The Marvelous Marathoner (1915)
Short, Comedy · 16 August 1915
The young business man knew nothing whatsoever about athletics, but he had the misfortune to fall in love with a girl whose father was one of the Olympian heroes of a generation or so ago. The old man, a widower, was very willing to give his daughter everything she wanted, but he insisted that when the time came for her to marry she select an athlete helpmeet. The businessman only shone in athletics as a spectator, and if the truth must be told he was very much bored at such affairs. After they had attended one meet he made several efforts to propose to the young lady but something always intervened to prevent it. The following day he saw the young lady and her father in a taxicab in front of an office building. The father went into the building, leaving the girl alone in the machine. The young man saw his chance and hastily walked toward the taxi. He was interrupted, however, by becoming entangled in the chain of a pet dog, and did not notice, while apologizing to the wrathful owner of the animal, that the taxi had driven away and another one come up to take its place. The consequence was that when he leaped into the machine and breathlessly ejaculated 'Darling will you be my wife," he was addressing a middle-aged spinster who received his proposal with rapture. He hastily got out of the machine and effaced himself, leaving the woman to mourn her loss. He at last proposed to the right girl, was accepted, but her father declared he would not give his consent unless the young man won the Marathon which was to be held within a month. The suitor desperately accepted the task, and trained as best he could, but with sorrowful results. On the day of the race just before the start he was suddenly confronted by the spinster to whom he had proposed. She had seen his picture in a newspaper and came around to insist that he fulfill his promise to marry her. The young man was so scared by the sight of the unwelcome woman that he started off simultaneously with the starter's pistol, ran rings around everything on the course and made a new record for Marathoning. The spinster overtook him after the race, but fortunately transferred her affections to the girl's father, whom she recognized as an old suitor of years gone by. So, in the end, everybody was happy, except the younger man, perhaps, because, you see, the spinster whom he feared would land him as her husband, in reality secured him as a son-in-law.
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