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Getting Married
by [?]

“I don’t. I should hate to catch a fish who was perhaps on his honeymoon too. Still, I like the idea of a river.”

“And quite a good mountain, and lovely walks, and, in fact, everything. Except a picture-palace, luckily.”

“It sounds all right,” I said doubtfully. “We might just spend the next day or two thinking about my seven spots, and then I might … possibly … feel strong enough to write.”

“Oh, I nearly forgot. I have written, Ronald.”

“You have?” I cried. “Then, my dear, what else matters? It’s a perfect spot.” I lay back in relief. “And there, thank ‘evings, is another thing settled. Bless you.”

“Yes. And, by the way, there is golf quite close too. But that,” she smiled, “needn’t prevent us going there.”

“Of course not. We shall just ignore the course.”

“Perhaps, so as to be on the safe side, you’d better leave your clubs behind.”

“Perhaps I’d better,” I said carelessly.

All the same I don’t think I will. One never knows what may happen … and at the outset of one’s matrimonial career to have to go to the expense of an entirely new set of clubs would be a most regrettable business.


“I suppose,” I said, “it’s too late to cancel this wedding now?”

“Well,” said Celia, “the invitations are out, and the presents are pouring in, and mother’s just ordered the most melting dress for herself that you ever saw. Besides, who’s to live in the flat if we don’t?”

“There’s a good deal in what you say. Still, I am alarmed, seriously alarmed. Look here.” I drew out a printed slip and flourished it before her.

“Not a writ? My poor Ronald!”

“Worse than that. This is the St. Miriam’s bill of fare for weddings. Celia, I had no idea marriage was so expensive. I thought one rolled-gold ring would practically see it.”

It was a formidable document. Starting with “full choir and organ” which came to a million pounds, and working down through “boys’ voices only,” and “red carpet” to “policemen for controlling traffic–per policeman, 5s.,” it included altogether some two dozen ways of disposing of my savings.

“If we have the whole menu,” I said, “I shall be ruined. You wouldn’t like to have a ruined husband.”

Celia took the list and went through it carefully.

“I might say ‘Season,'” I suggested, “or ‘Press.'”

“Well, to begin with,” said Celia, “we needn’t have a full choir.”

“Need we have an organ or a choir at all? In thanking people for their kind presents you might add, ‘By the way, do you sing?’ Then we could arrange to have all the warblers in the front. My best man or my solicitor could give the note.”

“Boys’ voices only,” decided Celia. “Then what about bells?”

“I should like some nice bells. If the price is ‘per bell’ we might give an order for five good ones.”

“Let’s do without bells. You see, they don’t begin to ring till we’ve left the church, so they won’t be any good to us.”

This seemed to me an extraordinary line to take.

“My dear child,” I remonstrated, “the whole thing is being got up not for ourselves, but for our guests. We shall be much too preoccupied to appreciate any of the good things we provide–the texture of the red carpet or the quality of the singing. I dreamt last night that I quite forgot about the wedding-ring till 1.30 on the actual day, and the only cab I could find to take me to a jeweller’s was drawn by a camel. Of course, it may not turn out to be as bad as that, but it will certainly be an anxious afternoon for both of us. And so we must consider the entertainment entirely from the point of view of our guests. Whether their craving is for champagne or bells, it must be satisfied.”

“I’m sure they’ll be better without bells. Because when the policemen call out ‘Mr. Spifkins’ carriage,’ Mr. Spifkins mightn’t hear if there were a lot of bells clashing about.”