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The Vagabond



In a church yard at Aksum, Ethiopia a richly clad priest strolled beneath the drooping leaves of eucalyptus trees. Guardians of the sacred room are watching anxiously from their narrow windows in the cathedral. For with the priest is an American, a reporter. and the two are walking back and forth. The reporter has been talking at length and finally ends with something liek this: "But a look won't scare them away. Can't you understand what it means for you, for my newspaper, for the world if these sacred relics which you say the Queen of Sheba brought from solomon's court are really in existence? I only want a look."

Finally, according to a news item, a bargain is reached and the reporter is allowed to enter the sacred room where the Art of the Covenant and certain tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments are supposed to be kept. Every Ethiopian knows they are there. Ina a little while the reporter returns and: "Say, you old cheat. There is nothing there!"

Once again the two stroll in the church yard and the priest triceps to explain that indeed they are there; only one must have "eyes of the spirit" to see them. They have been there for generations. These people believe and they need no more evidence. But the reporter only said: "There is nothing there," and went about his business.

It is a sorry business to rob the world in this way of its legends. And the Vagabond wonders what is gained when somebody opens an ancient tomb or explores a forbidden sanctuary or wrecks a harmless illusion only to say: "Nothing is there".

Indeed it is this sort of practice that does make the Vagabond weary of the world and want to lift his ladder up in his Tower and live there forever with his rich illusions and good friends. In fact that is where he has been those past few days; but this morning he descends again and is off. But so world weary is he that this morning, like a true rover that he is, he shan't let names of lectures wind his way but rather the names of men. So at nine he is off to Sever 19 to hear Professor Kittredge--no, not on Ethiopia, simply Shakespeare. At the same hour--as the mood moves him--he may go instead to Sever 11 to hear Professor Munn. At 10 o'clock he will listen to Professor Sorokin in Emerson 211. At 11 o'clock either he will hear a stimulating lecture by Professor Bixler in Emerson A or journey over to the Fogg Large Room to hear Professor Chase on Greek Art. At 12 o'clock the Vagabond will surely go to Harvard 6 to hear Professor Langer. This morning the Old Fellow promises a rich treat with any of the gentlemen mentioned above. And so away.

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