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The Vagabond


Vag granted and turned over. He noticed that he was lying on a mattress on the floor, but before he could bring his mind to bear on this problem, a shout drew his attention to the room next door.

Aha, he thought, a party. His powers of observation were slowly coming back. A party to celebrate the imminence of the Princeton game, he thought, bringing his induction into play.

He turned over again and tried to squeeze under what was apparently a blanket. There was something wrong with that last idea. Celebrate the imminence of the Princeton game. Of course; celebrate was the square peg. Deplore, bemoan, he thought, bewail but do not celebrate.

A small surge of anger possessed him. What right had these men to celebrate before this game. They were letting Coach Jordan down. They were letting the team down. They were letting the name of Harvard down. He sank back on his mattress in pain.

Don't leap to conclusions, he said to himself. They might be taking hemlock, or dulling the senses with some opiate, or almost anything. He wondered if they would have a little left.

A sudden guffaw, in chorus, followed by a really entrancing squeal disillusioned him. This was not form for taking hemlock.

Something must be done about this. He spring off his mattress (fully dressed, he noted with some surprise) and plunged into the next room. There they were: brazenly, palpably, celebrating.

They didn't seem to be ashamed at being caught out like this. One of them approached; he was wearing a black blazer and an appalling orange scarf. Good Heavens, thought Vag, even wearing the uniform of the enemy.

"Welcome to Tigertown," the apostate said.

Suddenly the clouds cleared away. He was at Princeton, and these were Princeton men celebrating the imminence of the football game. It all began to seem more reasonable.

"Have a drink," said the creation in black and orange.

Vag accepted. He drank deep, and gave a hoarse but gallant cheer for the team. He got some more punch.

Hemlock didn't compare.

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