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.”