The Student Vagabond
The Vagabond, swirling in the haze which fills his tower, finds himself possessed of the gift of clairvoyance. Before his glassy eyes, a vision swims. . . a vision of himself, a graduate and fifteen years out of college. He is sitting in a room whose floors are a hell of rubbish, and whose walls are decorated with photographs in execrable taste. Two small children are at his feet, scrawling on the floor with large blue pencils, and giving vent, periodically, to low, retching noises. From some far place, the howling of another child penetrates. The Vagabond is disconsolate, and does not realize the significance of the scene.
The room is still, except for the steady, monotonous pounding of the hammer in the hand of one of the children, who is attempting to nail the spatulate toes of the Vagabond to the floor. He persuades the little creature to desist by a smart cuff to the side of the head; it rambles off across the floor, wriggling like an inebriated grub; it reaches the side of its confrere, and regards him with a vacuous, faintly irritating expression. Finally, flushing to the roots of its hair, it strikes the other, who succumbs with a pitiful rattle in its throat. As the woman reenters the room, the Vagabond flees back to his tower. But again, at nine this morning, he will issue from it to hear Professor Tozzer lecture on "Marriage and the Family," in the Semitic Museum 1.