A SOCIAL IMPOSSIBILITY
It was one of November's rare days. The kindly air, vital with the breath of the north wind and mellow with the genial sun, was full of purple haze; the grass, still vividly green, gave no hint of the coming winter; the trees, bony and bare but for a few rags of summer dress, russet-brown and gold, stood softened of all their harshness in the purple haze and slanting, yellow light of the autumn afternoon. Nature wore a face of content. She had fulfilled her course for another year, and, satisfied with her achievement, was obviously thinking of settling herself into her winter's sleep.
It was a good day to be alive. The tingle in the air somehow got into the blood.
So it felt to a young girl who danced out from under the trees on the west boundary of the University campus.
"Oh!" she cried to her statelier, taller sister, who with a young man followed more sedately into the open. "Oh, what a day! What a picture!"
She was a bonny maid just out of her teens, and, with her brown gown, brown hair and eyes, red cheeks, and wholesome, happy face, she fitted well into the picture she herself looked upon.
"Dear old 'Varsity," said her sister in a voice quiet, but thrilling with intense feeling. "There is nothing so lovely in all this city of Toronto."
"Toronto!" exclaimed the young man at her side. "Well, I should say! Don't you know that a distinguished American art critic declares this building the most symmetrical, the most harmonious, the most perfectly proportioned bit of architecture on the American continent. And that is something, from a citizen of the 'biggest nation on dry land.'"
They walked slowly and silently along the border of the matchless velvety lawn, noting the many features of beauty in the old grey face of the University building—the harmonious variety of lines and curves in curious gargoyles, dragons, and gryphons that adorned the cornices and the lintels, pausing long to admire the wonderful carved entrance with its massive tower above.
"Great, isn't it?" said Lloyd. "The whole thing, I mean—park, lawn, and the dear old, grey stones."
At this moment some men in football garb came running out of the pillared portico.
"Oh, here's the team!" cried Betty, the younger sister, ecstatically. "Are they going to play?"
"No, I think not," said Lloyd. "Campbell would not risk any scrimmaging or tackling this evening, with McGill men even now in town thirsting for their blood. He's got them out for a run to limber up their wind and things for to-morrow."
The sisters were football enthusiasts. For the past four years the beautiful Rosedale home of the Fairbanks had been the rendezvous for students, and, as many of these had been football men, the young ladies had become as devoted to the game and almost as expert in its fine points as any of its champions.
"Don't they look well and fit," exclaimed Betty as the string of runners went past.
"Yes, and fit they are every man," replied Lloyd. "There's Campbell! He's a truly great captain, knows his men, and gets out of them all that is possible."
"Yes, and there's Brown; and McNab, isn't it?...