Peter Ruff and the Double Four HTML version

I.2. A New Career
About twelve months after the interrupted festivities at Daisy Villa, that particular
neighbourhood was again the scene of some rejoicing. Standing before the
residence of Mr. Barnes were three carriages, drawn in each case by a pair of
grey horses. The coachmen and their steeds were similarly adorned with white
rosettes. It would have been an insult to the intelligence of the most youthful of
the loungers-by to have informed them that a wedding was projected.
At the neighbouring church all was ready. The clerk stood at the door, the red
drugget was down, the usual little crowd were standing all agog upon the
pavement. There was one unusual feature of the proceedings: Instead of a
solitary policeman, there were at least a dozen who kept clear the entrance to the
church. Their presence greatly puzzled a little old gentleman who had joined the
throng of sightseers. He pushed himself to the front and touched one of them
upon the shoulder.
"Mr. Policeman," he said, "will you tell me why there are so many of you to keep
such a small crowd in order?"
"Bridegroom's a member of the force, sir, for one reason," the man answered
"And the other?" the old gentleman persisted.
The policeman behaved as though he had not heard - a proceeding which his
natural stolidity rendered easy. The little old gentleman, however, was not so
easily put off. He tapped the man once more upon the shoulder.
"And the other reason, Mr. Policeman?" he asked insinuatingly.
"Not allowed to talk about that, sir," was the somewhat gruff reply.