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A California Girl by Edward Eldridge

Most of the people of Orangeville were great on dances


Most

of the people of Orangeville were great on dances. If they had a sociable it had to close with a dance; if a political meeting was held, they had a dance afterwards; a spelling bee wound up with a dance. If you would let them, they would dance after Sabbath School and preaching. If you want a big crowd at a meeting, just give out there will be a dance at the close, and teams will come for miles from all over the country. Dance; why they want to dance all the time. They simply become intoxicated with dancing. There is no moderation about it. They leave the dance hall about four or five o'clock in the morning. Does that kind of recreation help them physically? How do they feel during the next day? Does it help them intellectually? Does it help them spiritually? Then why pursue a course of recreation _so immoderately_ as to be detrimental to their highest interests?

When Mr. Hammond heard about the great dance that was coming off in honor of Ben West, he said it did seem to him as if a dance was the only thing the people of Orangeville could get up. He had never known them as a community to get up anything else but a dance, and yet, he said, there are some very fine people who attend these country dances. Persons of noble character, who live lives of self-denial in their homes and meet trials and misfortunes bravely and heroically, I am glad to say.

Julia did not attend the dance because it was too near her wedding

day; but Ben West had a very enjoyable time, for the leading young ladies in Orangeville were delighted at having the opportunity of dancing once more with their old friend. But now a new interest had centered in him, in the fact of his being the rising man and soon to be married.

There was a very large crowd at the dance. A number came from Roseland; in fact, there were more than the hall could accommodate. There were a number of men wanting to see Ben West a few minutes on the side, to talk with him about what show there would be for them at the Klondike, as each of them wished to be successful like Ben West.

For three weeks previous to his being married, Ben did not know whether he was afoot or on horseback. What with the joy his father and mother manifested at having him back again in their home, and the real, sweet, loving and delightful hours he spent with Julia, who was free in her demonstrations of affection, he being so worthy of it.

At last that day which always seems so long in coming, but which always comes, came to Ben West and Julia Hammond. They had a quiet wedding in the morning; then came the wedding dinner, after which they went to Roseland, taking in the theater in the evening and stopping at the Arlington Hotel that night. The next day they took the Flyer for San Francisco. On arriving in that city they went to the Clifton Hotel. In the evening they attended the opera.

As Julia had never been to San Francisco, they decided to spend a week in sight-seeing. The second week they spent in looking at elegant houses. After looking round for six days they bought a mansion on Van Ness avenue for eighty thousand dollars. It originally cost one hundred and thirty thousand. Then, the third week they spent in selecting furniture, which cost them twenty thousand dollars. The fourth week they bought a fine matched team and a carriage, for which they paid fifteen hundred dollars, and kept them at a livery stable. They also purchased two bicycles and an automobile, and got three servants, a maid for Julia, a woman to do the housework, and a Chinese cook. All laundry work was done out of the house. The second month was spent in going to many interesting places outside of San Francisco as well as taking in more of the city. Everything so far had run very smoothly.


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