Bab: A Sub-Deb
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Part 3 out of 6
"That's just it. His bathing trunks are there."
"Well, he won't go far WITHOUT them!"
"He's gone so far I can't locate him."
I heard Mrs. Beecher get up.
"Are you in ernest, Will?" she said. "Do you mean that he has gone
without a Stich of clothes, and can't be found?"
Mrs. Patten gave a sort of screach.
"You don't think--oh Will, he's so tempermental. You don't think
he's drowned himself?"
"No such luck," said Mrs. Beecher, in a cold tone. I hated her for
it. True, he had decieved me. He was not as I had thought him. In
our to conversations he had not mentioned his wife, leaveing me to
beleive him free to love "where he listed," as the poet says.
"There are a few clues," said Mr. Patten. "He got out by means of
a wire hairpin, for one thing. And he took the manuscript with him,
which he'd hardly have done if he meant to drown himself. Or even
if, as we fear, he had no Pockets. He has smoked a lot of
cigarettes out of a candy box, which I did not supply him, and he
left behind a bath towle that does not, I think, belong to us."
"I should think he would have worn it," said Mrs. Beecher, in a
"Here's the bath towle," Mr. Patten went on. "You may recognize the
initials. I don't."
"B. P. A.," said Mrs. Beecher. "Look here, don't they call
that--that fliberty-gibbet next door `Barbara'?"
"The little devil!" said Mr. Patten, in a raging tone. "She let him
out, and of course he's done no work on the Play or anything. I'd
like to choke her."
Nobody spoke then, and my heart beat fast and hard. I leave it to
anybody, how they'd like to be shut in a closet and threatened with
a violent Death from without. Would or would they not ever be the
same person afterwards?
"I'll tell you what I'd do," said the Beecher woman. "I'd climb up
the back of father, next door, and tell him what his little
Daughter has done, Because I know she's mixed up in it, towle or no
towle. Reg is always sappy when they're seventeen. And she's been
looking moon-eyed at him for days."
Well, the Pattens went away, and Mrs. Beecher manacured her Nails,--
I could hear her fileing them--and sang around and was not much
concerned, although for all she knew he was in the briney deep, a
corpse. How true it is that "the paths of glory lead but to the grave."
I got very tired and much hoter, and I sat down on the floor. After
what seemed like hours, Mrs. Patten came back, all breathless, and
"The girl's gone to, Clare."
"Next door. If you want Excitement, they've got it. The mother is
in hysterics and there's a party searching the beech for her body,
The truth is, of course, if that towle means anything"
"That Reg has run away with her, of course," said Mrs. Beecher, in
a resined tone. "I wish he would grow up and learn somthing. He's
becoming a nusance. And when there are so many Interesting People
to run away with, to choose that chit!"
Yes, she said that, And in my retreat I could but sit and listen,
and of course perspire, which I did freely. Mrs. Patten went away,
after talking about the "scandle" for some time. And I sat and
thought of the beech being searched for my Body, a thought which
filled my Eyes with tears of pity for what might have been, I still
hoped Mrs. Beecher would go to bed, but she did not. Through the
key hole I could see her with a Book, reading, and not caring at
all that Mr. Beecher's body, and mine to, might be washing about in
the cruel Sea, or have eloped to New York.
I lothed her.
At last I must have slept, for a bell rang, and there I was still
in the closet, and she was ansering it.
"Arrested?" she said, "Well, I should think he'd better be, If what
you say about clothing is true.... Well, then--what's he arrested
for?... Oh, kidnaping! Well, if I'm any judge, they ought to arrest
the Archibald girl for kidnaping HIM. No, don't bother me with it
tonight. I'll try to read myself to sleep."
So this was Marriage! Did she flee to her unjustly acused husband's
side and comfort him? Not she. She went to bed.
At daylight, being about smotherd, I opened the closet door and
drew a breath of fresh air. Also I looked at her, and she was
asleep, with her hair in patent wavers. Ye gods!
The wife of Reginald Beecher thus to distort her looks at night! I
could not bare it.
I averted my eyes, and on my tiptoes made for the Window.
My sufferings were over. In a short time I had slid down and was
making my way through the dewey morn toward my home. Before the sun
was up, or more than starting, I had climbed to my casement by
means of a wire trellis, and put on my ROBE DE NUIT. But before I
settled to sleep I went to the pantrey and there satisfied the
pangs of nothing since Breakfast the day before. All the lights
seemed to be on, on the lower floor, which I considered wastful of
Tanney, the butler. But being sleepy, gave it no further thought.
And so to bed, as the great English dairy-keeper, Pepys, had said
in his dairy.
It seemed but a few moments later that I heard a scream, and
opening my eyes, saw Leila in the doorway. She screamed again, and
mother came and stood beside her. Although very drowsy, I saw that
they still wore their dinner clothes.
They stared as if transfixed, and then mother gave a low moan, and
said to Sis:
"That unfortunate man has been in Jail all night."
And Sis said: "Jane Raleigh is crazy. That's all." Then they looked
at me, and mother burst into tears. But Sis said:
"You little imp! Don't tell me you've been in that bed all night.
I KNOW BETTER."
I closed my eyes. They were not of the understanding sort, and
never would be.
"If that's the way you feel I shall tell you nothing," I said wearily.
"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" mother said, in a slow and dreadful voice.
Well, I saw then that a part of the Truth must be disclosed,
especialy since she has for some time considered sending me to a
convent, although without cause, and has not done so for fear of my
taking the veil. So I told her this. I said:
"I spent the night shut in a clothes closet, but where is not my
secret. I cannot tell you."
"Barbara! You MUST tell me."
"It is not my secret alone, mother."
She caught at the foot of the bed.
"Who was shut with you in that closet?" she demanded in a shaking
voice. "Barbara, there is another wreched Man in all this. It could
not have been Mr. Beecher, because he has been in the Station House
I sat up, leaning on one elbow, and looked at her ernestly.
"Mother" I said, "you have done enough damage, interfering with
Careers--not only mine, but another's imperiled now by not haveing
a last Act. I can tell you no More, except"--here my voice took on
a deep and intence fiber--"that I have done nothing to be ashamed
of, although unconventional."
Mother put her hands to her Face, and emited a low, despairing cry.
"Come," Leila said to her, as to a troubled child. "Come, and
Hannah can use the vibrater on your spine."
So she went, but before she left she said:
"Barbara, if you will only promise to be a good girl, and give us
a chance to live this Scandle down, I will give you anything you
"Mother!" Sis said, in an angry tone.
"What can I do, Leila?" mother said. "The girl is atractive, and
probably men will always be following her and making trouble. Think
of last Winter. I know it is Bribery, but it is better than Scandle."
"I want nothing, mother," I said, in a low, heartstricken tone,
"save to be allowed to live my own life and to have a Career."
"My Heavens," mother said, "if I hear that word again, I'll go crazy."
So she went away, and Sis came over and looked down at me.
"Well!" she said. "What's happened anyhow? Of course you've been up
to some Mischeif, but I don't suppose anybody will ever know the
Truth of it. I was hopeing you'd make it this time and get married,
and stop worrying us."
"Go away, please, and let me Sleep," I said. "As to getting
married, under no circumstances did I expect to marry him. He has
a Wife already. Personally, I think she's a totle loss. She wears
patent wavers at night, and sleeps with her Mouth open. But who am
I to interfere with the marriage bond? I never have and never will."
But Sis only gave me a wild look and went away.
This, dear readers and schoolmates, is the true story of my meeting
with and parting from Reginald Beecher, the playwright. Whatever
the papers may say, it is not true, except the Fact that he was
recognized by Jane Raleigh, who knew the suit he wore, when in the
act of pawning his ring to get money to escape from his captors (I.
E., The Pattens) with. It was the necktie which struck her first,
and also his gilty expression. As I was missing by that time, Jane
put two and two together and made an Elopement.
Sometimes I sit and think things over, my fingers wandering "over the
ivory keys" of the typewriter they gave me to promise not to elope
with anybody--although such a thing is far from my mind--and the
World seems a cruel and unjust place, especialy to those with ambition.
For Reginald Beecher is no longer my ideal, my Night of the pen. I
will tell about that in a few words.
Jane Raleigh and I went to a matinee late in September before
returning to our institutions of learning. Jane cluched my arm as
we looked at our programs and pointed to something.
How my heart beat! For whatever had come between us, I was still
loyal to him.
This was a new play by him!
"Ah," my heart seemed to say, "now again you will hear his dear
words, although spoken by alien mouths.
The love seens----"
I could not finish. Although married and forever beyond me, I could
still hear his manly tones as issueing from the door of the
Bath-house. I thrilled with excitement. As the curtain rose I
closed my eyes in ecstacy.
"Bab!" Jane said, in a quavering tone.
I looked. What did I see? The bath-house itself, the very one. And
as I stared I saw a girl, wearing her hair as I wear mine, cross
the stage with a Bunch of Keys in her hand, and say to the
"Can't I do somthing to help? I do so want to help you."
MY VERY WORDS.
And a voice from beyond the bath-house door said:
I could bare no more. Heedless of Jane's Protests and Anguish, I
got up and went out, into the light of day. My body was bent with
misry. Because at last I knew that, like mother and all the rest,
HE TO DID NOT UNDERSTAND ME, AND NEVER WOULD. To him I was but
material, the stuff that plays are made of!
And now we know that he never could know,
And did not understand.
Ignoring Jane's observation that the tickets had cost two dollars
each, I gathered up the scattered Skeins of my life together, and fled.
HER DIARY: BEING THE DAILY JOURNAL OF THE SUB-DEB
JANUARY 1st. I have today recieved this dairy from home, having
come back a few days early to make up a French Condition.
Weather, clear and cold.
New Year's dinner. Roast chicken (Turkey being very expencive),
mashed Turnips, sweet Potatos and minse Pie.
It is my intention to record in this book the details of my Daily
Life, my thoughts which are to sacred for utterence, and my
ambitions. Because who is there to whom I can speak them? I am
surounded by those who exist for the mere Pleasures of the day, or
whose lives are bound up in Resitations.
For instance, at dinner today, being mostly faculty and a few girls
who live in the Far West, the conversation was entirely on buying
a Phonograph for dancing because the music teacher has the meazles
and is quarentined in the infirmery. And on Miss Everett's couzin,
who has written a play.
When one looks at Miss Everett, one recognises that no couzin of
hers could write a play.
New Year's resolution--to help some one every day. Today helped
Mademoiselle to put on her rubers.
JANUARY 2ND. Today I wrote my French theme, beginning, "Les hommes
songent moins a leur AME QU A leur CORPS. Mademoiselle sent for me
and objected, saying that it was not a theme for a young girl, and
that I must write a new one, on the subject of pears. How is one to
develope in this atmosphere?
Some of the girls are coming back. They stragle in, and put the
favers they got at Cotillions on the dresser, and their holaday
gifts, and each one relates some amorus experience while at home.
Dear dairy, is there somthing wrong with me, that Love has passed
me by? I have had offers of Devotion but none that apealed to me,
being mostly either to young or not atracting me by physicle charm.
I am not cold, although frequently acused of it, Beneath my fridgid
Exterior beats a warm heart. I intend to be honest in this dairy,
and so I admit it. But, except for passing Fansies--one being,
alas, for a married man--I remain without the Divine Passion.
What must it be to thrill at the aproach of the loved Form? To
harken to each ring of the telephone bell, in the hope that, if it
is not the Idolised Voice, it is at least a message from it? To
waken in the morning and, looking around the familiar room, to
muze: "Today I may see him--on the way to the Post Office, or
rushing past in his racing car." And to know that at the same
moment HE to is muzing: "Today I may see her, as she exercises
herself at basket ball, or mounts her horse for a daily canter!"
Although I have no horse. The school does not care for them,
considering walking the best exercise.
Have flunked the French again, Mademoiselle not feeling well, and
marking off for the smallest Thing.
Today's helpfull Deed--asisted one of the younger girls with her spelling.
JANUARY 4TH. Miss Everett's couzin's play is coming here. The
school is to have free tickets, as they are "trying it on the dog."
Which means seeing if it is good enough for the large cities.
We have desided, if Everett marks us well in English from now on, to
aplaud it, but if she is unpleasent, to sit still and show no interest.
JANUARY 5TH, 6TH, 7TH, 8TH. Bad weather, which is depressing to one
of my Temperment. Also boil on noze.
A few helpfull Deeds--nothing worth putting down.
JANUARY 9TH. Boil cut.
Again I can face my Image in my mirror, and not shrink.
Mademoiselle is sick and no French. MISERICORDE!
Helpfull Deed--sent Mademoiselle some fudge, but this school does
not encourage kindness. Reprimanded for cooking in room. School
sympathises with me. We will go to Miss Everett's couzin's play,
but we will dam it with faint praise.
JANUARY 10TH. I have written this Date, and now I sit back and
regard it. As it is impressed on this white paper, so, Dear Dairy,
is it written on my Soul. To others it may be but the tenth of
January. To me it is the day of days. Oh, tenth of January! Oh,
Monday. Oh, day of my awakning!
It is now late at night, and around me my schoolmates are sleeping
the sleep of the young and Heart free. Lights being off, I am
writing by the faint luminocity of a candle. Propped up in bed, my
mackinaw coat over my ROBE DE NUIT for warmth, I sit and dream. And
as I dream I still hear in my ears his final words: "My darling. My
How wonderfull to have them said to one Night after Night, the
while being in his embrase, his tender arms around one! I refer to
the heroine in the play, to whom he says the above raptureous words.
Coming home from the theater tonight, still dazed with the
revelation of what I am capable of, once aroused, I asked Miss
Everett if her couzin had said anything about Mr. Egleston being in
love with the Leading Character. She observed:
"No. But he may be. She is very pretty."
"Possably," I remarked. "But I should like to see her in the
morning, when she gets up."
All the girls were perfectly mad about Mr. Egleston, although
pretending merely to admire his Art. But I am being honest, as I
agreed at the start, and now I know, as I sit here with the soft,
although chilly breeses of the night blowing on my hot brow, now I
know that this thing that has come to me is Love. Morover, it is
the Love of my Life. He will never know it, but I am his. He is
exactly my Ideal, strong and tall and passionate. And clever, to.
He said some awfuly clever things.
I beleive that he saw me. He looked in my direction. But what does
it matter? I am small, insignifacant. He probably thinks me a mere
child, although seventeen.
What matters, oh Dairy, is that I am at last in Love. It is
hopeless. Just now, when I had written that word, I buried my face
in my hands. There is no hope. None. I shall never see him again.
He passed out of my life on the 11:45 train. But I love him. MON
DIEU, how I love him!
JANUARY 11TH. We are going home. WE ARE GOING HOME. WE ARE GOING
HOME. WE ARE GOING HOME!
Mademoiselle has the meazles.
JANUARY 13TH. The Familey managed to restrain its ecstacy on seeing
me today. The house is full of people, as they are having a
Dinner-Dance tonight. Sis had moved into my room, to let one of the
visitors have hers, and she acted in a very unfilial manner when
she came home and found me in it.
"Well!" she said. "Expelled at last?"
"Not at all," I replied in a lofty manner. "I am here through no
fault of my own. And I'd thank you to have Hannah take your clothes
off my bed."
She gave me a bitter glanse.
"I never knew it to fail!" she said. "Just as everything is fixed,
and we're recovering from you're being here for the Holadays, you
come back and stir up a lot of trouble. What brought you, anyhow?"
She snached up her ball gown.
"Very well," she said. "I'll see that you're quarentined, Miss
Barbara, all right. And If you think you're going to slip
downstairs tonight after dinner and WORM yourself into this party,
I'll show you."
She flounsed out, and shortly afterwards mother took a minute from
the Florest, and came upstairs.
"I do hope you are not going to be troublesome, Barbara," she said.
"You are too young to understand, but I want everything to go well
tonight, and Leila ought not to be worried."
"Can't I dance a little?"
"You can sit on the stairs and watch." She looked fidgity. "I--I'll
send up a nice dinner, and you can put on your dark blue, with a
fresh collar, and--it ought to satisfy you, Barbara, that you are
at home and posibly have brought the meazles with you, without
making a lot of fuss. When you come out----"
"Oh, very well," I murmured, in a resined tone. "I don't care
enough about it to want to dance with a lot of Souses anyhow."
"Barbara!" said mother.
"I suppose you have some one on the String for her," I said, with
the ABANDON of my thwarted Hopes. "Well, I hope she gets him. Because
if not I darsay I shall be kept in the Cradle for years to come."
"You will come out when vou reach a proper Age," she said, "if your
Impertanence does not kill me off before my Time."
Dear Dairy, I am fond of my mother, and I felt repentent and stricken.
So I became more agreable, although feeling all the time that she
does not and never will understand my Temperment. I said:
"I don't care about Society, and you know it, mother. If you'll
keep Leila out of this room, which isn't much but is my Castle
while here, I'll probably go to bed early."
"Barbara, sometimes I think you have no afection for your Sister."
I had agreed to honesty January first, so I replied.
"I have, of course, mother. But I am fonder of her while at school
than at home. And I should be a better Sister if not condemed to
her old things, including hats which do not suit my Tipe."
Mother moved over magestically to the door and shut it. Then she
came and stood over me.
"I've come to the conclusion, Barbara," she said, "to appeal to
your better Nature. Do you wish Leila to be married and happy?"
"I've just said, mother----"
"Because a very interesting thing is happening," said mother,
trying to look playfull. "I--a chance any girl would jump at."
So here I sit, Dear Dairy, while there are sounds of revelery
below, and Sis jumps at her chance, which is the Honorable Page
Beres ford, who is an Englishman visiting here because he has a
weak heart and can't fight. And father is away on business, and I
am all alone.
I have been looking for a rash, but no luck.
Ah me, how the strains of the orkestra recall that magic night in
the theater when Adrian Egleston looked down into my eyes and
although ostensably to an actress, said to my beating heart: "My
Darling! My Woman!"
3 A. M. I wonder if I can controll my hands to write.
In mother's room across the hall I can hear furious Voices, and I
know that Leila is begging to have me sent to Switzerland. Let her
beg. Switzerland is not far from England, and in England----
Here I pause to reflect a moment. How is this thing possible? Can
I love to members of the Other Sex? And if such is the Case, how
can I go on with my Life? Better far to end it now, than to
perchance marry one, and find the other still in my heart. The
terrable thought has come to me that I am fickel.
Fickel or polygamus--which?
Dear Dairy, I have not been a good girl. My New Year's Resolutions
have gone to airey nothing.
The way they went was this: I had settled down to a quiet evening,
spent with his beloved picture which I had clipped from a
newspaper. (Adrian's. I had not as yet met the other.) And, as I
sat in my chamber, I grew more and more desolate. I love Life,
although pessamistic at times. And it seemed hard that I should be
there, in exile, while my Sister, only 2O months older, was jumping
at her chance below.
At last I decided to try on one of Sis's frocks and see how I
looked in it. I though, if it looked all right, I might hang over
the stairs and see what I then scornfully termed "His Nibs." Never
again shall I so call him.
I got an evening gown from Sis's closet, and it fitted me quite
well, although tight at the waste for me, owing to Basket Ball. It
was also to low, so that when I had got it all hooked about four
inches of my LINGERIE showed. As it had been hard as anything to
hook, I was obliged to take the scizzors and cut off the said
LINGERIE. The result was good, although very DECOLLTE. I have no
bones in my neck, or practicaly so.
And now came my moment of temptation. How easy to put my hair up on
my head, and then, by the servant's staircase, make my way to the
I, however, considered that I looked pale, although Mature. I
looked at least nineteen. So I went into Sis's room, which was full
of evening wraps but emty, and put on a touch of rouge. With that
and my eyebrows blackend, I would not have known myself, had I not
been certain it was I and no other.
I then made my way down the Back Stairs.
Ah me, Dear Dairy, was that but a few hours ago? Is it but a short
time since Mr. Beresford was sitting at my feet, thinking me a
DEBUTANTE, and staring soulfully into my very heart? Is it but a
matter of minutes since Leila found us there, and in a manner which
revealed the true feeling she has for me, ordered me to go upstairs
and take off Maidie Mackenzie's gown?
(Yes, it was not Leila's after all. I had forgotten that Maidie had
taken her room. And except for pulling it somewhat at the waste, I
am sure I did not hurt the old thing.)
I shall now go to bed and dream. Of which one I know not. My heart
is full. Romanse has come at last into my dull and dreary life.
Below, the revelers have gone. The flowers hang their herbacious
heads. The music has flowed away into the river of the past. I am
alone with my Heart.
JANUARY 14TH. How complacated my Life grows, Dear Dairy! How full
and yet how incomplete! How everything begins and nothing ends!
HE is in town.
I discovered it at breakfast. I knew I was in for it, and I got
down early, counting on mother breakfasting in bed. I would have
felt better if father had been at home, because he understands
somwhat the way They keep me down. But he was away about an order
for shells (not sea; war), and I was to bear my chiding alone. I
had eaten my fruit and serial, and was about to begin on sausage,
when mother came in, having risen early from her slumbers to take
the decorations to the Hospital.
"So here you are, wreched child!" she said, giving me one of her coldest
looks. "Barbara, I wonder if you ever think whither you are tending."
I ate a sausage.
What, Dear Dairy, was there to say?
"To disobey!" she went on. "To force yourself on the atention of
Mr. Beresford, in a borowed dress, with your eyelashes blackend and
your face painted----"
"I should think, mother," I observed, "that if he wants to marry
into this family, and is not merely being dragged into it, that he
ought to see the worst at the start." She glired, without speaking.
"You know," I continued, "it would be a dreadfull thing to have the
Ceramony performed and everything to late to back out, and then
have ME Sprung on him. It wouldn't be honest, would it?"
"Barbara!" she said in a terrable tone. "First disobedience, and
now sarcasm. If your father was only here! I feel so alone and helpless."
Her tone cut me to the Heart. After all she was my own mother, or
at least maintained so, in spite of numerous questions enjendered
by our lack of resemblence, moral as well as physicle. But I did
not offer to embrase her, as she was at that moment poring out her
tea. I hid my misery behind the morning paper, and there I beheld
the fated vision. Had I felt any doubt as to the state of my
afections it was settled then. My Heart leaped in my bosom. My face
sufused. My hands trembled so that a piece of sausage slipped from
my fork. HIS PICTURE LOOKED OUT AT ME WITH THAT WELL REMEMBERED
GAZE FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE MORNING PAPER.
Oh, Adrian, Adrian!
Here in the same city as I, looking out over perchance the same newspaper
to perchance the same sun, wondering--ah, what was he wondering?
I was not even then, in that first Rapture, foolish about him. I
knew that to him I was probably but a tender memory. I knew, to,
that he was but human and probably very concieted. On the other
hand, I pride myself on being a good judge of character, and he
carried Nobility in every linament. Even the obliteration of one
eye by the printer could only hamper but not destroy his dear face.
"Barbara," mother said sharply. "I am speaking. Are you being sulkey?"
"Pardon me, mother," I said in my gentlest tones. "I was but dreaming."
And as she made no reply, but rang the bell visciously, I went on,
pursuing my line of thought. "Mother, were you ever in Love?"
"Love! What sort of Love?"
I sat up and stared at her.
"Is there more than one sort?" I demanded.
"There is a very silly, schoolgirl Love," she said, eyeing me,
"that people outgrow and blush to look back on."
"Do I what?"
"Do you blush to look back on it?"
Mother rose and made a sweeping gesture with her right arm.
"I wash my hands of you!" she said. "You are impertanent and
indelacate. At your age I was an inocent child, not troubleing with
things that did not concern me. As for Love, I had never heard of
it until I came out."
"Life must have burst on you like an explosion," I observed. "I
suppose you thought that babies----"
"Silense!" mother shreiked. And seeing that she persisted in
ignoring the real things of Life while in my presence, I went out,
cluching the precious paper to my Heart.
JANUARY 15TH. I am alone in my BOUDOIR (which is realy the old
schoolroom, and used now for a sowing room).
My very soul is sick, oh Dairy. How can I face the truth? How write
it out for my eyes to see? But I must. For SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.
The play is failing.
The way I discovered it was this. Yesterday, being short of money,
I sold my amethist pin to Jane, one of the housemaids, for two
dollars, throwing in a lace coller when she seemed doubtful, as I
had a special purpose for useing funds. Had father been at home I
could have touched him, but mother is diferent.
I then went out to buy a frame for his picture, which I had
repaired by drawing in the other eye, although licking the Fire and
passionate look of the originle. At the shop I was compeled to show
it, to buy a frame to fit. The clerk was almost overpowered.
"Do you know him?" she asked, in a low and throbing tone.
"Not intimitely," I replied.
"Don't you love the Play?" she said. "I'm crazy about it. I've been
back three times. Parts of it I know off by heart. He's very
handsome. That picture don't do him justise."
I gave her a searching glanse. Was it posible that, without any
acquaintance with him whatever, she had fallen in love with him? It
was indeed. She showed it in every line of her silly face.
I drew myself up hautily. "I should think it would be very
expencive, going so often," I said, in a cool tone.
"Not so very. You see, the play is a failure, and they give us
girls tickets to dress the house. Fill it up, you know. Half the
girls in the store are crazy about Mr. Egleston."
My world shuddered about me. What--fail! That beautiful play,
ending "My darling, my woman"? It could not be. Fate would not be
cruel. Was there no apreciation of the best in Art? Was it indeed
true, as Miss Everett has complained, although not in these exact
words, that the Theater was only supported now by chorus girls'
legs, dancing about in uter ABANDON?
With an expression of despair on my features, I left the store,
carrying the Frame under my arm.
One thing is certain. I must see the play again, and judge it with
a criticle eye. IF IT IS WORTH SAVING, IT MUST BE SAVED.
JANUARY 16TH. Is it only a day since I saw you, Dear Dairy? Can so
much have happened in the single lapse of a few hours? I look in my
mirror, and I look much as before, only with perhaps a touch of
paller. Who would not be pale?
I have seen HIM again, and there is no longer any doubt in my
heart. Page Beresford is atractive, and if it were not for
circumstances as they are I would not anser for the consequences.
But things ARE as they are. There is no changing that. And I have
reid my own heart.
I am not fickel. On the contrary, I am true as steal.
I have put his Picture under my mattress, and have given Jane my
gold cuff pins to say nothing when she makes my bed. And now, with
the house full of People downstairs acting in a flippent and noisy
maner, I shall record how it all happened.
My finantial condition was not improved this morning, father having
not returned. But I knew that I must see the Play, as mentioned
above, even if it became necesary to borow from Hannah. At last,
seeing no other way, I tried this, but failed.
"What for?" she said, in a suspicous way."
"I need it terrably, Hannah," I said.
"You'd ought to get it from your mother, then, Miss Barbara. The
last time I gave you some you paid it back in postage stamps, and
I haven't written a letter since. They're all stuck together now,
and a totle loss."
"Very well," I said, fridgidly. "But the next time you break
"How much do you want?" she asked.
I took a quick look at her, and I saw at once that she had desided
to lend it to me and then run and tell mother, beginning, "I think
you'd ought to know, Mrs. Archibald----"
"Nothing doing, Hannah," I said, in a most dignafied manner. "But
I think you are an old Clam, and I don't mind saying so."
I was now thrown on my own resourses, and very bitter. I seemed to
have no Friends, at a time when I needed them most, when I was, as
one may say, "standing with reluctent feet, where the brook and
Tonight I am no longer sick of Life, as I was then. My throws of
anguish have departed. But I was then uterly reckless, and even
considered running away and going on the stage myself.
I have long desired a Career for mvself, anyhow. I have a good
mind, and learn easily, and I am not a Paracite. The idea of being
such has always been repugnent to me, while the idea of a few
dollars at a time doaled out to one of independant mind is galling.
And how is one to remember what one has done with one's Allowence,
when it is mostly eaten up by Small Lones, Carfare, Stamps, Church
Collection, Rose Water and Glicerine, and other Mild Cosmetics, and
the aditional Food necesary when one is still growing?
To resume, Dear Dairy; having uterly failed with Hannah, and having
shortly after met Sis on the stairs, I said to her, in a sisterly
tone, intimite rather than fond:
"I darsay you can lend me five dollars for a day or so."
"I darsay I can. But I won't," was her cruel reply.
"Oh, very well," I said breifly. But I could not refrain from
making a grimase at her back, and she saw me in a mirror.
"When I think," she said heartlessly, "that that wreched school may
be closed for weeks, I could scream."
"Well, scream!" I replied. "You'll scream harder if I've brought
the meazles home on me. And if you're laid up, you can say good-bye
to the Dishonorable. You've got him tide, maybe," I remarked, "but
not thrown as yet."
(A remark I had learned from one of the girls, Trudie Mills, who
comes from Montana.)
I was therfore compeled to dispose of my silver napkin ring from
school. Jane was bought up, she said, and I sold it to the cook for
fifty cents and half a minse pie although baked with our own materials.
All my Fate, therfore, hung on a paltrey fifty cents.
I was torn with anxiety. Was it enough? Could I, for fifty cents,
steel away from the sordid cares of life, and lose myself in
obliviousness, gazing only it his dear Face, listening to his dear
and softly modulited Voice, and wondering if, as his eyes swept the
audiance, they might perchance light on me and brighten with a
momentary gleam in their unfathomable Depths? Only this and nothing
more, was my expectation.
How diferent was the reality!
Having ascertained that there was a matinee, I departed at an early
hour after luncheon, wearing my blue velvet with my fox furs. White
gloves and white topped shoes completed my outfit, and, my own
CHAPEAU showing the effect of a rainstorm on the way home from
church while away at school, I took a chance on one of Sis's, a
perfectly madening one of rose-colored velvet. As the pink made me
look pale, I added a touch of rouge.
I looked fully out, and indeed almost Second Season. I have a way
of assuming a serious and Mature manner, so that I am frequently
taken for older than I realy am. Then, taking a few roses left from
the decorations, and thrusting them carelessly into the belt of my
coat, I went out the back door, as Sis was getting ready for some
girls to Bridge, in the front of the house.
Had I felt any greif at decieving my Familey, the bridge party
would have knocked them. For, as usual, I had not been asked,
although playing a good game myself, and having on more than one
occasion won most of the money in the Upper House at school.
I was early at the theater. No one was there, and women were going
around taking covers off the seats. My fifty cents gave me a good
seat, from which I opined, alas, that the shop girl had been right
and busness was rotten. But at last, after hours of waiting, the
faint tuning of musicle instruments was heard.
From that time I lived in a daze. I have never before felt so
strange. I have known and respected the Other Sex, and indeed once
or twise been kissed by it. But I had remained Cold. My Pulses had
never flutered. I was always conserned only with the fear that
others had overseen and would perhaps tell. But now--I did not care
who would see, if only Adrian would put his arms about me. Divine
shamlessness! Brave Rapture! For if one who he could not possably
love, being so close to her in her make-up, if one who was indeed
employed to be made Love to, could submit in public to his
embrases, why should not I, who would have died for him?
These were my thoughts as the Play went on. The hours flew on
joyous feet. When Adrian came to the footlights and looking
aparently square at me, declaimed: "The World owes me a living. I
will have it," I almost swooned. His clothes were worn. He looked
hungry and ghaunt. But how true that
"Rags are royal raimant, when worn for virtue's sake."
(I shall stop here and go down to the Pantrey. I could eat no
dinner, being filled with emotion. But I must keep strong if I am
to help Adrian in his Trouble. The minse pie was excelent, but
after all pastrey does not take the place of solid food.)
LATER: I shall now go on with my recitle. As the theater was almost
emty, at the end of Act One I put on the pink hat and left it on as
though absent-minded. There was no one behind me. And, although
during Act One I had thought that he perhaps felt my presense, he
had not once looked directly at me.
But the hat captured his erant gaze, as one may say. And, after
capture, it remained on my face, so much so that I flushed and a
woman. sitting near with a very plain girl in a Skunk Coller, observed:
"Realy, it is outragous."
Now came a moment which I thrill even to recolect. For Adrian
plucked a pink rose from a vase--he was in the Milionaire' s house,
and was starving in the midst of luxury--and held it to his lips.
The rose, not the house, of course. Looking over it, he smiled
down at me.
LATER: It is midnight. I cannot sleep. Perchanse he to is lieing
awake. I am sitting at the window in my ROBE DE NUIT. Below, mother
and Sis have just come in, and Smith has slamed the door of the car
and gone back to the GARAGE. How puney is the life my Familey
leads! Nothing but eating and playing, with no Higher Thoughts.
A man has just gone by. For a moment I thought I recognised the
footstep. But no, it was but the night watchman.
JANUARY 17TH. Father still away. No money, as mother absolutely
refuses on account of Maidie Mackenzie's gown, which she had to
send away to be repaired.
JANUARY 18TH. Father still away. The Hon. sent Sis a huge bunch of
orkids today. She refused me even one. She is always tight with
flowers and candy.
JANUARY 19TH. The paper says that Adrian's Play is going to close
the end of next week. No busness. How can I endure to know that he
is sufering, and that I cannot help, even to the extent of buying
one ticket? Matinee today, and no money. Father still away.
I have tried to do a kind Deed today, feeling that perhaps it would
soften mother's heart and she would advance my Allowence. I offered
to manacure her nails for her, but she refused, saying that as
Hannah had done it for many years, she guessed she could manage now.
JANUARY 2OTH. Today I did a desparate thing, dear Dairy.
"The desparatest is the wisest course." Butler.
It is Sunday. I went to Church, and thought things over. What a
wonderfull thing it would be if I could save the play! Why should
I feel that my Sex is a handycap?
The recter preached on "The Opportunaties of Women." The Sermon
gave me courage to go on. When he said, "Women today step in where
men are afraid to tred, and bring success out of failure," I felt
that it was meant for me.
Had no money for the Plate, and mother atempted to smugle a half
dollar to me. I refused, however, as if I cannot give my own money
to the Heathen, I will give none. Mother turned pale, and the man
with the plate gave me a black look. What can he know of my reasons?
Beresford lunched with us, and as I discouraged him entirely, he
was very atentive to Sis. Mother is planing a big Wedding, and I
found Sis in the store room yesterday looking up mother's wedding veil.
No old stuff for me.
I guess Beresford is trying to forget that he kissed my hand the
other night, for he called me "Little Miss Barbara" today, meaning
little in the sense of young. I gave him a stern glanse.
"I am not any littler than the other night," I observed.
"That was merely an afectionate diminutive," he said, looking
"If you don't mind," I said coldly, "you might do as you have
hertofore--reserve vour afectionate advances until we are alone."
"Barbara!" mother said. And began quickly to talk about a Lady
Somthing or other we'd met on a train in Switzerland. Because--they
can talk until they are black in the face, dear Dairy, but it is
true we do not know any of the British Nobilaty, except the
aforementioned and the man who comes once a year with flavering
extracts, who says he is the third son of a Barronet.
Every one being out this afternoon, I suddenly had an inspiration,
and sent for Carter Brooks. I then put my hair up and put on my
blue silk, because while I do not beleive in Woman using her
femanine charm when talking busness, I do beleive that she should
look her best under any and all circumstances.
He was rather surprized not to find Sis in, as I had used her name
"I did it," I explained, "because I knew that you felt no interest
in me, and I had to see you."
He looked at me, and said:
"I'm rather flabergasted, Bab. I--what ought I to say, anyhow?"
He came very close, dear Dairy, and sudenly I saw in his eyes the
horible truth. He thought me in Love with him, and sending for him
while the Familey was out.
Words cannot paint my agony of Soul. I stepped back, but he siezed
my hand, in a caresing gesture.
"Bab!" he said. "Dear little Bab!"
Had my afections not been otherwise engaged, I should have thriled
at his accents. But, although handsome and of good familey,
although poor, I could not see it that way.
So I drew my hand away, and retreated behind a sofa.
"We must have an understanding, Carter" I Said. "I have sent for you,
but not for the reason you seem to think. I am in desparate Trouble."
He looked dumfounded.
"Trouble!" he said. "You! Why, little Bab"
"If you don't mind," I put in, rather petishly, because of not
being little, "I wish you would treat me like almost a DEBUTANTE,
if not entirely. I am not a child in arms."
"You are sweet enough to be, if the arms might be mine."
I have puzled over this, since, dear Dairy. Because there must be
some reason why men fall in Love with me. I am not ugly, but I am
not beautifull, my noze being too short. And as for clothes, I get
none except Leila's old things. But Jane Raleigh says there are
women like that. She has a couzin who has had four Husbands and is
beginning on a fifth, although not pretty and very slovenly, but
with a mass of red hair.
Are all men to be my Lovers?
"Carter," I said earnestly, "I must tell you now that I do not care
for you--in that way."
"What made you send for me, then?"
"Good gracious!" I exclaimed, losing my temper somwhat. "I can send
for the ice man without his thinking I'm crazy about him, can't I?"
"The truth is," I said, sitting down and motioning him to a seat in
my maturest manner, "I--I want some money. There are many things,
but the Money comes first."
He just sat and looked at me with his mouth open.
"Well," he said at last, "of course--I suppose you know you've come
to a Bank that's gone into the hands of a reciever. But aside from
that, Bab, it's a pretty mean trick to send for me and let me
think--well, no matter about that. How much do you want?"
"I can pay it back as soon as father comes home," I said, to
releive his mind. It is against my principals to borow money,
especialy from one who has little or none. But since I was doing
it, I felt I might as well ask for a lot.
"Could you let me have ten dollars?" I said, in a faint tone.
He drew a long breath.
"Well, I guess yes," he observed. "I thought you were going to
touch me for a hundred, anyhow. I--I suppose you wouldn't give me
a kiss and call it square."
I considered. Because after all, a kiss is not much, and ten
dollars is a good deal. But at last my better nature won out.
"Certainly not," I said coldly. "And if there is a String to it I
do not want it."
So he apologised, and came and sat beside me, without being a
nusance, and asked me what my other troubles were.
"Carter" I said, in a grave voice, "I know that you beleive me
young and incapable of Afection. But you are wrong. I am of a most
"Now see here, Bab," he said. "Be fair. If I am not to hold your
hand, or--or be what you call a nusance, don't talk like this. I am
but human," he said, "and there is somthing about you lately that--
well, go on with your story. Only, as I say, don't try me to far."
"It's like this," I explained. "Girls think they are cold and
distant, and indeed, frequently are"
"Until they meet the Right One. Then they learn that their hearts
are, as you say, but human."
"Bab," he said, sudenly turning and facing me, "an awfull thought
has come to me. You are in Love--and not with me!"
"I am in Love, and not with you," I said in tradgic tones.
I had not thought he would feel it deeply--because of having been
interested in Leila since they went out in their Perambulaters
together. But I could see it was a shock to him. He got up and
stood looking in the fire, and his shoulders shook with greif.
"So I have lost you," he said in a smothered voice. And then--"Who
is the sneaking schoundrel?"
I forgave him this, because of his being upset, and in a rapt
attatude I told him the whole story. He listened, as one in a daze.
"But I gather," he said, when at last the recitle was over, "that
you have never met the--met him."
"Not in the ordinery use of the word," I remarked. "But then it is
not an ordinery situation. We have met and we have not. Our eyes
have spoken, if not our vocal chords." Seeing his eyes on me I
added, "if you do not beleive that Soul can cry unto Soul, Carter,
I shall go no further."
"Oh!" he exclaimed. "There is more, is there? I trust it is not
painfull, because I have stood as much as I can now without
"Nothing of which I am ashamed," I said, rising to my full height.
"I have come to you for help, Carter. THAT PLAY MUST NOT FAIL."
We faced each other over those vitle words--faced, and found no solution.
"Is it a good Play?" he asked, at last.
"It is a beautiful Play. Oh, Carter, when at the end he takes his
Sweetheart in his arms--the leading lady, and not at all atractive.
Jane Raleigh says that the star generaly HATES his leading
lady--there is not a dry eye in the house."
"Must be a jolly little thing. Well, of course I'm no theatricle
manager, but if it's any good there's only one way to save it.
Advertize. I didn't know the piece was in town, which shows that
the publicaty has been rotten."
He began to walk the floor. I don't think I have mentioned it, but
that is Carter's busness. Not walking the floor. Advertizing.
Father says he is quite good, although only beginning.
"Tell me about it," he said.
So I told him that Adrian was a mill worker, and the villain makes
him lose his position, by means of forjery. And Adrian goes to
jail, and comes out, and no one will give him work. So he prepares
to blow up a Milionaire's house, and his sweetheart is in it. He
has been to the Milionaire for work and been refused and thrown
out, saying, just before the butler and three footmen push him
through a window, in dramatic tones, "The world owes me a living
and I will have it."
"Socialism!" said Carter. "Hard stuff to handle for the two dollar
seats. The world owes him a living. Humph! Still, that's a good
line to work on. Look here, Bab, give me a little time on this, eh
what? I may be able to think of a trick or two. But mind, not a
word to any one."
He started out, but he came back.
"Look here," he said. "Where do we come in on this anyhow? Suppose
I do think of somthing--what then? How are we to know that your beloved
and his manager will thank us for buting in, or do what we sugest?"
Again I drew myself to my full heighth.
"I am a person of iron will when my mind is made up," I said. "You
think of somthing, Carter, and I'll see that it is done."
He gazed at me in a rapt manner.
"Dammed if I don't beleive you," he said.
It is now late at night. Beresford has gone. The house is still. I
take the dear Picture out from under my mattress and look at it.
Oh Adrien, my Thespian, my Love.
JANUARY 21ST. I have a bad cold, Dear Dairy, and feel rotten. But
only my physicle condition is such. I am happy beyond words. This
morning, while mother and Sis were out I called up the theater and
inquired the price of a box. The man asked me to hold the line, and
then came back and said it would be ten dollars. I told him to
reserve it for Miss Putnam--my middle name.
I am both terrafied and happy, dear Dairy, as I lie here in bed
with a hot water bottle at my feet. I have helped the Play by
buying a box, and tonight I shall sit in it alone, and he will
percieve me there, and consider that I must be at least twenty, or
I would not be there at the theater alone. Hannah has just come in
and offered to lend me three dollars. I refused hautily, but at
last rang for her and took two. I might as well have a taxi tonight.
1 A. M. THE FAMILEY WAS THERE. I might have known it. Never do I
have any luck. I am a broken thing, crushed to earth. But "Truth
crushed to earth will rise again."--Whittier?
I had my dinner in bed, on account of my cold, and was let severly alone
by the Familey. At seven I rose and with palpatating fingers dressed
myself in my best evening Frock, which is a pale yellow. I put my hair
up, and was just finished, when mother nocked. It was terrable.
I had to duck back into bed and crush everything. But she only looked
in and said to try and behave for the next three hours, and went away.
At a quarter to eight I left the house in a clandestine manner by
means of the cellar and the area steps, and on the pavment drew a
long breath. I was free, and I had twelve dollars.
Act One went well, and no disturbence. Although Adrian started when
he saw me. The yellow looked very well.
I had expected to sit back, sheltered by the curtains, and only
visable from the stage. I have often read of this method. But there
were no curtains. I therfore sat, turning a stoney profile to the
Audiance, and ignoreing it, as though it were not present, trusting
to luck that no one I knew was there.
He saw me. More than that, he hardly took his eyes from the box
wherein I sat. I am sure to that he had mentioned me to the
Company, for one and all they stared at me until I think they will
know me the next time they see me.
I still think I would not have been recognized by the Familey had
I not, in a very quiet seen, commenced to sneaze. I did this several
times, and a lot of people looked anoyed, as though I sneazed because
I liked to sneaze. And I looked back at them defiantly, and in so doing,
encountered the gaze of my Maternal Parent.
Oh, Dear Dairy, that I could have died at that moment, and thus,
when streched out a pathetic figure, with tubroses and other
flowers, have compeled their pity. But alas, no. I sneazed again!
Mother was weged in, and I saw that my only hope was flight. I had
not had more than between three and four dollars worth of the
evening, but I glansed again and Sis was boring holes into me with
her eyes. Only Beresford knew nothing, and was trying to hold Sis's
hand under her opera cloak. Any fool could tell that.
But, as I was about to rise and stand poized, as one may say, for
departure, I caught Adrian's eyes, with a gleam in their deep
depths. He was, at the moment, toying with the bowl of roses. He
took one out, and while the Leading Lady was talking, he eged his
way toward my box. There, standing very close, aparently by
accident, he droped the rose into my lap.
Oh Dairy! Dairy!
I picked it up, and holding it close to me, I flew.
I am now in bed and rather chilley. Mother banged at the door some
time ago, and at last went away, mutering.
I am afraid she is going to be petish.
JANUARY 22ND. Father came home this morning, and things are looking
up. Mother of course tackeled him first thing, and when he came
upstairs I expected an awful time. But my father is a reel Person,
so he only sat down on the bed, and said:
"Well, chicken, so you're at it again!"
I had to smile, although my chin shook.
"You'd better turn me out and forget me," I said. "I was born for
Trouble. My advice to the Familey is to get out from under. That's all."
"Oh, I don't know," he said. "It's pretty conveniant to have a
Familey to drop on when the slump comes." He thumped himself on the
chest. "A hundred and eighty pounds," he observed, "just intended
for little daughters to fall back on when other things fail."
"Father," I inquired, putting my hand in his, because I had been
bearing my burdens alone, and my strength was failing: "do you
beleive in Love?"
"But I mean, not the ordinery atachment between two married people.
I mean Love--the reel thing."
"I see! Why, of course I do."
"Did you ever read Pope, father?"
"Pope? Why I--probably, chicken. Why?"
"Then you know what he says: `Curse on all laws but those which
Love has made.'"
"Look here," he said, sudenly laying a hand on my brow. "I beleive
you are feverish."
"Not feverish, but in trouble," I explained. And so I told him the
story, not saying much of my deep Passion for Adrian, but merely
that I had formed an atachment for him which would persist during
Life. Although I had never yet exchanged a word with him.
Father listened and said it was indeed a sad story, and that he
knew my deep nature, and that I would be true to the End. But he
refused to give me any money, except enough to pay back Hannah and
Carter Brooks, saying:
"Your mother does not wish you to go to the Theater again, and who
are we to go against her wishes? And anyhow, maybe if you met this
fellow and talked to him, you would find him a disapointment. Many
a pretty girl I have seen in my time, who didn't pan out acording
to specifications when I finaly met her."
At this revalation of my beloved father's true self, I was almost
stuned. It is evadent that I do not inherit my being true as steal
from him. Nor from my mother, who is like steal in hardness but not
in being true to anything but Social Position.
As I record this awfull day, dear Dairy, there comes again into my
mind the thought that I DO NOT BELONG HERE. I am not like them. I
do not even resemble them in features. And, if I belonged to them,
would they not treat me with more consideration and less disipline?
Who, in the Familey, has my noze?
It is all well enough for Hannah to observe that I was a pretty
baby with fat cheaks. May not Hannah herself, for some hiden
reason, have brought me here, taking away the real I to perhaps
languish unseen and "waste my sweetness on the dessert air"? But
that way lies madness. Life must be made the best of as it is, and
not as it might be or indeed ought to be.
Father promised before he left that I was not to be scolded, as I
felt far from well, and was drinking water about every minute.
"I just want to lie here and think about things," I said, when he
was going. "I seem to have so many thoughts. And father----"
"If I need any help to carry out a plan I have, will you give it to
me, or will I have to go to totle strangers?"
"Good gracious, Bab!" he exclaimed. "Come to me, of course."
"And you'll do what you're told?"
He looked out into the hall to see if mother was near. Then, dear
Dairy, he turned to me and said:
"I always have, Bab. I guess I'll run true to form."
JANUARY 23RD. Much better today. Out and around. Familey (mother
and Sis) very dignafied and nothing much to say. Evadently have
promised father to restrain themselves. Father rushed and not
coming home to dinner.
Beresford on edge of proposeing. Sis very jumpy.
LATER: Jane Raleigh is home for her couzin's wedding! Is coming
over. We shall take a walk, as I have much to tell her.
6 P. M. What an afternoon! How shall I write it? This is a
Milestone in my Life.
I have met him at last. Nay, more. I have been in his dressing
room, conversing as though acustomed to such things all my life. I
have conceled under the mattress a real photograph of him, beneath
which he has written Yours always, Adrian Egleston."
I am writing in bed, as the room is chilley--or I am--and by
putting out my hand I can touch His pictured likeness.
Jane came around for me this afternoon, and mother consented to a
walk. I did not have a chance to take Sis's pink hat, as she keeps
her door locked now when not in her room. Which is rediculous,
because I am not her tipe, and her things do not suit me very well
anyhow. And I have never borowed anything but gloves and
handkercheifs, except Maidie's dress and the hat.
She had, however, not locked her bathroom, and finding a bunch of
violets in the washbowl I put them on. It does not hurt violets to
wear them, and anyhow I knew Carter Brooks had sent them and she
ought to wear only Beresford's flowers if she means to marry him.
Jane at once remarked that I looked changed.
"Naturaly," I said, in a BLASE maner.
"If I didn't know you, Bab," she observed, "I would say that you
I became very stiff and distant at that. For Jane, although my best
friend, had no right to be suspicous of me.
"How do I look changed?" I demanded.
"I don't know. You--Bab, I beleive you are up to some mischeif!"
"You don't need to pretend to me," she went on, looking into my
very soul. "I have eyes. You're not decked out this way for ME."
I had meant to tell her nothing, but spying just then a man ahead
who walked like Adrian, I was startled. I cluched her arm and
closed my eyes.
"Bab!" she said.
The man turned, and I saw it was not he. I breathed again. But Jane
was watching me, and I spoke out of an overflowing Heart.
"For a moment I thought--Jane, I have met THE ONE at last."
"Barbara!" she said, and stopped dead. "Is it any one I know?"
"He is an Actor."
"Ye gods!" said Jane, in a tence voice. "What a tradgedy!"
"Tradgedy indeed," I was compeled to admit. "Jane, my Heart is
breaking. I am not alowed to see him. It is all off, forever."
"Darling!" said Jane. "You are trembling all over. Hold on to me.
Do they disaprove?"
"I am never to see him again. Never."
The bitterness of it all overcame me. My eves sufused with tears.
But I told her, in broken accents, of my determination to stick to
him, no matter what. I might never be Mrs. Adrian Egleston, but----"
"Adrian Egleston!" she cried, in amazement. "Why BARBARA,
you lucky Thing!"
So, finding her fuller of simpathy than usual, I violated my Vow of
Silence and told her all.
And, to prove the truth of what I said, I showed her the sachet
over my heart containing his rose.
"It's perfectly wonderfull," Jane said, in an awed tone. "You beat
anything I've ever known for Adventures. You are the tipe men like,
for one thing. But there is one thing I could not stand, in your
place--having to know that he is making love to the heroine every
evening and twice on Wednesdays and--Bab, this is WEDNESDAY!"
I glansed at my wrist watch. It was but to o'clock. Instantly, dear
Dairy, I became conscious of a dual going on within me, between
love and duty. Should I do as instructed and see him no more, thus
crushing my inclination under the iron heal of Resolution? Or
should I cast my Parents to the winds, and go?
At last I desided to leave it to Jane. I observed: "I'm forbiden to
try to see him. But I darsay, if you bought some theater tickets
and did not say what the play was, and we went and it happened to
be his, it would not be my fault, would it?"
I cannot recall her reply, or much more, except that I waited in a
Pharmasy, and Jane went out, and came back and took me by the arm.
"We're going to the matinee, Bab," she said. "I'll not tell you
which one, because it's to be a surprize." She squeazed my arm.
"First row," she whispered.
I shall draw a Veil over my feelings. Jane bought some chocolates
to take along, but I could eat none. I was thirsty, but not hungry.
And my cold was pretty bad, to.
So we went in, and the curtain went up. When Adrian saw me, in the
front row, he smiled although in the midst of a serious speach
about the world oweing him a living. And Jane was terrably excited.
"Isn't he the handsomest Thing!" she said. "And oh, Bab, I can see
that he adores you. He is acting for you. All the rest of the
people mean nothing to him. He sees but you."
Well, I had not told her that we had not yet met, and she said I
could do nothing less than send him a note.
"You ought to tell him that you are true, in spite of everything,"
If I had not decieved Jane things would be better. But she was set
on my sending the note. So at last I wrote one on my visiting card,
holding it so she could not read it. Jane is my best friend and I
am devoted to her, but she has no scruples about reading what is
not meant for her. I said:
"Dear Mr. Egleston: I think the Play is perfectly wonderfull. And
you are perfectly splendid in it. It is perfectly terrable that it
is going to stop.
"(Signed) The girl of the rose."
I know that this seems bold. But I did not feel bold, dear Dairy.
It was such a letter as any one might read, and contained nothing
compromizing. Still, I darsay I should not have written it. But
"out of the fulness of the Heart the mouth speaketh."
I was shaking so much that I could not give it to the usher. But
Jane did. However, I had sealed it up in an envelope.
Now comes the real surprize, dear Dairy. For the usher came down
and said Mr. Egleston hoped I would go back and see him after the
act was over. I think a paller must have come over me, and Jane said:
"Bab! Do you dare?"
I said yes, I dared, but that I would like a glass of water. I
seemed to be thirsty all the time. So she got it, and I recovered
my SAVOIR FAIR, and stopped shaking.
I suppose Jane expected to go along, but I refrained from asking
her. She then said:
"Try to remember everything he says, Bab. I am just crazy about it."
Ah, dear Dairy, how can I write how I felt when being led to him.
The entire seen is engraved on my Soul. I, with my very heart in my
eyes, in spite of my eforts to seem cool and collected. He, in
front of his mirror, drawing in the lines of starvation around his
mouth for the next seen, while on his poor feet a valet put the
raged shoes of Act II!
He rose when I entered, and took me by the hand.
"Well!" he said. "At last!"
He did not seem to mind the VALET, whom he treated like a chair or
table. And he held my hand and looked deep into my eyes.
Ah, dear Dairy, Men may come and Men may go in my life, but never
again will I know such ecstacy as at that moment.
"Sit down," he said. "Little Lady of the rose--but it's violets
today, isn't it? And so you like the Play?"
I was by that time somwhat calmer, but glad to sit down, owing to
my knees feeling queer.
"I think it is magnifacent," I said.
"I wish there were more like you," he observed. "Just a moment, I
have to make a change here. No need to go out. There's a screan for
that very purpose."
He went behind the screan, and the man handed him a raged shirt
over the top of it, while I sat in a chair and dreamed. What I
reflected, would the School say if it but knew! I felt no remorce.
I was there, and beyond the screan, changing into the garments of
penury, was the only member of the Other Sex I had ever felt I
could truly care for.
Dear Dairy, I am tired and my head aches. I cannot write it all. He
was perfectly respectfull, and only his eyes showed his true
feelings. The woman who is the Adventuress in the play came to the
Door, but he motioned her away with a waive of the hand. And at
last it was over, and he was asking me to come again soon, and if
I wou1d care to have one of his pictures.
I am very sleepy tonight, but I cannot close this record of a
JANUARY 24TH. Cold worse.
Not hearing from Carter Brooks I telephoned him just now. He is
sore about Beresford and said he would not come to the house. So I
have asked him to meet me in the Park, and said that there were
only to more days, this being Thursday.
LATER: I have seen Carter, and he has a fine plan. If only father
will do it.
He says the Theme is that the world owes Adrian a living, and that
the way to do is to put that strongly before the people.
"Suppose," he said, "that this fellow would go to some big factery,
and demand work. Not ask for it. Demand it. He could pretend to be
starving and say: `The world owes me a living, and I intend to have it.'"
"But supose they were sorry for him and gave it to him?" I observed.
"Tut, child," he said. "That would have to be all fixed up first.
It ought to be aranged that he not only be refused, but what's
more, that he'll be thrown out. He'll have to cut up a lot, d'you
see, so they'll throw him out. And we'll have Reporters there, so
the story can get around. You get it, don't you? Your friend, in
order to prove that the idea of the Play is right, goes out for a
job, and proves that he cannot demand Laber and get it." He stopped
and spoke with excitement: "Is he a real sport? Would he stand
being arested? Because that would cinch it."
But here I drew a line. I would not subject him to such humiliation.
I would not have him arested. And at last Carter gave in.
"But you get the Idea," he said. "There'll be the deuce of a Row,
and it's good for a half collumn on the first page of the evening
papers. Result, a jamb that night at the performence, and a new
lease of life for the Play. Egleston comes on, bruized and
battered, and perhaps with a limp. The Labor Unions take up the
matter--it's a knock out. I'd charge a thousand dollars for that
idea if I were selling it."
"Bruized!" I exclaimed. "Realy bruized or painted on?"
He glared at me impatiently.
"Now see here, Bab," he said. "I'm doing this for you. You've got
to play up. And if your young man won't stand a bang in the eye,
for instanse, to earn his Bread and Butter, he's not worth saving."
"Who are you going to get to--to throw him out?" I asked, in a
He stopped and stared at me.
"I like that!" he said. "It's not my Play that's failing, is it? Go
and tell him the Skeme, and then let his manager work it out. And
tell him who I am, and that I have a lot of Ideas, but this is the
only one I'm giving away."
We had arived at the house by that time and I invited him to come
in. But he only glansed bitterly at the Windows and observed that
they had taken in the mat with Welcome on it, as far as he was
concerned. And went away.
Although we have never had a mat with Welcome on it.
Dear Dairy, I wonder if father would do it? He is gentle and
kind-hearted, and it would be painfull to him. But to who else can
I turn in my extremity?
I have but one hope. My father is like me. He can be coaxed and if
kindly treated will do anything. But if aproached in the wrong way,
or asked to do somthing against his principals, he becomes a
He would never be bully-ed into giving a Man work, even so touching
a Personallity as Adrian's.
LATER: I meant to ask father tonight, but he has just heard of
Beresford and is in a terrable temper. He says Sis can't marry him,
because he is sure there are plenty of things he could be doing in
England, if not actualy fighting.
"He could probably run a bus, and releace some one who can fight,"
he shouted. "Or he could at least do an honest day's work with his
hands. Don't let me see him, that's all."
"Do I understand that you forbid him the house?" Leila asked, in a
"Just keep him out of my sight," father snaped. "I supose I can't
keep him from swilling tea while I am away doing my part to help
"Oh, rot!" said Sis, in a scornfull maner. "While you help your
bank account, you mean. I don't object to that, father, but for
Heaven's sake don't put it on altruistic grounds."
She went upstairs then and banged her door, and mother merely set
her lips and said nothing. But when Beresford called, later, Tanney
had to tell him the Familey was out.
Were it not for our afections, and the necessity for getting
married, so there would be an increase in the Population, how happy
we could all be!
LATER: I have seen father.
It was a painfull evening, with Sis shut away in her room, and
father cuting the ends off cigars in a viscious maner. Mother was
NON EST, and had I not had my memories, it would have been a
I sat very still and waited until father softened, which he usualy
does, like ice cream, all at once and all over. I sat perfectly
still in a large chair, and except for an ocasional sneaze, was quiet.
Only once did my parent adress me in an hour, when he said:
"What the devil's making you sneaze so?"
"My noze, I think, sir," I said meekly.
"Humph!" he said. "It's rather a small noze to be making such a racket."
I was cut to the heart, dear Dairy. One of my dearest dreams has
always been a delicate noze, slightly arched and long enough to be
truly aristocratic. Not realy acqualine but on the verge. I HATE my
little noze--hate it--hate it--HATE IT.
"Father" I said, rising and on the point of tears. "How can you! To
taunt me with what is not my own fault, but partly heredatary and
partly carelessness. For if you had pinched it in infansy it would
have been a good noze, and not a pug. And----"
"Good gracious!" he exclaimed. "Why, Bab, I never meant to insult
your noze. As a matter of fact, it's a good noze. It's exactly the
sort of noze you ought to have. Why, what in the world would YOU do
with a Roman noze?"
I have not been feeling very well, dear Dairy, and so I sudenly
began to weap.
"Why, chicken!" said my father. And made me sit down on his knee.
"Don't tell me that my bit of sunshine is behind a cloud!"
"Behind a noze," I said, feebly.
So he said he liked my noze, even although somwhat swolen, and he
kissed it, and told me I was a little fool, and at last I saw he
was about ready to be tackeled. So I observed:
"Father, will you do me a faver?"
"Sure," he said. "How much do you need? Busness is pretty good now,
and I've about landed the new order for shells for the English War
Department. I--supose we make it fifty! Although, we'd better keep
it a Secret between the to of us."
I drew myself up, although tempted. But what was fifty dollars to
doing somthing for Adrian? A mere bagatelle.
"Father," I said, "do you know Miss Everett, my English teacher?"
He remembered the name.
"Would you be willing to do her a great favor?" I demanded intencely.
"What sort of a favor?"
"Her couzin has written a play. She is very fond of her couzin, and
anxious to have him suceed. And it is a lovely play."
He held me off and stared at me.
"So THAT is what you were doing in that box alone!" he exclaimed.
"You incomprehensable child! Why didn't you tell your mother?"
"Mother does not always understand," I said, in a low voice. "I
thought, by buying a Box, I would do my part to help Miss Everett's
couzin's play suceed. And as a result I was draged home, and
shamefully treated in the most mortafying maner. But I am acustomed
"Oh, come now," he said. "I wouldn't go as far as that, chicken.
Well, I won't finanse the play, but short of that I'll do what I can."
However he was not so agreable when I told him Carter Brooks' plan.
He delivered a firm no.
"Although," he said, "sombody ought to do it, and show the falasy
of the Play. In the first place, the world doesn't owe the fellow
a living, unless he will hustel around and make it. In the second
place an employer has a right to turn away a man he doesn't want.
No one can force Capitle to employ Labor."
"Well," I said, "as long as Labor talks and makes a lot of noise,
and Capitle is to dignafied to say anything, most people are going
to side with Labor."
He gazed at me.
"Right!" he said. "You've put your finger on it, in true femanine
"Then why won't you throw out this man when he comes to you for
Work? He intends to force you to employ him."
"Oh, he does, does he?" said father, in a feirce voice. "Well, let
him come. I can stand up for my Principals, to. I'll throw him out,
Dear Dairy, the battle is over and I have won. I am very happy. How
true it is that strategy will do more than violance!
We have aranged it all. Adrian is to go to the mill, dressed like
a decayed Gentleman, and father will refuse to give him work. I
have said nothing about violance, leaving that to arange itself.
I must see Adrian and his manager. Carter has promised to tell some
reporters that there may be a story at the mill on Saturday
morning. I am to excited to sleep.
Feel horid. Forbiden to go out this morning.
JANUARY 25TH. Beresford was here to lunch and he and mother and Sis
had a long talk. He says he has kept it a secret because he did not
want his Busness known. But he is here to place a shell order for
the English War Department.
"Well," Leila said, "I can hardly wait to tell father and see him
"No, no," said Beresford, hastily. "Realy you must allow me I must
inform him myself. I am sure you can see why. This is a thing for
men to settle. Besides, it is a delacate matter. Mr. Archibald is
trying to get the Order, and our New York office, if I am willing,
is ready to place it with him."
"Well!" said Leila, in a thunderstruck tone. "If you British don't
beat anything for keeping your own Counsel!"
I could see that he had her hand under the table. It was sickning.
Jane came to see me after lunch. The wedding was that night, and I
had to sit through silver vegatable dishes, and after-dinner coffee
sets and plates and a grand piano and a set of gold vazes and a
cabushon saphire and the bridesmaid's clothes and the wedding
supper and heaven knows what. But at last she said:
"You dear thing--how weary and wan you look!"
I closed my eyes.
"But you don't intend to give him up, do you?"
"Look at me!" I said, in imperious tones. "Do I look like one who
would give him up, because of Familey objections?"
"How brave you are!" she observed. "Bab, I am green with envy. When
I think of the way he looked at you, and the tones of his voice
when he made love to that--that creature, I am posatively SHAKEN."
We sat in somber silence. Then she said:
"I darsay he detests the Heroine, doesn't he?"
"He tolarates her," I said, with a shrug.
More silense. I rang for Hannah to bring some ice water. We were in
"I saw him yesterday," said Jane, when Hannah had gone.
"In the park. He was with the woman that plays the Adventuress.
Ugly old thing."
I drew a long breath of relief. For I knew that the Adventuress was
at least thirty and perhaps more. Besides being both wicked and
cruel, and not at all femanine.
Hannah brought the ice-water and then came in the most madening way
and put her hand on my Forehead.
"I've done nothing but bring you ice-water for to days," she said.
"Your head's hot. I think you need a musterd foot bath and to go to bed."
"Hannah," Jane said, in her loftyest fashion, "Miss Barbara is
woried, not ill. And please close the door when you go out."
Which was her way of telling Hannah to go. Hannah glared at her.
"If you take my advice, Miss Jane," she said. "You'll keep away
from Miss Barbara."
And she went out, slaming the door.
"Well!" gasped Jane. "Such impertanence. Old servant or not, she
ought to have her mouth slaped."
Well, I told Jane the plan and she was perfectly crazy about it. I
had a headache, but she helped me into my street things, and got
Sis's rose hat for me while Sis was at the telephone. Then we went out.
First we telephoned Carter Brooks, and he said tomorrow morning
would do, and he'd give a couple of reporters the word to hang
around father's office at the mill. He said to have Adrian there at
"Are you sure your father will do it?" he asked. "We don't want a
flivver, you know."
"He's making a principal of it," I said. "When he makes a principal
of a thing, he does it."
"Good for father!" Carter said. "Tell him not to be to gentle. And
tell your Actor-friend to make a lot of fuss. The more the better.
I'll see the Policeman at the mill, and he'll probably take him up.
But we'll get him out for the matinee. And watch the evening papers."
It was then that a terrable thought struck me. What if Adrian
considered it beneath his profession to advertize, even if
indirectly? What if he prefered the failure of Miss Everett's
couzin's play to a bruize on the eye? What, in short, if he refused?
Dear Dairy, I was stupafied. I knew not which way to turn. For Men
are not like Women, who are dependible and anxious to get along,
and will sacrifise anything for Success. No, men are likely to turn
on the ones they love best, if the smallest Things do not suit
them, such as cold soup, or sleaves to long from the shirt-maker,
or plans made which they have not been consulted about beforhand.
"Darling!" said Jane, as I turned away, "you look STRICKEN!"
"My head aches," I said, with a weary gesture toward my forehead.
It did ache, for that matter. It is acheing now, dear Dairy.
However, I had begun my task and must go through with it.
Abandoning Jane at a corner, in spite of her calling me cruel and
even sneeking, I went to Adrian's hotel, which I had learned of
during my SEANCE in his room while he was changing his garments
behind a screan, as it was marked on a dressing case.
It was then five o'clock.
How nervous I felt as I sent up my name to his chamber. Oh, dear
Dairy, to think that it was but five hours ago that I sat and
waited, while people who guessed not the inner trepadation of my
heart past and repast, and glansed at me and at Leila's pink hat above.
At last he came. My heart beat thunderously, as he aproached,
strideing along in that familiar walk, swinging his strong and
tender arms. And I! I beheld him coming and could think of not a
word to say.
"Well!" he said, pausing in front of me. "I knew I was going to be
lucky today. Friday is my best day."
"I was born on Friday," I said. I could think of nothing else.
"Didn't I say it was my lucky day? But you mustn't sit here. What
do you say to a cup of tea in the restarant?"
How grown up and like a DEBUTANTE I felt, dear Dairy, going to have
tea as if I had it every day at School, with a handsome actor
across! Although somwhat uneasy also, owing to the posibility of
the Familey coming in. But it did not and I had a truly happy hour,
not at all spoiled by looking out the window and seeing Jane going
by, with her eyes popping out, and walking very slowly so I would
invite her to come in.
WHICH I DID NOT.
Dear Dairy, HE WILL DO IT. At first he did not understand, and
looked astounded. But when I told him of Carter being in the
advertizing busness, and father owning a large mill, and that there
would be reporters and so on, he became thoughtfull.
"It's realy incredably clever," he said. "And if it's pulled off
right it ought to be a Stampede. But I'd like to see Mr. Brooks. We
can't have it fail, you know." He leaned over the table. "It's
straight goods, is it, Miss er--Barbara? There's nothing foney
"Foney!" I said, drawing back. "Certainly not."
He kept on leaning over the table.
"I wonder," he said, "what makes you so interested in the Play?"
Oh, Dairy, Dairy!
And just then I looked up, and the Adventuress was staring in the
door at me with the MEANEST look on her face.
I draw a Veil over the remainder of our happy hour. Suffice it to
say that he considers me exactly the tipe he finds most atractive,
and that he does not consider my noze to short. We had a long
dispute about this. He thinks I am wrong and says I am not an
acquiline tipe. He says I am romantic and of a loving disposition.
Also somwhat reckless, and he gave me good advice about doing what
my Familey consider for my good, at least until I come out.
But our talk was all to short, for a fat man with three rings on
came in, and sat down with us, and ordered a whiskey and soda. My
blood turned cold, for fear some one I knew would come in and see
me sitting there in a drinking party.
And my blood was right to turn cold. For, just as he had told the
manager about the arangement I had made, and the manager said
"Bully" and raised his glass to drink to me I looked across and
there was mother's aunt, old Susan Paget, sitting near, with the
most awfull face I ever saw!
I colapsed in my chair.
Dear Dairy, I only remember saying, "Well, remember, ten o'clock.
And dress up like a Gentleman in hard luck," and his saying: "Well,
I hope I'm a Gentleman, and the hard luck's no joke," and then I
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