His Trousers seemed to be choking him. The Pompadour was protected by a Derby of the Fried-Egg species. It was the kind that Joe Weber helped to keep in Public Remembrance. But in 1886 it was de Rigeur, au Fait, and a la mode.
Frances would load the hateful City Chap into the high Cart and exhibit him up and down all the Residence Thoroughfares.
On nearly every Front Porch some Girl whose Father was not interested in the First National Bank would peer out through the Morning Glories at the Show-off and then writhe like an Angle-Worm.
The Wedding was the biggest thing that had struck the town since Forepaugh stopped over on his way from Peoria to Decatur.
Frances was not a popular Girl, on account of being so Uppish, so those who could not fight their way into the Church climbed up and looked through the Windows.
The Groom wore a Swallow-Tail.
Most of those present had seen Pictures of the Dress Suit. In the Fireside Companion, the Gentleman wearing one always had Curls, and the Wood-Engraving caught him in the act of striking a Lady in the Face and saying “Curse you!”
The Feeling at the County-Seat was that Frances had taken a Desperate Chance.
The caterer with Colored Help in White Gloves, the ruby Punch suspected of containing Liquor, the Japanese Lanterns attached to the Maples, the real Lace in the Veil, the glittering Array of Pickle-Jars, and a well-defined Rumor that most of the imported Ushers had been Stewed, gave the agitated Hamlet something to blat about for many and many a day.
The Bachelor of Arts grabbed off by the daughter of Jennie and the Grand-daughter of Susan was the owner of Real Estate in the congested Business District of a Town which came into Public Attention later on through the efforts of Frank Chance.
His front name was Willoughby, but Frances always called him “Dear,” no matter what she happened to be thinking at the time.
Part of State Street had been wished on to Willoughby. He was afraid to sell, not knowing how to reinvest.
So he sat back and played safe. With growing Delight he watched the Unearned Increment piling up on every Corner. He began to see that he would be fairly busy all his life, jacking up Rents.
The Red-Brick Fortress to which he conducted Frances had Stone Steps in front and a secret Entrance for lowly Trades-people at the rear.
Willoughby and his wife had the high courage of Youth and the Financial Support of all the Money Spenders along State Street, so they started in on Period Decoration. Each Room in the House was supposed to stand for a Period. Some of them stood for a good deal.
A few of the Periods looked like Exclamation Points.
The young couple disregarded the Toll-Gate Period and the Log-Cabin Period, but they worked in every one of the Louies until the Gilt Furniture gave out.
The delighted Caller at the House beside the Lake would pass from an East Indian Corridor through an Early Colonial Ante-Room into a Japanese Boudoir and, after resting his Hat, would be escorted into the Italian Renaissance Drawing-Room to meet the Hostess. From this exquisite Apartment, which ate up one year’s Rent of a popular Buffet near Van Buren Street, there could be obtained a ravishing glimpse of the Turkish Cozy Corner beyond, including the Battle-Axes and the Red Lamp.
Frances soon began to hob-nob with the most delicatessen Circles, including Families that dated back to the Fire of 1871.
She was not at all Dizzy, even when she looked down from the Mountain Peak at her happy Birthplace, 15,000 feet below.
Willoughby turned out to be a satisfactory Housemate. His Voltage was not high, but he always ate Peas with a Fork and never pulled at the Leash when taken to a Musicale.
In front of each Ear he carried a neat Area of Human Ivy, so that he could speak up at a Meeting of Directors. Until the year 1895, the restricted Side-Whisker was an accepted Trade-Mark of Commercial Probity.