Sorely pressed by tac.s, and by other officers stationed at West Point, the yearlings, or second-year men, who do most of the hazing, have developed new forms of the ancient sport, and some of these forms may be carried on in actual sight of an Army officer without exciting his suspicions. Where possible, some of the old-style forms of more innocent and purely mischievous hazing are retained.
But they were either curious to hear more of that of which he had spoken, or else were ready to enlist under his banner, as it were. "By Jove this is bad!" half groaned Bruce Bennington, as he noticed the school split, in the ranks of Sophomores, more especially. "There'll be two factions among the second-year men now if something isn't done to head it off." "That's right," agreed Reddy Burke.
"How," she demanded, "can you expect a reliable force, if precious opportunities are to be wasted like this? Curtains ablaze, and the bedclothes singeing. We may wait for years for another such opportunity!" "But where do I come in?" cried the second-year girl. "I gave ten and sixpence for that quilt. And a jug of water standing close at hand! It was only human nature "
Then it was that Darsie discovered the real tenderness of heart which lies beneath the somewhat callous exterior of the college girl. Freshers, second-year girls, even austere thirds themselves, combined to surround her with an atmosphere of kindness and consideration. No word of sympathy was ever spoken, but almost every hour of the day brought with it some fresh deed of comfort and cheer.
I was standing near a second-year class in reading one day when I overheard a boy say "Nonsense!" to himself, after reading a section. I agreed with him too fully to offer any reproof. An eight-year-old girl said to her mother, "May I iron my apron? I ironed a pillowcase." "No, she didn't say anything," was the response. "But I know that I ironed it well." Is that an entirely passive attitude?
Expense was not being spared on that honeymoon. And yet.... Well, all that can be said is that the company was imposing. The company, which was entirely English, seemed to be unaware that any one ever did anything else but travel luxuriously to places mentioned in second-year geographies. It astounded Nellie that there should be so many people in the world with nothing to do but spend.
The second-year students were hemmed in and gradually forced nearer and nearer to the bank of the river. "Let up! let up!" yelled several in alarm. "Don't knock us overboard!" "It's nothing but mud here! I don't want my new suit spoiled!" cried one. "I can't swim!" added another. "I've got an idea," whispered Tom to the others near him.
"We'll do as we please!" cried several second-year students. Then Tom and Sam rushed for the cane and got hold of it. Two sophomores held fast on the other side, and a regular tug-of-war ensued. In the meantime other sophomores were making life miserable for Tubbs.
Here the tired senior was soothed and fed, and her self-esteem revived by an attitude of reverence on the part of the audience. The second-year girls shuddered over the papers; were convinced that never, no never, could they face the like, and suggested that it would be a saving of time to go down at once.
Only once, when one of most impudent youths who else but the second-year pupil Mechenmal spat into his face while the others raucously clapped approval, did he throw himself sobbing deeply against the attacker, who immediately ran away. Through the middle of the shrieking crowd, which blocked his way in all directions, the crying humpback pursued his schoolmate.