Matters went on in this way for several weeks, when one evening I told her that I was going next day to Troy on business, and she said she wanted to go there to buy some goods, and that she would gladly take the opportunity to go with me, if I would let her. Of course, I was only too happy; and the next day I and my son, and she and one of the young women in her employ, who was to assist her in selecting goods, started for Troy. When I called for her, just as we were leaving the house, the old lady, her mother, called out:
“Margaret, don’t you get married before you come back.”
“I guess I will,” was Margaret’s answer, and we went, a very jovial party of four, to Troy and put up at the Girard House, where we had dinner together, and drank a good deal of wine. After dinner my son and myself went to attend to our business, she and her young woman going to make their purchases, and arranging to meet us at a restaurant at half past four o’clock, when we would lunch preparatory to returning to Rutland.
We met at the appointed place and hour, and had a very lively lunch indeed, an orgie in fact, with not only enough to eat, but altogether too much to drink. I honestly think the two women could have laid me and my son under the table, and would have done it, if we had not looked out for ourselves; as it was, we all drank a great deal and were very merry. We were in a room by ourselves, and when we had been there nearly an hour, it occurred to Margaret that it would be a good idea to humor the old lady’s dry joke about the danger of our getting married during this visit to Troy.
“Henry,” said she to my son; “Go out and ask the woman who keeps the saloon where you can get a blank marriage certificate, and then get one and bring it here, and we’ll have some fun.”
We were all just drunk enough to see that there was a joke in it, and we urged the boy to go. He went to the woman, who directed him to a stationer’s opposite, and presently he came in with a blank marriage certificate. We called for pen and ink and he sat down and filled out the blank form putting in my name and Margaret Bradley’s, signing it with some odd name I have forgotten as that of the clergyman performing the ceremony. He then signed his own name as a witness to the marriage, and the young woman who was with us also witnessed it with her signature. We had a great deal of fun over it, then more wine, and then it was time for us to hurry to the depot to take the six o’clock train for Rutland.
Reaching home at about eleven o’clock at night, we found the old lady up, and waiting for Margaret. We went in and Margaret’s first words were:
“Well, mother! I’m married; I told you, you know, I thought I should be; and here’s my certificate.”
The mother expressed no surprise-she knew her daughter better than I did, then-but quietly congratulated her, while I said not a single word. My son went to see his companion home, and, as I had not achieved this latest greatness, but had it thrust upon me, I and my new found “wife” went to our room. The next day I removed from the hotel to Margaret’s house and remained there during my residence in Rutland, she introducing me to her friends as her husband, and seeming to consider it an established fact.