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Getting Married
by [?]

The old gentleman in the little shop Celia knew of was delighted to see us.

“Chestesses? Ah, you ‘ave come to the right place.” He led the way into the depths. “There now. There’s a chest–real old, that is.” He gave it a hearty smack. “You don’t see a chest like that nowadays. They can’t make’em. Three pound ten. You couldn’t have got that to-morrer. I’d have sold it for four pound to-morrer.”

“I knew it was our day,” I said.

“Real old, that is. Spanish me’ogany, all oak lined. That’s right, sir, pull the drawers out and see for yourself. Let the lady see. There’s no imitation there, lady. A real old chest, that is. Come in ‘ere in a week and you’d have to pay five pounds for it. Me’ogany’s going up, you see, that’s how.”

“Well?” I said to Celia.

“It’s perfectly sweet. Hadn’t we better see some more?”

We saw two more. Both of them Spanish me’ogany, oak lined, pull-the-drawers-out-and-see-for-yourself-lady. Half an hour passed rapidly.

“Well?” I said.

“I really don’t know which I like best. Which do you?”

“The first; it’s nearer the door.”

“There’s another shop just over the way. We’d better just look there too, and then we can come back to decide to-morrow.”

We went out. I glanced at my watch. It was 3.30, and we were being married at 2.15 on the seventeenth of June.

“Wait a moment,” I said, “I’ve forgotten my gloves.”

I may be a slow starter, but I am very firm when roused. I went into the shop, wrote a cheque for the three chests of drawers, and told the man where to send them. When I returned, Celia was at the shop opposite, pulling the drawers out of a real old mahogany chest which was standing on the pavement outside.

“This is even better,” she said. “It’s perfectly adorable. I wonder if it’s more expensive.”

“I’ll just ask,” I said.

I went in and, without an unnecessary word, bought that chest too. Then I came back to Celia. It was 3.45, and on the seventeenth of June at 2.15—- Well, we had four chests of drawers towards it.

“Celia,” I said, “we may just do it yet.”


“I know I oughtn’t to be dallying here,” I said; “I ought to be doing something strenuous in preparation for the wedding. Counting the bells at St. Miriam’s, or varnishing the floors in the flat, or—- Tell me what I ought to be doing, Celia, and I’ll go on not doing it for a bit.”

“There’s the honeymoon,” said Celia.

“I knew there was something.”

“Do tell me what you’re doing about it?”

“Thinking about it.”

“You haven’t written to any one about rooms yet?”

“Celia,” I said reproachfully, “you seem to have forgotten why I am marrying you.”

When Celia was browbeaten into her present engagement, she said frankly that she was only consenting to marry me because of my pianola, which she had always coveted. In return I pointed out that I was only asking her to marry me because I wanted somebody to write my letters. There opened before me, in that glad moment, a vista of invitations and accounts-rendered all answered promptly by Celia, instead of put off till next month by me. It was a wonderful vision to one who (very properly) detests letter-writing. And yet, here she was, even before the ceremony, expecting me to enter into a deliberate correspondence with all sorts of strange people who as yet had not come into my life at all. It was too much.

“We will get,” I said, “your father to write some letters for us.”

“But what’s he got to do with it?”

“I don’t want to complain of your father, Celia, but it seems to me that he is not doing his fair share. There ought to be a certain give-and-take in the matter. I find you a nice church to be married in–good. He finds you a nice place to honeymoon in–excellent. After all, you are still his daughter.”