Barkerville, Williams Creek,
CAUGHT IN HIS OWN TRAP
A girl, young and pretty, and above all gifted with an air of admirable
candor, lately presented herself before a Parisian lawyer. "Monsieur,
I have come to consult you upon a grave affair. I want you to oblige a man
I love to marry me in spite of himself. How shall I proceed?"
The gentleman of the bar had, of course, a sufficiently elastic conscience.
He reflected a moment, and then, being sure that no third person overheard
him, replied hesitatingly:
"Mademoiselle, according to our law, you always possess the means of
forcing a man to marry you. You must remain on three occasions alone with
him; you can then go before a judge and swear that he is your lover."
"And will that suffice, monsieur?"
"Yes, mademoiselle, with one further condition."
"Then you will produce witnesses who will make oath to have seen you
remain a good quarter of an hour with the individual said to have trifled
with your affections."
"Very well, monsieur, I will retain you as counsel in the management
of this affair."
A few days afterwards the young lady returned. She was mysteriously received
by the lawyer, who scarcely giving her time to seat herself, questioned
her with the most lively curiosity.
"Persevere in your design, mademoiselle; but mind, the next time you
come to consult me, give me the name of the young man you are going to make
so happy in spite of himself."
"You shall have it without fail."
A fortnight afterward, the young lady again knocked at the door of the counsel's
room. No sooner was she in, when she threw herself into a chair, saying
that the walk had made her breathless. Her counsel endeavoured to reassure
her, made her inhale salts and proposed to unloose her collar.
"It is useless, monsieur," she said, "I am much better."
"Well now tell me the name of the fortunate mortal."
"Well, then, the fortunate mortal, be it known to you, is yourself!"
said the young beauty, bursting into a laugh. "I love you: I have been
here three times 'tête à tête' with you, and my four
witnesses are below, ready and willing to accompany me to a magistrate."
gravely continued the narrator.
The lawyer thus caught, had the good sense not to get angry. The most singular
fact is that he adores his young wife, who, by the way, makes an excellent