"PAIN OF GROWING, ECSTASY OF UNFOLDING"
IN SEPTEMBER, 1906, John Reed entered Harvard. Harvard, Cambridge, Boston were romantic names to the boy from Oregon. There was the Yard, open and spacious, laid out with elm-shaded paths. There were the old halls, built a century and more ago, Massachusetts, Harvard, Hollis, Stoughton. There was Bulfinch's administration building, University Hall. There were Sever and Emerson, where classes met. There were Gore Hall and the squat-spired, incongruous little chapel. This was the Yard, the old, the essential Harvard. To the north were museums, the gymnasium, the law and divinity schools; to the south, one block away, on Mt. Auburn Street, the private dormitories, the Gold Coast.
This, Reed confidently believed, was to be the scene of his new triumphs. In his good-natured, casual way he was ambitious, wanted the best that Harvard offered, and could see no reason why he should not have it. After the conquest of Morristown, the conquest of Harvard seemed inevitable. There was nothing, certainly, that he was afraid to try. A day or two after college opened, he walked up to Bob Hallowell. "I hear that you draw," he said. "Why don't we do a book about Harvard? I'll do the text and you do the pictures."
"But," Hallowell objected, "we don't know anything about the place."
"Hell," Reed replied, "we'll find out doing the thing!"
It was only one of thousands of ideas that momentarily swept Reed off his feet and then came to nothing. If, however, he had set out to discover what kind of institution it was in which he