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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