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A Lover's Stratagem

A Lover's Stratagem image
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"Yon shaVt have my daughter'.'' said oíd Félix Koster, bringing his fist down on the table with a crash. "There'.s no use talking, young man. Yousha'n't have her!1' "Atleast you'U tell me why," nsisted BabbitBlooin, the young lawyer's clerk, who had just made applioation for thehand of the old gentleman's only daughter. "What do you know against me, sir?" For the matter of that, nothing in articular," replied old Fclix Koster. "Butl'ma solid man myself. I have made money, and I want that money in a warm nest. Now, if I give my girl to a poor fellow like you, when she comes in for what I'll lcavc her you'U speud it, instead of doubling it. Besides, you'rn 1oo young- not six-and-twenty. And there's mv old friend, Frisbee, nve-andtifty. owns his block of houses and a hiindred-acre farm, factory and forty workraen's cottages. You ought to have sensc enough to seo that he is the man for Agatha, not you." "But if Agatha likes me best?"1 pleaded young Bloom. "Stuff and nonsense! She'lllikewho I teil her to," replied Mr. Koster, whose grammar was not his strong poiut. -And as l've an appointment at two, 111 say good-by to you, young man." At this hint Mr. Bloom bowed himself out of the great contractor's oflice. He intended to nave Agatha Koster. He did not care for her fortune, and ho knew she hated the suitor whoni her iather favored. "Elopewith me, Agatha," he pleaded -not on his knees, bccause that style of wooing is quite out of fashion, but under the sido window of her father's house before that gentleman carne into tea. "Elope with me. We are both of age. Let us defy everybody." "I supposo pa would como round in time," said Agatha; "but I can't go without my things. I have a very nice wardrobe, and lots of jewelrv and things. and I want to be married decently, and have an expressman tako away my elothes; but how can 1 do it, when all day long, from the time pa goes out, old James Davids, his watchman, sits on the front stoop, pledged to lock me up in mv own room if I set foot outside the door, and to let noonein? There all day, and in the hall all night, immovably on guard. "Is he?" said the lawyer's clerk, sareastically, as at a signal from his ladylove he kissed his hand ad ran away. "Mind you, Davids," said Felix Koster, as he buttoned his overcoat in the hall - "mind you; don't desert your post. No goinj out and no coming in. That girl of mine has no mother, and l've got to be both parents to her. Don't let so niucb. as a letter be carried ia at the door." "No, your honor; not whilst I'm alive," said Davids. But, alas! who can calcúlate upon circumstances! The late Widow Bedott was right about that. Solomon James Davids, sitting all day in the hall-chairwith a club in his hand, the object of the detestation of all the female servants, opened the door on % irrack to all applicants, slipping letters into his own pockets, and keeping the house free from intruders, thought uimself invulnerable; but his weak spot had been discovered by his enemy. It was a bad boy. At five o'clock a ring cania st the door, which answering, he found no one there. Another and another followed. "It's a boy as runs and hides himnelf," said Davids, peering up and down the street. "The next ring I'll catch him, and he waited with his back against the door - and his club grasped in both hands. The ring came; out bolted Davids; down the street; peering into areas; peeped around the corner; found no boy, and was about to return to the house," when a hand caught his oat collar. "Help," roared a voice. 'Help! Thieves! Pólice!" "Let me be," shouted Davids. "What do you catch hold of me for?" "You'vegot my pocketbook," crier the young man. "If you haven'tyou've thrown it away. I missed it as you run past me. OIHcer," - this to a policeman who had speedily arrivcd - "I want this man arrested. l've lost my pocketbook." And so amid his protesta tions, prayers Rnd cries, that respectable old person ■James Davids, was pushed, pulled anc ilragged to the nearest station house followed by a crowd of raganmfllns, am there locked up for the night. And that young man who h;id lost his pocketbook, and who RH to tppeM tgainst him the next morninsr. looke suspiciously like the young lawyer's clerk, Babbit Bloom, who of course knew that ono against whom a charle was made must be arrested, eien if he was able to prove himself entire innocent next day. And who camc to the door in a coupo half an hour after, but this same young Bloom; and who got into it but Agathi Koster; and where did they drive but to the minister's, where they were married. And Betsy Jane, and Sarah, nm Ellen Maria "all hclpcd to carry down tho trunks, bags and pareéis with whicl tho express wagon, that camo very sooi after the coupo, was heavily loalcd. so that when, at seven o'clock, old Mr Koster rung at his own bell, Betsy Jant opened tho door, meek-faced and tidy while all the other servants listened a the foot of tho kitchen stairs. "Where's Davids?" asked Mr. Koster "Please, sir, a p'liceman arrested hin awhile ago for picking a gentleman' pocket," said Betsy. "Davids piek a pocket! Nonsense Ho never did it!" roared Mr. Koster. "No, sir. I suppose not, please, sir,' said Betsy. "And where's Miss Agatha?" askc. Mr. Foster. "Gono to fetch a ridc, sir." ƒ "What?" "(Jone a ríding, sir." "Where? Who with?" "Please, sir, I don't know where With a real nice young gentleman, wit black mustaches, sir, ' said Betsy, de niurely. For an hour or two the neighbors al wondered what had happened in a Koster's, and cook said ehe wonderec the roof did not fall in, for she neve J.ear(J s,ueh lajguage. _ Aml_th9 relur i nanas, witn iiW account ot taiso nrcst and imprisonmcut, did not mcnd matters. But Agatha was right, after all. In a ew moni lis tlie oíd gentleman felt that ie could not do without his girl, and nally wrote her a letter which re-estabshed tho happinoss of tlte family. Toy thc young lawyer's stratagom and his mothod of {LHtnj oíd Uavids out of thc ay is considered an excellent joko by lis worthvfather-in-law. - N. Y. Ledaer.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News