"Dad, what does 'Mens sana in corpore sano' mean?"
Mr. Edwards slightly lowered his Sunday paper and over the top of itfrowned abstractedly at the boy on the window-seat. "Eh?" he asked."What was that?"
"'Mens sana in corpore sano,' sir."
"Oh!" Mr. Edwards blinked through his reading glasses and rustled thepaper. Finally, "For a boy who has studied as much Latin as you have,"he said disapprovingly, "the question is extraordinary, to say theleast. I'd advise you to--hm--find your dictionary, Steve." And Mr.Edwards again retired from sight.
Steve, cross-legged on the broad seat that filled the library bay, aseat which commanded an uninterrupted view up and down the street,smiled into the open pamphlet he held.
"He doesn't know," he said to himself with a chuckle. "It's somethingabout your mind and your body, though. Never mind." He idly flutteredthe leaves of the pamphlet and glanced out into the street to see if anyfriends were in sight. But it was Sunday afternoon, and rainy, and thewide, maple-bordered street, its neat artificial stone sidewalksshimmering with moisture, was quite deserted. With a sigh Steve wentback to the pamphlet. It bore the inscription on the outer cover:"Brimfield Academy," and, below, in parenthesis, "William TorrenceFoundation."
"What does 'William Torrence Foundation' mean, dad?" asked the boy.
Again Mr. Edwards lowered his paper, with a sigh. "It means, as you willdiscover for yourself if you will take the trouble to read thecatalogue, that a man named William Torrence gave the money to establishthe school. Now, for goodness sake, Steve, let me read in peace for aminute!"
"Yes, sir. Thank you." Steve turned the pages, glanced again at the"View of Main Building from the Lawn" and began to read. "In 1878William Torrence, Esq., of New York City, visited his native town ofBrimfield and interested the citizens in a plan to establish a school ona large tract of land at the edge of the town which had been in theTorrence family for many generations. Two years later the school wasbuilt and, under the title of Torrence Seminary, began a successfulcareer which has lasted for thirty-two years. Under the principalship ofDr. Andrew Morey, the institution increased rapidly in usefulness, andin 1892 it was found necessary to add two wings to the originalstructure at a cost of $34,000, also the gift of the founder. Dr.Morey's connection with the school ended four years later, when theservices of the present head, Mr. Joshua Fernald, A.M., were secured.The death of Mr. Torrence in 1897, after a long and honoured career,removed the school's greatest friend and benefactor, but, by the termsof his will, placed it beyond the reach of want for many years. With newbuildings and improvements made possible by the generous provisions ofthe testament the school soon took its place amongst the foremostinstitutions of its kind. In 1908 the charter name was changed toBrimfield Academy--William Torrence Foundation, the course waslengthened from four years to six and the present era of well-deservedprosperity was entered on. Brimfield Academy now has accommodations for260 boys, its faculty consists of 19 members and its buildings number 8.Situated as it is----"
Steve yawned frankly, viewed again the somnolent street and idly turnedthe pages. There were several pictures, but he had seen them all manytimes and only the one labelled "'Varsity Athletic Field--GymnasiumBeyond" claimed his interest for a moment. At last,
"They've got a peach of an athletic field, dad," he observedapprovingly. "I can see six goals, and that means three gridirons. Andthere's a baseball field besides. The catalogue says that 'provision isalso made for tennis, boating and swimming,' but I don't see any tenniscourts in the picture."
"All right," grunted his father from behind the paper.
"I wonder," continued Steve musingly, "where you get your boating andswimming. It says that Long Island Sound is two and a half milesdistant. That's a long old ways to go for a swim, isn't it?"
Mr. Edwards laid the paper across his knees and regarded the boyseverely. "Steve," he said, "about the only thing I've heard from yousince that catalogue arrived is the athletic field and the gymnasium.I'd like to refresh your mind on one point, my son."
"Yes, sir?" said Steve without much eagerness.
"I'd like to remind you that you are not going to Brimfield Academy toplay football or baseball, or to swim. You're going there to study andlearn! I don't propose to spend four hundred and fifty dollars a year,besides a whole lot for extras, to have you taught how to kick afootball or make a home-hit. And----"
"A home-run, sir," corrected Steve humbly.
"Or whatever it is, then. I expect you to buckle down when you get thereand learn. Remember that you've got just two years in which to prepareyourself for college. If you aren't ready then, you don't go. That'sflat, my boy, and I want you to understand it. So, if you have any ideaof football and tennis as your--er--principal courses you want to get itright out of your head. Now, for a change, suppose you have a look atthe studies in front of you, and don't let me hear anything more aboutthe gymnasium or the--the what-do-you-call-it field."
"All right, sir." Steve obediently turned the pages back. "Just thesame," he said to himself, "he didn't know what 'mens sana in corporesano' meant any better than I did! Bet you _he_ didn't kill himselfstudying when _he_ went to school!" With a sigh he found the "Courses ofStudy" and read: "Form IV. Classical. Latin: Vergil's Aeneid, IV--XII,Cicero and Ovid at sight, Composition
. Greek: Xenophon's Hellenica,Selections, Iliad and Odyssey, Selections, Sight Reading, Reviews,Composition
. French: Advanced Grammar andComposition, Le Siege de Paris, Le Barbier de Saville----"
At that moment a shrill whistle sounded outside the library window andSteve's eyes fled from the pamphlet to the grinning face of Tom Hall setbetween two of the fence pickets. The Catalogue of Brimfield Academy wastossed to the further end of the seat, and Steve, nodding vigorouslythrough the window, jumped to his feet.
"I'm going for a walk with Tom, sir," he announced half-way to the halldoor. Mr. Edwards, smothering a sigh of relief, glanced at the weather.
"Very well," he said. "Don't get your feet wet. And--er--be back beforeit's dark."
Steve disappeared into the dim hallway and Mr. Edwards gave honestexpression to his sense of relief by elevating his feet to the seat of aneighbouring chair, dropping the newspaper and, with a luxurious sigh,composing himself for his Sunday afternoon nap. But peace was not yethis, for a minute or two later Steve came hurrying in again. Mr. Edwardsopened his eyes with a frown.
"Sorry, sir," said Steve, "but Tom wants to see the catalogue."
His father nodded drowsily and Steve, securing the pamphlet, stole outagain with creaking Sunday shoes. Very quietly the front door went shutand peace at last pervaded the house. In the library, Mr. Edwards,dropping into slumber, was dimly conscious of a last disturbing thought.It was that he was going to miss that boy of his a whole lot after nextweek!
"It's all right," declared Tom Hall as he took the catalogue from Stevewith eager fingers. "At least, I'm pretty sure it is. He said at dinnerthat he'd think it over, and when he says that it means--that it's allright. What do you say, eh?"
"_Bully!_" That was what Steve said. And he said it not only once butseveral times and with varying degrees of enthusiasm and volume. And, asthough fearing his chum would doubt his satisfaction, he accompaniedeach "_Bully!_" with an emphatic thump on Tom's back. Tom, choking andcoughing, squirmed out of the way.
"Here! Ho-ho-hold on, you silly chump! You don't have to kill a fellow!"
"Won't it be dandy!" exclaimed Steve, beaming. "We can room together!And--and----"
"You bet! And we can have a bully time on the train, too. Gee, I nevertravelled as far as that alone!"
"I have! It's lots of fun! You eat your meals in a dining-car andthere's a smoking-room where you can sit and chin as late as you want toand you get off at the stations and walk up and down the platform andyou tip the negro porters and----"
"Wouldn't it be great if we both made the football team, Steve? Ofcourse, you'll make it anyway, and I might if I had a little luck.Townsend said last year I didn't do so badly, you know, and if----"
"Of course you'll make it! We both will; next year anyway. I'll betthey've got lots of fellows on the team no better than you are, Tom.Wait till I show you the athletic field. It's a corker!" And Steve'sfingers turned the pages of the school catalogue eagerly. "How's that?"he demanded at last in triumph.
They paused under a dripping tree while Tom viewed the picture, Stevelooking over his shoulder.
"It's fine!" sighed Tom at last. "Gee, I hope--I hope he lets me!"
"Let's go over there now so you can show him this," suggested Steve.But Tom shook his head wisely.
"Not now," he said. "He don't like to be disturbed Sunday afternoons.He--he sort of has a nap, you see."
"Just like dad," replied Steve. "Bet you when I get as old as that Iwon't stick around the house and go to sleep. Say, Tom, what does 'Menssana in corpore sano' mean?"
"A sound mind in a sound body," replied Tom promptly. "Why?"
"It's in here and I asked dad and he didn't know." Steve chuckled. "Hemade believe he was peevish with me, so's he wouldn't have to fess up.Dad's foxy, all right!"
"Well, you ought to have known, Steve," said Tom severely.
"Sure," agreed Steve untroubledly. "That's what he said. Let's take thata minute. I want to show you the picture of the campus."
"Let's sit down somewhere and look it over," said Tom. "I told fatherthat it was a school where they were terribly strict with the fellowsand you had to study awfully hard all the time. I wonder if it is."
"I don't believe so," answered Steve. "They say so much about footballand baseball and things like that you can tell they aren't cranky aboutstudying. And look at the pictures of the different teams in here.There's the baseball nine, see? Pretty husky looking bunch, aren't they?And--turn over--there you are--there's the football team. Some of thosechaps aren't any bigger than I am, or you, either. Good lookinguniforms, aren't they? Say, dad gave me a lecture on not thinking I wasgoing there to just play football. Fathers are awfully funny sometimes!"
"You bet! I wonder--I wonder--would you mind if we tore out a couple ofthese pictures before he sees it? I'm afraid he might think there wastoo much in it about athletics."
"No, tear away! Here, I'll do it. We'll take the pictures of the teamsout. How about the athletic field? Better tear that out too, do youthink?"
"Well, maybe, just to be on the safe side, you know. Don't throw 'emaway, though. We might want to look at them again. Let's go over to thelibrary where we can talk, Steve."