Peter De Vries
The demonstration was being staged to coincide with Reunion Week, and now visiting alumni of various ages stood in groups around the fountain near which Tattersall had paused. There were a number of seniors among the onlookers; more than among the participants, since they were about to graduate and leave, and had little or no interest in the subject now. They had more curiosity about the alumni which they were on the brink of becoming. The old grads soon had their fill and returned, by contrast, to more nostalgic concerns, swapping reminiscences, exchanging gossip, and in at least one case, striking up a song or two. The music mingled with the sound of the chanting, which though persistent was restrained and systematic, in keeping with the admonition to "orderly milling." "Orderly Milling," Tattersall thought to himself. "It sounds like a hospital employee. Hello, Orderly Milling? Send up another tank of oxygen to Room 312."
"Hello, Hank." Wurlitzer, after a spell of harmonizing, had strolled to his side.
"How do you feel about it?" With a nod Wurlitzer indicated the demonstration to which his question applied.
Tattersall understood it to be Wurlitzer's view that young people "went too far," "demanded too much," and "were getting out of hand." Which was just enough to congeal a latent sympathy with their cause into formal support on Tattersall's part. It was all he needed.
"I think they're right," he said.
"Yes. We're here to give them an education. Not regulate their private lives."
"Then why aren't you in there marching with them?"
Wurlitzer had spoken it facetiously, even with a discernible laugh. But Tattersall answered, "Why not indeed?" and strode over and joined the line.
He was rather surprised to find himself there, since he was also a member of the discipline committee. The demonstrators marched three and four abreast, and he tramped rhythmically along to the right of a youth in a black turtleneck sweater, on whose left was a girl in a plaid