The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vols. IV: American
Chimmie and the Duchess Marry
By Edward Waterman Townsend (18551942)
From Chimmie Fadden
LONG time since ye seen me? Cert. Dont ye know de reason? Why, I was married. Sure! I knowed yed die when I tole ye. Yes, it was de Duchess; I guess ye knowed dat. Well, lemme tell ye. It was de corkinest weddin dere ever was, wid such mugs as me an de Duchess doin de principal event er de evenin.
Say, I never taut dere was so much flim-flam bout gettin ready to be married. I near got de rattles oncet, an was goin t make de gran sneak; but I took a brace, cause I was tinkin dat if I snook dat it would queer Miss Fannies game, an I wouldnt queer Miss Fannies game if I had t set up a funeral stid er a weddin.
Well, de fust fake wot paralized me was de Duchess sayin dere must be wot she called a marriage contract. Say, it was worse dan gettin outter jail on bail. I guess wese wouldnt be married yet if it wasnt fer Mr. Burton, wots Miss Fannies felly. E an Miss Fannie, dey was bote near crazy bout our weddin, an was fussin bout it more dan dey is bout deir own.
Well, Mr. Burton e sent fer me an tells me t come t is chambers. E says t me, says e, Chames, e says, come dis evenin t me chambers. I calls me partments me chambers fer dis casion only, says e, givin me de wink, cause dis is a legal matter, an in de ten years Ive been mitted t de bar, says e, dis is de fust time I ever had a case.
So dat night I chases meself t is rooms, an say, ye otter see dem tings es got. Its worse dan dat artis mugs studio wot I was tellin ye of. Dere was pelts an hides an skins an furs an guns an swords an boxin-gloves an dinky pipes, wot dey smokes in schools in forn parts where Mr. Burton was, an steins an pictures, an more tings dan dere is in a store.
Well, e says t me, perlite as a actor, says e, Mr. Fadden, e says, dis evenin youse is me client, an not Miss Fannies footman, which fords me de optunity of offerin ye a glass er whisky an water an a cigarette, which I am tole is de first ting t do in beginnin de practise er de law. Havin somewhat neglected me practise, I may be permitted t offer ye two glasses er whisky an water if youse is so disposed, says he.
Den e goes on an gives me a long song an dance bout as how Hortense, wots de Duchess, bein French, she has dinky notions bout marriage contracts, an as how e is er lawyer as well as mine. Says e: Bein de lawyer fer bote sides in a case is not cordin t de strick rules er practise, e says, but a strugglin young barester like me, says e, givin me de wink, must be permitted t cut bait while de sun shines.
Say, den I was dead paralized. I taut de Duchess was makin a farmer of me. I felt like a quitter. Sure! I says t im, says I, Wot tell! says I, like dat, I says: Wot tell! cause I couldnt say nottin else. Wot tell! See? Den I scraped tru me pockets, an all I could cough up was sixty-five cents.
Mr. Burton looked at it, an all of a suddint he jumped up an went in anodder room. E must have had a fit in dere, er sometn, from de noises. When e comes back e had on a dinky white wig wid a tail t it an a blue bag in is hand wid papers in it. E was as sober as a Judge in de Tombs, when he says: Our case is not so bad as it looks. In fact, I would not just say it is a case of wot tell. Youse have never drawed no wages from Miss Fannie, e says.
Say, dat broke me all up, cause I never taut I was wort more dan me keep; but I couldnt say nottin, an Mr. Burton e goes an an e says: Miss Fannies fadder, dat time ye licked de villan wot sulted Miss Fannie, er fadder put $500 in de bank fer ye, an I figure dat makes $650, e says.
Well, I was knocked silly, an Mr. Burton e got up an went in de odder room agin, an comes back wid a long black kinder nightgown on. E sets down agin, an says: Bein de torney in de case for youse an Hortense an Miss Fannie an er fadder, I feel dat de dignity of de position requires all de legal fixins, which is why I wears de gown an wig. See?
Den e gets out a lot er papers an I signs me name, an de nex day Miss Fannie an de Duchess an me all chases down t Mr. Burtons rooms, where was a mug dey calls a notry public, an e asts a lot er questions, an fixes dinky red stamps on de papers, an everybody swears an signs names, an dat ends de circus.
Well, de nex night was de weddin. Say, it was great. Miss Fannie an Mr. Burton dey was fussin and fixin de whole day in de dinin-room, an jollyin an orderin, an makin bluffs at gettin mad, an den makin up, till I says t meself, says I, Chimmie, yere not in it. But den I had t get busy an say dose words wots in de book wot Mr. Burton read, pretendin e was de parson, sos I wouldnt make no bad break when de real weddin was.
All of a suddint de Duchess sails in, wid Maggie de maid chasin after er. Say, ye should a seen er! She was all rigged out in white, wid flowers on er head, an a veil a mile long, an she was a wonder, sure.
After de parson was all tru, wot do ye tink e did? E braces up an gives de Duchess a kiss; an say, is Whiskers waltzes in an e gives er a kiss, an holy gee! I tink Mr. Burton was goin t take a hand in de game, but Miss Fannie gives im a look, den e didnt.
Den is Whiskers goes up t de big punch-bowl wot Miss Fannie had fixed wid claret an oranges an dose tings, an de butler passes all hands a glass, an is Whiskers says, I drinks t Mr. an Mrs. Chames Fadden, e says.
After dat we started on our weddin journey. Say, dat was great. It was t Niagra Falls. Ever hear er dem? Say, Id only been t Coney Island an Albany before, an I taut de Pacific Ocean was only a little way furder dan de Harlem River; but, holy gee! ye dont get no more dan started when ye cross de Harlem.