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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - An Arm That Is Not Reliable
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Peck's Sunshine - An Arm That Is Not Reliable Post by :67323 Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :1942

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Peck's Sunshine - An Arm That Is Not Reliable

A young fellow about nineteen, who is going with his first girl, and who lives on the West Side, has got the symptoms awfully. He just thinks of nothing else but his girl, and when he can be with her,--which is seldom, on account of the old folks,--he is there, and when he cannot be there, he is there or thereabouts, in his mind. He had been trying for three months to think of something to give his girl for a Christmas present, but he couldn't make up his mind what article would cause her to think of him the most, so the day before Christmas he unbosomed himself to his employer, and asked his advice as to the proper article to give. The old man is baldheaded and mean. "You want to give her something that will be a constant reminder of you?" "Yes," he said, "that was what was the matter." "Does she have any corns?" asked the old wretch. The boy said he had never inquired into the condition of her feet, and wanted to know what corns had to do with it. The old man said that if she had corns, a pair of shoes about two sizes too small would cause her mind to dwell on him a good deal. The boy said shoes wouldn't do. The old man hesitated a moment, scratched his head, and finally said:

"I have it! I suppose, sir, when you are alone with her, in the parlor, you put your arm around her waist; do you not, sir?"

The young man blushed, and said that was about the size of it.

"I presume she enjoys that part of the discourse, eh?"

The boy said that, as near as he could tell, by the way she acted, she was not opposed to being held up.

"Then, sir, I can tell you of an article that will make her think of you in that position all the time, from the moment she gets up in the morning till she retires."

"Is there any attachment to it that will make her dream of me all night?" asked the boy.

"No, sir! Don't be a hog," said the bad man.

"Then what is it?"

The old man said one word, "Corset!"

The young man was delighted, and he went to a store to buy a nice corset.

"What size do you want?" asked the girl who waited on him.

That was a puzzler. He didn't know they came in sizes. He was about to tell her to pick out the smallest size, when he happened to think of something.

"Take a tape measure and measure my arm; that will just fit."

The girl looked wise, as though she had been there herself, found that it was a twenty-two inch corset the boy wanted, and he went home and wrote a note and sent it with the corset to the girl. He didn't hear anything about it till the following Sunday, when he called on her. She received him coldly, and handed him the corset, saying, with a tear in her eye, that she had never expected to be insulted by him. He told her he had no intention of insulting her; that he could think of nothing that would cause her to think of the gentle pressure of his arm around her waist as a corset, but if she felt insulted he would take his leave, give the corset to some poor family, and go drown himself.

He was about to go away, when she burst out crying, and sobbed out the following words, wet with salt brine:

"It was v-v-v-very thoughtful of y-y-you, but I _couldn't feel it! It is f-f-four sizes too b-b-big! Why didn't you get number eighteen? You are silent, you cannot answer, enough!"

They instinctively found their way to the sofa; mutual explanations followed; he measured her waist again; saw where he had made a mistake by his fingers lapping over on the first turn, and he vowed, by the beard of the prophet, he would change it for another, if she had not worn it and got it soiled. They are better now.

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