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Getting Married
by [?]

So I went. For half an hour I padded round St. Miriam’s nervously, and then summoning up all my courage, I knocked my pipe out and entered.

“I want,” I said jauntily to a sexton or a sacristan or something–“I want–er–a wedding.” And I added, “For two.”

He didn’t seem as nervous as I was. He enquired quite calmly when I wanted it.

“The eleventh of June,” I said. “It’s probably the one day in the year on which my Uncle Thomas—- However, that wouldn’t interest you. The point is that it’s the eleventh.”

The clerk consulted his wedding-book. Then he made the surprising announcement that the only day he could offer me in June was the seventeenth. I was amazed.

“I am a very old customer,” I said reproachfully. “I mean, I have often been to your church in my time. Surely—-“

“We’ve weddings fixed on all the other days.”

“Yes, yes, but you could persuade somebody to change his day, couldn’t you? Or if he is very much set on being married on the eleventh you might recommend some other church to him. I daresay you know of some good ones. You see, Celia–my–that is, we’re particularly keen, for some reason, on St. Miriam’s.”

The clerk didn’t appreciate my suggestion. He insisted that the seventeenth was the only day.

“Then will you have the seventeenth?” he asked.

“My dear fellow, I can’t possibly say off-hand,” I protested. “I am not alone in this. I have a friend with me. I will go back and tell her what you say. She may decide to withdraw her offer altogether.”

I went back and told Celia.

“Bother,” she said. “What shall we do?”

“There are other churches. There’s your own, for example.”

“Yes, but you know I don’t like that. Why shouldn’t we be married on the seventeenth?”

“I don’t know at all. It seems an excellent day; it lets in my Uncle Thomas. Of course, it may exclude my Uncle William, but one can’t have everything.”

“Then will you go and fix it for the seventeenth to-morrow?”

“Can’t I send my solicitor this time?” I asked. “Of course, if you particularly want me to go myself, I will. But really, dear, I seem to be living at St. Miriam’s nowadays.”

And even that wasn’t the end of the business. For, just as I was leaving her, Celia broke it to me that St. Miriam’s was neither in her parish nor in mine, and that, in order to qualify as a bridegroom, I should have to hire a room somewhere near.

“But I am very comfortable where I am,” I assured her.

“You needn’t live there, Ronald. You only want to leave a hat there, you know.”

“Oh, very well,” I sighed.

She came to the hall with me; and, having said good-bye to her, I repeated my lesson.

“The seventeenth, fix it up to-morrow, take a room near St. Miriam’s, and leave a hat there. Good-bye.”

“Good-bye…. And oh, Ronald!” She looked at me critically as I stood in the doorway. “You might leave that one,” she said.


“By the way,” said Celia suddenly, “what have you done about the fixtures?”

“Nothing,” I replied truthfully.

“Well, we must do something about them.”

“Yes. My solicitor–he shall do something about them. Don’t let’s talk about them now. I’ve only got three hours more with you, and then I must dash back to my work.”

I must say that any mention of fixtures has always bored me intensely. When it was a matter of getting a house to live in I was all energy. As soon as Celia had found it, I put my solicitor on to it; and within a month I had signed my name in two places, and was the owner of a highly residential flat in the best part of the neighbourhood. But my effort so exhausted me that I have felt utterly unable since to cope with the question of the curtain-rod in the bathroom or whatever it is that Celia means by fixtures. These things will arrange themselves somehow, I feel confident.