“You take good care of that, Daniel, and when you get the estate closed up you burn it.”
“Yes, it can do no harm to hold it a little while,” he said with affected lightness.
A STROLL ACROSS THE CAMPUS
Dan joined Mrs. Owen and Sylvia at the cottage later. He was to see them off in the morning; and he exerted himself to make Sylvia’s last evening in Buckeye Lane as happy as possible. The cottage was to be left in the care of the old servant until it could be disposed of; Mary herself was to be provided for in some way—Sylvia and Mrs. Owen had decided that this was only fair and right.
After tea Mrs. Owen said she had letters to write and carried her portfolio to the library for the purpose. Dan and Sylvia being thus left to themselves, he proposed a stroll across the campus.
“There’s something about a campus,” he said, as they started out;—“there’s a likeness in all of them, or maybe it’s sentiment that binds them together. Wellesley speaks to Yale, and the language of both is understood by Madison. Ah—there’s the proof of it now!”
Integer vitae, scelerisque purus!
A dozen students lounging on the steps of the library had begun to sing the Latin words to a familiar air. Dan followed in his deep bass to the end.
“The words are the words of Horace, but the tune is the tune of Eli with thanks to Dr. Fleming,” he remarked. “It’s that sort of thing that makes college worth while. I’ll wager those are seniors, who already feel a little heartache because their college years are so nearly over. I’m getting to be an old grad myself, but those songs still give me a twinge.”
“I understand that,” said Sylvia. “I’ll soon be saying good-bye to girls I may never see again, or when I meet them at a reunion in five or ten years, they’ll be different. College is only the beginning, after all.”
“It’s only the beginning, but for some fellows it’s the end, too. It scares me to see how many of my classmates are already caught in the undertow. I wonder sometimes whether I’m not going under myself.”
Sylvia turned toward him.
“I rather imagine that you’re a strong swimmer. It would surprise me if you didn’t do something pretty big. Mrs. Owen thinks you will; she’s not a person for any one to disappoint.”
“Oh, she has a way of thinking in large totals of people she likes, and she does like me, most unaccountably.”
“She has real illusions about me,” laughed Sylvia. “She has an idea that colleges do things by magic; and I’m afraid she will find out that the wand didn’t touch me.”
“You didn’t need the wand’s magic,” he answered, “for you are a woman of genius.”
“Which sounds well, Mr. Harwood; no one ever used such words to me before! I’ve learned one thing, though: that patience and work will make up for a good many lacks. There are some things I’m going to try to do.”