The Plastic Age HTML version

Carl's adviser had been less efficient than Hugh's; therefore he knew what his
courses were, where the classes met and the hours, the names of his instructors,
and the requirements other than Latin for a B. S. degree. Carl said that he was
taking a B. S. because he had had a year of Greek at Kane and was therefore
perfectly competent to make full use of the language; he could read the letters on
the front doors of the fraternity houses.
The boys found that their courses were the same but that they were in different
sections. Hugh was in a dilemma; he could make nothing out of his card.
"Here," said Carl, "give the thing to me. My adviser was a good scout and wised
me up. This P. C. isn't paper cutting as you might suppose; it's gym. You'll get
out of that by signing up for track. P. C. means physical culture. Think of that!
You can sign up for track any time to-morrow down at the gym. And E I, 7 means
that you're in English I, Section 7; and M is math. You re in Section 3. Lat means
Latin, of course—Section 6. My adviser—he tried pretty hard to be funny—said
that G. S. wasn't glorious salvation but general science. That meets in the big
lecture hall in Cranston. We all go to that. And H I, 4 means that you are in
Section 4 of History I. See? That's all there is to it. Now this thing"—he held up a
printed schedule—"tells you where the classes meet."
With a great deal of labor, discussion, and profanity they finally got a schedule
made out that meant something to Hugh. He heaved a Brobdingnagian sigh of
relief when they finished.
"Well," he exclaimed, "that's that! At last I know where I'm going. You certainly
saved my life. I know where all the buildings are; so it ought to be easy."
"Sure," said Carl encouragingly; "it's easy. Now there's nothing to do till to-
morrow until eight forty-five when we attend chapel to the glory of the Lord. I
think I'll pray to-morrow; I may need it. Christ! I hate to study."
"Me, too," Hugh lied. He really loved books, but somehow he couldn't admit the
fact, which had suddenly become shameful, to Carl. "Let's go to the movies," he
suggested, changing the subject for safety.
"Right-o!" Carl put on his freshman cap and flung Hugh's to him. "Gloria Nielsen
is there, and she's a pash baby. Ought to be a good fillum."
The Blue and Orange—it was the only movie theater in town—was almost full
when the boys arrived. Only a few seats near the front were still vacant. A
freshman started down the aisle, his "baby bonnet" stuck jauntily on the back of
his head.
"Freshman!"... "Kill him!"... "Murder the frosh!" Shouts came from all parts of the
house, and an instant later hundreds of peanuts shot swiftly at the startled
freshman. "Cap! Cap! Cap off!" There was a panic of excitement. Upper-
classmen were standing on their chairs to get free throwing room. The freshman
snatched off his cap, drew his head like a scared turtle down into his coat collar,
and ran for a seat. Hugh and Carl tucked their caps into their coat pockets and
attempted to stroll nonchalantly down the aisle. They hadn't taken three steps
before the bombardment began. Like their classmate, they ran for safety.