O. Henry’s “The Exact Science of Matrimony”

The title of our story for today is “The Exact Science of Matrimony.” O. Henry wrote the piece. Lawan Davis produced this tale, which Shelley Gollust adapted. Barbara Klein with the narrative, here. You could never trust Andy Tucker or Jeff Peters. The two men made the decision to start a marriage business one day in an attempt to make some quick cash. They started by writing an advertising that would be placed in newspapers. This is what their advertisement said:

“A lovely widow who loves her house and is handsome would like to get married again. Just thirty-two is her age. She owns priceless property in the nation and three thousand dollars in cash. She is looking for a poor man who is kind. I have nothing against older or less attractive men. However, he must be trustworthy and dependable, able to manage assets and make wise financial decisions. Provide your address and some personal information. Signed: Lonely, Cairo, IL, care of agents Peters and Tucker. After the advertisement was completed, Andy Tucker was told by Jeff Peters, “So far, so good.” And where is the woman now? Andy shot Jeff a cold stare. “What is the relationship between a marriage advertisement.

“Listen now,” was Jeff’s response. “Andy, you are aware of my rule. We must adhere to the law in all its details when engaging in illicit activity. There has to be an item available for purchase. It needs to be observed. It’s got to be something you can make. I have avoided running afoul of the law in this way. Now, in order for this business to succeed, we need to be able to create a lovely widow who possesses the beauty that is advertised, or not. “Well,” Andy remarked after giving it some thought, “it might be better if the US Post Office decided to look into our marriage agency.” However, where can one expect to locate a widow who would squander her time on a marriage proposal devoid of any marital bliss? Jeff claimed to have knowledge of such a woman.

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