Saint Basil's boys have gone beyond the urging voice of the chapel bell. Saint Basil cannot call her roll to-day... Saint Basil was, in short, a college without a boy. She had kept her ancient name, her distinguished President, her college buildings, her extended real estate, her chartered rights, and to some extent her invested endowments. What she had not kept was her students. Virginians spoke of the college as they do of the corn-fields, the mansions, the very chickens; nay, the moon in the heavens: "Oh, you ought to have seen it before the war!"
One day, however, Mr. Peyton discovers a man sitting in the final row. It was the revelation of that man's identity that moved Dr. Holmes. "I could not help writing on the spot, while the impression of your story was still tingling all through me," he wrote to Ward. "The ink on the first page of this note and the tears on my cheeks dried at the same moment. I thank you, then, for all these most welcome and most wholesome tears."