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The Fable Of The He-Gossip And The Man’s Wife And The Man
by [?]

Mr. Bizzy watched the Family at all Hours of the Day and Night for many Months. Although convinced that they were Children of Belial and pretty Hard Nuts in general, he still hoped to Rescue them. He wondered if he could not Appeal to the Man’s Wife. She was a Daughter of Iniquity, all right, but maybe she might listen to an Entreaty if it came from one who was Pure, and who could point out to her in Fatherly Kindness that she was leading her Family on a Short Cut to the Weeping and Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth.

One Day Mr. Bizzy got a quiet Tip from another Moral Detective, that the Man had stayed out until 2 A.M., at a Banquet given to a Militia Company, so he knew it was Time for him to Act. He lay in Ambush until the Coast was Clear, and then he went across the Dead-Line and caught her on the Piazza. She was Surprised to see him.

He told her all the Reports he had heard about her Husband, and said he was Sorry for her. He wondered if they couldn’t get together a few of the Respectable Men and Women of the Neighborhood, and have a Talk with the Husband, and try to Pluck him as a Brand from the Burning. She listened with that Ominous Calm which always precedes the Iowa Cyclone that takes the Roof off the Court House and moves the Poor Farm into the Adjoining County. She said she would take her Husband aside and have a Confidential Chat with him, and if he wanted to be Plucked, then she would call in the Cyrenius Bizzy Association of Pluckers.

The He-Gossip went Home feeling that he was entitled to a Pedestal right in between Savonarola and Martin Luther.

When the Man came Home his Wife told him. He murmured something about the Last Straw and moved swiftly out of doors. Pulling up the Rover Stake from the Croquet Grounds as he ran, he cleared the Dividing Fence without touching his Hands and began to Clean House. In about a Second there was a Sound as if somebody had stubbed his Toe and dropped a Crockery Store. Then Cyrenius was seen to Break the Record for the Running Long Jump, off the Front Stoop into an Oleander Tub, while wearing a Screen Door. After him came the Worldly Husband. For several Minutes the Copse where once the Garden smiled was full of He-Gossip and Cries for Help.

When the Man came back to where his Wife stood with her Hand on her Heart, he reported that the He-Gossip would be found on top of the Grape-Arbor.

MORAL: Any one hoping to do Something in the Rescue Line had better go further than Next Door.