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gress of the "collecting" was considered satisfac
tory, and that in a short time there would be in
store for her a handsome and substantial dower.
Annie had some admirers among the admiring
sex. As she put it, she knew some fellows. These
were young men whom she, in the company of
other maidens, met regularly, apparently by ap
pointment, in some secluded flowery spot, at a dis
tance from home, and with whom she pleasantly be
guiled a Sabbath or Sunday afternoon. But these
innocent excursions were at last to terminate; the
parental mind had been at work, and the fruit of its
industry was now at hand.
Leaving a frying pan with its fishy contents on
the tire, Annie quietly opened the kitchen door, and
proceeded on tiptoe to the parlor. Instinct told
her that the secret conference now taking place was
of paramount concern to her; so, stooping and
placing her ear to the keyhole, she listened and
heard the following dialogue :
"And if he is such a rich young man, why wants
he such a big Nadan (dowry) ? "
" What know I ? But remember there are a lot of
girls who want him, and I am giving you the first
"True, but remember there are a lot of young
men who want her."
"So? I should never have believed it. I have
had he in my mind already three months, and I have
found out who the young men are vith whom she
goes, and 1 tell you, for I know —and if I know not,
whe then knows —that not one of them would please
"So? But that is the principal thing; for if they
will not please me, of what good are they ? "
"For what then does one want a Shadchan, if he
is not to choose a young man that will please the
girl's parents? Well, talk it over with your hus
band, and see what he will say."
" How much Nadan did yotl say he wants ? "
"Two hundred pounds."
"Two hundred! It is a lot of money. In our
times one would have blessed oneself with twenty."
"Well, to-day it is quite another world; one
spends more and one wants more."
" And how does he look ? "
"Ah, a fine young man! Tall and beautiful and
froom (pious). I tell you lv is a diamond young
man —ah, what say I —he is quite a silken voting
"And if we will want to see him, when can
"To-morrow, Shabbos, after the Kuggol (pad.
"Well, my husband will see you in Schule to-night
and tell you."
"Let it be for Mazzol (luck)! Well, good Shab
Annie, not expecting such a sudden conclusion to
he interview, and fearing lest she would be caught
if she attempted to hurry back to the kitchen, rushed
to the street door; and she was just in the act of
opening it when the deciders of her fate issued from
the parlor and looked at her suspiciously.
" I thought somebody was knocking at the door,"
she said ap dogetically.
" Schlemielte (good for-nothing)! " exclaimed her
mother, darting into the kitchen, "the fish is burn
The Shadchan, after attempting a benignant look
and failing, slunk past the maiden with a sense of
guilt, and the door was banged after him with
malicious and revengeful impetus. He walked down
the street at a fast pace, without venturing to look
round; but as soon as he had turned the corner
he fell into his wonted leisurclv gait. He now re
flected that his reluctance toenter thehousehad bern
groundless, for his reception had been warm and
pointed to success. He stroked his nose and beard
in a self-congratulatory air, charged the former with
a pinch of snuff, held the latter between his thumb
and forefinger, and smiling a big, broad smile, he
said, "It will be —yes, it —will—be!"
He then wended his way homewards, meek and
unassuming, and observed with a quick, furtive
glance two or three young men that he met, so as to
consider, and inquire whether they weieofa match
able state. Sometimes several days and even weeks
would pass b\ without discovering a single quarry,
and when he had succeeded, he had to make innum
erable visits before he ecu trived to run him to earth;
or, as he might have expressed it, to run him up to
heaven; for he held it a religious virtue to effect a
union of souls. When once he had fastened on a
victim, no protests, no pleadings, no pretences of
postponement, could avail to mitigate the tightness
of his clutch. He hung on, as it were, for very life—
and money, and discoursed on the folly—nay the
sin—of remainiug any longer Bachur (bachelor).
The young man, with cunning and deceptive prom
ises, might elude his grasp for a day or two; but the
Shadchan thenceforth dogged his footsteps with all
the more perseverence and pesteringness. At last
the prey would cease to wriggle and struggle; the
human, like the animal, spirit would be subdued,
and the young man, after reflecting on the fate of his
friends, whom he remembered as boys and who were
fathers, would declare that he was ready to consid
er a proposal. The Shadchan would then imme
diately congratulate him on his having attained the
age Of wisdom, and without any preliminary 'notifi
cation, begin to expatiate on the charms of the purse
and person of a certain damsel ol'.his acquaintance. .
The young man, feeling in one moment a sudden
accession of years and amativeness, would ponder
over the discourse with a mixture of gravity and
pleasure, and promise to have a ready reply in the
course of a few days.
[Concluded on Page 15.]