The following matrimonial inquiries are now in my hands awaiting replies, and I take this method of giving them more air. A few months ago I injudiciously stated that I should take great pleasure in booming, or otherwise whooping up, everything in the matrimonial line, if those who needed aid would send me twenty-five cents, with personal description, lock of hair, and general outline of the style of husband or wife they were yearning for. As a result of thus yielding to a blind impulse and giving it currency through the daily press, I now have a huge mass of more or less soiled postage stamps that look as though they had made a bicycle tour around the world, a haymow full of letters breathing love till you can’t rest, and a barrel of calico-colored hair. It is a rare treat to look at this assortment of hair of every hue and degree of curl and coarseness. When I pour it out on the floor it looks like the interior of a western barber shop during a state fair. When I want fun again I shall not undertake to obtain it by starting a matrimonial agency.
I have one letter from a man of twenty-seven summers, who pants to bestow himself on some one at as early a date as possible. He tells me on a separate slip of paper, which he wishes destroyed, that he is a little given to “bowling up,” a term with which I am not familiar, but he goes on to say that a good, noble woman, with love in her heart and an earnest desire to save a soul, could rush in and gather him in in good shape. He says that he is worthy, and that if he could be snatched from a drunkard’s grave in time he believes he would become eminent. He says that several people have already been overheard to say: “What a pity he drinks.” From this he is led to believe that a good wife, with some means, could redeem him. He says it is quite a common thing for young women where he lives to marry young men for the purpose of saving them.
I think myself that some young girl ought to come forward and snatch this brand at an early date.
The great trouble with men who form the bowl habit is that, on the morrow, after they have been so bowling, they awake with a distinct and well-defined sensation of soreness and swollenness about the head, accompanied by a strong desire to hit some living thing with a stove leg. The married man can always turn to his wife in such an emergency, smite her and then go to sleep again, but to one who is doomed to wander alone through life there is nothing to do but to suffer on, or go out and strike some one who does not belong to his family, and so lay himself liable to arrest.
This letter is accompanied by a tin-type picture of a young man who shaves in such a way as to work in a streak of whiskers by which he fools himself into the notion that he has a long and luxuriant mustache. He looks like a person who, under the influence of liquor, would weep on the bosom of a total stranger and then knock his wife down because she split her foot open instead of splitting the kindling.
He is not a bad-looking man, and the freckles on his hands do not hurt him as a husband. Any young lady who would like to save him from a drunkard’s grave can address him in my care, inclosing twenty-five cents, a small sum which goes toward a little memorial fund I am getting up for myself. My memory has always been very poor, and if I can do it any good with this fund I shall do so. The lock of hair sent with this letter may be seen at any time nailed up on my woodshed door. It is a dull red color, and can be readily cut by means of a pair of tinman’s shears.