Punch, Brothers, Punch 339
sorrowing and aged maiden aunt of the deceased there, who had arrived from Springfield too late to get into the church. She began to sob, and said:
" 'Oh, oh, he is gone, he is gone, and I didn't see him before he died !'
" 'Yes!' I said, ' he is gone, he is gone, he is gone — oh, will this suffering never cease !'
" ' You loved him, then ! Oh, you too loved him!'
" ' Loved him ! Loved who? '
" 4 Why, my poor George ! my poor nephew !'
"'Oh — him! Yes — oh, yes, yes. Certainly — certainly. Punch — punch — oh, this misery will kill me!'
" ' Bless you ! bless you, sir, for these sweet words ! I, too, suffer in this dear loss. Were you present during his last moments?'
" ' Yes. I — whose last moments?'
" ' His. The dear departed's.'
"'Yes! Oh, yes — yes—yes! I suppose so, I think so, I don't know! Oh, certainly—I was there — I was there !'
" ' Oh, what a privilege! what a precious privilege! And his last words — oh, tell me, tell me his last words ! What did he say?'
" ' He said — he said — oh, my head, my head, my head! He said — he said — he never said anything but Punch, punch, punch in the presence of the passenjare ! Oh, leave me, madam! In the name of all that is generous, leave me to my madness, my misery, my despair!— a buff trip slip for a six-cent fare, a pink trip slip for a three-cent fare — endu-rance can no fur-ther go !— PUNCH in the presence of the passenjare !' "
My friend's hopeless eyes rested upon mine a pregnant minute, and then he said impressively:
" Mark, you do not say anything. You do not offer