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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - The Knight And The Bridal Chamber
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Peck's Sunshine - The Knight And The Bridal Chamber Post by :loudenson Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :2591

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Peck's Sunshine - The Knight And The Bridal Chamber

There was one of those things occurred at a Chicago hotel during the conclave that is so near a fight and yet so ridiculously laughable that you don't know whether you are on foot or a horseback. Of course some of the Knights in attendance were from the back woods, and while they were well up in all the secret workings of the order, they were awful "new" in regard to city ways.

There was one Sir Knight from the Wisconsin pineries, who had never been to a large town before, and his freshness was the subject of remark. He was a large hearted gentleman, and a friend that any person might be proud to have. But he was fresh. He went to the Palmer House Tuesday night, after the big ball, tired nearly to death, and registered his name and called for a bed.

The clerk told him that he might have to sleep on a red lounge, in a room with two other parties, but that was the best that could be done. He said that was all right, he "had tried to sleep on one of them cots down to camp, but it nearly broke his back," and he would be mighty glad to strike a lounge. The clerk called a bell boy and said, "Show the gentleman to 253."

The boy took the Knight's keister and went to the elevator, the door opened and the Knight went in and began to pull off his coat, when he looked around and saw a woman on the plush upholstered seat of the elevator, leaning against the wall with her head on her hand. She was dressed in ball costume, with one of those white Oxford tie dresses, cut low in the instep, which looked, in the mussed and bedraggled condition in which she had escaped from the exposition ball, very much to the Knight like a Knight shirt. The astonished pinery man stopped pulling off his coat and turned pale. He looked at the woman, and then at the elevator boy, whom he supposed was the bridegroom, and said:

"By gaul, they told me I would have to sleep with a couple of other folks, but I had no idea that I should strike a wedding party in a cussed little bridal chamber not bigger than a hen coop. But there ain't nothing mean about me, only I swear it's pretty cramped quarters, ain't it, miss?" and he sat down on one end of the seat and put the toe of one boot against the calf of his leg, took hold of the heel with the other hand and began to pull it off.

"Sir!" says the lady, as she opened her eyes and began to take in the situation, and she jumped up and glared at the Knight as though she would eat him.

He stopped pulling on the boot heel, looked up at the woman, as she threw a loose shawl over her low neck shoulders, and said:

"Now don't take on. The bookkeeper told me I could sleep on the lounge, but you can have it, and I will turn in on the floor. I ain't no hog. Sometimes they think we are a little rough up in Wausau, but we always give the best places to the wimmen, and don't you forget it," and he began tugging on the boot again.

By this time the elevator had reached the next floor, and as the door opened the woman shot out of the door, and the elevator boy asked the Knight what floor he wanted to go to. He said he "didn't want to go to no floor," unless that woman wanted the lounge, but if she was huffy, and didn't want to stay there, he was going to sleep on the lounge, and he began to unbutton his vest.

Just then a dozen ladies and gentlemen got into the elevator from the parlor floor, and they all looked at the Knight in astonishment. Five of the ladies sat down on the plush seat, and he looked around at them, picked up his boots and keister and started for the door, saying:

"O, say, this is too allfired much. I could get along well enough with one woman and a man, but when they palm off twelve grown persons onto a granger, in a sweat box like this, I had rather go to camp," and he strode out, to be met by a policeman and the manager of the house and two clerks, who had been called by the lady who got out first and who said there was a drunken man in the elevator. They found that he was sober, and all that ailed him was that he had not been salted, and explanations followed and he was sent to his room by the stairs.

The next day some of the Knights heard the story, and it cost the Wausau man several dollars to foot the bill at the bar, and they say he is treating yet. Such accidents will happen in these large towns.

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