You would not be likely to mistake Terwillinger College for an Old Folks' Home, because on the campus is a large rock painted with class numerals. There is a men's dormitory, but Elmer Gantry and Jim Lefferts lived together in the town, in a mansion once the pride of the Gritzmachers themselves: a square brick bulk with a white cupola.
The bar was one long shimmer of beauty--glowing mahogany, exquisite marble rail, dazzling glasses, curiously shaped bottles of unknown liqueurs, piled with a craftiness which made him very happy. When he had come to college, he had supposed he would pick up learnings of cash-value to a lawyer or doctor or insurance man--he had not known which he would become, and in his senior year, aged twenty-two this November, he still was doubtful. What good would it be in the courtroom, or at the operating table, to understand trigonometry, or to know (as last spring, up to the examination on European History, he remembered having known) the date of Charlemagne?He was slim, six inches shorter than Elmer, but hard as ivory and as sleek.Though he came from a prairie village, Jim had fastidiousness, a natural elegance.Though Elmer was the athletic idol of the college, though his occult passion, his heavy good looks, caused the college girls to breathe quickly, though his manly laughter was as fetching as his resonant speech, Elmer was never really liked.He was supposed to be the most popular man in college; every one believed that every one else adored him; and none of them wanted to be with him.