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THE VAGABOND

ELEVEN FROM BIG TEN

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The dingy, impertinent, little trains chug in every few minutes and, before they have even skated to a halt, begin to spew forth a few score commuters who flash past him on staccato high heels or solemn, rubber-heeled oxfords. Cogs in the Hub's vast commercial machine, muses the Vagabond, as he lolls against a post. Each one intent only on getting to his or her job on time so that, when the man at the top of the heap pushes the button, all the units can awake into smooth action simultaneously. Vag watches them as he fumbles in the caverns of his reversible for a pipe. Then the shiny, long, important train pokes its headlight around the curve and eyes the station platform for a moment. Slowly, deliberately, it chooses one of the center tracks, shoulders aside a local, and cases its hard, smooth body into the train shed like a tired athlete sliding into bed between the sheets. It sight placidly once or twice, then relaxes. Vag stands beside the engine, his pipe glowing like a miniature firebox.

Soon he sees her coming down the platform. It is easy to pick her out. No mistaking her for someone's secretary. She looks fresh and eager, with her saucy had and sleek fur coat. He watches her face as it searches the crowd anxiously. The expression is too good to miss. After all, this is a foreign city to her. Then she spies him, and Vag smiles a really happy smile. It has been a long, exam-filled week, but now at long last she stands there in front of him. Smoke swirls around them.

They eat toast and tea together in the big, noisy grill at the station--as enjoyable a morning meal as Vag has partaken of in many a moon. She is in one of her most charming moods, chatting gaily about people and occurrences at home which are very interesting and amusing. As she talks Vag looks at her closely. Can this be the little girl he used to go to Sunday School with? And blush with at dancing class? Surety this isn't the same little wretch whose--yes, whose bloomers used to droop so sadly years ago? But it is. She has certainly improved. Vag admits, so on the way out he buys her a huge chrysanthemum. Then, into the Charger--crank, crank. And off to Cambridge--clank, clank. Vag glows. Even the Charger seems less cantankerous.

It is fun showing Harvard to her for there is always plenty to gloat over and to point out pride fully in the Yard. A stranger isn't so quick to notice that some of those glorious trees are now drunkenly askew, propped up like so many old ladies. Strangers are inclined to see only the starched bosom of Widener. And she misses the ugly excavations while dreaming over the calculated simplicity of Memorial Church. Then Vag introduces her to his Yardling friends, Goo-Goo the pigeon and Grumpy the squirrel. They accept her, so she "belongs." Vag is pleased at their approval. But when Goo-Goo makes it plain that he must get back to the missus atop Boylston, Vag and she amble down to the House for a tete-a-tete luncheon, pleasantly, interrupted just often enough by Vag's friends. And, as she sips the last of her coffee, Vag fingers the two pink pasteboards in his pocket. . .

This afternoon at two, the Vagabond and his home town girl will tramp arm in arm to Allston Amphitheatre 36 to sit in while Professor Harlow's star pupils zip through an hour's examination of that Big Ten eleven.

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