Now I’ll DROP civic affairs for a bit, and go on to a most natural act in this city of many young chaps and charming young girls which was slowly working up all through this history, as Mayor Gadsby had occasion to find out, sitting comfortably on his porch on a hot, sultry August night. Amidst blossoming shrubs, a dim form slowly trod up his winding pathway. It was a young man, plainly trying to act calmly, but couldn’t. It was Frank Morgan, our radio broadcasting “boss”, you know, who, for many a month, had shown what a romantic public calls “a crush” for Gadsby’s young Nancy.

So a jolly call of :—“What’s on your mind, boy?” rang out, as Frank sank willingly into a hammock, wiping his brow of what I actually know was not natural humidity from an August night! Now Gadsby, who was, as I said, a gay Lothario in his own youth, saw right off what was coming, and sat back, waiting. Finally, finishing a bad attack of coughing, (though Frank hadn’t any cold!), that young man said:— “I,—that is, Nancy and I,—or, I will say that I want to,—that is,—I think Nancy and I would—” and Gadsby took pity on him, right off.

Nancy had always had a strong liking for Frank. Both had grown up in Branton Hills from babyhood; and Gadsby thought back about that lassoo which had brought him Lady Gadsby. Now asking a girl’s Dad for that young lady’s hand is no snap for any young swain; and Gadsby was just that kind of a Dad who would smooth out any bumps or rough spots in such a young swains path. Nancy wasn’t a child, now, but a grown-up young woman: so Gadsby said:— “Frank, Lady Gadsby and I know all about how much you think of Nancy; and what Nancy thinks of you. So, if you want to marry, our full wish is for a long and happy union. Nancy is out in that arbor, down this back path; and I’ll watch that nobody disturbs you two for an hour.”

At this grand turn of affairs, Frank could only gasp :—••OH—H—H!!• and a shadowy form shot down that dusky path ; and from that moonlit arbor, anybody knowing how a man chirps to a canary bird, would know that two young birds put a binding approval upon what His Honor had just said!!

Many a man has known that startling instant in which Dan Cupid, that busy young rascal, took things in hand, and told him that his baby girl was not a baby girl now, and was about to fly away from him. It is both a happy and a sad thrill that shoots through a man at such an instant. Happy and joyous at his girl’s arrival at maturity; sad, as it brings to mind that awkward fact that his own youth is now but a myth; and that his scalp is showing vacant spots. His baby girl in a bridal gown! His baby girl a Matron! His baby girl proudly placing a grandchild in his lap!! It’s an impossibility!! But this big world is full of this kind of impossibility, and will stay so as long as Man lasts.

So Nancy, tiny, happy, laughing Nancy, was “found” through a conspiracy by Dan Cupid and Frank Morgan; and right in all glory of youth. Youth!! Ah, what a word!! And how transitory! But, how grand! as long as it lasts. How many millions in gold would pour out for an ability to call it all back, as with our musical myth, Faust. During that magic part of a child’s growth this world is just a gigantic inquiry box, containing many a topic for which a solution is paramount to a growing mind. And to whom can a child look, but us adults? Any man who “can’t stop now” to talk with a child upon a topic which, to him is “too silly for anything,” should look back to that day upon which that topic was dark and dubious in his own brain. A child who asks nothing will know nothing. That is why that “bump of inquiry” was put on top of our skulls.



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Books with no spinal columns.