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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

In which an Old Friend appears, and the Bridal Trip takes a Fresh Start

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"'What kind of a man is your boarder-as-was?'

"It wasn't the easiest thing in the world to say jus' what he was, but I give Jone the idea, in a general sort of way, that he was pretty lively.

"'So I should think,' says he. 'He's been tryin' a trick on us, and sendin' us to the wrong place. It's rather late in the season for a show of the kind, but the place we ought to go to is a potato-field.'

"'What on earth are you talkin' about?' says I, dumbfoundered.

"'Well,' says he, 'it's a trick he's been playin'. He thought a bridal trip like ours ought to have some sort of a outlandish wind-up, an' so he sent us to this place, which is a meetin' of chaps who are agoin' to talk about insec's,--principally potato-bugs, I expec'--an' anything stupider than that, I s'pose your boarder-as-was couldn't think of, without havin' a good deal o' time to consider.'

"'It's jus' like him,' says I. 'Let's turn round and go back,' which we did, prompt.

"We gave the tickets to a little boy who was sellin' papers, but I don't believe he went.

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"'Now then,' says Jone, after he'd been thinkin' awhile, 'there'll be no more foolin' on this trip. I've blocked out the whole of the rest of it, an' we'll wind up a sight better than that boarder-as-was has any idea of. To-morrow we'll go to father's an' if the old gentleman has got any money on the crops, which I expec' he has, by this time, I'll take up a part o' my share, an' we'll have a trip to Washington, an' see the President, an' Congress, an' the White House, an' the lamp always a-burnin' before the Supreme Court, an'--'

"'Don't say no more, says I, 'it's splendid!'

"So, early the nex' day, we goes off jus' as fast as trains would take us to his father's, an' we hadn't been there mor'n ten minutes, before Jone found out he had been summoned on a jury.

"'When must you go?' says I, when he come, lookin' a kind o' pale, to tell me this.

"'Right off,' says he. 'The court meets this mornin'. If I don't hurry up, I'll have some of 'em after me. But I wouldn't cry about it. I don't believe the case'll last more'n a day.'

"The old man harnessed up an' took Jone to the court-house, an' I went too, for I might as well keep up the idea of a bridal-trip as not. I went up into the gallery, and Jone, he was set among the other men in the jury-box.

"The case was about a man named Brown, who married the half-sister of a man named Adams, who afterward married Brown's mother, and sold Brown a house he had got from Brown's grandfather, in trade for half a grist-mill, which the other half of was owned by Adams's half-sister's first husband, who left all his property to a soup society, in trust, till his son should come of age, which he never did, but left a will which give his half of the mill to Brown, and the suit was between Brown and Adams and Brown again, and Adams's half-sister, who was divorced from Brown, and a man named Ramsey, who had put up a new over-shot wheel to the grist-mill."

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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