January 31, 1897

Sunday
January 31, [1897]

Dear Elsie,
To begin with, Callie’s address is 165 Lafayette St. Brooklyn N.Y. At least that was what it was the last time I heard from her. It is now the middle of the examination season but I have not had any yet. Mine come so very badly and I have seven to take. My first one Literature doesn’t come until Tuesday afternoon. Then English Wednesday morning, German Wednesday afternoon, Mathematics Thursday afternoon, Physics Friday afternoon, Bible Saturday afternoon and Physiology Monday morning. So you see my time will be pretty well taken this week. Then I have a Literature paper to hand in the first recitation and have got to read for it. Oh I know that I shall have at least one condition if not more. Physics anyway. So you mustn’t be disappointed. Such a snow storm as we had Thursday, the day of Prayer. I went out and had a fine time tumbling around but yesterday was when we had some fun. 1900 made a fort over on Art Building Hill and ’99 stormed it and tried to pull down their flag which they raised in one corner. We all wore bloomers*, sweaters and leggings*. Some of the girls wore hoods and a few carried shields made out of those straw piazza cushions. We made stacks of snow balls and then pounced upon them. It soon became a hand to hand fight and a regular rush trying to get the flag down. One girl would be raised on the other’s shoulders and while being snow balled would try to get over to the corner where the flag was. But it was put up so very high that it was impossible for us to get it down. After time was called, 1900 had to be “boosted” and had a hard time getting it down with no opposition. Everyone said that we tried nobly but no one could have got it down and if we had held the fort and the flag, 1900 wouldn’t have done as well as we did. Still we had great fun. After it was over we all raced back to College Hall to change our clothes. Naturally everyone wanted to take a bath and they filled the bath rooms rapidly. I had to go into four before I found one empty tub and then the water wouldn’t run there. Finally I succeeded in taking a bath, after which I felt much better for my exercise. No one was hurt and ‘twas great sport. The hill was crowded with spectators & the air was filled with shouts & cheers.
Last Monday the Agora gave a Reception to the Classical Society. We danced, had refreshments consisting of chicken sandwiches, jam and cracker sandwiches, olives, chocolate and chocolate with whipped cream. Then we played “pillow-dex.”* That is great sport and so exciting. There are little bladders or some such things, blown up lighter than a feather. We threw them in the air and kept them up by hitting them with the back of our hands. We were divided into two sides and stood on either side of a string. When the “pillow-dex” went under the string or touched the floor, it counted for the other side accordingly. Just the kind of game to start a party with to get people acquainted and do away with all the stiffness of getting acquainted.
A few weeks ago some men discovered a skeleton in the sand bank near the Chemistry Building. It was sent to Harvard, Boston or somewhere and found to be that of an Indian girl. I know no more details except that it is to be sent back here soon to be put in the laboratory or museum.
At our table we have made a rule that whoever mentions the word Examinations during the season must pay five cents every time they use it. Then we are going to get something and have a spread. During the three days so far we have got about 75 cents. I have not said it once yet and do not intend to but I will probably get caught sometime. I had a letter from Phil this week. Thinking you might be interested I enclose it. Return it next week. Also had one from Beatrice Oberly. Why don’t Mamma use that fountain pen I gave Carl? Lots of the girls here use them and like them very much. I am using one of them now. Please don’t forget to send me the $150 next time you write without fail. I also want some for myself as I must get some new books, pay for the Wellesley Magazine, etc. etc. I want very much to go to the German Opera. It begins tomorrow and lasts two weeks. It is out of the question to go next week although Tannhauser, Lohengrin and other fine ones are there. But the week after I think I shall go and hear one of the Neblungen Lied either Rheingold, Walkinen, Siegfrieg or Gotterdamerung. Can get cheap ticket, stay over night, have breakfast & pay my fare for about $2.00. If nothing happens I shall go. Too great an opportunity to miss.
My money $150 is due Tues. Feb 9. If I don’t pay it then, I can’t go into classes until I do pay it. Enclosed is a crest. Will you also send some more of those silk pieces for my quilt. Miss Woolley prided herself on being at home at night. Last Wednesday she went to Boston. The news flew like wildfire and 68 girls left their cards at the door. I left mine. ‘Twas great fun, best joke. Next Wednesday we are all going again and stay a few minutes. She will have her hands full.

Much love,
Mabel

*bloomers – long loose fitting trousers/pants closely gathered at the ankle.
*leggings – also known as tights.
*pillow-dex – a game in which a net is stretched across the table and the players volley a balloon over it. The idea is to keep the balloon from landing on your side of the net. If the balloon lands on the opponent’s side 10 times the game is over. It is considered to be a pre-cursor to table tennis.

Letters were made available courtesy of Wellesley College Archives.
Transcribed and footnotes added by Heddy Panik.