On a certain morning Mr. Jason Vandervelde was sitting at his desk, disconnectedly dictating a letter to his secretary. He was finding it very difficult to fix his mind upon his correspondence. What the mischief was happening up there in Maine, anyhow? She hadn’t written for some time; and he hadn’t had a word from Peter Champneys. And when Marcia came home and found out he’d been meddling—well, the meddler would have to pay the fiddler, that’s all!
The office boy came in with a telegram. Mr. Vandervelde paused in his dictation, tore open the envelop, and read the message. And then the horrified secretary saw an amazing and an awesome sight. Mr. Jason Vandervelde bounced to his feet as lightly as though he had been a rubber ball, and performed a solemnly joyful dance around his office. His eyeglasses jigged on his nose, a lock of his sleekly brushed hair fell upon his forehead. Meeting the fixed stare of the secretary, he winked! And with a sort of elephantine religiosity he finished his amazing measure, caught once more the glassy eye of the secretary, and panted:
“King David danced before the ark—of the Lord. For which reason—your salary is raised—from to-day.”
He stopped then, snatched the telegram off his desk, and read it again:
We have met and I have married
my wife. Anne sends love.
Thank you and God bless you, Vandervelde!
“Put up that note-book. Take a day off. Go and enjoy yourself. Be happy!” said Vandervelde to the secretary. Then he snatched up the desk telephone.
“The florist’s? Yes? How soon can you get six dozen bride roses up here, to Mr. Vandervelde’s office? Yes, this is Mr. Vandervelde speaking. You can? Well, there’s a thumping tip for somebody who knows how to rush! Half an hour? Thank you. I’ll wait for ’em here.”
He hung up the receiver and turned his beaming countenance to the stunned secretary. His eyes twinkled like little blue stars, the corners of his mouth curled more than usual.
“Anne and Peter Champneys have been and gone and married each other!” he chuckled. “I’m going to take a carful of bride roses around to the Champneys house and put ’em under old Chadwick Champneys’s portrait!”