“It’s worse than that,” said Jimmy, as he unfolded the harrowing details of what had transpired at his meeting with the faculty. “And now,” he said, “if you birds love me, keep out of here from now until commencement. There isn’t a guy on earth can concentrate on anything with a roomful of you mental ciphers sitting around and yapping about girls and other non-essential creations.”
“Non-essential!” gasped one of his visitors, letting his eyes wander over the walls of Jimmy’s study, whereon were nailed, pinned or hung countless framed and unframed pictures of non-essential creations.
“All right, Jimmy,” said another. “We are with you, horse, foot and artillery. When you want us, give us the high-sign and we will come. Otherwise we will leave you to your beloved books. It is too bad, though, as the bar-boy was just explaining how the great drought might be circumvented by means of carrots, potato peelings, dish-water, and a raisin.”
“Go on,” said Jimmy; “I am not interested,” and the boys left him to his “beloved” books.
Jimmy Torrance worked hard, and by dint of long hours and hard-working tutors he finished his college course and won his diploma. Nor did he have to forego the crowning honors of his last baseball season, although, like Ulysses S. Grant, he would have graduated at the head of his class had the list been turned upside down.
Jimmy will accept A position.
Following his graduation he went to New York to visit with one of his classmates for a short time before returning home. He was a very self-satisfied Jimmy, nor who can wonder, since almost from his matriculation there had been constantly dinned into his ears the plaudits of his fellow students. Jimmy Torrance had been the one big outstanding feature of each succeeding class from his freshman to his senior year, and as a junior and senior he had been the acknowledged leader of the student body and as popular a man as the university had ever known.
To his fellows, as well as to himself, he had been a great success—the success of the university—and he and they saw in the future only continued success in whatever vocation he decided to honor with his presence. It was in a mental attitude that had become almost habitual with him, and which was superinduced by these influences, that Jimmy approached the new life that was opening before him. For a while he would play, but in the fall it was his firm intention to settle down to some serious occupation, and it was in this attitude that he opened a letter from his father—the first that he had received since his graduation.
The letter was written on the letterhead of the Beatrice Corn Mills, Incorporated, Beatrice, Nebraska, and in the upper left-hand corner, in small type, appeared “James Torrance, Sr., President and General Manager,” and this is what he read: