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them are always some to be found who, though never having received instructions in drawing, are able to draw and color pictures of soldiers and animals very adroitly. Seldom do they essay to produce any other pictures. These young artists are well known to the boys of the town and receive their orders for so and so many soldiers of cavalry, infantry, etc. (the price for officers is according to rank), and so many of the animal world. These pictures are made on a sheet of paper and afterward cut out carefully with a penknife, never otherwise, and on Shevuos pasted on the windowpanes.
It was the greatness of Alter the 'Ayker's artistic skill in this line, especially, that Chayim Parch extolled before Reb Mottl and with which he concluded his narration of Alter's accomplishments. Reb Mottl had listened attentively, and though haunted by the proverb, “ Viel M'loches und wenig B’rochos” (“ Jack of all trades and master of none"), the father consoled himself with the thought that these, at any rate, were better than nothing, and after a number of pros and cons between the two parties an agreement was reached and sealed with “Bromf'n," brandy. Invitations were sent to relatives and friends on both sides, and on “Chotsy Tamoos,” fifteenth day of the fourth month, the betrothal was celebrated with considerable pomp in the home of Reb Mottl, for it falls to the lot of the father of the girl to defray all the expenses involved. All the local “ Schnorrers” and some few wandering tramps who happened to be in town came uninvited, and, at a table set apart for them, made merry to themselves.
After a deal of merrymaking the “introduction ” to each other of the young couple took place, for, according to the Talmud, no marriage shall take place unless the bride and groom have seen each other. Upon a signal given by the father the door leading to the room in which all the ladies were assembled was thrown ajar and Reb Mottl called aloud “Bashke, please bring me my pipe.” Alter had been so placed that when the young lady responded to her father's request, the youths could not fail to see one another.
“Im Voruebergehen gruessen
It remains a secret. whether or not Bashke, on returning to the ladies, was interrogated by her mother as to the impression Alter made upon her. Suffice it to say that Chayim Parch, who, up to that moment, with visible impatience and big beads of perspiration on his forehead, had continually gone back and forth, now
emerged in great glee from the ladies' room and with stentorian voice shouted, “Mazol tov! Mazol tov!” (Good luck! Good luck!) which soon re-echoed from the throats of all present. A plate was then broken as a symbol that just as it would be impossible to restore it to its former condition, even so should there be no rupture between the two just betrothed.
In the small hours of the morning, when the last drop and morsel had vanished, the guests dispersed, everyone who could providing himself with a chip of the broken plate as a souvenir.