Trombone Saves Man's Life

Just added this touching story to the 19th century timeline (2nd half):

1875—New York: Harper’s Magazine publishes a humorous fictional piece, “The Story of a Trombone,” with illustrations by Charles Reinhardt. The story is about a man who lives below a French trombonist whose practicing has become an annoyance. “It is not to be endured,” the man complains to the landlord. “My rest is disturbed, my waking hours tortured, by this rasping fiend of a horn!” The complaining neighbor soon finds out, however, that the trombonist has an attractive daughter, and he is faced with the difficulty of putting aside his dislike for the trombonist’s playing in order to court the daughter (who, of course, is soon to join a convent). The conflict comes to a head when a fire threatens to destroy the apartment building and the daughter sends the suitor to rescue her father. After saving the father, the suitor is forced back into the flames to rescue the trombone (“I will not leave it to perish,” the father cries; “My dear trombone!”). In his escape after reclaiming the trombone, the suitor is ultimately saved by the instrument, the slide of which he bends in order to assist in scaling the wall of the burning building. The trombone is easily repaired, the father gladly gives his daughter’s hand, and they all live happily ever after. The captions to the illustrations read, “The cheeks of Monsieur Rigaud became like huge balloons” (above-left) and “Then I sprang over the yawning chasm” (above-right) (images public domain) (Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 302 [July 1875], 225-230).

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