A lad can not stay two years at a school without becoming deeply attached to it, and both Joel and West took their departures from Hillton feeling very melancholy as the wooded hill, crowned by the sun-lit tower, faded from sight. West went directly to his home, although Joel had tried to persuade him to visit at Marchdale for a few weeks. In July Joel received a letter from Outfield asking him to visit him in Iowa, and, at the solicitation of his parents, he decided to accept the invitation. The West was terra incognita to Joel, and he found much to interest and puzzle him. The methods of farming were so different from those to which he had been accustomed that he spent the first week of his stay in trying to revolutionize them, much to the amusement of both Outfield and his father. He at length learned that Eastern ways are not Western ways, and so became content to see wheat harvested by machinery and corn cultivated with strange, new implements.
He received one day a letter forwarded from Marchdale which bore the signature of the captain of the Harwell Varsity Football Eleven. It asked him to keep in practice during the summer, and, if convenient, to report on the field two days before the commencement of the term. Remsen’s name was mentioned and Joel knew that he had him to thank for the letter.
The friends had decided to take a room together, and had applied for one in the spring. Much to their gratification they were given a third floor room in Mayer, one of the best of the older college dormitories. When the time came for going East both West and Joel were impatient to be on the way. Mrs. West accompanied the boys, and the little party reached the old, elm-embowered college town four days before the opening of the term. Agreeably to the request of the football captain, Joel reported on the field in football togs the day after reaching town, and was given a cordial welcome. Captain Button was not there, but returned with the Varsity squad from a week’s practice at a neighboring village two days later.
Mrs. West meanwhile toiled ceaselessly at furnishing the boys’ room, and the result was a revelation to Joel, to whom luxurious lounges and chairs, and attractive engravings, were things hitherto admired and longed for from a distance. And then, bidding a farewell to the lads, Outfield’s mother took her departure for home, and they were left practically rulers of all they surveyed, and, if the truth were told, a trifle sobered by the suddenness of their plunge into independence.
And one warm September day the college bell rang for chapel and the two lads had begun a new, important, and to them exciting chapter of their lives.
THE SACRED ORDER OF HULLABALOOLOO.