“Mercy! what a trial!” said Bessie. “And was she locked up in the nursery all day?”
“From twelve until we rescued her at a little after six,” said Thaddeus. “Then Bradley and I started out to find the jewel, if possible, and I regret to say that it was possible. We found her asleep on the kitchen table, and Bradley hadn’t any more sense than to try and wake her up. He succeeded too well. For the next ten minutes she was the most wide-awake woman you ever saw, and she kept us wide awake too. The minute she opened her eyes and saw us standing before her, she sprang to her feet and made a rush at Bradley, for which he was totally unprepared, the consequence of which was that in an instant he found himself sitting in a very undignified manner, for the head of the house, on the kitchen floor, trying to collect his somewhat scattered faculties.
“When she had persuaded Bradley to take a seat, she turned to shower her attentions on me. I jumped to one side, but she managed to grab hold of my vest, and hence its buttonless condition. By this time Bradley was on his feet again, and, having had the temerity to face his jewel the second time, he again came off second best, losing one of the button-holes of his collar in the melee. I rushed in from behind, and flirtatiously, perhaps, tried to grab hold of her hands, coming off the field minus a necktie, but plus that picturesque scratch you see on my nose. Stopping a moment to count up my profit and loss, I let Bradley make the next assault, which resulted in a drawn battle, Bradley losing his watch and his temper, the jewel losing her breath and her balance. So it went on for probably three or four minutes longer, though we certainly acquired several years of experience in those short minutes, until finally we managed to conquer her. This done, we locked her up in a closet.”
“Had she been at the cooking-sherry?” asked Bessie.
“We thought so at first, and Bradley sent for a policeman,” said Thaddeus “but when he came we found the poor creature too exhausted to be moved, and in a very short while Mrs. Bradley decided that it was a case for a doctor and not for a police-justice. So the doctor was summoned, and we waited, dinnerless, in the dining-room for his verdict, and finally it came. Bradley’s jewel was insane!”
“Insane!” echoed Bessie.
“Mad as a hatter,” replied Thaddeus.
“Well, I declare!” said Bessie, thoughtfully. “But, Thaddeus, do you know I am not surprised.”