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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925

An Early Morning Horror

An Early Morning Horror

Brrrrrrrrr! Brrrrrrrrrr!

"There's that dashed alarm—still time for a few minutes' snooze." Silence for another twenty minutes—broken only by deep and heartfelt snores. The sleeper stirs—peers hazily through one eye at the clock—"What! Half-past seven. Gee whizz, I must go for it. There's no earthly chance of the old Prof, being late." A hasty scrape, resulting in more damage to the flesh than to the whiskers, a few bites of breakfast, and he is off down the street, a book in one hand, the other frantically tearing at his collar and tie in a vain attempt to produce some semblance of order, in his other hand—ah! would he had a third, for he could then consume somewhat more decently the bun which he clutches in his mouth. As he toils up the steep slopes leading to his goal he murmurs, midst crumbs of bun, scattered fragments from the Gospel according to St. James. "Why, the deuce—much, munch, munch—these lectures—chew, chew, chew—can't start—This is the last will of me John Snooks—at ten minutes past—gulp, gulp, gulp—like any decent lecture—In witness whereof I have hereunto set my—I don't know."

In the lecture room there is silence for a short time, broken by the scratching pens of those who remember, and the sighs those who don't. Papers handed in, heads are once more bowed over books as the Professor's voice drones on. Heads are bowed further and further over books as the lecture proceeds.

"Mr.———." The words cut like a knife through the slumbrous atmosphere—the sleeping figures are galvanised into life. "If A dies, leaving nobody, how much will B get?" The unfortunate gentleman in question, having been thus rudely awakened from his second beauty sleep (alas! how he needs it) is now tottering on his feet and blinking sheepishly around him. Mr. H————'s next-door neighbour, aroused from sweet dreams by some awful premonition of impending disaster, vainly attempts to learn what the question was. Mr. H——, after some minutes to collect his thoughts (such as they are) murmurs, in an uncertain voice, "Didn't hear the question, sir." page 43 Being of an understanding mind, the professer discreetly passes to Mr. B.——. Now Mr. B.—— is a long-winded gentleman who must say something, even if he has nothing to say. "In this case, sir, I consider that, all other things being equal, the Statute of Frauds would take effect as an executive remaining in fee tail." Complete collapse of Mr. B.——. "Miss C——?" The sterner sex heave a sigh of relief—does woman ever fail to speak when the opportunity offers?

Heads are again bowed over books, and the voice murmurs on, accompanied by the snores of the hard-working students. A peculiar but well-known sound breaks upon the air. All work stops, and students listen attentively to the roar and clatter of a lorry provided by our beneficent council for the purpose. (Would there were many such!) Prof. pauses, turns a pained look towards the window, then gives a wan smile of resignation as he reforms mentally the words of his famous "open throttle" speech. A motor cycle (the property of a former student, mayhap) succeeds the lorry. The now fully-awakened class wears an air of delighted expectancy. Then—

Ting, ting, ting . . . goes the clock on the stairs, sweeter than any carillon. With a sigh of relief the class heaves itself up, stumbles out—and so to office. The day's work is about to begin.