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Thu May 20, 2010 12:33 pm

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What Father Bumped is very interesting english story about Attend to the Remittances and Son will do the Rest.

A Domestic Team had a Boy named Buchanan who refused to Work, so his Parents decided that he needed a College Education. After he got that, he could enter a Learned Profession, in which Work is a mere Side-Issue.

The Father and Mother of Buchanan sent to the College for a Bunk Catalogue. The Come-On Book had a Green Cover and it was full of Information. It said that the Necessary Expenses counted up about $180 a year. All Students were under helpful and moral Influences from the Moment they arrived. They were expected to hit the Mattress at 10 P.M., while Smoking was forbidden and no one could go to Town except on a Special Permit.

"This is just the Place for Buchanan," said his Mother. "It will be such a Comfort to know that Son is in his Room every Evening."

Accordingly Buchanan was supplied with six Shirts, two Suits of everything, a Laundry-Bag, a Pin-Cushion, a Ready-Repair Kit and a Flesh Brush, and away he rode to the Halls of Learning. He wrote back that he was Home-Sick but determined to stick out because he realized the Advantages of a College Education. He said his Eyes hurt him a little from Reading at Night and he had to buy a great many Extra Books, but otherwise he was fine and fancy. Love to all and start a little Currency by the first Mail.

After Buchanan had been toiling up the Hill of Knowledge for nearly two Months, and sending hot Bulletins back to the Old Folks, his Father decided to visit him and give him some Encouragement.

"The Poor Boy must be lonesome down there among all those Strangers," said Father. "I'll drop in on him and brighten him up."

So Father landed in the College Town and inquired for Buchanan, but no one had heard of such a Person.

"Perhaps you mean 'Old Buck,'" said a Pale Youth, with an ingrowing Hat. "If he's the Indian you want to see, I'll show you where he hangs out."

The Proud Parent was steered to a faded Boarding House and found himself in a Chamber of Horrors that seemed to be a Cross between a Junk-Shop and a Turkish Corner. Here he found the College Desperado known as "Old Buck," attired in a Bath-Robe, plunking a stingy little Mandolin and smoking a Cigarette that smelled as if somebody had been standing too close to the Stove.

"Hello, Guv," said the Seeker after Truth. "Wait until I do a Quick Change and we'll go out and get a few lines of Breakfast."

"Breakfast at 2 P.M.?" inquired Father.

"We had a very busy Night," explained Buchanan. "The Sophomores have disputed our Right to wear Red Neckties, so last night we captured the President of the Soph Class, tied him to a Tree and beat him to a Whisper with a Ball Bat. Then we started over to set fire to the Main Building and we were attacked by a Gang of Sophs. That is how I happened to get this Bum Lamp. Just as he gave me the knee, I butted him in the Solar Plexus. He's had two Doctors working on him ever since. And now the Freshies are going to give me a Supper at the Dutch Restaurant to-morrow Night and there is some Talk of electing me Class Poet. So you see, I am getting along fine."

"You are doing Great Work for a Mere Child," said the Parent. "If you keep on, you may be U.S. Senator some day. But tell me, where did you get all of these Sign-Boards, Placards, Head-stones and other Articles of Vertu?"

"I swiped those," replied the Collegian. "In order to be a real Varsity Devil, one must bring home a few Souvenirs every Night he goes out. If the Missionaries did it, it would be called Looting. If the Common People did it, it would be called Petit Larceny. But with us, it is merely a Student Prank."

"I understand," said Father. "Nothing can be more playful than to nail a Tombstone and use it for a Paper-Weight."

"Would you like to look around the Institution?" asked Buchanan.

"Indeed, I should," was the Reply. "Although I have been denied the blessed Privileges of Higher Education, I love to get into an Atmosphere of four-ply Intellectuality and meet those Souls who are above the sordid Considerations of workaday Commercialism."

"You talk like a Bucket of Ashes," said the Undergraduate. "I'm not going to put you up against any Profs. Follow me and I'll fix it so that you can shake Hands with the Guy that eats 'em alive. I'll take you over to the Corral and show you the Wild-Cats. They've been drinking Blood all Morning and are feeling good and Cagey. About 3 o'clock we turn them out into the Arena and let them plow up the Turf."

"Is this a College or a Zoo?" asked the Parent.

"I refer to the Squad," said Buchanan. "We keep about 40 at the Training Table all of the time, so that no matter how many are killed off, we will always have 11 left. We have a Centre Rush who weighs 238, and you wouldn't dent him with a Hatchet. We caught him in the Woods north of Town and brought him down here. He is taking a Special Course in Piano Music two hours a Week and the rest of the Time he is throwing Substitutes down and biting them on the Arm."

Buchanan and his trembling Parent sat at the edge of the Gridiron and watched the Carnage for a while. Buchanan explained that it was merely Friendly Practice.

That Evening the Son said: "Father, you can stay only a Little While and I want to give you a Good Time while you are here. Come with us. We are going down to the Opera House to put a Show on the Bum. One of the first things we learn at College is to kid the Troupers. It is considered Great Sport in these Parts. Then, if any one gets Pinched, we tear down the Jail, thereby preserving the Traditions of dear old Alma Mater."

"Does the Faculty permit you to be guilty of Disorderly Conduct?" asked the Parent.

"Any one who goes against the Faculty single-handed is a Fink," replied Buchanan. "We travel 800 in a Bunch, so that when the Inquest is held, there is no way of finding out just who it was that landed the Punch. Anything that happens in a College Town is an Act of Providence. Now come along and see the American Youth at Play."

They found their way to the Temple of Art. When the Chemical Soubrette started in to sing "Hello, Central, give me Heaven," they gave her just the Opposite of what she was demanding. A few Opera Chairs were pulled up by the Roots and tossed on the Stage, merely to disconcert the Artiste. When the House Policeman came he was hurled 30 Feet into the Air and soon after that the Show broke up. The Student Body flocked out and upset a Trolley Car, and then they went homeward in the Moonlight singing, "Sweet Memories of College Days, La-la! La-la!"

Father's Hat was caved in and he was a trifle Bewildered, but he managed to observe that the Boys were a trifle Boisterous when they got a Fair Start.

"Oh, yes; but they don't Mean anything by it," explained Buchanan.

[Illustration: _Preserving the Traditions._]

"I hope they will explain that to the House Policeman as soon as they get him to the Hospital," said the Parent. "Otherwise, he might misconstrue their Motives."

Next Day, when he went back, he told Mother not to worry about Buchanan, as he seemed to have a full and sympathetic Grasp on the true Inwardness of Modern Educational Methods.

* * * * *

[The end]

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