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The Vagabond


From the mists of days long past comes a saga of weird and wild deeds. From father to son, for generation upon generation, the epic has been passed on until it has finally reached the Vag, who fells it his duty to give the saga the immortality of the Printed Page.

In 1930, the House of Lowell was blessed with a carillon, an authentic Russian Zvon from Moscow. And with the Zvon came Saradjeff, the official Zvonar from the Soviet Government, commissioned to ring the Zvon and impart his knowledge to the barbarians of Harvard. All would have been well if Saradjeff bad not had a sensitive Russian Soul, unaccustomed to the complex chaos of America. To this chaos was added the horrible fact that few Americans spoke Russian and Saradjeff spoke no English.

Versions of Saradjeff's deeds are many and the truth is swathed in legend. But it is generally agreed that his first exploit was arriving at Lowell House with the clothes he wore all the way from Moscow and no other possessions. He was put up over at the Law School and on his first trip across the campus became so thoroughly lost that a posse of ten Lowell Men took four hours to find him.

But when he had finally learned his way, he settled down happily in the catacombs of Lowell and proceeded to tune the bells of the Zvon before they were installed in the tower. He tapped and tinkered all day and far, far into the night. After a week or so, however, Saradjeff found that Lowell men had a strange habit of sleeping at night and they didn't seem to appreciate his bell-tapping lullaby. This opposition to his work naturally disturbed his sensitive personality.

He encountered unfeeling opposition at the Law School, too. One midnight, doubtlessly absorbed in the beauties of some unborn symphony, he burst out of his room in one of the Law School dormitories and demanded a piano. He was politely informed that a piano was not available at that time of night. In keeping with his Marxian ideas of property, he then asked to be taken where there was a piano. This demand conflicted with the legal conscience of the Law School men, and he was sent back to his room to brood on the injustice of it all.

The straw that broke John Harvard's back was when Saradjeff, as a final gesture of despair, threw an epileptic fit in the Lowell House Common Room. He was sent down to Stillman where he decided that Professor Coolidge and his flock had poisoned him. As an antidote, he drank a bottle of ink. At this point, Lowell House threw in the rag and persuaded Saradjeff to return to his native land.

Now, as the Zvon booms forth on gloomy Sunday mornings, it will come to the Vag as a voice from the past, singing a mournful epitaph to Saradjeff and his Lost Cause.

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