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The Vagabond



It was Saturday night, and the Vagabond always goes out on Saturday night. His bringing up was responsible for it, he guessed, that and going to Church on Easter. . . . A quarter past eight. He'd have to hurry. Should have left half an hour ago.

There was a knock on the door. The Vagabond sloshed his safety razor in the bowl, took a sideways squint at the inch-wide path through his frothy whiskers and traipsed down the hall. It was Dick and Phil, two friends from the Yard.

"Well, what are you two Freshmen doing out so late?"

"We came down to see our old friend Vaggy. How about coming in town with us?"

The Vagabond had a suspicion they were a little high. They didn't act just right.

"God, I'd like to, but I've got a date. Hang around though. I've got a car and I'll give you a ride wherever you want to go."

The two of them, red-faced and laughing, stumbled over to the couch and dropped. Dick was vociferous, Phil just beaming.

"You see standing before you two guys that didn't get into a House. We can't even get in a House, imagine that! Phil's all ready to quit college, says he's going to Rice Institute."

The Vagabond forgot for a moment the lather on his face.

"You didn't get into a House!"

"No. And John's just had eight beers."

Phil stopped beaming for a moment. He concentrated on the Vagabond's face.

"What shall we do, Vaggy?"

"Oh, you're sure to get in a House before the summer's over. A lot of guys drop out. And anyway, even if you don't; a lot of fellows prefer to live outside. Some of the ritzyest ones scorn the Houses. It really is just as nice outside the Houses, and some ways better. There's more freedom and everything."

"Then why did you get in a House?" Phil asked simply.

The Vagabond couldn't answer that one. He went back to his shaving. A few minutes later he heard them wrestling in the sitting room. Then before he could stop them, they slammed out the door and went rocking across the quadrangle arm in arm, singing a Harvard song.

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