Four Acting Monologues – Margaret Cameron 1910
Now, Eleanor, if you can t keep out of the way,
you run right upstairs and play. I can t have you
hanging to my skirts while I m getting luncheon. . . .
Well, Kate s washing, you know. . . . No, of course
you dan t go where Katie is. She s cross enough
now, goodness knows ! Here she comes ! Now, you
run right out of the kitchen.
I ve just come out (apologetically) to make a
cup of tea, Katie. I ll have some bread and butter
and tea for luncheon, and Eleanore can have bread
and milk. … No bread ! Why, Katie ! . . . Oh,
yes, of course ! I forgot that we had a chafing-dish
supper last night. . . . Yes, you re quite right; it
takes a great deal of bread to make toast. Of course
you couldn t be expected to foresee emergencies like
that. (Resignedly.) Oh, well, we ll eat crackers.
And I ll get some jam.
(Severely.) Eleanore, what are you doing? Come
right out of the pantry. Whv, Eleanore Pelham!
Look what you ve done! What is that? Molasses?
All over Katie s clean shelves ! You naughty girl !
(Apologetically.) Never mind, Katie, I ll clean
it up. . . . Yes, I know : you re busy with the wash
ing. Mercy! There s the door-bell! (Glances at
clock.} Just twelve o clock. Must be a pedlar. I
can t go, and you oh, no, of course I never expect
you to answer the bell on wash-day, Katie. Eleanore,
you go to the door, and say that I m busy and that
4 UNEXPECTED GUESTS.
I don t want anything. And don t stand talking to
the man, but shut the door at once. Then go upstairs
and wait until I come. Do you understand ?
I m very sorry about the molasses, Katie, but I ll
clean it all up. . . . Oh, well, little people don t
always realize what trouble they are making, you
know. Oh, yes, I shall punish her, certainly. You
may go back to the laundry. I ll attend to this and
get luncheon. (Business of getting pan of water,
wringing out doth, and wiping up shelves and floor.)
Ugh ! Of all the sticky messes !
(On knees cleaning -floor. Business of taking card
with wet fingers.) What? Ladies? At this hour?
Let me see, Eleanore. Mrs. James Norton Enderby !
My land ! I asked her to r^me to luncheon any day
that she happened to be in town: and she s come!
What? You told her Eleanore Gladys Pelham !
Did you tell that lady that I was busy and didn t
want anything? . . . Well, you ll go straight to bed!
(Business of taking child firmly by arm and leading
her out.) Now stop your whimpering this instant!
I ve no time for any nonsense of that sort ! And it s
wash-day ! And Katie s perfectly savage ! And
there s not a slice of bread in the house ! And all
this horrid mess in the pantrv ! Two ladies, did you
say? . . . Oh, well, she can t intend to stay, then.
I ll just leave this until she s gone. (Business of
wiping hands arranging hair and dress leaving
kitchen and entering another room, brightly smiling.)
Oh, how do you do, Mrs. Enderby? (Business of
shaking hands.} So delighted to see you ! . . . Your
sister? Not your sister Florence, whom you have
told me so much about? . . . Oh, so charmed to
meet you, Miss Johnson ! . , . Why. certainly, Mrs.
Enderby ! So nice of you to understand that I
should want to meet her at once! . . . No, I won t
make a bit of fuss. . . . Just what we should have
ourselves, you know. Let me take your wraps. It s
so delightful to have you drop in in this informal
way! Eleanore and I are often quite lonely. . . .
UNEXPECTED GUESTS. 5
Yes, my little girl. . . . Oh, did she? (In mock
consternation.) How dreadful of her! I told her
once to say something like that to a miserable book-
agent whom I saw coming, and she s never forgotten
it. Children have such unfathomable memories!
Now, will you amuse yourselves for a moment, while
I put away your wraps and tell my maid to lay some
extra plates ? . . . Oh, no, not the least in the world !
That s one thing that my maids always understand
from the first that there shall be no complaints
about unexpected guests. . . . Oh, yes, it requires a
little firmness and tact in the beginning, but they
can always be trained, and I simply will not be a
f lave to my cook !
(Business of leaving drawing-room and entering
Tcitchen. Artificial smile vanishes suddenly and look
of great anxiety replaces it.) Oh, dear, what shall I
do? I ve got to tell Katie ! If Well, there s no
help for it ! (Sighs deeply. Then calls very
sweetly.) Katie! Oh, Katie! Come here a mo
ment, please. Some ladies have just come and
Oh, I m very sorry, Katie, but really, I can t help it !
and we ve got to give them something to eat. . . .
Well, you see, it s very important because oh, well,
I haven t time to explain now, but there are reasons
why I must be nice to Mrs. Enderby. Now what can
you give us for luncheon? . . . (Pleadingly.) But,
Katie, I can t get it now! You may leave the rest
of the washing. . . . Well, then, I ll send it out. . . .
Katie (firmly), you must get us some lunch ! I don t
know what, but I ve got to go back in the other room,
and you are to get luncheon. You understand,
Katie ! . . . Why, give us the cold chicken that was
left from yesterday s dinner. . . . Gone! (Aston
ished.) Impossible! There was almost a whole one
left when it came off the table. I noticed it particu
larly, and thought it would do for dinner to-night,
with a little stretching. . . . Oh, certainly, Katie, I
haven t the least objection to your having every
thing that you need to eat, but a whole chick
6 UNEXPECTED GUESTS.
Oh, well, never mind ! But get us something ! . . . I
know there s no bread, but isn t it almost time for
the baker? . . . Oh, well, we can t wait until half-
past two, you know. That is nonsense. You must
make some hot biscuits, only be quick ! (Returns to
Why, Eleanore, are you here entertaining the la
dies? I m afraid you are bothering Miss Johnson.
Not everybody likes to have little girls leaning on
them. . . . Oh, she s been showing you her kinder
garten things, has she? . . . Yes, we think she has
rather an unusual adaptability for that sort of thing.
We hope she s going to be an artist. (Sits.) Her
teacher thinks she shows great talent. Eleanore, can
you tell Miss Johnson about Mrs. Pussy ? . . . Oh, I
think you can ! . . . Come, come, now, don t be
naughty ! Tell Miss Johnson about Mrs. Pussy, and
then mamma ll give you some candy. Stand right
here by mamma. Take your finger out of your
mouth ! so. Now begin. ” Mrs. Pussy, sleek and fat
-**… ” kittens four.” That s right ! ” Went to
sleep ” Go on, dear. …” By the kitchen door.”
That s right ! . . . Yes, she s only five, you know !
Now the next verse, dearie. . . Oh, yes ! Come, now,
go right on ! ” Mrs Pussy heard ” . . . ” in
glee.” Yes ; go on. ” Kittens, maybe ” . . . ” go
and see. . . . Yes, we think she has a very remark
able memory. Her teacher says she remembers these
things better than any other child in the class. Now,
Eleanore ! ” Creeping, creeping “… Oh, have
you forgotten it ? You knew it so well yesterday !
” But the little mouse had gone ” Why, Eleanore
Pelham ! What s this on vour dress ? . . . Molasses !
Oh er yes, I forgot ! Will you excuse me a mo
ment while I go and er scrub this small girl?
Come, Eleanore. ( Leads child out. Again forced
smile dies. Speaks impatiently.)
Now you go straight up the back stairs to your
play-room, and stay there until I come. Don t come
down again, Eleanore. Do you understand? I ll
UNEXPECTED GUESTS. 7
come when I have cleaned up the molasses you spilled
all over the pantry !
(Business of entering kitchen.) Why, Katie!
Why aren t you getting luncheon? . . . Well, I told
you to make biscuits. Yes, I know there s molasses
all over the pantry I m very sorry about that, Katie !
but can t you make biscuits on the kitchen-table
this once? . . . Well, but we must have something
to eat ! It s one o clock now ! . . . Katie ! (Almost
a wail.) Leave me now? Oh, you can t! You
you mustn t! … I know! It was very thoughtless
of Mrs. Enderby to come on Monday stupid thing
she is, anyway ! and I ought not to have given her
that sort of an invitation ! But if you ll stay and
serve luncheon, I ll I ll give you that new silk petti
coat of mine! It s just about long enough for you.
. . . No, you needn t cook anything! We ll have
let me see ! is there any boned chicken in the house ?
I mean canned chicken, you know! . . . Well, if
you ll open a can of that, I ll cream it in the chafing-
dish, and No, you needn t make biscuits ! I ll
serve it on toasted crackers. If you ll set the table,
Katie, and toast the crackers, and open the chicken,
and serve the luncheon, I ll wash the dishes and
give you that silk petticoat and yes, and a whole
day off! . . . To-morrow? Yes, the ironing can
wait. . . . Well, then, I ll have some one come in and
do it. Now, that s a good girl, Katie! (Business
of having kitchen. Sighs with relief.) A-a-ah !
(Enters drawing-room and assumes smiling society
manner.) Yes, we went to hear her last night. Do
you think she s as attractive in this role as she was in
” The Prisoner of Zenda ” ? . . . Oh, well, perhaps I
wasn t in a very responsive mood. . . . Oh, no, not in
the least, Mrs. Enderby ! Indeed, I m going to take
you at your word, and give you a picked-up luncheon
just what we should have had ourselves, you know.
But on Mondays we always have luncheon rather late
in fact, we have it quite late. I hope you don t
mind ? . . . Yes, I have a very satisfactory maid as
8 UNEXPECTED GUESTS.
maids go. Of course, she needs a little managing,
but I really think I have a way with servants. I
really have. I seldom have much trouble with them,
until they get perfectly unendurable, and then I
simply dismiss them, you know. Have you heard
about poor Mrs. Drayton? She tried to dismiss her
cook last week, and the woman drove her out of the
kitchen by throwing things at her anything within
her reach, you know ! Poor Mrs. Drayton was so
upset, she had to send for the doctor and a policeman.
Now, if I had a maid who was given to throwing
things about, I should (Listens, startled.) Good
gracious ! what s that ? Excuse me a moment !
(Business of hurrying from drawing-room to dining
room. Speaks to maid with nervous and forced
Oh, you dropped the chafing-dish, Katie? . . .
They are slippery things. I dropped one once my
self. Anything broken? . . . (Business of examin
ing pieces.) No, I think it s all right. Have you the
crackers ready to toast? Here s the chicken butter
cream flour olives yes, I think that s all. Oh,
did you fill the lamp the alcohol-lamp under the
chafing-dish ? . . . Never mind ; I ll do it. And tea,
jam, and little cakes for dessert. All ready, Katie?
. . . Yes, you shall have the petticoat this afternoon,
just as I promised you.
(Business of returning to drawing-room. Very
smiling and easy.) Won t you come out to luncheon,
THE P. A. I. L. W. R.
(Conversational tone.) Is this Mrs. Brastow ? . . .
Yes, good morning, Mrs. Brastow. I thought I
couldn t be mistaken. What a charming location you
have here ! I was in this city when Mr. Brastow
bought this lot. I said then that it was an ideal site
for a home, and I see it is. And an ideal home on
the site. . . . No, I ve never had the pleasure of
meeting you before, but I ve had many a long talk
with your husband during the past fifteen years. . . .
Oh, yes, I know Mr. Brastow well. You may have
heard him speak of me. Jones is my name. Charlie
Jones. Yes, I know him well …. Thank you, I
will come in for a moment. (Business of entering
What a lovely room, to be sure ! Such a sense of
restfulness pervades it ! How one does feel the in
dividuality of a room, Mrs. Brastow! And I sup
pose everything in your house is as perfect, in its
way r as this room is.
There can be only one thing necessary to complete
it, and that one thing I shall now have the pleasure
of introducing to you. (Business of producing article
from pocket or bag. Speech becomes rapid, mechan
ical and very distinct as if memorized and often
repeated.) It is the Patent Adjustable Indestructible
Loop Wire Eeceptacle sometimes called the P. A. I.
L. W. E., for short capable of being transformed,
at a moment s notice, and without the aid of any
other tool or instrument except the human hand, into
any one of twenty-three separate and distinct house-
10 THE P. A. I. L. W. R.
hold articles, each one absolutely indispensable to the
well-regulated and adequately equipped home. For
example, as you see it now, it is a fruit-dish. Piled
high with oranges and bananas, it is a most artistic
and beautiful centerpiece for any table. You will
notice that the wires are all plated with a patented
composition, invented especially for this article, which
makes them look like the finest spun silver. This
plate is permanent and will never wear off. Like
everything else used in the composition of the Patent
Adjustable Indestructible Loop Wire Receptacle, it is
absolutely indestructible. Just picture to yourself a
dining-table with this magnificent article as a center
(tfudden change to conversational tone again.)
You never eat fruit ? Is it possible ! I had a brother
who had a similar taste. I ve known him to leave the
table because he was unable to bear the sight of a
plate of ripe fruit. On one occasion he broke up a
dinner-party by so doing, because he was the four
teenth guest, and, of course, when he left well,
you ve heard of that little superstition of thirteen at
table. . . . Ah? Well, neither am I. I believe I
have no superstitions. unless, indeed, it s the one
about pins. ” See a pin and pick it up,” you know.
I never fail to pick up a pin, and it always brings me
good luck. I picked up one on your step, while I
was waiting for the door to be opened.
By the way, talking about pins, (returns to
mechanical tone) by compressing this wonderful
article, thus, it becomes a pin-tray, an article, indis
pensable to every well-appointed dressing-table. . . .
Ah? You use silver pin-trays. Well, of course,
many ladies are fortunate enough to be supplied with
them now, but one never knows when thieves may
break in and steal, you know. And then, one is liable
to run up against an emergency, such as unexpected
guests from the country, who have to be accomodated
in improvised bed-rooms bed-lounges, and that sort
of thing and, of course, a conscientious hostess al
ways likes to be equal to the occasion. Now, with a
number of these marvelous articles in the house, &\
THE P. A. I. L. W. B. H
complete toilet-set, lacking only the brush and mirror,
may be had at a moment s notice. This, as I have
said, is the pin-tray. Now, you slip this loop, turn it
thus, pull it out, and, presto ! you have a beautiful
silver comb ! By snapping these loops down, thus,
a handle is formed, and the loop at the opposite end
may be used as a button-hook.
At, yes, many ladies wear laced boots now, but I
am confidentially informed that buttons are coming
in, and in a year all women s shoes will be buttoned.
” A stitch in time,” you know. One should always
be prepared. That s the secret of success. Always
be prepared. Now, by slipping this spring, the whole
string of loops becomes a chain, useful in a variety
of ways. It s often found valuable as a supporter
for pillow-shams; or, united at the ends, thus, it is
worn about a lady s neck as a watch-chain or a
lorgnette may be attached to the end. You ve noticed
how very fashionable these long chains have become
since the introduction of the Patent Adjustable
Indestructible Loop Wire Receptacle. Or, by again
forming the basket foundation, thus, and attaching
the braces, so, one has an egg-basket, always a neces
sary article in every house
(Conversational tone.) Never eat eggs ? Indeed!
Now, that s very interesting! You know, I m mak
ing up a set of statistics about the people who don t
eat things, and the things people don t eat. Take
your own case, for example. I ve discovered in this
short time that you eat neither fruit nor eggs. One
season I solicited orders for a set of patent cake-tins,
and you d be surprised at the number of ladies who
assured me that they never ate cake. It s most inter
Yes, to be sure; I know it s Saturday morning,
and that s always a busy morning for a housekeeper.
I ll not detain you a moment. As I was about to
say, (mechanically) by compressing this part and
sliding the handle down, you have a most complete
and artistic pudding-dish, of unique and pleasing
shape. Oh, pardon me, perhaps you never eat pud
dings, either ? Ah, mos_tjnteresting ! Or, by flatten-
12 THE P. A. L L. W. R
ing it, thus, and pulling this end out, you have a
complete toaster and broiler, suitable for use with
any kind of heat, coal, gas, oil, or electricity. Again,
by scooping out the bottom, thus, pushing these wires
back, and shaping it a little with the fingers, you
have a handsome picture-frame, of the shape known
as the shadow-box, without the heavy, sombre appear
ance of the usual shadow-boxes made in black.
Now, I see by the toys on the front stoop that
you have little ones ah, yes, what is home without
the little darlings ! and what could be a more suit
able frame for the baby s picture than that ? Just
fancy the little dear his father s joy a little girl?
(Conversational.) Indeed! I might have known it!
I think I saw her outside. She has her mother s
smile. As I was about to say, just picture the little
dear, his fa oh, to be sure ! her father s joy, look
ing out of that shining frame ! Have you the baby s
picture at hand, Mrs. Brastow? Ah, I m sorry, I
should have liked to see it in this frame. It would
have been a pleasant memory to carry away with me.
Yes; just a moment, please. (Mechanical.)
Then, by completing the basket form again, and by
stretching these loops to the uttermost, you have a
waste-basket, light, durable, clean, and exceedingly
handsome. Or by slightly pressing it together and
decreasing its size, one has a jardiniere, suitable for
just a moment, please a jardiniere, suitable for
By studying the various combinations possible to
the Patent Adjustable Indestructible Loop Wire
Eeceptacle and we give with each one (without
extra charge) a copy of this valuable little booklet
containing full instructions! one may have, as I
have said, a fruit-dish, a pin-tray, a beautiful hair-
comb, a watch-chain, a sham-supporter, a pudding-
dish, an egg-basket, a toaster and broiler, a picture-
frame, a waste-basket, or a jardiniere. Not only
this I ll not detain you five minutes more, madam !
but a candlestick! you know how fashionable
THE P. A. I. L. W. R. 13
candles have become since this wonderful little in
vention has been on the market? a small easel, a
receptacle for a glass holding hot liquid, as whis
ahem ! lemonade; a stove-hook, a flatiron stand, a
tea-tray perhaps you don t drink tea? Beg par
don ; no offence meant, I assure you ! I was merely
thinking of my book the statistics, you know.
Yes, yes, I quite appreciate your position, Mrs.
Brastow. I m a busy man myself, and, of course,
the quicker I can make a sale, the better I m pleased.
Now, sometimes I make a sale right away, and
sometimes it takes me all the morning. It s against
my principles to ask anybody to buy. There s no
greater mistake in this business than urging people
to buy. The point is to convince the lady that she
wants the article just stay right with her until
she s convinced and then your work s done. The
really successful salesman never has to ask anybody
to buy. I m very successful that way myself.
But some ladies are slow to accept the fact, you
know, that there s anything new in the world that s
better than the old thing they happen to have.
Now, I found a little woman in Davisville last week,
who was very hard to convince ; but I never give up,
you know, never give up ! That s the secret of suc
cess. Never say die ! And I stayed with that wo
man from ten o clock in the morning until three
in the afternoon. But I made the sale ! Now she
couldn t keep house without the Patent Adjustable
Indestructible Loop Wire Receptacle. However, I
was about to call your attention to
Well, they re being sold now at the remarkably
low price of sixty-five cents, just to introduce them,
you know. Many ladies are buying them by the
dozen and half-dozen, realizing that this opportu
nity will not offer again. W T hen I come around next
year, the price will have advanced fifty per cent.,
and I expect to make twice as many sales, for then
every lady will know me and the Patent Adjustable
Indestructible Loop Wire Receptacle, and will real-
14 THE P. A. I. L. W. R.
ize that she ll save her time and mine by buying it
at once. Not that it isn t a pleasure to show it. I m
as proud of it as if it were my own invention. But
as I was about to say
One ? Oh, I think you ll need more than that !
With a house of this size, you could hardly get
along without more than that. I consider six a
very small order for a place as large as this. No,
really, Mrs. Brastow, my conscience would ache if I
let you do yourself that wrong. Yes, I know, but
you ll thank me when I m gone. No, I couldn t feel
right about it. Well, of course, you might get
along with three, but for your own sake^ I hate to
leave less than half a dozen with you. Three ? Very
well. Yes, one ninety-five, please. That s right,
thank you. I was about to call your attention to
the tact that, in addition to the things I have men
(In a tone of injured innocence.) My dear
madam, I m telling you this solely for your own con
venience ! My sale s made. Very well ; but you ll
find in the little booklet the directions for making
the bread-tray, handkerchief-case, cigar-holder, ink
stand, footstool, and hand-satchel, in addition to the
other things I mentioned. (Genially.} Good morn
ing, Mrs. Brastow. I m very glad to have met you.
I ll call again next year.
IN A STREET-CAR/
(She runs on and pauses, panting, on the car-step.)
Oh, conductor, wait a minute, won t you ? There s
another lady coming. Well, she s running just as
hard as she can. She ain t so light as I am. (Calls
to her friend.) Hurry up! He won t wait! (To
the conductor.) Land knows we wait long enough
for you, sometimes ! You needn t be so mighty up
pish about waiting a second for us once in a while !
. . . What? . . . Time-table? Huh! Your time
table s a moveable feast, I guess ! I notice the only
time you re on time s when there s nobody waiting
for you !
(To her friend.) Oh, here you are! Yes, isn t
it an awful pull up that hill ? (Lurches toward a
seat.) Oh, my! (To a passenger.) Excuse me!
I didn t mean to ! That is I couldn t help it, you
know! (Sits. To her friend in a low, embarrassed,
amused tone.) Did you see what I did? I sat right
square down on that man ! I think I smashed some
thing he s got in that parcel ! Something crushed,
anyhow. What do you s pose it is ? . . . Looks some
as if it might be a hat, don t it? … My, don t he
look cross! (Louder for benefit of passengers.)
Well, I couldn t help it ! These men ought to learn
to start a car without jerking a lady off her feet!
Oh, see here, I m going to pay this fare ! . . . Yes,
I am, too ! You always try to get in ahead. . . .
No, I ve got it right here ! Where is my purse ?
Why I believe I ve lost it ! Yes, sfr, I must have
lost it running up that hill ! Stop the car ! Oh,
look here, conductor ! (She springs up and pulls a
strap, shakes her skirts vigorously, and pulls the same
16 IN A STREET-CAR.
strap several times in rapid succession. To the con
ductor.} What? . . . Well, I wanted the car to stop
and you wouldn t look ! I lost my purse because
you made me run up that hill to catch your old car,
and I want to get off! Stop the car, I tell you!
What? . . . Eang the wrong? . . . The cash regis
ter? … Well, I don t care if I did ! I want to get
off ! … It serves you right if I did ring up a lot of
fares ! Perhaps the next time a lady wants to get off
your car, you ll look at her, and stop the car yourself !
Why don t you stop it ? I tell you I ve lost/ (To
a passenger.} What? Why, yes, that s it ! Where d
you find it? On the floor? Well, I declare ! (Some
what abashed.) That s all right, conductor. (Sits.
To her friend.) . Well, how do you suppose I ever
(To the conductor.) What? . . . Pay for the fare
I rung up? Well, I guess not! I ll pay two fares
and that s all I will pay ! I m not going to pay for
rides I never got ! . . . Well, if you d been looking
where you d ought to a been I wouldn t have touched
your old strap ! It ll teach you to pay some attention
to your passengers. There s a man in front wants a
transfer, I guess. You d better go and see him, or
you ll get into some more trouble. (To her friend,
in a loud, cheerful tone.) Some of these men are so
unaccommodating! You d think this one was a
machine, for any interest he ever takes in anything.
The other clay I didn t know just where I wanted to
get off, and if you ll believe it, he got real uppish
because I stopped the car so I could look up the
street to see if that was the place ! He wanted to
know why I didn t look in the directory and find out
where I wanted to go. As if anybody could carry a
directory around with them all the time ! Besides,
what s a conductor for, I d like to know, if he isn t
for the accommodation of passengers? (To the con
ductor, paying fare.} Here, conductor, two. Trans
fers? N-no, I guess not? (To her friend.} We
don t want to transfer, do we ? . . . Or do you want
to go to see about that bonnet to-day ? . . . She said
IN A STREET-CAR. If
it would be ready this afternoon. Oh, conductor,
wait a minute ! Well, perhaps we d better go. What
do you think? . . . All right. (To conductor.}
Transfers to why, he s gone ! See ? He hasn t the
least interest in accommodating passengers. I think
he ought to be reported. Oh, I kind o hate to do it.
He might find out and then it would be unpleasant,
and us traveling on this line so much.
Who s that woman in the end of the car, do you
know? . . . She looks a little like the pictures of
Marian Doubleday, the actress, don t she? . . . Not
so pretty, though. But they do say Marian Double-
day wasn t such a tearing beauty until she went on
the stage and learned to make up. Oh, conductor,
transfers to Powell Street. I know you asked us if
we wanted transfers, but you didn t wait to find
out whether we did or not. If you treat me to much
more of your inattention and impertinence I shall
see that you are reported
Oh, yes, Marian s made a great success now, but
she had a pretty hard time getting to the top, I
guess. Of course, she had all sorts of things to con
tend against. I sometimes wonder, when I hear of
her driving with Mrs. This and lunching with Mrs.
That, what her swell friends would say if they knew
that her grandmother kept a boarding-house in
Sacramento, and that Marian earned her first money
as a clerk in a store. I wonder why that girl s face is
getting so red ? Maybe she saw us looking at her.
They say young Belshaw is perfectly infatuated
with her. My nephew works in a florist s shop near
the theater, and he says they send her a big pile of
flowers from Belshaw every day. . . . Yes, my sister
Maud s boy, Johnnie. . . . Yes, he s pretty wild. Just
like his father, you know. His people are all that
way. Poor Maud never has a minute s comfort with
him, for if he s behaving, she s always sure that it s
just the calm before the storm sort of a weather-
breeder, you know and she just worries and frets
alljthejtime.i ^he_neyer_loses_a chance to tell Johnnie
Ig IN A STREET-CAR.
how he ought to behave. She s never had a card in
the house, nor any wines, nor liquors, nor anything
like that. She wouldn t even let him learn to dance.
And yet, that boy drinks and smokes and gambles
and heaven knows what else ! Now, there s my
Willie ! There couldn t be a nicer boy than Willie !
He hasn t a single bad habit and he s such a com
fort with his clothes ! His room s as tidy as a girl s.
Poor Maud s always asking Johnnie why he doesn t
pattern more after his cousin Willie, and well, I
won t tell you what he says. It s awful ! And his
mother such a religious woman, too!
But in that florist s shop, he sees a lot of gay so
ciety fellows like this young Belshaw, and he thinks
it s smart to try to be like them. . . . Yes, he s Dr.
Belshaw s son at least, he s adopted. . . . Why, yes,
didn t you know that? . . . No, I never heard any
thing in particular about Fred Belshaw, but he s run
ning around after this Marian Doubleday, and when
a man gets to going with actresses, it s safe to sup
pose he ain t any too strict. My Willie wouldn t
think of doing such a thing. But Johnnie does. . . .
Oh, my, yes ! . . . Well, there s that Dolly Dixon
you know ; she s in Marian Doubleday s company. . . .
Oh, I don t know where he met her. In the shop, I
suppose ; and Willie says he saw a great big bunch of
violets that Johnnie sent her, and him just a clerk !
Willie says she s kind o pretty, though. He saw
her going past the shop one day when he was there
visiting Johnnie. Willie goes to see Johnnie real
often and tries to influence him, you know. Willie s
such a conscientious boy !
Oh, see this woman just getting in ! … Yes, she
got that silk at Allitson s. They had ten pieces of it
last year, and it was a dollar-forty a yard, but they
didn t get rid of it all, and this year they sold off
what they had left for ninety-eight cents. . . . Yes,
it s good value. I think it ll fade, though. . . .
M-h m, that trimming looks real nice, don t it ? She
must have bought it at M^eyerfeld s sale. Sixteen
IN A STREET-CAR. 19
cents a yard; but it looks nice, don t it? I don t
believe it ll wear, though. Meyerf eld s having a sale
of laces this week. . . . Oh, hadn t you heard about
it ? Oh, my dear, real bargains ! I saw some in
serting for four cents a yard that s just what you
want for the baby s things. Let s go right down
there and get it ; and then we can walk back and
use our transfers, just the same. And there was
some wide lace oh, as wide as that! for twenty-
four cents. . . . Oh, I don t know what you d use it
for, but it would come in handy some day. Yes, I
bought some, just on a venture. It seems wasteful
to let a chance like that go by, you know.
Oh, here goes the girl ! If she was only a little
better-looking, she d be the image of Marian
Doubleday. It must be annoying to look so much
like an actress. Makes a girl so conspicuous! . . .
Mercy ! Did you see the look she gave me ?
Oh, there s Mrs. Beaver ! She s speaking to that
girl. Now, we ll find out who she is. … (Business
of touching a woman to attract her attention, and
shaking hands.) Oh, how do you do, Mrs. Beaver?
Such a long time since I ve seen you ! And is this
little Horace? How do you do, dear? How he
grows ! Just the living image of his father, too, isn t
he? … Your other boys are getting to be young
men, aren t they? Your Tommie s just three months
younger than my Willie. I hope he s as much com
fort to you as Willie is to me. . . . Smokes, doesn t
he? … Oh, don t you mind it? … Yes, I know
kis father always did, and I s pose you do get used to
those things if you have to live with em, but my
Willie has never wanted to do anything like that. I
never have any more trouble with him than s if he
was a girl.
Oh, Mrs. Beaver, who was the girl you spoke to
as you got into the car? . . . Marian Doubleday!
That girl in the blue dress Marian Double well,
I said it looked like her. didn t I ? But her pictures
flatter her. . . . Yes, she s getting to be quite fa-
20 IN A STREET-CAR.
mous, isn t she? But it must be embarrassing to
go along the street and know that everybody knows
who you are ! But then, not everybody knows
about her. . . . Oh, I used to know them in Sacra
mento, you know. At least, my cousin lived next
door to her grandmother s boarding-house, and why,
yes! Didn t you know that? . . . And Marian
clerked in a store. Sold buttons and thread and that
sort of thing, you know. And her grandfather, old
Dick Doubleday, was an awful old wretch. He used
to What? . . . (BiLsiness of looking over her
shoulder.) Where? … Is that Dolly Dixon? . . .
My ! Look at that hat ! And that coat ! Who s that
fellow talking to her? . . . Why it s my Willie!
(Rises hastily and waves hands.) Conductor, stop
the car ! I want to get right off ! This is some of
Johnnie s work ! Willie never met that girl of his
own accord ! Conductor, why don t you stop this
car? . . . But I don t want to go to the end of the
block ! I want to get off here ! . . . Oh, dear ! Well,
good-bye! (Business of lurching part way toward
car door. Pauses.) Oh, where ll I meet you? . . .
At Meyerfeld s? … At the lace counter? . . . Oh,
I won t be long. Yes, conductor, just a second !
Well, at the notion counter, then? . . . Oh, when
you re at the lace counter, get me two yards more of
that twenty (to conductor) yes, of course I m going
to get off! twenty-four-cent lace. Oh, it s about so
wide, and cream color. You can t miss it. … Yes,
just as soon as I ve sent that girl about her business !
(To conductor.) Oh, wait! I m going to get off!
Well, I told you I was! I never saw anybody so im-
pafTent ! I ll report you before night ! (Loudly, to
her friend.) Good-bye!
A PATRON OF ART.
(Speaker enters. Peers about through lorgnette.
Suddenly smiles. Business of shaking hands.) Oh,
how do you do, Mrs. Disbrow? Are you going so
early? . . . Yes, we ve just come. This is my niece,
Miss Chester. We ve been to the Gorham reception.
Such a tiresome crush ! But of course, everybody
was there, and one had to show one s self, at least.
How are the gowns this year? Anything worth
seeing? … A private view is such an excellent
place to see new gowns as a rule, but last year I
thought they were very tame. Mrs. Bel knap wore one
that was really quite frumpy, if you remember.
Good night. Oh, by the way, how are the
pictures? . . . Which one is attracting the most
comment? . . . Bosqui? . . . (indifferently) Ah, I
never heard of him. . . . Oh, indeed ? I must look
at it. Which wall is it on? … Thank you; I ll
glance at it. Good night.
(To her companion, using lorgnette.) There s
Mrs. Forsyth, Muriel, that woman in grey. She must
have brought that gown from Vienna. She s just
home. And there s Mrs. Belknap in a gown she s
worn all winter. Such shocking taste in a woman of
her position ! It s really one s duty to dress as well
as one s income permits. Last year she paid two
thousand dollars for one picture, and came to the
private view in a shocking gown. I wonder who she s
talking to ? Frowsy-looking man. Some impossible
genius, I dare say. She cultivates em.
0″h, here s Kauffman, the great portrait painter
this large, shaggy man at the left. Let s go a little
nearer. He s talking about Bosqui, too. Did you
hear that? (Business of listening and carefully
repeating what is overheard.) ” The success of the
22 A PATRON OF ART.
year ” . . . ” keen sense of color values ” . . . ” re
markable distance ” . . . ” feeling for line “…
” atmosphere “… what was that about atmos
phere? I didn t quite catch it. Evidently, Muriel,
this Bosqui is promising. We must have him in to
tea some day. Perhaps I ll have him do a little thing
Oh, how do you do, Mrs. Dwinelle? Mr. Dwinelle,
you ve met my niece? Yes, we ve just come from
the Gorham reception. Such a tiresome crush ! We
got away as quickly as we could ; but you know, when
one s friends entertain, one must really show one s
self, at least. . . . Oh, everybody was there. Have
you seen Bosqui s picture? . . . Such feeling for
line and distance ! My dear, I predict that he ll have
a Career ! Wonderful atmosphere ! Eeally wonder
ful ! … Ah ? I ve been here so short a time, I m by
no means sure I ve discovered all his work; but one
glance is sufficient ! Er how many pictures has
he? … Only one? . . . Ah, really! Such a pity
there aren t more ! It s quite the only thing on the
walls worth talking about, I assure you. I m think
ing of having him do a little thing for me. . . . Yes?
Good night, then.
Muriel, did you hear Kauffman say anything about
Bosqui s chiaroscuro? . . . Are you positive? . . .
Well, he must have chiaroscuro, if he has all those
other things, don t you think?
Oh, how do you do, Mr. Atherton? Muriel, my
dear, here s Mr. Atherton. . . . Yes, we ve just come
from the Gorham reception. Such a tiresome crush !
But of course, one must go ! Everybody does !
You re going there from here? . . . Yes, of course,
one does see the pictures better before the crowd
comes. Tell me, have you seen Bosqui s thing? . . .
Oh, my dear Mr. Atherton, you musn t go until
you ve seen it ! I have seldom been so struck by a
line I mean, by by the distance! Such remark
able feeling for color, you know ! And chiaroscuro !
Such chiaroscuro ! Eeally, he ll have a Career !
A PATRON OF ART. 3
You mark my word, he ll be the success of the season.
(coldly bowing.) How do you do, Mrs. Belknap?
Mr. Atherton, who is that frowsy-looking person with
Mrs. Belknap? Is he er anybody, you know? . . .
She has been talking to him ever since we arrived,
and one never knows about Mrs. Belknap s friends.
Sometimes, they re quite er well, the sort of per
son one would like to assist, you know, by asking
them to tea, or something. And then sometimes
really, she knows such extraordinary persons, some
times ! . . . (Indifferently.) Ah, then I dare say he s
nobody. . . . Yes, it is getting late. Good night.
We shall see you Friday? Good night.
Muriel, there s not a gown here that I d be seen in
except that grey frock of Mrs. Forsyth s
Where ? Oh, yes, very nice, I dare say. I don t care
much for marine things, you know. Oh, here comes
Mrs. Chapin. Art patron, and all that sort of thing.
How do you do, Mrs. Chapin? Isn t everything
charming ! Such a relief to see some pictures again !
One gets so tired of merely social affairs ! We ve
just come from the Gorham reception. Such a fright
ful crush ! But of course, we know them so well,
and everybody was there. Eeally, everybody, you
know ! . . . Yes, the pictures are very good really
very good this year. But of course, there s nothing
to compare with Bosqui s thing. Isn t it wonder
ful ? Such remarkable feeling for line, you know
and the distance ! My dear, did you ever see
such distance ! He has such a rare sense of color
values, too ! Oh, I predict a brilliant future for him !
I m going to have him do a little thing for me just
a little thing, you know. You know him, of course ?
. . . Do bring him in to tea with us some day while
my niece is here. . . . Fridays, you know. . . Yes ;
Dear me, what an ordinary looking lot of gowns !
. . . Eh ? . . . Oh, yes, I dare say. I don t care for
figures, you know. . . . What s the title ? . . . ” The
Tempest ? ” ” The Tempest ! ” How excessively
24: A PATRON OF ART.
stupid ! They ve made a mistake in the catalogues !
Really, such carelessness is inconceivable ! I shall
have this reported to the Secretary. ” The Tempest,”
indeed ! Just a stupid-looking girl,, and an old man,
and a er a er what is that creature? . . . Eh?
. . . (Haughtily and very coldly.) Thank you,
madam; I quite understood that is was after Shake
speare. … (To Muriel.) How excessively imper
tinent ! That young woman who has never been
presented to me, I m quite sure presumed to inform
me that this picture is er of course, any one could
see at a glance ! . . . Well, my dear, the title is mis
leading. It is very stupidly named. The picture
should have been called ” Caliban.” To entitle it
” The Tempest ” is- er is plagiarism ! I m sur
prised that the Committee permitted it to be hung.
It s by that man Sorbier. They tell shocking things
about him. His own father, who was a very respect
able sort of person, I believe, cut him off without a
sou, my dear, without a sou ! But Mrs. Belknap re
ceives him. She says he has temperament. I dare say
he has. I ve noticed that the friends of men who have
temperament are always apologising for it. There s
Mrs. Belknap now, still with that frowsy man. He
looks as if he might have temperament, too. . . .
Eh? . . . Oh, yes, yes, child, I suppose so, if you
care for that sort of thing. Landscape doesn t interest
me, you know. I wonder where the Bosqui thing is ?
Do you see it anywhere? . . . How very thick the
crowd s getting ! Do let s go and find some punch !
. . . What? . . . Where? Oh, that? . . . M-m-m,
no, I can t say that I care for it. Still life never
appeals to me, you know.
Oh, Miss Wendell, isn t this a crush? It s not
quite as stifling as the Gorham reception, though.
We ve just come from there. Such a frightful
crush ! Really, 1 wonder why we do it ; but every
body was there, you know and one really must be
civil when one s friends
Eh ? What is it, Muriel ? … Oh, my dear child,
A PATRON. OF ART. 25
a mere smudge ! Do try to cultivate some feeling
for Art, Muriel ! . . . No, no, it s perfectly impos
sible ! What was the man thinking of ? … Ah,
well, never mind. It s nothing of consequence.
Eeal Art idealises, my dear. This is hopelessly real
istic. That sky is simply the olor that any ordinary
person might see. Indeed, the color is quite ordinary
throughout. You see? A complete lack of artistic
feeling and perception. Do let us find the Bosqi
Oh, Dr. Houghton ! You came away early from
the Gorhams , too. Have you see the Bosqui? Eh?
What is it, Muriel? . . . That the Bosqui! That?
*0h er yes, (enthusiastically,} my niece and I
were quite lost in admiration of it as you came up.
Such a wonderful sense of color values ! And er
er such a relief to see a bit of real Art, after the
flood of impressionistic stuff ! I m going to have him
do a little thing for me. . . . Eh ? . . . Bosqui him
self ? Eeally ? Do let me see him ! Where where
is my lorgnette! . . . That? You mean the the
distinguished-looking man with Mrs. Belknap? . . .
Is that Bosqui ? . . . Ah, one can see at a glance that
he has temperament ! Do, please, present him ! Mrs.
Belknap has monopolised him quite long enough.
Muriel, that that very interesting looking man
who has been with Mrs. Belknap all the evening is
Bosqui, and Dr. Houghton is going to >
Ah, Mr. Bosqui, so charmed to meet you ! My
niece and I have been quite lost here before your
picture ! Such a wonderful sense of color values !
I m sure you must hear color, as I do ! Doesn t
beautiful color always seem to you like a chord
of exquisite music ? . . . And the distance ! Eeally,
I never saw such distance on canvas, never ! And
the tempera er I mean, the atmosphere! One
can fairly breathe it ! Now, that little touch there
at the left Ah, no, unfortunately, I have never
studied painting that is, really studied it, you
know; but I think if one has sincere feeling for
AET er (vaguely) don t you? . . . Ah, yes, of
26 A PATRON OF ART.
course, my niece ; this is my niece, Miss Chester. Dr.
Houghton, will you bring Mr. Bosqui in to tea on
Friday ? There are so many things I want to ask him
about his work, you know. Mr. Bosqui. Er Mr.
Bosqui! Dr. Houghton has promised to bring you
to us for tea on Friday. . . . Oh, certainly, my niece
will be there. . . . Ah, that will be delightful! I
want to talk to you about doing a little thing for me.
You know, I predict a great future for you. Come,
Muriel. So charmed to have met you., Mr. Bosqui!
On Friday, then. Good night.