Huber & Gutknecht were kindly old gentlemen.
"Mister Wenger emigrated to the United States five years ago," they explained. "He owns a farm in California and wishes to share it with a wife. He found that, to use his words, 'The local women are superficial, and rotten workers'. Well… be that as it may, he wants a Swiss wife."
"You will understand that we have to ask you a few questions. We take it you've never been married? You're in good health? There's no special reason for you to leave the country? You've never been in conflict with… um… the law?"
"For heaven's sake, no!"
"Very well. If you accept, you'll receive the tickets to get to San Francisco, where your future husband will meet you, and some money to sustain you on your journey. Do you speak English?"
"No, I don't."
"It might be helpful to take lessons. But you look like an intelligent woman. You'll manage it. Oh, and here is a picture of Mister Wenger. We don't want to push you but we'll need your definite answer within a week."
I took a long look at my husband to be.He was no prince charming. The Prussian moustache didn't suit him at all. I liked his eyes, though. There was a warm, sympathetic quality to them. He looked about thirty-five but the age difference didn't bother me. The young men I knew were either already engaged or have-nots like me.
With his farm Mister Wenger could offer me a future. Mister Huber told me Wenger had grown up in the hamlet next to our village, and I thought I remembered having seen him in church and at festivals.
"I'll let you know," I promised and left.
(To be continued)