‘Every old biddy there will know she's not wearing any, ' Eleanor said doubtfully.
I explained in Chaucerian terms my lack of interest in what old biddies thought. ‘I'll put round garters on her. She can shift to hose supporters when she changes to leave. '
‘At which time she can put on underpants, ' Theodore added.
I was startled. ‘Why, Theodore! I'm surprised. What need has a bride for pants? '
‘The tiniest, scantiest, sheerest girl panties that are sold today, I mean - www.cheapsoftwares.ru not bloomers. So Jonny can take them off when he gets her there, darling. Symbolic defloration, an old pagan rite. It tells her she's married. '
El and I giggled. ‘I must be sure to tell Nancy about that. '
‘And I'll tell Jonathan so that he will make it a proper ceremony. Eleanor, let's put Maureen up on that low table and start shoving pins into her. Mama Maureen, are you clean and dry all over? I'm about to turn this dress inside out. Satin shows water marks something ‘orrible. '
For the next twenty-five minutes Theodore was very busy, while I held still and Eleanor kept him supplied with pins. Presently El said, ‘Lazarus, where did you learn women's clothes? '
‘In Paris, about a hundred years from now. '
‘I wish I hadn't asked. Are you descended from me? As well as from Maureen? '
‘I wish I were. I'm not. But I'm married to three of your descendants - Tamara, Ishtar, and Hamadryad - and co-husband to another, Ira Weatheral. Probably - certainly - other connections, but Maureen was right; I checked the archives only for my own ancestors. I didn't guess that I would meet you, El of the beautiful belly. I'm almost through. Shall I go ahead and make the alterations? Or do we take this to your ladies' sempstress? '
El said, ‘Maureen? I'm willing to risk the dress; I have confidence in Lazarus - I mean M'sieu Jacques Noir. But I won't risk it for Nancy's wedding without your permission. '
I answered, ‘I don't have any judgement about Theodore, or Lazarus, or whatever name he's using today - I mean this stud who's treating me like a dressmaker's dummy. But Sergeant, didn't you tell me you had retailored your breeches yourself? Pegged them? '
‘Oui, Madame. '
‘ "Oui, Madame" my tired back. Where did you leave your pants, Sergeant? You should always know where your pants are. '
‘I know where they are! ' said El, and fetched them.
‘Around the knees, El. Turn them inside out and look. ' I joined her in checking Theodore's tailoring. Shortly I said, ‘El, I can't sec where they were altered. '
‘I can. See? The original thread is just barely faded; the thread he used in altering is the same shade as the cloth of the outlets - the cloth that has not been in sunlight. '
I agreed. ‘Hmm, yes, once I get it into stronger light. If I look closely. '
El looked up. ‘You're hired, boy. Room, board, ten dollars a week, and all the tail you can use. '
Theodore looked thoughtful. ‘Well. .. all right. Though I usually get paid extra for that'
El looked surprised, then laughed merrily, ran to him, and started rubbing tits against his ribs. ‘I'll meet your terms, Captain. What is your stud fee? '
‘I usually get the pick of the litter. '
‘It's a deal. '
The wedding was beautiful and our Nancy was dazzlingly lovely in a magnificent dress that fitted her perfectly. Marie was flower girl; Richard was ring bearer, both in Sunday white. Jonathan was (to my surprise) in formal cutaway, ascot in pearl grey with pearl stickpin, grey striped trousers, spats. Theodore was his best man, in uniform; Father was in uniform and wearing his many medals and acting as usher and groomsman; Brian was utterly beautiful in boots and Sam Browne and spurs and sabre and his ‘98 medals and forest-green jacket and pinks.
Carol was maid of honour and almost as dazzling as the bride in lime-green tulle and her bouquet. Brian junior was the other usher and groomsman and was dressed in his grammar-school graduation suit; brand new only two weeks earlier - double-breasted blue serge and his first long pants and very grown-up in his manner.
George was charged with just one duty, to see to it that Woodrow kept quiet and behaved himself, and was authorised to use force as necessary. Father gave George this instruction in Woodrow's presence. .. and Woodrow did behave himself; he could always be counted on to act in his own self interest.
Dr Draper did not indulge in any of the nonsense with which the Reverend Timberly had almost spoiled my wedding; he used the M. E. service straight out of the 1904 Discipline, not a word more, not a word less. .. and in short order our Nancy was going back down the aisle on her husband's arm to the traditional strains of the Mendelssohn recessional, and I sighed with relief. It had been a perfect wedding, no rough spots whatever, and I thought to myself how dumb founded Mrs Grundy would have been had she seen a majority of the wedding party thirty-six hours earlier, behind locked doors, in a gentle orgy inaugurating Carol's Day.
It was the first celebration of the holiday that would spread at the wave front of the diaspora of the human race: Carol's Day, Carolmas, Carolita's Birthday (it was not! ), Fiesta de Santa Carolita. Theodore had told us what it had become (would become) - the midsummer fertility rite for all planets, anywhere. Then he had toasted Carols graduation to womanhood in champagne, and Carol had answered his toast with great seriousness and dignity - and got bubbles up her nose and gagged and coughed and had to be consoled.
I did not know then and do not know now whether or not Theodore granted my second daughter the boon she craved.