The Dear Old Bear: 1896



He Was Not Polished Nor Fashionable, But He Was Clear Grit and Loveable.

From the Detroit Free Press.

They were a pair to attract attention as they walked into the great vaulted dining room, of the hotel and were seated at the same table with several others. He was a massive man with fine face, curling gray hair and an air of thorough self-reliance. She suggested his reproduction in the finer molds of womanhood, tall, graceful, without a shade of embarrassment and wonderfully beautiful. He looked as if he would feel easier in the uniform of a soldier or the negligee attire of a ranchman. She added an indescribable charm to her elegant clothes.

They had been eating but a little time when she touched his shoulder and he inclined his ear to catch some whispered words.

“That’s right,” he said, without any effort at concealment, “keep prompting me and I’ll acquire civilized methods in time. I had no idea I was eating with my knife.”

At this the handsome giant would have stopped, but two silly creatures opposite set up a laugh without any mirth in it, and he calmly proceeded while the daughter completely ignored all others:

“You know, Jude,” he said, “I never had much time to fool away with trifles. Fortune so favors some people that they have nothing else to do. But you understand what I have done, Jude, looking first after mother and then seeing that the little one she left me would have to ask no odds of the world.”

“Don’t discuss it here, dear.”

“But I will. If I have offended I will explain. I have eaten with a two-edged bowie knife in the saddle. I have squatted behind a dead horse with the bullets whistling around me, and eaten with a bayonet. I have seen times when I would have given all I was worth even for the privilege of eating with my fingers. But, Jude, while they say when I’m gone that I occasionally forgot and was guilty of using a knife instead of a fork, they can never say that I did a dishonorable act, deserted a friend or that any man would be quicker to jump between his daughter and any trouble that might threaten her.”

The polished old gentleman from the head of the table came around and shook hands. The elderly ladies introduced themselves. Now Jude is so absolutely the reigning belle at that resort that envy does not touch her, and he is “the dear old. bear worth a million” to the ladies, while all the men of business seek the benefit of his judgment.

The Times [Philadelphia PA] 9 August 1896: p. 28

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Mrs Daffodil wishes all of her readers who are doting Papas, a very happy Father’s Day.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

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