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FllANK MORTIMER, ) ----- , ..r-v
'-vo, AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY NEWSPAPER. Zl'iJL?l&r?
rol. IV. Noav Bloomficld, I3i., IVovcsmUei- 1. 1870. ISo. -44.
Js rubUshcd WccLlu,
At New IJloomlicld, renn'.
AN UNPLEASANT SITUATION.
"jri. JUDSON JUDKINS was a widow
XYI cr. Ho had been in this stale of un
certainty for about fivo years, when the
little ail'air which I am about to tell you of
occurred. At that time Mr. Judson Jud
kins was about fifty-two years of ago, and
ho ought to have known better thaii to get
himself into a situation from which ho
could not extricate himself. But then peo
ple hardly ever do know what they really
ought to know, and Mr. Judkins was no
exception. And then lie didn't think that
ho was getting himself into a bad fix,
though if ho had just stopped to consider
but you see, ho didn't have any time to con
sider. IIo was obliged to go somewhere,
and so he went, and the result was that ho
found himself in a very unpleasant situa
tion indeed. Mr. Judkins was the father
of two lovely children. Tho eldest, Harry,
was about tho loveliest child, I think, that
I ever saw. IIo had tho most beautiful
brown curls, and the handsomest eyes, and
sweet mouth ! And then ho had such pret
ty ways, and ho was so "tunnin"' for a
child of his ago (ho was only twenty-seven
years and two months old), that I'm sure
no properly constructed female could help
Tho second child, named Mary, was also
very lovely. At least, all tho young men
in Bradford thought so; and if a complex
ion like new milk, hair like threads of gold,
eyes like violets, and an indescribable ex
pression over all, that was charming in it
self, could make any female child of twenty
four Hummers lovely, then Mary Judkins
Mr. Judkins owned a fine house, situated
in tho outskirts of the town of Bradford,
aud Mary had tho entire Charge of it, and
every summer they had it filled with com
pany, generally their relations from the
city, who came out of tho dust and smoke
once a year to breathe tho fresh nir, drink
real milk, level in strawberries and cream,
and enjoy themselves to their heart's con
tent, in tho way best suited to themselves.
It was a day in Juno. " Then, if ever,
come perfect days," as the poet says, and
this was a perfect day. Warm, cloudless,
Miss Mary Judkins was sealed at the win
dow of their cosy little sitting-room, Miss
Florence Richmond, Mary's cousin, was
reclining on tho lounge, reading one of Miss
Muloch's novels, Mrs. Mngwoith, Mr. Jud
kiu's half-sister, fast asleep in tho great
rocking-chair, and Mr. Judkins himself was
out on tho veranda, smoking a cigar, and
reading " Tristam Shandy," wheji Hairy
drove into the yard, with a young lady in
tho carriago beside hiin.
"There's Jennie 1" cried Mary, starting
up and running to tho door.
Harry was just helping her out of tho
carriago when Mary appeared, and of
course they fell into each other's arms, and
How Harry's mouth must havo watered 1
and I think my mouth would havo watered
too, had I been there, for Miss Jano Louisa
Gushington was one of tho most bewitch
ing little beauties that ever wore button
boots. A laughing-eyed brunette, with
rosy cheeks, and ripo luscious lips, through
which tho pearls shone ; a round plump lit
tle form, a neat foot, and hh unkle 01
Hiram Powers !
Well, we wont say anything about that
ankle, or those ankles, (for she had two of
om), because, well, because my wife says
that it would bo decidedly improper.
Mary and her friend came toward tho
house, leaving Harry to drivo round to the
stable, and as they stepped onto tho ver
anda, Mr. Judkins, who had thrown down
"Tristam," came forward to meet the new
" O father," said Mary, ''this is my dear
friend, Jennie Gushington, whom I havo
so often spoken of to you. Wc were
school-mates you know, at Madamo Do
"Ah, indeed ! And so this is Jennie?
Well, my dear, how do you do?" and Mr.
Judkins held out both of his great hands'
and took both of Jane Louisa's little hands
and he squeezed them, and ho looked, for
all the world, as if he was tickled half to
WellJano Louisa said she was "pretty
well, I thank you, sir," and then Mr. Jud
kins released her hands, and Mary conduc
ted her into tho house, where she had to bo
introduced to Florcnco and Mrs. Mugworth,
and then they went up stairs, and Jano
Louisa was seen no more until tea-time.
Meantime Mr. Judson Judkins walked
up and down tho veranda, holding "Tris
tam Shandy" beforo his eyes, with a cigar
in his mouth, and a smile on his face,
dreaming with his eyes wide open.
Yes, Mr. Judson Judkins was dreaming
of love. To state the caso plainly, ho was
in love, and that was what tickled him so.
Now Mr. Judkins wasn't liko some
widowers that you've seen. He wasn't
the man to fall in lovo with tho first pretty
face that crossed his path. I should rather
think not. Ho had married onco to plcaso
somebody else, and now ho was going to
marry to please himself that is, if ho mar
ried at all, which ho really had no notion
of doing, until ho saw Miss Jane Louisa
The moment ho saw her, he felt that ho
loved her. IIo fancied that sho was tho
woman for whom ho had been waiting all
his life his" spirit-mate," you understand;
and he didn't stop to think, or bother him
self about disparity of age, though of
course he know that sho wasn't more than
twenty-five, while ho was over fifty-two.
But pshaw I what are years to a man in
love? Mr. Judkins looked young. There
wasn't a gray hair in his head, and hardly
a wrinklo on his face, and ho felt as youth
ful, as a boy of fifteen.
Miss Gushington was bewitching enough
in her travelling dress, but when sho ap
peared at tho tea-table, in a filmy muslin
I am sure she was lovely enough to have
melted tho heart of a stone, to say nothing
about such a very soft heart as that which
beat in tho capacious bosom of Mr. Judson
lie led her to tho piano, and turned tho
music for her, and ho sang an old lovo song,
and ho looked a wholo volume of love songs,
and efelt himself the very personification
of lovo. And sho sang, aud Mr. Judkins
believed himself in somo enchanted land.
IIo was entranced, bewitched, intoxicated
with melodious sounds, and sweet imagin
ings. To quote tho words of his son, "The old
gentleman was fairly bedeviled."
You would have thought so could you
have seen him shortly afterwards. Mary
was at the piano, and Jane Louisa and Mr.
Judkins were out on tho veranda, waltzing
by moonlight. He hadn't waltzed before
in twenty years, and bo never had been a
natural waltzor. IIo whirled about as
gracefully as a clothos-horso might bo ex
pected to, should tho kitchen furniture be
suddenly seized with a mania for waltzing ;
and ho grew dizzy and Jano Louisa sup
ported him but that was rather agreeable,
Tho courtship of Mr. Judkins, thus hap
pily begun, wont ou smoothly. Gradually
ho gave Miss Gushington to understand the
state of his heart. Sho was just a littlo bit
surprised at first, but that was all. She
confessed to herself that she could have
loved Harry bettor than Judson, but Harry
wouldn't givo her a chance to lovo him,
and so sho concluded that she might as well
set her affections on his father, particularly
as she could seo that tho latter was terribly
There was no sentimentalism about Miss
Gushington. She was one of that kind of
women that would make almost any man
a good and affectionate wife, but there was
no danger of her ever dying of a broken
heart. Sho was determined to marry, and
if sho couldn't get just the man that sho
wanted, she would take tho next best. And
so, failing, as sho thought, to reach tho
heart of Harry, sho accepted tho heart of
Mr. Judkins, and proniised.to becomo his
There was only one person in tho world
that Mr. Judkins was afraid of, and that
person was his daughter Mary. He didn't
dare to tell her that ho was about to do
what would generally bo considered a very
ridiculous thing ; and so he cautioned Miss
Gushington against telling any ono of their
"We can't bo married here," said ho.
"And no one must know that wo have any
thought of marrying. But I'll tell you how
wo can manage it, my dear. Name the
day yourself, and the sooner it comes
tho better it will please mo ;" and Mr. Jud
kins stopped to squeeze Jano Louisa's hand
and I believe he kissed her, but I'm not so
certain of that.
" There's a train passes through Brad
ford for tho city, at fifteen minutes past
five in the morning. Not one of tho family
w iil bo up at that time, and wo can leave
the house and the town without disturbing
anybody. Upon arriving in tho city we
can be married, and then we can start on
our wedding tour, to bo gono as long as we
please, long enough certainly, to givo tho
Bradford people time to get through talk
ing about us. And by that time, probably
Mary, will havo becomo resigned to tho
state of affairs."
Mr. Judkins wasn't quite sure that she
would bo resigned, but ho tried to flatter
himself that she would.
"But," said Jano Louisa, "wont tho
family bo anxious when they find wo aro
"O, I'll make that all right," replied Mr.
Judkins. " I'll tell Mary tho night beforo
that I am going away in the early morning
train, and when we get ready to start, I'll
place a noto on the tablo for Mary, explain
And so that was tho way it was settled,
and meantime everything went on as usual,
and no ono suspected that Mr. Judkins was
in lovo with Miss Gushington, and that
they had their elopement already planned.
I said that no ono suspected that Mr.
Judkins was in love. Perhaps.I had better
take that back, for Harry did suspect that
something was tho matter with tho pater
nal Judkins. As ho said to Mary, ho
didn't know whether tho old gentleman was
really in love, or only a littlo 'loony,' but
ho thought that ho was rather too fond of
Miss Gushington's society, considering his
"Why, you don't think father would
marry, do you, Harry?"
" I hope ho won't marry Miss Gushing
ton," said ho.
" But do you think ho would marry any
woman ?" asked Mary.
But Harry didn't know how to answer
that question, and so didn't try.
" He's apparently very fond of Jennie,"
"And are you jealous," returned his sis
ter, laughing ; " but you need not bo, for
Jennie wouldn't marry father, if he wanted
her ever so bad. Why, only think, father
is fifty-two, and Jennie is only twenty-five."
But Harry wasn't convinced. He was
still suspicious, very suspicious, aud he
hadn't the courage to settle his doubts by
making a marriago proposal to the young
lady, for, singular as it may seem, he was
in love with Jennie, although she knew it
And that is strange, you say, and I admit
it. Most women will read a man's heart
better than ho can read it himself, and why
Miss Jano Louisa Gushington did not seo
that Harry adored her, is a question that I
But to continue : The fifth day of August
was tho day appointed for the elopement.
Mr. J udson had made all necessary prepara
tion, and ho had told Mary that ho was
going into tho city on tho early morning
train, to be gono all day, and ho had
written on explanatory letter to bo left on
tho tabic on tho morning of tho fifth, and
he had retired to his room, thcro to pack
his valise, which being soon done, he un
dressed and got into bed.
Now the night of tho fourth of August
was excessively warm. To be plain about
tho matter, it was decidedly hot.
Mr. Judkins couldn't sleep a wink. IIo
rolled all over tho bed, and then ho rolled
all over tho floor, and the perspiration
rolled from every pore but there was no
sleep for Mr. Judkins.
Tho hours rolled on, but they rolled very
slowly, or so thought Mr. Judkins. He
hoard tho clock strike every hour. At last
when it struck four he bounced out of bed
and throwing on a dressing-gown, ho left
"I'll take a shower-bath," said Mr. Jud
kins as ho went down stairs.
Now tho shower-bath was situated in the
rear of tho kitchen, and to reach it ho had
to pass through the sitting-room and a
long entry. But at that hour in the morn
ing there was littlo danger of his meeting
Mr. Judkins reached it in safety, took his
bath, which was really tho most comforta
ble thing ho had taken for tho last twenty-
four hours, "and now," said ho "where is
He should havo thought of that before,
for thcro wasn't any towel there.
" But I know where Mary keeps 'em,"
said he. "They're in tho sitting-room
closet ; and as it's so early in tho morning
I'll run in just as I am, for I don't want
to wet my dressing-gown."
And so Mr. Judkins ran in just as ho
was, and he got tho towel, and was running
back, when he heard Bridget coming down
tho back stairs, for she, having heard Mr.
Judkins, thought it was time to get up,
and was now coming down the stairs into
the long entry, just in time to intercept her
" Well, I'll go back to my room then, "
said Mr. Judkins, jumping out of the long
entry just as Bridget stepped in.
"But, hush! egad, there's somebody
coming down tho front stairs," cried he,
" and I believe it's Jano Louisa. O, what
shall I do?"
What could ho do ? IIo must hido some
whore, of course, lie wasn't dressed to re
ceive callers you know. Ho hadn't got his
watch-guard on, and consequently ho felt
Well, right across ono corner of tho sitting-room
was a sofa, and in behind it
there was room enough for a man to hido
quite comfortably, and there Mr. Judson
Judkins hid, and he wasn't a moment too
soon, for Miss Gushington camo in imme
diately, and seated herself upon tho sofa to
wait for hor lover.
Mr. Judkins waited for her to go, and
she waited for him to como, and, of course,
they both waited in vain.
At length tho clock struck five,but still Mr.
Judkins didn't put in an appearance Jano
Louisa asked herself what could bo the
matter, but she could givo no satisfactory
answer. Had her lover overslept himself ?
It looked very much like it, and so sho de
termined to wait until ho did como down
and then ask him if that was the way ho
kept his appointments.
" Well, this is a go," thought Mr. Judkins.
as the time passed on, and his lady-lovo
showed no signs of leaving tho room. Then
he came to the conclusion that it didn't
seem so much liko "a go," as it did like a
The early traiu had gone, but still Miss
Gushington waited. She was getting angry,
not only with Mr. Judkins, but with her
self. An elopement was well enough. It
was romantic but sho could sec no romance
in getting ready to elope with a lover who
was so lethargic as to sleep when tho god
of lovo was calling upon him to awaken:
and sho was angry with herself for ever
having allowed such a sleepy lover to beguile
At six o'clock Mary 'canio down, and
was much surprised to find that Jennie had
become such an early riser.
" AVcro you up when father went away?"
" I haven't seen your father this morn
ing," replied Jennie.
"And I hope you wont, just at present,"
thought Mr. Judkins.
Mary went outto tho kitchen to seo about
the breakfast, but Jennie kept; her post,
and Mr. Judkins kept his.
By-and-by tho rest of the family camo
down, and they all went out to breakfast.
"Now is my time," whispered Mr. Jud
kins, as ho rose from his cramped posi
tion. But just as ho arose, Bridget entered
tho room, passed through, and went up
" What shall I do now?" Mr. Judkins
asked himself. "Bridget has gono up to
make the beds, and if I run up stairs, 1
shall bo sure to meet her. O dear, what a
fix I am in 1"
But as there didn't seem to be anything
that ho could do, ho was obliged to remain
a fixture, and soon the family returned to
tho sitting-room. Shortly after, the ladies
with the exception of Jennie, went out for
a ride. Harry was in his room. ;
"And now," thought Mr. Judkins, "if
Miss Gushington would only go out for a
walk, why 1 should bo all right."
But unfortunately for that gentleman,
she showed no disposition to "tako the
air." Seating herself on the sofa, with
her work in her hands, and a book on her
lap, she began to read, and between sen
tences, sho would stop to think.
People don't generally liko to bo mmln
fools of, and Miss Gushington was no ex
ception ; but that she had been mado a
tool ot she out not lor ono moment doubt,
for what el so could sho think? Mr. Jud
kins had certainly gono to the city. Harry
iiau neaiu jus lauier go clown stairs at
about four o'clock, ho said. He had gono
and left her without ono word of explana
tion. What could sho think of such con
duct ? Sho knew not what to think.
"I'll leave Bradford this very day," she
said to herself; but just then ilarry came
This young gentleman took a turn up
and down the room, revolving a very seri
ous question in his mind.
Miss Gushington was watching him from
under hor long eyelashes. Suddenly he
turned and stood before her, but she did
not raiso her eyes.
"Miss Gushington," said Harry, "you
know mo pretty well. Do you know me
well enough, think you, to trust your hap
piness in my keeping?"
" Why why, Mr. Judkins what do you
mean?" cried Jennio throwing down her
Mr. Judson Judkins groaned.
"O 1" screamed Jane Louisa, " what was
"Tho dog," answered Ilarry. "Come
here, Tiger;" but Tiger didn't come.
" I was sure somo ono groaned," said
"'Twas but tho dog."
"Well, you were saying," said sho, once
more reassured, "that, well I didn't un
derstand exactly what you meant."
Harry took her hand. She didn't try to
"Will you, dear, give mo this hand, and
with it your heart? Will you givo them to
"On conditions," sho answered, and she
spoke very calmly indeed.
"Tho conditions are not very hard."
"What aro they?"
"There is only one that you marry me
"Why such haste?"
, It is a foolish whim of mino perhaps.
I ou can call it so. Iam going to leave
Bradford to-day, and it only remains for you
to say whether it shall be as Mrs. Judkins
or Miss Jennio Gushington."
Again Mr. Judson Judkins groaned.
"Confound tho dog! you shall leave
here as Mrs. Ilarry Judkins."
" 0 1 the house is haunted!" screamed
Miss Gushington, falling into her lover's
" Pshaw? 'twas Tiger," and then Harry
kissed her. ,
That kiss restored her, and she gate
Harry one in return.
" Will you go to tho minister's now,
darling?" she asked.
" What, beforo Mary returns ? Shall w
. " Yes, alone, and at once."
" Why, one would think that you hudu't