“Well, I believe that is the best we can do with it,” Jarvis said.
“Yes, our best best. For my part, I feel quite fatuously satisfied. I think it is perfectly charming.”
“I hope the author will be pleased,” he said earnestly.
“I’m much more concerned with Mr. Frohman’s satisfaction. If he likes it, hang the author!”
“But I want to please her more than I can say.”
“You have a great interest in that woman, Jarvis. What is it about her that has caught your attention?”
“It is difficult to say. As I have grown into her book, so that it has become a part of my thought, I have been more and more absorbed in the personality of the woman.”
“You told me the heroine was like me—once.”
“Did I?” in surprise.
“You’ve changed your mind, evidently?”
“No-o. Her brilliance is like you.”
“But not her other qualities?”
“She seems softer, more appealingly feminine to me, than you do. You have so much more executive ability——”
“You think I’m not feminine?”
“I didn’t say that,” he evaded.
“Why do you insist upon thinking the author and heroine to be one person?”
“Just a fancy, I suppose. But the book is so intimate that I feel consciously, or otherwise, the woman has written herself into ‘Francesca.’”
“You may be approaching an awful shock, my dear Jarvis, when you meet her.”
“I think not.”
“These author folk! She’ll be a middle-aged dowd, mark my words.”
He rose indignantly, and put the last sheets of the manuscript away. She watched him, smiling.
“Shall you go to New York to-morrow?”
“Yes, if I can get an appointment by wire. I am going to see about it now.”
“I do hope he will be sensible enough to put it on right away.”
“He told me to rush it. I think he means an immediate production.”
“The end of our work together,” mused Bambi.
He turned to her quickly.
“It has really been your work, Bambi.”
It was her turn to be startled, but evidently he had no ulterior meaning.
“Not at all. I think it is wonderful how well we work together, considering——”
“Considering?” he insisted.
“Oh, our difference in point of view, and, oh, everything!” she added.
“It would disappoint you if it were our last work together?”
“What an idea, Jarvis! I look forward to years and years of annual success by the Jocelyns.”
He frowned uncomfortably, as if to speak, thought better of it, and kept silence.
“I’ll go send my wire,” he said. She kissed her finger tips to his receding back. Later, too, she went to the telegraph office and sent the following wire.
“Mr. Charles Frohman:
“See Jarvis, if possible, to-morrow. Play finished. Sure success.