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Forty Modern Fables, by George Ade, [1901], at

The Fable of The Third & Last Call

    A PUBLIC Official presiding at a Marriage-License Counter put his Head through the Window and shouted "Next!"

    There sidled up a well-seasoned Girlie who said she would take a $2 Writ of Attachment which she might use in gagging and binding a Helpmate.

    "What is the Victim's Name?" asked the Clerk.

    "You can search me," was the reply. "I wish to goodness I knew. I've been waiting for him ever since the War. I can't imagine what keeps him."

    "What good is a License unless you have your Prey already in the Stockade?" asked the Official.

    "I want one with a Space left blank, so that I can use it in a quick Emergency," she replied. "I can't afford to take Chances. It is getting too late in the Afternoon. Eighteen Years ago I sent my Heart's Idol out for the Parchment that would legalize our undying Love, but he happened to get on a Green Car instead of a Yellow one. He missed the Court House two miles and caught a Train for Los Angeles. I had to sit up for two Nights picking the Initials out of my Trousseau. Another time I planted one in a Waiting-Room while I went after the Permit. A Girl came in to dust the Room and he had to move, so I haven't seen him since. Next time I get one in Chancery there will be immediate Doings. I will simply say 'You 're On' and flash the Document. And then if he runs away he will have to carry a lot of Weight."

    MORAL: Never put off until To-Morrow what should have been done early in the Seventies.

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