Inside the heart of every teenager lies the Melodrama Bomb, poised to explode unexpectedly and elevate any bad situation into high tragedy. Was ever thus; if anyone tries to tell you that young people were more respectable and mature back in the Good Ol’ Days, consider it hooey. Beneath those worsted tweeds and stiff boned corsets the same emotions seethed.

(RIGHT: Natty and ready to blow at any time. Section from an ad in the 1908 Santa Rosa Republican)

Like “The Abductions of Geneva Eagleson,” this story seems ripped from the libretto of a good opera buffa, which is to say that it also could be an episode from a very bad sitcom. In brief: Mr. and Mrs. Weaver were at home in Santa Rosa when they were notified that their new son-in-law was in the local jail for intoxication. Emphasis on “new” – the marriage had taken place earlier that weekend in San Francisco. So what was young Charles doing up here, alone and drunk on the day after his wedding?

Newlywed Mabel wanted to celebrate with her brother who lived in the East Bay, and had written that she and Charles would meet him at the ferry terminal the day after the ceremony. But off the boat stepped instead her old boyfriend. “Browney” – who, it seems, was her brother’s roommate. In the tradition of a true cad, he had intercepted Mabel’s letter.

Mabel and Browney apparently spoke privately for a few moments. Charles and Mabel left the dock together, but she asked for some time with Browney to “see if she could not pacify him,” for he “felt very badly over her marriage.” The trusting Charles agreed. Five hours later, she returned. They quarreled (about what I cannot possibly guess) and she packed her bags and left.

Charles headed for Santa Rosa, apparently believing she was returning to her parents. On the ferry across the Golden Gate, “he took a drink to steady his nerves and then he found he needed another drink. So when he arrived in Santa Rosa he needed the police and a doctor,” the Santa Rosa Republican noted wryly.

When Charles and his in-laws appeared in court the following morning, her mother denounced Browney as a “villain” who supposedly once threatened to kill Mabel, and besides, was said to be already married. The Assistant District Attorney advised the family to file charges in San Francisco – if any crime actually was committed.

We do not know how the love triangle was immediately resolved, but all seems to have turned out well, at least for many years; through the 1920 census, Charles and Mabel can be traced to his hometown of Seattle, where they lived with their son, Clarence, along with her young nephew.

Husband Arrives in Santa Rosa in Search

Police Officers Skaggs and Lindley took in a young man, neatly dressed and well appearing, Monday night, who was under the influence of liquor. After Dr. Jackson Temple had been called to see him and he had revived somewhat, he gave the name of Chas. Brelle and related a strange story. He had been married only since Saturday and before the day was over his bride had disappeared with a former lover.

The bride was formerly Miss Mabel Weaver, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Weaver of this city, and is about 19 years of age. She left here Thursday for San Francisco to be married to Mr. Brelle. The young man says they were superstitious about marrying on Friday, so were wedded on Saturday. The bride had written to her brother at Point Richmond to meet her Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, but instead of the brother getting the letter, his room mate and a former lover of the young lady named Browney received it. He came over and met the bride of a day and since then all trace of them has been lost.

The husband started for Santa Rosa to see the wife’s parents, but on the boat he took a drink to steady his nerves and then he found he needed another drink. So when he arrived in Santa Rosa he needed the police and a doctor.

Upon being informed of their son-in-law’s plight, Mr. and Mrs. Weaver hurried to the police station and did everything they could for the young man and then took him to their home. Mrs. Weaver spoke of Browney as a “villain,” and said she would have him arrested. He threatened to kill her daughter not long ago. He is said to have a wife already.

It is said that Mr. Breele is of a very respectable family and that he feels keenly the disgraceful plight he was in when he reached Santa Rosa.

Breele appeared before Recorder Bagley Monday morning and was fined five dollars. He then repaired with his wife’s relatives to the court of Justice A. J. Atchison, where he requested a warrant for the arrest of Browney on a charge of abducting his wife. After listening to the story District Attorney Hoyle advised against the issuance of the warrant here, as the crime, if any had been committed, occurred in San Francisco county.

Breele related a peculiar story to the court, showing considerable stupidity on his part and a quarrel that caused his bride of a few hours to leave him hurriedly. When Mrs. Breele wrote to he brother to meet her and the husband, Browney intercepted the letter and he came instead of the brother and met the couple at the ferry in San Francisco. Later Mrs. Breele told her husband that Browney had declared he felt very badly over her marriage to him, and she suggested she had better go and have a talk with Browney and see if she could not pacify him. To this the husband acquiesced, saying he could trust his wife. She remained with Browney from noon until nearly 5 o’clock, and then when she returned to the husband there was a slight quarrel. This resulted in the wife packing her belongings in a grip and departing. The husband walked with her for several blocks on Market street and they parted. He is now seeking her industriously.

– Santa Rosa Republican, March 31, 1908

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