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room in a frenzy of despair. He sank cally, "although I'm sure I don't know into a chair. what's the matter."
"Wilfred Reginald 's done it again!" he proclaimed in a voice that was almost gone.
"Dr. Sinclair," cried Miss Hanson in alarm, "what has that wretched boy done now?"
"He 's in bed in the infirmary and won't get up. I don't know what 's the matter with him. I'm sure I saw that Queenie child dancing with him. He says he 's dying, and when I try to make him get up, he howls! It will ruin his voice."
Miss Hanson was speechless.
"Miss Hanson, don't you understand what I say? Good heavens! that service begins in an hour, and you tell me nothing to do. I 've invited everybody, Miss Hanson-everybody! What shall I do? What shall I do?"
"I'm sure I don't know," she murmured feebly.
The choir-master sat bowed down under the weight of the catastrophe that Wilfred Reginald was about to bring upon a musical world.
"I can at least go up to see him," suggested the youngest master. "Perhaps I can do something." He had not the slightest idea what, but the choirmaster had barely spoken to him since the invitation episode, and he hoped some inspiration might seize him. "Something within me tells me that it is Queenie again."
"Why did I invite that awful child!" wailed Miss Hanson, imploringly.
"It seems a pity, after having such a good time at the party-"
Wilfred Reginald turned with a violent jerk and faced the master.
"Damn that damn' ol' party!" he exploded, the fire of his indignation flashing from his tear-swollen eyes.
"Why, I thought you danced with Queenie all the evening!" exclaimed the astonished master.
"I-I-Id-d-on't want to dance with any ol' girl nobody else wants to dance with!" bellowed the boy.
The youngest master found Wilfred Reginald with his face buried in a pillow wet with the tears of his weeping. He sat down on the edge of the boy's bed and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry," he said sympatheti- care about that, when everybody was
"You 're not so different from the rest of us," thought the master; but what he said was: "Well, I would n't
talking about how nice you looked. And all of them wanted so much to hear you sing this morning. I'm I'm afraid you 've cried so much you won't be able to sing, and Miss Van Lennep asked to have a seat reserved especially to hear you."
All this was not strictly the truth, but the youngest master hoped the end was going to justify the means.
Wilfred Reginald's eyes became very wide and thoughtful. After a grave silence he spoke.
"Will-will"-he hesitated, fearful of what the master might think, and then he blurted out the rest of the question "will Marcia be there?"
The youngest master saw light. He was stunned for a moment with this fierce illumination of his problem.
"I suppose so," said that shameless serpent of a master, and lied incontinently; "Miss Van Lennep asked for two seats."
“I feel much better," said Wilfred Reginald. "I don't think it would hurt me very much to get up."
Over an hour later the youngest master sat in the stalls of the chancel, watching with the eyes of a hawk for any misbehavior on the part of the rows of young cherubs who now were fluttering a little with the knowledge
that in a moment they were to rise to their feet. Two great remote chords thundered dully out from the organ, seeming to shake the massive granite shafts about the frail white-stone lace altar. All the sanctuary was bathed in a flood of golden light, which lit up the expectant faces of the boys with an unearthly radiance. The echo of the organ died in the vaulting. The choir rose and began with a triumphal burst of sound. It was the Gretchininoff Magnificat. The master could hear the clear soprano voices of the boys following with ease the strange and difficult theme through all its contrapuntal phases.
"They are wonderful!" he breathed in awe.
Then a slight rustle spread over the entire congregation, and the guests of Dr. Sinclair, being much more accustomed to concerts than to church services, restrained a desire to applaud. Then, save for the basses booming deep and far below, Wilfred Reginald was singing alone. His voice soared high, white, and crystalline toward the A in Alt. He attacked it with accurate certainty and held it surely, producing his voice with a pure, piercing sweetness that made the beauty of the note almost unbearable.
HE "Companhia Brazileira" had advertised extensively, and the Kinetophone was well patronized from the start. Brazilians take readily to novelties, especially if they can be made à la mode, and our audiences of the second day included both priests and "women of the life," which is a sure sign of popular success in Brazil. As our doubled entrance fee of two milreis was high for those times of depression, also perhaps because the Cinema Pathé was considered a gathering-place of the élite, we got only the well dressed, or, perhaps I should say, the overdressed.
Our outfit consisted of fifteen films and their corresponding phonograph records. There was first of all, on every program, an explanation of the new invention and a demonstration of its power to reproduce all kinds of sounds, a film specially made to Linton's order, in Portuguese, with the
flag of Brazil, the president's picture, and other patriotism-stirring decorations in the background. The only other film in the native tongue was a dialogue called the "Transformation of Faust," in which two Brazilians, who had somehow been enticed out to the Edison factory, ranted for six minutes through a portion of Goethe's masterpiece. But there were extracts from five popular Italian operas and three Spanish numbers, all of which took well with Brazilians, and though the remainder were in English, they were musical and comical enough to win interest irrespective of language; besides, the Brazilians are fond of the exotic.
The Kinetophone requires two operators, one in the booth and the other at the phonograph. Thus I was not only manager, auditor, and "concessionary," but obliged to run the stage end of the performance. Fortunately, we
did not furnish the entire program, our part of the bill consisting of the "Portuguese Lecture" and two other numbers, filling one third of the hour, which constituted a "section," and leaving the rest of it to the ordinary films or whatever form of entertainment the local manager chose to supply. Every hour, therefore, from one in the afternoon to eleven at night, seven days a week, I had to be on hand to put on the first of our records, jump out to the edge of the audience to signal to "Tut" in his special booth, spring back again, and touch off the phonograph at exactly the right instant; repeat this with the other two records, thrust these back into their special trunk, lock it, and spend the next forty minutes, other duties willing, as I saw fit. Never during those eleven hours a day did I dare go far enough away from the theater to get a real let-up from responsibility. The most I could do was to snatch a lunch or stroll down to one end or the other of the avenida, to see the ships depart or, on windy days, to watch the sea pitching over the seawall of the Beira Mar, wetting even the auto-buses, and hurry back again for our part of the next "section."
In addition to running the films, "Tut" had to rewind them after every performance, so that his leisure time was ten minutes less to the "section" than mine. Then, less fond of strolling the downtown streets during our breathing-spells, he would retire to the unoccupied second-story anteroom of our theater with an American novel or magazine. There the Pathé had stored its supply of extra chairs, and from them "Tut" was wont to choose a seat, place it at the edge of the stone balustrade of the balcony, where
he could look down upon the crowd surging up and down the avenida, and pass his time in reading. But the chairs, as is usual in South America, were of the frail variety, and "Tut," a generous six feet in height and by no means diaphanous in weight, had the customary American habit of propping his feet up on a level with his head, with the result that at more or less regular intervals crash! would go a chair. On the day when the manager, his eyes bloodshot with rage, requested me to visit the second-story anteroom with him during "Tut's" absence, the wrecks of eleven chairs were piled in one corner of it. After that I never had the audacity to go up and investigate, but crashing sounds were still frequently heard during the half-hour devoted to the voiceless films.
On Thursday came the customary mid-weekly change of bill, and we were deeply thankful for a new Kinetophone program, after hearing the old one more than thirty times. The "music" that the cinema orchestra sawed off incessantly during every moment when we were not giving our part of the show also changed, though hardly for the better. We were a godsend to the musicians of that orchestra, for hitherto they had been required to play unbrokenly from one in the afternoon until nearly midnight. Our advent gave them ten or eleven twentyminute respites during that time.
It soon made us nervous to know that we were the only persons alive or dead in the whole expanse of Brazil who could operate the Kinetophone, and that if anything happened to either of us, it meant a ruined performance, our income cut off, and an