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A Master's Degree   By: (1860-1938)

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A MASTER'S DEGREE

By Margaret Hill McCarter

TO THE KANSAS BOYS AND GIRLS WHO HAVE NOT YET EARNED THEIR DEGREES; AND TO THOSE OLDER IN YEARS, EVERYWHERE, "CAPTAINS OVER HUNDREDS," WHO WOULD WIN TO THE LARGER MASTERY.

In the old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them gently forth toward a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

GEORGE ELIOT

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

THE MEETING I. "DEAN FUNNYBONE" II. POTTER'S CLAY III. PIGEON PLACE IV. THE KICKAPOO CORRAL V. THE STORM VI. THE GAME VII. THE DAY OF RECKONING VIII. LOSS, OR GAIN? IX. GAIN, OR LOSS? X. THE THIEF IN THE MOUTH XI. THE SINS OF THE FATHERS XII. THE SILVER PITCHER XIII. THE MAN BELOW THE SMOKE XIV. THE DERELICTS XV. THE MASTERY THE PARTING

A MASTER'S DEGREE

THE MEETING

...There is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth! KIPLING

IT happened by mere chance that the September day on which Professor Vincent Burgess, A.B., from Boston, first entered Sunrise College as instructor in Greek, was the same day on which Vic Burleigh, overgrown country boy from a Kansas claim out beyond the Walnut River, signed up with the secretary of the College Board and paid the entrance fee for his freshman year. And further, by chance, it happened that the two young men had first met at the gateway to the campus, one coming from the East and the other from the West, and having exchanged the courtesies of stranger greeting, they had walked, side by side, up the long avenue to the foot of the slope. Together, they had climbed the broad flight of steps leading up to the imposing doorway of Sunrise, with the great letter S carved in stone relief above it; and, after pausing a moment to take in the matchless wonder of the landscape over which old Sunrise keeps watch, the college portal had swung open, and the two had entered at the same time.

Inside the doorway the Professor and the country boy were impressed, though in differing degrees, with the massive beauty of the rotunda over which the stained glass of the dome hangs a halo of mellow radiance. Involuntarily they lifted their eyes toward this crown of light and saw far above them, wrought in dainty coloring, the design of the great State Seal of Kansas, with its inscription They saw something more in that upward glance. On the stairway of the rotunda, Elinor Wream, the niece of the president of Sunrise College, was leaning over the balustrade, looking at them with curious eyes. Her smile of recognition as she caught sight of Professor Burgess, gave place to an expression of half concealed ridicule, as she glanced down at Vic Burleigh, the big, heavy boned young fellow, so grotesquely impossible to the harmony of the place.

As the two men dropped their eyes, they encountered the upturned face of a plainly dressed girl coming up the stairs from the basement, with a big feather duster in her hand. It was old Bond Saxon's daughter Dennie, who was earning her tuition by keeping the library and offices in order. As if to even matters, it was Vic Burleigh who caught a token of recognition now, while the young Professor was surveyed with fearless disapproval.

All this took only a moment of time. Long afterward these two men knew that in that moment an antagonism was born between them that must fight itself out through the length of days. But now, Dr. Lloyd Fenneben, Dean of Sunrise, known to students and alumni alike as "Dean Funnybone," was grasping each man's hand with a cordial grip and measuring each with a keen glance from piercing black eyes, as he bade them equal welcome... Continue reading book >>




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