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Freshman Prospectors Smell Gold as Excavators Seek 30-Foot Pump Well

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Special Bulletin (May 26): A new crisis developed late this afternoon in connection with the pump diggings, when a multi-ton truck came blundering along the road and caused the entire excavation to cave in.

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Thirty-niners were beginning to think of forty-niners yesterday, when a week of mysterious drilling about the yard was capped by the sudden appearance of a great pit in front of Hollis Hall. Some characters were even seen snooping about with divining rods or trying to conceal large, empty potato sacks. One was studying the daily quotation on gold in the Wall Street Journal.

Many have probably already been disillusioned by learning that the drilling was to fertilize the ground, and that the big hole is to accommodate a tank in connection with the pump which is going to replace the old one, blown up in 1901 and last seen hurtling through the air in the general direction of Kansas City.

Although the land has been searched as far west as Poughkeepsie, the old pump has not been located. They are therefore training a new pump to look 300 years old.

All is not well, however, and there may still be a use for student prospectors. Because they can't even find the old 30-foot brick well upon which the pump is to take up its stand. There are no old charts available, and so they can only go by photographs and by the knowledge that the concrete slab covering the old well is four feet below grass-level. Hours of poking with a crow-bar have failed to reveal any concrete slab.

The use of the old well is really only a matter of form and of curiosity, because when the new pump pumps water it will pump city water. A pipe-ditch stretching from the pit is already flirting with a fire-hydrant nearby.

This is a bitter blow to the old guard who remember how good the pump water was and how people came from all over Cambridge to get it. But the new guard maintains that water drawn from the ground now would not be as pure as it was then.

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