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The Vagabond unfolded himself creakily from his bed and silenced an impertinent alarm clock with a mighty blow. The fact that it was a bright morning penetrated his brain, and he wondered why he'd set the clock at all. A blurry glance at his desk calendar told him it was Friday, September 23. Resisting an impulse to say so what, Vag took to scrutinizing his room in order to discover what he was doing semi-awake at the depressing hour of eight-thirty. He noticed a familiar, ugly gray catalogue entitled "Official Register of Harv----." In a flash he understood: it was registration day for Freshmen. Work to be done, he murmured, as the pulled on clothes--the least unpressed coat, the two-day old shirt, the Tie. Presently he found himself ambling across the Yard, staring wide-eyed at arboreal disaster on all sides. He crossed Cambridge Street and took up his position in the noisy line of solicitors at the back door of Memorial Hall.
Only when the first Freshman slipped past him into the clutches of 'Poon salesmen and laundrymen did Vag realize that Fall had come again, and that he was collaring Freshmen for subscriptions to his paper once more. It made him think of the distant days when he first made the voyage through Mem Hall--learning how to sign his name on the way, signing up for all the periodicals. He remembered his initial trip across the Square, how he had wanted to take a taxi back to the Yard; he recalled the sign he'd put on his door warning solicitors of his full contentment. He signed as he thought of the first time he had heard the sound three trolley cars make when on their way to bed together; of the last vestiges of the Tercentenary in the Yard and how he could never pronounce that word; of the first week of college packed with inspiring speeches that always began with the word "Men!" He remembered the buffet supper in the Union; the laughter at the Tally-ho joke; the speeches in P. B. H., and the ice cream he didn't get. Hazy memories, but brought back in sharp relief by the sight of these young, eager faces.
Vag turned a deaf ear to the throaty gurgles of Guardian editors catching their first sight of hard cash in over a year and lapsed again into reverie, permitting a mental tear to soften his brain. Oh, to be a Freshman one more. To have four years of certain free summers ahead. To be free from having to think of something to be. Vag experienced slight nausea at his own nostalgia, and his thoughts swung to what courses he might sit in on this year. There was always Merriman's first lecture, a phenomenon in itself. There would be Holcombe's joke about 99 and 44-100% pure, or Demos telling about the Sophists, or some officer of the University declaring that concentration was comparable to marriage. It would all be there for another year, but after that?
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