Van Bibber and Others eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Van Bibber and Others.

Van Bibber’s unchallenged freedom behind the scenes had been a source of much comment and perplexity to the members of the Lester Comic Opera Company.  He had made his first appearance there during one hot night of the long run of the previous summer, and had continued to be an almost nightly visitor for several weeks.  At first it was supposed that he was backing the piece, that he was the “Angel,” as those weak and wealthy individuals are called who allow themselves to be led into supplying the finances for theatrical experiments.  But as he never peered through the curtain-hole to count the house, nor made frequent trips to the front of it to look at the box sheet, but was, on the contrary, just as undisturbed on a rainy night as on those when the “standing room only” sign blocked the front entrance, this supposition was discarded as untenable.  Nor did he show the least interest in the prima donna, or in any of the other pretty women of the company; he did not know them, nor did he make any effort to know them, and it was not until they inquired concerning him outside of the theatre that they learned what a figure in the social life of the city he really was.  He spent most of his time in Lester’s dressing-room smoking, listening to the reminiscences of Lester’s dresser when Lester was on the stage; and this seclusion and his clerical attire of evening dress led the second comedian to call him Lester’s father confessor, and to suggest that he came to the theatre only to take the star to task for his sins.  And in this the second comedian was unknowingly not so very far wrong.  Lester, the comedian, and young Van Bibber had known each other at the university, when Lester’s voice and gift of mimicry had made him the leader in the college theatricals; and later, when he had gone upon the stage, and had been cut off by his family even after he had become famous, or on account of it, Van Bibber had gone to visit him, and had found him as simple and sincere and boyish as he had been in the days of his Hasty-Pudding successes.  And Lester, for his part, had found Van Bibber as likable as did every one else, and welcomed his quiet voice and youthful knowledge of the world as a grateful relief to the boisterous camaraderie of his professional acquaintances.  And he allowed Van Bibber to scold him, and to remind him of what he owed to himself, and to touch, even whether it hurt or not, upon his better side.  And in time he admitted to finding his friend’s occasional comments on stage matters of value as coming from the point of view of those who look on at the game; and even Kripps, the veteran, regarded him with respect after he had told him that he could turn a set of purple costumes black by throwing a red light on them.  To the company, after he came to know them, he was gravely polite, and, to those who knew him if they had overheard, amusingly commonplace in his conversation.  He understood them better than they did themselves, and made no mistakes.  The women smiled on him,

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Van Bibber and Others from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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