Monday, September 19, 2011

Parlor Game: Stage Coach

      This is sometimes called "The Family Coach." The players sit as nearly in a row as possible, and each one receives the name of something connected with the coach, as in the form given, in which a story is told, introducing all the different characters ; as, for instance, —
  • The Driver.
  • Whip.
  • Right Wheel.
  • Two Horses, - one Gray, one Black.
  • Miss Stacy s Box.
  • The Old Woman.
  • The Parrot (this ought to be the youngest child).
  • The Old Woman's Basket.
  • The Man with a Long Beard.
  • The Girl with a Red Hat.
  • The Stage-coach.

      Other parts of the coach, such as axle, or door, or other passengers, can be added if they are needed, and the story altered so as to bring them in.

      The characters who are Italicized get up and turn around as their names are mentioned; and, as has been said, at "Stage-coach" every one gets up at the same time, and turns around once, until it upsets, and they all rush to change seats.

      "One day I wanted to go from Albany to New York in the Stage-coach. It always started very early in the morning, but every thing made me late. I overslept myself; breakfast was not ready ; my boots were stiff, and hard to put on; all seven of the children had to be hunted up and kissed good-by; my wife had fifty last directions; and at the last moment, as I rushed off, out came Miss Stacy, the milliner, with a Box she wanted me to carry to her mother. I hadn't a moment to spare, and I rushed down the street as if I was crazy; but to my delight, when I reached the inn, there stood the Driver snapping his Whip, and now and then patting the Gray Horse.

" 'My goodness !' I cried : ' I expected the Stage had gone.'

" ' Gone !' said the Driver. ' Not much, if an Old Woman can hinder you.'

" 'Go without her,' called a Man with a Long Beard, putting his head out of the Door.

"'Here she comes,' said the Driver; and he snapped his Whip again, and got up on his box.

"The Old Woman was pretty stout; but she came steadily along, carrying a Basket in both hands, with her bonnet swinging on the back of her head.

"' I was half afraid I might be late,' the Old Woman said.

"' Come, get in, get in!' cried the Man with a Long Beard. And he flung open the Door, and the Old Woman climbed in, and I after her; and the Man with a Long Beard banged the Door fast, the Driver snapped his Whip, and the Gray Horse gave a pull, and that wakened up the Black one; and so the Stage-coach started off. In front of the Old

Woman sat a young Girl with a Red Hat, who was forever putting her head out of the window to watch the Right

Wheel, which she said she knew would break down. She had noticed it as she got in the Door.

"I put my Box on the floor, and the Old Woman put her Basket by it, and then the Man with a Long Beard began to talk of robbers.

"'It was only last week,' he said, 'that a Stage-coach going to Rochester was stopped by two men in masks, who' " ' You'd better believe it!' said a strange voice.

" The Man with a Long Beard looked at the Girl with a Red Hat, and she put her head out of the window as if the Right Wheel had spoken.

"' Who,' continued the Man with a Long Beard, ' pulled out pistols, and ' " ' Stuff !' said the voice.

"Then the Man with a Long Beard looked at me, and I looked at the Girl with a Red Hat, and she looked at the Old Woman, who looked at my Box. This made me mad.

"' There's nothing in that Box that isn't right,' I said.

" ' Nor in my Basket,' said the Old Woman ; ' and, if that Black Horse don't run away, I'll be surprised.'

"'I'll eat him with a grain of salt,' said the voice; and the Girl with a Red Hat screamed; and the Driver pulled up both of his Horses, and dropped his Whip under the Right Wheel; and the Man with a Long Beard flung open the Door, put his foot in my Box, upset the Old Woman's Basket; and out jumped a great green Parrot, screaming, 'Fire! Fire !' and this frightened the Horses, and over went the Stage-coach down the hill."

       If any one forgets to answer to the name given, a forfeit is paid. These forfeits were not redeemed till various other forfeit-games had been played, each pledge being put on a little table in the corner. 

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