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Loves of A. Fitz Clarence and Rosa Ethelton 421
melodrama, " Him shall she never wed! I have sworn it! Ere great Nature shall have doffed her winter's ermine to don the emerald gauds of spring, she shall be mine !"
TWO weeks later. Every few hours, during some three or four days, a very prim and devout-looking Episcopal clergyman, with a cast in his eye, had visited Alonzo. According to his card, he was the Rev. Melton Hargrave, of Cincinnati. He said he had re­tired from the ministry on account of his health. If he had said on account of ill-health, he would probably have erred, to judge by his wholesome looks and firm build. He was the inventor of an improvement in tele­phones, and hoped to make his bread by selling the privilege of using it. "At present," he continued, '' a man may go and tap a telegraph wire which is conveying a song or a concert from one State to another, and he can attach his private telephone and steal a hearing of that music as it passes along. My inven­tion will stop all that."
" Well, answered Alonzo, " if the owner of the music could not miss what was stolen, why should he care?"
" He shouldn't care," said the Reverend.
" Well?" said Alonzo, inquiringly.
" Suppose," replied the Reverend, " suppose that, instead of music that was passing along and being stolen, the burden of the wire was loving endearments of the most private and sacred nature?"
Alonzo shuddered from head to heel. " Sir, it is a priceless invention," said he; "I must have it at any cost."