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How They Made Ready

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(Copyright by American Press Association.1 HE was going to bo married. So was he. They were going to be married to each other, and h e (wonde re d i f everybody in the car knew it. Ko yotmg man ever became engaged with a more profound convictíon that he had won the most superlatively superior young woman in the world, and no man's pride in the event, therefore, could have been lof tier: and he was eounting the days to the joyfnl ceremony with all poesïble antioipations of happiness, yet there was a sneaking sense of discomf ort in these preliminary arrangements that shamed him, and which he could not throw off. He was sure that if he had been taking his best girl to a matinee no one would have cast more than a passing glance at him and his companion; now every man in the car was devouring them with his eyes and smirking behind his beard. As for her, it was a delightful excursión. The world might have stood aside to giggle as she passed, and she wouldn't have known the difference. Her head was in a whirl and bubble of happiness, and thongh at times there was a tremor at the coming irrevocable step, she had only to glance shyly up at HIM to be entirely reassured. At last they left the car and walked along a side street until they carne to a neat little house, which he had selected after a weary round of experiences with agenta and delusive advertisements. The agent of this house was waiting for them at the door, keys in hand. He gave them one glance and smothered a smile of recognition. He knew them for goingto-be-married persons, and the uncomfortably happy young man knew that he knew it. There was no betrayal on either side, however, and the three began an inspection of the house. She had said so many times that she would go anywhere in the world vvith HIM that he was not a little startled to see how critically she examined the ininutest details. While he was expatiating upon the excellent outlook from the front room she was raising and lowering the windows; when he called attention to the tastefnl decorations she was cross-questioning the agent as to the drawiug qualities of the flues. And when he pointed with pride to the cozy dining room, with the slide connection with the kitchen, she darted away, and they found her turning the water on at the sink and watohing it escape down the drain pipe. Then there were rattling of the stove lids, pulling at the dampers, peering into the washtubs and a running fire of new questions about the capacity of the chimney and other features of a range. Would it draw steadily in an east wind or on a rainy day? How much coal would it consume? She hoped it would be possible to bake a pie in the oven through to the bottom crust without burning the top, until at last the young man was nearly bowled over by a great impression that perhaps SHE had her own notions and might upset all his fine arrangements. Meantiine the agent, wise and experienced man, stood by, answering all questions with the most overwhelmiiig gravity and respect, and waited. When she at last eaw the marks of terror on HIS face, and learned m a few brollen sentences the cause of the phenomenon, she - well, the agent found something to look after xq stairs, and when he carne down the young man signed the lease and paid the deposit required to secure it. And after they had separated he walked at a tremendous pace to his office, mentally practicing saying "My wife" all the way. The house had to be furnished, and she of course was to select the furniture. Hewould have been wholly glad of this if it had not been for the necessity of going with her to assist in the final choice. She developed an unmistakable tttnidity about shopping of this nature, and before they set out on their next fcion he endeavored to impress upon her the desirability of conducting the w ff air ust as if they had been married a long time. "I don't suppose we can make it appear that we are oíd stagers," he said, "but it onght to be easy to give the impression that we have been boarding a year or so and are now going to housekeeping." To this 6he sweetly assented, and they set out to impress all manner of salesinen with that idea. When they got to the furniture store, which she had courageously visited alone on a previous day, the first thing she did was to lead him to a remóte department to look at a big ?asy chair whioh she thought would be Just the thing for him. "Yes, we'll take that," he assented nervously. "Oh, bnt you mustn't think, dear," ne exclaimed, "that you must take it 3ust because I like it! That's for you, yon know, and we mustn't be hasty íd bnytng things that must last us so long. Don't you see?" He saw. So did the clerk, and he knew that the clerk saw too. He tried desperately to frame his lips to some such expression as "Very well, wifey," but no word of the desired character would come at command; so he pinched her arm, and she, comprehending, whispered that she wouldn't do it again. There was an awkward pause, the clerk standing by, noto pad in hand. Would the lady take the chair? She looked up at him; he was engrossed in studying a bronze statue that he couldn't have bonght had he wanted it. So she fluttered an inaudible yes, and they passed on. She had been divided in favor between two sets of dining room appointments, and he wanted to take the first he caine to. She could see, and worse vet, feel the tumult of embarrassinent that was surging within him, but she knew what was wise, bless her sagacious noddle! and she insisted upon careful examination and ïomparison of prices. She hated to trouble him, but- and she pressed her rosy lips hard together and then entered upon a disquisition as to the relative merits of the two sets - how one was substantial, but not quite in harmony with the decorations, and the other, though cheaper, was pretty and harmonious, and might do until the time should come when they might need a larger house, and then they would have to change anyway- and they decided upon the cheaper outfit. Other chaira, carpets, tables and the like were passed in review, and both he and she carne to a pause, each waiting for the other to suggest necessities unaccounted for. The clerk helped them out. They would find chamber furniture on the thiril floor, back. So up they went, and when the whole list of furnishing was complete the clerk made out a statement. He paid the bill, and conscious of a great load off his ïnind stepped out with her upon the street. There she reminded him that all manner of kitchen and table ware was yet to be purchased. With a gesture of despair he begged to be let off. "That's your department," he pleaded. "You getwhat you want. You know all about it, and I can't do any good." Whereupon, almost tearfully, she besought him to remember that they were going to Uve together, and that she could never do anything at all without him. And of course he went along, contenting himself with a protest that be should simply stand around and let her do the buying. He kept his word for a while after they had entered a kitchen fumishing store. She couldn't select an iron basting spoon or a meat chopper, much less a kettle, without bringing it over to show to him, and get his opinión or assent. Not even generous soowls on his part could check her in this madness, and at last in self defense he went to buying on his own account. His attention was attracted by a mechanical device f or facilitating the mashing of potatoes, and he brought it to her triumphantly. " What's that good for?" she exclaimed. "I never saw such a thing bef ore! I use the old style," and so on, and when with marital dignity he ordered the salesinan to include it in the bill she added: "Very well, but that's the last. Why, dear, if you go to buying everytbing that's got a machine to it you'll ruin us in a yearl" He desisted, and after some further agony the outfit was completed, and the salesman, as was proper, turned to her and asked where the articles should be sent. She gave the address of the little house in the suburbs, and then the salesman asked: "What name, please?" "Miss J ; no - that is - I mean - " and her blushes got in the way of any further utterance. He groaned and the salesinan smiled. "See here," said he, taking the salesman aside, "you do all those things up and I'll pay the bill. I'll give you my name and address, and some time net week I'll give you the tip when to send the stuff up. See?" It must not be thought for an instant that this harrowing experience preluded any discomfort after that day "next week" when the kitchen goods were delivered at the little house. Not at all. Like all veracious romances, this statement of fact ends with, "And so they were married and lived happily together ever afterward."