rays of the setting sun touched the golden vane on the Hammond Centre church spire as a young man walked musingly out of the town along the country road toward Turner's Corner. Aiter he had gone some distance, he suddenly turned aside, and seating himself in the corner of a stone wall, pulled his slouch hat down over his eyes and buried his face in his hands.
Twilight deepens into darkness, the line of golden light along the western hills fades away, the stars come out, a dark bank of clouds comes up in the west, and a chill wind begins to blow, yet the young man does not notice any of these things, but, with his head bowed, remains motionless. At length, however, he becomes so cold that he realizes that he must move to get warm, and rising, he pushes up his hat, shakes himself, and starts off down the road in a brisk, swinging walk. At first he seems to have come out of his lethargy, for he notes the objects along the road with an interested air, and now and then his eye lights as he sees indistinctly in the darkness something dear to his memory. Presently he falls to musing again, and his thoughts run something like this : “ Strange, that I should have such a longing to get my fingers on money when I see it;
yet, I don't know. Is it justice that my mother — who is about as near a saint as there is on earth — is it right that she should have to pinch and scrape to make the ends meet, when some mean skinfint who makes his pile by grinding down his fellow-men has all the good things of earth at his disposal ? It makes my blood boil to think of it; and yet, although I believe that
, my mother has just as much right to her share of the world's wealth as any one, I must admit that I have no right to get for her by — well, by stealing, that portion of her share which she has
If father were only alive, we two might be able to support mother somehow; but as it is now, what with the mortgage on the place — and I know that mother has had to mortgage it more heavily, for she never could have kept the interest paid up the two years that I have been away – what with the mortgage on the place, and mother's not being very strong, and likely to have a doctor's bill any time, what am I going to do to keep things going? Yet this I will do : whatever money I do get, I will get honestly, God helping me.”
I honestly, God helping me.” Reflecting in this manner James Long reached the foot of the long hill from Hammond Centre, crossed the little valley, ascended the hill on the other side, and at the “ Four Corners ” turned off to the left down Narrow Lane. He passed by the Town Hall, and along by most of the houses, finally stopping in front of a humble cottage set well back from the road. As he turned in at the gate, the door of the cottage was Aung open, and a frail, silver-haired woman, with a face full of love and joy, stood in the door-way, waiting to receive him. When he saw her, he bounded forward, leaped up the steps, and clasped her in his arms. « Mother!” “My son!” Then they went in and the door closed behind them.
James Long found it difficult for some time to secure work of any kind in his native place. No one seemed willing to trust to his care even the meanest kind of labor; but to his mother's suggestion that he seek work elsewhere, where he could start with a clean record, he replied, “ No, mother, I prefer to live down my disgrace here. I would rather earn the regard of the Turner's Corner people again than to begin anew in another place.” So he stuck to his decision, and got what work he could in the neighborhood, at first doing odd jobs here and there, and gradually finding work for a longer time. Finally, about the first of January, Deacon Brown set him the task of clearing up a wood-lot about a mile from the village. The deacon said, “I reckon he won't find much to steal there. I guess he won't lug a hemlock-tree off a great way, and there ain't nuthin' else fer him to take, 'ceptin' the axe, 'n I 'll resk that."
Thus it came about that James could be seen starting out from the village every morning with an axe on his shoulder and a tin dinner-pail in his hand. Although a reference to his past misdeed cut him keenly and often well-nigh discouraged him, yet he kept faithfully at work. Days when he felt particularly out of sorts with the world he would work off his anger by attacking a tree viciously, making the chips Aly until both body and brain were tired. So thoroughly and well the work in the wood-lot accomplished that Deacon Brown promised to give him permanent employment as a farm-hand when spring came. People began to cease to look askance at James Long, or to nod significantly when he passed.
It was a hot day in July. Not a breath of air was stirring. The powers by the roadside, wilting, hung their drooping heads. The cows lay chewing their cud in the grateful shade of the
A loaded hay-cart, enveloped in a cloud of dust, crawled slowly up the long hill into Turner's Corner, the horses reeking with foam. The only active beings in sight were a little group of men who were hurriedly loading hay in a field near the road, about half-way up the long hill. The reason for their haste was apparent in a thunder-cap which was rising rapidly in the northwest. Suddenly a woman's cry broke the silence.
“What's that, Pete?” asked one of the men in the field to the man on top of the load.
The fellow addressed looked keenly in the direction of the sound, but after a moment replied, " I don't see nuthin'. Guess Marm Gregory's spoiled a batch of pies,” and returned to his work. A moment later, however, a piercing shriek was heard, and Pete looked up again. This time he saw something. Part way down the long hill, in the middle of the dusty highway, toddled a little flaxen-haired girl in a bright red dress, clasping in both her hands a big bunch of Aowers and grasses. At some distance behind her was a large, black dog, coming along at a rapid trot. Still farther in the rear was a woman uttering agonized cries and waving her arms wildly.
Pete took it all in in a moment. “ My Heavens, boys! Mad dog!” he shouted. instant every man in the field had started for the road, pitchfork in hand. The first to reach the highway was James Long. The little girl was meanwhile wandering aimlessly along, prattling to herself, heedless of the danger behind, heedless of her mother's cries, heedless of the warning shouts of the men. The dog was nearing the child, he was almost upon her — but just then the little one, catching sight of a flower by the roadside that pleased her fancy, turned aside. The dog, not counting on that side movement, although he snapped at her, missed, and the next instant was impaled on the tines of the pitchfork in the hands of Jim Long.
« Good man, Jim !” “ Bully for you, Jim !” were the cries that sounded in Long's ears. Each one was music to his heart, which had so long yearned for words of approbation and praise ; but when the mother, weeping for joy, clasped his hand and blessed him, Jim's cup of happiness overflowed, and he had to wink hard to keep back the tears. For one who has been a social outcast, even though he has been for some time partially restored to his former position, to suddenly be overwhelmed with favors by a whole community is a most gratifying experience. Thus thought James Long when, the next evening, the citizens of Turner's Corner had a mass-meeting in the Town Hall to express their return of confidence in him. After that night the man who dared to suggest that Jim Long had once been sent up for “robbery ” would not have been tolerated at the Corner.
It was October again. The trees were resplendently decked out in dresses of red and gold, the farmers were at work harvesting their crops; the fog was heavy in the valley in the morning; the air was crisp and cool and a blue haze rested on the hills of the horizon through the day. Everybody in Turner's Corner declared that it was as “purty a fall as ever seed; an'as fer the air, 't was good enough for anybody, 'ceptin' mebbe the Widder Long.” Mrs. Long had been growing noticeably feebler this fall
. During the September rains she had caught a heavy cold, which had settled on her lungs and resulted in a hacking cough which all the local doctor's medicines did not seem to benefit. Her son watched her anxiously from day to day, noting with alarm the increasing slowness of her step, her growing fondness for the old stuffed rocker in the sunny corner of the kitchen, and the dry hack that was becoming almost constant. The doctor had told James that the best thing for his mother, perhaps the only thing that would save her life, would be a change of climate. “ If you could only get her to Colorado, or California,” he had said, “ she'd come 'round all right.” But the doctor knew when he said it that it would be impossible for the Longs to scrape together money enough to pay the fare to Colorado.
But the thought rankled in Long's mind. “If I only had money," he thought. “Oh, if I only had money! Must I see my mother die before my eyes, because I have n't the money to send her where she can get well ? ” and the old thoughts came back, and the old longing came back, and his fingers began to itch when he heard the chink of silver.
One day he was waiting in the post-office, talking and joking with the farmers who were waiting for the distribution of the mail which had just come in. As the farmers went up to collect their letters after the mail was opened, Long turned to walk away, for he or his mother seldom had anything. The postmaster called after him, “ Hold on, Jim, here 's a letter for your mother.” Long turned back in surprise, took the letter mechanically, and turned it over and over in his hand. Yes, it was for his mother, there could be no mistake about that. It was addressed in a clear, bold hand to “Mrs. Elizabeth J. Long, Turner's Corner, Franklin Co., Mass.," and postmarked at some place in California. Long carried the letter in a wondering sort of way to his mother, who was fully as much surprised as he. She broke the seal and glancing at the signature affixed to the letter exclaimed, “Oh, it ’s from your Uncle Reuben, James. I had almost forgotten about him.” Then she carefully read the letter aloud to her son. It was from a brother of James's father, who had settled some years before in Southern California, but who had never written his brother's widow since going West. The letter was given up to describing the beauties of Californian country and climate, and ended thus : “ If you are still subject to those sick spells such as you used to have, Lizzie, nothing could be better for you than the climate out here ; and if you can come on, we shall be glad to keep you here as long as you want to stay."
The letter set James to thinking again. Here was a chance, the chance for his mother. All