While Jarvis was mounting like a meteor, she was making a reputation as a writer. When her place in the literary ranks was so assured that the Saturday Evening Post accepted her stories without so much as reading them; when everybody was asking “Who is this brilliant writer?—this combination of O. Henry, Edith Wharton, and W.D. Howells?” then, and only then, would she come out from behind her nom-de-plume and assume her position as Mrs. Jarvis Jocelyn, wife of the famous playwright.
So absorbed was she in her moving pictures that Jarvis’s rap sounded to her like a cannon shot.
“Yes? Who is it?” she called.
“Jarvis,” he answered. “Are you ready for breakfast?”
“Just a minute,” she prevaricated. “Wait for me in the library.”
She plunged into her tub and donned her clothes in record time. Fortunately, Jarvis did not fret over her tardiness. He was lost in an article on the drama in a current magazine.
“Good morrow, my liege lord,” quoth Bambi, radiant, fresh, bewitching.
“This man has no standards at all,” he replied, out of the magazine.
She quietly closed it and took it from him.
“I prefer to test the breakfast standards of this club,” she laughed. “Did you sleep?” she added.
“I always sleep.”
“Let’s play to-day,” she added, over the coffee cups.
“Yes. We’ve never been anywhere together before. I’ve put aside an appropriation for amusement. I say we draw on that to-day.”
“All right. Where shall we go?”
“Let’s go on top of the stage to Claremont for lunch, and then we might see some pictures this afternoon, dine here, and the theatre to-night.”
“Had it all thought out, did you?”
“What would you plan?” she inquired.
“We will do my way to-morrow, and your way to-day,” he said.
“All right. I promise to enjoy your way if you will promise to enjoy mine, not just endure it scornfully.”
“You must think I’m a boor.”
“No. But I think that until you learn that an artist cannot afford to scorn any phase of life that is human, you will never do great work.”
He looked at her keenly.
“Fifth Avenue isn’t human. It’s an imitation,” he objected.
“You’re very young, Jarvis,” she commented.
“Upon my soul,” he laughed, so spontaneously that an old fogy at the next table said audibly to his waitress, “Bride and groom,” and for some reason Bambi resented it with a flare of colour.
“It’s true,” she continued; “until you realize that Fifth Avenue and the Bowery are as inevitable as the two ends of the teeter-totter, you won’t see the picture true.”
“Sometimes you show a most surprising poise,” he granted her. “But of course you are not the stuff of which creative artists are made.”
She chuckled, and patted her bag where the bill fold lay, with its crisp hundreds due to some imitation of creative impulse.