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An Audiphone Catastrophe

An Audiphone Catastrophe image
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Mrs. Fitzallister was a widow, and owned $;(), 000 worth of real estáte and a marriageable daughter. Juliet Fitzallister was as handsoiue as an Eriglish professional beanty, and possessed a much larger stock of modesty. Wlien yaung Romeo Myrtleton asked the wal ow for the hand of her daughter, she turned a deaf ear to his petiiion. Slie couldn't do othcrwise, for she was as tleaf Bá the proverbial post. She was so "hard o' hearing"' thatoneday when a powi'.er-mill, a few miles distant. blew up, shakiug all the houses in town, and shattering neailr every pane of glass in the widow's dwi'lling, she looked up f rom her knittiug and remarked to her daughter that she thought she heard the milkrnan's knock at the kitohen door. Romeo Myrtleton was Juliet's accepied lover, and called to sec her seven nights a week. He regretted that the weeks werenotnine days long, so that he might cali oítener. Each evening he assured the fair Juliet that the dayS Söemed a year and a half long without her, and that either Hancock or Garlield would be our next President, and her sweet image haunted him day and night, and be never saw such remarkable weatherfor this time of vear, and she was looking more lovely than ever this evening, and he wished her mother would go to bed earlier, and - and so forth. Espeeially the latter. Juliet's mother would sit up with the lovers until after ten o'clock during these interesting conversations, but, not hearing a word that was said, she derived no benefit whatever therefrom. It was rather rough on the old lady, and the lovers diun't seem to caie a partirle - albeit Romeo, who never rolled in any more allluence than seven dollars and a half at one time, frequently assured her that he would willlngly give live thousand dollars out of his own pocket if he eould restore her hearing. Andthus Romeo and Juliet reveled in Love's youngDream with all the rerelness of their impulsive natures, without being impelled to insinúate that it was frightfully injurious to the health of a woman of forty-tive to remain out of bed after nine o'elock p. m. The presence of the mother was not soobnoxious, save whenshe would suddenly turn around just as Romeo would thoughtfully place his arm around Juliet's waist to prevent her from falling off the chair and fracturing her collarbone, or something, while he tasted whether she had a new kind of rouge on her damask cheeks. ïhen it toas annoying; and Romeo would impatiently and audibly mutter: "Why the diekens don't the old thing go to bed! Thank heaven she can'thear, anyhow!" And Mrs. Fitzallister would innocently turn to her sewing with a look which said, as plain as large print: "Ah, well, I was young, too, once, and know how it is myself." One night there carne a change. It carne with an overwhelming majority, as it were, and the young people had no desire to go behind the returns. Romeo called as usual, and found Juliet and her mother in the parlor. The lovers occupied the sofa, and the widow drew a chair up to a table, with her back to the young folks, and soon became deeply absorbed in the mysteries of some needle-work. Romeo and Juliet talked, and talked, and talked. Then they talked some more, totally ignoring the presence of the mother, who had apparently commenced to doze, but whose face, whencver thcre was a sound like a game of Copenhagen n full blast, would assume an expression of intense interest. The conversation, which had been quite free and partaking of the quality of halfcooked taffy, gradually drifted into this "And, tlear Romeo," nmrmured Juliet, with a voiee full of teudcrncss, "novvthat ma lus consented to our ïnion nt au early dáj, jou will promise to love me always, and never, never go out at night af ter we are niarried - won' t you?" "I - I promise," hesitatinglj' replied iomeo - the perjuro! - and soaled the ie wilh a kiste. " And when we go to house-keeping, Icar ma will como and live with us, and ve will be, oh, ver so happy - won't we, dariing?" ]Irs Fitza'Iister'ssewinï fel) lato her lap, and lier tocth appearcd to close more iirnily on something sim held in her mouth; but a well-siinulated snorii betokened culiii weather rather tlian an impending catastrophe. "Ah- er- ye -no," stammered Romeo. "That is, don't you think, dear Jnliet, that we could be much happier wil hout vour mother living wilh ns?" Mrs. Fitzallister moved uneasily in her chair, as if shehad bad droams, and her lingcrs worked nervously, as if they were hutigry for a handful of human hair. " Whj'," dear Komeo," whimpered Juliet, nestling her hcad in the yonng man's shirt-bosom, "you don't dislike dear ma, do you?" "Well - yes, I do," bluntly replied Mr. Myrtleton. " Evcry night the old cat sits here as if she had taken root, when she knows very well that her room is better than her company. I would nut havo tolerated the old nuisance this long if she had not been as deaf as a - At this point there was a cyclon of astonUhment - a besom of infuriated female, so to speak. "Deaf, am 1?" shrieked the old lady, taking an audiphone from betwecn her teeth, and turning fiercely on thu voung man. "Deaf, am I? and I'm an old cat, am I?" she hissed, shaking her fi.t ander Romeo's nose. "And I'm an old nuisance, too, am I?" and she made a frantic clutch at Romeo's hair. Mr. Myrtleton looked indisposed. A vague, undetinable something told hint that he would feel better if he was at home. lt suddtmly struck him that he had remained half-an-hour lnnger taan was good for his health; and he grabbed his hat and was about leavini;; without bidding Juliet's mother good-by, when that enraged female caught him by the coat-tails and yelled: " And my room is better than my company, is it? And you thiuk you could be happier without me, do you? -you vile wretch and base deceiver!" - and eleetric sparks fairly shot from her eyes. "Mr. Myrtleton," sho continued, taking him by the ear, " there' l the door! My daughter and mvself will try to Te happy without you. Go!" Romeo went. Juliet fainted. And Mrs. Fitzallister feelingly observed: "May heaven bless the man who invented the audiphone, which has not only made me hear, but also opened my eyes." It was pretty mean though, when you come to think about it, for the widow to purohase an audiphone and not apprise the lovers of the fact. Romeo, with murder in his oye, and a brand irew revolvei in his hip-pocket, is on the trail of the


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Ann Arbor Democrat