The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, November 01, 1899, Image 4

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    Strangely enough, too, she kept all of them at the same dis
tance. There was no one who might dare to lay claim to any
special mark of distinction from her. Perhaps it was on account
of this unvaried equality of treatment that she was so deservedly
popular. Nevertheless she had been able to keep all on an even
footing, while at the same time she was as gracious and amiable
as she could possibly be. To some this policy was maddening.
To others it was unalloyed joy. And the feelings of her admirer
adjusted itself somewhere between these two extremes accord
ingly as lie placed himself high or low in her esteem.
She was not a beautiful girl, if beauty consists in regularity of
features. But she was remarkable, and as frequently happens,
oddity of Manner is quite as captivating as beauty. At least, so
thought Muirkirk, who was one of her most sincere, albeit the
most silent and undemonstrative of her followers.
It had often occurred to the latter that he was unlucky. And
he had good reason to believe it. In the first place, his name put
him at a great disadvantage. When the Freshman class was
divided, he found himself in the first section. This in itself
would not have been of so much consequence had it not been that
she was in section two. If his name had only been begun with
an N What a vista of probabilities the thought engendered.
Then, too, in chapel, from the same perverseness of name put him
at the very end of the row—but on the opposite side of the
chapel, from which point of vantage he was forced to console
himself with but an occasional view of her hat, towering above
a sea of heads. Not a very inspiring sight to a stricken youth,
to be sure.
This same strain of seeming ill-luck attended him throughout
his entire course, until at last he became partially inured to it.
Somehow it had never occurred to him that " it is a long lane that
has no turning."
At the present moment these things returned to him with re
newed force. He was seated on a rustic bench in the shadow of
the broad trees in front of Old Main. And as his gaze wan
dered idly about, he found himself picking out the irregular line
of trees which marked the ellipse. He noticed, too, that he was
the only one within its limit's.
In one hand, listlessly held between his fingers, a white sheet
fluttered and crackled in the slight breeze. A single day before,