Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

‘I have my last examination on Friday, 19 May, Ma'am. Commencement isn't until: June, but that doesn't affect me. '

‘I see. Would Saturday, 20 May, suit you two? And, Mr Smith, do you think your parents will be able to come here for the wedding? '

At 7. I3 p. m. on 20 May my husband and I www.offshore-web-development.com were rolling north from Butler on the Kansas City Southern Express. .. ‘express' meaning that it stopped for cows, milk cans, and frogs, but not for fireflies.

I said, ‘Briney, my feet hurt. '

‘Take your shoes off. '

‘In public? '

‘You no longer have to pay attention to any opinion but mine. .. and durned little to mine. '

‘Thank you, sir. But I don't dare take them off; my feet would swell and I would never get them back on. Briney, the next time we get married, Iet's elope!

‘Suits. We should have this time. What a day! '

I chose to have a noon wedding. I was overruled by my mother, my prospective mother-in-law, the minister, the minister's wife, the organist, the church janitor, and anyone else who cared to speak up. I had thought that the bride was supposed to get her own way about her wedding (if what she wanted was not too dear for her father's purse), but apparently I had been reading too many romantic stories. I wanted a noon wedding so that we could reach Kansas City before dark. When I found myself frustrated on every side, I spoke to Father about it.

He shook his head. I'm sorry, Maureen, but it is written right here in the Constitution that the father of the bride has no rights whatsoever in a wedding. He gets to pay the bills and he must give the bride away. Otherwise they don't let him out of his cage. Did you tell your mother why you wanted to catch the earlier train? '

‘Yes, sir. '

‘What did she say? '

‘She said that all the planning had been done on the assumption that the Smiths would arrive on the ten-forty-two, soon enough for a four o'clock wedding but not for a noon wedding. I said, "But, Mother, they are already here. " And she said that it was too late to change everything. And I said, "Who says so? And why wasn't I consulted? " And she said, "Keep quiet and stop wiggling. I've got to pin this over again. " Father, this is dreadful. I'm being treated like a prize cow about to be shown at the fair. And I'm listened to just as much as that cow. '

‘Maureen, it probably is too late to change anything now. Stipulated, your wishes should have been followed. But now it is less than forty-eight hours till your wedding and when Adele takes the bit in her teeth, she doesn't listen. I wish I could help you. But she won't listen to me, either. ' Father looked as unhappy as I felt. ‘Grit your teeth and wait it out. Once Brother Timberly says, "I pronounce you man and wife", you no longer have to pay any attention to anyone but Brian. And I see that you have a ring in his nose; you won't find that too difficult. '

‘I don't think I have a ring in his nose. '

The Reverend Timberly had been told that the Methodist Episcopal service was to be followed exactly, none of these modern innovations. He had been told also that it would be a single-ring ceremony. The muttonhead didn't listen on either point. He stuck in all sorts of stuff (from his lodge rituals, I think; he was a past Grand Chancellor of the Knights and Lords of the High Mountain), stuff that had not been in the rehearsal, questions and responses I didn't recognise. And he preached, telling each of us things we didn't need to hear, matters not in the wedding service.

This went on and on, while my feet hurt (don't buy shoes by mail order! ) and my corset was stifling me. (I had never worn one before. But Mother insisted. ) I was about to tell Brother Timberwolf to stick to the book, stop improvising (it was getting closer and closer to train time), when he reached the point where he wanted two rings and there was of course but one.

He wanted to back up and start over.

Brian spoke up (and a groom isn't supposed to say anything but ‘I will' and ‘I do') and said in a whisper that could not be heard more than a hundred yards, ‘Reverend, stop stalling and stick to words in the book. .. or I won't pay you a red cent. '

Brother Timberly started to expostulate and looked at Briney - and stopped suddenly, and said, ‘By AuthorityvestedinmebythesovereignstateofMissouri I pronounce you man and wife! ' And thereby saved his own life. I think.

Brian kissed me and we turned and started down the aisle and I tripped on my train. Beth was carrying my train and was supposed to move it off to the left.

It wasn't her fault; I turned the wrong way.

‘Briney, did you get any wedding cake? '

‘Never had time. '

‘Me, too. I suddenly realise that I haven't eaten anything since breakfast. .. and not much then. Let's find that dining car. '

‘Suits. I'll enquire. ' Briney got up, was gone a few moments. When he came back he leaned over me. ‘I found it. '

‘Good. Is it in front of us, or behind us? '

‘Behind us. Quite a bit behind us. They left it off in Joplin. '