from College Humor
Legg of Lamb
by Ellis Parker Butler
According to the most reliable statistics obtainable, the total crop of mock turtles in the Republic of Czechoslovakia for 1924 amounted to 7,564,980 poods (seventeen poods to the bundle) including the long horned mock turtles of Czemgash, as well as the more friendly variety with the yellow spots.
The great bowl, or amphitheater, of Yarvard College is estimated to have a capacity of 32,600,000 gallons of mock turtle soup when entirely filled. This -- estimating ten gallons of soup to each mock turtle -- gives us 3,260,000 mock turtles; but if we allow for waste, leakage, static and acts of Providence not otherwise provided for in the by-laws -- and why should we not? -- it is possible that 3,260,001 is more nearly correct. On the other hand, it must be admitted that some authorities figure only sixteen poods to the bundle.
In Seat 34, Row 7, Section V, of the great Yarvard Bowl sat a fair young maid. It was Thanksgiving Day, the day of the great Yarvard-Hale football game. For the occasion the mock turtle soup had been drained out of the bowl and stood up in slabs against the adjacent trees and the vast amphitheater given over to the game that challenges baseball as our national sport.
Seated next to the beautiful Doris Fultz, the adhesive plaster king's daughter, sat a youth of the male sex whose manly beauty was such that he resembled Apollo on one of Apollo's good days. He sat with his hands clasped, gazing into the beautiful girl's face with love and longing.
Leaping over the seats five at a time, his brown curls glistening in the sun, came another youth, crying, "Ah, Doris! Oh you Doris! Oo-hoo!" Beautiful as Apollo on one of Apollo's good days, Percy Milhigh was the famous quarter back of Yarvard's team, and sixty thousand pairs of eyes watched him as he greeted Doris with a hearty handshake. Thousands, looking at him, observed that his ears, which usually flapped at the sides of his head like sails, were now neatly fastened flat to his head with adhesive plaster which bore the words, "Use Fultz's Adhesive Plaster." This had been Doris' thought.
While the mighty bowl rang with the cry, "Three rousing cheers for Percy Milhigh, Yarvard's famous quarterback, and for Fultz's Adhesive Plaster, guaranteed to stick or your money refunded!" the mighty quarterback stared haughtily at the young male adjacent to Doris Fultz who had risen at his approach.
"Yes, we will win," Percy Milhigh said in answer to the question Doris put to him. "Thanks to your brilliant thought, dear Doris, I shall be able to run like a rabbit, unimpeded by my ears. But who is this poor simp who is occupying Seat 34, Row 7, Section V?"
"Allow me to present my friend, Mr. Henry Legg, Class of '24, Lamb College," said Doris politely.
"Glad to meet you," said Henry Legg, putting forth a hand, but Percy Milhigh scorned it.
"I never heard of Legg. I never heard of Lamb. I never heard of Legg of Lamb," he said rudely, and he slapped the hand Henry Legg held out.
It was true. He had never heard of Lamb College. He had never heard of Legg of Lamb. Yarvard men were like that. They never heard of anything but Yarvard and Hale and Brintzdon. And didn't want to. But Lamb College existed. It was an entity. It was a great college. It had 7,800,000 students, 54,000,000 graduates and its mail each day fills seventy-two mail cars. But Yarvard does not know it exists.
Percy Milhigh, the demon quarterback of Yarvard, grasped the pigskin (that being the scientific or Latin term for football) and springing away from the opposing Hale players darted like a greased eel down the Yarvard bowl for sixty yards, scoring the touchdown that won the game for Yarvard. Hither and yon he had darted, unimpeded by his large manly ears, which were firmly plastered back with Fultz's Adhesive Plaster.
"Gentlemen," the gamekeeper immediately announced, "the game is now concluded and Yarvard has won very neatly, thanks to Percy Milhigh. May I be permitted to congratulate him?"
Instantly, stilling the incipient "ayes" by holding up his right hand, the president of Yarvard spoke.
"In view of the fact that one of the Hale players fell down and skinned his knee," he said in a voice that carried to all parts of the bowl, "I think it would be unseemly to utter riotous noises at this time. I will ask the spectators to pass out quietly."
In an appropriate silence the spectators left the Yarvard bowl, considerably depressed by the thought that one of the Hale players had been so severely injured, but Percy Milhigh, concealing his elation under a few hurried tears, hurried to Seat 34, Row 7, Section V.
"Percy," said Doris Fultz in a low tone, "you were wonderful! I most sincerely congratulate you on the excellent showing you made."
"Then you will marry me this evening at eight thirty?" the hero asked eagerly while Henry Legg turned pale green with envy.
"Not at eight thirty, dear Percy," said Doris. "You will recall that I promised Henry here that I would attend the annual games at his college this evening. Let us make the hour midnight. Is that all right, Percy? The little brown church at midnight. And, oh, Percy!" she called as he turned happily away: "Wear your Tuxedo; it is going to be a swell wedding."
Sobbing heavily, for his heart was almost broken by this loss of the one girl he loved, Henry Legg of Lamb College led Doris Fultz out of the huge bowl just as the ushers began bringing in the slabs of mock turtle soup. Not until they were three blocks from the edifice and contiguous to a small stall for the sale of refreshments was Henry Legg able to speak.
"Miss Fultz," he said then, "may I offer you a hot dog, the price of which is ten cents, either with or without mustard?"
"Yes, thank you," she replied, "for I am as hollow as a drum."
For the great annual game between Lamb Correspondence College of Bookkeeping and its great rival the Coaltown Correspondence University of Accountancy the campus of Lamb College had been gaily decorated with flags and banners. The campus of Lamb College was on the tenth floor of the building, between the lunchroom and the room containing the card system of prospective students, and when not in use as a campus was used as a mailing department. In size it was equal to a city block and now huge grandstands had been erected on four sides, which were crowded with eager spectators. The contest between Lamb and Coaltown was already under way.
From the floors above vast chutes were pouring down hundreds of thousands and millions of addressed circulars which fell on large tables, and at each table sat four contestants, all trying to outdo the rest in speed, skill and endurance, while referees and umpires stood by to see fair play and keep the score.
Before each contestant stood an automatic postage stamp moistener, and uniformed attendants dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of one-cent postage stamps upon the tables. Bent low over the tables the champion postage stamp stickers of the two great colleges moistened and stuck stamps, forty contestants on each side. Never had America seen such splendid men as these in any stamp-sticking game. But already the terrific strain was beginning to tell on some of the stamp stickers. Here an arm, overworked, dropped from a shoulder and fell upon the floor; there a patent moistener, used too rapidly, heated to white heat and set a table afire; yonder a Coaltown man fainted and was carried out.
"Go it, Coaltown! Stick 'em, boys! Stick them stamps, Coaltown!" was shouted from the Coaltown ranks again and again, but from the Lamb cohorts came one steady chant: "Legg of Lamb! Legg of Lamb! Legg of Lamb!" for as the game progressed it was becoming evident that Lamb's chances of winning the championship depended on Henry Legg. Even Doris Fultz, promised bride of Percy Milhigh though she was, leaned forward and cried, "Go it, Henry!" in great excitement.
"The score is now Coaltown 76,876,908; Lamb 75,876,045," shouted the umpires, and hardly had he given this information when the seven Lamb contestants seated near Henry Legg dropped to the floor in utter exhaustion, leaving Henry Legg alone to battle for Lamb against the five Coaltown men who were still sticking stamps.
"Lamb! Lamb! Legg of Lamb!" shouted the Lamb enthusiasts, and Henry Legg glanced up and caught Doris Fultz's gleaming eye. A thrill of joy of battle passed through him. Reaching forward he grasped the automatic stamp moistener and cast it to the floor. Extending his long red tongue he picked up a string of postage stamps and slid the gum side across his tongue and in an instant fifty more circulars were stamped.
As the spectators saw what be was doing they arose and cheered as one man. Faster than the needle of a sewing machine perforates the cloth the tongue of Henry Legg wet the stamps -- ten times, one hundred times as rapidly as human being could moisten them with automatic moistener. Up leaped Lamb's score to 76,000,000, to 77,000,000, to 78,000,000, breaking the world's record to 80,000,000. The last Coaltown contestant dropped to the floor and still Henry Legg kept on. His lips were covered with glue, his mouth was full of glue, his face was wet with glue, his hair was one mass of glue.
"Time!" cried the umpires. "Lamb wins with a world record of 98,284,078 stamps stuck!"
"Doris!" cried Henry Legg and fell unconscious upon his table, but a moment later he opened his eyes to see Doris leaning over him.
"Just one kiss!" he pleaded. For a moment she hesitated, but had he not won this pretty boon? She pressed her lips to his and with a sigh of happiness he became unconscious again but the mucilage on his lips had glued him fast to Doris. In vain she tried to raise her head. She bucked like a bronco but the glue held her fast. A hundred hands tried to assist her but her lips held fast to those of Legg of Lamb. It seemed quite a permanent attachment.
Walking slowly, like pallbearers, with the unconscious Legg of Lamb on their shoulders and with Doris Fultz walking close behind with her lips glued to the lips of Henry Legg, six strong men of the Class of '25 proceeded to the church where Percy Milhigh waited at the door for his bride. Quickly grasping a pencil and a pad of paper Doris wrote:
"Percy, I am here as per agreement and ready now to marry you although the noble fight made by Legg of Lamb in the stamp-sticking contest inclines my heart to him. I will keep my promise to you, Percy, and marry you --"
"Never!" exclaimed Percy Milhigh. "I will not marry a girl who is stuck on another fellow!" and he ran out into the night and that was the last seen of Percy.
At that moment Henry Legg, of Lamb, opened his eyes and got to his feet and side by side, lip to lip, sideways, Legg of Lamb and Doris Fultz marched up the church aisle toward the waiting minister, and they were married, because the organist had been paid two dollars and a half in advance to play the wedding march, and what was the use of wasting good money?