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The Sorrows of a Show Girl by Kenneth McGaffey

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or twelve thousand dollars' worth of jewelry you ever had you returned
to the property man every night after the ballroom scene.'

"As for me eloping with your belongings all you ever had was a dirty
handkerchief kimona, a Fluffy Ruffles skirt and a near-seal jacket, and
you had to throw a chill when you entered a cafe so as not to have to
take that off. If you had you would have been disgraced for life."

After those kind remarks Laura's goat naturally make a quick exit. She
jumped to her feet, and with one of those 'Parted on Her Bridal Tour'
expressions, said: 'It's you, is it, Sabrina; you were always noted as
the Butting-in Kid. But now if you have got all of that humorous
monologue of yours out of your system you can toddle right along and
sell your matches, as this kind gentleman and I are discussing a few
words in private and do not wish them to get all over town.'

"'Can that chatter,' said I, 'and don't forget the happy days you spent
at Sid Euson's.' Right there is where I got that scratch. But I being
pretty nifty with my fins gave her a cuff on the chops that she won't
have to put down in her diary to remember. I was just fishing for an
opening to land when Wilbur stayed my upraised arm, and I could only
give her a kick on the limb with my French heel. Naturally the noise and
the words attracted some attention even from that bunch; that is, it
could be heard above the usual hum of conversation. The dame, knowing
that I was in the right, tried to tuck the Pittsburg party under her arm
and duck the dump, but Pittsburg being a game guy, stuck for the big
show, and Laura loped for the 'L' alone.

"Wilbur was naturally surprised and grieved at my actions, and for a
moment allowed the green-eyed monster to take up standing room in his
heart, thinking that I had succumbed to the wealth of the coal dealer,
but my ready outburst of maidenly tears quickly set me to rights. That
was the only thing that marred the evening, except one of the girls
spoke kindly to a chorus man, and he, poor fellow, threw a fainting fit
and we had to force the only jig juice in the crowd between his clinched
teeth before he could be revived.

"Yes, I am still on the stage, but I have got the stage manager trained
so that I only have to slip him a five spot any night I fail to appear.
No, there isn't much doing except that some of the girls are rehearsing
for the soul kiss contest, but I personally do not have to advertise.

"What! Going? Say, on your way down tell the barhop to mix me up a life
preserver in a rose glass."

Sabrina touches on the advantages of having a hotel for chorus
girls and makes several comments on the dramatic possibilities
of "The Mangled Doughnut," with which she is rehearsing.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

"Say," remarked Sabrina, as we met her in front of her favorite cafe,
"say, loosen up, cough, give down, come to, kick in. You've got to
donate for a couple of tickets to the annual benefit of the Unemployed
or Otherwise Disabled Chorus Girls' Home, and the quicker you come
across the quicker your suffering will be over. Sure we are going to
have a benefit that will make even the Friar Festival get up and hump
itself. And you know that's going to be some show. The Chorus Girls'
Mutual Knocking Society is going to build a home so that the poor doll
who comes in from the high grass in her normal condition, broke, can
have some place to go and rest and refresh herself without having to
hock a couple of wedding rings before she can have her hotel trunk sent
up.

"There's going to be fifty sleeping rooms and ninety-six maids, so that
if the poor skirt wakes up in the morning feeling far from a well woman
all she has to do is to tickle the zing-zing and the maid is right there
on the job. There is to be nineteen sound-proof parlors with two pianos
in each parlor.

"While there will be a chaperon, of course, she will permit the young
ladies to entertain their friends in a quiet and ladylike manner until
the porter starts cleaning up the bar in the morning. The inmates will
of course be allowed to sign checks, but from visitors only cash will be
accepted.

"Can you see a mob of those merry dames around that drum? Talk about
your something doing every minute! Say, it will look like open time
around that shack. Burlesquers are canceled. They can't come into the
home. Well, they never have much of a home anyway, so they don't miss
much.

"Burlesque is sure one strenuous existence. Mother made me quit. That
and the doctor telling me that I would ruin myself standing around a
draughty stage in tights. And besides those burlesque stage hands
certainly are cruel. Why, you have to put the money right in their hand
before they will beat it across the alley for a can of suds. If that
ain't cruelty I don't know what is. Do they think us girls would enjoy
our refreshment if we have to pay for it ourselves. Why, it hasn't got
the same flavor. Do you think a girl lacks class when she puts salt in
her beer?

"That home will be a great thing. Imagine going home every night without
wondering if your room is locked and the landlady sitting on your trunks
at the top landing. You can just flounce into your nest any old time and
know that everything is right there, unless one crafty girl has bribed
the chambermaid for the key. You can never tell about those people. Why,
I know one girl who kept stealing hairs out of the different wigs in the
dressing-rooms until she had enough to make a Dutch braid, and then she
put on such a front and chest that she wouldn't speak to any of the
other girls should she happen to meet them socially. I have always
wanted a home, not that I haven't been offered several, but I mean a
permanent one. But to continue about the benefit.

"Wilbur is going to manage it, and he expects to shake down enough to
start us housekeeping, but, of course, that is strictly under your hat,
and I pray you do not mention it. I think we can get Mr. Erlanger to let
us use the New York Theatre if we promise not to damage the fixtures. He
lets every other benefit have it and he certainly wouldn't object to a
few poor chorus girls pulling off a shindy, seeing as how they did so
much for his success.

"Suppose none of us had gone on in the chorus of 'Ben-Hur'? Just think
what would have happened. Didn't know there was a chorus in 'Ben-Hur'?
Say, what are you trying to do, kid me, or just show me a good time?

"I was around yesterday trying to get some of the oldtime merry-merry
who are now some of our leading actresses to appear at the benefit, but
they all threw a fit at the mere mention of the fact that they had once
carried a spear. For my part I see nothing degrading in the work, even
if we are held up to the gibes and chaff of some of these newspaper
near-humorists.

"It certainly is an honorable calling, and if you look good from the
front you can always have your pick of the menu. So that any dame that
can hand out the frightened fawn glance need never starve.

"Ain't it funny the way these Johns stick their noses to the ground and
start on the trail of 'the soldiers, villagers, etc.'? They'll pass up
anything just to be able to stick their arm through the stage door and
hand the doorkeeper a bunch of violets.

"They will leave Flossie, the belle of the village, waiting at the gate
any time a burlesque three-sheet shows up on the side of the blacksmith
shop. And right down front, with their feet on the base drum, handing
out the coy glances before the first curtain is a foot from the stage.

"Yep, I'm still rehearsing with 'The Mangled Doughnut,' and the author
of the book told me yesterday, in the strictest confidence, that it will
be the best first-night performance Hartford ever saw.

"He says he expects to stay up all that night rewriting the book, but he
is willing to sacrifice a few hours' sleep in the interest of Art. And
for the musical numbers, as we are rehearsing forty-two songs, some of
them ought to go. The only thing wrong with the show as far as I can see
is that the prima donna acts like she was in a trance. It is my personal
opinion--of course I wouldn't have you breathe this to a living soul for
worlds--but it is my personal opinion that she sniffs the white. She
either does that or jabs, though it don't show on her arm. The leading
comedian is a sad affair.

"He would make a good understudy for a morgue, and that's about all.
Why, I offered him suggestions for some new business in his cafe scene
and he went up-stage on the run and informed me that when he desired
instructions from the chorus concerning the way to handle his part he
would address me in writing. I said to him: 'Far be it from me to get
gay, old top, but I would respectfully suggest that you get busy with
the pen and ink.' Then he was going to have me fired. Such a chance.

"He had better find out what I know about the past history of the person
who hired me before he hands out any lurid language about my dismissal.
I know right where I stand, and though I am one of the shop girls in the
first act, instead of having my regular place as an American heiress, I
know right where I stand every shake out of the box.

"Viola St. Clare is sure having the one strenuous time with her new
husband. The poor dear is nearly balmy in the crumpet from worry. You
see, they have been married but four long weeks, and the last three
nights he has been coming home sober, and she believes he is deceiving
her, so she is trying to get enough money from him so that she can hire
a private detective to have him shadowed.

"They tell me that Sam Harris has to punch a time clock. I know one
thing, and that is when I am married Wilbur will not be one of the
leading lights of the Knickerbocker, even if I have to prance down there
and drag him out by the neck. Gee, there ain't much doing in town now.
Wilbur and a couple of friends are already running trial heats for the
Twenty-three Club dinner, and if he ever recovers from that our
engagement will be announced. I am having the photographs taken now.

"Tell me, do you think it's good form for a lady to have her wedding
announcement accompanied by pictures of herself in tights. Wilbur says
that it won't help me, but it will do the show a lot of good, and he
says somebody connected with my show should be done good besides the
manager.

"I will say one good word about our show--it has a grand first act. The
other two acts may be on the cheese, but the first act is good. The
author says the first act of a show is the only one that needs any
attention, because it is the only one the critics ever stick for anyway.
We got great scenery; the second act is made of what you might call a
composite set, being composed out of all the scenery from the other
failures this year.

"Did I say other failures?"

"I spoke inadvertently. 'For this elaborate production, with its
all-star cast of metropolitan favorites and its famous beauty chorus,'
as Wilbur says, may be all right.

"Mind you, I only say may.

"The first act is laid in a quince plantation, and the quinces of the
chorus are discovered at curtain rise picking the luscious fruit. There
is a naval vessel in the harbor. This was put in so the tenor could wear
his white duck uniform; he had to wear something, and when the
management found that he had a white duck uniform--every tenor has, you
know, or he wouldn't be a tenor--when the management found that he had a
uniform they took the money they had advanced for costumes away from him
and rewrote the first act.

"As I say, we lemons are picking quinces or we quinces are picking
lemons, any way you want to take it, and after finishing the opening
chorus we rush up stage, open center, and in comes the prima donna in a
pony cart--a stone boat would suit her better, but that is neither here
nor there--see pony cart, chance for number by pony ballet, with six
trained doughnuts--you see that's where the title of the play is
introduced. That's the only time the title shows up except a duet
between the leading lady and the tenor entitled 'I Had Rather be a
Doughnut in Harlem Than a Butter Cake in Childs'.'

"The prima and the tenor do an imitation of the 'Merry Widow' waltz. The
author didn't want that put in, but the backer of the show convinced him
that nowadays every true musical comedy had an imitation of the 'Merry
Widow' waltz, so he let it slide.

"After that in comes the comedian as the valet of a wealthy American
just arrived on the battleship.

"He has got a great entrance. It's brought out by some plot lines spoken
by two of the chorus girls that he has taken a taxaballoon from the boat
and while up in the air he bites the rope of the balloon in two in a fit
and falls center stage with a red spotlight on him. That's the musical
cue for his song.

"'I'd Rather Be Up in the Air Than Up in the Bronx.' He has learned
twenty-two extra verses and says that he will give them all if the
ushers' hands hold out.

"When he is through in comes the soubrette, formerly a lady boilermaker
in Canarsie, but now disguised as an adventuress, in search of the
missing papers.

"She has the papers in a locket given her by her mother, but don't know
it until the comedian bites her on the neck in the third act and breaks
the chain, when the locket falls to the ground and the papers fall out.

"The second act is a scene in Maxim's, where the leading lady is washing
dishes. That gives more comedy, with the comedian as a dish.

"The American is hiding from his wife and goes to Maxim's because he
knows she'll be there. If she wasn't, shucks! There wouldn't be no show.

"He does his specialty with a piece of cheese--not the prima donna--and
after that the American Beauty Chorus comes in and does a refined
can-can.

"My how I have run on! I just know I'll be late for rehearsal, but don't
forget the benefit. We need the money, Wilbur and me. So long!"

In which Sabrina prepares to leave town with the show, but
pauses to pass a few remarks on love, comedians, murders, maids,
spring millinery and the advisability of anyone marrying their
first husband.

CHAPTER TWELVE

"Goodbye, dear," said Sabrina, as we met her hurrying up Broadway. "Our
show leaves town to-morrow. We got to get to Hartford in time for a
dress rehearsal before the evening performance. My, such a time we have
had. You know the comedian we had threw up the sponge at the last minute
and we had to dig up another. Thank goodness, this one is a gentleman
and not getting fresh with the merry-merry every time he gets a chance.

"Oh, say, was you at the Friars' Sunday Night in Bohemia a couple of
weeks ago? The Friars spend every night in Bohemia or the Knickerbocker
bar, so Wilbur says. But honest, this was a great stunt, seconded only
by the Festival they are going to pull off in May.

"The curtain went up on what looked like a busy day in Childs', and
Wells Hawks was in the spotlight, surrounded by a bevy of blondes and
empty champagne bottles. They tell me that Gus Edwards had to blindfold
Hawks to lead him up to the table where the empty bottles were, and as
for the girls, it was with a great effort that they restrained
themselves.

"All they could do was to look at the empty bottles, hold their noses
and drink mineral water. Ain't it awful, Mabel? Anyway, everybody had a
good time, so what care they for gibes and jeers? Many the time have I
held a champagne cork to my nose, closed my eyes and dreamed that I was
having a time. Well, to continue about our show. Wilbur says it will
never go, because they only got block stands, and an agent ain't got no
show without at least one kind of a litho. Wilbur said it hurt the
artistic instinct of a billposter in these hick towns to put up all
block stands, and you generally have to slip them a little something to
be sure that they burn up all the extra stuff, so that the manager of
the company wouldn't find it should he go snooping around the bill room
when the show gets in town. He says if they get a good litho of a
killing or a chorus they will go out of the way to stick them up just
for art's sake. Wilbur is going to give me a suit case full of hard
tickets to the Friar Festival, and told me to mace every John I came
across on the road for as many as he would stand for. He said the more I
sent in the more he would know I loved him. Wilbur is so romantic!

"This new comedian we got with the show is pretty good, but of course I
can see defects. And the new prima donna is real nice. She asked me into
her dressing-room the other afternoon and slipped me a little idea
encourager that she had in a flask. But the way she is in love with the
tenor, honest, it's sickening to me. She watches him from the time he
comes in the theatre until the time he leaves, and then calls him up on
the 'phone at his home.

"The other day when he asked one of the girls to tie the ribbon in his
cuff she got so jealous that I thought she was going to give the poor
kid a lam on the lamp. What she can see in that tenor is beyond me. What
anybody can see in a tenor has got me guessing, for that matter. Wilbur
says that's just the way with temperamental people, and he lost a job
once just because he forgot to land pictures in the Sunday editions of
all the newspapers in town of the manager's own particular guiding star,
but planted a bunch of her dearest friend instead. He says there's no
pleasing them, and the only way to have peace and harmony around the
whole show shop is to print flashlights of the entire company. And even
that looks like blazes, for the editor will always reduce an
eight-column flashlight to a two-column cut, no matter how many drinks
you buy him.

"He says he saw a murder once--was the only witness, in fact--and he
took it on the run to a newspaper office and offered to trade a Charles
Sommerville to the editor for a reading notice about the show, and the
editor told him that they could get all they wanted from the police, and
what they didn't get wouldn't hurt the public if they didn't know about
it. He says if that wouldn't give the press agent art a kick in the neck
nothing would.

"Wilbur says he loves his art and nothing pleases him better than to
find a box office that will take his I O U. Us chorus have been sure
working hard the past week, and Ben Teal has been just that kind and
gentle, and didn't put a one of us on the pan. We certainly have got
some lovely costumes; they ain't much to them, but what there is is
beautiful. They smell a little of camphor, but they have been packed
away in hampers ever since last season, and that accounts for it.

"I got a fine scene with the comedian and should score a great personal
triumph. All of us girls are lined up for his entrance in the second
act, and when he comes in he walks right over to me and says: 'Ah,
little one. How are you on the Queen's wedding day,' 'Queen's wedding
day,' that's my cue, and I say, 'Very well, thank you kindly, noble
sire.' Aint that great? It takes nearly a whole side. I was rehearsing
it in my apartment this morning with Estelle, but she was so rotten as
the comedian that I took away the last $5 I gave her for a tip.

"These menials have no talent in their souls. Estelle, that's my maid,
says she has no desire to elevate the drama, and she had rather be a
maid for a chorus girl any time--there's more money in it. She may be
right at that.

"Alla McSweeney is going to start a New Thought Church. She says that
she has a whole flock of new thoughts and it would be quite fashionable
to start this new think stunt. She said she would tell us her new
thoughts if she thought we would never breathe a word to a living
breathing soul. Gee, that lets our gang out.

"They couldn't keep quiet if it killed them. Honest, for a bunch of
knockers, perfect both in single handed knocking and team work, our set
has anything bound to the bannister in New York.

"But what care I? Spring is coming and we will all soon hike to Bath
Beach. Honest, for a country place with all the conveniences of home
Bath Beach is the top liner. You can put a can under your shawl and rush
a couple of blocks and always get it full of the best, and if you put
butter around the side of the pail the barkeep ignores the fact and goes
right ahead.

"I may get a motor boat this summer if Wilbur gets his summer snap at
the island.

"Coney, I mean, not Blackwell's.

"He has never been over there except to take flowers to the Poillon
sisters. They love nature so. Charlotte says it makes her homesick every
time she sees a Joy Line boat go by.

"The benefit season will soon open and any person that has a couple of
thousand dollars to pay for a theater can git a benefit for himself and
maybe draw down a couple of hundred more. The benefit for the chorus,
girls has gone up in the air, for none of them would acknowledge that
they were chorus girls.

"They were either show girls or pony dancers, and that let them out.
Anyway, each girl wanted to bring her maid, and the dressing rooms would
have been so full of maids that there would have been no room for the
dolls. I had it all framed up, too. I had six wine agents and a whisky
salesman who guaranteed to appear, and that alone would have made the
thing a financial success. But what could I do?

"Our bunch has been rehearsing five weeks without salaries, and with the
excessive taxicab rates we got no money to spend on clothes to wear to
the ball, and the wardrobe mistress keeps an awful tab on the costume
hampers.

"A certain friend of mine, who, by the way, I wouldn't trust any further
than I can throw an elephant by the tail, had the nerve to take me up in
her apartment the other day and show me her new bathing suit she had
just imported from Paris. It was a swell thing all right, but sewed in
the waistband was a piece of cloth that said 'Burgomaster 2' on it, so
you can draw your own conclusions.

"Honest, the way some girls steal is something awful. Take it from me,
it's nothing less than stealing to swipe a wardrobe. Of course, if the
show is going to close it's all right, but from a successful production,
never. Lifting a scarfpin from a soused party is all right, for he is
supposed to do something to remunerate the lady for wasting her time by
taking her to supper.

"Spring has sure come and I do just glory in nature. I suppose that is
because I was brought up in the country. We never have anything but
nature in Emporia.

"Oh, I heard from the folks the other day, and they tell me that Emporia
is now growing to be some town. The bank is putting up a four-story
brick building, which is going to be looked on as the village
skyscraper.

"The town council has already passed resolutions restricting the height
of the buildings to six stories. They ain't going to take the chance
that New York does, and have some of these big tall ten-story affairs
topple over into their streets.

"All the yaps out in that neighborhood are lining out for the spring
plowing now while the yaps here are lining out for the spring millinery
openings. I already got the dressmaker on the job for seven or eight
modest little frocks that will make them sit up and take notice Sundays
down at Manhattan Beach.

"I have decided that I am going to be an athletic girl this summer, and
am already taking exercise every day. Why, I walk all the way from the
subway to the hotel, and that's nearly half a block.

"Say, what do you know about this? Posey Golden has married her first
husband.

"Honest! You know they were divorced shortly after she got a good job,
and have been living apart ever since.

"She married again to the nicest gambler you ever met. But he got stung
on a sleeper, and had to hock the family jewels, and Posey said that was
cruelty, for she could never have the face to go down to the dining room
for breakfast without all of her diamonds on; she had worn them every
day since they struck the St. Reckless, and she was afraid it might
cause talk among the waiters and guests because she always treated them
with a calm air of condescension, and they would lay for the chance to
get in a hammer. So she put in a bid for a divorce and got it.

"Then she met her first better half on the street and, after having a
little supper, they decided to sneak through the tunnel, take it on the
run for Newark and again become one.

"Imagine anybody going to Newark to get married! Imagine any one going
to Newark for anything!

"They got married and came back to town just as happy as if nothing had
ever happened. My, I hope Wilbur and I will be that way! I think he is
sincere even if he does write good notices about girls in his show.

"Well, I must toddle along and see if Wilbur has cashed his yet, so that
I can get the rest of that new hat. If it ain't too much trouble you can
send me a bunch of flowers for our opening night in Hartford. So long."

The show gives its opening performance and Sabrina scores a
great personal success. She speaks at some length of the kissing
craze and makes several comments on the time she had while out
of town.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

"Are you coming to the opening tonight?" began Sabrina, the Show Girl,
before she had given her order. "I don't know if you can get a seat or
not, because the management is tired of having the same old gang out in
front, and have donated about two-thirds of the house to the ladies at
the Martha Washington, for they know more about a real show than
anybody, because they read the dramatic page of all the fashion
magazines, and the other third of the house will be taken up by the
dramatic critics and their friends.

"We had a great opening in Hartford. The theatre was crowded four rows
back. The first act went great, but we couldn't tell how the last one
went, because nobody but the author and composer stayed for it, and they
are a little partial.

"I scored a great personal triumph, and the way I read my lines was not
only greeted with applause, but with laughter. In fact, I made such a
decided hit that the prima donna, who, by the way, is worse than the
first, because she drinks, had the manager take my lines away from me
and give them to somebody who could not read them as well. If I wasn't
afraid she would blackball me for the P.W.L. I would raise a kick. The
idea of an old frump like that letting professional jealousy interfere
with Art.

"After the performance that night the author got busy and rewrote the
whole second act, and had it all ready by the time we landed in
Washington.

"Do you think we get a chance to rush around and mingle with the
Congressmen and other such truck? Not on your life. It was to the show
shop for us and do the big rehearsal all day, and we only had time to
slip out and soak up a sandwich and get back in time for the evening's
performance.

"I changed my tights from blue to pink for the first night and scored
another personal triumph. So much so that the soubrette made it a point
to stand in front of me every time she did a number with the chorus. She
belonged over on the other side in front of the Glonesganes creature, in
order to dress the stage, and the manager jumped all over her for
moving.

"The show went big that night, and the next day some of the critics
spoke favorably of it. I don't care what they say, it's a good show, and
as the plot has been almost entirely eliminated it should go well here.

"After rehearsing all day Tuesday we were allowed to walk up and down
Pennsylvania avenue and get acquainted. I met a gentleman who said he
had been introduced to me in New York, and he certainly treated me
grand. We went over to the Willard for supper, and he just tossed the
menu toward me, careless like, and said, 'Got to it, kid.' Talk about
your Southern gallantry! A bunch of these near-sports will rush a girl
into a feedshop, and they have no more than got seated at the table
before he will commence talking about the big dinner he has just had, so
that the poor thing feels like a burglar if she eats anything more than
a couple of lobsters. But not this Percival, he frankly admitted that he
hadn't had anything to eat for a week and scratched no entries.

"I wish these New Yorkers were that way--nothing personal dear--but they
have become so callous to feeding the merry-merry that they have the big
eat dodging stunt down to a science. The only way to get more than a
two-dollar, including wine, feed out of most of these moss-covered
pocketbooks is by blasting.

"Why, I have known certain parties to adopt the subterfuge of going out
to telephone and then beating it to avoid paying the check. Thus leaving
the poor feedee to pay the bill or wait longingly for a friend to show
up on the horizon.

"A gentleman who will pull off a deal like that is not worthy of the
confidence of one of our sex. But, understand, I am not by any means
damning the whole male sex, for I have met gentlemen who threw the lid
of their grouch bag in the gutter and didn't care if they ever found it
again. Those is the kind of parties that has my trust. Me grub, and I
got money in the bank? Sure I do. I got to keep in training somehow, so
if I did lose my inheritance I wouldn't be out of practice.

"Wilbur don't blame me for it. He says that the object in life of an
agent and a chorus girl is to plant everything they can get their fins
into whenever they can, for it don't last long, and the good people
ain't healthy. And goodness knows I sure do need my health. For though I
appear to be a strong, robust creature I am a frail woman.

"Wilbur can moan and groan around with a hangover for a couple of days,
but I have to be right on the job all the time with this smiling face
and laughing eye thing, or he would seek some other place for sympathy.
Why, many a morning I have spoke light and happy words of cheer to him
over the 'phone with a tongue as thick as a board-walk and the inside of
my nob yearning to burst loose and flop around in the cool morning air.

"Do I caper up to the transmitter and sob, 'Oh, darling, I fear me that
I am not long for this earth!' Never! I take a long drink of ice water,
and when his 'Is this you, kid?' comes over the wire I chirrup back,
real bright and gay, 'Right O, Kiddo!' and when he says he don't believe
he can live through the day, do I suggest that we die together? Not I! I
tell him to forget it and go downstairs and have George mix him up a mug
full of the hair of the dog that bit him. That shows the love of a good
woman.

"Was you at the Chorus Girls' Ball last Saturday night? My, I would
hate to cast any reflections on the judges, but their choice certainly
was bum. Still I suppose they are old men and not up on the modern 1908
rules on osculation.

"In their day when a young man imprinted a chaste salute on a dame's
alabaster forehead he was supposed to go into a fit of delight, but not
according to this year's book. Now they clinch with a strangle hold and
stick till one or the other drops from exhaustion. I did not enter the
contest, for I am not a chorus girl; I am a show girl, if you please.
What's the difference? Five a week.

"This kissing craze is getting to be something scandalous. Not that I
object to it. But I blush to think that the time-honored customs that
were once performed in the front parlor, with the gas turned low, is now
used in contests and numbered as a feat of strength.

"Wilbur and I went to the ball together, and as soon as he struck the
hut he wanted to rush right over and run a few trial heats with the
contestants, but the easy way with which I made him change his mind was
a joy to the eye. He said to me as we went in the door, I think I will
toddle over to the paddock and see if the fillies are in form. He was
making a wild rush to check his shawl when I mentioned casual like, as
if I wasn't noticing myself saying it, 'You know that I am an added
starter.' Bing! Skyrockets! Wilbur goes up in the air and comes down all
spraddled out.

"'What!' he pipes, as soon as he got his breath, 'my financed bride
billed to appear in a hugging handicap? Not yet! Sabrina you certainly
do jag my jib to think that you would enter into such a deal. From now
on our trail parts.' 'Oh, I don't know,' I said. 'What's sauce for the
goose is sauce for the gander, and if you pull off any stunts you can
figure that I will be in the running. And that goes as it lays.'

"That was no nice language for a lady, but it put the brakes on Wilbur's
osculatory aspirations so quick that he stopped with a jolt. He canceled
the date and we went up into the box and stood in the receiving line for
wine agents.

"Wilbur knew that he had to stand hitched or I wouldn't let him go to
the Twenty-three Club dinner tonight. He has been training for the event
for the last two weeks, and he says that he will be able to outdistance
the bunch before 4 a.m., and you know that's going some.

"It's a pity they wouldn't let us women in on their feed deals. They go
out and fill up on beefsteak while we have to stick around and drown our
sorrows in a cheese sandwich. And goodness knows that while they are
nourishing they don't give you any new ideas.

"I only hope our show is a success, for if Wilbur and I get married
every penny will help, and I don't want to lance my personal fresh air
fund for anything more than a bridal veil. Wilbur and I are just like
two doves, but I am taking no chances, for press agents are fickle
people.

"With all due regard to Wilbur's feelings I must say that the agent of
our company is a dog. He had the nerve to come up to us girls and want
us to beat it up and down Broadway with signs boosting the show on our
backs. A doll would stand a swell chance in Jack's with a big sign
reading, 'Go see 'The Abused Cruller' at the Folly' on her vertebrae,
now wouldn't she?

"Can you see me as the walking three-sheet? I make exhibition enough of
myself on the stage without prancing up and down with one of those
things tied to my Fluffy Ruffles.

"I just had an awful time in Washington. One of the girls that dresses
in the same room with me came in with one of those crying buns on and
shed so many weeps in my makeup box that I had to put it on with an
atomizer.

"I did all a human being could do to bring her to--rubbed her hands and
slapped her face; but even then she was in no fit condition to appear.
Go on she would, in spite of my prayers, and what does she do when she
comes tripping on, blithe and gay as a school girl, but stumble and do a
slide on her profile half way across the O.P. side, just as the tenor
was starting the chorus to his song, 'Bevey in Little Children.' He
being a nervous party springs a blue note that got the musical director
hysterical and he forgot to give the bass drum man his cue and the whole
thing went to blazes.

"It was lucky that the stage manager was making a date on the dressing
room stairs, or what she would have got would have been a-plenty.

"You know Laura O'Toole who was married a few weeks ago? Well, she is
again a widow. Her husband got a job with a road show. She was thinking
of wearing mourning, but her husband staked her to the price of a new
spring suit and she said that conventionalities could go hang, as she
had a shape and was going to show it. I don't blame her. Why let grief
put it on style?

"Gee, it won't be long before summer, and then we will get our salaries
reduced. That's the trouble with the people I work for. Every time they
get a success here in town they start to reduce salaries. If the company
would stand for it we would be owing them money every week before the
end of the season. They think a girl hasn't nothing to do but ride
around in an automobile and look sweet.

"Well, me to get on the war paint. Say, have you offered your services
for the Friar Festival yet? Well, you had better get on the job if you
want to consider yourself classy. So long! Oh, you know the ushers will
hand flowers over the footlights if you just tell him who they are for.
Bye-bye."

The show opens on Broadway and Sabrina shows surprise at the
number of harsh words in the English language. She discloses the
methods of the Lease Breakers Association and mentions the
events that transpired at a little informal gathering.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

"My, did you see what the critics said about our show?" exclaimed
Sabrina, Show Girl, as her maid opened the door. "Wasn't it awful? I
didn't know there were so many mean words in the book. And the nerve of
them to pan me after meeting several of them socially. One of them said
that I looked so good standing up that it was a crime to have me sit
down, but when I spoke for goodness sake get the muffler. The mut! I
should go down and horsewhip him. But no, that's what us people that
figure in public are bound to get. They never say a good word until
after the minister says, 'Dust thou art to dust returneth,' and then
some cluck is liable to come along and dig up a bunch of letters.

"I am thinking seriously of taking a flat until summer. I don't like
this hotel, one has to keep so many conventionalities. Why, the other
day my 'phone was out of order and I ran down to the desk in my kimona
to telephone and the clerk had the nerve to call me for it. Can you
surpass that? I told him to open his ears and let his head cool off.

"I was looking at a nice flat the other day, but they want me to sign a
lease. What do I know about a lease? There ain't no half salary clause
in it. If I did sign the lease and want to beat it all I would do would
be to call in the Lease Breakers' Association and I could leave the next
day. That mob responds to a call like the crowd in the Cadillac when
some one says, I'll buy,' and you can take it from me that's going some.

"Sure, haven't you heard of the Lease Breakers' Association? They
guarantee to break any lease in less than a week. It is composed of a
mob of select ladies and gentlemen who can make the most noise. A person
wishing to leave their abode and handicapped with a lease has but to
blow the whistle for this gang and furnish plenty of refreshments and
there is nothing to it. I attended one the other evening and we all had
the one grand time.

"A friend of mine has ceased being married and naturally has no more use
for a whole flat, so she approached the cruel landlord and asked for a
release. Did she get it? Not. He told her that she would have to stick
or stand the consequences. Does she tear out a bunch of hair and rave
all over the room? Not her. She gets the members of the Lease Breakers
on the 'phone and that night they hold the big celebration and the next
morning four tenants kicked to the landlord. The morning after that the
whole building kicked in a body and the janitor had to repair two
ceilings. Then the guv asked her to move and she refused until he gave
up her month's rent. She was foolish like one of those birds they call a
fox. I guess, yes. These landlords have to go some if they want to get
ahead of the simple Bohemians. What they want rent for beats me. They
own the houses and that ought to satisfy them.

"If I do get this flat, take it from me, we will pull off the grand one
time. I intend to hold a reception every evening after the show until I
get a request to move.

"Say, here's the big jest in our set. You know, Olga Jones and her
husband don't get along very well together. Their temperaments don't
jibe.

"Well, her soul mate and she had given hubby the slip and were down in
my apartments putting on the finishing touches to the big eats. Soul
Mate was telling the story of his life to Olga when in kicks the dame
that Soul Mate had formerly been in love with.

"They are both wise people and neither tip their mit, though Soul Mate
grew restless with his feet. This was about 4 a.m. and the mere shank of
the evening, as it were. When all of a sudden, Bing! Bing! on the door
and in waltzed Olga's handicap, who had been out and soaked up a souse,
and not finding little wifey when he returned to the hut, he starts out
on a still hunt and ropes in my shack.

"Hubby comes in carrying weight for grouch and pipes party of
five--Blonde Party, Olga, Soul Mate, Wilbur and me. Calls down wifey for
not coming home. Business of language. I kick in and tells him to have a
drink. Nothing to it. Oil on the troubled waters looked like an also
ran.

"Hubby was perfectly content and after a drink or two he beat it,
telling wifey to hurry home. Fine. Blonde Party finds she is fifth wheel
and also ducks. Then Olga lands on Soul Mate. 'Who is this peroxide
party?'

"'Only an old passing fancy,' chirrups Soul Mate.

"Olga tears her hair and bites out a bunch of hectic language about
having the only man she ever loved being false, and how life is naught
but a hollow bubble and all that kind of rot. Wilbur having sporting
blood was for kidding them on and seeing if they would mix it, but me
desiring peace and quiet told what I didn't know about the affair and
squared things. Business of embracing.

"Did you pipe the sassy half-sheets Mr. McManus got out for the Friar
Festival? Ain't they just too pretty for words? Do you know who that guy
reading the Friar song down in the corner is? Don't breathe a word and
I'll tell you. It's Phil Mindel. Honest it is. George sketched it from
life one night over at the Booze Arts.

"Us chorus girls were talking of marching to Albany in a body with drums
beating and flags flying and demanding that the anti-betting bill be
ditched. It is something fierce the way these reformers are trying to
put the bee on our pleasures.

"I just dote on horse races. Why, I can go to the track and sit in the
cafe for hours. I wonder what these guys think we are going to do with
our spare time this summer? Sit at home and make sofa pillows? Why,
there is no greater sport in the world than riding out to Sheepshead or
Jamaica in an auto and then borrowing money from your escort to bet on
the patty-pats. It's a great system. If you lose the John gets nothing,
and if you win you take everything, so it is fair for all parties.

"If they want to do something truly noble they should put those moving
picture shows out of business. Pretty soon when they want the chorus to
show up they will let down a sheet, throw on the picture and turn loose,
'Welcome, your highness, welcome' on the phonograph. I ain't mentioning
any names, but there is a bunch of these parties that belong on a moving
picture.

"What do you know about the circus? Ain't it all to the pickles? Me
there the other matinee in a real box, courtesy of the management. Did
you get your attention called to the two Janes that did the ride in the
hurdics down the hill? Some class to that act. Imagine looping the loop
in the air! Not for Sabrina, the pride of the chorus. As long as I can
make my living on my shape you don't catch me trying to damage it
soaring around in the atmosphere. Not for five dollars more a week, as
bad as I need the money.

"I went to see Wells Hawks and the elephants. Both of them are permanent
fixtures, though they do say that he is kept busy looking after the
animals at both the Hip. and the circus. And the clowns! May I be struck
dead if I didn't just rear back and howl my head off at those crazy
clucks.

"Alla McSweeney certainly is a sneeze. She has no idea of the fitness of
things. I was telling her just the other day. I said, 'Alla, you
certainly are no piker. You'll go out and mace a good fellow for a big
feed just as if he was a John. Now, that ain't right. When you are out
with a James go to it and eat your head off. But when you are out with
some one in the business or a newspaper man be circumscribe. Though you
may want to wade through the whole dope sheet hitch your desire and
order what you think he can afford, and lay back until you get a live
one.'

"What? Sure we do. If a Jane goes out with a John that has nothing but.
Nothing's too good for her and walking is hard on the feet. The more
money the wop spends the bigger sport he thinks he is, but a fellow
professional has honorable intentions, sometimes, and it is considered
wise not to show what you are accustomed to until after he has bought
the ring or written some letters. I may go out with some fellow and
order everything from soup to nuts just to show him that I can, but the
way I won Wilbur's heart was by ordering a cheese sandwich the first
time he invited me out.

"My goodness! How I run on, and here it is getting late. Well, I must
toddle along and see how the Friar Festival is. I have a personal
interest in that. So long. Say, the next time you expect to get lanced
for the big feed tell her you were once in the business and it will save
you money. Ta, ta."

In which Sabrina has a row with the stage-manager, leaves the
show, frivols in the vineyard, denounces the male sex as being
all alike, threatens, to take the veil, but finally falls upon
the neck of her betrothed and all is forgotten.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

We came upon Sabrina seated alone at a table in the rear of a cafe; her
hat was tilted rakishly over one ear, a couple of strands of hair were
hanging down over her forehead, a bright spot glowed on each cheek and
her eyes had a dim, moist appearance. The table was covered with glasses
and bottles and the chairs looked as if they had been hastily shoved
back.

As we approached her she waved her hand joyfully and exclaimed, 'Welcome
bri' Springtime. Wel-come to our country village. You--you behold in me
the only living survivor of the wreck of the Hesperus. Parade ri' up,
and give the waiter your hat, coat and vest and bevy in. Though I have
just given nineteen dollars' worth of hair puffs away as
sou-sou-ven--you say it, I feel like a new born child. Once again I am
care fre' and heart fre'. Tra la la la le. I have just decorated Wilbur
with the sacred order of the bee and I--hurray! hurray!--am no longer a
near-bride. Take it fr'm muh I feel so happy I don' care if I get spots
all over the fron' of my waist. I feel like a lark. Yes shur, a
bottled-in-bond lark. Whatever that ish. An' I still got the engagemen'
ring at that.

"Waiter! Waiter! Garsong! Thish gentleman has a few words to shay to
you, an' don' take no for an answer. Oh, yes, you arch your eyebrows in
sus-sus-picioning and shay that I have been two-stepping around the
juniper bowl and I will answer, 'Right O!' Just like that.

"I make it a rule to cel'brate all suspicious occasions by revelry and
goo' cheer. Oh, won' I have a head in the morning! But now.

"Behold I appear as Columbine! I toil not neither do I spin. Listen, my
dear. The last two days have been fraught--whatever that is--with
incidences that would bring gray hairs to the head of much stronger
women than I.

"It came off last night. I was out to supper with a couple of
gentlemen--Wilbur and an-another gent. We were so busy talking things
over that I didn't get to the theater until the middle of the first act.
My, I never saw a man so peevish as that stage manager. I had no more
than exchanged the courtesies of the day with the stage doorkeeper and
asked after his sick child than that mut-faced sneeze that calls himself
a stage manager had the nerve to rush up an fine me five dollars. Wha'da
you think of that?

"I told him that I positively refused to appear the rest of the evening.
Then he told me that I was fired? What do you know about that? I said,
calm and dignified, like the perfec' lady I am, 'All ri', you can do as
you please with your old show, I don't care, I don't care, nothing
bothers me,' and with those kind words I caper up to the dressing room
and take that expensive gown I wear in the third act and stuck it in the
wash bowl and turned on the water. It needed cleaning anyway. Then I put
a few things that oughta belong to me in my makeup box and beat it.

"I had to kiss everybody in the company goo' bye and that made the stage
wait and the manager came chasing around without any goat and tol' me
never to darken his door again. That's all ri' with muh. His blooming
door was dark enough anyway. Then I waltz back to where Wilbur and the
gentleman are and break the news. Wilbur gets sore, for since I
commenced wearing those pink tights he doped out a great dramatic career
for me. And naturally he was vexed. For he saw no show of being able to
lay off work.

"Wilbur started to chide me. I was in too gra' a nervousness state to be
chid' an' I tol' him sho. Did he have compassion and pity on muh in my
vis-vis-situdes? No! Abso-o-o-lutely no! I says all ri' old top, if you
look at it that way I guess I can bear up through the heat of the day
without your assistance, an' if it's just the same to you I will toddle
ri' along and peddle my matches.

"Wilbur pricks up his ears at those few words and tries to copper his
remarks, but not for a minute could I see through the fog.

"I just gather up my skirt and sweep majestically out of the room, jump
into taxicab and proceed to hunt pleasure and relaxation. What do you
know about that?

"Ah! here is the little waiter with his shining morning face. Get me
another one of the same and keep your eagle eye on these gentlemen's
mugs and see that they do not get dry. Say, take it from me, if I felt
any better I'd break out in a rash. I abso-o-o-o-lutely have no regard
for the future. I don' care whether school keeps or not, and Curfew can
ring her young head off for all I care. I am going to make old Omar feel
like a temperance lecturer before I get through this celebration. I am
willing to drink everything but 'Merry Widow' cocktails, for they make
you want to steal your own clothes.

"I was expecting to enjoy a box at Ted Marks' big pow-wow at the New
York this afternoon, but I fear me at about that time the only thing I
will be in condition to attend will be the usual hang-over party in the
Metropole.

"Mr. Marks is sure the one clever party. He's going to organize a club
called 'The Human Nightkeys.' Any one that goes to bed before daylight
is barred. Lee Harrison offered his services as sergeant-of-arms to see
that the rule is observed.

"Now that Summer is coming on this sleep question is getting shoved off
in a dark corner by itself. It always was a waste of time.

"I don't care a whoop for the best man that breathes and now that I have
slipped Wilbur the go'-by I shall never fall in love with one of his sex
again. Tell muh, do I look all ri'. I haven't detailed the rest of this
adventure, have I? Well, I left Wilbur and met a nice quiet party that
was singing 'We're Afraid to Go Home in the Dark' over in Jack's and I
at once began to mingle. They were all good fellows, so I nearly gave
them heart trouble by ordering wine for the crowd.

"I will not endeavor to chronicle the amount of lush I tucked away. I
will only state that if I had not been a good friend to the bell hops I
never would have gotten upstairs.

"Estelle, that's muh maid, was sitting up with her face to the pane
waiting for me to come home, and just to show her how grateful I was I
gave her all of Wilbur's pictures and all the change I had in my
stocking. Waiter, you are forgetting your duties in part.

"I finally got to bed and then I pulled off the big cry. Booze, you
understand, and not because I lost that hot-air shooting, lush-working,
expense-account-grubbing wah of a Wilbur. I should say not. Don't think
that I wear pink tights and can't get the best man that ever breathed.

"I am not a bit like that Glonesganes creature. Why, she actually throws
herself at the head of every man she meets. Honest, you can't take her
out to supper in a crowd before she's engaged to some two or three in
the party. Fact. Ask any of the girls. We all swore to tell the same
story about her.

"Am I going back on the stage. Well, I should hope so, dear. What do you
think I would do with myself if I didn't have to beat it to the shop at
least once a day. I tried it once when I first got my fortune, but life
became so monotonous and I got so fat that I had to start rehearsing in
order to get back to my former self.

"Say, I think the last dipperful made me feel better. Waiter, come out
of your trance. Gee, but I do feel great.

"Won't you all have a little something to eat. A steak smothered in
pickles or something like that. Go as far as you like. You know I ain't
that kind of a girl. When I'm treating there's no entries scratched. Go
ahead do as you please. I ain't going to get married, so I don't have to
save my money.

"You just watch Wilbur hedge. I got spies out and they say he's been in
every cafe in town looking for me. Wants to make up. Watch little birdie
here. If he comes monkeying around me again I'll pick up one of these
and knock him clean out from under his hat. Trifler. How I ever fell for
him certainly gets me. How anybody could love a press agent or an actor
gets me for that matter. I have been crossed in love and am running no
more chances.

"I shall never get married. Never! That statement is for publication. I
shall live in peace and quiet near some good cafe and drown my old age
in mixed drinks.

"You needn't think I am soused, but I am going to tell you this. Unless
Wilbur and I make up the Friar Festival will have to get along without
my services. Why, I got every John in town so bunked that every time
they see me coming they take it on the run for some place that I can't
get to 'em, 'cause I lance 'em for a pair of seats every time our trails
cross.

"I lost eight dinner engagements last week just on that account and what
do I get for it? Ice water. That's all.

"Wilbur rushes up and demands more seats and the committee thinks he is
having an awful rush of business and its muh with my shoulder to the
wheel. I had a run in with Wilbur already about the Friar Girl that
Harrison Fisher drew on the front of the programme. Wilbur told me that
I could have the job and I finds out that he told everybody in the
company the same thing. Press agents is crafty people. And he can play
both ends against the middle in a manner that would make your hair curl.

"I don't care! I don't care! Wilbur can run and make faces at himself.
Nothing bothers muh. Waiter, are you asleep at the switch? I am no
longer a fiancee. I am a free woman.

"Say, what'yer going to do 'morrow? Let's get one of these taxicab
things and see if we can't run it to death.

"I never found the limit yet on one of those gasmeter attachments, an' I
am the inquisitive soul. Line out to Claremont or some of those foolish
places. Sure, we'll start early, about noon, and enjoy the beautiful
Spring-air and highballs. Are you on? Sure I'll be there with my hair in
a braid. I am the Rural Kid these days and a stunt like that suits me
from the ground up.

"Who is that coming in the door? Why, its Wilbur! He sees me! Do I look
all ri'? Here, Wilbur, here. Sit down and have a drink, dear, I have
been looking for you everywhere. Forget that deal last night. So long
fellows. Waiter give me the check; I don't care what becomes of my money
now."

Sabrina gives an automobile party to several of her friends so
that they may enjoy the country air, but after investigating the
atmosphere carefully the opinion of the entire party is that the
only healthful ozone is that that comes out of a champagne
bottle.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

"Where you all going?" demanded a voice, and looking around we
discovered Sabrina, the Show Girl, and two of her girl friends seated in
a big red automobile that was drawn up to the curb. "Come on, jump in,"
she continued. "We are out to commune with nature for a few minutes and
you might just as well be a commuter as the rest of us. Ain't this the
one grand weather?

"No, you sit back here. We will make Wilbur sit up in front so that we
can see he don't grub the eats. He's inside lancing the management for a
group of free lunch and a package of liquid refreshments. Here he comes
now. Bless his young heart he's got his arms full. Ain't it grand to be
loved by such a man?

"No, Wilbur, you get up in the hurricane deck and we all will sit in the
caboose. Have we got everything? Alla, did you forget the hot-water bag
full of cracked ice for the champagne? Now, let's see where shall we go
first to get the most nature? We can stop at the Cadillac, the Circle,
the Casino in the Park and then make a quick jump to Claremont.

"In that way we can get some of the delightful Spring air and not be far
from a head waiter at any time. Thats right, Sadie, you big gump, put
your feet on the crackers. Those were bought to eat and not to be used
as a door mat. Still, if you must wipe your feet we can print 'Welcome'
on one of the crackers and you can clean your Dorothy Dodds till you are
black in the face.

"Is everything ready? Do I look all right? Wilbur, give the motorman two
bells. Look out, there! There goes Er Lawshe with a plaster cast of
Genee under his arm. Do you want to make him drop it and break his
heart?

"Sadie, it is not necessary to give the furtive glance to every
gentleman who admires the machine. Go ahead and see if you can't scrape
the paint off the cop. Alla, my dear, you know it isn't necessary to
start eating now, you'll get yours, and besides several of the places we
will stop at have free lunches, so you can have all that you are
accustomed to without making inroads on the provision supply at this
stage of the game.

"What 'a we got in the larder? Fifteen bottles and 10 cents' worth of
crackers. My! it seems to me you are squandering an awful lot of money
on food. Of course, if we get shipwrecked or something they may come in
handy, but at present writing they are excess baggage.

"Whoa, chauffeur! Don't you see that bock beer sign? Whenever you see
one of those turn the corner and stop at the family entrance. Hitch the
machine and we will all soon see what mine host has in the way of
nourishment. Sadie, it is not necessary to show such unseeming haste, as
it is now but early noon and the place does not close until after
midnight.

"This is a low-browed dump, but any port in a storm, as the poets say.
As I am directing this Cook's tour we will have but one drink here.

"Wilbur, how do you know that the bar-keeps name is George? Have you
been false to me and been here with another? Bartenders are called
George just like Chinamen are called John? What are you trying to bale
out to me? Do you think I am a boob?

"Now, Alla, go to it and quench your thirst, for it may be several
blocks before we stop again. My, ain't this warm weather glorious! It
makes one so thirsty. Come, people, let's get back in the herdic, for we
have a long journey ahead of us.

"There you go again, Sadie. Stepping all over the crackers. Before we
get through we will have to take them in capsules. Look out for that
car! Gee, those cars are bad enough without being mashed up more by some
sneeze wagon. Certainly we'll go through the Fifth avenue entrance to
the park. I may be some things, but I am no piker, and, besides, we got
as much license as anybody. I remember when I used to go horseback
riding through here every morning and I always had my groom in a
beautiful red livery following me. I had the most beautiful black horse
and an elegant riding habit. Why, there wasn't a day but what I was
invited out to lunch. Sadie, that was very uncalled for. I am in no
trance. You, of course, not being accustomed to those things, naturally
look upon those people who were brought up on such stuff as balloon
juice merchants. Maybe that will make you stand hitched.

"Look at that hearse go by us. Driver, if you are any good you will make
that outfit look as if they were bound to the bannister.

"That's right, give them a touch of high life. Zow-e, if we are going
less than a mile a minute I hope I have to walk home. Cheese, there's a
bike cop. Can you loose him? Beat it. Good-by, Bobby. Look out, there's
another one in front. Slow up, for goodness sake, or we will be pinched.
What is it, sergeant? Oh, no, sir. Not more than six miles an hour, I am
sure.

"This machine has got a dudedad on it that prevents it from going more
than ten. Won't you have a little drink, officer? Just smile on the gent
in the front seat; he's right there with the distillery. Wilbur, chase
the roof off a jug of suds for the Lieutenant. I tell you, Captain, on
my honor as a lady, we are not going more that six miles an hour. Must
take us to the station! Why, you low-down, monkey-faced excuse for a
sparrow cop, would you have the crust to stand up in front of a judge
and tell him that we were going faster than ten miles an hour? If you
want to get us to the station it's a cinch you will have to push the
machine. Walk! Not so you could notice it. The only way you can get me
there is to drag me by the hair of my head, and if you dare lay your
mitts on my new marcel wave I will report you to your Commissioner, and
if a certain friend of mine don't stand strong enough with him to have
you broke, I'll eat my ostrich plume!

"Will let us go if we promise not to do it again? Why, certainly we
won't, Sergeant. Thank you, Lieutenant. Here's a little something for
the Relief Fund. Good-by, Captain. Wilbur give the driver two bells. The
nerve of that guy thinking he could pinch me. I'll have you know that I
am only nicked by the best cops on Broadway, and not by any high-grass
constable. Hand 'em salve, pardy, hand 'em salve. A soft answer turneth
away wrath. If that don't turn the trick use a brick.

"Oh, gee, there it is. Go around and come up the other side so we can be
seen from all the tables.

"Let's take this table. Waiter, get on the job, as these gentlemen and
ladies wish to address a few remarks to you. Oh, there's Grace
McSweeney. Pipe the hat she is sporting. Bum taste, it strikes me. Who
is that slob with her? Oh, hello, dear! I was just speaking of your new
hat to Sadie. We both admired it so.

"We were wondering how you could wear it coming up on the Subway. I've
found that the wind blows them all to pieces in my car. Who's the wop?
From Pittsburg? Oh, is that so? He reminds me so much of a very dear
friend of mine that was sent up for life. No, I suppose it's not the
same party, though they are as alike as two peas. No, I don't care to
meet him. You know one in my position cannot afford to associate with
every Tom, Dick and Harry. Must you toddle? Good-by, dear.

"Cat! Did you get wise to the way I slipped her the sassy roast? Well,
here's down the Irish channel. Varlet, fill up the flagons again. I just
love to sit here and look out at Nature and the railroad tracks and the
brick scows.

"Where do we go from here? You made me think I was back in the business.
Oh, I don't care. Yonkers, over in Westchester County, or we can take
the ferry for Jersey if you want to go out in the wilderness. It makes
not an iota of difference to muh. Just as long as the chauffeur stays
sober. Shall we hike? Lets slip up the drive for a ways. Sadie, are you
ever going to have sense enough to keep your hoofs off those crackers?
Honest, I don't believe your think tank is feeding properly. Why don't
you blow in it and clear it out?

"Sure, I'll caper out to Yonkers if the rest of the crowd want to. I am
just that kind of a fellow. Ain't I, Wilbur, dear? Oh, my, don't for
mercy sakes disturb him. He's hunting locations for the Friar
three-sheets that Mr. Gillen slipped 'em. He's got Mr. McManus' art
studies planted now so that the burg looks like a Kansas town the day
after the number two car of the circus leaves.

"Did you know that they are enlarging the secret tunnel in the new
Friary so that Toxen Worm can get his getaway if the occasion should
arise? Honest, it looks like the front view of the Hoboken tunnel. Oh,
law me, what is that in the offening? Eureka! It's another cafe, or do
muh eyes deceive me? I am athirst, let us rest our weary beast and
partake of a flagon of nut brown ale. Say, I guess I would be bad in
this Shakespeare thing. Alight, fair maids, and nominate your idea
provokers.

"Waiter, follow those people's directions and do not let the mice build
nests under your feet. Sink this and we will then continue our journey.

"Now, Sadie, as a friend I ask you don't do a ballet on them crackers.
Run over the mutt. What care we for life. Gee, the canine is right there
as the artful dodger. Ah! what? Bing! What was that? A puncture! My! For
goodness sake, how long will we be bogged down. Oh, we can wait that
long, can't we, dears? Pipe the yokel. Shall I hand him a game of
chatter? No? Oh, very well.

"Let's have a picnic. Wilbur, get on the job and skid out the liquids.
Alla, you may bring out what is left of the crackers. If that woman
hasn't paraded over them biscuits until there isn't a piece there big
enough to make a nice comfortable mouthful for a young flea.

"Throw 'em away, we don't want to overload our stomachs anyhow. Can you
surpass that for a man. Here we've come all these weary miles carefully
nursing these bottles to our bosoms and then that excuse there has the
crust to speak up and say, 'I forgot the corkscrew.' Can you beat it?
Wilbur, you just get on the job and pull them out with your teeth. Get
away, you big standup and fall down, I'll show you how to get them out.
What do you think us fair sex wear hat pins for, hey, shover? Want some
of this jig juice for your tire? Right-o! Ain't I the English scamp? Got
her fixed all right? Climb in, folks, and we will journey homeward, for
I am beginning to feel thirsty and you certainly don't get the same
treatment here that you do in town. Sadie, now that the crackers are
gone I wish you would please remember that that is my foot. Say, you can
never learn some of these dolls nothing. Nothing personal, my dear,
though your hair is light.

"Don't you dish me out any hectic language, for I am a lady. I might
forget myself and smear one all over you. Wilbur, are you going to sit
up there and see your near-bride insulted by a woman? If you don't come
back here and make her stop abusing me I'll take and bump your two
hearts together. Now that goes if you hear it and I am speaking in no
whisper.

"Can that fight talk even if this is a pleasure party. My, how time does
fly! We are nearly home now. Let's all go down the street and see what's
doing. Must you leave us? Don't rush away in the heat of the forenoon.
So long. My, I am glad that man's out of the machine!"

Sabrina, in spite of the anti-betting law, goes to the race
track and returns with money. She also drops a few remarks
concerning gentlemen who claim their scarf-pins have been
purloined by ladies.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

"Them Senators that put the kibosh on that racetrack bill can consider
themselves as personal friends of every chorus Fluff that ever scanned a
dope sheet," remarked Sabrina, the Show Girl, as she alighted from a new
big automobile. "Pipe the ferry-boat. It's all mine; name on every
piece. And I am personally thankful to those gents that I am the proud
possessor of the same.

"Did I catch? Well, I should hope so, dear. I landed this buzz wagon out
of a ten dollar pike bet. Can you surpass it? Talk about playing in
luck. Wait until I touch wood. Wilbur says betting on the races beats
trifling with the affections of an expense account all to pieces.

"You know that, though I lead a simple and uneventful existence, the
inheritance that was left me was pretty near all in, and it was either
up to me to get married, get a job on one of the roofs or catch a live
one, and I thought the best of all the evils was to catch the
aforementioned live one. I am not one of these Janes that goes dotty
over the pit-i-pats, and though I always sit up until The Morning
Telegraph comes out on the street, the racing news is not the first
thing I turn to.

"Wilbur's show closes in a couple of weeks and he is going to the island
for the summer. Can that old stuff. I mean Coney, not Blackwell's. I
been piking around for a hunch for some time, and just the other evening
I was out with a party who is interested in the bet placing business at
all of the big tracks, and he said he was hep to a few killings, and any
time I would come out he would give them to me and I could play the
other books.

"Knowing that he had influence, I naturally took an interest in him,
but, say, this is a long, sad story and--. Ah, certainly! I knew you
could not suppress your Southern hospitality much longer--that is, I
hoped you couldn't. Yes, waiter; bring me a long one.

"Well, I took a peep at my check-book about a week ago and decided that
it was me for the track. I meets this wop and he certainly lands me in
right. He gives me a twenty case note and the card. I got the twenty
changed and plants ten of it in the Lisle Thread Bank, making up my mind
that no matter what happened the day would not be ill-spent.

"I plays his tip at 8 to 1 on the first race and ketches. Out of that
ninety I plant forty. Still following the kind gentleman's advice I
pikes the fifty on a dog in the second race and he never does come in.

"Can you beat that? This betting person picks the whole card but this
one race. I lose my fifty and was thinking seriously of going home when
I got a yen to try it again, so I dug up a twenty out of the hose.
Honest, it nearly broke my heart to separate myself from that roll, but
I just had to do it. I get twenty to one, go into hysterics at the
quarter, faint at the half, but come to in time to see my money coming
in so far ahead it looked as if he was out for a pleasure trip. Can you
see me with that 400 in my mit? Talk about throwing fits. Why, I had the
Leamy Ladies looking like children romping on the nursery floor.

"There was nothing to it. I had a hunch to grab the bundle and beat it
for home and crawl under the bed. And then I had another hunch that told
me to stick for the big show. I plant one century in my war bag and get
seven to two on the next with the other three. I win.

"Then I do want to go home. I felt ill.

"But just then a gentleman introduced himself to me and we went and had
a little drink. That made me feel better, and so I ditched the purveyor
of refreshments and fled to the clubhouse. There is nothing more to tell
except that I couldn't lose and I came home in an automobile with my
clothes so full of this evergreen stuff that I looked as if I had
spavins or something else.

"I made $6,000 on the day, which is not so bad for a poor fluff like me.
That night the gentleman who gave me the tips called me up and wanted
his original twenty back, saying the public got all his roll. Can you
beat that? I told him I thought he was a moonstone sport, and to never
darken my door again.

"He needed money bad, and through a friend I let him have a couple of
thou on this machine. Ain't I the business woman?

"Wilbur and I have just been riding ourselves to death ever since. He
has been acting awful lately. Ever since he heard that Friar Weber and
Friar Field were going to appear together at the festival he has been
soused. It was all I could do to restrain him from kissing Phil Mindel
in the Cadillac the other evening. He just don't care what he does.

"Have you bought your tickets? Let me see. I have six choice ones here
in the seventh row. You'll want to bring your family, of course, 'cause
it will be the chance of a lifetime. Nothing like it seen before under
one canvas. For stellar attractions it's going to have Barnum & Bailey's
looking like a Sunday school entertainment. Yes, sir, and I personally
will be there like the Trinity chimes.

"Alla McSweeney has gone and blown herself for one of these racecourse
hats. You know these big things that have a half-mile track around the
outside. While I do not wish to injure the poor dear, still I will say
that she certainly looks one of these long-handled Jap umbrellas. You
know she is such a skinny thing! Honest, this new hip style they are
boosting this season just saved her life. She was getting saddle galls
from carrying so many naturals. I wouldn't say this unless I absolutely
knew, and of course I have seen her early in the morning when you
haven't.

"There are little confidences us girls exchange in the privacy of our
boudoirs that would never do for the ear of a man. She tried to get a
job as one of those six-foot girls in 'The Love Waltz,' but the manager
told her she had better go with a circus. She naturally queried 'Why?'
And he, the rude thing, told her she could get a job as a quarter-pole.
That's why she could never get a job with the Held show. She was all
right in low neck, but when it came to tights! Well, you know bowlegs
never did appeal to the front row.

"Mind you, I wouldn't say a thing that would hurt her character the
least bit, but you should have seen the way she carried on when she was
out in Chicago. You know that anyone who runs around with those La Salle
street spendthrifts loses class, anyway, and she just tore around that
North Side something scandalous, and till my dying day I never will
forget the scene she and the comedian's wife had on the platform in that
dear Peoria.

"Alla, bless her heart, she is a good soul, is a flighty creature and
she accepted the attentions of the comedian which his wife was not
supposed to be jerry to. But one day some gabby girl put wifey next. We
were all down to the station waiting for the train to come in when up
romps wifey to this doll, who is making the big talk with a chorus
man--just shows you what extent she will go for company--she was talking
to this chorus man and wifey capers up to her and says: 'You been
flirting with my husband, haven't you?' And hauling off wifey hangs one
on Alla's map that is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Bing goes
Alla to the platform down and out. She was in such a trance that we had
to rub her hands and borrow a drink from the press agent, who came back
with the show to see if he couldn't get his salary, before she would
come to. Pale, why that girl was so white that her number eighteen
looked like big gobs of red paint on each cheek.

"I never saw a girl so surprised in my life. For the nonce she was
nonplussed. She didn't know what to make of it. When she did you should
have heard the language she used. It is not for me to tell it in a
respectable crowd, for I only use it to Estelle, that's my maid, when
she pulls my hair, but it was certainly not fit for publication in a
family newspaper.

"She's continually getting into trouble. If it ain't one thing it's
another. It's a wonder to me she hasn't been pinched oftener than she
has.

"I never will forget one time she was out riding with a handsome
gentleman from Pittsburg in a cab and while leaning on his shoulder his
diamond scarfpin got caught in her teeth. She being a bashful young
thing--then. Well, when she takes her head off his shoulder the pin
naturally comes along, too, and then she got afraid that he would think
she was trying to nick it so she stuck the pin in her hat band,
intending to restore it on the way home. But in the next cafe they
stopped in she picked a fight and left him in a huff. Would you believe
it, that guy had the nerve to come around the next day and declare that
she had pinched the bauble and threaten to land her in the booby hatch
if she didn't come across.

"And they call that chivalry!

"No true gentleman would ever threaten to have a lady sent up.

"Did he get his pin? Well, I should say not. She threw such a strong
bluff about suing him for defamation of character that he came across
with two hundred cold to keep her quiet. But don't breathe this to a
soul unless they promise not to tell. I wouldn't have it get out that I
ever said anything about her for worlds, for, though we are the best of
friends, I am leaving her no opening to hand me one.

"Don't think for a minute that I have a past I am afraid to bring before
me. My fair young life has been as quiet and uneventful as an old mill
stream. Fact. You see, still water runs deep and the race is not always
to the swift. And goodness knows I would have no one say that about me.
I'm a Bohemian, whatever that is. Lots of dames I know have pasts. Why,
every time you mention Sid Eusons to Laura she nearly coughs up a spasm
and to even breathe medicine show to a certain leading man I know he
will immediately cut you off his calling list.

"The benefit business is not as prosperous this year as it has been
heretofore. I know several parties that have actually lost money on
them.

"Now that Lent is over I am going to have a good time. I always observe
Lent some way. This year I swore off refusing drinks or suppers. Wilbur
and I expect to be made one as soon as he locates his next season's job.
He's got one in sight that looks pretty good.

"A certain party has signed for it, but Wilbur gets it if this party
drops dead, so now Wilbur is following him around telling him that he
looks poorly. We ought to be very happy when we get married, for Wilbur
will be out ahead of a show all season and I will be here in New York.
What more would a happy bridal couple desire?

"Well, I must toddle along, as the hour is late and my automobile is
getting impatient.

"Be good, and don't forget that you promised on your word and honor to
take six tickets for the Friar Festival from me. Say, party, if you need
any change give me the office and I will slip it to you."

Sabrina makes a few remarks concerning a pink-whiskered bark who
is trying to convert the merry-merry and questions the propriety
of going on an extended yachting cruise with a grass widow for a
chaperone.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

"Say" remarked Sabrina, as we reached her table the other evening. "Did
you hear the gladsome tidings? Some purple-whiskered bark is going to
caper in this country from dear old Lunnon and deal out religion to the
Fluffs of the merry merry. Can you surpass it?

"He is going to slip it to us in our tea. Like knockout drops, I guess.
Gee, can you see him distributing tracts to that mob. It's a cinch that
they will make good curl papers, anyway.

"The only way to convert most of these dames is to wait until the
morning after a birthday party and work the remorse gag before they have
a chance to get a bracer for their hangover.

"Can you see him taking a bunch of them out on a picnic like he did in
England. Claremont or Far Rockaway for theirs, and if he didn't come
across with the big feed with the necessary liquid trimmings it would be
the tar and feathers for his. I have had several wine agents try to
convert me, but I always stick to the same brand. Let him come over and
we will show him a time that will make old Pap Dowie's reception look
like a twinkle.

"At that, us chorus dames ain't so worse. Of course there are a bunch of
shines in the aggregation, but I guess if you kept tab you would find
out that about nine-tenths of them slide for home as soon as they get
the cosmetic off their eyelashes. It's the other tenth that try to be
the human night keys that crab the act for the whole works.

"There's more dolls keeping their little sisters in convents than there
is ones buying white-topped shoes. The poor Jane has to go somewhere to
make her forget the blooming show shop.

"A bunch of these high-browed clucks jump all over the villages, ladies
of the court, etc., and think it's their fault that the price of
lobsters is so high.

"Maybe the price of lobsters is high, but did you ever see a chorus girl
buy one for herself?

"An actress gets handed hers at every stage of the game, just because a
few make the big noise. These old cranks are always laying for a chance
to get a little limelight, and they naturally make the big talk about
people that are in the public eye, and those that they know nothing
about.

"They should either furnish those guys with a muzzle or give them a pike
at the inside of the show business so that they would either keep their
trap shut or know what they are talking about. I will admit that there
are some grand wonders in this business, but that is no reason why the
whole game should be crabbed, and all get the pan for the actions of a
few.

"You all know that I am broad minded. I believe that everybody should
have a good time if they can keep sober. Of course I don't mean
painfully sober, but not to get disgustingly disgusting so that they
have to be dragged to the taxi. That I call going too far, and entirely
unnecessary.

"If a fluff commences to get too moist around the lamps she should
either plead a headache and slide for the curled hair or throw her
drinks on the floor when the host is holding hands or exchanging quips
with one of the other ladies in the party.

"Drink is an awful thing, especially the next morning. Thanks to
Wilbur's teaching, I take a spoonful of olive oil every evening before I
duck the hut, so I can sit in with the best and have the seating
capacity of a bonded warehouse.

"I pray thee do not breathe these little maidenish confidences, for it
might make hard feeling between me and some of my gentlemen friends I
have had to get checked at numerous places of refreshment.

"Wilbur is so busy getting ready for the Friars' Festival that you can't
chase a word out of him about anything else. Mr. Erlanger, Lee Schubert,
Lew Dockstader and Fred Thompson have all kicked in for their boxes, and
it is expected that a few more will realize the merits of the attraction
and kick in this week.

"To see the paper they have had given to them you'd think it was the
storeroom of the Bailey Show.

"I ain't saying nothing, but you just wait until those guys get through
with the long-handled brushes. They are going to give Friar Green the
job of tacking cards because he is quick on his feet. The big festival
comes off next Thursday, so if you haven't bought your seats it's time
to get busy. It will be the one best bet in the show line this season.

"Just think, Mr. Weber and Mr. Fields are going to appear together for
the first time in years.

"Honest, I am so excited over the affair that I can hardly wait. Wilbur
got two seats in the first row, and I'll be there with new frock on, my
hair in a braid and my feet in the orchestra pit. Between the festival
and the new clubhouse it's got Charley Cook running around in circles.
And Wells Hawks is so busy doping out stuff that I saw him pass an
elephant the other day without speaking to it.

"Harry Alward is working three eight-hour shifts every day, and the
whole blooming gang have gone so noodley that they won't even stop to
buy me a drink, and you can take it from me that when those guys
overlook a chance to do something for somebody in distress something has
gone wrong, or there is a big hen on.

"What was I talking about? Oh, yes. Have you heard the latest gossip?
Alla McSweeney is wearing 'Merry Widow' cocktails on the outside of
taxicabs now. That poor dear has to swallow a sinker with everything she
inhales. And she always comes up bright and cheerful with her face to
the pane waiting for the next one. I've seen her go under four times in
an evening, and though a little pale she is always there with the chimes
when the curtain drops.

"Yes, I put on my light ones some two weeks ago. I got jerry that there
would be some class to the humidity, so I made the quick change.

"I cannot decide yet what to do for the summer. I don't know whether to
go down to Bath Beach and take a cottage, go to the mountains or go back
to Emporia for a trip. I got run out of that hick hamlet the last time I
was there, and I am afraid if I go back I might get lynched. You can
never tell what those emotional tillers of the soil are going to do
next. Why, they are just as liable to vote for Bryan as not.

"I have been invited out to Far Rockaway for a week or two. Mr. Corse
Payton is going to make his summer home out there, and if he is within a
radius of ten miles I know we are slated for the one grand time. He is
so full of Iowa gallantry that he wouldn't let even a dog go by without
offering it a highball. He's just that soft hearted. He's got a young
hotel out there and the bars are down for any of his friends.

"Some of us girls are talking about getting a houseboat and leading the
simple. The chances are it will fall through most everything we dope out
does. That's the trouble with us actresses. We get a wild idea and work
it to death for a few minutes and then somebody says, 'I'll buy,' and
the stuff is off. We could have lots of fun on a houseboat if it had a
cool cellar. I certainly do love to go bathing by moonlight. It's so
romantic.

"There's a certain party of some prominence on Wall Street that wants me
to be one of a party on board his yacht, as his wife is going to Europe
for the summer, but I don't know about these yachting parties, for there
has been so much scandal about some of them that I am afraid it will
lacerate my reputation. You know, above all things, I must be careful
with that. Especially now that I am going to become a bride. Yep, Wilbur
and I expect to pull off the wedding bell specialty early in June, or as
soon as the season opens at Saratoga.

"I think a young married couple can have such a nice quiet time in
Saratoga if they go there on their bridal trip and the season is opened.
There is so many society people and others there that life never drags.

"I remember I was there on my first wedding tour, but my husband wasn't
with me. What! Didn't you know I had been married. Certainly I have, and
I am betraying no confidences when I declare myself. Yes, I have been
married, and to Saratoga on my wedding trip my husband couldn't
accompany me because he was with another show. I never had such an
extended bridal trip. All one-night stands. I was with a musical comedy
at the time, and I met my husband in Racine, Wis. I know that's an awful
place to meet anybody, even your husband, but this is a sad and true
tale. He was the leading juvenile with a one-two-three show, and such a
handsome thing you never saw on the stage.

"Honest, to hear him spring that sure-fire hokum you would have thought
he believed it. I know he passed the same line of dope out to me, and I
fell for it. What more could you ask? I was a young and trusting thing
then, having been in the business only one season, so I was not 'wised'
up to the proper point to believe no man until he makes good. He
introduced himself to me after the performance, and as we were laying
off there waiting for the angel to come across with the necessary funds
for us to continue our successful tour, I had nothing else to do but to
listen to his line of chatter.

"He handed it over so strong that I took it all in, and one day when he
sought my hand I nailed him to the mast and we beat it for the justice
of the peace and were made one.

"His show closed shortly after that and I had to learn to send him
money. He got so proud and stuck up that he wouldn't even hunt for a
job, until at last it got so unbearable that I had to get a divorce.

"He was a gay and festive young thing, and though I left town the day we
were married I still look upon him as my first husband.

"No, I never have seen him since, but we did a great deal of
corresponding especially when he needed money.

"If you could get Clarence--yes, that was his name ain't it a
scream?--if you could get Clarence soused he was the boy comic. Honest,
I have seen him bring a smile out of a head waiter.

"He was the real spendthrift. Why, every day he was courting me in
Racine he would take me down and let me look at the lake for hours at a
time, and often he would tell me he was going to take me boat riding.
Shows what a piker I was. If I knew what I do now I would have sprung a
laugh and told him if he wanted my fair young heart he would have to
show me more excitement than a watch meeting.

"My, how I do run on! Here I got to sell a couple more seats for the
festival, for it is coming off a week from this coming Thursday, and I
want to have all the other girls faded. What, must you go? Say, party,
take it from me--break open your bank and count your pennies, for it's
the chance of a lifetime. Da-da."

She discusses the advisability of chorus girls charging time for
their company like a taxicab. She goes for a sail on the river
and the party meets with several accidents before finally having
a wreck.

CHAPTER NINETEEN

"Gee, Kid, I can scarce restrain myself," remarked Sabrina, the Show
Girl, as we met her on the street.

"The big show comes off Thursday afternoon, and me! Why, I'll be there
dressed up like a circus. Take it from me, it's a bet you don't want to
overlook. I seen a guy go up to the managers and wave $10,000 in their
faces for the box office receipts, and all he got was the cold, cruel
laugh of scorn.

"The clubhouse had its official opening last night, and as yet none of
those that were in attendance have appeared upon the scene. I ain't
saying a word, but I bet they had an awful time.

"Them Friars are great people. I been the busy little bee all week
trying to get some tickets, but I guess they are all sold out. All of
the out-of-town guys are clamoring for gallery seats behind posts. And
anything less than $50 for one of the seats is considered as car fare.

"Wilbur went to the opening of the new clubhouse last night, and I got a
'phone from him this morning saying he was going home and get some
sleep.

"Say, party, was you up to the Friars' Convention last Sunday? Talk
about fun, this sixty laughs in sixty minutes stunt looked like a
Methodist watch meeting.

"Honest, I felt sorry for Miss Piatt of 'The Merry Widow' bunch. She was
elected to represent that outfit by the whole company Saturday night and
then none of the girls showed up to vote for her. The funny thing of the
whole works was that Miss Sara Spotted-Weazel from the Bill Show nearly
won at that. Gee, did you hearken to the cadenza she turned loose?
Indian comic opera. Fine business. I am glad Josephine Cohan got it,
'cause she's a nice girl, though Louise Dresser is all right at that.

"Beban was the foxy guy; every time anybody didn't show up from any
company he would claim that he was the delegate and put the thing
through. Wasn't Al Davis the busy party! Corbett thought the thing all
out and Davis did the hard work, and then every Friar for miles around
put in their little gab and told Davis how it should be done.

"Did you ever notice that the party inside the taxi knows more about
running it than the chauffeur? Al was wise. He paid no attention to
their words of advice and that's why the thing was a success. Too many
chefs spoil the cheese sandwich. Them's my words and they go as they
lay. Hank Green got sore 'cause I spoke to him, so I won't do it any
more.

"Wilbur and I are to be united in wedlock next week and we are going on
our wedding tour. Where it will be goodness only knows. It may be only
to Canarsie or Far Rockaway.

"Since he met me he has planted a bunch of change, and a gentleman
friend of mine gave him a few tips on the market, and he's got what he
claims is a tidy sum. He's talking about taking a trip to Europe. Such a
chance. What license have we in that neck of woods? I told him to take a
ride over the Williamsburg bridge and that would give him all the Europe
he wanted.

"He wants to go over there and bring back a couple of big vaudeville
acts and make a bunch of money. Rats, I tell him, rats. What does he
know about vaudeville acts? Some of these wops that go across never get
it out of their systems. All you hear is, 'When I was in London.'

"I remember the time I met Ted Marks in Maxim's. Maxim's is in Paris,
you know, my dear. It gives me a sharp, stinging pain. Those burgs ain't
such a much. You can get just as good things to drink right here in New
York, so, I says to him, 'what's the use of making a fool trip like
that?' But he's noodly on the subject and spends half of his spare time
reading 'Short Trips in the Old World,' 'Life in the Latin Quarter,'
'Fifty-seven Ways to Avoid Tipping' and all that kind of junk. A trip to
Asbury Park would satisfy me just as well.

"Alia McSweeney's Judge gave her a new automobile the other day and we
had a match race on the Merrick Road. Honest, the way my car left her
tied to the post was a crime. We both stopped drinking three hours
before the race commenced, so that our nerves would be in good
condition."

"She may be a good chorus girl, but she certainly is a bum racer. I beat
her by two dogs, six chickens and a lamp post. I would have got a milk
wagon, only Wilbur carelessly blew the horn and scared him up a side
street. After the race the loser had to treat the winner to the big
eats. I can't tell you what we had, but I can say this much. If she
loses another race the Judge will have to go over to the corporations.
Eat? We had the best there was.

"Gee, I am sore on this racing thing. You know I went down there a
couple of weeks ago and chased the books up a tree. I prance down there
the other day and they had me going some. I had a crowd of inside info,
and what do I do but let a wop tout me out of it and play his horse. I
lost just five hundred cold ones by the deal, and I sure does give this
guy a laying out.

"I says to him, 'What license you got to give a lady a bum steer like
that? Here I go and plant my fifty on the dog you handed me at 6 to 5,
and the 10 to 1 shot I was going to play wins! Where's my comeback? I
ask you as a lady, where do I get off?' He offered to kick in with the
fifty I lost, but I put up such an awful roar that he gave me two
hundred more to ease my aching heart.

"I lose him in the crowd and then take a peek at the entries again and
find the gee-gee I intended betting on didn't even start. Of course I
couldn't find the party that gave me the two fifty, search as I might.
Wasn't that rotten luck?

"I ran that two fifty up to an even thousand before the last race and
then beat it for home and mother. The bunch went into the fresh air fund
along with the rest. I am now trying to meet some nice gentleman who
does business in Wall Street and get him to make a few conservative
investments for me. Not that I intend to use any of my own money.
Certainly not. But it is a good thing to have a bank account to flash,
so that the boob will think he will get a comeback if he does lose.

"A gentleman did put some money up on a margin for me once and then when
he got trimmed he came to me for a check and I had to go into hysterics
before I could get rid of him.

"The conceited yen some of these boobs have in thinking that a fluff has
nothing else to do but sit in some cafe and hold hands until daylight.

"I am trying to get the Chorus Girls' Union to get together and pass a
law charging so much for our time, just like a taxicab. Don't you think
that would be a good idea? Lots of times the supper ain't worth the time
she wastes on the cluck. They could have a little indicator fastened to
their Merry Widow hat and as they leave the stage door turn down the
flag and not read the meter until he had kissed you good-by in the hall,
and then collect. In that way the doll would have the price of
breakfast, and maybe a new gag or something for her wardrobe. It would
reduce the nightly jam around the stage door by a whole lot.

"Did you hear about the bunch of us going yachting in Gym Bagley's yacht
The Hornet the other day? He calls it The Hornet because he got stung
when he bought it. The weather was all to the good the other afternoon,
so we hike up to Harlem and collar the ship, six of us, and, after
loading a bunch of bottled ballast on board, we started out. Gosh, the
water was lovely. Gym don't care what becomes of the blooming barge as
long as it doesn't get lost. You can even sink it, if you mark the spot.
We all leave our Merry Widow lids in the boathouse, 'cause the boat
wouldn't hold them, and sallied forth.

"Wilbur said he knew how to sail a boat. Come to find out later, it was
a stone boat he had been educated on.

"Well, we elected him the chauffeur and, after hoisting the sail, the
gallant craft with its merry-merry crew swung out into the stream. Yo
ho, my lads, yo, ho.

"The wind was blowing one way and we wanted to go the other, so after
nearly wrecking a couple of tugboats and a brick scow, we fixed the sail
so the wind would push the boat right along. Aye, aye, captain, a fish
sou'-sou' by east with the wind in his teeth! The sturdy vessel was just
tearing along. Honest, you could see it move--right along, just like a
clam, when Alla, who, you all know, is the human goat, in trying to
reach for a bottle of beer that didn't belong to her, fell overboard.

"It served her right and I told the gang to hit her on the nob with an
oar when she came-up. We dragged her in, however, and wrapped her up in
a bunch of coats and set her on the front stoop of the craft to dry.

"She got jerry to the fact that there was a bottle of jig juice in the
galley and at once threw a chill. Honest, to see that fluff do a stage
chill would have made a eel laugh, ha! ha! in that manner. She shook so
hard she nearly threw us all out of the scow, so that we finally had to
listen to her pleadings and pass her the booze.

"I was for letting her shake so if we wanted mixed drinks al we would
have to do was to put the glass in her mitt and say go to it, but some
of the gazabos in the mob got a sympathy streak and let her have it. I'd
a let her had it, all right, all right, the outside of the bottle right
on the marcel.

"The subterfuges these Janes will indulge in to accomplish their ends
makes my goat jump the barrier.

"Nothing else marred our pleasant little sail up the river except when
we opened the lunch box we found only one sandwich, and no one would eat
it. Everybody wanted to trade their interest in it for a bottle of beer,
and there was nearly a riot.

"It was finally settled by Wilbur, who is always the fair-haired boy
when it comes to emergencies. He took the sandwich and threw it
overboard and each and every member of the famished crew had another
eyedropper full of suds. If it hadn't been for him, we would be out
there yet.

"We had got up to nearly opposite 155th street by this time and some of
the less experienced members of the jolly gang were commencing to worry
that they would never see Broadway again and stationed a lookout in the
bow to find Albany. Aye, aye, the deck, water sighted on the port beam.
On duty, captain. These noodley dames were strong for reversing and
returning to our harbor, which we had not seen for these many years--ah,
the brave sailor lad; alas, he had to remain away from home at night--so
Wilbur started to turn the boat around.

"I think he must have thought he was driving a street car, for instead
of reversing like any white man would, he pulled off an evolution that
was a peach.

"All of the wind ducked out of the sail gag for a minute and the boat
spun around, then, all of a sudden, it filled again, and, bingo! the
scow slowly lays over on her side an dies. The outfit fell into the
water kerplunk. I think I touched the bottom nine times before I grabbed
the side of the boat. I remember distinctly of passing a fish so often
that we got on speaking terms.

"When I got the briny out of my lamps and took a pike around, there was
the whole works clinging to the side of the boat looking like a flock of
wet cats.

"The remarks they made to Wilbur I would not repeat here, for he is to
be my future husband. The water was as cold as a flat in the Winter time
and nothing in sight.

"One of the dames, I wouldn't be surprised if it was that Alla party,
suggested that we lash a man to the rigging and let him look for help.
Another was strong for turning the flag upside down as a signal of
distress. Louie Zweibaum nearly drowned because he had to use both hands
to tell her that the rigging was under water.

"We, all between shivers, turned loose a Rebel yell for help and pretty
soon along comes a tugboat bound downtown. That drove up alongside and
after the captain found out that we had money they hoisted us on deck
and took the sloop for a tow.

"Take it from me, I was never so glad to get near a fire in my life. The
skipper of the cheese let us get in the engine room and dry out. Can you
see that wet bunch of fluffs with all the highlight off and their
marcels around their necks. I'll bet there was a whole lot of surprises
sprung when the true complexion began to show up. We got fairly well
fixed up by the time we got down to where we had to go to get the rest
of our stuff and when we once again touched mother earth and the captain
of the boat had touched us we took it on the run for a cafe, and let me
tell you the market price on hot drinks closed strong in Harlem that
night.

"We fixed Gym's boat up and gave it back to him the next day. Nobody
caught cold and everything in the garden's lovely.

"Now, dearie, I can call you dearie, for I am soon to be a married woman
and it will be all right. Now, dearie, don't forget the big Festival
Thursday afternoon, for I will count on your being there to help the
crowd.

"Remember the Friars do more for the actors than they are given credit
for, so it's up to you to help boost. So long. Don't forget to kick in
early and avoid the rush."

Sabrina is married and goes on her wedding trip. Her comments on
London and how her husband suppressed several professional
gamblers on board the steamer. The two expect to spend some time
in England, where we will leave them.

CHAPTER TWENTY

Sabrina was married to Wilbur the day after the Friar Festival and we
acted in the capacity of best man and were very much in evidence in the
feast that followed. We imprinted chaste salutes on the lips of the
blushing bride until the groom tore us asunder. After the festivities
Sabrina and Wilbur disappeared and for the past ten days their favorite
cafes and loafing places have known them not. We were just beginning to
get nervous when the postman brought the following letter:

"London.

"Dear Party--I guess maybe when you pipe off this effusion you
will throw a foaming fit and fall in it. Me and Wilbur are now
in the city of fogs and take it from me, it's a bum habitation
for even a dog.

"After you and the rest of the gang did the shoot the chutes
under the table at the wedding breakfast me and his nobs grabbed
our make-up boxes and took it on the lope for the ferry station.
I thought we were going to take a wedding tour to Asbury Park or
some of the other watering places, but what does Wilbur do but
sidestep the ferry proposition and we go prancing up to a dock
where a boat about nine miles big was hitched and before I had
time to give the office to the cop on the beat Wilbur rushes me
up the plank and into the outfit. Honest, it was bigger than any
of the Coney Island boats. I was under the impression for the
nonce that it was the night boat up the Hudson but I didn't see
a steward I knew.

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