She 3 saw
no Indians 4 now ;
she 3 saw
flour-mills 5 and the blinking windows of
St. Paul 8 6
she 3 thinking of
squaws 9 and portages , and
the Yankee fur-traders whose shadows were all about
her 3 10
She 3 was meditating upon walnut fudge , the plays of
Brieux 11 , the reasons why
heels 12 run over , and the fact that
the chemistry instructor 13 had stared at the new coiffure which concealed
her 3 ears .
A breeze which had crossed a thousand miles of
wheat-lands 14 bellied
her 3 taffeta skirt in a line so graceful , so full of animation and moving beauty , that the heart of
a chance watcher 15 on
the lower road 16 tightened to wistfulness over
her 3 quality of suspended freedom .
She 3 lifted
her 3 arms ,
she 3 leaned back against the wind ,
her 3 skirt dipped and flared , a lock blew wild .
; credulous , plastic , young ; drinking the air as
she 3 longed to drink life .
The eternal aching comedy of expectant youth .
Carol Milford 3 , fleeing for an hour from
Blodgett College 17 .
The days of pioneering , of
lassies in sunbonnets 18 , and bears killed with axes in piney clearings , are deader now than
Camelot 19 ; and
a rebellious girl 3 is the spirit of that bewildered empire called
the American Middlewest 20 .
Blodgett College 17 is on the edge of
Minneapolis 7 .
It is a bulwark of sound religion .
It is still combating the recent heresies of
Voltaire 21 ,
Darwin 22 , and
Robert Ingersoll 23 .
Pious families 28 in
Minnesota 24 ,
Iowa 25 ,
Wisconsin 26 ,
the Dakotas 27 send
thither 17 , and
Blodgett 17 protects
them 29 from the wickedness of
the universities 30 .
But it secretes
friendly girls 31 ,
young men who sing 32 , and
one lady instructress who really likes
Carlyle 35 33
So the four years which
Carol 3 spent at
Blodgett 17 were not altogether wasted .
The smallness of
the school 17 , the fewness of
rivals 36 , permitted
her 3 to experiment with
her 3 perilous versatility .
She 3 played tennis , gave chafing-dish parties , took a graduate seminar in the drama , went “ twosing , ” and joined half a dozen societies for the practise of the arts or the tense stalking of a thing called General Culture .
her 3 class there were
two or three prettier girls 37 , but
none more eager 135 .
She 3 was noticeable equally in the classroom grind and at dances , though out of
, scores recited more accurately and dozens Bostoned more smoothly .
the three hundred students of
Blodgett 17 38
Every cell of
her 3 body was alive -- thin wrists , quince-blossom skin , ingenue eyes , black hair .
marveled at the slightness of
her 3 body when
they 39 saw
her 3 in sheer negligee , or darting out wet from a shower-bath .
She 3 seemed then but half as large as
they 39 had supposed ;
a fragile child who must be cloaked with understanding kindness 3 .
“ Psychic , ”
the girls 39 whispered , and “ spiritual . ”
Yet so radioactive were
her 3 nerves , so adventurous
her 3 trust in rather vaguely conceived sweetness and light , that
she 3 was more energetic than any of
the hulking young women who , with calves bulging in heavy-ribbed woolen stockings beneath decorous blue serge bloomers , thuddingly galloped across the floor of
the “ gym ” 42
in practise for
the Blodgett Ladies ’ Basket-Ball Team 43 41
she 3 was tired
her 3 dark eyes were observant .
She 3 did not yet know the immense ability of
the world 44 to be casually cruel and proudly dull , but if
she 3 should ever learn those dismaying powers ,
her 3 eyes would never become sullen or heavy or rheumily amorous .
her 3 enthusiasms , for all the fondness and the “ crushes ” which
she 3 inspired ,
were shy of
’s acquaintances 45
her 3 .
she 3 was most ardently singing hymns or planning deviltry
she 3 yet seemed gently aloof and critical .
She 3 was credulous , perhaps ;
a born hero-worshipper 3 ; yet
she 3 did question and examine unceasingly .
she 3 might become
she 3 would never be static .
Her 3 versatility ensnared
her 3 .
she 3 hoped to discover that
she 3 had an unusual voice , a talent for the piano , the ability to act , to write , to manage organizations .
she 3 was disappointed , but always
she 3 effervesced anew -- over
, over painting scenery for the dramatic club , over soliciting advertisements for the college magazine .
the Student Volunteers , who intended to become
missionaries 47 46
She 3 was on the peak that Sunday afternoon when
she 3 played in
chapel 48 .
Out of the dusk
her 3 violin took up the organ theme , and the candle-light revealed
her 3 in a straight golden frock ,
her 3 arm arched to the bow ,
her 3 lips serious .
Every man 49 fell in love then with religion and
Carol 3 .
Throughout Senior year
she 3 anxiously related all
her 3 experiments and partial successes to a career .
Daily , on the
library 50 steps or in
the hall of
the Main Building 52 51
the co-eds 53 talked of “ What shall
we 53 do when
we 53 finish
college 54 ? ”
pretended to be considering important business positions ; even
the girls who knew that
were going to be married 55
they 56 who knew that
they 56 would have to work hinted about
fabulous suitors 57 .
Carol 3 ,
she 3 was
an orphan 136 ;
only near relative 58
a vanilla-flavored sister married to
an optician in
St. Paul 8 59
She 3 had used most of the money from ’s estate .
She 3 was not in love -- that is , not often , nor ever long at a time .
She 3 would earn
her 3 living .
she 3 was to earn it , how
she 3 was to conquer
the world 61 -- almost entirely for
the world 61 ’s own good --
she 3 did not see .
meant to be
the girls who were not betrothed 63 62
teachers 64 .
Of these there were two sorts :
careless young women who admitted that
intended to leave the “
beastly classroom 66
grubby children 67
” the minute
had a chance to marry 65
studious , sometimes bulbous-browed and pop-eyed maidens who at class prayer-meetings requested
to “ guide
feet along the paths of greatest usefulness . ” 68
Neither sort tempted
Carol 3 .
The former seemed insincere ( a favorite word of hers at this era ) .
The earnest virgins 68 were ,
she 3 fancied , as likely to do harm as to do good by
their 68 faith in the value of parsing
Caesar 70 .
At various times during Senior year
Carol 3 finally decided upon studying law , writing motion-picture scenarios , professional nursing , and marrying
an unidentified hero 71 .
she 3 found a hobby in sociology .
The sociology instructor 72 was new .
He 72 was married , and therefore taboo , but
he 72 had come from
Boston 73 ,
he 72 had lived among
poets 74 and
socialists 75 and
Jews 76 and
millionaire uplifters 77 at
the University Settlement in
New York 79 78
he 72 had a beautiful white strong neck .
He 72 led a giggling class through
the prisons 80 ,
the charity bureaus 81 ,
the employment agencies of
St. Paul 8 82
Trailing at the end of the line
Carol 3 was indignant at the prodding curiosity of
the others 83 ,
their 83 manner of staring at
the poor 84 as at
a Zoo 85 .
She 3 felt
a great liberator 86 .
She 3 put
her 3 hand to
her 3 mouth ,
her 3 forefinger and thumb quite painfully pinching
her 3 lower lip , and frowned , and enjoyed being aloof .
A classmate named
Stewart Snyder 87 87
a competent bulky young man in a gray flannel shirt , a rusty black bow tie , and the green-and-purple class cap 138 , grumbled to
her 3 as
they 88 walked behind the others in the muck of
the South St. Paul stockyards 89 , “
These college chumps 90 make
me 87 tired .
They 90 ’re so top-lofty .
They 90 ought to of worked on
the farm 91 , the way
I 87 have .
These workmen 92 put it all over
them 90 . ”
I 3 just love
common workmen 93 , ” glowed
Carol 3 .
you 3 do n’t want to forget that
common workmen 93 do n’t think
they 93 ’re common ! ”
You 87 ’re right !
I 3 apologize ! ”
Carol 3 ’s brows lifted in the astonishment of emotion , in a glory of abasement .
Her 3 eyes mothered
the world 94 .
Stewart Snyder 87 peered at
her 3 .
He 87 rammed
his 87 large red fists into
his 87 pockets ,
he 87 jerked them out ,
he 87 resolutely got rid of them by clenching
his 87 hands behind
him 87 , and
he 87 stammered : “
I 87 know .
You 3 _ get _
people 95 .
---- Say ,
these darn co-eds 97 96
Carol 3 ,
you 3 could do a lot for
people 98 . ”
“ Oh -- oh well --
you 3 know -- sympathy and everything -- if
you 3 were -- say
you 3 were .
You 3 ’d understand .
I 87 ’m going to be
a lawyer 102 .
I 87 admit
I 87 fall down in sympathy sometimes .
I 87 get so dog-gone impatient with
people 103 that ca n’t stand the gaff .
You 3 ’d be good for
a fellow that was too serious 104 .
him 104 more -- more --
YOU 3 know -- sympathetic ! ”
His 87 slightly pouting lips ,
his 87 mastiff eyes , were begging
her 3 to beg
him 87 to go on .
She 3 fled from the steam-roller of
his 87 sentiment .
She 3 cried , “ Oh , see those poor sheep -- millions and millions of
them 105 . ”
She 3 darted on .
Stewart 87 was not interesting .
He 87 had n’t a shapely white neck , and
he 87 had never lived among
celebrated reformers 106 .
She 3 wanted , just now , to have
a cell in
a settlement-house 108 107
a nun 109 without the bother of a black robe , and be kind , and read
Bernard Shaw 110 , and enormously improve
a horde of grateful poor 111 .
The supplementary reading in sociology led
her 3 to a book on village-improvement -- tree-planting ,
town 112 pageants , .
It had pictures of greens and garden-walls in
France 115 ,
New England 116 ,
Pennsylvania 117 .
She 3 had picked it up carelessly , with a slight yawn which
she 3 patted down with
her 3 finger-tips as delicately as a cat .
She 3 dipped into the book , lounging on
her 3 window-seat , with
her 3 slim , lisle-stockinged legs crossed , and
her 3 knees up under
her 3 chin .
She 3 stroked a satin pillow while
she 3 read .
her 3 was the clothy exuberance of
: cretonne-covered window-seat , photographs of
Blodgett College 17
girls 119 , a carbon print of
the Coliseum 120 , a chafing-dish , and a dozen pillows embroidered or beaded or pyrographed .
Shockingly out of place was a miniature of the Dancing Bacchante .
It was the only trace of
Carol 3 in
the room 118 .
She 3 had inherited the rest from generations of
girl students 121 .
It was as a part of all this commonplaceness that
she 3 regarded the treatise on village-improvement .
she 3 suddenly stopped fidgeting .
She 3 strode into the book .
She 3 had fled half-way through it before the three o’clock bell called
her 3 to the class in English history .
She 3 sighed , “ That ’s what
I 3 ’ll do after college !
I 3 ’ll get
my 3 hands on
one of these prairie towns 122 and make
it 122 beautiful .
Be an inspiration .
I 3 suppose
I 3 ’d better become
a teacher 123 then , but --
I 3 wo n’t be that kind of
a teacher 124 .
I 3 wo n’t drone .
they 125 have
all the garden suburbs on
Long Island 127 126
Nobody 128 has done anything with
except hold revivals and build
the ugly towns
the Northwest 130 129
libraries 131 to contain the Elsie books .
I 3 ’ll make ‘ em put in
a village green 132 , and
darling cottages 133 , and
a quaint Main Street 134 ! ”