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King’s College Record

Sept 1879

That Room-Mate of Mine

The last news I heard from my friend Joe, was a short note informing me that
– "Tis now September,
the hunters’ moon begun,"
and that consequently he is just beginning to enjoy his holidays. I have no doubt that the prospect of bringing home a brace of partridges, rouses him from his bed much earlier and much more readily on these frosty fall morning, than will the chapel bell a month later. But then, you know, it is holidays now, and that makes a great difference, and moreover he has, with the exception of a few days trouting, been enjoying almost a continuous sleep for the past two months. Now, however, when he can amuse himself with shooting partridges without infringing the laws, (as once he did in his Freshman year, by shooting robins, and feared to go into Windsor for the next fortnight in consequence, lest he should meet the constable,) he applied himself zealously to the business of having a good time.

The opportunities which Joseph enjoyed while at College, for such sport, were few, but what he had, he made the most of; and although he never met with any great success with his gun, many remember with pleasure the strings of excellent trout, which he brought home from some of his Saturday excursions, for they were always generously shared with his friends, and sometimes made a Sunday morning breakfast for us all.

One of those fishing expeditions, I think my room-mate will long remember. One Saturday morning, Joseph, in company with another man of congenial disposition, taking his rod and a lunch, started by the early train to Stillwater, intending to return by the evening train. They arrived at the station all right, walked down to the mill and took a boat to row up the lake. The troat did not seem to bite well where they use to fish, so they decided to row up a little further. Thus they tried one spot and another in indifferent success, and before the day seemed half gone, it was time to go home. To row down the lake, however, was not such an easy task as rowing up had been, for the wind had sprung up, and was blowing directly up the lake. The only thing to do was to work hard, and that they did. Slowly but surely they make their way. At length, they are in sight of the mill. A few minutes more now will take them to the landing; but before those few minutes were up, the train is heard whistling at the station.

Using every effort now, they pull with a will, and just reach the shore as the train blows for Stillwater. There is yet a quarter of a mile to the station. Seizing their lines and fish, they jump ashore, and hasten up the road. They hear the train come in, and Joe, giving his fish to his companion, hurries to stop her. But his haste is in vain, for just as he comes round the turn, in sight of the station, he sees the train move off, and knows it is too late.

He waits for his companion and both sit on the platform of the station to rest, and discuss their situation. It is Saturday night and the next train to Windsor, is the Halifax Express on Monday. They are not prepared for camping out, nor have they money to pay for lodgings, if obtainable, and it is a dreary place to spend a Saturday at any rate. Moreover, they are not excused from Chapel, nor from the lectures which they must miss on Monday.

They cannot stay here, and there is only one alternative – to walk to Windsor. Fifteen miles [I think that is about the distance] is no light walk, over railroad sleepers, but it must be done, and that, if possible, before the Chapel bell rings. Fortunately [for them] they have but few fish, and so not much to impede them. The sun has set, and it’s getting dark. They pass Ellershouse and Newport, and when they reach Three Mile Plains, they feel they are nearly home.

At last they leave the railroad, and their feet are relieved somewhat by the change to the smooth road. A few minutes more, and they are at the Parish Church, and see the welcome lights of the College before them. The Chapel is lighted, and just as they turn into College road, the half-past nine bell begins to ring. They are just in time; and as the other students file into Chapel, they can hardly refrain from smiling at the two dusty, gownless, perspiring travelers, who are now taking their first rest after their unenviable tramp, and heartily
"Rejoice within those ancient walls
to find themselves once more."

Vroom (hand written in)


Taken From:
King’s College Record – Vol 1
King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Library
– King’s College Archive

 

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