"No, 1 don't
think he'll change that. Freddie likes the boy too much."
all he really needs is seasoning. You know what I mean?"
go then?" I ask.
"How do you
We exhaust all
the reasonable possibilities. We get lost in Syracuse but finally find our way
onto the turnpike. For a while there is only the motor noise and the gentle
sway of the bus. Then, slowly at first, someone else begins a chant. "Waa,
wa, waa, wa, wa—ugh!" A voice, unmistakably Richard's, shouts, "Driver
beware! The natives are restless tonight." Maybe it's only my imagination,
but I think I feel the bus swerve. The chant changes to "Ice cream, ice
cream, we want ice cream!" The whole bus takes it up. Finally Coolidge
stands up, gestures for silence. The chant grows. "At the next Howard
Johnson's," he yells, "we'll stop at the next Howard Johnson's." A
roar of approval.
Ten minutes later
we stop and invade a Ho Jo's. Richard has three hamburgers, two malts, an
ice-cream soda. He orders two more malts to go. Everyone is joking and talking,
and even Freddie is smiling. The waitress looks haggard.
Back on the bus
we begin to sing songs. "One-eyed Riley, two-eyed Riley, / Oh, for the life
of one-eyed Riley." Never have I heard such unharmonious singing. Finally
John Young decides to go to sleep, and pulls a coat around his head. I move
back with Bob Russell.
After an hour or
two we tire of singing, and Russell and I begin to talk girls. The Cliffie he
was going with all fall is engaged to someone else, or about to be. He isn't
sure. Cabot leans over from across the aisle to join us. I tease him about his
girl. She is an immature little blonde in some ultraproper prep school. The
girl talk finally fades away, and Russell and I talk shop. Then he falls
asleep. Only my right leg is asleep. The night is very black, and there are no
towns along this part of the turnpike. Occasionally the lights of a farmhouse
glimmer at us from far off the road. It is midnight. Three more hours to
Cambridge at the least. A long ride home.