A ROCKY MOUNTAIN WIFE
How She Went for a Divorce
A Trout Trapper Rightly Served.
She was fair, robust, and as fresh as a “morning glory.” She rushed in upon him while he was deeply immersed in the problematic rights of Landlord against Tenant. He is a very prominent political lawyer; she is a beautiful young child of nature from the Platte Canon.
She blushed, he bowed, she sashayed to the right and subsided into a convenient seat; he closed his calf-covered volume of Illinois reports, and arose with one hand under his coat tail and the other extended, ready for a fee.
“Good morning, madam.”
“Are you Mr. T__, the lawyer?”
“That is my name, madam. What can I do for you?”
“Well, sir, I’m the wife of old man N__, up the Platte. I married the old man two weeks ago last Friday and I don’t like it. I want a divorce. How much is it?” The excited young lady here pulled out an old tobacco pouch, round which a piece of buckskin string was coiled, and proceeded to untie it. The young “limb of the law,” whose eyes had been wandering in a wondering way over the strange apparition, stammeringly replied:
“Why, really, my dear missus—beg pardon, but I forgot your name…”
“I ain’t missus no longer. I am Miss Bella Ann P__, of Littleton, and I want a divorce and am willing to pay for it.”
“Be patient, my dear Miss P__, and I will advise with you.”
“I don’t want no advice. I want a divorce against old man N__. He ain’t the sort of a man I thought he was. He ain’t rich and is stingier than a Texan cow, an’ he won’t leave me be. So I left him and went over to Bar Creek to Arthur Beneki’s mother. Arthur used to like me before I married old Jacob N., and now I want a divorce.”
The lawyer reasoned with the excited young lady and assured her that he would be only too happy to file her application for divorce, were there grounds for the application. The angry young daughter of the mountains listened unpatiently to the counsel of the young lawyer with the fury of a young lioness. At last she burst forth.
“Can’t get no divorce unless more cause, can’t I? Then I’ll just tell you, mister lawyer, I’ll get it any how. Arthur told me how to get it. I can send him to the Canon City penitentiary, and get a divorce on it. He traps trout, he does, and I can prove it on him, for I got him to make the trap and helped him do it, and I can prove it. Now,” said this brilliant young mountain amazon, “can’t I have a divorce and let the old man go to Canon City?”
The young lawyer thought she could, and at once wrote a letter to the old man advising him to let the young girl go.
The Fremont [OH] Weekly Journal 15 January 1875: p. 2
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Trout trapping in Colorado was (and still is) both unsporting and illegal, and Arthur B., so solicitous for Bella Ann’s welfare, was quite correct to make that useful point.
Mrs Daffodil may be wrong, but she suggests that this may be the first mention in print of the practice known as “phishing.”
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 anecdotes
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.