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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

Pomona takes a Bridal Trip

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Our life at Rudder Grange seemed to be in no way materially changed by my becoming a vestryman. The cow gave about as much milk as before, and the hens laid the usual number of eggs. Euphemia went to church with a little more of an air, perhaps, but as the wardens were never absent, and I was never, therefore, called upon to assist in taking up the collection, her sense of my position was not inordinately manifested.

For a year or two, indeed, there was no radical change in anything about Rudder Grange, except in Pomona. In her there was a change. She grew up.

She performed this feat quite suddenly. She was a young girl when she first came to us, and we had never considered her as anything else, when one evening she had a young man to see her. Then we knew she had grown up.

We made no objections to her visitors,--she had several, from time to time,--"for," said Euphemia, "suppose my parents had objected to your visits." I could not consider the mere possibility of anything like this, and we gave Pomona all the ordinary opportunities for entertaining her visitors. To tell the truth, I think we gave her more than the ordinary opportunities. I know that Euphemia would wait on herself to almost any extent, rather than call upon Pomona, when the latter was entertaining an evening visitor in the kitchen or on the back porch.

"Suppose my mother," she once remarked, in answer to a mild remonstrance from me in regard to a circumstance of this nature,-- "suppose my mother had rushed into our presence when we were plighting our vows, and had told me to go down into the cellar and crack ice!"

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It was of no use to talk to Euphemia on such subjects; she always had an answer ready.

"You don't want Pomona to go off and be married, do you?" I asked, one day as she was putting up some new muslin curtains in the kitchen. "You seem to be helping her to do this all you can, and yet I don't know where on earth you will get another girl who will suit you so well."

"I don't know, either," replied Euphemia, with a tack in her mouth, and I'm sure I don't want her to go. But neither do I want winter to come, or to have to wear spectacles; but I suppose both of these things will happen, whether I like it or not."

For some time after this Pomona had very little company, and we began to think that there was no danger of any present matrimonial engagement on her part,--a thought which was very gratifying to us, although we did not wish in any way to interfere with her prospects,--when, one afternoon, she quietly went up into the village and was married.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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