Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
tion, the young lady extended her
prayer book toward him.
"I can't tell you whether or not
Johnson had ever been in love, but
undoubtedly he was at that moment.
The girl was about twenty-three or
four, rather fair, with a pair of blue
Sk eyes whose glance Johnson found
himself trying to catch. At last he
did catch them, and there was such
an expression in them that Johnson
did not know whether he was kneel
ing on his knees or his shoulders.
"They kneeled down side by side,
and neither of them was paying the
least attention to the sermon. If love
at first sight is not a myth, that was
a case of it. Johnson caught the
girl's glance again, and now the look
was unmistakable. And still neither
of them knew what the clergyman
was saying or doing. They were in a
fairyland together, alone in the midst
of the crowd that packed the cathe
dral. "The girl was so close to him that
Johnson's mouth was almost against
her ear. Their hands touched over
the prayer book. Now she was
" 'This is very unconventional,'
" 'Yes,' answered Johnson.
" 'If you knew how I have longed
to meet you, and yet how frightened
I have been,' she said. 'When did
" 'Last evening,' answered John
son; and it all seemed perfectly nat
ural to him.
" 'We arrived yesterday, too,' said
the girl, raising her eyes to his.
(A 'Hush! Don't let the people see that
we are talking. We must preserve
decorum, mustn't we?'
"As I said, it was all like a fairy
land to Johnson. He took hold of the
girl's hand under the prayer-book.
His own was hot and shaking, but
hers was icy cold.
" 'I love you, dear,' whispered
" 'And I love you,' she answered.
"How happy I am! Oh, how happy I
am! But it can't last It can't
something dreadful is going to come
" 'Not while I can prevent it,' an
" 'And you knew me at once?' she
asked. 'I should have known you in
"Johnson had the greatest difficul
ty in the world to prevent himself
from taking her in his arms then and.
there. He wanted to shout his love
for her in the middle of the Creed.
But he restrained himself. And it
came to an end, as everything must.
'"What is your name?' he whis
pered. 'I must see you. Where are
"The girl looked at him with eyes
that dilated in terror. "Who are you?'
" 'My name,' said Johnson very
slowly it seemed to him that that
was insignificant just then 'my
name is Johnson.'
"He was quite unprepared for what
followed. For the girl suddenly walk
ed out of the pew, hurried out, then
hastened madlyway, and all eyes
in the cathedrarfollowed her. Jonn
"son was too paralyzed to -stir for a
full minute." Then he hurried after
her. But the girl was nowhere to be
"He never saw her again. You can
guess what had happened. The gos
sip at his hotel enlightened Johnson
speedily enough. She was the prin
cess, and she had mistaken him for
her fiance, the duke If Johnson had
looked before he entered he would
have seen the British royal arms on
the pew front. The prince would, of
course, occupy that pew as the guest
of the Canadian government And he
had stayed at home in a fit of the
gout, leaving his daughter to attend
divine service alone.
"That was Johnson's romance,"
said Hale. "Of course, he cleared out
before the town became too hot for
him. If he hadn't been a chump
there's no telling because, as you
may know, the princess broke off her