The Plastic Age
Hugh was by no means continuously depressed; as a matter of fact, most of the
time he was agog with delight, especially over the rallies that were occurring with
increasing frequency as the football season progressed. Sometimes the rallies
were carefully prepared ceremonies held in the gymnasium; sometimes they
were entirely spontaneous.
A group of men would rush out of a dormitory or fraternity house yelling,
"Peerade, peerade!" Instantly every one within hearing would drop his books—or
his cards—and rush to the yelling group, which would line up in fours and begin
circling the campus, the line ever getting longer as more men came running out
of the dormitories and fraternity houses. On, on they would go, arm in arm,
dancing, singing Sanford songs, past every dormitory on the campus, past every
fraternity house—pausing occasionally to give a cheer, always, however, keeping
one goal in mind, the fraternity house where the team lived during the football
season. Then when the cheer-leaders and the team were heading the
procession, the mob would make for the football field, with the cry of "Wood,
freshmen, wood!" ringing down the line.
Hugh was always one of the first freshmen to break from the line in his
eagerness to get wood. In an incredibly short time he and his classmates had
found a large quantity of old lumber, empty boxes, rotten planks, and not very
rotten gates. When a light was applied to the clumsy pile of wood, the flames
leaped up quickly—some one always seemed to have a supply of kerosene
ready—and revealed the excited upper-classmen sitting on the bleachers.
"Dance, freshmen, dance!"
Then the freshmen danced around the fire, holding hands and spreading into an
ever widening circle as the fire crackled and the flames leaped upward. Slowly,
almost impressively, the upper-classmen chanted:
"Round the fire, the freshmen go,
Round the fire the freshmen go
To cheer Sanford."
The song had a dozen stanzas, only the last line of each being different. The
freshmen danced until the last verse was sung, which ended with the Sanford
"Closer now the freshmen go,
Closer now the freshmen go
Sanford! Rah, rah!