CHAPTERI It was the Pageant of the Prophets which gave Jerry Paxton his first chance. Therewereseverallinksintheprimrosechainoffortunewhichledhimfromthe first opportunity to the last. The first and most important may be said to have been Mrs. Abercrombie Brendon, who opened her house for a portrait exhibition.Shehadaneyeformenaswellasforart,sowhenhandsomeJerry appeared, she annexed him. The second link was Jerry's sense of dramatic values, whichmade himplayuptothissomewhatelderlysiren.Thethird was thegods,whohadeversmiledonJerryPaxton. Itwasaseasonwhenallthesocietyclubsandleagueswerespendingthemselves andtheirmoneyinlavishspectaclesofallkinds.TherewereBallsoftheGods andPaganRouts,PersianBalletsandGreekFriezes,personifiedbytheverybest people,andsomeofthesecondbest. Mrs.AbercrombieBrendon,whowassociallyelect,headedaneagerandearnest group of ladies of her set, who desired to outdo all previous efforts in a mammoth affair, which would provide woollen underwear for the Belgians, or somethingequallypracticalandunpoetic.Shehappenedtomentionherdilemma to Jerry, as they sat at tea in Mrs. Brendon's drawing-room a week or so after theirfirstmeeting. "Wecan'tseemtothinkofanythingwhichhasnotbeendone,"shecomplained. "Wehavepeopletobeinthething,peopletoproduceit,peopletocometoseeit, andallweneedis——" "Brains,"saidJerrydaringly. "Haveyouany?" "Ihaveacoupleoflobes." "Haveyouthemwithyou?" "Thereisatleastoneingoodworkingorder,andatyourdisposal,"helaughed. "Thinkofsomethingnewforustodo."
"IfIsupplytheidea,willyoumakemedirector?" "We'llmakeyouprimeminister,courtchamberlain,anythingyoulike!" "Good.Thethingwillbecalledthe'PageantoftheProphets.'" "Whatprophets?" "TheoldBiblicalones,butwe'lldrawontheentireBibleforourcharacters.We willbuildapalacethroneroom,PontiusPilate'sperhaps,orKingHerod's,very gorgeous and beautiful. We can have groups, and friezes, and scenes; the costuminghasinfinitepossibilities.Wecanhavemusicandsingingpilgrims.We canhavedancingSalome,withherdrippinghead.Oh!itwillbeonemagnificent spectacle!" "Youareagenius!"criedMrs.Brendon. "Granted.Thenwhat?" "Wewillhaveyoudoitall.Youshalldesignthewholething,anddirectit.Draw yourplansandsubmityourterms.Youareelectedrightnow." "Youareinearnest?" "Nevermoreso." "Thenacceptmyservicesasapoorreturnforyourexcellenttea." "Nonsense.Thatisaprettyspeech,butyouhavetoearnyourownliving,don't you?" "Alas,yes." "Then there is no reason why you should donate time and brains for nothing. Thisisabusinessproposition.Willyoutakeit?" "Withbothhandsandagratefulheart." "You'llhavetousebothlobesofthatboastedbrain,"shelaughed."WhatshallI be?" "Herodias, beautiful wife of King Herod," said Jerry without hesitation. "We'll giveyouacostumethatwilldazzle'em!" "Youshallpaintmeinit."
"Delighted." "Thishascertainlybeenaluckydayforme.I'llcallthedirectorsinthemorning, Mr. Paxton. We'll make our plans while you work out yours. Then we'll meet withyou,andappointourcommitteesatonce.Canyoubeginrightaway?" "IfIcanpostponesomeportraitsittings.Ishalldomybest." "Iftheyarewomensittersputtheminthepageant,thatwillkeepthembusy.We musthaveyouatonce." "That's an idea. Au revoir. You have given me an eventful afternoon. My thanks." Ashewalkeddowntheavenuetowardhisstudio,Jerry'smindwasinawhirl. The tap of his feet on the sidewalk made a time: "If I put this through, I've arrived.IfIputthisthrough,I'vearrived."Itwasduskwhenheclimbedtohis quartersandhehummedashewent.Hethrewopenthedoorandrushedin.The bigroomwasdark,saveinthefarcorner,wherealampwaslit,withtheshade off, so that an ugly glare lighted the face of the woman who sat beside it, mendingsocks. "Ah,MissJaneJudd,isthatyou?" "Goodafternoon,"sheanswered,notlookingup. Jerrysanggailyashedumpedhisbelongingsonthedivan.Helitacigarette,and laughedaloudinvoluntarily. "Haveyoueverhaddeliriumtremens,MissJudd?"hedemanded.Shelookedup withoutreply."I'vegotacaserightnow." Shewentonwithherwork.Heglancedather,markedhowtheshadowfromthe lamp accentuated the bold modelling of her face, bringing out its mask-like quality. "Isupposeyoudon'tdealmuchinemotions,"headded. Sheneithersmilednoranswered.Helaughedattheideahimself. "Jane Judd, conversationally, you are about as satisfactory as 'a bloomin' idol madeofmud.'" "Youdonotengagemetotalk,"sheanswered,inalowratherdullvoice."You
engagemetowork." "SoIdo,butsomedayIamgoingtopayyoudoubleratesforyourthoughts.A silentwomanisamenace.I'mafraidofyou." Arat-a-tat-tatcameonthedoor. "Comein,"calledJerrygaily. Anodd,boyish-lookinggirlstuckinherhead. "Athome,Jerry?What'sthecelebration?" "I'vegotajob,Bobsie,abig,cash-in-handkindofajob,andI'mtryingtoraisea sparkofhumanresponseinthefrozenbuzzumofJaneJudd." "Oh,isthisyourJaneday?Hello,Jane,"sheadded,seatingherselfcomfortably. "Goahead,Jerry,let'shear." He told her the story, in some detail, with touches of his own. He was so boyishlyelatedoveritthatshewasfiredwithsomeofhisenthusiasm. "Butlookhere,Jerrymander,howaboutthebigmuraldesigns?Howaboutmy portrait?Thispageantwon'tgetyouanywhere." "Won'tit?YoushouldhaveheardmetelltheAbercrombieBrendonthatIwould try my best to put off my portrait sitters. You, my dear Bobs, are my portrait sitters." "It will ruin your winter's work. They'll pick your brains, that crowd, and take yourtime,andyoucanwhistleforyourmoney." "Iwasn'tinkindergartenyesterday,Bobs.Iknowathingortwoaboutthedear rich.Theywillpay-as-we-go,onegoodbigdepositdowninadvance." "Getyoualloutoftheworkspirit—makeyouyearnforthefleshpots." "Well,Bobs,Ineverdidchooseadietoffigsandthistles." "That'sjustthetroublewithyou.It'snipandtuckallthetimebetweentheartist andthesenses,Jerry.Thatuptowncrowdcanruinyouforgood." "Dear old Bobs! If they ruin me, I'll come to you for a scourge. Let's go to Buffanti'sforacelebration.We'llgetChatandJinnyforafoursome,what?Are
theChatfieldsathometo-day,Jane?"headded. "Yes;Iwastherethismorning,"sheanswered. "Comeon,oldwailingbanshee!"hecried. "Allright;butIdon'tlikeit,justthesame.Thisverynightmaymarkthegrave ofJeromePaxton,painter." "Well,thinkupsomejollyepitaphandwe'llsingitinourcups.Don'tdree,Bobs; you'reasbadasJane." Athismentionofher,theybothglancedatthesilentbentfigure,soindifferentto theirpresence. "Timetocloseup,MissJudd;we'reofftodinner,"saidJerry. She quietly rose and put away the mended things. She set things to rights, as noiselessasawraith.Theothertwowentontalkingandlaughing,untilshecame towardtheminherhatandcoat. "WhatdoIoweyou?"Jerryasked. "Justforto-day." "Ihaven'tanychange.Canyouletitgountilnexttime?" "No,"shesaidsimply. "Well,oldShylock,here'sfive.Consideryourselfpaidaslongasthatlasts." "Idon'twishtodothat.I'llbringyouchange." "Botheryou,JaneJudd;whatdifferencedoesitmakewhetheryougetitallat once,orindriblets?" "Here,Jerry,I'vegotiteven.Youoweme,"Bobssaid. "Allright;muchobliged." Janehesitatedamoment,thentookitwithabow,andwenttothedoor. "Good-night,JaneJudd,"saidBobs. "Good-night,"thewomanansweredmechanically.
"Night,"saidJerry,searchingforcigarettesamonghisimpedimenta. "Queercreature,that,"Bobsmused. "What'sthat?" "JaneJudd.Whatdoyousupposeshethinksofusall?" "Godknows,andIcareaslittleasHedoes." "Icare.I'dliketoknowher.She'slikesteel,clean-cut,shining,efficient,silent, unbreakable." "Isshe?I'venevernoticed,"saidJerryindifferently. "Sheknowsalloursecrets,oureconomies,ourloves,andhates.Shemendsus up,keepsusinorder.JaneJuddisthelawandorderofourset.Sheglidesamong us,andwesayeverythingweknowbeforeher,asifshewereawall." "Gog and Magog! Do I have to listen to you ramble on about Jane Judd? She interestsmeaboutasmuchasaWheelerandWilsonsewingmachine.Comeon todinner." Bobsroseandstretchedherselfluxuriously,withayawn. "Man is the most incomprehensible animal evolved from protoplasm," she remarked. "Thatremarkdoesn'tseemtohaveanypoint,Bobs,butIsupposeithas." "Thanks.Fromnowon,IsupposeonlyBibleallusionswillhavepointtoyou." "Well,there'snothingBiblicalaboutJaneJudd." "Humph!Shemightbethedimandvastyvoidoutofwhichcreationsprang." "GoodLord!"criedJerry,turningoutthelight.Hetookherbytheelbowandled herout,closingthedooronthatconversation.
CHAPTERII Jane Judd, in her old brown coat and a hat of many seasons flown, walked slowly from Macdougal Alley toward the model tenement house where she shared a flat with a family by the name of Biggs, and had what is known as "light housekeeping privileges." The English of this elegant phrase was, that, beforeoraftertheBiggsfamilyhaddisposedofitsmeals,Janecouldslipinto thekitchenandprepareherrepast.Shedislikedthearrangementintensely,buton thewholeshepreferredittoanyboarding-housewhichshecouldafford. No matter how tired she was after her day's work in the various studios, she alwaysenjoyedthiswalkhome,withthemistylights,thefar-distantvistaofthe sky at the street ends. She speculated about the people she passed; sometimes shestoppedtowatchthechildrenshoutingandplayinginthestreets.Shenever spoketothembutsheknewmanyofthembysight. Itwasinsomesuchwayshewatchedtheartistfolkwhogaveheremployment. She wondered about them; sometimes behind her mask she laughed at their childishness. JaneJudd'shistoryuptothispointhasnomoredramaticinterestthanthehistory of any drab woman of twenty-eight, picked out at random from the army of workwomenwhichmarchesdailytoandfromthefactoriesandstores. ShehadlivedinWarburton,asmallNewJerseytown,untilshewastwenty-two, keepinghouseforherfather,whohadagrocerystore.Hewasheronlyrelation. When hedied shesoldthestoreandcametoNewYorktomakealiving.She was trained for nothing. She had had a High School education, which left her withatasteforbooksandaconsumingambitiontowritethem.Beingadumb creatureatbest,shehadneverspokenofthisdreamtoahumansoul,excepther mother.Thetownpaperhadpublishedseveralofherstories,signedwithapen name,andshesecretlycherishedtheideathatshehadtalent. Sowhenherreleasecame,shedidassomanygirlsdothesedays,sheputher littleallintoherpocketbookandcametothebigtowntograpplewithsuccess. She applied at newspaper offices, at first, with her village paper clippings as justification. She admitted to such editors as she saw that she had no nose for news, but she liked to write stories, and thought maybe she could do special
stuff.Shewasshyandfrightened.Nobodywantedher. Shefoundacheaproomandgaveherselfamonthinwhichtowriteshortstories. With one new one, and two old ones worked over, she tried the magazines. It wasawearyroundwithrejectionateverypoint,whilethereservesinherbank grewsmallerandsmaller.Duringthewholemonthshenevertalkedtoanyone, andsheknewalonelinessasbitteraspain. Finally,onedayaneditorofamagazinelethercomeintohisoffice.Helooked atherkeenly. "MissJudd,"hebegan,"I'vereadthesestoriesofyoursandIwanttogiveyoua bitofadvice.Areyoutryingtomakealivingoutofthiskindofthing?" "Yes,sir." "Canyoudoanythingelsetosupportyourself?" "Idon'tknow." "Wherehaveyoulived?" Janetoldhim. "You'realoneintheworld?" "Yes." "Unmarried?" "Yes." "MayItellyouquitefranklyhowIfeelaboutyourcase?" "Iwishyouwould." "You make the common mistake of thinking that anybody can write. Now, putting words together is not writing; making fine sentences is not writing; elaborating striking plots is not writing. Of all the arts, literature is the most exacting mistress. With some idea of the technique of painting, or music, coupledwithasurfacebrilliance,youmaypaintorsingorplay.Withevenless equipment, you may act; but to write, you must have lived, you must have sufferedandknownjoy;youmustbeabletoanalyzepeople,tounderstandtheir motives, to love them. To write, you must have ideas and emotions. It is only
when the sources of your own being run deep that you can bring up waters of refreshmentforothers." Hestoppedtolookatthegirl,whomhehadalmostforgotten.Herfacestartled him with its eagerness. Her eyes were shining and he found himself commenting,subconsciously:"Why,sheisn'tsoplain." "Yes,pleasegoon,"shebegged. "Well,grantedthatyouhavelearnedsomethingofthemotives,thepassions,the sorrowsthatrackushumans,thenyoumustalsohaveyourmediumincontrol. Haveyoueverthoughtaboutwords,howwonderfultheyare,howprecious?" Sheshookherhead. "Most people fail to. We think of the hackneyed old phrases we use in the mechanicsofliving,butwordsarelikelittlecreaturesthatmarchandfightand sing.Theyarelikeextrahands,andbrains.Thinkofthepowerofthem!Allthe passions wait on them; they bring despair, hope, courage, love; they are the goldenexchangegrantedtoman.Untilyougetthissenseofthechoiceness,the fragility,thepowerofwords,youarenotreadytotranscribeyourthoughts." "ButhowcanIlearnaboutwords?" "Read the best books, get the feel of them. Study style, add words to your possessionasamiseraddscoins.Haveyoueverstudiedcomposition?" "AlittleinHighSchool." "Frankly,Idoubtifyoucaneverwrite.Iseenogleamofagiftinthesethings youhavebroughtme.Theyaresentimentalandsilly.Butifyoushouldwantto learnsomethingaboutthisgreatart——" "Oh,Ido,"saidJaneearnestly. "Verywell,Iwillgiveyoualistofbookstobeginwith.Youmustgetaposition sothatyoucansupportyourself,thenstudywhenyoucan.Writeallthetime;get facility with words, then tear it up. Don't try to sell things. Begin to watch people;getabreastofevents.Readthepapersandthemagazinesinthelibrary. ReadShakespeare,Fielding,Dickens,Thackeray,Bunyan,Meredith,Barrie,and Galsworthy.YoumighteventryShaw." "Oh,Iwill!"criedJane.
Helaughed. "I don't often inflict an hour's lecture upon unprotected young women, Miss Judd." "Ican'ttellyouhowgratefulIam.ThisisjustwhatIneeded." "You get to work. When you are absolutely confident that you have got somethinggood,comeandseemeagain." "Thankyou,Iwill." Shewentoutinadaze.Thistalkwastochangethewholecourseofherlife,and sheknewit.Itwascharacteristicofherthatshebeganatonce.Sheansweredan advertisement in the paper, inserted by a man named Jerome Paxton, who wantedareliablewomantomendhisclothesanddolightworkaboutthestudio. Sheappliedandheengagedher. Thatwassixyearsago.Fromthatsmallbeginningshehadworkedupaclientele among the artists of the district, which kept her busy every day. She mended theirclothes,cleanedtheirstudios,cookedamealifnecessary,became,inshort, aninstitutioninthecolony.AsJerryPaxtonsaid;"JaneJuddcanmendanything fromaleakinapipetoabrokenheart." This was her life by day. Her real life began when the day ended. On this particularnight,asonathousandpreviousnights,sheboughthersupperatthe butcher's and the grocer's, and climbed the many stairs to her home. As she struckamatchtolightthegas,therewasalightthudonthefloorandapurring. "Thatyou,Milly?"sheasked. The big cat purred loudly and rubbed against her skirt. She took her up and pettedherabitbeforeshesomuchaslaidoffherthings. "I've got a piece of fish for you," she added as she put her coat and hat away. Milly, whose full name was Militant, constituted her entire family, and it was Jane'shabittotalktohercontinually. "We'llhurryintothekitchenbeforeMrs.Biggsgetshometo-nightandgetour supperoutoftheway,"shesaidpresently,andledthewaydownthenarrowhall, thecatatherheels.Shemadeherpreparationsquicklyanddeftly.BillyBiggs, agedeight,appearedasshewascooking.
"Hello,MissJudd." "Hello,Billy." Hewasaverydirtyandaverydulllittleboy,whoworehismouthopen,andwas mentally developed as far as his adenoids would permit. Jane tried to be interestedinhim,butfailed. "WishtIhadapieceofbreadan'butter." "Allright,hereitis.Yourmotherwillbein,presently." "Oursupperain'tasgoodasyours." This conversation took place almost every night. As soon as she could she carriedeverythingintoherroom.ThensheandMillysatdowntothefunctionof dinner.Millysatonahighchairatonesideofthesewingtable,Janeattheother. "Milly,you'reagood,steadyfriend,butIjustachetohavesomebodytalkback tometo-night.IwonderhowitwouldfeeltogotoBuffanti'swithpeopleyou liked,totalk,andeatgoodfoodandlistentomusic." Milly had no comments to make on the subject, except to claw her plate. Jane putamorseloffoodthere,whichdisappeared. "I'llpretendIwentwiththem,andputitintothestoryto-night.Iknowhowthey talk,Milly,andhowtheythink,andhowtheyact,butIwantthemtoknowhow Ithinkandtalkandact.I'msickofbeingalone,Iwantsomebody——" She broke off and hid her face in her hands. Milly scratched her plate significantly.Itistheroutineoflifewhichhelpsusthroughthetragedy,always. AtMilly'spracticalreminder,Janereplenishedherplatewiththescrapingsfrom herown,rose,carriedherdishestothesink,washedthem,andputthemaway. Then she locked her door, got out her pen and her blank book, lit the student lamp, and sat down at her table. Milly sprang into her favourite chair and the pleasuretimeofthedaycametobothofthem.Thepurrandthescratchofthe penlastedfarintothenight.
CHAPTERIII Truetoherword,Mrs.AbercrombieBrendonpresentedJerryandhisideatoher committee, and they appointed him Minister Extraordinary to the whole affair. Hewastodesignthesettingforthepageantandsuchcostumesashehadtimeto do.Hewastoarrangeanddirectthetableaux. There was a slight hitch in affairs, when Jerry presented his terms, but he was preparedforthat.Mrs.Brendonsoundedhimonareduction,buthestoodfirm, assuring her that he must be free to put all his heart and brain at their service. Thiswasquiteimpossibleunlesshegaveupallotherworkforthetimebeing.If that was not entirely satisfactory to them, he would gladly withdraw. The interruptiontohisworkwasofconsiderablemoment.Mrs.Brendoncarriedthis answer back to the committee and they confirmed the amount, complaining bitterly. Jerrywaspreparedforthisincident.Healsoknewthatintheendtheywouldpay just what he asked—would pay anything to get what they wanted; and the particular thing they wanted now was a new way to dress up. None of them thoughtitwasfunnyfortheseemlyoldprophetstodisportthemselvesataball, not until the newspaper wits began to point it out. But it never pays for the metropolitandailiestobetheirfunniestattheexpenseoftheclasswhichgives fifty-thousand-dollar balls, so the affair got under way with much advertising, andfewjibes. Jerry,withhisfirstchecksafelydepositedinthebank,wentmerrilytoworkat hisdesigns.Hespenthisdaysinthelibrary,studyingcostumes,lookingoverold pictures,workingateffects.HedecideduponthethroneroomofKingHerodas thebiggeneralbackgroundoftheshow.Heplannedawidestaircaseattheback, where,onaplatformlikealanding,thetableauxshouldappear,afterwhichthe actorsshoulddescendtobendthekneetothekingandqueen. Theplansbegantogrow,and,artist-like,Jerryhurledhimselfintohisworkwith abandon.Helabouredearlyandlate,untilhewastiredout,beforetherealtask ofrehearsing,readjustinghumanequations,andsuchproblemshadbegun. "Jerry, yougoose,youactas ifyouhadbeenengagedbytheCrownPrinceto stagetheCoronation.Thisisnothingbutreadymoneytoyou,whydoyouwear
yourselfoutonit?"protestedBobs. "I want it to be the biggest thing of the kind that New York ever had. I'm interested in it. When it's over I will go off somewhere and rest. Don't you worry." "Mrs.AbercrombieBrendonwilltakeyouforacruiseonheryacht,maybe,"she saidbitterly. "Well, why not? I don't hate her yacht. What's the trouble, Bobsie? Are you jealousoftheseladiesoftherichandgreat?" Sheblazedoutathim. "Yes,Iam.Whatrighthavetheytocomedownhere,takeyouawayfromyour work, pick your brains, wear you out, and then drop you when they've taken whattheywant?Ihatethemall!" "Steady, old girl," said Jerry, putting a hand on each of her shoulders, and makingherlookathim."Forapenny,I'dshakeyou,Bobs!WhatdoyouthinkI am,amechanicaldoll?Don'tIhaveanythingtosayaboutwhattheydotome?" "Youthinkyoudo,butyoudon't." "Don'tyouworryaboutme,"hesaidshortly,andsheknewhewasannoyed.He went back to work on a costume drawing, and Bobs went out without another word. "Damn,"saidJerrysoftly.Heworkedrapidlyforanhour.Thenamovementin hisbedroomstartledhim. "Who'sthat?"hecalled. JaneJuddcameintoview,asockpulledoveronehand. "Didyouspeak?" "Oh,JaneJudd,Iforgotyouwerethere." "IwentintotheotherroomwhenMissRobertscame." Helookedatherquickly. "Quiteunnecessary.Isthereanythinginthatice-boxIcouldeat?Ican'tstopfor
lunchto-day." Sheinspectedhislarder. "I'llgogetsomething,"shesaid. "Oh,don'tbother.I'lldowithout." Presentlyshestartedoff,inhatandcoat. "Getenoughforbothofus,MissJudd;I'llblowyoutolunch." Shemadenoanswer,closingthedoorsoftlynottodisturbhim.Later,shelaid the table, served a chop, creamed potatoes, a salad, and Turkish coffee. When shecalledhim,hecame,drawing-boardinhand.Sheservedhim. "Whereisyourplace?"heinquired. "Ibroughtsomelunch." "You sit down there, and eat half this lunch. It's a grand tiffin. Where did you learntocook,JaneJudd?" She sat down opposite him, trembling in every inch of her body, but her face woreitsusualcalm. "Womendon'tlearntocook;theyjustabsorbit.I'vealwaysdoneit." Shewenttothelittlestovetoserveherselftolunchandwhenshecamebackhe wasstudyinghissketchwhileheate.Hescarcelynoticedher.Whensherefilled hiscoffeecuphebecameawareofheragain. "HeardaboutthisbigshowI'mgettingup?" "Yes." "Interestingthing.Howdidyouhearaboutit?" "Everybody talks about it. I was at the Chatfields' yesterday. They were discussingit." "Werethey?Whatdidtheysay?" "Ididn'tlisten."
"Youmeanyou'renotasieve." Shesmiled. "BytheGods,Ididnotknowyoueverusedasmile!Whatkindofpersonare you,anyway?" Sheroseatthat,asiftoendtheinterview.Hewentbacktohiswork. "Oh,Isay,JaneJudd,Ididn'tmeantooffendyou,justwhenyouhadsmiledat meforthefirsttimeinfiveyears'acquaintance,"hecalledouttoher. "Allright,"sherepliedbriefly. Jerrymadeagrimaceandforgother. Asworkbegantopileup;asthiscommitteeandthatcommitteehadtoconsult withhim;asthecostumershadtobearguedwith,stuffsselected;infact,asthe whole big machine began to revolve on Jerry as axis, he frequently sent out a hurrycallforJaneJuddtogethimsomelunchorsomedinner.Hewentonwith his work while he ate, and never again did he try to pierce the subterranean depthsofJane'spersonality. Thelasttwoweeksofpreparationwerehectic.Jerry'sendurancewaswonderful, buthisnerveswerewornthin.Attheeleventhhourthecostumersdecidedthat theycouldnotturnoutthegownsforthe"vestalvirgins,"ontime.Theybroke the news to Jerry over the 'phone one frantic day when everything had gone wrong. "MyGod!whatamIgoingtodo?"heburstout,ashehungupthereceiver. "Whatisthematter?"Janeasked. Heexplainedwithanoutburstofrage. "Aretheyhardtomake?" "No,butthey'vegottobedonedayafterto-morrow." "Howmany?" "Sixteen." "IfIcouldgetacoupleofwomentohelp,Imightmanageitforyou."
"JaneJudd,doyoumeanit?Getsomebody;pay'emanything;butget'emhere andlet'sbegin." "Haveyougotthestuff?" "No,butI'lltelephoneforitandgetitherespecial." "Goahead.Don'tforgetthreadandneedles." Whilehewastelephoning,Bobsappearedatthedoor. "Lookhere,Jane;JerryPaxtonisabsorbingentirelytoomuchofyourtime.I'm wearingstockingswithholesinthem." "I was just coming to tell you that something has gone wrong with some costumes,andI'veofferedtogetsomebodytohelpme,andmakethemforhim." "Upon my word, is there anything else you can do for the pampered darling? JinnyChatfieldandIcouldhelpyou." "Thanks." Bobsranofftogetherassistant,andwhenthestuffarrivedJanehadthreepairs ofhandswaitingforJerry. "Bobs,Jinny,Ican'ttakeyourtimelikethis,youolddears." "Don'tblather,Jerry;explainthedesign,"saidJinny. Helaughedandheldupadrawingwhichbothwomeninspected. "Heavens!Idon'tknowhowtocutthat,"exclaimedBobs. "NomoredoI,"saidJinny. "Letmelookatit,"Janeremarked,andtheyallwaitedforhercomment. "Doesthishangstraight,necktohem?"sheasked. Heexplaineditcarefullytoher. "IthinkIcancutit;thenI'llpinitonyou,MissRoberts,andifit'srightwe'llcut themallatonce." "HeavenbepraisedforJane,"saidBobs.