When a Man Marries (Chapter 1, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 1

When the dreadful thing occurred that night, every one turned on me.
The injustice of it hurt me most. They said I got up the dinner, that
I asked them to give up other engagements and come, that I promised all
kinds of jollification, if they would come; and then when they did come
and got in the papers and every one--but ourselves--laughed himself
black in the face, they turned on ME! I, who suffered ten times to their
one! I shall never forget what Dallas Brown said to me, standing with a
coal shovel in one hand and a--well, perhaps it would be better to tell
it all in the order it happened.

It began with Jimmy Wilson and a conspiracy, was helped on by a
foot-square piece of yellow paper and a Japanese butler, and it
enmeshed and mixed up generally ten respectable members of society and
a policeman. Incidentally, it involved a pearl collar and a box of soap,
which sounds incongruous, doesn't it?

It is a great misfortune to be stout, especially for a man. Jim was
rotund and looked shorter than he really was, and as all the lines of
his face, or what should have been lines, were really dimples, his face
was about as flexible and full of expression as a pillow in a tight
cover. The angrier he got the funnier he looked, and when he was raging,
and his neck swelled up over his collar and got red, he was entrancing.
And everybody liked him, and borrowed money from him, and laughed at his
pictures (he has one in the Hargrave gallery in London now, so people
buy them instead), and smoked his cigarettes, and tried to steal his
Jap. The whole story hinges on the Jap.

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