She turned and caught his rare smile.
“You’re happy, aren’t you?” he remarked.
“Perfectly. I feel as if I were breathing electricity. Don’t you like all these people?”
“No, I feel that there are too many of them. There should be half as many, and better done. Until we learn not to breed like rabbits, we will never accomplish a creditable race.”
“Such good-looking rabbits though, Jarvis.”
“Yes. Sleek and empty-headed.”
“All hopping uptown, to nibble something,” she chuckled.
“Life is such foolishness,” he said, in disgust.
“Oh, no. Life is such ecstasy,” she threw back at him, as the cab drew up to the clubhouse door.
Bambi was out of bed and at her window the next morning early. Her room faced on Gramercy Park, and the early morning sun fell across the little square so sacred to the memory of past glories, and bathed the trees in their new green drapery with a soft, impressionistic colour. Her eyes swept around the square, hastening over the great white apartment buildings, our modern atrocities, to linger over the old houses, which her swift imagination peopled with the fashion and pomp of another day.
“Spring in the city!” breathed Bambi. “Spring in New York!”
She was tempted to run to Jarvis’s door and tap him awake, to drink it in too, but she remembered that Jarvis did not care for the flesh-pots, so she enjoyed her early hour alone. It was very quiet in the Park; only an occasional milk wagon rattled down the street. There is a sort of hush that comes at that hour, even in New York. The early traffic is out of the way. The day’s work is not yet begun. There comes a pause before the opening gun is fired in the warfare of the day.
Many a gay-hearted girl has sat, as Bambi sat, looking off over the housetops in this “City of Beautiful Nonsense,” dreaming her dreams of conquest and success. Youth makes no compromise with life. It demands all, passionately; loses all, or wins, with anguish of spirit. So it was with Bambi, the high-handed, imperious little mite. She willed Fame and Fortune for Jarvis and herself in full measure. She wanted to count in this great maelstrom of a city. She wanted two pedestals—one for Jarvis and one for herself—to lift them above the crowd. If all the young things who think such thoughts as these, in hall bedrooms and attic chambers, could mount their visioned pedestals, the traffic police would be powerless, and all the road to Albany lined like a Hall of Fame.
But, fortunately, our practical heroine took no account of failure. She planned a campaign for Jarvis. She would go first to Belasco with his play. Mr. Belasco would receive him at once, recognize a master mind, and accept the play after an immediate hearing. Of course Jarvis would insist on reading his play aloud, so that Mr. Belasco might get the points clearly. He would come away with a thousand dollars advance royalty in his pocket, and then would come the delicious excitement of rehearsals, in which she would help. She saw Jarvis before the curtain making a first-night’s speech. A brilliant series of pictures followed, with the Jarvis Jocelyns as central figures, surrounded by the wealth and brains of New York, London, Paris!