A Cycle of the Seasons:
A Bicycle Romance in Four Meets
By Charles Richards Dodge
The Wheelmen, June 1883 p. 173-180
She: Oh mercy! Mercy! Are you badly hurt? I hope no bones are broken. Take my hand - it was a cruel fall.
He: You're very good to help me up. 'Tis nothing. That's a way we have of stopping sometimes. 'Twas your fault - no, no! I don't mean that, exactly, Miss. I thank you. Oh, don't mind my dusty clothes.
She: I'm truly sorry, Sir.
He: 'Twas not your fault. I should have seen the wretched rut, instead of looking - well, to speak the truth - at you. I think I'm all right now. What lovely flowers - anemonies?
She: They are fine specimens. I always seek them when the bright days come. They are so pure and spotless and so shy. And peep so timidly from out the grass. They always seem to brighten and gladden life.
He: As pure and spotless as a young maid's thoughts. Please, may I have one as a souvenir? They're early, aren't they?
She: (Looking knowingly at a companion.) Yes, it seems to me that everything is forward, Sir, this spring.
He: (A goodly hit! I would I knew her name. Taking the flower and looking into her face.) So fair and saintly! Thanks.
She: I'm truly glad you were not hurt. Come, Nellie. Let us go. 'Tis growing late. Good afternoon!
He: Goodbye - Why, I'm going that way too. (Confound the Wheel.) I'm tired of riding. If my company will not annoy you, and you don't object, I'll walk along. There! Let me take the flowers.
She: Heavens! How you frightened me! Those awful wheels glide by so silently, one never knows they're coming 'till they're gone.
He: Excuse me, Miss - I would have spoken had I thought 'twas you. (Lie number one.)
She: What are you doing here? A pathway through a whortleberry field it seems to me is not the place to ride a tricky steed like yours.
He: Oh as to that I frequently choose such a winding way to test my nerve and skill (Lie number two.) Besides I'm fond of berries.
She: Help yourself. Or shall I pick you some?
He: Thanks! If you please. How sweet you are - I mean they are. How strange it that we should meet again so far from home.
She: 'Tis rather strange. I often come out here when Mr. May can share an afternoon. You know Fred May, of course. He's just down beyond that clump of alders.
He: Mr. May? We're not acquainted. (And don't wish to be.)
She: Next week the golden rod will be in bloom and then we're coming-
He: Golden rod, you said? I hate all yellow flowers. A daisy now, a wild red rose - or an anemone-
She: But faded memories of the past - Fred often laughs and says all kinds of flowers are sweet to him, but sweetest: Rose in season. Ain't he nice to waste so much time on a silly girl?
He: Self-sacrificing truly - and the world so full of selfishness. (Think I'll leave. Picks up his Wheel which has been lying against the bushes.)
She: What - going so soon? I'll speak to Mr. May-
He: No thanks! Some other time. I shall be late - I've lingered now too long and had no thought of stopping ere we met so suddenly.
She: The golden rod will be in bloo next week - oh pardon, I forgot.
He (Moving the wheel.) Goodbye.
She: (Turning her face to hide a smile.) Goodbye.
He: Good afternoon! If pony won't take fright, I'll ride with you a mile.
She: Good afternoon! Oh no, he's used to wheelmen. Mr. French, my friend Miss Nellie Clark - you've met before.
He: (Bowing politely.) Oh yes, six months or so ago.
She: Take care! We're coming to some dreadful ruts. (Turns out the phaeton, giving him half the road.) The woods are lovely now. I think I never knew the autumn leaves so richly tinted. See! Is not that maple gorgeous? Mr. French, we're only going about a mile beyond the old mill. We should like your company if you have leisure.
He: Thanky - if the horse don't mind the wheel so long. I will accept.
She: Fred says the ferns are splendid at the mill. I think you've met Fred May -
He: Yes - no - that is -
She: Oh, I remember! Poor Fred had to stay in town this afternoon.
He: (Thank Heaven!) Indeed, how you must miss him! If you will play I'm Fred May for just one afternoon, I'll wade about in all the cattail swamps and climb trees for leaves. I'll gather ferns - and if there's one poor summer flower alive I'll try to be in season.
She: You're too late. The season's past for summer flowers and now but brown and withered leaves strew all the fields.
He: (I wonder if she meant all that for me. I won't catch on.) I think to love dead leaves were better than no love at all, perhaps. To love a dead anemone -
She: Look out! There's rocks ahead, you surely will be thrown! We turn off yonder just below the bridge. The road is narrow - on such dangerous ground perhaps twere better I should take the lead.
He: Miss Grayson, may I have the next dance? I tried an hour ago to speak.
She: Oh certainly. I think your Wheelmen Hop quite a success. What is the next dance, please?
He: A plain quadrille.
She: Oh dear! I thought it was a waltz.
He: The waltz comes after that Miss Grayson. If you wish, we'll promenade and wait for it.
She: Oh, no! But, as you please - where can we promenade?
(In the conservatory)
She: I love conservatories - or the flowers - and this is such a fine one. Here are seats. But, Mr. French - are all the Wheelmen's Hops held at the members' houses?
He: Certainly. The Wheel is an aristocrat. How nice it seems to know you now so well. How strange that introduction! 'Twas a dreadful fall.
She: You didn't seem to mind it much.
He: Well no, but then I've never gotten over it and doubtless never will.
She: Why, Mr. French! You've never mentioned such a thing before. It's terrible! How are you injured? Or -
He: My heart's affected. Ah, no one can tell what I've suffered in the past six months.
She: Oh I'm so sorry and 'twas my fault too. That is, if I had not come in your way -
He: I never should have known how nice you are. I met your cousin Mr. May last week. So he's a blood relation, and to think you never told me.
She: Well whose fault was it? I tried to introduce you - goodness knows - that day we met by chance the usual way. Out in the berry field you ran off. But tell me truly, does the doctor say you never will be well? Was it the shock which brought on this affection of the heart? It was an awful fall.
He: (Sighing.) A dreadful fall. Ah, me! All wheelmen fall so once they say. And Fannie dear-
She: (If he keeps on he'll take a "header" soon. But I won't keep him - no, I'll die first. There!)
He: Don't go! Why, how you tremble - I believe your heart became affected, girl, the day I fell so dreadfully in love with you. What blushing! You confess it! (Kissing her.) There! It's done.
 Club dance