“Ily,” he says, looking troubled, “you ought to sew reef-points on your mouth. ’Tain’t safe to open the whole of it on a windy night like this. First thing you know you’ll carry away the top of your head.”
Well, we felt consider’ble better after that—having held our own on the tack, so to speak—and we walked out of the post-office and up to my room in the Travellers’ Rest, where we could be alone. Then we opened up the envelopes, both at the same time. Inside of each of ’em was another envelope, slick and smooth as a mack’rel’s back, and inside of that was a letter, printed, but looking like the kind of writing that used to be in the copybook at school. It said that Ebenezer Dillaway begged the honor of our presence at the marriage of his daughter, Belle, to Peter Theodosius Brown, at Dillamead House, Cashmere-on-the-Hudson, February three, nineteen hundred and so forth.
We were surprised, of course, and pleased in one way, but in another we wa’n’t real tickled to death. You see, ’twas a good while sence Jonadab and me had been to a wedding, and we know there’d be mostly young folks there and a good many big-bugs, we presumed likely, and ’twas going to cost consider’ble to get rigged—not to mention the price of passage, and one thing a’ ’nother. But Ebenezer had took the trouble to write us, and so we felt ’twas our duty not to disappoint him, and especially Peter, who had done so much for us, managing the Old Home House.
The Old Home House was our summer hotel at Wellmouth Port. How me and Jonadab come to be in the summer boarding trade is another story and it’s too long to tell now. We never would have been in it, anyway, I cal’late, if it hadn’t been for Peter. He made a howling success of our first season and likewise helped himself along by getting engaged to the star boarder, rich old Dillaway’s daughter—Ebenezer Dillaway, of the Consolidated Cash Stores.
Well, we see ’twas our duty to go, so we went. I had a new Sunday cutaway and light pants to go with it, so I figgered that I was pretty well found, but Cap’n Jonadab had to pry himself loose from considerable money, and every cent hurt as if ’twas nailed on. Then he had chilblains that winter, and all the way over in the Fall River boat he was fuming about them chilblains, and adding up on a piece of paper how much cash he’d spent.
We struck Cashmere-on-the-Hudson about three o’clock on the afternoon of the day of the wedding. ’Twas a little country kind of a town, smaller by a good deal than Orham, and so we cal’lated that perhaps after all, the affair wouldn’t be so everlasting tony. But when we hove in sight of Dillamead—Ebenezer’s place—we shortened sail and pretty nigh drew out of the race. ’Twas up on a high bank over the river, and the house itself was bigger than four Old Homes spliced together. It had a fair-sized township around it in the shape of land, with a high stone wall for trimming on the edges. There was trees, and places for flower-beds in summer, and the land knows what. We see right off that this was the real Cashmere-on-the-Hudson; the village folks were stranded on the flats—old Dillaway filled the whole ship channel.