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At this point in his narrative May-berry Fitzgerald's voice dropped, and he was barely audible. "So I did, but then I discovered that I'd done this really gross thing. In the darkness, and because I was unfamiliar with the playing field, I touched that damn deflated ball down in the wrong end zone. There was no getting around it. I'd scored a safety on myself.
"Then the Yale grad came bustling into the stadium. 'Is it over?' he shouted to me. 'Is it time to celebrate? Is it time to wave a handkerchief at the Harvard side?' His voice echoed happily against the stone. I told him what had happened.
" 'You what?'
" 'I scored a safety on myself,' I told him.
"He tottered and dropped down on the grass in the same yoga position of grief in which I'd originally found him. I've never met anyone who worked off his depression that way.
" 'Sir, no one knows,' I said to him, trying to make him feel better. 'Couldn't we say I put the ball down in the Harvard end zone? It certainly wasn't my intent to touch it down at the wrong end of the field. It was so dark I just lost my bearings.' "
The Yale grad (according to Fitzgerald) came up off the grass like a rocket. "An outrageous idea!" he shouted. "Fitzgerald, you are guilty of moral turpitude!" He could barely contain himself. " 'Fitzgerald,' he said to me, 'you bear a name that one associates with Princeton . May I say that the action you suggest also smacks of Princeton. And quite obviously of Harvard. In fact this whole miserable business has been caused by the moral turpitude of a Harvard quarterback. Do you think a Yale quarterback would have run over to his coach and slipped him a hat instead of the game ball? Why, a Yale quarterback, even if he were a sophomore, would have known enough about the moral values expected of an Eli to fess up, to go straight to the referee and say, "Look here, boss, this is not a football I've got here, but a Dobbs hat, size 7�, and this game is still up for grabs!" Now there's your Yale man.' "
"Yes, sir," said Mayberry Fitzgerald.
"It was just grand listening to him," Fitzgerald reported. "This small intense man standing in the cold and shouting up at me about ethics and Yale and how it was more important to consider how the result was achieved than the result itself.