How To Cook Husbands (Chapter 3, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 3

The summer was ended, and I was not married. I am speaking now from the standpoint of my neighbors; to my mind life did not swing on this hinge. I had my occupations--there were a goodly number of needy folk to be looked after; there was my reading; my music; my friends, and other pleasures, and altogether I felt I was very well off. Not that I was cynically opposed to marriage; I intended to marry, if the right man called, but if he did not I was content to end life as I had begun it--in single blessedness.

My neighbors, however, were of another mind--I must marry; and they kept making efforts to find some one who would fit, trying on one man after another, without his consent or mine, something as one would attempt to force clothes on a savage.

But in spite of all such friendly offices the summer was ended, and I was not married. I was thinking of it on this particular day, as I stood gazing from the window--thinking of it with a sort of quiet wonder, for with an entire neighborhood intent upon this end, it was rather surprising that I was not double by this time. Had they succeeded I should now occupy a very different attitude. It is only old bachelors and old maids who speculate and theorize on marriage; when people are really about it, they say little, and (it would often appear) think less.

It was a day for speculation--this particular one; the dead leaves were scurrying up the street as people ran for a train; a gusty wind was carrying all before it for the time being, like an overbearing debater. The trees shook and groaned, recoiled and shuddered, like human creatures in the blast; in their agitation dropping hosts of leaves that immediately slipped under covert, or else joined their fellows in the race up town. The sky was non-committal, and the lake looked dark and secretive, as if it meditated wreck and disaster.

It was only the middle of September, but there had been several of these days--a hint, perchance, of what was to come by and by, as a gay waltz strain sometimes dips into real life, and makes one look inward for a moment.

The house did not invite me just at this time, and the elements did; at least I felt that rising within me which tempted me forth to have a bout with them.

I was walking at a goodly pace along the Boulevard--for I love the lake in all its moods--when two men with anxious faces overtook, and hurried past me.

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