The Banlon

The Banlon

The Banlon

Spirits

Puritan Wrath

Juan Carlos thought back to his college days as his mustache rubbed against the crinkled sheet. Had Eleazar Wheelock felt like this, over two hundred years ago? Did the cold, Puritan man also lie awake in his bed at night, alone, thinking about where had he gone wrong? He couldn’t sleep, so he slowly rose and tiptoed to the kitchen. Grabbing a Keystone from the fridge, he remembered living in Alpha Delta and the many sleepless nights. As social chair, he spent most of his time on risk management, while his brothers drank themselves into oblivion. He felt alone then as now. Had Wheelock felt alone in the wilderness, surrounded by drunken New England boys who refused to abide by his rules?

Carlos never thought he would wind up back at Dartmouth. He had enjoyed his time there, but he had been ready to leave and pursue his love of mathematics. He had wanted to be a great mathematician, like Kémeny. He had failed. Wheelock wanted to convert the natives, and what had come of that? The College was the fulfillment of his ambition, but it was also a sign of his failure to transform the land grants into a thriving, Christian state.

Carlos hated them. He hated his brothers and his students, his mentors and his subordinates. What did they want from him? Whatever it was, he didn’t have it. All he had was ambition, and even that had failed him. Ambition had driven Wheelock and him to success above their natural limits, but wherefore did that ambition spring?

He thought of how Wheelock and the early inhabitants of Hanover had drunken beer instead of water, but banned spirits altogether. As he sipped the Keystone and thought of all those who had ignored him over the years, his anger grew. Who were they to delegate responsibility to him? Why did he have to fix their problems?

He felt a Puritan wrath grow in his heart. He reached for the handle he kept bellow the sink, and took a swig. He never did this – he was too busy. If he couldn’t have it, then they couldn’t. He would ban it, just as Wheelock had. After all, this was his college, and he would be remembered for something.

By Breaker Morant