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Lyrasis IVIembers

funding from

and Sloan Foundation

http://www.archive.org/details/focusdec19118stat


IBoam Grace

Woodhouse

I.

Kathebine Cook

Mamie

of OBDitors

L.

Editor-in-Chief

Assistant

Auebbach

Anne Conway

Editor-in-Chief

Literary Editor Assistant Literary Editor

Annie Banks IVEY Whitley Thxjezetta Thomas

Elizabeth Hawthobne

Neics Editor

Assistant

Business Manager Assistant Business Manager

Eva Labmoub

Art Editor

Exchange Editor

Annie Laubie Stone

Amenta Mes.

I^Iatthews

J. L.

Gladys

J.

Assistant Exchange Editor

BuGQ Bell

News Editor

Assistant

Alumnw

Editor

Alumnw

Editor


Caftle of Contents PAGE ^J'he

A

Christmas Spirit. Poem

Pair of Doves.

353

354

Story

The Holy ISTight. Poem The White Chapel. Translation The Christ-Child. Poem

357 358

363

364

Letters to Santa Claus

A

Little Child Shall Lead Them.

Story

368

The Star. Poem The Little Crucifix. Translation Another Suzanne. Story Her Answer. Story

370

"Inasmuch." Story

381

The Eeason Why. Poem

384

Editorials

385

Alumna Notes

387

Here and There Hit or Miss

389

Exchanges

399

J.

p.

BELL COMPANY,

371

374 377

397

INC.,

PRINTERS, LYNCHBURG, VA.


;

— ; !

!

The Focus Volume

FARMVILLE. VA.. DECEMBER.

I

1911

Number 8

Clbe Cl)ri0tma0 Spirit

From

ev'ry nation priceless gifts they bring,

Longing

to serve the Child of

O'er

the earth wickedness

all

Bethlehem.

now condemn;

—

obey and honor Christ your King! Ever sing on the song which angels sing, Never withholding your most precious gem

Rejoice

Come, kneel down, and E'er

let

Bear peace O'er

all

offer it

unto Him.

the bells their joyful anthem sing; to all,

ye merry Christmas chimes

the world, echo the

welcome sound

Stir all the people to proclaim their

Teach

all to

Onward,

hnow Him,

Lord

e'en in heathen climes.

to encircle the earth

around,

Nazareth proclaiming, and Christ the Lord

JuANiTA Manning, Jefferson, '14.


— THE F0CV8

864

a pair JIGHT

Dotjes

of

in all

majesty settled down over

its

Darkness long ago had wrapped

the hills.

when Morab, with

the vales in obscurity

his mantle flung over his shoulder, plodded

wearily up the path, his shepherd^ his hands, last the

staff in

toward his smoky clay hut.

At

door was reached and he entered.

"Ah, Rachel," he

said, ''the

time

is

when

slow a-coming

the Prince shall come."

He

"Aye, Morab, but when then will the Jews have a

does come

in all

King indeed ;" and

His

glory,

Rachel's dark

face lighted up in anticipation of the coming of her Prince, as she

went forward

to

meet her husband.

hast thou under thy mantle, Morab?"

"What

that I had hoped to carry

"Only a pair of young doves

to the temple, but, alas, they are nearly frozen

•be without

"What

and we

shall

a gift."

dost thou think

that this has been brought

"Nay, Rachel, I know

that

we have offended Jehovah

upon us

?"

Maybe we have omitted some

not.

offering ?"

"Father, father, give them to me," pleaded a sweet, weak voice from the corner, where the firelight flickered over a

and

small, wasted form,

a little girl rose

and came towards

her father.

"Knowest

thou,

my

Zillah,

daughter, that these doves

must be without blemish?" "Yea, father, yea little

for

Zillah as

;

only

let

me

tend them, for I can do so

beamed in the dusky eyes of Adonai;" and she held out her little arms to receive the doves. tears


— THE FOCUS

366

Morab handed them to her as he sternly admonished, "Without blemish, pure, strong and white." Then Eachel turned back to her work and Morab went to

house his

flocks.

crouched before the

Zillah

tenderly

fire,

warming and

feeding her birds as she murmured, "Without blemish, pure, strong and white.

Yea, yea, for Jehovah

He

Little doves, ye

!

can not go even to see

shall be all that, yet I

my

King, when

come in all His glory, for I'm little and lame." Days ^ame and went and the doves grew strong, and fed from Zillah's loving hand. Ah, how she loved them, and will

even Eachel trembled in dread of the time

when

the gentle

doves must be taken from the child by the stern father.

"Mother, mother, I

my

love

white, pure

doves," mur-

mured the lonely child as her eyes beamed in tenderness. Then Morab called from the next room: "To-morrow I shall take the doves to the temple."

"Nay,

father,

"

nay

Morab

"Child, wouldst thou blaspheme ?" and entered the room.

Then

became

Zillah

silent

in his

wrath

and the doves

cooed lovingly.

That night when the hut was bed and out on the

hill

The night was

star shone in the east.

words of

Down

being afraid of waking her

cold

and

clear,

Soon

and

a

wonderful

Zillah bent over her cage, whispering

endearment and farewell a strange, sweet

her precious pets.

to

in the valley huddled the sheep,

shepherds.

from her

with her cage of doves, so that she

could talk to them without parents.

quiet, Zillah stole

watched over by their

music sounded round

about, and Zillah gazed in wonderment.

Then she heard the

rush of wings, and angels' voices singing

"Glory Glory

to to

God,

God!

Peace on earth,

Good

will to

men !"


— THE FOCUS

9m

"The Messiah has come, the Son of Man, and I can not go to pay my adoration at His feet." Then in haste, Zillah loosed the door of the cage with trembling hands. The doves lingered a moment on Zillah's shoulder; then winged their way toward the east.

"A

my

gift to

Then

King," she

cried.

she turned and entered the hut.

The temple doves

heart misgave her.

!

But suddenly her Her father would

never understand.

Morab had

risen to replenish the fire;

he turned sternly:

Where

"Daughter, where hast thou been?

are the doves of

the temple?"

"Father, father, I have

given them to

"But, thou

"Oh, skies,

my

my

given

doves away.

I have

King."

—how knowest thou of a King

father, a light shone

around

me and

?"

angels filled the

saying as they chanted their hallelujah

'The Messiah has come. Glory

to

Him

!'

"

and her face lighted with the remembered

vision.

Then, to

Morab clasped her in his arms, kissing her again and again, murmuring proudly, "Not unto me was the vision given, but unto this, my daughter, who is my Zillah's astonishment,

(laughter indeed!"

Antoinette Davis, Argus, '13.


!

THE FOCUS

C!)e l^olp

357

mQbt

'Twas long, long ago, that night,

The hills lay brown and cold and bare, When, suddenly, there came a light;

Warm

music

filled

the air

The shepherds watched the sheep that night, They knew not, neither did they care. For the meaning of that wondrous light, ISTor

What

the sound of the music there.

recked they, that before that night

The world was worn with sin and But for its dark had come a light. For its discord, music fair.

care.

So the coming Christ doth bring a light, When life lies dark and cold and bare.

And

should we take His gift aright, Charmed music fills the air.

Janie Slaughtee.


THE FOCUS

868

Cf)e

I

mbitt

ELL me

again, Suzon, about the beautiful

midnight mass It

Cftapel

was

Pierrot's

;

me

tell

night

the

!"

again

Christmas.

before

returned from the

parents had

his

mother was milking the cows;

his father

was putting the farming imple-

field;

ments away in the barn, and Pierrot, while waiting for his supper, was sitting on his stool in the corner of the large

He

chimney in the kitchen, opposite his sister, Suzon. stretched out his little hands over the bright, crackling

fire.

His hands and little round face were as red as roses, and Suzon, very grave, sat knitting a blue his hair was golden. woolen stocking. Over the large fire, a kettle was singing and the lid let escape a little of the white vapor which was scented with the odor of cabbage.

me

"Tell

"Oh that

!"

again, Suzon,

how

beautiful

said Suzon, "there are so

you would think you

many burning

were in heaven.

such beautiful, beautiful carols!

!"

it is

And

Child Jesus in such beautiful clothes, oh

candles

Then we

there

is

sing

the little

so beautiful, lying

!

manger on some straw; and the Holy Virgin in a blue robe. Then there is Saint Joseph, all in red, with his in the

plane

oxen;

;

the shepherds with so the three wise men,

many

sheep

;

the donkey

;

the

dressed like soldiers, with long,

owing beards, and they are offering to the Child Jesus such and the shepherds, too, are bringing beautiful gifts; Then the shepherds, the three wise men, beautiful gifts.

fi

the priest, the donkey, the oxen, the children of the choir,

and the sheep, blessing.

up

And

all

bow down

before the Child Jesus for His

then there are the angels

a part of the sky filled with stars."

who

are holding


:

THE F0CV8 Suzon had been, the year and she could

see all

369

before, to the

this as clearly

now

midnight mass, as she did then.

Pierrot listened with an air of rapture, and

when

she had

finished

am

"I

going

the midnight mass to-night," he cried

to

excitedly.

"You

are too

"You can

entered.

"I

am

and

poor

boy, the church

to sleep,

you

in your little bed, in your

all

"I

just

are as large as Suzon."

am

going

is

too far

and the

If you are a good boy,

covered with snow.

all

is

little

you will go

if

when you

who had

going to-night," said Pierrot with a frown.

my

"But,

ground

go

mother,

said his

little,"

will see the midnight

own white

mass

chapel."

to-night," repeated Pierrot, clenching

his

little fist.

"Who

am

said 'I

going to-night' ?" asked a gruff voice.

was his father, and Pierrot did not insist any longer. had already learned that it was better to obey when he

It

He

could not do otherwise.

They

sat

down

He

appetite.

to

the

Pierrot

supper-table.

did not say anything, but sat

had no

silent,

as if

thinking.

"Suzon, go mother,

The

put your

when supper was

child in bed,

brother to bed," said

little

her

over.

and the cover

all

tucked

in,

Suzon closed

the white curtains of Pierrot's bed.

"You

midnight mass in your

will see the beautiful

little

white chapel," said Suzon. Pierrot answered not a word. all.

He

did not wish to do so

eyes open.

He

;

He

did not go to sleep at

but remained with his large

listened to the going

and coming of his

parents in the kitchen, and the shrill voice of Suzon stammer-

ing out the stories in an old almanac.

him

that

sadder.

Then

it

seemed

some one was eating chestnuts and he became

to

still


THE FOCUS

360

A few

minutes

later, his

mother entered the room, opened

the curtains of Pierrot's bed, and leaned over him; closed his eyes

but he

and did not move. them go out and lock the door behind

Finally, he heard

them and then

Pierrot got up at once and

all vras silent.

looked for his clothes in the dark. at last

It w^as

he foimd his trousers and blouse;

He

find his vest anywhere.

a hard task;

but he could not

dressed himself as best he could,

but he put his blouse on wrong side out, and although his little its

hard no button would go through

fingers tried very

He

buttonhole.

could find but one of his stockings, and,

supporting himself against the wall, he pulled the heel on top,

making

halfway in one of his

it

a knot so that his foot

little

wooden

on with

went only

shoes, while the little

bare foot slipped loosely in the other shoe.

Then he

Groping about, he found the door of the room. crossed over to the kitchen which, through a

window without

was dimly lighted by the cold gleam of the snowy Pierrot would not go toward the door that led from night. the front of the house, remembering that it was locked, but he opened easily the one that led from the kitchen into the curtains,

A

stable.

cow

stirred in her

and, pulling on

its

warm

cord, licked

bed.

him, ^'Stay with us where

going in

By

all this

it

snow, you poor

goat raised up,

Pierrot's hands

^'Mee," in a sweet and plaintive tone. to

A

is

and

warm; where

are

you

little child ?"

the feeble light of a dormer window, curtained with

spider webs, Pierrot, standing on tiptoe, was able to see to

said,

It seemed to say

draw back the inner

bolt of the stable door.

how

Suddenly,

he found himself out in the intense whiteness of the icy snow. Pierrot's

home was

in

an out-of-way place, about a quarter

To reach the village, you must o^ a mile from the church. follow the road bordered by the orchard, and then turn to


TBE FOCUS

MI

the right, and by keeping straight ahead

Without

of the village.

you saw the

steeple

hesitation, Pierrot set out

on his

journey.

All was white with snow

—

the road, and the bushes, and

The apple

the trees in the enclosure.

trees

in the air like the light chaff that

winnowing

is

were white,

blown about by a

mill.

Pierrot sank in the snow up to his ankles, and his

grew

shoes

The snow powdered

heavy.

shoulders, but he at the

all

The snow whirled

covered over with a thick mantle of snow.

was conscious of none of

this

;

little

hair

and

for he

saw

his

end of his journey, in a radiance of golden

light, the

Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the three wise men, and the

He

angels holding a canopy filled with stars.

drawn by this vision, but rapidly. The snow blinded him. as

filled

with the

white down.

soft,

kept on going,

already he walked less

if

Heaven and earth were

He

could recognize nothing,

and he no longer knew where he was.

Now,

were

stiff

as

his nose

down

He

heavy

as lead, his

hands were

and ears were tingling with pain.

his neck,

and

his blouse

and

shirt

were

his little feet

with cold, and

The snow went all

wet.

over a stone and lost one of his shoes.

fell

in the snow, he looked for

it

Kneeling

a long time, feeling about with

benumbed hands. He no longer saw the Child Jesus, nor the Virgin Mary, nor the three wise men, nor the angels He was afraid of the trees veiled in carrying the stars. white, cracking here and there under the immense mantle They did not look like trees, but like towering of snow. phantoms. His heart burst in anguish. He wept and his

cried out: '']\rama

!

mama

!"

The snow ceased to fall. Pierrot, looking all around him, pointed steeple and the windows of the last saw the all ablaze in the night. His vision returned to him. church at


:

THE FOCUS

362

his strength,

and

There

his courage.

It

!

was there

wonderful desire, the beautiful sight of heaven

!

He

—

the

did not

follow the crooked road but he tried to cut straight ahead!

Just as he

to the lighted church.

ditch, and, striking against a

left the

stump, he

Hobbling along, he crossed the

field

road he

drew nearer, and

as he

a

with his eyes fixed on

the light, but he went ever slower and slower.

grew larger

fell in

lost his other shoe.

just as he

The church was nearly

there he heard voices sing out:

"Come, divine Messiah!" His hands before him,

his eyes dilated with rapture, sus-

tained only by the beauty of the

dream

so near him, he

entered the cemetery which surrounded the church. large arched

window

There,

light.

The

above the portal was resplendent with before him,

right

divine was taking place.

The

something inexpressibly

voices sang

"I see far below in the plains

Angels descending the heavens."

Commanding little

and towards

Suddenly, he fell,

fell at

this song.

the foot of a bush hooded with snow.

smiling at the song of the angels, his eyes closed

The

in sleep.

voices sang again:

"He

is

bom;

the divine Child."

same moment, the soft and silent fall of snowThe snow covered the little body and The midnight mass in the drapery slowly thickened.

At

fiakes its

the strengih which remained in his poor

worn-out body, Pierrot went stumbling on towards

this glory

As he

all

the

began again.

white chapel was over. (Translated from the French of J. Lemaitre.)

Alice Belle Martin,

'13.


;

;

THE FOCUS

363

Cf)e Cf)n0t==Cf)ilD

Not But

was

in a wonderful castle

this, the Christ-Child,

born;

in a lowly manger, at the breaking of the dawn.

l^ot in costly raiment

was

this, the Christ-Child,

But

in a swaddling blanket that

Not But

in a cradle of peace

in a golden cradle

Not by

a

soft

'rayed

wool made.

was this, the Christ-Child, laid; and love that was by the angels made.

great

king's

Bethlehem

was from

swords were the

Wise

Men

to

led,

But by an Eastern

Star, that shone o'er the Christ-Child's

head.

Not anthems did they did

But

the

Wise

Men

sing as the Chirst-Child

see.

''Peace on earth, good will to

men !" with

hearts so

glad and free.

Not only for the prosperous was this, the Christ-Child, born But for the weak and lowly and helpless and forlorn. Not

a

time

of

Christmas

But a time

of

fear

and sorrow did the

Christ

mean

to be;

praise and thanksgiving,

by which we the

Christ might see.

George Bailey, Athenian,

'13.


THE FOCUS

864

Letter0 to

^anta Clau0

Dog Kennel, Farmville, Dear Santa Claus: I'm

My

poor

a

master

dog, living at the l^ormal School here.

very kind to me, but somehow he has an

intense objection to

Now, I want first

of

all,

singing in chapel.

you

please bring

go and sing to to

my

to get

and some one

})iano,

Christmas Eve.

little

is

Vikginia,

my

do a

to

me

to play

things for me, but

lot of

a room,

all

to myself,

with a

accompaniments, where I

may

and not have any

girls

heart's content,

worry me. And,

put in

O my

Santa Claus, there's something

stocking

else for

you

to

a bottle of anti-fat.

Your

friend,

"Gyp" Jaeman. Tarmville, Virginia,

December

Dear Santa:—

7,

1911.

When you are traveling this way at Christmas time, please bring me a collar with "Bob" engraved on it, because the I^ow, girls up here don't call me anything but "Germs." don't if

he

from

you think that name is enough to make a dog sick, even a pretty healthy "specimen" (I learned the big word

is

my

And,

master)

please,

?

Santa

Claus,

if

it

wouldn't be too

much

trouble, bring every girl in this ISTormal School a great big

package of politeness "species" laboratory.

around

the

for

them

to

practice

neighborhood

of

on us poor

the

zoological


THE FOCUS I

hope

to

my

coimnimication will not get

this

up your mail

a«S

route, the chimney, because

it

goes

little,

Bob,

Dear Santa Claus:

My

when

very important

future welfare.

Your

deal

lost

'tis

this

"Germs."

— makes me want

position at the ISTormal School

more

alias

Christmas than I did

a great

last.

Please bring the girls a desire to go to bed at ten o'clock at night,

and a desire not go

go on midnight feasts, and not

And, Santa, bring them

to hide in the closets.

clocks, set to

to

off at five o'clock, a.

alarm

all

m.

Yours

respectfully,

Mrs. Slater.

State Normal School, Farmville, Virginia,

Dear Santa Claus: I

am

assistant librarian here,

time trying to ask soles,

December

you

to

to get the girls to

bring

me

1911.

6,

and I have such a hard

walk quietly

!

I just

want

three dozen pairs of attachable rubber

ranging from number twos to

sixes.

I want to

make

one more effort to have silence in the library. Please don't think

A

merry Christmas

to

am a bad you from

I

Your

girl to ask

little

for so

much.

friend,

Maude Taliaferro. Workshop, Dear Santa Claus: I have told over

December

— and over again,

in the book you brought

me

7,

1911.

to the girls, all the jokes

last year.

Won't you please


.

THE FOCUS

366

bring

me

another large volume to start the l^ew Year on?

my

Please put the book on the desk in

workshop Christmas

morning. I

hope you won't forget me.

Good-bye, Santa.

Your Dear Santa Claus:

May

I help

Normal proved

School,

J. C.

you

Mattoon.

few presents for the State

to select a

since you'

may

not

know how

it

has im-

?

Now,

this

year

Beauties, for she

\ou

friend,

we think Miss Tabb will need two Black is taking down our good qualities, also,

see.

Jarman an automatic fountain pen; we hope. Please send a carload of new brooms not because of the condition of our rooms, but because the girls have worn bring Dr.

Please

then he won't dislike writing absence excuses,

out the old ones by being so tidy. Please,

if

Miss Mary White breaks

bring her any more

;

her glasses, don't

she can see clearly enough without

them.

Dear Santa, don't think I'm extravagant, but there is one You see. Miss Andrews It is ink. more thing needed. needs a double quantity

Thank you, Santa,

—bright red

for

it

is

her favorite color.

all.

Your

loving friend.

One of the

Gikls.

State Normal, School, Farmville, Virginia, December

Dear Santa Clans: —

when you comes by

Please,

my

little

so

bad:

1911.

here, don't fergit to stop at

house (you know where

few things

7,

'tis),

'cause I

wants a


THE FOCUS Please bring wid.

Now,

you'd bring is gittin'

me

Santa,

me

if

new, long broom,

you have one, I'd

one wid a

awfully

The next

a nice

stiff to

thin' I

reel

and

like

wants you

sweep de hall

to

very

it

long handle, 'cause

b^nd like I has

these here girls, what will 'cause I sets

367

much

my

if

back

to.

to bring me, is some beaux for come on time Sunday nights^

sets a-waitin'

for

dem some

times,

till

I

wishes there'd never been a beau. ISTow, Santa, please don't

think I'm a big beggar, but I

shore would be glad if you'd bring

them kind what has

like

Be

shore and have

I hopes you'll

it

me

a nice

bibs in front

new

apron.

I

and strings behind.

white.

make your

trips all right,

and bring eb'ry-

body eb'rything what dey wants.

Yours

truly,

"Aunt Lou."


THE FOCUS

368

"a

LeaD Ct)em"

Little C!)ilD ^ftall

lACKSON,

Palmer does not pay her rent by to-morrow night, you must She turn her out, and sell her property. has not paid her rent for three months, and Mrs.

if

any longer."

I can't wait

"But, Mr. Ryburn, Mrs. Palmer

is

very

poor, and can not even keep her children in enough food and clothes."

"Stop

That

!

my

not

is

affair.

I must have

my

money."

"

"But "If you say another word, I shall discharge you." Mr. Ryburn, the wealthy banker and landlord, stepped into his automobile, and was taken home; Jackson, the steward, walked away with tears of sympathy in his eyes for

whom

he could not help.

When Mr. Ryburn

reached home, he

the poor widow,

golden-haired

little girl,

who was

was greeted by a

his niece,

and the

idol of

his heart. I have lots of things to

"Uncle, do hurry. cried, dancing

around him,

Mr. Ryburn drew

as

his chair

tell

you," she

he removed his fur

up before the

fire,

coat.

and took

her on his lap.

am

"I

ready now, pet," he said.

"Santa Claus glad

!

is

coming to-morrow night, and I

Don't you love Santa Claus

am

so

?"

"Yes, dear."

"Mama

it

is

so small

;

Santa, and take her lots of things.

"Yes."

down Mrs. Palmer's we are going to play

said that Santa couldn't get

chimney, because

so

Won't

that be

fun ?"


THE FOCUS

369

"Don't you think it would be awful to live in such a little ?" bouse that Santa Glaus couldn't get down the chimney "Yes."

"Mama eat,

says that those

and they are cold

all

little

children haven't enough to

the time, because they can't keep

Their clothes are all old, and the wind just blows right through the broken windowpanes. You wouldn't a fire

let

all

day.

me wear

old clothes, and stay cold

all

the time,

would

you?" "No, darling."

"We

are going to

something to

eat.

they will love us as

take them lots of

clothes,

Won't they be happy ?

much

as

we

toys,

and

Don't you expect

love Santa ?"

"I guess they will, dear." ?" "Don't you want to play Santa, too

Mr. Eyburn walked later at

all.

he

to the telephone,

said, "Jackson, don't call for

It has been settled all right.

and a few minutes Mrs. Palmer's rent

I hope you will have a

happy Christmas."

Elizabeth Painter,

'14.


!

!

THE FOCUS

370

Cfte ^tar

Long miles they came, across the world, Through desert realms afar,

On

camels borne, wise

men

of old,

At the guiding of a star. Led by a shining Heavenly light, That through the dark came gleaming

And

bright,

the guiding of a star

Thou unfold, where we are,

Grant, Lord, to us that

In the deserts The wonder of that story old; Send us the guiding star. Lead hearts with shining Heavenly That through sad

And

lives

light.

comes gleaming bright.

the guiding of Christ's star

Janie Slaughter.


THE FOCUS

371

Cfje Little Cruciffi

T was

my

Christmas Eve.

had

father

crucifix,

Christ.

The summer

bought

a

before,

little

black

on which hung a leaden image of This crucifix he had kept put

away until Christmas Eve, when he took from its case and hung it above the

it

family

My

altar.

parents and the other people were busy

outside in the barns and in the kitchen, preparing for the

holy evening; risk of

my

I took the

little crucifix

limbs, seated myself with

began taking

it to

for me, as with

my

pieces.

It

from the

wall,

at

near the stove, and

it

was a very peculiar pleasure

knife I unfastened

first

the upright, then

the cross piece, then the cock of Saint Peter, and at last the

image of the holy Christ himself from the cross. The pieces seemed much more interesting to me than before. Still, M'hen I wished to put

them together

strange feeling of fear arose in

myself:

"The black

cross

is

my

again, and could not, a

much more

fore, a black cross is in the chapel, too,

go

there

to

Christmas?

and I will

pray,

and who uses

But

breast.

beautiful than be-

and

all

a crucified

Our priest says that He put him in a manger."

is

I said to

the people

Christ

I bent the arms of the leaden image of Christ over breast and laid

manger on straw of

it

at

then in a manger,

in mother's workbasket,

and placed

its

my

the family altar, while I hid the cross in the

my

parents' bed, without thinking that the basket

would betray me. Fate was soon

fulfilled.

Mother

the workbasket looked on the altar.

asked

noticed

how absurd me and

Father came to

did not know where the cross was. I stood in him and gazed into his face. He repeated his

if I

front of

first


;

THE FOCUS

372

and I pointed

question,

came

my

into

to the

my

bed with

hand

the tears

;

eyes, but I think, however, that I

moved no

feature.

Father brought out the hidden object and placed the mutilated cross on the table. ''Now, I see very well," he said, with took his hat from the nail

Stay here

"Kun "he

If

be punished.

at last

calmness, and

"now, I see very well, you must

God

himself

not respected

is

-!

and out of the door he went.

!"

to

;

all

him and beg

his forgiveness," said

my

mother;

going to cut birch rods."

is

m

the Mother went back to her work; I stood all alone darkening room, and before me on the table was the defaced I was greatly frightened by each noise. The tall, crucifix.

wooden

black,

the hour of

When

clock,

which stood against the

wall, struck

Finally I heard father's footsteps outside.

five.

he walked into the room with the birch rods, I disap-

peared into the clock-case.

He

and asked with an angry voice I heard the comwhere I was. Then such a search began mand that some one should search the hay and straw barns to the kitchen

went

!

—

and straightway bring me to my father as long as he lives Two servants were he shall remember this Christmas Eve sent in the neighborhood, but my mother said if I had gone !

to a neighbor over fields

for

my

coat

and wood that I would be frozen,

and hat were in the room.

They went away and the house was left empty again; and, in the dark room nothing was seen but the little square windowpane. through

What

I stood in the clock-case and could peep out

its joints.

fear I had to endure in this hiding-place

realized that

it

could come to no good end.

workbasket that had I forgot to

first

betrayed

blame myself for

while I remained in

my

me

my own

;

I

!

I soon

blamed the

blamed the crucifix

folly.

narrow prison.

I

Hours went by,


THE FOCUS Finally,

my

parents came back into the room,

and began

light,

878

made

a

to talk.

"I know nowhere

else to look,"

my

down upon a chair. he has lost his way in the wood

father

said,

and,

exhausted, sank ''If

or

is

lying under the

!"

cried mother, and she began to weep loudly. snow "Be quiet!" said father, "I want to hear nothing about it!"

"You do not want to hear it, and you have driven him People must love their children away by your sternness if they want to make anything of them." At this, he said, "Who says that I do not love the child? God knows I love him with my whole heart but I can not and I must not do it. But tell him I ought not to tell him I know that when I have to punish him, it hurts me far more than it does him." "I am going to look once more," said mother. "You must !

;

;

;

eat a

warm

supper."

"I want nothing

to eat," said father,

kneeling by the table

and beginning silently to pray. Mother went into the kitchen to get my warm clothes ready in case they found me half frozen. In the room everything became still once again, and in the clock-case it seemed to me that my heart must break of pain and sorrow. prayer.

Suddenly,

His head

fell

my

father began to sob in his

down on

his

arm and

his

whole

frame shook. I gave a loud cry. clock-case before

and clasping

mother and father, lying

at father's

feet

!"

was the only word Finally he held out both arms and lifted me My hair was wet with his tears.

his knees.

T could utter. to his breast.

After a few seconds I was out of the

"Father, father

(Translated from the

German

of P.

K. Rosegger.)

Elsie Mildred Stull, Pierian, '13.


THE FOCUS

374

^u^anne

anotf)er

HAT

a dismal

morning

it

was

Mrs. Cloud

!

was having washing-day, and a great deal of work was being done, too, if one might judge from the amount of water that was

from

squeezed

the

clothes.

John, and Edith LeGrande

Lad been much wronged by the planned a picnic for the day.

woe

into Aunty's willing ear

;

felt that

state of affairs.

As

Suzanne, they

They had

usual, they poured their

then, with dismal faces, they

started off to the nursery.

"Wait, children. I

How

would you

like to hear a story?

know one about another Suzanne, who once owned Suzanne now wears."

the

locket that

Immediately the weather was forgotten, and with a war-

whoop from John, a little shriek from tiny Edith, and a "O Aunty !" from dignified Suzanne, they settled John sprawled out on a rug, Edith climbed for the tale. into Aunty's lap and leaned comfortably on her shoulder, while Suzanne sat on a stool at her feet. The children looked satisfied,

expectantly at Aunty, who, with a thoughtful smile, started

on her

story.

"More than two hundred

years ago, across the ocean in

Prance, there lived a beautiful

little girl.

just your age, thirteen years.

Like you,

glossy, brown curls and

Suzanne, she was also,

large, hazel eyes.

she had soft,

Her name was

Her parents were called Huguenots, beway they worshiped God. She was taught by

Suzanne Roche. cause of the

them to love Him and to be kind to everybody. " 'What a lady she is !' her neighbors said. This was very true, for Suzanne was so dignified, so wise, and such a help


THE FOCUS to her

376

mother, one might have thought she was grown.

sweet, unselfish spirit

won

for her

many

Her One of

friends.

them had been her playmate and lover ever remember. This was Abraham Michaux,

since she could a

fine,

sturdy

youth of eighteen years,

"Suzanne would have been exceedingly happy but for one thing. The cruel ruler of France did not like the way her family and friends worshiped God, and tried to make them change. This they would not do. There were many hopes that things

would improve;

Finally,

of their liberties were taken away.

lives

all

but, instead, they

Even

their

and they were not allowed to leave The parents of Abraham and Suzanne were anxious

were in danger

France.

for their children to be out of the peril.

had a good it

grew worse.

He

At

last,

Abraham

Suzanne and they thought would work, so at the right time it was tried." "Why, look!" exclaimed Suzanne LeGrande, "Edith is idea.

confided

it

to

asleep."

"Dear

"What

did

it when Abraham do ?" asked John.

I shall

"His plan was were married for Holland.

tell

A great

Abraham

hogshead of wine.

her about

continued Aunty.

fine,"

at once.

changed his name.

and

Aunty, "I was afraid she would not

child," said

be interested.

she

is

older."

"He and Suzanne

ship was in the harbor,

disguised himself as an old

bound

man and

He obtained passage for himself and a He had saved enough money to pay this

his parents gave

him more.

Suzanne, with

bade her parents and friends good-bye.

many

tears,

She took her bundle

of clothes and food, and got into the empty hogshead. Holes had been made in it so that she could breathe. Abraham nailed it up and saw that it was carefully handled when put

on the

ship.

No

one dreamed of

such a brave, daring

scheme, and so they were not caught, but reached Holland safely in a

few days.


THE FOCUS

376

"Suzanne was very much afraid in and was often homesick.

this strange country,

She longed to see her dear parents be brave, and the people were kind

But she tried to She and Abraham remained in Holland for three years. Then they thought, 'If we remain here our children, will absorb the ways and religion of the Dutch.' So they decided to bring their two sons to this country. They knew that many dangers and hardships would have to be faced, but they were brave enough to come, because they knew it was right. "The little family left Holland with a number of HugueAbraham built nots, and finally sailed up the James River. The landing a little log cabin not far from this very spot. on the river was named Michaux's Ferry in memory of this again.

to her.

courageous man.

He

cultivated these river lowlands,

family from the cruel

protected his

and

Indian tomahawk.

Above all, he and his family lived in the fear of the Lord, and they prospered. "l^ow, guess

why

I told

you about

Suzanne."

this,

"Because our names are alike," said Suzanne LeGrande. "Good, dear; you guessed the

you more.

first

time;

but I shall

tell

She was your great-great-grandmother, and you

were named for her."

"Hurrah!"

cried the children, so loudly that little Edith

awoke.

"Where did "Oh, rising.

father,

I

she get the locket ?" asked John.

had forgotten the locket

entirely,"

said Aunty,

"It was her bridal gift from your great-great-grand-

Abraham Michaux." Eunice Watkins, Athenian, '12.


THE FOCUS

377

^et an0toer I.

]10K

KEYNOLDS

raised the old-fashioned

knocker somewhat nervously, and, as he waited for an answer to its summons, he

seemed self.

Marjorie, and, versation

to

And

was exactly the

this

him-

He

had made up his mind to propose to as he often made awkward mistakes in con-

when he was

excited, he

had written

when the appeared, warmly clad,

and memorized it. He was door opened and Marjorie herself had come

to take

proposal

off a

in the middle of

for he

to

case.

be repeating something

it

her sleighing.

''How do you do, Dick ? Isn't the weather grand ? Don't you know, we had a letter from Bob and he may be home Christmas. Just about a month, and he'll be here. I'm so He's the best brother you ever saw, anxious to see him. and I do hope he will come.

Don't you

?"

So she chattered

on, as he helped her into the sleigh and they started

through the

off

village.

they got to the open country, he began to wish she would stop and give him a chance, but when she finally did, He couldn't to save his life consternation overtook him.

When

remember how the thing began. But he must say something, "Now or never," for his courage was rapidly oozing away. he

said

boldly

himself,

to

and,

in.

"Marjorie,

my

heart

is

clearing

I mean, I

his

plunged

throat,

—you

—I care —

know

you love me oh, I you're the dearest lots for you me, Mardon't know how to say it, but, won't you marry can't

;

jorie?"


THE FOCUS

378

He by a

turned suddenly and looked at her, only to be answered

She had been trying

giggle.

to

keep her face straight,

knew why.

but had laughed, she hardly

was a short you think we'd better go back?" he turned the horse around so suddenly that the sleigh was almost upset, and started back toward town. Marjorie laid her hand on his arm. " "Dick," she began, "I'm so sorry "Never mind, Marjorie. Please don't say any more It

Jaugh, but enough for him, and with a strained, "Don't

about

it."

" "But "No, Marjorie, you needn't fool of myself, but

forget

When

it.

it's

I

apologize.

know

I

over now, and I can't help

made a

Bob was expected?"

did you say

they talked of trivial matters

till

Let's

it.

And

so

he helped her out of the

sleigh at her gate.

"I've had a lovely ride, Dick, and

"That's

all right,

Marjorie.

expected you to love me.

He was

into the sleigh

and

"You, old goose," she

I

I don't see

It's

She looked after the which changed to laughter. it.

now

off

all

right

want

how

to tell

I could have

—and—good-bye."

before Marjorie could realize

sleigh with a degree of

said,

"

shaking her

little

dismay

fist

at his

departing form, and then ran laughing into the house. II.

Mrs. Elsworth's Christmas Eve party was in full swing

when Dick

entered.

He was

almost instantly introduced to

girl. This would have been a pleasure was distinctly tiresome just now. "What Harry Johnston talking to Marjorie Grey

a distractingly pretty to

in

him

once, but

thunder

is

it

for?" he was thinking,

whom he had "Who is that girl

girl to

Why

did I want to

when suddenly he

just been introduced

over there?

know?

Oh,

realized that the

was asking:

yes,

Marjorie Grey.

Oh, I just heard they were


THE FOCUS engaged, that's

I wonder

all.

her

he might have the

if

he was very attentive

no

attracted

much

to her, so

Marjorie and Harry, spoke

All during the evening

dance.

first

Oh,

himself just in time to ask

to

in fact, that he

so,

Mrs. Elsworth, stopping by

attention.

little

they're going to dance.

if

He came

I believe they are."

379

to

them

as they

went out

to the

conservatory.

much taken with May, doesn't he ?" "Don't they make a splendid-looking pair?"

''Dick seems to be very

she observed.

noticed them

"Yes, I've

perfect,

times this evening,"

several

"Certainly

replied Marjorie.

I'll

dance.

Isn't the

music

Harry?" III.

"I don't care, I just had to get

Marjorie as she ran down the ringing in her ears if

river with her

Her mother's words were still "Henry Johnston is a fine young man,

:

I were you, Marjorie, I think I would consider his

She was thinking of

offer."

when

myself," thought

to the

over her shoulder.

skates

and

off to

hill

now

it

as she

ran along, but

she got to the river the smoothness of the ice

drove such thoughts from her mind.

almost

In a few minutes,

own affairs. when Bob's just home and

however, her thoughts again turned to her "It was hateful to leave,

Christmas

Day

it's

besides, but I've got to think it out," she

soliloquized.

So she skated going,

till

late

At

!

along, scarcely noticing

where she was

suddenly she heard an ominous crack

—but

too

once, she found herself in the icy water, with

one in

sight.

on the

ice,

She

called, at the

same time trying

which broke through each time.

no

to get out

She was almost

exhausted when she heard a voice:

"Hold on hired

men

managed

just a

with a

to get hold of

her to her

feet.

One

of the

he had picked up.

She

minute longer, I'm coming."

ran out

it,

rail

and he pulled her out and helped


THE FOCUS

380

Here, take

"Gee, Miss, but you had a narrer escape. .

"

my

came a voice from behind She had almost reached the bank by now, and turned Dick running toward her.

"Marjoric, what her.

to see

"I merely

the matter ?"

is

f-f-fell

in the w-w-water," she replied, her teeth

chattering.

Before she had finished speaking he had taken overcoat and had wrapped

it

around

In

her.

a

his

off

moment

they

were hurrying toward the house.

"How

did

happen?"

it

"Oh, I was just thinking Ugh, but the water was cold "Marjorie,

if

if it

had been

"What do any right to

to

"

made any

May

I care for

dozen of her.

it,

particular difference to you.

Shelburne."

May

You know

say

!"

you had

"It wouldn't have

!Mow,

hard I didn't see that airhole.

so

You're worth a

Shelburne?

I love you, Marjorie.

I know, but I do, even

if

I haven't

you are engaged

Harry,"

A

sudden light dawned in Marjorie's face. "Dick," she "I'm not engaged to any one yet. Do you

—

said softly,

realize that you've never asked for

my

answer

to that ques-

you asked me when we went sleighing?" They were on the porch by this time, and he turned

tion

ward

her, a faint

"Marjorie

!"

hope in his

to-

eyes.

trying to catch her hands, but she ran to the

door, and just inside

it

she turned:

"If you'll come around to-night, Dick,

and I think," a

slight pause,

I'll

give

it to

you,

during which a wave of color

swept over hor face, "I think

it

will be satisfactory to us

both."

Mary Wake Weiser,

'13.


THE FOCUS

381

"KnagmucJ)"

FEW

years

Theodore

ago,

Douglass,

young lawyer, began the

bright

El Dorado, an attractive

his profession in

and beautiful

a

practice of

town in the center of a

little

wealthy farming community.

Far from to

his relatives,

by seeking out oppor-

relieve the loneliness of his life

making

tunities for

Theodore began

others happier, especially children and

the very poor, for the gentle and compassionate spirit of the

Saviour found in him a true follower.

In

this

prosperous county

department

stores,

with

seat,

were some great

there

magTiificent

Christmas

stocks of

goods for more than a million people inhabited the county

and traded in El Dorado.

But a small shop

and

of toys

books was passed unnoticed by the Christmas shoppers, and the day before

Christmas Theodore

heard that the poor

widow, Mrs. Gillespie, who kept the shop, had not made

enough "It

sales to

is

keep her from want during the holidays.

a great pity," said Theodore.

"Some one must help

her without subjecting her to the humiliation she would feel if

she were offered charity.

There

is little

time for arrange-

ments to-day, but I believe I can spare Mrs. Gillespie's ings and yet ^

manage

to

feel-

supply the money she needs imme-

diately."

Hastening a fine

to the

Delmonico restaurant, Theodore ordered

Christmas dinner for a dozen people

rooms the next day.

to be sent to his

Then, taking his horse, he went to

the poorest district of the town.

His acquaintance with the poor enabled him those really destitute of

all

to

choose

hope of giving their children the

cheer and happiness of the Christmas time.


THE FOCUS

382

With smiling

friendliness of manner, he begged of each

mother that she would

Day

was lonely)

(since he

rooms with some other

him

that business had tied

come

ojiportunity to

as

all,

Mrs. Gillespie's

"Mrs.

to

little

to his office so late

he had no

have asked some

"I

said,

Day with me.

as a very great favor to

them a happy time, and would reminder of

gift as a

by saying

Would you me? I want

There are

so

little

friends

near

my

my

bring

it

little

very

much

if

Day,

you

entertaining them.

Gillespie,

children will

my

;

so

like.

help in

to

my

rooms and

it

assist in

friends have families, or are

you know, I

invited out to dinner, and,

me may

to oblige

so that I

may need some

I

my very

day, so I shall appreciate

come up

All

with no relatives here

all

is

what they would

guests in to choose

many

so

that your shop

for one hour on Christmas

Besides that, Mrs.

amusing

me

occurred to

and that you might be willing

office

by opening

it

to

many

Mrs. Gillespie, that I can't decide what to give

and

be

have a

like each child to

this Christmas.

little

toys,

;

to

shop.

he

friends to spend Christmas

give

he was intending

was growing dark, Theodore went

it

little

me

whom

late invitations

before.

Gillespie,"

willing to help

child for Christmas

spend the entire day in his

friends

and he excused the

to entertain,

Last of

him have her

let

am

almost a stranger,

you are the only one of

whom

I

can ask such a favor for Christmas." ''Indeed, I will be delighted to

"It

Gillespie.

is

come

such a beautiful plan

!" !

can to help you, and will be glad, indeed,

exclaimed Mrs. I will do all I to

open the shop

for them, besides."

"That

"Now as if

I

my

is

very kind of you," said Theodore, with a smile.

am

sure the children will enjoy the day the same

mother were helping

His expectations were

me

entertain."

fulfilled, for ten

happier children

could not have been found in El Dorado that Christmas Day.


THE FOCUS The for

visit to the toy

shop

383

hearts with delight,

filled their

some of them had looked longingly through the windows

before.

Theodore, "I want each of you to

''Little friends," said

choose the one thing you would rather have than anything else in

this

shop

you

;

shall

have

for your Christmas

it

present from me."

"May we ?

Do you mean

it

?"

clamored the children.

"Yes, anything in this shop," promised Theodore.

The children eagerly all

but one

little girl

before a beautiful

came

to

her

little

side, she

much ?" "Would you

selected dolls

had chosen

gifts.

and other

She

Testament, and, asked timidly,

toys,

until

stood, hesitating,

Theodore

at last, as

"Would

it

cost too

not rather have this nice big doll ?" asked the

surprised young man.

But the child answered, "I would like we have no Bible at home." Tears came into Theodore's eyes as he

my

the Testament, for

said kindly

:

"Cer-

you shall have the book." Mrs. Gillespie had enough money from the sales to last several weeks, and never did she suspect that the children's party had been planned to relieve her from want. tainly,

dear

little girl,

The children returned to the lawyer's rooms to spend a happy afternon in playing with their new toys, and listening to the stories Theodore told them. girls

now had

their first dolls,

Some

of these little

and each child was entirely

happy with her present. "More than all the others," said Theodore afterward, "the child who chose a Testament because there was no Bible at

home touched my

heart.

She was

little

enough

to like

doll."

Olive Altizee.

a


;

!

THE FOCUS

384

T thought I'd write a poem, and a Christmas one, at that

So I got a pen and paper

And

—in

a rocking-chair I sat,

I wrote one line and pondered.

But I couldn't think

at all.

For

my roommate

And

I simply had to help her

Now

was

a-eatin' of a luscious ;

popcorn

ball.

I's afraid that she'd get sick.

that sounds just real solicitous, but I didn't care a lick

Whether she got

sick or didn't, but I simply couldn't see

All that lovely popcorn swallowed without some help from

me.

And

the next time

am For

—

but, good gracious

!

how

unlucky, then

I,

I've used

up

all

my

paper, and

my

fountain pen

Mary Ware Weiser,

is

dry

'13.


!

The Focus Published monthly during the school year by The Students' Association of The State Female Normal School, Farmville, Virginia. Subscription Price, $1.00 per year.

Entered as second-class matter at the

postoffice at Farmville, Virginia.

The True Meaning of Christmas, which

is

Ciikistmas

observed universally by

all

Christian-

The word itself means Christ's mass, or the day upon which we commemorate His birth by paying to Him due homage and honor. ized

countries,

almost

is

Does Christmas

here.

meaning, or

have, for us, this

significance lost in a whirlpool of pleasures

and receiving of

gifts

from our friends

greatest of all Christian festivals

among

Shall

us.

we

yet,

?

You

?

This abuse of the

ask

more

how we may do

this.

the entire day in prayerful meditation, nor

going to the other extreme, in thinking of our

pleasures to the exclusion of to live this

to

entirely too prevalent

not, this year, try to celebrate

fittingly the birth of Christ

Not by spending

is

its

is

and a giving

all else.

But rather

one day as Christ would have us

;

let

own

us try

give to others

generously of our love, kindness and sympathy, help those less fortunate

than we.

If

of us

all

resolution Christmas would, to

all,

would make

this

our

be truly Christ's mass.

The Christmas of the Past "Backward, turn backward,

And make me It

is

true

pleasures, but

that it

O

Time, in your

flight

a child again just for to-night."

Christmas brings

with

it

has lost that mythical charm

when our minds were young and

innocent.

numberles3 it

possessed


!

THE FOCUS

386

How

good we were a few days before Christmas,

lest

our

names should be written in that big book and Santa Claus How we should pass us by without leaving any gifts listened, spellbound, to the stories of Santa Claus and his How we trembled with fear at wonderful reindeer team the thought of the chimney being too hot or too small, and How we would lie awake Santa unable to get through it Christmas night, starting at every noise, however slight, and And wondering if Christmas morning would never come when it did come, that great tree, in all its splendor and !

!

!

!

glory true, simple child-faith, trust,

Those days of

past, but their influence

by

us profit

must

still

and love are

be felt in our lives.

Let

AAA

it.

Merry Christmas to All To

all

vjish a

the girls, the Faculty,

and

Home

Department, we

For those who remain

Merry Christmas.

here,

we

wish the pleasant remembrances of past Christmases, and, feeling the true

meaning of Christmas,

to

banish

gloom of a lonely holiday.

AAA

"ISTot

what we

For the

gift

give, but

what we

without the giver

share, is

bare."

all

the


;

ni

iKHinr

I

nLUIIMML Among

alumnse

the

Normal were

:

TurnbuU,

Pattie

Gaines,

who

spent

Thanksgiving

the

at

Wimbish, Lula Driver, Helen Massie,

ISTannie

Roberta

Louise Ford,

Janie

Saunders,

Myrtle Townes, Lillian Cook, Bert Myers, and

Louise Eubank, Richardson, '09

all

of '10;

and Margaret Davis, Mildred

Louise Adams, '06

;

Grace Adams, '03

;

and Sadie Armstrong, 1900. Ola Abbitt,

'10,

and

Grace Adams,

'03,

attended

the

Educational Conference at Norfolk. Carrie Kyle, 'OY, and Elizabeth Richardson, '05, spent

Thanksgiving with Miss Lila London,

at

Roanoke, Va.

Mrs. C. L. Yancey, nee Eleanor C. White, '03,

is

living

in Washington, D. C.

Mrs. Geoffrey Creyke, nee Alice Paulette,

'05, has

been

a recent visitor to Farmville.

Roy

Rogers, '05,

is

teaching at Arvonia, Va.

Born to Mrs. Jas. G. ISTesbit, nee Bevie Cox, December 5th, a son Benjamin Lewis Nesbit.

'06,

on

—

Mrs.

W.

A. Maddox, nee Susie Warner, '02, attended,

with Mr. Maddox, the celebration of the Phi Beta Kappa Fraternity, at Williamsburg, Va.

Mary Dupuy,

'09,

was with us December

Mary Coleman's

who

is

5th, at

('06)

spending the winter at home,

an Alumnse Tea.

home

address

is

Sassafras, Va.


THE FOCUS

388

Lillian

'06, who has been teaching in Lake Richmond with her father, he being there

Thompson,

City, Fla.,

is

in

imder the care of a physician. Mrs. George Amiistead Scott, nee Nellie Boatwright, '09,

new home on Charles

has moved into her

Street, Fredericks-

burg, Va.

Mrs. David Winfree Reed, nee Edith Duvall, '05, spent

Thanksgiving with her parents. Mrs. Wallace Burnet, nee Robbie Blair Berkeley, '96, of

Savannah, Ga.,

is

registered at the Ebbitt Hotel, in

C, Mr. Burnet being

ington, D.

Wash-

stationed there as an expert

in the pure-food department.

Mrs. R. D. Morrison, nee Eula Young,

'03, is

teaching in

Big Stone Gap, Va. Mrs. C. M. Simpson, nee Lucy Manson, '05, attended the Educational Conference in

IN^orfolk.

Mrs. E. P. Parsons, nee Josephine Goodwin,

'01, spent

Thanksgiving in Washing-ton, D. C. Mrs.

C.

A.

Taylor,

nee

Claudia

Perkins,

'04,

spent

Thanksgiving in !Newport News.

There was a delightful tea given in the Normal School parlors on the afternoon of December 5th, to the Farmville alumna}.

As

a result of this meeting,

an alumnae chapter

was organized with the following officers: President, Mary o'ackson, '98; vice-president, Grace Watton, '06; secretary and treasurer, Mrs. A. A. Cox,

'92.


m.

S=1L

E4eE 1^

Young

Women's

Christian Association

At a business meeting of the Ason December 5th, it was

sociation,

voted that the time of the regular

meetings be changed from five to two o'clock on Saturday afternoons during the month of January, as a test as to whether meetings held at that time

would not be better attended. It would seem as though it would be a more convenient time both for the members in the building and for those in town, and an increased attendance

is

eagerly anticipated.

Attention

is

just

now

centered upon the coming debate

under the auspices of the Missionary Committee. ject is

:

"'Resolved,

That Islam

missionary propaganda

is

waging

in Africa

more

a

than

is

The

sub-

creditable

Christianity."

Invitations have been extended to the missionary societies

Judge J. M. Crute, Rev. H. T. Graham, and Dr. Millidge have consented to act as judges, and Mr. Grainger will preside. The bi-weekly sewing and reading circle proves that two

of the town churches.

things can be done at once

;

for

Christmas presents are fast

taking shape there, and at the same time a very interesting

book

is

being read

—"A

Blue Stocking in India."

circle is a "drop-in" social affair,

to

and more

The

girls are invited

make use of the opportunity it affords. The Extension Committee sent Thanksgiving baskets

two families in town, a pair of blankets

to

to a crippled girl,


THE FOCUS

390

gild

two of the members called upon a very old lady and

left

her a basket of fruit.

hold

its

Friday evening

The committee

will continue to

and sand-

of hot chocolate

sales

wiches, and helping to supplement the work of the Mission-

among

ary Committee in distributing clothes

the needy at

Christmas time.

A

month

Town

ago,

Girls'

(Sarah

Estis,

Association girls in town elected a

the

Committee,

composed

chairman),

for

greater Association activities

of

twelve

purpose

the

among

their

members promoting

of

number.

As

a

evening prayer groups have been formed, and seven

result,

Their

houses hold prayers regularly.

will be held

first social

on December 15th.

December 14th

the date fixed

is

by the Devotional Com-

Christmas sale of fancy

mittee for

its

ceeds will

go towards sending their

articles.

own

The

pro-

representative to

Asheville in June.

$29.30 on December 6th.

The

majority of the pledges are being redeemed promptly,

week

The thermometer

registers

by week.

Athenian Literary Society

On

November

the evening of

held in

Room D. In

Prose and

which was

and

Society was

accordance with our study of Southern

Poetry, the following

program was

rendered,

a continuation of the study of Poe.

Humorous Reading ''The

10th, a very interesting

the Athenian Literary

profitable meeting of

of

"The Raven".

Raven"

^'Annabel Lee"

^'Comparison of These Poems" ''Secret of the

.

.Florence Bufoed Mildred Flournoy Eva Larmour Isabelle Lackey

Beauty of Poe's Poetry," Annie Laurie Stone

Carrying out the weirdness and beauty of Poe's poetry, a piano

by

solo,

May

Schubert's "Serenade," was effectively rendered

Wilkinson.


:

THE FOCUS After the

891

our president announced that the meeting would then adjourn to the Kindergarten, where the critic's report,

regular reception of the society was given for the

new mem-

bers of the society, as well as for those of the Faculty.

The

the evening was spent in "Ye Old-Time which old games were played. "Going to Jerusalem" was the one which seemed to afford the most rest

of

Party,"

in

pleasure,

and

all

entered into the spirit of the occasion most

heartily.

The

old girls sang several songs for the

new

girls.

While

the refreshments were being served, a most original

and

appropriate toast, written by Maria Bristow, was read.

The Virginia Reel concluded

the

merriment

for

the

auditorium was

in-

evening.

Our second open meeting

in

the

on account of the play given by the Training School pupils, and by the Thanksgiving Song definitely postponed

Service coming

when our meeting was

to

have been

called.

Jefferson Debating Society

The

Jefferson Debating Society entertained

new memThe rooms were decorated in the society colors, middle blue and gold. The 2)resence of several honorary members added a great deal to its

bers ISTovember 10th, in the Kindergarten.

the enjoyment of the occasion.

A 1

6th,

business meeting of the society

and the following

officers

was held l^Tovember

were elected

Claka Nye Susie Phillippi

i^ANNiE Lou Delp Kate Reynolds

Maey Ring Cornette JuDSON Robinson Juanita Manning

Myrtle Huddle

President Vice-President

Recording Secretary

C orresponding

Secretary

Treasurer Critic

Be porter Censor


THE FOCUS

392

A

very interesting closed program was rendered November

24th, consisting of a debate on "Kesolved, That an eight-

hour working-day should be established in the United States

by law."

The Ruffner Debating Society

On December

6th, our last regular

meeting was held, and

the following officers were elected:

Nannie Ceowder EuTH Phelps Susie

President Vice-President

Holt

Trasurer

Lucile Blood

Recording Secretary

Amenta Matthews

Corresponding Secretary

Maggie Gilliam Elizabeth Chappell

Critic

Reporter

The Cunningham Literary Society The Cunningham Literary Society held informal

meeting in the Kindergarten on

October 30th.

It

was

a typical

senting a reunion of old

decorated cornstalks;

with

At

of

The room was

ghosts.

Jack-o'-lanterns,

the lights were dim,

member

the night

Hallowe'en meeting, repre-

Cunningham

pumpkins.

ghostly, sepulchral voices.

each

a very enjoyable

and the

first,

signified her presence

the roll

by

was

telling

and

leaves,

talked in

girls

called

how

and

she died.

Then, the ghost of Miss Annie Banks gave her experiences

on her return

to the

Normal School

a

hundred years hence.

was intensely interesting, as it showed us our new Next came a ghost story girls in many amusing situations. (which gave us a wild desire to run) by Miss Elizabeth Downey; then, Miss Lucy Strother, as a witch, told another story, followed by the witch scene from ]\Iacbeth, by Misses

Her

story

Frances Graham, Grace Woodhousc, and Honor Price.

For a

few minutes we really thought that the Coburn days of

last


THE FOCUS Miss Grace Woodhouse

spring had returned.

"Absence," and

a solo,

393

Crump

Miss Susie

with a very effective mandolin

also

gave us

entertained us

Alabama Picka-

solo, "Little

ninny."

On

1st, we had the pleasure of welcoming the new members: Frances Andrews, Ethel Abbitt, Emily Minnegerode, Ruby Keith, Mary Brew, Margaret Boatwright, Alma Poindexter, Elsie Gay, May Bell Frantz, Ruby Keller, Anne Woodroof, N^ema Lockridge, Janet

N^ovember

following

Xicholson,

Barbara

Janie

Briton,

Couch,

Annie

Margaret Tignor,

Jackson,

Mary

Olie Hurt,

Sterling

Smith,

Frances Smith, and Margaret Rogers.

On

November 11th, we entertained the new The drawing-room was beautifully decorated in green and white, Cunningham pillows and pennants, and cedar. The affair was entirely informal. Each member received a souvenir in the form of a Cunningham pennant, and each new girl entertained us by some particular Then, we played "Conclusions," which imme"stunt." diately made us all laugh, and established a perfectly free The rest of relationship between the "new and the old." the evening we spent in dancing, and last, but not least, we drank punch to the health of our new members and sang the Cunningham song. From the standpoint of old members, will you think us conceited if we say that the new girls went away that night passionately in love with "Old Cunningthe night of

Cunninghams.

ham" ? Argus Literary Society

On

the evening of

November

Society entertained the girls as to enroll as their

the tenth, the

whom

Argus Literary

they were so fortunate

new members.

Every one came arrayed in spinster costume the occasion being that of an "Old Maid's Tea." Each spinster brought some

relic of

an early romance, a fan, a faded tlower, a


:

THE FOCUS

394

The alluring tone of some wonder why there is ever a

daguerreotype, or a love-letter. of the letters caused us to

bachelor-maid.

We mittees

received

who

much

valuable information from the com-

reported on the following subjects

:

"The

Follies

"The Pro and Con of Divorce;" "The Bachelors;" "The Advisability of Marrying for Kevenue Only;" and "The Characteristics The treasurer's report Likely to Charm Young Men." showed that no money had been paid out lately for marriage of Matrimony;"

Ensnaring

of

Blind

licenses, the greater

bulk having been spent for "matrimonial

The "Tea" seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by all, and most of the spinsters went home more hopeful for the ads."

future.

The society held its last regular meeting on Friday night, November the seventeenth, at 8 :30. The short story was the feature of the evening. The program consisted of the following

The

Maetha King Bugg Edna Landrum

Essentials of a Short Story

Vocal Solo Original Stories,

"The Legend

of the Trees,"

Baldwin

Lucix-E

Ruth Moran

Piano Solo

Flora Redd Fannie Louise Rixey Gertrude Keistee Elizabeth Hart

Original Story, "Marse Bob"

Piano Solo Recitation,

Original

"The Betrothed"

Poem

Athletic Report The

first

game

of the school championship series

Thanksgiving morning in

a

closely

contested

came

off

exhibition

between the Juniors and Seniors.

The first-named put up the managed to keep the wearers of

fight

the

of

their

lives,

and

Red and Green busy


:

!

THE FOCUS most of the time.

The

396

Seniors, however, played a strenuous

game, and the lively contest ended with the score card reading 8 to

One like

0,

with the Juniors holding

work of the grandstand.

contest,

down the zero. game was the

of the principal features of the

clock-

Just at the end of the fierce

on the very second, the grandstand folded up

Senior Class. Athletic activities for the present season ended with the

game played Thanksgiving morning between

the

Seniors

and Juniors, and the former have once more turned their attention to the serious business awaiting them. The matter demanding attention just at present is the Annual Staff. At the last class meeting the following members were elected

Anne Conway Mahy a. Holt

Editor-in-Chief Assistant Editor-inrChief

Louise Balthis

Literary Editor

Sallie Blankenship

Avis

Assistant Literary Editor

Kemp

Art Editor

ZuLiEME DtjVal Bessie Trevett Louise

Assistant Art Editor

Business Manager

Rowe

Assistant Business

Manager

N'ews Items

The English Opera Singers made ing the past month.

a visit to our school dur-

This was a treat

The four upper grades

to all lovers of

music.

of the Training School gave two

very attractive Thanksgiving programmes.

Tableaux and from "The Courtship of Miles Standish" and "Hiawatha" were presented. These entertainments gave

scenes

evidence of the fact that the Training School

is

doing fine

work.

The game between Thanksgiving morning.

the

Seniors

Both

sides

and Juniors came

off

were well supported by


THE F00U8

S96

numbers of "rooters." Those supporting the Seniors were But at the close of the in turn supported by a grandstand. game, when the score was registered 8 to 0, the shock was Fortunately, no one was so great that the grandstand fell. seriously injured.

The Annual Thanksgiving German was held Thursday The Reception Hall was beautifully decorated in Punch was served during the German and red and black. at eleven o'clock supper was served in the Dra%ving Room. The scene was enlivened by fair women and brave men( ?).

night.

We

were delighted

to

welcome back

of the girls of the Class of '10

days with us.

We

as their presence

to the school

who came

hope they may be able was greatly enjoyed.

to

many

spend the

holi-

to visit us often,


OR NI55

IT Miss

0-e-a-l

ranks, girls!

New

Girl

:

''Straighten your

!"

(to

her partner)

:

''What's your ranks ?"

Partner: "I did not know that

had one, but perhaps it's a new name for your spinal column." I

AAA At

the dinner table

could raise the

:

"I wish I

window and

let

out some of this noise."

Dr. M-l-e-g- (in geography) steeper the water."

ISTew Girl

those

little

"The

swifter the slope, the

AAA

"What do

:

:

the servants in the dining-room wear

white caps for ?"

Old Girl: "To distinguish them from Normal School girls."

AAA

Miss Winston: water,

"What happens when you put

a tube in

Lucy?"

L-c- H-a-h

:

"It gets wet."

AAA Mr. Lear of the

New

:

"What were some of the manufactured articles England States in the eighteenth century ?"

D-l-a W-1-i-m-o:

"Rice and

cattle."


THE FOCUS

398

Mr. Lear

:

"What

other day in the year comes on

as seldom as the fourth of

March?"

Junior: "Thanksgiving."

AAA A

little

bird sat on a telegraph wire

And said to "When wireless

We

his

mates gathered there,

telegraphy comes into use

will all have to sit

on the

air."

Sunday


—

We

feel that a treat is in store for us

ever alert

with hungry

Thoughts

zines.

Christmas

of

—

yes,

to

the

gladdest, dearest, sweetest that possess his

He

the whole year.

we

are waiting,

eyes, to peruse the December maga-

student

He

have Christmas in his bones more than any one is

the

thinks these thoughts by day (in the

classroom, too), he dreams them at night.

whole being

are

mind throughout

so saturated

with Christmas

—

seems to else.

so filled

His with

boundless thoughts concerning this greatest of holidays that

it is

natural for a considerable portion of these to over-

flow on paper.

How

can the thinker retain them

all

?

And

these thoughts will furnish material for the best literature

for surely they are thoughts that are born of the heart, and

issued from the depths of the soul.

AAA

In looking over The University of Virginia Magazine we to notice that "Life in the Old West" would be

were glad

followed by other articles from this same series.

count of pioneer

life as

pictured in the article

pleasing to the reader on account of the coloring

Apart from

its

without value,

it

The acnamed is possesses.

meaning itself is certainly not "The Tunes That Told" is enjoyable from style,

the


a

THE FOCUS

400

The story entitled "Priscilla Hobbled" is Somehow, there is a feeling of disappointment

start to finish.

not so good.

when

the reader has finished

—

it

the ending

AAA

is

weak.

We are pleased to welcome to our exchange table The Sweet Briar Magazine. Among the articles contained in the November number, "A Yankee Defeat" stands out prominently as one of the best. It is interestingly told and the plot

!

ha

commended

loud and long from

!

We

for this.

having the blues.

Are asleep

for

?

One would think so number

tinued) that

it

is

the

The

of stories, essays,

it

to

anyone

etc.,

that

it

However, the one story (con-

"Memoirs of essay,

Ante-Bellum South,"

attention.

The

recommend

after looking over the magazine,

noticeable.

contains,

to be interesting.

It is to be

readers.

The Hampden-Sidney Magazine

lack in the

usually contains

in

heartily

its

AAA

the contributors to

its

"Ezra, the Progressive," brings

well developed.

is

out the ha

a Bachelor," promise

"Journalism and Authorship is

well

worth the

reader's

AAA

Randolph-Macon Monthly

quality for which

it

deserves praise.

is

rich It is

in

variety

—

not tiresome, a

fault of which our school magazines are often guilty, because it

has not that element of sameness throughout.

some of the

stories could be

However,

improved upon, especially the

one entitled "The Welcome That Never Came."

The author

had material for a delightful story, but lack of strength in its form detracted greatly from it.

AAA

The Emory and Henry Era is to be congratulated on its "The Sweetness of the Other Fellow's Grass" is true verse. to

human

nature.

We

advise

all

who

get a chance, to read

it.


THE FOCUS "Dreams and Life"

is

among

Cat" has a good plot and rather tragically.

in

the best also.

"The Plaster

highly interesting, but ends

is

AAA

The Critic is a "wide awake" magazine. We are interested "The Castle of Fulfillment." "My Lady Fair" is an

attractive little

poem.

AAA

The Hollins Magazine tive is,

401

articles.

is

rich in stories

and other

attrac-

"Shakespeare and the Gifts of Stratford"

The

indeed, worthy of praise.

description

so vivid

is

had followed Shakespeare in his "haunts." The poems are somewhat in the minority; and some cuts would greatly add to the attractiveness of the

the reader feels almost as if he

magazine.

There

is

AAA quality to

eager to find out

We It

The

too late to be reported

attractive looking,

enjoyed by

its

are

will end.

AAA

gratefully acknowledge the

came

We

Oracle, if not quantity.

how "Splinter"

and we

readers.

Mary

on in

Baldtvin Miscellany.

this

number.

It is

very

feel quite sure it will be greatly

AAA

We would like to know what has become of The 8hirmisher. We were delighted to find the June number on the exchange table

on our return

when

the exchange

to school,

list

but

AAA

College men's stories, essays, pieces

we

was made out

etc.,

fear

we were

this year.

We

out

left

miss

it.

are not usually master-

and everybody knows they are not before reading

then; one

first

glances at the

title,

then at the length of the


—

THE FOCUS

402

story; if the title strikes the fancy it

and the

article is short

But, woe to the longissimum storium (pardon

will be read.

the pedantry) which hath a beginning and yet hath no end, for divers

men

shall pass

by

it,

and look the other way

shall hurl

upon

versity of

North Carolina Magazine.

;

they

sundry maledictions, because it doth consume the whole magazine. George P. Wilson in Uniit


Dfrectotp of autjertfsersi students, before you do your purchasing, read the advertisements, and who help you. Make the business men realize they arÂŤ not wasting money when advertising with The Focus.

patronize those

State Female Normal School

Company

Virginia School Supply Planters

Bank

of Farmville

The First National Bank

Mann & Brown Peoples National

Bank

Hunt's Studio Fisher

S. 0.

Anderson Drug Company

White Drug Company W. Garnett A Co Columbia Gymnasium Suit Company Chas. Bugg & Sons C. E. Chappell & Co R.

E. B. Taylor

Company

Mrs. Keister

Farmville, Va.

Farmville, Va.

Richmond, Va. Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va. Lynchburg, Va. Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

Boston, Mass. Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

Richmond, Va. Va. Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

Farmville,

Company

Ideal Shoe

Hillsman & Co Richardson & Cralle J. A. Garland Fleming & Clark

W.

Farmville, Va.

Eichmond, Va.

J.

Farmville, Vâ‚Źk

Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

Wade

Farmville, Va.

Misses Davidson

Farmville, Va.

A. V.

R. A. Baldwin C. C.

& Sons

Cowan

The Winston Drug Company D.

W.

W. Gilliam T.

Doyne Caf 6

Virginia

W.

Gooch

S.

Farmville, Va.

Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

Farmville,

Va.

University, Va.

A. H. Fetting

Baltimore, Md.

Wright

Philadelphia, Pa.

E. A.

Farmville Herald Job Printers L.

C.

Martin

Farmville, Va. Farmville, Va.

W. Beckham

Farmville, Va.

Dr. M. Powell Tynes

Farmville, Va.

Dr.

A.

P.

Goldfin

Farmville, Va.

William D. Martin Marccllus

HofHin

Farmville, Va.

Norfolk,

Va.

Garland & Martin

Farmville, Va.

Hampden-Sidney College

Farmville,

Va.




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