March 30, 1908


Then Go Away Unsatisfied -- Wise
Police Officer Finds a Clue to
a Joke and Advances
a Theory.

Thirty-one women called at the police matron's office yesterday afternoon between the hours of 3 and 6 o'clock to look at the "fat and lean farmers" from Kansas, who came here in search of wives. Did not any of the women want a husband? Yes, they did not. They just came to look at the two men. Every woman interviewed by the reporters laughed at the idea of wanting to get married.

"I just called to see what was going on," said one. "I am a friend of the matron's," explained another. "I just came to rubber at the foolish men," a third made reply.

Twenty-eight of the thirty-one were widows or bachelor girls, of 30 -- or say 29 -- summers. Three were young girls who "just dropped in after the ball game to see the fun." Every woman but one in the crowd wore a Merry Widow hat and clothes that suggested Easter. And the one was garbed in black, "mourning for my dear husband," she sniffled and, to tell the truth, black becomes her white face and dark eyes exceedingly well.

Did any of the thirty-one condescend to speak to the two men? Well, Mrs. John Moran and Mrs. Lizzie Burns, the police matrons, do say that ten of the women went into the inner room of the office, one at a time, with each man, and "talked it all over." Was there any result? Yes, perhaps.

The fat man smiles and smiles. The lean man admits that he didn't find a woman suitable to be the future Mrs. Day -- but that is telling too much. They are coming back to the matron's office this morning, they said on leaving yesterday evening.

According to Mrs. Burns the day was at least half a success. She says:

"The fat farmer without any hair fixed it all up with one woman. She was the third who went with him into the sanctum for a heart to heart talk. What did they say? Oh, I didn't listen to them. Anyhow, I know he took her name and address and she said as she was leaving, all blushes and smiles, that it would take her all night to pack her trunk and that she could not get ready for the wedding before tomorrow.

"She is a nice looking young woman, tall, slender, a brunette and works in the Home telephone office. Oh, I didn't mean to tell you where she worked, so don't please don't publish that. She is a widow, she says. What is her name? I promised not to tell until the skinny man gets him a wife and we have a double wedding.

"No, the skinny man with the lovely mustache and the two farms didn't get one. I don't think he will, either, because he has six children. That many children are an awful handicap for a man looking for a wife. But he is coming back tomorrow."

The thin man said that he wasn't a bit discouraged.

"I came to Kansas City for a good time," he said, "and I've had it. You certainly have a fine lot of women here. Maybe if I didn't have all those children I might have done better, but I am proud of the children and wouldn't give them up for any woman I have seen today. I'm not going to worry over it. Its been a lot of fun sitting here and watching women come with their fine clothes to talk to Evans and me.

"He talks like he had been stung, doesn't he?" whispered Mrs. Moran.

Desk Sergeant Charles McVey, who counted the women going up and down the stairs to the matron's room, tells the story from a different angle.

"I don't believe that the men are farmers or that they want wives. I have a hunch that one of them is this Mr. Piffles, who is in Kansas city advertising a certain brand of automobile and that he comes to the station to put off a joke on the police. I've had a good look at both the fellows, and if I see them again this week, I'll pinch one or both of them on general principles.

"Why, look at this thing sensibly. Here are our two matrons, both widows, both nice looking and fairly young. If those men came here in search of wives wouldn't they steal our matrons instead of conducting a circus performance and making a lot of women put on their best clothes and come trapesing down to the city hall?"

Before the fat man without any hair on top left, he slipped one of the reporters the name and address of a woman. There was pride in his eye, when he did this, and he seemed to be attempting to keep his action from the eyes of the thin man. The reporter tried to find the address, but there is no such street number. Also there is no woman by that name listed in the city directory. The reporter doesn't know whether the woman fooled the fat man or whether the fat man tried to fool the reporter. It'll all come out in the wash today.