10 MARCH 1928, Page 10

Report on the Leap Year Competition A PPARENTLY the, emancipated young

woman finds it as difficult to propOse as has her suitor throughout the ages. But then, pen and paper are rather a crude medium for this delicate declaration.

From amongst the many entries for the Leap Year Competition there were very ,few contributors 'who did not offer some excuse, besides the legitimate one of Leap Year, for their audacity and unconventionality in taking the initiative ; the man in question was supposedly shy, had some- physical debility, was afraid of appearing eager for an unearned income rather than a wife. The day has evidently not yet come—if it ever will, for proposals are supposed to be out of date—when woman may with impunity propose to the man she loves just because she loves him.

The Editor • divides the prize of five guineas between " Ethyl," for her irresistible appeal, and "Betty," who, we feel, need not be " love-sick " much longer :- Leap Year Day, 1928.

Dear Mr. Pratt,—For months have I waited for this blessed day, when -I can uncork; and let my spirit flow with maidenly propriety. Mr. -Pratt, I feel I owe to you my whole being ! You are the inspiration of my existence, the radiator of my fame—the secret of my success ! With a grateful heart I lay all at your feet, only asking that—when your spirit fails, or your energy tyres--+- when your headlights are dipping, or your feed system choked— you will remember that whenever you need her and for all time

ETHYL is here.

Dear Frank,—Did you ever see a paper called the Spectator ? I always supposed it was a mouldy old rag that died about the same time as Queen Anne, but not a bit of it ! It's running still, like Charley's Aunt. The Editor, I'm sure, is bald and benevolent, but he has a frisk in him yet. He has discovered Leap Year—the old darling !—and offered £5 for the best Leap Year proposal. Now I want £5 badly, and I should be ashamed of myself if I couldn't write a simple proposal. Stop a moment, you say ; who is the lucky man ? Why, You, you, no one but you " ! Dear Frank, it is time you married, and you couldn't do better than take me. You know my angel temper, it is more dependable than your income. You know my handicap at golf and tennis. I cannot cook, certainly, but I appreciate good cookery, and so do you. I am literary enough to collaborate in a book on the Derby. I am consistently cheerful, even at breakfast, in fact, I am the pal you pine for. You'll say the word ? I know you will and it will be Right-0 !—Yr. love-sick BETTY.

P.S.—Of course, Frank, this is all bosh. You know that, don't you ? But, if it weren't, I wonder what you would say.

Other entries are :— My dear,—Here comes another of our rare birthdays. Could we celebrate it better than by agreeing to spend the few that remain to us together ? Bretris lux, Jock ! Your hair is grey, and mine is greyer. You have been in love with me-for twenty-five years and four months and a week. Deny it if you dare. Because you are halt and maimed, is it fair to keep both of us outside the kingdom of heaven ? Do be reasonable. You know very well that my little two-seater runs better with a passenger. Don't be selfish, Jock. Besides, I love you. I have loved you for twenty-five years and four months and a week. I want to grow old along with you. My very dear, I want you, to have and to hold. Will you marry me ?—SuesTox.

" Take this bunch of simple flowers, Take the ribbon round them, Take to cheer your lonely hours The faithful girl who bound them ! "

The enclosed was sent by me, more than fifty years ago, to a Ay boy who is now niy. husband. We are nearing our golden Wedding and have had a very happy married life.---Arrozr.

[A little bunch of snowdrops accompanied this letter.] To Ernest, who has been courting Patience for two years :— Charmall Manor, Wye, Somerset, February 29th, 1928.

Dear Ernest,—Please note the date of this letter and let me know if you would like the' following notice to be sent to the Times : " A marriage has been arranged and will shortly take place between Ernest Alexander Backward, nephew and heir of Lord Slow of Slocum Poges, and Patience, only daughter of Sir Willing and Lady Hope, of Charrnall Manor Wye, Somerset." With love and apologies if I have made a mistake.—Yours, PAT.

Reply-paid telegram : February 29th. • To Viscount Mute, Ritz, London.—Shall we keep a pig P—AzrutrAi