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A Scamper Through The Park
by [?]

As we rode swiftly along, the slight, girlish figure of a middle-aged woman might have been seen striving hurriedly to cross the driveway. She screamed and beckoned to a park policeman, who rushed leisurely in and caught her by the arm, rescuing her from the cruel feet of our mad chargers, and then led her to a seat. As we paused to ask the policeman if the lady had been injured, he came up to the side of the carriage and whispered to me behind his hand: “That woman I have rescued between thirty and forty times this year, and it is only the first of July. Every pleasant day she comes here to be rescued. One day, when business was a little dull and we didn’t have any teams on the drive, and time seemed to hang heavy on her hands, she told me her sad history. Before she was eighteen years of age she had been disappointed in love and prevented from marrying her heart’s choice, owing to the fact that the idea of the union did not occur to him. He was not, in fact, a union man. Time passed on, from time to time, glad spring, and bobolinks, and light underwear succeeded stern winter, frost, and heavy flannels, and yet he cometh not, she sayed. No one had ever caught her in his great strong arms in a quick embrace that seemed to scrunch her whole being. Summer came and went. The dews on the upland succeeded the frost on the pumpkin. The grand ratification of the partridge ushered in the wail of the turtle dove and the brief plunk of the muskrat in the gloaming. And yet no man had ever dast to come right out and pay attention to her or keep company with her. She had an emotional nature that just seemed to get up on its hind feet and pant for recognition and love. She could have almost loved a well-to-do man who had, perhaps, sinned a few times, but even the tough and erring went elsewhere to repent. One day she came to town to do some trading. She had priced seven dollars and fifty cents’ worth of goods, and was just crossing Broadway to price some more, when the gay equipage of a wealthy humorist, with silver chains on the neck-yoke and foam-flecks acrost the bosom of the nigh hoss, came plunging down the street.

“The red nostrils of the spirited brutes were above her. Their hot breath scorched the back of her neck and swayed the red-flannel pompon on her bonnet. Every one on Broadway held his breath, with the exception of a man on the front stoop of the Castor House, whose breath had got beyond his control. Every one was horrified and turned away with a shudder, which rattled the telegraph wires for two blocks.

“Just then a strong, brave policeman rushed in and knocked down both horses and the driver, together with his salary. He caught the woman up as though she had been no more than a feather’s weight. He bore her away to the post-office pavement, where it is still the custom to carry people who are run over and mangled. He then sought to put her down, but, like a bad oyster, she would not be put down. She still clung about his neck, like the old party who got acquainted with Sinbad the Sailor, though, of course, in a different manner. It took quite a while to shake her off. The next day she came back and was almost killed at the same crossing. It went on that way until the policeman had his beat changed to another part of town. Finally, she came up here to get her summer rescuing done. I do it when it falls to my lot, but my heart is not in the work. Sometimes the horrible thought comes over me that I may be too late. Several times I have tried to be too late, but I haven’t the heart to do it.”

He then walked to a sparrow that refused to keep off the grass and brained it with his club.