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ing. It's only a swoon. ” She spoke with I thought, Now I am going to turn my the pseudo-English accent of the stage, ankle. Wasn't it strange ? And I turned but with a Southern slip upon the vowels it. How did you get me upstairs ?” here and there. “Get some water, please.” “ The janitor carried you.”
The hall-boy came running up the back “How lucky he happened to be there! stairs with some that he had gone to get, I suppose the hall-boy kept me from falland the woman bade Maxwell sprinkle his ing-poor little fellow! You must give wife's face. But he said: “No-you,” and him some money. How did you find out he stooped and took his wife's head into about me?” his own hands, so that she might not come “ He ran up to tell," Maxwell said this, to in the lap of Mrs. Harley; in the midst and then he hesitated. “I guess you had of his dismay he reflected how much she better know all about it. Can you bear would hate that. He could hardly keep something disagreeable, or would you himself from being repellant and resentful rather waittoward the woman. In his remorse for “No, no, tell me now ! I can't bear to quarrelling with Louise, it was the least rep- wait. What is it?" aration he could offer her. Mrs. Harley, “ It wasn't the hall-boy that caught you. if it was she, seemed not to notice his rude. It was that-woman.” ness. She sprinkled Louise's face, and He felt her neck and hand grow rigid, wiped her forehead with the handkerchief but he went on, and told her all about it. she dipped in the water; but this did not At the end, some quiet tears came into her bring her out of her faint, and Maxwell eyes. “ Well, then, we must be civil to her. began to think she was dead, and to feel I am glad you told me at once, Brice.” that he was a murderer. With a strange, She pulled his head down and kissed him, æsthetic vigilance he took note of his sen- and he was glad, too. sations for use in revising Haxard.
The janitor of the building had somehow arrived, and Mrs. Harley said: “I
XV will go for a doctor, if you can get her up to your apartment;" and she left Louise LOUISE sent Maxwell down to Mrs. Harwith the two men.
ley's apartment to thank her, and tell her The janitor, a burly Irishman, lifted her how slight the accident was; and while he in his arms, and carried her up the three was gone, she abandoned herself to an imflights of steps ; Maxwell followed, hag- passioned dramatization of her own death gardly, helplessly.
from blood-poisoning, and her husband's On her own bed, Louise revived, and early marriage with the actress, who then said : “My shoe-- Oh, get it off !” appeared in all his plays, though they were
The doctor came a few minutes later, not happy together. Her own spectre was but Mrs. Harley did not appear with him, always rising between them, and she got as Maxwell had dreaded she would. He some fearful joy out of that. She counted decided that Mrs. Maxwell had strained, his absence by her heart-beats, but he came not sprained, her ankle, and he explained back so soon that she was ashamed, and how the difference was all the difference in was afraid that he had behaved so as to the world, as he bound the ankle up with give the woman a notion that he was not a long ribbon of india-rubber, and issued suffered to stay longer. He explained directions for care and quiet.
that he found her gloved and bonneted to He left them there, and Maxwell heard go out, and that he had not stayed for fear him below in parley, apparently with the of keeping her. She had introduced him actress at her door. Louise lay with her to her mother, who was civil about Louise's head on her husband's arm, and held his accident, and they had both begged him to other hand tight in hers, while he knelt by let them do anything they could for her. the bed. The bliss of repentance and mutual He made his observations, and, when forgiveness filled both their hearts, while Louise, after a moment, asked him about she told how she had hurt herself. them, he said they affected him as sever
“ I had got down to the last step, and I ally typifying the Old South and the New was putting my foot to the pavement, and South. They had a photograph over the
mantel, thrown up large, of an officer in It all left him very wakeful, for his head Confederate uniform. Otherwise the room began to work upon this scheme and that. had nothing personal in it ; he suspected When he went to lock the outer door for the apartment of having been taken fur- the night, the sight of his overcoat hanging nished, like their own. Louise asked if he in the hall made him think of a theatrical should say they were ladies, and he an- newspaper he had bought coming home, swered that he thought they were. at a certain corner of Broadway, where
Of course,” she said, and she added, numbers of smooth-shaven, handsome men, with a wide sweep of censure : “They get and women with dark eyes and chamengaged to four or five men at a time, down pagned hair were lounging and passing. there. Well,” she sighed, " you mustn't He had got it on the desperate chance that stay in here with me, dear. Go to your it might suggest something useful to him. writing.”
He now took it out of his coat-pocket, and “ I was thinking whether you couldn't began to look its advertisements over in come out and lie on the lounge. I hate to the light of his study lamp, partly because leave you alone in here."
he was curious about it, and partly because • No, the doctor said to be perfectly he knew he should begin to revise his play, quiet.
Perhaps I can, to-morrow, if it otherwise, and then he should not sleep all doesn't swell up any worse.”
night. She kept her hold of his hand, which he In several pages of the paper ladies with had laid in hers, and he sat down beside Aowery and alliterative names and pseuthe bed, in the chair he had left there. He donyms proclaimed themselves in large did not speak, and after a while she asked, letters, and in smaller type the parts they “What are you thinking of? ”
were presently playing in different comOh, nothing. The confounded play, binations; others gave their addresses and I suppose."
announced that they were At Liberty, or “ You're disappointed at Grayson's not specified the kinds of rôles they were taking it.”
accustomed to fill, as Leads or Heavies, “ One is always a fool.”
Dancing Soubrettes and Boys; Leads, “ Yes,” said Louise, with a catching of Emotional and Juvenile; Heavy or Juthe breath. She gripped his hand hard, venile or Emotional Leads. There were and said, as well as she could in keeping gentlemen seeking engagements who were back the tears, “ Well, I will never stand Artistic Whistling Soloists, Magicians, in your way, Brice. You may do any. Leading Men, Leading Heavies, Singing thing-anything—with it that you think and Dancing Comedians, and there were best."
both ladies and gentlemen who were now “ I shall never do anything you don't Starring in this play or that, but were open like," he answered, and he leaned over and to offers later. A teacher of stage dancing kissed her, and at this her passion burst in promised instruction in skirt and serpentine a violent sobbing, and when she could dancing, as well as high kicking, front and speak she made him solemnly promise that back, the backward bend, side practice, toehe would not regard her in the least, but practice, and all novelties.
Dramatic auwould do whatever was wisest and best thors had their cards among the rest, and with the play, for otherwise she should one poor fellow, as if he had not the heart never be happy again.
to name himself, advertised a play to be As she could not come out to join him heard of at the office of the newspaper. at dinner, he brought a little table to the Whatever related to the theatre was there, in bedside, and put his plate on it, and ate a bizarre solidarity, which was droll enough his dinner, there, with her. She gave him to Maxwell in one way. But he hated to be some attractive morsels off her own plate, mixed up with all that, and he perceived which he had first insisted on bestowing that he must be mixed up with it more and
They had such a gay evening more, if he wrote for the theatre. Whether that the future brightened again, and they he liked it or not, he was part of the thing arranged for Maxwell to take his play down which in its entirety meant high-kicktown the next day, and not lose a momen ing and toe-practice, as well as the expresin trying to place it with some manager. sion of the most mystical passions of the
heart. There was an austerity in him which he would have recognized for a lurking the fact offended, and he did what he anxiety concerning how she would take could to appease this austerity by reflect- the events of their life as they came. ing that it was the drama and never the Without realizing it, for his mind was mosttheatre that he loved; but for the time this ly on his work, and it was only in was useless. He saw that if he wrote dim recess of his spirit that the struggle dramas he could not hold aloof from the took place, he was perpetually striving to theatre, nor from actors and actresses, adjust himself to the unexpected, or rather heavies and juveniles, and emotionals and the impredicable. soubrettes. He must know them, and more But when he was most afraid of her intimately; and at first he must be subject harassing uncertainty of emotion or action to them, however he mastered them at he was aware of her fixed loyalty to him ; last ; he must flatter their oddities and in- and perhaps it was the final effect with dulge their caprices. His experience with himself that he dreaded. Should he alGodolphin had taught him that, and his ways be able to bear and ear, as he experience with Godolphin in the con- felt she would, with all her variableness struction of his play could be nothing to and turning? The question did not put what he must undergo at rehearsals and in itself in words, and neither did his conthe effort to adapt his work to a company. viction that his relation to the theatre was He reminded himself that Shakespeare doubled in difficulty through her. But he even must have undergone all that. But perceived that she had no love for the this did not console him. He was himself, drama, and only a love for his love of it ; and what another, the greatest, had suf- and sometimes he vaguely suspected that fered, would not save him. Besides, it was if he had been in business she would have not the drama merely that Maxwell loved; been as fond of business as she was of the it was not making plays alone; it was drama. He never perhaps comprehended causing the life that he had known to speak her ideal, and how it could include an exfrom the stage, and to teach there its se- plicit and somewhat noisy devotion to the rious and important lesson. In the last aims of his ambition, because it was his, analysis he was a moralist, and more a and a patronizing reservation in regard to moralist than he imagined. To enforce, in the ambition itself. But this was quite the vividest and most palpable form, what possible with Louise, just as it was possihe had thought true, it might be worth ble for her to have had a humble personal while to endure all the trials that he must; joy in giving herself to him, while she had but at that moment he did not think so ; a distinct social sense of the sacrifice she and he did not dare submit his misgiving had made in marrying him. In herself she to his wife.
looked up to him; as her father's and mothThey had now been six months married, er's daughter, as the child of her circumand if he had allowed himself to face the stance, there is no doubt she looked down fact he must have owned that, though they upon him. But neither of these attitudes loved each other so truly, and he had held in their common life. Love may or known moments of exquisite, of incredible may not level ranks, but marriage unquesrapture, he had been as little happy as in tionably does, and is the one form of abany half year he had lived. He never solute equality. The Maxwells did not formulated his wife's character, or defined take themselves or each other objectively ; the precise relation she bore to his life ; if they loved and hated, they made war and he could have been challenged to do so, made peace, without any sense of the difhe would have said that she was the whole ference or desert that might have been of life to him, and that she was the most apparent to the spectators. delightful woman in the world.
Maxwell had never been so near the He tasted to its last sweetness the love standpoint of the impartial observer as now of loving her and of being loved by her. when he confronted the question of what At the same time there was an obscure he should do, with a heart twice burdened stress upon him which he did not trace to by the question whether his wife would her at once ; a trouble in his thoughts not make it hard for him to do it, whatwhich, if he could have seen it clearly, ever it was. He thought, with dark fore
boding, of the difficulties he should have to her filled his heart. Then he heard her smooth out for her if it ever came to a pro- voice saying, “ Well, don't wake him, poor duction of the piece. The best thing that boy!” could happen, perhaps, would be its rejection, final and total, by all possible mana
XVI gers and actors ; for she would detest any one who took the part of Salome, and would MAXWELL opened his eyes, and found hold him responsible for all she should the maid lightly escaping from the room. suffer from it.
He perceived that he had slept all night He recurred again to what he had felt on the lounge, and he sent a cheery hail so strongly himself, and what Grayson into his wife's room, and then followed it had suggested, and thought how he could to tell her how he had thought it all out. free himself from fealty to her by cutting She was as glad as he was ; she applauded out the whole love-business from his play. his plan to the ceiling; and he might not But that would be very hard. The thing have thought of her accident if he had had now knitted itself in one texture in not seen presently that she was eating her his mind, and though he could sever the breakfast in bed. ties that bound the parts together, it would Then he asked after her ankle, and she take from the piece the great element of said, “Oh, that's perfectly well, or the charm. It was not symmetrical as it stood, same as perfectly. There's no pain at all, but it was not two distinct motives ; the there, to speak of, and I shall get up to motives had blended, and they really be- luncheon. You needn't mind me any longed to each other. He would have to
If you haven't taken
your death invent some other love-business if he cut of cold sleeping there on the lounge this out, but still it could be done. Then it * I haven't.” suddenly flashed upon him that there was “I want you to go down town to some something easier yet, and that was to aban- manager with your play, and get some don the notion of getting his piece played paper, the kind I like; and then, after at all, and to turn it into a novel. He could lunch, we'll begin turning it into a novel, giveit narrative form without much trouble, from your copy. It will be so easy for you if any, beyond that of copying it, and it that you can dictate, and I'll do the writwould be thought a very dramatic story. ing, and we'll work it up together. Shall He saw instantly how he could keep and you like collaborating with me?" even enhance all the charm of the love
" Ah! business as it stood, in a novel ; and in his “ It will be our story, and I shall like revulsion of feeling he wished to tell his wife. twice as well as if it were a play. We shall He made a movement toward the door of be independent of the theatre, that's one her room, but he heard the even breath- satisfaction ; they can take the play, if ing of her sleep, and he stopped and flung they like, but it will be perfectly indifferent himself on the lounge to think. It was such to us. I shall help you get in all those a happy solution of the whole affair! He nice touches that you said you
could never need not even cease trying with managers, get into a play, like that green light in the for he could use the copy of the play that woods. I know just how we shall manage Godolphin had returned for that, and he that love business, and we sha'n't have any could use the copy he had always kept horror of an actress interpreting our infor recasting it in narrative. By the time spirations to the public. We'll play Atthat he had got his play back from the last land and Salome ourselves. We'll—ow !" manager he would have his novel ready She had given her foot a twist in the exfor the first publisher. In the meantime citement and she fell back on the pillow he should be writing his letters for the rather faint. But she instantly recovered Abstract, and not consuming all his little herself with a laugh, and she hurried him savings.
away to his breakfast, and then away with The relief from the stress upon him was his play. He would rather have stayed delicious. He lay at rest and heard the and begun turning it into a story at once. soft breathing of his wife from the other But she would not let him ; she said, it room, and an indescribable tenderness for would be a loss of time, and she should
fret a good deal more to have him there must not do anything wrong. Something with her, than to have him away, for she must be done, however, right or wrong, should know he was just staying to cheer and she decided that a very formal note in her up.
the third person would involve the least When he was gone she sent for what- moral trespass. She fixed upon these terms, ever papers the maid could find in the par- after several experiments, almost weeping lor, so that she need not think of him in at the time they cost her, when every mothe amusement she would get out of them. ment was precious : Among the rest was that dramatic newspaper which caught her eye first, with the Mr. Brice Maxwell writes to Mr. L. effigy of a very dramatized young woman Sterne and begs to inform him that he has whose portrait filled the whole first page. a play which he believes will meet the reLouise abhorred her, but with a novel quirements of Mr. Sterne, as stated in his sense of security in the fact that Maxwell's advertisement in the “ Professional Regisplay was going so soon to be turned into ter" of November the tenth. Mr. Maxwell a story ; and she felt personally aloof from asks the favor of an interview with Mr. all the people who had dragged him down Sterne at any time and place that Mr. Sterne with a sense of complicity in their profes- may appoint. sional cards. She found them neither so droll nor so painful as he had, but she was It seemed to her that this violated no very willing to turn from them, and she law of man or God, or if it did the exiwas giving the paper a parting glance be- gency was such that the action could be fore dropping it, when she was arrested by forgiven, if not justified. She ransacked an advertisement which made her start : Maxwell's desk for a special delivery
stamp, and sent the letter out beyond reWANTED.-A drama for prominent star ;
call ; and then it occurred to her that its light comic and emotional ; star part must em. body situations for the display of intense effects. opening terms were too much those of a Address L. STERNE, this office.
lady addressing a seamstress ; but after a
good deal of anguish on this point she A series of effects as intense as the ad- comforted herself with the hope that a vertiser could have desired in a drama fol- man would not know the form, or at least lowed one another in the mind of Louise. would not suspect another man of using She now wildly reproached herself that she it offensively. had, however unwittingly, sent her hus- She passed the time till Maxwell came band out of reach for four or five hours, back, in doubt whether to tell him what when his whole future might depend up- she had done. There was no reason why on his instantly answering this notice. she should not, except that he might have Whether he had already seen the notice seen the advertisement and decided not to and rashly decided to ignore it, or had not answer it for some reason ; but in that seen it, he might involve himself with some case it might be said that he ought to have manager irretrievably before he could be spoken to her about it. She told him got at with a demand which seemed spe- everything at once, but there were many cifically framed to describe his play. She things that he did not tell her till long afwas in despair that there was no means of terward ; it would be a good thing to let sending a messenger-boy after him with him realize how that felt; be les it would any chance of finding him. The light be a pleasure to keep it and let it burst comic reliefs which the advertiser would upon him, if that L. Sterne, whoever he have wished to give the dark phases of her was, asked to see the play. In any case, mood were suggested by her reckless en- it would not be a great while that she need ergy in whirling herself into her dressing- keep from him what she had done, but at gown, and hopping out to Maxwell's desk sight of him when he came in she could in the other room, where she dashed off a hardly be silent. He was gloomy and disnote in reply to the advertisement in her pirited, and he confessed that his pleasant husband's name, and then checked herself experience with Grayson had not been rewith the reflection that she had no right to peated with the other managers. They sign his name: even in such a cause she had all been civil enough, and he had