The First “Elopement” in Lititz Basis of this story from the memoirs of Dr. Byron K. Horne.
Snow had fallen during the night. The first sister to arise looked out upon its beauty and then left out a shriek of horror. There could be no doubt of it. There were the footprints of one of the Brethren leading right up to their very door and then leaving with one of the Sisters.
The alarm soon spread the length of Main Street and the Church Fathers gathered to discuss this unexpected scandal that had descended upon the peaceful village. Undoubtedly a forbidden romance had flourished right under their eyes, in spite of all efforts to keep the sexes severely separated. Of course it was understood the couple would never be welcomed back into the community again and that the Church would have no part of them.
Finally a demand was made for a careful check in both the Sisters’ and Brethren’s Houses to find who was missing. Strangely enough all were there and the town’s first mystery was a long time in solving.
Just who the culprit was could never be proved, but whoever it was he had a sense of humor that was deeply frowned upon in those days. Arising before daybreak this man left the Breth- ren’s House with a small boy on his back and made tracks for the front door of the Sisters’ House. Then putting the boy down they made the tell-tale tracks to the street, after which they circled back to their rooms again.
While there is no proof this gag could certainly have been the brainchild of Tobias Hirte, the schoolteacher with a strong belief in liberty and independence. He did not take kindly to criti- cism he got from the Collegium and this could very easily have been his method of striking back. Additional translations may bring more to light.