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|Holiday Romance||Charles Dickens|
PART I - Introductory Romance From The Pen Of William Tinkling, Esq. (Aged eight.)
|Page 4 of 6||
'Hah!' exclaimed the pirate. 'Pretending?'
'Don't go on like that; you worry me,' returned his bride.
The lovely bride of Tinkling echoed the incredible declaration. The two warriors exchanged stony glances.
'If,' said the bride of the pirate-colonel, 'grown-up people WON'T do what they ought to do, and WILL put us out, what comes of our pretending?'
'We only get into scrapes,' said the bride of Tinkling.
'You know very well,' pursued the colonel's bride, 'that Miss Drowvey wouldn't fall. You complained of it yourself. And you know how disgracefully the court-martial ended. As to our marriage; would my people acknowledge it at home?'
'Or would my people acknowledge ours?' said the bride of Tinkling.
Again the two warriors exchanged stony glances.
'If you knocked at the door and claimed me, after you were told to go away,' said the colonel's bride, 'you would only have your hair pulled, or your ears, or your nose.'
'If you persisted in ringing at the bell and claiming me,' said the bride of Tinkling to that gentleman, 'you would have things dropped on your head from the window over the handle, or you would be played upon by the garden-engine.'
'And at your own homes,' resumed the bride of the colonel, 'it would be just as bad. You would be sent to bed, or something equally undignified. Again, how would you support us?'
The pirate-colonel replied in a courageous voice, 'By rapine!' But his bride retorted, 'Suppose the grown-up people wouldn't be rapined?' 'Then,' said the colonel, 'they should pay the penalty in blood.' - 'But suppose they should object,' retorted his bride, 'and wouldn't pay the penalty in blood or anything else?'
A mournful silence ensued.
'Then do you no longer love me, Alice?' asked the colonel.
'Redforth! I am ever thine,' returned his bride.
'Then do you no longer love me, Nettie?' asked the present writer.
'Tinkling! I am ever thine,' returned my bride.
We all four embraced. Let me not be misunderstood by the giddy. The colonel embraced his own bride, and I embraced mine. But two times two make four.
'Nettie and I,' said Alice mournfully, 'have been considering our position. The grown-up people are too strong for us. They make us ridiculous. Besides, they have changed the times. William Tinkling's baby brother was christened yesterday. What took place? Was any king present? Answer, William.'
I said No, unless disguised as Great-uncle Chopper.
There had been no queen that I knew of at our house. There might have been one in the kitchen: but I didn't think so, or the servants would have mentioned it.
None that were visible.
'We had an idea among us, I think,' said Alice, with a melancholy smile, 'we four, that Miss Grimmer would prove to be the wicked fairy, and would come in at the christening with her crutch-stick, and give the child a bad gift. Was there anything of that sort? Answer, William.'
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