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About Oregon emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1909-1920 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 9, 1916)
EUGENE, OREGON, DECEMBER 9, 1916.
“The world’s greatest deeds of heroism are done in a blaspheming, to
bacco chewing way.”—Dr. George Rebec.
The tide was ebbing as thongh the very ocean's floor had opened and
the waters of the world were pouring through. Full eight miles wide, the
river ran a torrent to the sea. Over the broad flood a thousand lights of
Ted and white gleamed like fire flies on a summer night in Ohio. Boats—
fish boats—two men in each; in one two men were talking; talking and
“I’m not preaching. I’m not trying to tell you what’s what. You're
older than I, and I’m not trying to call you a sinner, nor myself a saint.
But, Peter, you shouldn’t swear so much. It don’t help you.”
.“Does it hurt?” ,
“Yes. You don’t think what you are saying, hut when you do think
it breaks down your respect for yourself, as it does the regard others hold
“Rot. It keeps my mind off my troubles, and on my work. When a
fellow’s swearing at things, he don’t think of them enough to get afraiil.
Same way when a guy’s chewing. He don’t think about being hungry.
He don’t bother about worrying,” and he opened a tin box. The label said,
- They were Peter, and Andrew his brother, and their net was drifting in
the tide, for they were fishers. Off to the.north of the boat a long line
of floats bobbed and dipped through the waves—now gleaming black in the
lantern-light, now hid from sight—supporting the net. Below them, in
the black water swam the salmon.
As Peter opened his small tin box Andrew ripped off a foil wrapper.
uare tor some chocolate t
“Hugh, thanks, no. I preefr
tobacco,” and they commenced clear
ing up the litter of their midnight
meal. Peter often spat overboard.
On they drifted, on to the bar—
for they were that kind of fishermen,
who, with shallow nets and deep
courage, drift in the fringe of breakers
that skirts the Teefs and spits where
the river strikes the sea.The night was
chill and they, beneath their spray
hood, did not see the light on Cape
Disappointment grow plainer; did not
see the middle lights or the range
lights slipping past. They did not see
their northerly swinging net as the
tide on Republic spit caught it. They
did not know that it was dragging
them; that its buoy was not far from
the place where the waves were
breaking along Peacock spit.
“I wish you wouldn’t chew,” his
brother complained. "I don’t like it.
Neither does mother—and Selma hates
“Let’s not talk of her, or rather
—let’s. She loves you?”
I don t know. Neither does she, but she does love you, and Andrew
bit into his chocolate.
“So she says. And you love her?”
“More, Pete, than all the world. It is a sinful thing.”
"Not that, but it is a world-wide tale. Two brothers and one girl.
She loves me, she says, and I her; hut she is too good for such as I. Were
I to die, she would be yours.”
“Don’t say that, Pete. She loves you and she belongs to you. The
sadness is for me.”
“Perhaps not all, for she would have to live with me, who am not
worthy to speak with her. I who chew tobacco,” and he rattled the little
can in the darkness as he opened it.
An ominous swell was slipping beneath the boat. It was not the pul
sating roller that rises and drops on an ebbing tide. It had a lurch and
throw. Peter felt it and rose. The canvas flap fell behind his ahoutyier.
Suddenly lie began swearing, fervently, loudly. Then his voice was drown
ed in the roar of a breaking wave, a wall of water that plunged to foam
but a short listance to leewarl.
“We’re on the spit. Come here and lend a hand. Start the motor while
I cut loose the net. We’re goners if another breaks.”
Andrew, almost helpless from fear, was fumbling with switches and
All around the water heaved and sank. In cross current and swell
their boat spun and plunged. Beyond them another breaker roared. Far
ther on, in a chaos of crashing water, the fury of the sea was plunging on
the spit. The current had them, the suck of falling waves.
(Continued on page four)
ECHOES OF LAST YEAR
Some of the boys were whooping it up, in the T. M. C. A. hangout,
The kid that writes the “we thank you notes,” was having a
While Leslie Tooze, a dangerous cuss, in a wide sombrero hat,
With Maxie Sommer, his bosom friend, was learning how to
Out of the hall, which was quiet and dark, and into the din and
There stumbled Dyott, a minister's’son, his young cheeks lined
He looked like a man with a foot in the mud, and scarcely the
strength of a louse.
Yet he pitted forty-three cents on the boards, and called for
"Gum for the house.”
There were none of us there who could treat in return, being men
without money to lose,
But we chewed his gum, and the laBt to chew, was dangerous
(NOTE: This is not “Echo’s of last year” either.—It is Ad’s of
Even As You and I
There are some people, poetically inclined, who think of woman ns n
divine creature to be set upon a pedestal and worshipped from afar. Thero
are others who call her “a rag anl a bone and a hank of hair.” The poet
ically incliued say that love is a divine passion, mysterious, inexplicable,
which siezes upon two frail human creatures like; a bolt from the blue. It
is a crime, says the poet, to keep two such people apart; he speaks of the
‘‘affinity of souls” and says that to keep them asunder is to render them
completely and hopelessly miserable.
‘‘Nothing of the kind.” says the Cynic. ”We must admit of love ns a
biological fact—as a provision of nature for the continuing of the race; to
claim anything more for love is bosh, pure and simple. If a man ouly
took the trouble to reason it out, he selects a woman for certain concrete
reasons and not because of a ‘divine passion’ or ‘affinity of the soul.’ ”
I am not prepared to decide this tremendous question, nor even to argue
it; I can only cite the case of Hector and Cleone.
Hector was just an ordinary youth who went to college for the broad
ening influences to be derived therefrom. He was a likeable boy with a
dual nature, half poetical, half cynical. He made friends quickly. His
poetic nature made him sensitive of their regnrd, but his cynical nature com
pelled him to analyze their friendship and doubt their sincerity. His poetic
self wished to accept his friends “on faith,” but his cold, unemotional, cynical
self woull insist upon weighing them id the balance—and invariably found
them wanting. Thus, superficially, he had many friends, but in reality his
heart of heaTts was a walled and buttressed fortress in whose high impreg
nable tower his cynical nature dwelt, looking down upon the world about
him with a cold and sneering eye.
Cleone was an ordinary college
girl, not cursed with too much brains.
Her friends assured her that she was
good-looking. A few hoys had sworn
that she was beautiful. She was quite
well satisfied with herself.
They met, Hector and Cleone, and
became friends Immediately. It is
not my purpose to chronicle the de
tails of their growing friendship—it
just grew, that was all—"like a beau
tiful flower to be cherished/* said Hec
tor the poet. ’’Like a weed in the gar
den to be watched with suspicion,lest
it grow too strong to uproot,” said
Hector the Cynic.Nor it is my purpose
to tell how Hector basked in the sun
shine of her smile and wrote odes to
the beauty of her hair, which was as
yellow as corn tassels in the summer;
or of how Hector the Cynic laughed
in secret at the wiles she employed
to ensnare him. It is their last night
together that interests us—when the
combined forces of Cleone the Flirt
and Hector the Poet were defeated in
a pitched battle by Hector the Cynic.
"It is the last night,” thought
Hector the Poet as they walked slow
ly across tlie campus. It was moonlight. The undulating slopes of the
campus lay before them, fair and green and beautiful. Juat a breath of
air was stirring through the ancient oaks and rustling in the ivy on the
silent halls. The grass beneath their feet was soft as velvet. As they walk
ed along slowly the moonlight glistened in Cleone’s corn-silk hair until It
shone like burnished gold—
“She is beautiful,” thought Hector the Poet, looking down upon her
bowed head with a thrill—-for she WAS beautiful—“and this is the last
To his poetical soul the wind and the trees and the ivy seemed to be
whispering in unison, “It is the last night” * * * *
“Don't make a fool of yourself,” warned Hector, the Cynic coldly. "She
looks naive and innocent, but, like Major Bagstock, she is ‘deep—deep and
devilish sly.’ She knows well enough the effect of moonlight nights and
parting sobs on callow youth. Beware.”
They moved slowly across the campus where the moonlight cast ■
checkered pattern on the velvet grass. Through the long aisles between the
trees in the cool distances could be seen other couples, arm in arm. Hector
drew her arm through his. He thought she was trembling but was not sure—
perhaps it was he who trembled. Far away on the hillside, faintly, they
heard a dog barking. Nearer, down by the river, the frogs were croaking.
It was the last night. • * *
“Hector,” said Cleone softly, ‘,It doesn’t seem possible that tomorrow
we will be miles and miles apart, does it?”
They sat down on a seat that was conveniently placed under a tree.
Hector placed his arm along the back of the bench. Cleone snuggled against
(Continued on page two)