Who can she be? I have not the least idea. But I admire your discretion—you have not changed in that respect. In any case, be prepared, Richard, she will turn the house upside down and your work will be cut out for you to get it straight again.
I am sure she bikes; she will probably drop her cigarette ashes into your best Venetian glasses; she is certain to hate goloshes and long skirts, and will enjoy rearranging the furniture. Well, she will be able to have fine times in your spacious, well-ordered establishment!
I hope at any rate that you will be able to keep her so far within bounds that she will not venture to chaff you about “number one.” Do not let her think that my taste predominates in the style and decorations of the house....
Dear friend, already I see you pushing the perambulator! Do you remember the ludicrous incident connected with the fat merchant Bang, who married late in life and was always called “gran’pa” by his youthful progeny? Of course, that will not happen in your case—you are a year or two younger than Bang, so your future family will more probably treat you like a playfellow.
You see, I am quite carried away by my surprise and delight.
If it were the proper thing, I should immensely like to be at the wedding; but I know you would not allow such a breach of all the conventions.
Where are you going for the honeymoon? You might bring her to see me here occasionally, in the depths of the country, so long as nobody knew.
One of my first thoughts was: how does she dress? Does she know how to do her hair? Because, you know, most of the girls in our particular set have the most weird notions as regards hair-dressing and frocks.
However, I can rely on the sureness of your taste, and if your wedding trip takes you to Paris, she will see excellent models to copy.
Now I understand why your letters got fewer and farther between. How long has the affair been on hand? Did it begin early in the summer? Or did you start it in the train between Hoerlsholm and Helsingoer, on your way to and from the factory? I only ask—you need not really trouble to answer.
I can see from your letter that you felt some embarrassment, and blushed when you wrote it. Every word reveals your state of mind; as though you were obliged to give some account of yourself to me, or were afraid I should take your news amiss. I have already drunk to your happiness all by myself in a glass of champagne.
You can tell your young lady, if you like.
Under the circumstances you had better not accept the invitation I gave you in my last letter; although I would give much to see your good, kind face, rejuvenated, as it doubtless is, by this new happiness. But it would not be wise. You know it is harder to catch and to keep a young girl than a whole sackful of those lively, hopping little creatures which are my horror.