A Novel Situation
During the past year a gentleman had occasion to visit a certain city in
New England. He arrived at night, went directly to his accustomed hotel,
and to bed, slept soundly throughout the night, and in the morning
discovered his watch had stopped. When he opened the door of his room
another gentleman was taking in his boots on the other side of the
corridor, and of him our friend asked if he could tell him what time it
was. To his surprise, the gentleman took no notice whatever of the
question. He asked again, "Sir, will you be good enough to tell me what
time it is? My watch has stopped." No answer. The gentleman, without
looking up, shut his door and disappeared. At that moment two other
gentlemen came walking down the corridor, and Mr. X. asked of them the
same question. The two gentlemen, without looking to the right or left,
continued their walk without an answer or sign. "Well," thought Mr. X,
"this is very curious." However, he went back to his room. Presently the
bell rang for breakfast, and immediately a waiter entered the room,
seized him by the arm, and began a series of gesticulations. Mr. X. lost
his temper, and burst forth with "What in the name of goodness is the
matter?" when the waiter cried "Oh," and vanished, laughing. Mr. X.
began to think something was very wrong, but went down to breakfast.
When he entered the salle a manger, which commonly had a dozen or
twenty people at the tables, he found the hall filled with gentlemen in
black coats, all feeding gravely, and in silence. A waiter silently
beckoned him to a place, and when he was seated he said to his
neighbour--"Sir, will you be kind enough to tell what all this is
about?" No answer. The person, like Charlotte in Werter, went on eating
bread and butter. Our friend began to feel decidedly queer, and getting
out of his seat, went to the nearest waiter and piteously besought him,
for heaven's sake, to tell him what was the matter with the house. "Oh,"
said the waiter, "don't you know? Why this is the Deaf and Dumb
Convention, which meets to-day at Hartford."
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