The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1909
Five Minutes with the Famous
Five Minutes with the Famous.
"Yes," said von Haast after a College Council Meeting as he sat in the gymnasium discussing a glass of water and a tooth pick with Charlie Wilson,"yes, perhaps we are getting too good; but you known Wilson, it's quite imaginable that the students might start a bridge club innocently enough, but before long, because things were not sufficiently exciting, start playing for say five-pence a hundred. These law students are a wild and woolly crowd and they must find some outlet for the huge salaries they all get. And cards are dangerous. Why I knew a young fellow once who played bridge for five-pence a hundred and ruined his prospects in life through it; yes, he lost one and eight-pence in a fortnight."
"Three drinks and a tram fare." interrupted Charlie Wilson, á propos of nothing.
"Oh, its' all very well to joke about it, but it's a serious matter."
He drew his chair closer to Mr. Wilson's, took a sip of water and a bite of toothpick and continued.
"Just between you and we Wilson, I'm Frightened of the Professors. I did'nt like to mention it at the Council meeting because the reporters were there, but I've been hearing all sorts of tales. Now, Professor Mackenzie has just taken up golf lately—"
"Eh? What's that?" said the startled Mr. Wilson.
"Prof. Mac. Has taken up golf, and when anybody starts breaking out like that, it's a sure sign that something has happened. Prof. Brown induced him to take it up, I believe, and they've been going out together, and I hear that Brown gave up his prose class and substituted a bridge evening on Wednesdays. Of course Mackenzie wasn't going to be left behind by Brown so he and Mr. Eichelbaum have instituted park-a-poo for the second year students and fan-tan for freshmen. But the mathematics class is the worst of the lot; it threatens to become a regular gambling hell. Why, Prof. Picken set his honours students to work to devise a scheme for breaking the bank at Monte Carlo!"page 66
"Ah!" said the imperturbable Chas.,"something useful at last. Who can I find out the system from and I'll start for Monte Carlo to-morrow?"
"But it's no joke at all," said von Haast."It doesn't matter what faculty you go to, it's the same everywhere. von Zedlitz of course has been tossing for tram fares for years. Kirk and Easterfield are pretty immune so far but that's because they find an outlet for their animal spirits by manæuvring over the Karori Hills on Saturday afternoons with the Royal Fall-backs; but I believe that Laby and Cotton are organizing a professional prize-frighting class. And to cap all Richmond has started to find holes in the Gaming and Lotteries Act; he says that if you bet against a horse, it's not a bet but an insurance. I tell you we've got a serious problem to face and the sooner we take the bull by the horns, the better."
"Oh, it's no use von Haast. We can't do any good. Joynt will undo it all. He's started his annual sweepstake again, two guineas I time; you pay your two guineas, wait six months, then Joynt puts the names in a hat and those that come out first get degrees. The others don't. Good-night."page 67