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Chapter 9: Class of 1898
from Sabrina, The Class Goddess of Amherst College by Max Shoop 1910

During the Freshman year of the class of '98, '97 was very active in trying to locate Sabrina, especially through Richard Billings, President of '97, who spent considerable time, energy and money in maintaining a staff of Pinkerton detectives.  Consequently no attempt was made by '96 to transfer Sabrina to '98 during the latter's Freshman year.  '98 had a Freshman banquet at Hartford, but Sabrina was not in attendance.  To make up for this, the enthusiastic Freshmen adopted the spoons and forks of the hotel as memorials of the occasion.

Samuel B. Furbish, now connected with Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Me., was chosen '98 guardian, and upon his being informed that he had been honored with the custody of Sabrina, "prepared to go to Rotterdam Junction, New York, to get possession of her.  He had to look around for an excuse to get out of town, that he might not excite any suspicion among the men of '97.  It happened that Furbish had a cousin in Springfield who was seriously ill, and for three or four days he took particular pains to tell of this case to his associates, that they might suppose he had gone there if they noted his absence at all.  The night that he had chosen to leave Amherst, there happened to be an attractive 'star' at the Academy of Music in Northampton, so Furbish accompanied the crowd as far as that city and then slipped away to Greenfield.  After spending the night at Eagle Bridge, New York, he reached Rotterdam Junction the next morning and there was met by a gentleman who, after severely crossexamining Furbish with a series of prescribed questions, took his receipt and turned over the very large packing box which contained the far-famed Sabrina."  That afternoon Furbish shipped the box to a mythical manufacturing company in Bennington, Vermont.  For a time it looked as if there was going to be trouble, when after trying three doors of the express car it was found that the box would not go in.  But fortunately the fourth door was large enough to let it pass, and Sabrina arrived without mishap at Bennington, Furbish going on the same train.  At Bennington the box was carried to the stable of the Putnam House and there deposited in the hayloft, where it was unpacked, and the Fair Goddess again saw the light of day.  She was carried to a small room adjoining the banquet hall of the hotel in preparation for the Sophomore banquet of the class of '98 to be held there that night.

"Meanwhile, in the evening of this 14th of November, 1895, the class walked to North Amherst in small groups, where they hid in a ditch in the pouring rain until a special train picked them up to take them to Bennington.  No outbreaks of mirth and rejoicing and no lights were allowed until North Amherst was a good distance behind.  Then the class let loose, and with songs and cheers showed their joy at having outwitted '97, and stolen away without being discovered.  Once arrived at Bennington, the line of march formed, and rousing the town with their yells, proceeded to the Putnam House.  In the banquet hall the officers of the class and guests of honor sat at the head table, while immediately opposite was a richly upholstered divan.  Soon the folding door was opened, and amidst shouts of applause the beautiful Sabrina appeared borne by several faithful representatives of the gridiron.  A toast to her was then given and following that the whole class in long line passed around and she received from each man a fond caress.  Then Sabrina withdrew, and the class sat down to a sumptuous banquet.

It was a sleepy, tired, but happy gang that sought the cars at four o'clock that morning.  Cushions were made into beds and soon weary men could be seen trying to sleep, but in vain.  Bands of sleep-less ones roamed up and down the aisles, shouting and singing.  Day dawned at last, and after a brief wait at Millers Falls, the special train sped on to Amherst and the Chapel, which the class attended in a body that morning.  They laughed and leered at their foiled friends of '97 and '99.  Everyone knew that '98 had been on its class supper and had seen Sabrina."

After Sabrina was taken from the banquet hall, Furbish again secured her in the box, with all the hay that could be packed around her.  Arrangements had been previously made for a team and baggage wagon to be ready at one o'clock that morning to take the box across the New York boundary to the town of Cambridge, where they arrived in the early morning, after a sleepy drive through the rain, and over some terrible roads.  From Cambridge, Furbish shipped the box by express to Albany, and upon arriving there, took it to a blacksmith's shop on a thoroughly deserted street.  He remained there for some hours to see if any one seemed to be following on his trail.  Everything was quiet, however, and he took Sabrina to a warehouse, and left her there in safe keeping under lock and key, to remain for the intervening time until the next guardian should be installed.  This took place the last of October, 1897, when Furbish went to Albany and after taking the box from the warehouse turned it over to E. E. Green of the class of 1900.

 

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