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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 22, 1896)
be through. The assistant had talked to
hor u little while, but he had seemed strange,
today, distant and cool as he used to in the
fill And she remembered with a pang that
this was the last time. She worked away
doggedly at her last experiment trying to
keep her mind down to chlorine gas. But
somehow she was slow. Other students were
locking their desks and filing down to the
assistant to hand in joyfully their last papers
Jean worked at tho hood that opened through
into the Sophomore's laboratory. Two stu
dents were- talking just around in tho other
room. Almost before she know it Joan was
"I expect to be assistant myself next
"Why, is Hilton going away?"
"Going to Germany to study, so I hoar."
"Bod luck to Germany !"
"And good luck to this University!"
The words wore spoken vehemently.
"You seem to think he's better across the
"Well, he's no credit to this university;
1 know that No decent girl ought to be
allowed to speak to him."
Jean moved slowly back to her desk.
What had she heard, she asked horself with
The voicos on the other side of the hood
"They say ho is not so wild as he was a
year ugo. Ho fired the toughs that used to
hang around his room. He's strong enough
to right about if ho wants to."
Then sarcastically; "It's a ouriosity, if ho
wants to. "
Hut Jean did not hoar this. She bont
oyer hor desk and laid her face on hor arm.
She must never speak to him again. If alio
could only hate him as she had at first. How
glad she was now that school was nearly out
"ml that ho was going away. She felt a
numbness creeping into her brain and roused
norsolf, remembering whore she was.
"I must finish my work," sho told herself
stupidly and folded up hor papers, unfinished
s they wore, to hand in. A few minutes at
nor desk and sho was almost roady to go.
She looked around hor for a moment fear
jj'lly. The rest wore all gdne, She heard
tno rustle of papers at the assistant's desk
down by the door. She must go down there
nd hand in her papers. Could she? But
The assistant saw her coming. Ho too
had noticed that tho rest wore all gone. How
tired she looked, and worn He noticed the
nerveless droop of her white eyelids and the
motionless curve of her white cheek. It
had been a hard year for hor. He longed
to take her and rest hor head over his heart.
But ho was not wiso enough.
He took the papers from her still fingers.
These were the last of her papers. His eyes
were steadfastly on her face
"1 go tomorrow, " he said quietly ul
will not wait for commencement. Did yon
know? It will bo three years. I may not
come for a longer time.'
Other words, trembled on his lips. He
saw Jean raise her eyelids for a moment and
drop them again. Ho could not read what
hor eyes said. Her words he could not mistake.
"I hope you will not come
lonjr time forever."
She swayed dizzily but before he could
spoak she was gone
He half uteppod to follow her. Then he
shut his teeth. What had she meant? His
own thoughts answered themselves. Ho saw
her snatch back her hand from him again all
blistered. She had shrunk from him now as
she had before that day in tho fall.
And she thought, poor child, that she had
done what was for tho best; that sometime,
perhaps, she would bo glad.
for a long,
Am I selfish, hard of hearty
Toll mo how to gain tho art
Of soft speech I do not fool.
My own brotuor wont away;
I was not inovod.
My wedded slstor loft our home;
I did uot care.
Father, careworn, gono a year, returned;
I was not glad:
My mother smiled through happy tears;
My heart was cold.
My girlhood friend, Luella, died;
I did not mourn.
John's letter did not como to-day ;
Tho burning tears.came to my eyes:
Am I selfish, hard of heart?
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