DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

August 15, 2013

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(Continued)

On a summer’s day, Malcolm discovered that Douglas had decided to settle down and get married. He had surveyed all the belles of Nutfield and decided to court the buxom daughter of a deacon of the First Parish Church. Daughter and Dad lived in a farm house on Pond Road, near the junction of Green Lane. She — we’ll call her Grace — was modest and shy, the exact opposite of Malcolm. Surprisingly, she agreed to accept Malcolm as a potential beau. Maybe if things went well in time the courting might lead to marriage. Douglas really wanted to win Grace’s hand so he got himself fitted-up with a set of store-bought clothes.

Malcolm further discovered that every Saturday, Douglas would ride his spirited horse down Green Lane to visit Grace. Being a careful, frugal old Scot, he’d wear his home spun clothes until he was practically within sight of the Deacon’s house. Each week Malcolm would pull over onto the side of Green Lane to change into his sparking suit. There, in the seclusion of the piney woods, he’d take off all his linsey-woolsey homemade clothes and put on his sparkling-white new clothes. Malcolm never varied this routine from one week to the next. And it was also his habit to stay in the saddle while changing his clothes.

Douglas saw Malcolm’s courting routine as a way to finally get back at Malcolm for all the tricks he played on him. Doug fixed up a wild man costume and waited on Green Lane for Malcolm to appear. From his hiding place, he watched as Malcolm began to strip while standing up in the stirrups. Doug waited until Malcolm was totally undressed; then he jumped out of his hiding place. Doug immediately began to shriek and wave his arms as he ran toward the horse. The sudden appearance of the wild man caused the horse to bolt. The panicking animal thundered lickety-split down Green Lane. The frightened, naked Malcolm could do nothing but hold on for dear life.

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